RIAA is using illegal evidence, says Harvard Law professor

The ever so popular group, the RIAA, is about to be handed a class action lawsuit for those who have been sued, settled, or fined by the organization for copyright infringement. How is all of this going to happen? An ingenious lawyer discovered that the RIAA has been illegally threatening people using voided copyright registrations.

Kiwi Camara (who was the youngest person to ever enroll at Harvard Law School) is joining forces with a Harvard Law professor to take on the RIAA and get back the "$100 million that they stole" from its illegal proceedings. The RIAA has refuted the $100 million claim by saying it is "inaccurate" and that they have actually been losing money on each case.

Regardless if the $100 million dollar figure is inaccurate the fact that the RIAA group may have been using illegal tactics against the accused negates the crime that was being prosecuted. Is it lawful to break the law to prove someone else may have broken the law? Not in the United States which is why if evidence is obtained illegally it can not be used in the court system.

Currently Kiwi is fighting against the RIAA in a re-trial of a case for Jammie Thomas-Rasset where he will use this tactic, along with a few other angles, in defense of his client.

If Camara is able to prove that what the RIAA has done was not valid or legitimate the RIAA could be forced to pay back all of the settlements it has received. The trial starts next week and you can bet it will be closely followed

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The one RIAA argument that they "lost money on every case" is completely absurd. It doesn't matter how much money they spend trying these cases, only the amount of money they extorted from their victims won from defendants.

Which means if they do indeed lose, they lose even more money.

But more importantly, the implications may be far greater. If they succeed in getting the copyright registrations themselves ruled invalidated, it will completely bring down the record industry as we know it. Suddenly, every single copyright claimed by the record companies will revert to the songwriters and performers.

It will bring delicious chaos.

It would be a bigger issue if he looses this case. This guy is young and inexperienced and is only doing this to get a name for himself and his firm (among other things). He may be brilliant but he is also bitting more than he can chew. All eyes are on this case and the legal precedents that follow may have serious repercussions. Kiwi better have some serious evidence to support these allegations or else it would be the quick rise and fall of Kiwi Camera.

It would be a tragedy if he or someone else didn't even try. Win or lose. I hope people continue to battle the RIAA. and what more serious repercussions can there be if he loses? The RIAA pretty much already controls the music industry and can sue whomever they want. It can't get much worse than it already is.

Kiwi's racist attitudes will, no doubt, will surface. Even though it has nothing to do with the case, the RIAA will use it as a smear tactic, as do all lawyers. That could, believe it or not, affect the case in a bad way.

and it's not loose, it's lose, two Os = it's hanging out

i really hope harvard wins this case:)

hope obama changes the piracy and copyright laws as they need updating, people should be able to copy their games, music and movies and keep a legal backup. scrap these copy protections.

Quote:
"...they have actually been losing money on each case."...

Oh Puuuuuuuhlease... Who's buying this nonsense? I guess they learned some tricks from the movie industry in that no matter how much they bring in they never "show" a profit... LMAO

I'm glad though, not because I would ever consider stealing music personally, but because the RIAA handles themselves very poorly. They deserve what they get.

+1 And honestly, whether they are "losing money" is irrelevant. They made the decision to pay X dollars to try and stem the tide of file sharing through corporate strong arm fear tactics. That was cheaper than advertising buys to do the same thing.

But the risk they always took was being proven wrong in court. They have ALWAYS known their position would never hold up to proper legal scrutiny, which is why they would push to SETTLE everything and anything, and have dropped court challenge after challenge when pushed to the wall.

Because when they do lose, and they will, they will have to pay back all the legal costs, return the settlements, and settle for damages as well as eat the costs.

But the truth is, that's chump change to them. All they wanted to do was scare casual users to try and stem the "Napster" tide. And they did that, for a while, so they were very successful by their own yardsticks.

And yes, I've been saying this since it started...this is how big business really thinks and works.

Well actualy, I would buy that they're not making money suing people.
If you sue someone who doesn't have any money, it doesn't matter how much you sued him for: You still can't get money from someone who doesn't have any.

