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MediaSentry & RIAA Expert Under Attack

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the my-expert's-smarter-than-your-expert dept.

The Courts 273

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Jammie Thomas, the defendant in Duluth, Minnesota, RIAA case Capitol Records v. Thomas, has served her expert witness's report. The 30-page document (PDF), prepared by Prof. Yongdae Kim of the Computer Science Department of the University of Minnesota, attacks the reports and testimony of Prof. Doug Jacobson, the RIAA's expert, and the work of the RIAA's investigator, Safenet (formerly known as MediaSentry). Among other things, Dr. Kim termed MediaSentry's methods 'highly suspect,' debunked Dr. Jacobson's 'the internet is like a post office' analogy, explained in detail how FastTrack works, explored a sampling of the types of attacks to which the defendant's computer may have been subjected, accused Jacobson of making 'numerous misstatements,' and concluded that 'there is not one but numerous possible explanations for the evidence presented during this trial. Throughout the report I demonstrate possibilities not considered by the plaintiff's expert witness in his evaluation of the evidence...' Additionally, he concluded, 'MediaSentry has a strong record of mistakes when claiming that particular IP addresses were the origins of copyright infringement. Their lack of transparency, lack of external review, and evidence of inadequate error checking procedures [put] into question the authenticity and validity of the log files and screenshots they produced.'"

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273 comments

RIAA will fall soon. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27057955)

Next will come the MPAA and the BSA.

And after that, that annoying bunch of greedy hacks the Author's guild. Fuck those pussies.

Re:RIAA will fall soon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058053)

You're a moron. Nobody is going to "fall", because their survival as entities don't depend solely on these court cases being favorable to them. Idiots like you swore the MPAA's death was imminent when the Betamax decision came down. They were retarded then and you're retarded now.

Re:RIAA will fall soon. (2, Funny)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058123)

So the massive RIAA layoffs aren't happening?

Re:RIAA will fall soon. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058155)

The ones so "massive" that the RIAA is about to be disbanded? No, they are not, in fact, happening. And the fact that you think they make your case proves that you are either the OP or someone even more fantastically stupid than the OP.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27057959)

eat out my asshole!

owned. (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 5 years ago | (#27057971)

So much for those arguments.

Re:owned. (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058371)

The use of screen shots (and indeed printouts) from computers in legal trials in the UK in the 1990s resulted in a body of case law in which it was pointed out that anyone can make a computer show anything you like, that doesn't mean the data is valid.

(This case law was frequently as a result of a popular defense tactic against the Poll Tax. Just because a printout says X owes Y amount doesn't mean that this is true. You can't cross-examine a computer.)

It would be good if this argument made its way into the US legal system, but for all the flak that UK judges get for ignorance, I suspect they are smarter when it comes to technology.

Re:owned. (4, Insightful)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058809)

It would be good if this argument made its way into the US legal system, but for all the flak that UK judges get for ignorance, I suspect they are smarter when it comes to technology.

It's more general than that. The ENTIRE EU is more clueful when it comes to tech than the ENTIRE US.

Re:owned. (1, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058899)

So, for a counterexample, I could provide one person in the US that has more of a clue about technology than one person in the EU?

Re:owned. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059433)

No, you're parsing the GP's sentence incorrectly. The GP is not claiming that the individuals comprising the EU each have more knowledge about tech than the individuals comprising the US, but that the EU as a totality has more knowledge. In other words:

The entity (ENTIRE EU) is more "clueful" than the entity (ENTIRE US).

Savvy?

Re:owned. (2, Funny)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059757)

Then I guess the only thing that remains is to figure out what percentage of each set of populations are judges.

Re:owned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059071)

but for all the flak that UK judges get for ignorance,

"Who are the Beatles?"

Why are they attacking him? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27057977)

Artists deserve to make money on their work. Why do people hate the RIAA? The protect artsts from people illegally stealing music off the internet.

And yes, downloading music without paying for it is STEALING.

So fuck you retards that want somthing for nothing.

You Poor fuckers need to get out of your parents basement and get a job you freeloading fucktaints.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058005)

-1 TROLL

Re:Why are they attacking him? (2)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058007)

Troll.

