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RIAA Throws In Towel On "Making Available" Case 252

Posted by timothy
from the that's-sure-a-big-towel-you've-got dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has thrown in the towel on one of the leading cases challenging its 'making available' theory, Warner v. Cassin, in which the defendant had moved to dismiss the RIAA's complaint. We have just learned that the RIAA submitted a voluntary notice of dismissal before the judge got to decide the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint. It will be of interest to see if Ms. Cassin pursues a claim for attorneys' fees in view of recent court rulings that successful copyright defendants are presumptively entitled to an attorneys fee award, even if the dismissal came about from the plaintiffs' having 'thrown in the towel.'"
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RIAA Throws In Towel On "Making Available" Case

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  • Interesting.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:11PM (#23753891) Homepage
    they throw in the towel to avoid precedent being established.

    Seems to me further evidence that they are systematically abusing the legal system with sham lawsuits. If they actually cared about this individual case wouldn't they want to see it through?
    • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fx.Dr (915071) <exterminans.paladinsofthelosthour@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:20PM (#23754041)
      Something tells me they stop caring about these cases the second they make it to court. Settlement money is where it's at, baby. After all, where's the fun in bullying the Little Guy once he refuses to lay down at take his lumps?
      • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:48PM (#23754487) Journal

        If that's the case, why take it to court at all? The threat of lawsuit is only a credible threat if it is backed by a willingness to actually battle it out. Every case they give up on is further weakening their cause, both by showing people that they can fight and win and by creating animosity among judges who feel like their courtroom is being abused. In the long term, they would be much better off not taking any case to court unless they are certain they can win it....

        • Re:Interesting.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:59PM (#23754641) Homepage

          I'm not a lawyer -- of course -- but it seems to me that threatening a ton of people with lawsuits in order to achieve a settlement and then never following through when the settlement is rejected would be just a bit too obvious, even for organizations like these. I doubt most courts look favorably on that sort of bluff, even ignoring the fact that only a credible threat of being sued would induce people to settle in the first place.

        • Re:Interesting.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Fx.Dr (915071) <exterminans.paladinsofthelosthour@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:03PM (#23754697)
          The only incentive these guys have to take a case to its conclusion is to setup the next example in the public pillory. There's absolutely no way the legal minds (using "minds" loosely, here) leading this battle expect to receive anywhere near the amount they've been awarded. The way they see it, as long as people are settling out of court then the deterrent is doing its job. They'll continue to do so as long as a modicum of their much-eroded legal footing remains.

          As another poster pointed out, these cases are essentially disposable, and will continue to be treated as such by the RIAA, as long as it help keep them from establishing precedent that doesn't swing in their favor.
        • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:45PM (#23757425)

          The threat of lawsuit is only a credible threat if it is backed by a willingness to actually battle it out
          Normally that would be true. However in these cases the amount of the proposed settlement, approximately $3,000 US Dollars or so, is just low enough that simply showing up in court with an attorney would probably cost more. The settlements are rigged to be just enough to discourage court appearances, irrespective of the merits (or lack thereof) of the case, while just high enough to fund the filing of new lawsuits once an economy of scale has been achieved by the RIAA and its members. The primary purpose of these lawsuits is to generate fear through spamigation [wikipedia.org]. The recovery of statutory damages is merely icing on the cake when they are able to get them.
      • by Kingrames (858416) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:55PM (#23754593)
        "Settlement money is where it's at, baby."

        Except that they LOSE money on every settlement!

        Haven't you been following along with the stories?
        • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <[ray] [at] [beckermanlegal.com]> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:05PM (#23756295) Homepage Journal

          "Settlement money is where it's at, baby."
          Except that they LOSE money on every settlement! Haven't you been following along with the stories?
          Actually Kingrames, I think the GP had it right. I think they:
          -make money on the settlements
          -lose money on the default judgments, and
          -lose a lot of money on contested cases. Overall I think they're losing money now, but the settlements are the money-making part of it. They get almost no revenue from anything else.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by OnlineAlias (828288)
            I'm a little surprised that you say this. Seems these lawyers work for the music industry hell bent on making sure the pressure is on file sharers, nothing more. The actual amount of money involved in the these cases is irrelevant to the attorneys or the music industry, win or lose. The attorneys fees are being paid by the members of the RIAA who have a dog in the fight much larger than this pittance, for sure. People seem to think that if they start losing money on this tactic it will stop. I can assu
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              I think the shareholders care.
    • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheLinuxSRC (683475) * <<slashdot> <at> <pagewash.com>> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:22PM (#23754077) Homepage
      Not to mention that in order to get the name of the defendant the RIAA had to file a "John Doe" criminal suit, which was dropped after finding the name of the defendant. In other words, a fishing expedition all the way around.

