Patterico's Pontifications

6/24/2008

L.A. Times Distortion of Kozinski’s Material “In Many Ways More Disturbing Than Anything Kozinski Had In His Stash”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 6:21 am

A publication called GayWired reviews the facts of the Kozinski debacle and finds misconduct — by the Los Angeles Times:

[L.A. Times reporter Scott] Glover’s articles are inflammatory, but they are at best misleading.

Kozinski’s self-imposed removal from the Isaacs case is a chilling result of the power of the press, and the subsequent revelations of the actual content of his site and how greatly it differs from what Glover describes is in many ways more disturbing than anything Kozinski had in his stash.

Investigative journalism has brought about many great things in the past—consider the Watergate scandal and Deep Throat, as well as the Pentagon Papers and leaked elements of the 9/11 report. But this is the second time in only a few months that the Los Angeles Times has printed a story that is either blatantly false (its theory that rapper Sean Combs was involved in the shooting of Tupac Shakur) or, in this case, irresponsibly misleading.

The Los Angeles Times editorial says that it makes sense for Kozinski to recuse himself from the obscenity case because “the website controversy has become a distraction and will undermine public trust in the verdict.” Indeed, the Isaacs trial has the potential to be of great importance in the struggle for first amendment rights: Rights, incidentally, that Kozinski has spent much of his career defending.

But the publication fails to acknowledge its own irresponsibility in bringing this “controversy” to the public eye in the first place, and doing so while using misleading descriptions and questionable timing. The LA Times may be saying “so what,” but were it not for its own reporter, Kozinski would—rightly—not be required to say anything at all on the matter.

Ouch.

At the Staten Island Advance, columnist Daniel Leddy piles on:

There is a final irony here, provided curiously enough by the Los Angeles Times itself. Shortly after it published the Kozinski story, the paper stated editorially that it really wasn’t interested in hearing any explanations from the judge. Instead, it asserted that his only response to the story should be “so what?”

This, because “scolds who argue that judges should be prevented from engaging in such private activity as gathering subjectively amusing or even appealing smut should recall that the 1st Amendment is not limited to high-minded endeavors”.

Well said.

Now all that remains is for the Los Angeles Times to explain why it chose to humiliate Kozinski in the first place.

They don’t explain such things, Mr. Leddy. Your reputation is in their hands, and that’s all there is to it.

No explanation required.

62 Responses to “L.A. Times Distortion of Kozinski’s Material “In Many Ways More Disturbing Than Anything Kozinski Had In His Stash””

  1. Once again; the Los Angeles Times long ago lost any right to claim that it was a “serious newspaper”. Their editors do not edit–and it’s pretty clear that they don’t even think. Their circulation figures are going down the old porcelain bowl for a good reason.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  2. This sums it up, Patterico.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. I wrote an e-mail to a Times reporter last week about the coverage of Obama’s decision to break his vow to use public finance in his campaign.
    The reply was a form that thanked me for reading. They should, since it appears I may be one of the last people to do so. I quit subscribing, after 40 years, about 5 years ago.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  4. I spoke with my favorite IT person about this story and he raised an interesting point. He said that if Mr. Sanai could download from this type of server, he also could upload to the server. My IT person said that a full examination of the server operations was in order. He also said that such a server setup is often viewed by the owner as private, but unless properly protected, it is vulnerable.

    Roberta (92fd54)

  5. Muck-raking such as this used to be rewarded by a place-of-honor at a tar-and-feathering.

    Too bad the practice has fallen into dis-use.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  6. He said that if Mr. Sanai could download from this type of server, he also could upload to the server.

    Not necessarily true at all. One could easily restrict uploads to specific IP addresses while keeping the server publicly accessible for downloads.

    You just can’t make that assumption.

    So we’re stuck with the main fact of this story: AK left his server open to the public and was caught making copyrighted music files available for illegal distribution.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  7. So we’re stuck with the main fact of this story: AK left his server open to the public and was caught making copyrighted music files available for illegal distribution.

    Er… no, not really. He did not “make his music files available for illegal distribution.” There is exactly one person in this smear campaign who thinks that, and that person is Cyrus Sanai.

