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MIT, Boston College Refuse DMCA Subpoenas

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the offer-they-could-refuse dept.

The Courts 668

phreakmonkey writes "Here's an interesting change of pace- According to today's Boston Globe, MIT and Boston College have both refused to turn over the identities of students to the RIAA under subpoenas. Citing failure of compliance with court rules and student privacy concerns, both colleges have refused to give out the names, addresses, or phone numbers of students based on their Kazaa screen names and IP addresses. I wonder how long the schools will be able to keep the RIAA's pack of lawyers at bay..."

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More than just a bump in the cobblestone road... (5, Insightful)

mgcsinc (681597) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505715)

More than simply the temporary blockade for the army of RIAA lawyers which that organization will refer to them as, these new subpoena challenges will hopefully catalyze a new set of appeals that finally lead to some kind of constitutionality ruling, by the Supreme court, about the controversial section of the DMCA which allows these privacy infringements, and consequently, about the heavily-industry-influenced DMCA as a whole...

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505734)

G to the oatse
C to the izzex
Fo' shizzle my nizzle you're gay.

thats some quality rappin' fool! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505838)

claim your honorary membership into the GNAA on IRC channel #GNAA on EFNet (irc.servercentral.net)!!!

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505775)

How is it privacy infringement? You're doing something illegal (copyright infringement), you are then caught, and you are then identified. Is their a reasonable expectation of privacy when transmitting your IP address to millions of other users when using Kaazaa? Hardly.

Good try, but try again!

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (4, Insightful)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505861)

appeals that finally lead to some kind of constitutionality ruling, by the Supreme court

And the RIAA will say "never mind" and drop it, if it looks to be heading that way. They have a bully mentality, and no stomach for a legal showdown at the OK Corral.

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (2, Informative)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505895)

This path has already been traveled by Verizon, so unless BC and MIT have some new legal angle, they're just wasting their money on lawyer.

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505931)

Actually, Verizon is still traveling that road. They appealed again. RTFA

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (5, Insightful)

mrtorrent (598803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505901)

Having famous, reputable organizations defying the RIAA is very important, because it lends credibility to the fight against the music industry, which is crucial at this point.

Despite all this battling against the RIAA's lawsuits, though, it seems to me that the real issue here (which isn't being addressed) is not file sharing but everything the RIAA stands for and represents. Why isn't anyone attacking their price-fixing and essential monopoly of the industry? I know there was a lawsuit against them for the price-fixing, I believe, but I for one am not seeing any changes.

Obviously, I'm not the most informed on the details of the whole issue, but is it possible that the RIAA's big scare tactics and legal onslaught against file sharers is just to take peoples' eyes off of the real problem?

Re:More than just a bump in the cobblestone road.. (3, Interesting)

jludwig (691215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505920)

I don't think it will... at least on a lower level, precedent has been set (the Verizon case) and usually most judges will defer to this. Verizon did want to hand over names and IPs, and I can assure you they have much more legal firepower than a college...

Instead of waiting for a case to make it to the supreme court, why not join an organization like the EFF [eff.org] and start writing letters to your senators now?

J

When the lambs don't lay down.. (4, Insightful)

Cap'n Canuck (622106) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506043)

Democracy: two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for lunch
Liberty: a well armed sheep expressing his rights.

It looks like sheep have arisen. I for one...

GNAA Sucks My Ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505722)

Join today and they'll suck yours, too!

It's good someone has some cojones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505727)

I just hope they'll be able to stand up better in court than Verizon did.

Re:It's good someone has some cojones (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505909)

"I just hope they'll be able to stand up better in court than Verizon did."

They have a little more legal sway in terms of sympathetic eyes than Verizon had. They're both extremely reputable institutions, with graduates all over the professional world. Also, since MIT is geek-central, they have a different, probably more personal stake in the situation. They also have legislation regarding student privacy. Many colleges won't give out any information unless it's a "did this person graduate?" kind of resume-related query. So, they have some very legitimate, older laws to fall back on to justify their positions.

Good Start (1)

jalilv (450956) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505741)

This is a good start. I hope they stick to it. I am glad to know what Wired reported is true that MIT has one of the best privacy protection record among all the universities in America. I hope others follow their path.

- Jalil Vaidya

Re:Good Start (1)

Joe Jordan (453607) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505778)

It's about time some schools finally stood up to the RIAA thug scare tactics. Universities are always trying to emulate the best in the business, perhaps this will set a precedent.

