The record companies have fired their outsource enforcement thugs, MediaSentry (a sleazy outfit that changes its name as often as it changes its testimony). This is part of its new strategy: rather than suing fans, the record industry will confront the 21st century by asking ISPs to voluntarily spy on their customers, throttle their Internet connections, and disconnect people from the Internet on the basis of unproven allegations of infringement.
It's a measure of just how unbelievably stupid the lawsuit campaign was that this new tactic is actually marginally preferable. And, of course, it does mean that plenty of MediaSentry's goons will end up on the breadline, so that's good news.
Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who maintains the Recording Industry vs. the People blog and who has represented more than a dozen clients fighting the RIAA, said he considered the decision to drop MediaSentry a "victory" for his clients. MediaSentry representatives "have been invading the privacy of people. They've been doing very sloppy work," he said.
Changing Tack, RIAA Ditches MediaSentry
Mr. Beckerman cites MediaSentry's practice of looking for available songs in people's file-sharing folders, downloading them, and using those downloads in court as evidence of copyright violations. He says MediaSentry couldn't prove defendants had shared their files with anyone other than MediaSentry investigators.
Redditor Vadermeer was in a local Goodwill Outlet and happened on a trove of files from Apple engineer Jack MacDonald from 1979-80, when he was manager of system software for the Apple II and ///.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
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