    Based on that logic, almost anyone with mp3s on his computer would be “making them available for illegal distribution,” as it is possible to access the files remotely, if one has the inclination (and expertise) to do so.

    bridget (add3eb)

  8. There is exactly one person in this smear campaign who thinks that, and that person is Cyrus Sanai.

    Actually, no. There are a number of people who have pointed out this aspect of the story. I think AK is getting hammered unfairly for the other random content on his server, but I have absolutely no sympathy for his distribution of copyrighted music.

    Based on that logic, almost anyone with mp3s on his computer would be “making them available for illegal distribution,” as it is possible to access the files remotely, if one has the inclination (and expertise) to do so.

    This is just so wrong that it hurts to respond. Bridget, seriously, there’s a world of difference between storing digital music files on a personal computer and leaving them out on a public server.

    A. World. Of. Difference.

    See, internet-connected computers don’t just become public servers on their own. Such functionality must be enabled and configured. Under Mac OS X, for instance, one must enable File Sharing to even allow file-sharing access within your LAN. Same goes for FTP access and even HTTP access over port 80.

    And that’s the key here. These are conscious decisions made by system administrators and they must be held accountable. Ignorance of how the internet works is just not a suitable excuse. AK has only himself — or whomever configured his web server — to blame for his woes.

    If you put material you do not have the right to distribute on a public web server then you’re certainly putting yourself at risk.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  9. I think AK is getting hammered unfairly for the other random content on his server, but I have absolutely no sympathy for his distribution of copyrighted music.

    What distribution of copyrighted music? By all accounts, the only person outside of Judge Kozinski’s immediate family to have accessed the closed portions of the server (i.e. those in which links were not given out) is Sanai.

    See, you start with the premise that there was distribution of copyrighted material, and then move on to thinking that any analogy which points out that there was NO distribution is painfully illogical. Well, go figure.

    bridget (add3eb)

  10. What distribution of copyrighted music?

    This distribution of copyrighted music.

    See, you start with the premise that there was distribution of copyrighted material

    A premise that is entirely rooted in fact… If you put a digital music file you do not have the right to distribute on a public web server then you are violating copyright law under the DMCA.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  11. Was it a public web server, or was it home server that happened to be on the web?

    There’s public, and then there’s public.

    And distribution suggests intent. Unless you can prove intent or actual delivery to someone that wasn’t a nutjob with a legal stratagy to grind, I’m pretty sure you can’t say the Judge was distributing anything…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  12. Whoops. Linked to the article that links to the article I meant to cite. Here’s the relevant article, and I quote:

    A tour of his website last month by the ABA Journal, on a tip from the same Los Angeles lawyer who gave the story to the LA Times, yielded, for example, more than a dozen mp3 music files, most of them songs by the parodist Weird Al Yankovic.

    And some of them are copyrighted. The files included Yankovic’s send-up of the group Survivor’s song “Eye of the Tiger,” written for the film Rocky III. Yankovic’s parody version, “Theme From Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)” was on his In 3-D album.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  13. I have a question for all the commenters that have spent weeks now making fun of me for linking to a summary of a government document. Does everyone remember that?

    Are all the things you said about me also true of Patterico? Shouldn’t he be ridiculed for initially accepting the Times’ reporting, without seeing the images and videos for himself? Why am I looking through all the comments on these various Kozinkski threads and not seeing anyone screaming, ‘Trust, but verify?’

    Levi (74ca1f)

  14. Because there was nothing to verify, and he’s changed his position as it came to light that the reporting was wrong.

    Also, he read what he linked to. So at the least he’s one up on you in that regard…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  15. No, Levi. Patterico has a functioning brain. You, not so much.

    JD (75f5c3)

  16. Because there was nothing to verify, and he’s changed his position as it came to light that the reporting was wrong.

    What do you mean there was nothing to verify? Wasn’t he accepting as true the reporter’s descriptions of the content?

    And I haven’t had to change my position, because it hasn’t ‘come to light’ that the summary that I read was wrong.

    Care to try again?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  17. Was it a public web server, or was it home server that happened to be on the web?

    There. Is. No. Difference. If your computer has web sharing enabled it is a server. If there is no password protection and no IP verification then that server is public. Those facts cannot be disputed. It’s how the internet works.

