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RIAA Backtracks After Embarrassing P2P Defendant

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lack-of-forethought-gets-them-every-time dept.

Music 255

Harmony writes "When the RIAA sued Sgt. Nicholas Paternoster, it included a screenshot of a shared folder with over 4,600 files — some of which were pornographic images unrelated to the case. Last week, the RIAA got permission from a judge to, as a 'professional courtesy,' swap out the original exhibit for one with only the 350+ songs the defendant is accused of sharing on Kazaa. The RIAA's carelessness may come back to haunt it, however: 'After the suit was filed — and the exhibit made public — Sgt. Paternoster decided to fight back, filing a counterclaim accusing the RIAA of violating his privacy and seeking to "shame Counter-Plaintiff... into giving in to their unreasonable demands regarding their copyrighted materials."'"

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255 comments

Sgt. WHAT? (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056011)

Sgt. Pornstar?

Re:Sgt. WHAT? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056053)

Pater noster = Our Father in Latin. Kinda ironic, in the loose sense of the term ...

AS an apology! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056091)

The RIAA agent offered to take his mother to a monster truck show. Rather than declining, she did accept the offer and had a great time. Grrrrrraaaaavvvveeee DIGGER!

Re:Sgt. WHAT? (1)

Javarufus (733962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057137)

Sgt. Pornstars' lonely hearts club band, we hope your countersuit goes well...

Maybe that was the version of The Beatles classic that he downloaded that can be seen in the newly provided folder. However, I did recognize all of the porn from the previous folder.

Better article (5, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056021)

The linked article is pretty light on content. It does have a link to this article [knoxnews.com] which actually goes into detail about the countersuit.

Re:Better article (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056067)

"We try to be fair and reasonable in resolving these cases," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. "Our aim is not to be in court, but to seek appropriate retribution for the damage done to the industry."
Duckworth then resumed dusting and polishing each gold coin in the RIAA's money bin. [scrooge-mcduck.com]

Re:Better article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056157)

"We try to be fair and reasonable in resolving these cases," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. "Our aim is not to be in court, but to seek inappropriate retribution for the damage we have done to the industry, from innocent parties."


Fixed + she muttered a few words under her breath the reporter apparantly didn't notice.

Re:Better article (5, Interesting)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056803)

Interesting choice of words too. They're not interested in compensation. They want retribution. I have a feeling if they could extract the payment in blood they'd take that route.

Re:Better article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20057391)

Interesting choice of words too. They're not interested in compensation. They want retribution. I have a feeling if they could extract the payment in blood they'd take that route.

You cross the mob, they get retribution.
What else did you expect?

Re:Better article (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056921)

We try to be fair and reasonable in resolving these cases," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. "Our aim is not to be in court, but to seek appropriate retribution for the damage done to the industry

Another interresting choice of words : not the artist, but "the industry" ... A slip-of-the-tongue perhaps ?

Funny : the captcha is "embezzle"

Actually, I believe her (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056927)

The RIAA doesn't want to be in court. In court, their claims could be debunked, while in a settlement, where you pretty much plead guilty, they don't have to prove nothing. Even innocent people would rather go and settle for 2k bucks if they can't afford a 10k lawsuit battle.

Re:Better article (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057201)

"We try to be fair and reasonable in resolving these cases," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. "Our aim is not to be in court, but to seek appropriate retribution for the damage done to the industry."

Duckworth then resumed dusting and polishing each gold coin in the RIAA's money bin.


QUACK, Ms. Duckworth. QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK Ms. Duckworth.

Sue em all (3, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056029)

He should also go after Mediasentry if they were responsible for obtaining his information and dishing it off to the US Department of RIAA

Re:Sue em all (4, Insightful)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056555)

How is a screenshot of his shared files (available to anyone on kazaa) anything *but* public information not subject to search & seizure laws?

People can browse the shares of others all day on this service. It's public information on a public network. Nothing here required a warrant.

The content shared was more than enough cause to allow the copyright holder to request identifying information from the ISP (this may have required a warrant, IANAL).

Sure, if it was a kid or a dead grandma, we'd all have every right to be pissed off, but it wasn't some innocent bystander this time.

Re:Sue em all (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056847)

The list of shared files is public, but the connection between the list of shared files and the real identity of the person sharing can only be obtained with a court order or by the ISP publishing the information (which will almost certainly violate their privacy policy and various data protection laws).

