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Boston University Student Challenges RIAA 381

Posted by kdawson
from the back-off dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A Boston University student identified only as one of the 21 'John Does' in Arista v. Does 1-21 has challenged the RIAA's alleged right to get his or her identity from the school, bringing a motion to vacate the ex parte discovery order obtained by the RIAA, and to quash the subpoena served on the university. John Doe's court papers (PDF) argue, among other things, that the RIAA's papers are 'based on a flawed theory that having copyrighted music files on an individual's computer or on an assigned folder on Boston University's server is a "distribution" of such copyrighted music files, where such folder is merely accessible by others.'"
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Boston University Student Challenges RIAA

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  • NewYorkCountryLawyer, what does this mean:

    "I am surprised, and disappointed, that the illegal joinder of Defendants wasn't also attacked at this point. Someone really needs to take the RIAA to task over their repeated violation of this federal court order."

    What federal court order?
    • Re:*Ding* (Score:5, Informative)

      by dotHectate (975458) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:56PM (#19507477) Journal
      I don't distinctly remember which one it was, but I remember reading it.

      Apparently a judge (most likely federal) told them that they *must* sue individuals and not large groups of people, unless those people were all involved in the alleged lawbreaking as a whole unit (ie. conspiracy) or a single occurance. Basically the judge told them they couldn't do this just because it was convenient for them. What it amounts to is that a single case with 21 "John Doe" persons = 1 filing fee (read; less money). But since each person's alleged infringement has no relation to the other's, they are *supposed* to file 21 separate cases (read: significantly more money).

      Also, by doing it this way, it costs more money for the court to send out the proper notices to the participants. Money that they aren't getting from the RIAA.
      *Money that we pay in our taxes.*
      • Re:*Ding* (Score:5, Informative)

        I don't distinctly remember which one it was, but I remember reading it. Apparently a judge (most likely federal) told them that they *must* sue individuals and not large groups of people, unless those people were all involved in the alleged lawbreaking as a whole unit (ie. conspiracy) or a single occurance. Basically the judge told them they couldn't do this just because it was convenient for them. What it amounts to is that a single case with 21 "John Doe" persons = 1 filing fee (read; less money). But since each person's alleged infringement has no relation to the other's, they are *supposed* to file 21 separate cases (read: significantly more money). Also, by doing it this way, it costs more money for the court to send out the proper notices to the participants. Money that they aren't getting from the RIAA. *Money that we pay in our taxes.*
        You are right, dotHectate. There have been a number of such holdings but the leading one is Fonovisa v. Does 1-41 [blogspot.com]
      • Re:*Ding* (Score:5, Informative)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:55PM (#19508409)
        It was a federal court ruling by Judge Newcomer, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, but that is not what this motion is about. In this case, the RIAA is requesting that Boston University reveal the identities of 21 John Does. The defendants have responded saying that the RIAA cannot go on a fishing expedition for their identities without having proof that the 21 individuals have done something wrong.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Alter_Fritz (1087847)
      faster then NYCL ;-)
      texas it was
      In re Cases Filed by Recording Companies, W.D. Texas, Austin Division (2004)
      http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAA_v_ThePeople/2004111 7_austin_severance_order.pdf [eff.org]
    • Re:*Ding* (Score:5, Interesting)

