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Prof. Johan Pouwelse To Take On RIAA Expert

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the knows-whereof-he-speaks dept.

Music 184

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Marie Lindor has retained an expert witness of her own to fight the RIAA, and to debunk the testimony and reports of the RIAA's 'expert' Dr. Doug Jacobson, whose reliability has been challenged by Ms. Lindor in her Brooklyn federal court case, UMG v. Lindor. Ms. Lindor's expert is none other than Prof. Johan Pouwelse, Chairman of the Parallel and Distributed Systems Group of Delft University of Technology. It was Prof. Pouwelse's scathing analysis of the RIAA's MediaSentry 'investigations' (PDF) in a case in the Netherlands that caused the courts in that country to direct the ISPs there not to turn over their subscribers' information (PDF), thus nipping in the bud the RIAA's intended litigation juggernaut in that country."

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Assumptions (-1, Troll)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128281)

The 'submitter' seems to have made a lot of 'assumptions' about how closely we have been following this 'case'.

Sincerely,
None other than Pete-Classic

Re:Assumptions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128371)

Yeah, I know whatcha mean, bud... most of the summaries on Slashdot assume some basic familiarity with whatever random subject they present. It's annoying as hell to just jump right in with facts, under the assumption people might be able to learn through context. But, yeah, all those links to background stories made me dizzy. How dare they assume I should read so many articles to understand some news item! Jeez, just spoon feed me drivel already: "Some Dude To Kick Monopoly's Ass In Court"

Re:Assumptions (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128549)

Jeez, just spoon feed me drivel already: "Some Dude To Kick Monopoly's Ass In Court"

While some doodz may feel that way (who cares), I believe the grandparent comment was that the importantance of the story should be related to the targeted audience (Slashdot).

Perhaps if I was lawyer, or studing law, I would appreciate the play by play details of any particular case. But this is Slashdot, and the category is Your Rights Online, and I expect a story summary to relate an issue, that we consider important, in a concise manner.

Bah, it's probably just a slow newsday. (Occams' razor)

Re:Assumptions (4, Informative)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128921)

Though there is also this "related stories" bar under said article, which leads one to other stories, with previous data, allowing one to get the whole story which is, in fact, related to "your rights online."

Many, many news events can't be summarized in one news article. A little background reading is not asking all that much, IMHO.

Re:Assumptions (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129137)

Well, to be honest it is asking a lot, but none of it is really REQUIRED. Its what im going to call "optional".

-Red

Re:Assumptions (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129291)

A little background reading is not asking all that much, IMHO.

You must be new here. Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:Assumptions (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129641)

A little background reading is not asking all that much, IMHO.

Well, I hope you take that advice before you post next time, since it's obvious you're the only not following it.

I suppose if an article regarding Care Bears [wikipedia.org] was to be posted, you would tell people to go the the Official Site [care-bears.com] before asking yourself how The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine [imdb.com] relates to News for Nerds if for no greater reason than you submitted BakaHoushi's Care Bear Video [youtube.com] to Youtube.

A little background reading is not asking all that much, IMHO.

Re:Assumptions (5, Insightful)

Guillermito2 (911866) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128515)

>The 'submitter' seems to have made a lot of 'assumptions' about how closely
>we have been following this 'case'.

Maybe there is a reason why Slashdot editors post news of this case quite often. Maybe you should follow it a bit more closely. It is very important, in my humble opinion. It is The Normal People vs the MAFIAA, their scare tactics and their scandalous racketing scheme.

NewYorkCountryLawyer has huge balls for fighting them face to face, and as average geeks, we should thank him for his work.

And I will start right now : NewYorkCountryLawyer, thank you.

Re:Assumptions (-1, Flamebait)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128803)

NewYorkCountryLawyer has huge balls for fighting them face to face, and as average geeks, we should thank him for his work.

Oh fucks, Superman became a lawyer....

No, whoever is fighting in such litigation is doing it because of the money. That is what lawyers do. Today you see your lawyer fighting for the kid whose lolly was robbed and tomorrow you see him fighting for the mobster who stole the kids lolly, It i$ ju$t a mathr of intr$t.

Re:Assumptions (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128855)

And after the hearings finish, he suerly goes to the pub to talk about the case with the lawyers of the MAFIAA, I know it, my best friend (and neighbour) is a lawyer.

Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.
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Re:Assumptions (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128829)

Thank you, Guillermito2, for your kind words of support. And in my opinion you really got it right with this description and appraisal:

"Maybe there is a reason why Slashdot editors post news of this case quite often. Maybe you should follow it a bit more closely. It is very important, in my humble opinion. It is The Normal People vs the MAFIAA, their scare tactics and their scandalous racketing scheme."

Re:Assumptions (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129905)

no, its the organisation thar represents people who make creative works vs the thieving warez kiddies who think the fucking world owes them a living.

See, thats just about as one-sided a representation as your bullshit about the 'mafiaaa' was. take off the blinkers kiddo, taking copyrighted material without payment *is* theft, however you want to try and weasel out of it.

