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U.Maine Law Clinic Is First To Fight RIAA

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the lawyers-guns-and-money dept.

The Courts 129

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "'A student law clinic is about to cause a revolution' says p2pnet. For the first time in the history of the RIAA's ex parte litigation campaign against college students, a university law school's legal aid clinic has taken up the fight against the RIAA in defense of the university's students. Student attorneys at the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, under the supervision of law school prof Deirdre M. Smith, have moved to dismiss the RIAA's complaint in a Portland, Maine, case, Arista v. Does 1-27, on behalf of two University of Maine undergrads. Their recently filed reply brief (PDF) points to the US Supreme Court decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, and the subsequent California decision following Twombly, Interscope v. Rodriguez, which dismissed the RIAA's 'making available' complaint as mere 'conclusory,' 'boilerplate' 'speculation.'"

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Too bad for alphabetization (1)

sethawoolley (1005201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21792846)

Arista always shows up as the bad guy. Remember, it's all the big industry shops that are suing, boycott them all!

From a Mainer's perspective... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793020)

I live in Maine; I enjoy the shoveling. But this has to stop.

The RIAA is simply protecting their rights. Can you blame them?

Just settle or admit that you are wrong. The RIAA is doing the right thing by protecting their intellectual property. Even though the only record label represented by the RIAA that doesn't try to sell all crap is Warner Bros. (Madonna is the only musician with any talent and by far the best singer ever), it is still wrong to make unauthorized copies. It is like stealing from a thrift store. It is mostly junk (except for Madonna, she is the best!), but it is still wrong. Downloading music without paying *does* cut into the profits of the labels and artists (all of the artists deserve further pay cuts for low quality product except Madonna). If you couldn't obtain it for free, you would pay for it. It is capitalism working without proper regulation such that those who invest time and money (time is money) into a product can't earn a profit. I think there is somewhat of an inelastic demand for music. If you raise the price by cutting out the free stuff, you will still see demand.

Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
--
Madonna has the best voice and content creation ability.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793208)

The RIAA and the big four need to get their collective heads out of each others asses, look around, and realize that the world and market place is changing before their now shit covered eyes. If they don't find a new way to make money, they will simply cease to exist.

Market forces at work. That's all it is. If they can't figure out a way to make money on a product that can be duplicated easily, they will simply disappear.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794050)

Sorry, that opinion's not allowed on Slashdot.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794316)

Uh... it's a pretty obvious troll, given away by saying "if you couldn't get it for free, you'd be paying for it". We all know that isn't true for nearly all cases, although it may be true for some.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794350)

... it's a pretty obvious troll, given away by saying "if you couldn't get it for free, you'd be paying for it". We all know that isn't true for nearly all cases....
Isn't it amazing how obvious and predictable the trolls are?

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794354)

People paid for music before.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794462)

Yes, true, and they still pay for music now. However, it isn't true (at least not absolutely true, as the AC was making it out to be) to say that if you can't get the music for free, you'll buy it. Some will, but some won't. In fact, I'd put my money on most people not buying music that they can't get for free, but that's debateable.

Anyway, it's not absolutely true that people will buy that which they can't get for free, thus the AC was deliberately lying (or stupid, take your pick), thus trolling. Thus, your original indignation was kinda pointless.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21794324)

Sorry, that opinion's not allowed on Slashdot.

You say that as if it is somehow a reasonable position to hold. It actually conveys severe cluelessness and an astounding ability to be oblivious to the whole point.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794368)

It's a "-1, Troll" mod, not "-1, Wrong". I just brought up how instead of responding, people mod down posts they don't agree with to try to hide them.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (5, Insightful)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794242)

The RIAA is simply protecting their rights.


And that is their biggest obstacle. They are protecting their bottom line and nothing else. However, if you listen to them, they consistently cry that they are trying to protect the artists, despite the fact that historically more money has been withheld or denied by record labels [wikipedia.org] than by our downloading. No matter how relevant the RIAA's claims may be, a campaign built upon deceit [arstechnica.com] only makes them look less deserving. A rock-solid way we can compensate the artists directly (and the labels reduced to being recording studios and nothing more) is the best outlook for the future, IMHO.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (4, Interesting)

WingedEarth (958581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795546)

The RIAA is trying to maintain control over content distribution. That control is more important to them than the bottom line. But that control does not serve the purposes of the Copyright Act or the Constitutional authority thereto, which is to increase the public's access to content. The evil cabal controlling the mainstream media doesn't want to lose their precious monopoly for fear that the human spirit will rebel against them. But their Machiavellian approach will be their undoing. They treat people like cattle, and as a result, they'll be destroyed themselves in the end.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794630)

"Rights" they gained by breaking the Constitution. Sounds like they don't truly have those rights.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795518)

"Rights" they gained by breaking the Constitution. Sounds like they don't truly have those rights.
how so? while i may not like current US copyright law, it remains within the letter, if not the spirit, of the constition.

Re:From a Mainer's perspective... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795540)

I consider the spirit of the constitution to be paramount to avoiding a tyrannical government. When you consider not a single copyrighted item today will have its copyright expire, this is unconstitutional.

Re:Too bad for alphabetization (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793412)

I can see the situation in court, the defendaners prefexing every statement with 'iaanal'...

still stealing music? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21792932)

common thieves. fucking faggots.

Re:still stealing music? (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21792984)

"still stealing music?"

Still don't know what you're talking about? Fucking RIAA executives.

Re:still stealing music? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793236)

I don't care if they call it stealing or what it really is. copyright enfringment.

I'm still going to STEAL every damm song i want. And never ever buy another ANYTHING they sell.

ever.

and i will continue to help other people STEAL music.

I dont care what they say. be it that it's wrong, illegal, immoral. ect. I still havent been busted for price fixing and i dont screw the artists out of cash no matter what they claim. the music mafia still has a lock on being that immoral, illegal, and wrong.

fuck em. they can never get me back as a customer. ever. i want to see them all broke and have to get real jobs.

Re:still stealing music? (2, Interesting)

sethawoolley (1005201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793456)

I know /.'ers hate it when people reply and just say "yeah, I agree!"

But, all I gotta say to this is, I wish I were this brave (I'm just a lowly boycotter). If you can get away with it, more power to you!

My wife wants me to steal music for her so she can figure out what to buy, (although she bought ten times more CDs than I have). I have been reluctant to help (I have static IPs at home that would be easy to trace and don't have the time to spend time keeping updated a TOR router).

Should I spend the effort to help her out?

(here's the quoted post, just to show my agreement and pull it out of the anonymous coward bins of most people:)

I don't care if they call it stealing or what it really is. copyright enfringment.

I'm still going to STEAL every damm song i want. And never ever buy another ANYTHING they sell.

ever.

and i will continue to help other people STEAL music.

I dont care what they say. be it that it's wrong, illegal, immoral. ect. I still havent been busted for price fixing and i dont screw the artists out of cash no matter what they claim. the music mafia still has a lock on being that immoral, illegal, and wrong.

fuck em. they can never get me back as a customer. ever. i want to see them all broke and have to get real jobs.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794030)

Damn right. Fucking musicians should get real jobs.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794230)

I don't have a problem with the musicians. If the musicians were getting most of the money for an album sale, I'd buy the CD. But they don't. When you buy CDs, you're supporting the leeches that keep any but the most popular music from becoming a viable business option. I refuse to support the current system; it fosters generic, least common denominator music.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794254)

Yet you still want to listen to that "generic, least common denominator" music for free.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794290)

No, I actively avoid it.

Re:still stealing music? (4, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794328)

"Should I spend the effort to help her out?"

In my opinion, I don't think you should for two reasons. First, don't risk it. Yes, we'd all like for people to take a stand against the RIAA, but it's a lot easier to back when someone else is doing it. Second, they'll use those numbers to prove that anti-piracy legislation needs to be strengthened. I don't believe that mass-downloading and mass-not-purchasing can bleed the RIAA fast enough to prevent them from sinking ridiculous amounts of money into the pockets of politicians. To me, that's a no-win scenario.

I have an alternative, though. You could try a music subscription service. For $10 a month, you could get Rhapsody. You'll have instant access to all of their music. You don't get to keep it, but for less than the cost of a new CD a month you have something like 4 million songs. If you pay an extra $5 a month, they'll sync up with certain MP3 players, so you can take care of your mobile needs, too. I am a Rhapsody subscriber, so if you have questions about specifics about it, feel free to ask. I'm reluctant to say too much initially, though, for fear of being branded a Rhapsody shill. I don't know much about the other services like Napster so I cannot tell you which is the 'best'.

