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First New Dismissal Motion Against RIAA Complaint 155

Posted by Zonk
from the listen-to-it-on-npr dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Several weeks ago it was discovered that a California federal judge, in rejecting an RIAA application for default judgment, had dismissed the RIAA's standard complaint for failure to state a claim, calling it "conclusory" "boilerplate" "speculation" in Interscope v. Rodriguez. In the wake of that decision a New York woman being sued in Brooklyn federal court, Rae J Schwartz, has told the Court that she is making a motion to dismiss the complaint in her case, Elektra v. Schwartz. This is the first post-Interscope challenge to the RIAA's boilerplate, of which we are aware. This is the same case in which the RIAA had sent a letter to the Judge falsely indicating that AOL had 'confirmed that defendant owned an internet access account through which copyrighted sound recordings were downloaded and distributed'. Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but the RIAA has pressed the case against her."
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First New Dismissal Motion Against RIAA Complaint

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:40AM (#20695463)
    Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis

    So what? It doesn't pertain to the case at all. If I suffered from MS and I killed someone chances are I'm going to jail. The validity of the the RIAA claims against her aside, just because you have a disorder doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever you want.
    • Was just about to post this exact thing. Ditto on everything the parent said.
    • Quite right. But it makes for excellent news copy, particularly if she's innocent and the RIAA have hit the wrong person with their scattergun approach to lawsuits.
      • by Silver Sloth (770927) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:05AM (#20695749)
        It's a variant on Missing White Woman Syndrome [wikipedia.org]. The important point is that, in trying to explain to the general public that music downloaders are not evil criminals then using this case to point out that the RIAA also chase MS victims may help sway opinion. It's not logical but it's how it works.
        • by AGMW (594303)
          Yep indeed. Now if only it had been a Child with MS, oh how many papers we could have sold then!

          Won't somebody think it was Children!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Actually, I'm guessing the RIAA wants all the "bad" publicity it can get on cases like this.

          It's been said before that there's a reason the individual record labels file suit through the RIAA: The RIAA as a group is INTENDED to appear scary and evil. They sue little old ladies, twelve-year-old girls, the terminally ill and handicapped - ANYONE who "screws with them." They even (IIRC) make press releases about how kids who they accuse should drop out of college and get a low-wage job to make their settlement
      • We know it's the right person because AOL didn't say it was!
    • by bidule (173941) on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:57AM (#20695657) Homepage
      Stress accelerate the development of this disease.

      But of course insensitive clods like you don't care about quality of life.
      • Stress accelerate[s] the development of this disease. But of course insensitive clods like you don't care about quality of life.
        Thank you, bidule. Comforted to see a little humanity here. Yes it is absolutely true that stress has a very bad effect on MS, and in this case her brain lesions and other problems have been exacerbated by the litigation.

        Meanwhile, this is a person who never even heard of, let alone participated in, file sharing, let alone used file sharing to infringe plaintiffs' copyrights.
        • by AGMW (594303)
          Whilst I can see that stress may make the MS symptoms worse, that doesn't stop what the GGP said being true. If she's guilty of something then she should be tried, regardless of whether she has a medical condition that might be exacerbated by the process. Now, once she is found innocent she could presumably use the MS issue as a means to increase the damages due.

          • by r3m0t (626466)
            For a very long time, the evidence has overwhelmingly pointed to her being "not liable" (that's the legal term for being "innocent" in a civil case). If the RIAA has any sense, they know that she didn't do it. So why were they pursuing her for so long? It isn't as thought they need the money.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by AGMW (594303)
              For a very long time, the evidence has overwhelmingly pointed to her being "not liable" (that's the legal term for being "innocent" in a civil case).

              If this is also true, then it could also be used to help drive up any damages due!

              • by HiThere (15173)
                Well, if they keep it up long enough they can kill her in a perfectly legal way. Then all they need to do is back off her estate (which will already have been eaten by legal fees).

                I consider what they're engaged in as a legalized form of torturing someone to death for profit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thewiz (24994) *
          As a person with a disability, I agree with you. Here a few more points about a disability being pertinent to a court case:

          Lawyers fees, court costs, travel and other expenses to fight back can affect the persons ability to get treatment and/or medication for the condition.

          Have to go to court can take time away from getting needed treatment (think dialysis).

