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Prof. Johan Pouwelse To Take On RIAA Expert 184

Posted by kdawson
from the knows-whereof-he-speaks dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Marie Lindor has retained an expert witness of her own to fight the RIAA, and to debunk the testimony and reports of the RIAA's 'expert' Dr. Doug Jacobson, whose reliability has been challenged by Ms. Lindor in her Brooklyn federal court case, UMG v. Lindor. Ms. Lindor's expert is none other than Prof. Johan Pouwelse, Chairman of the Parallel and Distributed Systems Group of Delft University of Technology. It was Prof. Pouwelse's scathing analysis of the RIAA's MediaSentry 'investigations' (PDF) in a case in the Netherlands that caused the courts in that country to direct the ISPs there not to turn over their subscribers' information (PDF), thus nipping in the bud the RIAA's intended litigation juggernaut in that country."
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Prof. Johan Pouwelse To Take On RIAA Expert

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  • by malkavian (9512) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:08AM (#19128283) Homepage
    Whether or not the RIAA manage to drown out the technical side of the argument in legal noise.
    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that this is actually the candle in the darkness that the article author believes to be the case (and no, to those that'll accuse me of being a thief of property and a subversive, I don't download music or videos. I just think the **AA are just playing dictator, and now facing their just come uppance).

  • As someone who found the original deposition to be a very enjoyable page-turner, I'm hoping that the sequel will be even better than the first one.

    -P
  • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:13AM (#19128313)
    I am a servant of knowledge, wielder of common sense. Go back to the shadow. The strong arm tactics will not avail you, face of the recording industry! You shall not pass!
  • Jury of peers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by packetmon (977047) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:13AM (#19128315) Homepage
    Well as having been someone who's gone through a complete trial against the Department of Justice I can tell you what will happen in layman's terms regardless of what expert(s) is/are called. One no one will want to serve as a juror so you will get frustrated persons as jurors. Secondly she won't get a technically competent jury so their attitude will be more or less: "Is this damned thing over with". Thirdly because her jury won't be technical no matter what someone here thinks, the jury will likely be lost in technological talk that will seem foreign to them. Outcome... No one will truly care. Bottom line reality. It may be nice for /.'ers and people across the technology world to think that something big will come out of this case, and it will, because either way both sides win and lose so the write up will be favorable to whomever in either circumstance. That's the reality of it all. Consider this posting a trollish one if you care to, but facts are facts, no one on the jury will care to be there, they will be stuck like deers in headlights no matter how its explained to them, and the outcome won't make much of a difference to the world at the end of it all.
    • Re:Jury of peers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tygerstripes (832644) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:20AM (#19128383)
      While I understand your withering commentary on the outcome from the perspective of the jury, you're forgetting the impact on law.

      Case law is about precedent, and if Marie Lindor can have this case thrown out of court on grounds of technological fact, it will snap a big string in the bow of th **AA. They won't be able to use this particular ruse - one of their biggest - any longer in the courts, as anyone who takes a case defending someone against such a suit will simply be able to throw this case in.

      Suddenly, fighting the **AA becomes a lot easier and cheaper, and it's Game Over as far as strong-arm, expensive litigation goes - the "Industry's" biggest weapon.

      I think your comments regarding the jury are valid, but your conclusions are not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by packetmon (977047)
        You didn't read the fact that I said it could go either way for both parties and in the end it will only matter to them. Say what you will about precedence but the fact is, caselaw changes often. The problem with this case will be keeping the jury from falling asleep because they will (repeat WILL) be bored by a case which can be pretty long, too technological for them to comprehend. My case lasted one week and a juror slept (not kidding) and was given a warning. Do you think that juror had any idea or care
        • Re:Jury of peers (Score:4, Interesting)

          by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:01AM (#19128741)

          The outcome means nothing to the jurors at the end of the day, most will want to get out of jury duty and just get back to normal life duties.

