RIAA Also Tells Judge That Proof Shouldn't Be Necessary To Sue For Infringement

from the heard-this-before dept

Following in the footsteps of the MPAA, the RIAA has now filed its response in the Jammie Thomas case, claiming again that actual proof of distribution doesn't make sense: "Requiring proof of actual transfers would cripple efforts to enforce copyright owners' rights online." See, there's just one problem with this. The law isn't designed to make it easy to enforce copyright owners rights. It's designed to make sure that only the guilty party is actually blamed for breaking the law. So the fact that it's "difficult" shouldn't sway the judge.

Furthermore, while the discussion here was supposed to focus on whether or not "making available" is infringement, it looks like the RIAA decided to pull in a bunch of other arguments as well, noting that Thomas downloaded many of the songs in her folder (yet, the case was about uploading, not downloading), and that none of it matters because the RIAA actually does have proof of distribution (in the form of Media Sentry downloading the files). Again, though, those points are not what's up for debate here. So, once again, we have the RIAA trying to cloud the issue. Oh yeah, and, of course, the RIAA can't resist using its bogus arguments that international treaties require US courts to treat making available as distribution. That's an incredibly weak argument, based on the idea that these treaties, often written by the industry, and approved by diplomats who don't understand what they really mean, should be binding over what the law actually says.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Married to the Mob, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 8:28am

    RIAA Wants...

    No burden of proof? WOW! That's a slippery slope. I wonder how it would transpire in other cases. Would it trample over due process and trial system? Here's the start of a comedy a network should pick up. Let's take a look:

    Jerk: "You Hit My Car!"
    Me: "No I didn't."
    Jerk: "I'm going to sue!"
    Judge: "There's no proof but because a suit was brought against you, your GUILTY"

    Later...
    Inmate: "What are you in for?"
    Me: "Yah. The rich dicked me over and now I play the harmonica all day"
    Inmate: "That's fucked up."
    Guard: "HEY, Are you Joe Sixpack?"
    Me: "Yes"
    Guard: "You got a letter From Warner Music"
    Me (Opening the Letter): "Fuck. Warner's suing me for playing Happy Birthday on my Harmonica!"
    Inmate: "Oh Shit"

     

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  2.  
    icon
    deadzone (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 8:35am

    Wow

    I sure hope the Judge sees through these transparent and stupid arguments as well as mis-direction that the RIAA is trying to pull.

    It's too hard is a ridiculous excuse to make. The Burden of Proof falls on you RIAA, and it must be proved just like in any other case.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:03am

    How are these fools allowed to continue abusing the courts and tax dollars with these retarded law suits stuffed with lies and smoke-screens?

    Welcome to America! Home of the weekly corporate money grab!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Taxes

    If they want IP to have the protections of tangible property then they need to start claiming it as property and paying imaginary property taxes.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:27am

    Re: Taxes

    Damn good point.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:27am

    That's fine - let them - we can all sue various artists and the RIAA stating that they infringed on our copyrights.

    Proof? We don't need no stinking proof!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    eleete, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    "How are these fools allowed to continue abusing the courts and tax dollars with these retarded law suits stuffed with lies and smoke-screens?"

    In a single word.... Lobbyists, they've got em, and they pay em to push laws through that help their old business models. Now that you know, you can google RIAA lobbyists and find out quite a bit.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Vendetta, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Stupid RIAA

    I'm going to sue the artists who write obscene lyrics into their music because they are corrupting my kids. I don't need any proof right?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    eleete, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    Great point, and while we're at it, how about harassment, extortion and racketeering... as those are all equally (if not more so) hard to prove.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 9:47am

    real simple precedent

    It's already been established in real life. A cop can't arrest you for selling drugs unless he sees you sell them, or buys them from you.

    Simply having them is a crime in itself, but it's not distribution. The same should apply here. Downloading songs and having them is illegal - but it's not distribution unless they actually download it.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    SilverBlade, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:05am

    Fuck them

    Fuck the RIAA. I'm going to stop buying music and stop supporting their shit.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:09am

    Re: real simple precedent

    True, but if you have over a certain amount of drugs, i.e more then 10kg or something, they can arrest you for With intent to sell/distribute.

    Granted that would never work for this, I know too many people that have a large music library.

