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Judge rejects student's privacy claims in file sharing case

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 26 Oct 2007 0:24 User comments (11)

Judge rejects student's privacy claims in file sharing case It appears that University of Tennessee student's interesting legal strategy of thwarting RIAA attempts to discover his identity have been blocked. The student's identity will soon be released to the RIAA after a judge ruled that the information isn't protected under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The student's lawyer had argued that under FERPA the student's identity could only be revealed if he explicitly waived his rights, but the judge decided that most of the information sought by RIAA lawyers is already categorized as "directory information" which can be released without student permission. This information includes his name, address, phone number, and email address. Judge Guyton also ruled that since the information about a student's computer doesn't count as an educational record at all, MAC and IP address disclosure isn't affected by FERPA at all.

Despite winning this battle, the war against file sharers at universities continues to be contentious. Many students, and even some university officials, feel that the RIAA has repeatedly overstepped legal boundaries while pursuing students on college networks. At different times, various institutions have complied with subpoenas without comment, fought the subpoenas in court, or supplied Limited information.

Unfortunately, no clear Federal guidelines exist for the mass lawsuits being filed regularly by the RIAA exists. This has resulted in quite a bit of controversy, and a few very interesting defenses, as defendants try to find areas where RIAA tactics cross the line between uncomfortable and illegal. As long as the lawsuits are being filed, expect the interesting defenses mounted by some defendants to continue as well

Source: Ars Technica

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11 user comments

126.10.2007 8:05

oh goody nothing like taking a guy to jail for finding a illegal gun in the safe in his closet without a warrant...

226.10.2007 8:17

The judicial system isn't perfect. There will always be loopholes!

326.10.2007 10:06

The judge has really no brains. Directory information is he/she serious? That is personal information and should not be readily accessible by the RIAA just cause they want it. I believe the judicial needs to come in to the new age of technology and re-examine the currently laws and adjust them according. I hear new stories about this stuff everyday and it just pisses me off because there are too many grey areas in the technology laws today.

426.10.2007 10:45

Originally posted by janega:
The judge has really no brains.
yep, just a full pocket...

526.10.2007 11:39

this is insane jesus why is this world filled with crooks they think we steal but the truth is they steal more than us. think about it why do they need to sue for 600,000 for 12 songs becuase they need too pay every bodyoff they bribed. they wont drag me to jail cuase id shoot all of them that were gona tke me to jail for 12 songs at 600,000 dollors.

626.10.2007 12:30

I would think that this would fall under basic invasion of privacy.

I hope the RIAA has proof that he was actually downloading illegal content. I am sure they do not based on their case history. One trial that comes to mind is when they sued a deceased grandmother who didnt even own a computer.

Seems like anymore if you want someone's personal information, then all you need to do is file a lawsuit against them and you get it.

726.10.2007 14:23
duckNrun
Inactive

more importantly is why the courts, and govt. do not do something when the company that the RIAA uses for investigations is not licensed to do investigations and has admitted that their methods are faulty at best... guess it goes back to that 'full pocket' comment.

826.10.2007 14:46

Sorry guys, but "privacy rights" have NEVER protected you from from a court ordered subpoena, or from a criminal investigation. (i.e. A search warrant allows the police to legally violate your privacy.)


(The above comments apply to the USA, I don't now about privacy rights in other countries.)

927.10.2007 8:41
duke8888
Inactive

If he has nothing to hid why dispute his ID? I guess guilty shows in his actions as he is trying to avoid a fine which is better to pay then go to trial and owe his whole life to the dam RIAA. Stop sharing files as its only going to get worse for people who share files like videos and music as well as programs.

No more p2p for me or my household

1027.10.2007 8:51

Originally posted by duke8888:
If he has nothing to hid why dispute his ID? I guess guilty shows in his actions as he is trying to avoid a fine which is better to pay then go to trial and owe his whole life to the dam RIAA. Stop sharing files as its only going to get worse for people who share files like videos and music as well as programs.

No more p2p for me or my household
I hope you switch to 100% used products as much as you can ,it will save you more moeny that way ^^

1131.10.2007 17:46

Seems to me we will have to wait for part two of this case too see what happens to this student and which way this case will turn.

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