p2pnet.net news:- Ohio University is doing its best to extricate itself from the tacky moral and legal mess it, and most other universities across America, now find themselves in, thanks entirely to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
It, and the other schools, are being threatened by the hugely powerful (in the US) Big 4 record labels, only one of which, Warner Music, can be said to be actually American. And even it is run by a Canadian. The other three are EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany).
In balance are the mental health and welfare of student bodies against possible attacks not only from the RIAA, but also elements of the Bush administration.
“US congressmen ‘Hollywood’ Howard Berman (left) and Lamar Smith have given American universities a May 31 deadline to endorse a survey which amounts to a pledge of allegiance to Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, the members of the Big 4 music cartel,” p2pnet posted yesterday, going on:
American universities are already under non-stop siege from the Big 4′s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) which is trying to sue students into buying ‘product’.
Now, “congress” has, “threatened 20 universities with unspecified repercussions if they fail to provide ‘acceptable answers” about what they’re doing to stop or inhibit students from illegal downloading and file sharing’.”
Sadly, Ohio University chose the path of least resistance, effectively banning file sharing on campus networks, at the same time promising to monitor school networks to make sure no student breaks the ban.
Who’s paying for this, for the time robbed from teaching duties, for the ongoing distress caused to students and staff not on at OU, but elsewhere across the country? Certainly not the RIAA or the labels, who are the cause of it all.
And while the attacks continue, a recent court order from US District Judge Norah McCann King allows the Big 4 to use their RIAA to immediately subpoena Ohio University to, “turn over the names of students who were using certain connections to OU’s computer network at specified times,” says the Athens News, going on:
OU officials have said they won’t turn the names over voluntarily, but will comply with a valid court order or subpoena to do so.
The RIAA has collected a set of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and a set of dates and times at which they were allegedly used for illegal file-sharing.
These pieces of information are enough to allow OU to connect the IP addresses to individual students, because a student must log onto OU’s network with a unique username and password.
The RIAA gathered the information by going online, accessing so-called “P2P” file-sharing networks, and downloading copyrighted music from network members without paying for it. The group then recorded the IP address at OU of each person providing the files for sharing, and the date and time at which the address was used.
The story goes on that although the RIAA has downloaded “a sample of several of the sound recordings each defendant illegally distributed,” with the count of illegally shared files in some cases “numbering in the thousands,” it doesn’t mean the Big 4 enforcer, “has evidence that anyone other than the group itself ever took copies of any files from a site. Presumably it only has evidence that certain files were on each site, available for the taking.
“The group asked Judge King for permission to subpoena OU for the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the 10 Doe defendants. Once the plaintiffs have this information on a defendant, the motion claims, they ‘will attempt to contact that defendant and attempt to resolve the dispute’.”
“If a particular dispute is not resolved and it seems more appropriate to pursue the claim in another legal jurisdiction,” the RIAA will, “dismiss that defendant and sue him or her elsewhere”.
Another p2pnet post notes:
Ironically, when the RIAA originally zoomed in on OU, lawsuits, if they’re filed, would be in federal court, said Pat McGee, managing attorney for the university’s Center for Student Legal Services, going on, “Only Athens litigation is handled by the center, which focuses on tenant-landlord disputes, misdemeanors and consumer law”.
The RIAA would know it had students at a disadvantage, “when they have to drive two hours to file a motion,” the story has him saying. “That’s how they roll over people.”
Students should pool their resources and hire an attorney instead of settling, he said, and, “If everybody fought it tooth and nail it’d probably tie up the federal court system for ten years.”
Says the Athens News, “A local attorney, meanwhile, has indicated that he’s willing to represent students facing RIAA litigation, though he doesn’t have any names yet either.
“I have been taking a lot of phone calls and talking to a lot of student and a lot of parents,” the story has Joe Hazelzbaker saying. “But I haven’t yet had any contact with any of the students who have been sued. My guess is, they don’t even know they have been sued.”
Hazelbaker says he also suspects some students targeted by the RIAA may not fully realize how serious the litigation may be.
“I think there may be an unrealistic perception of the exposure,” he said. “This is kind of a bizarre, surreal situation. It’s really kind of unprecedented.”
“Fortunately,” adds the story, “the lawyer said, there exists a huge amount of educational material about dealing with recording-industry legal threats, compiled by various citizen groups. ‘There are more resources out there to help people in this predicament than with any other legal issue I’ve ever seen – even divorce!’ ”
Index of lawyers
And at least one of those resources is run by New York lawyer Ray Beckerman, who’s defending several RIAA victims.
If you’re a US student or anyone else being attacked by the RIAA, maybe onbe of the lawyers on Beckerman’s list below will be able to help you.
And if you’re defending someone and you’re not on the list, or if you’d like to add your name to it, email email@example.com.
