Monday, March 10, 2008

MediaSentry not licensed in Michigan according to letter from Mich. Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth

According to a letter we have been provided by a reader, a complaint was filed by that reader with the Department of Labor and Economic Growth in Michigan that MediaSentry was unlicensed.

The Department confirmed that MediaSentry was not licensed in Michigan, and that it would be sent a letter informing it of the need for a license to conduct regulated activities.

The letter 'encouraged' the sender to pursue his or her complaint with the local prosecutor.

February 22, 2008, Letter of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (identifying information deleted)*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:
Slashdot (3/12/08)
Ars Technica

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...

I hope that MediaSentry receives the Four Years in Prison penalty, rather than the rather minor (for any company of their size) fine.


Alter_Fritz said...

bitchy little readers you have there Ray.

Imagine what would happen if bold citizens in every state would complain about MediaSentry to the apropriate authorities!
That would be bad for them. They are so nice guys, Helping those "well-known and respected record companies".
You shouldn't encourage your fellow americans to do such things. The corporate bottom-line is more important then some laws or lives of some unimportant grandmothers or children!

Shame on you Ray to post such stuff!


P.S. Found a nice quote in my bookmarks while do some cleaning here.

"At what point do we just abandon any pretense of making peace with these gangsters? When will it be time to declare war on them, to engage in file-sharing not because we love music, but because we hate the record companies?" --- Cory Doctorow

StephenH said...

This is the fourth state in which MediaSentry is practicing investigations without a license (others are New York, Massachusetts, and Oregon). I hope in one of them MediaSentry is either fined or has their evidence striken in a case. I bet this would be a wake up call for the RIAA to wind down this campaign.

raybeckerman said...

You left out Florida and Oregon (See UMG v. Del Cid and SONY v. Crain).

David said...

This could lead to states were MediaSentry dare not show up to testify, or be deposed, out of fear of arrest.


Anonymous said...

What's the strict liability of MediaSentry if evidence they've illegally collected is used to obtain a judgement against an individual?

Say, for instance, you live in Oklahoma and a the RIAA has obtained a very large judgement against you via MS evidence. Could you sue MS for the cost of the judgement?


Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

It's stories like this that put a smile on my face. Now we just need to get Slashdotters to investigate the issue in their own states, and have them swarm prosecutor's offices with complaints in applicable states.

Interested Observer said...

Add Connecticut to the list - see
Public Act 04-192

Anonymous said...

They may not be licensed in Arizona either. No variation of "Media Sentry" or "SafeNet" gets any hit of an active license.

via Arizona Department of Public Safety web site. note: try "media" or "safe" for examples of active licenses.

more AZ info here


Anonymous said...


This is off-topic for this thread, but on-topic for the overall blog.

You can't get Melville Nimmer since he died in 1985. However, William Patry is a young 58 or so. It would be a real coup if you could get an amicus brief from him supporting your position on Making Available versus Distribution?

I'd certainly consider him a better authority than Mary Beth Peters, whose office is a political appointment more than anything else.


Anonymous said...

If they (RIAA lawyers) still insist on showing Media Sentry/SafeNet "evidence", wouldn't it be mandatory to have their methodology reviewed since they haven't been trained and licensed in the proper procedures for the preservation of materials?

These non-licensed investigator rulings should open them up to serious scrutiny. I can't see how they can hide behind the RIAA's claims of questionable retainer status after this, since a lawyer should have asked for their license before employing them. (being hired by them or their lawyer gestapo) Again, if they still blaze ahead with MS/SN "evidence", wouldn't that open up the whole law firm up for sanctions? I mean, they have several points in which to confirm the PI status of their agent; they should have checked at the hiring meeting, the time when they received the "evidence", and probably at the point where their accountant cut a check. This is, of course, assuming their shellgame of "who hired MS" has the lawyers flagged at the time.


Anonymous said... is the link to any readers who want to file a complaint in Arizona. I have no pending litigation, so I don't know if I have the right to complain? I would be interested in finding out.

Reluctant Raconteur said...

I think the reality is going to be disappointing for most of us. RIAA/MS is contending in their legal opinion, they don't need a license. Until they are told (like in Mass) that this is not true, they will ignore contrary opinion and continue to operate as before. There will be no sanctions unless it is proved they contravened a court decision.

That is not to say the evidence will be admissible, if they misinterpreted the law. But sanctions, no.

So far as any settlements already agreed to, I don't see any recourse.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way to find out which states they actually ARE licensed in? It'd be interesting to know how many states they've bothered to apply in, or if they've ever been denied a license.

Jadeic said...

jquilty said...

Is there any way to find out which states they actually ARE licensed in?

Perhaps this is a legitimate discovery question - albeit one they will no doubt decline to answer.


Jadeic said...

Apropos the Warner v. Lewis post above it may be worth checking out Louisiana as a priority.