          This is complete and utter hogwash, and it seems like you're all pissy because you lost (although I don't think you said one way or the other). Perhaps you got a "bad" jury. Did you know that jury selection is two-sided? Both the prosecuting and defense attorneys take part in the process. If you had a lame jury, blame your lawyer. Speaking from experience, and having participated in jury duty not too long ago, I can assure you that even though much of the case was boring, each and every one of us made our best attempt to stay alert and remember facts for deliberation. We tried very hard to put aside personal beliefs and make a decision based on the law and the evidence heard. At the beginning of deliberations, the jury was nearly equally divided between guilty and not-guilty verdicts. After hours of deliberation and going through the facts each of use remembered, and also asking for a read back of part of the transcript, we ended up with one guilty verdict and the rest not-guilty. Ultimately, we had a hung jury because the one person who wanted a guilty verdict was unable to set aside the fact that the alleged victim was a child, and refused to budge even though the prosecution had failed to even remotely prove their case. I think he was wrong. But I can say this about him: he was very passionate about his opinion, and was trying very hard (even with the rest of us in opposition) to do what he felt was right. So, if the defense attorney is worth anything, there will be a balanced jury that will give the case a fair shake.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The outcome means nothing to the jurors at the end of the day, most will want to get out of jury duty and just get back to normal life duties.

            This is complete and utter hogwash


            No, it's complete and utter truth. Consider yourself lucky that you were on a jury with a different experience. Consider yourself lucky that the judge let you get by with a hung jury. I know of a case where a jury deliberated for over 1 month because the judge refused to allow a hung jury and after 1 month the lone holdout fi
            • Re:Jury of peers (Score:4, Insightful)

              by orgelspieler (865795) <.w0lfie. .at. .mac.com.> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @01:11PM (#19133829) Journal

              It's also not about "a decision based on the law" as you state, but how the jury interprets the law, which is a gigantic distinction. Judges cannot under any circumstances tell juries what the law means. They can read the applicable law statues to the jury but it's up to the jury to decide what they think it means.
              That's absolutely incorrect. Juries interpret the facts. The judge interprets the law (except for jury nullification, but that's a different story). And it's up to the DA and defense attorney to explain what the law means in relation to the case. It is then up to the jury to decide whether the facts in the case are enough to warrant conviction.

              I served on a needlessly long jury trial for assault with a deadly weapon. Both the DA and the defense attorney set about explaining what the law meant in their opening statements. We heard the evidence, during which the judge interpreted the law by ruling on objections. After the closing arguments, the judge gave us our charge, which is another interpretation of the law, boiled down to explain what we were required to find for a guilty verdict. It was also an interpretation of the law in the sense that the judge had ruled out the possibility of finding the defendant guilty of any lesser offenses. We decided the facts, nothing else. It was a pretty simple "not guilty" in this case.

              What a jury thinks a law means and what judges and lawyers think a law means are 2 different things.
              More like 15 different things each juror, two attorneys, and one judge.

              As for the main point of the GP, even the most jaded juror must realize that it could just as easily be them sitting in the defendants chair. To say that all juries are just interested in getting back to work is baseless. I for one enjoyed the time off, and I liked serving my community. I would be surprised if it's even a substantial fraction of juries that are of the "screw justice let's get out of here" mindset.

            • by Boogaroo (604901)
              Every jury is different. Clearly you've seen some of the bad juries. The other poster has seen good juries. Also, while juries may think about the law, they're supposed to interpret the facts, not the law. T

              Regardless, one cannot know that this jury will be composed of 100% old technophobes. The chance of a technically savvy juror is about the same as the population of the area the case is in. All it really takes is one jury member with the technical common sense to catch the important parts of the testimon
            • by NMerriam (15122)

              Consider yourself lucky that you were on a jury with a different experience.

              Perhaps you should consider yourself unlucky to have had a bad experience?

              I've served on several juries in my life, as have multiple family members and friends. Every one of us enjoyed the process, found it interesting and served with jurors who were very serious about what we were all doing. Yes, it can be an inconvenience but I think you underestimate how much people like novelty and the feeling of doing something different and

        • Re:Jury of peers (Score:5, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @09:02AM (#19129363)

          You didn't read the fact that I said it could go either way for both parties and in the end it will only matter to them.

