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RIAA Doesn't Like Independent Experts 258

Krishna Dagli writes to tell us Ars Technica is looking at the latest in the comedy of errors that is the RIAA's crusade against supposed pirates. From the article: "As one might expect, Arellanes isn't too keen on the idea of sending her hard drive (PDF) to an RIAA star chamber for examination. Citing the RIAA's numerous missteps in its ill-conceived crusade against music fans, she requests that the court require a "neutral computer forensics expert and a protocol protective of non-relevant and privileged information" be used to conduct the examination."
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RIAA Doesn't Like Independent Experts

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  • News? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @06:52AM (#16036961)
    RIAA doesn't like anything.
  • by elh_inny ( 557966 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:07AM (#16037005) Homepage Journal
    I live outside US, in an EU country and I constantly see how many basic freedom rights are violated in US.
    With all the recent actions of NSA, RIAA, MPAA, it seems like you hardly care about things like:
    -what is not explicitly banned should be allowed
    -all citizens should be considered innocent unless explicitly proven otherwise, within US agencies, it seems the assumption is the other way around
    Perhaps your life is still very bearable with those restrictions, but I would firmly rebel against such treatment...
    I can't provide you a withsimple solution, but it seems nothing is being done to counteract the wrong-doings of your government, it can only deteriorate form that point :(
    I don't know how many people have changed their minds recently, but I don't want to go to USA anymore.
  • by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:07AM (#16037008)
    I'm currently using six machines solely to myself between work and personal use. If I were acused of specific infringement, I could easily submit the drive from another machine (assuming that the accusation was true)... I don't see how that evidence is even admissable. Add on friends who use their laptops on my wireless network... I think it all just gets back to the point that there really isn't any proof. Using IPs are certainly going to be accurate most of the time but that's a long shot from proof. I still don't understand how they get away with all this.

    I imagine that they will change their tactics. More deals to deliver bundled music subscription services with internet access, for example. Or perhaps we'll see something like myspace clean up in the next few years. Really, how long does it take to steal market share online?
  • by oclawgeek ( 861555 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:24AM (#16037043)
    I agree with you, somewhat. First, however, copyright violations are explicitly forbidden, so that argument does not seem terribly relevant. However, the people currently in control of the federal government (as opposed to the governments of at least some of our states), are people who have decided that they prefer safety to liberty, and are perfectly willing to trade most or all of the latter for the illusion of the former. In this Faustian bargain, they will end up with neither - which is only just, as Benjamin Franklin famously (in the U.S., at least) observed. There is a simple word for this, naturally: cowardice. These same people tend to now populate the courts, but with the added vice of intellectual dishonesty so that the rights expressly granted to the citizenry in our Constitution are simply interpreted out of existence; any who dare acknowledge them are branded as "judicial activists" or traitors. But don't give up hope, world: we have a rich heritage of eventual rejection of the kind of nincompoopery you see in our federal government today. Let us hope we reject them soon.
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:31AM (#16037054)
    From my observations, the continued abuses on our Freedoms comes from the bottom up in society in a lot of situations. I mean, a lot of things ingrained in our basic groupthink (as a country) about things allows this sort of thing to happen. Many of the defiencies in the legal system (mostly that it seems Justice is bought, and that courts seem to care more about protocol than right or wrong anymore) stem from English Common Law and works it's way up from there - sort of like how Microsoft's security problems continually stem from the same sources. Until we address more than the symptoms, the problem continue to happen.

    But you should specify where in the EU you are from. I recently hosted an Englishman at my place, and he says that while England is a police state and none of the younger generation want to live there any longer, he's for more draconian reforms since "if you have nothing to hide, what do you have to worry about?" Funny that, since he's moving out of England soon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04, 2006 @07:40AM (#16037079)
    This makes me wonder, what if you had a large amount of communication with your lawyer, letters and emails and such on your computer. Then if the RIAA conducted a search of the computer, would that render the entire search inadmissiable because of the presence of the communications?
  • by madcow_bg ( 969477 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @08:07AM (#16037151)
    Following your logic, the best tactic would be to set up an open WiFi access point "by mistake". If you then get an inquiry, it's easy to show that anyone in a 250m radius could have accessed a P2P network through your IP address...