I think this suggestion might be a solution to both your problems. One of my main attractions to Rhapsody (besides not having gigs of MP3s to try to keep synced across all my machines....) is that I've broadened my tastes in music. That sounds like something your wife is looking for. It also proves the point to the RIAA that you actually are willing to spend money on music, but that you need their business model to be modernized. I could save a few bucks and just go download a bunch of MP3s. But I don't because I'm happy with the service I'm getting. If money's being made this way, they're more likely to be open to alternatives. But if money is being 'lost' (by lost I mean their silly definition of it... like billions of dollars evaporating into kazaa smelling vapour even though their sales are higher than the previous year's) they're more likely to fight back via lawyers. It's the carrot vs. the stick. Tempt them with the possiblity of generating revenue instead of scaring them with the threat of losing it.

But, that's just my opinion. Other suggestions would include purchases of DRM-free music that's starting to appear. Purchases towards indie labels are potentially a win, too. If indies make money and the RIAA isn't, it's hard for them to claim that losses are due to piracy as opposed to boycotting. I don't personally back this option, though, simply because I haven't been all that impressed with indie offerings. Still, though, I'm at least a year or two overdue for re-examining that option so I really don't want to state that opinion too strongly.

Cheers and have a good weekend.

Re:still stealing music? (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793660)

Neither law enforcement nor big business understands that respect is a mutual affair. The fully expect us to respect the law, and to respect their rights under that law ... and they just can't seem to figure out why we do not. Unfortunately, they have treated us so poorly that there is no longer any respect possible from our perspective. Not until they clean up their acts and become deserving of it again.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794414)

Spoken like someone who doesn't create. Thanks for being a leech on society.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795268)

"Spoken like someone who doesn't create. Thanks for being a leech on society."

Actually I am a content creator whose livelihood would be destroyed by people not buying movies. I don't think suing the customer base, calling all of them thieves, making the products do less (i.e. format/time shifting), ignoring obvious markets like on-line purchases of movies, or demanding the pay for things they don't want will result in making more money. I also don't think that everybody who downloads content is automatically a lost sale. I do think that keeping people excited about the new things coming out far more beneficial to the bottom line, and this has been proven in Japan with fans of manga selling their fan-fiction. What you lose in an occasional lost purchase is made up on the next round of releases.

Thanks for speaking so clearly despite having your anus in the way.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795328)

I don't think suing the customer base, calling all of them thieves, making the products do less (i.e. format/time shifting), ignoring obvious markets like on-line purchases of movies, or demanding the pay for things they don't want will result in making more money.
Right, except if you read the Anonymous Coward he doesn't object to any of this, he clearly states he'll pirate because he wants to and anyone who doesn't like it and go get fucked.

Re:still stealing music? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795450)

Ah damn. I thought you were replying to me. (I had more than one window open on this thread.)

I'm sorry about that. Yeesh, talk about humble pie. :/

Re:still stealing music? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795532)

Heh, that's cool :D If only all disagreements could be resolved so amicably here at slashdot.

Re:still stealing music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21795284)

Sounds great to me. The music industry as it stands now and in the past. Will never get another penny from me.

They are a useless waste the world can do without. with no loss at all.

Hey music people.

Repeat after me. "Would you like fries with that?"

You're going to need that phrase sooner or later. All we have to do is NOT buy your products and you will go broke. You need us. Yet you have done nothing but piss people off for years now. Lie, cheat, steal, and sue. You're useless and dangerous. We don't need you anymore. You are obsolete. Please shut the fuck up and get out of the way already before you take anyone else down with you.

Darwin would approve.

Re:still stealing music? (5, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793010)

Soon, I'll have stolen ALL the world's music!! No one will get so much as a treble clef without going through me!

But don't think I'm ALL bad...if you buy a C and an E, I'll toss in a G for free. Same octave only, no exchanges if you decide to change key.

OMG Teh RIAA!!! (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793054)

No one will get so much as a treble clef without going through me!


Wow, I didn't know the RIAA posted on /.!

I feel honored, can I have your autograph (please pay no attention to the small print)

How bands are formed? (3, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794068)

I'll take you up on that.

{Later, on Flyer}
"New Band starting. We have the C, E, G set, the D,F,A set, and some of the flats. We're looking for a fresh new talent who specializes in B, Minors, and Sevenths. The local law firm has sponsored us with a left over "Treble" from a Treble Damages suit. We can't afford a Bass Clef, so we're using the open source version 'Atlantic Bass'.

We have purchased Octaves 3 and 4. We use Pitch Altering software when someone wants us to perform the US National Anthem. However, we're in a squabble from the owner of Octaves 2 and 5, who says our shifted notes sound exactly like theirs, and they want us to stop."

Re:How bands are formed? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795320)

so we're using the open source version 'Atlantic Bass'.
Is it ill tempered?

