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Universal lawyers call MediaSentry investigators, not experts

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 09 Jul 2008 18:08 User comments (4)

Universal lawyers call MediaSentry investigators, not experts Earlier this week we told you about correspondence between the agency contracted to investigate file sharers by the RIAA and the Michigan Department of Labor. In the letter, published on Ray Beckerman's website, MediaSentry lawyers argued that their activities don't require a Private Investigator's license because they merely act as technical experts, analyzing publicly available information. As it turns out the RIAA themselves have made exactly the opposite argument in court to block Mr. Beckerman's efforts to question MediaSentry's employees or obtain details of their operation.
On his blog, Recording Industry vs. The People, he points out that lawyers for Universal Music Group (UMG) specifically claimed on three separate occasions that MediaSentry was not being relied on for any technical expertise, but were in fact only being utilized as investigators. An excerpt from a November, 2006 filing UMG lawyers wrote the following.

Specifically, MediaSentry has not been designated as an expert witness in this case and is not offering any expert opinions. Rather, the MediaSentry investigator who detected the infringement at issue, Tom Mizzone, is a fact witness, having downloaded information from defendant's Kazaa share folder that any other Kazaa user could have downloaded.

They same filing also describes MediaSentry's role in the suit as "conducting on-line investigations into the illegal infringement of plaintiff's copyrighted works."

It's worth noting that the case which these documents were drawn from is just now drawing to a close, with UMG having long since cleared Ms. Lindor and finally admitting they have no evidence of whose computer was actually used to download the files in question. So much for MediaSentry's experts.

And let's also not forget that earlier this year MediaSentry changed their website, which used to identify them as investigators. The following was removed from the site of their parent company Safenet shortly after they were accused of conducting investigations illegally in the state of New York.

The bottom line is this. Either MediaSentry is an investigation firm that must be licensed, and therefore subject to government regulation, or they're expert witnesses whose methods are subject to scrutiny by defendants. It's time to pick one and deal with the consequences.

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4 user comments

19.7.2008 18:58

owned.

29.7.2008 19:49

Indeed,thoroughly pwnt.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jul 2008 @ 20:11

310.7.2008 3:17

Quote:
The bottom line is this. Either MediaSentry is an investigation firm that must be licensed, and therefore subject to government regulation, or they're expert witnesses whose methods are subject to scrutiny by defendants. It's time to pick one and deal with the consequences.


But jeez judge, can't I have it both ways ?

410.7.2008 14:13

Talk about an identity crisis! MediaSentry can't decide what nor who they are, but they are quick to label other people pirates!

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