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RIAA's 'Expert' Witness Testimony Now Online

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hole-in-the-argument dept.

Software 512

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The online community now has an opportunity to see the fruits of its labor. Back in December, the Slashdot ('What Questions Would You Ask an RIAA Expert?') and Groklaw ('Another Lawyer Would Like to Pick Your Brain, Please') communities were asked for their input on possible questions to pose to the RIAA's 'expert'. Dr. Doug Jacobson of Iowa State University, was scheduled to be deposed in February in UMG v. Lindor, for the first time in any RIAA case. Ms. Lindor's lawyers were flooded with about 1400 responses. The deposition of Dr. Jacobson went forward on February 23, 2007, and the transcript is now available online (pdf) (ascii). Ray Beckerman, one of Ms. Lindor's attorneys, had this comment: 'We are deeply grateful to the community for reviewing our request, for giving us thoughts and ideas, and for reviewing other readers' responses. Now I ask the tech community to review this all-important transcript, and bear witness to the shoddy investigation and junk science upon which the RIAA has based its litigation war against the people. The computer scientists among you will be astounded that the RIAA has been permitted to burden our court system with cases based upon such arrant and careless nonsense.'"

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First Post ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222294)

Who need this kind of proof ! It's obvious !

Not Chappelle too! (2, Funny)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222342)

14 MR. BECKERMAN: I would like to mark as Exhibit 3 a two-page article dated April 19, 2004 by David Chappelle entitled "Newest PacketHound release eliminates illegal trading of copyrighted files."

Oh man, even Chappelle is going over to The Dark Side. That is *not* funny, Dave.

[/humour]

Re:Not Chappelle too! (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222698)

This is not an option nigger, share the file or we have a problem.

Re:Not Chappelle too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222756)

And before someone mods that down as flamebait, just remember, Wayne Brady said it first.

Re:Not Chappelle too! (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222768)

An he makes Brian Gumbel look like Malcolm X, so it's ok if he said it.

Just an off-topic question to Slashdotters (-1, Offtopic)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222860)

The hatred for the RIAA here is well-established. Out of genuine curiosity, what do Slashdotters think artists and others who work in the music industry should do to protect themselves from piracy? For perspective, here's a thread [velvetrope.com] on an industry forum where employees talk about piracy and ways to prevent it.

And please, no goofy "copyright is dead!" responses, because the GPL relies on copyright just as much as artists do.

Re:Just an off-topic question to Slashdotters (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222914)

Why are you trying to take this off topic?

One quick thought about licensure (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222378)

I saw something in the transcript that I wanted to point out before anyone else here criticizes Jacobson on it:

Q. By what body are you certified as an engineer?
A. By no professional society.
Q. No professional society? Is there any organization that has certified you as an engineer?
A. No.
Q. Are you part of any peer regulatory body?
A. I don't quite understand what you mean by --
Q. Are you part of any body the members of which are peer-regulated?
A. Can you give me an example of what you are --
Q. A lawyer, an architect, an accountant. I thought an engineer had to be certified by a peer-regulated body.
A. To be called a professional engineer they do.
Q. So are you not a professional engineer?
A. I do not have a PE license.

Based on his Jacobson's research page [iastate.edu] . It looks like Jacob's, a professor "on the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering", is a computer engineer. Given that, the above statement is totally understandable As a computer engineer myself, I can say that it is *EXTREMELY* rare for a computer engineer to be a licensed PE. (Not a single computer engineering professor in my University is). PE's are common in engineering professions where somebody needs to sign off on the final product - civil engineering especially, and mechanical engineering to a lesser extent.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

Zephiria (941257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222424)

Ahh thanks for that.
From what was being said they seemed to frame him more as some kind of talking head rather then someone knowledgeable about his reported field.
I'd mod you up if I had the points to do so

Re:One quick thought about licensure (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222576)

Because he is not a professional engineer, there is nothing really keeping him from being a talking head in court. On the witness stand, he could be totally honest and forthcoming, or he could totally sell out the the RIAA and say whatever they wanted him to say. The only thing at stake is his reputation, if he is later discredited. However, a professional engineer would lose their license if they were shown to have acted fraudulently or negligently, and thus their career, profession, and ability to make a living.

It's fine to give a professor the benefit of the doubt when you attend his/her lecture. Doing so in a courtroom seems an act of extreme naivety.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (2, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222660)

"Because he is not a professional engineer, there is nothing really keeping him from being a talking head in court. On the witness stand, he could be totally honest and forthcoming, or he could totally sell out the the RIAA and say whatever they wanted him to say." - If he outright lies, he could always be charged with perjury (and, I believe, depositions this one are given under penalty of perjury)

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18223050)

Most professional organizations will hold you to a higher standard than the legal standard for perjury. There was a case in England and Canada of a Pathologist who gave misleading evidence at multiple trials. He is having difficulty practicing medicine in either of the two countries now. As a Professional, you are expected to be more knowledgeable and better experienced than the average person.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (3, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222700)

While I do think it odd that the RIAA picked a guy who (a) is not a professional engineer, (b) has never testified anywhere except at a school board meeting, and (c) is involved in selling software, to universities and other LAN networks, which is supposedly designed to avoid RIAA lawsuits..... these aren't to my mind the most important things to focus on.

What is more important and shocking is the unprofessionalism of his vodoo science.

If this witness (a) lacked appropriate professional credentials, (b) lacked appropriate expert witness credentials, and (c) had a major conflict of interest, but nevertheless had a convincing and reliable scientific basis for his conclusions, then he would present a formidable obstacle.

As it turns out, his "method" -- if you want to call it that -- will be laughed out of any courtroom.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222444)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222654)

Ooh! I know! I know! Is it because we spend our time doing things other than licking our fingers while our drunk friends take our pictures? I thought so. We evolved past stupidity millennia ago, you see.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (4, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222448)

I'm a Computer Engineer and a Professional Engineer. If I testify in legal proceedings, I am required to adhere to specific professional standards. My certifying body takes our legal obligations fairly seriously. A customer would be wise to hire properly licensed engineers for matters involving legal responsibility and/or large contracts. Amongst other requirements, licensed engineering firms require liability insurance, so if things go bad, the customer has some recourse. We also have ethical standards constraining what we can say or do.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222480)

Such as testifying as an expert witness in judicial proceedings in which one party is seeking to recover tens of thousands of dollars?

