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Judge OK's MediaSentry Evidence, Limits Defendant's Expert

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the crash-course-in-civil-procedure dept.

The Courts 283

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset, the judge has denied the defendant's motion to suppress the MediaSentry evidence for illegality, holding that MediaSentry's conduct did not violate any of the three laws cited by the defendant. The judge also dismissed most of the RIAA's objections to testimony by the defendant's expert, Prof. Yongdae Kim, but did sustain some of them. In his 27-page decision (PDF), Judge Davis ruled that Prof. Kim could testify about the 'possible scenarios,' but could not opine as to what he thinks 'probably' occurred. The court also ruled that, 'given the evidence that there is no wireless router involved in this case, the Court excludes Kim's opinion that it is possible that someone could have spoofed or hijacked Defendant's Internet account through an unprotected wireless access point. Similarly, because Kim explicitly testified that this case does not involve any "black IP space," or any "temporarily unused" IP space ...., he is not permitted to opine at trial that hijacking of black IP space or temporary unused IP is a possible explanation in this case.' Dr. Kim was also precluded from testifying as to whether song files were conspicuously placed in a shared files folder or were wilfully offered for distribution. The judge also precluded him from testifying about Kazaa's functioning, but it was unclear to me what the judge was precluding him from saying, because the offered testimony seemed to relate only to the question of whether the Kazaa-reported IP address precluded the possibility of the device having been run behind a NAT device."

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283 comments

So, what now? (1, Interesting)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302291)

Are we fucked, or are we really fucked?

Re:So, what now? (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302321)

Jammie is, if her defense is blaming it on a wireless router that she doesn't have.

Re:So, what now? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302537)

And gasp, shock, horror... the judge is sustaining an objection to the defendant's OWN EXPERT stating that the use of private non routable addresses (first time I've heard them called Black IPs) was a "possible cause" when he'd previously testified that there was no such network involved?

Quelle horreur!

There is a way around that. (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302697)

Simple. Change this:

The court also ruled that, 'given the evidence that there is no wireless router involved in this case, the Court excludes Kim's opinion that it is possible that someone could have spoofed or hijacked Defendant's Internet account through an unprotected wireless access point.

To this:

The court also ruled that, 'given the evidence that there is no wireless router involved in this case, the Court excludes Kim's opinion that it is possible that someone could have spoofed or hijacked Defendant's Internet account.

Then a demonstration. Take a PC into the courtroom and hook it to a cablemodem. Then tell the guys at Defcon [defcon.org] to give the judge a live demonstration of pwnage.

Re:So, what now? (4, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302617)

Are we fucked, or are we really fucked?

This is slashdot. Nobody here gets fucked.

Re:So, what now? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303227)

Aw.. don't be so negative. Some of us around here are even married. And busy making babies.

Re:So, what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303453)

If you and your spouse fuck, instead of making love, I feel bad for you.

Re:So, what now? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303233)

Hey, not all of us are single geeks living in our parents' basement. Some of us are married and... hmmm... Nevermind.

Re:So, what now? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302997)

We wait to see what happens once the trail gets underway.

IANAL, but I did read the objection the first time around on Slashdot (something probably 99% of commenters didn't do) and I thought at the time that the RIAA's side was making some pretty good points, especially about the 14 different ways in which Dr. Kim *speculated* about what might have happened. Whether that's really what his deposition said or not, that's the way they phrased it in the objection, and I'm pretty sure that courts don't generally like or admit pure speculation.

There was undoubtedly a better way to spin things for the deposition than speculation, but that's what happened. As far as the objection brief is concerned, a lot of the points were fairly legit, as the outcome here today shows.

I'm still hoping for the massive RIAA smackdown court trial to take place, but I'm fearing that this case is only going to set precedent that slightly bolsters their already-overreaching (in my opinion) position and powers.

Could be a victory (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302295)

This could be a victory for Jammie. The judge carefully lays out, at pages 13-14, the standards for admissibility of technical evidence.

I know for a fact that neither MediaSentry nor Doug Jacobson could satisfy those standards.

Assuming the judge applies those standards evenly, this trial may end abrutly, because the RIAA's only witnesses may both be precluded from testifying.

