AfterDawn: Tech news

RIAA prepares to drop long running P2P suit for a lack of evidence

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 20 Jun 2008 4:46 User comments (11)

RIAA prepares to drop long running P2P suit for a lack of evidence The RIAA has filed a motion to dismiss what may be the most contentious file sharing case to date. In a letter to the judge the RIAA's lawyers admitted they don't believe there is any chance they will be able to positively identify the computer used to share the files in question. They're now confident it was the same PC owned by the plaintiff's daughter, which she has since gotten rid of. The letter also mentioned that they'll be filing for court sanctions against the defense for impeding discovery of this evidence earlier.
To say the case of UMG v. Lindor has been hotly contested would be an understatement at best. The defendant, Marie Lindor, owns a computer but has reportedly doesn't know enough about it to share a file. In fact the plaintiffs' investigators have officially stated that her computer wasn't the one involved in the file sharing they reported to the RIAA.

While RIAA lawyers have focused on who else may have had a computer connected to the internet through Lindor's account her lawyer, Ray Beckerman, has repeatedly attacked both the legality of the damages claimed, the lack of transparency in the investigation, and even the competence of the investigators themselves.

During one exchange, documented in court records Beckerman said "everybody I speak to tells me that MediaSentry doesn't know what they're doing." He also implied that the RIAA's campaign of lawsuits was intended to "target disabled people, home health care aides, people who don't even know how to use a computer"

Throughout the suit, which began more than three years ago, he has consistently taken the RIAA to task for their calculation of damages, which he sees as not just excessive but also beyond the scope of the law. Rather than $750 per song for a total of nearly $7000 he argues that the maximum allowed by law would be the actual cost of the same tracks if purchased ($8.91 for 9 songs) multiplied by a statutory maximum of 9 for a total of $56.70.

Ironically that's the same argument that Universal Music Group, the plaintiffs in this case, used to get damages reduced after losing a copyright infringement case related to sampling where they were the among the defendants.

Regardless of what you may think of Ray Beckerman's tactics, he makes two fundamental points that someone needs to address. First it needs to be established what the approrpriate (and lawful) maximum amount for damages should be. Then we need to make sure that if we're basing court decisions on purported scientific evidence there is actual proof of both the methods and results.

Until such time as both issues are dealt with in a reasonable manner we will continue to see defendants at a disadvantage against massive corporations which operate in secret by their own rules and ultimately answer to no one.

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11 user comments

120.6.2008 5:16
nobrainer
Inactive

Quote:
he has consistently taken the RIAA to task for their calculation of damages, which he sees as not just excessive but also beyond the scope of the law. Rather than $750 per song for a total of nearly $7000 he argues that the maximum allowed by law would be the actual cost of the same tracks if purchased ($8.91 for 9 songs) multiplied by a statutory maximum of 9 for a total of $56.70.

Ironically that's the same argument that Universal Music Group, the plaintiffs in this case, used to get damages reduced after losing a copyright infringement case related to sampling where they were the among the defendants.
One rule for them then eh. the RIAA/MPAA is like one ring to control them all, the only way to stop them is a complete boycott of all their media and products, bankrupt these anti-consumer courps.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Jun 2008 @ 5:17

220.6.2008 8:26

Quote:
Ray Beckerman, has repeatedly attacked both the legality of the damages claimed, the lack of transparency in the investigation, and even the competence of the investigators themselves.


'Nuff said.

320.6.2008 12:10
susieqbbb
Inactive

This doesn't surprise me at all with the advent of ip address maskers and changers there is no way they could tell if she did illegally download the items in question or not. or if someone in japan or china or any other country hijacked her ip address there is no way to tell there detection software really has a huge hole if they cannot detect a false ip address.

420.6.2008 13:33

Quote:
Rather than $750 per song for a total of nearly $7000 he argues that the maximum allowed by law would be the actual cost of the same tracks if purchased ($8.91 for 9 songs) multiplied by a statutory maximum of 9 for a total of $56.70.
This sounds perfectly correct to me, however I am not a lawyer. :P

If the RIAA is only going to get that much out of a lawsuit from someone than maybe they will stop.

However, they will probably come up with a way to say they suffered "Mental Anguish" or something similar causing them to be able to get their $750/song (or more) all over again, until that too is struck down by a judge or jury with a usable head on their shoulders.