Re:Assumptions (1)

john_lewmanny (576761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128833)

The above is not a troll. The summary is confusing in fact.

Re:Assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129085)

eh, not really, in fact.

It'll be interesting to see.. (4, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128283)

Whether or not the RIAA manage to drown out the technical side of the argument in legal noise.
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that this is actually the candle in the darkness that the article author believes to be the case (and no, to those that'll accuse me of being a thief of property and a subversive, I don't download music or videos. I just think the **AA are just playing dictator, and now facing their just come uppance).

Re:It'll be interesting to see.. (3, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128397)

Whether or not the RIAA manage to drown out the technical side of the argument in legal noise.

I think that legal 'snow' effect usually works better from the defense's standpoint (moreso in criminal trials, but still effective). It seems that if the jury can't figure out what's going on, they might not be inclined to award a judgement.

None (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128305)

First post!

Finally we get _real_ entertainment from the **IAA (5, Funny)

Podcaster (1098781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128307)

As someone who found the original deposition to be a very enjoyable page-turner, I'm hoping that the sequel will be even better than the first one.

-P

Re:Finally we get _real_ entertainment from the ** (4, Funny)

lottameez (816335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128341)

I'm waiting for the audiobook (as long I can download it off of somebody's website).

Re:Finally we get _real_ entertainment from the ** (1)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128381)

If not, just download it p2p!

Re:Finally we get _real_ entertainment from the ** (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128435)

Torrent. [thepiratebay.org]

You cannot pass! (5, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128313)

I am a servant of knowledge, wielder of common sense. Go back to the shadow. The strong arm tactics will not avail you, face of the recording industry! You shall not pass!

Re:You cannot pass! (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128651)

It is an attorney -- a lawyer of the RIAA. This foe is beyond any of you. Logout!

Jury of peers (5, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128315)

Well as having been someone who's gone through a complete trial against the Department of Justice I can tell you what will happen in layman's terms regardless of what expert(s) is/are called. One no one will want to serve as a juror so you will get frustrated persons as jurors. Secondly she won't get a technically competent jury so their attitude will be more or less: "Is this damned thing over with". Thirdly because her jury won't be technical no matter what someone here thinks, the jury will likely be lost in technological talk that will seem foreign to them. Outcome... No one will truly care. Bottom line reality. It may be nice for /.'ers and people across the technology world to think that something big will come out of this case, and it will, because either way both sides win and lose so the write up will be favorable to whomever in either circumstance. That's the reality of it all. Consider this posting a trollish one if you care to, but facts are facts, no one on the jury will care to be there, they will be stuck like deers in headlights no matter how its explained to them, and the outcome won't make much of a difference to the world at the end of it all.

Re:Jury of peers (5, Insightful)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128383)

While I understand your withering commentary on the outcome from the perspective of the jury, you're forgetting the impact on law.

Case law is about precedent, and if Marie Lindor can have this case thrown out of court on grounds of technological fact, it will snap a big string in the bow of th **AA. They won't be able to use this particular ruse - one of their biggest - any longer in the courts, as anyone who takes a case defending someone against such a suit will simply be able to throw this case in.

Suddenly, fighting the **AA becomes a lot easier and cheaper, and it's Game Over as far as strong-arm, expensive litigation goes - the "Industry's" biggest weapon.

I think your comments regarding the jury are valid, but your conclusions are not.

Re:Jury of peers (2, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128459)

You didn't read the fact that I said it could go either way for both parties and in the end it will only matter to them. Say what you will about precedence but the fact is, caselaw changes often. The problem with this case will be keeping the jury from falling asleep because they will (repeat WILL) be bored by a case which can be pretty long, too technological for them to comprehend. My case lasted one week and a juror slept (not kidding) and was given a warning. Do you think that juror had any idea or cared what went on? I was 27 when I was in court. My peers? Oh those guys/gals... They were 50ish computer phobes... And so the questioning began for prospective jurors "What's your favorite tv show? ... Law and Order" (good juror said the prosecutor...) "What's your profession? ... I'm a copyright lawyer for a dotcom" ... (you are the weakest link... said the prosecutor). If you've never been to a trial or sat on jury duty you shouldn't comment because you won't know the TRUE mechanisms of how it really works regardless of the outcome. The outcome means nothing to the jurors at the end of the day, most will want to get out of jury duty and just get back to normal life duties.

Re:Jury of peers (3, Interesting)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128741)

The outcome means nothing to the jurors at the end of the day, most will want to get out of jury duty and just get back to normal life duties.

