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RIAA Wants To Bar Jammie From Making Objections 306

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-she-must-stand-on-one-foot dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In the Duluth, Minnesota case headed for a re-trial on June 15th, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset, the RIAA has filed a motion seeking to bar the defendant, Jammie Thomas-Rasset (she got married recently), from making objections to the plaintiffs' copyright registration documents. To preempt those of you reacting with shock and anger at the American judicial system, let me assure you this motion has nothing to do with the American judicial system; the RIAA's motion has the chance of a snowball in Hell of being granted, as there is simply no legal basis for preventing a person from making valid legal objections in Trial #2, just because the lawyer she had in Trial #1 didn't make similar objections. I'm guessing that the RIAA lawyers realized they have some kind of problem with their paperwork, and thought this a clever way of short-circuiting it. Instead, of course, they have merely red-flagged it for Ms. Thomas-Rasset's new legal team. A few days earlier, the RIAA lawyers filed a similarly ludicrous motion trying to keep Ms. Thomas-Rasset's expert witness from testifying; that too is doomed."
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RIAA Wants To Bar Jammie From Making Objections

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  • Sorry... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by T-Bucket (823202) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:59PM (#28228555) Homepage

    Sorry, but the RIAA has filed a motion to keep me from posting a comment...

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:01PM (#28228569) Homepage Journal

    What's the point in having a second trial or an appeal if you aren't allowed to do things differently?

    Then again, this is law we're talking about, so logic and common sense probably don't apply.

    • What's the point in having a second trial or an appeal if you aren't allowed to do things differently? Then again, this is law we're talking about, so logic and common sense probably don't apply.

      This is NOT law; this is baloney. The RIAA lawyers wouldn't know the law if it hit them on the head.

      • So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

        Their motion opposing the defense expert seemed to me to be incompetant. They don't seem to understand Daubert and to be able to distinguish between "speculation" and presentation of scientifically plausible alternative scenarios.

        • So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation?

          "So, do you know that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation?"

          There, fixed that for you. The answer is yes.

        • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:44PM (#28228911)

          So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

          Having the resources to afford competent representation doesn't necessarily mean having the judgement to select competent representation. Its probably not all that uncommon that people with plenty of resources (particularly if the position they want to take is not well supported) end up with the representation most willing to tell them what they want to hear, not necessarily the most effective at providing useful advice and effective advocacy.

          • So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

            Having the resources to afford competent representation doesn't necessarily mean having the judgement to select competent representation. Its probably not all that uncommon that people with plenty of resources (particularly if the position they want to take is not well supported) end up with the representation most willing to tell them what they want to hear, not necessarily the most effective at providing useful advice and effective advocacy.

            Let's put it this way: the RIAA has the representation it deserves .

        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @02:02AM (#28230503) Journal

          The RIAA is often likeneded to the mafia, and just as the mafia, they are used to the world behaving in a certain way. These lawyers might be high priced, but something tells me they grew up on cases where money talks. Not the real law of criminal cases or the bitterly fought battles of family court but corporate law. Where you often win just because you got the bigger team and the other side just settles because that is what everyone does.

          They are now fighting a real battle against a real lawyer who is as far as I know backed by an extreme heavy weight from harvard and his students. All the bullshit that used to work to get a settlement doesn't work. They didn't pull this motion not because they thought it would work in court but because it worked for them before as bargaining chip in the settlement deal.

          There is a real difference between a criminal type lawyer we see in on TV and the far more common business lawyers that draw up contacts and settle disputes.

          I don't believe in incompetence, sorry, but these guys ain't that dumb and you would make a grave mistake thinking they are. I do believe in arrogance and the RIAA shows all the signs of it. They think there way works (and lets be honest, it has worked until now).

          Also don't forget this, if they are cynical, then they might just be throwing things and see what sticks. Pretty much their tactics with prosecuting John Doe's in the first place. File every motion you can think off, you never know what the judge is crazy enough to accept or the opposition lawyer lets slip by. Because one thing this motion has achieved. More work for a lawyer working for free, more fugde for the judge to get lost in.

      • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:27PM (#28228789)
        Just how badly does a lawyer have to behave in the US to be disbarred?
        • Just how badly does a lawyer have to behave in the US to be disbarred?

          Well, keep your eye on the RIAA's lawyer handling this case; I think he's trying to find out. He'll probably have an answer for you one of these days.

          • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Friday June 05, 2009 @11:36PM (#28229913) Journal
            I dunno. Jack Thomson was known by name in the geek community long before they disbarred him. After so much time, the RIAA lawyers are still mostly refered to as... the RIAA lawyers. No single lawyer had stood out as being more spectacularly imbecilic than the rest, so they may be taking turns pulling these stunts. Yes, as a whole the number of bad decisions is overwhelming, but does any single lawyer have more than a handful of black marks to his name?
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mjwx (966435)

              I dunno. Jack Thomson was known by name in the geek community long before they disbarred him. After so much time, the RIAA lawyers are still mostly refered to as... the RIAA lawyers. No single lawyer had stood out as being more spectacularly imbecilic than the rest, so they may be taking turns pulling these stunts. Yes, as a whole the number of bad decisions is overwhelming, but does any single lawyer have more than a handful of black marks to his name?

              The moment a RIAA/MPIAA lawyer is publicly named and

      • by erc (38443)

        Stipulated, counselor; does this mean that the RIAA and its individual lawyers can be sanctioned - by the court, the bar, or both?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bertoelcon (1557907)

        This is NOT law; this is baloney. The RIAA lawyers wouldn't know the law if it hit them on the head.

        I think it would bounce off their money umbrella and never reach their head at all.

    • You just might want to read the summary...

    • by blueg3 (192743) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:19PM (#28228743)

      It's a second trial. As Ray points out, there's no chance of the motion succeeding, but to play Devil's advocate: I think the reason the first trial was thrown out is an incorrect jury instruction ("making available"). In theory, I suppose you could argue this could be rectified without substantial deviation from the original trial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by countach (534280)

      In many legal systems, appeals are limited to matters of law, not matters of fact. At least in certain levels of the legal system. The highest courts don't want to bother themselves with deciding the facts, they want to spend their precious time on examining the law. Whether the RIAA has their paperwork in order is a matter of fact.

  • Gimmee a break (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:03PM (#28228597)
    That would be like me standing over you with a baseball bat and:

    a. You are not allowed to defend yourself

    b. You can not attack back

    c. You can not yell for help

    d. And if you do survive, you can neither charge me or sue me.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:43PM (#28229205)

      So you're a cop and I'm a black man?

  • Hmmh (Score:4, Funny)

    by KwKSilver (857599) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:03PM (#28228603)
    Hope NYCL is correct about the RIAA motions failing. Should they succeed, it's like the prosecution calling the defense shots. How does she get a fair trial? Wouldn't something like this be more apropos to either a) trying to bring up something new after the trial has commenced, or b) an appeal situation? NYCL?
    • Re:Hmmh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slarrg (931336) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:11PM (#28228669)
      It seems to me that the RIAA is just doing a lot of "make busy" work to make the case as expensive as possible for her pro bono counsel.
      • Re:Hmmh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:53PM (#28228971)
        Even if they were doing it to annoy the defense it should only prove to be a minor hindrance. Consider that a successful defense of Jamie Thomas-Rasset against the RIAA, possibly winding its way to a spectacular conclusion with arguments before the Supreme Court, would boost the career of an enterprising pro-bono attorney tremendously. It could put them on the fast track to partnership in a big firm or, at the very least, increase their profile enough to attract new clients with similar cases and deeper pockets.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          In addition, the legal profession has rules such that, if you can show that a motion is frivolous, you can make the other side pay for your time spent arguing against it.

  • I wonder if they're intentionally calling attention to the documents, and have something in mind to try when the defense objects to the documents. Or am I on drugs?