          Also, the RIAA seems to be targeting people that they believe can't or won't fight back; I find it appalling that they seem to be going after people wi
      • I wrote this piece of Vendetta poetry (see sig) thinking about Tanya Andersen, but it applies to this case, too. Aren't they tired of this facade?

        Those mischievous moguls magnify their monumental monopolies by multiplying their machinery: Digital Rights Management, DMCA, "Trusted" Computing (Mr. Stallman was not mistaken). Maltreating musicians, misusing copyright to the max, mirroring the Matrix by mining the government to monitor communications, marching like the militia to school meetings in the mornings

      • by huckda (398277)
        and that has exactly WHAT bearing on the facts of the case?
    • by phoenixwade (997892) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:14AM (#20695845)

      Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis
      So what? It doesn't pertain to the case at all. If I suffered from MS and I killed someone chances are I'm going to jail. The validity of the the RIAA claims against her aside, just because you have a disorder doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever you want.
      As to the Letter of the law, you are right. And the fact that one of the defendants was dead, or a grandmother, or a single mother of three is also meaningless as far as the law is concerned.

      However, considering the tactics and FUD the RIAA is using in the cases they've filed, and that the general public doesn't respond to what is legal, it responds to what the media feeds them, I have no problem with it being pointed out.

      Or, to put it another way, it makes no difference what Race a person is, when they are arrested for a crime, yet you will almost always have it pointed out. You can find similar examples involving religion, sex (Female Murder suspects are really big news in my area), or a host of other things that are not directly pertinent to the case itself. Commenting about these things increases the attention the case gets, and, although not directly relevant, it is a true comment.
      • by Ibag (101144)
        It doesn't matter that it is a true comment. It's not "not directly relevant," it is completely irrelevant. It doesn't fit into the standard background facts that people generally mention (e.g. many people have preconceived notions about people of particular races or genders, and so it piques people's interest when a white mother of 4 is accused of dismembering a vagrant, yet it doesn't when an MS sufferer commits copyright infringement). It is the kind of comment that might be used to sway the public in
    • by BoberFett (127537) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:18AM (#20695903)
      If the RIAA can claim that pirates are helping terrorists in their press releases, why can't their victims play the pity card? Turnabout is fair play.
    • Yes.

      And this is why pretty hot female teachers having sex with 15 year old male students are not punished while handsome male teachers having sex with 15 year old female students go to prison for a decade.

      Because the law is blind and impartial.
      • "Because the law is blind and impartial."

        A 15 year old female student can get pregnant. A 15 year old male student cannot.
        • And because a lot of guys think it would have been great to have gotten to have sex with their female teachers and do not even see it as potentially damaging.

          But the law doesn't make those distinctions and yet it is unevenly enforced (which was my ironic point). We aspire to be a nation of laws, not men when in reality our laws are frequently selectively enforced. That is a problem with making everything illegal is that then you can suppress people you do not like by enforcing the law against them while i
          • "But the law doesn't make those distinctions and yet it is unevenly enforced (which was my ironic point)."

            I agree with you, but I think your example is bad. The big problem with teen sex is pregnancy. If the teacher gets pregnant, oh well, she's an adult and she should know better. (At least that's how the law sees it.) If a 15 year old female studen gets pregnant, she's not of age to make that choice or meet that responsibility, and it messes up her life. From the pregnancy perspective, the two aren't
            • by pjt33 (739471)
              Do you think that becoming a father at 15 doesn't mess up your life? Or do fathers have no responsibilities where you live?
              • "Do you think that becoming a father at 15 doesn't mess up your life?"

                Nope. Never said anything of the sort.

                I dare you to go up to your mother and say you think pregnancy is just as much of a life-fuck for the father as it is for the mother. ;)

            • But the law says "Adult with person under 18 == Jail Time." Period.

              The law doesn't carve out special exceptions for females or males; fertile or infertile.
              The law doesn't say "Male teacher who have a vasectomy can plow every girl on the cheerleader squad without punishment".

              By your logic, the punishment for a male teacher who was infertile should be much less than for a male teacher who was fertile. And likewise those strap-on using lesbian teachers would get a complete "by" since they couldn't possibly i
              • "But the law says "Adult with person under 18 == Jail Time." Period."

                Ah, okay, fair point. I have a point I want to reply to here, but I concede on this one.

                "By your logic, the punishment for a male teacher who was infertile should be much less than for a male teacher who was fertile."

