Wednesday, September 27, 2006

RIAA Tries to Keep Defendant's Lawyers from Seeing MediaSentry Contracts in UMG v. Lindor

In UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA has made a motion to prevent the defendant's lawyers from seeing plaintiffs' contracts with MediaSentry.

Notice of Motion for Protective Order (MediaSentry agreements)*
Memorandum of Law*
Declaration of Richard Gabriel*
Exhibit D to Declaration of Richard Gabriel*
Declaration of Bradley Buckles*

In the Buckles declaration they admitted that the "instructions and parameters" for MediaSentry's "on-line investigations" were developed by the RIAA's lawyers. (See Buckley Declaration, paragraph 6, page 2).

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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


StephenH said...

I hope RIAA does not win this protective order! I have a feeling that there is info in that order that will lead to many defendants winning their RIAA cases, as well as they could fear an end to this.

I have some cases I would site in opposition:

* Newmark vs Turner / Paramount vs ReplayTV - This situation was encountered because they claimed EFF was a competitor of MPAA. It was denied!

* I would site the "Red Light Camera" case in San Diego, where they ruled that "automated enforcement" where the company gets a commission off of each guilty verdict could not be admissible in court.

* I would supoena a MediaSentry Executive as a witness

BasicTek said...

I read through some of the documents. I especially liked where they said something to the effect that releasing the mediasentry info to Ray was like a bank releasing their pin numbers to thieves. LMAO

FACT, It is well known the RIAA will sink to any low (suing dead people), release phony press releases (downloading costing them billions), and cheat their own customers (18,000 lawsuits and counting) to extort money from innocent people.

FACT, The RIAA managed to convince a judge to fine Gonzalez $750 per ($1)song for downloading NOT sharing. Imagine if that were applied to REAL crimes, someone steals a $10 CD and they have to pay the RIAA $7,500. Someone steals a $10,000 auto they have to pay the owner $7,500,000.

Now imagine FACT #3 Downloading is NOT stealing, nothing is ever stolen, no loss has ever been proven, yet their lawyers presume to slander Ray and compare themselves to a bank. When is the last time your bank sued your for $3-$7K for copying your bank statement???

Sounds to me like they have something serious to hide like the fact that all their cases are based on BS!!!

Alter_Fritz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alter_Fritz said...

one more comment regarding the bank/codes analogy

this R.L.G. (the guy that accordingly to screenshot-"evidence" is a copyrightinfringer himself!) is saying in the Memorandum Brief that defense cousel runs a blog that wants to put an end to the lawsuits against online copyrightinfringers.
By using the bank/codes/thiefs analogy he paints Mr. Beckerman as an accomplice to lawbreaking people.
Thats outrageous!
Nowhere in Mr. Beckermans Blog does he say he wants to put an end to RIAA-lawsuits against infringers.
Mr. Richard L. Gabriel of Holme, Roberts & Owen LLP makes again total misleading statements to the judge.

The blog is "devoted to the RIAA's lawsuits of intimidation brought against ordinary working people".
If I read correctly then nowhere does Mr. B. says that the RIAA should not sue true copyrightinfringers if they don't agree to cease and desist after being contacted by the SS-Center.
I assume that the blogowner is a law-abiding citizen and I speculate that he does not intend to put an end to ligitimate reasonable actions against real criminal copyrightinfringers, but I interpret his efforts in maintaining this blog to put an end to the RIAA-terrorcampaign, using their SS-center and those highly questionable "investigation" tactics that already have been proven in prior cases -where the RIAA has withdrawn after faced with counterclaims- to be unreliable to identify copyrightinfringements flawlessly, against people that have done nothing unlawfull! People that do not operate computers or people that operates computers that can not run the software in question as an example!

And of course needs the defendant to know how the investigators do their investigations! The Defendant claims she didn't do anything unlawfull, so she needs to know how the plaintiff's alledgedly identifies her. For that purpose it is necessary for the defendant to know the contracts regarding how the RIAA want MS to do the "identification".
So far it simply could be that the techniques the RIAA says is so highly classified and propritary and can't be disclosed to the defendant is infact nothing more then 4 bags of tennisballs with numbers in it.

Comparing this with the bank and codes and thiefs analogy made by Mr. Gabriel; The defendant does not want to have the codes the RIAA gave to MS. The defendant wants to see if the way "the codes are generated" is reliable and secure!
I don't want my bank to tell me their codes with which they protect my money, but if they refuse to tell me the process how they protect my money by saying we can't disclose this information because it's a mental secret of our Lawyers and the process we use to protect your money is propritary, then I would not trust this bank.
It's very likely their protection(investigation) is nothing more then put money in a sock(play lucky IP-numbers with 4 bags of tennisballs)

P.S. Oh, and I find it interesting that Mr. R.L.G. and also this Mr. Buckley in his Declaration can already say that the defendant in this case is a copyrightinfringer. I thought that's what this lawsuit is all about and that this decission lays in the hand of the judge and that no verdict is made so far. Isn't that the way law in NY works? And as long as this is not clear then the defendant is only an "alledged Copyrightinfringer"?

raybeckerman said...

