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RIAA Secretly Tries to Get ISP Subscriber Info 127

Posted by Zonk
from the always-with-the-plotting-and-planning-are-they dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In an attempt to change the rules of the game, the RIAA secretly went to a federal district court in Denver with an ex parte application. The goal was to get the judge to rule that the federal Cable Communications Policy Act does not apply to the RIAA's attempts to get subscriber information (pdf) from cable companies. Just to clarify, ex parte means that the application was secret, no one else — neither the ISP nor the subscribers — were given notice that this was going on. They were, in effect, asking the Court to rule that the RIAA does not need to get a court order to be able to force an ISP to disclose confidential subscriber information. The Magistrate Judge declined to rule on the issue (pdf), but did give them the ex parte discovery order they were looking for."
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RIAA Secretly Tries to Get ISP Subscriber Info

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  • by iminplaya (723125)
    They're just following the example set by our leader. And we just can't get enough. The abuse is turning us on.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Whoever modded the above off-topic (now troll) is totally off-base and should lose their mod rights. You do not mod things off-topic because you don't like or agree with what they say. The post is demonstably on-topic and a comment, not a troll.

      There has indeed been a severe decline in ethical and moral behavior in at the highest executive levels of government, which has been a signal to the businesses that helped them get there that there are 'new rules' for the 'good old boys'.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by iminplaya (723125)
        I appreciate the props. Thanks. Unfortunately, most people will ignore and disparage your message because you posted anonymously.

        (Score:1, Insightful)

        Most, not all :-)
  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:58AM (#18901603)
    It's not much of a secret anymore
    • by physicsphairy (720718) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:06PM (#18901737) Homepage
      Au contraire, the surest way to be certain that no one will read the details of a news release is to put it on the front page of slashdot.

      After the initial barrage of overlord and soviet russia jokes, they will be pretty much in the clear.
      • Au contraire, the surest way to be certain that no one will read the details of a news release is to put it on the front page of slashdot.
        exactly, that's why no one saw the news about how the iPod wasn't worth buying
    • by Skadet (528657)
      It was never a secret to begin with, and that phrase mischaracterizes the whole thing. NYCL did himself and the readers a disservice by employing the same rhetoric the RIAA itself uses.
      • It was a secret. They went to court, did not notify the ISP, did not attempt to have notice given to the John Does.

        You're the one doing a disservice spouting nonsense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by debianlinux (548082)
      Just yesterday I was discussing the current state of affairs with a coworker. I mentioned the NSA/AT&T wiretapping and realized this person hadn't seen or heard the 1st thing about this topic. A topic that has been discussed to death on Slashdot and kept on the front page for a cumulative time of several weeks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      1. Of course not, now that they've got their order signed by the judge.

      2. This is the first time I've ever seen a news article reporting on the fact that the RIAA got an ex parte order signed. Usually it does remain a secret except to the ISP who eventually learns of it

      after it's already been accomplished .

      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Does this set any *generally-useful* precedent that other judges might be inclined or required to follow? Surely the RIAA can't be the *only* underhanded "litigious bastards" out there!
        • Surely the RIAA can't be the *only* underhanded "litigious bastards" out there!

          As a matter of fact I'm not aware of anyone other than the RIAA who's ever pulled this stunt. I'm hoping one of the ISP's or one of the universities will take them on -- with some of the materials [blogspot.com] I've assembled -- and I'm sure any decent judge, upon seeing the legal reasons why the process is improper, will deny the discovery motion.

          By the way, the RIAA's so-called expert Dr. Doug [blogspot.com] is being deposed Monday in Atlantic v. Andersen [blogspot.com]. We've moved to exclude him from testifying at the trial [blogspot.com] in UMG v. Lindor [blogspot.com].

          • by Reziac (43301) *
            Yeah, the next closest example I could think of was SCO, hence the related descriptive phrase.

            I like your Open Letter, I think it lays out the situation and best response in solid layman's terms that a non-lawyer can readily understand. The one point where I think people could become confused, is that it needs a quick definition of "ex parte" -- especially since the vast majority of people who will use this advice are non-lawyers, and may not have a lawyer instantly handy, either.

            I read through a big chunk
  • by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:00PM (#18901639) Journal
    If the government is not allowed to secretly spy on you (before the PATRIOT Act anyway... IANAL), why should the RIAA?

