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Appeals Court Stays RIAA Subpoena Vs. Students 266

Posted by kdawson
from the long-time-coming dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The procedures used by the RIAA the past 5 years in suing 'John Does' without their knowing about it have never been subjected to scrutiny by an appeals court, since most of the 'John Does' never learn about the 'ex parte' proceeding until it's too late to do anything about it. That is about to change. In Arista Records v. Does 1-16, a case targeting students at the Albany Campus of the State University of New York, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has decided to put things on hold while it takes a careful look at what transpired in the lower court. The way it came to this is that a few 'John Does' filed a broad-based challenge to a number of the RIAA's procedures, citing the defendant's constitutional rights, the insufficiency of the complaint, the lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants, improper misjoinder of the defendants, and the RIAA's illegal procurement of its 'evidence' through the use of an unlicensed investigator, MediaSentry. The lower court judges gave short shrift to 'John Doe #3,' but he promptly filed an appeal, and asked for a stay of the subpoena and lower court proceedings during the pendency of the appeal. The RIAA opposed the motion, arguing that John Doe's appeal had no chance of success. The Appeals Court disagreed and granted the motion, freezing the subpoena and putting the entire case on hold until the appeal is finally determined. As one commentator said, 'this news has been a long time coming, but is welcomed.'"
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Appeals Court Stays RIAA Subpoena Vs. Students

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  • This is big (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:11AM (#27702125) Homepage Journal
    This is big. This will be the very first appellate scrutiny. By staying all lower court proceedings until the appeal is decided, the Court signalled that it's taking this very very seriously.
    • Re:This is big (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:16AM (#27702173)

      Is it possible for the RIAA to drop the case in order to stop these proceedings? I know that's a tactic they've used in the past when things didn't go their way. Hopefully, they won't be able to just say "oops, our bad" and stop any investigation into their tactics.

      • Re:This is big (Score:5, Informative)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:23AM (#27702299) Homepage Journal

        Is it possible for the RIAA to drop the case in order to stop these proceedings? I know that's a tactic they've used in the past when things didn't go their way. Hopefully, they won't be able to just say "oops, our bad" and stop any investigation into their tactics.

        Yes it is possible for it to try that gambit. But it is also possible for the Court to retain jurisdiction over it.

        • Will there be a full appeal with oral arguments?
        • Here's hoping that they can't successfully weasel their way out of this. I'd like to see a court strike down their obvious abuses of the legal system.

        • by queequeg1 (180099)

          Additionally, even if the court doesn't retain jurisdiction over this particular matter (and allows the RIAA to dismiss should it try to do so), the RIAA will presumably face the some potential problem in any new cases brought within the Second Circuit. This could be a far bigger problem than facing scepticism from district court judges.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rts008 (812749)

          I will be very surprised if they don't try that 'gambit' anyway.
          And let's hope that the court decides to retain jurisdiction.

          See, I'm trying to take the long view here.
          I am not actually anti-copyright; I am opposed to the way current IP laws are unjustly skewed against the customers, heavily in the Big Corp. favor.

          IMHO, we need some serious IP law reform, copyright in particular. The whole purpose of copyright has been twisted, defiled, and corrupted beyond recognition.

          As long as the RIAA can get away with

    • Re:This is big (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:30AM (#27702401)
      If the appellate court forces the RIAA to use the ordinary subpoena process instead of 'ex-parte' with joinder then will that not substantially alter the cost equation for the RIAA? Will they be forced to concentrate on fewer defendants and spend more effort going after them? Will they finally give up if they can only go after a limited number at a time who, even if convicted, cannot pay $250,000+ damages anyway? One cannot squeeze blood from turnips after all and if the primary goal of the RIAA is to file lots of cases spamigation style, then won't their primary purpose, which is to frighten large numbers of ordinary citizens on the cheap, be thwarted? I think that if the appellate court outcome renders their current strategy uneconomical then the RIAA will try to use their newfound clout with the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress to push through some very onerous new legislation and encourage the government, and therefore the tax payers, to shoulder the massively increased costs per defendant by having the Justice Department do their dirty work for them. I'm afraid that we're not out of the woods yet.
      • Re:This is big (Score:5, Informative)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:40AM (#27702547) Homepage Journal

        If the appellate court forces the RIAA to use the ordinary subpoena process instead of 'ex-parte' with joinder then will that not substantially alter the cost equation for the RIAA?