I Always Assumed (5, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21792968)

it was a stupid idea to sue university students, especially universities with law schools.

Re:I Always Assumed (2, Insightful)

shykid (1193451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793022)

The RIAA's ego has gotten overinflated because of how easily they're able to extort Joe Schmoe. I do believe they're in for a very rude awakening.

The law school studen is as pragmatic as they come (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793706)

it was a stupid idea to sue university students, especially universities with law schools.

You have your law degree. Where do you find gainful employment? The answer for most will be the private corporation or the government agency.

The employer who has his own IP to defend and is least likely to feel sympathy for the kid who lost his free movie fix after the RIAA had a word with his school.

Re:The law school studen is as pragmatic as they c (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793798)

Do law firms really have all that much IP to defend personally? Firms care about competent practice of the law. And I think it's would be a quite impressive credential indeed for a law student to take on a media cartel and win.

Re:The law school studen is as pragmatic as they c (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794320)

I think it[...] would be a quite impressive credential indeed for a law student to take on a media cartel and win.
Indeed it would. I'm hoping that these fine up and coming legal scholars will have that credential on their resumes.

Re:The law school studen is as pragmatic as they c (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794392)

No. The answer for most will be some sort of "law consultancy".
Only a very few will go to work directly for some corporation
and only the dregs of the class will end up in government
service.

Law is one of those college degrees where "go work for yourself"
is a very common (and commonly considered) option.

Most law students will end up working for some variety of law firm.

Re:The law school studen is as pragmatic as they c (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795916)

You are overlooking something here. Just as a really cool computer project will help grad students with CS degrees on their l33t skilz for their 'real world:I have done this shit for real' additions to their resume....same here for these law students.

Ray has it right, and as usual is more eloquent than I:http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=397436&cid=21794320 [slashdot.org] .

All I am asking is for you to look outside of your own perspective here for a second, and really think about this. :)

"The answer for most will be the private corporation or the government agency."
Yes, you are probably spot on with this. I don't discount your viewpoint, as sadly you are mostly correct. But I also feel like I had to point out the good side of this as well.

Re:I Always Assumed (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794338)

it was a stupid idea to sue university students, especially universities with law schools.

It's also stupid idea to underestimate a rich industry, especially rich with federal legislatures in their pockets.

Re:I Always Assumed (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794402)

it was a stupid idea to sue university students, especially universities with law schools.
It was a big mistake. And they still don't get it.

Except (2, Insightful)

proudfoot (1096177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793014)

Most schools with legal departments seem to have simply backed down. The RIAA still gets much of their purpose accomplished.

Say goodbye to student aid. (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793052)

I give this thing twelve months before the federal government stops allowing student loans and federal aid of any and all kinds from being spent on students and services for this school.

Re:Say goodbye to student aid. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794752)

I give this thing twelve months before the federal government stops allowing student loans and federal aid of any and all kinds from being spent on students and services for this school.

I doubt it very much. Can you cite a single time when something like that ever happened?

Re:Say goodbye to student aid. (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795208)

Well, the House already passed a bill [arstechnica.com] that links Federal student aid monies to the implementation of RIAA-drafted "anti-piracy" measures. I don't think the GP's fear is too farfetched; certain members of Congress are pretty obviously in the pockets of the media corporations.

Legal WAR! (4, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793060)

You see, the RIAA could focus their efforts on developing innovative ways to market music. What if they could come up with something even more convenient and irresistible to millions of consumers than Apple's iTunes store? What if this innovative marketing brought in so much money that piracy would represent only an immaterial portion of their bottom line? They would look like heroes and every company would flock to imitate them.

But, you see, they fell into the trap of thinking that lawyers and litigation could solve their problems. They declared legal war on an entire population. Whenever there's a war, whether a legal one or a physical one, everyone knows how it begins, but nobody knows how it will end. Nazi Germany started war on the entire world, thinking they were big, mighty, and unstoppable. And what happened? In the end, there was devastating destruction throughout Europe, tens of millions of lives destroyed, and the country in the worst shape of all was Germany. Why?

Re: Legal WAR! (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793232)

You're right, but you are talking about the Recording Industry Association of **America)). For any corporation in this litigation-happy country goes: if all you have is lawyers, then every problem looks like a lawsuit.

It is sort of a war, and (like in any other war) the fighting causes net loss for everyone. The only winners here are lawyers and P2P network capabilities.

Re: Legal WAR! (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794426)

Actually 3 of the 4 corporations behind this litigation campaign are not American: SONY BMG, EMI, and Vivendi/Universal.

