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RIAA Backs Down In Texas Case 221

Posted by timothy
from the ain't-room-in-this-town-for-both dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "After receiving a Rule 11 Sanctions Motion (PDF) in a Houston, Texas, case, UMG Recordings v. Lanzoni, the RIAA lawyers thought better of proceeding with the case, and agreed to voluntarily dismiss the case 'with prejudice', which means it is over and cannot be brought again. The defendant's motion papers detailed some of the RIAA's litigation history against innocent individuals, such as Capitol Records v. Foster and Atlantic Recording v. Andersen, and argued that the awarding of attorneys fees in those cases has not sufficiently deterred repetition of the misconduct, so that a stronger remedy — Rule 11 sanctions — is now called for."
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RIAA Backs Down In Texas Case

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  • Spiffy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by MHaz (979244) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:04PM (#27332643)
    Wow... They were stared down, and blinked...
    • Re:Spiffy! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:27PM (#27333013)

      Given the fact that the size of the fines rule 11 sanctions are set by the judge (not predetermined) I'd say it's more like they leveled a howitzer on the RIAA and the RIAA blinked. Sure, the howitzer might not be loaded, but is it really worth the risk?

      • Re:Spiffy! (Score:5, Funny)

        by jd (1658) <imipak@nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:53PM (#27333467) Homepage Journal

        Somehow I don't think it was the howitzer that was at risk of being leveled. Now, the RIAA, on the other hand...

      • Re:Spiffy! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Andy_R (114137) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:04PM (#27333609) Homepage Journal

        The size of the fine is set by the judge, but here's what the plaintiff asked the judge for (taken from the last paragraph of the pdf.)

        "In this case, the Court should award Defendant Lanzoni all of her costs and expenses in defending this lawsuit. In addition, this Court should make a finding that the use of an IP address to identify the defendant in a peer-to-peer copyright infringement case is not sufficiently reliable for the Plaintiffs to rely upon..."

        Maybe I'm just not that good at reading legalese, but if that means 'I don't want $big$money$ from the RIAA, I want the court to rule that from now on nobody can be sued based on their IP address' then I'm very impressed with the defendant's decision to place the greater good over their own financial gain.

      • Re:Spiffy! (Score:5, Funny)

        by netruner (588721) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @03:12PM (#27334531)
        "you've got to ask yourself one question. 'Do I feel lucky?', well, do ya punk?"

        Dirty Harry, its characters and quotes are copyrights of Warner Brothers(TM). The above quote is only meant as a humorous reference to a pop culture icon and is not meant as a performance of copyrighted material.
    • Wow... They were stared down, and blinked...

      More like they've been staring into space, and just woke up.

  • by greenbird (859670) * on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:05PM (#27332667)

    They're getting to the point they don't need the litigation anymore. They're setting it up so either everyone is forced to pay into their welfare system for a failed industry through a tax on all internet connectivity or they can, without proof or recourse, have you disconnected from the internet.

    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:16PM (#27332845)
      Actually, disconnection could be appealed to the FCC. Interfering with communication systems (jamming, disconnecting) is illegal for freedom of speech reasons.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Yamamato (1513927)
        Except the fact that the ISP would point out the clause in your contract that you agreed to that says that they can terminate your service for TOS violations.
        • Exactly, people need to start reading those agreements. I read mine with Comcast for an assignment last week, and found out I am not allowed to host a website or even remotely connect to my home with the service I am currently subscribed to. If they find that I am doing either of these, they can disconnect me w/o warning and not accept me back as a customer if they choose. Of course, I do both these things regularly (I use TightVNC, so with their broad wording, I am violating both the hosting and remote
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Yamamato (1513927)
        If you actually went to the FCC with such a complaint you'd be laughed at for confusing the disconnection of ISP service (which you have no right to have) with the jamming of telephones, radios, etc which is actually illegal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ggraham412 (1492023)

      They're setting it up so either everyone is forced to pay into their welfare system for a failed industry through a tax on all internet connectivity or they can, without proof or recourse, have you disconnected from the internet.