      FTA:
      The notice states that the dismissal is "without prejudice". However, Fed. R. Civ. P. 41 (B) states "if the plaintiff previously dismissed any federal-or state-court action based on or including the same claim, a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication on the merits." It is believed that the plaintiffs learned of the defendant's identity through a prior, "John Doe", proceeding, which it also voluntarily dismissed, so that the dismissal in this case "operates as an adjudication on the merits".
      • Re:Interesting.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by digitrev (989335) <digitrev@hotmail.com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:06PM (#23754745) Homepage
        How is that even possible? Is someone suddenly not a criminal when you find out who they are? I'm terribly ignorant of the law, but I was always under the impression that criminal suits had to be brought by a DA, and even then it was rare for a case to be suddenly dropped unless new information was brought to light.
        • by riceboy50 (631755)
          Don't they drop the John Doe suit once they get the name so that they can open a suit against the named defendent, thus making the original suit a "fishing expedition" as the GP put it?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:14PM (#23755625)
          > How is that even possible? Is someone suddenly not a criminal when you find out who they are? I'm terribly ignorant of the law, but I was always under the impression that criminal suits had to be brought by a DA, and even then it was rare for a case to be suddenly dropped unless new information was brought to light.

          I don't know what you mean about someone "suddenly" no longer being a criminal, but one thing in civil law is that you can't keep suing someone, then drop the case. If you withdraw, you can bring the same case ONCE more. If you drop the same case twice, that's it. You don't get to keep suing them and dropping the case.

          The RIAA works by suing first to get your identity from your ISP. They may or may not have the correct person, but they don't really care. You're not a part of this case, because you probably don't even find out that there WAS a case until it's over. Then they send you to their own "settlement center" unless you refuse and go to court.

          But yeah, these aren't criminal lawsuits, they're civil (the RIAA can't bring a criminal lawsuit to begin with). So double jeopardy and all that doesn't apply, but civil rules about withdrawing from cases and such DO apply. Read the FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) if you want more information.

          But please note, IANAL. Get one before engaging or deciding to engage in any litigation, because I can't give you legal advice! And if NYCL comes in to correct me, listen to him. I had exactly one law class and it didn't cover this. Given how sharp the MAFIAA's practice is, I don't doubt that they will at least try to find loopholes in my line of reasoning.

          - I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]
    • by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:47PM (#23754467)
      , a towel has immense psychological value.
      Any organisation who can sue the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where it's towel is, is clearly an organisation to be reckoned with.
    • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by icebike (68054) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:02PM (#23754685)
      > they throw in the towel to avoid precedent being established.

      Exactly right.

      By throwing in the towel here they think they are free to play this hand at another table. Avoiding a ruling was more important to them than simply losing this round.

      TFA implies this may not be the case, and the dismissal may attach prejudice on any subsequent (or concurrent) claims against other defendants that are substantially similar.

      IANAL, but would like to see one weigh in here with some professional observations.
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      And this doesn't establish a precedent in its own right?
    • Re:Interesting.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <[ray] [at] [beckermanlegal.com]> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:39PM (#23755969) Homepage Journal

      they throw in the towel to avoid precedent being established. Seems to me further evidence that they are systematically abusing the legal system with sham lawsuits. If they actually cared about this individual case wouldn't they want to see it through?
      I agree with you. I think they are trying to avoid another disaster like this one [blogspot.com].
  • About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeiler (1106393) <go@bugger@off.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:12PM (#23753901) Journal
    Of course, all this means is that they will seek another legal tack. Watch out for MediaSentry downloading files to establish "distribution."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by entmike (469980)
      Wouldn't that mean that MediaSentry would be in violation of copyright itself?
      • I've wondered that too. Can you get a "pass" or something to say that you're just "researching" potential piracy?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I'd have to say no. If you're an author and are writing a book about the problem of child pornography, it's still illegal for you to download and/or posess child pornography, for instance.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Neeperando (1270890)

