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Judge Refuses To Sign RIAA 'Ex Parte' Order

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the wearing-out-their-legal-welcome dept.

The Courts 239

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA just can't get enough of going after University of Maine students, but it appears that the judges in Portland, Maine, may be getting wise to the industry's lawyers' antics. RIAA counsel submitted yet another ex parte discovery order to the Court ('ex parte' meaning 'without notice'), in BMG v. Does 1-11, but this time the judge refused to sign, pointing out that there is no emergency since there is no evidence that records are about to be destroyed [PDF]. This is the same judge who has previously suggested the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions against the RIAA lawyers, accusing them of gamesmanship."

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haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595209)

fucking niggers! i bet everyone of you silly little bitches give rusty trombone lessons

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595991)

you love nigger dick don't you

Re:haha (3, Funny)

drkich (305460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596351)

You would not happen to be from the RIAA would you?

These guys... (5, Interesting)

that_itch_kid (1155313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595255)

The RIAA are getting stupider by the minute. It's high time they learned that people aren't going to take this shit sitting down for much longer.

The more the courts resist their moves, the more people will stand up for their rights.

Re:These guys... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595267)

It's high time they learned that people aren't going to take this shit sitting down for much longer.
I think squatting is a much better option.

Re:These guys... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595277)

stupider, stupier -> more stupid

For those nazigrammars who do not know the New Englash

Re:These guys... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595581)

moron moran moreon = you.

nobody gives a shit about the spelling nazis. give it the fuck up already.

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595285)

Sadly, their tactics have been working.

Even if you are innocent or think you have a good chance of being found not guilty, the time it will take out of your life, possibly having your good name tarnished and hurting your job or chances of income, the negativity on your credit to have a judgment against you, etc is enough to have people settle for a few thousand dollars they should not have had to pay.

Re:These guys... (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595509)

And how many people are actually innocent?

I don't see the issue in that a few innocent people may get caught, I see the issue in that we are all criminals ;D
(And I think it's to late for them to fix it, all crimes of copyright infrigement should just be statute-barrred.)

Re:These guys... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595579)

And how many people are actually innocent?


But our justice system was founded on the principles of you are innocent until proven guilty, with a RIAA case, it is the exact opposite, you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are innocent, rather then the RIAA prove you are guilty. And some of the people have gotten fines put on them for very little solid evidence and all the evidence wasn't even enough to convict them (so someone had a few songs in their shared folders, but they can't even prove they are or were being shared!).

Re:These guys... (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595795)

Sure, but I don't buy this "omg I'm so being harassed and paid them because I can't fight for my rights because I'm really innocent!", to begin with a very weird justice system where you can't fight and try to prove your innocence because you can't afford it, secondly most people just paid because they know they had done wrong and it would be cheaper than the trial anyway. And I think the cases where the wrong person are being prosecuted are easily counted (And I seriously doubt any such person would agree to just pay them and since there won't be any proof in a real trial how could they get caught if they haven't done shit?)

My non-legal view: Of course they was shared, but it shouldn't matter because everyone does it ;D. Even IF they would come up with a decent system it will be sooo hard to change how people use they media and get them to actually pay. For instance I would never pay on per tune bases, if I pay I want to be able to play a lot of tunes, the amount I can listen to in a day are limited anyway, how does it matter if it's the same song 200 times or 200 songs for 1 time? But unlimited songs would probably cost quite much in the industries view, say 50 dollar / month or so, and many people would probably say fuck that because they can already get it for free.
I could have paid $5 for those 4 NIN albums if the music didn't sucked (I downloaded the slip but it wasn't my kind of music so =P)

It's just to late to fix it now, they have waited to long without coming up with a solution. Also we all want the record companies, distributors, agents, resellers/stores to die. They are not needed any longer, we already have the distribution part covered, we solved it ourself. So if anything let us pay the artist and nothing more, very little money / album or download (easier to get paid per download I guess, if you offer very good quality, album art and so on.) will go a long ditance if it all ends up in the pocket of the artists themself.
But sure the industry will cry and try to keep it as it is, but it's to late and they have failed.
Artists doesn't need their marketing and things like that either, just upload your song/video to youtube or similair, free marketing for hundreds of million of potential costumers.

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595875)

But unlimited songs would probably cost quite much in the industries view, say 50 dollar / month or so
Actually, it's about $12.99/month [rhapsody.com] ... Some people just like to whine without exploring their legal options first because the criminal options are marginally cheaper and they like to play the part of a martyr whose piracy rights are being violated. If you want copywritten material, buy a copy. Otherwise, live without it (or boycott it if you feel the need to protest.)

Here come the (-1 Troll) mods... Sig embarrassingly related.

Re:These guys... (4, Interesting)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596069)

Well, it's "copyrighted", not "copywritten", which isn't even a word.

And, no, some of us don't like to pay these bastards anything at all. I don't download illegally. I don't download legally. I don't buy CDs.

Instead I gave $100 to the EFF. I'll probably give them more.

