Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SONY Exec Admits Under Cross Examination in Virgin v. Thomas Jury Trial That MediaSentry Does Not Identify Individuals

Ars Technica, in its excellent, in-person trial coverage of the jury trial in Virgin v. Thomas, reports that under crossexamination SONY BMG executive Jennifer Pariser admitted that the MediaSentry investigations "don't identify human beings":

RIAA anti-P2P campaign a real money pit, according to testimony

By Eric Bangeman | Published: October 02, 2007 - 11:40PM CT

Duluth, Minnesota — During an occasionally testy cross examination, a Sony executive said what many observers have suspected for a long time. The RIAA's four-year-old lawsuit campaign is costing the music industry millions of dollars and is a big money-loser for the record labels. The revelation came during the first day of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, the first file-sharing case to go to trial (it was formerly known as Virgin v. Thomas, but the sole Virgin Records track was stricken from the complaint, making Capitol Records the lead plaintiff).

After a relatively calm morning session, proceedings resumed after lunch. After RIAA lead counsel Richard Gabriel finished his direct examination, Thomas' attorney [Brian] Toder began his attempts to undermine the labels' case. He focused on apparent inconsistencies from the testimony of Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG's the head of litigation. Toder also got Pariser to admit that IP addresses and screenshots "don't identify human beings."
Complete article

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


Steve said...

Couldn't she have had a trojan horse? Hacker came in, installed it and used it to download the music to the pc.

Art said...

If they say that their evidence does not identify individuals, then why does their boilerplate complaint say "identified an individual"?

Also, the article quotes Pariser as saying they've spent "millions" on the lawsuits, and that "we've lost money on this program". I suppose it's not surprising that the people who refuse to abandon an antiquated business model are the same ones who come up with an ill-conceived legal campaign. At least we can say one good thing about them: they have a core competency of losing money. :-)