Re:One quick thought about licensure (5, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222982)

I would expect my licensing body would get annoyed with me if I spent "45 minutes" (Page 54) drafting a report that was used as part of litigation. They expect that Professional Engineers check our facts so as not to mislead a jury. This avoids sequences of questions like that from Page 42, where the witness essentially admits:

a) he did not look for alternative explanations,

b) he did not check how accurate his findings were (potential rate of error),

c) he has no standards or controls,

d) he is not using published methods accepted by the scientific community, and

e) has no way of determining if the information given to him was correct.

It is considered a substantial problem if a Professional Engineer misleads a jury, as it can pervert justice. As such, it is very important for the legal duties be taken seriously and with the required standards of care.

OT Computer Engineers (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222492)

As a Software Engineer who does not have a PE, I'm curious as to what areas of software require a PE?

About the only ones I can think of are in control systems, particularly where a failure could cause loss of life or serious injury. The computers that control an automobile engine and brakes come to mind. "Secondary" systems which provide life-saving information, such computers in aircraft-control towers, might also require a PE's blessing, but this seems like a stretch.

Are there any software engineers out there who have to have a PE for their current or past SW Engineering job? What job required the PE?

Memo to Cowboyneal: Add a messaging system to /. to avoid these off-topic subthreads.

Re:OT Computer Engineers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222530)

Actually I find these side topics to be of interest and while not directly on topic certainly relevant.

Re:OT Computer Engineers (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222566)

I'm almost certain that the NSPE, the main (only?) engineering licensing body, does not offer licensure to software engineers. As a computer engineer, when I took the FE exam (the exam you have to pass before you can take the PE exam and become a professional engineer), I had to take it in electrical engineering, because they have no separate computer engineering exam. And having a software engineer take it would be throwing him to the wolves - the electrical-engineering specific section is REALLY FUCKING HARD. (I came away utterly convinced I failed, and yet somehow I passed. I can only conclude that everyone else did just as poorly or worse), and the computer engineer curriculum I took is a lot closer to electrical engineering than your typical software engineer takes.

One quick thought about expert witnesses. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222456)

"Q. Are you part of any peer regulatory body?
A. I don't quite understand what you mean by --"

A professor is part of a "peer-regulated" body. He may not be able to call himself an engineer, but that doesn't mean he's not an expert.

Re:One quick thought about expert witnesses. (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222608)

It doesn't mean that he's not an expert, but it does mean that there's nothing really keeping him honest in the courtroom, other than his reputation. He could have sold out to the RIAA.

If you are a PE and you build a bridge wrong, you could lose your license, thus your livelihood, and even be thrown in jail. If Jacobson describes what he is capable of knowing about P2P filesharing that's not entirely accurate, what exactly does he suffer? Might that be outweighed by whatever compensation he was getting from the RIAA?

If you look at his testimony about how he determined who was filesharing, is a collection of self-research and ad-hoc methodology. There's no indication that anyone checked his work. Even if he had the best motivations and the purest intentions, he is human, and prone to mistakes.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222546)

True, the fact that he is not licensed does not mean that he is outside of his realm of expertise. The fact that he is not licensed sort of means that if he is caught lying or doing a shitty job, the only thing he loses is his reputation and standing.

He could have totally sold out to the RIAA and developed a bogus, faulty, or ambiguous method of identifying file-sharers. If he belonged to a professional organization, he would be legally responsible for his work. As it stands, he is not.

Professors are humans and can make mistakes -- even really smart ones with lots of degrees, research, and experience. If you read his testimony about how he created his methods to detect filesharing and identify file-sharers, it's just a patchwork quilt of self-research and ad-hoc methods. There was nobody looking over his shoulder, checking his work, saying "Hey, did you think about this", and most importantly, pointing out his mistakes. His work was not published nor reviewed in any way.

I'd like to give Jacobson the benefit of the doubt, but given his choice of employer -- the RIAA -- that option is not realistic.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (4, Interesting)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222584)

As a computer engineer myself, I can say that it is *EXTREMELY* rare for a computer engineer to be a licensed PE.

Way off-topic, but programming desperately needs the kind of accountability and professionalism that 'real' engineering has. We're around where engineering was 100 years ago just now, with a hundred different screw threads and steam engines which explode in your face. 'software engineering' may be an academic discipline, but 'professional' (in their execution) software engineers are few and far between and professionally engineered software is rarer still. The lawyer is making a valid point.

Before you ask, I am a professional (it's my job) programmer. I'd love to be an engineer. I'd love to work somewhere where those kind of standards were applied. I'd get a CS degree (mine is in Physics), but those programmers I've worked with who have CS degrees don't seem much more engineer-like in their application than those without. Too much hacking, not enough engineering. Perhaps civil engineers would be the same if every bridge had "this bridge comes with no warranty, either express or implied" written into the contract.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (3, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222620)

As far as licensing, one of the turning points happened when a school in Texas blew up as a result of faulty engineering. Public outcry caused them to pass the strictest engineering accountability standards in the nation. (IANAL - if you are are not an NSPE licensed engineer, but your business card calls you an engineer, and you happen to be passing through Texas, DO NOT put your business card in any of those put-your-business-card-in-here-to-win-something fishbowls. I've been told people have been prosecuted for this under the licensing laws)

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222636)

PS - about the school that blew, the Wikipedia article is here [wikipedia.org] .

PE software engineers (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222708)

programming desperately needs the kind of accountability and professionalism that 'real' engineering has.

So would a PE software engineer lose his license if he made software with numerous bugs? Can software engineers really be held to the same level of accountability as structural engineers? I thought it was near on impossible to write error free software these days. What criteria would you use for standards?