Re:These guys... (5, Funny)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596183)

I thought your last sentence was your signature, and it was some sort of hex joke. sigh.. I need a break from computers.

Re:These guys... (4, Funny)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596555)

Hrm... $100 + EFF... FFF. Gotta work on that punchline.

Re:These guys... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23597121)

Hrm... $100 + EFF... FFF. Gotta work on that punchline.
Don't you mean 8FF?

Good to see I don't have anything better to do at 4am than argue hex on /.

Re:These guys... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596341)

Well, it's "copyrighted", not "copywritten", which isn't even a word.
(Grammar nazi -1)

----

...or boycott it if you feel the need to protest...

And, no, some of us don't like to pay these bastards anything at all. I don't download illegally. I don't download legally. I don't buy CDs.
(Redundant -1)

Re:These guys... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596505)

Well, it's "copyrighted", not "copywritten", which isn't even a word.
(Grammar nazi -1)
1. if anything that's spelling nazi behavior
2. it's not a misspelling so much as it is a telltale sign that the writer doesn't know enough about the fundamental concept of copyright to use the right root words, much less offer an informed opinion on the subject. Therefore, it's not nazi behavior to point it out as it demonstrates the posters ignorance of the subject at hand.

Re:These guys... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596281)

My guess is you're not an American. These are civil cases, not criminal. In that case, you aren't innocent until proven guilty, and there is no concept of "reasonable doubt". They just have to prove that its more likely that you did it than that you didn't. No one has been fined. A settlement is not a fine. Fines go to the government, settlements to the other party. You aren't convicted in civil court either. Either stop pretending to be an American, or take a civics class.

Re:These guys... (5, Informative)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597059)

How is this flamebait? It's correct. Yeah, he could have been a little more friendly in his tone, but honestly, we can't have a /. story on an RIAA case without some nimrod getting criminal and civil cases confused.

In civil cases, the burden of guilt is based on preponderance of evidence. In other words, if it is more likely then not that you committed the act in question, that is all that is required in a civil trial. This, BTW, is how O.J. Simpson was found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman... although he was found not guilty in the criminal trial, the same evidence was used to find him liable for their deaths because the burden of proof was that much lighter.

Re:These guys... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596301)

so someone had a few songs in their shared folders, but they can't even prove they are or were being shared!).

1) Of course they were being shared. Whether anyone took them up on their offer to share, and whether the person understood what they were doing... those are issues that are uncertain. But they were accessable for other people to download.

Reasonable doubt doesn't factor in at all. It is a civil case, the standard of proof is "more likely than not". Which means you will need to explain why those files were publically shared.

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596487)

1) Of course they were being shared. Whether anyone took them up on their offer to share, and whether the person understood what they were doing... those are issues that are uncertain. But they were accessable for other people to download.

Reasonable doubt doesn't factor in at all. It is a civil case, the standard of proof is "more likely than not". Which means you will need to explain why those files were publically shared.


But is the offer to share the same thing as sharing?

To overuse a car analogy, if you buy a car that can go >110MPH (basically the highest legal speed limit), are you guilty of speeding? And should the DMV just fine every driver for speeding anyhow, since I'm sure 99% of all drivers during their lives have exceeded the speed limit (even by 1MPH... or inadvertently, going downhill, for instance)?

Just because you could, doesn't mean you did. More likely than not, the car in your driveway can exceed the speed limit. Why don't you explain why you have it, since you can be speeding?

Re:These guys... (2, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596665)

Spelling might be funny/wrong and the term might not be entirely correct but I'm pretty sure that it is "preponderance." Civil vs. criminal matters at least. My limited studies of the law were ages ago and are muddied by idealism and beer.

Re:These guys... (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596893)

Which means you will need to explain why those files were publically shared.

Only if the court accepts the premise that 'making available' is a violation of the copyright holder's distribution rights, which is still a moot point.

Oh, and it's "publicly", not "publically". The latter is a bastard variant only used by ignnoramuses.

Re:These guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23597025)

so someone had a few songs in their shared folders, but they can't even prove they are or were being shared!).

1) Of course they were being shared. Whether anyone took them up on their offer to share, and whether the person understood what they were doing... those are issues that are uncertain. But they were accessable for other people to download.

Hmm, I guess you've never seen stingy leechers who have their upload set to zero and don't upload a damn thing. Those bastards...

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595759)

I'm waiting for the RIAA to claim infringement against something they don't actually represent the copyright (or mechanical license) to. One thing Copyright Law does a pretty good job of, is protecting you (the copyright holder) from other parties claiming your work as your own (and using that claim as a basis for litigation).
I keep hoping they screw this up, and claim to represent some independent songwriter who will then press criminal charges.

All of them! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595883)

> And how many people are actually innocent?

Everyone is, until proven guilty.

(Though you have a great point about criminalizing large segments of the population for profit.)

Re:These guys... (1)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596029)

Also, what about the difference between being innocent of the general spirit of the RIAA's claims, and of the letter of their claims?

