Over the summer, we wrote about a lawsuit someone had filed against the RIAA in Oregon, claiming that the RIAA's investigation tactics were illegal
, since the firm it used to sniff out unauthorized users, MediaSentry, was not a licensed investigator in Oregon. This seemed like a relatively weak claim (or at least one focused on the letter of the law more than the spirit). However, it appears that argument has caught the attention of Oregon's Attorney General who already is unhappy with the RIAA. You may recall that earlier this month, the Attorney General stood up to the RIAA
after it tried to get the University of Oregon to identify students. It was surprising to see the AG get involved in such an issue, but clearly, he believes the RIAA is going too far. The RIAA responded to his filing, opposing
the motion, of course. And now the Attorney General has responded, not just about this particular issue, but slamming the RIAA on a number of fronts
, suggesting that the RIAA may be in a bit more hot water than it believed. He repeats the argument that the RIAA's investigation techniques are illegal and then goes on to slam the evidence the RIAA has, how it's gathered, how it uses these cases to squeeze money out of unsophisticated people and many other points about these RIAA cases. The response then points out why this is an important matter for the Attorney General to take a stand on and how it would like to get some answers from the RIAA:
"Because Plaintiffs routinely obtain ex parte discovery in their John Doe infringement suits, as they themselves have pointed out, their factual assertions supporting their good cause argument are never challenged by an adverse party and their investigative methods remain free of scrutiny. They often settle their cases quickly before defendants obtain legal representation and begin to conduct discovery.... While the University is not a party to the case, Plaintiffs' subpoena affects the university's rights and obligations. Plaintiffs may be spying on students who use the University's computer system and may be accessing much more than IP addresses. The University seeks the Court's permission to serve the attached interrogatories on Plaintiffs and conduct telephonic depositions of the individuals who investigated the seventeen John Does named in this lawsuit to determine 1) what their investigative practices are and 2) whether they have any additional information with which to identify the John Does."
It looks like the RIAA may have messed with the wrong university in the wrong state.