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Oregon AG Seeks to Investigate RIAA Tactics

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the investigating-the-mafiaa dept.

The Courts 114

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Turning the tables on the RIAA's attempt to subpoena information from the University of Oregon, that state's Attorney General has now filed additional papers to conduct immediate discovery into the RIAA's 'data mining' techniques. These techniques include the use of unlicensed investigators, the turning over of subpoenaed information to collection agencies, and the obtaining of personal information from computers. The AG pointed out (pdf) that 'Because Plaintiffs routinely obtain ex parte discovery in their John Doe infringement suits ... their factual assertions supporting their good cause argument are never challenged by an adverse party and their investigative methods remain free of scrutiny. They often settle their cases quickly before defendants obtain legal representation and begin to conduct discovery.'"

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21536787)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse tactics receive Oregon AG seal of approval [goatse.ch]

For crying out loud.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537325)

Has the past few days taught you nothing about how to troll? [google.com] It's not even that, at least I was creative. My new trick involves something easily found [enyara.net] that can be turned to your advantage. (latter was just an example, there are redir.php scripts all over the net)

You just look like an amateur with the same old same old. Together we could make the slashdot domain[domain.com] identification useless!

Re:For crying out loud.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21538919)

OMG! The first hit on that google search was actually worth reading!

Common Sense!? (5, Insightful)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536845)

Wow, hopefully this isn't shot down in the court system, and honestly if there's any common sense left in the courts (which there seems to be a slowly increasing amount of) it won't be. There have been far too many cases of snooping going unchecked, be it RIAA, NSA, FBI, etc.

Can't wait for updates to this one.

Re:Common Sense!? (4, Insightful)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536889)

Wow, hopefully this isn't shot down in the court system, and honestly if there's any common sense left in the courts (which there seems to be a slowly increasing amount of) it won't be. There have been far too many cases of snooping going unchecked, be it RIAA, NSA, FBI, etc.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just...doesn't belong!

Re:Common Sense!? (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537027)

Wow, hopefully this isn't shot down in the court system, and honestly if there's any common sense left in the courts (which there seems to be a slowly increasing amount of) it won't be. There have been far too many cases of snooping going unchecked, be it RIAA, NSA, FBI, etc.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just...doesn't belong!
NSA. Sorry, doing unchecked snooping is their business.

Re:Common Sense!? (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538315)

Not on American citizens, it's not.

Re:Common Sense!? (1)

spearway (169040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539371)

And who would have given them the rights on others? The Pope?

Re:Common Sense!? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537059)

My vote's on the common sense bit.

Re:Common Sense!? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537791)

That's right, one of them has a multi-million dollar lobby indirectly controlling the other two.

Criminal? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537563)

Is there any hope that they'll indict these folks with criminal charges? Especially for the "unlicensed investigators" bit?

Because I'd sure love to see MediaSentry/BayTSP get shafted like MediaDefender was. With any luck, the latter will go out of business given that they lost the better part of a million dollars over the email leak and they were already operating pretty far into the red.

Also, is there any chance of this opening them up to lawsuits from those who were "investigated"? In other words, might Oregon (or other) residents be able to file a class action even if they already settled with the RIAA?

I'd love to see more lawyers set their sights on the RIAA. When you declare war on your customers (and yes, even "pirates" buy stuff, unless they're boycotting them now), you're NOT going to win the war.

The best defense is a good offense (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540163)

Finally the offense against the RIAA is beginning to snowball. Boycotts are all very well, but this is better. No more avoiding them, waiting around to find out who the RIAA is going after next, and then springing to their defense. Been enough damage done by these rabid dogs, finally they're getting shot. Though, I'd feel better if some more mainstream states got in on the action-- Oregon has a reputation for being pretty far out sometimes. Still, it's a good start.

What's next on the offensive? A case against the MPAA for DVD region encoding, an illegal restraint of trade if ever there was one? Get DRM removed from HDMI, Blu-Ray and HD DVD? I seem to recall a consumer protection principle forbidding bundling-- the practice of forcing customers to buy and use extra "features" they don't want in order to get something they do. How about investigations and lawsuits against the RIAA for the trouble they've caused online radio? Death by a thousand cuts as the RIAA's thousands of victims, both customers who were bullied into settlement and musicians who were cheated by Hollywood accounting, come forward to demand recompense, rather like smokers did to the tobacco industry? And don't forget an assault upon the laws these goons managed to get passed. Scale copyright terms way back, that sort of thing.

Re:Common Sense!? (2, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537607)

Wow, hopefully this isn't shot down in the court system

At least one of the items listed could lead to criminal prosecution. If the AG decided to file charges it would have an enormous effect. And if other AGs in other states indicate they might follow that lead it will be some mighty nervous times for the Media Sentry boys and the lot.