    And distribution suggests intent. Unless you can prove intent or actual delivery to someone that wasn’t a nutjob with a legal stratagy to grind, I’m pretty sure you can’t say the Judge was distributing anything…

    Tell that to the people successfully sued by the RIAA for merely having copyrighted files within a folder shared over the gnutella network… They weren’t even running a public web server — but they made their files available to a distribution network without the permission to do so.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  18. There. Is. No. Difference. If your computer has web sharing enabled it is a server. If there is no password protection and no IP verification then that server is public. Those facts cannot be disputed. It’s how the internet works

    So by storing my iTunes on my computer which is hooked to the internet, I’m sharing music files?

    Are you SURE about that?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  19. And distribution suggests intent. Unless you can prove intent or actual delivery to someone that wasn’t a nutjob with a legal stratagy to grind, I’m pretty sure you can’t say the Judge was distributing anything…

    Arguably, either “purposefully” or “knowingly” would suffice, but, by all accounts, Judge Kozinski not only lacked the desire to distribute these mp3s to others, he took steps to ensure that he was not doing so.

    As a nit-picky point: Yale, his son, was the one who managed the server; inadequate security would be his fault. It’s not even a slam-dunk that this applies to the judge.

    If I leave my iPod (well, I don’t have an iPod, but my hypothetical iPod) lying around in the school library, I will have made “copyrighted material” “publicly available.” Wow – should RIAA sue me?!?

    bridget (add3eb)

  20. They weren’t even running a public web server

    For the sake of a better debate, could you define “public web server”?

    Can that which is a public web server in some contexts also be a private web server? Can the same server support both functions? (I would argue “yes” to this, which is why I think that having AK’s writings online does not make the rest of it public.)

    bridget (add3eb)

  21. So by storing my iTunes on my computer which is hooked to the internet, I’m sharing music files?

    NO! I just responded to Bridget’s similar response. Your computer isn’t serving files over the internet. If you have iTunes Sharing enabled it only shares over your local network. And that is permissible sharing as negotiated by Apple with the RIAA.

    Two completely different situations.

    If I leave my iPod (well, I don’t have an iPod, but my hypothetical iPod) lying around in the school library, I will have made “copyrighted material” “publicly available.”

    You can’t pull music off an iPod without third party software. Doing so violates the DMCA for circumventing copyright protection schemes (also known as DRM). So, no, you wouldn’t be doing anything illegal.

    For the sake of a better debate, could you define “public web server”?

    A public web server is a computer — or network of computers — connected to the internet that can be accessed without password or IP verification via HTTP or FTP, but not necessarily limited to those protocols. An example of which is this blog, which can be accessed via the domain name “patterico.com” or the IP address 66.254.94.229.

    Can that which is a public web server in some contexts also be a private web server?

    Certainly. Not every file or directory within a server must be public. In fact, it’s a horrible configuration to do so which is why AK is in the mess he is in.

    Can the same server support both functions?

    Essentially the same as above. The answer is yes. That’s where password protection or IP verification comes into play. Most — if not all — websites have “public” areas where no credentials are required. Yet the sensitive areas are restricted via some form of privacy control.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  22. We’re all guessing, of course. But my read of what happened goes like this. The Kozinski server was probably just a garden-variety Windows XP Pro or Mac machine with the web service enabled. Port 80 of their firewall was opened to allow them access to their files.

    The judge’s son did place an index.html file in the root directory of the web server, i.e. the file that said “There’s nothing of interest here for you.” In doing that, the son and the judge apparently believed that they had blocked access to everything on the web site unless you specifically knew the name of the file you were looking for. This is a very common mistake!

    In fact, the way both Microsoft and Mac web servers are configured by default, unless you include at least a blank index.html file in every subdirectory, every subdirectory is left exposed to prying eyes IF anyone knows or guesses the name of any subdirectory on the web server.

    “stuff” wouldn’t be that hard to guess, and it became much easier when Yahoo indexed the entire directory after a document was posted by the judge with a link to a file in his /stuff folder. Then along comes Cyrus, who deletes the file name from the link in the message he read from the judge or perhaps he just did a Yahoo Search and, presto, up pops a directory listing of every single file in the judge’s /stuff folder.

    It seems pretty clear that neither the judge nor his son intended to host any of these files for the entire world to see much less use. Why would they? What they intended was to hide access to all of the files unless you knew what you were looking for, and only they knew. Or so they thought.

