Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

RIAA DMCA Notices Based On Flimsy, Easily Falsified Evidence

from the and,-again dept

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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2007 @ 1:01pm

    The new criminals of the 21st Century...

    1.) Posting copywritten material where it may be downloaded by someone else

    2.) Leaving your home unlocked so someone can easily enter and remove contents

    3.) Leaving items visible in your locked car thereby enticing someone to break window and remove said items

    Hanging's too good for them!

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

  • identicon
    discojohnson, 8 Feb 2007 @ 1:36pm


    use peerguardian...just saying.

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 8 Feb 2007 @ 1:43pm

    So what if I'm just looking for 'legal' files.

    Oh well - more cases the RIAA will get into court towards people who are innocent.

    No bad publicity.

    Don't matter, still not gonna buy CD's that the RIAA backs~~

    Which kinda sucks - there is one I wanted to buy. But, I'll not back down until they quit coming after consumers like that. If they spent *half* the resources they use suing people in court and data mining to develop new technology or whatever, I'm sure this wouldn't even be an issue now.

    Look - even with 'free' stuff, if you can add some value, people will pay.

    Look a Second Life - sure, it's free to play. But if you want a broader experience, you gotta pay a bit.

    But... oh... oh... OMG~!~ They charge a fair rate~~

    I can play an online game for a month for roughly half the cost of a single CD - which is the better entertainment value?

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

  • identicon
    Cixelsid, 8 Feb 2007 @ 2:05pm


    Luckily these torrents are easier to spot than an undercover cop at a teenage rave orgy.

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

  • icon
    chris (profile), 8 Feb 2007 @ 3:55pm

    there's a surprise

    i think i might have a heart attack and die because of that surprise.

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

  • identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 8 Feb 2007 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Yeah...

    Easier to do something about, anyway, since ignoring a cop doesn't make him ignore you, but these spies are like the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal for stupidity. Maybe instead of ignoring them, a DDoS shpould be set up against them.

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

  • identicon
    me, 9 Feb 2007 @ 10:40am


    Last time I checked, Trackers host links to much more than copywritten materials. I get a lot of my source code for *nix via trackers. So, how can that be considered sharing copywritten material. Sounds like another fun way for the courts to turn the screw back on RIAA if they are truely called to the carpet on it.

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

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