We are all probably guilty of the spirit of their claims (we handle their licensed music illegally). If the repercussions of that spirit guilt were minor I wouldn't complain. In fact, there are minor repercussions for not proven guiltiness of the spirit of the claim: Cease and desist order sent to my University, getting my personal computer taken offline for a couple days.

But, when the punishment is hugenormus, I want to be proven guilty of the letter of their claims. And if the RIAA bully's their way everywhere, then I won;t be able to properly defend myself without bringing much woe upon myself.

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596479)

And how many people are actually innocent?

I don't see the issue in that a few innocent people may get caught, I see the issue in that we are all criminals ;D
(And I think it's to late for them to fix it, all crimes of copyright infrigement should just be statute-barrred.)

Just to complete the thought: When a law makes the majority of the population criminal (or infringers), it's time to rethink the law.

In China they have laws which everyone has to break to conduct business. The government uses these laws to arrest / imprison / execute whomever they feel like for whatever reason they feel like - if everyone is guilty of breaking the law, "innocent until proven guilty" becomes a moot point. Local officials use them to extort bribes from the populace. There's enormous potential for abuse of such laws.

Re:These guys... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597179)

When a law makes the majority of the population criminal (or infringers), it's time to rethink the law.

Well, it's not actually criminal, although it would probably benefit them if it was. The potential penalties would probably be smaller and the burden of proof higher.

But that's where I see the problem. The penalties are vast! Far higher than the harm caused. Would you feel any sympathy for these people (assuming they're actually infringing) if they faced a $100 fine? It would work well as a deterrent without crippling people.

Conscientious Objector (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596561)

Sorry, but I am a conscientious objector. I do not share music, I refuse to buy any more CDs, instead, I rely on the massive compilation I collected in the 80s and 90s, and in the event that I just HAVE to have the latest Fall Out Boy single, I buy it on iTunes since I have the disposable income. But generally, if it's not on the radio, I refuse to continue to fund the economic terrorists that represent the RIAA and I pretty much eliminate "pop music" from my life as an objection to the RIAAs business practice. In effect, I'm a well-to-do Gen-Xer who votes with my wallet.

I take issue with this heap o' crap because the RIAA is trying to criminalize MY behaviour. They fight against fair use and try to prevent me from transferring my CD collection to my iPod. They fight to criminalize my sharing" or music between my own media devices... the two tivos and 5 computers I own and share within my home.

I abhor any and all court cases that imply that all potential "infringers" are guilty until proven innocent, as this represents a stereotypical assumption that the "criminals" are young kids who "rip off" the establishment through their deeds.

This straw man argument actually DENIES my ability to vote with my wallet, as the courts presume that criminal violations have undermined the RIAAs business, when in fact, my boycott of their goods contributes to their market failure. However, my "voting with my wallet" is misrepresented as a "crime against the RIAA" that has cost them loss of revenue.

Criminalization of a "loss of revenue" is an undue burden on our society and must not be tolerated.

Re:These guys... (0, Troll)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596631)

"...I see the issue in that we are all criminals..."

Fsck you and the white mule you rode in on.

The last time I participated in copyright infringement was recording a Bill Cosby LP to cassette in 1968. That was probably even 'Fair Use' as the cassette I recorded from my friend's LP, I actually owned. It just made it convenient for us both having a recording we could listen to away from our phonographs, as the cassette player worked for about 3 hours from battery power wherever we went.

Yes, I'll admit to OMG!!Pirates!!! forty years ago for an album my friend and I actually possessed (yes:each of us had the LP, and only one cassette recording between us both!)

I think I see where you are coming from, but I'm not sure enough to jump on your bandwagon.
Your 'blanket' statements alienate most of us.

Oh yeah, did I say "fsck you and the white mule you rode in on?"

Re:These guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596981)

"And how many people are actually innocent?"

In Norway, it's not illegal to download music/film from the Internet. It's illegal to upload, so the ones who put them up there for you have done something illegal, but not you downloading.

I NEVER install programs I don't own a licence for. It's a principle, since there always is a free (as in gratis) choice to do the job. Why then steal a copy?

So in effect, since downloading isn't illegal in Norway and I've got valid licences for all my programs, I'm innocent, aren't I? It doesn't matter if I download music and film (indecently, I don't do that either - I use net radio to listen to music and I've got many TV channels, so I don't need to).

Nalle Berg ./nalle.

Re:These guys... (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596131)

The problem with settling is that it puts a bad mark on someone's record without them ever being proven guilty.

It still tarnishes a person's reputation and opens them up to possibly harder prosecution should the RIAA decide they are doing it again.

Re:These guys... (2, Interesting)

Agent__Smith (168715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597217)

Sadly, their tactics have been working.


Even if you are innocent or think you have a good chance of being found not guilty, the time it will take out of your life, possibly having your good name tarnished and hurting your job or chances of income, the negativity on your credit to have a judgment against you, etc is enough to have people settle for a few thousand dollars they should not have had to pay.

