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MediaSentry slapped by Massachusetts

MediaSentry slapped by Massachusetts

The RIAA must be hoping that the court will ignore the supplemental filing bringing its evidence into disrepute.

A student at Boston University who is currently being sued by the RIAA for alleged copyright infringement has uncovered an interesting – and potentially embarrassing – fact as he prepares for his case: the RIAA's favourite 'evidence gathering' company MediaSentry has been told to back off by the state of Massachusetts.

The lawsuit, Arista Records v. Does 1-21, was brought by Arista Records via the RIAA in an attempt to ascertain the identities of the twenty-one students named as John Doe so they could be hauled over hot legal coals. One of the Does, currently trying to keep all the fellow Does identities a secret, has submitted a supplemental filing bringing the evidence offered by the RIAA into question.

The filing shows evidence that the state of Massachusetts has issued a cease and desist order for “conducting private investigations” without a PI licence. If true, it could be grounds for the court to throw the entire corpus of evidence provided in the Arista Records v. Does 1-21 case out of the window.

The filing asks that the court considers “issuing a subpoena, or alternatively having plaintiff’s counsel produce a copy of the cease and desist letter received from the Commonwealth before allowing the MediaSentry evidence to be considered in this action.

MediaSentry is a company that sits on Bittorrent streams and waits for a user to request a file. The company then records the IP address of that user along with a timestamp so that the users identity can be subpoenaed from the ISP and the hapless downloader sued. As pretty much every case the RIAA has ever brought against alleged file sharers relies on information provided by MediaSentry, a legal ruling against the company would hurt their chances of successfully suing in the future. At worst, it could even lead the way to appeals on already-decided cases.

One in the eye for the RIAA, or is it just legal wriggling from people who know they've done wrong? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

14 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Grasshopper 6th February 2008, 09:26 Quote
Go for the eyes, Boo! :D
Woodstock 6th February 2008, 09:37 Quote
wow, the riaa making an arse of them selves, thats original
CardJoe 6th February 2008, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
Go for the eyes, Boo! :D

Cookie for you, Minsc!
Bauul 6th February 2008, 11:29 Quote
Personally I think it's totally legitimate for the RIAA to utilse these methods.




HA HA, oh, ha, sorry, couldn't keep a straight face whilst saying that.
Brooxy 6th February 2008, 15:28 Quote
Well it's another nail in the coffin for the RIAA. One more nail closer to the final one ;)
DXR_13KE 6th February 2008, 15:49 Quote
PWND!!!!

by the way, why did Massachusetts make a 'cease and desist' notice?
Gareth Halfacree 6th February 2008, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
by the way, why did Massachusetts make a 'cease and desist' notice?
From the article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The filing shows evidence that the state of Massachusetts has issued a cease and desist order for “conducting private investigations” without a PI licence.
pendragon 6th February 2008, 18:19 Quote
0wned! :D Horray for my state doing something right for once :P
DXR_13KE 6th February 2008, 20:25 Quote
Gareth Halfacree i got it that far.... but a PI licence.... 3.14159265..... or another thing?
Cthippo 6th February 2008, 21:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Gareth Halfacree i got it that far.... but a PI licence.... 3.14159265..... or another thing?

ROFL, the other PI

As in Private Investigator
DXR_13KE 6th February 2008, 23:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
ROFL, the other PI

As in Private Investigator

ow that kind of PI, i was not associating PI to that PI, here the letters are exchanged, as in IP or "Investigador Privado".......

thanks :D
Fused 6th February 2008, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
One in the eye for the RIAA, or is it just legal wriggling from people who know they've done wrong?

They've no doubt done "wrong" in the eyes of law, but whether they have actually done wrong (as in moral) is entirely different. (God I love having studied philosophy!)

Anyway Ive just thought surely the legal cost for all these court proceedings is far higher than what these people have allegedly robbed the company of (Though I suppose it does help to stop the increase of this kind of activity somewhat).

Im in the UK so what is the RIAA exactly? Will these media companies ever win completely is more the question id want answered?
jkeyser14 7th February 2008, 05:05 Quote
For them to be sitting and watching the torrents, would they not also have to be illegally sharing or downloading the file themselves?
OleJ 10th February 2008, 18:28 Quote
According to the article MediaSentry only registers calls for bit-torrent file parts I gather?
To me this means that MediaSentry or RIAA have a remote chance to verify that people have downloaded files in their entirety? Or they'd also have to monitor that the users reach 100%?
Otherwise there wouldn't be a case would there?

Also these lawsuits on copyright infringement claim substantial losses but how do they even remotely calculate this?
What if the "Doe" downloaded a song to listen to it on his non WMA/Ipod device because he didn't know how / bother to convert the CD on his desk to MP3?!

I don't get it. I really don't see how we can have "open" and "transparent" democracies and then have judicial systems that are generally more ignorant than cotton balls.
The whole idea of copyright is to give the creative person some defense against someone cashing in through unauthorized reproduction of their creation.
Mr. and Ms. Doe don't cash in on downloading 17 songs on a P2P network.
It's a matter of a judicial safeguard being used offensively. Come on courts of our great democracies! See this for what it is.

I suddenly realize that scare tactics is what bled through the brains if the RIAA godfathers. Noting that scare tactics is the most immoral and anti-democratic way of doing anything.

RIAA et al please stop wasting your money and lawyers on harassment and start doing some good for the world for a change. Contrary to your beliefs it's actually possible to make money from doing good.
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