Meanwhile, the lawyers have all made sure that they get paid FIRST! You get your money when the lawyer is done getting his fees. Not before.

it's a little ironic....
the record companys ripped off the consumers and the artists for decades, now when they think they're being ripped off by us, they call us 'pirates'?

when will the record company learn to stop fighting the internet and learn to work with it? even if they win, people are not going back to buying cd's (the biggest rip off of all)

crankenstein.exe said,
it's a little ironic....
the record companys ripped off the consumers and the artists for decades, now when they think they're being ripped off by us, they call us 'pirates'?


Agreed. This has been my point for many years. I have friends in some small bands and one big name bad that has sold nearly 100 million albums. But the amount of money they have made from those albums is so little compared the the label. It's a bad deal for the consumer AND a very bad deal for the artist.

There needs to be a site where the artists can sell directly to the consumer and get rid of the middle man.

Peace,
James

They are woolly mammoths drowning in the tar pits of digital distribution. All they can do is scream and lash out and wonder "what happened?" as they fade away into extinction.

There's nothing like having a blatant Racist, Kiwi Camara defending pirates in court. Gotta love this country.

Guichi said,
There's nothing like having a blatant Racist, Kiwi Camara defending pirates in court. Gotta love this country.

Wait..what? How in God's name did you equate "a blatant racist" to anything in that article?

spacer said,
Wait..what? How in God's name did you equate "a blatant racist" to anything in that article?

Do a little research on Kiwi Camara. Let's just say he doesn't exactly like people that are ever so slightly darker than he is.

Guichi said,
Do a little research on Kiwi Camara. Let's just say he doesn't exactly like people that are ever so slightly darker than he is.

He meant, how is the article related to racism?

It isn't. This is just an attempt to discredit him with something irrelevant to his legal argument. Our law does not work that way.

"Police break law to crack suspected paedophiles PC and collect information on child molestation"
--- paedophile gets off on "technicality" as the media seem to put it, public outraged

"RIAA didn't register MediaSentry as a PI in Minnesota while prosecuting someone who was obviously file sharing"
--- filesharer gets off on "technicality"... public fine about it

.... question of morals?

To be fair, the paedophile case involves physical victimization of children, whereas filesharing involves no such thing.

As much as I hate to see guilty people go free, it doesn't make sense to allow the use of illegal means to prove the illegal activity of another party...kinda defeats the purpose, and is also illegal, so it makes the prosecution no better than the defense.

Exactly why I hate this "illegal evidence" BS. The only time this is ever used as an argument in court is because the criminal has been caught and exposed for who they are.

When are people going to finally get it that, if something is for sale, and the only way to acquire said item is through buying it, but yet you still acquired it anyway, without the seller gaining from your acquiring the item unless you have the seller's permission, then that means you stole it. It doesn't matter if it is tangible or not, you still got it without buying it, especially when you have full knowledge that you must buy the item in order to get it, you stole it.

evok_ said,
When are people going to finally get it that, if something is for sale, and the only way to acquire said item is through buying it, but yet you still acquired it anyway, without the seller gaining from your acquiring the item unless you have the seller's permission, then that means you stole it.

OK, fair enough, but what about software, music, etc, that are no longer available for sale, at any price? Is it then OK in your eyes to "acquire" a copy of said item? There are many, many different things that fall into this category.

If you have the seller's permission, or in the case of something that is no longer for sale, the creator or owner of the item, then it is fine, otherwise the same applies.

One of the 1st rules I learned in school (Again Public school) -
Our fore-fathers created our constitution with the idea that rules are in place as it’s "better to release 1 guilty person" rather than” Imprison many innocent people". That is why it is said in the US (as opposed to other countries) "You are innocent until proven guilty". Why is it that so many people have forgotten that, now it seems everyone is guilty and good luck proving otherwise. I do not support the tactics of the RIAA as they treat everyone as guilty, but to hold my beliefs true then the RIAA must be treated as innocent as the people they went after until (this lawyer or) someone proves them guilty while following to rule of law. Lastly to make it perfectly clear, rules are rules and everyone in a court is supposed to follow them, I'm hoping that someone is able to prove that the RIAA did not follow those rules and they pay big time.