If they're protecting those poor underdog artists, then what's with the extortion tactics they use?

They'd have more success with racketeering [penny-arcade.com] than extortion.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058133)

Someone mod this shit +1 Funny

Re:Why are they attacking him? (5, Interesting)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058153)

Artists deserve to make money on their work. We dislike the RIAA because they use questionable tactics and have a history of going after individual, largely non-technical defendants and suing them into the stone age.

And no, downloading music without paying for it is not STEALING. It's copyright infringement.

We don't want something for nothing. We want the right to purchase digital music ONCE with the ability to transform that single digital copy into any media or format we choose ... and purely for personal use.

I've purchased several thousand dollars worth of music over the past 35 years, and I think I'm justified in making a few MP3 copies of the various music CD's I've legally purchased and the older LP's that I've legally taped, then legally converted to digital media.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (2, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058243)

We want the right to purchase digital music ONCE with the ability to transform that single digital copy into any media or format we choose ... and purely for personal use.

Then why hasn't music piracy disappeared since iTunes went DRM free?

Re:Why are they attacking him? (4, Interesting)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058335)

Piracy has always been here, so expecting it to ever disappear is just dumb. Let us not forget that the iTunes Music Store brought music sales back up. Have sales started going back down since they went DRM free?

You're assuming that everyone pirating, or even just a significant percentage of them, would have purchased the music otherwise. Do you actually expect a business model built around selling physical media in an age where the media can be reproduced by anyone at virtually no cost or effort?

Re:Why are they attacking him? (3, Funny)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058421)

You're assuming that everyone pirating, or even just a significant percentage of them, would have purchased the music otherwise.

No, I'm not. The GP was.

He implied that the majority of pirates only pirated in order to obtain a DRM-free copy of the music. The iTunes example provides ample evidence that it just isn't the case.

I'm not against piracy. I'm only against the rationalizations of many who engage in it.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058881)

They can have $.99 when I can download a non-lossy format free from DRM in an open format that I am allowed to use how I see fit. As long as it is fair and I do not re-distribute. That is what I had with CD's. This is what I want with online purchases. Also, while I am on the topic of online, when I can download the song and save it without having to use their software program to "manage" it then they can have my money. If I wanted bloatware slowing down my computer then I would install Windows*. Thanks and HAND!

I use Windows at work. I have a linux desktop too.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059277)

They can have $.99 when I can download a non-lossy format free from DRM in an open format that I am allowed to use how I see fit. As long as it is fair and I do not re-distribute. That is what I had with CD's.

Then why are you pirating, and not buying CD's? Seriously, if you want to pay for your content, and you want it to have all those qualities, why aren't you buying a CD?

Again, I'm not against piracy; I'm against your rationalizations. Your misrepresentation of the thoughts of the average pirate do as much damage to the cause of copyright reform as the misrepresentations of the RIAA.

Unless we are all honest about the causes and results of piracy, we'll never be able to have an honest debate about copyright.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059687)

What if the CDs are physically scarce? How would you know that the grandparent's reasons are dishonest? What are the thoughts of the average pirate? Which specific rationalizations are valid and which are not?

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058409)

Can you download non-lossy from iTunes?

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

adiposity (684943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058483)

It has. No one is downloading songs anymore. Didn't you notice?

But seriously, it will take time. The piracy market will always exist, and that's just the way it is. But it probably would have been much smaller if DRM-free downloads had beaten Napster out the door. Hell, even DRM-laden downloads probably would have worked. But it's been nearly 10 years now of free music, and up til now it's been better than pay-for options. So it will take some time to get people to gravitate toward legals options.

This isn't evidence that people didn't break the law primarily because legal options sucked. It just means that once someone decides to live "illegally," they are less likely to revert to completely lawful behavior, out of habit if nothing else.

If songs always cost 10cents, though, I'm guessing the pirate market would dry up quite a bit. It just wouldn't be worth the work.

-Dan

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058833)

[snip]

If songs always cost 10cents, though, I'm guessing the pirate market would dry up quite a bit. It just wouldn't be worth the work.

