Friday, July 11, 2008

Probable Cause Hearing Scheduled before North Carolina Grievance Committee over MediaSentry Unlicensed Investigation charges

We have just learned from court papers filed in Capitol v. Doe, one of the six (6) John Doe cases targeting North Carolina State University students in Raleigh, North Carolina, that a Grievance Committee hearing, to determine the existence of probable cause, has been scheduled by North Carolina's Private Protective Services Board, in connection with the complaints that have been filed charging MediaSentry with the crime of unlicensed investigation.

The hearings are scheduled to take place on December 10, 2008, at 1:00 P.M., in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Defendant's brief
Affidavit of Stephen Robertson
Exhibit C - Notice of Grievance Committee hearing to determine probable cause

Commentary & discussion:



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...

Ain't that a stitch?

This really makes my day...

- The Mouser

Jadeic said...

No sense of urgency here then. I shudder at the further damage that the RIAA can inflict in the intervening four and a bit months. Further more I fear that, if the news from the current G8 conference is correct, that (almost) by then the clandestine ACTA will have been ratified which will almost make the due process of law an irrelevancy. Looking on the bright side though there isn't a law yet that forbids my free will and as more and more people choose not to buy their product no treaty on earth will avert their doom.


Alter_Fritz said...

1) why only in december?
that is so long from now, in the meantime those criminals can grab all their money and flee to some southamerican country or Cuba!

this stuff must be handled much quicker in my insignificant opinion!

Don't feel so free too soon, They will demand (and probably will get too, since they have so many politicicans already well greased) some sort of "Tax" if the boycott of their shitty product will continue and people will move to other better offerings from liberated music!

Anonymous said...

The defendant was named as a doe 10 times. Apparently his assigned IP address changed often. If the University's systme is configured to do this, it greatly increases the likelyhood of misidentification of a doe.

I was also intrigued to notice that one of the cases cited was Silkwood vs. Kerr-McGee.

Kip Patterson

Anonymous said...


What really worries me is what alter_fritz says:

"They will demand (and probably will get too, since they have so many politicicans already well greased) some sort of "Tax" if the boycott of their shitty product will continue"

in his above post. It really seems like the RIAA would actually stoop to that level based on their past actions. Is there anyway to get Congress involved on our side? Should we write to our representatives? What should we include in the letters to our representatives? etc?

Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions on how to proceed with this idea?

Anonymous said...

Justice delayed is justice denied. Like other posters, I wish that this hearing was being held in a more timely manner.

Perhaps the judge in these cases will delay any ruling on his part until the outcome of this matter is decided.

{The Common Man Speaking}

skeeter said...

It looks to me that SafeNet is going to have a hard time getting out of this one in North Carolina. The law seems very precise regarding private investigators in NC. Check out sites:

I have something to look forward to around the holidays.

Reluctant Raconteur said...

Note that the threatened sanctions are suspending or revoking their license. Which really isn't much of a threat.

Anonymous said...


Remember: No License = No RIAA investigations in NC. By taking the step to revoke, makes it impossible for them to ever have a license.

There are also Criminal penalties in the statute, but I would gurss they must first take action on the license/lack of license before they will be permitted to file criminal charges.

My guess is that if any of the NC RIAA cases require MS testimony to go forward, they will drop the case instead. Otherwise whoever shows up in the state to testify might find themselves arrested.


Alter_Fritz said...

"Otherwise whoever shows up in the state to testify might find themselves arrested."
Can we have a copy of the deposition videotape please?

COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT(s): OK Mr. Fessler thank you for answering all our questions. You might now leave the stand and walk slowly without abrupt movements towards the big guy with the badge and the handcuffs standing in the corner left to you.

But I fear this will be only a sweat dream. The "well known and respected record companies" will make sure that their minions will be no harm done. They have the money to make it happen. And you can bet my word for it, even when the december hearing comes and Fessler and Co haven't fled to cuba since, nothing absolutely nothing severe will happen to them. The american justice system is just too well greased by the record labels as if that would happen. This is what I truely believe, even though it would of course be cool if it would be otherwise.

Reluctant Raconteur said...


The value of the hearing to me is the determination for the first time if the PI statues apply to MS.

IMHO, the several PI statues I have read are similar in that the intent is to regulate the purpose; not the source or method of the investigation. If you are gather information for a court case, you fall under the PI statue.

To date, the MS defense has been focused on A) the source and method or B) the various exemptions in the statues. Neither of which go to the intent.

The newest one is the lack of presence in the state precluding the law from applying. I am sure that the legislatures never considered as allowable the investigation of state citizens by out of state investigators. OTOH, so much of what a PI would do is on the internet since these laws were written, I am not surprised that jurisdictional issues arise.

Personally, I would expect that in-state firms would notice that out of state firms are stealing their business and have the legislature address it.

I would give more credence to that defense if they were to demonstrate that they were licensed in the state they are operating from.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if being a Doe helps the defense right now, since the only evidence concerning the Doe is MediaSentry's evidence.

As we saw with Ray's case a few months ago, judges sometimes don't recognize the weight of MediaSentry's evidence (for right or wrong), but that weight is hard to overlook in this instance.

Anonymous said...

How do you revoke a license that doesn't exist?

-- Shentino