Publishing the sub-set of this information required for the lawsuit is acceptable disclosure, publishing unrelated information is not. While analogies are often misleading, this one might work:

Consider a prosecution for producing something like methamphetamine. It would be acceptable for the prosecution to enter as evidence (and thus make public) the information that the defendant had purchased certain precursor chemicals at a pharmacist. It would not be acceptable for them to publish that the defendant had also purchased STD medicines (for example) at the same time, and this publication.

Porn (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056047)

Porn? On the web - showing up on my PC? Whoooa !!! Whatz next?

Possession a crime? (4, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056055)

From the more detailed article:

"Paternoster was unaware that the Kazaa software was installed on his computer. While on a tour of duty in Germany from 2004 to 2005, the document says, another soldier downloaded the software and set up a Kazaa account under Paternoster's name. Last summer Paternoster discovered the software and 'thousands of files downloaded on his computer by the soldiers he housed,' and he uninstalled the software and deleted the files, according to the document."

So, is unknowing possession a crime in this case? Let the poor analogies begin...

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056095)

So, its like his mates obtained copies of cars without permission... ah scrap the car analogy.

Re:Possession a crime? (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056179)

"Unknowing possession" is the argument put forth by every sneak thief and druggie who ever got caught with something illegal on their person. The courts are used to trying cases where that is used as an argument. In this case, if the computer really was commonly left unattended in a place accessible by a large number of people, it will be difficult to fix legal responsibility on the titular owner.

I think the fact that they intentionally put out images of content that they don't own the rights to, and have no legal standing to sue regarding, does put them in an actionable position, especially given the nature of the content. Their whole information gathering process is pretty shady already, but if they're routinely scanning content that they don't actually have rights to, that's much shadier.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056407)

RIAA attempts to run with parent's use of terminology at their next hearing, where a 99yr old man is charged with downloading the Dukes of Hazard theme song, among other delightful TV show theme songs.

"You, sir, are hereby charged with SNEAK THIEVERY and LUDE CONDUCT, and also of being a DOWNLOADING DRUGGIE."

Re:Possession a crime? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056465)

You bring up an interesting question: Specifically, the RIAA is suing for more than one man's share of the cost of creation of those songs, ie, they're 'recovering' profits that they 'would' have had. Profits being the key word. So if they use copyrighted (which you'd better believe all porn is) materials that are not related in a case with the intent to make a profit, have they actually gone out of the way to compensate the pornographers? I'd bet no...

I've said it once I'll say it again, won't somebody please think of the pornographers???

Or at least some sort of legal clause somewhere that says you're not allowed to sue for any grevance you yourself are actively commiting against someone else.

Re:Possession a crime? (3, Insightful)

jettawu (1030820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056537)

Their whole information gathering process is pretty shady already, but if they're routinely scanning content that they don't actually have rights to, that's much shadier.
Yea, and considering that rights to content is exactly what they're arguing about...

I don't really understand. It seems fairly obvious to me that they are using their position/power/money to get what they want, but in the process they seem to be making a mockery of the very laws that they think others are breaking.

How do they think any of this is helping them?

Re:Possession a crime? (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056739)

You have to understand that they're crapping their pants at the potential loss of the bulk of their revenue generation. Digital distribution is the end of the gravy train for them; no more surge of customers buying the same content every time they change the format.

So what do they do? They try to kill it, whether it's trying to shut down web radio through massive fee increases, trying to stifle online music sales through use of restrictive DRM schemes, trying to prevent CD copying through hugely invasive software installs, or trying to stifle "free" file sharing by intimidation through massive lawsuits.

Their goal isn't to protect their content, their goal is to protect their revenue stream, which means intimidate the bulk of the sheep to the point where they'll go out and buy the content...preferably more than once so they can listen to it on multiple devices.

Re:Possession a crime? (0, Offtopic)

eboot (697478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056569)

Look it really wasn't my weed, I was just holding it for someone, you gotta believe me...

