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Oregon Judge Says RIAA Made 'Honest Mistake,' Allows Subpoena

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-harm-no-foul-right? dept.

The Courts 175

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Arista v. Does 1-17, the RIAA's case targeting students at the University of Oregon, the Oregon Attorney General's motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena — pending for about a year — has reached a perplexing conclusion. The Court agreed with the University that the subpoena, as worded, imposed an undue burden on the University by requiring it to produce 'sufficient information to identify alleged infringers,' which would have required the University to 'conduct an investigation,' but then allowed the RIAA to subpoena the identities of 'persons associated by dorm room occupancy or username with the 17 IP addresses listed' even though those people may be completely innocent. In his 8-page decision (PDF), the Judge also 'presumed' the RIAA lawyers' misrepresentations were an 'honest mistake,' made no reference at all to the fact, pointed out by the Attorney General, that the RIAA investigators (Safenet, formerly MediaSentry) were not licensed, rejected all of the AG's privacy arguments under both state and federal law, and rejected the AG's request for discovery into the RIAA's investigative tactics."

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Frist post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252277)

Bring back snacks you cocksmoking teabaggers!!

Re:Frist post (3, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252287)

This is the shittiest FP ever. It's like you people aren't even trying anymore.

Discouraged Trolls (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252423)

This is the shittiest FP ever. It's like you people aren't even trying anymore.

It's the economy. We're all worried about being laid off. And job openings for Trolls are few and far between. Why, the RNC just canned a bunch who were originally hired to Troll Digg slamming Obama!

And then there are the McCain trolls picking on his age and anger. They're losing work too because of his poll numbers and the economic worries.

I used to be a Perl troll but then that turned out to fizzle out. I've been trying to break into Python trolling, but then again, it's tough out there. Maybe when I get really desperate, I'll try to get some Apple troll jobs - but they pay shit because, aside from the neo-fanboys, nobody falls for it anymore.

The quality of trolling has gone done horribly too! There was a time when you could create a shit load of comments with something the was actually intelligent - and it was appreciated because it gave the other side a chance and excuse to vent their opinions. Now, it all "sucks", "fags", "you're an asshole", etc... Nothing intelligent. It's sign of our economy. Quality is just going down hill fast!

I have to go back to work. Th RIAA is right! Those kids are stealing music!

Re:Discouraged Trolls (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252547)

Obama will castrate our military and destroy our nuclear deterrent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxL8NcNACBY [youtube.com]

He will tax corporations and high income earners that employ the population of the US, which will force them to cut jobs and send the unemployment rate skyrocketing.
http://obama.3cdn.net/b7be3b7cd08e587dca_v852mv8ja.pdf [3cdn.net]

He sees dead people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=galtZF0nKYc [youtube.com]

He wants to take the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, leaving us at the mercy of criminals.
http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/barack_obama_gun_control.htm [ontheissues.org]

He'll cut and run from Iraq, knocking the legs out from under the Iraqi government as they are finally finding their footing.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/ [barackobama.com]

He believes homosexuals are entitled to more rights than straight people.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/23/debate.transcript/index.html [cnn.com]

He believes in mob rule concerning criminal punishment.
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 58

He refuses to call terrorists "terrorists" even when presented with evidence.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15251928 [npr.org]

He will prevent us from keeping sensitive materials confidential, which will place national security at risk.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/14356/ [cfr.org]

He would talk with terrorist countries without demanding that they cease their efforts to murder innocent people and abide by the rule of law.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Oj7Jn9rv4 [youtube.com]

He believes we should reward people who ignore the existence of a country's sovereignty and illegally enter the country instead of forcing them to abide by the law.
http://obama.senate.gov/news/060923-sen_obama_at_to/index.php [senate.gov]

He believes the government should regulate the internet.
http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/060608-network_neutral/index.php [senate.gov]

He believes in making those who have money pay for the healthcare of those who do not have money.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/ [barackobama.com]

He believes we should take corn, a staple food for the US, and use it for ethanol production, which will cause shortages in food supply and produce car exhaust that is more dangerous to humans than gasoline burning cars.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/01/05/new_us_congress_looks_to_boost_alternate_fuels/?p1=MEWell_Pos5 [boston.com]

He believes that parents should have no choice but to send their children to government run schools to be indoctrinated by sub-standard teachers.
http://www-news.uchicago.edu/citations/04/041027.obama-ct.html [uchicago.edu]

In short, he's an anti-American, anti-military Marxist who will destroy the US before he can be voted out of office. I don't like McCain and I have problems with many of his positions, but he will, at the very least, keep the US from crashing and burning within the next 4 years (provided the Dems don't win Congress).

And no, he's not a Muslim (as far as we know). He's not black (he's bi-racial). He's not a Christian (against everything Christians believe in). He's not a foreign-born Manchurian candidate (born in Hawaii and he's telling everyone how he'll kill the country).

Terrorists regimes around the world have said that they want Obama to be president. Would you take advice from people who want to kill you and elect the person they want elected?

Re:Discouraged Trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252633)

Straw man arguments are lies.

Re:Discouraged Trolls (-1, Troll)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253257)

Pretty pathetic arguments there. Though if he does think we should grow corn specifically for ethanol he should do some research into switchgrass which is so much more efficient.

As I understand it, corn is only worthwhile for ethanol because there is such a large surplus of it. Growing it for ethanol's sake is a waste, but its a worse waste to just throw it away.