      It could actually be a good development. If everyone were forced to pay, everyone would share an interest in stopping RIAA. The way things are now, only people unlucky enough to have been sued have an interest in stopping them.

      I consciously don't buy music anymore. I don't pirate it either. I just do without. Why? Because I can't bring myself to give my hard earned money to the thieving cocksuckers that comprise the RIAA and contribute to their program of turning the internet into a police state.

    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @04:29PM (#27335439)

      They're getting to the point they don't need the litigation anymore. They're setting it up so either everyone is forced to pay into their welfare system for a failed industry through a tax on all internet connectivity or they can, without proof or recourse, have you disconnected from the internet.

      Your recourse is a libel suit. Now thay have to prove you are a pirate, or pay you off.

  • And this means what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dusty00 (1106595) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:06PM (#27332689)
    First to NewYorkCountryLawyer, thanks from all of us for fighting the good fight!

    And a question, what is the impact of these sanctions? Could this cost the RIAA enough to really act as a deterrent? Also, if at all how is this relevant in future cases?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      Could this cost the RIAA enough to really act as a deterrent? Also, if at all how is this relevant in future cases?

      If you read the motion (especially the conclusion), it will help answer these questions. It's a pretty quick read and isn't very difficult to understand (just a few terms that may cause someone to stumble if they don't have a legal background).

      • by jonnythan (79727)

        Keep in mind that said document is a motion filed by the defense - it is not a court ruling or decision. You can say virtually anything you want in a motion.

        The RIAA felt the thread of the motion being granted was sufficient to back out of the case entirely, though.

    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:24PM (#27332979) Homepage Journal

      First to NewYorkCountryLawyer, thanks from all of us for fighting the good fight!

      Thanks. And thank you for your support.

      And a question, what is the impact of these sanctions?

      Sanctions weren't awarded; the motion was withdrawn because the RIAA, rather than risk sanctions, withdrew the case within the "safe harbor" period.

      Could this cost the RIAA enough to really act as a deterrent?

      Absolutely. There is nothing a lawyer should fear more than a sanctions ruling.

      Also, if at all how is this relevant in future cases?

      Highly relevant. This incident will encourage other defendant's lawyers to make early Rule 11 motions. And the attorney, veteran IP litigator Sid Leach, prepared excellent discovery documents and motion papers, which the rest of us will be able to consult and borrow from in the future.

      • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:36PM (#27333199)

        So, in other words, this won't dissuade the RIAA one whit, but it might make it hard for them to find lawyers willing to work for them.

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:38PM (#27333229) Journal

        Ray,

        I'd be curious to know if you have any wisdom to share regarding the new direction that RIAA seems to be taking. Namely that of signing agreements [slashdot.org] with ISPs to get them to do the dirty work instead.

        This seems like something that the end user will have very little recourse over. Virtually every ISP agreement I've ever read gives them the right to deny you service for whatever reason they wish -- but how is that remotely just if it's based on the same lack of evidence that RIAA failed to use in the court system?

        How (if at all) can the people who inevitably wind up being wrongfully accused fight this?

        • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:45PM (#27333327) Homepage Journal

          I'd be curious to know if you have any wisdom to share regarding the new direction that RIAA seems to be taking.

          The only wisdom I have to share at this point is : if you find out your ISP is in league with the RIAA, change ISP's, and let them know why you left.

          • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:04PM (#27333613) Journal

            I have that option -- at least until Verizon joins the bandwagon -- but how many people don't?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Splab (574204)

              This is when small companies start to thrive again.

              Suddenly the monoliths are too big and greedy to carry their own weight and the small agile less corrupt will be ready on the sidelines picking up the spill.

          • by greenbird (859670) * on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:07PM (#27333661)

            The only wisdom I have to share at this point is : if you find out your ISP is in league with the RIAA, change ISP's, and let them know why you left.

            The only problem being that for most people the options are very limited and the way it's set up now it's nigh on impossible to start an ISP outside of the incumbent cable and phone companies. So if both members in your area (most people are lucky if they have 2 options: cable and phone company) of the current oligarchy opt into the RIAA system your options are much slower broadband at best or dialip.

            .

