Music Wars: Scene 9
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is concerned that the RIAA may be suing Grandma:
In which a US Senator attempts to reign in the
Empire RIAA, and the Rebels attempt to evade detection
Coleman, chairman of the Senate's Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, asked the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for details of 900 subpoenas it has obtained in federal courts. In a letter, he expressed concern that innocent people's rights may be violated in the industry's attempt to rein in what it contends is rampant on-line piracy costing recording companies billions of dollars.Although this will not end the war, at least someone of influence can see that the RIAA's crusade has the potential to target innocents.Myself suspects he has children in the 13-25 age bracket.
The RIAA subpoenas have snared unsuspecting grandparents whose grandchildren have used their personal computers [and] individuals whose roommates have shared their computers . . ., " Coleman wrote. "This barrage of RIAA subpoenas is creating such a backlog at the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia that the court has been forced to reassign clerks to process the paperwork.
"Surely it was not Congress' intent when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to short-circuit due process protections, relegate a U.S. District Court to providing 'rubber-stamp' subpoenas, enable the music industry to collect information about consumers with little or no restrictions, and place numerous average consumers at risk of bankruptcy," he said.
In a related story the Rebel Music Pirates are attempting to mask their identity or at the very least make it difficult for the Empire to find them:
Some of the upgrades reroute Internet connections through so-called proxy servers that scrub away cybertracks. Others incorporate firewalls or encryption to thwart the sleuth firms that the recording industry employs.The RIAA says they can still find you, the rebels say they can't, Myself is more likely to beleive the rebels although that may be more of a projection of my point of view than actual logical reasoning.
"Everyone is concerned about their privacy," said Michael Weiss, chief executive of StreamCast Networks. The upgrade to his Morpheus file-sharing software has been downloaded more than 300,000 times since its release late last month.
Music industry officials insist file-swappers can't hide.
"Nothing that has been invented has prevented us from being able to identify substantial infringers and collect evidence," said Matt Oppenheim, senior vice president of business and legal affairs for the Recording Industry Association of America.
Yet experts say some of the countermeasures could make it more difficult to trace individuals on peer-to-peer networks. Though none can guarantee total anonymity, they ultimately may not have to.
"With enough technology it may not be worth the effort for the RIAA to come after somebody," said Mark Rasch, a former U.S. Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor. "At some point, it can become so difficult to find out who did something that it becomes practically anonymous."