    Possibility for abuse aside, at least the government claims to do it save lives, whereas the RIAA is doing it to make (more) money.

    Note: This is not a comment on the PATRIOT Act. It is a comment on how the RIAA now has more power than the FBI, CIA, NSA, and local police combined. The only difference being that they can not shoot you.
    • ...not so much (Score:5, Informative)

      by Skadet (528657) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:05PM (#18901725) Homepage

      This is not a comment on the PATRIOT Act. It is a comment on how the RIAA now has more power than the FBI, CIA, NSA, and local police combined.
      I think you're misunderstanding the order. They don't have free reign now. As I understand it, the RIAA can go in with the order, the ISP says, "I don't think so; we're challenging this." And that's how ex parte is played.
      • However the RIAA has a tremendously larger budget than most ISPs (ignoring AT&T, Time Warner, etc.) This is just another action that you need lawyers to go to court to resist, and more protection money you have to pay to keep the mafia away. It makes it harder for ISPs who want to do the right thing, to be able to do so and still pay their employees.

      • by pla (258480)
        the RIAA can go in with the order, the ISP says, "I don't think so; we're challenging this"

        Or, more likely, the ISP responds "Okay, you won this round. Along with the requested information, we've enclosed a copy of our new 24-hour-max log retention policy, effective immediately. We look forward to your next ex parte order".
        • Unfortunately it hasn't been that way. They've been docilely cooperative, unlike the ISP's who resisted the process in Canada and the Netherlands. Which is why they have these unfair lawsuits in the US but not in Canada or the Netherlands.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SeaFox (739806)

        As I understand it, the RIAA can go in with the order, the ISP says, "I don't think so; we're challenging this." And that's how ex parte is played.

        ISPs are so large now they could give a flip less about their individual customers. Things aren't like they were back in the early '90s when each subscriber was a bigger slice of the revenue pie. The fact many people are locked between one or two high-speed providers means they have a captive customer base. There's no worry of mass-exodus over privacy issues for

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        That's not fair play, that's sneaky behind-the-back play... And your casual description shows you don't understand the import. The ISP will get a subpoena and court order... that's it. The John Does will get a subpoena and court order... and that's it. They will have no meaningful opportunity to take action against a fait accompli. Read here [blogspot.com] for my description of how this ex parte thing works.
      • Except that is supposed to change with the Can Spy Act... :-(
    • by Calydor (739835)
      The only difference being that they can not shoot you.

      Yet.
    • by tweak4 (1074671)

      The only difference being that they can not shoot you.
      Not yet anyway... Give them time.
    • by Myopic (18616)
      the government spied on us secretly even before the PATRIOT act.
  • by Grashnak (1003791) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:00PM (#18901649)
    If you aren't with the RIAA, then you're against them, and that means the pirates have already won. We need to surrender our freedom in order to preserve it. Don't misunderestimate the pirates. They hate us for our freedom. Fortunately they are in their last throes. Down with Oceania.
  • Ok, so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skadet (528657) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:02PM (#18901675) Homepage
    Alright, so the judge issued the order. But isn't a big part of an ex parte order the fact that affected parties can contest it? ISPs aren't bound to this ruling in any meaningful way, am I right?
    • by Lockejaw (955650)
      And even if the judge's order stands, what's to stop an ISP from refusing to give the subscriber info to the RIAA anyway? The RIAA says, "You have to," and the ISP says, "Not gonna happen." The RIAA's only way to enforce this is... go to court!
      (IANAL)
  • Even if they stopped all file sharing would that revive their crap-tastic industry? The most exciting thing they have going is "American Idol" and even that only appeals to fans of Vegas style crooning.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The last resort in this kind of dilemma is boycott.
      In June 2006 someone blogged an interesting suggestion. People were told Not to go to record stores on July 4 between 11 am and 2 pm, buy some DVDs, leave the store, realize that it contains a DRM label, change mind, go back to store and return the item saying the reason.
      Apparently, it didn't work last year. But this year, who knows people will follow the suggestion in great numbers?

      This kind of action should touch the sensitivity of RIAA, MPAA and the Holl
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Red Flayer (890720)
        Emphasis mine:

        People were told Not to go to record stores on July 4 between 11 am and 2 pm, buy some DVDs, leave the store, realize that it contains a DRM label, change mind, go back to store and return the item...