It is incredible, but you are right, they win many of these laughable cases just because it is easier to pony up a few thousand dollars than to fight them for YEARS in many cases, and spend 10X that on legal fees...

If you take a close look at the people fighting them it tends to be those who have no choice. Those at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale who simply have no way to pay, so they fight out of necesity... Seriously, single moms on disability on a very fixed income, students with no real income, elderly on a very fixed income...

Most of those who can simply pony up the four or five grand to make it go away...

Re:These guys... (5, Insightful)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595311)

The RIAA are getting stupider by the minute. It's high time they learned that people aren't going to take this shit sitting down for much longer. The more the courts resist their moves, the more people will stand up for their rights.

The RIAA and their lawyers have one thing that most defendants don't have - bags of money to fund these suits. The goal isn't to win - those who fight the charges have shown that the RIAA doesn't have much of a leg to stand on - but to drag the cases to a settlement where they get some money.

I don't think they would give this up - even with a string of defeats, they will eventually find a friendly judge or get enough laws passed in their favor to protect their antiquated business model.

Losers should pay (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595855)

This is really why there needs to be some sort of change to the way that trials are conducted. It's really an embarrassment that one side so often outspends the other by such a huge amount. And it's considered to still be a fair trial.

Seems to me moving loser pays system would make it a lot more difficult to abuse the system. Or potentially require the loser to pay the winner the cost of the winner's counsel plus the cost of the losers council as well. In cases where the loser had insufficient counsel it wouldn't add a whole lot but in cases where the loser brought in a lot of high priced attorneys to try and pull a fast one, they'd get a much large penalty. Of course require the winner to demonstrate that the size of the bill is reasonable for a case of that type.

I think that the Judge refusing to sign the order was perfectly reasonable considering both the spurious nature of the suits as well as the other nefarious dealings of their unlicensed "investigator" mediasentry. http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/29/2026213 [slashdot.org]

What I do wonder is if this goes where it looks like it's going to something resembling an organized crime prosecution, would any or all of the settlements still be valid? Or would a conviction for extortion and misrepresenting the facts be grounds for declaring the settlements invalid?

Re:Losers should pay (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596161)

More specifically, if the prosecutor loses they should have to pay. If the defendant loses, lawyer fees are paid by their respective parties. Wouldn't want the RIAA to have all their cases handed to them for free.

Re:Losers should pay (4, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596649)

What I've always liked:

Loser pays the winner the cost of the loser's lawyer fees. (As well as their own lawyer fees, obviously.)

If the winner had to fork over ten million to win, and the loser paid ten thousand, then the winner gets ten thousand of it back. If the loser paid ten million and still lost, and the winner could only afford ten thousand, congrats, mr. winner now has $9,990,000.

I'm sure it's horribly flawed in some way. But it's also beautifully poetic.

Re:These guys... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596393)

don't think they would give this up - even with a string of defeats, they will eventually find a friendly judge or get enough laws passed in their favor to protect their antiquated business model.


Perhaps, but the judge's decision is an interesting one. Instead of punishing the **AA themselves, he suggested punishing their lawyers. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Re:These guys... (2, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596735)

I am from (sort of - it is my "home base") Maine. I am also fairly well educated according to the vast amounts of debt I've paid off. I can say that I know that the RIAA is going to run out of favor here, in this State, shortly and have already begun to wear out the welcome mat. We tend to just laugh about the suits and even our news/media makes light of them while encouraging students to just stand up. Mind you, I personally think that there's no reason to have something you don't own in your possession AND I'm a wanna-be musician but I also think the system is flawed.

Re:These guys... (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595319)

he RIAA are getting stupider by the minute. It's high time they learned that people aren't going to take this shit sitting down for much longer.
You're right. For the most part, they take it bent over with wide grins plastered on their faces. Of course, if you had a specific action in mind, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Re:These guys... (1, Informative)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595321)

Judges are starting to get fed up with their bs they been shoveling.

Re:These guys... (4, Interesting)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595563)

Ultimately, that is what will get them in the end: the judges. Changes to the law are slow, but the unspoken consensus of the judges isn't. They're supposed to be unbiased arbitrators, which means they everyone gets a fair shake to prove themselves. However, it works when you prove yourself to be a scummy, annoying, lying, untrustworthy entity-- well-- you can't be biased against the truth. ;)

Re: Sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596493)


This is offtopic, so I made it AC.

Fun little new eZine there. Just fix the spelling in your link.

Re:These guys... (2, Insightful)

Bman21212 (1067680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595351)

I would love to see people stand up, but years of seeing the **AAs, have made me pessimistic. Most will probably not stand up for their rights, because it is easier and less risky to just pay the $3k of protection fees.

Re:These guys... (5, Interesting)

Ethidium (105493) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595869)

The more the courts resist their moves, the more people will stand up for their rights.
Don't pull out your revolutionary songbook quite yet. Keep in mind that it wouldn't be news if judges were resisting this shit left and right. It's news because this judge did something uncommon.

