Judge Tells RIAA They Don't Get To Randomly Hunt Through Everyone's Computers

from the sorry,-no-dice dept

One thing that's become clear in all of the recording industry's lawsuits against file sharers, is they feel they pretty much have free reign in what they should be allowed to do. That's why they originally wanted ISPs to just hand over names without having to file a lawsuit, and why they tend to take a "guilty until proven innocent" point of view. However, it appears some courts are finally pointing out to the RIAA that they don't have the right to do some of these things. The latest example involves one of the lawsuits, where the accused claims she never was involved in file sharing. The RIAA demanded full access to her computer -- which she rightly felt was a violation of her privacy, as there was a lot more on her computer that obviously had nothing to do with the case. A judge has agreed and told the woman she can hire her own forensics expert, and bill the RIAA for any expenses.


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  •  
    identicon
    giafly, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 2:50am

    From the Article

    "Not at all incidentally, the RIAA is also being sued by Andersen - in a RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization) case which is on hold pending the results of the investigation of Andersen's hard drive."

     

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    icepick314, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 3:13am

    get 'em, girl!!!

    I say charge her own expert at $5000 a minute and ring up several $millions....

    who's to say that "expert" forensic is cheap?

     

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    Bender, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 3:47am

    COMING SOON!!!

    RIAA spyware to a computer near you, because if you are the RIAA, privacy isn't the *real issue* here.

     

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      vmd, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:00am

      Re: COMING SOON!!!

      It's here! It's called DRM, and there's no way of telling what data it sends home when your're listening to your music.

       

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        Don G, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: COMING SOON!!!

        Use of a [non-MS] firewall may not tell you what's being sent -- but it darn well will let you stop it from being sent!

         

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        Psumoni, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: COMING SOON!!!

        Uh, there are easy ways.

        1. Packet Sniffer.
        2. Do you need any other way?

         

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    scatman, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 4:27am

    Judge droped the ball

    The real issue here is the fact that the riaa can have this woman's computer "checked" by a forensics expert at all. Would the judge be so quick to grant the average joe taxpayer's request to have someone elses computer examined? We're too litigious in the USA.

     

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      Wolfger, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:27am

      Re: Judge droped the ball

      I tend to agree. This is like me claiming you have stolen a CD from me, and so you have to hire a forensics expert to search your house for any traces of the CD I claim you stole. It's ludicris. I doubt the police could get a search warrant so easily as the RIAA appears to be doing.

       

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      Anonymous Plaintiff, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:33am

      Re: Judge droped the ball

      We're too litigious in the USA


      This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggestion that we are infringes on my right to free (and ridiculous) speech!

      You will be hearing from my lawyer.

       

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    WD, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:58am

    This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggestion t

    For anyone to say this just goes to show the decline of education in the US. People sue for everything and the government does little to stop it. This country is headed for bad times, especially when you can become a millionaire by getting burnt by coffee!!! EVERYONE MOVE TO AUSTRALIA!!!

     

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      EdB, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:22am

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      Umm... "the macdonalds lady" was burned so badly she needed skin grafts. The MickeyDs that sold the coffee had hundreds of complaints against it for coffee that was almost boiling, and knowingly turned up the temp to get more coffee from a pound of beans. We do seem to be way too quick to jump in bed with a lawyer, but when a mongo-huge company boils your skin shouldn't they at least pay your hospital bills?

      http://www.sholljanlaw.com/fact1_03.html or search for "Liebeck v. McDonald's Corp" and see what you come up with.

       

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        Devil's Advocate, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere sugg

        About the McDonalds' coffee...

        IT'S COFFEE!!! IT'S HOT!!! IF YOU DRINK IT AND DON'T KNOW OTHERWISE, YOU SHOULD BE SCALDED TO DEATH FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.

        That is all.

         

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          parched, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:58am

          Re: Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

          IT'S COFFEE!!! IT'S HOT!!! IF YOU DRINK IT AND DON'T KNOW OTHERWISE, YOU SHOULD BE SCALDED TO DEATH FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.

          That is all.


          You are simply uninformed about the details of this case; because "that" most definitely is not all.
          Jumping on a bandwagon too quickly is as much a problem in this country as litigiousness.

           

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            Dosquatch, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:58am

            Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

            You are simply uninformed about the details of this case; because "that" most definitely is not all.

            Alright, class, let's review then, shall we?

            • Lady buys coffee
            • Coffee comes with condiments
            • Lady presumably wants condiments in coffee
            • Lady removes lid from coffee cup
            • Lady wedges said de-lidded cup between her thighs
            • Lady proceeds to drive away in this precarious position

            Results: hot coffee in lap, pain, discomfort, medical bills, yadda yadda.