Re:Discouraged Trolls (0, Offtopic)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253335)

There's only a large surplus of it due to mammoth subsidies paid to corn farmers.

Recipe for counter argument for biofuel:

a) Pay huge subsidies for corn.
b) Use resulting excess corn as fuel crops
c) Complain that corn is inefficient as a fuel crop and point to the low yield per acre.
d) Point to the starving third world and claim that biofuel production takes food out of their mouth (yea, as if food produced in the US would get shipped to the third world anway)
e) Use above as smear campaign against biofuels

Done. Big Oil's engineered anti-biofuel campaign laid bare.

Re:Discouraged Trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253409)

I'd ask you to be modded up since it's right on the spot. Unfortunately... OFF TOPIC! BZZZZZT!

Re:Discouraged Trolls Vanishing Troll Habitate (5, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252909)

It's understandable due to the collapse of bridges across the country that these poor creatures are being driven onto the net.

Hello, I'm Sally Struthers and here at World Troll Outreach we are helping poor unfortunate Trolls become self-sufficient helping them to move up from living under bridges and harassing goatse or netusers by offering hair dye and Elf/Spook ears so they can pass as nerds and get help desk jobs. Surprisingly Grooming standards for both Trolls and Help Desk workers is very similar.

For pennies a day you can help Please act now.

Re:Discouraged Trolls Vanishing Troll Habitate (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253667)

Well said. I really think /. should have an 'Adopt a Troll' mission. Most are underrated and deserve more than -nve moderation. Maybe /. should search the archives and firehose a few classic troll posts? An award maybe??

Re:Discouraged Trolls (1)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253175)

You don't know Jack about trolling! Trolling is as active and strong as it's ever been. If you read the statistics (YOU CAN READ AS WELL AS TYPE RIGHT?) you'll see that all the accusations of troll job loss are just limp dick liberals trying to scare everyone so they can get another pork barrel handout by Uncle Sam. The real threat to trolling is the damn H-1B's allowing forighn trolls who don't respect this country to take their jobs!!!!1

Lunchlady? Is that you, lunchlady? (1, Offtopic)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252761)

Please don't leave me down here! Take me with you! Show me how to ascend unto the great trolls! The last of the beginning was Jesus the Christ, risen into heaven on a cloud; I plead unto the almight through his servants, that we needs the keys to the Troll Kingdom for your honours sake!

OT (0, Offtopic)

acon1modm (1009947) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252283)

what is the point of tagging every story with 'story'? also, the little ! above the tags.. I thought maybe I could 'vote' a tag as incorrect with it, but I've tried so hard to coerce my pointer over the ! only to see it disappear.

Re:OT (3, Informative)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252331)

what is the point of tagging every story with 'story'?

also, the little ! above the tags.. I thought maybe I could 'vote' a tag as incorrect with it, but I've tried so hard to coerce my pointer over the ! only to see it disappear.

! (pronounced 'bang') is the logical operator for NOT. The tag gui just makes it easier for you to put a ! in front of a tag you put in, you know, like in case you forgot. But ya, it's a horrid interface really. Needs a lot of polish. The 'story' tag is the sytem-type tag. It's more for the firehose than anything else. (all +5 comments hit firehose with the system-type of 'comment', go figger).

Re:OT (1)

acon1modm (1009947) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253013)

yes... thats the reason I assumed clicking ! would be marking the tag incorrect. e.g. its tagged fud, so if i click ! that means I'm saying its not fud.

Re:OT (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253421)

The problem is that I can't even hover my mouse over the "!"'s. As soon as I leave the tag, the "!" disappears. Somebody fix that please.

Re:OT (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253111)

More OT, I apologize to the mods and hope they are forgiving today though at least this thread is labelled as such...

I don't believe that a single tag I have ever applied has ever shown up on the main page, be it seconds or minutes later. Yes, I am accepting Javascript/etc and all other Slashdot functions work beautifully. The tags I've tried to apply are fairly normal ones, nothing absurd or insulting or anything like that, yet they are silently discarded. If Slashdot has a "tag shitlist" of users who aren't allowed to set tags, it'd be nice if the criteria for this list were posted and if users who end up on it were notified.

Am I the only one who has this problem?

Re:OT (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253303)

In true slashdot tradition I know nothing about what I speak of, but...
I would assume, with the volume of users this site enjoys, that it would take more than a few users tagging something for any individual tag to appear. If you happen to be unique with your tags, you may well not see yours appear.

Re:OT (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253491)

In true slashdot tradition I know nothing about what I speak of, but... I would assume, with the volume of users this site enjoys, that it would take more than a few users tagging something for any individual tag to appear. If you happen to be unique with your tags, you may well not see yours appear.

That did occur to me as well, but I see some truly off-the-wall tags from time to time that tend to remove credibility from the idea that tons of users came up with and agreed with that all at once. I suppose stranger things have happened though most of the tags I try to apply are not really very novel. It's just that I have been reading Slashdot for quite some time before there were tags at all, I have never once seen a tag I've applied show up on the main page for a very long time now, and this did not seem to be the case early on when tags were fairly new.

Honest? (5, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252289)

The words "honest" and "RIAA" don't even belong in the same sentence. /sigh

Re:Honest? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252329)

The words "honest" and "RIAA" don't even belong in the same sentence. /sigh

Yes. Truly amazing. The RIAA lawyer tells the judge that the University will destroy the data if the motion is not granted. Leaving out the fact that the University told him that the data has been preserved. And the Judge "presumes" that that was an "honest mistake"?

