Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Some Thoughts about RIAA's Investigators, by Tony Sarabia

Guest post:

Since the RIAA is now Pleading it “Detected” Downloading, Find out who “Detected” and if that entity is licensed to “Detect”

By Tony Sarabia (

Most “detecting” in RIAA cases is done by MediaSentry. But MediaSentry is based in a state which requires a private investigator’s license for detective work (broadly defined in the statute).

Practitioners should elicit information to determine if MediaSentry did the detecting and specifically ask for all its licenses during both Rule 26 disclosures and discovery.

Using an unlicensed investigator can form the basis for a number of counterclaims and third party claims (negligence per se, negligent supervision, federal computer fraud, violation of the federal Stored Communications Act) and even recovery of attorneys’ fees from MediaSentry under the tort of another theory (which applies in most jurisdictions).

An illegal investigation does not sit well with most judges. MediaSentry is part of a large company.

(Antonio R. Sarabia II is a licensed investigator and lawyer who focuses on Internet investigations of intellectual property. Mr. Sarabia is qualified to testify as an expert witness on generally accepted standards of conduct by private investigators, and generally accepted standards of supervision of private investigators. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and is based in Southern California. )

Commentary & discussion:


Keywords: digital copyright online law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs


StephenH said...

I think that one should be able to question the techniques these investigators use. Additionally, one should be able to inquire about how they are compensated for the investigations.

I also feel that if investigators have to be licensed in the state MediaSentry is in, and MediaSentry does not have such a license, that one should be able to sue them for this, or have evidence from them stricken or not admitted in the first place. I personally beleive for example, that Tanya Andersen's class action suit alleges this.

AMD FanBoi said...

To not be able to question MediaSentry as to their methods, mechanisms, hardware, software, other programs installed on their computers, and training of their "investigators" would be like the court accepting the argument of the Prosecution that: "We have proof you were at the crime scene and fired the gun," without ever explaining what the proof was, how it was gathered, could it have been tampered with, or is it even reliable, let alone conclusive,in the first place. No court would allow that, so why do they even entertain what MediaSentry provides without allowing such examination?