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Should RIAA Investigators Have To Disclose Evidence? 216

Posted by Zonk
from the special-rules-for-special-people dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A technology battle is raging in UMG v. Lindor, a court case in Brooklyn. The issue at hand is whether the RIAA's investigator SafeNet (the company that acquired MediaSentry) 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 defense. SafeNet and the RIAA say no, claiming that 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 (pdf) is available online. MediaSentry has produced 'none of the above'. 'Put up or shut up' says one commentator to SafeNet."
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Should RIAA Investigators Have To Disclose Evidence?

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  • Disclose Evidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FinchWorld (845331) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:24PM (#22643040) Homepage
    Maybe they are as they generally have no evidence anyway...
  • by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:26PM (#22643084)
    Keep playing little games like this, RIAA & MPAA, and you will find yourselves facing the Supreme Court.
    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      Keep playing little games like this, RIAA & MPAA, and you will find yourselves facing the Supreme Court.

      Or bankrupt and irrelevant. Any of those is fine with me, so long as we finally stop hearing about them.

    • Keep playing little games like this, RIAA & MPAA, and you will find yourselves facing the Supreme Court.

      And going before our new more right-leaning and business-friendly SCOTUS is supposed to scare them.....how, exactly?

      • by kabloom (755503)

        And going before our new more right-leaning and business-friendly SCOTUS is supposed to scare them.....how, exactly?

        When a court leans toward conservative legal principles, the basis in legal principles is well founded, and usually tends toward conservative policy positions. But legal principles and policy positions don't always overlap, and the particular outcome in a case could surprise you. A good example of this is how Bartlett's conservative supreme court nominee (on the West Wing) was nevertheless opposed to federal legislation defining marriage as being between a man and a woman -- not because he disagreed with that definition of marriage, but because he felt that it was beyond the scope of Congress to define marriage. Similarly, if SCOTUS is business friendly, that doesn't mean they're going to countenance gross injustice and thuggery by an industry.

        • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @09:32PM (#22645456) Homepage

          A good example of this is how Bartlett's conservative supreme court nominee (on the West Wing)
          No, that would be a bad example, as it is entirely fictitious. It's completely immaterial whether it mirrors reality in any way, as it does nothing to bolster any arguments about real things--- which is the purpose of an example.

          Please, people, don't get any of your legal education from TV. I work with TV writers. They are definitely not scholars in any sense of the word. They will create plot devices that brazenly ignore the law of the land, the laws of human behavior, and/or the laws of physics if it'll move the story forward.
    • by Andy_R (114137)
      How much further do the RIAA have to dig before the John Does can start a class action RICO lawsuit?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by inwo42 (1245506)
      The most fitting use I've heard of: Judge: Prosecution, please state your case methodology. RIAA: 1. Accuse randomly 2. 3. Profit
  • by saikou (211301) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:26PM (#22643092) Homepage
    While they certainly don't want to disclose anything, they will probably be forced to disclose it to defense, so claims can be validated and/or rebutted properly. Otherwise it's the same claim as SCO -- "I have tons of evidence you did very bad thing, but I won't show it to anyone, not even a judge"
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      Did you read the RIAA's reply?
      (Since the pdf is of a scanned document, any spelling errors are mine.)

      "Rather, defendant's counsel appears to be engaged in a fishing expedition that this Court has already found to be improper. Specifically, much of the information that the defendant seeks is precisely the same information that she unsuccessfully sought when this Court denied her motion to compel and granted plaintiffs' motion for protective order on March 30, 2007. Defendant cannot obtain through the backdoo
  • Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CyberData4 (1247268) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:26PM (#22643094)
    That's one way to make sure they're all guilty....don't allow em to defend themselves....
  • Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Loconut1389 (455297) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:28PM (#22643128)
    Without disclosing the hows, it would be extortion- otherwise I could sue you for taking my content and say, well my proprietary ways say you did, so pay up!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      I have no problem with this. However, I also have evidence that the board members of all of the big four record companies are guilty of murder. I'm not, however, at liberty to say who they killed, or what the evidence is (it's commercially sensitive), but I intend to bring civil prosecutions for murder against all of them and, under the same rules, expect to win.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:30PM (#22643144)
    Yeah I saw him kill her and recorded it on my camera, but im selling the footage so its...
    Well I'm innocent and i have a video to show it but its...
    I cant disclose what guns i had in my possession at the time of the murder as my guns are...