Re:Good Start (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505783)

Well maybe, but at least this gives everyone time to uninstall KaZaA and hide their external drives in a secure location for the next few months.

Respect (5, Insightful)

LordoftheFrings (570171) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505750)

If there's one thing I can say about the colleges who did this, it's that I have respect for them. By not backing down and not giving into the demands of coporate america, they are setting a precedent for others, and are showing that we are not all going to bow to them. Respect.

Re:Respect (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505923)

If there's one thing I can say about arbitrary person, it's that I have respect for them. By not backing down and not giving into the demands of coporate america, they are setting a precedent for others, and are showing that we are not all going to bow to them. Respect.

If I changed it to this, still true? Would _anybody_ have your respect if they did this? I am thinking about one S. H. of I.

Re:Respect (1)

imaro (584142) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506001)

...not giving into the demands of coporate america...

Because you know that these colleges aren't at all interested in helping corporate america. I'm sure that their real goal is the privacy of the student, that or not getting sued by the student. Additionally, it is not as if the RIAA is going to just settle down, they have a lot more invested in this than the colleges do, I would say this will take one run in the courts and the schools will step down quickly, only re-enforcing the RIAA's powerstructure and preventing other potential blockers.

Harvard (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505751)

I'd be impressed if Harvard did it... I'm fairly certain that they have enough lawyers to defend against the likes of the RIAA :)

Re:Harvard (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505804)

that auctually sounds like a good idea for a real world live theisis type project..

Re:Harvard (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505849)

that auctually sounds like a good idea for a real world live theisis type project..

...and incentive to win. The school could assign the most flagrant p2p offenders to the case. There's some motivation for you to win!

Re:Harvard (5, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505881)

So where do you think the RIAA lawyers came from? Eastern Europe perhaps?

Hopefully (2, Informative)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505759)

these guys [bc.edu] can put up a good fight... It'll keep the second years busy anyway.

Harvard (4, Funny)

Malicious (567158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505761)

What we really need is a renound LAW school to stand up to them.
That will provide results.

umm, excuse me, RIAA? (4, Interesting)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505764)

Interesting that the article mentions Dave Matthews [livedaily.com] and Radiohead [theregister.co.uk] since they both have always been in support of file-sharing...

Mike

Re:umm, excuse me, RIAA? (3, Insightful)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505836)

RIAA members own the copyrights to the songs. What the bands say doesn't mean shit.

This is why it's effectively OK to share out Metallica tunes; Metallica has not gotten involved in the post-Napster RIAA actions and the RIAA can't sue for material they don't own.

Metallikkme (1, Funny)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505911)

It's "effectively ok" to share metallica tunes because they're "effectively" worthless, anyway.

Maybe they weren't students. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505765)

Pardon the speculation, but maybe the reason they're dragging their feet is because the "student" is actually someone more closely related to the organization.

Re:Maybe they weren't students. (2, Funny)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506036)

I disagree. The decision makers in this case were, at MIT at least, students themselves at one time. They recall only too well the keg parties, panty raids, and VWs transported into dorm rooms of their student days. The 'net keeps the kids in their rooms, keeps 'em busy, keeps 'em out of trouble. Shut down the 'net? Are you insane? We cannot afford the consequences, the social turmoil, the civic unrest. Shut down the 'net? What's next, women athletes ripping off their tops? Tear up those subpoenas or face a wholesale return to the days of free sex!

Good for them... (5, Funny)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505767)

Imagine the turmoil to a school administrator, knowing their students' life savings are about to get sucked up by the RIAA for sharing a few songs.

I hope more colleges follow their lead.

Re:Good for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505794)

Yeah, Universities are always looking out for student's money, especially when they need their $30k in tuition....

Re:Good for them... (5, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505983)

Exactly. The Universities want to be first in line to get a student's money. They also want to be first in line to get their money after they graduate. Thus, they also have a vested interested in the future solvency and wealth of their students.

Re:Good for them... (1)

jbottero (585319) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505835)

And if the students' life savings get sucked up by the RIAA, how will they pay for school?

Not very long (5, Informative)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505768)

The BC guy even said that once the subpoena was filed 'correctly' they would comply (not they have a choice, of course). But this is more of a procedural issue then anything else. Of course, it shows that they are not interested in simply handing over names and IP address without actually needing too.

