This is an article explaining the tactics used by the RIAA in obtaining information and evidence on illegal file-sharing, from information given by an RIAA worker himself. The RIAA hires a third party company, MediaSentry, to track down illegal file-sharers. That company then runs different peer-to-peer file-sharing programs and searches for songs specifically owned by the RIAA. They are then able to track down the specific IP address and the ISP from which the songs they find came from. They do not actually download the song however, using a digital handshake instead to let them know that the song is available for download. This complicates the matter because it is hard for me to believe that the RIAA can use a so called "digital handshake" as their main evidence when no actual download occurred. The fact that the file was in a shared folder and was ready to download does not mean the person themselves shared the file. The court case Atlantic v. Howell is a great example of this situation in which the court rule that "If the owner of the shared folder simply provides a member of the public with access to the work and the means to make an unauthorized copy, the owner is not liable as a primary infringer of the distribution right, but rather is potentially liable as a secondary infringer of the reproduction right." Also in that case the judge stated, "Unless a copy of the work changes hands in one of the designated ways, a "distribution" under ... 106(3) has not taken place," thereby negating the RIAA's claim. However, not all cases are even taken to court, and the RIAA is able to slip by with this lack of evidence by presenting it like it is their primary proof of infringement.
The article then goes on to talk about cases of a more serious nature and how the RIAA deals with it. They start off with the digital handshake but then MediaSentry personnel actually do download the songs in question. This to me seems backwards and wrong that the RIAA downloads the same songs, in the same manner, from the same programs, as the pirates they are trying to catch.
tagged copyright dmca file-sharing industry intimidation media music riaa sentrycopyright by willlly ...on 26-NOV-08