This is complete and utter hogwash, and it seems like you're all pissy because you lost (although I don't think you said one way or the other). Perhaps you got a "bad" jury. Did you know that jury selection is two-sided? Both the prosecuting and defense attorneys take part in the process. If you had a lame jury, blame your lawyer. Speaking from experience, and having participated in jury duty not too long ago, I can assure you that even though much of the case was boring, each and every one of us made our best attempt to stay alert and remember facts for deliberation. We tried very hard to put aside personal beliefs and make a decision based on the law and the evidence heard. At the beginning of deliberations, the jury was nearly equally divided between guilty and not-guilty verdicts. After hours of deliberation and going through the facts each of use remembered, and also asking for a read back of part of the transcript, we ended up with one guilty verdict and the rest not-guilty. Ultimately, we had a hung jury because the one person who wanted a guilty verdict was unable to set aside the fact that the alleged victim was a child, and refused to budge even though the prosecution had failed to even remotely prove their case. I think he was wrong. But I can say this about him: he was very passionate about his opinion, and was trying very hard (even with the rest of us in opposition) to do what he felt was right. So, if the defense attorney is worth anything, there will be a balanced jury that will give the case a fair shake.

Re:Jury of peers (2, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129381)

The outcome means nothing to the jurors at the end of the day, most will want to get out of jury duty and just get back to normal life duties.

This is complete and utter hogwash


No, it's complete and utter truth. Consider yourself lucky that you were on a jury with a different experience. Consider yourself lucky that the judge let you get by with a hung jury. I know of a case where a jury deliberated for over 1 month because the judge refused to allow a hung jury and after 1 month the lone holdout finally gave in. Jury duty is often about who can outlast or outstubborn (if that's even a word) the others.

Jury duty isn't about right and wrong. It's about trying to get 12 people to agree on a verdict, whatever that might be. I have unfortunately served twice on a jury and neither was a great experience, although I'm grateful they only took a few days. It's also not about "a decision based on the law" as you state, but how the jury interprets the law, which is a gigantic distinction. Judges cannot under any circumstances tell juries what the law means. They can read the applicable law statues to the jury but it's up to the jury to decide what they think it means. What a jury thinks a law means and what judges and lawyers think a law means are 2 different things.

Re:Jury of peers (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129363)

You didn't read the fact that I said it could go either way for both parties and in the end it will only matter to them.

They way I read the motion, I would say it was heavily in favor of the defendant. In the deposition of Dr. Jacobson, he admitted that the methods he used were:

  1. of his own design
  2. never published
  3. thus, never peer-reviewed
  4. never accepted by a standards body (NIST, IEEE, etc.)

In response, the RIAA says that "this methodology amounts to no more than applying settled principles to the undisputed data . . . used by reasonable experts in Dr. Jacobson's field . . . is the only way to do [the analysis] . . . and there is nothing that could be peer-reviewed." In essence, the RIAA says it is such a common (and only) methodoloy, it doesn't need to be tested. The RIAA misses the point.

What they RIAA doesn't tell you that these cases are new and no one has actually challenged the methodology yet. For the first part of the 20th century, phrenology [wikipedia.org] was accepted as a way to tell a person's character based on measurements of their head. It was used in court cases to help prove guilt. Later, it was debunked as a pseudoscience. Also Dr. Jacobson's methods have been successfully challenged in the Netherlands.

The second part of the defendant's motion was with the data from Media Sentry itself. In his deposition, Dr. Jacobson admitted:

  1. he did not know how Media Sentry gathered the data
  2. he did not know the accuracy of the data
Basically, the defendant is asking where the data comes from and how accurate is it? The RIAA's own expert does not know.

To this the RIAA responds that the "plaintiffs have authenticated the MediaSentry data . . . and the defendant has not offered one shred of evidence to contest the accuracy or reliability of the data." The RIAA tries to sidestep the accuracy question by vouching for the data themselves and asserts the defendant has no offered any proof the data is bad. That misses the point completely. The point was that the data is a such a mystery that even their expert does not know much about it. Also the RIAA hints that the defendant has not sought discovery from MediaSentry yet. What the RIAA doesn't mention is that in many court cases, it has sought to shield MediaSentry from discovery.

Finally, the RIAA challenges that all these technical arguments were made by defendant's lawyers and that the defendant has not offered any expert testimony to counter their expert. This point is moot as the defendant now has an expert.

Re:Jury of peers (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130875)

Great comment, Unknowing Fool.
 
Boy, have you been paying attention.

Re:Jury of peers (1)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128625)

When did defending your rights become so complex and expensive, that it's big news when someone is able to do it?

Aaaah, sweet sweet land of the free. Whence did thou depart?

monk.e.boy

Re:Jury of peers (4, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128655)

When did defending your rights become so complex and expensive

When was it ever easy?

Re:Jury of peers (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129069)

"When did defending your rights become so complex and expensive?"

When was it ever easy?
Great comment!
 
 

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Re:Jury of peers (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129235)

But should it be so expensive as to be beyond your reach?

Re:Jury of peers (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129209)

Freedom Is Not Free.

It costs a bunch of security. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19131341)

Indeed, freedom means that the RIAA's memeber organizations do not have a secure line of income. Freedom means that you risk violence and attack because you do not spy on and restrict the actions of your people.