      I have no idea where you got that quote from, but whoever wrote it is referring to Fonovisa v. Does 1-41 [blogspot.com], where the RIAA was ordered, in 2004, to cease and desist from the illegal practice of joining multiple John Does for its own convenience in a single case. The RIAA has been ignoring that order ever since. This Boston case is yet another example of the RIAA ignoring the Fonovisa v. Does order.
  • by maynard (3337) <j,maynard,gelinas&gmail,com> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:49PM (#19507371) Journal
    Essentially, as I read it he's arguing for no criminal liability for illegal redistribution due to having no intent to distribute. Yet he admits to having placed copyrighted works in public folders on a public university system, which allowed others to copy his work. Further, he must have had the ability to set filesystem permissions to intentionally prevent redistribution. I think he's liable. If they can't prove criminal misconduct, at the least by his own admission they can prove civil negligence.
    • by Mr EdgEy (983285) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:53PM (#19507405)
      If i leave my car outside unlocked are you free to take it? Of course this is different because data can be duplicated, but just because something is there doesn't mean it has to be taken.
      • by Psmylie (169236) * on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:58PM (#19507495) Homepage
        I think a better analogy would be: If you had a case of beer in your unlocked car and some kids opened the door and took it, would you be liable for distributing alcohol to minors? I don't know the law in this case (NAL), but it seems stupid to charge the person who bought the beer in this case. Unless, of course, they can prove that he got out of his car, looked over at a bunch of kids, and said, "Gosh, I sure hope nobody takes any of this beer out of my unlocked car, wink wink" then walked away
        • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:15PM (#19507765) Homepage Journal
          Actually, to be exact- you left a Flash Card of some sort on the front seat of an unlocked car. You come back, the Flash Card is still there. Somebody else copied it in the mean time, but you haven't lost anything- you still have the data on your flash card. Was it your fault that the data was copied?
          • by Kandenshi (832555)
            I get annoyed with incompetent government official leaving data where they can be copied freely. *I* think they're responsible for the data they have, and making sure they don't release that data freely for others to see.

            If someone from the CIA or the pentagon left a flash card filled with naughty stuff in their unlocked car, someone came along and copied it... You don't think they're culpable? I figure they should get a warning/pay cut/change or responsibilities/fired/fired out of a cannon.
          • by 2nd Post! (213333)
            It is if there is sensitive data on the Flash card. Say social security numbers, credit card numbers, financial statements, or government/security issues!
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            >Actually, to be exact- you left a Flash Card of some sort on the front seat of an unlocked car. You come back, the Flash Card is still there. Somebody else copied it in the mean time, but you haven't lost anything- you still have the data on your flash card. Was it your fault that the data was copied?

            This is a much better analogy because it shows that the owner of the flash card neither gave permission to copy the data nor did he have any way of recognizing that the data had been copied. Both of thos

        • I think a better analogy would be: If you had a case of beer in your unlocked car and some kids opened the door and took it, would you be liable for distributing alcohol to minors?

          Unfortunately, that party is likely to be shown in another light. Hey, guys, the party is at my place www.KaZa.com. Bring something to share to get in. You show up with the keg of MP3's that you just lifted from the local supermarket (RIAA member's CD's) with the price tags still attached (Metadata).

          It will be very hard to prov
          • unless I'm mistaken he wasn't on a P2P it was simply an open folder on the schools private network...

            In your analogy he didn't show up to some party he simply stayed at home and left his front door open.

            This sort of thing starts bringing into question the definition of digital trespassing. Just because it's good common practice to lock down your shares (just like locking down your front door or your car) doesn't necessarily mean that you're distributing the data in there, or even intended to distribut
        • by Nkwe (604125)
          How about this analogy:

          Student has a bookshelf full of legally purchased CDs in his dorm room. 1) Roommate listens to or copies one or more of the CDs without first student's knowledge or permission. or 2) Culture of the dorm is that room doors are generally not locked (at least not during floor-wide party hours...) Student from down the hall comes into the room and listens to or copies a CD without the knowledge or permission of first Student.

          In both of these cases the student put the music in a locati

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by stoicfaux (466273)
          I think the analogy works even better if you replace "car" with "children's playground in a public park" and "case of beer" with "unlocked cooler with a 'Free Kool-Aid!' sign on it."
      • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:02PM (#19507573)
        If you leave a CD lying around, and someone walks by and steals it, they are guilty of theft. I don't see that you'd have any liability. If on the other hand, someone walked by and copied it, they are guilty of infringement, you also should be without liability.

        If you loan a paperback book to a friend, that's ok. (Libraries do it all the time) If the friend copies the paperback, they are guilty of infringement, but I don't see any liability for you.

        I'd say he has a good case, unless he intentionally put an electronic sign on his files, saying "Copy These Please!!!"
      • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:40PM (#19508157)
        I think it's going to come down to how the publicly accessible folders are generally used. If they're usually used for storage and the student never advertised the music, then they'll have a good chance of the case being dismissed on the grounds of no intent. However, if the folders are generally used for sharing music and there's a culture of everyone browsing and copying from everyone else's folders, then I would imagine the judge would find intent based on the music being in the folder.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arcquist (1100065)
      Ignoring the intent and other issues I find what constitutes 'distribution' interesting. I personally think it should include intent. As you've stated it it seems you imply that leaving a CD on a park bench is 'civil negligence' and should lead to charges...
    • by brunascle (994197) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:58PM (#19507493)
      how is that different that leaving a CD physically out in the open? someone else is able to grab it and copy it. would that make me liable for leaving it there?
      • how is that different that leaving a CD physically out in the open? someone else is able to grab it and copy it. would that make me liable for leaving it there?