    People legally host their private MP3 collections on servers all the time. In fact, you have to in order to use products such as the Sonos sound system. No one has ever suggested that converting your music collection to MP3 format for your personal use is anything other than fair use. So, at least from what I have read, there was no intent to host MP3s for others to download. In short, it is a far cry from the torrent situation. It was an unknowing web server configuration error, and nothing more. Thus there was no aiding and abetting copyright infringement because the family thought the files were hidden from prying eyes. Of course that defense probably wouldn’t extend to others who might have copied files from the server that they did not own.

    Vic Trola (368e9e)

  23. The Kozinski server was probably just a garden-variety Windows XP Pro or Mac machine with the web service enabled. Port 80 of their firewall was opened to allow them access to their files.

    Access to your files does not require using port 80. If they were only focused on file sharing they should have used FTP which allows password protection and is designed solely for accessing files remotely.

    It seems pretty clear that neither the judge nor his son intended to host any of these files for the entire world to see much less use.

    Assumption.

    So, at least from what I have read, there was no intent to host MP3s for others to download.

    Assumption.

    It was an unknowing web server configuration error, and nothing more. Thus there was no aiding and abetting copyright infringement because the family thought the files were hidden from prying eyes.

    Ignorance is never a valid excuse. You, among others, keep assuming that this web server configuration was a mistake. I wont make that assumption. If they wanted privacy they should have password protected the site. They did no such thing.

    Once you remove your assumptions the situation becomes quite clear. Kozinski made his web server public and — perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not — participated in the illegal distribution of copyrighted material.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  24. Once you remove your assumptions the situation becomes quite clear. Kozinski made his web server public and — perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not — participated in the illegal distribution of copyrighted material.

    Assumption.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  25. Comment by Scott Jacobs — 6/24/2008 @ 2:04 pm

    There is no assumption there, Scott. Copyrighted music files were being shared via his public web server. I linked to the ABA Journal article which stated that fact. The web server was public — no password, no IP verification — which is also a fact.

    So there is no assumption being made with the sentence you quoted. Public web server? Check. Presence of copyrighted material? Check. Links found via a search engine specifically acknowledging the existence of said material? Check.

    How much clearer does it need to be?

    Whether or not he intended to distribute the file is absolutely irrelevant. It was distributed and he is certainly at fault.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  26. Sorry, h2u. Maybe you ought to read what you link to.

    The ABA Journal mentioned a reporter who performed a “tour of the web site.” It provided a link to another ABA Journal article. Here the relevant text from that article:

    A tour of his website last month by the ABA Journal, on a tip from the same Los Angeles lawyer who gave the story to the LA Times, yielded, for example, more than a dozen mp3 music files, most of them songs by the parodist Weird Al Yankovic.

    Bingo! Again, only Sanai accessed the website and the copyrighted songs. He then – oddly enough – gave other people the necessary information to find that copyrighted material (and even gave it in CD format to Patterico to put up on this site).

    Here is the article in question

    bridget (add3eb)

  27. Bridget, I think you’re missing something…

    The ABA Journal received the tip from Cyrus and then visited the site on their own. Cyrus found the link to the site via a google search — or perhaps Yahoo! — but that doesn’t change a thing. The messenger’s motives don’t refute the message.

    Again, only Sanai accessed the website and the copyrighted songs.

    And this is just outright false. The ABA Journal visited the website — they say so in the line you quote — so it wasn’t ONLY Cyrus accessing the website.

    Just because Cyrus turned the spotlight on Kozinski’s server doesn’t mean that he was the only one to see it. It. Was. A. Public. Server. And it was web-crawled by a search engine, for heavens sake! That’s how Cyrus found it in the first place.

    Are you not familiar with the circumstances of this story???

    h2u (81b7bd)

  28. Most folks don’t use search engines to search for their own web sites.

    There are dozens of woulda, coulda, shoulda scenarios that, in retrospect, I’m sure Judge Kozinski wishes he or his son had done. I was merely trying to sketch out what I think really happened.

    No federal judge would intentionally host a web site to allow strangers to download his MP3s and less than politically correct videos. For what? So he could endure all of this??

    Vic Trola (368e9e)

  29. No federal judge would intentionally host a web site to allow strangers to download his MP3s and less than politically correct videos.

    A good point. And quite true. But here’s the issue I have…

    I think that you’re correct in assuming he wouldn’t want strangers accessing the files on his web server. But I think the whole point of having the server be public is that he could easily share content with his friends and family.

    After all, it’s much easier to send 40 people a link to a file than it is to send them the file itself. So I’m sure this whole server thing got blown entirely out of proportion. But that doesn’t change the fact that he still made a huge mistake. And pleading ignorance is hardly doing him justice.