            The problem isn't the temperature of the coffee. The problem is the choices she made. She removed the safety device from her product, and then indtroduced the now unsafe product to a sensitive bodily region.

            This is a case of negative result from personal choice. The only way this is McDonald's fault is if the DT employee removed the lid, shoved the cup in her lap, and threw a brick at the accelerator - which is not the case at all.

            By parallel, if I toss out common sense, remove the guards from my table saw, turn it on, and try to carry it across the room in this condition, it is not Craftsman's fault for "serving the blade too sharp" if I trip and slice myself open.

            The lady could have put the cup in a cupholder, parked in a parking space, prepared her coffee to her liking, replaced the lid, and the world would be one retarded story poorer.

            Fortunately, for sarcastic pundits everywhere (ed. note: My People!), the court routinely rewards such Darwinian lack of foresight.

             

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              Gabriel Tane (profile), Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:37am

              Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

              Dosquatch...

              No... the point of the lawsuit was the temperature of the coffee.

              What is in question here is negligence. There are 4 requirements to be met in order for someone to be negligent:

              1)There has to be a "reasonable and customary" duty to perform or a duty to not perform
              2)There has to be a breach of that duty
              3)There has to be actual damages
              4)There has to be proximate cause (which is an unbroken chain of events linking the Breach to the Damages Caused)

              1)McDonalds had a "reasonable and customary" responsibility to provide safe products. In this case, a liquid that is not so hot that it can cause life-threatening injuries (if she drank coffee that hot, it could have caused death)
              2)McDonald's breached that duty be heating their coffee to a high temperature
              3)The coffee temperature, as it was served, directly caused that amount of damage
              4)The damages were actual: 2nd & 3rd degree burns to the legs & groin.

              As people, we have a responsibility to act "reasonably and prudently". Was it smart to remove the lid? Probably not. Would it be reasonable to assume that if I spilled even "hot" coffee on myself, that I would NOT get 2nd & 3rd degree burns? Yes, that's a reasonable assumption (read that again if it doesn't make sense... my sentence structuring ability is being sapped by work).

              Yes the lady removed the lid (not sure how this is a "safety device"... more of a convenience protector). But, she had proceeded under the reasonable assumption that the liquid inside was not hot enough to pose a significant threat.

              Again... the lawsuit wasn't about spilling coffee... it wasn't about being burned by hot coffee... it was about the severity and extent of the burns caused by coffee that was heated to an excessive temperature.

               

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                Dosquatch, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 10:43am

                Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

                No... the point of the lawsuit was the temperature of the coffee.

                Of the lawsuit, yes. Of what I wrote, no. Yes, damages were awarded. Yes, I disagree. Because.....

                1)McDonalds had a "reasonable and customary" responsibility to provide safe products.

                McDonald's provided a hot beverage, as advertised and customary for the beverage in question, in a styrafoam cup with a lid. You question my use of "safety device" on this topic - the lid's purpose is to keep the contents within the styrafoam cup to prevent exactly the sort of nonsense that happened (spills predominantly, but by proxy also the consequences of spills... like scalded groins, for instance)

                2)McDonald's breached that duty be heating their coffee to a high temperature

                McDonald's breached nothing. The lady breached all over the place by putting herself in an untennable position and blaming the results on someone else.

                3)The coffee temperature, as it was served, directly caused that amount of damage

                The coffee temperature didn't play into it until she spilled it on herself, which I again point out was her own fault, not Mickey D's. Sure, I'll grant that it was too hot, but as long as the beverage was in the cup it wasn't an issue, now was it? I invoke, as evidence to this point, that the McD's employee who served it was not scalded into a hospital, so handling the contained beverage doesn't seem so dangerous. It was moving the beverage from the container to her lap, which again I point out was a consequence of her actions, not McDonald's.

                As people, we have a responsibility to act "reasonably and prudently". Was it smart to remove the lid? Probably not.

                See? SEE?!? That's what I'm saying!

                Would it be reasonable to assume that if I spilled even "hot" coffee on myself, that I would NOT get 2nd & 3rd degree burns?

                Reasonable to assume that it won't peel your skin? Sure, but pretty darn uncomfortable still. Enough so that I find it "reasonable and prudent" to not do such to myself. And, if I do, (and, sadly enough, I have), I find it also reasonable and prudent to accept that I am sometimes a klutz and that such is my own fault and not Folger's, Mr. Coffee's, MocaMug Corp's, Juan Valdez's, or anybody else's.

