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RIAA's Oppenheim Tries To Protect MediaSentry 216

Posted by kdawson
from the investigators-in-crosshairs dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group, who controls and supervises all of the RIAA litigations against ordinary folks, has requested permission to intervene in the 'probable cause' hearing scheduled next week in Raleigh, North Carolina, against MediaSentry. The hearing was convened by North Carolina's Private Protective Services Board, after complaints were filed by a law firm representing a number of North Carolina State University students who had been targeted by the RIAA based on the unlicensed 'investigation' conducted by SafeNet (the new name for MediaSentry). I guess the RIAA is worried. They should be."
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RIAA's Oppenheim Tries To Protect MediaSentry

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  • Fuck em (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WilyCoder (736280) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:40PM (#26015305)

    Fuck them and what the stand for. Legally sanctioned oppression. Fuck em.

    • Re:Fuck em (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Divebus (860563) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:43PM (#26015319)

      Maybe they should try changing the name again.

    • Re:Fuck em (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:46PM (#26015339)

      Legally sanctioned oppression.

      I think the jurry is still out on that one, after all, there are several RIAA cases pending that don't look good for the RIAA, and it looks like MediaSentry may be brought up on the unlicensed PI thing in several venues...

    • Re:Fuck em (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:49PM (#26015355) Journal

      I quite agree with this sentiment, but I think there is more to say. The fact that someone is intervening on the behalf of the criminals formerly known as Media Sentry is indicative that they need help. Clearly, that is a good sign for those being persecuted by means of egregious use of the court systems.

      It would be very nice to see Media Sentry or SafeNet (or whatever name they use) barred from courtrooms everywhere, and their 'evidence' be forbidden in the court room. That might just put an end to all of this business of using the courts to validate using the government resource to act as the investigative arm of the **AA and associated groups.

      What we know is that Media Sentry used very shaky methods to insinuate that some people committed copyright infringement. Then they used this incredibly shaky evidence to cajole the courts into doing their work for them. This is wrong. Very wrong. Setting right this one problem would probably end all this bs. I hope so anyway.

      • by perlchild (582235)

        I would have thought PI activity would have been worth a prison sentence...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by perlchild (582235)

          that's PI activity, without a license.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            What's the sentence for this unlicensed Pi activity? 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406 28620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940 81284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461 28475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249 14127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436789259036001133053 05488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931 05118548
      • Re:Question (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mauthbaux (652274)
        What we know is that Media Sentry used very shaky methods to insinuate that some people committed copyright infringement. Then they used this incredibly shaky evidence to cajole the courts into doing their work for them. This is wrong. Very wrong.

        While I completely agree that their methods are abhorrent, I'm left wondering what legal means the RIAA had of pursuing their case. The fact is that wanton copyright infringement is occurring. As copyright holders, the RIAA does in fact have the right to go after
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hedrick (701605)
          Probably the only thing left is to lobby congress to change the law in some way to make it practical to go after people, e.g. requiring ISPs and colleges to be responsible for enough monitoring to identify people for real. I'm not happy at the thought of this, but you ask for courses of action, and that's a likely one.
        • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Belial6 (794905) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:20PM (#26016881)
          They can use the same method that hundreds of thousands of renters use when their landlords illegally keep $50 or $100 of their cleaning deposit. They either take a legal route that costs more to prosecute than it is worth, or they write it off as the inevitable screwing that you get when you are dealing with values too low to warrant a lawyer.

          The unfortunate reality is that in the real world, there are billions of illegal things that are a financial loss every year that the victims have no recourse on because the cost of the legal system is more than the value of what they lost. I see no reason that the RIAA should have any extra privileges above what the population has.

          And this is only if you even think that copyright as it now stands is valid (morally), which is certainly a debatable subject.
        • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:33PM (#26016977)

          The fact is that wanton copyright infringement is occurring. As copyright holders, the RIAA does in fact have the right to go after the infringers.

          Yes, they do. I don't think that we'd have had a problem with them if they followed the rules of the game. The problem is that they keep changing the rules in their favor to make money.

          The U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to enact copyright laws, and in 1790 they did [wikipedia.org]. The original copyright term was 14 years with the right to renew for an additional 14 year term. So, at most, 28 years.