    Theres no way something is too 'proprietary and confidential' to show a court of law!
  • No, they shouldn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:33PM (#22643178)
    But neither does the judge/jury have to consider the RIAA's claims that they have evidence but won't show it.
    • In other words, "Only the evidence they want to be considered"?
      • Anyone would think you're talking about a court of law here..
  • They've gotten away with a lot, but I predict that the RIAA and their goons are about to receive a major legal smackdown on these issues. Whatever you may have against lawyers and courts, it seriously pisses them off if you try to fuck with their system like this. My guess, they're forced to disclose everything pertinent, and it will be shown in court that their methods are unsound as proof of what they're after. You heard it here first!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That makes no sense. It's another set of lawyers, working for RIAA, who are doing the "fucking with their system". So please don't try to claim that it's lawyers being offended who will right this matter. It's lawyers being paid lots of money to contort copyright and free speech, and often lawyers become legislators accepting lobbying support, who've created this legal morass out of what was once a much simpler set of copyright guidelines.
  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:38PM (#22643262)
    I remember a similar argument being used a while back by people convicted of drunk driving. They argued that their defense required access to the technical information about the breath-a-lizer, including the source and testing documentation.

    If I remember right the judge in the case (Florida AFAIK) ruled in favor of the defendent. If the Breath-a-lizer company didn't turn over the requested documents, the defendent was off the hook. Don't know if the case has been overturned though.
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:52PM (#22643456)
      I'm not sure it's the same case, but in the one I read about, the company that produced the unit was required to turn over the source code for independent verification and analysis. Apparently, it was a joke ... with comments like "this section is just for testing and shouldn't be shipped", with some major design flaws as well. It didn't even do a proper baseline measurement, and it's results could have been off by something like +/- 50 percent or something like that. I should go Google that case and see what eventually happened with it.

      In any event, proprietary software shouldn't be when people's lives are on the line. That includes losing judgments on the order of a quarter million dollars (as happened in a recent RIAA case.)
    • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:17PM (#22643734)
      That is an interesting point. I spoke to a Canadian judge recently and asked what the likly outcome would be of such a request if made in Canada.

      His response what that it would be very unlikely to be granted. His reasoning (without being able to consult the actual laws) was that he heblives that the brethalyzer is an "approved" devise for measuring blood alcohol. This was set by the lawmakers, and it is his job to enforce the laws, which clearly say that this is an approved device.

      If you have a problem with this, take it up with the law makers.

      I found this to be quite interesting, thought I'd pas it along.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by m.ducharme (1082683)
        Hrm, I think you're not taking into account 1) the fact that discovery decisions are made very much on the specific facts of a case, and thus hypothetical situations are practically a useless guide and 2) many, nay most, judges don't like being told they shouldn't know something, and might even get a perverse pleasure out of forcing the Plaintiffs to reveal everything, and finally 3) if a precedent is going to be set, the judge (especially Canadian ones that don't need to be elected but do need to keep the
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ray-auch (454705)
        the brethalyzer is an "approved" devise for measuring blood alcohol.

        The RIAA isn't using an "approved" device - that is a big difference, and why they are being asked to provide details of the device.
  • ...relative to the income and and standards of living of the people they're pursuing, I feel it would be an outrage if they didn't have to provide more.

    Then again, civil cases just require a preponderance of the evidence to be in favor of one party or another. If the defense does its job in establishing doubts as to the RIAA's methodology, it would probably behoove the RIAA to disclose its methodologies in great detail to back up its claims of investigative accuracy, which would then subject them to more

  • by Coopjust (872796) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:41PM (#22643316)
    How can evidence be considered valid if the source of how it is obtained is not disclosed?
    If this was anything except technology, the judge would laugh them out of the court.