Re:Could be a victory (2, Interesting)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302315)

Assuming the judge applies those standards evenly,

In your experience, is this generally the case?

Re:Could be a victory (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302407)

Assuming the judge applies those standards evenly

In your experience, is this generally the case?

Yes. If the judge says 'this is the rule we're going to play by' then that's the rule.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303021)

Yes. If the judge says 'this is the rule we're going to play by' then that's the rule.

That's what Motions to Reconsider are for! And Motions to Reconsider Motions to Reconsider! And Motions to Reconsider Motions to Reconsider Motions to Reconsider for. THEN you give up.

Re:Could be a victory (4, Interesting)

Steve1952 (651150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302335)

I'm not too happy about the ruling that MediaSentry evidence was legally obtained. Then again, since apparently it's now OK to snoop on other computers for purposes of obtaining evidence to use against someone, perhaps I'm just a bit slow to recognize that this is the dawn of a whole new industry!

Re:Could be a victory (4, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302365)

if by snoop you mean connect to a program that the user willfully loaded and interact with that program in it's normal manner of operation then yes people can do that.

assuming otherwise is as silly as the "if you are a cop you are not allowed to enter this site" disclaimers that used to be all over the internet

Re:Could be a victory (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302401)

What?!? You mean undercover cops lying in response to the "Are you a cop?" question that criminals inevitably ask doesn't protect them from prosecution??? I'm and SHOCKED and HORRIFIED!

Re:Could be a victory (-1, Flamebait)

Steve1952 (651150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302413)

Yes, I guess when you go onto the Internet using Windows, you should expect these sort of things...

Re:Could be a victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302531)

But MediaSentry is not law enforcement.
Or are you claiming that that they were not accessing private data without permission or warrant?

Re:Could be a victory (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303369)

assuming otherwise is as silly as the "if you are a cop you are not allowed to enter this site" disclaimers that used to be all over the internet

Much like the "Are you 18?" question that has no real verification beyond "Can you use this link?"

Re:Could be a victory (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302431)

I'm not too happy about the ruling that MediaSentry evidence was legally obtained.

Me neither. But I'm not familiar with the Minnesota statute and caselaw. I'm sure that with most state licensing statutes, the result would be otherwise.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302995)

Me neither. But I'm not familiar with the Minnesota statute and caselaw. I'm sure that with most state licensing statutes, the result would be otherwise.

Why? It seems fairly straightforward. The State of Minnesota thinks that laws it passes regarding the licensing of private detectives operating within the State of Minnesota do not apply to private detectives not operating in the State of Minnesota. I'm pretty sure it also thinks our traffic laws don't apply to drivers not driving within the State of Minnesota. Is it really true that most other states assert the right to pass extraterritorial laws?

Re:Could be a victory (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303013)

Meh, the whole point of choice-of-venue is to pick the rules under which the case will be tried. If you want your private investigators licensed in a particular venue, you don't allow evidence from unlicensed investigators outside your venue.. it just undermines your regulation.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303405)

Is it really true that most other states assert the right to pass extraterritorial laws?

Its countries making extraterritorial laws that baffles me, states would actually make some sense based on the relationship within the USA.

Re:Could be a victory (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303075)

Me neither. But I'm not familiar with the Minnesota statute and caselaw.

So... YANAML?

=)

Re:Could be a victory (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302449)

There are all kinds of needs in the various worlds of the police, detective agencies, spy agencies, supremacy groups, monitoring groups, pressure groups, political groups, etc, that would LOVE to have packet sniffing software installed 100% legally on the computers and/or modems of opponents and rivals.

Maybe the BBC can start by selling their software for injected targeted ads to US ISPs.

Re:Could be a victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303103)

Maybe the BBC can start by selling their software for injected targeted ads to US ISPs.

That would be BT's software. The BBC is a television company. Huge difference ;)

Re:Could be a victory (4, Informative)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302633)

There was no ruling that it was legal. There was a ruling that it did not violate any of the three particular laws the defense argued it violated.

Re:Could be a victory (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303051)

If I place a webserver on my computer, and you access the publicly available web page I place there, you're not "snooping", even if your purpose is to obtain evidence to use against me. That's what the court's ruling boils down to. And I think it's fundamentally correct. Reading any information I publicly publish does not constitute "snooping" -- there is, as the court says, "no expectation of solitude or seclusion" when you run a server the purpose of which is to make data available to the public.