Re:Jury of peers (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128911)

Of course, if the **AA (is that really what we're calling them now?) loses it's biggest string and is completely unable to bring civil cases against people that steal music (er... violate copyright) it will just assist them in their purchase of consumer unfriendly laws.

"See? We can't successfully recover our losses. You have to help us."

Re:Jury of peers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128497)

Thirdly because her jury won't be technical no matter what someone here thinks, the jury will likely be lost in technological talk that will seem foreign to them.

That may work in her favor. People who don't regularly use computers tend to be intimidated by them, and people who do regularly use computers tend to have more than a few stories about how their unreliability and mysteriousness has lead to them losing data, accumulating spyware, and discovering websites in their Favorites and on their home page that they definitely didn't set themselves.

If the people on the jury have even touched a computer in their lives they'll probably be sympathetic to this approach. That's not to say I haven't met people who aren't -- but they're typically know-it-alls who feel everybody should be able to account for everything on their computer if they simply pay attention to what they're doing (and in the past I've demonstrated to them why they're wrong by showing, for example, how easy it is for a malicious individual to link your computer behind-the-scenes to image files on websites you'd never visit (well, for demo purposes, I'd use gnu.org) by misusing comment areas on vulnerable websites.)

OT re: your sig (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128743)

The happiness of society is the end of government. -- John Adams

I wonder if John Adams is using the word "end" in a way that is synonymous with "goal", rather than to suggest that he's some sort of radical anarchist. Do you have the context for the quote?

Re:OT re: your sig (1)

VargrX (104404) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128937)

I wonder if John Adams is using the word "end" in a way that is synonymous with "goal", rather than to suggest that he's some sort of radical anarchist. Do you have the context for the quote?
I believe that your correct in this presumption:
Attribution: John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Thoughts on Government (1776). http://www.liberty1.org/thoughts.htm [liberty1.org] .

The quote is in the fourth paragraph of the letter, and the context is (imo) close to what your supposing - 'end' is synonymous to goal, not 'end' being synonymous to 'end of days'

Re:OT re: your sig (2, Funny)

BlueStraggler (765543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130221)

It's a distinction without a difference. The goal/end of a journey is the finale/end of the journey. There only seems to be a distinction in cases where the finale is unreachable because the goal is too idealistic.

Re:Jury of peers (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128849)

If you have been following the case, the defendant is trying to have the RIAA's expert testimony excluded so it never reaches a jury. Her argument is that unlike other expert testimony, the RIAA's expert Dr. Jacobson has used unproved, unpublished methods and relied upon unknown data to make his conclusions. That would make his testimony entirely of his personal and not professional opinion. Personal opinion testimony is not allowed to be introduced as expert testimony. Also the data provided to him by Media Sentry has never been vetted to be accurate so even if his testimony could be allowed, the basis of his testimony would be in doubt. To counter the RIAA, the defendant is presenting another expert witness who has in the past successfully refuted the RIAA.

Without the expert witness, the RIAA really has not much of a case left. Their case would boil down to someone shared their copyrighted files. They can't prove if it was their files. They can't prove it was the defendant. This would set a precedent for all cases to follow like the awarding of attorney's fees might be a precedent.

Re:Jury of peers (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128875)

I was on a medical malpractice jury once. And while I was the only "technical" sort on the Jury, people were really good about asking the judge questions on matters of law.

Juries are allowed to ask tons of questions to the Judge. And the Judge is the sole answer of questions on law.

Remember Jury box is one of the 4 boxes of freedom. I realize that not a lot of other people do...

Re:Jury of peers (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129961)

Speaking as someone who's been a juror I am detecting some sour grapes. Yes I didn't want to be sitting in court for almost a week. Sure it sucked but guess what? I took my job as juror seriously. I understood the future of someone was placed in our hands. Yes there was one person that fit your description as an apathetic juror but the rest of us were able to get over ourselves and do the job. There are ways to explain a very technical subject to a tech illiterate. I did it all the time during my stint as technical helpdesk rep. I was able to explain to an 80 year old how her PC spoke to the internet and and have her comprehend enough empower her troubleshoot her own issue. If I can do this I'm fairly confident this lawyer will be able to explain the technical side of the case to the jurors. I doubt they Jury will be filled with 80 year olds. Another thing that made me take the case I was sitting in on seriously was the hope that if I ever found myself having to deffend myself in court I would have a Jury that would take the job just as serious as we did. Not everyone sherks their responcibilities.

Re:Jury of peers (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130863)

Very right. My own legal troubles were an awakening. The last thing law is about is justice. Bottom line: deep pockets win. The RIAA knows that simply by making people go through the hassle of going to court, this alone could have an impact. As a matter of fact, you can keep taking someone to court ad infinitum (seemingly), without a prayer of winning, but the trouble of it alone can destroy your mind, soul and bank account.

