The record industry got a surprise when it subpoenaed the University of Oregon in September, asking it to identify 17 students who had made available songs from Journey, the Cars, Dire Straits, Sting and Madonna on a file-sharing network. …Good for the University of Oregon.
Represented by the state’s attorney general, Hardy Myers, the university filed a blistering motion to quash the subpoena, accusing the industry of misleading the judge, violating student privacy laws and engaging in questionable investigative practices. …
“People get pushed into settlements,” said Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. “The Oregon attorney general is showing what a real fight among equals would look like.” …
Mr. Myers questioned the tactics of MediaSentry, an investigative company hired by the recording industry. He said the company seemed to use data mining techniques to obtain “private, confidential information unrelated to copyright infringement.” He added that it may have violated an Oregon criminal law requiring investigators to be licensed.
A spokeswoman for MediaSentry said it collected only information that users of peer-to-peer networks make available to anyone who cared to look. She had no comment on the licensing law. …
James Gibson, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said Mr. Myers’s arguments had been raised in other cases and had met with little success. Still, Professor Gibson said, “it’s significant that a public university and its state apparatus is standing up to the R.I.A.A.”
Monday, December 31, 2007
In the Fight Over Piracy, a Rare Stand for Privacy
From The New York Times