Appeal? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252543)

Do you know if this is this an appealable order? Can they go anywhere from here, or are they stuck with this judge?

Is there any way to point out to this judge that there's a pattern of conduct here? Or was that in the brief and ignored by the judge? (I think I read these papers, but it was quite a while ago.)

I'm just curious, because it seems like the judge has decided that, whatever the law says, this matter is a waste of their time so they'll give the RIAA whatever they want and ignore the law to get it off their desk, which is truly disheartening.

I wish this judge would have a change of heart and realize what's going on here like the one who set aside the $222k verdict had.

Re:Appeal? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252987)

Do you know if this is this an appealable order?

Good question. Actually, there's a split of authority on the subject. In several circuits the order is appealable as of right. In at least one circuit, the order is not appealable as of right. I don't happen to know how they would rule in the Ninth Circuit.

Re:Appeal? (2, Funny)

wasted (94866) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253077)

...I don't happen to know how they would rule in the Ninth Circuit.

The Ninth circuit will rule whichever way that sets a precedent that requires an incredibly broad or perverse interpretation of the Constitution, goes against the voters' wishes, and/or angers the Republicans. The trick is to figure what ruling best fits that description.

Re:Appeal? (2, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253251)

See, this is totally why I'd always appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Whatever happens, it'll be a hell of a ride.

Re:Appeal? (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253305)

Last I heard, the Ninth had the dubious honor of being the most oft-overturned Circuit of them all.

Of course, considering that this (my home circuit) apparently contains stupid judges in Oregon, and all of San Francisco, this should be no surprise to anyone.

Re:Appeal? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25254157)

Numbers are fantastic things, you can make them say anything. Yes, by sheer numbers, the Ninth Circuit is certainly overturned more often. However, the Ninth Circuit is the largest circuit (by caseload) by a huge margin. Percentage wise, there is nothing noteworthy about it at all.

Circuit split? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253569)

> Good question. Actually, there's a split of authority on the subject.

While I sincerely doubt that will happen in this case, isn't that the sort of thing that can get the Supreme Court to grant certiorari (hear the case)?

Re:Appeal? (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253941)

What would this be appealable? According to the article:

>>>allowed the RIAA to subpoena the identities of 'persons associated by dorm room occupancy or username with the 17 IP addresses listed'

I don't see how this is any different than subpoening (sp?) the persons who are associated to a physical address (say a crakhouse). Although it's likely a lot of these people will turn-out to be innocent, that's why court rooms exist - to weed-out the guilty from the not-guilty.

Re:Appeal? (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253369)

"it seems like the judge has decided that, whatever the law says, this matter is a waste of their time"

Never attribute to laziness (or anything else for that matter) what can adequately be explained by a bribe, particularly when an organization like the RIAA is involved.

Re:Honest? (5, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252675)

Yes. Truly amazing. The RIAA lawyer tells the judge that the University will destroy the data if the motion is not granted. Leaving out the fact that the University told him that the data has been preserved. And the Judge "presumes" that that was an "honest mistake"?

RIAA: If you don't grant the motion, they'll destroy all the data!
Judge: What makes you come to that conclusion?
RIAA: Because that's what we would do!

Re:Honest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252831)

Did the Judge work his way through college as "Honest Mike Hogan" the used car dealer? If so, it would explain where he got his defintion of "honest" from.

Re:Honest? (5, Insightful)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252839)

I'm sorry Ray, but just how does an outside observer not draw the conclusion that the legal system is inherently corrupted? I know you can't answer the question (at least not publicly) and I and many others support your valiant efforts. However, its hard as someone from outside the US to not see your country as just the world's biggest banana republic. Where the law has the appearance of granite and the firmness of quicksand. A legal system whose flexibility is only ever exercised to the favour of power, never the other way. As an amateur student of early American history and the founding of your nation, I just find the underlying hypocrisy galling and the fall of the republic utterly disheartening.

Re:Honest? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253109)

I'm sorry Ray, but just how does an outside observer not draw the conclusion that the legal system is inherently corrupted? I know you can't answer the question (at least not publicly) and I and many others support your valiant efforts. However, its hard as someone from outside the US to not see your country as just the world's biggest banana republic. Where the law has the appearance of granite and the firmness of quicksand. A legal system whose flexibility is only ever exercised to the favour of power, never the other way. As an amateur student of early American history and the founding of your nation, I just find the underlying hypocrisy galling and the fall of the republic utterly disheartening.

I'm not here to be an apologist for erroneous decisions like this. In my blog post [blogspot.com] , after reporting the facts, I then wrote this editor's note:

Is it just me, or does this decision make no sense whatsoever? The Judge recognizes that the RIAA's investigation is insufficient to actually point to a copyright infringer, and that the only way to determine that there was a copyright infringement is to conduct a further investigation....but is directing the University, anyway, to turn over names of people who the Court recognizes may be completely innocent?

And I wrote a lengthy article [blogspot.com] for The Judges Journal, the quarterly publication of the American Bar Association written for the judges' section, for publication in its "Access to Justice" issue, in which I criticized this type of poor judicial work as creating an uneven playing field, and made 15 specific suggestions as to what judges like this needed to do that they were not doing.

