“Oregon is fast becoming Ground Zero in the contentious battle between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the tens of thousands of consumers it accuses of illegal music sharing,” Jaikumar Vijayan reports for Computerworld.
“The state Attorney General’s office this week filed an appeal in U.S. District Court in Oregon calling for an immediate investigation of the evidence presented by the RIAA when it subpoenaed the identities of 17 students at the University of Oregon who allegedly infringed music copyrights. It is the second time in a month that Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers has resisted attempts by the RIAA to force the university to turn over the names of individuals it says shared music illegally,” Vijayan reports.
“‘It is a really huge step when the head law enforcement officer of a state wants to investigate the RIAA’s evidence-gathering techniques,’ said Ray Beckerman, a New York-based lawyer who has been defending individuals in RIAA lawsuits,” Vijayan reports.
“In a 15-page brief filed Wednesday, Oregon’s assistant attorney general, Katherine Von Ter Stegge, said that while it is appropriate for victims of copyright infringement to pursue statutory remedies, that pursuit had to “tempered by basic notions of privacy and due process,” Vijayan reports. “‘The record in this case suggests that the larger issue may not be whether students are sharing copyrighted music,’ the state’s brief noted. Rather it is about whether the litigation strategies adopted by the RIAA are appropriate or capable of supporting their claims.”
“The brief also questioned whether the RIAA’s investigators themselves might have illegally accessed and uploaded private confidential information not related to copyright infringement, that might have been stored on the computers of people being investigated,” Vijayan reports.
Full article here.