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RIAA Wants To Start Peeking Into Files You Store In The Cloud

from the of-course-they-do dept

The RIAA really just doesn't know when to give up attacking and to start innovating. Its latest legal move is to file for a subpoena to get information from cloud storage provider Box.net to see if some people are using the service to store and share unauthorized music. There are, of course, a variety of different services out there for cloud storage, that allow individuals, small groups and companies to share files -- not for illicit purposes, but because that's how collaboration and sharing work. I use just such a service to share photos with my family, and another to share documents with coworkers.

But, of course, technologically speaking, the actions of these systems can just as easily be used to share unauthorized content in a potentially infringing manner, and it appears that this is what the RIAA is targeting. As Eriq Gardner notes at the link above, it's not at all clear what the RIAA intends to do with the information it gets. It's difficult to see how it could sue Box.net, who almost certainly has no real liability here, but it could go after the users -- something we'd thought the RIAA had sworn off for the time being.

The whole thing just seems like a waste of time. This is what computers do. They copy. There's always a way to copy. Pretending you can stop that isn't rational. What would be rational is helping the RIAA member labels adapt, but for whatever reason, that just doesn't appear to be within the RIAA's skillset.


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  1.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Who bears the cost?

    Who will bear the cost of fulfilling these subpoenas?

    Everyone else. That's who.

    It is everyone else's job to support the RIAA's obsolete business model.

    Consumer Electronics.
    ISP's.
    Hosting providers.
    Search Engines.

    And now any type of new service that has substantial noninfringing uses.

    Of course, they don't care about noninfringing uses. They'll come here and whine about "enablers and facilitators". They don't care about anyone's rights or privacy either.

    They don't care if it breaks the Internet. They'll just answer with "I just don't see it". Of course. There are none so blind as those who willfully cover their eyes. See no evil.

    Of course, since I say this, I'll be accused of supporting piracy.

     

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  2.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Why wouldn't Box.net be liable for contributory or vicarious infringement? It they're making money and directly aiding someone to distribute copyrighted material I'd think it at least goes to trial.

     

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    DannyB (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Why doesn't the RIAA just get a blanket subpoena to search all homes and offices in America?

     

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    Gregory, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    the NRA's skillset

    "The whole thing just seems like a waste of time. This is what guns can do. They can kill people. There's always a way to use a gun to kill people. Pretending you can stop that isn't rational."

    That's all true, too. I guess we'll just have to give up on gun control and adapt.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Who bears the cost?

    I hereby accuse you of supporting piracy.

    :-P

     

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  6.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    Because Box.net has no actual knowledge of any infringement.

    Using that logic, why wouldn't the provider of the wires that transmitted the files be liable for contributory or vicarious infringement? After all, they were one of those enablers and facilitators. It was their wires that carried the unauthorized bits.

    Also why shouldn't router providers, say Cisco, also be liable? Their routers processed and forwarded each and every single packet containing unauthorized bits.

     

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  7.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    > This is what computers do. They copy.
    > There's always a way to copy.
    > Pretending you can stop that isn't rational.


    Trying to make strings of ones and zeros not copyable is like trying to make water not wet.

    Since when did anyone accuse the RIAA of being rational?

     

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    Gwiz (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Something that I am curious about is whether any of these cloud services are being used by any musicians to collaborate on songwriting between band members.

    It seems like a reasonable possibility to me - lead guitar puts up a riff and the bass player adds the bass line and the drummer adds the percussion, etc..

    If this is true - I wonder what these artists have to say about the RIAA taking this action concerning the cloud services.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    Trying to make strings of ones and zeros not copyable is like trying to make water not wet.

    Easy peasy. Just make some numbers illegal.

     

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  10.  
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    Kendo, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Kind of funny how no one has mentioned, HOW they will know certain files are illegal and not ones just ripped from a cd someone owns?

     

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  11.  
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    Dementia (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: the NRA's skillset

    Please do, especially since the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutional right. And don't start how that's only a small part of what the second amendment says, I'm fully aware of the entire text, just as I am aware of the recent SCOTUS ruling that said the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right.

     

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  12.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Music collaboration

    That happens.