The difference between you and me is that I can't afford the luxury of getting 'disheartened'. But I do get angry. And an illogical, indefensible decision like this one ticks me off.

Re:Honest? (2, Interesting)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253359)

I'm sorry if I offended you. I totally understand that you are not an apologist for the entire legal system. I just marvel at your tenacity. As for my disheatened state being a luxury, as a citizen of another country, I can do very little to influence outcomes in the US (other than offer opinions in forums like this). At home (in Australia) however, I am slightly more involved in issues that I believe in.

Good luck to you and all like you.

Re:Honest? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253561)

The difference between you and me is that I can't afford the luxury of getting 'disheartened'. But I do get angry. And an illogical, indefensible decision like this one ticks me off.

The way you discourage illogical, indefensible decisions like this is to (with due process of course) impose sanctions against such judges and/or conduct independent investigations into whether there is anything that remotely looks like the judge is receiving money or other favors from the RIAA. If this is possible at all, it should be easy considering that this will not be the first time that the RIAA's tactics have (I'll be nice and say) been questionable. You then follow up by conducting an investigation into the RIAA's tactics, including whether or not the likes of MediaSentry are in fact breaking the law by acting like unlicensed private investigators (why is this not a completely separate issue from the lawsuit at hand?) because as those in power so enjoy telling us, "they shouldn't care if they have nothing to hide".

I felt that way when I first saw this summary but I am certainly not a lawyer and so I do not feel that I am qualified (without doing lots of research at any rate) to say whether this judge's actions are illogical or indefensible in the context of legal proceedings, in the sense that many perfectly legal practices are complete unenlightened bullshit to me, but now that a lawyer such as yourself has cleared that up for me the rest seems quite simple. Yes I know that as someone who does not understand the nuances of law as you do, I very well may be coming off like a complete armchair amateur so if you point that out, I'll understand, but either way I am grateful for people like you who can be a part of the system without also being blind to things about it that probably need to change. I wish that insiders with your honesty were not the small minority that they seem to be.

Re:Honest? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253583)

Well at least there's you who's working to make things better.

It's hard for the rest of us to not have "contempt of court" though ;).

Re:Honest? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253709)

As an Australian and Libertarian, I would agree with Mr Sabbath that the US judicial system is becoming a parody of what it used to be. We are a little better off here, but as I (and many others see it), our judicial system has its faults, particularly with inconsistent sentencing matters.
.

Re:Honest? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253343)

I'm sorry Ray, but just how does an outside observer not draw the conclusion that the legal system is inherently corrupted? I know you can't answer the question (at least not publicly) and I and many others support your valiant efforts. However, its hard as someone from outside the US to not see your country as just the world's biggest banana republic. Where the law has the appearance of granite and the firmness of quicksand. A legal system whose flexibility is only ever exercised to the favour of power, never the other way. As an amateur student of early American history and the founding of your nation, I just find the underlying hypocrisy galling and the fall of the republic utterly disheartening.

I was just going to make a quick post in which I would say something like "this seriously makes me wonder just how difficult it is to impeach a judge," then I saw your comment. I can say that from inside the US it also looks like the world's biggest banana republic. Nothing is as it should be and this is only becoming more true as time passes.

The reason why I refer to the general public with terms like "sheep" or "sheeple" or "bovine idiots" is because they accept this without question. No threat to their money, their liberty, or their well-being is ever sufficient to prompt them to think critically and stop accepting the party line(s) at face value. All it takes is for the talking heads on CNN or Fox News to frame a phony debate in the form of a false dichotomy and they buy it, so long as the phony debate is nuanced and there's lots of chatter about it. The truth is, if there were any real philosophical differences between the two parties concerning the role of government, it would not take 9 months of campaigning to point them out.

WIth the exception of a very few, no one with any real media presence points out that the only disagreement between the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate is how to carry out the expansion of the size and power of government. One candidate wants to expand the size and authority of government for reasons A, B, C while the other candidate wants to expand the size and power of government for reasons D, E, F and that's the basis of the election. There is no mention of whether it should be expanded, whether what we are doing now is remotely sustainable and whether continuing down the same path is going to help or harm the country.

What you point out about the legal system is unfortunately just a symptom of a much deeper problem. The real problem is that the media and the economy have become increasingly centralized over the last century and the number of people controlling both could probably all be seated comfortably in a relatively small room. For example, when the news outlets first started talking about the idea of bailing out Bear Stearns, I knew without doubt that it was going to happen, that the false debate and "controversy" only served the purpose of providing the appearance of legitimate dissention because without it, the people might actually wake up and realize that all is not as it seems. Americans need to seriously ask themselves whether they have ever once seen a major decision like this that a) was hyped up in the media and given lots of coverage and b) went against the desires of a monied interest. The sad thing is that not only do most Americans not understand these things, most of them seem like they don't want to understand -- apparently the latest celebrity gossip or sports scores or artificially hectic lifestyles (the new status symbol) are much more important to them. While I think that these people deserve what's coming, it saddens me that many who do not share their willful ignorance are going to suffer as well because everything is global now; there is no more "small and local". I hope that those outside the USA realize that no matter how you feel about Americans, the soverignty of the USA is just about the only thing that is currently standing in the way of a one-world government or a system of 2-3 global factions in the "but Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia" sense and that the USA is not being run by people who act like they want to maintain that soverignty.

Ah Hah! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253247)

So YOU are RIVSTP. (Actually I knew that from an earlier post here but this was a convenient place to point it out.)

Keep up the good work.

HONEST!!! (1)

whysoserious12 (1371489) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252301)

From which angle do the overlords of hell seem honest?

Once again... (0, Redundant)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252303)

Damn their oily hides!

FUCK THE RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252307)

Punk bitches' days are numbered.

Illegal joinder (5, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252325)

Several years ago a New Mexico Judge (IIRC) instructed the RIAA to bring further suits against individual defendants rather than join several in one action. For example, there is no accusation here that the various students acted in concert to infringe copyrights -- whatever each of them allegedly did, it was done on an individual basis. Did the University raise this issue with the judge? Does the ruling address it?

Re:Illegal joinder (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252349)

Several years ago a New Mexico Judge (IIRC) instructed the RIAA to bring further suits against individual defendants rather than join several in one action. For example, there is no accusation here that the various students acted in concert to infringe copyrights -- whatever each of them allegedly did, it was done on an individual basis. Did the University raise this issue with the judge? Does the ruling address it?

Well you're certainly on top of the issues. A number of judges, more than a dozen, have held that it is illegal to join the John Does. But the University did not raise it. The tenor of the motion was that they were looking out for the University's interests rather than those of the students.

Re:Illegal joinder (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252401)

The tenor of the motion was that they were looking out for the University's interests rather than those of the students.

In that case, did any of the students also file independently of the university to get their interests considered?

Re:Illegal joinder (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252451)

Only if the University happens to have a student named John Doe.

Re:Illegal joinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252441)

The tenor of the motion was that they were looking out for the University's interests rather than those of the students.

That tenor needs to be turned into a soprano (small 's').

Re:Illegal joinder (2, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252635)

The University is moving to quash the subpoena; it is not a party to the action. As such, I don't believe that it has standing to make a motion regarding the substance of the litigation itself. In short, the University is watching out for its own interests, but that's because the rules prevent it from watching out for the interests of others.

Re:Illegal joinder (4, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#25254261)

The tenor of the motion was that they were looking out for the University's interests rather than those of the students.

Unfortunate, but not surprising given the relatively low value that many universities place upon their undergraduates in general these days (and especially individual undergraduates...just another brick in the wall to them when they have 20K+ attending their school). They may care about undergraduates in the aggregate, as in what percentage of the brightest and most promising freshmen they are attracting, but undergraduates don't generally donate large sums of money to the university endowment or help research professors secure grant money or publish lots of peer reviewed academic papers (how can they? they are only undergraduates). Individual undergraduates might get better treatment depending upon how wealthy or famous their family is and whether or not they are members of the corporate elite or the political class, but if you are not the scion of a wealthy or powerful family then forget about the university going out of its way to assist you (particularly in legal matters that might cost the university lots of money). They would rather throw you to the wolves than pony up money and resources to protect you from litigation. At least, this is how it seems these days. Everyone is so afraid of getting sued that if it doesn't protect their own skin they just roll over and do what the opposing attorneys want in exchange for not getting sued...its the lawsuit society and seems like it is only getting worse. I suppose that will end this rant for now, but surely I cannot be alone here and other people have experienced similar things or drawn similar conclusions based upon what we read in the news.

Easy defense (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252337)

The Court...allowed the RIAA to subpoena the identities of 'persons associated by dorm room occupancy or username with the 17 IP addresses listed' even though those people may be completely innocent.

Sounds like the defense will have it easy. IANAL, but I'd expect the moment of being served on this one is probably a good time to file the countersuit.

Never easy, but expensive (5, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252377)

Defending a lawsuit is never innocent. Even if you don't owe them anything, you actually have to prove it. The RIAA will trot our "experts" who will testify that their "evidence" shows you are likely to have infringed copyright. To fight this you at the very least need to pay a good lawyer, and will probably need some experts of your own. Even if you have the skills to represent yourself, you can't recover the cost of your own time spent on this [IANAL but I think that the lawyer's guild got a law passed so that people who represent themselves can't collect attorney's fees if they win]. Now add to this the emotional stress of fighting a deep-pocketed corporation and dealing with the judicial system, and you'll see that there's nothing "easy" about being sued.

Re:Never easy, but expensive (3, Interesting)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252757)

Well, you CAN fight them, just not in court. Isn't it funny how we've set it up so that assymetrical power can be exercised from the rich to the poor, but not the other way around? Seems unsustainable over the long term to me.

Re:Never easy, but expensive (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253405)

It's not that assymetrical.

Who started this particular war?

At some point, a million geeks decided they were going to distribute the music industry's output amongst each other for free, because they didn't want to pay for it. What did the music industry do that provoked this, or did geeks declare war on the music industry unilaterally?

Assymetrical? Shawn Fanning et al started a process to suck billions of revenues out of the industry by keeping money owed to the producers of music in the pockets of those who should pay for it. In response, the music industry has tried spending a few million dollars on lawsuits. Damned right it's assymetric - the music industry is the underdog here.

Re:Never easy, but expensive (0, Redundant)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253543)

Wow, you are one heck of a troll, let me tell you. You're also uninformed. But it's late and I'm too tired to enlighten you.

Is it just me.... (2, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252365)

or is it hard to believe that this and other judges are highly influenced by their own prejudices, to the point that they issue rulings that are legally unsound?

Re:Is it just me.... (1)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252487)

"There's no such thing [as an objective story]... The objective journalist is one of those great myths you read about like a Griffin or a Phoenix... or an honest politician. Everyone's got an agenda whether they admit it or not... " - (Babylon 5: The Illusion of the Truth, some reporter guy)

Yeah yeah, I know. The quote is more about journalists than judges, but it seems to fit.

Everyone has opinions, but they should at least _try_ to not let it get in the way of the truth, and I doubt any attempt at all is being made here.

It's just you. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252627)

> or is it hard to believe that this and other judges are highly influenced by their own prejudices, to the point that they issue rulings that are legally unsound?

It's just you. The other day, there was a Supreme Court decision that said there was 'consensus' in the law that child rape not be punishable by death. Then someone pointed out that there was, in fact such a law. They did not reconsider their decision and the dissenters pointed out that they didn't believe that the decision had been based on any such consensus in the first place, so it was pointless to reconsider.

A while back, we had the $222k verdict set aside because the judge realized that he had, in fact, ignored important precedents (which the RIAA failed to notify him of).

In this case, if I had to guess, the judge doesn't understand why the discovery orders are so important to the defense and simply wants to get through this preliminary crap and to the 'real' case. Not knowing the RIAA, he apparently doesn't realize that they plan to drop their case once they have this discovery and send out settlement letters.

We on Slashdot know the RIAA better than most judges do because we hear about all their cases. Most judges are meeting the RIAA for the first time.

How many times has SCO been given the benefit of the doubt, after all? While we were reading dozens of ridiculous proclamations from them every day, Judge Kimball was busy with real work and it took him a while to catch on to the fact that they were shysters. And once he caught on, they fled his court to get bankruptcy protection. It's been what? Four years? Five? And SCO's case is STILL going on!

So no, it's not hard for me to believe that a judge would presume that a party was acting in good faith, contrary to all evidence, until it was personally demonstrated to them what kind of cock-smoking teabaggers the RIAA employs. After all, remember how many times SCO claimed that IBM was acting underhanded early on? I'm glad the judge didn't just take SCO's word for things. The judge waited to figure out for himself that SCO was, in fact, the cock-smoking teabagger so that he could deal with things appropriately.

The annoying part is that it usually takes the judges a while to realize this, and shysters like SCO & the RIAA make sure they're in a different court by then, whether they have to drop & refile their case or seek bankruptcy protection.

Re:It's just you. (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252985)

As for the child rape "consensus" thing,they were talking about MILITARY law. Never in the history of our country have we set civil law by looking at military law,and frankly I don't want to start now,thank you very much. And while I think child molestors are scum,the simple fact is after McMartin [wikipedia.org] and The little Rascals [wikipedia.org] day care cases how ANYONE could think it is a good idea to execute someone for rape of a child is beyond me. Anytime you are dealing with such a hot button explosive charge the risk of "guilty until you can prove you are innocent" is just too high. And as we have seen over and over again, someone will take it too damned far. See executing the retarded,executing children,etc. Not to mention the whole "repressed memory" mumbo jumbo. Would you be for executing someone based on a memory?

As for the RIAA, as we have seen their "investigating" gets your printer charged with file sharing [p2p-blog.com] and time and time again we have seen states getting onto them because of using unlicensed investigators,yet they still continue. Why? Because you have judges like this that will ignore everything put in front of them and rule for them anyway. News Flash *.AAs of the world: you model is a dinosaur. Join us in the 21st century or please go away and die.

If you lower your prices($20 for a 30 year old album,WTF?) and offer a better product(embedded album art and liner notes,links to contests involving the artists,etc) you will get the customers. All your beating everyone over the head and buying off politicians is doing is making even the honest folks hate your guts and you know what? Very few folks have problems ripping off an @sshole who is screwing them with their monopolistic practices and buying off our legislators. There is NO reason why we shouldn't be able to rip our movies and music easily to our now gigantic hard drives and watch them without the disc. Instead of allowing us an easy way to use what we pay for you get brain trusts like this one who stand up in court and say ripping your cd to your iPod is NOT fair use [eff.org] . You see,greedy sh*t like this is why everyone hates you. And you'd be surprised how many people don't see any problem with ripping off someone they hate,especially if they feel they were ripped off in the first place. So while I got my tunes in the '80s on CD before you really started cranking out the garbage,I don't really see how you are going to get the young folks on your side with crap like this. Your customers hate you,your artists hate you,pretty much everyone except your lawyers HATE you. And one doesn't have to have a masters degree in business to know that isn't a good situation to be in.

Re:It's just you. (3, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253639)

"And while I think child molestors are scum"

What the Law defines as Child Molester could be very different from what you are thinking of.

Take the case of Genarlow Wilson who was convicted of aggravated child molestation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_v._State_of_Georgia [wikipedia.org]

Maybe in the future the USA would be executing 15 year olds for having consensual sex with each other, in order to protect them of course.

I believe they're already prosecuting them for distributing child porn because they send each other nude pics (kids these days...).

It'll be wonderful to be living in United Saudi Arabia don't you think?

I think the children need protection, but they also need protection from the government and the legal system ;).

Nothing like a little bribe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252385)

...to grease the rusty gears of justice. Too bad the gears don't know which way to turn.

IANAL (you could've guessed) (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252417)

But doesn't the court overstep it's bounds by suggesting, and approving an alternate wording?