  • estoppel? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@a l u m . m i t .edu> on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:04PM (#28228617) Homepage

    The RIAA's main argument is essentially judicial estoppel.The problem is that since the verdict in the first trial was overturned, matters implicit in that verdict were also overturned, so that there is effectively no previous determination. As I understand it, if the court in the first trial had made a separate determination of the validity of the copyrights, then reversal of the verdict on other grounds might let that determination stand and therefore prevent the defense from making the argument in the second trail, but since there was no such separate determination, overturning the verdict throws out everything.

    The RIAA has an additional argument that seems to me to have some validity, namely the expense of obtaining certified copies on an expedited basis. But isn't that actually a basis for a request for a continuance, or for permission to submit the certificates after the start of trial?

    • Re:estoppel? (Score:5, Informative)

      by snowgirl (978879) * on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:19PM (#28229595) Journal

      The RIAA has an additional argument that seems to me to have some validity, namely the expense of obtaining certified copies on an expedited basis. But isn't that actually a basis for a request for a continuance, or for permission to submit the certificates after the start of trial?

      What the hell kind of court system are they dealing with? Here in King County Superior Court of Washington State, you just go in to the records department, look up the case, click a checkbox and print and say "yes, certified copies plz"

      If I were doing it pro se, it would be about $15 parking, then $5 per document + $1 for each additional page. Or about that. If it were a paralegal doing it, it would be about an hour of his pay, plus the fees... if a lawyer were doing it themselves? I would think most lawyers have more to do, but then some of them like to touch the dirty stuff themselves, I suppose.

      Although, as a matter of copyright law, this would be Federal District Court... so all my notions are silly... still, I can't imagine a Federal District Court having less accessibility than a state superior court...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by belmolis (702863)

        The certified copies at issue are records of copyright registration, which must be obtained from the Copyright Office [copyright.gov] in Washington, D.C. It isn't like walking into the courthouse and copying records yourself.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by snowgirl (978879) *

          The certified copies at issue are records of copyright registration, which must be obtained from the Copyright Office [copyright.gov] in Washington, D.C. It isn't like walking into the courthouse and copying records yourself.

          Well, even in the district court you don't make certified copies yourself... the clerks do it. In fact, in King County Superior Court, the only documents that you copy/print yourself are those on microfilm and only if they're uncertified.

          Anyways, I read later down the line that they're interested in certified copyright records, which is entirely different. But when you just read "concerns about expenses of expedited certified copies" it lacks the sufficient context of "copyright records".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The RIAA has an additional argument that seems to me to have some validity, namely the expense of obtaining certified copies on an expedited basis....

        What the hell kind of court system are they dealing with?

        They already have all the copies. In fact, even I have a set of all the copies.

  • What the... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gnarlyhotep (872433) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:05PM (#28228623)
    Are they really relying on the argument that the previous jury upheld their claims, when said verdict was overturned? Are they that dense, or is this desperation?

    Better yet, do they have a song on their list which the artist didn't assign the copyright to the label?
  • Obscuring justice? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Narpak (961733) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:06PM (#28228629)
    From the article:

    The Judge scheduled a June 8th telephone conference regarding the RIAA's motion to preclude objections.

    The in limine motions are scheduled for June 10th.

    Plaintiffs' motion to preclude defendants from making objections at trial
    Plaintiffs' opposition to defendant's motion to suppress MediaSentry materials
    Notice of hearing scheduling plaintiffs' motion to preclude objections
    Defendants' response to plaintiffs' motion to foreclose fair use defense
    Defendant's response to plaintiffs' motion to preclude reference to cases
    Defendant's response to plaintiffs' motion to exclude defendant's expert witness's testimony

    So the idea is to make some kind of legal argument limiting the capability of the defendant to defend themselves? Yeah I guess that seems fair considering they (RIAA) are like totally only doing this to defend the rights of Artists. I wonder how much further they can push these strategies upon people and the courts before a angry mob with pitchforks try to storm their office buildings (remind me to invest stock in pitchfork companies at the earliest opportunity).

    • So the idea is to make some kind of legal argument limiting the capability of the defendant to defend themselves?

