Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

RIAA Admits They Accused Someone By Mistake... But They're Still Watching Her

from the whooooops dept

A little more evidence that the RIAA's subpoena-and-sue strategy has been a bit hasty. They've now admitted that one of the lawsuits they filed was a mistake (ooops, sorry about that) and there's no evidence the woman in question shared any music files. They've therefore dropped the lawsuit against the 66-year-old sculptor who doesn't even seem sure what file sharing software is - and is unlikely to have been sharing hardcore rap songs, as the RIAA contended in the lawsuit they filed against her. The RIAA's lawyers don't seem particularly apologetic about the mistake, saying: "Please note, however, that we will continue our review of the issues you raised and we reserve the right to refile the complaint against Mrs. Ward if and when circumstances warrant." How nice of them. Couldn't the RIAA now be accused of filing frivolous lawsuits?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Beck, Sep 24th, 2003 @ 7:32am

    Dynamic IP Addresses

    Many ISPs issue dynamic IP addresses. If the RIAA subpoenas information about a customer based on the IP address, how does the ISP know who the customer is? Do they keep logs of who had each IP address at each point in time? Does the RIAA subpoena specify a point in time? ISPs such as Verizon and SBC are publicly against these subpoenas, can't they just delete their log files? How does it work?

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

  2. identicon
    AMetamorphosis, Sep 24th, 2003 @ 8:39am

    Sue, Sue, Sue ...

    I truly hope this woman chooses to sue the RIAA for defamation of character & any other legitimate reason her lawyers can find.

    Who died and made the RIAA the " New American Gestapo " ?

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

  3. identicon
    Peter F Bradshaw, Sep 24th, 2003 @ 9:28am

    Re: Dynamic IP Addresses

    I'm not sure of the legal requirements but most ISPs keep info about their IP pool for a couple of days for administrative purposes.

    As I understand it the RIAA collects evidence of a file sharing event at a certain time (Zulu) and then determines who owns that number. This will give them the ISP. They then subpoena the ISP for a name / email addr. for that time. Note that the RIAA has no direct access to the actual logs since they contain much info which they have no right to see (even under the DMCA).

    This raises a question of evidence. I would think that at the time of the trial (assuming no settlement) the RIAA would need to prove the relationship between the IP number and the user. Presumably that meens that the origional logs have to be used as evidence. Does this meen that the ISP is required to keep these for that time. An, if so, how does the court know that they have not been tampered with. These are the real questions.

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

  4. identicon
    Michael Vilain, Sep 25th, 2003 @ 10:48am

    Re: Dynamic IP Addresses

    I asked these questions of my small ISP. They told me all logs, including email, DHCP, and PPP are kept for 7 days.

    IANAL, but unless there's a specific suit which names the ISP as an involved party and involves discovery, would that ISP be required to retain all logs or still keep up their regular day-to-day routine thereby deleting old logs.

    My ISP also contracts with another company to provide dial-up access. Those systems aren't owned or run by my ISP, so a separate subpoena would be required for that company as well. Depending on the time lag, there may be no logs to review.

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

  5. identicon
    A Alexander Stella, Oct 19th, 2003 @ 1:33pm

    Fight RIAA intimidatiion!

    Thanks to the Google search engine, I was able to find your e-mail address. Anyway, you might be interested to know about certain clauses in the United States Constitution.

    Those clauses are cited by one A Alexander "Bogey" Stella in an internet article. In his article, Mr Stella disputes the constitutionality of recent law suits, filed by the RIAA against people who download music. If you're interested in reading the article, all you need do is scroll down a bit, after clicking on the pink hyperlink below:


    Well, it happens sometimes that hyperlinks have to transferred directedly, like so:
    Or, maybe, you need only click on my hi-lited name. Oh, one more thing, please ignore the snide remark some scabrous graffito vandal appended to the end of the article.

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

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