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GPS Tracking Without a Warrant Declared Legal

seaniqua Re:Reasonable expectation of privacy (926 comments)

No, you have zero expectation of privacy in your driveway. What you have is an expectation of non-trespass and non-vandalism.

This. However, I fail to see a means by which a foreign device can be installed on an automobile WITHOUT trespassing...

more than 4 years ago

RIAA Throws In Towel On "Making Available" Case

seaniqua Re:About time. (252 comments)

I'm going to have to disagree with that analysis (IANAL, but I am a law student who is interested in practicing in copyright, so I have a little knowledge on the subject). (Before we get started, I have to say that I am not licensed to practice law anywhere, and this is not legal advice to anyone who may be reading this)

No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.

Hypothetical example: Charlie and Denise (fictitious names of the "Alice and Bob" variety) both have computers. Charlie rips a song from a CD and makes an MP3 of it (perfectly legal, though the RIAA would like for it not to be).

Contrary to popular opinion, the legality of ripping files is not a given. I don't have the text in front of me, but I recall the legality being hinged on judicial interpretation of several seemingly obvious, but legally fuzzy terms (such as "home audio recording device," and whether or not said term includes computers).

Charlie then places that song in his "Shared Files" folder (still perfectly legal).

Still questionably legal. This is the (untested as far as I know) act that the RIAA is trying to get labeled as inducement or contributory infringement. The idea is that, but for Charlie making it available for Denise to download, no infringement could have occurred.

Denise downloads the song--it's only at that moment that anything illegal was done, but it is Charlie, not Denise, who has broken the law.

Nope, they both have. Charlie and Denise have both infringed the reproduction and distribution rights of both the song writer and the recording artist. The RIAA has been choosing to sue only those who are making the tracks available (probably either because they think it's the cheapest way to get their message across, or because they haven't figured out a way to nail the downloaders without stirring up entrapment charges), but could go after both.

Note: this doesn't mean that I think the RIAA is right, this is just my take on the system as it stands today. Personally, I think a major overhaul is in order. One that doesn't include all of the stupid special interests that bought their way into the current system.

more than 6 years ago


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