Actually (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793346)

I surmise that it is because 90% of the execs are not creative. At All. They couldn't dream up an innovative marketing idea if their professional life depended on it (it does).

It's ludicrous/tragic that people this unimaginative have managed, for so long, to persuade millions that they are essential elements of our cultural and artistic life.

Re:Legal WAR! (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793402)

Nazi Germany started war on the entire world, thinking they were big, mighty, and unstoppable. And what happened? In the end, there was devastating destruction throughout Europe, tens of millions of lives destroyed, and the country in the worst shape of all was Germany.
And after the was there was the Marshall Plan [wikipedia.org] , the rise and fall of communism and today Germany is the third largest economy in the world.

Sometimes patterns of cause and effect are clear, but other times they aren't [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Legal WAR! (1)

Monsterdog (985765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793410)

Good grief, I think that one Godwined with the force of a nuclear explosion...! Mind you, I'll stop laughing when the RIAA rolls out the tanks....

Re:Legal WAR! (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793440)

talk about bad analogies...
sorry, but I think you lost me there, would you mind explaining what you meant with 'country == record companies' ?

Re:Legal WAR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793528)

You see, the RIAA could focus their efforts on developing innovative ways to market music. What if they could come up with something even more convenient and irresistible to millions of consumers than Apple's iTunes store? What if this innovative marketing brought in so much money that piracy would represent only an immaterial portion of their bottom line? They would look like heroes and every company would flock to imitate them.
The problem is, they don't want money. They obviously have too much of it or they wouldn't be investing so much into hunting down P2P users. What they want is absolute control over the product they are selling, even after they have sold it.

Re:Legal WAR! (0, Redundant)

Zephurus (1204434) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793572)

Godwin's Law

Re:Legal WAR! (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793580)

You see, the RIAA could focus their efforts on developing innovative ways to market music. What if they could come up with something even more convenient and irresistible to millions of consumers than Apple's iTunes store? [...] But, you see, they fell into the trap of thinking that lawyers and litigation could solve their problems.

I blame it all on the listeners. They should be the ones learning to like what the RIAA so graciously offers. They should know how hard it is for huge organizations to change. Really, the music industry shouldn't have had to go beyond vinyl records, but they were generous and gave us audio tapes and compact discs, all great advances in technology. And now the listeners won't accept the newest advances in digital technology that allow even fewer uses than previous formats. Lawyers are the only option they have left to make us like what they offer.

Re:Legal WAR! (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793654)

Because it's not really about money. Money's for shareholders. In the end, it's all about control.

Re:Legal WAR! (1, Funny)

Maradine (194191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794022)

Nazi Germany started war on the entire world, thinking they were big, mighty, and unstoppable. And what happened?

Godwin showed up and told you to sit down.

Re:Legal WAR! (1)

laddiebuck (868690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794318)

Well, according to many historians, the country worst off was France. ;) I'll leave frog jokes to others... otherwise, good analogy.

screw em (1, Insightful)

DigitalSkyline (1206836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793080)

You know once somehting is publically broadcast there is no controlling it. Try as you might, the public domain is the public domain!

Harvard (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793122)

Slightly off-topic, but I often see people mentioning Harvard hasn't been targetted by the RIAA.

It's not for legal reasons. If you use any P2P software, Harvard IT shuts off your access; you're blocked on a DHCP level. You get three "strikes" before this happens- unless you're on wireless, in which case, you're booted right away.

Re:Harvard (3, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793336)

Which means that they have a DPI box like Ellacoia or P-Cube or a P2P cache box like CacheLogic or OverSee. From there on they are actually right to use this policy. The reason is very simple.

RIAA can subpoena the college IT and get real seeder IPs out of the P2P cache logs. From there on it is "game over". You show up on the cache log only if you have both offered a file and someone has used it. So armed with this log they should be able to prove what they have gone to prove. Check, Mate.

So if a college has deployed P2P Cache or DPI from there on they have no choice but to use it. It is actually in the interest of the students because the college IT dept can be made to provide much better evidence than the laughable junk supplied by MediaCentry.

Re:Harvard (2, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793636)

Even if you are downloading something that is legal, like Linux?

Re:Harvard (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793944)

Even if you are downloading something that is legal, like Linux?

Yes; they're fully aware of Linux distributions and whatnot being preferably distributed via BT. If you let them know ahead of time, it's not a problem. Granted, that was in the context of staff- I don't know if this applies to students. Staff can also get semi-permanent authorization; students MIGHT be able to as well.

