RIAA’s shoddy data gathering techniques are unlawful and shouldn’t be used as legal evidence. This is what a Dutch court concluded based on the expert witness statement from Dr Johan Pouwelse, who is about to testify in the UMG v. Lindor case in the US.
Dr. Pouwelse is hired by Ray Beckerman, Mrs Lindor’s lawyer, to give his expert opinion on the RIAA’s IP-harvesting techniques.
Among others, the RIAA hires the US based company MediaSentry to monitor file-sharing networks for infringements of their client’s media. MediaSentry’s job is to identify and trace IP addresses they claim are engaged in such activity.
MediaSentry’s effectiveness has been called into question by Dr. Pouwelse in Foundation v. UPC Nederland. It was concluded that the “shoddy” way MediaSentry collects and processes IP addresses has no lawful basis. When the US court reaches the same conclusions, this will have great implications for many other RIAA lawsuits.
As Jon from P2Pnet puts it; “Pouwelse’s evidence will be a landmark and it’ll be re-employed by attorneys the length and breadth of America who are working to prove the innocence of their clients who, like Mrs Lindor, are falsely held up to be unprincipled, hard-core criminals and thieves.”
Pouwelse is founding father of the Tribler BitTorrent client and currently employed as an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.