Someone finally realized that university students are also allowed to get assistance from lawyers as news has come in that The Oregon attorney general's office is investigating the Recording Industry Association of America's practices regarding 17 University of Oregon students accused of copyright infringement. While the AG isn't minimizing the seriousness of copyright violations, his office has submitted a brief questioning the data mining tactics and subpoena practices employed by the RIAA.
The office is pushing to essentially cross–investigate RIAA representatives to ascertain the legality of its investigative practices––a discovery request that could be very expensive for the RIAA to respond to. The AG's motion asked the court to allow the university to determine whether the RIAA does, in fact, possess no additional information with which to identify the 17 John Does, and seeks to quash the plaintiff's subpoena as "overboard and burdensome."
The RIAA has famously swamped University's and ISP's with "John Doe" requests, demanding identifying information using only IP addresses. IP addresses are used by any person connecting to the Internet, but often change, making the practice less than foolproof.