Re:Could be a victory (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302349)

This could be a victory for Jammie. The judge carefully lays out, at pages 13-14, the standards for admissibility of technical evidence.

I know for a fact that neither MediaSentry nor Doug Jacobson could satisfy those standards.

Assuming the judge applies those standards evenly, this trial may end abrutly, because the RIAA's only witnesses may both be precluded from testifying.

Please, make up your mind and tell me how to properly react to this already. I feel like Philip J. Fry when he found out he was going to be snusnu'd to death [wikipedia.org] . Or is watching humans squirm precisely what lawyers just like to watch?!

Re:Could be a victory (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302467)

Please, make up your mind and tell me how to properly react to this already.

eldavojohn, you're a cool guy, you can figure it out.

But seriously...
1. most of the rulings are totally right down the middle and easily anticipated
2. the ruling on the MediaSentry is bad, but it's not applicable to the other 49 states
3. the ruling on the expert is ok except for the part about NAT
4. if the judge applies the standards he described to MediaSentry and Jacobson, case closed, Jammie wins.

So it all boils down to whether he applies the same rule; and he appears to be a fairminded Judge, so I would say this portends a victory for the good guys.

Re:Could be a victory (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302557)

eldavojohn, you're a cool guy, you can figure it out.

Cool -> cold -> frigid -> frigerator -> meat -> meat locker! Meat locker, that's it! Of course!

Figure -> filter -> filler -> filbert -> finger ... FINGERS !!! Oh my god, how could I be so blind?!

They're going to kill her, cut off her fingers and hang her in a meat locker! It's brilliant and evil all at the same time.

Ray, we have to warn her! I'll meet you at the comic book store down the street from my house in fifteen minutes! Our detective crime fighting team name will be the "The Extraordinary Super Aces!"

Re:Could be a victory (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302861)

Ray, where are you Ray? It's been a half hour, Ray! Ray, we were going to stop the RIAA together, remember Ray? Remember?

I'll just wait outside your office until morning and get an update from you.

[Posted via Slashdot Mobile.]

Re:Could be a victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302871)

-you have way too much time on your hand
-this was awesome

Re:Could be a victory (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302713)

if the judge applies the standards he described to MediaSentry and Jacobson, case closed, Jammie wins.

I am confused (and with a bit of a fever, actually), so forgive my possibly silly question: what standards do you actually mean? And: a few lines above you wrote that MediaSentry's evidence was ruled admissible, so how is now MediaSentry in trouble?

Re:Could be a victory (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303273)

When considering the reliability and relevance of expert testimony, the
Court may examine "whether the theory or technique is subject to testing,
whether it has been tested, whether it has been subjected to peer review and
publication, whether there is a high known or potential rate of error associated
with it, and whether it is generally accepted within the relevant community."

MediaSentry's evidence is admissible but their "expert" testimony w/re
to the theory/techniques behind the evidence will never satisfy those requirements.
subject to testing: yes
been tested: yes*
peer review: afaik none*
publication: afaik none*
high known or potential rate of error: yes
generally accepted: /.ers would say no

Obviously it is better to shut the door on MediaSentry completely,
but technical evidence with no expert testimony to support it is essentially useless.

*or at least none validating their method.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303331)

Thank you very much!

I hope this won't get too technical for the judge or the jury.

Re:Could be a victory (2, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302451)

What do you make of the judge's decision on pages 6-7 that the MPDA doesn't apply because MediaSentry isn't based in MN? If the company is investigating someone who lives in MN, and they were in MN when they were being investigated, why is it relevant where the investigation was conducted from? If I go a few hours down to Mexico and start hacking computers in the US, am I no longer liable under US laws just because I'm in Mexico when I did it? I don't understand that decision, I really thought that claim above all the others had the most merit.

I know it's probably not considered great practice, but can Camara argue with the judge that the decision was incorrect?

Re:Could be a victory (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302505)

I don't agree with the decision on the Minnesota statute, but truthfully I'm not familiar with the statute or caselaw. Under NY law I believe the result would be different.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302579)

Is it possible to file some sort of hosticus curiae brief? Can I troll the judge?