This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536873)

What does this mean, if I read it correctly is this really the state department responsible for prosecuting CRIMINAL cases who has launched ON THEIR OWN an investigation of RIAA methods?

Is Oregon some red state of the US? Is the prosecutor involved to old to care about his career?

I hate to get excited over nothing but this seems like a major setback for the RIAA and their underhanded tactics. A real criminal investigation? Neat.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (4, Funny)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537007)

Oregon a redstate? Not a chance. A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids. Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537047)

Oregon a redstate? Not a chance. A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids. Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there.
Hey! I resemble that remark, you insensitive clod!

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

SpinningCycle (1191577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537363)

Actually, Oregon only has a few blue metro areas - the rest of the state is very red. Many votes are split 50/50 in the state.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537981)

Your first sentence pretty much describes the vast majority of the States.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538215)

You're right. In fact I think it can be safely labeled a purple state, since it's one of the few (the only?) states to split it's electoral college with the popular vote.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Leto-II (1509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538807)

Where did you hear that Oregon splits its electoral college votes? I have not heard this before...

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539183)

I don't know what to blame that particular brain-fart on. I think it's Maine and Nebraska actually, and I'm not sure if the change happened after the last election.

Way to go me! Posting without sleep again.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

teasea (11940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537533)

Well, I do have hairy legs, but I'm a celiac and stick mostly to meat and potatoes.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538139)

At first glance of your post I thought it said cleric. I can see how a meat eating cleric would contrast to a grain eating druid. Hairy legs for the win, though.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21538225)

Granola eating, tree hugging, hairy-toed, spotted owl kissing, and proud of it!

In fact, our favorite bumper sticker here is "Keep Portland Weird".

Let's face it: California is the only state getting any revenues from the RIAA members; every other state would rather screw them for every cent they can get.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538227)

It's a nice place to live in spite of those people anyways.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (3, Informative)

Forbman (794277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538447)

actually, most of the state, at least by county, is "red". But Multnomah and Washington Counties, Lane Co and more or less Marion County (good chunks of Portland Metro, Eugene and Salem), are "blue", which is more than 50% of the state's population. The rest of Oregon is pretty red, although it is a wide variety of "red", from Fightin' Fundies (clackamas Co), to your basic conservative farmer/rancher/logger, to a good chunk of white trash-supremists in southern oregon.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Skynyrd (25155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538695)

Oregon a redstate? Not a chance. A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids. Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there.

Yeah, but they are also heavily armed. The state is an interesting mix of liberals and rednecks.
Actually, Portland, Eugene and Ashland are fairly left, and the rest of the state is more conservative.

It's a great place to get things like organic beef, raised by small family farms. Take the best of the hippies and the rednecks, and you get a nice place to live (in much of the western 1/3 of the state). The other 2/3 is desert with no population.

Growing up in Oregon is what lead me to purchase the domain liberalredneck.org

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

jagspecx (974505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538817)

I've heard it called the "land of fruits and nuts."

(Disclaimer: Oregon native and current resident)

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0, Offtopic)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539003)

Hey, those tree-hugging druids get along REALLY well with dryads, if you know what I mean.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21539133)

> Oregon a redstate? Not a chance. A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids.
> Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there

          In most of the world that would be considered red. It is only here in the US, and even there only recently, that the colour red has come to be associated with conservatism. 'Tis a wierd country that I live in.

http://mrsquid.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539599)

A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids. Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there.

Not literally druids, I assume you mean.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21539931)

Oregon a redstate? Not a chance. A bunch of granola eating, tree hugging, hairy legged druids. Well, not literally, but the spirit is definitely there.

Politically, Oregon has two major groups: Portland, in Multnomah county, very deeply blue; and non-Portland, everywhere else, balanced with a tendency towards red. Portland tends to outnumber the rest of the state sufficiently enough to make the whole state turn out blue.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

queequeg1 (180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540043)

Well, there is also Eugene and, to a lesser extent, Corvallis and Bend.

I have actually lived in Oregon for the past 15 years (PDX for the past 12 and 3 before that down in Eugene for law school). I also help manage our family-owned tree farm outside Corvallis. So I am very familiar with Oregon's conflicted politics and that my prior description of Oregonians is a gross generalization. I suppose what I was truly getting at is that we tend to be such iconoclasts that trying to apply such a simplistic label is impossible. And I wanted to work the word "druids" into my description somehow.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (4, Informative)

jbf (30261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537133)

Don't get too happy yet. The AG's office serves as counsel to state agencies, of which U of Oregon is one. They're not launching an investigation (e.g. this is not a People vs MediaSentry); they're seeking evidence which they can use to quash the subpoena proposed by the Plaintiffs. Nothing says that the response won't result in criminal charges (unfortunately only a misdemeanor), but this is not an AG office investigation, its a discovery related to this pretrial motion.

