Friday, July 06, 2007

EFF Files Amicus Brief in Support of Dawnell Leadbetter's Attorneys Fee Motion in Seattle

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Dawnell Leadbetter's attorneys fee motion in a Seattle case, Interscope v. Leadbetter, arguing that

Unlike many of the innocent who could not afford to do so, Defendant Leadbetter
chose to fight back, exposing Plaintiffs’ shoddy tactics and lack of evidence for what they
were – nothing more than a sham excuse to pressure her into a settlement for legal
violations she did not commit.
Amicus Curiae Brief
(Alternate link)*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion: (Original source of this story)
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Kansas City InfoZine

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

1 comment:

AMD FanBoi said...

"IP Addresses are Often Inadequate Identifiers of Alleged Infringers"

It would be more accurate to say IP addresses are ALWAYS inadequate identifiers. Saying that the IP address always identifies the infringer, is like saying that a telephone number always identifies the criminal of a crime committed by telephone. And nearly all the time a telephone number is much easier to accurately tie to a telephone account than an IP address, which can change by the minute. And even telephone number caller ID reporting is easily spoofed.

The RIAA attempts to cure this fatal defect in every one of their cases in two ways:

1) They attempt to say that even if the person owing the Internet account identified by the IP address (provided that they've correctly identified this person in the first place) is guilty of, if not primary infringement, then secondary, contributory, obstruction, and/or vicarious infringement. The problem is that this is not a recognized copyright crime, much as the RIAA pretends otherwise.

2) They attempt to pressure, through a variety of threats, lies, extortion, and other tactics, the discovered owner of the Internet account identified by the IP address into turning over (i.e. throwing under the bus) someone else – anyone else. Then the RIAA can claim they were vindicated by their pursuit of the wrong person, as necessary to find the right person – not that they ever intend to compensate this wrong person for all the grief they've caused them.

This has to be stopped! And the only apparent methods so far – none yet very successful – have been countersuits for RICO, misuse of copyrights, malicious prosecution, and attorney's fees. Which of this will actually stop the RIAA is yet to be determined.

Also, an IP say little about an actual "physical" location. An IP address presents a "logical" location on many common networks, which doesn't translate to an actual physical address. Internet packets don't need to know your street address in order to be delivered properly. They only need to know which wire to go down.

Unlike a telephone number that's at the end of a wire, if I take my cable modem across to my neighbor's house, or any of the other 252+ houses on my own local loop (this number verified by Comcast as the number of Internet users on my local cable loop) and connect it to their cable, it works just as well as in my own house, since all Comcast does is look for a known MAC address on a known cable loop. So you can't even identify which house a cable modem was running in at the time of the alleged infringement. You can only tie it down to a neighborhood. And anyone else on that loop can identify your own MAC address by monitoring traffic on this neighborhood "party line", and spoof it if they felt the need to do so. Especially at hours when you're unlikely to be using your own modem.

Ray, you should depose the cable company for any of your clients using cable modems on how much they CANNOT detect someone else on the local cable loop using a modem with the same MAC address as your client.

Maybe the EFF could set up a honeypot project just to trap the RIAA and their lousy investigative methods.

And regarding Fogerty factors, (2) the plaintiffs' motivation in bringing the suit. The RIAA's motives are clear that they intend to deter ALL filesharing, by accumulating massive publicity around the suing of a tiny fraction of a single percent of the actual number of current filesharers. As such, they seek to maximize their publicity surrounding each case not to punish an individual for filesharing – a crime they admit in their settlement offers is only worth a few dollars/song at most – but to affect other, non-party, filesharer's actions. This has to be an improper motivation.

And I still insist that the Settlement Support Center must have recordings of all the phone calls they've received, and what they have said to the various people in the course of trying to extort out these settlements. And if they made them and they've destroyed them since, well you where that can lead...