      Yes. Because, if she were permitted to defend herself, there's a possibility that, like.......she might win.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:07PM (#28228637)

    If NewYorkCountryLawyer thinks a motion is ludicrous and doomed what does the judge think?

    Doesn't this sort of telegraph to the judge the tactics being employed?

    Is it really smart to effectively tell the whole court that you intend to grasp at every straw that comes your way?

  • by Guil Rarey (306566) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:09PM (#28228653)

    To file a motion to bar objections on something that hasn't been the subject of exhaustive motion and discovery practice?

    Correct me if I'm wrong (IANAL) you file a motion like that when the other side has been relentlessly arguing a point beyond all sense and reason and you are just trying to get them to knock it off and acknowledge - a la a request for admissions, that reality is what it is. Or perhaps you are asking the judge to compel them to acknowledge that reality is real.

    In any event, you don't file this cold on something that hasn't been a bone of contention. That's just painting a target on it, right?

    Counsel for Ms Thomas: "Oh wait? you don't want me to ask about your copyright registrations? really? oh? Your Honor, I'd like to see proof that the parties are actual the valid holders of the copyrights at issue in this lawsuit."

    Judge: "So ordered"

    RIAA counsel: "How could a 7 foot Wookie live on Endor? That... does not make sense. I... do not make sense."

    NY Country Lawyer: "Oh no, they're using the Chewbacca defense again!"

  • What a non-story (Score:5, Informative)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:10PM (#28228659) Journal

    The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that. Frankly, the motion is not as evil as people here will make it out to be, since the issue of ownership of the copyrights isn't really in dispute anyway, and it will save both sides time & money to get to the important parts of the case.

    Another thing to note is that this appears to be a new trial, which is not the same thing as an appeal. Despite what many people think, an appeal is not like a do-over of the original case. Once the original trial has been carried out, an appeal can only be made of issues that were properly disputed and objected to at trial. So, if a fact is established at trial, and there is no clear objection that is preserved for appeal, you can't argue it, even if you think that would be a great way to win the case during appeal. An appeal is almost always about questions of law instead of fact as well, and appellate courts usually give a great deal of deference to what the factfinders (usually the jury) determined during the trial, and will only overturn or (more commonly) vacate a lower court's factfinding if the jury reached a clearly erroneous conclusion. In fact, there is actually no constitutional right of appeal. By standard judicial custom most cases do get one appeal as long as they weren't dismissed with prejudice (for something like a patently frivolous claim, or for a case that clearly lacked standing like suing God).

        Since this case is a brand new trial, there is likely little that cannot be brought back into play, for what little that's worth.

    • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:37PM (#28228875) Journal

      The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that.

      It may not be so black and white. IIRC, if copyrights are not registered within a certain time period, one can only sue for actual damages and not statutory damages. This would make a huge difference to the defendent, since actual damages would be about $10.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that.

        It may not be so black and white. IIRC, if copyrights are not registered within a certain time period, one can only sue for actual damages and not statutory damages. This would make a huge difference to the defendant, since actual damages would be about $10.

        Quite right! Yes YDRC.

    • But these works are not works-for-hire and plaintiffs are not natural persons, so the entities suing are not necessarily the originators of the appropriate copyrights. They should be the assignees (that's what royalties are all about) but that's not the same thing and is NOT an unfair question to ask them to prove that they have the appropriate assignments of copyright from the original creators.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gnasher719 (869701)

      The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that. Frankly, the motion is not as evil as people here will make it out to be, since the issue of ownership of the copyrights isn't really in dispute anyway, and it will save both sides time & money to get to the important parts of the case.

      I would assume that when a record company owns the copyright to a work then they would have some paperwork proving it. Either the copyright registration, or some document where the previous copyright owner assigns the copyright to them. Record companies are big companies with excellent lawyers who would never lose that kind of paperwork. The conclusion is that if a record company doesn't have any paperwork demonstrating the ownership of a copyright, then it is most likely that they don't own the copyright.