Re:Possession a crime? (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056691)

Not really a fair comparison. For a solder with roommates it is right up there with claiming if you found pot in a dorm that everybody in the dorm was in possession.
Many people have NO idea what is on their computer. A modern PC with a large HD is a very big place in which you can loose data. I would think that the huge number of systems running zombies and open mail relays is proof enough of reasonable doubt in this case.
The fact that the RIAA published images that they had no rights to seems to me to make them just as guilty as the anybody using a P2P program. They took copyrighted material that they had no rights to and published it for their own proposes. If ignorance of the law is no excuse for P2P users then the RIAA doesn't have a leg to stand on..

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056987)

Not really a fair comparison. For a solder with roommates it is right up there with claiming if you found pot in a dorm that everybody in the dorm was in possession.

That's what constructive or presumptive possession is all about. The government has long since learned that in situations where it's difficult to prove any actual crime, it's easy to change the law so the burden is effectively on the defendant.

Re:Possession a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20057163)

And yet for some strange reason, if you hear you are being investigated and shred all the evidence, it's OK, if you think it's legal to do so. What a joke of a legal system.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057069)

A modern PC with a large HD is a very big place in which you can loose data.

Just yesterday, I started a download of a new release of KnoppMyth. Then I went and had some tea. When I came back in about twenty minutes to burn the ISO, I found that Firefox had renamed the file with a "(2)" - sure enough, I had already downloaded the same ISO previously, and just forgot about it.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20057251)

A modern PC with a large HD is a very big place in which you can loose data.
This is true, after all, information wants to be free.

Re:Possession a crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056949)

...it will be difficult to fix legal responsibility on the titular owner.

Hehe... he said "titular"

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056995)

In this case, if the computer really was commonly left unattended in a place accessible by a large number of people, it will be difficult to fix legal responsibility on the titular owner.

Then why is it no crime when a computer participates in a DDoS as a trojan infected drone? Just because judges can't see that being physically unattended or trojan infected with a user in front of it that does neither know nor care is no difference? A lot of computers currently connected to the net are (logically, not physically) unattended and accessible by a large number of people. Where's the difference?

Re:Possession a crime? (4, Funny)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056209)

It's like this guy lent his car to his buddies and they used it to pick up a bunch of skin mags and cds which they left in the back seat. Then he threw away the magazines and cds, but traffic cameras show that his car was used to get the ill-gotten merchandise, so now he's on the hook.

No, wait, it's more like he lent his garage to his buddies and they filled the rafters with hookers and rock stars.

Man, this is harder than I thought.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056435)

or perhaps it's like this Michael Vick guy who lets his friend use his Virginia estate and lo and behold gets charged with dog fighting. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/490355,CST-SPT-swir e31.article [suntimes.com]

I'd suspect more /.ers think Vick is likely responsible for the crime he's charged with than the Sergeant in question in the article. My guess on that would be the nearness of his activities to us geeks or our unwillingness to consider copyright violation a proper crime/civil liability. Or perhaps we just assume that everyone else is a stereotypical non-geek and is incapable of understanding the internet box they bought.

mmm.... double standard mmm... donut.

Re:Possession a crime? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056789)

I'll play.

On one hand, we have a guy who downloaded some songs on the Internet, which he presumably then listened to.

On the other hand, we have a guy who ran an illegal operation on his property, called "Bad Newz Kennels" where fighting dogs were bred and then tortured and killed if they lost a fight.

One of these things is not like the other...

Now if Vick had been forcing RIAA lawyers to get into a pit and fight to the death, and then hang or drown the loser, we'd really have something to work with.

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056861)

But both are causes for legal action. One criminal, the other civil, differentiating them, as you do, by their severity. The fact remains that both are "illegal" and can land you in hot water. Don't like it: work to change the laws.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Insightful)

1729 (581437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057121)

or perhaps it's like this Michael Vick guy who lets his friend use his Virginia estate and lo and behold gets charged with dog fighting.

Vick's not accused of simply owning the property on which dogfights were staged. Rather, the case against him is that Vick bought property for the purpose of running "Bad Newz Kennels", financed a dogfighting operation, personally killed (by brutal means) a number of dogs, and was a principal conspirator in the operation. So it's really not like Sgt. Paternoster's case at all.

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057225)

1. prove Vick's motivation was as stated. Recurse back to the unknowing possession entry point above.

or

2. prove Sgt. Paternoster *didn't* buy his computer for the purpose of copyright infringement. again, recurse to the unknowing possession entry point above.

itsatrap!!