        Apparently, it didn't work last year.
        I think I see why... whoever organized that might need to rethink their cunning plan.
        • by sconeu (64226)
          I think it's time to go to the "Other, Other Operation".
        • whoever organized that might need to rethink their cunning plan."

          I think it was Baldrick [wikipedia.org].

          "Baldrick, you wouldn't know a cunning plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked atop a harpsichord singing 'Cunning Plans Are Here Again'".

    • The most exciting thing they have going is "American Idol" and even that only appeals to fans of Vegas style crooning.
      How dare you insult Vegas-style crooning that way!

      I'd take Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or even Don Ho over American Idol any day... and they're dead!
  • Ex parte? Big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:08PM (#18901765) Journal
    When the RIAA requests the information, then is the time for ISPs to challenge whether they have to hand over the info.

    Until they are specifically involved in a relevant action, they have no legal standing, and therefore there is no reason to notify them.

    Mountains out of molehills again.

    "Secretly"? Seriously? This is in the public record, it's not sealed. Or should anyone making any kind of legal motion be required to send out a mass mailing to anyone potentially affected?

    I'm all for shutting down the ridiculous tactics of the RIAA, but this hardly qualifies -- the reporting is sensationalistic and misleading. When the RIAA demands information from an ISP, then the ISP can fight back (in court) if they choose to do so -- which is exactly why the judge in question did not rule on the general applicability of the issue, and instead just granted that particular request.
    • "Secretly"? Seriously? This is in the public record, it's not sealed. Or should anyone making any kind of legal motion be required to send out a mass mailing to anyone potentially affected?

      If you want to change your name, you have to make a public notice in the paper. If a store that sells liquor is changing ownership, they have to put a notice in their window.

      Just because something is public doesn't mean it's actually out in the open. Who here goes through each docket of the courts in Denver? I wonder w
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        I wonder what the reaction would be if no attention was brought to this and suddenly hundreds get affected by this because the ISPs don't give a rats about their users and give the RIAA whatever they want.

        This ruling would not change that at all. The RIAA could request info from ISPs before.

        The point remains that anyone affected can challenge this in court, when they are affected.

        So who, exactly, should have been party to this motion? Every ISP? Every person who uses the internet? What happens when

        • Our court system is based on (a) an adversary system and (b) giving prior notice to one's adversaries.

          You're starting to sound like an RIAA troll to me.

    • You've got it wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:26PM (#18902025)
      The entire basis of the court system is the adversarial system.

      Once the MafiAA have gotten a court order / judgement, it "can" be overturned, but it's much harder to get a ruling overturned than it is to get one in the first place.

      The whole trick with the MafiAA going for a ex parte decision is so they can go behind closed doors, give the judge a long blowjob of lies and deception, pay him off, and get their "judgement" which they'll then use to threaten and abuse even more people - without anyone being able to give the other side of the issue and point out where the MafiAA is full of shit.

      Jack Valenti just kicked the bucket. Wouldn't it be nice if the MafiAA lawyers/suits would follow in his footsteps quickly? It's not like they are contributing members of society. They won't be missed and I doubt even their own mothers would cry at their funerals.
    • You are exactly wrong.

      Under our American justice system, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, there is a strong presumption in favor of giving notice prior to the Court's taking action , not after.

      It is much harder to get a Court to take action to undo something it has done, then to get it not to take the action in the first place.

      Having a couple of days to hurriedly (a) investigate what the case was based on, (b) investigate what the motion for discovery was based on, (c) engage your own witnesses, and experts, and do legal research, and prepare and serve and file papers, is not the same as having an opportunity to meet all that ahead of time.

      The honorable and legally correct and professional way to seek this discovery would be to give the university notice prior to making the application, and give the university extra copies of the summons, the complaint, the motion papers, and the court rules, for distribution to the John Does, so that they would all have a meaningful opportunity to consult with legal counsel, and so that their counsel would have a meaningful opportunity to act.

      The RIAA doesn't do thing the honorable, correct, or professional... it always opts for the sneakiest, most un-American, most unfair, way of doing everything.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        Mod me troll if you want, but I don't see this as being "un-American" in the slightest. Sneaky - check.
        Unfair - check.