-Dan

It might be worth the thrill of breaking the law though.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059289)

And neither would the production of music by the artists be worth the effort.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (5, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059741)

And neither would the production of music by the artists be worth the effort.

Excuse me, but your assuming that most artists have ever received a monetary return that would financially make creating & performing music "worth it". Here's a clue from a musician of 30-plus years; most musicians, even very talented and creative musicians, don't make anywhere near what it costs them to create and perform their music in just about any measure you'd care to use.

We real musicians don't play and write for money...we do it because the music is inside us and burning a hole in our souls to get out. Between instrument and equipment costs, travel costs, etc etc, we rarely ever break even and even more rarely do we ever actually get ahead financially. This is why the majority of musicians have day jobs. Even many artists signed to a label seldom come out ahead because of "Hollywood accounting".

Read this piece by Steve Albini on what a typical artist/band goes through even in the rare case they're even offered the chance to sign with a major label.

The Problem With Music [negativland.com]

Even knowing all that, how the odds are totally stacked against a band or artist ever making a living from music, we still work, strive, and sacrifice to write and perform our music.

This is why the idea that you espouse is, no offense, totally wrong.

Cheers!

Strat

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058963)

That's a pretty good point, possibly because everyone who would use itunes is already doing it? I've been scared off by their crappy interface before, and the way they charged *more* for not having DRM in the past, i just assumed that they had jacked up their prices across the board without really thinking about it. Probably should curb my piracy and give it another shot.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059053)

Then why hasn't music piracy disappeared since iTunes went DRM free?

Because it already disappeared soon after they first started using DRM. After "Mission Accomplished," everyone was able to relax.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059247)

Some people pirate music they already own just because it`s faster (downloading 60mb? not even a minute) than the hassle of putting the cd in the tray, clicking convert, and picking it out. And the filenames are already typed in a convenient way.

Did you infringe someones copyright ? It would be hard to say so on this, since you made a copy for yourself of something you had the right to make a copy for yourself..

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059335)

Some people pirate music they already own just because it`s faster (downloading 60mb? not even a minute) than the hassle of putting the cd in the tray, clicking convert, and picking it out.

Unless you can show that a non-negligible percentage of file-sharing is done for this reason, you haven't added anything to the discussion. Of course there are plenty of legitimate (as I believe this is) reasons to file-share. But the vast majority of the infringing traffic is generated by people who just want music for free.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059267)

Off topic.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059845)

Because iTunes is platform-locked and therefore sucks ass.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058965)

We dislike the RIAA because they use questionable tactics...

Add to that... I dislike the RIAA because I don't believe they represent the Artists as much they they'd like us to think. Their members are most notably Sony, EMI, Warner and Universal, not the drummer who started distributing with a CD burner. If anything, those little guys want nothing to do with the RIAA. Smart people.

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059251)

The parent should be modded off topic as is this post

Ok here is where I have an argument. The conceptual difference between "copyright infringement" and "stealing" is null. So why the obfuscation and insistence that what you are doing is not stealing. Illegal enrichment is illegal enrichment.

Now I'm bypassing the legal bullshit that fair use is involved because I will stipulate to fair use. But every other form of copying without permission is still stealing or it's semantic equivalent.

Perhaps the scarcity equals value has been taken too far with copyrights but that is what the music industry and the artists count on to get paid.

Re: shitstain (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058225)

Man, it's a good thing the industry is dying. Have you been laid off yet? Soon you'll have to prostitute your anus for a meal! So sad...

Re:Why are they attacking him? (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058399)

You Poor fuckers need to get out of your parents basement and get a job you freeloading fucktaints.

      Not a good thing to say at the start of a depression, friend. people [wikipedia.org] have been guillotined for less.

      Firstly, the RIAA has not "given" any funds back to the "artists" it represents, they're just a high profile organization that tries to scare people away from copying music - legally or otherwise. Secondly - their outrageous claims about "lost profits" and "starving artists" are patently false. It's like the US complaining about the lost tax revenue it has to bear every year by NOT conquering the world. It makes no sense. However no doubt the same accountants and mathematicians representing the RIAA also worked in the financial industry up until recently.