          • Alas (Score:2, Offtopic)

            by Mateo_LeFou (859634)

            The RIAA, as per that other article, isn't disclosing which ISPs it has in its pocket.

            Oh, and furthermore it'll be all of 'em any day now anyway, won't it? Little ISPs that don't play ball will be broken like champagne flutes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheReaperD (937405)

            The only wisdom I have to share at this point is : if you find out your ISP is in league with the RIAA, change ISP's, and let them know why you left.

            Well, start the list with AT&T, Comcast and Cox cable [cnet.com].

          • by MobyDisk (75490)

            Any suggestions if both of the ISPs in your area are doing this?

        • by tdelaney (458893)

          Obviously IANAL, but hypothetically, if the requested sanctions had been granted, would that not also give the ISP a reason to not sign such an agreement with the RIAA (or possibly even to break such an agreement)?

          After all, if an individual could not be prosecuted based on an IP address, then presumably the ISP couldn't be held responsible for not divulging an IP address or disconnecting based on an IP address. In other words, not working with the RIAA would cost the ISP less than working with them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        And the attorney, veteran IP litigator Sid Leach, prepared excellent discovery documents and motion papers, which the rest of us will be able to consult and borrow from in the future.

        Pirate.

      • by kevin42 (161303)

        Re: Sid Leach, the attorney who filed the motion:

        I've personally worked closely with Sid on a case several years back where I was a technical consultant for the company I worked for on an IP case. Sid totally changed my opinion of lawyers for the better, and I seriously considered going to law school after my experience working with him. He's a super nice guy, and extremely smart.

        We would meet late in the evening the night before a court appearance, and the next morning he would have a amazingly well writt

  • waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FadedTimes (581715) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:08PM (#27332709)

    When will the RIAA stop wasting money on these cases? There is no way they are ever going to win settlements or recover damages that offset their cost it takes to litigate. I guess the RIAA lawyers are making money though, not like they are going to recommend to stop the pursuit.

    • Re:waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by torkus (1133985) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:16PM (#27332837)

      They don't need to make money on the cases. In fact, they can spend $1m on legal fees for a $100k judgment and still come out ahead.

      Why?

      Because it motivates the other 99,999 people that got 'settlement offers' of $5-10k to pay up. Sad, but true.

    • Re:waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:17PM (#27332857) Journal

      When will the RIAA stop wasting money on these cases?

      From the RIAA's point of veiw, they are not "wasting money". The organization makes a profit from these lawsuits (and the associated settlements). It's only when either:
      1. The lawyers are likely to lose their licenses or:
      2. The lawsuit/settlement program stops being profitable.
      that they will stop the lawsuits.

    • Re:waste of money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:26PM (#27333009) Homepage Journal

      When will the RIAA stop wasting money on these cases?

      They won't. The old business model is dead, and the new business model is brain dead. The old model was that it cost uberbucks to record an album, so the artist couldn't make a record without the labels.

      Now, the price of recording has come down to the point that anybody can record an album in a professional studio and have the CDs professionally pressed and packaged for as little as $1 per copy.

      This leaves the labels to distribute and market, and marketing means radio. You have to be on a major label to get on the radio.

      The independants have the internet and P2P, and THIS is what the labels are trying to kill; it's about stifling the competetion.

      The new business model is paid downloads. The trouble with this is the indies are giving FREE downloads for promotion and making their money off CDs and live shows.

      The music industry as we knew it is dead, and I for one am glad. The RIAA labels' days are numbered, and they won't be able to steal from their artists and customers for too much longer.

      Lawrence Lessig talks about the four reasons for P2P in his book Free Culture. Cory Doctorow talks about it in the preface to his book Little Brother, which has been on the NYT best seller list. You can buy either book at any bookstore, or check it out for free at your local public library, or download them for free from the authors' prospective websites.

      Both books are making a handy profit. As I said, Doctorow's is a best seller, which kind of puts the lie to the RIAA's pathetic whining.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Microlith (54737)

        The independants have the internet and P2P, and THIS is what the labels are trying to kill; it's about stifling the competetion.

        Show me one case where this is true and you can prove it. You're making the claim, so back it up.

        While I have no doubt about the capability of independent bands to utilize the internet, I sincerely doubt that the sole reason for these lawsuits is to stifle their ability to use the internet to self-promote, and not the mass trading of works that RIAA member companies hold the rights

        • Re:waste of money (Score:5, Informative)

          by Splab (574204) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:46PM (#27334193)

          Actually he is somewhat right.

          Here in Denmark a chain of shops that deal with items costing between $1 and $2 (guess you guys call them dollar stores?) has started its own label - it is a no bullshit label, you get 50% of profit from sales, default print I think is 1.000 CDs or 10.000 and the shop carries the risk.

          CDs are selling like you wouldn't believe it - apparently people are willing to pay $2 for a CD from a group they never heard of (I for one am, heck if it sucks I can use it as a fancy coaster).

          The olden ways are dead, just a matter of time.

          • by lgw (121541)

            That is just fantastic! Amazingly cool. Capatalism for the win! I hope that idea speads to America.

  • by mooingyak (720677) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:10PM (#27332745)

    A few questions for anyone who might know:

    1. Does voluntarily dismissing the case with prejudice prevent them from getting sanctioned?

    2. Independent of #1, what happens if you are sanctioned under Rule 11?

    3. How often is a party sanctioned this way?

    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:27PM (#27333039) Homepage Journal

      A few questions for anyone who might know: 1. Does voluntarily dismissing the case with prejudice prevent them from getting sanctioned?

      Yes so long as they do it within the 21-day "safe harbor" period, which they did.

      2. Independent of #1, what happens if you are sanctioned under Rule 11?

      There are many possible penalties, from nominal to crushing... but for any attorney it's a huge black mark on his or her record.

      3. How often is a party sanctioned this way?

      Rarely. Rule 11 motions are rarely made. It is an extreme thing. I've only made a couple in my 30 years as a lawyer. One of them was against the RIAA lawyers.

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        Thank you.

        I take it the RIAA attorneys felt it had an actual chance of being granted in this case?

    • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:33PM (#27333151)

      1. Yes, if it's within 21 days after the motion for sanctions is filed.

      2. The attorney has to pay fines with a goal of deterrence and not compensation. (If the attorney is poor, they'll be fined less.) The attorney's client can be held joint & severally liable. Your professional reputation as an attorney suffers, and in extreme circumstances, it might serve as pretty bad evidence towards an attorney malpractice suit or a disbarment hearing.

      3. Extremely rarely. It's generally reserved for lawyers acting in very bad faith, and the 21 day safe harbor gives attorneys a way to amend the offending action. Courts are generally willing to give attorneys the benefit of the doubt on whether they did something with a good faith belief that it was true or not. Only a truly stubborn fool gets Rule 11 sanctioned most of the time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1. Yes, at least Rule 11 sanctions, the safe harbor allows the party to avoid sanctions by dismissing the case before the motion is filed with the court.

      2. The court orders the attorneys and/or the plaintiff to pay money. The attorney is not allowed to pass the cost on to their client if the attorney is sanctioned, and because of that it is a very strong deterrent.

      3. Not often at all. Most attorneys will out of courtesy refrain from even making rule 11 motions in anything but the most severe cases of abus

  • by dixonpete (1267776) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:12PM (#27332767)
    Within a couple of years kids will be able to carry around and exchange thumb drives large enough to hold ALL of the music produced in the last decade. Aside from cavity searches how exactly is the RIAA expecting to stop that kind of sharing activity?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:15PM (#27332819)

      I think you answered your own question.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797)

      Within a couple of years kids will be able to carry around and exchange thumb drives large enough to hold ALL of the music produced in the last decade

      You can already carry around all the good music produced in the last decade on a mini CD, provided you use a compressed format. Personally I woudn't want all the music produced in the last decade.

      There's a reason all the twenty somethings are playing '70s, '80s, and '90s rock in the bars to the other twentysomething patrons. Young people still have good taste,

      • by Volante3192 (953645) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:36PM (#27334055)

        There's a reason all the twenty somethings are playing the hits of the '70s, '80s, and '90s rock in the bars to the other twentysomething patrons.