                And, by extension, I find myself expecting others to own up to their own versions of "shit happens", and find myself increasingly annoyed when people blame-shift their own ineptitude onto other people's bank accounts to the tune of millions. Call me crazy.

                 

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                  Gabriel Tane (profile), Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:23am

                  Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

                  I'm not disputing the fact that blame-shifting should be stopped. Nor am I saying that this lady wasn't a complete fuck-tard for putting an un-lidded cup of coffee between her legs, in a car, in motion. Yeah... freakin' genius here.

                  All I'm saying is that McDonald's was negligent in their duties regarding safety when they heated their coffee up to the temperature that they did. If it didn't burn Ol' Coffee Crotch over there, it would have burned someone somewhere.

                  "Sure, I'll grant that it was too hot, but as long as the beverage was in the cup it wasn't an issue, now was it?"

                  But the coffee and it's container, by design, were not supposed to remain in said container. You're supposed to drink it. If it's that scalding, you could seriously burn your lips and tongue before you realize that it's that hot. You wouldn't have been doing anything wrong... just taking an nice relaxing sip. And, before you say it... drinking a cup of hot coffee at a reasonable temperature should not require any extra due-diligence.

                   

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                  daddyO, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:29pm

                  Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere

                  Before you pontificate about the McDonalds coffee case - why don't you do some research. McDonalds had been repeatedly warned that people were receiving burns because it was serving coffee at near boiling temperatures. McDonalds tried to argue that you have to serve coffee at boiling point "for the taste", a BS argument shot down in flames. They had also been warned that that the lid on the cups was too fragile to act as a barrier, and that there was a significant risk of people spilling said liquid, especially when using a drive through. Moreover, the effects of spilling the boiling coffee in a car where likely to be more severe than in the restuarent becomes of the inabiliy to move out of the puddle. These spillages had happened many times. In this case the lady was SEVERELY burned. In a country which doesn't provide public health care, people are FORCED to sue to cover medical bills. McDonalds were proven to be criminally negligent for selling an unsafe product in a manner likely to cause injury, whilst knowing that reducing the temperature would significantly lower the severity of any burn injury without affecting the quality of the coffee (which they had been told on many occasions). Note that the lady in question was not driving - she was a passenger. Remember that a jury sat in this case; when asked after the trial they all said they thought the case was ridiculous UNTIL THEY HEARD THE EVIDENCE - and only then did they throw the book at McDonalds.

                   

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      Gryffydd, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:25pm

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      If you knew the facts of that coffee case you would understand why she won what she did. Try researching things instead of just shouting what you think is 'cool'. The idea that we are insanely litigous in the US isn't based on fact, it's based on illogical impressions. The ridiculous lawsuits that most people talk about are nearly always either fake, or taken out of context. We don't have idiots for judges. The stupid stuff usually gets thrown out. In this case, the RIAA has a lot of money and lobbying power behind it, that's the only reason it can do what it can.

       

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        Brian, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere sugg

        Money == Lobbying Power ??
        Then the rules are broken and need tending to.
        Any one knows that a game isn't fun if a person can simply buy / collect their way to victory.
        Just ask the folks that play MTG.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:38pm

        Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere sugg

        not stupidly litigious then... as you say, just intrinsically corrupt?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:38pm

        Re: Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere sugg

        not stupidly litigious then... as you say, just intrinsically corrupt?

         

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      iRoller, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:22pm

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      "For anyone to say this just goes to show the decline of education in the US. People sue for everything and the government does little to stop it." No, what this exchange shows is that your education did not include sufficient training in the concept of ironic writing. It was a JOKE!

       

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      aussie_joe, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      No, Please don't.
      I like it here without all you americans!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:20pm

      Please remain calm, the boat will sink shortly.

      please no one move to australia, we already have enough brainless fckwits who want to be MORE americanised! While you sad US fcks keep flushing your country down the capitalist sewer, make the most of the land of the 'free' before it collapses in a top-heavy stagnant effluent heap.

       

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      Mike, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 2:36am

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      Nooooo ! Stay there, don't come down here, we don't want you to do the same thing here. Just stay away. Go to ... Mexico or UK or ... Israel. Yes, Israel will do the best, go over there. OK ?

       

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      Greg, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 12:28pm

      Re: This is simply NOT true, and the mere suggesti

      > especially when you can become a millionaire by getting
      > burnt by coffee!!!

      This is a pretty ignorant comment. Perhaps someday you should look up what actually happened to that woman, instead of letting talk radio feed you sound bites as truth.

       

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    Scrappy, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:25am

    WARNING: HOT is not enough?