      Frankly, I think that digital distribution of media - especially music and film, is the way to go. It's much more environmentally friendly and economically efficient - after all, if "pirates" can do it for FREE then surely the COST can't be all that great. There may be a slight problem with expecting people to pay $15 for a CD or $1 for a song, however. But look on the bright side, if artists earn less perhaps that will force the price of their cocaine down due to demand destruction?

Re:Why are they attacking him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059473)

The RIAA is stupid as hell because they got it all wrong, especially since I could just as easily copy the songs off the radio. If they were smart they should try to get the file sharers to pay a broadcast license instead of this copyright infringement crap. Of course, the Internet is an international communications medium and can't be controlled by one country and all that stuff blah, blah, blah. If one country leads the way then others will certainly join in (governments like tax). The country with the best licensing fees would get the most business and downloaders could download for free without all these needless courtroom battles.

Thank you, NYCL! (2, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27057979)

Thank you for your coverage of these events, even if you're biased. ;)

Then again, consider the audience!

Re:Thank you, NYCL! (3, Funny)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058555)

Damn suspicious, this bias towards reality.

Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (5, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27057999)

Please? At the very least you'll have someone with an honest to god education who can proofread and write decent articles on your editorial staff, as opposed to ... kdawson.

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058129)

If you'd like to have a great editor with a great conflict of interest, then yes, he should be an editor.
Otherwise leave it to people who don't submit stories.

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058161)

Unbiased editors? You must be new here!

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058197)

If you'd like to have a great editor with a great conflict of interest, then yes, he should be an editor. Otherwise leave it to people who don't submit stories.

I wouldn't have to decide whether to accept or reject the stories I submit. I could just reject them mentally, before I write them, and save myself the work.

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058879)

If you'd like to have a great editor with a great conflict of interest, then yes, he should be an editor.
Otherwise leave it to people who don't submit stories.

I wouldn't have to decide whether to accept or reject the stories I submit. I could just reject them mentally, before I write them, and save myself the work.

You could write some crap submissions, auto-approve them, then sue us when fewer and fewer people read them!

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (2, Funny)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058329)

If you'd like to have a great editor with a great conflict of interest, then yes, he should be an editor.

Wasn't that Jon Katz?

Oh wait... you said "great".

Never mind.

Re:Make NewYorkCountryLawyer an Editor (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058905)

Seconded.

As someone who has prepared expert reports (5, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058009)

I've prepared a few expert reports in my time, but IANAL, however, as satisfying/intimidating these reports may be, most of the time they'll be downplayed or ignored by the other side. In court, if you ignore it, unless the judge is on the other side, it DOES go away.

I'm waiting for the expert testimony, because anybody can type up 30 pages that equate to "Nuh-uh!" but judges sit up and take notice when someone sits in the witness chair and says "Nuh-uh!"

Essentially, what I'm saying is that while the slashdot community will rally around this news item, the legal community won't take notice until there's a precident.

So when does the motion in limine land? (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058029)

Daubert is around one of these corners.

RED ALERT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058035)

Maybe save that color for something important, like a virus that has infected 90% of online porn.

Duh? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058049)

Yeah, digital evidence can be such a bitch, especially when you gather it remotely. You have no idea if the client (remote end) is telling the truth or not, let alone if it was tampered in transit or not, and even if none of that is true, there's still no way to link what a computer does definitively to what a person designated as the primary user of that system, simply because that system could have been previously compromised via a litany of vectors. In short, why this ever got this far is beyond me... The standards of evidence have slipped quite a bit. These days, you yell "computer!" in a crowded court room and bring in an "expert" in a suit, and the judge and jury will believe just about anything. IP addresses and hashes as "digital fingerprints"? a smack of MP3s on a hard-drive is "evidence"? If I rip a CD I legally purchased, encode it into MP3, and then the CD is damaged and thrown away, or stolen, does that make my digital copy illegal? Apparently. things that are perfectly legal to do to their physical counterparts become illegal to do when a computer becomes involved, simply because someone yelled "computer!" in a crowded court room.

