backtop


Print 65 comment(s) - last by Open Minded.. on Oct 4 at 1:20 PM


The RIAA's days of getting guilty verdicts rubber stamped is at an end.  (Source: images.jupiterimages.com)
The RIAA loses a precedent-setting case, Interscope v. Rodriguez, in Southern California.

A judge in Southern California made no friends in the RIAA when she handed down a precedent-setting verdict that cleared the defendant all charges in the case Interscope v. Rodriguez.

Since the early days of P2P file-sharing the RIAA has made a questionable name for itself as a legal bulldog, issuing thousands of lawsuits against individuals each year. 

Typically the RIAA accused these individuals of downloading and/or distributing copyrighted works.  These statements often were followed by little evidence and sometimes came against people that had no apparent access to a computer.

One such case occurred in 2005 when the RIAA took up a case against 83-year-old deceased great-grandmother in West Virginia.  The RIAA was unaware that the woman had passed away in December, 2004.  Ironically, her daughter testified that her mother did not ever own a computer, and had no access to one.

After the case gained national attention, the RIAA issued the foot-in-mouth reply, "Our evidence gathering and our subsequent legal actions all were initiated weeks and even months ago.  We will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case."

Since then the RIAA has continued to take individuals to court, many of whom settled out of court privately, for thousands of dollars.

The Interscope v. Rodriguez was considered a typical RIAA case “boilerplate” complaint.  The RIAA accused the defendant, Yolanda Rodriguez, of downloading and distributing copyrighted works, but did not offer any specific evidence or proof of its claims.

As the defendant did not present himself in court, a default judgment ruling was held.  The presiding judge, Judge Brewster, shocked the RIAA by not only denying a default monetary judgment, but also completing dismissing the case for failure to state a claim.

Judge Brewster is on record as stating:
"Plaintiff here must present at least some facts to show the plausibility of their allegations of copyright infringement against the Defendant.
However, other than the bare conclusory statement that on “information and belief” defendant has downloaded, distributed and/or made available for distribution to the public copyrighted works, plaintiffs have presented no facts that would indicate this allegation is anything more than speculation.

The complaint is simply a boilerplate listing of the elements of copyright infringement without any facts pertaining specifically to the instant Defendant.

The Court therefore finds that the complaint fails to sufficiently state a claim upon which relief can be granted and entry of default judgment is not warranted."
This is a landmark ruling, as new defendants will now have some legal precedent and successful framework to challenge the RIAA in court.

The RIAA has made a name for itself by continually coming up with creative new ways of trying to make money of music listeners, via litigation and marketing gimmicks.  It has tried everything from lawsuits, to "ringles" its new ringtone-single campaign, to make up for falling record sales.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

I laugh at the RIAA
By colonelclaw on 9/17/2007 5:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
i feel no pity whatsoever for the RIAA

since i started buying music in 1979 (Are Friends Electric by Gary Numan on 7" vinal!) i have been repeatedly screwed over by the music industry's extortionate pricing. i remember that first record i bought cost me 99 pence, which was about 2 months pocket money, and translates to at least 10 us dollars in today's terms. i was screwed over from the start, and this went on for the best part of 25 years

i now have in my hands a bittorrent client, and it's payback time :)




RE: I laugh at the RIAA
By michal1980 on 9/17/2007 6:53:57 AM , Rating: 1
how were you screwed?

oh wait. You weren't. They put an item for sale at a price of ABC. And you freely paid it. There was no gun to your head, you had a choice.

Would you go to a store and steal a cd? Thats what you are doing on bit-torrent.

I'm not defending record prices. But I wont defend stealing, You people have twisted this so much that you feel justified in whatever you do. Grow up.


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki