Print 21 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Aug 15 at 5:08 PM

Victory opens doors for more successful defenses

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has made a household name for itself over the last seven or eight years, in its increasingly aggressive pursuit of those that it suspects to be downloading music.  The RIAA would threaten to sue those who didn't settle.  Settlements typically were anywhere from a couple thousand to $10,000 USD.  Those who fought the RIAA would likely lose far more.

However, the tide has seemingly turned, with a number of key losses have the RIAA reeling.  Among these is the precedent-setting rejection of "making available" claims.  According to the new precedent, the RIAA now has to provide actual proof that someone downloaded shared files, not merely that they had been made available.  Such proof is much harder to obtain. 

Another pending case may soon eliminate the use of MAC addresses as evidence, only allowing IP address to be used.

The RIAA lost another significant case against Tanya Andersen.  Ms. Andersen was accused of downloading gangster rap under the username "gotenkito".  However, forensics experts found no evidence of file sharing on her computer.

The judge had little sympathy for the RIAA's tactics and wastefulness of the court's time.  He ordered
$107,834 in attorneys' fees to be paid to the defendants.  The record award was considered a major victory for those who stand accused by the RIAA, as more attorneys will be willing to take on their cases, realizing the potential for significant fees.

The RIAA didn't go down without a fight.  It first tried to offer Ms. Andersen only $30,000.  After realizing this wouldn't work it sweetened its offer to $60,000.  She refused, and a judge refused to lower the award.  The RIAA finally caved in and paid, as an official document reads, "Together with the $117.03 off accumulated post-judgment interest, the total amount of the $107,951.03 has been fully paid and satisfied by the Judgment Creditors."

The slight difference of just over $100 between the initial award and final payment is due to interest.

Ms. Andersen is not finished with the RIAA, though.  She plans on taking the fight to them and is part of a large class action suit against the RIAA which accuses them of violating federal anti-racketeering laws.

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By ZaethDekar on 8/14/2008 1:32:59 PM , Rating: 5
This is a good day. haha.

RE: Wahoo!
By JasonMick on 8/14/2008 2:33:23 PM , Rating: 5
The RIAA should have used the wookie defense, maybe then they would have had a chance...

Cochran : Why would a Wookie, an eight-foot tall Wookie, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does NOT MAKE SENSE! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does NOT MAKE SENSE! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation,... does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does NOT MAKE SENSE! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

RE: Wahoo!
By Master Kenobi on 8/14/2008 3:31:55 PM , Rating: 5
Your honor, Wookies live on Kashyyyk. The prosecution rests.

RE: Wahoo!
By DEVGRU on 8/14/2008 6:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but , Wookies live on Kashyyk because wanting to live on Endor doesn't make sense! Cross-examination rests.

RE: Wahoo!
By akugami on 8/14/2008 6:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
My beef is not with them protecting their copyrights or intellectual properties. My problem with these RIAA lawsuits is in the absolutely crappy way in which they bulldoze laws that protect individuals and how they skirt existing laws, even so far as going against the order of judges not to combine lawsuits to find out the names of individuals then separating them once the names are found. Often you see people trumped up by the RIAA over flimsy evidence and through the use of questionable legal tactics to get default judgments.

RE: Wahoo!
By wvh on 8/14/2008 6:32:36 PM , Rating: 3
Or what about the punishment?

If I steal a physical CD and get caught, I would have to pay the price of the CD and – as a first time offender – a small fine.

How would digital copies add up to thousands of dollars?

If it were up to the RIAA, illegally downloading a song would be eligible for worse punishments than rape and murder.

If they would all along just have demanded that teenagers pay for all the CDs they downloaded songs from with perhaps a small administrative fee, nobody would have made any problem out of it.

Making poor families pay up zillions for downloading/sharing a few songs is the kind of justice in big corporate America that makes people worldwide tell them to shove it — even my parents feel like Robin Hood when they'd download a song or two just for kicks.

RE: Wahoo!
By mcnabney on 8/14/2008 8:08:05 PM , Rating: 5
You haven't been paying attention.

Stealing 100 CDs from Walmart will get you a fine of a few grand and some community service.

Downloading one song can get you up yo 125,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail.

Remember the Golden Rule?

Good day,
By MrBlastman on 8/14/2008 1:39:10 PM , Rating: 3
Misses Anderson.

The Matrix is impressed with your efforts to fight the RIAA machine.

- Agent Smith

I hope she takes it to them :) Take that RIAA scumlords!

RE: Good day,
By DASQ on 8/14/2008 1:43:12 PM , Rating: 5
'You hear that Mrs. Anderson...? That is the sound of inevitability.'

RE: Good day,
By totallycool on 8/14/2008 2:47:19 PM , Rating: 1
"The name is, Neo!!!".

Cue for a long drawn out action sequence, ending with the explosion of Agent smith err RIAA

RE: Good day,
By Chernobyl68 on 8/14/2008 7:53:13 PM , Rating: 3
that's a film I'd go see.

RE: Good day,
By yacoub on 8/15/2008 7:27:22 AM , Rating: 2
And here's to you, Mrs. Anderson...

RE: Good day,
By BadAcid on 8/15/2008 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
That song forever sours my mouth because my evil 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Robinson. She never once smiled when no adults were around... ugh *shiver*

So many good Matrix quotes so little time
By Bainne on 8/14/2008 2:21:34 PM , Rating: 5
RIAA: It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're Tanya Andersen, a single, disabled mother. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... look after your nine year old daughter. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the alias "gotenkito" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a made-up law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.

By javiergf on 8/14/2008 4:09:01 PM , Rating: 5

Haha, suckers!
By mezman on 8/14/2008 3:10:46 PM , Rating: 5
Comeuppance is a bitch.

By Lazlo Panaflex on 8/14/2008 3:45:26 PM , Rating: 5
/Points at RIAA




yeah but
By yacoub on 8/15/2008 7:28:35 AM , Rating: 3
just wait, they'll cry to the government about this and somehow get them to give the RIAA our money (taxpayer money) to cover the costs.

RE: yeah but
By HrilL on 8/15/2008 5:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
woaha woaha we are not Canada and will not ever pay them unless of course they finally do fail and the good old uncle Sam will bail them out because like every big business knows make bad business choices and good ol' uncle Sam's got their back.

This is why big money has no place in politics! Our government is supposed to be for the people by the people not for corporate special interest. Although that would destroy our military industrial complex

Nice. Very Nice...
By SpaceRanger on 8/14/2008 1:35:00 PM , Rating: 3
It's always good to see someone win cases like this (The defendant). Good for her and I wish her the best of luck on the Anti-racketeering case!

Dear RIAA,
By mikeyD95125 on 8/15/2008 2:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
F*** You


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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