520.6.2008 13:54

if there is no profit motive behind making available then there is no crime.

620.6.2008 16:19

Quote:
Quote:
he has consistently taken the RIAA to task for their calculation of damages, which he sees as not just excessive but also beyond the scope of the law. Rather than $750 per song for a total of nearly $7000 he argues that the maximum allowed by law would be the actual cost of the same tracks if purchased ($8.91 for 9 songs) multiplied by a statutory maximum of 9 for a total of $56.70.

Ironically that's the same argument that Universal Music Group, the plaintiffs in this case, used to get damages reduced after losing a copyright infringement case related to sampling where they were the among the defendants.
One rule for them then eh. the RIAA/MPAA is like one ring to control them all, the only way to stop them is a complete boycott of all their media and products, bankrupt these anti-consumer courps.

... What do we throw into Mt. Doom?

720.6.2008 16:32

"Mental Anguish?!" on whose part, the RIAA's?! HORSE FEATHERS! The only way those clowns would suffer mental anguish would be to have a judge decide to reverse the decision in the Jammie Thomas case and award HER the 220,000.00 for invasion of privacy, being hacked by a bunch of no nothings whose own witnesses can't find any wrong doing or evidence of file sharing on the computers involved and yet still say that file sharing happened. The RIAA is starting to dismiss some of their lawsuits wherein there is no "physical evidence" to be found, now that their "making available" defense has been shot down by a federal judge. Any evidence gathered by hacking into someone's computer to see if there are, indeed, songs waiting to be shared via P2P, is illegal and if you or I did it we'd be looking at hard time in Levenworth,yet these clowns do it via media sentry and swear that they've done nothing wrong. How's about a judge finding them guilty of hacking and throwing the book at media sentry. Their defense, of course, would be, "I was only following orders." and we all know how well that defense worked out at Nuremberg, don't we? Now if they were only following the orders of the RIAA wouldn't that make them culpable for destroying people's computers, invasion of privacy, filing false charges and hacking on orders of a company that is not in any way associated with the federal government?
Just my two cents.

820.6.2008 17:34
drach
Inactive

Quote:

Quote:he has consistently taken the RIAA to task for their calculation of damages, which he sees as not just excessive but also beyond the scope of the law. Rather than $750 per song for a total of nearly $7000 he argues that the maximum allowed by law would be the actual cost of the same tracks if purchased ($8.91 for 9 songs) multiplied by a statutory maximum of 9 for a total of $56.70.

Ironically that's the same argument that Universal Music Group, the plaintiffs in this case, used to get damages reduced after losing a copyright infringement case related to sampling where they were the among the defendants.

One rule for them then eh. the RIAA/MPAA is like one ring to control them all, the only way to stop them is a complete boycott of all their media and products, bankrupt these anti-consumer courps.


... What do we throw into Mt. Doom?

How about we start with the RIAA?

930.6.2008 10:14

Boycott RIAA music is the only way to save the music industry. They used to be 'the music industry' but that is changing. Good riddance of trash!

1019.8.2008 19:35
rivaa
Inactive

We hope a helping hand can do some good. RIVAA.org being a recent addition to the cause against the RIAA might be able to assist. Recently being launched as a gather information only site is just the beginning. Once our set of lawyers have completed the paperwork of the rights and good we can accomplish I think we might be able to send a message with your help. Our goal is very specific, to help those in their time of need..

We will be putting a set number of families on our site at a time and to accept donations to assist them. As your donations come in the site will be automatically updated so you can see where your donations are going.. We have a large set of supporters and have only been in the process a few weeks. We want to give money back to people like Jammie.

If you want to join our cause we cannot start accepting donations yet but if you have been sued by the RIAA we want to hear your story and once verified you will be put on our site.. For those of you that would like to assist please give us your information on our site, we will keep you updated. Spread the word..

WWW.RIVAA.ORG

1120.8.2008 7:20

rivaa, You came to a good place but I fear many of us are empty barrels. I doubt that you will find many persons being sued here. The RIAA usually catches the uninformed. They are uninformed because they are actually innocent just culpable under the law. The ones in court crime was buying the computer and the internet subscription which some one was uploading from.

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