[unisog] Responses from Universal, RIAA, etc.

Rita Seplowitz Saltz rita at princeton.edu
Fri May 2 17:18:02 GMT 2003

It is odd to hear that other folks are not finding Universal or the RIAA
responsive.  I've found both surprisingly responsive when I ask questions or
report perceived problems.  (I've not had to do so with the MPAA, etc., so
can't comment on those.)

I must confess that I've never asked them how they are gathering their
data--and we don't try to validate it.  I just notify the person responsible
for the device affiliated with the IP address,  and over the years only two
have contested the allegations in any way.  One of the two indicated the
file name was misleading (the contents actually were a different copyrighted
film).  The other voiced her response ambiguously but so as to imply the
film had never been on her machine.  However, her residential dean and I
both found that suspicious--and Universal's person asked if we had
considered the KaZaA user name shown, which turned out to be the student's
middle name, one she uses among her close friends.

So they have seemed to have good data, however they obtained it.

One problem both Universal and RIAA had temporarily was the time shift.  I
believe Universal's agent continued to timestamp things as PST for a period
of time after the west coast moved to daylight savings;  and the RIAA
retro-stamped EDT on incidents dated before we on the east coast moved to
daylight savings.  But each has since corrected that problem.

In general, I find their infringement complaints well documented and useful
in allowing me to notify the people responsible for assuring compliance
(and, where warranted the appropriate disciplinary authorities) without a
lot of extra effort.

Rita Saltz
Policy and Security Advisor
Office of Information Technology (OIT)
Princeton University
and DMCA Agent for Princeton University
rita at princeton.edu

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