    And the problem exactly is?

    I mean, with all the spambots and zombies out there, and the viruses, are YOU supposed to be held responsible for bugs in the software, that allows remote exploits and trojan horses? I know the all EULAs disclaim warranty of any kind, but to actually sue the user you must proove intent.
  • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Monday September 04, 2006 @08:58AM (#16037279)
    You have to keep in mind that you only see negative things reported. The good things that are happening far outweigh the bad and you're getting a very biased view of the state of affairs in America. Things have certainly been better, but the things you see reported on /. and pretty much any news source (including the BBC in recent times, unfortunately) are extremely biased, twisted, and typically statistical anomalies pushing an agenda or grasping for headlines. Europe has it's own problems, with a lot of countries either already forcing you to hand over your encryption keys, or working on legislation that will (regardless of guilt in a crime), and in some places it is practically impossible to not be surveilled by government camera equipment. Europe has some issues with police corruption, and in many places free speech is limited. Not being able to use nazi related terms is ridiculous, at least in the U.S. you won't get arrested for standing outside the whitehouse and screaming "9/11 was a government conspiracy" or "9/11 victims deserved what they got" or any other ridiculous statement on such a sensitive topic, however discussing certain topics in Europe will almost certainly get you in trouble. Sometimes I get the feeling like the Europan governments helps highlight certain deficiencies in the American system in hopes that Europeans will be pointing fingers and laughing, and forgetting that their own rights are deteriorating.
  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @09:18AM (#16037353) Homepage
    In a truly fair legal system, the lawyers would only be paid after all appeals were exhausted and both sides' costs would be borne by the losing party.

    It sounds nice, but if you don't sort of implicitly assume that all cases are resolved in a just manner. Well... Suppose you have $citizen who wants to sue $EvilCorp for being evil. The citizen does so. The citizen loses. The citizen has to pay EvilCorp's lawyers millions. That's a really good way to discourage suing EvilCorp. (Or consider the other way around. $EvilCorp sues $citizen because it's evil. They win. To add insult to injury, the citizen now also loses millions paying for the lawyers.)

    That's the three-second Slashdot version, admittedly, but loser-pays is not all peaches and cream and pretty fluffy bunnies. Here's some random Internet paper that looks to present a few of the issues:

    The fundamental problem with a loser-pays proposal is that it would chill counsel from pursuing cases involving potentially legitimate claims where success is uncertain ... Given the numerous variables that counsel must weigh, and the uncertainty of the outcome, the prospect of facing automatic sanctions for merely being incorrect would undoubtably deter a great number of claims that warrant pursuit.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @10:07AM (#16037546) Journal
    Outside of the court system they have no direct power.
    Yes, these corps have no real power. [wikipedia.org] It is indirect, but the fact that congress pushed the DMCA and other bills is starting to show who congress represents.

    It is time for Americans to push Joel hefley's ideas concerning how to stop this slide towards corruption and fasicism.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday September 04, 2006 @03:35PM (#16039323) Homepage Journal
    Well, obviously I am not a lawyer, but I would question the legality of getting logs from an ISP.

    A private citizen or a corporation can use/introduce evidence gathered during the commission of a crime, while a law enforcement agent or agency cannot. Thus if they have gotten any evidence from someone's ISP they can use it.

    At the same time, if your government (local, state, or federal) or your ISP promises you safety from search and seizure of logs, and then gives them to them anyway, arguably you could sue them for damages, which could equal the amount you were required to pay the RIAA or whoever.

    And even if they find out you've downloaded SOME things, wouldn't they need to prove it was indeed illegal?

    That's why they want her hard drive. Ostensibly.

    So more than likely, they'd still sue me if I downloaded that MP3 of *Insert Band Here*'s *insert song* even if I already OWN the damn CD.

    Yes, they might do that. When confronted with proof that you own it, they would probably elect to drop the case rather than have your fair use laws held up in court.

    The RIAA knows damned well that Fair Use law provides you the right to make backup copies. They believe, however, that if they claim loudly, uncontested, and often that you don't have that right, that eventually it will become so.

    They are probably right.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.