    Check out soundcloud.com

    It's not exactly what you've described, but bears some real similarity.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    They nearly have it already with the dilution of the 4th and the provision in PROTECT IP about private right of action. In California, any CD/DVD manufacturing facility can be searched without a warrant, and you can bet that will be stretched to include any building or home containing a computer with a CD/DVD burner.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    Why wouldn't Box.net be liable for contributory or vicarious infringement?

    I would assume that they are shielded via the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions. They would have to react to take down notices like any other service provider.

    I am not exactly sure how these cloud services work, but I would assume that most all exchanges are private and I am not sure how a rights holder would even know about an infringement without violating privacy.

     

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    Wingman, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    If Box.net is liable, why stop there? Shouldn't hard drive manufacturers be liable? How about RAM manufacturers? How about Microsoft and Apple for building that pesky copy command into their OSes? It just makes no sense.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    > It they're making money and directly aiding
    > someone to distribute copyrighted material
    > I'd think it at least goes to trial.

    That's like saying the phone company is liable for the illicit/illegal actions of anyone using a telephone to conspire to commit a crime because they're making money off the phone accounts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    Exactly. If they find music on the service are they going to demand to know if that music is being distributed to multiple IP addresses, subpoena the ISP's to find out if those IP addresses could have been more than a single person and then try and sue those people?

    I mean, it's not illegal to just store your personal collection on the service, so I fail to see the purpose of their request.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    They think that's illegal too.

     

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    MrWilson, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    For the same reason that car manufacturers aren't liable for hit and runs committed by people who buy their cars or kitchen knife manufacturers for murders committed by people who use their knives as murder weapons.

    Tools are not good or bad. It's all in the intent of the user. Cloud services are just tools. So are the RIAA members.

     

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    Joshy, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Shouldn't there be some form of probable cause and a need for a search warrant. Also how is it they have jurisdictation shouldn't it be law enforcement that not the RIAA. I mean If you steal car parts and store them in a storage unit the "Police" still needs a search warrant before rummaging through your unit.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Why wouldn't Box.net be liable for contributory or vicarious infringement? It they're making money and directly aiding someone to distribute copyrighted material I'd think it at least goes to trial

    Did you forget the /sarc tag?

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Whatever.

    All I've got stored in there is a bunch of K-Tel compilations in .csv format.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: the NRA's skillset

    You fail at analogies... terribly.

    If the RIAA was trying to prevent people to buy, own, and use computers at their discretion for purposes they determine... your analogy would hold. As is, you're as far off as is possible.

     

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  24.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Jagadeeswari Yalla

     

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  25.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: the NRA's skillset

     

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  26.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: whoops - That is why "cloud" computing will never take off

     

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  27.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    The distinction is Box.net has some ability(although tenuous as it may be) to control what information is stored and accessed on its servers. Google(Amazon v. Perfect 10) was not found liable for using thumbnail images because it was impossible to police the entire internet and limit the images, but this is the extreme end and may or may not apply here. A non-internet example(which is where this flows from) was a swap meet operator where vendors sold copyrighted work without a license, and the Swap Meet was held liable(Fonovisa v. Cherry Auction). This seems a little more likely to be something that Box.net could police(if it's just users storing info on the service, but I'm not entirely familiar with this service). I just find the off handed comment that there is no real reason for liability to be disingenuous.

    As for all the other analogies in the replies, the key here is control. Once you sell something to someone else, you lost control, and therefore liability for its use does not flow back.

     

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  28.  
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    houstonspace (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    How can they tell?

    Does the RIAA have a magical crystal ball? How do they know if the music I upload is from my collection, or is stolen?

     

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    Pips, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Makes sense.

    It reads like the RIAA are going after specific people, not the company itself. So a warrant to look at specific people would probably be needed, and hopefully to gain that warrant they would need hard evidence. IP addresses aren't cutting it much anymore since spoofing is so easy. So hopefully the RIAA has video footage of the people at home uploading illegal files to box.net.

    Yeah... right.

     

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  30.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    I think that's the catch 22 for the RIAA. Really, the only thing they could do is subpoena download records and make a case that user X happened to download the same album from the site on 15,000 different occasions to IP address across the globe, which would imply(strongly I might add) that the individual was distributing music through the site.

