p2pnet news | RIAA News:- Is Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG ‘investigator’ MediaSentry operating illegally in your state?” – p2pnet asked by way of a follow-up to MediaSentry: RIAA can of worms.
The Massachusetts State police have banned the company, it’s been accused of operating without a licence in Oregon, Florida, Texas and New York, and similar charges have been levelled at it in Michigan, we said in Is RIAA’s MediaSentry illegal in YOUR state?, going on >>>
A complaint was filed by a Recording Industry vs The People reader with the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth resulting in confirmation that MediaSentry has no official authorisation to carry out so-called ‘investigations’ there.
“We encourage parties to pursue complaints against unlicensed parties and the local prosecutor,” says the response.
“The prosecutor can prosecute these cases as felonies, with a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and/or up to four years in prison.”
The Big 4 and their RIAA are already on very shaky ground with MediaSentry.
You can help by making enquiries to find out if it’s licensed to act as a Big 4 ‘investigator’ where you live â- even if you’re in Canada, Europe, or anywhere else the company is ‘working’.
If you come up with anything interesting, email us at p2pnet @ shaw dot ca, or Ray Beckerman at rbeckerman @ vanfeliu dot com.
Here’s the score so far:
MediaSentry and/or SafeNet are not licensed to operate within the State of Arkansas,” says Derek,
“They may not be licensed in Arizona either,” says a Recording Industry vs The People post, pointing out, “No variation of ‘Media Sentry’ or ‘SafeNet’ [its parent] gets any hit of an active license via Arizona Department of Public Safety web site. note: try “media” or “safe” for examples of active licenses. more AZ info here.”
Said Drew, I found a business listing for MediaSentry in California. You should check it out here: http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowAllList?QueryCorpNumber=C2749889 It is an interesting listing in that they were listed but current status is forfeited …
“Add Connecticut to the list – see Public Act 04-192,” says another post on Beckerman’s site. ‘ no record I can find ‘
According to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office, MediaSentry isn’t licensed to investigate in that state, Cecil told us.
“Looking at the Ohio Homeland Security webpage, the Private Investigation and Security Services Commission has an online searchable database for licensed private investigators,” said Bill, continuing, “The page is http://www.dps.state.oh.us/ALRS/alrshomepage.aspx, while the PISSC page is : http://www.homelandsecurity.ohio.gov/pissc.htm. I plugged in MediaSentry, SafeNet, inserting spaces, dashes, etc, etc. and there is no record I can find. This doesn’t mean they haven’t secured licensure under another name or a misspelling or something of that sort, but it’s certainly a data point.”
“They may not be legally operating in Tennessee, either,” says Alex, wondering, “Do they have to be licensed as private investigators? If so, they are not listed with our Department of Commerce and Insurance, who has a complete list of licensed private investigators in our state. http://licsrch.state.tn.us/default.aspx”
“I checked with the UCC in Utah and this is the reply I received,” says Tanna:
I’m not sure if I understand your question… But there is no entity with the name MediaSentry in our database as a registered business in Utah. I hope that helps!”
So, “Looks like you might as well add Utah to the list of states they are not supposed to be operating in.”
“In Virginia, it appears that the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is responsible for licensing private investigators,” posts by davide marney on Slashdot going on:
“They provide a Private Security Services Business Directory Search form at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/ps/directory/businessSearch.cfm [virginia.gov]. In my search, I could not find ‘Media Sentry’ anywhere in their database.
“According to the Private Investigators Association of Virginia (http://www.piava.org/directory_info.shtml [piava.org] ), Consumers should always:
1. Ask for the company’s DCJS license number or request a copy of the DCJS license.
2. Verify the validity of a DCJS license for their own protection.
3. Be provided with a written agreement that includes scope and cost of services.
4. Report possible unlicensed activity to DCJS. Anonymous complaints are accepted.
5. Contact the DCJS to obtain complaint information @ http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/privatesecurity [virginia.gov]
“However, I do not know if Media Sentry has operated in Virginia. If someone can show me that they have done so, I will be more than happy to issue a complaint.”
Pat confirmed the Virginia government site.
So —- have you checked your state yet?
Meanwhile Ray Beckerman has a few ideas for other lawyers whose clients have similarly been accused of illegal distribution with MediaSentry evidence cited.
Every lawyer representing victims of RIAA lawsuits should:
- Thoroughly challenge the veracity of MediaSentry’s doctored, flawed evidence
- Take the deposition of MediaSentry and of the RIAA’s expert
- Have a technical consultant review and analyze the material
- Thoroughly explore the illegality of MediaSentry’s business
- Thoroughly research all possible defenses and counterclaims arising from it.
Good points of departure would be the papers in UMG v Lindor, where these issues are being explored, he adds.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
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