        Un-American when your executive branch engages in this kind of behaviour on a daily basis, then sees their way clear to lying in public about it when they get cound out? That seems to me to make this about as American as you can get.

        It's a sad but true commentary on the state of the nation that what was once held up as a utopian ideal (that of "The American Way") has become so corrupted
      • Please note from my original post:

        Until they are specifically involved in a relevant action, they have no legal standing, and therefore there is no reason to notify them.
        Motion for discovery against John Does #1-50? They are involved, should be notified.

        Motion for blanket authority to demand ISP records, which is what your summary focuses on? No notification, since it's a non-issue. No press release needed to publicize the motion.
    • I'm all for shutting down the ridiculous tactics of the RIAA, but this hardly qualifies -- the reporting is sensationalistic and misleading.

      You must be new here...

      Don't bother worrying about sensationalism and deception on /. about the MAFIAA; that's pretty much the only media that'll even take a stance against them.

      Oh, you wanted the truth? That's a foreign concept to a MAFIAAoso. It would be of no consequence if /. was enlightened about such matters. Commonly-held beliefs will be smeared in mainstream media until the MAFIAA has won. Better to give them a straw man to attack.

  • Here's a Thought (Score:4, Interesting)

    by beef623 (998368) * on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:22PM (#18901977)
    Let them, but force everyone who is a affiliated with the RIAA to expose their personal information publicly. Make a website where anyone, at any time, can log on and see what any member of the RIAA is looking at online, what email they get and where they shop online. Maybe then they would see how utterly ridiculous this is and would think a little bit before they start reaching for every dollar hanging out of some kid's pocket.
  • ..US Government opens prison for political dissidents, on foreign soil to escape constitutional challenge.

    Say, on a small island.. just off the coast of Miami..

  • And this is why (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:40PM (#18902205) Homepage
    I'm far more worried about the RIAA than Google+DoubleClick
  • by asphaltjesus (978804) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:41PM (#18902221)
    1. I agree the summary is a bit inflamatory.

    2. This is to be expected in a society that places privatizing over everything else. Those of you that think the "ownership society" is a good thing, please consider this example carefully. It is the logical outcome of a legal system that emphasizes priviatization. Other than that, I'm not sure why this is so outrageous.

    What I'd like to know is why _that_ judge? I mean there had to be some maneuvering to this whole affair. What was the process that got them this privilege?
  • by Ravensfire (209905) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:42PM (#18902245) Homepage
    Okay - I'm trying to find a problem here, and can't.

    RIAA has an IP they believe is downloading copyrighted material. This allows them to request that the ISP give them the personal information of the person that was using the IP addresses, according to the logs of the ISP. This request must include the court's order, which specifically mentions that the ISP can move to squash the request.

    So the RIAA can take the information they have (the IP), and get the detailed information they need to file a full lawsuit. I think they've been getting burned on their "John Doe" lawsuits, so they're actually trying to get the right info early on.

    So where's the problem with this?

    -- Ravensfire
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Grashnak (1003791)
      The problem is they don't have to actually prove anything to a court before demanding this information from an ISP. "We think someone using ATT is downloading. Give us all the names, addresses, and connection data for all your subscribers please, so we can find out if they actually are doing anything wrong" is sort of the exact opposite of the way privacy is supposed to be protected. The mere suspicion of generalized wrong-doing does not justify releasing this kind of information to a party that has alre
      • You're putting the RIAA into a damned if you do, damned if you don't situations.

        You can't get detailed information to name a specific person if you don't file a lawsuit. BUT, you can't get that detailed information unless you file a lawsuit.

        I feel that if the RIAA can present to a judge the IP address and the evidence the RIAA has that this IP address is probably downloading copyrighted information they probably don't have the rights to, an order should be given.

        The alternatives are equally ugly - file a s
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You have an interesting history. On every RIAA story you seem to see it from the RIAA's point of view. I wonder who you work for.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by element-o.p. (939033)
      IANAL, but I have worked the abuse desk at an ISP, and therefore, I have fielded my share of RIAA/BSA/MPAA complaints and I have researched subscriber information for several subpoena requests. As I understand the process, you don't have to file suit to get subscriber information; all you have to do is get a court order requesting subscriber information. Consequently, I don't believe that this is a tactic to avoid getting burned by the backlash from the "John Doe" lawsuits -- they already had a
    • by n6kuy (172098)
      The word is "quash" [reference.com], not "squash".