Bah (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537705)

this is not an AG office investigation, its a discovery related to this pretrial motion.

This crap is entirely too complicated.

Let's grab our pitchforks!

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537197)

As I understand it, this is related to the RIAA asking the University of Oregon to give them the names of a dozen or so students who are suspected of inappropriate file sharing.

Most American universities have named names. The U of O has refused to help the RIAA, and the AG is helping them out. I don't think this filing will have much effect beyond this case.

Oregon is a blue state (Steven Colbert called us "California's Canada").

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (4, Interesting)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537457)

I would expect more Universities to go to bat on this, particularly after one of the preeminate law professors at Harvard issued a statement to the Universities telling them that the RIAA was full-of-it and should be fought tooth and nail because there is no case...it's taken five years to get this far and it's probably going to take another five years to get the RIAA tombstoned but so be it. On a somewhat related note, Wired ran an interesting article on Doug Morris the CEO of Universal...

Today, when he complains about how digital music created a completely new way of doing business, he actually sounds angry. "This business had been the same for 25 years," he says. "The hardest thing was to get something that somebody wanted to buy -- to make a product that anybody liked."
Just because he's a CEO doesn't mean he's Smart [wired.com]
Is anyone else really surprised, that with such a myopic attitude, that the recording industry has resorted to these sorts of tactics? It's like, come on man, businesses change...every business changes and any CEO worth his salt adjusts to those changes. Stupid assholes got caught with their pants down and now they want to change the laws of the land to take us back to 1997 when they had complete control.

The funniest thing about it to me, is at 16 year old I could see where the music industry was going. My stance on Napster was always "Create a service where I can buy songs for 99 cents a pop, get the songs I want and not an entire CD and I'll pay for the material"; iTunes came along and I have not illegally obtained a piece of music since then. Here's to Apple getting 20% more market share because I want to see this guy fail big time.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

Corporate Drone (316880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538657)

you know, this guy is a real asshat. When he tries to come up with an example that resonates with his listeners, he picks a comic strip that originated in the 30's and was in its heyday in the 50's. his target demographic's great-grandparents are likely the only ones to remember the Shmoo!

Better yet, this quote: " Instead of figuring out a way to exploit the new medium, they alternated between ignoring it and launching lawsuits against the free file-sharing networks that cropped up to fill the void. Morris insists there wasn't a thing he or anyone else could have done differently. 'There's no one in the record company that's a technologist,' Morris explains. 'That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do. It's like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?' Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn't an option. 'We didn't know who to hire,' he says, becoming more agitated. 'I wouldn't be able to recognize a good technology person -- anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me.' Morris' almost willful cluelessness is telling."

Yup, there you have it. A CEO who couldn't hire a technical person -- or worse yet, doesn't seem to realize that he should have asked for help finding one. Or maybe, just maybe, if we look beyond his "good bullshit story", we see a guy who didn't want to embrace the change, and as a result, wants us to think of him as some good-natured Mr. Bill, getting stomped on unjustly.

Yeah, cry me a river, Pops. And when you're done, go back to your Yahoo-streaming grandson, and ask him how to run your company.

Oh, and by the way -- pick a better example next time. The Shmoo was a selfless, tirelessly self-giving animal. People didn't mold and slice it against its will -- it wanted to be of service! According to the L'il Abner site http://www.lil-abner.com/shmoo.html/ [lil-abner.com] , "The Shmoo believed that the only way to happiness was to bring happiness to others... ironically, the lovable and selfless Shmoos ultimately brought misery to humankind because people with a limitless supply of self-sacrificing Shmoos stopped working and society broke down. Seen at first as a boon to humankind, they were ultimately hunted down and exterminated to preserve the status quo. " What an interesting example for Morris to give, eh? The Shmoo brought misery to people because it was so self-sacrificing; Morris's UMG Shmoo brings misery because it's so self-serving. Turn yourself into a DRM-free MP3, Shmoo-boy; that's what your adoring public wants to consume. (It'll taste more like steak than the shit you're shoveling today, too...!)

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (4, Interesting)

jimlintott (317783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538671)

Even funnier to consider in 1983, Frank Zappa said the traditional model was dead. Except for some technical details he almost precisely predicted the next model.

http://www.brendastardom.com/arch.asp?ArchID=719 [brendastardom.com]

They never did really listen to him.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539661)

They never did really listen to him.

Well, in their defense, that's because in one second he's talking about a revolutionary new business model for music distribution, and in the next he's talking about some Nuclear-Powered Pansexual Roto-Plooker.

Zappa was brilliant, but also very weird, and they probably had a hard time distinguishing when he was being which.

Besides, they never got their prototype roto-plooker working.

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (0)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538041)

The U of O has refused to help the RIAA, and the AG is helping them out. I don't think this filing will have much effect beyond this case.