          They way I read the motion, I would say it was heavily in favor of the defendant. In the deposition of Dr. Jacobson, he admitted that the methods he used were:

          1. of his own design
          2. never published
          3. thus, never peer-reviewed
          4. never accepted by a standards body (NIST, IEEE, etc.)

          In response, the RIAA says that "this methodology amounts to no more than applying settled principles to the undisputed data . . . used by reasonable experts in Dr. Jacobson's field . . . is the only way to do [the analysis] . . . and there is nothing that could be peer-reviewed." In essence, the RIAA says it is such a common (and only) methodoloy, it doesn't need to be tested. The RIAA misses the point.

          What they RIAA doesn't tell you that these cases are new and no one has actually challenged the methodology yet. For the first part of the 20th century, phrenology [wikipedia.org] was accepted as a way to tell a person's character based on measurements of their head. It was used in court cases to help prove guilt. Later, it was debunked as a pseudoscience. Also Dr. Jacobson's methods have been successfully challenged in the Netherlands.

          The second part of the defendant's motion was with the data from Media Sentry itself. In his deposition, Dr. Jacobson admitted:

          1. he did not know how Media Sentry gathered the data
          2. he did not know the accuracy of the data
          Basically, the defendant is asking where the data comes from and how accurate is it? The RIAA's own expert does not know.

          To this the RIAA responds that the "plaintiffs have authenticated the MediaSentry data . . . and the defendant has not offered one shred of evidence to contest the accuracy or reliability of the data." The RIAA tries to sidestep the accuracy question by vouching for the data themselves and asserts the defendant has no offered any proof the data is bad. That misses the point completely. The point was that the data is a such a mystery that even their expert does not know much about it. Also the RIAA hints that the defendant has not sought discovery from MediaSentry yet. What the RIAA doesn't mention is that in many court cases, it has sought to shield MediaSentry from discovery.

          Finally, the RIAA challenges that all these technical arguments were made by defendant's lawyers and that the defendant has not offered any expert testimony to counter their expert. This point is moot as the defendant now has an expert.

          • Great comment, Unknowing Fool.
             
            Boy, have you been paying attention.
          • I remember reading through one of these trials awhile ago. It was a loooooong excerpt, but quite interesting.

            Now my memory might just be a little off, but didn't this supposed expert also take all of *15 minutes* to examine the evidence given to him. Did he not also neglect to log various items that indicated that infringing material was not on the drive. His attitude was that he didn't find what I was looking for, so I didn't record anything, rather than recording that there was a lack of infringing mate
            • Yes, one of the minor objections of the defendant was that the expert did not record his analysis (audio or visually) and had no notes of the analysis but relied purely on his recollections. Although courts do not necessarily need the analysis to be as detailed as an autopsy, there has to be some documentation of procedure.
          • Re:Jury of peers (Score:4, Interesting)

            by 19061969 (939279) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @04:36PM (#19137395)
            This is not completely off-topic, but almost.

            In my work in statistics (in education), validity has to be shown every time analysis is done. It's never a once and for all thing. This is a real drag for research, but it helps to show that what you say has a degree of validity. In my field, any expert witness offering evidence-based testimony would be required to complete the task of showing validity right from the start, otherwise the results and conclusion are not worth paying attention to.
      • Of course, if the **AA (is that really what we're calling them now?) loses it's biggest string and is completely unable to bring civil cases against people that steal music (er... violate copyright) it will just assist them in their purchase of consumer unfriendly laws.

        "See? We can't successfully recover our losses. You have to help us."

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thirdly because her jury won't be technical no matter what someone here thinks, the jury will likely be lost in technological talk that will seem foreign to them.

