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The Courts

Submission + - U.of Oregon Says No to RIAA; ID no good

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The University of Oregon has filed a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena for information on student identities, in what is believed to be the first such motion made by the university itself, rather than by the students, and the first instance of a State Attorney General bringing a motion to quash an RIAA subpoena. The motion (pdf) explains that it is impossible to identify the alleged infringers from the information the RIAA has presented: "Five of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from double occupancy dorm rooms at the University. With regard to these Does, the University is able to identify only the room where the content was accessed and whether or not the computer used was a Macintosh or a PC.... The University cannot determine whether the content in question accessed by one occupant as opposed to another, or whether it was accessed instead by a visitor. Two of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from single occupancy dorm rooms....No login or personally identifiable information, i.e. authentication, was used by the Does to access the university's network because none is required. The University cannot determine whether the content was accessed by the room occupant or visitor. Nine of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from the University's wireless network or a similar system called the "HDSL Circuit." These systems do record a user name associated with the access. For these John Does, the University can determine the identity of the individual who bas been assigned the user name, however, it is unable to determine whether the content was accessed by the individual assigned that user name or by someone else using the computer associated with the user name. In the case of sixteen of the seventeen John Does, .... it is not possible for the University to identify the alleged infringers without conducting interviews and a forensic investigation of the computers likely involved." The AG's motion further argues (pdf) that "Plaintiffs' subpoena is unduly burdensome and overbroad. It seeks information that the University does not readily possess. In order to attempt to comply with the subpoena, the University would be forced to undertake an investigation to create discovery for Plaintiffs — an obligation not imposed by Rule 45. As the University is unable to identify the alleged infringers with any accuracy, it cannot comply with its federal obligation to notify students potentially affected by the subpoena." One commentator has likened the AG's argument to saying, in effect, that the RIAA's evidence is "rubbish"."
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U.of Oregon Says No to RIAA; ID no good

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