     

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  31.  
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    houstonspace (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    I said the same thing.

     

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  32.  
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    khory (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Question

    How exactly do they determine if a song is unauthorized?

    I have plenty of stuff from a LONG time ago that I ripped myself from CD's I've owned. I had those way before I ever had purchased any music online. Would they call those files unauthorized?

     

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    houstonspace (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re:

    What if I have my music stored on music.google.com. Apple's iCloud, Amazon Cloud, Box.net, Evernote, etc.? I may give false / different info to each service (i.e. date of birth) when I setup my accounts. This might lead the RIAA to beleive I'm distributing it to different people. It might be weird to store my music on several accounts, but not illegal. That's my 2-cents.

     

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  34.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Why? If I'm missing how Box.net works let me know, but here are the rules.

    Contributory Liability must have
    (1) Knowledge of a third party's infringing activity; AND
    (2) induce, cause or materially contribute to the infringing conduct

    Vicarious Liability must have
    (1) the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct; AND
    (2) a direct financial interest in the infringing activity

    As I stated above, you can avoid Vicarious Liability if you show that there's no way you can police the activity (Google thumbnails), but that would likely be a question of fact and get past any 12b(6) motions(motion to dismiss for no claim).

     

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    taxbuster, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Um - how about encryption?

    So, encrypt the files at the user end and upload 'em. End of story. Just random digits that are meaningless in the cloud. That is the ONLY way I'd store data there.

    (And it is so nice being Canadian - we don't have that kind of stupid law!)

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    RIAA takes on the eye glass industry next. If people can see, they can infringe!

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Contributory Liability must have
    (1) Knowledge of a third party's infringing activity; AND
    - how does Box.net know something is infringing?

    (2) induce, cause or materially contribute to the infringing conduct
    - no different than Google, they are the host not the gatekeeper.

    Vicarious Liability must have
    (1) the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct; AND
    - 'supervise' implies they review submissions prior to posting. I'm assuming people upload stuff directly to their own 'vault', hence no supervision ability exists. Simply because it *can* be used illegally isn't enough.

    (2) a direct financial interest in the infringing activity
    - This probably points more toward the bittorrent stuff. Limewire, Napster etc where they were found to be actively telling people to do illegal things with their software. I don't know that Box.net is doing this, do you?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Who bears the cost?

    Fighting pirates is in the Constitution!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Question

    Of course they would. If the RIAA had its way you would not be able to rip a CD legally period.

     

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    Brian, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: How can they tell?

    The don't know it, yet they expect YouTube, box.net, et al to know it.

     

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  41.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you can come up with an absolutely 100% accurate method of determining which files are infringing then MAYBE you might have a valid point but you're still invading someone's privacy without proof or reason to suspect them of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

    If you don't have a problem with an illegal search based on absolutely zero evidence then you may be living in the wrong country or you might change your mind if some nefarious person pointed their crooked finger and said "I think he's a criminal!" and you become the target of the witch hunt yourself.

    I'm personally convinced that Salem NEVER burned an actual witch, even once. However, many people died because of the accusations of those who had no idea what the hell they were talking about but had the power to bring about the death of an innocent person.

    I don't believe the RIAA is actually going to cause someone's death with their actions but perhaps ruining someone's life while they are still alive is an even worse fate.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: the NRA's skillset

    I knew it! Copyright infringement is the exact same thing as murder! I mean, they're both against the law, right?

    Totally the same thing. And they say tyranny is the death of nuance.

     

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  43.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, it all boils down to: Only the copyright holder and the end-user are in a position to know whether or not a particular file is properly licensed or not.

    Suggesting that every site that might possibly host user-submitted content must install a filter or whatnot is both a non-starter as well as an unnecessary business expense when DMCA Safe Harbors apply.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: whoops - That is why "cloud" computing will never take off

    It already has taken off so I'm not really sure what you mean by this.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do Internet Hosting Companies have vicarious liability for every website they host?

     

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  46.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To me, this isn't an issue about the actual file, its the further distribution of files. I don't have exact knowledge of how box.net works,so let me know if I have one of the facts totally wrong, but I'm assuming it's very similar to Amazon which allows a user to upload and download music from his space on the cloud, and then stream it anywhere.