No, WE THE PEOPLE decide what is and what is not the law of the land and how it is applied. WE don't have a problem with SHARING anything. WE do have a problem with people being victimized by sickos.

I think you've missed the part where MOST people know the artists AND consumers have been RIPPED OFF by these megacorps for decades. They squeezed us all so hard, from both ends, that NO ONE has any sympathy or support for their position.

excalpius said,
No, WE THE PEOPLE decide what is and what is not the law of the land and how it is applied. WE don't have a problem with SHARING anything. WE do have a problem with people being victimized by sickos.

I think you've missed the part where MOST people know the artists AND consumers have been RIPPED OFF by these megacorps for decades. They squeezed us all so hard, from both ends, that NO ONE has any sympathy or support for their position.


Since when do "We the people" make any laws? wake up to the real world. It is corporate America and special interest groups that make the laws. Congress and the House are simply there to pull the lever for them.

Rohdekill said,
Since when do "We the people" make any laws? wake up to the real world. It is corporate America and special interest groups that make the laws. Congress and the House are simply there to pull the lever for them.

For the past 80 years, you'd be right, but we the CONSUMERS choose what to buy and what not to and we've decided to stop buying what they are selling in large part.

excalpius said,
For the past 80 years, you'd be right, but we the CONSUMERS choose what to buy and what not to and we've decided to stop buying what they are selling in large part.

Oh, I like that... Interesting.

I honestly think that Camara should now get some sort of body guard. I'm 100 million is a lot of money, especially to a company like the RIAA. They've used illegal methods before. Who is to know they won't again?

they may start again but, with the truth being put out to the public about their illegal methods, that in itself would cause the RIAA's credibility to crash and therefore render them mute.. just a theory I believe

How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar. Or a computer. Or a car. Heck we'll just take anything we want because the "Harvard Law Professor" seems to think sharing illegally is ok. No harm done. And since no one will be buying we can arrange for money to magically float down from the sky to enable artists to continue making music for people to steal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

A grade-school teacher who has read the introduction to an economics textbook could easily take on this "Harvard law professor" but I think Harvard has suffered enough embarrassment for one day.

C_Guy said,
How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar. Or a computer. Or a car. Heck we'll just take anything we want because the "Harvard Law Professor" seems to think sharing illegally is ok. No harm done. And since no one will be buying we can arrange for money to magically float down from the sky to enable artists to continue making music for people to steal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

A grade-school teacher who has read the introduction to an economics textbook could easily take on this "Harvard law professor" but I think Harvard has suffered enough embarrassment for one day.

That's not what he said at all? He said that it's wrong for the RIAA to use illegal methods to catch people doing illegal things, and they must fairly pay for their own crimes.

Way to totally miss the point. This isn't about the economics of the matter. It's about the law. They're making the claim that since the RIAA obtained evidence used illegally that the said evidence should not have been allowed to be used in the court proceedings. This is a very valid claim, and any lawyer, or even a grade-school teacher, will tell you the same. You cannot break the law to protect the law.

They aren't saying that it is ok to steal. They are saying the way the RIAA got their information was illegal.

Why do people always compare downloading music to stealing cars... For the 300th time, when people 'steal' a song, that song does not vanish from the internet, it doesnt become theirs, it is not lost to the owner like an object is.

C_Guy, do you even understand the frickin article? The Methods used to try and prove another illegal activity were in themselves illegal.

quit being self righteous and read the damn article

C_Guy keeps showing up on a ton of articles, completely missing the point, freaking out, and harming my reading experience. I swear to god, every time i start enjoying reading the feedback, his name pops up.


It's like he's stealing my happiness...

C_Guy said,
How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar. Or a computer. Or a car. Heck we'll just take anything we want because the "Harvard Law Professor" seems to think sharing illegally is ok. No harm done. And since no one will be buying we can arrange for money to magically float down from the sky to enable artists to continue making music for people to steal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

A grade-school teacher who has read the introduction to an economics textbook could easily take on this "Harvard law professor" but I think Harvard has suffered enough embarrassment for one day.


