The new case, titled Warner v. Does 1-4 (PDF) seeks to restart the John Doe
process that previously named Cassin as a defendant, and opens with a motion for discovery (PDF) to discover the identity
behind the person who used the KaZaA account "omc@KaZaA" to
distribute 349 music files over the internet.
Critics accused the RIAA of forum shopping, noting that the industry's
complaint against Joan Cassin had already been settled twice (once as a
previously dropped John Doe complaint, and once again in Warner v.
Cassin), and that Warner v. Does 1-4 was filed in a way
that leaves out official references to previous litigation,supposedly so that
it can be assigned to a new judge.
"It is evident that [Warner v. Does 1-4] is a 'related
case,' which plaintiffs omitted to disclose, hence the assignment to Your Honor
rather than to [Warner v. Cassin] Judge Robinson," reads a letter (PDF) from RIAA critic and attorney Ray Beckerman, whose
firm is representing Cassin. "We are writing to request ... referral back
to Judge Robinson, at which time we will move to dismiss based on res
judicata (the complaint was already decided)."
The RIAA denies these claims, and says that while it has accepted Cassin's proclamations of innocence, it is interested
in finding whoever was responsible for downloading music to her IP address --
and to that end, it has since filed an expedited motion for discovery (PDF) in order to do so.
"Ms. Cassin is wrong when she argues that, by filing this lawsuit,
Plaintiffs are somehow engaged in forum or judge shopping," reads the RIAA attorneys' response (PDF) to Beckerman's letters. "Plaintiffs originally
brought the Cassin case against Ms. Cassin because she was
identified by her Internet Service Provider ... as the person responsible for
the [IP address] through which the alleged infringement of Plaintiff's
"Plaintiffs learned, from their own continued investigation, that other
individuals resided in Ms. Cassin's household, including an individual with
initials that match the username at issue, 'omc@KaZaA.' ... plaintiffs decided
that the appropriate course of action was to dismiss the Cassin case
voluntarily ... and to file this Doe lawsuit to determine the identity of the
The letter goes on to say that the Cassin's defense of res judicata is
only valid in a case filed a third time against the same person, and that the
Does named are likely other residents of Cassin's household, and not Joan Cassin herself.
Wired's Threat Level notes that Beckerman
declined to comment on the RIAA's response.