Re:These guys... (5, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595959)

Don't pull out your revolutionary songbook quite yet

Yeah, you better not!

Sincerely,
The Revere Estate

Re:These guys... (1)

Skraggy (71227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597275)

Don't pull out your revolutionary songbook quite yet.
And whatever you do, don't offer to share it.

Re:These guys... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596435)

I'm just hopeful that for the RIAA, the party's over.

I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but sheesh! (1)

ma1wrbu5tr (1066262) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596569)

from... http://en.allexperts.com/q/General-Writing-Grammar-680/Stupid-Stupider.htm

There are many words in the dictionary that I would avoid. "Stupider" is one of them. Just pronouncing it is awkward.
The preferred way of expressing this idea is "more stupid."

(personally, I like "less intelligent")

"The Heath Handbook" has a list of the preferred comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs. The handbook's rule of thumb is that, if a word is one syllable, use "er" and "est," as in "tall, taller, and tallest." But . . . "Many adjectives of two syllables and all longer adjectives form the comparative and superlative by adding "more" and "most." Examples: alert more alert most alert ambitious more ambitious most ambitious I suppose your friend would choose "alerter" and "alertest," but he would be in a "peculiar" minority. Have him try to pronounce "ambitiouser" and "ambitiousest." You are permitted to chuckle as he struggles. Ted Nesbitt


Please stop! This is almost as stupider than... http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=568245&cid=23595209

And exactly how high did ./ers score on the Browser IQ test?

How did this get modded up?

I smell buddy modding!

Ex parte (4, Informative)

rstultz (146201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595315)

'Ex parte' does not really mean without notice. It refers to a legal proceeding where all involved parties are not present. Usually when one side is trying to get the judge to do something without the other party having a chance to argue their side. This is 'ex parte' because it's a John Doe defendant. And I'm pretty sure that it being 'ex parte' has nothing to do with this story, but something thought it sounded nice when they submitted the story. 'Ex parte' does sound nice.

NYCL is a lawyer who handles RIAA cases! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595375)

> 'Ex parte' does not really mean without notice.

Normally, no. In RIAA 'expedited discovery' cases, however, it _does_! They grab the discovery against twenty or so people and withdraw from the case immediately afterwards.

If you knew anything about our submitter, you'd know that he's a lawyer and that when the RIAA runs things, they go for "expedited" motions so that things really do happen without reasonable notice for the parties in question.

While you're correct about what ex parte (usually) means, in RIAA cases, I will defer to NYCL. He is, after all, an attorney who has been directly involved in cases opposing them and who has a nice FAQ on his website. It tells you exactly how they run these cases and why they habitually withdraw from the case once they get discovery in the ex parte suit and send people to their "settlement center" after that, making the entire process something most parties only find out about after the fact.

So no, he didn't include the words "ex parte" just because he thought they sounded cool.

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]

Re:NYCL is a lawyer who handles RIAA cases! (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595873)

> 'Ex parte' does not really mean without notice.
Normally, no. In RIAA 'expedited discovery' cases, however, it _does_! They grab the discovery against twenty or so people and withdraw from the case immediately afterwards. If you knew anything about our submitter, you'd know that he's a lawyer and that when the RIAA runs things, they go for "expedited" motions so that things really do happen without reasonable notice for the parties in question. While you're correct about what ex parte (usually) means, in RIAA cases, I will defer to NYCL. He is, after all, an attorney who has been directly involved in cases opposing them and who has a nice FAQ on his website. It tells you exactly how they run these cases and why they habitually withdraw from the case once they get discovery in the ex parte suit and send people to their "settlement center" after that, making the entire process something most parties only find out about after the fact. So no, he didn't include the words "ex parte" just because he thought they sounded cool.
Thank you. No I don't do anything to sound cool. I don't have it in me to sound cool.

In American litigation (which I've been working in since 1974), the term "ex parte" means "without notice".

Re:NYCL is a lawyer who handles RIAA cases! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596101)

If the opposing party receives notice, it's still an ex parte hearing. Lack of notice can be an implication of ex parte hearings, but it's not the definition.

Re:NYCL is a lawyer who handles RIAA cases! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596463)

You're a HACK, Beckerman.

Re:NYCL is a lawyer who handles RIAA cases! (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596501)

High praise 'round these parts.

Aren't there letters that give untimely notice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596607)

I could be wrong, but don't they send the people letters about the ex parte hearing (which usually don't arrive in time)?

So it's like they sorta/kinda try to give people notice, but they also try to high tail it out of court LONG before those people can DO anything with the letters.

But I thought they usually send them anyhow? Or am I confusing that with the letters they try to get universities to send? I do remember reading in your FAQ of how their litigation works that the first thing most people read is a letter saying something about a judgment against them...?

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]

Re:Ex parte (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595469)

I suspect NewYorkCountryLawyer has some clue about what he's talking about.