    It's coffee. Coffee is hot, sometimes boiling hot. That's why there is a warning on lid. Personal resposibility has gone out the window.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:49pm

      Re: WARNING: HOT is not enough?

      Why do you think there is a warning? It's because of this case....

       

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      Pete, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:52pm

      Re: WARNING: HOT is not enough?

      You don't get it. McDonald's failed to fix their equipment after several warnings. The jury chose a huge number to get McDonald's to pay attention.

      Personal "resposibility" has not gone out the window. However, the number of people making broad generalizations without data is increasing at a rate of 35% each quarter.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:06pm

      Re: WARNING: HOT is not enough?

      That's why there's a warning on the lid...

      There didn't used to be.

       

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      Ender, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:49pm

      Re: WARNING: HOT is not enough?

      so, you and or someone else on the face of this planet is unaware of the fact that coffee might be hot, and in fact are incapable of actually feeling same through the cup? you should of course be declared mentally incompetent and incapable of looking after yourself and in fact a danger to yourself and others, and must therefore be permanently locked up and counselled, and hopefully graduate to an assisted living arrangement ... on your OWN dime, not ours, the taxpayers and insured ... beyond that you are a consumate and criminal LIAR, and AGAIN are a danger to yourself and others and in fact must be executed before you cause any more damage to yourself or society, to save the human race.

       

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    WhoNu, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Someone needs to just flush the punch bowl and get rid of that turd RIAA. Next thing you know, they'll be asking for access to that HD that's your brain. Umm, could you please send us your head so we can search for any snippets of songs it may contain...anyway, kudos to the judge for at least putting a small hemroid in their way.

     

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    jabujie, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:53am

    Devil'

     

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    jabujie, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:58am

    Is the coffee hot enough now?

    How about if I open the Molten Lava Java shop and serve special coffee in ceramic high temperature mugs at 2000 degrees?

    Then if you spill it on yourself, hey it's your stupid fault. It's coffee. It's supposed to be hot.

    Clearly a ridiculous example, but you get the idea. The Mickey Dee's coffee lady originally only asked for a couple thousand dollars to cover her medical expenses. McD's said no. When they eventually settled (in a lawsuit), they paid a portion of the profits that McD's makes on coffee in one day. While it's a lot of money to one person, it's nothing to McD's....

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:13am

    1) The point about searching the computer has nothing to do with a "forensic expert". It's private property. What is in question here is a person's right to not have their property searched or seized without a warrant.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html

    If it were a criminal case, that computer would not be searchable without a warrant or "probable cause"... on which, admittedly, I'm not too knowledgeable. Since it's not a criminal case (contrary to the RIAA-Nazi's claims), I'm not entirely sure how the 4th applies here. Not a lawyer myself.

    But I do wonder how long until the RIAA insists that all music listeners wear little yellow stars for identification purposes... hhmmm...

    2) ...and I can't believe I'm the one pointing this out... The McDonalds coffee wasn't about being burned by hot coffee... it was about being burned by hot coffee that was heated to a temperature that exceeded the appropriate safety regulations that govern vended hot beverages. It wasn't "Hurr~ I burned myself! Gimmie money! ~hurr"... it was "Holy crap-sticks! That was waaaayyyy too hot." I've spilled my morning coffee from home on myself many times (meh... I'm clumsy before I've had my coffee... almost a catch 22). I've never required skin-grafts. It's more an annoyance than a hazard.

    That lawsuit wasn't as tart-tastic as most people try to argue... it was right for what it was. If she tried to sue because the coffee stained her clothes or startled her... then yes, it would have been idiotic.

     

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      gbphoenix, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:57pm

      Re:

      Believe me there are plenty of lawyers who should be sanctioned for letting frivolous cases go forward... People fail to mention in the McDonalds case they had over 1,000 formal complaints on file from people getting badly burned by coffee in similar incidents. Additionally, like most large awards a different judge through remittitur decreased the award to a fraction of what the jury wanted to give the woman.

       

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    Marc, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:14am

    It's a start

    Atleast it's a step in the right direction. For one case it's no big deal for a company like the RIAA to drop a couple thousand dollars on a forensic expert, but if they have to keep doing that for everycase that crops up from now on that's going to be too much of an expense for them to bear and it will slow down their investigations considerably.

     

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    John, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    The constitution doesn't apply to the RIAA

    Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures Keep in mind that the constitution only applies to government agencies and does not apply to corporations or businesses. The constitution was always intended as a way for the people to be protected from the big, powerful government. The original writers never meant for people to be protected by litigous corporations.