          But in the last 200 years, the copyright has been extended 5 or 6 times to a point where it's flat-out ridiculous. Most artists who create a song (under the current terms) will be dead before their works enter the public domain.

          Copyright is, in modern times, basically meant to protect content creators' works so they can exclusively make money from those works. This would ostensibly allow people in creative industries like writing, composing, etc. can have a livelihood since they do not produce tangible goods like machinists, farmers, etc. It's supposed to encourage content creators to create new works for the greater public good.

          But they don't. Sure, people write new books and make new songs, but the incentive isn't really there anymore. Most copyrights nowadays are held by corporations, not people. I personally believe that this is one of the factors that contributed to the emerging anti-copyright movement (copyleft, creative commons, etc.)

          For copyright to reform, changes need to be made. One day the system may be functionally obsolete if people continue to give up their copyrights as it, and its enforcers, is being viewed as a less palatable scheme more and more over time. A good start, in my opinion, would be:

          1) Bring down copyright back to reasonable terms - something like 5-10 years. How often do books/music/etc. make money after the first few years? Certainly not enough to justify such a long copyright.

          2) Make it so only people - not corporations - can hold copyrights. Copyright cartels literally sit on their duffs getting fat off of royalties and trying to protect that money. It's the very definition of protection money and most of the time it doesn't even go to the artists themselves anyway.

          3) Make fines in the case of restitution more reasonable. A fine of hundreds of dollars for a song that can be bought for $0.99 is patently ridiculous. Restitution on fair market value with a 200%-300% penalty would be more than fair enough to make up any money lost.

          Ultimately, reforms like these will help unclog the courts and make it much more likely that money actually gets into the artist's hands - where it's intended. The RIAA is necessary in some ways - like a union for artists. But rather than working for the artists, the artists work for them. Put the power back in the hands of the creators.

          • Re:Question (Score:4, Insightful)

            by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:12PM (#26017209) Journal

            This is one of the most sane statements I've read/heard regarding copyright in the USA for a very long time.

            On the matter of restitution, the claim that making available is tantamount to multiple infringements is one of the most ridiculous tactics of the **AA. If they are allowed to carry on with such behavior and definitions, it will be dangerous to all users of the internet.

            Content is not a commodity under copyright, it is a property. The **AA have been treating it as a commodity and that violates the principles and intent of copyright law. Congress was given the ability to establish protections for content CREATORS, not commodity brokers.

            In addition to what you have said, I suggest that one of the tests applied to any legal action against copyright infringement is that the plaintiff show just cause AND that they are indeed directly protecting the content creator and not just some revenue stream. If the copyright holder is not a citizen, there can be no case without extreme evidence of egregious infringement. Yes, that would make it difficult for corporations to defend their copyrights.... damn right it would.

          • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

            by Uberbah (647458) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @05:14AM (#26018811)

            Most artists who create a song (under the current terms) will be dead before their works enter the public domain.

            That's a given. It's life of the author + 75 years, IIRC. The irony is that Disney, one of the prime backers of each new extension, wouldn't have been able to make a lot of their classic movies if current copyright terms had been in effect at the time, like Jungle Book. And the neat factoid that every content industry, with the exception of software, was itself founded on piracy [wired.com]. For example, Hollywood didn't just settle in California for the nice weather - studios set up shop on the west coast to avoid having to make patent payments on cameras to Thomas Edison.

            Content industries don't have a problem with violations of the law - they have a problem when the violations of the law don't make them money.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stephanruby (542433)

          While I completely agree that their methods are abhorrent, I'm left wondering what legal means the RIAA had of pursuing their case.

          If a new disruptive technology makes your old business model obsolete, and if you've exhausted all your current *legal* options, then you change your business model (or you go look for another job in a different field). You don't start taking illegal action, because you *feel* you deserve to. Two wrongs certainly don't make a right.

        • I'm just wondering if there's any course of action they could taken whereby their IP was protected and they weren't demonized...

          Of course there are many. But for that they would have had to hire
          (a) competent technology people and
          (b) honest lawyers,
          (c) at a tiny fraction of the cost.

          • Re: hire (Score:3, Funny)

            by TaoPhoenix (980487) *

            (a) competent technology people = Slashdot = Check
            (b) honest lawyer = Ray Beckerman = Check
            (c) at a tiny fraction of the cost ... DOH!

        • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

          by schon (31600) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:46PM (#26017081)

          First, it's not a decided fact that there is rampant copyright infringement. Copying for personal use may or may not be infringement depending on your jurisdiction (where I am, for example, it's explicitly allowed.)

          Second, what the RIAA should be doing is performing real investigations (instead of just pulling IP addresses seemingly at random), going after the alleged infringers individually (instead of trying to join hundreds of unrelated people) and not treating the court system like a revenue center.

          For the obligatory car analogy, it's like traffic laws being enforced by private companies, someone pulls you over, and says "oh, here's your ticket for $3500.00 for failing to stop at a stop sign. You can call our dispatch to arrange payment options." You say "I stopped at the sign - I am 100% certain." The cop says "well, you can try to fight it in court, but it's your word against mine, and if you lose, that $3500 will turn into millions of dollars, plus the two years in legal fees it will cost even if you win."

          If you ask "well, what should the cops be doing?" the answer is pretty obvious: they should be presenting evidence of infringement, and giving people a fair chance to defend themselves.

          The answer is the same for the RIAA.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            First, it's not a decided fact that there is rampant copyright infringement. Copying for personal use may or may not be infringement depending on your jurisdiction (where I am, for example, it's explicitly allowed.) Second, what the RIAA should be doing is performing real investigations (instead of just pulling IP addresses seemingly at random), going after the alleged infringers individually (instead of trying to join hundreds of unrelated people) and not treating the court system like a revenue center. For the obligatory car analogy, it's like traffic laws being enforced by private companies, someone pulls you over, and says "oh, here's your ticket for $3500.00 for failing to stop at a stop sign. You can call our dispatch to arrange payment options." You say "I stopped at the sign - I am 100% certain." The cop says "well, you can try to fight it in court, but it's your word against mine, and if you lose, that $3500 will turn into millions of dollars, plus the two years in legal fees it will cost even if you win." If you ask "well, what should the cops be doing?" the answer is pretty obvious: they should be presenting evidence of infringement, and giving people a fair chance to defend themselves. The answer is the same for the RIAA.

            Wow, what a fair and reasonable approach. The RIAA would never buy it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ironica (124657)

          While I completely agree that their methods are abhorrent, I'm left wondering what legal means the RIAA had of pursuing their case. The fact is that wanton copyright infringement is occurring. As copyright holders, the RIAA does in fact have the right to go after the infringers. Their methods under the guise of Media Sentry are obviously less than ideal (both morally and legally), so what *should* they have done?

          I'm just wondering if there's any course of action they could taken whereby their IP was protected and they weren't demonized by all of us.

          Well, no. I think the upshot of much of the copyright discussion in the geek world for the past several years has been, there is NO way to enforce copyrights to the RIAA's satisfaction in the 21st century.

          But part of the problem is, there's also no *reason* to. What the RIAA has failed to realize is that their problem is DEMAND. People *want* their product, in a given form. If it was easier to get for pay than for free, heck yeah people would do it, and DO do it.

          If it was easier to put $20 on an account

    • by forgoil (104808)

      Sir, I couldn't agree more!

      And I think the article got it wrong, it's not safenet, it's SkyNet...

  • by tsa (15680) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:48PM (#26015347) Homepage

    "The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim..."

    How lang has he been Prince of Darkness? I bet not since 1979 [youtube.com]!

    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:00PM (#26015409) Homepage Journal

      How lang has he been Prince of Darkness? I bet not since 1979 [youtube.com]!

      Trust me on this one.

      • The whole Prince of Darkness bit reminded me of this:

        Thus he came alone to Angband's gates, and he sounded his horn, and smote once more upon the brazen doors, and challenged Morgoth to come forth to single combat. And Morgoth came.

        That was the last time in those wars that he passed the doors of his stronghold, and it is said that he took not the challenge willingly; for though his might was greatest of all things in this world, alone of the Valar he knew fear. But he could not now deny the challenge b

      • by Whiteox (919863)

        I suppose that this question should be asked.
        What alternative legal means can the RIAA/MPAA use to protect copyright and copyrighted content?
        What alternatives do they have with prosecution?

        • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:57PM (#26017151) Homepage Journal

          What alternative legal means can the RIAA/MPAA use to protect copyright and copyrighted content?

          That's easy.
          1. Do a competent technological investigation.
          2. Hire competent and honorable lawyers.
          3. If you obtain evidence of someone actually infringing your copyrights, send them a cease and desist letter and ask them to enter into an appropriate cease and desist agreement.
          4. If a proven infringer refuses to enter into a cease and desist agreement, sue him or her, in a lawsuit supported by actual evidence, based upon actual legal theories.

    • I'm not really sure. Did Nixon give up the title when he resigned the Presidency, or only on his death? Not sure what the rules are on this one.

    • "The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim..."

      How lang has he been Prince of Darkness? I bet not since 1979 [youtube.com]!

      What I would like to see is the RIAA go toe-to-toe with IBM over copyright infringement. Prince of Darkness he may be ... but my money would be on the Nazgul [wikia.com].

      According to the linked article Slashdot is responsible for the appellation:

      This usage appears to have originated in a comment on Slashdot:

      "Not long ago, the Black Gate of Armonk swung open. The lights went out, my skin crawled, and dogs began to howl. I asked my neighbor what it was and he said, 'Those are the NazgÃl. Once they were huma

    • by tsa (15680)
      Whatever he may be, we know how the story ends, don't we:

      Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own image as promised by the sacred words, and spoke of the beast with their children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower.

    • But is he as good as Nicolae Carpathia?

      I'd quote but that would anger the powers that watch for such things.

  • Goog Grief! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:54PM (#26015379)
    Could someone please introduce Ray Beckerman to a decent CMS and donate some design work so his site doesn't hurt the eyes?
    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:03PM (#26015427) Homepage Journal

      Could someone please introduce Ray Beckerman to a decent CMS and donate some design work so his site doesn't hurt the eyes?

      Why thank you.

      • Ray, I want to be clear and say I wasn't trying to dish you shit, you do a great service for freedom and common sense...
    • The site (template) looks good. Clear, clean, with enough air.

      The content just misses basic formatting.
      The pictures are not thumbnailed, but resized via html/css, which is very unprofessional.
      The text is formatted in the style of the last millennium. There are even <font> tags in it. A clear sign that the developer's skills are completely outdated.
      In fact the whole content misses any correctly used semantic markup, and uses no CSS.
      And I would recommend a non-serif font for the normal text (better to r

      • It seems, that in the above post, the Euro sign was eaten by Slashdot's outdated, non-Unicode-compatible system.

        It's 50€ and 400€. And this time I'll preview and use &euro;. :)

      • The site (template) looks good. Clear, clean, with enough air. The content just misses basic formatting. The pictures are not thumbnailed, but resized via html/css, which is very unprofessional. The text is formatted in the style of the last millennium. There are even tags in it. A clear sign that the developer's skills are completely outdated. In fact the whole content misses any correctly used semantic markup, and uses no CSS. And I would recommend a non-serif font for the normal text (better to read on the screen), and the Georgia font for headlines, tough. Looks better. :) If someone gave me 50, I'd fix the whole markup mess in an evening. A complete redesign would cost 400 tough (but is not required).

        Thank you very much! Couple of questions:
        1. What do you mean about thumbnailing the pictures? Isn't there only one picture?
        2. What should I do instead of using font tags?
        3. What is semantic markup?
        4. I thought the old fashioned fonts were more reflective of my 19th century personality, but maybe I'll experiment with something else.
        PS There is no 'developer' just one unqualified unschooled amateur... moi.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MathFox (686808)
          There is two issues with websites: content and presentation. Let me say that the content of RIAAvsPeople is unique and worthy of a mention in "History of the Internet". The presentation is acceptable, as you work within some Blogspot limitations. If you spent a few 100 dollar on website design and your personal education (Ray, you are a very good amateur web-publisher), it would look better, more professional. I am not convinced that your message would hit harder; my philosophy is that, for websites like yo
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          This is pretty off-topic and I'm the last person to give any advice on web design.. but whatever...