    Ultimately I have sympathy for AK. I think that Cyrus is a shady, shady dude and he’s just being vindictive. But that doesn’t let Kozinski off he hook. He f’d up and he’s now dealing with consequences. I hope he doesn’t get sued by the RIAA but there is certainly a chance he could be.

    I hope this serves as a lesson to anyone out there considering hosting their own web server. Unless you’re willing to spend the time, do the research and properly implement your technology then it’s highly likely that something like this could happen.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  30. h2u – please tone down the snark. I’m not a dumb person, and I am very, very familiar with this entire debacle.

    bridget (add3eb)

  31. A P.S.:

    If Sanai was so concerned about the mp3s – concerned enough to walk the ABA Journal through a tour of Judge Kozinski’s files – why did he time this to come out when the jurist was presiding over an obscenity trial, instead of waiting for him to take on a copyright appeal?

    bridget (add3eb)

  32. Bridget, I only invoked the snark after your remark. And I quote:

    Maybe you ought to read what you link to.

    And if you’re very, very familiar with this debacle then why did you write “…only Sanai accessed the website and the copyrighted songs?” when it’s simply not true.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  33. If Sanai was so concerned about the mp3s – concerned enough to walk the ABA Journal through a tour of Judge Kozinski’s files – why did he time this to come out when the jurist was presiding over an obscenity trial, instead of waiting for him to take on a copyright appeal?

    He didn’t. The LA Times sat on the story when Cyrus first brought it to them. He admitted as much on either this blog or overlawyered or one of the many blogs he’s shat upon recently.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  34. Here’s a link to a blog that remarks on the LA Times sitting on the story.

    Not only did the Los Angeles Times fail to disclose that the source of its information about the Judge’s home server was a much criticized disgruntled litigant, but it apparently sat on the story for months, timing its publication to the opening statements in the obscenity case.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  35. I don’t care when you felt the need to make me the recipient of your snark – it’s totally inappropriate. I have better things to do with my time than take undeserved crap from people I’ve never met.

    The ABA only accessed the site because Sanai walked a reporter through it. It did not access the site independently, through a search engine, by chance, or from its own navigation and curiousity. That access is no only the direct cause of Sanai’s access, but was (by all accounts that I can find) done under his supervision. Ergo, Sanai’s access.

    Your issue is with the precision of my language (perhaps an “independent” ought to have clarified my statement), not with its actual content.

    If you think of your debate opponents as rational humans, rather than people who are not only wrong but incapable of reasoned thought, you will not get into the situation wherein it takes a half-dozen posts to resolve a linguistic issue.

    The server was intended to be private and also reasonably designed to be private. The heavy-handed sarcasm about it being a public server is ridiculous: there is very debatable issue about whether or not it is public, especially in light of the undisputed fact that the Kozinskis did not intend for it to be so.

    bridget (add3eb)

  36. H2U, defining and critiquing morality based upon the music industry’s self-serving definitions is ludicrous. By analogy, if I leave my home unlocked with books on the shelves, I have made those copyrighted materials available to anyone whose morals allow them to intrude and copy. The liability for someone else’s bad acts is transferred to someone who failed to expend effort to prevent those bad acts, simply because it’s easier to prosecute or sue them. You’re not discussing right and wrong, you’re discussing political lobbying and venal governing.

    I have all of my CD’s recorded on my hard drive. The industry’s supposedly long-lived medium turns out to be easily scratchable, and so, to protect my purchase, I have to record them. My home computer is on the internet, and file sharing is set so that I can access that computer from afar. The CD producers may well dislike my actions, but, ignoring their temporary contribution-fueled entitlement to money for nothing, the fact remains that it takes someone else’s bad act to increase the number of copies of a song.

    bobby b (4f46a5)

  37. The server was intended to be private and also reasonably designed to be private.

    No and no. There was no privacy whatsoever. You’re just making assumptions.

    The heavy-handed sarcasm about it being a public server is ridiculous: there is very debatable issue about whether or not it is public, especially in light of the undisputed fact that the Kozinskis did not intend for it to be so.

    Intent is irrelevant when it comes to the internet. Either something is public or it is private. Alex Kozinski’s server was public. That’s the bottom line. Sorry if you fail to grasp this very simple concept.

