Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maine Judge rules "John Doe" case may proceed against University of Maine students

In Arista Records v. Does 1-27, the Judge has denied all of the defendants' motions, and ruled that the case may proceed.

The Judge agreed with the RIAA on every legal issue presented.

October 29, 2008, decision

Keywords: lawyer 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 portable music player


Anonymous said...

To this man's point of view the Magistrate Judge and the Presiding Judge in this case have shown themselves as nothing more then a rubberstamp for the recording industry's abuse of the legal system through fraudulent cases. The Magistrate Judge at least seemed to have a clue as she raised some important items for consideration, all of which where airily dismissed by the Presiding Judge – although she too was suckered at the ex parte step of this debacle when she approved immediate discovery and stood by it afterwards. This is a disgrace!

The Defendants phrased the heart of the issue as elegantly as anyone has so far when they said:

The Defendants claim that the Plaintiffs filed the present action “solely to create a vehicle to obtain the Defendants‟ federally-protected educational records, then to use that information to demand settlement amounts far in excess of the Plaintiff‟s [sic] actual damages from the individual student-defendants.”

And here's another good point:

the Court has decided it is proper for Plaintiffs to discover this information.

Yes the Court has decided exactly this, and is going to go whatever it takes to make that happen.

And do take note of:

“The transaction and common-question requirements prescribed by Rule 20(a) are not rigid tests. They are flexible concepts used by the courts to implement the purpose of Rule 20 and therefore are to be read as broadly as possible whenever doing so is likely to promote judicial economy.”

This judge is clearly very liberal in the eyes of this man who is far too used to seeing the most liberal judges being the ones who consider the law to be more like guidelines than actual rules (to borrow a simile from Pirates of the Caribbean).

This man can see how much effort this judge put into trying to make things go the way he wanted. It took him far too many words and pages to argue against common sense and the plain reading of both Twombly, and of the recording industry's plain intent in this case. He even brings in the DMCA to justify his decision, while the RIAA has argued recently in the past that the DMCA is not the vehicle that they bring these cases under.

These cases are a total sham that have no intent of actually being decided at trial and seek only information to be used to harass as yet innocent defendants with outrageous settlement and/or legal costs. The judges in this case are complicit accomplices in this perversion of justice. They are a disgrace to judges and justice everywhere.

(Now please post this to Slashdot so that this man can say a few more things about these judges there that aren't permitted to be elucidated on this fine blog.)

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

I am wondering what evidence the RIAA would have had, if it were not for MediaSentry's Unlicensed investigations, I would also wonder why the court would rely upon case law that addresses expert witnesses as opposed to "ambulance chasers" or cyber stalking. said...

"The Judge agreed with the RIAA on every legal issue presented."

I find the above as distressing/disturbing as a pedophile working as a babysitter.

/Ryan said...

A heads up Ray (you can delete this comment)

Harvard is coming into the fray!


Anonymous said...

The judge claims that there are specific allegations in the RIAA's complaint. But he never addresses the actual vague points.

- Distributed to who? When? How many times?
- Downloaded when? From who?
- For downloading and distributing, for each song, which specific piece of copyright law has been violated?
- An IP address is not an individual.

Putting lots of "or"s in a complaint is a guaranteed way to mess up your opponent. Right now, defendants still don't know what exactly it is that plaintiffs allege they've actually done, so of course they can't form a proper defense.


Anonymous said...

The judge writes, "Because it is reasonable to infer that defendant downloaded and shared files, the court draws those inferences in Plaintiff's favor."

My paraphrase of the judge: "Because defendants are alleged to have used file sharing software, they must have used it, and because it's file sharing software they must have used it to share copyrighted works illegally."

Wow. If you can't reliably link an IP address to a person who uses it, which you can't, this reasoning is not only scary but ungrounded.

Later the judge writes, "It is regrettable that parties did not more fully develop this point [that making available is infringement]." Of course defendants didn't develop that point -- they don't know what they're accused of having done! Why didn't the judge just ask for more information from each party?


Matt Fitzpatrick said...

The court's consideration of joinder is especially puzzling.

I see the correct Rule 20 standard for joinder, "same transaction or occurrence," cited in the order. But I don't see any explanation as to how this standard has been met.

I only see speculation that twenty-seven different transactions over different file sharing networks may somehow turn out to be circumstantially related. And the acceptance of ex parte orders as good precedent. And an improbable-beyond-comprehension assumption that the plaintiffs will sustain this case long enough to work the joinder issues out.

Anonymous said...

This is a quote from LaFace v. Does 1-5 in Michigan defending against the claim that MediaSentry does not do anything that any other p2p user could do. The company uses proprietary software to do its work. Maybe its time to post one of the M-S advertisements again?

"MediaSentry’s Investigative techniques are far more in-depth than simply using “various P2P networks to search for potential infringes in a manner that any other user of P2P networks could” as plaintiffs claim. MediaSentry advertises that it’s “investigative service offers the most advance scanning techniques available to find and index pirated contend on the Internet. From worldwide peering points, SafeNet identifies online piracy in real-time by monitoring online auction communities, IRC networks, newsgroups, FTP sites, peer-to-peer communities and websites.” They add that “Once our intelligent scanning agents find infringing activity, all relevant data is logged and added to our proprietary file version manager and routed to specified client folders.” MediaSentry uses proprietary systems to aid in its investigations. If MediaSentry simply used P2P networks in the same manor as any other P2P user, then the Recording Industry’s Trade Group (RIAA) could simply do the dirty work themselves and cut out the third party agent. MediaSentry ‘s actions are not “analogous to a private citizen going to the public library and reading materials in the library’s collection.” They do not just waltz into the “public library” as Plaintiffs claim. MediaSentry’ s actions are specifically addressed and proscribed by MCL 338.21throught 338.851. .¹ (Attached Advertisement.)"

Unknown said...

"public Library"

Not to mention, my computer is not a Public Library. It's not funded by the local government, nor am I a non profit whose purpose is to allows others access to media they could not otherwise use.

It's a horrible analogy.