        Yes, if they had been following the law, it would have cost them more. In fact, if they had been following the law, they wouldn't have even been able to file the lawsuits. But it is not about costing them money, or preventing them from bringing lawsuits to enforce their copyrights. The important thing is that the law be followed, and not bent to suit the whims of large corporations just because they can afford to hire a large number of unscrupulous lawyers.

        • The important thing is that the law be followed, and not bent to suit the whims of large corporations just because they can afford to hire a large number of unscrupulous lawyers.

          Yes! Precisely. If we do not have equal justice and equal access to a fair legal system then what are we left with? Probably not the sort of country that our founding fathers envisioned, that's for sure.

        • Re:This is big (Score:5, Informative)

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:16PM (#27703907)

          More than one court has already noted this. In 2004 the US District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin, TX) sua sponte (meaning without being asked to do so by either party) dismissed four separate cases totaling 254 defendants (Fonovisa vs Does 1-41, Atlantic vs Does 1-151, Elektra vs Does 1-11, UMG vs Does 1-51) and told the RIAA to refile against each defendant individually.

          Moreover there are practical reasons supporting severing the claims against the defendants. The filing fees for the recent four cases totaled $600, whereas filing fees for 254 separate cases would have been $38,100. . .Because these four suits are in actuality 254 separate lawsuits, the Court sua sponte will dismiss without prejudice all but the first defendant in each case. . .In addition, Plaintiffs are ordered to file any future cases of this nature against one defendant at a time, and may not join defendants for their convenience.

          It appears that they RIAA has not followed that order in other cases since 2004. How much weight would this order have at the to Appeals court in this case? Some, little, jurisdiction issues? NYCL?

          • Re:This is big (Score:5, Informative)

            by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @12:22PM (#27703989) Homepage Journal

            More than one court has already noted this. In 2004 the US District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin, TX) sua sponte (meaning without being asked to do so by either party) dismissed four separate cases totaling 254 defendants (Fonovisa vs Does 1-41, Atlantic vs Does 1-151, Elektra vs Does 1-11, UMG vs Does 1-51) and told the RIAA to refile against each defendant individually.

            Moreover there are practical reasons supporting severing the claims against the defendants. The filing fees for the recent four cases totaled $600, whereas filing fees for 254 separate cases would have been $38,100. . .Because these four suits are in actuality 254 separate lawsuits, the Court sua sponte will dismiss without prejudice all but the first defendant in each case. . .In addition, Plaintiffs are ordered to file any future cases of this nature against one defendant at a time, and may not join defendants for their convenience.

            It appears that they RIAA has not followed that order in other cases since 2004. How much weight would this order have at the to Appeals court in this case? Some, little, jurisdiction issues? NYCL?

            Speaking from the point of view of an appellate court, it would tip us off that the plaintiffs' lawyers have been cavalier about following the law. And we might direct the lower court to order the RIAA to show cause why it was not in contempt of that order.

      • by tsstahl (812393)
        I don't think we'll ever be out of the woods. I believe they will pursue that course no matter what happens in the courts. From their perspective cost shifting to your benefit is a bad thing how?

        The fear campaign can be just as effective by using the courts the _correct_ way. However, you are quite correct the profitable part of their scheme will be over.
        • Re:This is big (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:51AM (#27702715) Homepage Journal

          I don't think we'll ever be out of the woods.

          If the Second Circuit rules as I believe it will, this will mark the end of these abusive litigations by the RIAA.

          After this, the RIAA will have to go to court only with proper, scientifically verifiable, legally obtained evidence showing that the person they're suing actually committed copyright infringement, and will have to have proper legal theories and pleadings.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anpheus (908711)

            At first I read "If the Second Amendment ..." and I thought to myself, "What could possibly involve the RIAA and a right to bear arms... Oh. Oh... I see."