Also, I should mention- this may only apply to the medical school.

Re:Harvard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21794352)

I call bullshit. My college started to severely throttle connections that used a lot of data. They tracked usage by mac address. The setup was one cable modem with four ports in each room. The solution? An RA gave us a list of empty rooms, and one of the IT work studies got a list of mac addresses for each room's cable modem. Myself and some other technical people made a list of unoccupied rooms. We were able to gather enough of them that each of us had two personal MAC addresses, thereby tripling our bandwidth allotments. Since the allotment was actually just shy of "stingy but reasonable" we were basically able to download with impunity. (We throttle our torrents during waking hours out of common courtesy however) Students will always find a way, especially when work studies are crawling over the campus with access to insider information on protected systems.

Re:Harvard (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794252)

Not that it matters too much. Most (if not all) distros allow you to download via FTP or HTTP.

Re:Harvard (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794682)

And considering we're talking about a major university, they've probably got a local mirror for most (if not all) distros that would be much faster than BitTorrent.

Re:Harvard (1)

slserpent (898476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793646)

That's interesting, because I was getting a torrent from a seeder which resolved to students.harvard.edu a couple weeks ago. I thank that poor bastard.

arent' they a recording artists union? (0)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793160)

what i wonder is if it's a conflict of interests for the RIAA to represent the record companies. they are supposed to be a union of the artists to represent the artists in negotiations with the record companies, right? i wonder if they could be disallowed from representing the companies at all on this basis.

Re:arent' they a recording artists union? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793234)

They are supposed to be a union of the artists to represent the artists in negotiations with the record companies, right?
Wrong. They're an industry association. A cartel, if you like. Nothing like a trade union. You may be thinking of ASCAP.

Re:arent' they a recording artists union? (3, Informative)

Trevin (570491) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793238)

No, the RIAA is a coalition of record labels and distributors, not artists. (It stands for "Recording Industry Association of America".) They're the middlemen in the music industry, neither creators nor consumers.

Re:arent' they a recording artists union? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793546)

Not even that much. They're just a trade organization (although I believe they are incorporated in New York) which the studios (who are the actual coalition, or rather, oligopoly) fund to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to do their dirty work. Just like they fund sister organizations in many other countries. I mean, we're talking an awful lot of money being spent every year on RIAA and RIAA-like efforts, and one has to wonder if it's really worth it, financially or any other way. Doesn't matter, I suppose: short of the Feds raiding their offices and getting some hard numbers, we'll never know.

Sigh (1)

tuntis (1065596) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793212)

I doubt this'll benefit anybody (and neither that it'll end well for the anti-RIAA party).

finally (1)

mewrei (1206850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793230)

Finally some is fighting back. Hopefully they'll be the first of many. Until that point though, I agree with sethawoolley, boycott them. Always Jamendo for your music fix and hopefully Pandora will be providing a record label filter so we don't have to listen to RIAA supporting music.

On a minor note, what happened to the college funded music setups [news.com] ? That would've been nice to have a networked repository of music we could access at any time and just have it included with tuition and fees.

Pwned RIAA! (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793266)

Finally, some justice in this world! I have been literally watching the world fall apart these days. With all the pointless lawsuits, government wiretapping, etc., I had just about lost hope in the legal system. But finally, some justice! How much should they sue for? I think we give them what they gave us: $1,000,000 per person affected by the RIAA, and an additional $9,250 for each law they broke in the process. The RIAA are getting pwned! :)

Re:Pwned RIAA! (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794272)

"literally watching the world fall apart"....The earth is fragmenting and drifting off into space, and no one bothered to tell me?!?!

Re:Pwned RIAA! (1)

jack455 (748443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794554)

Finally, some justice in this world! I have been
figuratively

watching the world fall apart these days. With all the pointless lawsuits, government wiretapping, etc., I had just about lost hope in the legal system. But finally, some justice! How much should they sue for? I think we give them what they gave us: $1,000,000 per person affected by the RIAA, and an additional $9,250 for each law they broke in the process. The RIAA are getting pwned! :)
There, fixed it for you.

Are Universities common carriers? (2, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793332)

What a university provides to students is usually geographically restricted high speed access to the Internet. There's a heavy investment in wire and routing, but the university doesn't necessarily put a lot of file servers and storage in sync with that. Most often the university's own research computers are behind firewalls, and their administrative systems invariably are. Some mail services are frequently offered, but the storage amounts are generally much smaller than even free sources such as Google or Yahoo. So in that way, a university network is more similar to a common carrier's systems, like the phone company or snail mail, than is a commercial ISP's. It's designed to deliver information, not to be a static source.
      Wouldn't it be interesting if, a few years down the road, all this gets thrashed out in the court system, and the legal decisions are essentially that the university systems don't enjoy any of the protections of common carrier status, but commercial ISPs do? All carriers are equal, but some are more equal than others.
     

