Print 31 comment(s) - last by emmet.. on May 19 at 5:13 AM

Florida judge not amused, already told them once

A Florida judge denied an RIAA attempt to dismiss counterclaims filed against it in Atlantic v. Boyer yesterday, allowing all six of the complaints to proceed.

Last month, defendant Eva Boyer filed six counterclaims in response to a standard RIAA copyright-infringement suit filed against her by Atlantic, Warner Bros., UMG, and Sony BMG. She accused the RIAA of civil conspiracy, computer fraud, trespass, deception, extortion, and abuse of process – and each claim was upheld by United States District Judge Richard A. Lazzara.

Recording Industry vs. The People notes that Boyer’s claims are nearly identical to the five out of six surviving claims filed against the RIAA in UMG v. Del Cid, which settled in October of last year. Coincidentally, Atlantic v. Boyer and UMG v. Del Cid share the same presiding judge, in addition to the same counsel for both the plaintiffs and the defendant.

Writing on Slashdot, Vandenberg & Feliu, LLP attorney Ray Beckerman, who coauthors Recording Industry vs. The People, says he underestimated the RIAA’s “chutzpah” for filing the same motion to dismiss a second time:

“I opined that ‘it is highly unlikely that the RIAA will make a motion to dismiss counterclaims,’ since I knew they'd be risking sanctions if they did,” wrote Beckerman under his alias, NewYorkCountryLawyer. “In essence [they] thumbed their nose at the judge, making the dismissal motion anyway.”

In its motion to dismiss, one of the RIAA’s claims (PDF) argued that Lazzara’s prior ruling in UMG v. Del Cid was “wrongly decided,” accusing the court of failing to heed proper burdens of proof, citing revised standards in Twombly v. Bell Atlantic. Lazzara disagreed, noting that a review of the case, and its resulting order, “reflects otherwise.”

Seemingly annoyed with the RIAA’s repeat claims, Lazzara denied the RIAA’s motion to dismiss the morning after it was filed – going so far as to tell Boyer to not worry about filing a response:

“Because the Court has previously resolved all of the issues raised in Plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss,” wrote Lazzara, “and because the Court is not convinced that its prior decision was wrong, the Court needs no response from Defendant and the motion is due to be denied.”

The RIAA has ten days to answer Boyer’s counterclaims.

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Our Hero
By MrBlastman on 5/7/2008 9:20:42 AM , Rating: 5
That judge is our Hero. Finally a voice of reason in the courtroom to stand against the RIAA.

Oh, and the picture is perfect :)

RE: Our Hero
By DASQ on 5/7/2008 10:47:08 AM , Rating: 3
He was an hero!

Nevar forget!

RE: Our Hero
By Mitch101 on 5/7/2008 10:52:47 AM , Rating: 5
I agree but I think this is more of a Florida Judge who who is paying attention and listening to details that does his job very well by seeing through the BS and understanding the root issues of the case. This one obviously does.

This Florida Judge obviously has a brain behind him and makes a lot of his peers look like there must be a lot of stupid/biased/careless in the field of Judging. I guess IT isn't the only field that receives dead weight and its good to see a Qualified Judge in the field handling such an important case.

RE: Our Hero
By Denigrate on 5/7/2008 1:21:11 PM , Rating: 4
Who appointed this guy? I mean come on, a Judge with common sense? We need to get the person who appointed him to do a review of the rest of our judges and clean house.

RE: Our Hero
By Mitch101 on 5/7/2008 1:33:48 PM , Rating: 3
I agree maybe video taping/broadcasting to local TV in court rooms should be mandatory this way we can crack down on bad Judges who let personal influence get in the way of upholding the laws.

RE: Our Hero
By Johnniewalker on 5/7/2008 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 5
In 1997 he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as a United States District Judge.


RE: Our Hero
By Omega215D on 5/7/2008 5:18:19 PM , Rating: 1
Who ironically signed into law the DMCA. ;P

Still a good call compared to the judges appointed by our own curious george.

RE: Our Hero
By chrispyski on 5/7/2008 4:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
I gotta hand it to you DT, you have the best thumbnail images ever...

I mean, Statler and Waldorf, perfect picture!

(And yes, I am slightly ashamed that I remember their names)

Is it just me or...
By jeff834 on 5/7/2008 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 3
Does Recording Industry vs. The People pretty much sum up everything the RIAA stands for? In an age when artists can create, manage, and distribute their work themselves with computers and the internet, isn't the RIAA absolutely and completely useless? Next thing you know someone will record a song at home by themselves, it will become really popular, and the RIAA will sue people for downloading it even though they have nothing to do with the artist whatsoever just because they think they are the gods of music.

RE: Is it just me or...
By MrBlastman on 5/7/2008 2:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is entirely feasible that an artist can succeed without the RIAA and their in-store distribution system (along with advertising). However, I think that a great deal of luck will also be required to achieve any sort of wide spread recognition. With media delivery tools such as youtube, message boards, forums, blogs etc., it is not impossible, but I imagine seeing this happen through the use of these mediums some time in the future.

RE: Is it just me or...
By TomCorelis on 5/7/2008 2:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention, it takes a great deal of cash to match the production values that the mainstream is used to. Oftentimes artists don't have the $5000 to spend on high-end synths (they're used everywhere nowadays), or $2000 to spend on the basic Pro Tools setup, or the who-knows-how-much it takes to hire a high-quality mastering engineer. Traditionally the record labels put up this cash. And all this has nothing to do with distribution and promotion.

I've heard artists who spent time on both sides of the production conundrum, and there is DEFINITELY a noticeable difference in the quality of their music when they've gone through the proper production process. Example: VNV Nation.

