Many of you have seen that Verizon has been ordered to disclose customer profiles to anyone who sues them. This is pretty funny, and hopefully someone will sue Hillary Rosen's ISP soon. In the meantime, I'd like to point you in the direction of this interesting quote:
"Now that the court has ordered Verizon to live up to its obligation under the law, we look forward to contacting the account holder whose identity we were seeking so we can let them know that what they are doing is illegal," said Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America.
So we know two things:
- The RIAA doesn't know who the account holder is
- The RIAA wants to let the account holder know that he/she has broken the law
The only problem with this is that for the account holder to have broken the law, it must be proven that the account holder does not own a legally purchased copy of all the songs he or she downloaded. How can the RIAA know this about the account holder? Existing Fair Use law states that you can obtain a backup copy of a song you already own. Can the RIAA have charges brought against the account holder without proof that the account holder does not legally own all these songs?
I've spent a bit of time cataloging the names of every song on every CD I own. Having painstakingly removed anything which could possibly be available Live or As A Cover, I have a list of about 9,600 song titles which I can legally download. I am in the process of setting up my Gnotella agent to continually download all these songs. I have a little DB app which will overwrite my existing copy of each song with the new copy. This will ensure that at any given time, I have only one backup copy of each song I own, and also that my connection will look like a gigantic music leech 24/7.
I'm only one person, and the chances of the RIAA bringing suit against me are pretty low, even though they target high-bandwidth automated users. But I can hope (actually if I am sued my bravado will probably dissipate and I will piss my pants while I write the ACLU, EFF, and the Pope). The prospect of Trolling the RIAA is just too good to give up. And walking into court with a legally purchased, nicely aged copy of every single song I'm charged with obtaining illegally would be way too much fun.
Yes, for those wondering, I typed up the list of songs, dated it, took pictures of my entire cd collection and put it in the envelope, included the Washington Post, and I'm going to mail it to my bank certified mail with return receipt attn: my safe deposit box. That's the best I can do for proving I didn't purchase the music ex-post-facto.
If you like this little exercise in law-abiding, feel free to join me.