"Justice in America is the best money can buy...." --Will Rogers

Re:Jury of peers (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19131201)

Granted, it may not be the end of it all, but quite honestly... they have to start somewhere. Your or I could drive down the road drunk, smoking pot while speeding and reckless driving... get CAUGHT, pay your fines over the phone and have less fines than the 10 year old with shared music on his computer. And THAT kid has to go to court and pay a lawyer.

So, where do we start? Do we just let them keep taking more and more slack until someone stands up. Up until recently, there hasn't been anyone that has the knowledge or money to do it.

I'm not really condoning free distribution worldwide, but I do think prices have been a bit too high even before P2P. Not only that, but I think that the more successful bands are just that, because their music is put together well enough to support concert sales.

I think that it should be a set small fine with an increasing fine for more offenses. They'll get a smack on the hand and more than likely not do it again. But, taking entire families to court for thousands and thousands of dollars, is completely rediculous. The crackhead down the road who busted your window out and stole your case of $200 CD's gets away with less hassle.

I'm not flaming you.. in fact, I respect your opinion. And you're right about it not making a huge difference.... BUT, when people make it public about who is being affected and the boundaries that are really being stepped over, small cases like this will influence more people to think of a way to at least draw up some guidelines and formal procedures for future incidents.

My Cousin Johan (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128351)

Johan: "I don't think da two youts downloaded any illegal music".
Judge: "Youts? Did you say youts?"
Johan: "Yeah ... da two youts."
Judge: "What's a yout?"
Johan: "Why don't you ask Dr. Jacobson? He's supposedly the expert here."
Judge: "Dr. Jacobson, what's a yout?"
Jacobson: "I believe it's a file type used for illegal music downloads, your honor."
Johan: "Da defenses rests, your judgeship".

+1 My Cousin Vinnie (1, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128393)

Fred's finest hour.

Re:+1 My Cousin Vinnie (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128513)

For those not in in the know, the parent is referring to Fred Gwynne [imdb.com] , who played Judge Chamberlain Haller in My Cousin Vinny. Fred Gwynne, btw, is also well-known for playing Herman Munster.

That's OK.... (3, Funny)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128359)

he'll never be able to appear in the US, someone will just have him added to the do-not-fly list... after all, he's got a foreign sounding name... that's enough for a start...

Re:That's OK.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128479)

he'll never be able to appear in the US, someone will just have him added to the do-not-fly list... after all, he's got a foreign sounding name... that's enough for a start...


Done and done.

The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (5, Informative)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128409)

As soon as congress passes the magical and majestic Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

1. Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright.
2. Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
3. Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations.
4. Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention regulations.
5. Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes.

and my favorite,

6. Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America.

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com]

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128485)

2. Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
For those of you having a heart attack, from the link: "Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it."

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128929)

From TFA: "Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who 'recklessly causes or attempts to cause death' can be imprisoned for life." That means if you use pirated software and it causes someone's death it will be considered similar to premeditated murder. That is why the Justice Department uses the example of a hospital, as that is one of the few places where software can cause someone's death. I can't imagine a case where the software on a home computer would cause death (all of the ideas I can think of would already merit a murder charge).

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128987)

I can't imagine a case where the software on a home computer would cause death (all of the ideas I can think of would already merit a murder charge).
I can see clippy giving someone an aneurysm. If you're using Word without clippy turned off I think that qualifies as a suicide though.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

Valtor (34080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128527)

If we get life imprisonment for using pirated software, what will be the penalty for killers, rappers, etc... ? They'll be shot on sight? This is getting ridiculous!

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128601)

No, they'll be released early due to prison overcrowding.

Soon, it will be safer "in there" than "out here", as the only people who will be on the streets will be murderers and rapists. Rappers will roam the streets in packs, grills gleaming menacingly. People will begin pirating more in order to get a prison sentence where they will be better protected.

It's counterproductive.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128663)

I wouldn't worry too much about rappers, they tend to get shot on site anyway. Tupac, Jam Master Jay, need I continue?

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128703)

Or shot on sight for that matter...

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128727)

If we get life imprisonment for using pirated software, what will be the penalty for killers, rappers, etc... ? They'll be shot on sight? This is getting ridiculous!
Well I don't know about the killers, but personally I have no problem with rappers being shot on sight. Finally an alternative use for my mime rifle!

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Funny)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128737)

what will be the penalty for killers, rappers, etc... ? They'll be shot on sight?

Aren't rappers usually shot on sight?

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128763)

If we get life imprisonment for using pirated software, what will be the penalty for killers, rappers, etc... ? They'll be shot on sight?


Rappers should be shot on sight for noise pollution. Rapists on the other hand...

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Informative)

Valtor (34080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128935)

LOL... Sorry for that! I'm a french speaking canadian. Tho I would not be against shooting rappers too ;-)

I beg to disagree with a couple of your points (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128551)

As soon as congress passes the magical and majestic Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

1. Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright.
2. Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
Step number two would criminalize approximately 50% of the current Windows users. This move would seriously hamper MS's future revenues and cannot be allowed.

3. Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations.
4. Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention regulations.
I'm assuming that you have heard, Viacom is going to have the DMCA repealed during their lawsuit with YouTube?

5. Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes.
and my favorite,
6. Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America.

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com]
I'm reasonably certain that if the DHS were to use their position/power to spy on the **AA all of these law suits would simply vanish. I'm thinking that one DHS director finding out how much less of a cut he got than senator so-and-so would put paid to that game.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128617)

has it ever occured to you to obey the fucking law and stop stealing stuff? you will be amazed how non-evil the DMCA seems then.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Funny)

seether166 (966881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128639)

Until I got to your link, I really thought you were joking. Life imprisonment?! Wow. "intended" copyright crimes? When does Tom Cruise come crashing into your house to arrest you for "future crimes" with a **AA patch on his shoulder?!

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128751)

Holy fsck! I thought you were kidding. Here I was thinking "Why did this get modded informative?" Until I noticed the link at the end of the post...and then followed and read it! Parent is very serious, folks. Another one that struck me:

* Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture


They'll be able to seize your PC like a they would a drug lord's vehicles and property. You have to be kidding me. In addition, what is a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime? How about anything running Linux with libdvdcss loaded on it! Ya know, so you can play those DVDs you legitimately purchased on equipment you own? Except that doing so is a violation of the DMCA?

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

Valtor (34080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129049)

I used to think that Linux distros wanting to be 100% free/libre and clean, like Ubuntu, were just too anal about it. Now I think it will soon be the only safe way of using a computer. Safe for the user that is, and not just safe for the computer...

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (1)

Red_Winestain (243346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129205)

Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture

They'll be able to seize your PC like a they would a drug lord's vehicles and property.

Glad I use a Mac.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129277)

Somehow I doubt that would help much.

Re:The RIAA will be getting all the help it needs, (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129471)

The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution.

(from http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com] )

In other news, the Attorney General announced that "suspicion of resisting arrest" will be added to America's criminal law under the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution.

"We feel," he said, "that police should have the power to act to detain an individual based on their well-founded suspicions that the individual might resist the lawful actions of police in detaining them."

When asked about the use of the Interstate Commerce clause, he replied, "Obviously, if an individual is going to resist arrest they may do so by crossing state lines. The Constitution is very clear on this. In fact, the President has the power acting in his capacity as Commander in Chief to use the National Guard to detain such individuals. Furthermore, anyone who attempts to avoid arrest on suspicion is obviously guilty of resisting arrest, so we don't feel that it will be necessary, or indeed possible, for this to be tested in the courts. And if anyone attempts to do so, we will simply change the charges against them to something else [wiggin.com] , like filling out a form [theglobeandmail.com] ."

Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (5, Informative)

bconway (63464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128463)

The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.

I stopped reading there. While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen. Slashdot is, in general, a technical and smart crowd, let's not pull the wool over our own eyes. It just makes us look foolish.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128557)

You are correct, but there is a difference between saying these files are available and the reality which is (normally) your upstream capacity and group organisation of p2p makes it near impossible for those files to ALL be sent from your computer to everyone else in the universe.

The RIAA should clearly link seeing the file available and actual infringements otherwise the figures quoted are just pie in the sky.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128859)

You are correct, but there is a difference between saying these files are available and the reality which is (normally) your upstream capacity and group organisation of p2p makes it near impossible for those files to ALL be sent from your computer to everyone else in the universe.

The RIAA should clearly link seeing the file available and actual infringements otherwise the figures quoted are just pie in the sky.
Yeah, the problem is they don't know of any.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (2, Insightful)

bwbadger (706071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128811)

>let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen

Sure, but it's a stupid law as it stands and it should be changed. Clearly laws like these can be changed *because they are being changed right now*, though the changes seem to be making things worse.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19131183)

bullshit. you and your thieving scum mates think its a stupid law because breaking it means you get shit for free, and lets be honest, you dont give a fuck if some content creator loses their job, fuck em eh? your like the kind of jerk who breaks the speed limit, who cares if it hurts some other person. fuck em eh?

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (5, Informative)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128845)

The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.
I stopped reading there. While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen. Slashdot is, in general, a technical and smart crowd, let's not pull the wool over our own eyes. It just makes us look foolish.

It's a perfectly valid statement to be making, the RIAA is pushing through all of the laws based on beeelionnns of $ stolen, stolen I tell you. They base the damages they are seeking on it. And yet, every peer reviewed study says it increases sales for the independent musicians - the members of the RIAA won't share detailed sales information so it's not possible to determine specifics. However, IIRC - one study found that sales jumped after every college break during which file sharing jumped.

Also check out Eric Flint's comments @ Baen books free library from back in 2002 reguarding his sales figures when he releases a book on the free elibrary. From the same collection of essays, I suggest you read the one reguarding copyright as presented in 1841 in England - pay special attention to the last paragraphs, the man is just frighteningly accurate.

