View Full Version : University Files Licensing Complaint Against RIAA

08-06-2008, 05:48 PM
The complaint (PDF), originally filed on July 11, is only the latest turn of events for a company constantly defending itself against unlicensed investigator claims. Early last July the MediaSentry attempted to justify its work – which seems to consist mainly of recording usernames and IP addresses of copyright infringers on P2P networks – by claiming that it draws from publicly available sources, and is therefore exempt to the regulation requirements found in its home state of Michigan.

“Media Sentry, Inc, which promotes and advertises its expertise and qualifications as an investigative agency, was specifically hired by the [RIAA] to investigate suspected instances of copyright violations taking place within the state of Michigan and including CMU,” wrote the anonymous CMU attorney.

While neither MediaSentry’s nor SafeNet’s websites describe its services as investigatory, advertising copy on the SafeNet websites lists a number of “intelligence services,” including “notification services” that assist business owners with anti-piracy initiatives. Copies of the website furnished by CMU attorneys, however, show that the company previously advertised its knack for “Investigating Piracy of Intellectual Property,” promising clients that its “investigation service” offers the “most advanced scanning techniques available.”

Michigan law defines a number of protected activities that require an investigation license. These requirements include any business or individual, who for a “fee, reward, or other consideration,” conducts an investigation for the purposes of obtaining a person’s identity or activities, or for securing evidence to be used before a court, among other things.