I wish my school was more interested in protecting student rights. The University "Police" gladly assisted in a 'raid' on a couple student's dorm rooms, after checking their class schedule to see when they had class, and thus out of the room (which is a pretty big assumption, given the propensity to skip class around here... but it turned out to be true)

Re:Not very long (2, Interesting)

Fareq (688769) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505869)

Now that is very interesting.

I am curious, was there a warrant of any sort? Or did the University police (they are not allowed, at least in CA, to call themselves police unless they have true police powers, IIRC) just abuse their right-of-entry as landlords to enter the dorms.

As for deliberately planning it around the student's schedule so as to catch them out, this seems both unnecessary (right-of-entry and warrants both work regardless of presence of student) and unethical/below the belt.

As for even touching the student's computer, sans warrant it seems that that ought to be some sort of crime.

Sounds like a good time to password-protect your computer (a good idea in dorm rooms anyway, just to prevent being the target of some prankster) because if they actually dismantled your computer to scan hard drives (sans warrant) you could definitely report it as either theft (if they took it) or willful destruction of property / vandalism / something of the like if they just scanned it.

Re:Not very long (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505986)

Hmmm password-protect = encryption
Term paper = copywrited

Hacker = Felon under DMCA. Bye bye capus cop! Welcome to federal pound-me-in-da-... prison.

Funny site to troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505771)

XVI [xvi.com] is a community of underage virgins who boast about how much sex they've had, and who listen to hip-hop and other forms of anti-American, terrorist music. I invite all slashdot trolls and crapflooders to get accounts there (just use a throwaway yahoo or hotmail to get the password) and post goatse.cx in the forums, etc. Teach these kids what its all about.

Way to go MIT!! (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505781)

Got a P2P proxy server for us?

Just kidding!

(not really)

...am too..really

shhh...not.

Re:Way to go MIT!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505896)

Ha ha [ic.ac.uk]

MIT eh ? (5, Funny)

FrankoBoy (677614) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505787)

Would be sweet if the nerds down there would unleash some futuristic greedy-bastard-ass-kicking robots as a preemptive strike ;)

Re:MIT eh ? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505874)

we're working around the clock.

That's one of the funniest things I've ever read (1)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506015)

[nt]

Re:MIT eh ? (0)

Ankle (633399) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506021)

But what if the robots turn on us? They'll assimilate the RIAA and use it against us!

Wait until they pressure the donors (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505788)

Hrmmm. I hope the schools maintain their privacy (for privacy's sake not to protect piracy), but I fear that the RIAA will start to pressure the donors of these schools (where many $$'s for research and support come from).

Re:Wait until they pressure the donors (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505876)

In one of those quirks of life, the random function of iTunes started playing Tom Petty & The Hartbreakers, I Won't Back Down just as I pressed submit. Cool.

Re:Wait until they pressure the donors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505955)

On the other hand, just wait until the RIAA starts putting pressure on one of the donors' kids.

How to Attrack Attention (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505793)

Make some noise. Something like, "Your lawyers don't frighten us!"

Maybe there's more to their backbone than meets the eyes, it's not like their Bob State College in Kornfield Kounty...

Thieves (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505799)

Get some priorities people. Usay and Qusay Hussein are DEAD!

But do you discuss this wonderful devleopment spearheaded and masterminded by the Bush administration? No... all you can do is sit here and talk about stealing music? PATHETIC!

Re:Thieves (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505992)

Usay and Qusay Hussein

That's Uday, dickhead. OK, they're dead, woohoo. Who's your daddy, etc, etc. Satisfied?

How self-centered are you to expect everyone to have the exact same interests and concerns as yourself? Do everyone a favor and demine as many minefields as it takes to make the world liberated of just one more asshole.

children of the senators (2, Insightful)

lylum (659581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505802)

I remember people saying: "Just wait until a child of a senator gets busted downloading MP3's". This story tells us why this is not going to happen. They pay the exorbitant tuition not only for the name of the school but also for other services. Including a protection of privacy you would not get anywhere else. And that's why no senator kid is going to get busted sharing some thousand mp3's.