Also: According to the (current) page on it in wikipedia:

In Australian, Canadian, U.K., and U.S. legal doctrines, ex parte means a legal proceeding brought by one person in the absence of and without representation or notification of other parties. It is also used more loosely to refer to improper unilateral contacts with a court, arbitrator or represented party without notice to the other party or counsel for that party.

So it's "ex parte", not because the Does aren't present, but because the RIAA is asking the judge to rule without consulting the Does and giving them a chance to file a counterargument. If they are given a chance to file a response (even if they're not physically present - especially at the same time as the RIAA representatives which could lead to them being identified even if they should not be) then it's no longer "ex parte" according to the US usage.

Re:Ex parte (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595915)

I suspect NewYorkCountryLawyer has some clue about what he's talking about. Also: According to the (current) page on it in wikipedia: In Australian, Canadian, U.K., and U.S. legal doctrines, ex parte means a legal proceeding brought by one person in the absence of and without representation or notification of other parties. It is also used more loosely to refer to improper unilateral contacts with a court, arbitrator or represented party without notice to the other party or counsel for that party. So it's "ex parte", not because the Does aren't present, but because the RIAA is asking the judge to rule without consulting the Does and giving them a chance to file a counterargument. If they are given a chance to file a response (even if they're not physically present - especially at the same time as the RIAA representatives which could lead to them being identified even if they should not be) then it's no longer "ex parte" according to the US usage.
Thank you, Underground. That is exactly right. And the RIAA lawyers try to do everything ex parte. They don't want the judge to get confused by hearing the truth.

Re:Ex parte (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596009)

And the RIAA lawyers try to do everything ex parte. They don't want the judge to get confused by hearing the truth.

What are the rules about when ex parte orders can be issued? It seems like something ripe for abuse.

Re:Ex parte (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596087)

What are the rules about when ex parte orders can be issued?
The rule is, what they are doing is totally illegal. In federal practice ex parte relief is only granted as a last resort. In these cases the RIAA lies through its teeth to get the order, falsely saying that the ISP or University will destroy the records if they are given notice of the application. It amazes me that there is any judge in the U.S. who would sign such an order. I think you'll be seeing more and more judges refusing, as news of the RIAA's lies spreads.

In the University of Oregon, the RIAA conveniently "forgot" to tell the judge [blogspot.com] that the University had told the RIAA that it had gathered and was preserving the records.

In the University of New Mexico case [blogspot.com] , the judge had this to say about the RIAA's "ex parte" request:

Plaintiffs contend that unless the Court allows ex parte immediate discovery, they will be irreparably harmed. While the Court does not dispute that infringement of a copyright results in harm, it requires a Coleridgian "suspension of disbelief" to accept that the harm is irreparable, especially when monetary damages can cure any alleged violation. On the other hand, the harm related to disclosure of confidential information in a student or faculty member's Internet files can be equally harmful.....Moreover, ex parte proceedings should be the exception, not the rule.


In the College of William & Mary case [blogspot.com] the judge just rejected the application outright.

Re:Ex parte (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596207)

If you're ever in Orlando, I'll buy you a beer. I'm serious, too.

Re:Ex parte (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596371)

If you're ever in Orlando, I'll buy you a beer. I'm serious, too.
Sounds good, J.W.

Re:Ex parte (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596269)

In the University of Oregon, the RIAA conveniently "forgot" to tell the judge [blogspot.com] that the University had told the RIAA that it had gathered and was preserving the records.

Didi the RIAA attorneys suffer any consequences? If not, why not? It lessens confidence in the legal system.

Re:Ex parte (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596357)

In the University of Oregon, the RIAA conveniently "forgot" to tell the judge that the University had told the RIAA that it had gathered and was preserving the records.
Did the RIAA attorneys suffer any consequences? If not, why not? It lessens confidence in the legal system.
Nothing's been decided yet.

Patience, my friend.

Re:Ex parte (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595765)

You mean 'Ex parte' doesn't mean "when my ex parties" with the money she took from me?

Sure. That sounds nice for her, but how can I afford new hardware?

Re:Ex parte (3, Funny)

AnarkiNet (976040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596081)

She must have taken your money ex parte.

Re:Ex parte (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595857)

Ex parte means without notice.

Re:Ex parte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596019)

I realize this is a term of art, but the Latin literally says "from the party" or "on account of the party." Lawyers may have adapted the language, but "without notice" is not a meaning you can derive from the actual words.

Although I never bothered to register at slashdot, I am a classicist, and know a thing or two about Latin.

Re:Ex parte (1)

bedroll (806612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596151)

Right, but the summary was written in English and refers to a legal proceeding. Since when did classicist mean "one who ignores context?"

Re:Ex parte (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596507)

Well, thanks for the literalism. We sure don't get enough of that around here.