Anyone else find it interesting that Mr. Buckles states that the 'instructiosn and parameters' for MediaSentry's "investigation" were developed by the RIAA's lawyers?

How scientific is that?

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray wrote: "How scientific is that?"

It's highly scientific when RIAA lawyers do it.
As scientific as astrophysics!

virtualchoirboy said...

Playing "devil's advocate" for a second, I wonder if it was decided early on by the RIAA to have the lawyers provide ALL communications regarding methods and procedures to enable them to fall under this "attorney-client" priveledge.

To be honest, I do have to agree with them that you don't necessarily have to see the pricing components of the contact since they have sworn that no contingency fees are involved.

As for the "parameters", they would be nice to see, but perhaps all you really need to know is which parameters caused MediaSentry to target Ms. Lindor. Since it's not the full set of parameters, it's not the "road map" they are afraid of, and yet it might give you additional information to help show that an IP address assigned by the telco/cableco is not actually a person.

From personal experience, I can vouch for that. I have a home network with 7 functional PC's (mostly hand-me-downs) connected to it. There is a PC for each member of the family and ALL have access to the Internet. All 4 of us could be online at the same time.

The same held true at a former employers, but to a larger extent. One DSL connection for the small business supplied Internet connectivity for as many as 11 PC's at one time. If 1 or more employees started sharing, does the owner take the fall? He hard a hard enough time using NumLock, let alone figuring out how to even install software. Additionally, they have a wireless router and are in a building with at least 5 other business. Who's to say it would even be an employee of the small business?

I'm done rambling, but I want to conclude with... KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

rufus said...

It would be interesting to be able to interview the "experts" and/or "developers" of the MediaSentry program that identifies file sharers. They too must be aware of the problems and inaccuracies of IP address identification. Maybe they are a just a few hokies who have the time to search P2P networks and take snapshots of shared file folders, IP address, and then save it to a database for later scrutiny by predetermined standards set by RIAA executives. They are probably sorted by a set minimum no. of songs, type of songs, artists, and who knows what else. I believe the methods used to collect evidence against file sharers by MediaSentry is relevent to know so a defense lawyer is able to refute it. Any company who is employed to aid in court cases only and for no other reason, should realize that their "secrets" may be, and should be, subject to exposure. Their methods may be flawed or even bogus. There are two sides in these cases and the RIAA should not have the advantage. As for their claim of losing a competitive edge, I can only state again that these are court cases in a U.S. Court of Law and are held in a public forum for any and all interested parties to watch, so my only advice to MediaSentry is sign a long contract and get patents, if possible, on any programs if you are araid of anything made public in court and posted in a blog. These are thousands of INDIVIDUALS being sued, mostly those of limited resources. These people need some lee way on this issue.

raybeckerman said...

Dear "virtualchoirboy"

It's unheard of in litigation not to be able to inquire fully into the expert's compensation.

jaded said...

A few observations.

I'm somewhat flabbergasted by the RIAAs assertion that the comments you made in the 11 Sep 06 Ars Technica blog could only have come from JoAn Cho's deposition of sometime in Aug. In the blog, you clearly stated that the info was coming from radio stations themselves (maybe Cho's testimony pointed you in the right direction to ask the questions but the answers appear, on the surface, to have nothing to do with Cho's testimony). In fact, it is now the RIAA that has effectively confirmed that this is the case by their linkage of the Cho testimony and the assertions in the blog. In fact, you having asked for that type of information back in Mar 06 in one of the first interogatories indicated that there was a notion that something along those lines was occurring. Know that you can't answer this, but what can there possibly be in the short blurb on the blog that could only have come from the testimony? We'll leave this as a rhetorical question.

Couldn't find some of the original filings by the RIAA on this case, but I seem to recall that these alleged copyright infractions occurred some time in 2004. I have to believe that the Media Sentry folks have a cornucopia of evidence of alleged filesharers that they 'captured' from that time frame. Releasing the details in the contract cannot, in any way, affect the behaviour of the people already 'captured'. I further believe that, in the interim, anyone that has been filesharing has significantly modified their share habits to make it harder to be 'captured' (or 'ensnared' as the case may be). I would seriously doubt that anything that the Media Sentry contract would reveal would come as a surprise to any reasonable person and therefore there should be no real value to keeping it 'locked up'. I would find it hard to believe that today, given the current state of the type of networks that were targeted and the general level of awareness in the community of what has been going on, that there is anything of worth left to be protected. The RIAA cannot be harmed further by its disclosure, as it is almost certainly irrelevant, and it may provide basis for defense actions.

I marvel at the deliberate use of the word 'capture' in the RIAAs memo brief. If that one word doesn't paint the Media Sentry goons as bounty hunters, I don't know what would. They may have been doing all of this strictly on a 9-to-5 basis (if you believe the RIAAs assertions that there weren't commissions), but I have to believe that there were some kind of quantity goals baked into the contract (maybe with penalty clauses - which certainly doesn't go to a commission schedule, per se, but accomplishes the same thing).