Bah, well here's to hoping that MediaSentry is held to the same standards as the defense witness.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302545)

I agree with you that this kind of rule does not seem evenly applied. If Somebody at MediaSentry was doing this from their living room, then that is where the law applies? If so, your argument would seem to be valid; I could hack from some other country and be beyond U.S. law (assuming no treaty applied, etc.)

So, how about a hypothetical? I live in a state where both parties must be informed before a telephone conversation can be recorded. But not all states are that way. In some, only ONE party need know about the recording.

So, if somebody from such a state called me up, in which state does the law apply? I would be very curious to know.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303131)

If I go a few hours down to Mexico and start hacking computers in the US, am I no longer liable under US laws just because I'm in Mexico when I did it?

I think that would go beyond merely receiving info from a computer in the US. See the paragraph at the bottom of page 6/top of page 7. In your case, you'd be violating the law. In the MediaSentry case, they were not. If they'd sat in a living room in Iowa and read info publicly posted on a webserver that happens to be in Minnesota, they would not be violating MN law regarding needed a private detective license from the State of Minn. to do so. The same applies to an FTP server. And the same applies to a Kazaa server.

Re:Could be a victory (1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302527)

I know for a fact that neither MediaSentry nor Doug Jacobson could satisfy those standards.

Please provide, in detail, proof of your statement above as it pertains to this case, complete with references.

Re:Could be a victory (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302643)

This could be a victory for Jammie. The judge carefully lays out, at pages 13-14, the standards for admissibility of technical evidence.

I know for a fact that neither MediaSentry nor Doug Jacobson could satisfy those standards.

Is there a motion before the court on this point, or time to put such a motion forward before the trial?

Re:Could be a victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302735)

I trust your judgment on this, but if Jammie's expert has just been somewhat muzzled, why was there not a similar ruling against MediaSentry or Doug Jacobson at the same time? When would the ruling that stops them from testifying take place?

Owtch! (1)

VirtBlue (1233488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302297)

Well now that is a kick in the balls.

Unleash the hounds! (1)

mudshark (19714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302325)

So is the judge saying that any old schmuck can skip being licensed as a P.I., then go out and collect evidence (possibly in bad faith) on private citizens, and have it be admissible in court?

Whoa. I smell a business opportunity writ large.

Re:Unleash the hounds! (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302501)

Apparently, you have no clue as to the law. Licensing of Private Investigators takes place on the state, and some times even lower, level. The judge ruled that MediaSentry did not break the Minnesota law because they never entered the state, have no employees in the state, never engaged in PI behavior in the state, etc.

In other words, Minnesota law does not apply to people OUTSIDE of Minnesota.

Also, MediaSentry argued that the data they did gather was provided by the respondent's computer during the normal course of downloading the data. In other words, they looked at the IP address of requesting computer. Or, do you contend that Slashdot is being a private investigator by logging the IP address your post from?

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303027)

That's the part that I don't understand though. Theoretically, in order to "investigate" a Minnesota resident, would they have to be engaged in activity inside the state of Minnesota?

Re:Unleash the hounds! (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303253)

Nope. Because of the joys of the internet, they never had to physically go into Minnesota. They didn't even have to access the computer in Minnesota because Kazaa provides identifying information about the source of the files, including the IP address.

Here is the judges determination:

The Court concludes that MediaSentry is not subject to the MPDA. Based
on the language of the MPDA, the Act does not apply to persons or companies
operating outside of the state of Minnesota. See Minn. Stat. 326.3381, subd. 5
(providing procedures for licensing outofstate applications for those who
"establish a Minnesota office"). Additionally, there is a general presumption that
Minnesota statutes do not apply extraterritorially. See In re Pratt, 18 N.W.2d 147,
153 (Minn. 1945), cited in Harrington v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., No. A03192,
2003 WL 22016032, at *2 n.1 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2003) (unpublished) (noting
that Minnesota courts employ "the presumption against a state statute having
extraterritorial application").
MediaSentry does not operate within Minnesota. (Connelly Decl. 3.) It
has no employees in Minnesota and does not conduct any activities in Minnesota.
(Id.) It pays no taxes in the state and has no agent for service of process here.
(Id.) MediaSentry conducted no activity in Minnesota relating to this case, and
all of the information it received was sent by Defendant from her computer to
MediaSentry's computer in a state other than Minnesota. (Id.) Merely
7
monitoring incoming internet traffic sent from a computer in another state is
insufficient to constitute engaging in the business of private detective within the
state of Minnesota.