Well, this raises an interesting question... (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252433)

How much did this judge get paid for his decision? Because there's no way an honest man could've come to such a conclusion.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (2, Interesting)

konigstein (966024) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252573)

I had exactly the same thought. Either the judge isn't mentally in this century, or he's been paid some amount or favor to come to this conclusion.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (5, Funny)

Pebby (1321397) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252631)

It wasn't money. The RIAA offered the judge a 3 album contract to help him finally realize his dream of pop stardom. Look for the debut album, "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" from 'MC Gaveltron' this Christmas.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (4, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252689)

The decision was issued by a federal judge, who is appointed for life. That's a pretty sweet gig and I doubt they would be swayed by only money, as the penalty for bribery is very severe.

The long and the short of it is that the decision addressed the University's motion to quash the subpoena. The Judge granted the motion to quash, and allowed the plaintiff to file a more limited subpoena. There was no harm and no foul (aside from legal fees) from the overly-broad initial subpoena.

If there was a violation of law regarding private investigators, that's a matter for the state Attorney General to prosecute. A federal judge cannot enforce state law by himself in a lawsuit involving private individuals. Perhaps the state has an interest in not pursuing the claim that would be frustrated if a federal court asserted a state right (the prerogative to enforce its own laws) on the state's behalf.

You may be surprised to know that illegally-obtained evidence can be used in civil trials. The evidence can be admitted, and it's up to the defendants to file counterclaims for the violation of laws. That's when the state AG will get involved, hopefully, and make the RIAA machine responsible for its illegal investigators.

The decision was limited to a very narrow issue regarding a subpoena. RIAA made admissions that limited the scope of the subpoena. The judge found the reduced scope acceptable, so he dismissed the initial subpoena and invited RIAA to file a subpoena of proper scope.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252925)

the penalty for bribery is very severe.

Sure, how many judges do you know that have been tried and found guilty of accepting bribes ? One, two maybe ? Oh, is it zero ? Right, because no judge would dare inconvenience one of their own, especially when the tide of corruption is unstoppable, why bother with such a damaging case ?

It's the kind of thing that puts your career to sleep, much like that young hotshot cop who thinks he's going to clean up the force. Next thing you know, he's doing traffic in some dead boring district because nobody wants him snooping around.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253973)

There is a saying: every man has his price. Whether it's money, blackmailing or special 'gifts', they can all be bought if you name the right price. It's just very risky if they're wrong.

Another point: Judges etc. are in a political position by some type of vote at some point in time (whether you call it appointments or whatever) either by a group of laymen or a group of politicians meaning that at one time they were politicians making themselves seem whatever they needed to be to get that position.

The RIAA is the single most rich media corporation although they are pretending to be a "non-profit" trade group sticking it out for the poor artist (their website - light grey text on white background doesn't really specify whether or not they are for-profit) but basically they are a storefront to big multinational media companies (Warner, Disney...) protecting the interests of those that generate their income.

Put the above points together yourself.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252715)

How much did this judge get paid for his decision? Because there's no way an honest man could've come to such a conclusion.

The judge likely got paid nothing. Bribes are too obvious and easy to trace. Don't forget, the RIAA/Media Sentry do investigations for a living. They also had, what, a year? A lot of dirt can be dug up in a year. It's quite possible that the RIAA/Media Sentry lawyers and/or private investigators pretexted or pressured sources to obtain the judges' internet and phone records, copies of his credit card charges, and even taken a look at his family too.

Maybe they found one of the judges' children or grandchildren had used P2P to illegally share copyrighted material without permission. Maybe the judge had some charges on his plastic at a strip club. Bribed people will flip on the briber if pressured. Those acting to keep secret their own or loved ones' indiscretions are much more reliable and likely to keep quiet, and that kind of pressure much harder to prove.

Cheers!

Strat

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (4, Informative)

Jerry (6400) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252957)

http://tripsforjudges.org/ [tripsforjudges.org] says otherwise. They just hide the income in different ways.

Corporate special interests are wining and dining judges at fancy resorts under the pretext of "educating" them about complicated legal issues. Nothing for FREE, a July 2000 report by Community Rights Counsel (CRC), showed that these junkets appear to be working as their sponsors intend, encouraging rulings that strike down environmental protections and line the pockets of junket sponsors. CRC's most recent report, Tainted Justice, released in March 2004, expands on Nothing for FREE.

You see, it works just like the "Fact-finding" junkets that Congress take each summer and around all the major vacation periods.

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253463)

http://tripsforjudges.org/ [tripsforjudges.org] [tripsforjudges.org] says otherwise. They just hide the income in different ways.

Corporate special interests are wining and dining judges at fancy resorts under the pretext of "educating" them about complicated legal issues. Nothing for FREE, a July 2000 report by Community Rights Counsel (CRC), showed that these junkets appear to be working as their sponsors intend, encouraging rulings that strike down environmental protections and line the pockets of junket sponsors. CRC's most recent report, Tainted Justice, released in March 2004, expands on Nothing for FREE.

You see, it works just like the "Fact-finding" junkets that Congress take each summer and around all the major vacation periods.

I'm sure that those kinds of things (junkets, dinners, etc) go on, but if those types of influence are going on, I feel relatively certain that the types of things I outlined in my post probably go on also. One is not mutually exclusive of the other, rather, I'd opine that the existence of one form of influence would tend to make more likely the existence of the other forms of influence, especially for those judges not so easily "bought". I don't know for certain that this judge was influenced, or by which method (carrot [bribe] or stick [blackmail/threat]) but something seems "fishy" here if TFS and TFA are factual, correct, and in-context. Interesting link, good find. Thanks.