    This means there could be 2 possible forms of distribution, either downloading the content by another user or the streaming of the content to someone who isn't the owner of that space on the cloud.

    As far as your straw men, nowhere did I say I agree with the blind issuance of a subpoena(I haven't read it so I don't know what details they have). If they have evidence that people are using it for illegal purposes, then it's probably part of discovery once it gets into court, although I really think that initial hurdle will be tough to overcome.

    My issue(and please re-read so you can make sure I'm not changing my story) was that Box.net was not liable for infringement, if it actually is occurring. I think that's something ripe to be in a case law book in about 5 years(2 for the DC opinion, 2 for further appeals, 1 for editing and printing into the book).

     

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  47.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Contributory liability is easily avoided by the safe harbors, and doubt that it's even applicable here (I was just posting for reference and completeness)

    Vicarious is where I think there's a shot, maybe about 20-30% depending on the judge and the jury. Certainly not cut and dry though. I think you're misreading supervise, the few cases I read make supervise sound somewhere between "control" and "effect." I don't think it would hinge on the interpretation of that. To me it's more of the ability to supervise, which I'm not sure they have except for extreme cases where people are using their servers to distribute music. The second part isn't intent driven. It's whether they make money from that activity(to be extremely blunt).

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    what is legal

    Does the RIAA have a list somewhere that shows what actually is legal to do with a song/license/whatever that I've legally purchased? Am I allowed to rip it from CD to a different format? Am I allowed to copy it from my PC to my phone/ipod/media server? Can I keep an offsite backup? Can I retrieve my offsite backup? I'm not even sure if it's legal to listen to music with someone else in the room.

    Their link to Legal Music sites is down. Apparently they can't think of any...

    http://www.riaa.com/toolsforparents.php?content_selector=legal_music_sites

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    The RIAA really just doesn't know when to give up attacking and to start innovating.

    neither do you, apparently.

     

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    Danny (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Um - how about encryption?

    This is probably the next wave of service box.net, dropbox, etc will provide: built in ability to encrypt your files upon upload.

    Once they do that, they can give all our info to RIAA and it will be gibberish. Of course, if I name a file something like stairwaytoheaven.mp3, encryption won't hide much (though some us us will have fun naming soft porn files like that just beggin' them to peek.)

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    Go away RIAA stooge

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The distinction is Box.net has some ability(although tenuous as it may be) to control what information is stored and accessed on its servers.

    ISPs can "see" the same information passing through their network too, and they can ban a user from their service. However if an ISP or Box.net decided to randomly or systematically police their networks:

    1) It's an invasion of privacy.
    2) There's no master database to match the raw information up against. There's no way to tell what is infringing and what isn't outside of a court ruling. There are fair use provisions and potential contracts that the end user has that the ISP has no knowledge of.
    3) When it comes to people transferring encrypted information, it's technically impossible to use that raw data in any meaningful manner without the key.

    ISPs and Box.net have about as much control as the electric company. If someone was using the electricity in their house to perform electrocutions on victims, should the electric company be liable? How the hell would they know the difference between a human frying or a heavy appliance being turned on?

    Once you sell something to someone else, you lost control, and therefore liability for its use does not flow back.

    Right, unless they had knowledge that someone was doing something illegal and didn't stop it. If a purchaser tells a gun dealer he wants to buy a gun to commit mass murder and the gun dealer doesn't notify the police, he may be found liable if he goes through with it. The same thing goes for a user on the internet telling their ISP that they're about to break copyright law, which is an exchange that probably never happens, but if it did the ISP may be liable.

     

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  53.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Question

    Ideally, they'd want you to pay for the music every time you listened to it.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Encrypt, dammit!

    Look, TrueCrypt is open-source, runs on all kinds of platforms, and works beautifully. (And it's hardly the only open-source encryption program that uses proven algorithms.)

    SSH et.al. work nicely for transport, including setting up VPNs with strong encryption and compression.

    All these technologies (and related ones) should be in use all the time, as a defense against the inferior people in the RIAA, the equally inferior people in the MPAA, and the even more inferior people in governments who are traitors to their own laws.

    Encrypt. And do not surrender the keys.