        Its nothing like leaving a CD on a table and people coming by and copying it without permission. When you pick a CD up from the table you are not asking for the CD, unless somebody or something is there to control access to the CD. When you put a file on a server, to get a copy of the file you send a request or command for the server to give you a c

    • by dschuetz (10924) <slash@d a v i d . d a s n et.org> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:59PM (#19507527) Homepage
      Essentially, as I read it he's arguing for no criminal liability for illegal redistribution due to having no intent to distribute. Yet he admits to having placed copyrighted works in public folders on a public university system, which allowed others to copy his work. Further, he must have had the ability to set filesystem permissions to intentionally prevent redistribution. I think he's liable. If they can't prove criminal misconduct, at the least by his own admission they can prove civil negligence.

      This argument would damn every soccer-mom and burger-flipper who plugs a home computer into their cable modem without remembering to set up a firewall. I think that, reading the citations in the motion, they make a good point -- copyright infringement, they argue, requires both intent and commercial gain, not to mention actual infringement (which nobody has proven even happened).

      Though I've grown weary of all the crazy analogies flung around on Slashdot of late, I feel the need to provide one of my own: You're sitting in a university library with your laptop, and the guy across the table from you gets up to search the stacks for something, leaving his folder of music CDs on the table. You grab one, stick it in your laptop, and in a couple minutes have ripped a perfect digital copy of it, before the guy even returns. Is he then criminally liable for having permitted you to infringe the copyright of that CD, because he didn't lock up the discs or take them with him? Or, worse, if you have the ability to do exactly what I just described, but don't take advantage of it, is he still liable just for having provided the opportunity for infringement?

      BTW, I'm not sure this motion is on the behalf of a single defendant, but all of them (it's listed as representing Does 1-21).
      • by dschuetz (10924)
        Wow. In the time it took me to write that response, three other people came up with the same basic analogy.

        I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that. :)
      • by Billosaur (927319) *

        The same basic argument would seem to apply to a memory stick or thumb drive. If I leave them lying around, does that make me liable if someone steals them and copies the data? Not really, anymore than you could be charged with manslaughter if someone steals your car and kills someone with it while running from the cops.

        • by Junta (36770) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:40PM (#19508163)
          A better analogy would be to say he has some music files, and he puts it on a shared folder somewhere.... oh wait...

          But seriously *WTF* is with all the analogies. The original concept is not that hard to completely understand. If he put it in his home directory, and the default permissions were open (i.e. umask being set stupidly), then I would say he has an argument. However, if he had to explicitly change permissions on it, or put it in something analagous to a 'public_html', intent to distribute can be argued. If you put a big sign on your drive saying 'I put music on here, feel free to copy it', it's obvious you are inviting the activity.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Deagol (323173)
            Not so far fetched.

            Maybe these days university unix admins are more clueful, but when I was in college (1990-'96), all of my homedirs were set with 755 with a corresponding default umask. Maybe it was admin ignorance (Purdue? I doubt it), or maybe it the spirit of online collaboration back then. My buddies and I grabbed all sorts of stuff from others' homedirs: humor files (Purity Test, anyone?), various dot-files to learn scripting from, sound/bitmap files from the guys with X station accounts, etc.

      • A user putting up music on a server similar to asking the guy with the CD in his possession if you can burn a copy of it while you're visiting with him. Which is very different than if he walked off and left the CD on the table by accident. Because to retrieve a file from a computer system, you have to issue a request to that computer system.