          1. What do you mean about thumbnailing the pictures? Isn't there only one picture?

          See where you have:

          <img width="263" src="http://beckermanlegal.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/2_hands_towards_right_side.18052817_std.jpg" height="175" class="yssImg yssImgD" >

          That means the browser on my computer is downloading the full size image (which is actually 450px Ã-- 301px in this case) and resizing it. What he's suggesting is that you replace that picture (and any others on the site) with one of the correct size so the browser doesn't have to resize it locally. Relying on the browser to do this correctly isn't a great idea.

          • by corsec67 (627446)

            Relying on the browser to do this correctly isn't a great idea.

            There are 2 main reasons why relying on the browser to scale is bad:
            1. Browser image scaling is fast but HORRIBLE quality. Images that are scaled by the browser look horrible since rows are dropped instead of any kind of interpolation, to speed things up and use less memory.

            2. it wastes bandwidth, people are downloading a bigger picture than they are seeing, for no gain.

            However, it does let you hotlink images from other websites and change the s

        • Thank you very much! Couple of questions: 1. What do you mean about thumbnailing the pictures? Isn't there only one picture? 2. What should I do instead of using font tags? 3. What is semantic markup? 4. I thought the old fashioned fonts were more reflective of my 19th century personality, but maybe I'll experiment with something else. PS There is no 'developer' just one unqualified unschooled amateur... moi.

          1. Your images have certain dimensions (say, 100x300), but you are using html to make them display smaller (say, 33x100). This causes wasted bandwidth as well as wasted cpu for the viewer. The solution is to resize the actual image file to be the dimension that you want it to display.

          2. 3. Font tags are an archaic method of formatting text that predates today's presentation mechanisms [wikipedia.org]. Semantic markup is a way to express structure to your document. With today's presentation mechanisms, you can use CS

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I don't know how much money you make from all the amazon links, but I personally find them distracting, which takes away from your valuable content.

            Thanks very, very much for all of the valuable advice.

            I make almost nothing from the affiliate ads, but hope springs eternal. I spend so much uncompensated time doing the blog, I'm hoping people will buy stuff through the links and offset some of that.

            • Re:Goog Grief! (Score:4, Informative)

              by farnsworth (558449) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:40PM (#26015919)

              You might consider a blog post asking for page redesign suggestions. This is common when a blogger doesn't have the time or the skills, but has a large technical audience. This sounds like you :)

              You might also consider pulling the amazon noise and being more straight-forward about your desire to be compensated for your time and effort. Maybe a simple Paypal "donate" link. Or maybe you could put a call out to illustrators and creatives to create cafepress shirts/mugs/etc which you could sell from your blog. The subject matter at hand is a bottomless mine of material.

              There are obviously a lot of folks who want to support your efforts and see them continue. The hard part is figuring out how to mobilize them.

              • I'd like to second this suggestion, regarding Amazon, a donate link, and CafePress.

                If you think about it, Ray, this is what PJ does with Groklaw -- a "Donate" button and a CafePress link for Groklaw gear.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by ScrewMaster (602015) *
              I agree with the others who want to support to your efforts. Don't worry so much about the advertising, but add a direct donation button, take Paypal and credit-cards, and I'll bet you'll be surprised how much support you get from Slashdot users alone. Me, I'd be first in line, since I subscribe to your RSS feed (thank you for that, by the way.) As a group, I'd say we're pretty cheap (after all, we spend so much time downloading (ahem!) "free" music) but what you offer on your blog is unique and relevant.
              • I agree with the others who want to support to your efforts. Don't worry so much about the advertising, but add a direct donation button, take Paypal and credit-cards, and I'll bet you'll be surprised how much support you get from Slashdot users alone. Me, I'd be first in line, since I subscribe to your RSS feed (thank you for that, by the way.) As a group, I'd say we're pretty cheap (after all, we spend so much time downloading (ahem!) "free" music) but what you offer on your blog is unique and relevant. And for all you nitpickers that don't feel Ray's site is quite up to your aesthetic standards, well. If I wanted pretty pictures and no content I'd head over to FOXNEWS.COM. Ray's site is exactly what the World Wide Web was intended to be by its inventors: fast, efficient and most of all informative. The Web has largely been conscripted as a marketing tool, with all the hype and overhead that goes along with that. Keep it simple, Ray, and those of us who really care about your content will keep coming back. I'd say that's especially important: so many modern Web sites leave dial-up and foreign users out in the cold with all the baggage they have to download.