          Can you get a "pass" or something...
          I think they have a word for that... oh, right, it's "warrant".
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TibbonZero (571809)
            And MediaDefender has one for everyone's computer in the world? A warrant has to specific property/location.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        But if MediaSentry is the RIAA or has been authorized wouldn't that make them have the rights to the copyrighted material? Its the same idea on how you can pay $.99 and get the rights to download a song off the web. If the RIAA says "you can download any RIAA song" then no, it wouldn't be a violation of copyright because they have a license given by the RIAA that lets them do that.
        • by digitrev (989335)
          But what happens when they grab the first non-RIAA song that was mislabeled? Or worse (for them), what if they forget to turn off their file-sharing and end up sharing someone else's song?
          • Well, they can always plead that they didn't know that it was an RIAA song which would be really great for the rest of us because if the judge lets them it creates precedent that lets us use the same defense. If they share someone else's song... Most wouldn't care. Sure if they got caught they would sue them but really it is only the *AA that tries to keep a dictator-like hold on the songs they license.
          • Re:About time. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by monxrtr (1105563) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:33PM (#23756627)
            They are already liable for trillions of dollars in copyright infringement statutory damages from copying and uploading files in torrents that are not their copyrighted works. One "rogue" DA can destroy the RIAA and MediaSentry with ease, merely by using the bought copyright laws against those enforcing them. You can't deep packet inspect, you can't check "hashes", without by definition copying bits.

            Just watch how the PRO-IP Act ends up being self decapitation for the big content industry. We will elect some such "rogue" DA in a city(-ies) to be named at a future time. Fuck wasting time and money lobbying Congress. There's big fortune, fame, and political power to be had from taking down the music industry. Eliot Spitzer's career as New York City DA paved the way. The internet operates in every jurisdiction. "Hello, my name is DA Inigo Montoya. You sued my father. Prepare to be bankrupted."
      • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jeiler (1106393) <go@bugger@off.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:35PM (#23754273) Journal

        No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.

        Hypothetical example: Charlie and Denise (fictitious names of the "Alice and Bob" variety) both have computers. Charlie rips a song from a CD and makes an MP3 of it (perfectly legal, though the RIAA would like for it not to be). Charlie then places that song in his "Shared Files" folder (still perfectly legal). Denise downloads the song--it's only at that moment that anything illegal was done, but it is Charlie, not Denise, who has broken the law.

        • Re:About time. (Score:5, Informative)

          by seaniqua (796818) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:00PM (#23754651)
          I'm going to have to disagree with that analysis (IANAL, but I am a law student who is interested in practicing in copyright, so I have a little knowledge on the subject). (Before we get started, I have to say that I am not licensed to practice law anywhere, and this is not legal advice to anyone who may be reading this)

          No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.

          Hypothetical example: Charlie and Denise (fictitious names of the "Alice and Bob" variety) both have computers. Charlie rips a song from a CD and makes an MP3 of it (perfectly legal, though the RIAA would like for it not to be).

          Contrary to popular opinion, the legality of ripping files is not a given. I don't have the text in front of me, but I recall the legality being hinged on judicial interpretation of several seemingly obvious, but legally fuzzy terms (such as "home audio recording device," and whether or not said term includes computers).

          Charlie then places that song in his "Shared Files" folder (still perfectly legal).

          Still questionably legal. This is the (untested as far as I know) act that the RIAA is trying to get labeled as inducement or contributory infringement. The idea is that, but for Charlie making it available for Denise to download, no infringement could have occurred.

          Denise downloads the song--it's only at that moment that anything illegal was done, but it is Charlie, not Denise, who has broken the law.

          Nope, they both have. Charlie and Denise have both infringed the reproduction and distribution rights of both the song writer and the recording artist. The RIAA has been choosing to sue only those who are making the tracks available (probably either because they think it's the cheapest way to get their message across, or because they haven't figured out a way to nail the downloaders without stirring up entrapment charges), but could go after both.