        • by lamber45 (658956)
          Some UNIX systems are configured with a umask of 022, which means that, by default, new files are readable by all users and everyone. I remember having an account on a university computer science department's shared instructional system that was so configured. Now, as far as I know, that system was not running an HTTP server that made home directories available on a public IP address (just the public_html folder), but if I had put an MP3 file in my home directory, anyone in the department could have
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Suppose I leave some of my CDs on a table in one of the university common rooms; maybe I wanted to make them available for my fellow students to use in the common room, maybe I left them for a friend to pickup. What if there happens to be a PC in that room with a CD burner available for student use? Is that now 'distribution' too?

      Anyone can come along and make a copy. What's the difference, exactly?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billosaur (927319) *

      However, just because the files are there, does not mean they were put there with the intent to distribute them to the populace in general. While the folders may have been public, the fact is no one is under any obligation to change the permissions on a folder. And it's also possible that changing the permission might make the content inaccessible to some form of media player that would access the folder. Also, even if the permissions are changed, that does not stop someone with adequate knowledge or superu

      • Nobody is under the obligation to change the permissions on a folder, but they're also not under the obligation to put copyrighted software out on a share either. If someone put a PC in the middle of the dorm's lounge with a burner on it and some media, they would definitely be held liable. Just because there's less physical media involved, this doesn't make this case any less copyright infringing.
    • by brennz (715237)
      The argument being made is not the he had no intent to redistribute, but instead that there is no evidence that any redistribution ever occurred, and if it did, there is no allegation that it *actually* occurred.
    • by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:10PM (#19507661)
      The college that I work at has photocopy machines in the library. So whose fault is if I walk home with a copy of Harry Potter, the host, the technology, or me?

      Sera
      • Did the library post a notice regarding copyright law near the copier? If so, they are off the hook.

        Did they not post a notice? If so, then they are potentially liable for vicarious infringement.

        Note that libraries have this exception, other entities do not -- if the copier is in a cafeteria, for example, the cafeteria can be held liable for vicarious infringement regardless of whether it posts a notice of the applicability of copyright law.
    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:14PM (#19507741) Journal
      I must apologize, I had modded to +1 Interesting but after reading the PDF itself I think I'll reply to your comment instead.

      What he is arguing is, at least as I see it: "Just because I left it in a public place does not mean anyone actually copied it. You have not claimed anyone but your agent has copied it, you have not claimed that I invited anyone to copy it, you have not claimed that I was aware anyone has copied it, nor that I as even aware they they could be copied." (Emphasis mine, the original word was "alleged")

      ...but they filed for a subpoena anyway. In short, it seems the RIAA hasn't even accused anyone of wrongdoing before asking for their personal information. All they saw was "Hey, this kid has music files that I can download" and went at him. THAT is the basis upon which the subpoena is being challanged.

      A possibly poor analogy: I leave a CD on a table in a public place (a public park, say), for whatever reason. An RIAA agent comes by, sees the CD, and noticed he can pick it up. They then subpoena the town/city for all records of who was in the park that day, sitting at that particular table, because someone was "distributing" music illegally.

      The kicker is, he cites supporting law verbage and other court cases where this situation was determined to not be copyright infringement.

      IANAL though. Grain of salt for ya...
      =Smidge=
    • Yet he admits to having placed copyrighted works in public folders on a public university system, which allowed others to copy his work.

      One of the arguments here is intent. His lawyers are aguing that according to the rules about copyright infringement the guilty party must actually take steps to distribute the material. Making the material available for copying is not enough because the student may not have intended for anyone but himself to access the material.

      Further, he must have had the ability to

  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:54PM (#19507421)
    Its your American right to distribute music! It's lude, crude, litigious, OUTRAGEOUS!
  • Civil negligence?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:54PM (#19507435)
    So if I leave a CD laying on a table where someone else might see it, am I "civilly negligent"? What stupidity.
    • So if I leave a CD laying on a table where someone else might see it, am I "civilly negligent"? What stupidity.

      Absolutely not. When I walk away with your CD, you no longer have it or the license to listen to it. That right was transfered with the transfer of posession.