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

HamsterRabies (1124759) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056319)

"While on a tour of duty in Germany from 2004 to 2005, the document says, another soldier downloaded the software and set up a Kazaa account under Paternoster's name."

Let's just think that statement through. If they can provide evidence that shows the said program was installed while he was away, then I would say he is pretty set.

The problem remains that if they can show he was accessing his own personal email accounts in the same period of time that songs were being delivered or acquired- then it won't matter who did it.

I am also unclear how they legally obtained screenshots of Mr. Paternoster's computer and will agree that, unless there is a warrant that allowed there to be a digital search, they should not have done what they did.

It is very clear in the law that evidence shall include only that which is relevant to the charges being brought against the defendent.

"Lucy...you got 'splainin to doo."

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056511)

The problem remains that if they can show he was accessing his own personal email accounts in the same period of time that songs were being delivered or acquired- then it won't matter who did it.
I certainly hope they can't prove that.

The Media Sentry stuff is bad enough, if the RIAA, a private organization with no investigative authority, can view people's web browsing habits then this is worse than I thought.

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057033)

Would be no problem in the EU. With data retention for at least 6 months, all they'd have to do is ask the respective government for the connection data.

No analogy needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056353)

Posession is the crime. The circumstances which surround it help decide if charges are pressed or if the defendant is found guilty but the actual cries is in the posession.

Re:Possession a crime? (1)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056551)

As others have pointed out, ignorance is generally not an excuse. And I don't have an analogy, poor or otherwise. But the picture we're getting from the newspaper shows a soldier away on active duty for his country, returning home, finding this situation, and correcting it. (He deleted the files.) Seems to me the RIAA has stepped into another pile of P.R. poo with this one--not to mention ethical and moral poo. Soldiers on active duty would rank right up there with single working moms, elderly grandmas, small children, and the recently bereaved as folks you just don't want to harass. It doesn't read too well in the newspaper article.

Re:Possession a crime? (2, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057223)

'' As others have pointed out, ignorance is generally not an excuse. ''

Stop right there. Ignorance of the law is no excuse; if you commit a crime then it doesn't matter whether you knew or not that it was illegal.

Ignorance _is_ often an excuse because it makes the difference between actually having committed a crime or not. Lets say at a car park you put your coat on the back of my car while you tie your shoelaces. I drive away in my car - with your coat on it. If I knew that your coat was there, it is theft. If I didn't know it was there, it is no theft.

In this case, ignorance that someone used your computer to infringe someone's copyright is most definitely an excuse.

Sound familiar? (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057149)

"This put Dan in a dilemma. He had to help her--but if he lent her his computer, she might read his books."

With these sorts of lawsuits flying around, people are going to start having to be very careful about who they allow to use their computer.

New plan (5, Funny)

Tabernaque86 (1046808) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056089)

1)Download lots of porn
2)Download handful of songs
3)Wait for RIAA
4)File a counter-suit
5)PROFIT!!!

It would be nice! But.... (3, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056135)

See one of the articles links... [arstechnica.com]

Vasquez believes that the RIAA could be vulnerable to charges of malicious prosecution, but even that would be difficult. "It would likely take someone on the inside testifying that the RIAA pursued people that it knew were innocent," Vasquez explained. "Then there would be a serious risk of malicious prosecution. But you've got to have them cold."

The article goes into why a RICO prosecution is really just good PR and probably wouldn't work in court.

Re:New plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056197)

Wow, you totally killed that.

Just what I've heard.... (1)

verybadradio (1129207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056099)

I've heard that when using a program such as Kazaa, or Limewire, if you limit the sharing folder to one folder, and then transfer the files you've downloaded out of that folder when you're done, you're safe. Can anyone confirm this?

On the other hand, this approach wouldnt allow anyone to download if everybody did it.

Re:Just what I've heard.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056293)

so you are here asking people how to steal stuff and get away with it. probably whilst whining that 'teh mafiaaa are teh evil'
get a grip.

Defamation (1)

b0z0n3 (1086487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056101)

Hmm lawsuits for defamation of character are quite common and, hopefully, quite easy to win *Rubs hands together and laughs at the thought of how much RIAA wil pay*

Corporate Security Police (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056107)

I hope Paternoster's lawyers force the judge and the RIAA to go on record as violating evidence rules, and show damages for those porno files that are not evidence of any crime.