            It's almost a pity it isn't true...

          • by debrain (29228)

            After this, the RIAA will have to go to court only with proper, scientifically verifiable, legally obtained evidence showing that the person they're suing actually committed copyright infringement, and will have to have proper legal theories and pleadings.

            What decision of the Circuit Court would affect RIAA and its principals in terms of preventing this behaviour in the future?

            Where their litigation within the law fails, they shall no doubt "rent seek" (to borrow the term from Ann Krueger).

            • If the Does' appeal is successful, then the RIAA MO becomes a liability. Any future defendants can hold the ruling out there and the case will get dropped. If karma has anything to do with it they would get bent over AND taken out behind the wood shed. They could still bring lawsuits, they will just have to change the status quo to get anywhere.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geobeck (924637)

        If their primary purpose is "to frighten large numbers of ordinary citizens", maybe Homeland Security should have jurisdiction here...

  • It's about time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by quangdog (1002624)
    Is this a sign that the judicial system is finally going to start to treat the RIAA like the mobsters they mimic?
    • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:24AM (#27702317) Journal

      is finally going to start to treat the RIAA like the mobsters they mimic?

      I really wish we could stop comparing the RIAA to the Mafia. It's an insult to the hard working men like Tony Soprano that strive to provide needed services like gambling, loan-sharking and prostitution to equate them with an organization that does nothing but sue college students and old people ;)

      On a more serious note, it's still a stupid comparison. If you wind up on Tony Soprano's bad side you are going to get beaten up or in the worst case scenario murdered. The worst case scenario from a RIAA lawsuit is that you wind up filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy != murder, IMHO.

      • by ianare (1132971)

        if you owe mr. soprano some money, and the riaa forces you into bankruptcy, what do you do ?

      • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dwandy (907337) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:07AM (#27702921) Homepage Journal

        The worst case scenario from a RIAA lawsuit is that you wind up filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy != murder, IMHO.

        I disagree ... lawsuits are the modern equivalent of physical violence, and taking all of someone's assets is the modern murder. Just because we now have a system that allows pillaging and plundering without bloodshed doesn't decrease the devastation that this causes to people and their families.

        Lastly, people who lose it all often end it all, completing the 'murder'.

        • If someone takes all your money and/or possessions, you can get those things back. If someone takes your life, well, good luck with all that. I mean seriously, if someone gave you the choice of losing your material possessions or death, you can honestly say you don't see a difference?? If you can't I would say you are placing WAY to much value on your stuff and money.
      • How's the suicide statistics amongst those that have been targeted (compared to some control group)?

        It would really surprise me if these lawsuits have not led to at least one death, and I would suspect several, given the age group mostly sued and their general psychological solidity.

        Eivind.

    • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:25AM (#27702329) Homepage Journal

      Is this a sign that the judicial system is finally going to start to treat the RIAA like the mobsters they mimic?

      That I don't know. But it certainly is a sign that the Second Circuit judges consider the issues raised by John Doe #3 in the lower court to be serious and important.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nomadic (141991)
        That I don't know. But it certainly is a sign that the Second Circuit judges consider the issues raised by John Doe #3 in the lower court to be serious and important.

        Or at least their law clerks do...
  • Mass stupidity routed back to the corner, swears revenge and runs off into the sunset with 'Yackety Sax' music in background to return at a later court date.
  • by Froze (398171) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:19AM (#27702229) Homepage

    404 not found

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:20AM (#27702243)
    The problem with threatening people at random, is that eventually you make the mistake of threatening someone who has the resources to take you all the way to the supreme court. The RIAA seems to have a pattern of targeting those least able to defend themselves (college students, single moms, seniors) but it look like now they have a ready, willing, and able opponent who wont just roll over. Let's all collective summon up our best Nelson Muntz impressions: "Ha-ha!"
    • "That's for wasting teacher's^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hjudge's valuable time!"
    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      The problem with suing college students is that one of them could be the child of the dean of the school of law or some other highly placed or very capable individual. Most of them will be destitute students, but sue enough of them and you are going to sue someone not in your best interest.