     

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  55.  
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    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (1) it may be an ethical invasion of privacy, but I'm not sure if the user actually has any rights in this instance. For Amazon(the service I've actually done my Homework on), you essentially waive any rights you have and they are allowed to access the information at all times.
    (2) I said this somewhere else, but I'll reiterate for convenience, it's not a question of whether the actual song was downloaded illegally. It's the use of the Box.net system to distribute music illegally that will get it into trouble. I agree, the actual music on the servers would be impossible to police, but who actually accesses it and how ofter are things that would be less outrageous.
    (3) OK. Does Box.net not log where the account was accessed from? Is this impossible?

    As for the last statement, I'm not really sure the generalization is correct(although the gun example probably is in most states due to legislation).

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Re: How can they tell?

    They don't but I'm sure the are willing to subpoena you and sue you to find out

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    One of these days someone is going to create an encrypted Web Locker to store files. With the encryption keys held by the user and not the web locker. After that it will become standard to encrypt everything on these types of services. Making any future legal request for files or information about files moot.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Ian, May 20th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    Re: the NRA's skillset

    @Mike "This is what computers do. They copy. There's always a way to copy."

    @Gregory "This is what guns can do. They can kill people. There's always a way to use a gun to kill people."

    Let's look at these two assertions together.

    Guns can kill people. We don't want people killed so we attempt to regulate who can own a gun, what kind of gun and ammunition they can own, and how much of it they can buy. To the extent that gun control works, that is how it works.

    Computers copy things. Using the logic behind gun control we should not be wasting our time trying to regulate what people can /do/ with their computers but rather who can have a computer at all, how much bandwidth they can use, and how large a hard drive they can buy. Which would actually work quite nicely if we can use the last 30 years as a guide.

    The debate on gun control is an active debate in the USA because there is widespread disagreement about whether the benefits of having guns outweigh the dangers of having them. There is no such discussion about the benefits of having computers spread widely through society.

    Unless we're trying to say that we shouldn't have computers any more, we need to understand what having computers everywhere means, and one of the things it means is copying, everywhere and all the time.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To me, this isn't an issue about the actual file, its the further distribution of files.

    We'll get the Department of Pre-Crime right on that.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Where does it end, tho? At some point you need to draw a line. Hosts like Boxnet are just storage facilities, like assigned gym lockers: they provide the space but aren't knowledgeable of what someone puts in there.

    Do you think Boxnet is monitoring every upload? That's an insane and ultimately impossible waste of their time. I'd bet real money even that wouldn't be good enough for some of these collection societies anyway, seems to be how they roll, expecting others to do their work for them and just magically know what's authorized and what isn't.

    The uploader is the culprit. I'm sure Boxnet, if notified properly, would and does cooperate with notices of perceived infringement so they can avoid any appearance of liablity. Allowing the RIAA or whoever to just go poking around in what users think are private files is outlandish.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Anyone that doesn't drink the Mike Masnick kool-aid: RIAA stooge.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Vicarious Liability must have
    (1) the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct; AND
    (2) a direct financial interest in the infringing activity


    Considering they don't supervise, nor do they have a direct financial interest in the infringing activity, this fails easily.

    I can't believe anyone would seriously think it even has a shot.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They don't host server space on the cloud? (supervising, essentially)

    They don't make money from hosting this server space? (direct financial interest)

    Mike, those are essentially the legal questions put into layman's terms. This is what made Napster illegal, the fact that they could control what songs went through their centralized server made them able to supervise the conduct.

    Since they oversee(albeit somewhat indirectly) uploading and downloading on their server space, I can't see how you could actually think that there is not any type of legal question involved here. I don't think they have a great, or even good, case but it doesn't mean there is no case.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    el_porko (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Watch the fun!!!

    SO, if I, as a fiction writer, started writing a novel on copyright infringment and used a fictious address for the perpetrators "that is coincidently" just across the road from me, could I sell seats to the insuing Swat team raid....?

    Could I store my photographs on Box but name them Thor.avi and Dark_Knight.MP4 Would men in dark suit and sunglasses visit me?

    Sounds like misdirection could be a fun game to play with the RIAA.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or, you know, anyone who just provides mindless insults instead of actual arguments.