As the investigation does include such things as (from NewYorkCountyLawyers' page):

--MediaSentry appears to have been conducting an investigation without an investigator's license, in violation of ORS 703.405 and ORS 703.993(s), which is a crime

...I would think that it *may* be the basis of criminal charges against them. Now, while this is an issue specific to Ohio law, the good thing is most states have very similar laws/statutes regarding such matters... that means, if OH makes this into a criminal case against the RIAA, two things happen: (1) They can no longer use such "investigative" tactics in OH, and (2) other states with similar laws can (a) by their own volition follow in similar footsteps, or (b) at the behest of people being sued by the RIAA look into that exact same manner - with, in both cases, much of the groundwork already done for them by the OH AG.

IANAL, so this is just my speculation, but it does seem to be a sensible progression of things (assuming the OH AG follows up on the criminal activities indicated - and wins).

Re:This sounds hilarious eh I mean fun (1)

J053 (673094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539487)

It's OR, not OH.

Finally ... (2, Insightful)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536887)

It's about time!

Finally (4, Interesting)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536909)

I don't want to count the chickens before they are hatched, but I think we are beginning to see a real change in the direction of this thing. Recall EMI wanting to stop funding the RIAA. There is real success happening here. Only good can come from this scrutiny. For far too long now they've been trolling the courts and beating up on the little guy. So I say Hooray for Oregon's Attorney-General.

(see comment about chickens before hatching)Although as I type this I recall the new restrictive copyright laws in Switzerland and Canada. This has tempered my optimism, but still I think things are finally changing.

Re:Finally (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537175)

The news that EMI maybe withdrawing their funding from the RIAA probably only means there's an RIAA2.0 waiting in the wings.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537221)

I don't want to be all negative here, but this would be a good time to keep your eyes open for whatever new tactics the record labels will inevitably deploy. Experience has taught that whenever this much money is involved, the parties responsible do not so easily give up. Instead they appear to give up, only to come back in a worse guise.

Real life is much like Dragonball Z, in that way...

Re:Finally (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537637)

Now if only we could speed up the justice system so it could move as quickly as a Dragonball Z fight....

Re:Finally (1)

Senzei (791599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537911)

Have you actually watched any Dragonball Z fights? I don't think our justice could afford to do that much more useless standing around yelling at each other than they already do.

Re:Finally (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538057)

Careful how you reply. My sarcasm levels are over 5000.

Re:Finally (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539245)

But are they over NINE THOUSAND???

Re:Finally (1)

Senzei (791599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539743)

Well, mine just peaked over 7000, and are still climbing. rrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Re:Finally (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537737)

Dragonball Z trial...

Please make your opening statements.

Rrrrrrraaaaaaaaa!!
Rrrrrrraaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggg!!!
Rrrraaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!

20 minutes later...

Rrrraaaaaaaarrrrrrhhhhhhh!!

Court will recess for 23 hours, 30 minutes.

About time!!!! (4, Interesting)

8127972 (73495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536911)

One can only hope that:

1. Other states copy this (not to mention the feds).
2. The RIAA gets some sense and backs down.
3. The public can enjoy their music without fear of being involved in a witch hunt.

I'm likely dreaming, but one can dream can't they?

Re:About time!!!! (4, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537503)

I don't think it's likely that any state is going to allow people to just download stuff for free without consequence. The issue here is whether the current methods being employed are illegal, denying defendants their rights through threats and suchlike.

I think it's likely that file sharing as it exists will die a death in the not too distant future. I also think that's its the reason for most of this draconian crap to start with, we are, as it were, all to blame.

Its very easy to point the finger at the RIAA and blame them. You can indeed get angry at them for their methods, but not their aim, which is to shut down illegal file sharing.
Even if, and I doubt this bit, it is harming the recording industry, who gives a crap. What I'm thinking about is the billions that could be made, boosting the economy, by providing cheap streaming media content. That's what the RIAA should have been concentrating on. I'm astonished that they had all that money, all those lawyers, and they still donkeyed it from day one.

Personally I long for the day when I can dial up the days entertainment on the net and have it delivered to me as and when I want, in the form I want, via a nice fat pipe to my house. I expect to pay for it too. I can't be alone in this thought.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538263)

Personally I long for the day when I can dial up the days entertainment on the net and have it delivered to me as and when I want, in the form I want, via a nice fat pipe to my house. I expect to pay for it too. I can't be alone in this thought.
You're not.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538327)

Damn preview button, always moving about.

Anyway, that's what I want. And they can go ahead and track what shows I'm watching and add targeted commercials. I don't care (I just don't need to see anymore Vagisil ads, sorry I don't have any use for that product.) just give me the media I want, how and when I want it.