Please god, send us a lawyer worthy of Mordor.

Re:Duh? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058093)

simply because someone yelled "computer!" in a crowded court room.

I say we prosecute anyone who shouts "computer!" in a crowded court room for the mere cause of starting a panic. If we play our cards right, their actions will be exempt from First Amendment protections.

Re:Duh? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058873)

They changed it [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Duh? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059469)

They may have overturned the original ruling, but the analogy still holds: it still would be illegal to falsely shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, as it would incite a dangerous stampede of theatergoers.

Re:Duh? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058351)

In short, why this ever got this far is beyond me... The standards of evidence have slipped quite a bit.

I'm not fan of the tactics of the RIAA, but posts like yours drive me insane. Why do computer geeks seemingly have so much trouble with the concept of "guilty beyond a *reasonable* doubt?" The quote is NOT "guilty beyond all doubt".

Yes, it's theoretically possible that someone broke in and used your computer to download MP3s. However, that's not reasonable.

Yes, it's theoretically possible that someone stole your bandwidth to download the songs that just happened to be on your computer, but that's not reasonable.

Why is "reasonable doubt" so hard to understand? VERY few criminal cases meet the standard of "guilty beyond all doubt". If that was the standard, no criminal would ever be convicted.

These days, you yell "computer!" in a crowded court room and bring in an "expert" in a suit, and the judge and jury will believe just about anything.

And that cuts both ways. Computer geeks believe that all they have to do is yell "BANDWIDTH THEFT!" in a crowded room and they think it's an airtight defense for just about anything.

Re:Duh? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058477)

I'm not fan of the tactics of the RIAA, but posts like yours drive me insane. Why do computer geeks seemingly have so much trouble with the concept of "guilty beyond a *reasonable* doubt?" The quote is NOT "guilty beyond all doubt".

Cases based largely if not entirely on circumstantial evidence (which is what data remotely gathered is), do not rise to "beyond a reasonable doubt". I'd go as far as to say -- why the hell does this get before a judge and not get thrown out? Because the judge doesn't understand that all the crap that RIAA puts in front of him/her is circumstantial. And then they sign a bunch of warrants and set everything in motion -- which thanks to recent supreme court rulings, can be admissible even if the original reasons were complete bunk. So in short, RIAA is playing on the technical ignorance of judges to advance these cases, hoping that their circumstantial evidence leads to admissible evidence at trial.

And THAT is the abuse of the system, and posts like yours "drive me insane" because posters like you fail to see the larger issue because you're hyper-focused on the little tiny things like whether a certain word was stressed or not.

Re:Duh? (3, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058487)

Also, the RIAA, as far as I know, doesn't have to meet the "reasonable doubt" standard, but the "preponderance of evidence" standard, which basically means that they have to prove that their story is more likely than the other side's.

I think that if they had to meet the "guilty beyond reasonable doubt" test, they would fail. It is certainly reasonable that a third party infected her computer and used it for their purposes, if her computer was a bot- and virus-infested nightmare, as I suspect it was.

The real risk for MediaSentry here is that their methods don't seem to have any rigour at all, and may not actually qualify as evidence at all. I'm more interested in the lack of time stamps, investigator's licenses, or protocols for preservation of evidence than in the possible attack vectors available to a third party.

If the MediaSentry evidence is all they have, and it gets thrown out because of Dr. Kim's expert testimony, the RIAA won't have anything left.

Re:Duh? (5, Interesting)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058517)

Both your examples are unlikely. And, I'll note, not listed in Dr. Kim's report. (You did read the report, right?)

In this case, the RIAA expert didn't even admit the possibility of likely things.

For example, until I locked it down, neighbors on both sides of my place were stealing bandwidth off the wireless router where I rent. If they were downloading music, we'd be the ones hit, because it would be our router that would be showing up in ISP records / on Kazaa. (A similar example appeared in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?)