    Policeman: "He was going 11MPH above the speed limit."
    Judge: "How were you able to do that?"
    Policeman: "Sorry, but that's proprietary information. If leaked, it would damage our ability to catch speeders.


    This has been tested on a slightly different case. Florida police can't use breathalyzers without providing the source [news.com]. Unless you can show that there is no trickery in your technology, it shouldn't be held admissible in a court of law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Steve1952 (651150)
      Surely the RIAA's word is good enough for the court. No need to actually provide evidence...

      Damn! I almost said this with a straight face, let me try again!

    • by Cadallin (863437) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:58PM (#22643530)

      Unless you can show that there is no trickery in your technology, it shouldn't be held admissible in a court of law.
      Precisely. In the true technical legal sense, such evidence is hearsay. Thus it is a priori inadmissible, unless you can demonstrate to a judge, on an item by item basis why it should be admissible. Can't do that, or you're afraid to? Too bad. It is exactly the same thing as trying to get "Expert Testimony" admitted, when you won't demonstrate what the expert's credentials are, and what relevance it has to the case. In such an event, an expert's testimony is inadmissible as well.

      This argument is really just claiming that the same rigorous standards of evidence should be applied to technology as well.

    • by rasputin465 (1032646) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:18PM (#22643760)
      These legal claims by the RIAA just blow my mind. I'm in the physics community, and I'm just trying to picture how these type of statements would play out in my arena.

      Me: ...and as a result, we have discovered
      [blank].
      Physicist in audience: Sorry, can you explain your methods?
      Me: No

      [5 seconds of silence]
      Entire conference hall bursts into laughter

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by blueg3 (192743)
        No, but you can perhaps believe that you would give a presentation on preliminary results and describe much about your methods, but leave out information necessary to replicate it.

        Of course, you couldn't publish a paper without that information, but that's the way the scientific community works.

        While I hardly give the RIAA the benefit of the doubt, I've learned that there's a wide spectrum between "no information" and "full disclosure".
    • Secret Evidence [ubersoft.net]
  • Perhaps RIAA doesn't have to submit it's evidence, but if it doesn't wish to do so, it should be ruled inadmissable. Can't have it both ways.
  • by themushroom (197365) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:47PM (#22643394) Homepage
    Hard to reveal evidence if you don't have any. And it's happened a couple times where when pressed the RIAA admitted they didn't have enough to go to trial with. No wonder they want this to be on a need-to-know basis, since they need to know before they start.
  • What do you think? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:48PM (#22643410) Homepage Journal
    This motion may well come up for a conference or oral argument, or further briefing, so it would be interesting to see what you folks think about why these kinds of items are (or are not) necessary to test the validity of MediaSentry's methods and procedures.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      How could it not be necessary? In order to be considered as legal evidence in a court of law, the method of gathering said evidence must be validated. This isn't law, it's just common sense! How can they possibly say "We have evidence you wronged us, but we can't show you" and that's that?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Alphavox (1211354)

        This isn't law, it's just common sense!
        Reminds me of buddy of mine who was given 8 months probation and 36 anger management classes, for saving a kid from 2 guys curb-stomping him(Doctors said the kid was 2 kicks away from dying due to brain swelling).

        To quote the judge:

        This isn't a court of common sense, this is a court of law!
    • I think if they won't disclose, then that's fine, but they shouldn't be able to argue or reference anything resulting from that. So they'd essentially have to drop their claim, since they'd no longer be able to claim the respondent was sharing files. If they want to claim that, then they need to reveal the methods used to determine that, and supporting documentation. This idea of "It's proprietary so you'll have to take our word for it," is a load of bull. If they won't subject their methods to scrutiny, we
    • by SomeJoel (1061138) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:09PM (#22643658)
      A good way to answer this is to mention that one algorithm for "fingering" IP addresses which violate could be to simply take a list of every IP that a certain ISP has and put them in an array. Next, you could randomize the ordering of that array and then select every 1000th entry of that array. Voila, you've now got a list of culprits. If the process is completely hidden from the judges/jury and only the results are presented, then this algorithm is as good as any in determining who is stealing music.
    • Absolutely (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ShaunC (203807) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:10PM (#22643664)
      I, for one, can't wait to see what the RIAA has in their "little black box." Right now, there are plenty of questions from the technical side that leave me wondering how their evidence will hold up:

      1. Are they using a homegrown sniffer that might be prone to capturing bad data, or are they using proven tools, like tcpdump, ethereal/Wireshark, etc.?

      2. Are they synchronizing their time against a public NTP server before they go on their fishing expeditions? Or is their machine's time (and thus their subpoena for the user of a particular IP address at a particular time) perhaps off by a couple of hours?

      3. Do they actually download the file being shared, or some portion thereof? Do they analyze that file to see if it is what they think it is? Or are they still relying on file names as some sort of proof?

      The answers to these questions, among many others, are fundamental to the defense's ability to mount, well, a defense. Does there exist in civil law an equivalent to the confrontation clause, the "right to face one's accuser?" In these matters, it seems as though the accuser is some software package at BayTSP or SafeNet, that nobody knows anything about. You shouldn't be able to win a judgment against another party based on screen shots and testimony from one bogus "expert."
      • Re:Absolutely (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:53PM (#22644112) Homepage
        Of course there is the other issue. How they go about choosing which person they will pursue. How many request for client data based upon an IP address have been sent out without an attempt to sue the named account holder. What was the basis for the selection, the persons inability to pay for a legal defence or a preponderance of evidence.

        Based upon their history, the ability of their chosen victim to financially support a defence against their criminal actions, apart from the odd glitch, seems to be the main factor in deciding who they will attempt to extort a payment from.

        I wonder if they also searched for infected PCs as that is a viable defence for the owner of the PC, but they failed to advise those people that their PC was infected, technically making the investigators an accessory after the fact, a criminal offence.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ShaunC (203807)

          Of course there is the other issue. How they go about choosing which person they will pursue. How many request for client data based upon an IP address have been sent out without an attempt to sue the named account holder. What was the basis for the selection, the persons inability to pay for a legal defence or a preponderance of evidence.

          Playing the devil's advocate here... While I loathe the idea of selective enforcement, I doubt that would hold any water as a defense. "They sued me but they didn't sue a

    • by LordKaT (619540) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:15PM (#22643720) Homepage Journal
      I'm not a lawyer, and I barely understand my legal rights to facing my accuser in this digital world, but I do know this:

      We don't have any prior examples of this specific niche technology at work. There's no baseline of acceptable "industry standard" out there - every bit of information about these products is held so closely to the chest of these businesses that we just do not know where the hell this data comes from and, more specifically, we don't know how this data is corroborated with ISPs to find these people who are supposedly committing the infringements. Plus, we have no idea of what the failure rate of this entire process has been. On top of all of that, there is no independent analysis of this method.

      If the RIAA litigation team was an inventor, this whole ordeal would be nothing short of them running around screaming about how they've invented perpetual motion, and then not letting anyone independently verify that the machine works.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        We don't have any prior examples of this specific niche technology at work. There's no baseline of acceptable "industry standard" out there - every bit of information about these products is held so closely to the chest of these businesses that we just do not know where the hell this data comes from and, more specifically, we don't know how this data is corroborated with ISPs to find these people who are supposedly committing the infringements. Plus, we have no idea of what the failure rate of this entire process has been. On top of all of that, there is no independent analysis of this method. If the RIAA litigation team was an inventor, this whole ordeal would be nothing short of them running around screaming about how they've invented perpetual motion, and then not letting anyone independently verify that the machine works.

        Well said.

        It is hard to imagine someone coming to federal court, asking the Court to accept its methods, and refusing to allow the Court to know what its methods are.

        The only people I have ever met who have that much stupidity and that much arrogance are the RIAA's lawyers.