      • by Anpheus (908711)

        Or they could live near Harvard and endear a tenured law professor to their cause.

    • The RIAA was pretty much damned-if-you-do damned-if-you-don't on their strategy. If the sue poor, non-powerful students, they will not get any money. If they sue the rich, powerful ones, hopefully their important daddy can fight it. I think they knew from the start it wouldn't last forever, but they probably thought that they could scare enough people by the time it blew up in their faces that it didn't matter. I mean the most attractive thing about this strategy to them was the price tag I'm sure.
      • by Shagg (99693)

        I think they knew from the start it wouldn't last forever, but they probably thought that they could scare enough people by the time it blew up in their faces that it didn't matter.

        Unfortunately, given the number of people who believe that copyright infringement is theft and believe that you can get sued for downloading, their fear campaign seems to be working.

  • by mc1138 (718275) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:23AM (#27702307) Homepage
    Pigs have been seen flying over local pastures, and hell is recording record low temperatures.
  • NO CHANCE!?!?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by furby076 (1461805) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:31AM (#27702429) Homepage

    The procedures used by the RIAA the past 5 years in suing 'John Does' without their knowing about it have never been subjected to scrutiny by an appeals court, since most of the 'John Does' never learn about the 'ex parte' proceeding until it's too late to do anything about it.

    Wait, I am missing something. In the US doesn't the prosecution have to have a defendent before they can start preceedings? They can investigate all they like but you can't prosecute without a defendent. What someone is going to knock on my door one day and say "BTW you have been found guilty of murder, your trial happened last month, your getting the chair"??

    The RIAA opposed the motion, arguing that John Doe's appeal had no chance of success.

    I enjoyed this one... "Your honor, don't grant the appeal, they have no chance of winning. It would be silly to even honor their request. BTW, if you do what we say they WILL have no chance of winning and that makes us right, so you need to do as we say because we are right and you would not want to be on the side of wrong, because we are right."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I enjoyed this one... "Your honor, don't grant the appeal, they have no chance of winning. It would be silly to even honor their request. BTW, if you do what we say they WILL have no chance of winning and that makes us right, so you need to do as we say because we are right and you would not want to be on the side of wrong, because we are right."

      This is basically the lawyer-to-english translation of the RIAA legal strategy.

    • Re:NO CHANCE!?!?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:43AM (#27702589) Homepage Journal
      1. "Prosecution" is a criminal term; these are civil cases, not criminal cases.

      2. Under American law you are required to give notice, and an opportunity to be heard, PRIOR to the court granting your motion. This has not occurred in the RIAA cases. It has been an ongoing flagrant violation of American law.
      • Re:NO CHANCE!?!?! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ausekilis (1513635) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:14AM (#27703039)

        2. Under American law you are required to give notice, and an opportunity to be heard, PRIOR to the court granting your motion. This has not occurred in the RIAA cases. It has been an ongoing flagrant violation of American law.

        What does that mean for past cases that were not settled out of court? Do they get reheard? Do their verdicts get overturned?

        It seems to me that if a court is found to have not followed the letter of the law, some action regarding those involved should be taken. It could be a slap on the wrist for the Judge presiding the case, perhaps the lawyers on either side.

        • by Shagg (99693)

          Do their verdicts get overturned?

          What verdicts? I don't recall the RIAA ever winning a single case. Well, one, but that verdict has already been set aside by the judge.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mabhatter654 (561290)

          but they were ALREADY heard in court and judged, that's how they got a judge to make the ISP give out names.

          The game is to sue "jon doe" at 192.168.0.1 for $250k infringement in civil court, and because they can't find all the names, it's just between the lawyers and the judge! Then they take the summary judgment (which legally is very, very bad) to debtor's court to get your name and address, then call you up to settle. If you don't settle, then they wave the full judgment in front of you. I

          t's legally mo

    • by pavon (30274) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:13AM (#27703027)

      your appeal has no chance of success

      make your time
      HA HA HA HA ...


      For great justice indeed.

