p2pnet.net News:- Chalk up a victory for another woman who decided she wasn’t going to be victimized by the Big Four Organized Music cartel’s beleagured RIAA.
The RIAA, short for Recording Industry Association of America, but owned by EMI (Britain), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) and Vivendi Universal (France), with Warner Music as the only American company, tried its tired Hard Drive gambit on Kimberly Arellanes, the wife of serving US Army sergeant Frank Arellanes.
The idea is, RIAA ‘experts’ get to freely pillage the hard drives of people accused of having shared music with each other online, an activity the multi-billion-dollar Big Four claim is “devastating” them.
At absolute worst, it’s a simple commercial proposition, copyright infringement. But the labels, who continue to report eye-popping revenues, have used the mainstream media to hype p2p file sharing up to the level of major crime. They call file sharers “criminals” and “thieves,” although no crime has been commited, nothing has been stolen and the Big Four have never been able to prove their claim that a file shared equals a sale lost.
In the Arellanes case, the RIAA wanted to copy her entire hard drive to “prove” she’d been, “engaged in copyright infringement on a massive scale”.
However, “the Court has refused to allow the RIAA untrammelled access to the defendant’s hard drive, holding instead that only a mutually agreeable, neutral computer forensics expert may examine the hard drive, and that the parties must agree on mutually acceptable provisions for confidentiality,” says Recording Industry vs The People.
The ruling should be a model to be followed in all future RIAA v Consumer litigations, says New York lawyer Ray Beckerman, going on:
“The chicanery and gamesmanship that is going on behind the scenes with the hard drive report in the UMG v Lindor case, which my office is handling, demonstrates that it is not safe to permit the RIAA to conduct its own, behind the scenes hard drive analysis by its own so called expert.
“The Sony v Arellanes decision balances and protects the rights of both sides in a fair and evenhanded manner, which is usually anathema to the RIAA.”
One of, if not the, first people to beat the RIAA in its demand to ferret around in sue ‘em all victims’ hard drives was Tanya Andersen, a 43-year-old Oregon mother, who’s surviving on Social Security disability payments.
She also ended up suing Organized Music’s RIAA under the RICO Act which is, appropriately, most often used in Organized Crime cases.
Andersen, who’d been saying for months that the RIAA could examine her hard drive any time they wanted, was allowed to appoint her own expert, paid for by the RIAA, who’d be limited to looking for specific files.
Definitely stay tuned.
Hard Drive gambit – RIAA goes a-pillaging, September 2, 2006
Recording Industry vs The People – Court Refuses to Allow RIAA Access to Defendant’s Hard Drive in SONY v. Arellanes; Only Neutral Expert May Examine, October 27, 2006
ferret around – Tanya Andersen vs the RIAA, March 20, 2006
RICO Act – p2pnet talks to Tanya Andersen, March 21, 2006