          Note: this doesn't mean that I think the RIAA is right, this is just my take on the system as it stands today. Personally, I think a major overhaul is in order. One that doesn't include all of the stupid special interests that bought their way into the current system.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AK Marc (707885)
            The RIAA has been choosing to sue only those who are making the tracks available (probably either because they think it's the cheapest way to get their message across, or because they haven't figured out a way to nail the downloaders without stirring up entrapment charges), but could go after both.

            A private entity acting in its own interest can not stir up entrapment charges. That is a charge that is specifically limited to government operators and crimes. As for downloaders, the fact that no one has ev
          • Re:About time. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:24PM (#23756533)

            I'm going to have to disagree with that analysis (IANAL, but I am a law student who is interested in practicing in copyright, so I have a little knowledge on the subject). (Before we get started, I have to say that I am not licensed to practice law anywhere, and this is not legal advice to anyone who may be reading this)
            No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.
            You should at least have read a few of the recent court decisions, and you would have noticed that while the RIAA successfully managed to bamboozle a judge into thinking this was the case, the same judge later realised that the RIAA was knowingly misrepresenting what the law says. Allowing someone else to download from you is _not_ illegal (as long as no downloading actually happened), unless you offer the downloads for distribution (for example, offering downloads to a record store) or for public performance (offering downloads to pubs playing the music in public).
          • Re:About time. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jeiler (1106393) <go@bugger@off.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:35PM (#23756665) Journal
            Snippage has occurred.

            No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.

            Hypothetical example: Charlie and Denise (fictitious names of the "Alice and Bob" variety) both have computers. Charlie rips a song from a CD and makes an MP3 of it (perfectly legal, though the RIAA would like for it not to be).

            Contrary to popular opinion, the legality of ripping files is not a given. I don't have the text in front of me, but I recall the legality being hinged on judicial interpretation of several seemingly obvious, but legally fuzzy terms (such as "home audio recording device," and whether or not said term includes computers).

            I'm aware of the questions there, but I'm going with MGM v. Grokster. Plaintif's oral arguments included an explicit admission of the legality of ripping a purchased CD to one's hard drive, and copying it to a media device (two separate acts, in my view). While of course a statement made in oral arguments is not a legal opinion or ruling, I think it not unreasonable to assume permission.

            Charlie then places that song in his "Shared Files" folder (still perfectly legal).

            Still questionably legal. This is the (untested as far as I know) act that the RIAA is trying to get labeled as inducement or contributory infringement. The idea is that, but for Charlie making it available for Denise to download, no infringement could have occurred.

            Rejected by 9th Circuit in Atlantic v. Brennan and others, though I don't know if any of them qualify as an actual ruling of law. Nor do I know if it is a binding precedent.

            Denise downloads the song--it's only at that moment that anything illegal was done, but it is Charlie, not Denise, who has broken the law.

            Nope, they both have. Charlie and Denise have both infringed the reproduction and distribution rights of both the song writer and the recording artist. The RIAA has been choosing to sue only those who are making the tracks available (probably either because they think it's the cheapest way to get their message across, or because they haven't figured out a way to nail the downloaders without stirring up entrapment charges), but could go after both.

            Hmmm ... I can't find what specific law or provision that would actually violate--if you have a citation, I'd love to see it--but it certainly makes sense the way you explain it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tony1343 (910042)
          Yeah, sorry but that's not right. Copying copyrighted material is a violation of U.S. law (without a license).

          The rights of a copyright holder are listed in 17 USC 16:

          (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
          (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
          (3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
          (4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic
          • Hang on a second, either you mispoke, or were just to vague. I don't think any legal system would have it be illegal to copy any copyrighted work, but then allow "reproduc[ing] the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords". Maybe it's just two different definitions of the word copy?
      • Wouldn't that mean that MediaSentry would be in violation of copyright itself?
        Not if they have authorization from the copyright holder.
    • Re:About time. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by terrymr (316118) <terrymr@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:22PM (#23754073)
      I believe this has already been tried ... the record industry can't use downloading by themselves or their agents to establish infringement because you cant infringe your own copyright - it's a legal impossibility.