Cheers!

Strat

Re:Well, this raises an interesting question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253883)

Never attribute to maliciousness that which can easily be explained by stupidity.

How much (0, Redundant)

ekimd (968058) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252439)

is RIAA paying him?

Funny .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252527)

RIAA, Honest, and Mistake used in the same article, thats funny.

Re:Funny .... (1)

SpiderClan (1195655) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252781)

Allowing the RIAA to exist was indeed an honest mistake.

What a joke, here is another. (5, Funny)

[cx] (181186) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252615)

They probably told him they know all about his stolen Barry Manilow mp3s he has on his laptop in his chambers, justice was served shortly after.

Re:What a joke, here is another. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253113)

If the judge listens to Barry Manilow and didn't spontaneously combust, justice was not served.

Negro savages kill white Obama activist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252621)

Friday October 3, 2008

A 25 year old white female Obama campaigner was riding her bicycle in a virtually all black neighborhood of New Orleans. She was on a "cross country trek" to support Obama. So brainwashed by multi-cultural propaganda that this "community activist" thought nothing about venturing around a black NOLA neighborhood after dark. She was SHOT IN THE HEAD, and her body was left lying on the sidewalk.

Apparently it didn't matter that she had come all the way from San Fransisco to campaign for Obama. She was just another white victim to the local residents. Local residents left her body lie on the sidewalk and didn't even notify police. Her body sat for hours until it was seen by a construction crew that was there to gut houses damaged by Katrina.

Re:Negro savages kill white Obama activist (0, Offtopic)

[cx] (181186) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252681)

What did she expect? That the horrible stories about poor people and ghettos were just made up? That they would invite her in for a nice southern meal and want her to educate them on the greatness of her journey to change the world? It is a very realistic end, to a very delusional beginning.

Appeal? (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252663)

Can this be appealed at all? Obviously innocent people are going to be thrown under the RIAA bus. When so much damage can be done by a subpoena, and many important factors aren't being considered, this can't be left to just the discretion of one clueless judge.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252673)

Come on now people, was this really a surprising ending? Let's all hear it for "The American Way". *fap* *fap*

Guys, give them a break! (3, Funny)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252705)

Everybody makes mistakes!
Heck, yesterday a book fell on my keyboard - the next thing I know: every Metallica Album right in my incoming folder!

Malfeasance (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25252763)

Anyone in the public can submit a complaint to the State Bar. I would be willing to bet a series of submissions of the typical sophistication, quantity, and velocity of a typical /. response would get their attention. NOW.

Jerry

"Honest Mistake" (4, Insightful)

m509272 (1286764) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252795)

These clowns have started how many lawsuits? There's no such thing as an "honest mistake" at this point in the game. Can the judge be honestly this clueless??

Re:"Honest Mistake" (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252871)

A judge that doesnt really comprehend or understand how things actually work - sadly yes.

Re:"Honest Mistake" (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253291)

YES

The only question remaining is ... (2, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252903)

how much did it take to lubricate the Judge?

Re:The only question remaining is ... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253557)

how much did it take to lubricate the Judge?

Roughly 1/5th of a gallon of Single Malt Whiskey

Appeal? (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 6 years ago | (#25252991)

The words "honest" and "RIAA" don't even belong in the same sentence. /sigh

Re:Appeal? (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253107)

Sorry, but that's not strictly true. Consider the following:

"I'm only being honest when I say that I completely despise the RIAA."

Re:Appeal? (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253227)

Or: "It was an honest mistake when I accidentally pulled out the pin on my grenade and lobbed it into the RIAA lawyers' office. And when I emptied a full clip from my AK into the surviving lawyers fleeing in panic, it was a simple misunderstanding!"

Re:Appeal? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253123)

how about with 'dis' as well? What of 'so obscenely' and 'that it makes your eyes water'?

So it sounds like they don't pee test judges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253159)

So it sounds like t hey don't pee test judges in Oregon?

Well shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253225)

I guess a lot of people must have made honest mistakes downloading copyrighted music without knowing about it. Guess we might as well throw all those cases out of the courts.

I have no idea... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253285)

I have no idea what narcotics THAT judge is on-but I WANT SOME! Seriously though, the phrase 'learned jurist' seems to ne an oxymoron these days!

this guy called me honey and made kissing noises (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253503)

so i headbutted him in the throat, picked up a beer bottle, smashed it on the counter, and stuck him in the abdomen with it as he stood up. after he fell to the floor grasping his throat and side, i took the barstool and smashed his head with it a few times

turns out he was actually addressing the woman sitting next to me

sorry, honest mistake

Unique IP Addresses? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25253575)

I don't know about anyone else, but in the dorms where I go to college, you're assigned a different IP address every single time you log on. Is there anything I'm missing that would actually give them enough information to identify someone with?

Sue the Judge (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253663)

Can't someone whose judge was so clearly (and probably provably) corrupt use the courts to sue the judge?

In other News..... (2, Funny)

SageMusings (463344) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253675)

The Judge says he really enjoys the way his new Bentley handles and purrs like a kitten on the road.

The Generosity of RIAA (1)

picketech (1013491) | more than 6 years ago | (#25253849)

Geez I think all future income by the RIAA should be forwarded to the national debt, at least then I would think about buying music again.
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