Monday, March 03, 2008

Additional papers filed by plaintiffs and defendants in Arista v. Does 1-27

In Arista v. Does 1-27, the case targeting University of Maine students, additional papers have been filed by the plaintiffs and by the "John Doe" defendants in connection with the students' motion to dismiss, referencing the decision from the District of Connecticut in Atlantic v. Brennan.

RIAA Brief responding to Brief of John Does 16 and 18*
February 28, 2008, Letter of Robert Mittel to Hon. John A. Woodcock, Jr.*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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


Anonymous said...

The first link to the RIAA Brief doesn't work for me. The second one to Doe #2's lawyer works fine.

raybeckerman said...

Thanks for the tip. I fixed the broken link.

Anonymous said...

From the RIAA's Brief:

Exhibit A to Plaintiff's Complaint provides detailed, factual information in support of Plaintiff's alligations against Defendants. Specifically, Exhibit A identifies the P2P network used by Defendants to infringe Plaintiffs' copyrights, the specific dates and times Plaintiffs detected Defendants' infringing activity, the IP addresses of the computers used to facilitate the alleged infringement, and a partial list of words that Defendants infringed.

What a load of bilge!

Plaintiffs only detected infringing activity IF "making available" with no evidence of actual distribution is infringing.

IP addresses don't identify individual computers, since many computers may simultaneously share the same IP address.

Time clocks between Media Sentry and the University must be in reasonably close agreement.

In addition to IP addresses, did the RIAA provide port numbers for the connections? I never hear these mentioned.

Computers don't identify infringers, since many people may use a single computer, and in the college environment, often do.

All songs alleged to have been infringed must have been downloaded and verified as true copies of copyrighted works.

So for the above to be true, "making available" has to be infringement, the computer IP address must not be NAT-ed or otherwise translated along the way, only the person believed to be the computer owner can have been using it, and all the songs in question must have been downloaded and properly verified. This is hardly exact science, even if the RIAA wishes to pretend that their methods admit no errors.

I don't have time today to point out in detail why most of their brief is as flawed as the partial paragraph above. However I must mention that I was never aware that computer MAC addresses were ever considered "directory information", which have been asked for in the past. And also that the RIAA does force Defendants to pay "excessive settlement amounts". These are far in excess of actual damages (if any), or what would be charged had these songs on CD's been shoplifted from brick & mortar stores.

And regarding the issue of Joinder, I absolutely cannot see how joinder can be appropriate when different sets of Plaintiffs are suing each Defendant due to the different assortment of music files alleged to have been "made available" by that Defendant. That alone should require severing all Does after Doe #1 (woe to be the first Doe on the list, although if the rest of the Does are severed, then some of the Plaintiff record companies must likely be dropped as well.)

Regarding the RIAA's new "swap meet" flawed analogy, if a record company cop were to raid a swap meet where a number of vendors were actually selling pirated physical CD's, could all those vendors be joined into a single suit just because they all had separate booths at the same swap meet?

Also, wouldn't this new "swap meet" flawed analogy only be valid if the Defendants were swapping music WITH EACH OTHER? I mean, the RIAA is really straining here to try and join these unrelated Defendants. Especially since they now accuse them of concerted actions "…that allows the distribution of billions of digital copies of Plaintiffs' copyrighted sound recordings. In short, this group is now responsible for the actions of all P2P users, and each one must have a share directory with a billion or so songs in it. (Note: I have never seen a share directory that large.)

For these reasons, the great majority of courts have held…

Every court doesn't agree with RIAA here, and this court should carefully consider the circumstances of the unopposed actions that occurred in many of those other "great majority" of courts.