Re:PE software engineers (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222806)

Structural faults in buildings are also something that is unavoidable, though the utmost of care is taken to ensure it doesn't happen, both before and after construction. Therefore, such an engineer on the software side would be responsible for ensuring that software is relatively bug-free and well-tested, and to ensure that any bugs found are swiftly and effectively squashed.

Re:PE software engineers (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222970)

More importantly, who would pay for it? With the complexity of software today, you'd have to have multiple PEs on staff that intimately understood every part of the system in order to be able to have someone to sign off on everything with any degree of confidence. I don't think that's a practical solution for a development effort of any real size, especially given how often software people change jobs.

Requiring PE involvement in the software world might work to put some kind of (very welcome) brake on the reckless development practices that many companies follow, but given the added cost and added legal responsibility, I suspect it'd just end up decimating the domestic software labor pool and pricing custom software out of the reach of all but a few companies. Substantially more programs get built during any given year than bridges, after all.

Depends on the work (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222878)

Not all development is engineering work. Nor should it be.
I have dome Engineering work as a developer, and love the enviroment. However I have also done non engineering work.

I wouldn't want someone who is ont following engineering guidlines to be building in mission critical thing where lives are at stake. OTOH, someone doesn't need to be an engineer to write reports, or web scripts.

I liken it to Civil engineering.
To plan and lay pipe in the ground for public use, you need a civil engineerwho specializes in water.
To put in a private sprinkler system, you just need some guys with pipe and a shovel.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222706)

His certification is important in this case. Jacobson is effectively "signing off" on the evidence, just as a civil engineer has to sign off on a bridge. No one will die if Jacobson's "bridge" collapses, but lives will be destroyed. The court needs top be absolutely sure that Jacobson is qualified to say what he says. The best way it can be sure of that is to have him subject to peer review.

Being an expert doesn't mean you are allowed say "it is true because I say so". It means you can say "it is true because I think so and this body of peer reviewed research backs my position".

There are a lot of want to be engineers out there. There are also a lot of people who want to have the professional prestige that goes with being a professional engineer, but don't want the responsibility [engineersa...lia.org.au] that goes with it.

As an electrical engineer working in both microelectronics and power I would make observation that microelectronics is generally a responsibility free area. If a chip doesn't work as designed the consequences are mainly financial (with the exception of medical devices). If a power system doesn't work things catch fire and people get electrocuted. Consequently engineers working in the power industry tend to be more "fuddy duddy" and concerned with professional standards.

If he isn't already, Jacobson needs to be aware that when he steps into the court room he is stepping out of the "responsibility free" zone.

Re:One quick thought about licensure (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222866)

He is not aware. He is not thinking of the harm his recklessness is contributing. As you say, lives are destroyed. Neither he nor the RIAA lawyers take that into account at all.

The FE Exam (4, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222758)

I'm currently studying for the spring Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE). After taking this exam and working in the field of engineering for 5 years, you can take the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. Its not the easiest test in the world, and its a big pain in the arse. That said, I think a computer science student would have a particularly hard time with it. The morning session (general) is composed of several subjects including chemistry, strengths of materials, physics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, a small ethics session, etc. Basically all engineering knowledge known up to 1935, updated to the modern day. Everyone has to take the general session, and I think Comp sci students would struggle with it.

The afternoon session is a choice between mechanical, electrical, civil, (chemical?) engineering. I think maybe comp sci students could take the electrical and do fairly well on this half. The PE exams are very similar (identical?) to the FE exams, but it has been 5 years since you have been in a classroom so they are considered harder just for this reason.

As for the term "Computer Engineer"; in the 1800s a group of very smart men began doing different things with Natural Philosophy. They were so different that they thought they needed a new title for what they did to separate themselves from the natural philosophers. Eventually they went with the title "scientists". Perhaps a new title is needed for "computer engineers" because it doesn't seem to fit very well.

Re:The FE Exam (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222796)

(A) Yes, they have chemical engineering.

(B) As someone who took the FE electrical engineering exam, I can tell you that I seriously doubt more than tiny fraction of computer science students could pass the electrical engineering section-specific exam.

The morning section (general engineering) is relatively easy, especially if you have a well-rounded engineering background (I knew enough about steel composition from quiz bowl [wikipedia.org] to answer that mechanical engineering question in the morning section, for example. The EE-related morning questions were about reading a spreadsheet!)

The afternoon, section-specific EE exam is a nightmare. As a computer engineer, I probably took probably upwards of 60 EE credits and I don't know how I passed (so I guess that everyone did poorly.) A computer science student would be lost.

Depends on the state (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222832)

In Oregon you have to have a PE to have the word 'Engineer' in your title, or to call yourself one.

Respect (5, Interesting)

lightversusdark (922292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222396)

Respect to you Ray.
I've seen you take a lot of flack for your efforts to keep us all abreast of the proceedings, of issues that should concern us all.
And it's nice to see that the community could have been of help.
All the best.

Re:Respect (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222470)

Thank you, light.

(You don't mind if I call you by your first name, do you?)

Re:Respect (1)

X-treme-LLama (178013) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222694)

Haha.

Smart, funny, and respectable? Are you sure you're a lawyer?

If I'm ever in (yourtown) I'm going to have to buy you a beer.

Re:Respect (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222704)

If I'm ever in (yourtown) I'm going to have to buy you a beer.

I think Ray is owed a whole pitcher at least, and I'd be the first to buy him one and share it over some laughts.

Re:Respect (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222742)

Thanks, Nom. I'm not actually capable of drinking a pitcher, but a glass would go down nicely.

Re:Respect (1)

Kobayashi Maru (721006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222874)

"Objection: Lack of foundation"

Could someone explain what this means? It seems to follow just about every question. I'm only about 40 pages in, but so far, this seems like a rather heated interview. Would this be accurate? Does that mean that these constant objections are a sign of a tense exchange?

Or is this just how these things go?

Re:Respect (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222942)

It doesn't mean a thing. In a deposition it's a totally inappropriate objection. And there was probably not a single instance in which it would have been an appropriate objection at trial.