  • Legal S&M (Score:3, Interesting)

    by docbrody (1159409) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:12PM (#28228679)
    This is just about tying them up and strapping them down with endless motions and other legal hassles so that it gives any other lawyer thinking about taking on the RIAA (pro bono or not) a major reason to think about it twice. they don't even excpect to win these motions, its just about burying the other side in paper work.
  • by rthille (8526) <{gro.tagnar} {ta} {todhsals-bew}> on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:16PM (#28228713) Homepage Journal

    A snowball insulated with enough money lasts quite awhile here.

    • Are you implying that the judge has been bribed?

      • Judges who allow stuff like this are either A) Incompetent in the law B) have some kind of bias C) are bribed or otherwise make money from these sort of cases.
        • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Friday June 05, 2009 @11:09PM (#28229809)

          or D) setting somebody up for a really hard fall. I'm thinking of Judge Kimball, in the SCOX files, who seemed to be bending over backwards to give time and attention to SCO's every little move, only to thoroughly trash them later. Judges who've got an idea of where the case is going (or who don't particularly like one side, regardless of the merits of the case) will sometimes play out as much rope as one side wants, and whistle jauntily while that side puts their head in the noose. It's a way of making your judgment appeal-proof. If the appeal court looks at your judgment and the proceedings, and saw that you gave the loser every chance to present their side before cutting them down, the court will be more favourable to your judgment.

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:19PM (#28228745)
    NewYorkCountryLawyer, This isn't the clearest summary you've written. I'd suggest that next time, you just give us the facts, for instance the first sentence of your summary would have been enough, and then you just let us do our part and let us add the outrage, the anger, the guessing, and the confusing remarks, all by ourselves.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but as near as I can figure out, although these motions might make sense for an appeal, they are totally inappropriate for a re-trial. Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that they can't tell the difference?
    • Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that they can't tell the difference?

      Is that a trick question, or something? To any question which starts out "Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that...." the answer has to be yes. I have yet to plumb the depths of their ignorance, as I have yet to plumb the depths of their immorality. I keep hoping I've finally, in my explorations, gotten to the depths of those oceans, but am constantly disappointed.

      • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Interesting)

        by snowgirl (978879) * on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:46PM (#28229725) Journal

        Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that they can't tell the difference?

        Is that a trick question, or something? To any question which starts out "Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that...." the answer has to be yes. I have yet to plumb the depths of their ignorance, as I have yet to plumb the depths of their immorality. I keep hoping I've finally, in my explorations, gotten to the depths of those oceans, but am constantly disappointed.

        In legal matters, never ascribe to stupidity what can be ascribed to willfully amoral conduct. (Which is not necessarily malice, although malice would comprise a large portion there of.)

        I've been dealing legally with a person, from whom I have never gotten the same story from twice. Every time we talk, I hear a different story from him. He broke into my house, and stole exclusively my laptop, my briefcase holding most of my legal material, and a folder stamped all over with "CONFIDENTIAL" that contained my work product. He was witnessed coming into the house, and then attempted to bribe and coerce that witness into lying to the police, and as well, obtained a letter from his work stating that he had been working the entire day.

        One would naturally first start off with, "how stupid can this guy be?" and the answer is, he's not stupid at all, he's just at his wits end, because I had him painted deeply into a corner. His only last option was to commit multiple felonies in order to attempt ducking the problem. Now, you and I would look at the situation and go, "before this incident, he was only facing civil liability, but now he's facing criminal liability", however when you back a badger into a corner, stupid or intelligent, they're going to lash out in any way that they feel justified in doing.

        So, I'm betting the lawyers knew exactly how stupid this motion was, but it's simply a pawn in a strategy... it's attempting attrition...

  • this will be like a large caliber bullet fired in to the RIAA's foot
  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:47PM (#28228929)

    The RIAA lawyers gave the defendant's lawyers notice that they were going to introduce documentary evidence at trial. If the defendant's lawyers don't object, then the documentary evidence comes into evidence without objection. If the defendant's lawyers DO object, then the RIAA lawyers have to prove that the document is what it purports to be (that is, a real federal copyright public record).

    It appears that the alleged pirate's lawyers did object. HA!