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303199)

MediaSentry argued that the data they did gather was provided by the respondent's computer during the normal course of downloading the data.

But was MediaSentry "Making Available" the data themselves, or were they operating a hacked client that would never serve a valid block?

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303333)

No. The respondent was making the data available via Kazaa. They used a Kazaa client to connect and download the data. The standard client makes all the data they collected available. By using Kazaa, the respondent voluntarily provided the data to MediaSentry through normal operation of the software.

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

mudshark (19714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303209)

The defendant lived in Minnesota at the time the investigation took place. If the result of the investigation was to furnish evidence of an alleged activity which took place in the state of Minnesota, to be tried in a Minnesota court, then shouldn't there be a requirement for state oversight of the investigator? Or is the next Nigerian cottage industry going to involve a swarm of C&D letters? Whatever the answer, I sure as hell won't ever move to Minnesota if that's how individual rights are treated.

Re:Unleash the hounds! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303291)

Nope. Read the judge's decision, complete with case law. If the data collection did not occur in , the company has no agents in, and the investigators never entered Minnesota, why should Minnesota have any say, especially when Minnesota law does not apply outside of Minnesota?

Under your theory, you don't need to move to, live in, or even be in, Minnesota to fall under Minnesota law.

Re:Unleash the hounds! (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303193)

What the court is saying is that if you're a person in California sitting behind a computer in California and decide to look up some information on another person, and the information you find is located on a public webserver that happens to be in Minnesota, you are not required to apply for and receive a private investigator's license from the State of Minnesota before reading the web page.

In this case, the server was a Kazaa server, but it makes no difference if it's a Kazaa server or an FTP server or an HTTP server. The point is, you don't need a Minnesota PI license to read publicly published information from another state, even if the server happens to be located in Minnesota.

Had the court decided the other way, I think that'd be pretty seriously frakked up...

really stupid question (sorry) (5, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302353)

Is there a jury involved in a situation like this, or is a judge looking at possible testimony and then deciding which of that testimony he (himself) is allowed to hear vs which he (himself) isn't?

Re:really stupid question (sorry) (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302483)

Is there a jury involved in a situation like this, or is a judge looking at possible testimony and then deciding which of that testimony he (himself) is allowed to hear vs which he (himself) isn't?

You should be modded +5 for asking one of the best questions I've ever received on Slashdot.

Answer: the preliminary questioning of the expert is done before the judge, out of the presence of the jury, and is called a 'voir dire' [same term that's used for jury questioning]; if the judge rules his testimony is totally inadmissible, he never gets to testify before the jury; if the judge rules it is admissible, then he gets to testify in the presence of the jury.

Re:really stupid question (sorry) (5, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302681)

But... but... My Cousin Vinnie told me that voir dire occurs right in front of the jury! Now what am I supposed to base my entire knowledge of the judicial system on?!

Re:really stupid question (sorry) (4, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302975)

/.

Re:really stupid question (sorry) (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303373)

voir dire isn't in front of a jury, at least not always.

when I was called in for jury duty, they 'tested' each of us with multiple questions (paper) and the ones that the lawyers didn't like, were immediately excused.

btw, here's one way to get OUT of jury duty, if you are so inclined: tell them you know the concept of JURY NULLIFICATION.

it drives the legal eagles batshit crazy. they hate this. they hate the fact that CITIZENS have the final say in the law.

that's right. they can vote ON the law as well as the instance of supposed law-breaking.

when the judge tells the jury 'they are not there to judge the laws' he's LYING to them. blatantly.

its a well kept secret, for some unknown reason. its there in the US laws and codes yet if you even MENTION this you can get thrown out (even with contempt).

juries need the ability to over-ride 'bad laws'. to deny this is to deny a fundamental principle of US law!

know your rights. but be careful, because if you avoid the 'JN' phrase and they catch you USING that concept, you can be held in contempt. some judges are bastards.