      This is what necessitates the "making available theory"

      • by jeiler (1106393)

        Ooh, that does make it interesting. So as long as Denise (in my example above) is not a MediaSentry employee, then the law was broken, but it cannot be tracked. If Denise is a MediaSentry employee, no law was broken.

        I think I just had a geek legal-gasm.

      • by Dhalka226 (559740)

        I believe this has already been tried ... the record industry can't use downloading by themselves or their agents to establish infringement because you cant infringe your own copyright - it's a legal impossibility.

        Do you have a court decision to back this up? It sounds completely backward to me.

        Copyright protects, among other things, an entity's right to control distribution. If I download a song from you, you're the one distributing it, not me (ignoring things like bittorrent where I may be both uplo

  • What's the case law say about judges granting the cost of defense from the plaintiffs? Is it based on their mood, or how bad the "evidence" was that the plaintiffs used to make their case, or something else?
  • Why wouldn't the Judge force them to present their failboat of a case after a year of pre-trial proceedings?
    Did the defendants not contest the motion to dismiss?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheSeventh (824276)
      I know this is slashdot and all, and most people don't RTFA, but did you even RTFS (Summary) ?

      The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, before the judge ruled on it, the plaintiff (RIAA) filed a voluntary motion to dismiss the case.

      This means the case is over.

    • Re:Come on.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <[ray] [at] [beckermanlegal.com]> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:46PM (#23756067) Homepage Journal

      Why wouldn't the Judge force them to present their failboat of a case after a year of pre-trial proceedings? Did the defendants not contest the motion to dismiss?
      Under the federal rules, a plaintiff is absolutely entitled to dismiss its own case before the defendant has filed an answer. In this case, defendant had not filed an answer. Instead, she had filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss the complaint for legal insufficiency.

      Secondly, how does it hurt the defendant for the case to go away? Answer, it doesn't.

      The only question is whether or not attorneys fees will be sought. But that is a totally separate issue.
  • Your Honor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:18PM (#23753983)
    Your honor, we know you're going to rule against us and set a precedent which will completely torpedo most of our other legal efforts so we'd like to respectfully withdraw our claim. Kthxbai.

    sigh... Gamesmanship at its most disgusting...

    I'm curious - can the judge deny their voluntary dismissal and still hand down judgment?
    • Like most slashdotters, I have no idea what is and isn't legal when it comes to techinicalities, but since it was a motion filed with the judge, it is typically within the judges discretion to grant or deny the motion. I believe that your answer is yes, the judge may deny the motion to withdraw and grant the motion to dismiss. It may be challenged, again on technical grounds, but you'd have to find a very RIAA-sympathetic judge to review the grounds for the decision given that the final result for the case
      • Re:Your Honor (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:19PM (#23754945)
        There is another organisation that employs similar tactics against copyright infringement: scientology.

        They were about to lose a(nother) case against a dutch ISP (xs4all.nl) that was hosting Karin Spaink's website and were denied to withdraw. And lost.

        See http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/ for more information.
  • All of my MP3s... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:18PM (#23754001)
    While I actually own the CD to most of my OGGs, I gotta say that Allofmp3.com, now MP3sparks.com, have the best business model:

    Let's see, reasonably-price music whose price depends upon the bit rate chosen. I can't wait to get home and send more money to the Russian mafia!
    • by Tanktalus (794810)

      Paying for illegal copies doesn't make them suddenly legal...

      • by Anonymous Coward
        They have been licensed properly in exactly the same way as websites and radio in the US and much of the rest of the world requires. The license fees are paid to the Russian equivalent of the APA and the royalties are available for collection by the artists and/or their agents.

        The RIAA doesn't ask for the royalties because they can't, the APA would have to get the money. Even if RIAA can, they don't want to because that blows their lie that the music is unlicensed.

        This does not stop the music from being lic
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:20PM (#23754033)
    This case is small potatoes compared to a treaty that will affect many nations instead of one defendant.