                Thanks, ScrewMaster. I've restored the PayPal payment button in the sidebar here [blogspot.com]. The last time someone suggested that, over $900 came in, which was very pleasant. (Thing is, what I like about the affiliate advertising is that it doesn't cost people anything. They're going to need to buy things anyway, so just by making sure they buy it through one of my links, they help me out, and it doesn't cost them anything.)

            • I'd still rather buy monogrammed pens from you. Did anything ever come of that? I'm a senile avian and forgot.

        • 2. What should I do instead of using font tags?

          unless I'm mistaken, you can use CSS to control fonts, but I haven't done much web design in awhile

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          1. What do you mean about thumbnailing the pictures? Isn't there only one picture?

          The image "080229lefthandup.jpg" is displayed on the page using scaling (your "img" tag has a "width=225 pixels" to make the picture smaller). This is considered unprofessional because you are forcing the user's browser to load a big picture when a small image would do (and would load faster). Some browsers also won't scale it nicely. So the "professional" solution is to resize the image (in Photoshop or GIMP or whatever) to the correct size and use that image, unscaled. You can always link to the full-size

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ant P. (974313)

          (I've realised about 400 other people answered this while I was typing up a reply, but one more won't hurt)

          1. What do you mean about thumbnailing the pictures? Isn't there only one picture?

            I think he means that one picture near the bottom of the page using width="225", maybe there's other ones. The main reason you'd want to use proper thumbnails for things like that is it saves bandwidth. Also most browsers have crap resizing algorithms optimised for speed. Properly done thumbnails look nicer.

          2. What should I do

        • Suppose I did decide to donate 50 Euro * (Exchange Rate), Ray.

          Would you take him up on his offer, or do you like "going it alone"?

    • Will mentioning Google's stock indicator help?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:58PM (#26015401)
    I am become death destroyer of digital rights
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:03PM (#26015421)

    Oh wait, I thought you said Oppenheimer.

  • by senorpoco (1396603) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:04PM (#26015447)
    I am become death destroyer of digital rights.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:10PM (#26015477) Homepage Journal
    As the internet matures more and more, questionable legal methods are only going to get more and more defined. Remember in the bad old days (7-8 years ago) when there were legal threats being brought for things like "deep linking"? Back when the technology was new (compared to the legal system's understanding of it) I can see where the RIAA might have been able to strongarm people just by saying "we know you're doing it" but that's getting harder and harder to do. Thank heavens for progress.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:15PM (#26015493)

    this has been a logical flaw in the 'the artists must get paid' argument.

    I just bought some used cd's from amazon. some are sold from stores, some from net-only businesses and some from regular old individuals.

    in NO case (that I'm aware of) is anyone required to pay any additional amount to any artist or association. yet used cd (and book) sales on amazon are 100% legal.

    how come downloading bits on the net (which causes no revenue to return to riaa or artists) is 'illegal' yet used media sales are legal?

    I'll even go further than that - lets talk about libraries and how they loan out (for free) books and also cd's.

    with all this non-money media stuff changing hands, how come riaa isn't bothering the used sellers and libraries?

    answer: their arguments about 'stealing' are less than paper thin...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:39PM (#26015605)

      The first sale doctrine exhausts the copyright owner's ability to collect further revenue from that copy of the purchased CD. When the first owner sells that copy to another person, they are selling the purchased copy. However, if you make 5 copies of the CD and sell them, you are no longer selling the CD that you purchased (in which the copyright holder's right have been exhausted), you are selling illegal copies that you made (in which the copyright holder's right have not been exhausted).

      Downloading bits on the internet is "illegal" because you are creating unlicensed copies. Libraries lending books is okay because a single copy of the media exists at all times. Prior to you taking the book out, the library is in possession of a single copy. When you take it out, the library is no longer in possession, you are. Return the book, the library is back in possession. The library would be in trouble if they gave you a photocopy of the book, and left the original on the shelf.

      Under this same logical framework, we should be able to resell legally purchased MP3s, if you certify that you are not retaining a copy for yourself. I'm not holding my breath on it though.

