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Debate over "making available" jury instruction as Capitol v. Thomas wraps up - by Eric Bangeman UPDATED STORY

Posted On: Thu, 2007-10-04 07:37 by TheBaldingOne

After both parties rested in Capitol v. Thomas, the attorneys for both sides began going through Judge Michael J. Davis' proposed jury instructions. Instruction no. 14 proved to be a sticking point, as Thomas' counsel Brian Toder told Ars tonight that the judge's proposed instruction indicated that the plaintiffs must show that an actual transfer took place in order for there to be a finding of infringement. "The mere act of making copyrighted sound recordings available for electronic distribution on a peer-to-peer network without license from copyright owners does not violate the copyright owners' exclusive right to distribution," reads the proposed jury instruction. "An actual transfer must take place."

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Judge bars RIAA president from testifying in Capitol Records v. Thomas - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Thu, 2007-10-04 07:31 by TheBaldingOne

Testimony in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas wrapped up today after Judge Michael J. Davis decided against allowing RIAA president Cary Sherman to testify in the case. Sherman was to have been called this afternoon after representatives from the record labels involved in the case finished testifying as to their ownership of the copyrights.

After a brief recess this afternoon, plaintiffs' counsel Richard Gabriel and defendant's counsel Brian Toder made their cases before the judge as to the relevance of Sherman's testimony. Toder argued that Sherman's testimony was not relevant to the question at hand, the fact of whether Thomas was liable for copyright infringement. Gabriel said that Sherman would be able to tell the jury why this case was significant and, more importantly, describe the harm the RIAA believes piracy has caused to the music industry.

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Defendant's counsel hammers away at piracy picture painted by RIAA - by Eric Bangeman

Posted On: Wed, 2007-10-03 21:28 by TheBaldingOne

During the second morning of the Capitol v. Thomas trial, a clearer view of the two sides' legal strategy emerged. The RIAA, led by their counsel Richard Gabriel, is attempting to craft a carefully-constructed picture of the defendant as a KaZaA user whose "copying and distributing" music over the P2P network has harmed the record industry. The RIAA's counsel also hopes to paint a picture of the defendant as a habitual music thief who not only shares music, but also steals plenty of it herself. To that end, the RIAA is arguing that the music found on her computer during a forensic inspection was obtained illegally, by copying the music directly from another hard drive. In other words, she's guilty coming and going.

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First RIAA trial gets under way with jury selection, opening statements

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-02 22:09 by TheBaldingOne

Duluth, Minnesota — Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas (the name of the suit changed after the RIAA dropped the sole Virgin recording from the case) got under way this morning in Courtroom One of the Federal Building in Duluth. Armed with three boxes of documents and Thomas' computer (a squat black and silver Compaq minitower of not-too-recent vintage), Thomas' attorneys arrived bright and early, about an hour before proceedings began at 9am.

The RIAA's team, consisting of Richard Gabriel and Tim Reynolds of Holme Roberts & Owen as well as Matt Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group, arrived a few minutes before the scheduled start. They were armed with several boxes of exhibits, which included CD-Rs they said contained the songs allegedly downloaded by Thomas.

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UK phone calls to be logged for one year - by Ian Williams

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-02 08:05 by TheBaldingOne

Information about every call from the UK's mobile phones and landlines will have to be logged by operators for one year under an extension to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

The Home Office has stressed that only information about the calls and texts, including the location in the case of mobile calls, will be logged and not the content.

The information will be made available to 652 public bodies, including the Food Standards Agency, district and county councils and the Gaming Board, on request to a senior police official.

Tony McNulty, the UK's minister for security and counter-terrorism, explained in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that the data will be made available on three distinct levels.

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In Response to Dismissal Motion in Elektra v. Schwartz, RIAA Asks Defendant's Lawyer to Help Them Re-draft Complaint

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-02 07:56 by TheBaldingOne

In Elektra v. Schwartz,where Ms. Schwartz indicated that she is moving to dismiss the complaint, the RIAA took the most unusual step of reaching out to Ms. Schwartz's lawyer and asking him to help them re-draft their complaint.

Plaintiff's counsel sent the following in an email to Ms. Schwartz's lawyer:

Obviously, Plaintiffs maintain that their complaint is sufficient under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8, even in light of the Supreme Court's holding in Twombly. Nevertheless, in the interest of efficiency, we inquire as to what precisely Defendant contends is lacking from Plaintiffs' Complaint for Defendant to consider it sufficient. Perhaps Plaintiffs may be able to satisfy these alleged deficiencies and spare both parties additional and unnecessary motions practice.

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UK can now demand data decryption on penalty of jail time - by Ken Fisher

Posted On: Tue, 2007-10-02 07:39 by TheBaldingOne

New laws going into effect today in the United Kingdom make it a crime to refuse to decrypt almost any encrypted data requested by authorities as part of a criminal or terror investigation. Individuals who are believed to have the cryptographic keys necessary for such decryption will face up to 5 years in prison for failing to comply with police or military orders to hand over either the cryptographic keys, or the data in a decrypted form.

Part 3, Section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) includes provisions for the decryption requirements, which are applied differently based on the kind of investigation underway. As we reported last year, the five-year imprisonment penalty is reserved for cases involving anti-terrorism efforts. All other failures to comply can be met with a maximum two-year sentence.

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First RIAA Jury Trial to Start Tuesday October 2nd in Duluth, Minnesota, in Virgin v. Thomas; Motion for "Summary Adjudication"

Posted On: Fri, 2007-09-28 07:47 by TheBaldingOne

First RIAA Jury Trial to Start Tuesday October 2nd in Duluth, Minnesota, in Virgin v. Thomas; Motion for "Summary Adjudication" Denied

The RIAA's motion for "summary adjudication" was denied last week, and the jury trial in Virgin v. Thomas is now scheduled to begin Tuesday, October 2nd, at 9:00 AM, before Hon. Michael Davis, at the federal courthouse in Duluth, Minnesota:

417 Federal Building
515 W. 1st Street
Duluth, Minnesota

Proceedings are open to the public.

This is a case in which the RIAA has no evidence that the defendant, Ms. Jammie Thomas, committed any copyright infringement. The RIAA has claimed that it will call Dr. Doug Jacobson and Cary Sherman as witnesses, as well as employees of the various record companies and of SafeNet/MediaSentry.

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Judge quashes RIAA subpoenas in campus file-sharing case - by Nate Anderson

Posted On: Thu, 2007-09-27 07:53 by TheBaldingOne

A Florida lawyer convinced a judge yesterday to quash several RIAA subpoenas directed against anonymous University of South Florida students. The subpoenas, which use the secretive ex parte discovery process, were shot down by the judge on narrow technical grounds that seem limited to this particular case. Still, attorney Michael Wasylik tells Ars that his victory still matters because it shows that RIAA attorneys "have to obey the rules" when they use the court system.

Until this point, Interscope v. Does 1-40 has proceeded much like other cases against college students across the country. RIAA lawyers move on an aggressive schedule in such cases; this case was filed in June, subpoenas were authorized in July, were sent out immediately, and were due back by mid-August.

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Start 'em young: WIPO unviels children's copyright law workbook - by Nate Anderson

Posted On: Thu, 2007-09-27 07:33 by TheBaldingOne

The World Intellectual Property Organization wants to educate you about copyright. Well, not so much you as your 9 to 14-year old children, who are the targets of a new 72-page workbook (PDF) filled with "colorful examples" of copyright law in action. The most surprising thing about the booklet? The fact that it devotes eight pages to coverage of the public domain and other limitations on copyright.

The booklet is called "Learn from the Past, Create the Future" and is designed to be used in school classrooms. It's only available in English at the moment, but Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish versions are all coming. The book is peppered with amusing (*cough*) games for kids to play, including "Clear the Rights," "Public Domain Detective," and "Spot the Infringement."

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