     

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:57am

      Re: The constitution doesn't apply to the RIAA

      As I said, I'm not sure how the 4th applies in a non-criminal case. But, as in the article, the judge seems to agree that the law should protect the citizens in that their property is protected from searches by anyone.

       

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        malhombre, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re: The constitution doesn't apply to the RIAA

        Yeah, Gabriel...what DOES the law say as to unreasonable S+S in civil cases? Do we have any protective mechanism in place, or are we at the mercy of any corporate entity that can afford enough flesh eating lobbyists to pocket some big Gov't??? (U.S.A.)

        Anyone?

         

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          Gabriel Tane (profile), Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re: The constitution doesn't apply to the

          I think it falls upon the Judges hearing the case to make that call. The appeals process will step in if someone feels the call was bad (that's sure to happen in almost every case). If necissary, it can go all the way to the Supreme Court, which can create a final and binding interpretation of the law in question.

          We're seeing step-one of this already in this case. A judge has made a legal interpretation, as is his job to do so. It'll go along from here, and eventually lodge itself in as a precident... one way or the other.

           

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      Wizard Prang, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 6:37am

      Re: The constitution doesn't apply to the RIAA

      The constitution was always intended as a way for the people to be protected from the big, powerful government. The original writers never meant for people to be protected by litigous corporations.

      True, but they way that the RIAA is behaving, it is clear that they think that they are the government...

       

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    Curtis Edenfield, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Apples & Oranges

    Both of these lawsuits really have nothing to do with each other. McD's was about stupidty on both the employees and customer.

    The RIAA has absolutley no right to demand this lady to hand over her harddrive. They first have the burden of proof to provide evidence, that a crime was commited. Then they can show thier findings to a local or federal proscutor. If the proscutor rejects it due to lack of evidence, the RIAA can take it to cival court an try to sue. This is the trick, the RIAA doesn't have to tell you a thing until after they file a cival action. In poker it's called a bluff.

    If the RIAA actually had the evidence to do anything with these people they would end up in criminal court.

    Downloading copyrighted material is illegal. If you don't want the entire CD/Album, then 99cents if pretty freaking cheap. an if a friend wants a copy, give them a link to where they can buy it.

    I have over 3500 songs on my computer, all paid for by me!

    My 2 cents
    Curtis

     

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      Nick Canuck, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:24pm

      Re: Apples & Oranges

      Actually, that's your $3465 worth, not your 2 cents worth
      ;)

      I have over 2800 songs on my computer; some were sourced from a CD someone bought, most were courtesy of BitTorrent :D. The RIAA doesn't have a finger in the distribution of most of my music, so they can lick my left nut and like it.

      I also happen to be Canadian, so it's legal, mostly.

       

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      identicon
      Ender, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:07pm

      Re: Apples & Oranges

      mr rich blowboy / fanboi ... $3500 in cash to pay for substandard copies of the latest crap that the **aa continue to put out and oevrcharge for? what a sad sad and sheltered life you lead ... how 'bout the concept of these twits proving their case instead of being permitted a free phishing expedition ... or are they merely a front for the CIA / NSA trying another roundabout way to circumvent your rights since the 9/11 fiasco? welcome to Mussolini's paradise. or is that Busholini's paradise.? papers, please ... where's your yellow six-pointed star? who are you hiding in that attic? once you've started down that slippery slope you're ALREADY 95% of the way to your destination oh, and where are the brakes?... you MUST make it IMPOSSIBLE for your politicians or corporations to violate your rights in any way shape or form ... regardless of the faulty and malicious laws they pass ... and how they attempt to manipulate reality.

       

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        Curtis Edenfield, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:17am

        Re: Re: Apples & Oranges

        mr rich blowboy / fanboi ... $3500 in cash to pay for substandard copies of the latest crap that the **aa continue to put out and oevrcharge for? what a sad sad and sheltered life you lead ... how 'bout the concept of these twits proving their case instead of being permitted a free phishing expedition ... or are they merely a front for the CIA / NSA trying another roundabout way to circumvent your rights since the 9/11 fiasco? welcome to Mussolini's paradise. or is that Busholini's paradise.? papers, please ... where's your yellow six-pointed star? who are you hiding in that attic? once you've started down that slippery slope you're ALREADY 95% of the way to your destination oh, and where are the brakes?... you MUST make it IMPOSSIBLE for your politicians or corporations to violate your rights in any way shape or form ... regardless of the faulty and malicious laws they pass ... and how they attempt to manipulate reality.

        Dude do you take psychotropic drugs? I own most of my CD's by buying them at secondhand store's, an ripped them. I don't share them on a P2P network. I really think you need some help if you think the CIA or NSA is involved.