At a trial "lack of foundation" means the lawyer's question has leapfrogged over some other material that would have been needed ... i.e. laying a foundation.

But since I would only be crossexamining this guy, lack of foundation would not have been an appropriate objection to my questions there either.

I.e., the RIAA lawyer, hopefully out of inexperience rather than calculated dilatoriness, was wasting our precious time.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222930)

Ray sounded like an egotistical dickhead for cutting the guy up for not knowing the meaning of the words "inculpated" and "exculpated". I have a pretty high IQ and had to look up the words to make sure I understood. Why not try that in front of a jury, I'm sure it will win the RIAA some sympathy. Long tedium of technical jargon followed by one of the lawyers insulting someone for not knowing the meaning of a word that most people don't know the meaning of either (unless you are a lawyer).

I don't trust people who use uncommon words and then insult others who do not. It just keeps me thinking the worse of lawyers and strikes me as being a pusillanimous way to exert control. Made it sound like Engineers go to school to learn useful information, and lawyers go to school to learn how to sound useful. The only part that really bothers me is that the lawyers do a very good job of it... so much so that we have allowed them to screw up or society with a dysfunctional legal system, when what we wanted was a justice system. Which is worse, them doing this, or us allowing it?

nice heat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222452)

God damn ... I kept waiting for Samuel Jackson to pop in there with "DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN WHAT?"

Arrrg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222500)

I wonder why kazzaa includes the computers NIC ip in conversation with other nodes. This strikes me as creepy.

So the gist is, there was no router, yet the kazza requests came from behind a router? Well shoot, aside from oversights in chain-of-evidence and other such idiocy, that about does it, I hope :)

It's a yes or no question.. (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222516)

fuck I hate lawyers.. even the ones who are arguing on your side are incapable of being rational.

inculpate (-1)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222522)

Seriously, I had never heard of that word either. It was kind of lame that the lawyer spent so much time drilling him on it.

Re:inculpate (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222696)

Seriously, I had never heard of that word either. It was kind of lame that the lawyer spent so much time drilling him on it.

Don't agree with you at all. After being beaten to death with the word "exculpate" in the Duke Rape Case coverage, as well as enough television lawyer shows, "inculpate" should hardly be unfamiliar to anyone with even a passing interest in the law -- and concept of how words are formed in the English language. There were, IMHO, other more amusing lawyer language in the deposition than this one word.

Re:inculpate (1)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222752)

Yes, to you it may seem odd. However, as a juror I would most certainly be questioning this persons educational background. This guy has a Ph.D., and teaches at a well recognized university - he uses his profession and education to qualify himself as an expert. Showing he lacks in a general area of study moves to discredit him as an expert witness.

It's nothing groundbreaking, and doesn't prove anything about him as a CS expert, but in general it makes him look bad. And if the lawyer were really lucky, he would have gotten angry and let it show. Nothing discredits an expert witness like getting them mad.

In general, people try to distance themselves from someone who is aggressive, and having an outburst on a witness stand certainly makes you look aggressive.

From what I read, it certainly looks like the attorney did a very good job, despite the onslaught of objections from opposing council.

David Chappelle? (0, Redundant)

autophile (640621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222532)

14 MR. BECKERMAN: I would like to

15 mark as Exhibit 3 a two-page article dated

16 April 19, 2004 by David Chappelle entitled

17 "Newest PacketHound release eliminates

18 illegal trading of copyrighted files."

Man, nothing is sacred to The Chappelle Show!

--Rob

You wha? (1)

RealSurreal (620564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222550)

Does someone want to summarize that deposition before I die of lawyer-speak overdose?

Re:You wha? (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222688)

You really do need to read it to savor it properly. The "Ok, Demonstrate it." part is going to be a classic.

Re:You wha? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222716)

Does someone want to summarize that deposition before I die of lawyer-speak overdose?

The expert found nothing incriminating, and the RIAA therefore maintains they were given the wrong hard drive. Now go have a beer.

Zzzzz... (1, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222588)

Maybe someone kan point out the juicy tid-bits. I'm up to page 20, and I'm falling asleep.

Re:Zzzzz... (1)

stevedcc (1000313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222632)

The juicy titbits: get the witness to summarise the difference between a computer, an IP address and a mac address. Then ask him to PROVE that the DEFENDANT downloaded files from Kazaa. Previous definitions have already prevented this witness from achieving this goal.

couple of bits (1)

abeinnh (1071138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222676)

Industry shill, that's for sure. Computer forensic "expert" tries to claim he's ignorant of NAT:

Q. In your April 7th report you say that in reality they can be identified using the IP address. Is that not what you said in your report? A. Yes, sir. Q. That's not exactly true, is it? A. I guess I'm not clear what you mean by that. Q. Well, it's true, is it not, that there can be more than one computer operating under a single IP address? A. As I talked about it in the report with public IP addresses, in order for the internet to function there can only be -- every public IP address has to be globally unique within that window of time. Q. But there can be more than one computer operating behind that IP address? A. Every -- I don't understand what you are asking. Every device connecting to the public internet has to have a global unique address.
Next, he claims to be able to see behind firewalls based on what's coming out. Specifically this detail (it may be true, but I'd be suprised):

The peer-to-peer software will present an IP address within the data payload of the IP packet.
An IP address in the *payload* ? I've certainly seen screwy protocols that do this sort of thing, but can't think of why P2P software would do it. Most P2P systems are probably on 192.168.1.0/24 -- why waste precious bandwidth sharing that useless detail?

Re:couple of bits (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222846)

Computer forensic "expert" tries to claim he's ignorant of NAT

Not so. He was very careful with his words in presence of a lawyer who has no clue and posesses selective hearing skills. More than once the lawyer tried to put his words into witness's mouth, but the witness resisted, rightly.

Most P2P systems are probably on 192.168.1.0/24 -- why waste precious bandwidth sharing that useless detail?

That's the only IP address they are sure about, and it's a part of the protocol already. The peer will have to compare this one (provided by the source) and the IP source address on the packet and determine the type of firewall / NAT that may be involved, and do what is right.

