Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ray Beckerman Sued By the RIAA

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the hey-wait-we-know-that-guy dept.

The Courts 725

An anonymous reader writes "Ray Beckerman, known for questioning the RIAAs legal tactics (also for frequent Slashdot contributions), was sued by the RIAA over his blog Recording Industry vs. People. In question is the 'vexatious' claims that the RIAAs legal tactics is a 'sham.' Beckerman is quoted as saying that the litigation against him is 'frivolous and irresponsible.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

RIAA = Scientology (5, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055237)

they are some pest that needs to be eradicated for rational functioning of u.s. legal system. they need to be made an example of, for future generations.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055579)

Press '1' for English. Press '2' to hear "GO THE FUCK BACK TO MEXICO" translated into Spanish. Thank you.

Seriously.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (1, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055701)

Press 3 to get your butt screwed by a Turk. And lose some bigotry while getting a clue. Thank you.

Seriously. I think im good at it.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055793)

If you're going to live in this country, legally or illegally, have the fucking courtesy to learn the dominant language. Not every American would do it, but if I went to a different country to stay for anything longer than a short vacation I'd start learning the language out of common courtesy if for no other reason. YOU get a clue.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25056021)

How was that flamebait? If the AC were to move to spain, do you think they'd bend and cater to his every demand that everything be made available in English? Fuck no.

Don't throw away mod points modding down opinions you disagree with. Sheesh. Now, if AC were to drop the word "spic" and talk about how they're "lazy" (which is generally untrue of course) then fine, the post is racist and should be modded down. However, in this case you're using your mod points to bias a discussion because you're so steeped in frigging political correctness that you can't see your own closed-mindedness through your PC filters.

Modding the whole thread as off topic? Fine. I'd agree with that, but you picked the wrong category for moderation here.

Or even better ! (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055789)

press 3 to grow some balls to post with own account. thank you.

seriously.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055727)

they are some pest that needs to be eradicated for rational functioning of u.s. legal system. they need to be made an example of, for future generations.

to [mis]quote a movie:

"we're the US government. we don't DO that sort of thing."

seriously - we don't seem to make examples of bad businesses. in fact, we BAIL THEM OUT with taxpayer money!

don't expect the US legal system to 'fix itself'. doctors can't operate on themselves, in a similar analog.

Re:RIAA = Scientology (4, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055939)

thank you.

this is obviously an attempt to harass him. these lawyers should be de-barred (or whatever the correct term is).

Re:RIAA = Scientology (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056045)

You were very close, actually -- disbarred is the term. I think, IANAL and all.

hmmm (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055261)

He's not really being sued, as best I can tell from the article; instead, the RIAA filed a motion for sanctions against him personally (as opposed to just his client) in one of his cases.

In related news... (5, Funny)

Aeonite (263338) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055265)

Beckerman is now also being sued for saying that the litigation against him is "frivolous and irresponsible.""

Doh.

Re:In related news... (2, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055729)

Well now it's just getting pointless and annoying.

Re:In related news... (5, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056047)

You ought to have posted that as AC, because the RIAA will be suing you next for calling them pointless and annoying. ;)

Pot, meet kettle? (5, Insightful)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055281)

I believe strongly in the idea of free speech, and don't much care for censorship or other speech restrictions. That said, on some level I think I can agree with the idea that lawyers are part of our legal justice system, and therefore to be held to a higher standard of conduct than we mere mortals. I mean, I have no problem saying the same thing about judges or police officers. I certainly believe they should be held to higher standards.

But the idea that the RIAA would say of Ray's blog, "Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions." is completely beyond absurd.

The RIAA has been conducting a multimillion dollar ad campaign in an attempt to paint copyright infringement as a crime in the same class or worse as theft, and further attempting to equate their inflated 'losses' due to 'piracy'. Ray might joke and jab more than is 'proper' or 'expected' as a lawyer, but in my mind, that makes him a better agent of the court, not worse. And I fail to see how this lawsuit is anything other than a legal attack upon Ray in an attempt to smear his good name and discredit him as a lawyer.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (-1, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055405)

That said, on some level I think I can agree with the idea that lawyers are part of our legal justice system, and therefore to be held to a higher standard of conduct than we mere mortals. I mean, I have no problem saying the same thing about judges or police officers. I certainly believe they should be held to higher standards.

Ahh, so special classes of people have special rights and responsiblities? In other words, all men are not created equal? I think we should all be held to the same stanards, and all have the same rights.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055513)

Wow. Talk about taking his argument and twisting it up. If I as an individual tell my friend that I think this natural herb pill is the best thing I ever took, I have no legal problems if it turns out to do nothing. If my friends' doctor suggests a sugar pill to cure his multiple melanoma, I think Doc would be looking at a law suit.

In this case the RIAA is suing for something a lawyer did in the course of his profession. It is meritless but does not invalidate the gp argument.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (5, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055537)

Ahh, so special classes of people have special rights and responsiblities? In other words, all men are not created equal?

Some people are held to higher standards due to their position or job. There are good reasons for this, such as preventing conflicts of interest and prejudicial actions in legal proceedings. Without such standards, our legal system would suffer.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055597)

All men are created equal. What they do later in life is a different matter.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055761)

Most men are created more-or-less equal. I am not saying that the "elite" families -- the Windsors, Rockefellers, Kennedys -- are any better than I am, but they have a clear advantage over me, from the moment they were born.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055677)

It's not about rights, it's about conduct of someone in a position of authority. I have a right to call you an asshole if I see you on the street, or flip you off. But would you be more or less upset if a uniformed police officer did the same thing?