Re:About time!!!! (2, Insightful)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538285)

I don't think it's likely that any state is going to allow people to just download stuff for free without consequence.

Why not? Nobody is being hurt. Copyright is actually the curtailing of the public's inherent rights. Government doesn't create rights, it curtails them. I see the need for copyright, the author should be the one to benefit financially from their work as a reward for creating it or incentive to create new works. However there is no harm in one who copies the work without financial reward. Originally the copyright lasted for 14 years, now it lasts for 75 years after the author dies. I am not willing to give up my rights that easily, and you shouldn't be willing to either. I think we need another amendment to the constitution, saying that absent financial motive, the rights of the people to exchange information shall not be infringed.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539783)

Copyright is actually the curtailing of the public's inherent rights

Is it?

I've been writing a novel for a few years, and I hope, if it gets published (reviewers have thus far raved, but I'm not ready yet), that I will be able to gain a reasonable return for my work. Ok, I don't care if people download it for nothing as well, I may even negotiate for a free audio version, but all the same, I want to retain the right to control my work.

You might find you feel the same if you produce a work. The choice is of course your own.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

PhilipPeake (711883) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539905)

And the best of luck to you!

I entirely agree that YOU, the AUTHOR should have the right to get the fruits of your labor.
You should be protected by copyright, for a reasonable time.

However, what typically happens is that your publisher will only publish your work if you assign the copyright to them. You will get something, but it probably won't bear a direct relationship to the success of your work, simply what the publisher thinks they can make and how badly they can screw you.

Copyright (and patent) law needs to be changed to make it impossible for copyrights or patents to be sold. They were intended to benefit the authors/inventors, not multi-national mega corporations.

Re:About time!!!! (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540017)

> Copyright is actually the curtailing of the public's inherent rights

>> Is it?

Yeah, pretty much. The whole point of copyright is to enrich the public domain, in fact Jefferson went so far as to call copyright "a loan from the public domain." So yes, copyright is very much a curtailing of the public's rights, with the express expectation that the public would be the ultimate beneficiary from that very explicit tradeoff. The current state of affairs is, I'm afraid, not remotely aligned with the Supreme Law of the Land or the public interest.

Look, I certainly hope your book is successful and that you reap any rewards you are due. However, I hope you can understand that as a member of the general public, it is my expectation that that work should belong to all of us, after you have had a reasonable time to profit from your efforts. Unfortunately, what is reasonable has carried to new levels of absurdity [wikipedia.org] by Congress.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539865)

Honestly, the lawsuits are the least of the concerns when it comes to the RIAA. The courts, and attorneys like Ray Beckerman, will eventually put paid to that nasty business: it's just a matter of time. The real damage they've done, and are continuing to do, is push for gross changes to the United States legal system. They've hurt everyone, not just music lovers, with their paid Congressmen and purchased law.

So yes, I do get angry with that bunch of arrogant, self-aggrandizing, hypocritical, blood-sucking leeches for ripping us off by locking creative works away from us, stealing from the public domain, violating the spirit and the letter of the Constitution ... and then having the outright gall to accuse us of stealing from them! How much more of these people do we have to suffer before we kick them out of this country entirely? Hell, most of the big boys aren't even U.S. corporations anyway, yet they have no problem coming here and bribing our government officials and screwing around with our legal system. And for what? It doesn't change the fact that they still don't know how to survive in the Internet Age, and are going to keep losing money until they figure out what everyone here on Slashdot already knows and would tell them if they were willing to listen.

Any harm that has come to the "music industry", if you can call it that (criminal cartel is more apropos, I'd say) comes entirely from their own actions, and their own inability to perceive or accept that the world changed around them. Their way is not the only way. Non-mainstream outfits that are selling independent music are making money, treating their artists and customers decently to boot, and without any need whatsoever to head to Washington to buy some more protectionism.

So no, I don't respect them, I don't respect their goals or intentions, and they deserve no respect or understanding because they're criminals who abuse their customers and their suppliers alike. The truth, of which the studios are only dimly aware, is this: we don't need them. Not anymore.

Re:About time!!!! (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540277)

Minor nitpic. Distributing is the crime, not downloading.

Re:About time!!!! (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540339)

That's actually a major nitpick. Everyone talks about downloaders, but it's the uploaders that have been getting sued.

Re:About time!!!! (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540333)

There is only one decent solution to this situation--the expansion of fair use to all non-commercial activiy.  If I'm not making money on it, then I can share and download all I like.

Anything else requires someone else controlling my actions online.

Don't get me wrong...if I put up a file sharing website, and have ads on it, I should be on the chopping block.  But p2p should be protected.

Otherwise you might as well just fold up the internet and go home--which isn't going to happen.

Next in Congress... (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536915)

A bill appointing the RIAA and its investigators as deputy federal marshals.