      Put the CD in a glass case so I can't take it, but right under the case is a flash drive with the MP3's of the CD with a note, feel free to copy the MP3's from this flash drive.. Um then things change. Now offering to provide copies to anyo
  • A few questions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EonBlueApocalypse (1029220) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:55PM (#19507443)
    I just have a few questions which probably are irrelevant to all this but, what happens if you have 4 or 5 people split the cost of a few albums equally and then listen to the music between themselves on a folder available over a network connection... is this breaking the law? If that so when does it become legal? Would they have to be living with each other for example having music available to other family members over a network in the home? Or am I not even supposed to be doing that?
    • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:59PM (#19507533)
      If the RIAA had their way, this would be illegal. In fact, if the RIAA really had their way, you'd be paying each time you listened to your CD...
      • by simm1701 (835424)
        Maybe I should apply for a patent on coin operated home stereos....

        Though obviously the lack of coin storage space would drastically reduce the playback time between empting of something like a nano...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Himring (646324)
        How wrong you are. If they had their way you'd pay each time you hear the song on the radio or sung it kareoke or whistled it. Don't put them in such a good-hearted light. There is no end to greed, especially the greed of a corporate entity.

        Reading through this thread, for some reason, reminds me of the two citizens of the former USSR sitting in a cell together, one having just arrived and one having been there for years:

        Old inmate: "What are you in for?"

        New inmate: "I got 20 years for doing abs
    • fairness never had anything to do with what the riaa is doing or has done. the riaa is pursuing control. control ossified into "law" when laws on the subject matter only applied to a handful of distributors of music. but now that everyone with an internet connection is a potential distributor of music, the "law" is basically antiquated bullshit

      you should stop asking questions with the idea of fairness in the forefront of your mind. instead work along the mental model of schoolyard bully trying to get what he wants, then the answer to your questions are obvious:

      "no, you can't do that, because i don't control it. that's not fair? too bad"
      • by Billosaur (927319) *

        If the RIAA could find a way to charge people for listen to music floating on the air, they would. The RIAA is in it for the money, to line their coffers. They will take advantage of anything that will allow them to continue their stranglehold on the music industry. Perhaps it's because deep down, they realize that the Internet has upset the apple cart, and they cannot maintian their grip. It's now possible for bands to record, mix, and produce their own music without interference from a record label. That

        • replace "might" with "will"

          the riaa is dying. the dinosaur is still large and terrible and one swipe of its tail can take out dozens. but the wound is mortal, and pretty soon it will be stone cold dead. what we are witnessing is merely the violent transition to death of a business system made rapidly extinct by technological innovation

          the law is about 40 years behind the technology, and this discrepancy is driving everything we are seeing. it is of course utterly insane to sue people for thousands of dollar
    • That brings up an interesting question. When you, I, or anyone purchases music, the purchaser becomes the licensee of said content, right? Generally speaking, only the licensee is authorized to listen to the music. What if a corporation/non-profit/non-singular entity or group purchases the music? If the group itself is licensee, do all members share the license?
      • It's not a license. You procure absolutely no license when you buy that CD, tape, record, or stone tablet. You own a copy of a recording, yes, but you are granted no license. You own a copy, and in the case of a group of people, yes you all own it or an oganization can own it, subject to normal property laws.

        You do have a right to listen to the music as you own the copy. You even have the legal ability to let a bunch of friends listen to the recording, assuming you don't charge them admission.

        However, y
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773)
        That brings up an interesting question. When you, I, or anyone purchases music, the purchaser becomes the licensee of said content, right?

        No, at least not for most forms of music purchase, e.g. vinyl, tape, CD. Authorized downloads likely involve some manner of license to permit the downloading itself, but needn't necessarily cover anything beyond that.

        Generally speaking, only the licensee is authorized to listen to the music.

        Since there's no license, that's untrue. Besides which, licenses only cover, and
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I think it would be legal *if* any given cd's tracks were in use by a single person at any one time -- since the law as it currently stands treats music similarly to software (i.e., you purchase a license to use it), any part of cd #1 could only be in use by a single person at a time. The difficulty, of course, comes in proving that you followed this obligation or, conversely, for the RIAA to prove you violated it. IANAL, etc.
  • by geek2k5 (882748) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:59PM (#19507539)

    This could lead to some interesting complications when dealing with online storage.


    For example, if a person has music online and believes that it is secured, would they be liable if someone breaks in and makes it available to others? I could see instances where this other person breaks in, makes the music available and then reports to the RIAA after a number of downloads are done.


    Now some people would say that security is your responsibility, but how do you handle environments where someone else is providing a service and you don't control everything?