Careful what you pray for (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302357)

We've been complaining about judges that were clueless about technology. It appears we have finally gotten one who understands the technology and wants to conduct a fair trial. If this doesn't go the way we want, then not only have we set a precedent, but we also have few remaining valid complaints.

Who's Up? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302377)

We're hearing a lot of concern about whether a nominee for Supreme Court justice has a bias in favor of the people on the lower social levels in this country.

I think the obvious bias that our judges have in favor of corporate interests is much more worrisome.

In the US, justice is something you buy.

Moral of this story: (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302391)

"no wireless router involved in this case".. so be sure you have one, just in case...

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302487)

I've got 2, just in case. Leave one configured for open access, but don't connect it to your network, and you can truthfully say "But I was running a open access point... anybody could have connected to it!"

Re:Moral of this story: (4, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302573)

Perjury! What an awesome defense strategy! What fantastic intellect!

The alternative...

"Are you in possession of an open Wireless Access Point, which allowed any client within range to connect, if its operator so chose?"

"I am."

"On the day in question, was this Wireless Access Point connected to your internet connection through ABC ISP Inc?"

"Uhhh...."

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302693)

"I don't recall"

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302727)

In other words, perjury. Wow. Way to have the courage of your convictions, able to stand up and say "I believe that copyright is wrong, and it's a belief I'm willing to defend." Instead, you're going for weaseling and "w00t. score. free shit."

Re:Moral of this story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303023)

it's my conviction that I want free stuff. I just hope I don't get convicted for my convictions.

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303247)

That's easy to get around. Allow the WAP to connect to the internet. Just isolate it from your LAN.

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302733)

I have set up my home wireless so that it only has access to the Internet and other machines on the wireless network. Machines that need to be secure are on a separate wired network.

If I want to access the protected network from a "wireless" machine, I do this though a VPN.

Through the magic of stateful firewall (Netfilter/iptables), the protected machines can access the wireless machines.

Re:Moral of this story: (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302851)

I've got 2, just in case. Leave one configured for open access, but don't connect it to your network, and you can truthfully say "But I was running a open access point... anybody could have connected to it!"

Not sure why everyone persists in believing all lawyers are stupid. Some are, but most aren't. Good luck with your strategy.

Re:Moral of this story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303297)

And then the lawyer will say:

"So you knowingly left your Access Point unsecured, allowing anybody to access it? Did you know this was in violation of the Terms of Service of your ISP?"

Get over it (4, Insightful)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302433)

Putting up copyrighted files for anyone to download (which is what Kazaa does) is willful copyright infringement. Does anyone actually think that's not what the defendant actually did? Why do we need a ten-sentence story about what the judge did or didn't exclude? It sounds to me like a pretty fair trial so far.

Wishing that it wasn't illegal to willfully and blatantly violate copyright doesn't make it so.

Re:Get over it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302521)

Putting up copyrighted files for anyone to download (which is what Kazaa does) is willful copyright infringement

Your post is the classic example of foot-in-mouth syndrome.

1) KAZAA doesn't do anything, it is all the users.

2) Putting up copyrighted files in of itself isn't illegal. It is when you do so without the author's conscent that it becomes infringement. Legally free stuff is copyrighted yet legal to download, I rest my case.

3)Nobody (whos post I read so far) wishes willful infringement. MediaSentry's tactics, to many, are legally dubious nad with good reason.

Get over it? You need to get over yourself, and read up before acting like an arrogant fool online, especially at places like /.

Re:Get over it (0, Troll)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303201)

Yes. Yes, you're right. Let me pull my foot out of my mouth to clarify that when I said "which is what Kazaa does" I meant "which is what Kazaa does when run by the user". And when I said "putting up copyrighted files" I meant "putting up copyrighted files without the owner's permission".

Thanks for insisting I clear that up. Funny how nobody else got confused though. Guess they all must have an IQ above 30.

Re:Get over it (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302525)

+1, Harsh But True.

The interest here isn't in justice, or even the law, it's in whether we can get away getting something for nothing.

Re:Get over it (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302549)

I've made similar comments to this case in the past, as recently as yesterday. While I despise the RIAA and think they are a perfect example of how not to conduct business, at the same time its obvious from the evidence of the first trial that Jamie [what ever her last name is this week] did in fact infringe copyright. Thus I have a very hard time wanting to root for her side. I wish the Slashdot community could have found a better case to rally around.