      That may work in her favor. People who don't regularly use computers tend to be intimidated by them, and people who do regularly use computers tend to have more than a few stories about how their unreliability and mysteriousness has lead to them losing data, accumulating spyware, and discovering websites in their Favorites and on their home pag

    • The happiness of society is the end of government. -- John Adams

      I wonder if John Adams is using the word "end" in a way that is synonymous with "goal", rather than to suggest that he's some sort of radical anarchist. Do you have the context for the quote?
      • by VargrX (104404) *

        I wonder if John Adams is using the word "end" in a way that is synonymous with "goal", rather than to suggest that he's some sort of radical anarchist. Do you have the context for the quote?

        I believe that your correct in this presumption:
        Attribution: John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Thoughts on Government (1776). http://www.liberty1.org/thoughts.htm [liberty1.org].

        The quote is in the fourth paragraph of the letter, and the context is (imo) close to what your supposing - 'end' is synonymous to goal, not

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BlueStraggler (765543)
        It's a distinction without a difference. The goal/end of a journey is the finale/end of the journey. There only seems to be a distinction in cases where the finale is unreachable because the goal is too idealistic.
    • Re:Jury of peers (Score:5, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:16AM (#19128849)

      If you have been following the case, the defendant is trying to have the RIAA's expert testimony excluded so it never reaches a jury. Her argument is that unlike other expert testimony, the RIAA's expert Dr. Jacobson has used unproved, unpublished methods and relied upon unknown data to make his conclusions. That would make his testimony entirely of his personal and not professional opinion. Personal opinion testimony is not allowed to be introduced as expert testimony. Also the data provided to him by Media Sentry has never been vetted to be accurate so even if his testimony could be allowed, the basis of his testimony would be in doubt. To counter the RIAA, the defendant is presenting another expert witness who has in the past successfully refuted the RIAA.

      Without the expert witness, the RIAA really has not much of a case left. Their case would boil down to someone shared their copyrighted files. They can't prove if it was their files. They can't prove it was the defendant. This would set a precedent for all cases to follow like the awarding of attorney's fees might be a precedent.

    • I was on a medical malpractice jury once. And while I was the only "technical" sort on the Jury, people were really good about asking the judge questions on matters of law.

      Juries are allowed to ask tons of questions to the Judge. And the Judge is the sole answer of questions on law.

      Remember Jury box is one of the 4 boxes of freedom. I realize that not a lot of other people do...
      • Re:Jury of peers (Score:4, Informative)

        by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@NospAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @12:28PM (#19133035)
        Also, one thing many people on juries don't know and citizens aren't informed of:

        No matter what a judge tells you, JURY NULLIFICATION IS LEGAL AND ACCEPTABLE. You can vote NOT GUILTY for any reason, no matter the cause, end of story.

        It is never illegal for you to vote not guilty, it is never "wrong" for you to vote not guilty. If you ever get to a jury regarding file sharing, and you believe the current state of the law is unacceptable, you can vote NOT GUILTY regardless of how narrowly the judge defines the "issues at hand".

        The prosecutor and judge will try to steer you to look only at narrow issues of fact and law. The truth is that juries have unreviewable and unreversable authority to acquit for any reason. (U.S. v. Dougherty, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1972).

        JURY NULLIFICATION IS ALWAYS 'OKAY'.
    • by Himring (646324)
      Very right. My own legal troubles were an awakening. The last thing law is about is justice. Bottom line: deep pockets win. The RIAA knows that simply by making people go through the hassle of going to court, this alone could have an impact. As a matter of fact, you can keep taking someone to court ad infinitum (seemingly), without a prayer of winning, but the trouble of it alone can destroy your mind, soul and bank account.