  • Interesting approach (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RichMan (8097) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:13PM (#19507727)
    If I play music over my speakers others can hear it.
    If I stream music off my hard drive, how is this different than playing it over the speakers?
    If people play it off my hard drive how is that different than playing it over the speakers.

    The above assumes private playing of a valid music source.

    There is a very fine distinction to be argued here. That will have to cover buffering, decoding and all sorts of stuff.
    • by Junta (36770) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @02:06PM (#19508587)
      http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html [copyright.gov]

      "if the performance is by audio means only, the performance is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space"

      So if you set up a sound system that can scale to a larger venue, you can be considered to be intentionally broadcasting it. Putting data in an explicitly shared would be considered analogous to that.

      These 'gray lines' people like to jump on in terms of real-world analogies have been recognized and answered in law already. You can probably reasonably tell whether the person's share was intentional or incidental (most modern OSes and large-scale networks make it hard to accidentally share data such that people can get it without circumventing or bypassing a mechanism meant to prevent it). If his directory was by default world readable, there is a fair argument he was using it for his own purposes never realizing the world could get at it. If he put it in something like public_html, it's hard to argue that he didn't mean it. In which case, public_html would be like putting a few hundred speakers throughout a town and playing the music, and then claiming you didn't mean for anyone but you to hear it.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:26PM (#19507945)
    who are illegally distributing music to me through the solid walls of my friend's house from three blocks over.

    Sometimes they distribute music to her from 5:30am to 2am.
  • by kidcharles (908072) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:41PM (#19508191)
    If one more person posts an analogy involving a CD left on a table in a public place, I will club this baby seal to death.
  • by gsfprez (27403) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:44PM (#19508243)
    lets say i lose my (80gb) iPod on a train...

    does that mean that i have to throw away all my CDs at home? I mean, if that iPod is now in someone else's hands, i've "distributed" music - and would be liable under the rules... remember, a CD is nothing more than shiny plastic... i'm given a license to listen to that music... i don't "own" anything but the shiny plastic.

    what if i was robbed? As far as i can tell, not only would i have been robbed of my iPod, but i'd have to go home and throw out my CDs on top of it, else, i'd be liable for distributing hundreds of CD's worth of copyrighted materials.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:51PM (#19508343)
    I have one of the great little devices available plugs my MP3 player into a small FM transmitter, allowing me to wirelessly listen to my music over my car radio. Here I don't just have files sitting on a mass storage device, I'm actively broadcasting music copyrighted by record companies affiliated with the RIAA. And someone manufactured and sold me this device with this precise use in mind. Other people also have radio receivers, and this broadcast is unencrypted.

    Am I breaking the law?

    Are the people who made and sold this device breaking the law?

    If yes to the above, why haven't they been sued out of existence yet?

    (Note: this is an illustration to prove the ridiculous positions that the RIAA has attempted to stretch existing laws.)

  • The best place to learn about the RIAA's "making available" theory, and the arguments pro and con, is the case file in Elektra v. Barker [blogspot.com]. Be sure to read the transcript, in which the Judge skeptically questions the RIAA lawyer about it.
    • by Vegeta99 (219501) <rjlynn@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @02:12PM (#19508679)
      Thanks for the laugh! The attorneys for the RIAA goof it up before they even get started:

      MR. OPPENHEIM: Good morning, your Honor.
      THE COURT: Good afternoon.
      MR. OPPENHEIM: Good afternoon, that's right.

      Its as if they woke up on somebody's carpet, ran into a tailor's store, grabbed a suit, and walked in to sue someone, but that's to be expected from RIAA.
  • They need to use the Library argument of putting a photocopier in a library.
    Just because the means to commit copyright infringement is in place, doesn't mean that it is happenning.
  • The following is a list of the record company plaintiffs in Arista v. Does 1-21:
    Arista Records LLC
    Warner Bros Records Inc.
    Atlantic Recording Corporation
    Virgin Records America, Inc.
    UMG Recordings, Inc.
    BMG Music, Inc.
    Capitol Records, Inc.
    SONY BMG Music Entertainment
    Motown Record Company, LLP
    Maverick Recording Company
    Elektra Entertainment Group Inc.
    LaFace Records LLC
    Interscope Records

    Please pass it along so people will know which record companies not to patronize.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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