Re:Ex parte (5, Informative)

nickrout (686054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596003)

'Ex parte' does not really mean without notice.
Yes it does. It means without notice to the other part[y|ies]. If someone is about to do me a legal wrong (e.g. undermine my house by excavating under my land) and the situation is urgent I may be able to obtain ex parte an injunction to stop them. Becasue the bulldozer is humming outside my house I can get the order urgently. The quid pro quo for getting it without the bulldozer man getting an opportunity to show his side of the case is that I must be scrupulously honest and up front to the judge and provide all relevant evidence, whether it helps me or the other side, and my lawyer must refer the court to any cases or laws which may be against me as well as those that may be for me. ex parte orders are reserved for urgent situations, which is why the judge here said there was no need for an ex parte discovery order as there was no evidence that records were about to be destroyed. Oh and IAAL.

Hey CmdrTaco (4, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595343)

How 'bout getting an interview with these guys? I think it would be the perfect opportunity for the **AA to put up or shut up with the community on their long term goals.

No need for ad hominem attacks, et all, but an opportunity to speak on an issue that is mostly one sided here on /.

Re:Hey CmdrTaco (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595647)

No need for ad hominem attacks, et all,

This is the **AA's bogus MediaDefender/extortion campaign we're talking about. Ad hominems are not just expected, they're mandatory.

They'd club baby seals if they thought it would make people cough up easy "settlements." I can see their next campaign now - "Every time you share a file, a baby seal gets it!"

They're the gestapho for the little Hitler-wanna-be gang that thinks they're above the law, and continually lobbies the government to spend YOUR tax money to THEIR advantage.

Re:Hey CmdrTaco (2, Funny)

beav007 (746004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596017)

They'd club baby seals if they thought it would make people cough up easy "settlements."
A little OT, but still pretty funny (except if you're a PETA member)... Warranty Void if Seal is Broken [myconfinedspace.com]

Re:Hey CmdrTaco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595703)

people who use the phrase "ad hominem" need an ass kicking

Re:Hey CmdrTaco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595781)

so anyone who does any logic or latin classes then?

Re:Hey CmdrTaco (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595921)

works for me

Don't forget... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595953)

to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Did you guys know that a negro was running for President? Yes, I know he's an Uncle Tom, but he's a negro nonetheless. I wonder who's going to be pulling his strings and making him do the shuck and jive while we get bent over by socialized medicine and carbon indulgences?

somethings are meant to be free (-1, Offtopic)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595349)

Love, Kindness, and their electronic counterparts, of information, love, advice, music, art can all be shared without losing anything, it is not material, therefore, material should not be given in exchange some have argued... pretty simple, just like the "ROBOTIC WAGELESS ECONOMY", simple idea, but so hard for some to understand... http://roboeco.com/FreeMeansFree [roboeco.com]

Re:somethings are meant to be free (-1, Offtopic)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595363)

Love, Kindness, and their electronic counterparts, of information, advice, music, art can all be shared without losing anything, it is not material, therefore, material should not be given in exchange some have argued... pretty simple, just like the "ROBOTIC WAGELESS ECONOMY", simple idea, but so hard for some to understand... http://roboeco.com/FreeMeansFree [roboeco.com] [roboeco.com] -- The Future is already here, just unevenly distributed... THE ROBOTIC WAGELESS ECONOMY NOW! http://roboeco.com/slash [roboeco.com]

BUZZWORD alert: SYnergy: (2)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595427)

How will this affect this case?
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/29/2026213http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/29/2026213v [slashdot.org]

It seems that this industry cannot help but 'shoot itself in the face' from here on out.
I'm not a christian, but it reminds me of the 'tower of babel'.

How stupid can these people be?....nevermind, they have the US Gov't. backing them.
It seems we have a steep slope to climb to get back to our founder's (US Constitution) ideology on the subject.

I hope that the afore mentioned case (under FBI investigation) will make some waves.

If you can answer to this. fine. If not, I understand.

Keep 'Rocking' on', you are doing much good.

Re:BUZZWORD alert: SYnergy: (4, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595895)

How stupid can these people be?....
Good question. I don't know the answer to it. Each time I think they've reached the mountain top, they come up with something even better.

It's as tough as the other question I keep wondering about with these characters:

"How mean and how heartless can someone who was born of a human mother be?" Each time I think I've seen how low they can sink, they find some way to sink even lower.

These questions are simply unanswerable.

Re:BUZZWORD alert: SYnergy: (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596513)

In the words of Gaye Marvin:
There ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you

Good news but still... (5, Insightful)

pravuil (975319) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595549)

With all that has been going on with these cases, there has been tons of money thrown down the drain through court costs and layers fees. Most of it on the side of the recording industry. They haven't made any dent in which accounts for anything. I understand going after legitimate pirates who attempt to profit from shared distribution. People like that need to be jailed. With the industries failure to create a viable model of distribution within the digital age, I start to ask are they spending all their time on lawsuits while hoping the internet is a passing fad? I think it's time they wake up to reality and take a good look at what is already available and accept it. Acceptance can be a bitch sometimes but what else can you do sometimes, right? RIAA, please just move on. This is getting embarrassing.