Now, yes, it's illegal - not sure if it should be as the current scope of copyright law does not appear to strike a balance between the rights of society & the rights of the content producers. In that sense it needs some serious revamping. The DMCA is just bad - any law that garantees your right to fair use, but denies you access to the tools to exercise that right is bad.

So perhaps you should go back & read the whole artical & educate yourself about the whole argument not just 'stealing is wrong' - in a very real & moral sense, copyright steals from society, which is why Benjamin Franklin objected to it. The laws reguarding copyright are supposed to balance the need to compensate creative people with the rights of society at large to make use of what has been created. They do not currently balance anything.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129305)

The facts of changes in music buying habits are irrelevantr to the rights and wrongs here. if people create intellectual property they have the right to do what the fuck they want with it, including NOT giving it away for free. Unless, of yourse you are some hippie communist who thinks that the contents of a musician or software develoeprs brain are not theirs?

Oh COME ON! You pull a Javert and get a +5??? (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128903)

(In case you don't know who Javert is [wikipedia.org] , search the wikipedia)

The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.

I stopped reading there.


WHY? Just because something is illegal (this means, that some guys voted a law against it - not more, not less, period) doesn't mean that it will automatically hurt the sales of the record companies. Yes, downloading songs is illegal. But so is protesting against president Chavez if you live in Venezuela. The moral and ethics of music piracy are NOT at discussion at this point. What is at discussion is: a) Whether Marie Lindor actually infringed copyright, and b) whether she made the RIAA lose thousands of dollars in music sales.

Prof. Pouwelse did an empyrical analysis, and this means SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, proving that just because people downloaded a song from the internet, doesn't make the RIAA lose sales from it. This can have a tremendous impact on RIAA's fines, because if you only made them lose 1 cent by downloading a song from the internet, the stratospheric fines they're asking you to pay might only become a small fine of ten bucks.

Re:Let's stop deluding oureslves, shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19130371)

well said, far too often slashdot readers like to portray themselves as some kind of anti-establishment robin hood, when all they generally are doing is saving a few bucks by copying other peoples hard works.

Legal != Right (1)

Khammurabi (962376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130469)

While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen.
Reminder: (legal != right) && (illegal != wrong)

Just because a law exists saying something is illegal does not mean that law is right or just. For reference, you can examine the laws of any dictatorship or fascist government.

Fair use and not-for-profit media distribution has a definite place in society, and the fact that piracy is still quite rampant means that we have yet to find an acceptable place for it yet. Cowering before those who have money or power is not an acceptable response.

I'm telling you, I have the solution to this ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128591)

All we have to do is somehow get the RIAA in a legal fight with the Scientologists...

Re:I'm telling you, I have the solution to this .. (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128995)

All we have to do is somehow get the RIAA in a legal fight with the Scientologists...

That would be an AWESOME steel-cage match. "Two litigious organizations go in, only one comes out!" Reminds me of when I tried to get the Mormons and the Baptists at the office to duke it out. Good times.

Of course, the danger is they might combine and form a more powerful entity, a la "Nomad" (or "V'ger").

Re:I'm telling you, I have the solution to this .. (1)

imikem (767509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130641)

Oh Noooes!! ScientAAlogy! Body Thetans that are lawyers. We're all doomed.

The Netherlands sez: America has no privacy. (5, Interesting)

KutuluWare (791333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128707)

One of the links in the summary goes to the judgement on appeal from a case in the Netherlands of the RIAA (or whatever their equivalent is... there's like 35 plaintiffs) vs. some ISPs. The court ruled, twice, that the ISPs didn't have to turn over names & addresses based on the list of IPs the music companies gave them. The main reason was because the court didn't believe that MediaSentry was a proper means of obtaining them.

One of the reasons they didn't like MediaSentry was this:

The Preliminary Injunction Court also considered the fact that MediaSentry is an American company and that the United States of America could not be considered to be a country that has an appropriate protection level for personal data
At least the rest of the world has figured out what most of us Americans haven't: America's right to privacy is a rapidly disappearing illusion.

Re:The Netherlands sez: America has no privacy. (1)

Alkonaut (604183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128941)

I have a broadband connection from an ISP I trust will *never* leave my name or address to a third party, unless that third party is a government agency and I am a suspect in an investigation of a very serious crime.


That amount of privacy is what expect and accept. Anything less is to me totally unacceptable, and I will cancel my broadband subscription the same day that my ISP gives a single name to a third party.

Re:The Netherlands sez: America has no privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19129139)

America's right to privacy is a rapidly disappearing illusion.

Along with the rest of our rights.

Government needed a Constitutional amendment before it could outlaw sale and posession of alcohol, the amendment mentioned only alcohol, and was then repealed. Fast forward a couple of decades and hemp is outlawed and Constitution be damned. George Washington said "Nothing settles the evening meal like a good bowl of hemp." Under today's laws, the father of our country would be a criminal!