Re:couple of bits (1)

abeinnh (1071138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222928)

okay, i guess he didn't claim ignorance of NAT, but sheesh. getting him to acknowledge the possibility of ip masquerading was like pulling teeth. moving on...

Most P2P systems are probably on 192.168.1.0/24 -- why waste precious bandwidth sharing that useless detail?
i meant: "why would kazaa waste bandwidth putting a locally resolved address into protocol payload?" reading further into the deposition, it sounds like that's really what kazaa is doing. i'm still puzzled as to why. what sort of different actions might a kazaa peer take? I confess to being totally ignorant of kazaa. ...and it's a bummer for the defense, because that makes it really easy to see that there was no NAT device involved. though the defense lawyer didn't seem to pick up on that detail.

Re:couple of bits (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18223012)

i meant: "why would kazaa waste bandwidth putting a locally resolved address into protocol payload?" reading further into the deposition, it sounds like that's really what kazaa is doing.

There is another post closer to the end of the comments, it explains more about FastTrack. Basically, if the IP addresses match and are public then you open your connection to that host:port without further ado. If the IP addresses differ then you take the public one (which is in your IP envelope that you received) and try to open that address:host in hope that the NAT will forward it to the right box. It's called "firewall penetration" and there are some more ways to do it, all completely legitimate and intended to keep the devices on the private network functioning - things like VoIP phones, for example, use STUN protocol [voip-info.org] .

though the defense lawyer didn't seem to pick up on that detail

Direct physical evidence will outweigh the indirect one. They seized the computer of the accused, and it's clean. IMO, there isn't much to base a trial on. I think the lawyers are simply going through the motions to get their pay.

Re:Zzzzz... (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222864)

Maybe someone kan point out the juicy tid-bits. I'm up to page 20, and I'm falling asleep.

The part where the ambulance goes by is pretty funny.

--Rob

Re:Zzzzz... (1)

cmdrpaddy (955593) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222906)

They all die in the end.

Some "expert"! (3, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222614)

This guy comes to the conclusion that it was the defendant's computer, even though there is no evidence from hard drive forensics, and he says there is no wireless router since the IP was registered to the house.

Also, he kept no records of the forensic analysis, and he is always trying to pin the idea that an IP address is a computer, even though it's obvious he's avoiding or twisting questions, even to someone who isn't so technically inclined.

Re:Some "expert"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222652)

Yes and its clear the expert isn't familiar with different network setups. I have public and "private" ips on my router. The cable company gives me 5 usable ips and the router also supports NAT so I have both on my network.

I also wonder about the case where double nat occurs. Think about it this way, a computer is nat'd behind a cable modem router and then say an airport express with nat enabled is also setup. The inner ip on the airport would be say 10.1.10.x and the other ip might be a 192.168.0.x ip. What the hell would kazaa show then. Granted he's arguing there was no nat since the ips match. What if someone had a modified client that set all ips the same? What if the nat software happened to do that? I think its clear they have no proof who was using the computer or even what computer it was.

Re:Some "expert"! (4, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222880)

To me it's crystal clear that they observed someone's Kazaa traffic, but when they snatched the HDD it was some other computer. The reason for that is not some outlandish NAT or Kazaa hack, but simply an IP address confusion (either a true collision, or a wrong DHCP log at Verizon - not that they care.)

Re:Some "expert"! (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222894)

Exactly. They have no proof who was using the computer or even what computer it was.

I'll go you even one better, they don't even know if the index of song files in the screen shot was on one computer, or represented bits and pieces from a number of different computers (nodes, in KaZaA parlance).

Anyone who knows stuff about court... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222628)

Why is it that Mr. Gabriel is constantly making an objection to form when the judge just keeps denying him with a lack of foundation? Is it a case of throwing enough shit that some will stick?

Re:Anyone who knows stuff about court... (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222656)

There was no legal basis for making those objections at a deposition. He was just wasting time.

For me to say why he was doing it would be speculation. My guess as to the reason: inexperience.

Re:Anyone who knows stuff about court... (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222736)

The other lawyer seemed like a small child; whine if it's something you don't want to hear...I didn't see a single reasonable objection by the prosecution.

Re:Anyone who knows stuff about court... (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222746)

Agreed, based on my 28 years of experience I thought the objections were amateurish.

Re:Anyone who knows stuff about court... (1)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222664)

From the sound of it, I don't think there's even a judge present. I think Gabriel is basically saying "this question is bogus" for the record, sort of flagging that section of the testimony as contested ground. That's my guess.

Re:Anyone who knows stuff about court... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222670)

Judges don't preside over a deposition. It's just lawyers from both sides present and the person being deposed. If you read carefully, you'll notice that the witness still answers the questions even when there's an objection. It's up to the court to decide later whether the objection had merit.

IPV6 (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222668)

There's a spot down in there where the RIAA expert refers to IPV6, and this refers to 2004. That alone should get him laughed out of the tech community.

Not to mention that he maintains he can trace the IP address back to a specific ISP account and computer (emphasis mine). Unless he's a Peeping Tom with a web-cam in the defendant's house, the RIAA should be demanding their money back from him.

Oh, and then there's the place where he maintains that at the time the computer was imaged many months afterwards, that there was no wireless router in use at that time Media Sentry "discovered" this "infringer". Is there a log that keeps records of every IP address you've ever connected with?

And I have to laugh at how he refers to "registered" computers. I thought he was talking about gun registration, or some such thing. I've never heard of my own computer being "registered" to anything. Is this another invented RIAA term, like "Media Distribution System"? Has anyone else ever referred to KaZaA, or any other P2P program, as an MDS? Ray, you can't be letting the RIAA frame the terms of the debate to ignorant Judges.

And don't miss the parts where he says he didn't actually document any of his findings because there was nothing to find, however, you should go through your own copy of the disc to verify my Registry findings that no wireless router was in place. He's supposed to be the expert, and he wants the defense to replicate his findings in the Registry??? Are there any registry experts here? Probably a few, but not many. But he assures us it's there.