You're clueless as to what this is about.

C_Guy said,
How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar. Or a computer. Or a car. Heck we'll just take anything we want because the "Harvard Law Professor" seems to think sharing illegally is ok. No harm done. And since no one will be buying we can arrange for money to magically float down from the sky to enable artists to continue making music for people to steal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

A grade-school teacher who has read the introduction to an economics textbook could easily take on this "Harvard law professor" but I think Harvard has suffered enough embarrassment for one day.


Why do people like you ALWAYS equate piracy to physical theft?

(snipped)

ataris_kid said,
Why do people like you ALWAYS equate piracy to physical theft?


Well, it is theft, but not to the same extent that a stealing a physical object. The cost for the content producer of a physical object is equal for each item, but for a digital object the cost for the 2nd, 3rd, etc object is basically free. This is the point that RIAA etc are missing. It's still theft (please tell me we can agree on that point?) but there needs to be some middle ground on this issue.

Content providers should be able to get paid for their work, but I FEEL it's the collection of middle-men that are driving the prices up to unacceptable levels.

jameswjrose said,
It's still theft (please tell me we can agree on that point?) but there needs to be some middle ground on this issue.

No, it is not theft. If I buy a car, copy it, and give it to another person, that person has had no contact with the original seller whatsoever, and I paid for it. No theft has happened here. What has happened is copyright infringement.

TechGuyPA said,
Does anyone else here think C_Guy either works for or has family who work for the RIAA?

Not really.. he's just a hungry troll..

Remember kids.. Don't feed the Trolls!!

Memnochxx said,
No, it is not theft. If I buy a car, copy it, and give it to another person, that person has had no contact with the original seller whatsoever, and I paid for it. No theft has happened here. What has happened is copyright infringement.


Yes, you are correct. In this case this is copyright infringment. However copyright infringment is a form of theft. If I, as a musican, play a song by U2 at a show am I reguired to pay a royalty to U2. If I do not I have commited copyright infringment AND stolen a form of monies that are supposed to be paid to the content creator.

I know I am splitting hairs. The issue is that the RIAA thinks that ANY coping or sharing is theft. And it's that sort of dogma that causes so many people to simply ignore everything they say. Those who create content/merchandise deserve to be paid. I understand the point that additional digital copies have no additional cost to the content creator. Specifically since they are not the ones creating the copies.

There is a cost of creating the additonal copy of a digital object in the energy used by a computer to make the copy. But this is so small as to be almost imeasurable.

What I am saying is that the Content Creators do deserve to be paid AND that the general public should have access to acceptable costs for such product. After all, it shouldn't cost a user $1.00 for a song from iTunes when a CD of 10 songs is $10ish. There are no production and distribution costs with the digital copy. So why $1.00? Because of so many middle men. If there was a site that sold the song for 5 or 10 cents, I BELIEVE that piracy would drop. (not stop)

Thanks for reading.
James

C_Guy (Cable Guy?) ALWAYS takes the pro RIAA/MPAA position, even though the general public has redefined this issue since day one. Only corporate shills are as entrenched in their position as he is. :(

File sharing/P2P to most of us is a "fair use" issue. We were taught to share as children and the media companies still don't realize this is the modern age equivalent of radio and free advertising.

Real PIRACY is a misnomer for bootlegging, wherein criminals profit by selling counterfeit goods illegally...which NO ONE supports.

PS The good news is that we, the modern consumer, control their world now, not vice versa. The RIAA/MPAA companies and sponsors have been trying for years to stem the tide of the inevitable while they try and figure out the future.

With Hulu and iTunes, they are starting to get it, but the truth is that no matter what they do, the digital universe means that they are all going to become renters of their library content one day -- as content creators AND consumers don't really need these onerous scumbag corporate middle men anymore.

C_Guy said,
How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar.

I don't have time to explain to you what's wrong with that logic, and since I'm not getting paid to do so, the following will have to suffice:

You have the cart before the horse, the cart is loaded with manure, and you're desperately trying to convince the horse that the cart is full of flowers.