The RIAA, and any other complainant (like you or me, if we file a complaint) has to identify the "stolen" property in specific detail, and the police must seize only that property under a specific court order.

The police state tyranny of extorting suspects by confiscating all their property they need to live and work was already in violation of our rights protected by the Fourth Amendment [cornell.edu]. Corporations using the police as a mercenary army is fascism: government by, for, but not of, corporations. Using coercion and intimidation as the fear to enforce corporate government "discipline".

Re:Corporate Security Police (2, Informative)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056471)

The screenshot was a grab from another computer simply examining the shared files he had available.

Public information.

No warrant needed.

Re:Corporate Security Police (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056567)

Good point. If you publish your porn collection, you can't be defamed by further publication, even by a hostile party.

Re:Corporate Security Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20057387)

Moral of the story: if you share browsable libraries of mp3s and porn, do each on a different P2P network.

Expose (4, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056109)

Hopefully he'll get a nice fat settlement. I mean the RIAA was expecting it out of him just for downloading some songs..what if he had exposed some of their embarassing info? They'd be wanting his head on a stick.

Re:No way to embarass them (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056491)

...what if he had exposed some of their embarrassing info?

Like what? That they are suing children?

Re:No way to embarass them (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056773)

I was thinking something along the lines of a memo that said something to the effect of:

"We need a lot of people to sue. Priority on children, the poor, and the very old. Even if they can't pay up, we can cut 80% off of our original demand and still look good in the end. There will be a bonus for whoever gets the biggest settlement; I need to make a yacht payment this month."

RIAA's ideas of property and ownership (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056117)

Looks like RIAA is to goblins, what muggles are to wizards. Their (RIAA's and goblin's) idea of property, ownership etc are remarkably similar.

In The Deathly Hallows by JKR there is this conversation: (nah, it is not a spoiler. Don't worry.)

"You don't understand, Harry, nobody could understand unless they have lived with the goblins. To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is its maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs."

"But if it was bought ---"

"---then they would consider it rented by one who had paid the money. They have, however, great difficulty with the idea of goblin-made objects passing from wizard to wizard. [snip] I believe he thinks, as do the fiercest of his kind, that it ought to have been returned to the goblins once the original purchaser died. They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft."

Re:RIAA's ideas of property and ownership (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056169)

You really need to get laid.

Re:RIAA's ideas of property and ownership (0, Offtopic)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056213)

Wow. So is JKR subtly poking at copyright laws, or is it a happy coincidence?

btw, I haven't read the book yet, and almost didn't read your post after I saw the words "Deathly Hallows". Do you know how hard it is to avoid spoilers on the internet? =/

dobby lupin tonks moody & fred_weasley (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056267)

die.

Re:dobby lupin tonks moody & fred_weasley (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056369)

You really need to get laid...

Re:RIAA's ideas of property and ownership (2, Interesting)

andphi (899406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056561)

******************
SPOILER ALERT *
******************

Interestingly enough, Rowling seems to settle the ownership question fairly definitively when Neville Longbottom pulls a literal Gryffindor hat-track at the end of the book - one almost identical to the hat-trick Harry uses at the end of the Chamber of Secrets. So the goblin-made object truly belongs to the wizard who bought it.

Re:RIAA's ideas of property and ownership (3, Funny)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056667)

Bravo Bravo. In the most amusing form of irony your post is now considered copyright violation as fair use effectively no longer exists. So your copyright infringement post to explain the mentality of copyright infringement claims by the RIAA is incredible. You get +1 Irony and +1 Slashdot Analogy and yet another +1 Shoulda been Fair Use. I am however sad to inform you that you also get a -1 Harry Potter Reference. But all in all good show.

"Sgt. Paternoster" (3, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056187)

No seriously, this is troll, right? Not even the RIAA would be dumb enough to sue someone named "Sgt. Paternoster."

Are the people at RIAA really that stupid? (4, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056245)

It boggles the mind. You've heard of the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Here we have the Three Stooges of copyright enforcement. Oh, a wise guy, eh? Wo-wo-wo-wo.

Except the Three Stooges were funny and, overall, I think they could do a better job of copyright enforcement.

Re:Are the people at RIAA really that stupid? (2, Funny)

Cap'nPedro (987782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057487)

Famine, Death, Pestilence and War? Sounds like the RIAA to me...