    H2U, defining and critiquing morality based upon the music industry’s self-serving definitions is ludicrous.

    Bobby B, the DMCA is law. I don’t like it one bit, but that’s the way it is. You’re just trying to muddle the issue.

    There is a WORLD of difference between ripping your CD collection to your hard drive and making files available on a public server. If you cannot differentiate between the two situations there’s nothing I can do to help you. You’re allowed by law to make copies of music you own. You’re not, however, allowed to distribute them willy-nilly. That’s what Kozinski did whether or not he intended to.

    And that is illegal.

    h2u (4a7c7f)

  38. h2u, no matter how often you assert your opinion as fact, it remains opinion. Amusingly, the question of the legality of “making available” is current in play, such as the Thomas P2P case in Minnesota. Thanks for giving us the MPAA / RIAA position.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  39. h2u, no matter how often you assert your opinion as fact, it remains opinion.

    Gee, you had to go and say it in about a fifth as many words as I used, didn’t you? :p

    bridget (add3eb)

  40. Kumbaya, everyone. Close your eyes, hold each other’s hands, and feel the spirit.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  41. Gee, you had to go and say it in about a fifth as many words as I used, didn’t you? :p

    Truly, you are ready to start your career as a lawyer…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  42. I much prefer group hugs, but, if you say so… :)

    bridget (add3eb)

  43. Not with this group, you’ll get groped.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. Not with this group, you’ll get groped.

    I would ove to know who started that…

    Oh, wait… You were joking… :)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  45. …and then someone will take a picture of it, someone else will post that picture on Facebook, and then, all of a sudden, the L.A. Times will be calling me a “porn star” who engaged in “group sexual activities.”

    Nevertheless, I’m not convinced that it would be any safer to sit around a comfy, roaring fire with my eyes closed.

    bridget (add3eb)

  46. Bridget,

    I think I speak for everyone when I say I enjoy your comments and I hope you stick around a long time. I’ll also be cheering you on as you pass the bar and start your career.

    DRJ (21aa5f)

  47. Thank you, DRJ.

    bridget (add3eb)

  48. h2u: “Intent is irrelevant when it comes to the internet. Either something is public or it is private. Alex Kozinski’s server was public. That’s the bottom line. Sorry if you fail to grasp this very simple concept.”

    Not sure of the source of your legal and technical wisdom, but…

    Intent is quite relevant when it comes to most criminal activity. It’s a basic element of most crimes, especially felonies. For those few crimes in which it is not an element, it almost always can be raised as a defense in one way or another. The only difference is whether the government has to prove it or the defendant.

    As for Judge Kozinski’s server being public, I think we can all agree that the root directory was intended to be public. Because of affirmative action by the Kozinski’s, that directory returned a message saying there was nothing for you on the server. That pretty much tells you what their intent was by the way, and the exact wording was in another thread.

    Once you get past the root directory, the Kozinski’s clearly intended the server and its contents to be private. Otherwise, there would have been navigation aids of some sort to help the public get to the directories. Just because a computer is plugged into the Internet doesn’t mean everything on the server is fair game. Try snooping around for directories on some of the Pentagon’s machines and see how quickly you get a knock at your front door.

    In Judge Kozinski’s case, copyrighted music files were *NOT* being shared via a public web server. A more accurate description would be that copyrighted music files owned by the Kozinski’s were publicly accessible via a private web server, the owner of which believed was secure and had been hidden from public view… at least in the case of the /stuff directory.

    Vic Trola (368e9e)

  49. What KIND of law do you hope to focus on after the bar? Criminal? Realestate? Probate?

    *shudder*

    Copywrite?

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  50. I think everyone on this thread agrees that the Ninth Circus Court is an acid trip gone horribly bad. And Kozinski is in charge of that Cuckoo’s Nest, so any humiliation & bring-down of this egregious Court Jester is well-earned.

    Sadly, it shows just how out of synch CA has become—no longer a bellwether, but a belfry full of bats.

    daveinboca (50193e)

  51. Scott Jacobs – patent!

    And Kozinski is in charge of that Cuckoo’s Nest, so any humiliation & bring-down of this egregious Court Jester is well-earned.

    Kozinski has been in charge for just over six months, and I daresay that the Ninth Circuit was a wee bit wacky before then. He can hardly be expected to turn it into a well-run machine within mere months. The guy is good, but no one is that good.

    bridget (add3eb)

  52. patent!