Re:children of the senators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6506065)

I say the same thing about spam. "Just wait until a senator gets sick of all this junk email." Must have finally happened, what with all the suits being brought against spammers... :)

Why not NAT? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505806)


Couldn't the schools NAT some of the dorm IP space and not log the DHCP'd addresses? Granted many of these services don't work as well through a NAT'd IP.

well, MIT *could* i guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505892)

but as MIT controls 18.0.0.0/8, they gave every dorm a class B. MIT students prefer the internet IPs, trust me.

Not entirely true (4, Informative)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505808)

After reading this article [boston.com] , you can see that the schools will comply with the RIAA. The schools' problem is that they don't believe the subpoenas were correctly filed. They claim that they also had too little time to notify the students, which is required by some other federal laws.

So don't get your hopes up just yet. On the plus side, the RIAA said that they don't want to refile. So this may get interesting.

BC not a great school for rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505812)

Of course, that was the same school that got me kicked out for sending a threatening *email* to someone. Not an actual threat, but an email interpretted to be a threat (it obviously wasn't). They're not much for rights, from my standpoint.

The masshole factor? (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505815)

Knowing that they are massholes, they might be able hold them off for quite a while, a legal black hole if you will. Black holes, of course contain tons of Mass. I'm not sure if there is a connection here, but . . .

No offence to the "wonderful" folks from Mass of course, its just that tech support folks cringe when they hear the accent (or a 3 as the first digit in the zip code, but that's another story)

Re:The masshole factor? (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505867)

Not many Mainers must call for tech support... they're accent is far more atrocious than even a Worcester or Revere accent!

Yuh cain't get theyuh from heuh...

Re:The masshole factor? (1)

Minderbinder106 (663468) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505940)

Not many mainers call tech support because you don't need tech support when your lobster trap or clam rake breaks

Re:The masshole factor? (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506039)

And LL Bean has that total satisfaction guarantee...

technical refusal (1)

ih8apple (607271) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505816)

The colleges are only refusing to comply on technical grounds: "MIT and Boston College yesterday said that they support the rights of copyright holders and would comply with any subpoena that addressed their concerns about the proper notification of students and was filed ''properly'' in US District Court in Massachusetts, not in Washington D.C"

Who wants to bet that if the RIAA files in Mass, then the colleges will quickly bow to the pressure rather than facing any kind of actual court sanctioning? These colleges are being heroes to their students without it costing them anything. The minute it costs something, they'll pony up any student information to avoid paying fines.

Give it time (1)

BelugaParty (684507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505817)

It doesn't seem like the schools are necessarily interested in protecting the students as they are protecting themselves from later, procedural litigation, in the chance that a student sues the school.

You're right, there are procedural minefields (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505932)

Exactly. I was in-house legal counsel at an educational institution for several years. We received subpoenas quite often and, given the stringent and sometimes apparently conflicting provisions of laws other than the subpoena laws, we were often forced to require the subpoenaing party to follow the subpoena laws quite strictly, so that we wouldn't get in trouble over other laws like FERPA. I know most of you slashdotters are not lawyers, but just remember, the law is a minefield, there are so many conflicting provisions and different parties' interests being protected, that it is easy to get tripped up procedurally. Any school in the middle of something like this has to tread carefully to protect its own interests. If they can protect the students while doing so, hey, icing on the cake, don't we feel good about ourselves? But that is quite reasonably not their primary interest or concern.

Clearly.... (0, Troll)

NightSpots (682462) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505821)

MIT is less than anxious to turn over the name and address of the user robotrodney@KaZaA [mit.edu] .

Technicality (5, Informative)

Orne (144925) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505823)

In what I've read so far, the two Boston colleges refused the subpoenas based on (1) they were filed in a Washington DC court and served in Boston's district, and (2) the colleges were not given sufficient time to prepare the information before the stated due dates. Essentially, in order to comply with the suits, they would violate their own respective privacy policies. However, there was nothing stated that the respective colleges would not comply once the suits are resubmitted according to their guidelines...

Hopefully this will be a rallying cry. (5, Insightful)

Nemus (639101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505825)

I'm not surprised that MIT is attempting to reject the RIAA's efforts to abuse the court system and make general asses of themselves. My hope is that other colleges and institutions realize that when one of the most prestigous colleges in the country is willing to tell the RIAA to f off, thats a bandwagon worth jumping on. Simply put, it is the responsiblity of the college to monitor their networks, and take actions against those who break the law when it concerns usage of those networks. It is not the RIAA's place to dictate what colleges will do with their own networks, and what they will do to the users of those networks.