        Better turn your computer off the FBI is watching you.

         

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      winston smith, Mar 30th, 2006 @ 4:42am

      Re: Apples & Oranges

      McD ran their machines at a temp. that was way to high to be safe , with the purpose of maximizing their profit on the coffe-sale. How can this be stupidity ?? to me it sounds quite deliberate . In my country McD has been operating for 20+ years without EVER paying ANYTHING in tax . I find it hard to feel sorry for such a leeching company , who by the way makes crappy "food" that is BAD for your health .
      In my country we have public , free healthcare for everybody , meaning the taxpayer has to pay all the expenses caused by McD and their "food".
      I say "Fuck McD , RIAA and Tacco Bell"

       

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    MarkM, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    The Constitution

    Keep in mind that the constitution only applies to government agencies and does not apply to corporations or businesses.


    I'm not sure where you got this idea, but it's simply not true. Although the Constitution acts as a guide for law-makers, it's also the law of the land. It applies to individual citizens, businesses, and the government.

     

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      Ender, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:17pm

      Re: The Constitution

      it ORIGINATES from the people and applies to EVERY american and CORPORATION and GOVERNMENT, twit. says so right in the first few words ... "WE THE PEOPLE"

       

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    Dave, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:10pm

    The only thing I find crazy about this arguement is that people talk like the coffee was 4000 degrees. It can only get to 212 degrees and it boils. Thats it, no hotter. It loses some of that temperature the second it is poured, so it was maybe 20 degrees hotter than an average cup. I am not saying I want this dumped on my groin but people make hot tea with boiling water all the time so please stop phrasing it as if the coffee was brewed in the sun.

     

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    JP, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    McFact 1For years, McDonald's had known they had a problem with the way they make their coffee - that their coffee was served much hotter (at least 20 degrees more so) than at other restaurants.

    McFact No. 2: McDonald's knew its coffee sometimes caused serious injuries - more than 700 incidents of scalding coffee burns in the past decade have been settled by the Corporation - and yet they never so much as consulted a burn expert regarding the issue.

    McFact No. 3: The woman involved in this infamous case suffered very serious injuries - third degree burns on her groin, thighs and buttocks that required skin grafts and a seven-day hospital stay.

    McFact No. 4: The woman, an 81-year old former department store clerk who had never before filed suit against anyone, said she wouldn't have brought the lawsuit against McDonald's had the Corporation not dismissed her request for compensation for medical bills.

    McFact No. 5: A McDonald's quality assurance manager testified in the case that the Corporation was aware of the risk of serving dangerously hot coffee and had no plans to either turn down the heat or to post warning about the possibility of severe burns, even though most customers wouldn't think it was possible.

    McFact No. 6: After careful deliberation, the jury found McDonald's was liable because the facts were overwhelmingly against the company. When it came to the punitive damages, the jury found that McDonald's had engaged in willful, reckless, malicious, or wanton conduct, and rendered a punitive damage award of 2.7 million dollars. (The equivalent of just two days of coffee sales, McDonalds Corporation generates revenues in excess of 1.3 million dollars daily from the sale of its coffee, selling 1 billion cups each year.)

    McFact No. 7: On appeal, a judge lowered the award to $480,000, a fact not widely publicized in the media.

    McFact No. 8: A report in Liability Week, September 29, 1997, indicated that Kathleen Gilliam, 73, suffered first degree burns when a cup of coffee spilled onto her lap. Reports also indicate that McDonald's consistently keeps its coffee at 185 degrees, still approximately 20 degrees hotter than at other restaurants. Third degree burns occur at this temperature in just two to seven seconds, requiring skin grafting, debridement and whirlpool treatments that cost tens of thousands of dollars and result in permanent disfigurement, extreme pain and disability to the victims for many months, and in some cases, years.


    Note--the rewards was also reduced 30% due to the fault of the victom in contributing to the damage--ie, her responsibility was taken into account, but it did not completely nullify McDonalds responsibility to sell a SAFE product.

     

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    poopmonkey, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    FREE THE MUSIC

    In the future ALL music will be free. When music is free, only true musicians will make music. No more boy bands, no more pop divas. They only want money, not to make music. Compact discs will go the way of the 8-track. Digital music player will reign supreme for all eternity.
    Musicians can make plenty of money from merchandise, live concerts, etc.

    Share and Enjoy.

     

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    S5th, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 2:26pm

    I don't know how you guys got so off topic...

    did anyone here about the "subliminal" messages that the RIAA supposedly put into the the downloaded music scene?

    maybe if they search the computers for these songs, and then erase them life would go alot easier for people.

    cause probably the last thing that the RIAA wants to do is get sued for putting those messages in the songs and causing public unrest.