For now >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
*Cleveland, Coker B., Cleveland Law Firm, LLC 1816 Tin Valley Circle, Suite C Birmingham, Alabama 35235 Office: 205.453.4702 Cellular: 205.516.3579 Facsimile: 205.419.0704 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Hill, Jr., W. Mike, Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, PC, 425 South Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104, Phone: (334) 834-7600, extension 290, Direct Line: (334) 386-4342, Facsimile: (334) 832-7419, Email: email@example.com
*Aguilar, Edwin Eloy, Karp Heurlin Weiss, 3060 North Swan Road, Tucson, AZ 85712-1225, Phone: 520-325-4200, Fax: 520-325-4224, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Heidmiller, Sheila, Macheledt, Bales & Heidmiller LLP 7248 E Tasman St Mesa, AZ 85207 480-773-7807 480-773-7809 (fax) Email: email@example.com
*Kouretchian, Seyamack, Coast Law Group LLP, 169 Saxony Road (suite 204), Encinitas, CA 92024, Phone: 760-942-8505 Fax: 760-942-8515 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
*Ledford, Merl III, Ledford Law Corporation, 805 West Oak Avenue, Visalia CA 93291-6033, Tel 559.627.2710, Fax 559.627.0717, Email: email@example.com
*Singleton, Joseph W., Law Offices of Joseph W. Singleton, 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 750, Beverly Hills, Ca 90211 (323)782-1400, ext. 14 Fax (323) 782-1850 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Miller, Matthew S. and Crane, Cassandra M., Miller & Sweeney, LLC, 111 W. Washington Street, Suite 1160, Chicago, IL 60602, phone: 312.384.0500 ext. 20, fax: 312.384.0600, Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Mudd, Charles Lee, Jr. Law Offices of Charles Lee Mudd Jr. 3344 North Albany Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60618 773.588.5410 773.588.5440 (facsimile) email@example.com
*Rubin, E. Leonard, Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd. 10 S. Wacker Drive, 40th Fl. Chicago, IL 60606-7507 312-207-1000 firstname.lastname@example.org
*Saper, Daliah, Saper Law Offices 188 West Randolph, Suite 1705 Chicago, IL 60601 312.404.0066 email@example.com www.saperlaw.com
*Hooper, Niles, 2906 N. State Street
Jackson, MS 39292, Phone 601-213-3909, Fax 601-213-3667, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Spencer, Karen H., Spencer & Spencer PLLP, 5760 I-55 North, Suite 450
Jackson, MS 39211, Phone: (601) 899-1723, Fax: (601) 899-1725 email@example.com
*Altman, Richard A., 285 West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10014, Tel 917 353 4077, Fax 917 463 1006, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Beckerman, Ray, & Rogers, Morlan Ty, Vandenberg & Feliu LLP 110 East 42 Street New York, NY 10017 (212) 763-6800 Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Cole, Stephanie A., Bloom, Cole & Shonn, LLP 6 North Pearl Street Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 885-1270 Fax: (716) 885-2180 Email: email@example.com
*Flemma, Jay, Law Offices of Jay Flemma, P.C. 116 West Houston St. (3rd Floor) New York, NY 10012 212.937.9894 Fx 212.379.6356 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Genovesi, Jr., Anthony J., Borchert, Genovesi, LaSpina & Landicino, P.C., 19-02 Whitestone Expressway, Suite 302, Whitestone, NY 11357, Phone: 718.767.3333, Fax: 718.767.3309, Email:email@example.com
*Glass, Jordan D., Jordan D. Glass, P.C. Office:7-11 Legion Drive, Suite M-1C Valhalla, NY 10595-2052 Mailing address: P.O. Box 274 Hartsdale, NY 10530-0274 (914) 831-3087 Email: RIAAdefense@gmail.com
*Iryami, Raymond, Raymond Iryami Law Firm P.C., 1010 Northern Blvd. (Ste 208), Great Neck, NY 11021 (516)336-2586, Fax (516)706-1540 and 305 Madison Ave. (46th Fl.), New York, NY 10165 (212) 599-1081, Fax (212)697-0877, Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Karcioglu, Zeynel, 36 East 20th St. 6th Fl., New York, NY 10003, t: 212.505.6933, f: 646.219.4517, Email: email@example.com
*Topelsohn, Lauren, 575 Madison Ave., Suite 1006, New York, NY 10022, 212-354-0498, fax 866-482-3171, email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Kornbluth, Michael A., Kornbluth Law Firm P.A., 3100 TOWER BLVD. SUITE 800, Durham, NC 27707, Phone 919-401-4100 Fax 919-401-4104, Email: email@example.com
*Robertson, Stephen E., Robertson & Medlin, PLLC, 125 S. Elm Street, Suite 100, Greensboro, NC 27455, (336) 378-9881, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Slashdot it!
p2pnet – Congress in RIAA school attacks, May 3, 2007
path of least resistance – Ohio University caves in to RIAA, April 26, 2007
Athens News – Judge OKs quick subpoenas for RIAA to get file-sharers’ names, May 3, 2007
p2pnet – RIAA attacks more US schools, May 3, 2007
If your Net access is blocked by governBryan Adams slams Net radio hikement restrictions, try Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at thIs the endSurvey: How Did Copyright Infringement Become Equated with Robbery? (of the Net) nigh?zze University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Go here for the official download, here for the p2pnet download, and here for details. And if you’re Chinese and you’re looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent web site blocking outside of China. Download it here.
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Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!