The RIAA "expert" seemed to think that because the (non-timestamped) traceroute went to Thomas's computer, that it -always- went there. This isn't automatically the case. IP/MAC spoofing or other attacks (as appeared in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?) can easily obfuscate the issue.

The RIAA's expert also said that the presence of MP3s showed that Thomas downloaded them from the internet, again, ignoring the extremely likely possibility that Thomas ripped them from CD (which, I will note is both extremely easy, and mentioned in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?).

The problem with the RIAA expert is that he neglected to list other possibilities. Would he have needed to list the extremely unlikely ones? No.

But he did need to address likely alternative explanations. And when you add his extremely bad analogies, and apparent lack of understanding of NAT (to be 'fair', he could actually understand NAT, but ignored it because it would weaken his report, but that's being a bad expert), his report deserved to be torn apart by Dr. Kim. (You did read the report, right?)

Re:Duh? (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058607)

In this case, the RIAA expert didn't even admit the possibility of likely things. For example, until I locked it down, neighbors on both sides of my place were stealing bandwidth off the wireless router where I rent. If they were downloading music, we'd be the ones hit, because it would be our router that would be showing up in ISP records / on Kazaa. (A similar example appeared in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?) The RIAA "expert" seemed to think that because the (non-timestamped) traceroute went to Thomas's computer, that it -always- went there. This isn't automatically the case. IP/MAC spoofing or other attacks (as appeared in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?) can easily obfuscate the issue. The RIAA's expert also said that the presence of MP3s showed that Thomas downloaded them from the internet, again, ignoring the extremely likely possibility that Thomas ripped them from CD (which, I will note is both extremely easy, and mentioned in Dr. Kim's report. You did read the report, right?). The problem with the RIAA expert is that he neglected to list other possibilities. Would he have needed to list the extremely unlikely ones? No. But he did need to address likely alternative explanations. And when you add his extremely bad analogies, and apparent lack of understanding of NAT (to be 'fair', he could actually understand NAT, but ignored it because it would weaken his report, but that's being a bad expert), his report deserved to be torn apart by Dr. Kim. (You did read the report, right?)

Good post. When I deposed Dr. Jacobson [blogspot.com] in the UMG v. Lindor case, he admitted that he had never considered any alternative explanations.

Re:Duh? (1)

sxltrex (198448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058805)

Wow, an attaboy from NYCL. Somebody's bucking to get on the friend list!

Re:Duh? (4, Interesting)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059067)

Dr Jacobson is not stupid, I've met the man. I graduated with a degree in computer science from Iowa State University in December. I haven't taken a class from him, but again the man is not stupid.

He's malicious.
He's being paid.

In fact I bet he even knows his testimony is full of shit.

Again, he's being paid.

Re:Duh? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059175)

Dr Jacobson is not stupid, I've met the man. I graduated with a degree in computer science from Iowa State University in December. I haven't taken a class from him, but again the man is not stupid. He's malicious. He's being paid. In fact I bet he even knows his testimony is full of shit. Again, he's being paid.

More than being paid, he has a major financial interest in the "Audible Magic" software which the RIAA is peddling for him. They go to LAN operators and say "Pay us $76,000 [blogspot.com] and the letters will stop".

Re:Duh? (4, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059573)

Would a "reasonable man" conclude that those interests are in conflict? If the answer is yes (and it probably is) then why was Dr Jacobson not eliminated as an expert witness straight away by a defense attorney raising an objection in court and mentioning this conflict? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I am sure that NYCL can explain.

Re:Duh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059779)

So he's not stupid, he's just morally ambiguous? the ambiguity being the result of certain rewards? What is that more commonly called? Corrupt?

I'm sure he's a decent guy overall, and hey.. nobody minds making a buck, especially if you figure the other side will debunk your claims - but it seems to me that somebody who is supposed to be knowledgeable in the applicable field enough to be granted the distinction of 'Professor', should have that distinction re-evaluated if they knowingly and willingly 'betray' the principles under which they were honored.

IANAL, clearly.

Re:Duh? (5, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058667)

Bear in mind that MediaSentry has accused a laser printer of sharing music files. Not just alleged, stated that they had proof positive of that laser printer serving up MP3s via a P2P network. That alone suggests to me that their "evidence" is shaky at best.