    Like, oh...you.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They're trying to say they're ignorant of what is occurring.

    Willful blindness defenses don't do well in court.

    Can strip clubs say they're in the clear because that can't see what's going on when people go into a private room?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And once again, the intent of the DMCA is actually used as a cover. This is why it is an outdated law that has to be updated.

    Everyone else in the world is expected to police themselves, yet supposedly the internet shouldn't have to?

    Ridiculous. And an impossible scenario to sustain.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    I don't think the issue is whether or not anyone could, is, or has infringed (or not) on anything whilst using Box.net.

    The real issue is this statement in the original report:
    An RIAA spokesperson explained that it's not a lawsuit per se, but rather a 512(h) subpoena as part of a routine pre-release investigation. "Too soon to tell what we might do with the information once it is uncovered," said the spokesperson, who added that it isn't a change in direction. [emphasis added]

    Am I the only one here who is amazed that this subpoena could actually be allowed? Its like a subpoena to get enough evidence and information that they then have enough probable evidence to initiate a lawsuit, and get discovery abilities ie: a subpoena.

    In other words..
    "Sorry your honour, all we have is hearsay, some spectral evidence, the prescience of our rune caster/astrologer, plus we heard it on the internet so it must be true. So please, pretty please we need to court order to really dig deep and get some real probable evidence (or at least what we call evidence) so that we can then get another justice to give us a real judicial discovery order"

    WOW! No wonder Natural Justice nor Procedural Fairness does not arise in US proceedings anymore

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The Intrernet is one of the most impersonal technologies in the world. What you're asking for is a significant overreach of US jurisprudence. IT's the very impersonality that was designed into it in the first place.

    And now, because a small portion of your economy doesn't like it, you want to change it? Just egt the fuck out, go live in Death Valley and die in a sunfire, please, kthxbai.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's go reductio ad absurdum on this shall we?

    1) Let's ban power plants, as they supply infringing electrons!
    2) Let's ban water suppliers because people might drown!
    3) Let's ban fans because they might copy your work!
    4) Let's ban the Internet because we don't know how it works and it might be used for criminal activity!
    5) Let's ban all crime because it might make more criminals!

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2011 @ 2:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh come on paytard. Please troll harder. It's pathetic.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Mr. Oizo, May 21st, 2011 @ 2:55am

    Let them have it

    Actually, I believe this is a 'good thing'. If they can manage to get access to 'the cloud' then poeople will start realising that private peer to peer networks are better. Cloud services are after all a close platform. It is never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    m0sh3, May 21st, 2011 @ 3:26am

    Re:

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2011 @ 4:08am

    More from the asshats of the ....

    Real Ignorant Assholes of America!

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2011 @ 4:10am

    Ears are now illegal since they can be used to listen to pirated music.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, May 21st, 2011 @ 6:24am

    And just what does an "unauthorized" file look like?

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think the storage locker analogy is my favorite one that I've seen so far. Like I said, if you look at the court cases (Napster, primarily) there would appear to be a salient argument to make that a judge would take seriously, if you had the right set of facts(which is why I called shenanigans on Mike for saying that there is nothing box.net could be liable for).

    Now, do I think it will go to court, yes. For some reason the RIAA is too dumb to realize that more ways to access your music is a good thing. Do I think they win if it goes all the way to the court of appeals, if they have all the facts they need it might be 40% chance.

    As for the private files, this is from the box.net user agreement:

    Box.net shall have the right, but not the obligation, to reject, refuse to post, or otherwise monitor all content displayed by users, and may remove or require users to remove all content that Box.net, in its sole discretion, deems to be (a) inconsistent with Box.net’s strategic mission and vision (including but not limited to content that contains undesirable images of or links or references to tobacco and alcohol products, profanity, pornography, violence or prejudicial content) and/or these Terms of Use; or (b) possibly in violation of applicable law.

    Seriously, they've contractually provided that they can police your info for porn and infringing content and take it down if they don't like. The whole terms of service

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: the NRA's skillset

    Hey, don't give the RIAA any ideas.

    They already think Copyright Infringement is the exact same thing as stealing.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    That "probable cause" thinking is just so 20th century.

    Get with the times man!

    :-)

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    RIAA vs hearing aid industry.