                By your logic, a man who doesn't wear a shirt at the beach should be arrested for indecent exposure. What? No...? Okay. Extreme arguments are silly, I think we both agree on that. Men and women are biologically and anato
                • by brother_b (16716)

                  By your logic, a man who doesn't wear a shirt at the beach should be arrested for indecent exposure.

                  No, it should go the other way. A man won't get arrested for indecent exposure for being topless on the beach, so women should be afforded that as well. Equal protection under the law and all that.

                  • "A man won't get arrested for indecent exposure for being topless on the beach, so women should be afforded that as well. Equal protection under the law and all that."

                    That wouldn't be equal protection.
                • In some state the law doesn't distinguish between a man being topless in public and a female being topless in public (Females can because Males can), which leads to an interesting situation, in New York it's equally legal for males and females to be topless in public, yet if a television news crew films a topless female legally on the street in NY, the FCC can fine them if they broadcast it.
                • I agree with you that men and women are different anatomically and biologically.

                  As far as a man being arrested for being topless... well yes they were well into the 1920's
                  (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~roseying/ids110/3FRAME.HTM).

                  From that site:
                  "Modesty was an issue well into the 1920's. Under the 'Bathing Suit Regulations' published in May 17, 1917, men's suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks. The other alternative was to wear a fla
        • Child abuse is child abuse.
    • In spite of the "justice is blind" theory in which our legal system operates, it obviously isn't that cut and dry.

      Take, for instance, an incident in the rural little town of Hinckley, UT. Several years ago, a town employee was caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar, having spent town funds on (among other things) diet pills and kitchen decorations. She defrauded a small community and broke the public trust. Pretty bad, if you ask me.

      The asshat of a judge over the case, Judge Donald Eyre of

    • So what? It doesn't pertain to the case at all.

      Yes, let's not let actual facts get in the way of the RIAA's theoretical case and blatant lies to the judge.

      Save that for the punitive damages counter-claim.
  • Although it may be true that Interscope v. Rodriguez may be valid in the jurisdiction for which it was issued, there's no obligation upon any other jurisdiction to follow it. This battle against RIAA complaints is far from over, and is likely to result in a visit to the S. Ct. in ~10-15 years as these cases wind their way through the appellate process.

    There is a distinct possibility that Elektra v. Schwartz will come up with a different result - and this could actually be a good thing. Remember, it takes
    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@@@beckermanlegal...com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:57AM (#20695655) Homepage Journal

      Although it may be true that Interscope v. Rodriguez may be valid in the jurisdiction for which it was issued, there's no obligation upon any other jurisdiction to follow it.....
      Except that the Interscope decision is based on Bell Atlantic v. Twombly [cornell.edu], which is a decision of the United States Supreme Court, and binding on every court. And it is clear that the RIAA's standard complaint does not satisfy the 'plausibility' standard of Twombly.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I won't debate Interscope being based on Bell Atlantic v. Twombly; however, whether or not the RIAA's boilerplate meets the plausibility standard of Twombly is a matter subject to adjudication in the various jurisdictions. It will provide lots of opportunities to have the RIAA complaints dismissed, and that's something I think both of us can agree would be a Good Thing(tm).

        Thank you for the discussion and the opportunity to improve the argument that I'm trying to make - I apologize for being a little les
  • Irrelavence... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdobossy (674488) on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:42AM (#20695485)
    "Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but the RIAA has pressed the case against her."

    Does anyone else get tired of all the "Joe Schmoe is 72 years old, has a goiter and an infected big toenail, but the RIAA still presses on!" sensationalism?

    It seems as if every defendant in these cases has to be painted as a victim not only of the RIAA, but life itself. How about focusing on the fact that the RIAA has no proof, or legal grounds, and leave it at that!
    • Not irrelivant (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      The USA is a Socialist state and the state has a duty to protect the old, the young and infirm. The US has Social Security and many other socialist programs and the judiciary is the teeth of the system. The RIAA is casting such a big drag net, that they are bound to snare many cases that deserve sympathy, which then weakens their overall strategy. So it makes sense for lawyers to use these cases to hit back at the RIAA since they have a better chance of winning.
      • by mdobossy (674488)
        "So it makes sense for lawyers to use these cases to hit back at the RIAA since they have a better chance of winning."

