It's unlikely that this will come as a shock to, well, anyone, but it turns out that the RIAA (or companies RIAA members have hired) will blast off DMCA notices with extremely weak evidence (found via Torrent Freak). In fact, it's possible to do absolutely nothing wrong, but still get yourself a DMCA notice. Even worse, the article explains how to get someone else accused of unauthorized file sharing, even if they've done nothing of the sort. Basically, BayTSP, the company that RIAA members use to hunt down unauthorized file sharers online, sets up fake trackers for torrent files that pretend to be popular content. Then, BayTSP records the IP addresses of anyone who connects to the tracker even if they don't upload a thing (which you need to do to break the law). Of course, the RIAA has already been pushing the courts to suggest that simply making content available is the equivalent of distribution -- so perhaps they're hoping to also convince people that just connecting to a tracker is infringement. They could claim intent -- that no one would connect without intent to redistribute the content -- but as the original article notes, it's easy to trick people into connecting to the tracker, even if they have no intention of getting or distributing the file. Of course, now that it's clear how flimsy the basis is for some of these DMCA claims, perhaps judges will start pushing the RIAA to come to court with a little more proof in the future -- and if they can't, make them pay up on legal fees.
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