All the time, every time, C_Guy never fails to deliver the quality goods that come from the bowl of his bathroom.

Be thankful he always has so much to share, even if some of it is a little "nutty".

TechGuyPA said,
Does anyone else here think C_Guy either works for or has family who work for the RIAA?

+1

@C_Guy

Your comments never fail to crack me up, especially your pro-MS, anti-everything else stance and your assumption that you are the only one who has done Economics 101 and thus wiser than all others.

Looking forward to reading more of your comments.

C_Guy said,
How terribly embarrassing for Harvard. Surely, if stealing online is ok then we can all run out and steal a chocolate bar. Or a computer. Or a car. Heck we'll just take anything we want because the "Harvard Law Professor" seems to think sharing illegally is ok. No harm done. And since no one will be buying we can arrange for money to magically float down from the sky to enable artists to continue making music for people to steal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?

A grade-school teacher who has read the introduction to an economics textbook could easily take on this "Harvard law professor" but I think Harvard has suffered enough embarrassment for one day.

If a murder or rapist can get away with their crime because of illegally obtained evidence against them, why can't file sharers?

Good news.. Would love to see the RIAA get beat down like this! Its about time they realize the fights they could never win would backfire at sometime.

It was always a fear campaign. They never intended to win anything. They just wanted to slow the spread of P2P while they all collected their paychecks as long as possible.

nightwolf20024 said,
just hope this guy is as good as he thinks he is.


The man is a Harvard professor. You don't get into Harvard, let alone teach, by being average.

We'll see what happens. Just remember that the RIAA has deeper pockets than Harvard does. I expect the RIAA could drag this one out for a decade or two, assuming they loose the case at the court of first instance.

It's been my experience that the law in general really just a blunt instrument. Civil law, however, tends to involve the two parties beating each over the head with blunt lawyers. Courts are a circus wherein said blunt instrument is put on show while being manipulated (skillfully or otherwise) for no joy whatsoever on anyone's part. Of course, the lawyers get nicely padded with sacks of cash before they perform, so they don't mind at all.

Airlink said,
We'll see what happens. Just remember that the RIAA has deeper pockets than Harvard does. I expect the RIAA could drag this one out for a decade or two, assuming they loose the case at the court of first instance.

Well, perhaps the legal battle will drag on, but if the lawyer is any good he should at least be able to get an injunction to make the RIAA stop these illegal tactics until the case is settled. But as you said, we shall see...

notta said,
The man is a Harvard professor. You don't get into Harvard, let alone teach, by being average.

At harvard one of the passing grade is to be able to argue yourself out of something even if you are wrong so you might wonder how much better the argument gets when you are right. It blows out of water. RIAA you are dead meat eaten in courts. The lions will chew you up. So what happens when 2 layer friends are faced with a bear. One layer friend doesnt have to out run the bear. He has to outrun his friend.

nightwolf20024 said,
just hope this guy is as good as he thinks he is.

I hope they realize that big corporations own the courts. They can bribe the judge and never get caught.

nightwolf20024 said,
just hope this guy is as good as he thinks he is.

Very hard to go against modern organized crime. RIAA is the modern equivalent of the mob.

Airlink said,
Just remember that the RIAA has deeper pockets than Harvard does.

A more incorrect statement has never been posted @Neowin before.

Harvard produces an enormous number of high-paying lawyers and professionals, many of whom graduated long before the RIAA was formed in 1952. These alumni contribute back to their college in the form of cashier checks...lots of checks, with lots of zeros (before the decimal point).

But I digress. Ian Gershengorn is the fifth former RIAA lawyer to be appointed this year to the DOJ (http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2009/05/04_gershengorn.html). Some may argue there is a personal vendetta to be settled, but others would argue that Harvard is once again just trying to upstage Yale...

The Riaa pratices are no different from the extortion pratices used by organised crime, and here's finally the actual proof for that.
I hope the Riaa bloods plenty for this. To thumbs up for the Harvard prof!