      Squash is a vegetable.

  • by spiritraveller (641174) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:48PM (#18902367)
    Essentially, the RIAA was asking for a declaratory judgment against the ISPs. But the ISPs aren't even parties to the case. It makes far more sense for the court to provide the limited order than to give some sweeping declaration of the law on an ex parte motion.

    They (the RIAA) are really reaching for anything that will make this easier for them. But going after an unknown defendant is never easy.

    Hell, it's hard enough to go after a known defendant and collect your money after you've already won a judgment against him.

    I wonder what kind of return they are getting on their investment here. If they can't even get a settlement proposal to a defendant before going to a judge, and more of those who do get served are fighting it... I would think the returns will begin to diminish.

    Coupled with the good will they are losing (assuming they even factor that in), they may decide this is a lost battle at some point... But that's just rampant speculation. I'm curious if NewYorkCountryLawyer thinks that this insanity will ever end... If not, maybe I should change my area of practice (that would be defending the criminally accused, an area of the law which is almost completely lacking in geekery).
    • "It makes far more sense for the court to provide the limited order than to give some sweeping declaration of the law on an ex parte motion."

      How did the courts accept a one sided case? Any outcome of this would be crapish.

      "[Low returns] Coupled with the good will they are losing (assuming they even factor that in), they may decide this is a lost battle at some point..."

      Maybe RIAA aren't on it by the money, and they really belive that lawsuits are an efficient means of fighting piracy. They've already

      • How did the courts accept a one sided case? Any outcome of this would be crapish.

        The defendants are currently "Does 1-9," so at this point, there are no known defendants.

        The court noted that the cable companies can move to quash the subpoenas when they get served, so it's not necessarily going to stay one-sided.
      • I can answer that, marcosdumay:

        The courts should not be accepting these ex parte, one-sided, applications. They should be insisting that prior notice be given to the John Does through the ISP.
        • Isn't there something in the DMCA or some other stupid statute or caselaw that requires the court to do this?

          I'm not arguing that it's "right." But I thought that was the procedure they were supposed to use (file a John Doe lawsuit and subpoena the ISP).
          • No there's no procedure that requires the judge to grant the motion, and there is strong caselaw to the effect that they should be denying the motion, for more than one reason.
  • ...in the bushes, hoping to catch someone in the act or dig through someone's trash than it is to allow for benefit of the doubt. The RIAA's tactics are not new, but they are certainly not good publicity. They are treating people like MAC/IP addresses, not like potential customers/users. They are putting such an enormous amount of effort into trying to trap the unwary, instead of redirecting that energy toward giving their customers what they want: usable, shareable, transferable music. If they just gave up

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047)
      Their choices do not include abandoning "the futile attempt to reign in every pirate." Their choices are pretty much (a) stop widespread piracy of music or (b) close down. There isn't much of a middle ground.

      The people that are uploading music to others aren't "potential customers", they are people that want to destroy the business of selling recorded music. Period. Oh, and by the way, so far it looks like they are winning.

      This is a fight to the death, pure and simple. The business model of selling rec
  • if 3+ million people know about it.

    We need to sue the RIAA. Perhaps with 66 Attorneys? http://www.66attorneys.com/ [66attorneys.com]
  • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:07PM (#18902677) Journal
    Here are some headlines from Ray Beckerman's blog [blogspot.com]:
    • In New Contested Cases in Brooklyn Federal Court, Defendants Challenge Status of RIAA Cases as "Related"
    • Wolfpack Stands Up to the RIAA; NC State Students to Fight Back (Corrected article)
    • RIAA Subpoenas High School Student for Deposition; Demands He Miss Class; Gives Only 1-Day Notice; in Houston, Texas, case
      • RIAA Drops Case in Which it Pursued High School Student on 24-hours' notice
    • Judge Denies RIAA "Reconsideration" Motion in Capitol v. Foster, Calls Plaintiffs' Counsel "Disingenuous", Motives "Questionable"
    • Battle Rages Over Counterclaims in Atlantic v. Andersen
    • RIAA Goes Into Court "Ex Parte" in Denver, Colorado, Tries to Get Ruling that it Doesn't Need Court Order to Get Subscriber Info from ISP's
      • SONY v. Merchant Heats Up in Fresno; Defendants' Lawyer Attacks RIAA "Ex parte" procedures
    • Defendant Opposes RIAA Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims in Corpus Christi case, Atlantic v. Boggs
    • Ms. Lindor Moves to Exclude RIAA Expert Testimony For Failure to Meet Reliability Standards Under Daubert
    I know the record labels were hoping that people they sued would just "roll over" and settle. However, here are the two words that describe the real situation: "game on."
    • Long before the RIAA began suing their own customers, the music business became an intolerable scam. Any musician with any intelligence went indie, because recording contracts have become little more than indentured servitude agreements. You can easily make a record company $12 million in profit, and wind up owing them $2 million or more. They sell a CD that costs under $1 to produce for $15-20, bribe DJs to play their tasteless crap, and exploit the musicians that make their business possible. If that isn'
  • by motorsabbath (243336) on Friday April 27, 2007 @02:04PM (#18903961) Homepage
    "The Magistrate Judge declined to rule on the issue (pdf), but did give them the ex parte discovery order they were looking for."