Re:Are Universities common carriers? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793622)

ISPs don't want to be common carriers. They went to great lengths to make sure that data services were not considered the same as phone service, which would have placed them under common carrier rules. At this point, they're much more profitable not being subject to the QOS standards and other regulatory burdens that go along with that status, and even the phone companies are exempt when providing Internet services. Ultimately, being a common carrier does provide certain legal immunities ... but it also costs you more money.

Heheh. Kinda OT, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21793494)

As I've aged (I'm 41), my interest in contemporary music has waned to the point that I've almost completely lost interest in "modern" music.

The only stuff I listen to now is my classical collection, which I built up over a few years in my 30s.

I purchased a few high quality imported CDs from brick-and-mortar stores, and downloaded a bunch of albums and and tracks via KaZaA Lite in the 90s.

I haven't downloaded any music in at least the last three years.

Get the fuck off my lawn.

Before breaking out the champagne.... (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21793612)

The law students who begin these cases will have graduated before they reach the higher appellate courts, a full third may be gone before their cases go to trial.

There is a world of difference between the law school and the law office.

How about we wait until we get definitive victories on appeal and in Congress?

The federal criminal code was revised to remove any doubt that an infringer could be prosecuted even when there was no financial gain.

The statues could be just as easily revised so that "making files available" to the P2P nets becomes sufficient to establish infringement as a matter of law.

Re:Before breaking out the champagne.... (1)

Alter_Fritz (1087847) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794004)

"The statues could be just as easily revised so that "making files available" to the P2P nets becomes sufficient to establish infringement as a matter of law."

This might be true, but remember you guys had this phase when something else people wanted was illegal. (alcohol)
And what has it brought in the end?

So what do you think will happen if your GOV will get totally corrupted by Big Content and goes against so many people even more hardcore with "Prohibition 2.0" that they do nowadays with NET-Act and Co?

Revolution? Ha! (0, Troll)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794140)

Thats a joke. The courts are not about to let college students steal copyrighted material. You people who believe in this nonsense are just making it worse for yourself.

Re:Revolution? Ha! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794440)

This isn't about getting some sort of "get out of jail free
card". This is about making the RIAA actually put out an
effort and themselves obey the rule of law. Barratry and
illegal investigators are no less evil than someone getting
to listen to some one hit wonder for free in some alternate
free format (as opposed to all the other quite legal free
formats available).

Re:Revolution? Ha! (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794470)

The courts are not about to let college students steal copyrighted material.


Same about that fourth ammendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Or perhaps the fifth one:

...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Randomly sueing people demanding to take a look at their private data, without having any credible evidence against them, probably doesn't count as "due process of law", and merely being a student at a particular university certainly isn't "probable cause". But hey, I'm sure the RIAA will have no trouble battling a Lawyer factory that has the US constitution on their side. It will probably be as easy as sueing old ladies who don't even know how to use a computer... oh wait a second...

hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794262)

Student attorneys at the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic

Oh lord. Good luck, I personally wouldn't want to be represented by a law student. Or a law professor, for that matter, most law professors I've met practiced for a very short period of time before going back to academia.

Re:hmm (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794294)

Their brief was excellent! You would be lucky to have people of this quality representing you.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794706)

It was a nice brief, and this is not meant as a criticism of their abilities; for law students they're operating at a very high level. But now what? Even if the Court dismisses, the RIAA will file an amended complaint that meets the Twombly pleading standard (which with a little effort they could probably do, it isn't that much higher a standard than Conley). At that point your "attorneys" are a few months closer to graduation, and you're back where you started.

As unfair as the law is on this point, and as ridiculous and inept the RIAA has been in its lawsuits, it's fairly likely the students in question did violate copyright law, and it's quite likely if they did they'll be on the hook for significant money (the motion makes a constitutional argument that is not very convincing, with the sole case they cite not anywhere near on point). The students they represent are risking a lot.

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794814)

Even if the Court dismisses, the RIAA will file an amended complaint that meets the Twombly pleading standard (which with a little effort they could probably do, it isn't that much higher a standard than Conley).
I respectfully disagree. I have seen their new complaint. It suffers from the same infirmities as their original complaint. For an example, see the amended complaint in Interscope v. Rodriguez [blogspot.com] . I believe this new version likewise fails to state a claim for copyright infringement [blogspot.com] and is subject to dismissal.

