Oregon Attorney General takes on RIAA over evidence-gathering techniques

“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.

26 Comments

  1. The RIAA uses spy programs disguised as MP3’s that are downloaded inadvertently from P2P sites.

    These spy programs are really Trojans that install spyware that reports the computer users ID back to the masters at the RIAA.

    They send teenage hackers directly from their mothers’ basements to jail for doing the same thing. Why is the RIAA immune?

    A Court challenge on the RIAA’s right to infect computers with malware and steal personal information is long overdue.

    Everyone knows Russia holds the patent on malware infections. This is clearly a breech of that patent.

  2. Fry the f’ing RIAA!

    Go to their website and try to find an email link. They took it down several years ago once all this crap began. They obviously don’t want to hear feedback from the public and just want to continue their witch hunt.

  3. Wow, between Oregon fighting for some sensible application of the law, to the beginnings of DRM-free digital downloads, to EMI stating publicly that it’s rethinking its support of the RIAA, and even some semi-rational statements from Middlebronfman of late, my head is a-tizzy with the notion that some form of mental sanity may be starting to afflict the music business.

    Of course, just when I start to think this, I read the latest yammerings from Jermaine Dupri and reconsider.

    It’s really good to see someone stand up to the incredibly noxious bullying tactics that the RIAA has employed in its war against piracy. While I’m no fan of the “take whatever you want, it’s free” mentality, I have long complained that the RIAA’s notion of due process is somewhere near Gitmo.

  4. Strangely, I haven’t heard of anyone suing Homeland Security over uploading trojans to their hard drive. Maybe you need to stop reading PrisonPlanet and get over your adolescent hatred. The RIAA’s tactics do look familiar. They remind me very much of the intimidation tactics used by Hillary in handling “bimbo eruptions” and the surprising number of people who ended up dead around her.

  5. Unlike that guy over on Pennsylvania Avenue who talks freedom but doesn’t actually believe the rights of US citizens should be protected, I am proud of my state’s Attorney General for kicking a little sand in the RIAA bully’s face.

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