Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Australian ISP SysAdmins To Go On Trial For Faulty Spam Filters?

from the wait-a-second... dept

A few months back, we mentioned a situation in Australia where the music industry's private police force got to raid an ISP, claiming that it was allowing BitTorrent-based illegal file sharing. What was odd, at the time, (beyond letting the recording industry raid another private business) was that it seemed like it should be the customers of the ISP who were sharing the files that should be responsible, rather than the ISP itself. Well, it's still murky, but a few more details are seeping out. It appears that the recording industry also is trying to accuse two of the ISP's sysadmins of being guilty of this as well. While a lower court said that the sysadmins couldn't be accused separately, a new judge has changed that ruling. Basically, it sounds like the recording industry sent these sysadmins typical "takedown" notices, and the sysadmins ignored them. However, what makes these even stranger, is that the recording industry says the two of them: "treated the infringement notices like spam." If that's the case, then it sounds like the industry only sent email notices -- so it would be quite hard to prove that the sysadmins actively ignored them (or even saw them). In fact, it's quite possible that it wasn't the sysadmins who treated the messages as spam, but the spam filters they used. So, perhaps, the real culprit in this whole mess is the spam filter. We expect the recording industry to take the spam filter to court shortly, as well.

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  • identicon
    Pete Austin, 27 Jun 2005 @ 5:34am

    Block Lists

    Admins of large email servers are very reliant on blocklists, because it simply takes too long to block spammers individually.

    Also a few wankers think it is amusing to attack controversial organizations, such as the recording industry, by filing false spam complaints with blocklists. This is futile because the victim gets unblocked as soon as they notice, but it does increase support costs for innocent ISPs and increase bills for the rest of us.

    Mike is speculating, but it's certainly feasible that takedown emails could have been blocked, if sent by a standard mail-server, even if the ISP's admins were doing everything right. Would-be litigants should use a specialist service to get their emails delivered, or complain directly about blocking and re-send the emails.

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

  • identicon
    secret squirrel, 27 Jun 2005 @ 10:35pm

    delivery vs receiving

    According to Australian law, sending is not proof of receiving when it comes to snail mail, so you can't just jump up and say 'but I sent it to you so you should know'. Common sense says that if a takedown notice is going to be used as a legal sledgehammer then it has to be covered by the same ruling, but then again when has common sense come into any p2p related legal action?

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

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