     

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    Mr Rat, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 3:01pm

    Save the Music Fan

    I like this new site http://www.savethemusicfan.com/index.html

    its from Terry McBride, CEO Nettwerk Music Group - finally someone in the record industry is making some sense

    time to get their shit together and realise they cant litigate their way back into a market - all these cases do is advertise file sharing networks (for free) and cause more people to join them

    I wanted to work for a record label once - unfortunately I have a degree in Law not stupidity so I'm just not qualified...

     

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    Kyle Pointer, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:32pm

    DRM is a bad thing...

    [ on the topic of DRM ]
    I don't like DRM. It makes it really hard for me to buy songs legally off of say.. iTunes and have it play on my Linux box; which is perfectly legal. It's also a pain to get my music to play on my LifeDrive [ palm device ].
    And there was a study recently that said DRM'd music causes a 25% reduction of battery life in mp3 players and similar devices.

     

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    agarillo, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:33pm

    MC Donalds

    The facts of the MCDonalds case are that MC Donalds had been fined constantly for serving coffee at scolding temperatures -- far above legal limits because it keeps the coffee fresher longer and thus improves profits.

    MC Donalds broke the law willfully with a disregard for safety -- the judgement against it was designed to make it *MORE* profitable for McDonalds to lower the temperature of its coffee and *NOT GET SUED* than for it to continue serving dangerous coffee and saving money.

    This is a (rare) example of the system working.

     

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    John, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:51pm

    On Topic?

    Back on topic.... who cares about the coffee lawsuit.

     

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    Jonathan Magnus, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:08pm

    I am a Forensics Expert. Hire me.

    Since the RIAA is paying and I am from out of state, my going rate is $2.3 Billion per day. Shouldn't take more than a couple of days, plus travel time. It is a little high, but that fee should slow the RIAA down a bit.
    (I don't expect the job, but most of it would go to charity.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:21pm

    I think they must of got her IP or MAC address somehow.. sharing songs on a pulic network that points to your IP .. probably is proof enough.. but i dont know all the facts of this case

     

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    Scion, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:05pm

    The ridiculous lawsuits that most people talk about are nearly always either fake, or taken out of context. We don't have idiots for judges. The stupid stuff usually gets thrown out. If that was true then why can a thief sue the store when they break in at night & trip & fall and break their leg or something. The fact that they even take the time to listen to that plea shows how idiotic they are.

     

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    Sabalo, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 5:44am

    No right to music.

    To all of the children crying that "music wants to be free" and "I steal music to help the artists"...

    YOU are the reason that we have DRM. YOU are the reason the DMCA passed.

    I detest the DMCA, and I fully support fair use, but when idiots decide to constantly download music because "it isn't good enough to buy", then I am forced to understand why the creators of music and movies feel the need to protect their work with DRM.

    Revelation: You do not have a right to music. You can buy it, you can make fair use copies of your copy for personal use, you can SELL your hardcopy... but if you've never bought the music in the first place, you're just violating the rights of the creator of that work. Congrats.

    If you don't think the music is worth buying? Don't buy it.

    Do I think the RIAA and MPAA overstep thier bounds? Of course. Do I want them reined in? Of course. Do I think they have the right to protect their copyrights in light of wanton violation?

    Of course.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2006 @ 1:21pm

      Re: No right to music.

      Actually the DMCA was passed into law before napster before mp3 before any real downloading of music as a new method of stopping the old pirates who sold pirated tapes and cd's on street corners and to small shops as legitimate tapes and cd's. I recall one case in the late 80's where a truck load of pirate tapes and cd's was caught at the us/mexican boarder and siezed. I forget the esstimated street value but for the time it was quite high.

      So your argument that the illegal downloads of music is responsible for it is mute.

      DRM is just the next round of the same fight that started out against the old pirates that copied CD's and tapes and sold them on the street corners or to small shops etc... Only now it includes downloaded mp3's thanks to illegal downloads.

      But i would argue DRM would have come even without online piracy simply as a matter of course.

      Finnally it's is only fair to mention that the music industry have been no saints in all of this either. During the time the napster case was going through the courts it came out that the Big 5 in the music industry was caught engadging in price fixing over a 5 year period where they all agreed not to compete and instead raise the price of music cd's by $5 a disc to make more money. Of course it's good for buisness but also illegal. This started long before napster before music downloads, the music industry started ripping the american public off by $5 a disc for each disc.