    They figure the lawyer fees would be better used to bribe congress critters to push ACTA, instead.
    • Not really, the RIAA wants to set legal precedent, if they do set precedent in their favor then the "making available" theory will be accepted. If they lose enough cases on the "making available" theory then it will be thrown out by precedent.
  • actually, the judge should refuse to accept the petition and decide the motion on facts, it is in their purvey to reject a "sorry, shoot me" petition if they don't believe it was a full and meaningful declaration of the parties' intent, made with full knowledge of the law.

    RIAA is always giving up just as a case gets to the core of their behavior, and whether is is privileged, or whether it is illegal.

    that should suggest strongly which case it is, and some judge who is read in more than the law has eventuall
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:27PM (#23754135)
    I quit attempt (if it really amounts to that) to prevent a precendent from occuring is of little usefullness in practical terms. The fact remains that the outcome of the case didn't look good based on the course of the trial. Even if the RIAA is allowed to withdraw, court documents will still exist showing the course of events of the trial and they will remain on public record for any lawyer defending a client in an upcoming case brought by the RIAA. IANAL, but it would seem to me this will just be another case thrown on a growing pile of evidence that the RIAA is trying to push through nuisance cases backed by slipshod research methodology. Sooner or later judges are going to start beating them up for it.

    • by ratboy666 (104074)
      Since the RIAA has ALREADY backed down from the related John Doe filing, they are not allowed to simply throw in the towel on this case. Procedure should force adjudication on the merits. Of course the Judge can decide to simply let them go home, or can judge the case anyway. So, the RIAA could stand to lose, EVEN IF THEY DON'T PURSUE. To quote Boston Legal: "I am the decider!". And, suitable compensation for the defense can be awarded (at the Judges discretion).

      Bad form to back away from a case TWICE. Once
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:35PM (#23754265) Homepage
    The RIAA is obviously afraid of losing outright on the issue of its "making available" argument. I say that because without the "making available" argument the RIAA will no longer be able to sue it fans. Let's face it, if the RIAA had actual evidence of copyright infringement, it would not need to use the "making available" argument. Thus, it's clear that the "making available" argument is the only pseudo-legal straw available for it to grasp.

    I personally think it has something to do with the nature of P2P. In the old days if you shared music, the person would download it directly from you. Now you're only sharing bits and pieces of songs,not entire songs, spread out among many different people.

    Of course the RIAA could attempt to make the argument that that sharing one even one bit of a song constitutes infringement. However, when one and zeros themselves become illegal, we're all in trouble!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The RIAA is obviously afraid of losing outright on the issue of its "making available" argument. I say that because without the "making available" argument the RIAA will no longer be able to sue it fans. Let's face it, if the RIAA had actual evidence of copyright infringement, it would not need to use the "making available" argument. Thus, it's clear that the "making available" argument is the only pseudo-legal straw available for it to grasp.
      Boy have you got that right, Anita.
  • The RIAA are just a bunch of opportunistic scavengers, and like that ilk, they're complete and utter cowards.
    I'd call them vultures, but that would give vultures all over the world a bad rap.
  • So, what will Ms. Cassin do? Who's representing her anyway? Maybe that attorney could find out and get back to us?
  • RIAA Must Pay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @04:43PM (#23754415)
    The RIAA should be required to pay every cent of the Defense's costs, as well as for pain, suffering, and time lost defending this truly meritless case! For them to say that each party must bear their own costs is beyond the Height of Arrogance, and a poke in the eye of Justice itself!
  • by john1040 (1191701) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#23755001)
    GPLv3 FAQ: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#v3MakingAvailable [gnu.org]

    GPLv3 gives "making available to the public" as an example of propagation. What does this mean? Is making available a form of conveying?

    One example of "making available to the public" is putting the software on a public web or FTP server. After you do this, some time may pass before anybody actually obtains the software from youâ"but because it could happen right away, you need to fulfill the GPL's obligations right away as well. Hence, we defined conveying to include this activity.

  • Seems Fishy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dripdry (1062282) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:29PM (#23755067) Journal
    What if they know that H.R. 4279 (PRO-IP), that article a couple clicks down on the main /. page, is going to fix all this for them? Sort of a "Hey look at this hand!" while they pound civil rights into the ground with the other?

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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