If they needed to amend the Constituton to outlaw alcohol, why didn't they have to amend it to outlaw hemp? Because the Supreme Court says that the Constitution says whatever Congress says it says? That's what they ruled when Lessig tried to get the Bono Act (unlimited copyright terms) declared unconstitutional.

Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop Out (5, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128749)

The RIAA only has power because we enable it. With the exception of the random but rare story about some grandma in Peoria who didnt have p2p, the vast majority find themselved bullied by the RIAA because they coveted some drivel being peddled by an RIAA member. Stop buying it, stop borrowing it, stop stealing it, stop listening to it and the RIAA has no power at all. Those that continue to support the RIAA's causes either legally or illegally are entitled to do nothing other than stop bitching about it.

don't forget the artists (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128949)

A large enough call to every artist to not sign any RIAA contracts would have a bigger impact, because people might actually do that. Stop listening to music that you think defines your style/personality? why not ask to stop breathing?

Re:don't forget the artists (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129249)

Some would argue that if your playing the good little consumer and basing your style and personality on what some record company shill is pushing on you then you really have neither you've just cloned someones elses idea of what they should be.

Oh what an original tought! (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130737)

perhaps you would explain how your plan(?) solves the problem of RIAA having the money to corrupt the US? As far as I can tell people want to be clones to a certain extent. You didn't get that idea to be original all by yourself, now did you?

Re:Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop Out (2, Insightful)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19131433)

Just like deleting spam from my mailbox will stop spammers and scammers from flooding everyones mailbox ? Yeah, right...
It only takes a minority of paying idiots to give these people the funds to keep on bugging the rest of us.
And in the case of RIAA, I'm sure they have plenty of dough in their coffers to go to war with and outlast most grassroots attempts at heightening consumer awareness.

<sarcasm>Voting with our wallet probably hurts them less than copyright infringement</sarcasm>

Let me see if I've got the story so far (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19128775)

NYCL seeks to exclude Jacobson on the basis of a failure to meet the standards of expert testimony as laid out in Daubert.
Plaintiff writes back that: A) Mediasentry's function is evident, and therefore not in need of expert testimony: it merely reports what's out there.
B) Nobody disputes that somewhere out there was a computer with the material in question.
C) Esteemed expert Jacobson's job was to associate that computer in B with a person. Using means too magical to describe, Jacobson did that.
D) In any case, defendant doesn't have their own expert witness.

So the same day, NYCL responds to D), by announcing their own expert.
A-C are wrong too, of course. If mediasentry were what the letter claimed it was, it would be Kazaa, not mediasentry. Since it is not Kazaa, there is no way to tell (beyond mere faith) that there actually is a computer out there with that stuff on it, and not some fiction caused by a corrupt/imperfect implementation of Kazaa's protocols, or the software to display it. And we all know that the esteemed expert's methodology has demonstrable error, but no way to quantify that error.

pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19128891)

what a bunch of hypocrits and liars. you like music but you're unwilling to pay for it? get a life.

Re:pathetic (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129045)

Even more pathetic is somebody rambling about arguments that weren't made, and arguing based on gross generalizations... (if I make music, and I want it to be shared freely, it is legal, no generalizations you make can change that). Take your own advice, loser.

A couple of monts later.... (5, Informative)

kwark (512736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129117)

"It was Prof. Pouwelse's scathing analysis of the RIAA's MediaSentry 'investigations' (PDF) in a case in the Netherlands that caused the courts in that country to direct the ISPs there not to turn over their subscribers' information (PDF), thus nipping in the bud the RIAA's intended litigation juggernaut in that country."

And a couple of months later Brein (the dutch ..AA equiv.) won a case against UPC (an ISP), forcing them to hand over the subscribers information: http://zoeken.rechtspraak.nl/resultpage.aspx?snelz oeken=true&searchtype=ljn&ljn=AY6903&u_ljn=AY6903 [rechtspraak.nl]
(in dutch btw).

Re:A couple of monts later.... (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19129187)

Yes, but that was a much different kind of case, one based on real evidence.....

Dr. Pouwelse's qualifications... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19130745)

...do not seem to be any better than Prof. Jacobson's. He is a fresh PhD (thesis topic is on low-power computer architecture), and has only recently looked at P2P issues. What are his qualifications to "debunk" Jacobson's testimony?

Is he a professional engineer? Does he know the definition of inculpate?

Several centuries ago, (1)

rajkiran_g (634912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19130939)

when one hears the word pirate, the image that comes to the mind is that of a wicked looking man with a gun and a cutlass exhorting money from a miserable looking woman with a child in one hand (the victim).

Today, that image seems to have been reversed. With RIAA/MPAA with their arsenal of lawyers being the "victims" of piracy whose existence is threatened by school kid "pirates"

Medieval Warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19131099)

Sweet Jesus, I'm tired of academic bullshit. I really don't see why they just haven't dropped them on a giant island style and just let them have at it Battle Royale style with a blow torch, hand grenades, and some kitchen equipment from Grandma's attic.
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