    • It doesn't take a tech geek to understand that it is necessary.

      The question is one of whether MediaSentry can be trusted that the evidence produced was gathered in a means that is in accordance with law, and that does not have flaws in methodology that could cause the evidence produced to be incorrect.

      If the defendant is given no opportunity to examine the evidence-gathering methodology, then the evidence should be taken as hearsay, since it is only the word of MediaSentry that validates the evidence.

      Obv
    • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:41PM (#22643982) Homepage Journal
      What about the recent case where the driver got to investigate all source code for the breathalyzer? I had heard (perhaps wrongly) that several such cases are dropped because the breathalyzer companies don't want to present the evidence. http://www.news.com/Police-Blotter-Breathalyzer-code-must-be-disclosed/2100-1030_3-6227951.html [news.com] Dunno what weight this has between jurisdictions but it may be useful.
    • by Deanalator (806515) <pierce403@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:47PM (#22644062) Homepage
      Whatever technologies that companies are using to look for people are incredibly sketchy. I have received 6 threatening letters from the MPAA. Four of them were legitimate (overbugeted hollywood crap anyway), but two of them were completely bogus. When I got my second completely bogus threat, I attempted to track this company down.

      It turns out that between the time when the alleged sharing occured, and when I got the letter, the company had changed names 3 times (or there were a large number of dummy companies that had contracted eachother out or something, it is really hard to tell the difference in these situations). When I finally tracked down a phone number for the building that these guys were supposedly working in, I called it. A machine picked up (customized with the name of the company and everything), but no one was in and the voicemailboxes on every extension were full.

      Just take a look at the Media Defender leaks. These companies are often engaged in illegal activity, from fraud to extortion. They are not an industry that you want to trust to give you accurate information. These people have nothing to gain by making their scanners have more accurate results, they just want to see more results, so of course you should be able to assess their techniques (especially their source code) to make sure everything is in order.
    • I am not a lawyer. So I should say first, thank you for what you are doing here, and I wish I could help more.

      Because I am not a lawyer, I have no idea if this would work:

      Tell them it is not in their best interest to keep it hidden. Tell them that if they do, whatever ends up being admissible can be torn to shreds by any of the arguments found in the other comments already.

      In particular, you might generate some evidence of your own. Disclose names and IP addresses that conflict with the ones MediaSentry pro
  • Can a US citizen just higher an "investigator" to pry into someone else's personal business in the hope of finding evidence of a crime? If so, that may be a profitable business.
  • Even if their methods are sound, diclosing them can lead to better defenses in the P2P community. While I think non-commetcial filesharing should be legal, that is a different battle.

    On the other habd, their methods may be completely unsound, their evidence may not actually be evidence (file sice and name, e.g. are not enough to identify the contents of a file), and their experts may just be incompetent enough to not see where they are wrong.

    I think, hard as it is on them, full disclosure of their methods i
  • Unless, of course it turns out that they actually HAVE become a Federal agency while nobody was looking...
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @05:58PM (#22643532)

    Remember when it started getting around that people were beating DUI charges by requesting the source code of the machine? If that was reasonable, this is a slam-dunk. The basic right to confront your accuser is one of the most important of the rights we have. If the defendant doesn't have the right to attack the evidence presented against him, he is effectively denied due process.

    It's your case, RIAA. Put up or shut up.

    • you actually do NOT have the right to confront your accusor.

      in many states (maybe even all, by now?) when you get a speeding ticket, ANY cop can show up in court and be 'the accusor'. its fake, but our system is built on fakeness, many times ;(

      its designed to GET you, not to give you FAIRNESS.

      the old trick of changing your court date to try to lose the traffic cop in the shuffle does not work anymore. and so since that is 'broken' I see no reason why our 'justice' system isn't also similarly broken, to th
      • in many states (maybe even all, by now?) when you get a speeding ticket, ANY cop can show up in court and be 'the accusor'. its fake, but our system is built on fakeness, many times ;(

        Interesting, I'd never heard that. I'd like to see it go to the Supreme Court, because I could see them having a problem with it.