     

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  13.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: real simple precedent

    That's actually been the biggest problem for the music industry if you think about it... The people who often distribute the most music (i.e. those with large libraries) are more often than not the RIAA's biggest customers. It's impossible to go after the people "losing" them money without going after those making them the biggest profits...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Tomoyo, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:37am

    Fucking lol

    This is what it must have been like to watch the dinosaurs claw at the earth in a desperate attempt to grasp something that could save them. Hilariously tragic, like when a clown dies.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    i agree, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:41am

    *bump* for SilverBlade

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Innocent until proven guilty ?

    Innocent until proven guilty . . . has this just gone out of the window ?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:06am

    Re: Fuck them

    You're a little late to that party...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Michial, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:15am

    Extortion

    Doesn't the way that RIAA and MPAA both go about these cases constitute extortion. I have been reading different cases about this over the past few years, and it seems that everything starts with a letter from one or the other that basically says "we have proof your distributing pirated material, pay us $xxxxx or we will take you to court"

    Seems that by most states definition that would qualify as extortion. Why hasn't their tactics been prosecuted by some DA somewhere?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:43am

    All it Takes....

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Re: Extortion

    Doesn't the way that RIAA and MPAA both go about these cases constitute extortion.
    IANAL, but the way I understand it is that if you threaten to turn somebody over to the police for prosecution if they don't pay up then that it's called "extortion". But, if you threaten to sue somebody if they don't pay up then it's called "negotiation".

     

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  21.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jul 1st, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Here's a question....

    His Mikeness Wrote:
    ...none of it matters because the RIAA actually does have proof of distribution (in the form of Media Sentry downloading the files).

    It seems to me highly likely that Media Sentry has been granted some sort of written indemnification absolving it from copyright infringement while gathering its "evidence".

    If that is true, isn't the "distribution" TO Media Sentry in fact "Authorized" and not Un-Authorized??

    MediaSentry "created" the evidence by making a copy. If they were pre-authorized to make copies of RIAA covered works, no unauthorized distribution occured. Right?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Taxes

    Correction:

    If they want IP to have the protections of tangible property then they need to start claiming it as property and paying real taxes dollars on their so called imaginary property.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 1:08pm

    Re: real simple precedent

    "Downloading songs and having them is illegal"

    No it's not. You are falling for the industry propoganda without even realizing it. Downloading songs IS NOT illegal, only distributing them is illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Greg, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Taxes

    Nice one...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    Conflict of Interest/ Special Interest

    Let the truth be known, the RIAA does not have to prove anything. They have the government in their pocket and pretty much can get what they want at any time. Keep in mind the RIAA group has very powerful political ties. Have you ever heard the name Hillary Rosen? No? Guess what, She was the CEO of the RIAA... Whats she doing now? Writing for Huffington Post Hobnobbing with Senators, governors etc.. How much cash do you think she sends on over to the Democratic Party? The good news is that Rosens candidate Clinton did not win. If that would have been the case her connections would have potentially reached all the way to the top spot in the government. Not that she will be inhibited by this. (Someone should research how much money the special intrest group RIAA has contributed to the parties)

    The RIAA is the government. They dont have to follow the law. They make the law. Someone said downloading songs is not illegal :) Well... It is if the RIAA Says so. So how does a good Democrat like Hillary Rosen represent the working class? By suing an 20 year old for thousands of dollars for that bootleg copy of music on their computer. Certainly looking out for the interests of the working class huh...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Taxes

    Please don't give them any ideas. The government is only partially behind them ATM. But if these guys start paying taxes, then the IRS might realize that pirates are denying them their slice of the pie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    sovereignjohn, Jul 1st, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    Creative Commons...

    I've stopped listen to and buying embedded media. Why listen or watch media that wish to put us in prison if we don't follow their rules. With Creative Commons I can copy, mix and reuse legally. Why are we buying media from embedded media that seeks to make us criminals? This embedded media has so many rules now we're all quite likely breaking their rules every time we use their product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Steve, Jul 2nd, 2008 @ 10:05am

    This brief claims the industry (copyright owner) has total control of distribution and potential distribution, including all sales and transfers or copyright materials, including simply making media available to others. WOW! While this may be intended to authorize seeking damages against someone who simply puts a digital copy of media into a share folder, the language could as easily be applied to go after someone selling original CDs on e-bay, at a garage sale, or simply putting them out in a box marked "free - take one." If the copyright owner has the exclusive right to distribute their media through sale or transfer, then all personal subsequent sales and transfers -- even giving someone media as a gift -- could be subject to MPAA action per the terms laid out in this brief. Again -- WOW!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Natanael L (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: real simple precedent

    Neither is if the songs have free licenses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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