Re:Next in Congress... (2, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537943)

Next in Congress

A bill appointing the RIAA and its investigators as deputy federal marshals.

Though sconeu's comment was humorous, keep in mind that the RIAA is trying to do the equivalent by getting the government to sanction/approve their actions or grant them the power to do such things. That effort is focusing on multiple methods of ensuring it, from (1) granting them immunity from prosecution for using such illegal tactics/abusing the court system and/or (2) making it legal for them to use such methods that would otherwise be considered circumventing due-process and abusing/railroading the legal/justice system.

Sadly, it's only humorous until the RIAA gets something new (and more idiotic) passed by Congress to allow them even greater powers than the ones they are questionably abusing. So, while currently, they stretch (or outright break) various discovery and investigative laws; if they have their way, the laws will be re-written so that is no longer an issue.

I guess the questions that remain are (a) will the RIAA be destroyed before that happens? (b) will the record companies learn that such tactics are hurting their business and costing them money for no rewards (financial or piracy deterrent) or (c) will it soon become a moot point because the RIAA manages to get ridiculous laws passed that allow their current actions - and worse ones?

Re:Next in Congress... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539145)

And unfortunately I can count on both of my senators to support them in whatever scheme they come up with.

The Gist of the Argument (4, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536961)

Taken from the blog Recording Industry vs The People

  • Carlos Linares, upon whose declaration the subpoena was issued, had no first hand information whatsoever;
  • the RIAA's "data mining" investigation does not reveal how the files were obtained or whether they were ever shared with anyone;
  • the RIAA papers did not show that any infringing activity actually took place;
  • MediaSentry appears to have been conducting an investigation without an investigator's license, in violation of ORS 703.405 and ORS 703.993(s), which is a crime;
  • in Atlantic v. Andersen, based on the same theories and investigative techniques as those used here, they had been found by the Court to have stalled and resisted discovery, before abandoning their case rather than oppose Ms. Andersen's summary judgment motion;
  • the RIAA appears to have been abusing the judicial process by obtaining information through subpoenas which it then hands over to "collection firms" using them "to leverage payment of arbitrary sums of money, based on threats and evidence from the data mining";
  • the RIAA concealed a material fact from its original ex parte motion papers, which sought to create the aura of an emergency and the need for immediate ex parte action -- the fact that the University had informed the RIAA in July that the requested information had been gathered and would be preserved;
  • the RIAA lawyers falsely implied that the Attorney General's office had failed to "meet and confer" with them prior to making the motion to quash, even though the AG's office had in fact conferred with the RIAA's lawyers;
  • the deposition testimony of the RIAA's expert witness Doug Jacobson in UMG v. Lindor tends to indicate that the RIAA has already accessed private information on the computers of University of Oregon students; and
  • the RIAA has failed to provide an affidavit of the individual who actually conducted the 'investigation'.

I think they have enough ammunition here to put the RIAA on the defensive. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially what counter-arguments the RIAA comes up with. This smells like the SCO all over again.

Re:The Gist of the Argument (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537227)

This smells like the SCO all over again.

don't get my hopes up, RIAA declaring its bankrupt would be jut to much to ask for :)

Turn about is fair play (4, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536965)

Looking very similar to the SCO case now. The RIAA through data mining has come up with "evidence" and the AG for Oregon is asking something reasonable of the court: how did you get this information and what was it? Oh, and does the company you got this from even have an investigating license? It's sickening to see the RIAA try to get their way by their dumpster diving discovery requests.

They stalled on another case when they were asked to prove their methods. I believe the AG may have something there with investigator license which could turn into criminal charges for maybe both the RIAA and the company they hired to do their dirty work.

Re:Turn about is fair play (4, Informative)

m4ximusprim3 (619388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537203)

particularly because the "investigators" in question are mediaSentry, whos douchebaggery has been well documented. Heres hoping this all ends badly for them.

Opening the door to counter-suits? (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536971)

It would be nice if the it is found that the RIAA was involved in some serious legal wrong doing and it opened up the door to counter suits - especially by the folks who were bullied into settling.

Re:Opening the door to counter-suits? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537105)

It would be nice if the it is found that the RIAA was involved in some serious legal wrong doing and it opened up the door to counter suits - especially by the folks who were bullied into settling.
Do you smell that? *sniff* *sniff* Yup, definitely lawyers. Definitely smells like lawyers preparing class-action suit paperwork. Definitely.

Re:Opening the door to counter-suits? (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539721)

Do you smell that? *sniff* *sniff* Yup, definitely lawyers. Definitely smells like lawyers preparing class-action suit paperwork. Definitely.

Put on John William's Imperial March from Star Wars, close your eyes, and imagine rank after rank of Armani-clad, briefcase-wielding warriors descending upon RIAA headquarters. Would that not be a sight to behold?