        I have to disagree with this one. If I was a judge/juror on a case and the defense was placing focus on some emotional, irrelevant piece of information, my first thought would be 'what are they hiding?' IMHO, pulling a move like this weakens a case, as it is an attempt to divert attention from the true issue.
        • I would agree except for the fact that the RIAA plays the "innocent victim" card frequently and loudly as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KevinIsOwn (618900)
        Do you even know what socialism is? Just because Social Security has "social" in the name doesn't make the US a socialist state by any stretch of the imagination.
    • Re:Irrelavence... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@@@beckermanlegal...com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:01AM (#20695703) Homepage Journal

      "Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but the RIAA has pressed the case against her."
      Does anyone else get tired of all the "Joe Schmoe is 72 years old, has a goiter and an infected big toenail, but the RIAA still presses on!" sensationalism? It seems as if every defendant in these cases has to be painted as a victim not only of the RIAA, but life itself. How about focusing on the fact that the RIAA has no proof, or legal grounds, and leave it at that!
      I've got a better idea.

      How about focusing on both?

      Both the fact that they have no case, and the fact that they inflict their frivolous cases on the most helpless and most defenseless people in our society.
      • 've got a better idea.

        How about focusing on both?

        Both the fact that they have no case, and the fact that they inflict their frivolous cases on the most helpless and most defenseless people in our society.


        The issues is why do we need to focus on both?

        If not having a case was enough to win then the nature of the defendant is irrelevant; I think we can both agree that bringing baseless lawsuits against anyone is a waste of court time and generally a bad thing.

        However, not having a case is not enough to accompl
        • by Tuoqui (1091447)
          You ask why do we need to focus on both? Simple, for the same reason the RIAA only touts their victories and never mentions anything about their defeats. It may not be relevant for the purpose of a legal victory but it very well may mean the difference in a moral victory and/or the court of public opinion that may actually cause some actions and consequences for the actions they are taking that may be legal... Such as say a Boycott [boycott-riaa.com]. Although I'm sure they'll try and spin it as piracy going up and go on a bi
      • I've got a better idea.

        How about focusing on both?

        Both the fact that they have no case, and the fact that they inflict their frivolous cases on the most helpless and most defenseless people in our society.

        Are you suggesting that the RIAA spacifically targets the disabled? I think you're out of line on this. It's not the issue, and infact distracts from the issue. It weakens the "movement" against RIAA-like actions, and takes focus away from the real issues of people like the RIAA and their masters abus

        • I dunno ... I'd say it's pretty damned obvious that the RIAA targets people that haven't the means to defend themselves, and the disabled are often the most defenseless people in our society. Just like children, welfare mothers and dead people, all classes of people that have been hit by the RIAA. So it's not much of a stretch at all to say they target the disabled. NewYorkCountryLawyer is correct: both the legal and human aspects of their campaign are reprehensible, and we should maintain awareness of both
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jimstapleton (999106)
      I think your point is valid, but I also think part of the point is that the RIAA is also targetting these people, in the wide list of people they can target, rather than just targetting any offenders they find.

      As if they are specifically targeting those who would have the most trouble fighting back, regardles of amount of guilt.
    • Re:Irrelavence... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bidule (173941) on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:10AM (#20695797) Homepage
      Stress accelerate the development of this disease. [wikipedia.org] But of course insensitive clods like you don't care about quality of life.

      Yes, I am repeating myself, but good manners have to be hammered through thick skulls. And I know that these members of /. reactionary crowd are a lost cause but I don't care.
      • And that point would be relevant in a countersuit, and should be used in the event of such a suit to ask for increased damages. It is not pertinent to the RIAA's suit against her, however.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      I think this is important, not because it excuses anyone, but because it points to how just insane the RIAA has become for their little crusade. The fact that they are willing to risk the potentially *HUGE* PR backlash of suing old ladies and the handicapped just to win a few thousand $ in some petty music downloading cases is a good illustration of how far they've gone down the road.
      • I think this is important, not because it excuses anyone, but because it points to how just insane the RIAA has become for their little crusade.

        I think this is important, not because it excuses anyone, but because it points to just how inhumane the RIAA has become for their little crusade.

        There, I corrected that for you...

      • I think this is important, not because it excuses anyone, but because it points to how just insane the RIAA has become for their little crusade. The fact that they are willing to risk the potentially *HUGE* PR backlash of suing old ladies and the handicapped just to win a few thousand $ in some petty music downloading cases is a good illustration of how far they've gone down the road.

