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NewYorkCountryLawyer's Journal: Should RIAA's investigator have to disclose backup? 12

Journal by NewYorkCountryLawyer
A technology battle is raging in UMG v. Lindor in Brooklyn over whether the RIAA's investigator, SafeNet (formerly known as MediaSentry), which has produced certain *txt printouts, now needs to disclose its digital files, validation methodology, testing procedures, failure rates, software manuals, protocols, packet logs, source code, and other materials, so that the validity of its methods can be evaluated by the other side. SafeNet and the RIAA say no, the information is "proprietary and confidential". Ms. Lindor says yes, if you're going to testify in federal court the other side has a right to test your evidence. A list of what is being sought is here (pdf). MediaSentry has produced 'none of the above'. "Put up or shut up" says one commentator to MediaSentry. What do you say?
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Should RIAA's investigator have to disclose backup?

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  • I am a tech for a small company, but we service industrial PCs for many oil field major players (names like Halliburton, NOV, Baker Hughes, and more). If I say a unit meets X criteria and cannot be serviced, they normally accept that, however I keep all info related to the decision and readily provide it should they question my decision. This is not a contractual obligation, just common sense. They accuse me of nothing.

    The same goes for if I conduct trials on their equipment on their behest. I even enco
    • Let's trot out this old line...

      "If they have nothing to hide, why not supply the information? What are they, terrorists?"

      Or, are they really claiming that the defendant/some other witness might be able to steal business from them if their methodologies are published? Why not file under seal?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Let's trot out this old line... "If they have nothing to hide, why not supply the information? What are they, terrorists?"
        Actually I do consider them to be terrorists of a sort.
    • I even encourage them to have someone else review my methodology and my results. Why would a ligitant not?
      Indeed. Do you think they could be hiding something?
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        "Do you think they could be hiding something?"

        What, maybe the fact that they have no hard evidence??

        This strikes me as akin to the police saying, "We have your fingerprints, and we claim they came from the crime scene, but we won't tell you what methods we used to acquire them." So how do you know they actually lifted said fingerprints from the scene?? maybe they came from your old Army induction form instead!

        Evidence without provenance is just hearsay.

    • Indeed. We process wool for people on a mill tax system. They give us fleeces, we sort, clean, and card (prepare for spinning), return a portion to them and keep the rest ourselves. How much they get back depends on the original condition of the fleeces: if there are many second cuts (sloppy shearing), guard hairs, debris, or stained wool, that all comes out in sorting/cleaning and counts against them. People generally accept our judgment on how much they get back, but I save all of the rejected wool for a
      • I totally and completely agree. I would just like to make the distinction in case someone else is reading this thread later. The MD performing the autopsy with the proprietary technique is liable to want to publish the methods and results of the autopsy (as really well educated people tend to like to get published), so that others can use them later. It's _sort of_* like watching CSI and they use some wacky method to extract a fingerprint or DNA. They heard about it "at a conference" and then used it.

        Wh
        • by evought (709897)

          [snip]
          ---
          So, apparently not everyone at /. is a CS/IT warrior. Wool milling? Do ya'll work in any of the other clothing materials, such as cotton? Just curious how that whole system works, if the mills stick to one sort of fabric/material? I presume ya'll don't weave the fabric there either?

          Ex-IT. Now we have a family business doing traditional handcrafts: handmade lye soap, candles (beeswax, tallow, palm wax, and some paraffin), and woolens. We process wool, spin, knit, and weave. We also do some work with cotton, linen, etc. My wife is working on a research project right now with heritage varieties of upland colored cotton. This particular variety is green from the get go and darkens with washing (as opposed to dyed cotton, which fades). We also brew wine, cider, and mead (can't sell that),

  • This begins to sound like SCO. "We have evidence, but won't show you..."

    But in this instance, there might be a reason for it. In addition to the false positives that mediaSentry has sent out (I've know I've had some for which the IP address wasn't in use at the time they claim), there might also be exploitable false negatives. If their methods were published, then it's likely that "safe" file sharing programs -- which would evade existing enforcement methods -- would be created.

    Maybe. But if that w

    • by davburns (49244)

      Okay, I posed the above before reading TFAs (My UID is in the middle 5-digits).

      It looks like they do claim that this discovery would reveal exploitable false negatives. That's probably a "good beef."

      They claim that the plaintiff already gave you their file -- so that's what evidence they had when they decided to bring the lawsuit, right? It seems like that would either be "good enough" or not.

      I see that SafeNet's document seems to say that they only connected to the KaZaA servers, and not to the IP

      • They claim that the plaintiff already gave you their file -- so that's what evidence they had when they decided to bring the lawsuit, right?
        Wrong, if you'd read TFA you'd know that they brought the lawsuit in February 2005, and the text documents they've produced were created in March 2006.
  • All it's going to do is prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they didn't HAVE anything to begin with.

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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