      Now pot calling the kettle black aside here (or outright theft if you ask me some people should have gone to jail over it) what did they get? A fine by the government and governmental oversight for 20 years plus a lawsuit that was laughing meant to be on behalf of the people to get money back.

      The end result was that out of a $10 million settlement less than a 1/10th went to pay back the people that were lucky enough to know about the case which wasn't openly publisized so few knew and even thoughs that did know and met all the requirements in the time frame given to apply nobody got more than $20 no matter how much they had been ripped off.

      The rest of the settlement money went to of course the lawyers. Now keep in mind this was at a time when the music industry was earning multi billions (between 13 billion at the start and 17 billion at the end For thoughs who don't want to do the math that's about 2.6 billion stolen profit from a year they made 13 billion while at the same time they were claiming illegal downloads were hurting music sales to the tune of 300 some million) each year from CD and tape sales. Lesson here crime does pay but only if your in big buisness or a lawyer.

      Quote> Do I think the RIAA and MPAA overstep thier bounds? Of course. Do I want them reined in? Of course. Do I think they have the right to protect their copyrights in light of wanton violation?
      I think the better last question should be do I think they should still be serving out a sentence of 10 to 15 years for commiting such a seveare crime against the american people?

      Of course.

      But then i also think their bank accounts should have been seized their homes and all their possesion should have been taken away and sold at public auction and the proccedes put towards paying back the depts the US had racked up during the current administration rather than the current idea of applying the dept towards future generations (and letting these theives get away from this and then profit further off of sueing their customers) like is happening currently.

      Instead we get to all hope that in some cosmic way they'll get whats comming to them in the end unless their is no god or other carmic way of balancing out the scales. In that case they pretty much got away with the next best thing to murder. And are sitting pretty right now complaining their the ones being hurt.

      What about the artists? yeah right like even if things all went the RIAA's way the artist would ever get anything more than their getting now.


      But thats just my view on the whole mess.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 6:37pm

    Not quite fair use

    "Revelation: You do not have a right to music. You can buy it, you can make fair use copies of your copy for personal use, you can SELL your hardcopy... but if you've never bought the music in the first place, you're just violating the rights of the creator of that work. Congrats. " Actually, according to the RIAA, you can't sell your hardcopy, you can't make copies of CDs for personal use, that's the point. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/83570/ripping-music-for-mp3-players-is-not-fair-use-riaa.html That' s a major reason that people don't want to buy cds, is because they can't do anything with them other than listen to them, at least according to the RIAA. Yes, yes, you say, 'but that's just according to the RIAA. They aren't a ruling body, just a corporation' Well, do you want to go to court and spend time fighting a legal battle like that? Most people don't.

     

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    Mongocrush, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 3:28pm

    Stop with the coffee

    Geez people stop with the coffee. The only similarity between the two is they are both lawsuits. Lets get back to the real issue ok.

    The RIAA=BAD, Pirates=GOOD

     

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    Lisa smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 4:24pm

    RIAA

    It sounds like you are screwed anyway even after you loose the cd to breaking after ripping cds you legally bought to your hd. You are supposed to get rid of thjem because of not owning copyright anymore. I hope they get burned by the lady

     

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    DV Henkel-Wallace, Sep 2nd, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Actually the request is more nuanced than you say,

    The RIAA is claiming that forensic examination is needed because the defendent could have renamed or deleted evidence. This is reasonable. The defendent's suggestion of a keyword search is bogus (if worth asking for I suppose). If the judge chooses her own expert she makes a good attempt to meet the legitimate needs of both sides. It is pretty pathetic that the RIAA is quoting all those decisions from the most plaintiff-friendly federal court in the USA though! But just because the RIAA is a bunch of facist assholes with read-only minds doesn't mean they can't ask for something reasonable once in a while. Oh: and the fourth amendment doesn't apply the way people see to think it might in a case of civil discovery. Sorry.

     

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    kongsuni, Feb 19th, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    i'd have to agree with the person who said that musicians can make a lot of money by selling merchandise & touring. if they can give their music to radio stations and let people listen to it for free on the radio, they can let us have the music to listen to, too. if we like the band or the artist, we'll buy their merchandise & pay to go see them live. the music itself should be free.

    the riaa can toss my salad.

    stealing movies is a little different, though. i think they should cut the cost of going to see a movie & make their money off of merchandise & hardcopies of the dvds. they should also allow people to download the movies for a fraction of the cost of the hardcopy. that's where they could make up some of the money they'd lose from people going to the theater & the customers, i think, would get more for their money.

    of course that stuff will never happen, but it's nice to dream.

    if they didn't make music that sucked & didn't have such sh!tty actors & actresses, we'd actually buy their products. doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

     

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