Biggest thing is that he says that no KaZaA was present, nor any infringing music files. The only way the RIAA can respond is you sent us the wrong hard drive. No question that the person in question might have actually been innocent. RIAA -- You Bastards!

Glad to know that we helped, Ray! Keep fighting the good fight!

Re:IPV6 (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222728)

Thanks, Nom. Yep you picked out some of the many goodies. It was a very fertile outing. I've only had it for a day, and have already cited it in another case [blogspot.com] . Lawyers defending RIAA victims are going to have some fun with it.

He lied in his deposition, unintentionally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222684)

In all fairness he told the truth as he saw it, but when you make statements like this from page 55:

24 A. If the program was present on the
25 hard drive, a forensic examination would have shown
2 that.

If the program was present but not "installed" and it was present on an encrypted part of the disk that defied decryption, or even an encrypted part the disk that appeared to be unused space filled with random bytes, it would not only be not detectable but you wouldn't even know you didn't know it wasn't there.

To make such a claim without stating this caveat shoots a hole in your expertise.

lie #2 ignores sharing of router and PC IP address (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222744)

From pages 65 and 66:

10 A. This tells me that there was -- yes.
11 There was no router.
12 Q. How does it tell you that there was
13 no router?
14 A. Through the two --
15 If you look at the second chunk down,
16 you will see the source address at the top and you
17 will see the KaZaA IP address midway through that,
18 and they match and they are both public IP
19 addresses.
20 Q. You said they match?
21 A. Uh-huh. The 141.155.57.198.
22 Q. That's the source?
23 A. And then down below you see the KaZaA
24 IP?
25 Q. Yes.
2 A. It's those two IP addresses.
3 Q. What does the first number indicate?
4 A. The first number of the IP address?
5 Q. Yes.
6 No. The second line of that chunk
7 that says "source." What does that indicate?
8 A. That is the source address. That is
9 where the packet came from.
10 Q. Now we go down to the next line you
11 referred to, it says "KaZaA IP." What does that
12 refer to?
13 A. That is the IP address that the KaZaA
14 software is running on, the IP address of the
15 computer that the KaZaA software is running on.

Some routers share their IP public addresses with a DMZ computer.

If the defendant's wireless router did that and a attacker across the street took over her router and made his laptop into a DMZ it would lead to this scenario. Kids, always secure your routers ... unless you want to eliminate the best "but it wasn't me, honest" excuse the world has to offer.

He says Windows doesn't store ethernet address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18223042)

I'm not 100% sure but I think Windows stores a copy of the MAC address for every network card that's ever been connected in the system registry or elsewhere.

From page 118:
2 Q. What is the MAC address of the
3 computer whose hard drive you examined?
4 A. Since I did not have the ethernet
5 card, I don't know.

and there goes Internet radio (3, Interesting)

b3gr33n (1071090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222712)

The RIAA lobbyists have been a busy lot. On Friday, they got the Copyright Review Board to grant them a fee based system that will essentially shut down the majority of small Internet Radio stations. Way to go boys. Bring on that corporate commercial media. http://www.radioparadise.com/ [radioparadise.com] http://www.save-internet-radio.com/2007/03/02/save -internet-radio/ [save-internet-radio.com]

A Product of the American Education System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222714)

From the transcript:

2 Q. Any other degrees?
3 A. A Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., in
4 computer engineering.
5 Q. When was that?
6 A. 1985.
7 Q. And you are associate professor at
8 Iowa State University?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. And you do not know what the word
11 "exculpate" means?
12 A. That's correct.

so sad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222730)

filthy theives. why don't you just stop stealing music?

Re:so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222790)

I would, if I could buy it in a form I could actually use.

Re:so sad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222824)

Why don't you suck my dick before I get all Assy McGee on your, uh, ass.

Wireless router defense, HDD forensics (1)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222732)

If you have a wireless router, anyone could be sharing files on your network. Even with encryption and MAC filtering, a determined outsider could use your network (they probably would just use one of the "Linksys" SSIDs in the neighborhood instead). The term "war driving" was never brought up, stealing wireless access happens enough to have its own term. Most routers come out of the box without encryption (I don't recall one that does). Non-technical people are just happy their "Internet Explorer works" and don't really think about the configuration.

What I don't get are the hard drive forensics. You would have to have someone very competent to remove a program from Windows and not leave traces. Anyone running Windows knows that program removal tends to leave little bits and pieces behind. Like user settings and registry entries. It shouldn't, but they do anyway. Both McAfee and Norton have removal tools because they don't uninstall properly. Not to mention erasure doesn't actually wipe out data on the drive. The fact that the expert witness states that none of the methods he is using are peer reviewed is a concern.

Re:Wireless router defense, HDD forensics (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222780)

The Linksys WRT54G does. It has this "Secure Easy Setup" button on the front that trashes your wireless configuration when you press it. (I think you have to connect it to other devices with the same button and then press them all.)

But hey, it's out-of-the-box encryption.

Damn (2, Interesting)

Kythe (4779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222748)

I knew Doug Jacobson when I was an engineering student at ISU. He seemed like a decent and knowledgeable guy, very interested in computer security.

I'm very sorry to see he's come to this.

Re:Damn (4, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222770)

I think many of his students will be appalled at the actual contents of his testimony.

For example, he teaches a course in "Information Warfare", the entire thrust of which is that the internet is dangerous and insecure in the extreme. He teaches students all about the infinite numbers of vulnerabilities.

Then he testifies that he forms an opinion in 45 minutes based upon some printouts from an investigator who pulled down some screenshots from the internet.... with no verification whatsoever.

And that he's give about 200 such opinions. And so far, 200 out of 200 concluded, without reservation, that there was indeed copyright infringement.

What kind of grade would he issue to a student who handed in work like that?

Re:Damn (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222858)

>>> For example, he teaches a course in "Information Warfare", the entire thrust of which is that the internet is dangerous and insecure in the extreme. He teaches students all about the infinite numbers of vulnerabilities.

