Oregon AG office to RIAA: 10 things we want to know about how you find file-sharing students

Oregon AG office to RIAA: 10 things we want to know about how you find file-sharing students

Summary: If you think the Recording Institute Association of America is going too far in its prosecution (or should that be persecution?) of college students who file-share from time to time, you'll love the news that Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers is adding meat to the University of Oregon's effort to quash a subpoena seeking to reveal the names of students who have been file-sharing over university servers.

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If you think the Recording Institute Association of America is going too far in its prosecution (or should that be persecution?) of college students who file-share from time to time, you'll love the news that Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers is adding meat to the University of Oregon's effort to quash a subpoena seeking to reveal the names of students who have been file-sharing over university servers.

Myers' office isn't just stopping there. They are filing a petition requesting immediate discovery into how the RIAA obtains this information.

Ten points from the discovery attempt, as made by Myers office:

  1. Carlos Linares, upon whose declaration the subpoena was issued, had no first hand information whatsoever;
  2. the RIAA's "data mining" investigation does not reveal how the files were obtained or whether they were ever shared with anyone;
  3. the RIAA papers did not show that any infringing activity actually took place;
  4. MediaSentry appears to have been conducting an investigation without an investigator's license, in violation of ORS 703.405 and ORS 703.993(s), which is a crime;
  5. in Atlantic v. Andersen, based on the same theories and investigative techniques as those used here, they had been found by the Court to have stalled and resisted discovery, before abandoning their case rather than oppose Ms. Andersen's summary judgment motion;
  6. the RIAA appears to have been abusing the judicial process by obtaining information through subpoenas which it then hands over to "collection firms" using them "to leverage payment of arbitrary sums of money, based on threats and evidence from the data mining";
  7. the RIAA concealed a material fact from its original ex parte motion papers, which sought to create the aura of an emergency and the need for immediate ex parte action -- the fact that the University had informed the RIAA in July that the requested information had been gathered and would be preserved;
  8. the RIAA lawyers falsely implied that the Attorney General's office had failed to "meet and confer" with them prior to making the motion to quash, even though the AG's office had in fact conferred with the RIAA's lawyers;
  9. the deposition testimony of the RIAA's expert witness Doug Jacobson in UMG v. Lindor tends to indicate that the RIAA has already accessed private information on the computers of University of Oregon students; and
  10. the RIAA has failed to provide an affidavit of the individual who actually conducted the 'investigation'.

Which side are you on, the Oregon AG? RIAA, some of both, or neither?

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  • Oregon AG: Oregon follows "FOX law" - Fair and Balanced

    It took the RIAA's attorneys a couple years to ramp up their approach and processes to winning cases of illegal music sharing. Now, it seems, they are getting careless or cocky.

    Look, except extreme lefty's, few people argue the point that musicians deserve to make money for the music they make. That is a core tenant of capitalism. (Unless you are a Democratic candidate these days and you're pushing a socialist version of capitalism - but I digress). But, lawyers must stay within the bounds of the law. Investigators for lawyers must stay within the bounds of the law. And the RIAA must stay clean on this campaign of theirs. Otherwise they will look like an over-zealous bunch of greedy thugs.

    If these points from the AG are in fact true, it is important for someone to keep the RIAA in check. I applaud the AG for stepping in and calling out the RIAA attorneys and investigators.

    It may seem overstated when I say that "A small crack in our democratic legal process can become a huge breach that allows a flood of illegal activity by the very people that should be upholding the law." But, if we allow bully tactics to become acceptable practice - be aware of what follows. Be aware that if this becomes acceptable practice in the future - then what is the next bully tactic going to look like? How far will we let them go before we say enough is enough? I say stop it here and now.

    my 2 cents...
    JayJaySmak
  • Agreed

    I fully agree with the first post. Musicians should make money for what they do and not be ripped off by the public, but for the RIAA to conduct itself as though the consumers have broken the law so why shouldn't they is just not right. I will also say that if the record companies would like to help its cause and the consumers too, it would lower the price of music and I believe this would benefit everyone involved. I agree musicians should make their money, but how many millions do they really need or how many billions of profit do they record companies need to survive. Its like beer at a baseball game, they keep the price high to lower consumption of the fans, but if they dropped that price they would make more money while getting the crowd alot more tippsy. Its capitalism ya'll.
    OhTheHumanity
    • FYI on rhe RIAA money collected...

      The artist see zero money from these fines !!!!
      mrOSX
  • RE: Oregon AG office to RIAA: 10 things we want to know how you find file-sharing students

    It's Recording INDUSTRY Association of America, Mr. Fact Checker.
    eeyoresbaddream
  • Quis custodeit ipsos custodes?

    It is an insult to artists, songwriters, producers, musicians, vocalists and copyright owners everywhere for any law enforcement official to question anything that the industry does to protect its rights.

    Why? Because law enforcement has unabashedly abandoned its oath to enforce the laws and is more than happy to take the path of the spineless and the side of the wrongdoer when it comes to protecting creators.

    That shouldn't come as a surprise, they don't want their daughters to marry one, either.

    Shame on the shameless for the abject failure to protect the creative community from the most pervasive crime in history.
    eeyoresbaddream
    • Shame on the "creative community"

      For attempting to mooch off the public for
      the rest of their miserable lives for their
      vain attempt to display their pathetic
      entertainment ability, and then expect
      protection from publicly funded police
      agencies.

      Get off your lazy rear ends, get a decent
      job, and earn a living like other working
      folks. When you have paid your just dues,
      then you can demand your due rewards.
      Ole Man
    • Sorry to inform you....

      But the oldest profession in the world has this crime beat.

      Whats an insult to songwriter/artists is the fact the RIAA sues these people and gets the money and does not give it to the artist's who were infringed upon!!!!!!!
      mrOSX
  • RE: Oregon AG office to RIAA: 10 things we want to know how you find file-s

    The RIAA should be held accountable for exhibiting the exact same behavior as an "Ambulance Chaser".
    dankasnitzel
    • Oh, and as an after-thought...

      The Holy Roman Catholic Church was entirely convinced that they were persecuting only the wicked as well at one time in history.

      Inquisitor: Did you commit heresy against the church?
      Accused: No your holiness, I...
      Inquisitor: Enough! You are guilty!!
      Accused: But...
      Inquisitor: GUILTY!!! Purge his sins...off to the rack!
      Inquisitor: Next!
      dankasnitzel
  • I'm on Oregon's side

    Good for them fighting against the RIAA. We have been the victim of the music industry for too long and it is about time to fight back. The RIAA has had their invasive and illegal tactics for cracking down on illegal sharing go unchecked for too long and I am very happy that a established entity is finally taking a stand against the RIAA. Lets hope that Oregon can finally put the RIAA in their place and make them follow proper legal procedures when attempting to pursue legal matters on behalf of their clients.

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach