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RIAA Drops Enforcement Case To "Sort Out" Inaccuracies 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-to-see-here-move-along dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The other day I reported on my blog that the record companies had assigned, to the RIAA itself, a $4000 default judgment they'd gotten against some lady in Massachusetts, and that the RIAA was going after the defendant with an 'enforcement' proceeding to squeeze the money out of her. Today, it turns out, the RIAA withdrew its motion because, according to the RIAA's collection lawyer, the motion 'contained factual inaccuracies ... which plaintiff needs to sort out' (PDF). The collection lawyer must be new around here; a few little 'factual inaccuracies' never bothered an RIAA lawyer before."
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RIAA Drops Enforcement Case To "Sort Out" Inaccuracies

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  • They are learning the lessons.
    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@NOspam.beckermanlegal.com> on Saturday February 07, 2009 @01:15AM (#26761827) Homepage Journal

      They are learning the lessons.

      I don't think so. I really think this collection lawyer is new to the process, and just realized his clients lied to him. The RIAA's main lawyers wouldn't care about that. This guy might be more of a regular lawyer, who does care about that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Aldenissin (976329)

        That would be interesting. Now you can never stereotype all lawyers (even IRAA ones?) or any group for that matter without there being those that are different than the heard. But in general, lawyers, as many/most professions go, would go with the flow and continue to make money one would think. Though, there are obviously some decent honest attorneys who have righteous principals in the world.

        However, having said all that, one may think that the IRAA would do their homework on prospective

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          Indeed; the British government never underestimated the IRAA. Thankfully, the permanent ceasefire brought peace to Northern Ireland. Or rather, it stopped IRA bombs going off in England, which is all the British Government (and the British public) ever cared about.

          I'm just glad I live in Britain - yes, the IRA used to be a threat to me, but the RIAA never will.
      • by stephanruby (542433) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @03:12AM (#26762249)
        Whatever it is. Do not make assumptions. Yes, you're probably right, but this detail still needs to be investigated by the slash mob. For all we know, the RIAA may have made a bigger error than usual, or better yet a more embarrassing glaring error than usual (which is hard to believe I know, but still let's be ready for anything -- even something that's even more absurd than it usually is).
        • by shawb (16347) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @03:35AM (#26762297)
          You are thinking along the same lines as me...

          In particular, I was thinking they may have realized something about their argument which could be used in a judgment against them. Better to forfeit now than risk a retrial which could open the doors with court precedent in a ruling against the RIAA, endangering future legal action. (Note the liberal use of indefinite articles... pure speculation)
        • For all we know, the RIAA may have made a bigger error than usual, or better yet a more embarrassing glaring error than usual

          For me the real news is that the lawyer cared that there was an error. Normally, to these people, that would not be cause for dropping a case, since they are always misrepresenting the facts. You use the word "embarrassing"; this is a foreign concept to most RIAA lawyers. The part of their brains that is capable of feeling shame appears to have been surgically removed.

          • by MacWiz (665750)

            Obama took all of the RIAA's best lawyers (none of which successfully prosecuted even one file sharer, although many were persecuted), so now they can't be involved in copyright infringement cases, at least for a year or two. And it would still be conflict of interest after that.

            The down side is that the Dept. of Justice is going to be staffed with people we know are more than willing to lie to us. No change there. But at least they don't work for the RIAA any more.

            • Obama took all of the RIAA's best lawyers (none of which successfully prosecuted even one file sharer, although many were persecuted)

              ??????????How do you define a "best lawyer"? Lawyers who collected fees of ~$50m or more, and couldn't win even one fully contested case, against opposition which can't even afford a lawyer?

              • by MacWiz (665750)

                ??????How do you define a "best lawyer"?

                No, the RIAA's best lawyers. It's a much, much lower standard.

                Lawyers who collected fees of ~$50m or more, and couldn't win even one fully contested case, against opposition which can't even afford a lawyer?

                Yep. That's them. The RIAA's best.

                I should put sarcasm warnings in my sig.

      • by Zwicky (702757)

        Ah, he has a larger ID then? Whether intentional or not I love the "must be new ... here" reference. I can only hope that you are peppering your speeches with such memes on a regular basis. ;)

        As for the story, forgive my naïveté but how much difference would (will) this make? My pessimistic side makes me just think that the RIAA will go away and find someone who will do their bidding - can they reinstate the motion as though it was never withdrawn once the inaccuracies are (purportedly) sorted out

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Whether intentional or not I love the "must be new ... here" reference. I can only hope that you are peppering your speeches with such memes on a regular basis. ;)

          In the Soviet Union, the speeches would be peppering me.

          As for the story, forgive my naïveté but how much difference would (will) this make?

          I have no idea.

          My pessimistic side makes me just think that the RIAA will go away and find someone who will do their bidding

          Yes there are many such people pretending to be lawyers.

          - can they reinstate the motion as though it was never withdrawn once the inaccuracies are (purportedly) sorted out?

          Yes.

          My optimistic side was unavailable for comment.

          That's okay. I don't even have one.

          In any case, if this guy is new to the process, it is nice to hear of another lawyer who is concerned with ethics.

          Well let's not go too far in praising him, just yet. Maybe he was just having a bad day.

      • A lawyer who cares about that would not work for the RIAA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alienunknown (1279178)
      The RIAA remind me of Ralf from The Simpsons like when Ralf said: Hi Super Nintendo Chalmers! I'm learnding.

      RIAA: Me fail lawsuit? Thats unpossible!

  • by TechForensics (944258) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @01:15AM (#26761829) Homepage Journal

    Gee, Ray, I read the motion to enforce default judgment and I saw very few facts indeed other than an allegation of identity, and another of nonpayment. What the h*** could possibly need to be sorted out? Unless maybe Mr. Mann's firm, as a reputable one would, *reviewed the allegations of fact supporting the original default judgment* and found them, well, fantastical, to use a kind word.

    • I'm guessing he found out the RIAA misrepresented something to him.

      And unlike the lawyers the RIAA usually uses, he found that a tad problematic.
      • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @02:20AM (#26762073)

        Is that he's the first one out of however many the RIAA employs that seems to have a vestige of conscience and a care for due process.

        Is it really that bad in your profession Ray? A single guy sparks up and says something decent and it's a news item?

        You must have been pretty lonely in law school. We slashdotters always knew you were rare. We just didn't know *how* rare.

      • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @02:45AM (#26762177)

        It really sucks when you hire someone that turns out to
        have integrity and won't roll over and be your lackey.

        Sounds like RIAA could not afford to properly vet this lawyer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          It really sucks when you hire someone that turns out to have integrity and won't roll over and be your lackey. Sounds like RIAA could not afford to properly vet this lawyer.

          Yeah. If he's going to be squeamish about little details like getting the facts straight, he won't have the RIAA as a client for very long.

          • by shentino (1139071)

            I was just thinking about this.

            Anyone wanna count and see how long it takes for the RIAA to give this guy a pink slip?

            Of course, I don't know if AC priv applies or not to your client's attempts to have you break ethical regs. If this guy can blow any whistles, I hope his lungs are full.

      • I'm guessing he found out the RIAA misrepresented something to him.

        And unlike the lawyers the RIAA usually uses, he found that a tad problematic.

        A lot of lawyers I know take zealous representation of the client a bit far, and give the client the benefit of the doubt far more than others would. Sometimes it is what pyschologists call "magical thinking", as in, I believe, the magic gravel pit tolerated by the Rule against Perpetuities. The problem is that this kind of excessive deference to client interest at the expense of common sense can be easily and comfortably rationalized as preserving the adversary system and by the feeling of an obligation

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          this kind of excessive deference to client interest at the expense of common sense can be easily and comfortably rationalized as preserving the adversary system and by the feeling of an obligation to carry the client's case forward if there is any remote possibility the facts are as he claims based on the lawyer's credo that everyone deserves competent representation or a defense.

          Not among real lawyers. Among us there is no confusion about that. We know who the whores are.

  •   The modern legal system: flip a coin, chances are better, either way.

      What a wonderful hole we've dug ourselves into. I wonder how many generations it'll take to sort it out? Assuming we start now, that is.

      Sure makes for plenty of material for future historians to debate ;)

      Pardon me if I think that our society is well and truly fucked.

      SB

    • We Need a Boycott (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is an issue that many people have heard of, yet it does not appear to inspire very many people to protest.

      But protest is exactly what it would take to end this nonsense. It could almost happen overnight. Get a rebellious populace to boycott RIAA-defended products. No, don't even pirate them. Make it clear that a large segment of the population is upset. That kind of unrest gets the attention of businesses and politicians alike.

      Unfortunately, it won't happen in the foreseeable future because people just

      • by Blublu (647618)
        Even if such a massive boycott took place(which will never happen), the RIAA would be all like "Shit, look, now everyone is pirating out shit!!!111 ZOMG!" And then they would sue everyone on earth who has an internet connection.
        • I wouldn't recommend trying to help people not fight the RIAA. The RIAA doesn't behave in the public's interest. Also, as to the other part of your argument, we don't need to take a defeatist attitude fearing what the RIAA might say. The RIAA already complains about widespread illicit copying, the RIAA threatens to sue everyone, and sues many people. Some of the people they sue don't deserve to be sued. The RIAA is reckless and they lie. Clearly we should oppose their efforts by boycott and education.

          • Artists can choose to keep control of their copyrights (songs, recorded performances) and sell their own stuff to the public, or artists can choose to lose those copyrights by signing with a label and going into debt to a label.

            And that element of choice is exactly what is at the core of the RIAA litigations. Digitalization and the internet have given musicians and listeners the choice of leaving the record company middlemen out of it. And more and more of both are making that choice. Which is why these corporations are doing their utmost to put the genie back in the bottle, and to try and make the internet the kind of closed, monopolistic marketplace that existed before. Be wary of attempts of the record companies to 'work with the ISP's' and to take away net neutrality, because what is at the core is the desire to recruit the ISP's to be their gatekeepers the way vinyl record manufacturing plants, payola to radio stations, and expansive distribution networks were in the past.

    • by Sique (173459)

      But there's an old saying:

      "In war and before a court you are in God's hands." (E.g. no one can predict the outcome.)

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday February 07, 2009 @02:23AM (#26762087)
    it's quantity over quality, I always say.
  • Sloppy work (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ollabelle (980205) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @09:34AM (#26763363)
    I'll wager the facts that need sorting out include which Monica Buckley got sued and where she is.

    Pulling the first one from the phone books is probably not a good way to proceed.

    • I got the *right* man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?
  • RIAA Drops Enforcement Case To "Sort Out" Fabrications

    There, fixed it for you...

  • Before you can obtain a default judgement, the plaintiff must assert that they have used due diligence to inform the defendant that there was an action pending against them. IANAL, but if I came into a case to collect a default judgement and found out that it was possible the defendant was not even aware of the case, I would be a little reluctant to proceed as well, since in that case sanctions against the legal team may be in order. Of course, since I don't have firsthand knowledge of the case, I'm just sp

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