    MPAA vs eyeglass industry.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    > Am I the only one here who is amazed that
    > this subpoena could actually be allowed?


    Am I the only one here who is amazed that
    an RIAA droid could become a federal judge?

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They don't host server space on the cloud? (supervising, essentially)


    Um. No. Hosting is not supervising. Don't be ridiculous. What court has ever found that?

    They don't make money from hosting this server space? (direct financial interest)


    Wrong again. They do make money from hosting, but that's HOSTING. Not infringement. They make the same money whether the file is infringing or not. That fails the standard, and you know it.

    If merely hosting was enough to qualify you for direct financial interest, then there is no DMCA safe harbor. It simply doesn't exist. And that's clearly ridiculous.

    Mike, those are essentially the legal questions put into layman's terms.

    No, those are essentially you being misleading about the standards and the technology in question.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Question

    If in doubt, just buy a new copy! /sarc

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    it's not a question of whether the actual song was downloaded illegally. It's the use of the Box.net system to distribute music illegally that will get it into trouble.

    How can you demonstrate the second without knowledge of the first?

    (3) OK. Does Box.net not log where the account was accessed from? Is this impossible?

    Sure, that's possible, but it still tells you nothing about what is in the encrypted file. (Whether many people are using encryption on services like this I don't know)

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), May 21st, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But on what grounds, or based on what evidence, would they be granted a subpoena?

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    ramu, May 21st, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    some law should be made against the RIAA for this kind of intrusion

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    abc gum, May 21st, 2011 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm not sure if the user actually has any rights"

    Less every day.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 21st, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Fighting pirates is in the Constitution!

    Shouldn’t that be “Caribbean”?

    Sorry...

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Fighting pirates is in the Constitution!

    That comment resembles a Disney property! Expect a lawsuit forthwith!

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "(1) it may be an ethical invasion of privacy, but I'm not sure if the user actually has any rights in this instance."

    So, you're fine with the removal of the 4th amendment and 1984 policies being introduced as long as a contract specifies it (which would presumably in place for every ISP to avoid liability, and so unavoidable)? Classy.

    "(2) I said this somewhere else, but I'll reiterate for convenience, it's not a question of whether the actual song was downloaded illegally. It's the use of the Box.net system to distribute music illegally that will get it into trouble."

    Wow, I see some effing dumb comments on here but this takes the biscuit....

    How in God's name can a service operate under your system? They cannot possibly know whether or not a song is infringing, especially when you take into account fair use, and the fact that a copyright holder could utilise the service to distribute files themselves- so, even copyrighted files are not necessarily infringing. Yet, you seem to maintain that they should be liable for infringement, even though you admit that they have no way of telling if the file is infringing? That's just ridiculous.

    If your system was introduced, nothing would be legal on the internet, since everything (including comments here) could be potentially infringing and every site would need to shut down to avoid legal action.

    "(3) OK. Does Box.net not log where the account was accessed from? Is this impossible?"

    They can identify an IP address, not an individual, and this can be easily spoofed. Also, why should they help law enforcement if they're going to be held liable anyway in your opinion?

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Everyone else in the world is expected to police themselves, yet supposedly the internet shouldn't have to?"

    Untrue. Printing presses are not expected to check the copyright of the books they print. Libraries are not expected to check the copyright status of their stock. Phone companies are not expected to monitor calls to see if copyrighted material is being transmitted. Photo developers were never expected to check the copyright status of every photo they printed. Software companies are are not expected to check if the files their software is burning to CD or sharing on a network are copyrighted.

    Why should the internet - which is nothing more or less than a communications medium - be treated differently? especially since - as is often pointed out - the copyright holders themselves often get it wrong, and it's impossible to tell the copyright status of some content accurately.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: How can they tell?

    Not to mention you could be uploading songs you actually wrote and recorded yourself....

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 22nd, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: what is legal

    "Does the RIAA have a list somewhere that shows what actually is legal to do with a song/license/whatever that I've legally purchased?"

    Of course not. Since they don't seem to have a clue themselves and licensing changes constantly without users being informed...