Wait...wait... (4, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056295)

He was in GERMANY when this happened? I know he's a US citizen, downloading RIAA "protected" songs, and probably in US territory (i.e. bases) when this happened but...come on. The fact he was in Germany should mean SOMETHING to the case.

Re:Wait...wait... (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057115)

From what I can understand from the article he was in Germany when the software(Kazaa) was installed and then was used to download the 4000+ songs and porn(how big of hard drive is this).
He then was transfered back to the US where he then plugged his computer back into the internet and started to automaticlly upload the files(I presume Kazaa works this way).
He is not in trouble for downloading the files it is for uploading the files.

Re:Wait...wait... (5, Funny)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057389)

The fact he was in Germany should mean SOMETHING to the case.
All it means is that the pr0n listed as being on the computer was probably some pretty whacked out stuff.

Professional Courtesy (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056299)

What the fuck?

"You're honour, here is the gun the defendant used to kill Jane Doe"

"That looks like a hammer"

"Oh, shit. I can swap it for a gun?"

"Sure thing, let's call it a "Professional Courtesy"

Re:Professional Courtesy (5, Insightful)

jma05 (897351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056969)

Huh! Not a good analogy. Your analogy implies that they presented completely wrong evidence. They did not. But they did include along with the valid evidence, other stuff that may damage the defendant. And RIAA may further argue that the folder was presumably willingly made public by the user (who they they at that time did not know was different from the defendant) and therefore could not assume that the constituted private information.

err (5, Funny)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056303)

"We try to be fair and reasonable in resolving these cases," said RIAA
I also try not to infringe copyrights.

If they only spent half as much effort... (1)

MeditationSensation (1121241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056403)

...on improving the business model, thinking up new ways to make money by offering better goods and services, people might actually like the RIAA and spend more money. Just a thought. :-)

Re:If they only spent half as much effort... (1)

razorh (853659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056519)

Isn't that what they are doing? The music thing is just a facade now, the real business is in extoring money from the public! It might not be the business model one would think they would try.. but hey... if it works for them...

Re:If they only spent half as much effort... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057247)

Why should they? Rather, whey should they be the only ones who have a monopoly/cartel situation and still improve their product?

We're moving away from free market towards a monopolized/cartelized market. No matter where you look. "Standards" used to be tools to increase competition and thus spur innovation, by opening and documenting interfaces while also opening them for free (or nominal fees). That's why the ISA architecture [wikipedia.org] standard thrived and MCA [wikipedia.org], while being technically superior, failed.

Today's "standards" are none, anymore. They are created to keep the competition down by only allowing "certified" (i.e. carefully selected and paying) parties in the circle. Best example is maybe HDDVD/BluRay. You can't build and sell a BluRay player.

"intellectual property" has come to an end. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056669)

Perhaps musicians should finally understand that the era of recorded music having "intellectual property" has come to an end.

The time that a musician could play a song once, put it on a record, CD or whatever and sit on his ass while the money comes running in is nearly at it's end.

Little more than halve a century ago a musician had to play his music in front of an audience in order to make money.

It will not be long till this "normal situation" will return and we will remember the last halve a century as that ridicules time in which musicians usually were killing themselves with drugs or misbehaving due to the fact that they didn't have something to do.

If you think this is nonsense, then ask yourself the following question: do you think it is normal that people who sing a few nice songs make more money then the president of the US?

Re:"intellectual property" has come to an end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20056883)

Taking into account the current president....

Screenshot as evidence (5, Insightful)

huge (52607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056749)

RIAA just proved how easy it is to manipulate the screenshots. It doesn't matter if they blurred or cropped the image, it should now be crystal clear even to most tech illiterate judge how easy it is to tamper the screenshots they are proposing to use as evidence.

Re:Screenshot as evidence (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056911)

If I were defending one of these cases I would enter as evidence a fabricated screenshot showing that the members of the record company in question (get their IPs from DNS records) had infringed my copyright on something. I would clearly mark the screenshots as forgery, but ask the prosecution to prove to the standard required by the court in question that theirs are not.

Re:Screenshot as evidence (1)

jma05 (897351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057141)

> RIAA just proved how easy it is to manipulate the screenshots.

How? Judges accept lousy quality audio clips and photographs as evidence in routine cases. They can be tampered the same way as well. I am not saying that screenshots are bullet proof evidence. Just that Judges don't look for such evidence in all cases. The defendant can always contest the validity of the evidence.