Then this:

Q. Can you think of any possible security vulnerabilities in the computer that was in Marie Lindor's apartment?
A. I didn't examine the hard drive that was given to me for security vulnerabilities, so I can't attest to what vulnerabilities may have been present in that hard drive.
He did not answer the question. Of course he should be able to say he could think of an 'infinite' number of vulnerabilities given enough time.

IP Addresses (1, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222778)

Dear Mr. Beckerman, It seems that you misunderstood one point about IP addresses and NATs, which led to a lot of time wasted in the deposition. In a situation where the user's computer hides behind a NAT, it will still have an IP address on the local network (the one on which the user's computer and the NAT reside). The NAT will have two IP addresses (one on the local network and one on the global internet). In this setup, the IP address space on the local network is completely independent of the IP address space on the global one. The witness explained that the KaZaa software will determine the address of the computer it's running on and includes it in the data it transmits to the outside world, which data is available to other computers connected to the FastTrack network. The way the data gets to the outside world is by being bundled into TCP/IP packets, which carry on them addressing information for routing. It is this addressing information that gets rewritten by the NAT to implement IP masquerating. Now if the home computer is directly connected to the internet (say via dial-up or DSL) then it acts as its own router, and both the addressing (TCP/IP) information on the packet and the (application-generated) content of the packet will agree on the IP address. If the computer is hiding behind the NAT then the routing information on packets will show the IP address of the NAT (the one that was assigned by the ISP) while the KaZaa data in the packet will include the IP address of the software-running computer on the local network (typically in the address space 192.168.x.x which is reserved for such networks). By comparing these two pieces of information he was able to detect which scenario happened in this particular case. Note that I have no personal knowledge about the FastTrack protocol, so I can't say whether this is the way things actually work, but this is what the witness said and it sounds reasonable to me. (that would be the local, private, IP address in this scenario).

MAC addresses, "internal IP address range" (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222876)

In the same vein,

I think you misunderstand what a MAC address is. A MAC address is a physical address used by the wired ethernet (and wireless ethernet) protocols to allow several network cards to communicate on a single physical network. If you are on a computer outside this physical network then you have no way of determining the MAC addresses of any computers inside it (IP packet headers don't record MAC addresse, only IP addresses) -- except if the data payload of the packet included the information -- say if you sent your own MAC address in an e-mail. It is possible, however, that Windows records the MAC address of the network cards in the hardware profile in the registry. This could give an indication (but not a proof) that the hard-drive came from the computer it is claimed to have come from.

Regarding the "internal IP address range". As you can see in this wikipedia table [wikipedia.org] , the address range 192.168.x.x (and a few others) are reserved for "private networks". Computers on the internet-at-large are assigned addresses in other ranges. In particular, if you connect to wireless access point, you will typically be assigned an address in a "private network" for the purposes of the internal network. Thus, if the KaZaa software is claiming to the outside world that it is running on a computer with an address in that range, then probably the computer is hiding behind a NAT -- while if it is claiming to be running on a computer with an IP address outside this range then this computer is probably directly connected to the internet.

PS: apologies about the lack of spacing in the parent post -- should have previewed before submitting.

Expert Witness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222784)

The original Slashdot article asking for questions to pose to the RIAA expert stated that Dr. Jacobson "is the RIAA's expert witness in all of its cases against consumers, relating to alleged copyright infringement by means of a shared files folder on Kazaa," but this time around, it says that he has never testified before in a case, and in the transcription, he confirms that he has never testified as an expert witness.

So, what's the deal?

Re:Expert Witness? (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222842)

He's submitted sworn reports... around 200 of them. But no defendant's lawyer has ever brought him to a deposition before this.

Re:Expert Witness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18222948)

Right... The 200 statements. That makes sense. I realize now, how that works. I'd heard the term "expert witness" before, but not fully realized what it meant.

Thanks.

Game Over (1)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222892)

Here is my favourite bit (edited from different sections and removing Gabriel's bloody objections to form)

Q. Based upon your examination of the hard drive which you examined in this case, what evidence did you find that supported or would support a conclusion that Marie Lindor had personally uploaded any files?
A. The hard drive that I examined showed no evidence of any peer-to-peer software or MP3 music files.
Q. So when you say it was defendant's computer, you don't actually have any knowledge as to whether it was defendant's computer. All you know is that the defendant's name is associated with the internet access account; is that correct?
A. I know that the - yeah, the computer associated with that user account, an IP address was used.
Q. But you don't know whose computer it actually was, do you?
A. No.

Game Over. Even if all you need in a civil case is preponderance of evidence and not absolute proof. They can't find evidence of p2p file sharing on her computer and they can't actually even say that her computer was associated with the IP address. He also doesn't verify anything given to him by MediaSentry (IP address and files downloaded with times) and Verizon (Account information matching IP at times specified by MediaSentry on Verizon's clock), whether there were any security vulnerabilities on the PC (though a drone for p2p seems a bit out there). He teaches a class that covers spoofing IP address and MAC addresses, but at one point refers to IPv6 and then goes on to talk about reserved ranges like 192.168... . He doesn't care to record any of his findings with EnCase because he found no mp3s or p2p software, and that was all Gabriel asked him to look for. He also works and owns stock in company that sells software to combat p2p. Also Ray that was absolutely beautiful. Wow. I usually try to RTFA fully but damn did that take some work. Totally worth it.

stupidmoroniclamenessfilteranditscomplainingaboutf uckingwhitespaceseriouslyTacowhatareyouguysdoingit sonlyalargeblockquoteImeancomeontheresnotreallyall thatmuchwhitepsaceandyousortofneeditoryougetsenten cesthatlooklikethisyoubloodymorons

What a joke (3, Interesting)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222900)

After reading that all I can see if the guy evading the question, flat out denying truths, agreeing with them in limited fashions, constantly playing dumb. His investigation methods are borderline incompetent, after reading that huge PDF I could only say he should not be allowed to be a whitness in any case I mean I'm a third year computer engineering student most of my course emphasis has been on networking and hardware rather than this sort of thing but I can see huge holes in his logic.