        Alternately, I'd ask the cop that does show up the same questions I'd ask the actual cop. "What was the angle of your car relative to the traveling vehicles?" "How much traffic was there?" etc.

      • by sconeu (64226)
        you actually do NOT have the right to confront your accusor.

        BZZZZZZT!!!! And thank you for playing. Here's [usconstitution.net] your lovely parting gift -- a copy of the Sixth Amendment.

        In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:04PM (#22643600) Homepage Journal

    This is not new terrain. The evidence can be examined under restrictions so the "proprietary and confidential" information doesn't make its way out of the confines of the case. Frankly, this is just standard legal maneuvering for a case like this. The test is whether the discovery methods will be considered germaine to the validity of the RIAA's case. If so, the court will likely allow discovery of these techniques.

  • by plsuh (129598) <plsuh&goodeast,com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:11PM (#22643692) Homepage
    Folks,

    IANAL, but I have been an expert witness in many legal proceedings in Federal courts. As a part of discovery, you *have* to give the other side your raw data and details of your methodology. Otherwise, the judge is almost certain to throw out your testimony, as the other side has no way of discovering the weak spots in your case. I was involved with one case where the judge sanctioned one of the opposing experts and it took us three tries to get a decent set of data and models out of them. This had a very negative effect on the credibility of the other side's expert, which pretty well torpedoed their case. (They won as a matter of law, but damages were negligible.) Mind you, the data and models are generally covered by a protective order to maintain confidentiality, but it's so common that the wording is almost boilerplate. SafeNet and the RIAA don't have a leg to stand on here, and I can't imagine why they're bothering to oppose this unless they're pulling an SCO -- in which case, the judge should slap them down HARD.

    --Paul

    • IANAL, but I have been an expert witness in many legal proceedings in Federal courts. As a part of discovery, you *have* to give the other side your raw data and details of your methodology. Otherwise, the judge is almost certain to throw out your testimony, as the other side has no way of discovering the weak spots in your case. I was involved with one case where the judge sanctioned one of the opposing experts and it took us three tries to get a decent set of data and models out of them. This had a very negative effect on the credibility of the other side's expert, which pretty well torpedoed their case. (They won as a matter of law, but damages were negligible.) Mind you, the data and models are generally covered by a protective order to maintain confidentiality, but it's so common that the wording is almost boilerplate. SafeNet and the RIAA don't have a leg to stand on here, and I can't imagine why they're bothering to oppose this unless they're pulling an SCO -- in which case, the judge should slap them down HARD.
      You're 100% correct, Paul. Now let's see what the judges in this case do. They have previously allowed the RIAA's "expert" to testify as an expert [blogspot.com] even though he admittedly satisfied NONE of the Daubert reliability standards, and even though he admitted that all of the materials upon which he was relying -- the printouts MediaSentry would like us to accept as gospel -- likewise failed to satisfy ANY of the Daubert reliability standards.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by msebast (318695)
        NewYorkCountryLawyer, can I engage you in some speculation?

        Why would a judge let them get away with ignoring Daubert?

        Is it the judge's intention to let the record company proceed with a weak case which is likely to be appealed? And then let a higher court set a precedent that rips the bottom out of all the RIAA cases?

        I thought Judges preferred to avoid being corrected on appeal?
    • As a part of discovery, you *have* to give the other side your raw data and details of your methodology. Otherwise, the judge is almost certain to throw out your testimony, as the other side has no way of discovering the weak spots in your case.

      Excuse me, but you are operating in a Sane World where these things all come out in the wash at trial, and the wrong party gets punished. The RIAA isn't operating under those rules. Their punishment is inflicted by their ability to drag this out forever, with ten

  • Isn't here a legal standard as to what procedures are acceptable in court when presenting evidence? A legal test that determines if a relatively new investigative technique is admissable as evidence if enough experts view it as reliable? How can Media Sentry present their evidentiary procedures as both propritary to prevent it's disclosure, yet admissable due to its being widely-accepted? It is, prima facie, a direct contridiction.
  • by core_dump_0 (317484) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:36PM (#22643936) Homepage
    Lindor: Show me the evidence!