Re:Get over it (5, Insightful)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302777)

I think there would be a lot less sympathy for her if a guilty verdict wasn't going to destory her life. No act of copying/sharing a few MB should end up costing you your life savings (and then some) unless it's treason (and in that case you had it coming).

I think most of us would be fine with all of these cases if the defendants involved had to pay a reasonably amount of money but clearly that isn't the way it's going.

Re:Get over it (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302829)

While I certainly agree that the punishment does not fit the crime, the overwhelming majority of people on Slashdot aren't taking that stance. Instead, they are insisting that the RIAA can't prove it, or hoping for legal loopholes to get her off. They aren't interested in the system being fair, only in their side winning.

What it comes down to is that people on this site believe themselves to possess a God-given right to enjoy other people's work without paying, and they'll demand that "right" be defended by any means necessary. I can't even count how many times I've seen people advocate the murder of record company execs as an appropriate response.

Re:Get over it (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303229)

I think that the punishment does not fit the crime, and I hope for legal loopholes to get her off. (there's just no way that doesn't sound dirty though) :/

On the other hand, I don't necessarily think that the creator should necessarily have sole rights over all their creations. I don't advocate killing anybody over it, but I suspect that the actions of certain record company execs have caused plenty of unnecessary death. They should at least be stopped.

Re:Get over it (4, Insightful)

paulwye (1465203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303389)

Right, because the RIAA is *totally* interested in the system being fair, and really has *no* interest in seeing 'their' side win...they aren't trying to create loopholes or engaging in anything underhanded... nope, not THIS gang...

Re:Get over it (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303407)

Yup, they're bad.

That doesn't mean we should be too.

Re:Get over it (2, Interesting)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303445)

I don't believe I have the right, I believe I have the ability, and I'll cheer anyone who agitates to protect it.

Re:Get over it (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303173)

As the saying goes, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

She made her choice, and now she has to face the consequences.

Re:Get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303243)

Well it makes no sense for the RIAA if people had to pay something reasonable. Then the lawyers would be working for peanuts.

Re:Get over it (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303285)

I have no problem with this person being found guilty. What I have a problem with is being fined such a ridiculous amount for infringement that, even if we assume every download made was a purchase lost to iTunes or the like (highly unlikely) amounted to about $20. It's a ridiculous fine for petty theft. Neither letting her off completely nor fining her thousands of dollars is justice. But if those are the only two options offered -- letting her off completely is closer...

Re:Get over it (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302561)

You must be new here...

Re:Get over it (5, Insightful)

Jay Clay (971209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302577)

1) it may or may not be willful. I know plenty of people who didn't realize what they were getting into with file sharing apps. As a matter of fact, most people I know who aren't fairly computer savvy thought the whole illegal internet music thing was about downloading, not uploading.
2) it's not what we think happened. It's if there are other PLAUSIBLE things that could have happened.

Re:Get over it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302689)

I don't disagree, though your assumed wish.

Personally, I:

  Wish that copyright law followed the constitutional purpose and limited duration.
  Wish that non-commercial copying was recognized as the minor act that it is, and not one having consequences comparable with armed robbery.
  Wish that a hunt of non-commercial copying was not a legal excuse of private wiretaps and invasion of privacy.
  Wish that there was a balance between protecting the public interest and protecting corporate profits.
  Wish that it was realized that non-commercial copying is a natural consequence of the internet, and to attempt to prevent such activity requires an increasing amount of snooping by the public and private parties.
  Wish that it was known that prosecuting or preventing non-commercial copying has no measurable impact on the sale of the important information.
   

Re:Get over it (0, Troll)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302841)

Personally I:

Wish that the ethical definition of copyright violation were more important than the "definition" of theft as they are ethically the same.

Wish that non commercial copyright had the same ethical weight as commercial copyright violations (it actually does but not here apparently)

Wish that the straw man of "non-commercial copying has no measurable impact on the sale" would be seen as the smoke and mirrors that it is.

Wish that people would start taking responsibility for their actions and stop rationalizing their ethical lapses into a 'cause celebre'.

Wish that the idiots that post these things had the cojones to use their own names and not hide behind "AC" like a sniveling little girl hiding behind her mothers skirts.