Good practice (1, Informative)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505834)

This shouldn't be newsworthy material.

If the RIAA can't provide a good case, it's only natural that a college looks out for it's students.

Re:Good practice (1)

swtaarrs (640506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505978)

Maybe it shouldn't be, but because of the stupid **AA, it is.

yes yes yes (1)

fiiz (263633) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505852)

Yes. Thank you MIT, thank you BC.

Do you think MA has better laws regarding these problems? After all it is one of the states that is most against the microsoft settlement (but that is unrelated, as it is the state attorney and not directly the state laws)

As some of the posts have said:
--if this goes far enough, they may get to a high court ruling
--some of the local law schools may be of help :-) (lessig is in stanford though he could be good too...surely there are other people like him in the East Coast)

Amazing in its own right (1)

TroyFoley (238708) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505854)

"I wonder how long the schools will be able to keep the RIAA's pack of lawyers at bay..."

I don't think it matters as much as the fact that they're standing up to this crap to begin with.

more like... (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505858)

I wonder how long the schools will be able to keep the RIAA's pack of lawyers at bay

More like, "how long will the schools be able to justify spending thousands of dollars to protect the identities of students breaking the law."

Counter Attack (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505868)

Let's name names. Who are the RIAA representatives and their lawyers? Where do THEY live? What's THEIR phone number? What's THEIR email address? (Come on, somebody's got to have this info)

The RIAA is evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505879)

And to think I bought music from their members!

Pssstttt crazyface (1)

drafalski (232178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505886)

Make sure you have a CD with Radiohead's ''Idioteque'' and Dave Matthews Band's ''Ants Marching'' when the RIAA eventually comes knocking.

All they can said is that user downloaded the songs, but downloading does not necessarily mean a crime. I have over 1000 CDs and mp3s for many of them. Many are for convenience, as it is easier to listen to a variety using mp3s, but the bulk were downloaded in advance of purchase and actually led me to buy the CD!

Imagine that!

The Boston Globe buried the most important issue. (5, Interesting)

David Hume (200499) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505887)


Talk about burying the lede. The Boston Globe buried the most important issue in the last paragraph:

Under a provision of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed by Congress to combat music piracy, music companies may issue the subpoenas without a judge's approval. Verizon has challenged that aspect of the law, saying it violates users' rights to due process and privacy. A judge ruled in January, however, that subpoenas do not require a judge's signature; Verizon again appealed.


It is this issue that might make a difference. If the provision of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act for issuing subpoenas without judicial action is ruled unconstitutional, and the ruling is upheld, then the efforts of the RIAA will be stopped in their tracks until the law is rewritten.

The rest of the university objections amount to no more than a short-term fight over notice and venue:

''MIT of course has a policy of complying with lawfully issued subpoenas,'' the school's information services director, James Bruce, said in an e-mail statement. But Bruce said that MIT had been advised by counsel that the subpoena was not in compliance with court rules concerning the proper venue for such a filing and ''did not allow MIT time to send any notice as the law requires.''


Even if MIT is right, these are problems the RIAA can easily remedy. If the RIAA has to file the actions locally, instead of filing them all in Washington, D.C., it will. If the RIAA has to provide more time for notice, it will. Neither of these issues will halt the onslaught for long.

This is getting interesting... (1)

civad (569109) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505898)

Now things are getting interesting for the fact that now one set of lawyers (from Universities, etc.) are going to try to fend off the RIAA liars.
MIT and Boston College yesterday said that they support the rights of copyright holders and would comply with any subpoena that addressed their concerns about the proper notification of students and was filed ''properly'' in US District Court in Massachusetts, not in Washington D.C.

--->so RIAA will have to file cases in each and every city/town where univs. are?
''MIT of course has a policy of complying with lawfully issued subpoenas,'' the school's information services director, James Bruce, said in an e-mail statement. But Bruce said that MIT had been advised by counsel that the subpoena was not in compliance with court rules concerning the proper venue for such a filing and ''did not allow MIT time to send any notice as the law requires.''
I love this reasoning :)
The RIAA has not specifically said what damages it will seek. But under federal law, it can ask for $750 to $150,000 for each illegally shared song.
My take: students pay $ 750.Here's why:
1.The RIAA tried to sue the students in the past. 2.They took students' life-savings (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/06/09/13112 55&mode=thread&tid=123&tid=141&tid=188&tid=99) . (In the process, they realized that students are poor.)
3. Now they come up with a new plan:
Back to school specials: Students pay $ 750 per illegally shared song only!!