        Keep in mind that in most cases the RIAA is suing an IP address with no knowledge of the person. Do defense lawyers respond to the charges and say "My client, who it just so happens has multiple sclerosis (thought you'd like to know), maintains..."? NewYorkCountyLawyer's claim that the RIAA goes after the most helpless members of our society, while true on its face, is a bit disingenious. The RIAA goes after IP addresses, and a lot of the people behind those IPs have downloaded/distributed copyrighted m

        • by Artifakt (700173)
          Keep in mind that in most cases the RIAA is suing an IP address with no knowledge of the person.

          How sure is anyone of that?
          If the RIAA actually simply goes after ISPs randomly, then after suing several thousand people, an unbiased statistical analysis will show few or no significant patterns of economic background, ethnicity, or social status. Patterned deviations should be minor to within margin of error trivial, and any detected should be decreasing as more people are sued. If children of judges, congress
    • It seems as if every defendant in these cases has to be painted as a victim not only of the RIAA, but life itself.

      It may seem that way, in the same sense that it seems, from watching CSI, that cops solve every case that comes in front of them. But you are just reading about the cases where there are circumstances such as these, where the defendant has solid claims to refute guilt and / or some circumstance that endears them to the public.

      There are plenty of other RIAA lawsuits going on that don't fit that and you don't read about those.

      The last line of the submission isn't likely to have an impact on a judge's decisio

    • Could be worse, could be the RIAA sued someone dead. Or someone who doesn't have a computer or a Internet connection, or is deaf. Or generally someone they figured was too weak from a debilitating illness to fight back.

      No, they wouldn't... Would they?
    • It matters a great deal to the RIAA how capable its victims are of defending themselves. I think a quick study of the victims they choose to pursue would show a significant bias. The victims they pursue are poorer, sicker, and more clueless than the average citizen, or the average file trader. Bullies only pick on those who they think won't or can't fight back.

      That the RIAA chooses such victims shows they aren't interested in a fair fight, and that they don't care what the real merits of their grievanc

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:42AM (#20695493) Journal
    The write up is good up until the last line. The respondent having MS says nothing about the case nor does having MS prevent her from using a computer or downloading music or provide immunity from civil prosecution.

    The fact that she has MS is irrelevant.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by techpawn (969834)
      The fact Stress can exacerbate MS and weaken her can play into suffering of the woman but even as an MS sufferer myself I agree with a lot of other posts. Just have MultiSoc doesn't keep you from court battles if you've done something which calls you into one.
    • If she had M$ we would think it was relevant.
      • She doesn't just have M$, she's suffering from it. And that's something that I think most of us can relate to. ; )
    • The fact that she has MS is irrelevant.

      My thoughts exactly.

      It doesn't matter what OS she is running!

    • Like many people have said before me, if she had Linux you would be singing a very different tune!
    • The write up is good up until the last line.
      Which distinguishes it from a good many other write ups, which are bad from the headline forward.
  • by debrain (29228) on Friday September 21, 2007 @09:44AM (#20695525) Journal
    Is there no common law or statutory cause of action in barratry [law.com] (or otherwise, e.g. RICO Act) that could be brought against the RIAA in a class action? While not a defence, and certainly adventurous, barratry et. al. ought to be available as a counterclaim.

    I imagine it would be more judicially efficient to resolve all these cases as a class action. It would also give access to justice to those who would otherwise be unable to properly defend (or counterclaim in) their action.

    Finally, and less adventurous, do the relevant statutes address classes of defendants? This would seem to be, if the boilerplate accusation is correct, a quintessential case for judicial efficiency by way of a defendants' class.
  • Ms. Schwartz suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but the RIAA has pressed the case against her."

    This appeal to pity has no place on slashdot!
  • Read TFA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@@@beckermanlegal...com> on Friday September 21, 2007 @10:27AM (#20696029) Homepage Journal
    Those of you who are suggesting that the focus of the article is the defendant's Multiple Sclerosis haven't read the article very carefully. The mention to MS is in the very last sentence.

    The last two sentences of the article have nothing to do with the main point of the story, which is defendant's attack on the insufficiency of the RIAA's boilerplate complaint, which is the first such attack of which I am aware since the Interscope decision was handed down. Those last two sentences are merely background to give you a point of reference to which of the RIAA's 30,000 cases this happens to be. The next to last sentence describes a lie the RIAA told last year in this case to the Judge -- that, too, has nothing to do with the sufficiency of the RIAA's complaint, but none of you have singled that out or suggested that the article emphasizes that.