        Let's not overlook the fact that there's always shovelware music made, we just don't remember it because, simply put, it was forgettable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sjames (1099)

          It does seem that the shovelware is growing in proportion to the rest of late. That could be a sign that I'm getting older and I'm just not into the newer music, but I don't think that's it. It takes me a lot longer to hear about something good than it used to, but it's not as if 'good' is defined to be something that sounds like what I used to listen to.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chabo (880571)

        I can guarantee that in 15 years, twentysomethings will be playing hits of the past decade (meaning 2000-2010), saying "Man, music was good back then, now it's all crap!".

        As Volante pointed out, you don't remember the truly horrifying music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, because it's not memorable.

        My grandfather thought my dad's music was crap; he preferred to listen to Dean Martin. My dad thought my music was crap; he preferred to listen to Led Zeppelin. I think the music of today is crap; I prefer to listen to

    • Within a couple of years kids will be able to carry around and exchange thumb drives large enough to hold ALL of the music produced in the last decade. Aside from cavity searches how exactly is the RIAA expecting to stop that kind of sharing activity?

      Well, that certainly makes this case [slashdot.org] a bit more important.

  • What is Rule 11? Is this a Texas rule or U.S. rule?

    As a Texas resident, it would be nice to better understand what is happening in the event I may be falsely accused of any such thing. (Heck, even legitimately accused... I have two teenage boys who like music.)

    • From wikipedia (Score:5, Informative)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:24PM (#27332985)

      For what it's worth, here is what wikipedia has on Rule 11 Sanctions

      Rule 11 requires all papers to be signed by the attorney (if party is represented). It also provides for sanctions against the attorney or client for harassment, frivolous arguments, or a lack of factual investigation. The purpose of sanctions is deterrent, not punitive. Courts have broad discretion about the exact nature of the sanction which can include consent to in personam jurisdiction, fines, dismissal of claims, or dismissal of the entire case. The current version of Rule 11 is much more lenient than its 1983 version. Supporters of tort reform in Congress regularly call for legislation to make Rule 11 stricter.

      Basically, it's a federal rule meant to deter abuses of the justice system and the fines can be practically whatever the judge wants them to be. That's a pretty scary prospect if you are concerned that you might have pissed off the judge enough that he would impose the sanctions on you, since you don't know how much money you stand to lose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Federal rule. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 11 [cornell.edu] about what an attorney filing a pleading, motion or paper is representing to the court. The key part is that it requires the attorney to represent that the filing is not just to harrass or annoy the other party and that it's not frivolous and has some basis in law and/or evidence.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        This begs the question as to why this hasn't been done long ago. Now that I know what it is and what its purpose is, why isn't it used more often?

        • by Zordak (123132)
          It's not that uncommon for lawyers to file for R. 11 sanctions against each other (but don't expect to be friendly afterward). Probably some defense attorneys have asked for R. 11 sanctions against the RIAA lawyers. What's different here is that it looked bad enough that they plaintiffs thought the judge might actually grant them. That's why they dropped this thing and ran.
        • by Todd Knarr (15451)

          Well, it's a really major thing. It's not saying the attorney being sanctioned made a mistake. It's saying that they didn't make a mistake, that they deliberately and knowingly lied to the court. Even when that's the honest truth, judges are loathe to level that charge at an attorney. So while Rule 11 sanctions are often asked for, they're usually only granted in extreme cases where the judge can't find any way of justifying not imposing them.

          And yes, I do think they should be imposed more often. They shoul

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zordak (123132)
      Rule 11 is federal. Texas Rule 13 is similar. But this is federal court, so federal rules apply.
  • What sanctions..? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Captain Centropyge (1245886) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:14PM (#27332803)
    If you actually read TFA, it says...

    In UMG Recordings v. Lanzoni, a Houston, Texas, case, the RIAA has voluntarily dismissed its case with prejudice, after being served with a Rule 11 motion.

    Defendant never filed the Rule 11 motion with the Court, because the RIAA withdrew its case prior to the expiration of the 21-day "safe harbor" period.