    Sweet Jesus…

    Do you hate yourself that much?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  53. I’ve heard it called “happy law,” because you sit around and help inventors all day. You get to learn about new technology. You’re not defending scumbags. You’re not playing psychologist in a family dispute. No one comes after you with a gun.

    Most importantly, I can make use out of those four miserable years that I spent getting my engineering degree while my liberal arts friends were partying it up.

    bridget (add3eb)

  54. Most importantly, I can make use out of those four miserable years that I spent getting my engineering degree while my liberal arts friends were partying it up.

    My god, you planned ahead…

    /swoon

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  55. Thanks for giving us the MPAA / RIAA position.

    SPQR, I believe I stated earlier that I think the DMCA is bad law. The **AA’s of the world are bludgeoning users over the head with copyright law and it’s very frustrating. But that doesn’t change the fact that normal users don’t distribute music this way.

    The vast majority of digital music owners use iTunes. iTunes does not allow the sharing of your files over the internet — only your local network. That keeps 99% of the music-consuming public on the right side of copyright law. But Kozinski is, unfortunately, on the other side.

    He left copyrighted music files in a public directory of a domain-registered web server. It was crawled by a search robot and the URL was blasted around the web. It was found by Cyrus and he reported it to the media.

    Normal users don’t do that, so it’s quite understandable if the RIAA takes issue with such practices.

    Just because a computer is plugged into the Internet doesn’t mean everything on the server is fair game. Try snooping around for directories on some of the Pentagon’s machines and see how quickly you get a knock at your front door.

    That’s entirely my point, Bic. Everything on the AK server was fair game because they had made it so.

    A public web server is one that doesn’t have password checks or IP verification. That means that anyone — web crawlers, disgruntled lawyers, savvy bloggers — can view the contents. Whether or not he intended for the site to be private is not at issue. It. Wasn’t. Private.

    So intent is irrelevant when the facts are known. I’m not trying the case; I’m not on the RIAA’s side; and I certainly think Cyrus Sanai is a jerk. But that doesn’t change the fact that AK’s server hosted copyrighted content with no restrictions on who could access it. And that’s a problem.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  56. Kumbayah, indeed. Here is one page, that I came across on a Google search, from what I believe is a site set up like Kozinski’s. See for yourselves how you can jump from that page to others on the site. (Rated G as far as I can see.)

    Also, look at the very differing numbers of visitors on the various pages.

    nk (11c9c1)

  57. h2u, actually “normal” users do do that. Poor security on webservers, and local wireless networks is a daily occurance. And your understanding of the law is simply inaccurate. The RIAA / MPAA position that “making available” is a violation of the distribution right has no basis in law.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. h2u, actually “normal” users do do that. Poor security on webservers, and local wireless networks is a daily occurance.

    Normal users don’t turn their personal computers into web servers, SPQR. They just don’t.

    The RIAA / MPAA position that “making available” is a violation of the distribution right has no basis in law.

    I’d disagree in that the RIAA has sued and won such cases before. Not every case, mind you, due to their very poor legal strategy. But they have won. I’m not carrying water for the RIAA. But I’m certainly going to say that doing what Kozinski did makes it much harder on copyright-respecting folks like myself.

    Bottom line: do not put copyrighted material in a position to be downloaded freely from their web server. Whether you believe it’s illegal or not, it’s foolhardy and reckless. Keep music where it belongs: on a hard drive unexposed to the internet. Local networks only!

    h2u (81b7bd)

  59. Keep music where it belongs: on a hard drive unexposed to the internet. Local networks only!

    This should read…
    Keep music where it belongs: in a directory unexposed to the internet. Local networks only!

    h2u (81b7bd)

  60. h2u, the RIAA is not going to win any more verdicts, nor will the MPAA given the vacuousness of their legal arguments.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. SPQR, that blog you link to doesn’t cite their source…

    This essay from Wired lays out the issue pretty well. Disclosure note: I’m good friends with the Goeckner family, of whom Greg is the MPAA general counsel.

    I think we’ll see the fine dropped down from $222,000 to something more reasonable, but I highly doubt that the “making available” argument will be ignored. In my humble opinion I think it’s a relatively valid stance for the **IA’s to take.

    In any case, July 1st is the day we’ll hear oral arguments on whether or not there’s a new trial.

    h2u (81b7bd)


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