    • by srleffler (721400)
      You're confusing criminal and civil law. There is no prosecution or defense in a civil case.

      That aside, you've misunderstood the RIAA strategy. They file John Doe claims so they can subpoena records from the ISPs that identify who the defendants are. Once they know who the defendant is, they can proceed with a normal case. The RIAA bends the rules in multiple ways in the course of doing this, but the dodgy part is not the John Doe claim itself, but other details in how they go about it.

  • (a) The pirates deserve to be slammed for STEALING (Yes I said it, because that's what it is!)!

    (b) The pirates ALSO deserve all the due process and constitutional protection that the US has to offer--and the RIAA assiduously tries to ignore! You can't slam the thieves until the thieves get a FULL and FAIR day in court.

    The Pirates deserve to be hammered, but only after every last one of their constitutional rights is respected!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      First off, why would Somalis have US Constitutional protection? Second, why would the RIAA care?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Walterk (124748)

      It's not stealing though, it's breach of contract.

    • by Tgeigs (1497313) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:02AM (#27702843)

      (a) The pirates deserve to be slammed for STEALING (Yes I said it, because that's what it is!)!

      (b) The pirates ALSO deserve all the due process and constitutional protection that the US has to offer--and the RIAA assiduously tries to ignore! You can't slam the thieves until the thieves get a FULL and FAIR day in court.

      The Pirates deserve to be hammered, but only after every last one of their constitutional rights is respected!

      Assuming we're still talking about digital piracy here, it is NOT stealing, it is infringing. The two have separate legal meanings that have to do with a scarce good being taken away from another person/entity. Copying music does not take that original away, ergo it cannot be stealing, it is infringing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CodeBuster (516420)
        The parent is correct. Copyright infringement does not rise to the same level as theft, because in theft the owner is deprived of his property in such a way that it can no longer be used, sold to another, or enjoyed by the original owner while it remains in the possession of the thief. The former is a much less serious breach of the law than the later and the law recognizes this by distinguishing between theft of property and infringement of copyright. Copyright is a right granted by law, but NOT property a
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dyingtolive (1393037)
      Fine. Its stealing. Its now criminal rather than civil. It turns into innocent before proven guilty and all that. Now pay going rate for each song THEY CAN PROVE were downloaded, in complete, as damages. 0.99 USD per song is far more reasonable better than 100.00 USD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918)

      (a) The pirates deserve to be slammed for STEALING (Yes I said it, because that's what it is!)!

      (b) The pirates ALSO deserve all the due process and constitutional protection that the US has to offer

      Unauthorized copying is not stealing because nothing was taken away from the original owner.

      Distorting the accusation is, by itself, violating due process and the constitutional protection the accused deserves.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The Pirates deserve to be hammered, but only after every last one of their constitutional rights is respected!

      By calling them pirates, you are presuming them guilty. Nice fail.

    • by harl (84412)

      If it's stealing then why don't they have them arrested for theft?

    • I guess you're trolling.

      I have stolen your car if I take it from your driveway, even if I give it back later. Why do you care? Because then you don't have a car.

      What if there was a way to get your car, but with you still having it, and use both simultaneously? That's a copy - and unless you're some kind of prick, it doesn't bother you. You get your car, with no changes, and so do I.

      It's infringing because I don't have a legal right to make that copy.

      These people may or may not be infringing, but as there is

  • Confused (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:41AM (#27702565)
    I am constantly hearing on /. that mediasentry does not have an investigators license. I have to say I don't understand the process that well, but I figured it would be illegal to operate without a license. Shouldn't the cops or fbi be shutting down the company? I am glad to final hear that case evidence will final be forming for the RIAA's process. It will make future attempts by the RIAA much harder if the case is thrown out.
    • Shouldn't the cops or fbi be shutting down the company?

      It really depends on the exact statutes you're working with. Since they technically do nothing except monitor public information, it's not illegal anywhere I am aware of. Now, the question is "Is the evidence acquired suitable for presentation in court?" Since MediaSentry (Or whatever their name is this week) isn't licensed, has no oversite, and doesn't use standardized & validated procedures to obtain it's information, the answer should be no.

