Monday, July 16, 2007

Prof. Mike O'Donnell of University of Chicago Questions Premise of RIAA Ex Parte Applications

Jon Newton of p2pnet reports:

IP addresses and identities

p2pnet news view | RIAA news:- The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) recently suffered another defeat in a bid to force an American university to hand over student identities.

On Recording Industry vs The People, “It’s not key to this decision, but I am disturbed by the assumption about IP numbers that appears to be accepted without question in a number of legal discussions, including this court decision,” posted University of Chicago professor Mike O’Donnell, quoting the section that bothered him.

“Plaintiffs have identified each defendant by the unique Internet Protocol (”IP”) address assigned to that defendant on the date and time of their alleged infringing activity,” it reads. ”

“Plaintiffs seek to discover from the College the identity of the persons to whom these IP addresses were assigned.”

O’Donnell goes on >>>>>>>>>>>

1. IP addresses are never assigned to persons. They are assigned to network interfaces on particular hosts or virtual hosts. A virtual host is pretty much any computational abstraction we like.

Complete article

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StephenH said...

Mike O'Donnell is right! IP addresses don't prove one's indentity! I have known this for quite some time, and I questioned the RIAA's practice on this from the get-go. He admitted what Gary Millin admitted in BMG Canada v John Doe. I think that RIAA should be required to put a mechanism in place for dealing with mistaken indentity. I personally beleive that RIAA should end this campaign all together.

mhoyes62 said...

I was trying to explain this to someone and thinking of a different analogy than the phone one, and I came up with one. The IP address is sort of like your seat you get on a plane with your ticket. Every flight, you get a different seat, and sometimes someone may take your seat. You can also change seats and the records would still show the old number. Maybe the defense should start trying to use a different analogy also so the "phone number" one doesn't stick.