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Piracy Government Music The Internet Your Rights Online

Feds Seized Website For a Year Without Piracy Proof 172

bonch writes "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a hip-hop website based on RIAA claims of copyright infringement for prerelease music tracks. They held it for a year before giving it back due to lack of evidence. Unsealed court records (PDF) show that the government was repeatedly given time extensions to build a case against, but the RIAA's evidence never came. The RIAA has declined to comment."
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Feds Seized Website For a Year Without Piracy Proof

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  • No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:23PM (#39896195)
    My favorite part is that one of the extensions was granted one week after the previous extension had expired.
  • No recourse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:32PM (#39896305) Journal

    The real troubling fact is that we have no recourse against this sort of criminal behavior by government thugs.

  • by JobyOne ( 1578377 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:32PM (#39896313) Homepage Journal

    Maybe the RIAA should have its assets seized and business halted for a year. See how they like it.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:36PM (#39897017) Journal

    Aren't people who make false claims supposed to go to jail?

    Aren't people in government who seize things without cause, or who deny timely prosecution supposed to go to jail?

  • Re:Not too bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:47PM (#39897147) Homepage

    Nonsense. I prefer the interpretation of storing an electronic agent on someone's machine (typically located inside their house) as quartering a soldier (or in this case, his equipment) as a supreme violation of the 3rd Amendment. It lends to reasoning that in the days when that Amendment was first written, the allowing of soldiers (or other government members) to usurp the rights of a homeowner as well as the (often) tremendous cost of resources for feeding and caring for said soldier (and associated equipment, they certainly didn't leave their firearms outside in the rain) was a source of immense displeasure among the colonists; so much so that they went to the trouble of making it #3 of the list of Governmental Don'ts. As electronic agents do consume resources, often as parasites (consuming processor cycles, disk space, and bandwidth), to the owners of said machines, and as they are acting on behalf of the government, it could be easily argued that they fall under a violation of the 3rd Amendment.

    "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law." -> Now, some people will argue that it's in a manner prescribed by law, but the reality is that they are constantly switching attacks and methods to achieve their ends, with no care for the cost or the sanctity of the homeowner. A manner prescribed in law as 'whatever it takes' would fail most judicial smell tests. Again, as such, with no third-party oversight into clandestine home-spying operations, we have a huge violation here. However, in so far as the judicial branch is a little...behind the times, I fear that the entirety of our freedoms will be obliterated by appending "online" to the end of various security legislations, which would not pass otherwise.

    I imagine someone more nuanced in the various legalities, and writings thereof, could make a good argument based off of this.

  • I guess they did? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:58AM (#39899947)
    They "lied" to the FBI (That would qualify as "a federal agent" right) that they had proof that this site was doing something illegal. They never came up with the proof. That would be a criminal action, because they knew they were not able to prove anything when they made the statement. That would make them a criminal racketeering organization and the only real option for a judge would be to confiscate all their belongings and render them illegal.

I've got a bad feeling about this.