      Ess

    • It's probably one of those cases where they can do whatever they like, but if objected to their data can't be used in a legal proceeding. (In general, you can use any data you want in a legal proceeding. Unless the other side has a valid objection.)

      So they aren't doing anything criminally liable (so the police can't get involved) and the RIAA is basically only using them in their first stage (before they are allowing the defendants to get involved), and the result is that there is no one in position to ca

  • What do 'short shrift' and 'misjoinder' mean, in english?

    And before someone gets smart and says 'let me google that for you,' I already have.. it still doesn't make sense to me:

    Misjoinder
    An incorrect union of parties or of causes of action in a procedure in criminal or civil court
    Shrift
    the act of being shriven
    Shriven
    shrive - To hear or receive a confession (of sins etc.); To prescribe penance or absolution; To confess, and receive absolution

    A little help, lawyery or IANAL-y friends?

    • By "short shrift" I meant the Magistrate Judge and the District Judge paid scant attention, and just blew it off without paying careful consideration to the law or to the paucity of evidence.

      "Misjoinder" is a legal term. In this case what it refers to is the fact that the RIAA sued 16 "John Does" in a single case, even though the federal rules clearly required them to bring 16 separate cases, and even though in 2004 they were ordered by two federal judges to cease and desist from that practice.
    • by langelgjm (860756)
      "misjoinder" I'm guessing refers to their practice of binding a bunch of defendants together (thus the "Does 1-16". Given that they most likely have no relation to one another, there's no good reason to bind them together like that. It's done purely for the RIAA's convenience.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      Misjoinder means you've basically brought the wrong defendant into the lawsuit.

      Short shrift means quick rejection, but it is not a legal term.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:48AM (#27702669)

    This is the first time an appeals court has examined whether or not having a court hearing without the presence of the defendant (ex parte preceding) is permissible given such little evidence, no real damages incurred by the plaintiff (insufficiency of complaint), whether or not the given court is even the right place to hear the complaint (lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants), whether or not lumping all of these defendants together as a collective group is legitimate (improper misjoinder of the defendants), and whether or not it's complete BS that the RIAA is using a private group to invade individual's privacy to obtain information (illegal procurement of evidence).
     
    That last description may be a little biased.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:23AM (#27703161)
    In the Plaintiff's Motion to Quash, they state in footnote 1, "Defendants rely on the same arguments Mr. Beckerman has raised and lost in other cases." Strangely enough, they fail to cite the actual cases in which these arguments have been "raised and lost." Are there actual legal precedents in which Mr. Beckerman's arguments have been found lacking, or are the RIAA lawyers just blatantly lying?
    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      It is interesting that you note this.

      Such an argument is a slimy one. Lawyers argue precedent. Precedent is formed in our appellate courts--not our trial courts. It's very bad form (and not particularly helpful to the judge) to argue precedent from the behavior of other trial courts.

    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @11:42AM (#27703435) Homepage Journal

      In the Plaintiff's Motion to Quash, they state in footnote 1, "Defendants rely on the same arguments Mr. Beckerman has raised and lost in other cases." Strangely enough, they fail to cite the actual cases in which these arguments have been "raised and lost." Are there actual legal precedents in which Mr. Beckerman's arguments have been found lacking, or are the RIAA lawyers just blatantly lying?

      There are some motions we have made which we have lost in the lower courts, however we prevailed on the portion of our motions which was directed to the "making available" theory, and most other lawyers have prevailed on the misjoinder issue.

      In the appeals court, all of that is basically academic. The appeals court is here to give the district courts direction, not the other way around.

  • This has been a big week for my alma mater:
  • P2P users who distribute (upload) and copy (download) copyrighted material violate the copyright laws.
    It is not clear that every copy made of copyrighted material violates copyright laws. For example, if I make a backup copy of a disk, store it on a network drive, and then transfer it back to my computer, have I violated copyright laws?
    SUNY maintains logs that match IP addresses with their users' computer hardware.
    SUNY maintains logs that match IP addresses to MAC layer addresses. It is well known that t

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