Re:Good news but still... (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595929)

RIAA, please just move on. This is getting embarrassing.
Unfortunately, these people aren't capable of embarrassment. They are shameless.

Re:Good news but still... (5, Funny)

Ixitar (153040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596323)

Hey Ray,

You better be careful. You might be sued for Definition of Character.

Re:Good news but still... (2, Insightful)

DerangedAlchemist (995856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596847)

I think you have the goal wrong. The entire purpose is to take dropping distribution costs and turn them into increased profits rather than lower the price of the product. They just want to use ligation to milk this as long as possible.
Mp3s are obviously inferior to cds. A cd contains artwork, lyrics an uncompressed version of the music that can easily be made into mp3s of any quality desired. Besides that, an mp3 is obviously much cheaper to distribute. Expecting consumers to pay a similar price is obviously a flawed business model, even to a record executive.

Do they need evidence? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595633)

I thought there just had to be reason to believe the evidence was about to be destroyed. In cases of digital copyright infringement I would think this is always the case. Maybe they just need to find a more reasonable judge.

Re:Do they need evidence? (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596627)

Not when the data is in the hands of a third party - in this case the university. Remember the case is against the students, not the third-party.

suddenoutbreakofpithytags (3, Funny)

qualidafial (967876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595691)

Remember: A kitten dies every time a story is tagged "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense."

Please tag responsibly.

Re:suddenoutbreakofpithytags (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596129)

A kitten dies every time a story is tagged "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense."
Don't announce this; the RIAA will be tagging everything "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" now.

Re:suddenoutbreakofpithytags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596329)

Remember: A kitten dies every time a story is tagged "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense."


So the preferred method of tagging something "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" is through masturbation?

I guess that does make /. a bit more interesting, but probably leaves the computer a bit ... sticky.

Re:suddenoutbreakofpithytags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23596447)

Just remember: Any time you mention that a kitten dies for tagging or mentioning something, a whole basket of them dies... Oh, wait...

Internet in Maine? (5, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595705)

I didn't know TCP-over-moose technology had matured!

Re:Internet in Maine? (4, Funny)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23595769)

Are you kidding? They've had the moose infrastructure in place for well over a century. It was just a matter of getting the boundary moose routers IEEE 802 compliant. See why adherence to standards is important?

Re:Internet in Maine? (3, Interesting)

troutman (26963) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596637)

Actually, Maine has a extremely advanced telecom infrastructure, especially given the low population density and sheer size of the state. In part, this is due to the legacy of having some very large call centers located in Maine in the past (MBNA, now Bank of America) and one of the more CLEC friendly public utilities commissions. And historically, Maine had more independent, private telephone companies than any place else in the US. Maine was the first state in the country to have every single public school and library Internet connected (56k or T1), starting in 1996, which is well over 1200 locations. Many of the high schools now have T3s and video classroom conferencing capability between each other and to the state University system.

In most towns over 10,000 people, there two or more competing broadband choices, and that doesn't just mean the ILEC (was Verizon, now Fairpoint) and a cable company. There are a number of regional CLECs providing DSL and dialtone services, and several rural areas with wireless ISPs that compete with FairPoint. The prices are not as low as you would find in MA or NY or CA, but it is available.

There is even one CLEC that has built their own fiber optic network in a Verizon/FairPoint city (Lewiston) that also has a strong cable company (Time Warner) and offers triple-play (voice/video/data) residential and business service and is expanding to two more cities in the state in the next year. You can purchase "lit service" multimegabit service in most of the cities, and leased dark fiber in the major areas, if you have the need and the budget.

As an example, you can get 10Mbit/sec of business class Internet pipe (fiber delivered) in the business districts of most central Maine cities from no less than 3 different carriers for about $1200/month. Typical residential DSL is about $40 for 2 Mbits.

That all said, there are still large sections of the state, in the towns and villages with less than a few thousand people, where you cannot get broadband at all, or you have only a single option. The state has recently setup a special program called ConnectME [maine.gov] , funded by a telecom tax, to bring broadband to even the most rural of areas.

(yes, I live here. There is much that is still backward about Maine, but telecom ain't it.)

Oblig. Laugh-In quote: (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596543)

This is good to see. Judges starting to look into the tech of a tech issue. Way cool!!!

Here come the Judge! Here come the Judge! http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=1242 [evtv1.com]

P.S. Old Rowan & Martin's Laugh In meme.

BTW mod's:
research before you mod me offtopic,. You youngsters may be surprised!

Don't make the mistake (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23596947)

of assuming that this judge is anti **AA. He's just doing his job. Since there's about a 99.99% probability he was doing this dance as a lawyer when he was younger he knows all the tricks (and probably a few they don't). Still, something inside this IANAL says he's pi55ed with the **AA lawyers. If you push the rules too far (like SCO) then expect misery...

Judge = adjudicator. Judge != correct.

"There exists in a field in some US state at least one sheep which is black on the top" c.f. Heinlein's fair witness (somewhat borrowed from this guy [wikipedia.org] ).

Andy

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