RE: Is it just me or...
By MrBlastman on 5/7/2008 3:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the costs alone I think are the second part of the duo of biggest barriers to any success for musicians. People like Trent Reznor can succeed due to the fact they already have recognition and a great deal of money saved over time to afford equipment etc.

It isn't impossible, but it could (and probably will) happen at some point.

RE: Is it just me or...
By MrBlastman on 5/7/2008 3:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the costs alone I think are the second part of the duo of biggest barriers to any success for musicians. People like Trent Reznor can succeed due to the fact they already have recognition and a great deal of money saved over time to afford equipment etc.

It isn't impossible, but it could (and probably will) happen at some point.

RE: Is it just me or...
By Lakku on 5/8/2008 12:18:56 AM , Rating: 3
While what you say has merit, there are many ways around a cash flow issue in the recording industry. Perhaps it is different in most places, but here in Austin, Texas, you can rent studios that have the equipment you are describing, just provie your own instruments and talent. They even have professional mixers and producers who run the studios, helping to foster local bands. You don't need to buy any of that equipment, and by the time you may need to, you'll hopefully be making enough to do so. The community is a good one down here, so I know it may not be like this in many places. However, I imagine if you are serious about making it in the music world, you'll move or go where you have to to make your record, play gigs to get noticed, and attend things like SXSW, hoping to get your name on the map.

RE: Is it just me or...
By emmet on 5/19/2008 5:13:26 AM , Rating: 1
I agree, but along with a lot of luck, they might even require a modicum of talent rather than a pretty face and a lot of chutzpah.

The RIAA represent the studios; they don't give a shit about the artists. The studios' fear is a fundamental change in the way music is distributed that destroys their business model: the Internet has the potential to disintermediate the music industry so that the artists sell (more or less) directly to the public or give recordings away to promote their live performances.

If this happens (and I hope it does), the vapid muck that is now marketed mercilessly to teenyboppers will be posted on YouTube in vast quantities by every wannabe on the planet... and ignored. The cream might just rise to the top.

Long term, this is no threat to real artists or consumers, only the parasites who have insinuated themselves into the middle and the talentless hacks on whom they spend their gazillion-dollar marketing budgets.

By nvalhalla on 5/7/2008 9:31:11 AM , Rating: 5
I'm loving all these RIAA stories recently! I love nothing more than whena judge puts an abusive company in it's place. They saunter into courtrooms thinking "open and shut" because they have little need to prove their case and overwhelmingly larger defenses and coffers. It's worked, for a few years. Now we are finally seeing people stand up to them and judges willing to listen. I am pleased.

RE: Beautiful!
By eye smite on 5/7/2008 10:10:37 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, this is a rare case where democracy wins over capitolism. Usually it's the other way around in this country now days. Basically we live in a Capitolist Dictatorship. lol

RE: Beautiful!
By MrBlastman on 5/7/2008 10:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Do we have to bring politics into everything?

Last time I checked, America is a Republic. I don't see the Senate nor the Congress doing everything teh G.Dubya says to do...

RE: Beautiful!
By djkrypplephite on 5/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Beautiful!
By odessit740 on 5/7/2008 10:56:51 AM , Rating: 2
Are you a moron? Try comparing the US to a real dictatorship, not a Republic where power is decentralized between 3 branches. Go study Russian history and perhaps some recent history of Iraq before you make bullshit claims. Democracy is a political system where capitalism is an economic one, its like comparing apples to oranges.

I'm very pleased to hear how the judge handled this and hope that the defendent will be able to rip the RIAA of millions for their strong arm tactics and invasion of privacy.

RE: Beautiful!
By eye smite on 5/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Beautiful!
By odessit740 on 5/7/2008 11:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
If you can't realize that you will most definitely start a debate with such comments, then idiot=you. Everyone knows what corporations do, how they try to control and influence politics, if they didn't then someone else would, its just natural. But blaming capitalism is stupid. History shows the capitalism > communism, capitalism > socialism, capitalism > authoritarianism. Most of the people know all about the evils of corporations and corporate america, they just don't need to bitch and whine about it with every post.

RE: Beautiful!
By eye smite on 5/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: Beautiful!
By Denigrate on 5/7/2008 1:19:25 PM , Rating: 5
Short. Bus. Rider.

You eat up propaganda from your prefered crap flingers and think that the rest of us are morons because we can't see the "brilliance" of your flawed positions.

You might try thinking for yourself someday. At that time, you'll see that no one side has all the answers.

Yes, that will show them...
By Bender 123 on 5/7/2008 9:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
I would be happy right now, but something tells me the RIAA will not be swayed because of this ruling. I hope it sets a repeatable precedent, but until another court listens and decides in a same manner, this might only make them more cranky...

Its a step in the right direction, so I say "Viva La Resistance!"

RE: Yes, that will show them...
By FITCamaro on 5/7/2008 11:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but it doesn't mean go out and pirate more music because you have precedence to cite when you get sued.

RE: Yes, that will show them...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/7/2008 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but it doesn't mean go out and pirate more music...

Oops. Too late.

RE: Yes, that will show them...
By Omega215D on 5/7/2008 5:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
You cheeky bastard. *cue laughter*

By RubberJohnny on 5/7/2008 11:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
So you payed for every piece of copyrighted music stored on your 5 hard drives did you?

Yeah right, I spoze that's why you said MORE music.

By rodrigu3 on 5/7/2008 11:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
What needs to happen is that the RIAA is found guilty on all counts and appeals the decision. Should the appeals run up to the Supreme Court, it will be a good opportunity to establish a precedent.

public prosecutors
By Ogolon on 5/7/2008 3:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
there are not enough public prosecutors and they have TOO MUCH job with crime, burglary, domestic violence..., (at least here in Europe) and then comes those organizations demanding full power against copyright infringement...ridiculous

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