    Typically proving a government copyright document is what it is is accomplished by getting a sealed certificate from the government attached to a copy of the document. It's really easy and relatively cheap. But the RIAA hasn't done this and the trial date is screaming down on them.

    They are in panic-street because they understand just how crucial that document is!

    It's a lawyer's nightmare--messing up something easy to prove but essential to prove. They're hoping that the trial judge will bail them out somehow by letting their UN-certified public record copyright document into evidence.

    I can understand their pain, but I can't have too much sympathy because when they have the upper hand, they are very hard. Now, they are soft and whiny to the trial judge, begging for mercy and an escape from the operation of the law. HA!
     

  • Since NewYorkCountryLawyer writes there is no ground for the motions of the RIAA, the question is why do they want to waste the defendant's time?
    Perhaps it's a distraction from something more serious that they don't want them to notice?

    • by belmolis (702863)

      Hey, they're just being proactive. If she's busy being sued, she'll have less time for piracy.

    • Well, why *wouldn't* they want to waste the opposition's time? A better question is why do they want to waste the judge's time? (and their own.)

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:03PM (#28229023)

    Is this essentially:

    "Your honor, we ask that the defendant is not allowed to make any statement in her defense"
    "What? Why?"
    "'cause else we'd lose the case, duh!"

  • Picard's trial by Q for the crimes of humanity...

    Q: Court is now in session. How do you plead?
    Picard: Not guilty.
    Q: This court hereby finds you guilty.
    Picard: Of what?
    Q: Of pleading not guilty.

            .
            .
            .

    Q: If he utters any other word but "Guilty" kill him.

    --
    My rights don't need management.

  • by SUB7IME (604466) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:44PM (#28229209)
    Please stop saying "RIAA" unless you also name its constituent organizations. Calling them "RIAA" without naming them simply lets them off the hook: * EMI * Sony Music Entertainment * Universal Music Group * Warner Music Group
  • Barratry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday June 05, 2009 @10:53PM (#28229757)

    She should file a motion to prohibit the RIAA lawyers from engaging in barratry. To try and deprive someone of their due process when they themselves are guilty of using the most underhanded tactics to get their way is scum of the earth level thinking.

  • by cheebie (459397) on Friday June 05, 2009 @11:20PM (#28229859)

    The defendant shall be required to bring a parrot to trial each day and answer all inquiries with the phrase "Yar, I be a salty sea dog".

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday June 06, 2009 @12:41AM (#28230173)

    I'm guessing that the RIAA lawyers realized they have some kind of problem with their paperwork, and thought this a clever way of short-circuiting it. Instead, of course, they have merely red-flagged it for Ms. Thomas-Rasset's new legal team.

    Ok, here's the idea this phrase gave me.

    We're all about openness here. Open source, open standards...openness. We've seen the good it can do. A good example is the Linux kernel. What makes it so good? What makes it work so well? The many thousands of eyes looking at it every day. It is open, and has a lot of good and talented people studying it every day.

    So why not open up cases like these to public scrutiny and try for the same result?

    Look at what's happened here. The RIAA had their team look at it, they found a problem, and tried to sidestep it. In doing so they basically pointed a big glowing arrow at the things in the case they would wish to have hidden.

    Well...we could do that too. Right?

    If there were a place where all the info were made available, and some sort of public campaign to let "us geeks" know about it...we would read it. "Help us fight for your rights against the RIAA - donate 15 minutes of your time. Click this link." That kind of a thing. A little bit here, a little bit there. If we were to take the Linux management concept and apply it to a legal case (a few high level moderators, lots of low level contributors)...who knows what other red flags the community might find? There are a lot of surprising sorts in the community, and I'd bet we actually do have quite a few legally trained folks who might want to do some small increment of good over a boring lunch break, for instance.

    If every person in this thread were to read a paragraph or two and try to spot problems...well yeah, we're not lawyers but we all can read pretty much. Maybe something might come of it.

    Anyways, it's just an idea. Maybe a good one and maybe a bad one. Fans and Flames to follow, see below. =)

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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