[unisog] eDonkey DMCA complaints

Richard Gadsden gadsden at musc.edu
Tue Oct 4 16:26:13 GMT 2005

On Tue, 4 Oct 2005, Michael Holstein wrote:

>> Some of you may recall there were some erroneous DMCA complaints around
>> December/January, all apparently involving eDonkey.  Call this a heads-up,
>> but it appears this problem is back.  I've seen three complaints in the past
>> two weeks, all of which involved IP addresses that had not generated traffic
>> in several months; I have enough network monitoring to be pretty confident
>> about this fact.
> Question :
> what's the consensus on how to respond to these? .. just answer back
> that "after reviewing my logs, this IP did not generate any traffic at
> the stated date/time"?

We send a boilerplate acknowledgement of receipt when a notice comes in, 
but we do not normally communicate with the claimant after that, even if 
our investigation reveals that the notice was erroneous.

Giving the claimant any explicit feedback about the accuracy of his claims 
would be the logical equivalent of reporting misses in the game of 
Battleship. Whose interests would be served? As far as I can tell, the 
only real beneficiary of such communication would be the claimant.

As a network operator, we have certain legal obligations, but aiding and 
abetting claimants who generate false notices is not one of them.

> One presumes they use the same flawed testing methods to generate their
> lawsuits .. anyone had a subpoena involving a bogus IP?
> I've investigated these pretty thoroughly on a number of occasions, and
> concluded that they [the RIAA, et.al.] never actually try to connect to
> the workstation in question -- they must be relying on the directory
> nodes for their information.
> That makes me wonder how they can assume the "alleged infringing
> content" actually exists on the workstation they mention. While I'd
> never wish their dogs try and bite any of our students, I'd be the first
> to volunteer as a witness for the defense about that.

My guess is that these folks don't issue subpoenas or file lawsuits unless 
they have reliable evidence -- something stronger than the P2P directory 
information upon which their notices of claimed infringement are all too 
often based. But that's just a guess.

  --- o ---
  Richard Gadsden
  Information Security Office
  Medical University of South Carolina

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