    SafeNet: I'm afraid that's proprietary and confidential.

    Lindor: If you don't show me the evidence, I'll demand it in court!

    SafeNet: Uh oh, hold on, I'll get it...

    RIAA: Don't do it, Boys!

    SafeNet: But this is just one stupid lawsuit! If we don't show the evidence our whole sch..., I mean, "business model" will be over!

    Lindor: Business model? What?

    RIAA: Did SafeNet just say that? No, Ms. Lindor, they didn't. Hey, look over there!
  • by SMacD (1140995) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (laguodcms)> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @06:53PM (#22644114)
    BastardThieves(){
        for( i=0, i lessthan infinity, i++ ){
            generate random IP address
            assign name "John Doe #i"
            serve court order
        }
    }
  • What a flashback! As i remember and understand, this is rather to do with separation of power between Judge and Jury. If the evidence and testimony (hearsay rule) were to be crossed examined, the jury must be provided with "facts." After all, one can argue, evidence to be sufficient in submitting in court must be disclosed before the jury.

    *1796, a statute in North Carolina made it unlawful, "in delivering a charge to the petit-jury, to given an opinion whether a fact is fully or sufficiently proved," si
  • obvious rebuttal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drfireman (101623) <dan@NOspam.kimberg.com> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:34PM (#22644510) Homepage
    I guess if someone were accusing me of something, and they told a judge that they had some top-secret trust-me evidence that proved my guilt, I'd have little choice but to introduce my own top-secret trust-me evidence. I'm pretty sure by the time I was done the RIAA would be implicated in the deaths of Jimmy Hoffa and JFK.
  • by buss_error (142273) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:49PM (#22645182) Homepage Journal
    OK. You want a court to order me to pay you $MANY bucks. Fine. You say I did something that deprived you of legitimate monitary gain. Fine. You say that because I did something, that I owe you lots and lots of money. Fine.

    Prove it.

    Otherwise this just becomes a protection racket. "Mighty nice income stream you have there, buddy. It would be a shame of something happened to it." "Maybe you should just pay us a few thousand dollars, because, like, you never know when we might decide that downloading GPL software is really downloading our Most Holy and Precious Intellictual Property. After all, once we railroad you in a kangaroo court with 'evidence' we don't have to disclose, a few thousand dollars becomes a few hundred thousand dollars...."

    If I file suit against someone, I'd better be willing to prove all elements of the loss. Else my suit should (rightfully) be thown out on it's ear, my business fined, and my attorney facing disbarment for bringing a friviolous suit.

    Our courts are here to correct real injustices. They are not here to protect outmoded business models, monopoly interests, or "pie in the sky" patents.

    That said, file sharing of copyrighted intellectual property whose owners do not agree to share them without fee is wrong. It's one thing for Linus et al to give away a very valuable program (the Linux Kernel), it's quite another to rip someone's music and blast it out without compensation if they did not agree to let you do so.

    The real answer here is a common micropayment system (a tip jar), and to simply let RIAA and their anal retentive and grossly over exagerated 'damages' go the same way as coal oil lamps. They just aren't needed today because technology and the consumer have moved beyond their ability to provide a valued and valuable service.
  • Or, failing that, some kind of Bill of Rights or something [cornell.edu], which requires that a defendant be presented with all of the evidence being used against him or her.

    Why is is that in the USA only Criminal proceedings are held to reasonable standards of fairness while "civil" cases are all about which side can screw the other guy faster?

  • Are the RIAA/UMG and/or their lawyers incontinent submorons?

    Civil discovery is a truly awful experience (bare all), and _they_ started this suit. They ought to have known they would have to produce anything connected to anything possibly introduced into evidence, and anything their opponents might want that could potentially lead to evidence. H3ll yes: logs, and then answer interrogatories about why they choose to prosecute some and not others.

    Of course lawyers will argue and object. They're paid to d

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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