AfterDawn: Tech news

Ray Beckerman urges defense lawyers to go after MediaSentry

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Aug 2008 6:34 User comments (15)

Ray Beckerman urges defense lawyers to go after MediaSentry Ray Beckerman, the high profile defense attorney who has spent countless hours battling RIAA lawyers in New York, has recently posted some advice to other defense attorneys on his blog, Recording Industry vs. The People. In light of the recent trend of judicial skepticism about RIAA claims he suggests that a good offense may be the best defense right now.
In particular the RIAA has been spending a lot of time defending their "making available" argument, where they claim that simply sharing files is enough to qualify as copyright infringement. MediaSentry, the firm that finds alleged copyright infringers for them and gathers the information used to get initial subpoenas is also under fire.

With all that in mind Mr. Beckerman is doing his best to help put together an effective strategy against the RIAA. In his August 12 blog post he said "this would be an excellent time to take MediaSentry's deposition, and find out where the truth lies."

He also gives a number of examples that show the corner the RIAA has backed themselves into. The briefs he links to for examples paint a clear picture of the arguments labels have been making for years now. Those same claims, by the way, are what judges are finally ruling on - and shooting down of course.

Perhaps the most striking thing about these cases is the arrogance of the RIAA, whose attorneys go so far as to call MediaSentry their investigator in one brief while claiming in another (in the same case) that "MediaSentry’s actions are analogous to a private citizen going to a public library and reading materials in the library’s collection."

That same brief also cites an opinion by the New York Attorney General on the requirements for licensing which specifically exempts patent infringement investigators working for attorneys. It then argues that copyright investigation is equally exempt.

Setting aside for the moment that patent infringement is a very different matter than copyright, just as patent attorneys are so different from others that they have their own bar exam, it turns out the opinion cited was from 1919, and not even based on current laws.

The question that comes immediately to mind is this. If the RIAA's arguments are so clearly in line with both written and case law why do they have to reach so far to prove it?

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15 user comments

113.8.2008 6:44
1bonehead
Inactive

And hunted now become the hunters.

213.8.2008 6:49

And vice versa.

313.8.2008 6:52
1bonehead
Inactive

Originally posted by nonoitall:
And vice versa.
How "vice versa" ?

The BPI Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The RIAA Soundexchange Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The IFPI Are: The same anti consumer lot as listed above!
The MPAA Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, DISNEY, PARAMOUNT, FOX.

413.8.2008 9:29

lmao. people like to post things without knowning what they mean or if its even relevant.. bravo "applauds"

513.8.2008 10:59
varnull
Inactive

Quality stuff from Beckerman. he moved his blog.. anybody know where it went?

613.8.2008 11:11

Quote:
The question that comes immediately to mind is this. If the RIAA's arguments are so clearly in line with both written and case law why do they have to reach so far to prove it?

Well stated indeed.

713.8.2008 12:25

Originally posted by varnull:
Quality stuff from Beckerman. he moved his blog.. anybody know where it went?

It's still on Blogspot

http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/

813.8.2008 13:17

Quote:
In particular the RIAA has been spending a lot of time defending arguments about using a "making available" argument where they claim that simply sharing files is enough to qualify as copyright infringement.
So if the people won, then could the ruling be over-turned for those that were convicted for "making available"? What about settlements? Would they still owe the money because they agreed to settle?

913.8.2008 13:43

Quote:
Quote:
In particular the RIAA has been spending a lot of time defending arguments about using a "making available" argument where they claim that simply sharing files is enough to qualify as copyright infringement.
So if the people won, then could the ruling be over-turned for those that were convicted for "making available"? What about settlements? Would they still owe the money because they agreed to settle?

Disclaimer: IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer - why does that look so dirty?)

I'm pretty sure that anyone who has settled is pretty much screwed since no judicial ruling was involved. Only one lawsuit, the Jammie Thomas case, has gone to jury. The making available argument was upheld as a key argument, but it appears the judge in that case is getting ready to give her a new trial on the grounds that was an error of law. You also have to remember that her lawyer in the original case didn't want to be there, and was actually trying to have himself removed from the case before he ever set foot in the courtroom.

1013.8.2008 14:28

Quote:

Disclaimer: IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer - why does that look so dirty?)

I'm pretty sure that anyone who has settled is pretty much screwed since no judicial ruling was involved. Only one lawsuit, the Jammie Thomas case, has gone to jury. The making available argument was upheld as a key argument, but it appears the judge in that case is getting ready to give her a new trial on the grounds that was an error of law. You also have to remember that her lawyer in the original case didn't want to be there, and was actually trying to have himself removed from the case before he ever set foot in the courtroom.
Vurbal, that does look dirty! I agree with you. I think once you've settled, that's it. It's the same as arbitration. I would like to see Jammie Thomas win her case, and then counter-sue.

1113.8.2008 18:09

It's relevant...vice versa would mean the HUNTERS are now the HUNTED.

1214.8.2008 8:35
susieqbbb
Inactive

Here in the u.s.a i find that the RIAA should be called the new mob.

They violate peoples rights you have no right to search someone's traffic on there machine without a warrent to do so.

You do not search a machine illegally to get a warrent.

And all of there search warrents should be thrown out of court..

This is why we have the internet protection act it protects are rights online so that we are not marked as Criminals and treated as such and the Riaa continues to violate the internet protection act which should be counted as illegal but yet we have judges that have no balls to stand up to the Riaa and say heck no you cannot search someone's machine to obtain a search warrent.

But again the Riaa continues to pay off people to look the other way and continue to look the other way.

1314.8.2008 23:55
drach
Inactive

Quote:
Here in the u.s.a i find that the RIAA should be called the new mob.

Of course, the Racketeering Industry Association of America.

1415.8.2008 2:27
1bonehead
Inactive

Originally posted by drach:
Quote:
Here in the u.s.a i find that the RIAA should be called the new mob.

Of course, the Racketeering Industry Association of America.
So do the "RICO" laws mean

Recording Industry Corrupt Organizations ???

The BPI Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The RIAA Soundexchange Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The IFPI Are: The same anti consumer lot as listed above!
The MPAA Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, DISNEY, PARAMOUNT, FOX.

1515.8.2008 2:29
varnull
Inactive

Racketeering Imperialists Condone Oppression

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