    One thing the article doesn't mention is that this is actually a good decision by the Magistrate Judge. I'm not a lawyer, but from a friend who is:

    "...The RIAA also tried to get the Court to issue a ruling saying that 47 USC 551(c) did not apply to internet providers. That statute says a cable operator shall not disclose personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber without the prior written or electronic consent of the subscriber. The Court declined to decide, likely because it wants to wait to see if Qwest will fight it, and that way have lawyers arguing both sides, instead of just the RIAA's lawyers.

    They are not "above the law", and the Court issued the order in a way that actually allows the battle to be joined fairly--should Qwest so choose. And I'll bet they will."

    Just to clarify. I think.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes it is very good that the Magistrate was vigilant enough not to let them pull a fast one on the Cable statute.....

      And I'm guessing he had something to do with getting the decision published in Internet Law & Regulation [ilrweb.com], which is where I learned of it.

  • A day not passes without learning about yet another Hitlerjugend crap pulled by RIAA lackeys.

    Get a load of that. "Laws do not apply to riaa". You americans let them go THAT far to the extent that they are now delusional about they being above the law ?

    Only step they can take from this point is hiring small gangs to mark and beat up suspected "copyright infringers".

    please, you people are too familiar with class action lawsuits. find some clause in some law to sue the shit out of these morons.
  • RIAA? Secret? ZOMG!!/sarcasm I always thought it was obvious that the riaa sucked at being private in the least bit
  • 1. People need resources and entertainment (bread and circuses).
    2. Provide them with resources (food, oil, etc.).
    3. Outlaw free entertainment.
    4. !?!
    5. Profit?!?
  • "Just to clarify, ex parte means that the application was secret, no one else -- neither the ISP nor the subscribers -- were given notice that this was going on."

    Ex parte is latin for 'one party', which means that the motion is effectively unopposed.

    It says nothing about notice nor secrecy. In fact, it is my understanding that the only secret trials in the US are military tribunals (and maybe some cases where judges question children who might feel vulnerable and lie in the presence of, for example, a forme
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Your discussion of "ex parte" is incorrect. It has a specific legal meaning in the U.S., which is "without notice".

      But you are right on when you say

      The first question the judge should be asking is where the affected parties are and why they aren't at the court.
      • by debrain (29228)
        Your discussion of "ex parte" is incorrect. It has a specific legal meaning in the U.S., which is "without notice".

        I argued a motion Thursday that was ex parte. We gave technical notice, but counsel for the opposing side did not appear. I inquired, and the Master confirmed that it was indeed ex parte, per se.

        This is in line with Black's Law Dictionary: "Done or made at the instance and for the benefit of one party only, and without notice to, or argument by, any person adversely interested."

        Thus, I think my
        • It means without notice.
          • by debrain (29228)
            The term "without notice" means "without notice". The term "ex parte" means "without notice or without opposing argument", vis-à-vis it's literal Latin translation, "one-sided".

            How may I ask did you arrive at the conclusion you have? It's contrary to the definitive legal dictionary, Black's Law Dictionary (7th Ed.), contrary to a Judge's opinion upon my inquiry, and contrary to my understanding, intuition, knowledge and belief (which isn't exactly paltry in the area). I would be quite surprised if you

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