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University wants cease-and-desist order for MediaSentry


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Allegations of conducting unlicensed investigations continue to dog MediaSentry, the company hired by the RIAA to seek out and download music over P2P networks as part of the group's legal campaign. Mary Roy, the Assistant General Counsel of Central Michigan University, has filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG), accusing MediaSentry of conducting investigations without a Private Investigator license.

The complaint (PDF) was filed in mid-July and was just uncovered by attorney Ray Beckerman on his blog. In it, MediaSentry is accused of continuing its "unlicensed and illegal actions" in Michigan even after being informed by the DLEG in February 2008 that its activities could be in violation of state law.

Under Michigan state law, a private investigator is defined as an entity that investigates "the identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation,... activity,... transactions, acts,... or character of a person" or secures "evidence to be used before a court."

CMU points out in its complaint that the fruit of MediaSentry's labor is exhibits attached to RIAA complaints, and CMU lists eight Doe cases involving 99 suspected P2P users filed in Michigan federal courts between May 3, 2007 and May 28, 2008. In each of the lawsuits, the RIAA referred to MediaSentry as a "third-party investigator" that gathers evidence of copyright infringement.

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