1.Doesn't verify his sources Beckermans point about "are mediasomethigns and verizons clock synchronised" is a good one espeacially when you consider his point about the nature of IP address's, at the very least he should have requested the lease time of that IP (so when did the subscriber start using the IP and for how long) to verify that the information had a chance of being correct.

2.No set method, the lack of reports and the fact he never made print outs suggests he doesn't have a set method of investigating, which personnally would make me question his investigation techniques this results in a whole list of problems:
2a.means no evidence supporting the defendent was kept, in effect his not impartial and also hurts the defense 2b.suggests he makes it up as he goes along, a "what seems a good idea at the time", as you can clearly see he's missed out on some issues which are important, like confirming the MAC address of the machine and its method of connecting to the internet.

3.Deliberate attempts to twist what hes saying or not sticking to the question an example would be towards the end where he starts talking about IPV4 and finishs with IPV6. I don't know how either works exactly but he should have talked about both seperatly, the use of both at once means he could be dilibertly hiding stuff, when was IPV6 rolled out anyways? Anouther example would be his linking IP address's directly to a PC, no matter how many times Beckerman tried to get him to admit that when accessed through a router the IP address given to the outside world is the routers not the individual PC's. 4.Lack of actual investigation, now I'm not sure what he was exactly hired to do but by the looks of it RIAA hired him to prove and be a whitness to say that a person used Kaza to download and share music. Hes not done that, hes investigated the drive he was sent found no traces of Kaza on it, or any MP3's (I think he indirectly said this) rather than investigate possible explanations for this, for example did the person own two pc's, did they connect to the internet through a router, could this router have been compromised (perhaps unsecured), perhaps then look for security vulnerabilities to see if it was a zombie machine, or for other security problems. Then if he couldn't prove any of that attempt to verify that mediashares information was correct, check it and check verizons and then attempt to co-oberate that information somehow, for example attempt to obtain the MAC address from the hard drive and from mediashares packet information in otherwords to link them up. Otherwise all he can actually claim is that "The pc in question when inspected did not have the Kazaa program on it at any time, nor does it appeared to have or have had the media files that mediasomething accuse the computer of having" His conclusions from his investigation lack any form of imparitality and it appears that he was unwilling to give any real unbiased opinion.

personnaly after reading that disposition I would seriously call into credibility as a expert or even as a whitness. I'm sure better people than I could take apart his disposition its 3am here I'm tired but those are the things that come to my mind at least

What format? (1)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222912)

it doesn't happen to be online in audio format... maybe an mp3? anybody got the torrent?

Admission he doesn't know whos computer it was (3, Funny)

cojsl (694820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222964)

From p. 88:
Q. But you don't know whose computer it actually was, do you?
A. No.
Q. But your report said it was defendant's computer, so I think you will agree that that's an imprecision in your report.

Objection, your honor! (4, Interesting)

violet16 (700870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18222994)

A few unhelpful observations.

This is my first real-life encounter with a deposition, and I've gotta say it's quite fascinating. I like how the opposing lawyer relentlessly objects to nearly every single question. And how Mr. Beckerman's first goal seems to be to show that the "expert" has a financial interest in what he's been claiming, coupled with that expert's bizarre claims that he doesn't have the foggiest idea about the commercial reality surrounding his work. For example:

A. Our company worked with Audible Magic to develop a product to stop peer-to-peer traffic as identified by Audible Magic's proprietary code.
Q. And you are testifying here today that you have no idea how the RIAA reacted to this work that you are doing?
A. That's correct.
Q. Have the press releases issued by Palisade Systems referred to the RIAA?
MR. GABRIEL: I object to the form.
Lack of foundation.
A. I'm sure that some of our press releases have probably mentioned the RIAA.

I'm not sure how you can have "no idea" whether the RIAA is pleased, furious, or otherwise about the fact that your company is creating anti-P2P products, while being simultaneously "sure" that your company is referring to the RIAA in its press releases to help sell its products.

This is funny, too:

Q. Based upon your examination of the hard drive which you examined, what evidence did you find that inculpated Marie Lindor personally?
MR. GABRIEL: Object to the form.
Lack of foundation.
A. Would you please define the second-to-last word.
Q. "Her"?
A. No, "inculpated." Would you please define that for me.
Q. Do you not know what the word "inculpated" means?
A. That's correct.
Q. Are you familiar with the word "exculpate"?
A. No.
Q. What is your educational background?
A. Computer engineering.

This testimony fails a basic test for evidence (5, Insightful)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18223070)

IANAL, but I understand that there are standards for admissibility of scientific evidence, and the questions quoted below (and several that follow) cover them. The most recent ruling is called "Daubert."

Whatever this witness has to say based on his methods is useless because the methods have not been generally accepted and/or there are no peer reviews or tests of the methods' accuracy/reliability and no known level of accuracy/reliability.

Q. Has your method of determining from
the MediaSentry materials whether a particular
computer has been used for uploading or downloading
copyrighted works been tested by any testing body?

A. Not that I have submitted.
Q. Do you know anyone else that is using
your method, other than you?
A. Not that I'm aware of.
Q. Has your method of determining
through the MediaSentry materials whether a
particular computer has been used for uploading or
downloading copyrighted works been subjected to any
form of peer review?
A. Not that I'm aware of.
Q. Has your method of determining from
the MediaSentry materials whether a computer has
been used for uploading or downloading copyrighted
works been published?
A. No.
Q. Is there a known rate of error for
your method?
A. No.
Q. Is there a potential rate of error?
MR. GABRIEL: Object to the form.
A. I guess there is always a potential
of an error.
Q. Do you know of a rate of error?
A. To my process, no.

Q. Are there any standards and controls
over what you have done?
A. No.
Q. Have your methods been generally
accepted in the scientific community?
A. The process has not been vetted
through the scientific community.

Re:This testimony fails a basic test for evidence (3, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18223134)

You are exactly right on that. There are certain standards. And he satisfied exactly none of them.

Page 97 "DHCP Name Server" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18223074)

Starting on line 21 of page 97, continuing to page 98. So silly, he calls a DNS a DHCP NS.
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