Re:Screenshot as evidence (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057279)

I don't know if you realise this, but they are not showing screenshots from the defendants computer.

The RIAA is showing screenshots from the computers of that gang of hackers that they hire to spy on their victims. So it is _totally_ under their control what is in these screenshots.

Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (5, Interesting)

AngryJim (1045256) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056769)

I've been pirating like a maniac for the past 8 years or so. I've got around 500 albums on my computer that I've never paid for. I used to feel bad about it in the past, but I'm having mixed feelings at the moment.

up until about 2 years ago, I always intended to legally purchase these cds someday (No, seriously) once I get out of college and into the real world. At ~$15 each it would come to $7500, which I suppose is a lot but spread over a few years, it wouldn't really kill me. The problem is I can't stand to contribute a single cent to the sleazy companies behind the RIAA. On the other hand, I am getting a bit tired of mp3 quality and I'd like to have actual cds to rip into a lossless format.

Any suggestions? Anyone else feeling the same way?

Buy them used (2, Informative)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056933)

Then you still have legal rights to the music, but you don't support the RIAA. If you want to support the artist, buy their merchandise or attend their concerts.

Re:Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20056997)

Buy the songs you downloaded from iTunes. They're at 99 cents each. This way you clean your conscience, your legal reputation, and make sure the RIAA gets the least money possible.

On the other hand, if you really want the RIAA to stop lobbying the congress and pass stupid laws, you should give the money directly to the groups - I'm not sure how to do this, tho - and take the following measures:

- boycott the RIAA.
- Donate money to the EFF.
- Only buy songs from independent record labels.

Re:Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (1)

RedSteve (690399) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057281)

I have plenty of suggestions. Please forward your contact information and complete records of your piracy to avastyescurvydogs@riaa.org and we will be in contact with you.

Sincerely,
Cap't James Siezemore
Head of Pirate Relations
RIAA

Re:Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (2, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057435)

the way you feel is EXACTLY how most youths feel.

they feel ripped off by the 'big companies' and so they take justice into their own hands. when people feel that the cards are unfairly stacked against them, they rebel. big-time.

its easy to understand.

unless you are a media company - and those don't seem to UNDERSTAND a damned thing - they only see ways to extort dollars from 'customers'.

I hope the media companies DO crash and burn. they've had it coming for decades. even mob justice is a FORM of justice, when it comes down to it.

do what you want and feel no guilt. 'they' certainly feel no guilt about randomly suing their patrons. with all the years of price-fixing and wasted money (OUR money, really) on DRM tech - yes, I fully understand the hatred people have toward the media companies.

its well deserved. media companies are quite evil and deserve our hatred, more often than not. fight back any way you can!

Re:Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057473)

You're putting the finger right onto the problem. The only thing the mafiaa accomplished by its unscrupulous carpet bombing style lawsuits is the eradication of guilt. When the only reaction to widespread copyright infringement is that they start acting like a wounded animal, lashing out left and right, not caring who or what they hurt and harm in their frenzy, the usual sentiment is not to help but to put the raging beast to rest.

Also, their usual attempts at pleas to think of the artists is debunked quickly when you see the CD sales. If there were artists, people would actually care. Some hypecrap star, popular today, forgotten tomorrow (anyone here remembers who won American Idol 2003?) is no identification figure. But when a star of the 80s or, hell, even the 90s puts out a new disc after years of absence from the charts, it suddenly goes from 0 to 1 in its first week. Why? The songs are usually available for download weeks before the album hits the stores, still, people go out and buy that disc.

Because they like the artist, and because they truely want that artist to know they care and they do want his music, in the form the artist created it, including cover art, booklet and the whole deal. What the mafiaa fails to see is that their product is not just the music. Their product is much, much more, and if they concentrated on selling more than just a few minutes of audio rubbish, they can survive.

Re:Anyone else feeling less bad about pirating? (3, Informative)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20057477)

Used CD stores. RIAA won't get a cut from those sales (although neither will the artist) but you'll be legally purchasing at a significant discount from new material. If you want to help the artists then find their web page and order some merch direct. You can probably use the balance saved from buying used CDs vs new so it still works out to under $20/album and everyone but the RIAA gets a piece.
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