Re:Duh? (1)

dshadowwolf (1132457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059271)

Which Dr. Kim actually mentions in his report as part of the evidence that MediaSentry is not being rigorous in it's data collection activity.

Re:Duh? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059727)

The concept of a laser printer serving up MP3s isn't that far fetched. It could have an internal drive. Most high volume printers either have huge amounts of RAM (huge being in the low multi-gigabyte range) or internal drives. That space is used to cache large print jobs. Now granted, a couple of gigs isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but at about 10MB per MP3 file, you could easily fit a couple albums on your average high capacity network printer and still have some room left over.

Worthy of Mordor? (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058511)

Please god, send us a lawyer worthy of Mordor.

I'm not sure that's the wisest thing to wish for. :D

Re:Worthy of Mordor? (1)

Chris Brewer (66818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059061)

Please god, send us a lawyer worthy of Mordor.

I'm not sure that's the wisest thing to wish for. :D

Yeah, but don't forget they were finished off by a bunch of trees...

Re:Worthy of Mordor? (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059121)

It's probably a reference to IBM's strike team of lawyers that call themselves the Nazgul

Red? (0, Offtopic)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058081)

I understand that the RIAA is a popular target here, but why was this article shown in bright red when I came here a moment ago? I've read Slashdot for years and I've never seen that...

Re:Red? (2, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058119)

Red designates new articles ("hot off the press") that have no comments yet.

Re:Red? (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058127)

I understand that the RIAA is a popular target here, but why was this article shown in bright red when I came here a moment ago? I've read Slashdot for years and I've never seen that...

Either

(a)it was because it was one of the best written articles ever in the history or internet journalism, or

(b) all the articles start out red -- during which time they are visible only to people with paid up subscriptions.

I prefer to think it was the former, but am pretty sure it was the latter.

Re:Red? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058903)

OP doesn't have a * so the latter is implausible.

Re:Red? (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059009)

Or just a bug with slashcode. We all know how often this code base is screwed around with.

Re:Red? (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059151)

OR BOTH, mister smarty pants lawyer! Didn't think of that didja?

Re:Red? (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059841)

It looks like it's for everyone, unless someone bought me a gift?

Re:Red? (1)

secretplans (1489863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058141)

I don't know. It's blue-ish now. Are you OK with blue?

Re:Red? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058229)

green != blue

Re:Red? (2, Funny)

princessproton (1362559) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058739)

He's color blind, you insensitive clod!

Thanks Ray (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058103)

Thank you Ray for all you do for us.

Re:Thanks Ray (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058159)

Thank you Ray for all you do for us.

Thanks, Tibor. Much appreciated.

Jammie (1)

Rotund Prickpull (818980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058171)

Jammie? I lade his marma.

'numerous misstatements' (1)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058319)

What exactly is a "misstatement"?

Is it an incorrect statement?
An inaccurate statement?
A misleading statement?
A correct statement used in the wrong context?
A deliberately obfuscated or weasely statement?

Reminds me of people who say they "misspoke" - usually means "lied".

Re:'numerous misstatements' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058359)

"misspeaking" is to tell an untruth.
"lying" is to deliberately do so.

lrn2english

Re:'numerous misstatements' (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058433)

You have 4 out of the 5 correct.

A misstatement is a statement that contains a mistake. Thus a correct statement used in the wrong context would not apply.

FastTrack (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058365)

What is FastTrack? Is this [fasttrack.nu] what they were talking about?

This part seems to point to another popular subjec (1)

pha3r0 (1210530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058411)

The report discussed various types of 3rd party attacks to which computers are subject, and noted:

        A miscreant wishing to cover his or her tracks on the Internet has many options, the most likely of which is direct exploitation of one or more computers owned by a third party. Those computers can then be used for activity that the malicious party would not want linked to his or her Internet account. The average uninfected âoelife expectancyâ of an Internet-connected computer running the Microsoft Windows XP operating system without any security updates (âoepatchesâ) is as low as 4 minutes [15]. Since all Windows XP systems attempt to connect to the Internet immediately upon installation/first boot, and since it requires some time to download all security updates from Microsoft (which, for a newly-installed Windows XP system, can measure in gigabytes, with a typical Internet connection only capable of handling a few megabytes per second), it would not be surprising that any given Internet-connected Windows XP computer be infected with any number of pieces of âoemalwareâ (software malicious to the user of the computer on which it is installed).