    So, no sanctions will actually be enforced. The defendant's threat of Rule 11 sanctions just scared them out of pursuing this particular case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071)

      Since the RIAA is clearly going to lose, i wouldn't mind if NYCL didn't let them off the hook so easy. If possible.

      Is the court obligated to accept their dismissal?

      Haven't the defendants suffered harm thus far?

      I wish there was a way for the defendants to countersue the RIAA for malicious prosecution or something. A few million dollars in punitive damages against the RIAA would send a signal, methinks.

      Also, I would rather some legal precedent be established in the defendant's favor so that the RIAA would g

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Since the RIAA is clearly going to lose, i wouldn't mind if NYCL didn't let them off the hook so easy. If possible.

        This wasn't NYCL's case.

        Is the court obligated to accept their dismissal?

        As a general rule, not always.
        But in this instance, Rule 11 gives the plaintiff a chance to withdraw the case.

  • The RIAA needs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stonewallred (1465497) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:16PM (#27332847)
    to be driven into bankruptcy. The BS of dropping the suit because they see they can not win is just that, BS. The judge should prevent them from filing anymore cases in his district, since logically they can't win this one(their POV) so they could not win any others.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:17PM (#27332849) Journal

    I just love how RIAA walks-away from a case, with no punishment. How am I... I mean the defendant supposed to recover the 20,000 dollars and 4 years wasted on this case? (At this point a shot to the head of CEO seems like good compensation.)

  • by serutan (259622) <(moc.nozakeeg) (ta) (guodpoons)> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:22PM (#27332947) Homepage

    They could have received a Rule 34 sanction.

  • In celebration of this court victory, I will pirate Jon Wayne CDs [youtube.com] all day long!

  • by ral (93840) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @01:35PM (#27333185)
    From the Joint stipulation for dismissal:

    ... each party to bear its/her own costs and fees

    The defendant has lost time and money on this case and gained nothing. Even if every case is resolved like this, the intimidation strategy will still be effective.
    • As I said elsewhere: "(At this point a shot to the head of CEO seems like good compensation.)" You waste ~20,000 dollars and four years of my life - SOME kind of punishment needs to be dealt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by infalliable (1239578)

      This by far the largest imbalance in the legal system.

      If a big company/corporation/MAFIAA starts a lawsuit against an individual, it can easily bankrupt an individual in a short time period while being a drop in the bucket to the company/corporation.

      The defendants in most of these cases loose considerably even if they have the lawsuit dropped somewhere in the process. They have almost no means to win, as the MAFIAA does everything it can to avoid paying out a cent while fleecing individuals.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        This by far the largest imbalance in the legal system. If a big company/corporation/MAFIAA starts a lawsuit against an individual, it can easily bankrupt an individual in a short time period while being a drop in the bucket to the company/corporation. The defendants in most of these cases loose considerably even if they have the lawsuit dropped somewhere in the process. They have almost no means to win, as the MAFIAA does everything it can to avoid paying out a cent while fleecing individuals.

        You are exactly right. I discuss the economic imbalance problem, and the mischief it has caused, in detail, in the 'equal access to justice' issue of The Judges Journal, published by the American Bar Association, in my article, "Large Recording Companies vs. The Defenseless : Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigations [blogspot.com]".

  • by cheros (223479) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @02:02PM (#27333583)

    So, just to get this straight, the RIAA pursued a questionable case that has already costed the defendant money to prepare for, and as soon as credible resistance emerges they quickly run and do it again to someone else - without sanctions?

    Or did I miss something?

    • So, just to get this straight, the RIAA pursued a questionable case that has already cost the defendant money to prepare for, and as soon as credible resistance emerges they quickly run and do it again to someone else - without sanctions? Or did I miss something?

      No you didn't miss anything.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sbeckstead (555647)
        How difficult would it be to get together a class action suit against the RIAA for harassment of the general public (or preferably some more targeted group) Since there seems to be a mass of evidence accumulating indicating that they are not being too careful with the targets of their litigation.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806)
          Tanya Andersen in Andersen v Atlantic is trying for class action status. I haven't followed up if it was granted that status.
  • The notice of dismissal still calls for each side to bear its own costs. If this is a victory, I'd hate to see a defeat!

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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