Re:Get over it (3, Interesting)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303183)

Personally I:

Wish that the ethical definition of copyright violation were more important than the "definition" of theft as they are ethically the same.

Theft deprives the owner of the original, non-commercial copyright infringement is very much akin to YOU humming something and ME deciding to hum the same thing. Oh wait, did you pay for the privilege to hum something someone else created?

Wish that non commercial copyright had the same ethical weight as commercial copyright violations (it actually does but not here apparently)

You're one of those fuckers who wants to charge kids for singing "Happy Birthday" aren't you?

Wish that the straw man of "non-commercial copying has no measurable impact on the sale" would be seen as the smoke and mirrors that it is.

Commercial copyright infringement seeks to illicitly sell a product in direct competition to the authentic item, non-commercial DOESN'T.

I have GB's of music I would otherwise have not paid a dime for. Why you ask? Well let's see, a) I owned(licensed) it before on vinyl/tape/or scratched CD, b) I could have taped it from the radio/a friend, c) I only liked one track and $20 for an album for ONE SONG is robbery, d) its out of print and even if I beg the label they refuse to sell it to me, e)if you are going to assume I'm a thief, don't be surprised if I decide to fuck you over. REMEMBER, this was/is OUR world, if you want your bullshit music not to play by OUR rules, keep it OUT of OUR fucking world.

Wish that people would start taking responsibility for their actions and stop rationalizing their ethical lapses into a 'cause celebre'.

OK right there, that shit is what pisses me off the MOST. It is the heads of companies and the politicians who have been leading the charge into "not taking responsibility for our actions" for entirely too fucking long now. SO until I start seeing heads on fucking pikes for THOSE miserable, lying, scheming, corrupt, law-breaking FUCKERS, then AND ONLY THEN, does anyone get to start preaching to everyday people about ETHICS. Either lead by example or eat a fucking bullet.

Wish that the idiots that post these things had the cojones to use their own names and not hide behind "AC" like a sniveling little girl hiding behind her mothers skirts.

I wish things were like the old days and only a very few folks had Internet access so I wasn't always waist deep in poop-flinging imbeciles, guess we all can't get what we want.

Re:Get over it (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303455)

e)if you are going to assume I'm a thief, don't be surprised if I decide to fuck you over. REMEMBER, this was/is OUR world, if you want your bullshit music not to play by OUR rules, keep it OUT of OUR fucking world.

Just FYI, "OUR world" does not mean that the world is yours, personally. It's everyone's. That includes people who are in favor of copyright. As a result, "OUR rules" happen to include laws protecting copyright.

Also, "if you think I'm a thief, then I'm gonna rob you" is not a legal, ethical, or sane defense.

Re:Get over it (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302821)

Except that even if it's wrong, there is no justification for putting her through years of court cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, and emotional trauma enough to push some people to suicide.

Judge OK (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28302771)

Who is Judge OK, and why does he have MediaSentry evidence? Usually judges aren't supposed to be directly involved in cases.

MediaSentry is legal now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302847)

Regardless of operating without the needed licenses? How did that reasoning wash?

Re:MediaSentry is legal now (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303335)

Regardless of operating without the needed licenses? How did that reasoning wash?

They were not, in fact, operating without the needed licenses, because there were no needed licenses. You don't need a Minneosta PI license to read a web page from your computer in another state, even if the server happens to be in Minnesota.

long summary (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28302953)

is loooooooooooong

Grammar damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28303141)

It's "OKs" not "OK's"

Learn to use the fucking apostrophe

Re:Grammar damnit (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303287)

No, actually. When changing an acronym to another part of speech, you always include the apostrophe. You append the 's' directly when changing the acronym to a plural.

"OK's" is a verb
"OKs" is the plural of "OK"

The apostrophe can also be used in the plural form if lower case letters are used in the acronym.

Re:Grammar damnit (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303357)

They can also be used if lower case letters are not used in the acronym. [wsu.edu]

...the use of apostrophes with initialisms like "learn your ABC's and "mind your P's and Q's" is now so universal as to be acceptable in almost any context.

Re:Grammar damnit (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28303419)

Good point. As with most aspects of English grammar, there are more exceptions than rules.

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