Seems like there expert is saying here "Hey XP is a sickly child in the streets of Mexico" Kind of interesting that they make this correlation and unfortunately I don't have time to go over the whole report right now but I would like to see what other reads have to say about this part for now

History in the Making (4, Interesting)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058415)

I find this all very interesting from a kind of "we're living through history" perspective. What we've been witnessing over the past few years is almost the complete devaluation of the record company's main 3 products, 'recording', 'promotion' and 'distribution'.

Artists needed record companies to make them nice recordings and to promote them (advertising and getting their records out). The record companies made most of their money off of record sales. The artists made most of their money off of concerts and appearances. With recording equipment fairly inexpensive in comparison to the recent past, and free or nearly free software that can professionally mix, recording now comes at a very low cost. The only real advantages of a studio now are the sound-proof room and the technician that knows what they're doing. If a musician spends the time to learn and experiment with acoustics, the trained technician becomes less valuable, and all you need is some equipment and a nice room.

It's obvious to anyone reading Slashdot that promotion and distribution can be handled through the Internet now for extremely little money.

It's amazing to think how these 3 things which were so valuable for such a long time became cheap so suddenly. The argument that file sharing is anti-capitalist is completely incorrect. It's capitalism at work. It's just that the value of the job that record companies do is no where near the value it had even a decade ago. Ironically, pretending it's still the same is anti-capitalism.

Re:History in the Making (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058923)

At this point, I don't think the RIAA is even trying to profit; they're just trying to survive (albeit by cruel and unusual means).

Deserve to be constantly under attack! (1)

wshwe (687657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058637)

MediaSentry and the RIAA deserve to be constantly under legal and political attack!

Re:Deserve to be constantly under attack! (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058703)

I'd say some of them deserve constant physical attack, too. With a cluebat.

Captn to gunnery officer: (2, Funny)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058889)

"Gunny! Double the charge in the clue cannon!"
Gunny: "Aye,aye cap'n!"
Capn: "And stand ready to reload. I think it's gonna take more than just a few rounds!"

Re:Deserve to be constantly under attack! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059805)

And slash(dot) their cars' tires.

You have to wonder... (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058819)

How could a legitimate expert in the field make the errors and omissions Prof. Doug Jacobson did in his testimony? It appears from what has been said that either Jacobson's academic credentials or his honesty are suspect. These omissions are not minor, nor are they so esoteric that a so-called "expert witness" could be forgiven for being unaware of them.

interesting dreamworld he lives in (1)

Ndkchk (893797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058979)

Professor Kim claims that typical internet connections are only capable of handling a few megabytes per second. If one were to assume, conservatively, that "a few" means 3-4, then a "typical" internet connection is on the order of 25-35 megabit. Please, Professor Kim, tell me where in the US this is "typical" as I'd like to move there. Further, the gigabytes number is quite off. Service Pack 2 can be installed to an unpatched Windows XP machine, and it's only 108 MB. SP3 needs at least SP1, but it's only 72 MB. 180 MB, at Professor Kim's "typical" connection, would only take about a minute to download, leaving a three minute window before infection. The rest of his report is somewhat more accurate, but these sloppy facts would hurt his testimony--if either the judge or the RIAA's expert witness knew any more than that, which I doubt.

Re:interesting dreamworld he lives in (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27059099)

If Professor Kim was referring to adsl1 than he is correct. If he is referring to ADSL2 then this can be further argued based on distance from the exchange. You can't calculate based on theoretical speed.

Re:interesting dreamworld he lives in (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059623)

if either the judge or the RIAA's expert witness knew any more than that, which I doubt.

Well, if they didn't before then they do now.

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