This is what has never made sense to me... (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21536987)

--the RIAA papers did not show that any infringing activity actually took place

The RIAA has consistently done(or not done?) this. Yet they still win in the courts. Can anyone explain to me how they have convinced judges that a). they have accrued damages against their constituent companies without hard data and b). what links do they provide at all to the courts? IP's? MAC addresses?

Re:This is what has never made sense to me... (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537107)

High-priced bullshitters.

Given a case that sounds legal, and enough money disparity between the two parties, the richer party can usually just call 'expert witnesses' all day long until people start to believe them. Since the other side can't afford their own witnesses, they will have trouble defending themselves.

USA: The best justice (1)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537277)

Yes. We in the US have the best justice money can buy. And the great thing is, since you're not bribing judges, it's not corrupt.

Re:This is what has never made sense to me... (5, Insightful)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537449)

More than that. The legal system in the US is set up so that even if you have an ironclad defense -- but don't bring it up at the right time -- then you waive that defense. This is just one of the reasons you do not represent yourself unless you have no choice at all. The justification is that otherwise, no judgement would ever be final because you could continually add new legal theories to the case. In fact, this is very similar to SCO's tactics (which were quite effective at causing huge delays).

In this case, a number of promising avenues haven't been explored because nobody got good attorneys to bring them up. So the issue gets waived, the court accepts the RIAA's version because it was "undisputed". Recall the RIAA suits have been going on for a number of years, but it was only a couple months ago that this PI licensing issue was even mentioned -- because nobody ever did their homework before.

Re:This is what has never made sense to me... (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537821)

By the right time do you mean in your counter suit? That's the only time I can think of that would matter to bring forth your initial counter arguments.

Re:This is what has never made sense to me... (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537307)

The RIAA keep buying the pot. They go all in, and the little guy folds. They don't have to show their cards unless someone calls their bluff. Seems the AG is willing to do that with the state of Oregon as a backer.

Re:This is what has never made sense to me... (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540033)

The RIAA keep buying the pot.

That must be why the Oregonians are angry!

Wag the dog... sort of (0, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537009)

Will this sort of news be generated, or allowed, in order to remove the thoughts of the public from impeaching the criminals in the whitehouse? Yeah, I know that sounds a bit tin hat-ish, but it would not be the first time that some news item was used to distract attention from the news we, the people, are not supposed to pay attention to. Like the magician does, lets you see the one hand while the other is doing the tricks. I'm all for this, and hope the AG gets supreme satisfaction in the court system with it, but I'm also watching to see what else is happening elsewhere. The **AA is big business, and big business is shacked up with big government. In this year of election antics, you have to always wonder what is really happening....

Oh yea ! bring it !! (4, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537031)

this is the kind of news i want to see after a long hard day's work ! - bullies getting whacked ! gives me the goosebumps. it doesnt feel like christmas, but it surely has a taste of it.

and i mean it !

mo3 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21537187)

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Oblig Mr. Burns quote (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537293)

Excellent!!

Re:Oblig Mr. Burns quote (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538313)

Mr. Burn has never said "Excellent!!"

He says "Excellent..." -- hmm, we need a menacing punctuation.

I just had a thought - somebody alert the press! (2, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537313)

But seriously - if this does carry any water legally, what about all the defendants who have settled with the RIAA in past actions. Do I assume that all those defendants will be provided an opportunity to have their cases reexamined (due to the existence of evidence not available at the times of their trials)?

I wonder if the member companies of the RIAA (Sony, BMG, etc.) could be held liable for RIAA's tactical abuse of the legal system?

Re:I just had a thought - somebody alert the press (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539857)

No, if you settled, you settled. You're done. The trial is irrelevant, and doesn't even have to begin (most didn't) for settlement to occur.

IANAL, BIPOOTV

Maybe... (1)

ShiNoKaze (1097629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537317)

I can't help but wonder if perhaps there's someone high up in the RIAA that maybe wants there to be some kind of copright reform and (being the sociopath that it takes to get that high in the organization) figures "Fuck it, might as well get as much as we can out of it while forcing the copyright reform." I mean they can't be intelligent and still use the tactics they're using. So there must be something else to it.

Re:Maybe... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538261)

No, there doesn't. This has worked for many years, why would they change?

Isn't this a form of wiretapping? (4, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537709)

These techniques include the use of unlicensed investigators, the turning over of subpoenaed information to collection agencies, and the obtaining of personal information from computers.

I've always wondered how these non-government agencies can get away with this kind of behavior without someone bringing them up on some kind of wiretapping/DMCA charge. Seems like the RIAA would be in violation of the CALEA [wikipedia.org] to me, as well as the DMCA - since they must circumvent access control to gain the kinds of information they claim to have. (And yes, I do count bluffing universities that they have to hand over IP addresses as circumvention - it's Social Engineering, and it's as old as hacking itself).