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Question

    Or, according to the US Copyright Office, pay for legal advice before you do anything with copyrighted material you purchased! /not really sarc.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I like how people use my analysis and project it onto my opinions. It's actually weird, that I can dissociate my opinion from an analysis of what may be reality. I'm not saying that I like it, but at this point does anyone actually expect anything they do on the internet to be private?

    1) I'm not sure where the 4th amendment applies here. Since when did the constitution apply to private parties? Since when does a novel actually apply to the law? Lets just look at what they're actually doing here instead of throwing up ridiculous straw men and slippery slope arguments.

    2) My comment is more toward the extreme end of the infringement, not really small scale(which is next to impossible, as I've said before). If you're actually using the cloud service for what it is supposed to be(and I'll apologize, I was projecting Amazon's service onto this) having a high number of downloads of single files from a single user would be suspiciously like distribution of materials. I'm not saying that this is illegal(given the right terms it is not), but I don't think that it would stop a court from going through discovery.

    3. I never said they should. I'm not their corporate counsel, and do not know every single specific about their system, but if I had to advise I'd give them 2 options. The first is allow the RIAA to look for zero liability on any prior infringement, and offer to remove anything that's blatantly infringing. It covers your ass, but you lose a ton of PR. The second is fight it, have a pretty good case(although it's not as cut and dry as Mike makes it out to be, which was my original problem with his post, he over exaggerated a relatively big issue) and make a statement, as well as get some good PR, but spend a bunch of money.

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All you need is a statement from a third party that says they used it to illegally distribute copyrighted music. I'm not saying that it's likely to find someone to admit to committing a crime, but weirder things have happened.

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    CarlWeathersForPres (profile), May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, if that's not the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

    1) It doesn't matter if they make the same money from infringing or non-infringing material. Please read Fonovisa v. Cherry Auction, in the first paragraph they give you the facts and the Vicarious Infringement section sets out the analysis clearly. In this instance, Cherry Auction ran swap meats, and leased to booth vendors for a daily fee, the booth, parking and advertising. The fee was static whether or not you sold infringing material(which is the exact same scenario as your trying to claim). They were found to be vicariously liable for the sale of the infringing products. This is directly on point to the issue you raised.

    2) So if it's as simple as classifying something as hosting, why does anyone have to do anything? Why is there the DMCA? I mean if youtube just said it was hosting others material, why would it be liable, they only have all the software, interface and server space necessary so it can be done, but they don't actually do anything. Vicarious liability is really spawned out of agency principals(see suing an employer because the employee was in a car accident on company time), and I think this is a murky question, it's not as cut and dry as you have implied (box.net "almost certainly" has no liability). I'm just saying not to be surprised to see this make it to a court of appeals where they ultimately rule for box.net(my opinion).

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:35am

    No. Ancient Common Law probably applies here.

    > 1) I'm not sure where the 4th amendment
    > applies here. Since when did the
    > constitution apply to private parties?

    Contrary to popular opinion, a land lord can't just violate our privacy and rummage through your things. There's more to this situation than just an oversimplified (and self serving) reading of the US Constitution. A lot of this stuff goes way back, a lot farther than any copyright law does.

    The storage locker analogy is a very apt one.

     

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

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: No. Ancient Common Law probably applies here.

    Understood, but was that based on an inalienable property right or the unconscionability doctrine in contracts(i.e. a landlord couldn't contract into the lease that he had the right to enter the premises whenever). Legally, If I leased to you a piece of property that just said "To JEDIDIAH, use of creepy rundown warehouse on the edge of town for $500/month" you would have all rights to the land up until the contract terminated, and those rights would be to exclude whomever you wanted. With all the contractual language, the lease is only for the limited rights that they're assigning you, such as the right to exclude. Only reason I ask is, anecdotally, every lease I've ever signed in Pennsylvania has the 24 hour rule, where the landlord has the ability to enter the premises if they give 24 hours notice. Having never investigated it, I don't know if it's from case law, statute or even legal, but it's there(which makes me assume if large management companies have it, they think it's pretty solid).

     

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

  100.  
    identicon
    Maggie, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:54am

    Why RIAA stil exists on this world?

    Dropbox is unbeatable I honestly recommend it. If you register from my link you will recievie FREE 2500MB http://db.tt/2Prh7XFs

     

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


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