Turnabout seems like fair play (1)

Merlinium (678576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505912)

I am wondering if maybe there can be turnabout, and get the names addresses and phone numbers of the individuals of the RIAA, and maybe start doing some privacy infringement upon those that so dearly want to invade others privacy. I personally think that most colleges of that league can stand up to the assault from the RIAA, but I think the RIAA went after the larger institutes because of the Success so far afforded such reckless abandonment of privacy by other schools and companies that buckled under the pressure of RIAA's Weilding of the DCMA. Anyways it was just a thought.

This is why they are blocking these requests (0)

jinglecat (673072) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505925)

The universities that were mentioned are big schools. These big school produce graduates that move on to sucessful companies.

The reason why these unversities are blocking these requests is if these students are sued then when these student graduate - they will not sent money back to the unversities as an alumni.

Seriously ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505933)

... Since when is the RIAA a secret police. How much evidence do you need to submit to make a case? And how can the RIAA not prove it was falsified, I mean they've got psuedo anonymous IP's (lets face it if it's DHCP then it could be anyone) and screen names. That's not a real good legal case to stand on, unless I'm missing something about how the legal system works.

It seems to me that this is none other than pure bullying.

Education, the Universal Cure (4, Interesting)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505936)

What happens when we convince all of these poor students not to settle?

Can they defend pro-se, loose the case, declare bankruptcy, and leave the RIAA to pay its own lawyers for thousands of suits nationwide?

Verizon eh... (1)

probbka (308168) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505943)

I always thought Verizon was part of the Evil Empire...

On behalf of sane people everywhere, thank you Verizon!

Hate to say it, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505950)

Resistance is futile!

A matter of public record (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6505953)

Does anyone have access to paperwork filed on behalf of the RIAA? What is the name of the person who filed it?

Such Pride (1)

Trefoil3 (649047) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505956)

Upon reading the headline, i was so pround of my school [BC]. But after skimming the article there's very little that's surprising about what they're doing. BC is has some huge organizational problems, so if all of your ducks are not in a row they won't give you what you want. Once the lawyers jump through the proper hoops BC will fork over whatever they want. I imagine that BC didn't even know that they were making waves by 'protecting students', they just want the correct paperwork.

Curious (3, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505958)

From the article: ...In a subpoena addressed to MIT, the association is demanding the name, address, and phone number of a student who used the nickname ''crazyface'' to download at least five songs, including Radiohead's ''Idioteque'' and Dave Matthews Band's ''Ants Marching.''...

So lets get this straight - the (alleged) student used the nickname "crazyface" to download "at least" 5 songs? How do they know this unless they were sharing the songs and monitoring who downloaded them in the first place? Does this mean that the RIAA were sharing songs on KaZaa??

If this is the case, are they also not liable under the DMCA?

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6506037)

If this is the case, are they also not liable under the DMCA?

The DMCA? Why would they be? They didn't circunvent any protection.

Oh, you meant copyright infringement? Who controls these artists copyrights?

And a few months ago it was Jesse Jordan (1)

unixwin (569813) | more than 11 years ago | (#6505989)



Unlike the folks at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [rpi.edu] Slashdot/Jesse Jordan [slashdot.org] the guys at MIT & Boston City still have some sense then bending over backwards...hmmm..but then they are swapping music aren't they?

No point in screaming bloody murder but you don't have to play dumb either....

Subpoena Sans Judge? (4, Interesting)

Fareq (688769) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506007)

This is a very "special" piece of legislation that I suspect will be destroyed before too long, even given the current Supreme Court's tendencies to do what they want instead of what the Constitution demands.

See... if any copyright holder can issue any subpoena for any reason without a judge's support then...

hey... guess what...

Every paper I've ever written is copyrighted by me. I could register one/all of these, and then go off sending these subpoenas out at... everybody on the entire internet, and since no judge has to approve it, and the recipients are legally obligated to respond, I could build lists of persons names, addresses, telephone numbers, ISPs, and IP addresses...

now, dial-up users would change IPs frequently, but not broadband users.