      "Justice in America is the best money can buy...." --Will Rogers
    • by deblau (68023)
      I'm technically competent and I was just on a jury, along with a former FBI agent and a college student. It happens more often than you think.
  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:17AM (#19128351)
    Johan: "I don't think da two youts downloaded any illegal music".
    Judge: "Youts? Did you say youts?"
    Johan: "Yeah ... da two youts."
    Judge: "What's a yout?"
    Johan: "Why don't you ask Dr. Jacobson? He's supposedly the expert here."
    Judge: "Dr. Jacobson, what's a yout?"
    Jacobson: "I believe it's a file type used for illegal music downloads, your honor."
    Johan: "Da defenses rests, your judgeship".
  • by advocate_one (662832) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:18AM (#19128359)
    he'll never be able to appear in the US, someone will just have him added to the do-not-fly list... after all, he's got a foreign sounding name... that's enough for a start...
  • As soon as congress passes the magical and majestic Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

    1. Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright.
    2. Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
    3. Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations.
    4. Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention regulations.
    5. Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes.

    and my favorite,

    6. Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America.

    http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com]
    • by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:43AM (#19128551) Journal

      As soon as congress passes the magical and majestic Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007.

      1. Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright.
      2. Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software.
      Step number two would criminalize approximately 50% of the current Windows users. This move would seriously hamper MS's future revenues and cannot be allowed.

      3. Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations.
      4. Increase penalties for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention regulations.
      I'm assuming that you have heard, Viacom is going to have the DMCA repealed during their lawsuit with YouTube?

      5. Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes.
      and my favorite,
      6. Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America.

      http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com]
      I'm reasonably certain that if the DHS were to use their position/power to spy on the **AA all of these law suits would simply vanish. I'm thinking that one DHS director finding out how much less of a cut he got than senator so-and-so would put paid to that game.
    • Until I got to your link, I really thought you were joking. Life imprisonment?! Wow. "intended" copyright crimes? When does Tom Cruise come crashing into your house to arrest you for "future crimes" with a **AA patch on his shoulder?!
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:03AM (#19128751) Homepage Journal
      Holy fsck! I thought you were kidding. Here I was thinking "Why did this get modded informative?" Until I noticed the link at the end of the post...and then followed and read it! Parent is very serious, folks. Another one that struck me:

      * Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture


      They'll be able to seize your PC like a they would a drug lord's vehicles and property. You have to be kidding me. In addition, what is a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime? How about anything running Linux with libdvdcss loaded on it! Ya know, so you can play those DVDs you legitimately purchased on equipment you own? Except that doing so is a violation of the DMCA?

      • Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture

        They'll be able to seize your PC like a they would a drug lord's vehicles and property.

        Glad I use a Mac.

    • The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution.

      (from http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9719339-7.html [com.com])

      In other news, the Attorney General announced that "suspicion of resisting arrest" will be added to America's criminal law under the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution.

      "We feel," he said, "that police should have the power to act to detain an individual based on their well-founded suspicions that the individual might resist the lawful actions of p
  • by bconway (63464) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:32AM (#19128463) Homepage
    The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.

    I stopped reading there. While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen. Slashdot is, in general, a technical and smart crowd, let's not pull the wool over our own eyes. It just makes us look foolish.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bwbadger (706071)
      >let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen

      Sure, but it's a stupid law as it stands and it should be changed. Clearly laws like these can be changed *because they are being changed right now*, though the changes seem to be making things worse.

    • by tinkerghost (944862) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:15AM (#19128845) Homepage

      The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.
      I stopped reading there. While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen. Slashdot is, in general, a technical and smart crowd, let's not pull the wool over our own eyes. It just makes us look foolish.

      It's a perfectly valid statement to be making, the RIAA is pushing through all of the laws based on beeelionnns of $ stolen, stolen I tell you. They base the damages they are seeking on it. And yet, every peer reviewed study says it increases sales for the independent musicians - the members of the RIAA won't share detailed sales information so it's not possible to determine specifics. However, IIRC - one study found that sales jumped after every college break during which file sharing jumped.

      Also check out Eric Flint's comments @ Baen books free library from back in 2002 reguarding his sales figures when he releases a book on the free elibrary. From the same collection of essays, I suggest you read the one reguarding copyright as presented in 1841 in England - pay special attention to the last paragraphs, the man is just frighteningly accurate.

      Now, yes, it's illegal - not sure if it should be as the current scope of copyright law does not appear to strike a balance between the rights of society & the rights of the content producers. In that sense it needs some serious revamping. The DMCA is just bad - any law that garantees your right to fair use, but denies you access to the tools to exercise that right is bad.