      • by Petrushka (815171) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:35PM (#26016241)

        Under this same logical framework, we should be able to resell legally purchased MP3s, if you certify that you are not retaining a copy for yourself. I'm not holding my breath on it though.

        Your remark is oddly (perhaps not coincidentally) timely. There is now -- for the time being -- an online second-hand MP3 [bopaboo.com] shop, hosted in the US. News item [guardian.co.uk] here. As far as I'm aware it's very new. It's still online at the time of writing.

      • what if we complicate things; such as someone buying a used cd (no money goes toward the artist or record company) - and then that person puts that cd up on tpb (etc).

        the source was a non-revenue transaction as far as the record co is concerned, yet I bet they'd argue that they 'lost money' with all the copies of that cd.

        there are many logical holes in the reasoning of 'how to get paid'. this is the crux of the matter, afterall. its ALL about the method and measurement of how to pay. at least in theory..

    • by ewhac (5844) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:51PM (#26015675) Homepage Journal
      Shh! Don't rub it in; you'll just annoy them.

      As you know, GameStop makes a tidy sum reselling used games, and the game developers don't see a penny of it. This has not a few people in the the games industry pissed off beyond the capacity for rational thought. No matter how much irrefutable logic or facts you throw at them, they're absolutely convinced they're "losing money" to this, and want to re-structure the market to prevent it, or at least get a cut of the action.

      Schwab

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047)

      Because none of what you are describing involves "copying", one of the key items in the laws surrounding the concept of "copyright".

    • Im sure they would love to ban used CD sales ( books and movies by their respective cartels ).

      Libraries i think are safe as that would be a real tough sell, even with their purchased legislatures.

  • I help... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cffrost (885375) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:22PM (#26015541) Homepage
    I use PeerGuardian [sourceforge.net] to help protect MediaSentry from accidentally downloading any potentially copyrighted works from me. I'd feel awful if they inadvertently came into possession of illegal data on account of my negligence. Suppose I mis-named something that I copyrighted? I'd cry if I were forced to sue the fuck out of them for casual infringement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dq5 studios (682179)
      I use a rock to keep away MediaSentry. It uses less resources than PeerGuardian and is just as effective.
      • by schon (31600)

        I use a rock to keep away MediaSentry. It uses less resources than PeerGuardian and is just as effective.

        <voice style="Homer Simpson">
        I would like to buy your rock.
        </voice>

  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:51PM (#26015679)

    The only thing that he's asked for is the (entirely reasonable, IMHO) chance to give specific testimony because he believes that the complaint is factually incorrect. Given his history of prevarication, I don't believe his claims but I cannot fathom why anyone would deny him the right to go in front of the board and say his piece. It's not like the board will somehow be in a worse position to sanction MediaSentry/SafeNet for whatever violations they have committed.

    To me this is basically a non-story. Aside from the involvement of the RIAA, you could reduce it to:
    Corporation asks to give testimony in regulatory hearing that directly impacts its business. Truly shocking.

    • Well... I am not that familiar with the US legal system, but I really don't see how he can claim standing.

      Indeed, he could be a witness (for either side) -- but if that doesn't happen, I don't see it.

      So, it seems important for him to PREVENT the case from proceeding, even (or because) of his potential testimony. Indeed, what would he say? Pre-trial, "I am sorry, there are inaccuracies...", at trial "Yes, Media Sentry was engaged for investigations...".

      I believe that the strategy is to supply the desired answer, while never getting into the position of being asked the "wrong" question. I further believe that the idea is to attempt to keep the issue in the "copyright infringement" domain, and out of the "unlicensed investigation" domain.

  • The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group, who controls and supervises all of the RIAA litigations against ordinary folks...

    Satan called, he wants his good name back.

    • The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group, who controls and supervises all of the RIAA litigations against ordinary folks...

      Satan called, he wants his good name back.

      Hey ... for all we know this Oppenheim guy is Satan. I mean, it would explain a lot.

      • Hey ... for all we know this Oppenheim guy is Satan. I mean, it would explain a lot.

        I don't know. I think of Satan as somewhat more personable and persuasive, and having a lot more passion. I think of Mr. Oppenheim more as the living dead.

  • spoof it all over media sentry's logs

    have him sued for piracy

    lock him the same cell as the somali pirates

    same thing, right? right?

    arrrr

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