RIAA's move to DtecNet may mean litigation strategy still alive

MediaSentry out, DtecNet in. Does that mean the litigation strategy is still alive?
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

When it comes to alleged music piracy, there's a new sheriff in town. As part of the RIAA's announced change in litigation strategy, the group has dumped MediaSentry in favor of Danish firm DtecNet. So who are they? The website isn't a huge amount of help.

DtecNet is a market leader in supplying our customers with specialized software solutions to track and prevent piracy on their digital content and online business.

It may seem like the investigating technology doesn't make that much difference, but, Ars Technica reports, DtecNet is advertising its services as much more robust than MediaSentry's: "a unique ISP filtering solution specifically targeting copyrighted content" that only targets "content positively identified as illegal."

In the Wall Street Journal article announcing the change, Ray Beckerman said MediaSentry did sloppy work that ultimately would prove inadmissible:

MediaSentry representatives "have been invading the privacy of people. They've been doing very sloppy work," he said. Mr. Beckerman cites MediaSentry's practice of looking for available songs in people's file-sharing folders, downloading them, and using those downloads in court as evidence of copyright violations. He says MediaSentry couldn't prove defendants had shared their files with anyone other than MediaSentry investigators.

This goes to the "making available" theory so widely discredited in RIAA litigation. If DtecNet can actually prove real downloading occurred, rather than merely that the investigator downloaded, that would give a real boost to litigation. Which may mean RIAA isn't ready to quite move off of the litigation dime after all.

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