      So perhaps you should go back & read the whole artical & educate yourself about the whole argument not just 'stealing is wrong' - in a very real & moral sense, copyright steals from society, which is why Benjamin Franklin objected to it. The laws reguarding copyright are supposed to balance the need to compensate creative people with the rights of society at large to make use of what has been created. They do not currently balance anything.

    • (In case you don't know who Javert is [wikipedia.org], search the wikipedia)

      The 'files shared = sales lost' formula has never been proven by the RIAA, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, or anyone else.

      I stopped reading there.


      WHY? Just because something is illegal (this means, that some guys voted a law against it - not more, not less, period) doesn't mean that it will automatically hurt the sales of the record companies. Yes, downloading songs is illegal. But so is protesting against president Chavez if you live in Venezuela. The moral and ethics of music piracy are NOT at discussion at this point. What is at discussion is: a) Whether Marie Lindor actually infringed copyright, and b) whether she made the RIAA lose thousands of dollars in music sales.

      Prof. Pouwelse did an empyrical analysis, and this means SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, proving that just because people downloaded a song from the internet, doesn't make the RIAA lose sales from it. This can have a tremendous impact on RIAA's fines, because if you only made them lose 1 cent by downloading a song from the internet, the stratospheric fines they're asking you to pay might only become a small fine of ten bucks.
    • While everyone can agree that it's wrong for the RIAA to prosecute people who do not have the means to commit copyright infringement, let's not forget that it's still against the law when it does happen.

      Reminder: (legal != right) && (illegal != wrong)

      Just because a law exists saying something is illegal does not mean that law is right or just. For reference, you can examine the laws of any dictatorship or fascist government.

      Fair use and not-for-profit media distribution has a definite plac

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:47AM (#19128591)
    All we have to do is somehow get the RIAA in a legal fight with the Scientologists...
    • All we have to do is somehow get the RIAA in a legal fight with the Scientologists...

      That would be an AWESOME steel-cage match. "Two litigious organizations go in, only one comes out!" Reminds me of when I tried to get the Mormons and the Baptists at the office to duke it out. Good times.

      Of course, the danger is they might combine and form a more powerful entity, a la "Nomad" (or "V'ger").

  • by KutuluWare (791333) <kutulu&kutulu,org> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @07:58AM (#19128707) Homepage
    One of the links in the summary goes to the judgement on appeal from a case in the Netherlands of the RIAA (or whatever their equivalent is... there's like 35 plaintiffs) vs. some ISPs. The court ruled, twice, that the ISPs didn't have to turn over names & addresses based on the list of IPs the music companies gave them. The main reason was because the court didn't believe that MediaSentry was a proper means of obtaining them.

    One of the reasons they didn't like MediaSentry was this:

    The Preliminary Injunction Court also considered the fact that MediaSentry is an American company and that the United States of America could not be considered to be a country that has an appropriate protection level for personal data
    At least the rest of the world has figured out what most of us Americans haven't: America's right to privacy is a rapidly disappearing illusion.
    • At least the rest of the world has figured out what most of us Americans haven't: America's right to privacy is a rapidly disappearing illusion.
      You are at the same time reading too much and too little in the statement.
      This is a statement in a court of law.
      They are not talking about general privacy law, but specific ones.
      There is a very big difference even in the way the law works in USA and in Europe.
      For example, in Europe, your data belong to YOU. Privacy laws give you a RIGHT to have those data corrected
  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:03AM (#19128749) Homepage
    The RIAA only has power because we enable it. With the exception of the random but rare story about some grandma in Peoria who didnt have p2p, the vast majority find themselved bullied by the RIAA because they coveted some drivel being peddled by an RIAA member. Stop buying it, stop borrowing it, stop stealing it, stop listening to it and the RIAA has no power at all. Those that continue to support the RIAA's causes either legally or illegally are entitled to do nothing other than stop bitching about it.
    • A large enough call to every artist to not sign any RIAA contracts would have a bigger impact, because people might actually do that. Stop listening to music that you think defines your style/personality? why not ask to stop breathing?
      • by grapeape (137008)
        Some would argue that if your playing the good little consumer and basing your style and personality on what some record company shill is pushing on you then you really have neither you've just cloned someones elses idea of what they should be.
        • perhaps you would explain how your plan(?) solves the problem of RIAA having the money to corrupt the US? As far as I can tell people want to be clones to a certain extent. You didn't get that idea to be original all by yourself, now did you?
          • by grapeape (137008)
            Its no plan and no its not original, its what people have been saying since the RIAA tried to eliminate fair use back in the 70's when casette tapes debuted. Eventually people are going to have to decide which is more important their freedoms or the latest Britney Spears CD. Sure its tired, and of course its been repeated ad nauseum but that doesnt make it any less true. The majority have decided long ago to be sheep, conform, follow and assimilate with the rest of the herd but it doesnt mean everyone ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by witte (681163)
      Just like deleting spam from my mailbox will stop spammers and scammers from flooding everyones mailbox ? Yeah, right...
      It only takes a minority of paying idiots to give these people the funds to keep on bugging the rest of us.
      And in the case of RIAA, I'm sure they have plenty of dough in their coffers to go to war with and outlast most grassroots attempts at heightening consumer awareness.

      <sarcasm>Voting with our wallet probably hurts them less than copyright infringement</sarcasm>
  • NYCL seeks to exclude Jacobson on the basis of a failure to meet the standards of expert testimony as laid out in Daubert.
    Plaintiff writes back that: A) Mediasentry's function is evident, and therefore not in need of expert testimony: it merely reports what's out there.
    B) Nobody disputes that somewhere out there was a computer with the material in question.
    C) Esteemed expert Jacobson's job was to associate that computer in B with a person. Using means too magical to describe, Jacobson did that.
    D) In any ca
  • by kwark (512736) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @08:45AM (#19129117)
    "It was Prof. Pouwelse's scathing analysis of the RIAA's MediaSentry 'investigations' (PDF) in a case in the Netherlands that caused the courts in that country to direct the ISPs there not to turn over their subscribers' information (PDF), thus nipping in the bud the RIAA's intended litigation juggernaut in that country."

    And a couple of months later Brein (the dutch ..AA equiv.) won a case against UPC (an ISP), forcing them to hand over the subscribers information: http://zoeken.rechtspraak.nl/resultpage.aspx?snelz oeken=true&searchtype=ljn&ljn=AY6903&u_ljn=AY6903 [rechtspraak.nl]
    (in dutch btw).
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday May 15, 2007 @11:11AM (#19131685)
    This battle has become the combined weight and resources of the four major record companies funneled through the RIAA, against the might of an aroused Slashdot user community. Every insight, every chink, every technical shortcoming in the RIAA's boilerplate cases that's exposed, discussed, and dissed here helps the defense. The RIAA affiliated companies may believe they have bought the Congress, but the public at large are still the ones with the votes. I'm certain no corporation, or group of corporations, has ever fought a battle before against so many thousands of people able to organize and provide their own insights, each able to expose one more little lie in the Plaintiff's snake-tongued, slippery arguments.
  • The Plaintiff's claim that the data was gathered in a method just like any other KaZaA user would find it. That brings up 2 interesting points:

    1. Most KaZaA users aren't attempting to locate the person they're sharing files with. This means that Media Sentry may be operating the program in ways unlike what a normal user would do.

    2. KaZaA is an ad-ware, spyware, ridden piece of crap-ware. It loads all kinds of stuff on your computer no sane user would want, and refuses to run without it. Is Media Sen

  • Lets look at the unintended consequences!

    If you believe you should pay for linux, and use linux, that is attempting to pirate and punishable under this law! That cleans up this Novell problem quite nicely! Further, all of these companies that violate the GPL and embed linux into crap without opening the source could be held liable, even more if any of those devices are life/death equipment! Life in prison for violating the GPL! Piracy will be such a risk that people will start to shy away from pirate

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