    So it's baloney to say the author is relying on the defendant's MS for anything. I.e., it's intellectually dishonest to suggest that this article emphasizes the defendant's MS.

    ******************

    Now a digression.

    Had I chosen to emphasize her disease, as I might have, I don't see that there would have been anything wrong with that. And to those of you who think it's okay to bring nonsensical litigation like this against children, stroke victims, hurricane victims, MS sufferers, disabled people on welfare, and others.... to you I can only say that your value system is not unlike that of my opponents, who likewise see nothing wrong with what they are doing.

    As I have previously mentioned, I use the "friends" and "foes" feature in Slashdot for the purpose of managing my reading load. Although I haven't in the past, going forward I am going to mark as a "foe" -- and therefore be spared reading the comments of -- any user ID who says that it is irrelevant that the defendant is disabled, or impoverished, or a child, or one of the other categories of disadvantaged and/or defenseless victims. Anyone who feels that way is not my kind of people.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mdobossy (674488)
      Ray-

      Thank you very much for the clarification. I hope I am not "foe'd" yet, so I can clarify what I was trying to say.

      The fact that there are people with MS, old ladies, those who have never even had an internet connection, being sued by the RIAA is terrible. And if they are truly targeting those kind of people, they are the most despicable of the despicable.

      My only concern is that when an emotional plea is sent out in a description of a court case, the public changes their focus from "The RIAA i
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Thank you very much for the clarification. I hope I am not "foe'd" yet, so I can clarify what I was trying to say.

        I said I haven't "foe'd" people for heartlessness in the past, that I'm just going to do it going forward.

        1. I'm not a PR person, I'm a lawyer.

        2. I'm a simple man.

        3. The article is about the RIAA's standard complaint -- which it has used in 30,000 cases, mostly uncontested -- being insufficient.

        4. Ms. Schwartz's MS is not relevant to that issue, so it is in my view "offtopic".

        5. Ms. Schwartz's MS is relevant to the brutality and immorality and moral impoverishment of the freaks and ghouls pursuing he

    • I suggest you stick with comments that reach a positive moderation regardless of whether they are friend or foe.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink [wikipedia.org]

      I've never used friend or foe moderation. Some of the comments criticizing my positions have been painful to read (most of the time because I was wrong having spoken to casually- some of the time because the people were spiteful).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I suggest you stick with comments that reach a positive moderation regardless of whether they are friend or foe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink [wikipedia.org] I've never used friend or foe moderation. Some of the comments criticizing my positions have been painful to read (most of the time because I was wrong having spoken to casually- some of the time because the people were spiteful).

        1. One thing I am not capable of, and have never been accused of, is Groupthink.

        2. I disagree with you on the moderation question. I don't use other peoples' moderation as a basis for screening comments; that would increase the likelihood of being subjected to Groupthink. I screen on the basis of my own appraisal of a person's demeanor.

        3. I do not designate someone as a "foe" because he or she disagrees with me; I love a good argument. I designate someone as a "foe" if I think the person is (a) a shill

        • Fair enough.

          Just being a canary in the coal mine Ray.

          Sometimes people with no heart are best capable of seeing the truth everyone else doesn't want to admit is true.
          You are one of the leading lawyers in this anti-riaa charge. I believe you need to be very clear headed and a bit heartless. Use emotion if it helps your case, but don't start believing your own bullshit.
    • Re:Read TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:41AM (#20697105) Journal
      Hi Ray. I have a lot of respect for you and the work you are doing, but I can't let this stand unchallenged:

      Had I chosen to emphasize her disease, as I might have, I don't see that there would have been anything wrong with that. And to those of you who think it's okay to bring nonsensical litigation like this against children, stroke victims, hurricane victims, MS sufferers, disabled people on welfare, and others.... to you I can only say that your value system is not unlike that of my opponents, who likewise see nothing wrong with what they are doing.
      You have two logical fallacies in the same argument there, but the worst one is your straw man. We are not saying it is 'okay to bring nonsensical litigation like this against children, stroke victims [etc].' We are saying that it is completely unacceptable to bring this kind of nonsensical litigation against anyone. We believe in a little thing known as 'equal protection under the law,' be it for MS sufferers, children, stroke victims, or cute white girls born with silver spoons in their mouths. By saying it is worse to bring a suit like this against an MS sufferer, we feel you are implicitly stating that it is not so bad to bring it against someone who is not an MS sufferer, and that is something we find objectionable.