There is a reason why no amount of amending can cure the RIAA's problem. It is that the RIAA simply does not have evidence of a copyright infringement by the defendant.

Re:hmm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794876)

I respectfully disagree. I have seen their new complaint. It suffers from the same infirmities as their original complaint. For an example, see the amended complaint in Interscope v. Rodriguez [blogspot.com]. I believe this new version likewise fails to state a claim for copyright infringement [blogspot.com] and is subject to dismissal.

If it's the same judge it's quite likely it will be. But if that complaint is filed in enough venues its eventually going to make it past dismissal, even post-Twombly, and once you're doing discovery someone's going to get

There is a reason why no amount of amending can cure the RIAA's problem. It is that the RIAA simply does not have evidence of a copyright infringement by the defendant.

And there are going to be sympathetic judges who will give the RIAA a chance to get that evidence. After a few requests for production and third party subpoenas it's quite likely they're going to have it. Unfortunately the majority of the people being targetted really did violate the law here, and I don't think Twombly is going to save all of them.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21794912)

The now what is forcing the RIAA to actually expend real money on their side of the fence doing a proper, legal, job. So far, all they do is fire off boilerplate that has almost no relevance to any individual being sued. That's lawsuits on the cheap. But that's what they want, to setting for a few thousand, and to scare everyone into stopping. What they've not recognized yet is that the "scare into stopping" isn't working, and gradually they are going to get forced into actually expending real legal money on each case individually, at which point their extorsion plans do down the tubes because they have to put in more money to get their settlement.

THIS IS... (1)

M0nk-e (1104673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794268)

U.MAINE!

This is not groundbreaking... (2, Informative)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794612)

I think the blog post on p2pnet gives this motion to dismiss a lot more credit than it is due. The basic crux of motion's the argument is that Bell Atlantic v. Twombly (Decision Here [supremecourtus.gov] ) raises the pleading standards for what a lawsuit must allege to a level that the RIAA's complaint, as currently written cannot meet.

The argument used does not challenge law suit on any substantive legal ground (i.e., the law underlying the complaint), but rather on procedural grounds. That basically means that the motion alleges that that RIAA/MPAA failed to meet a proper standard of proof with respect alleging enough facts to merit a suit.

I externed at a Federal Court this summer, and we saw plenty of these motions with this same argument for many different types of cases. Most of the time this procedural error was the fault of some idiot lawyer forgetting to check the validity of the case law cited in some boilerplate form complaint that the submitting firm had in their document library. The cases were usually dismissed, with leave to amend the complaint and refile one a sufficient complaint could be drafted. This is not "groundbreaking" will not stop the RIAA cold in its tracks. They will file another suit once they tweak their complaint to meat Twombly's new standard of proof.

I wish the students luck in fighting the suits against them and hope they win, but this is nothing more than a legal pothole, not the roadblock that the summary makes it out to be.

Re:This is not groundbreaking... (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794652)

I think what p2pnet was referring to when it called it a "revolution" was the fact that this was the first time a university's law school legal clinic has gone to bat for the university's students, thus levelling the playing field a bit. A level playing field is the death knell of the RIAA's entire litigation campaign, which relies exclusively upon a massive economic imbalance in every case, to keep the defendants from correcting the RIAA's (a) false statements of fact, and (b) bizarre legal theories.

Re:This is not groundbreaking... (1)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21795034)

I agree with you on this. If you had some good law school legal clinics taking up the cause, it would do a lot to end most of these suits, assuming the RIAA is filing them primarily for nuisance value. I know the clinic at my school has wanted to get involved, but we also have a film school that has way more pull, and they love internships and jobs that **AA member companies throw to graduates. More schools with less conflicts of interest should get involved.

Re:This is not groundbreaking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21795234)

I think you underestimate the importance of the Bell Atlantic pleading standard in this instance. RIAA seems to be pleading inferences in their cases, precisely the sort of thing that Bell Atlantic was addressing. The new standard might require RIAA to actually state in plain language that they can prove the connection between the IP addresses and the named defendants, which, as far as we know, they have had problems doing.

I would want a reaol lawyer (1)

larrythethird (927149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21794668)

Sounds a lot like a little hot dog stand in Van Nuys, CA in the 70's called Law Dogs. On Wednesdays, you could get free legal advise from the law students working there with the purchase of a hot dog. You do get what you pay for.
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