Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fur continues to fly in Michigan over illegal MediaSentry investigations

The fur continues to fly in Michigan, in a number of proceedings involving MediaSentry's unlicensed investigations.

In one of the three administrative proceedings before the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, Kruger v. MediaSentry, the complainant submitted a letter with exhibits to the Court.

And in the John Doe case involving Northern Michigan University, LaFace v. Does 1-5, the pro se defendant "John Doe #5 submitted additional documents to the Judge, and the RIAA responded.

July 12, 2008, letter in Kruger v. MediaSentry

August 12, 2008, letter of John Doe #5
August 26, 2008, RIAA response to letter of John Doe #5

Commentary & discussion:

p2pnet.net





Keywords: digital copyright law online internet 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 intellectual property portable music player

12 comments:

Shane said...

This is all pretty remarkable. The Industry thinks that having a single song on a computer connected to the internet ("making available") is a transgression so severe it is worth $750-150,000 in punitive fines, even absent a single iota of evidence the song has ever been downloaded, but they have no qualms about sanctioning what appear to be well over 30,000 illegal investigations, each of which may be a criminal misdemeanor with possible jail time.

The RIAA claims to be interested in enforcing the law, but its actions suggest that it is willing to break the law on an epic scale to pursue its perceived interests. At some point this massive lawbreaker needs to be brought to justice, but, it seems, if you break the law in a scale that is nearly incomprehensible, no one will ever have to take personal responsibility.

Had each of these 30,000+ seemingly illegal investigations been done by private individuals there might be 30,000 people in jail for violating state PI laws. Instead, the RIAA is the darling of congress, doling out money to lawmakers in much the same fashion as a villainous, lawbreaking land baron in a western movie. How much more of this are judges willing to overlook? How much lawbreaking can they ignore with a straight face? I hope that at some point that the evidence will be so overwhelming that judges will finally have to say "stop, you are violating the law." And yet, I have little hope that Media Sentry management will ever be prosecuted for what clearly seem to be knowing violations of criminal law on a a massive scale all across the country.

Lior said...

What's the point of using "John Doe #5" in the papers when the RIAA filing refers to the defendant as "her" and, more importantly, lists her address at the notice of service at the end of the filing?

Donald said...

Ok so if as Mr. Mullaney has just claimed in his filing with the Court in Kruger v. MediaSentry (Michigan Dept. Labor & Economic Growth) that Safenet uses its expertise the same as professionals such as Doctors and Engineers wouldn't this make any claim they made in other cases re: their not being experts perjury? Haven't they claimed that since they aren't experts that they can't be required to show their methods yet the wouldn't the Professions they claim to be like have too?
It just seems to me that what Safenets own Lawyer is saying in this letter is the exact opposite of what they have said in letters to Courts explaining why they shouldn't be included in depositions.

Anonymous said...

The RIAA claims it doesn't operate in Michigan because it isn't there in person. It simply operates on "the internet", which, apparently, is not in Michigan. Even when the computers being accessed on it are, in fact, in Michigan.

Aren't the RIAA attorneys being a little bold with this one? I could imagine a judge being quite upset at reading such nonsense.

qwerty

Anonymous said...

Is the RIAA equivocating on "forensics"?

1. Perhaps they mean "investigating and analyzing". That would accurately describe MediaSentry's actions. But it also appears to violate Michigan state law.

2. Perhaps they mean "analyzing but not investigating". That would not describe MediaSentry. But it is more likely to be legal under Michigan state law.

I don't know which they mean, and so long as they don't mean both, it shouldn't be an issue.

-XYZZY

Anonymous said...

If MediaSentry tapped a Michigan telephone line and listened to the call in California, would they not be guilty of wiretapping under Michigan law?

{The Common Man Speaking}

Jadeic said...

If not Michigan law then at least Californian law: but, hey, they don't have a license there either!

Dave

Anonymous said...

The RIAA claims it doesn't operate in Michigan because it isn't there in person. It simply operates on "the internet", which, apparently, is not in Michigan. Even when the computers being accessed on it are, in fact, in Michigan.

Maybe the defendant should move to exclude the information obtained by mediasentry, as s/he resides in Michigan, and presumably owns a computer in Michigan. If MS/SN never operated in Michigan, then there's no way they could have actually obtained his files.

Q

DreadWingKnight said...

Don't they need a license in both states (their base of operations and the residence of the observed) in some cases?

Joel said...

Its really interesting that they downloaded files. Not just indexes from a central hub. There really is no escape.

Q: Was media sentry's computer gathering information from the Does computer in Michigan?

If yes; case dismissed - they're using unlicensed private detectives. Not just game internet surfers.

If no; case dismissed - you lied in your response.

They have themselves in circular argument.

J

A Private Person said...

People are quoting the estimate of 30,000+, but that is just the estimate of the number that have been pursued with settlements etc.

I wonder what the total of (illegal) INVESTIGATIONS is, including those that have not been taken further?

Also I wonder if any of the computers investigated are perhaps military/"critical infrastructure"/government etc that might bring in heavy sanctions for hacking such computers?

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

"The RIAA claims to be interested in enforcing the law, but its actions suggest that it is willing to break the law on an epic scale to pursue its perceived interests."

Exactly. The RIAA doesn't care even the slightest about the law; the care for one thing only: their own financial interests (that is, the interests of the labels that pay for the RIAA to exist). Sometimes their interests are in line with the law (not so often in the context of their P2P campaign), other times not, but their motives are always consistent and easy to understand.