They're not cops. Why do they have cop powers? I know for a fact if I do *any* of the crap they're doing, I'll go to jail.

Why not them?

Re:Isn't this a form of wiretapping? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538091)

Social Engineering is older then hacking. When the first person was trying to hack fire from two sticks, I can bet you some guy was using social engineering to get laid. And it was old by then.

And I agree. the people ordering these kinds of illegal behaviors, and the people carrying them out should all be arrested.

OTOH, maybe all I have to do to protect my self from action if I were to break into the MPAA/RIAA computers is to incorporate a 'Security Investigation' company.

hey nycl (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21537765)

are counterclaims possible? reversed judgments? all the extorted and strong armed soccer moms: do they have grounds for a class action lawsuit against the recording industry's attack dogs as the legal tide turns against them?

At This Point In Oregon (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538075)

At this point in Oregon the RIAA has no case because:

An IP address and a timestamp does not identify a particular computer. It might, at most, point to a cable modem, dsl modem, wireless router, none of which store or share files.

Adding a screen snapshot of a list of files of unknown content doesn't improve in that identification.

An IP address and a timestamp and a screen shot of file names doesn't identify an individual.

None of the above shows that any copyrighted work was ever distributed illegally.

Finding copyrighted music files on a hard drive is no evidence of illegal downloading.

To recap, the RIAA has:

No way to identify an individual.
No way to identify a computer or tie it to an individual.
No proof, or ability to get proof, of illegal downloading.
No proof, or ability to get proof without having tapped internet connections of any distribution to anyone but their own investigators, who frankly don't count legally.
No case at all to justify their invasion of a user's privacy, and the extortion attempts to follow as they insist through their lying mouths, "We have already secured the information necessary to win against you in court!

The RIAA also has yet to prove in nearly all these cases that they are the current copyright holders of the very songs they seek to sue over, often presenting original copyright certificates in the names of companies that are no longer even in existence, and individual artists who have since died.

Yes, the courts need to put a direct and firm end to all this nonsense.

(Note to file sharers: Don't use your own personal, or nick, name as your KaZaA handle.)

Re:At This Point In Oregon (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538201)

"An IP address and a timestamp does not identify a particular computer. It might, at most, point to a cable modem, dsl modem, wireless router, none of which store or share files."
It may, there are other factors to consider. Such as "Does the person at that IP own more then one computer? do they live with someone else who could have done it?" It does not say who was at that computer. Meaning it can be used for begin an investigation;however it doesn't mean they have any evidence to arrest/browbeat anybody.

Perhaps you should send that post to the AG Oregon and thank him for seeing that proper legal procedures are followed?

At least send it to your own AG.

You've got to fight back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21538153)

I actually tried to get something going a long time ago. The sheeple community has the power to shut these guys down but there's always this attitude of we've got to hide from the big bullies.

I remember when the deny lists like PeerGuardian got started. I --er, a friend of mine that is-- wrote to the guy, I think he called himself Method Man, anyway I said look you've got to think like a programmer and a lawyer here instead of just playing defense what you need to do is to create the documentation to go on the offense with a class action suit. It would have been ridiculously easy to incorporate into PeerGuardian but the guy wasn't interested and my friend wasn't going to start my own effort since the P2P forums are such ego trips He wasn't up for the effort despite the fact that such apps are just simple little scripts.

So this buddy of mine, he tried to offer the same idea at BluTack but again it was politely ignored because it didn't fit anybody's personal agenda. The concept is simple. Just as the RIAA, Media Defender, BayTSP etc is asserting their rights to data, you can do the same by simply informing them when they access your network with their known IPs that this is a private network and you, the administrator, have banned then from your network. That's it. Just create the documentation and upload it into an on-line database. You just need to document that this set of IPs is violating your network policy and that they have been warned of legal action if they persist. On the individual case this looks meaningless, but just think if several million users had done this four years ago there would already be a massive database showing ongoing abuse.

Will anybody lose their job over this? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538181)

And can we be assured that those who abuse their authority will never again be able to acquire such a position of authority? We can tattoo their foreheads to make then easily identifiable and they can flip burgers for the rest of their lives.

Great news, but we shouldn't celebrate prematurely (1)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21538969)

It couldn't happen to a more deserving group of bastards.

However, I'm not going to crack open the champagne unless some sort of criminal prosecution actually comes out of this.

Oregon AG? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21539169)

When I saw that title I wondered what's this German incorporated company [wikipedia.org] called "Oregon".

Dave Frohnmayer (2, Informative)

lotho brandybuck (720697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540149)

President of U of O http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_B._Frohnmayer [wikipedia.org] used to be the AG in this state.
I'm sure he talks to the current AG once in awhile.

RIAA needs to learn to stop going after law schools.
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