June 06, 2003

Aimster and "judicial flaming"

The Aimster argument has been well-covered, extensively. What I have to add here is an interesting observation I dug up from the previous decision. This was sparked by a remark in A Copyfighter's Musings post on Thoughts on Aimster:

It seems much of Judge Aspen's reasoning evolves from a distrust for Johnny Deep, considering the encryption part of a mischievous willful ignorance.

Yes indeed. Sayeth the judge:

If Deep's declaration were the only means by which we could evaluate the Aimster system, we might be convinced that it is as innocent as Defendants claim. Unfortunately for Defendants, however, Plaintiffs have submitted numerous declarations to demonstrate that Deep's description of the Aimster service is less than complete.

And you can just see the venom dripping in the Opinion, especially in the portion below. The judge might just as well have written "They're all a bunch of pirates", it would be shorter. I'm adding this to my collection of items about "judicial flaming". It's especially notable for being an instance where trivial message board postings DO end up in court.

3. Chat Rooms and Bulletin Boards Aimster's service includes message (or bulletin) boards on which Aimster users would regularly post messages to each other. Schafer Decl. 3, Ex. 1 (containing screen shots of bulletin board messages). The discussions on these bulletin boards generally fell into a range of particular topics, including: (1) Aimster users seeking to download copyrighted recordings ("I'm trying to find downloads from the Purafunalia album. Specifically the song Blast" (posted by SeanKoury, July 4, 2001)); (2) Aimster users offering recordings for download ("I have a lot of hip hop shared at all times when I'm on, usually over 500 MP3s... [F]eel free to get whatever you want" (posted by biggvince, July 17, 2001)); (3) Aimster as an alternative to Napster ("I'm a long time Napster user, with about 900 MP3s...like everyone else, the RIAA has forced me to try other mp3 websites, so here I am" (posted by honey, March 17, 2001), "Use Aimster like Napster" (posted by Marcella42, May 27, 2001)); (4) comments on the illegality of sharing copyrighted music files ("What you have with Aimster is a way to share, copy, listen to, and basically in a nutshell break the law using files from other people's computers.... I suggest you accept aimster for what it is, an unrestricted music file sharing database" (posted by zhardoum, May 18, 2001)); and (5) bashing of the music industry and the RIAA ("LET'S ALL FUCK OVER THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. . . LETS CHEAT THE VERY ARTISTS WE LISTEN TO" (posted by poiuytrewqm May 20, 2001), "I AM NOT GOING TO BUY CDS ANYMORE!" (posted by OKOK, October 9, 2001)). See, generally, Schafer Decl. Ex. 1 (attaching screen shots).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight , legal | on June 06, 2003 08:57 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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