      That said, when you go for the counter-suit for malicious prosecution, barratry, or whatever else you think will stick, I hope you will use the fact she has MS to add at least one more zero onto the end of the settlement.

      • by Xenographic (557057) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:30PM (#20698939) Homepage Journal
        > By saying it is worse to bring a suit like this against an MS sufferer, we feel you are implicitly stating that it is not so bad to bring it against someone who is not an MS sufferer, and that is something we find objectionable.

        Well, it is. Now hear me out.

        As has been reported many times, stress is a factor in MS. By bringing this lawsuit, they can worsen her condition. In other words, it's like the RIAA is helping kill her. Add to that the fact that the disease is very expensive and that means that MS sufferers have limited means to defend themselves. So now they'll have a hard time affording medicine AND a hard time affording legal representation. Thus, the circumstances make it worse. After all, you KNOW they're not going to make any money off this case, even if they win.

        Honestly, I do think it more objectionable to pick on the weak and the sick who have a hard time fighting back. Not because they have or should have more legal rights than anyone else, but because it is so dastardly of the RIAA to do this to begin with. There's absolutely nothing stopping the RIAA from dropping cases. They can be as discriminatory in bringing them as they want to be, so far as I know, without giving up any legal rights.

        In other words, the heartless bastards just don't care. And they wonder why people cheer when MediaDefender got owned. At least that was a company that should've been able to defend itself against one lousy torrent with all their dirty secrets in it. I mean, that was their job, and they couldn't do it to save their own skin.

        See the difference? It's the difference between only picking on those who cannot fight back and standing up to a bully. People boo one and cheer the other, even though all people are equal under law.
        • by maird (699535)
          I agree. I think that Ray Beckerman has said before that the RIAA is particularly interested in settling these cases for a few thousand dollars a case. Ray says that there are, I believe, thirty thousand targets in the RIAA sights. Is it stretching belief to wonder if, to the RIAA, the MS issue actually is an important reason to pursue someone. It's easier to force the hand of someone in a weak position than someone in a strong position. Imagine you have MS and are facing this knowing that the act of facing
      • Thank you for using logic and reasoning instead of using the moral high ground card and shouting down anyone who doesn't share your beliefs. I lack the grasp of the english language to express my views as clearly and concisely as you have done, but I wanted to say basically the same thing to several people in this thread. It's amazing how many people are using the sympathy card in this thread. Again, Kudos to you!

        I'm a fan of NewYorkCountryLawyer, but I've lost a fair amount of respect for him after reading
    • Had I chosen to emphasize her disease, as I might have, I don't see that there would have been anything wrong with that. And to those of you who think it's okay to bring nonsensical litigation like this against children, stroke victims, hurricane victims, MS sufferers, disabled people on welfare, and others.... to you I can only say that your value system is not unlike that of my opponents, who likewise see nothing wrong with what they are doing.

      It's not okay to bring nonsensical litigation against anyone regardless of what life has dealt them. But regarding MS, it's the way you worded it. The last sentence of the submission by you makes the statement that she has multiple sclerosis. Clearly, from the comments, a whole lot of people thinks that is emphasizing the disease. It's an entirely different thing to say that the defendant has a disability (which makes it irrelevant) than it is to say that the RIAA is vigorously pursuing the case becaus

    • The last two sentences of the article have nothing to do with the main point of the story

      Than why include it? Clearly it's a distraction that has no relevence to the case.

      • The last two sentences of the article have nothing to do with the main point of the story

        Than why include it? Clearly it's a distraction that has no relevence to the case.

        Interesting, but highly dishonest, technique, you used there. You deleted the sentence which came after the snippet you quoted. Just in case you want to know why I'm designating you a "foe", it's because you are a foe to reasoned debate and to honest discussion. Had you quoted me correctly people would have seen the answer to your dumb question. This is what I actually wrote:

        The last two sentences of the article have nothing to do with the main point of the story, which is defendant's attack on the insuffi

        • Oh come on Mr. Beckerman! I'm certainly not working for the RIAA or any of their carnivorous brothers...

          I do think that bringing up the "defendants" medical issues is a distraction of the real issues, even a bit underhanded. I suppose alls fair when dealing with people like the RIAA, but wouldn't it be nice to discuss the merits of their case rather than who has what disease? I'm not the only one to bring this point up, perhaps we all work for the RIAA? Really!

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