Now, thanks to all the information I'll get from the ISPs I could even see where these users have been going on the internet. (if such logs are available -- and if not, well, then pretend that instead of me doing this its doubleclick, which has ads (and thus tracking) on more webpages than anyone could hope to ever count), and do all sorts of cool things: identity theft (ok, that would be illegal, but easy), very targetted marketing (very valuable -- go from what URLs surfed to stuff in your physical mail box) or just sell these lists to other companies who didn't want to go through the hassle of collecting the info, or any other number of things that would be bad.

So. Verizon, keep on appealling, I think you will win, and in the meanwhile know that we support your efforts!

Oh, and yay to the schools too, please continue to fight!

How stupid is RIAA (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506009)

not only doign the supeona in the worng court jurisdiction but the following:

Most students in all major US colleges have what is call a online storage locker to store files and applicaitns they use every day..any student can load their sharing app onto a computer in a lab and run it in background..IP trace shows ip of lab but does not identify students as they do not login to use the computer lab..

only the stupid ones using it from dorm rooms are going to get caught..

info provided by former Boliermaker-Purdue University..

Well.. (1)

Squidgee (565373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506016)

I give the colleges kudos. It's going to take a lot, but considering all of their alumi funding, I'm sure they can pull it off. Also, I'd be surprised if alums didn't support the colleges against the RIAA with their wallets.

And hey, I beat /. to the story!

OLD news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6506024)

I saw this in the Boston Globe early this morning. Hell.. Along with the IBM/Relocating workers story. Slashdot steals all their news eh?

Woooohooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6506033)

Who else imagined the Star Wars space battle music when they read this? Yay for resisting invasions of privacy based on such thin evidence! Maybe the justice system won't crumble completely after all...

Head of MIT networking (4, Informative)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506052)

I know the head of the MIT network. He is a VERY good tech guy with bonafide IETF credentials in security, and the legal aspects of security.
I used to love listening to him at lunch at conferences talking about the various legal troubles that MIT students would get into including the infamous bonsai kitten website rap. He talked about how a couple of armed Humane Society officers showed up in his office one day to demand he reviel what he knew about the students that put up the website.
His response was, "I can't tell you that, you have passed student privacy laws that prevent me from reveiling the students name". Officers left in a huff, but Jeff was right.

Student Privacy law (4, Interesting)

PenguinRadio (69089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506053)

The Department of Education Website [ed.gov] has a nice primer on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

I should note there are exceptions listed:

* School officials with legitimate educational interest;
* Other schools to which a student is transferring;
* Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
* Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
* Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
* Accrediting organizations;
* To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
* Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
* State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Interesting they allow "judicial order or lawfully issue subpoena"

Knowing The MIT type... (0)

Nerviswreck (238452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506057)

If MIT gave out the names of all the students using Kazaa, they would loose two thirds of their student body!

--The oh so nervis one

BC's move not surprising. (1)

pherris (314792) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506061)

With all the troubles [boston.com] the Archdiocese of Boston has had with lawsuits it doesn't surprise me that BC refused the subpoenas. It was more of a "knee jerk" reaction.

(It's a joke ... laugh).

Honeypot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6506063)

Put some of your own copyrighted work on Kazaa and allow only RIAA IPs to access it (remember how some versions of Kazaa are trying to block ranges of IP addresses used by the RIAA? Well, reverse that). If they download anything, hit them with a subpoena yourself -- remember, no judge's signature is needed any more!

(It's tempting to name your own copyrighted files after the ones the RIAA has been targeting -- songs by popular artists. I don't know if this would nix the deal...)

40 million P2P users could subpoena the heck out of the RIAA, and think of the legal penalties they'd be accruing... $150k per file or whatnot...

5 Songs (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506068)

download at least five songs, including Radiohead's ''Idioteque'' and Dave Matthews Band's ''Ants Marching.''

Bite me I own the CD's but don't understand how to make my MP3's. Someone did it for me though.

What would they say to that?

Sketchy Procedures (1)

Juicio (691237) | more than 11 years ago | (#6506069)

How are they choosing the users that get procescuted? It seems hard to believe that only 'about' three students at Boston College were sharing music on Kazaa. Are they simply targeting certain users in order to threaten the rest or are they only able to capture a few users?
I echo the question, "How are they discovering the IP's?" and "How are they proving that the users didn't own the music to begin with?"
If they are only targeting people who downloaded '5 songs', they're probably targeting the wrong audience.
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