For those of you not already aware, the RIAA remains inexplicably unaware of any existing reason that they should not have total, uncontrolled access to the hard drive of a defendant accused of intellectual property violations.

Whilst the parallel between calling a RIAA-aligned expert and calling any other RIAA-aligned witness might be pretty hard to ignore, it does also seem silly that the plaintiffs in a case should be able to choose the primary investigators of evidence at a whim. And, well, they can't… they just think they should be able to, despite yet another judge saying no.

That said, even if as the defendant you can call an independent expert to back up your defence, is it really any different? It that expert totally non-biased? No. Everyone has their views about file sharing and I suspect it would be hard to ignore one's own feelings about a case when asked to give an 'independent' opinion in court.

Then there's the problem that any expert who decides the plaintiffs are talking rubbish and that there are no offending goods on the hard drive in question are likely to simply get classed as thief-lovers. After all, someone sharing MP3s doesn't have any legal rights, right? And by extension, anyone trying to defend their [non-existent] rights must also support the sharing of MP3s and movies, right?

Basically the stigma over sharing 'copyrighted material' is, in my opinion, blocking the way to find a common ground between the communist, dictatorial media moguls stuck in the Dark Ages and the community at large who want variety, quality and affordability. Oh, and the ability to carry around songs on a device of their choosing, in a format of their choosing and be able to retain complete control of the songs. Or is that just a stretch?