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (4, Interesting)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055689)

Er... yes. Special classes of people do have special rights and responsibilities. I don't think that has anything to do with how such people were created, or if any equality might have been used in their creation.

We empower agents of the public trust more than the common man. I don't think that makes them better people. But with great power... should come great oversight. The greater responsibilities should come at the price of some privacy. I'm not saying we should place cameras in anyone's home, but I wouldn't necessarily be against cameras in their public workplaces.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (4, Insightful)

DeusExMach (1319255) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055913)

All men are CREATED equal. What we do after that is up to us. Yes, special classes of people have special rights and responsibilities based upon their qualifications: Parents. Doctors. Teachers. Lawyers. Members of the Military. Politicians...

You should be held to the same standards as a doctor? When was the last time you swore the Hippocratic oath?

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (2, Funny)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055505)

The RIAA has been conducting a multimillion dollar ad campaign in an attempt to paint copyright infringement as a crime in the same class or worse as theft

Remember how piracy helps the terrorists and drug dealers? Think of the children!

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (4, Interesting)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055741)

Remember how piracy helps the terrorists and drug dealers?

Certain forms of piracy certainly do! It is common knowledge that certain gangs in the London area mass produce pirate DVDs to sell to fund other, more sinister, activities. If it is true in London, it is probably true in many other parts of the world (I just happen to live near London).

It could probably be argued that internet based file trading actually reduces the income of these gangs. The profit is all about being the middle-man. Whether that is illegal gangs selling pirate DVDs, groups like the RIAA or torrent websites funded by advertising dollars. Since the widespread adoption of broadband internet, and the development of easy to use filesharing tools, many of the people that would have used the gang funding guy who comes to the city's commercial districts selling DVDs will now opt to use online fire sharing. Of course, it is not always entirely clear where the torrent advert money ends up, but it is reasonable to suggest that it is less likely to be used to support a drug empire.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055967)

Remember how piracy helps the terrorists and drug dealers? Think of the children!

Yeah, sure. I download some crappy movies I won't waste the money to pay to see in any form and download some fucking music I could have recorded off the radio, and that makes me as bad as an ass-raping child-molester who sells crack in an alleyway. In my spare time I break into the morgue and skull-fuck dead babies, too. What a bunch of fucking horseshit. I ought to download the latest screener of a just-released theatre movie, make 100 DVDs of it, and leave them in public places with a big "free" sign on them, just to piss the fuckers at the MPAA off, too.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (2, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055541)

---I believe strongly in the idea of free speech, and don't much care for censorship or other speech restrictions. That said, on some level I think I can agree with the idea that lawyers are part of our legal justice system, and therefore to be held to a higher standard of conduct than we mere mortals. I mean, I have no problem saying the same thing about judges or police officers. I certainly believe they should be held to higher standards.

But everybody should be held to the same standard. When people are said to be a higher standard, it reminds me of the dukes, earls, princes, and kings of old Europe. We all are equal here.. Though, the Bar could disbar him, though I highly doubt they would even consider that. Disbarment only really happens for illegal acts and consistent harassment using the legal system (the retarded ex-lawyer who badmouths games).

Judges are also majority voted in, and they can be voted out. I, by principle, vote the non-incumbent for judges. If they were good, sorry. If they were bad, thats good they're out. And I think they need a "break" anyways.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (3, Interesting)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055753)

The appointment of judges is different depending on where they are being appointed. In most areas they are not voted in or out, especially in general elections. At the federal level (especially the supreme court) they are supposed to be a check against the elected officials, and not have to answer to the voters, but instead to the law and how well their judgment holds over time.

As for holding people to different standards, I tend to believe that there should be laws that increase punishment for any law broken by a politician or someone trusted to enforce and uphold the law. If someone breaks the law while acting as a law-enforcement officer, they should not only be given the normal punishment for the offense, but an additional punishment for the damage they caused to the public opinion of their fellow officers. Instead it seems that the law holds them in higher regard and doesn't believe that they commit offenses in the first place, so rather than being punished more harshly than the general populace, they are given more lenience.

Lawyers usually know where their boundaries are, though they like to dance on the line a lot. If the court told him to keep his mouth shut and he kept posting to his blog, he'll deserve the according punishment. If he had every right to believe he was not out of line in posting to the blog, it's very likely that he'll come out ahead on this one. It seems very likely that this is just another example of exactly the behavior he was commenting on in the first place, but it's really up to the court in this case.

Poor Ray (3, Funny)

oncehour (744756) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055569)

Who will pay his legal fees?!

Who will pay legal fees? (3, Insightful)

kennykb (547805) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055785)

Who will pay Beckerman's legal fees? An interesting question. I'm sure that Mr Beckerman is well aware that the lawyer wo represents himself has a fool for a client.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055575)

But the idea that the RIAA would say of Ray's blog, "Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions." is completely beyond absurd.

Is it absurd? Ignoring, for a moment, that the RIAA are a bunch of slimey underhanded scumbags and Ray seems like a stand-up guy, if they were right that Ray's blogging is aimed at publicising his cases and embarrassing his opposition then they'd be quite right to call it vexatious conduct. I don't believe Ray has anything other than the purest motives for his blog but it's not up to me, or you. The court will decide. If this were being heard where I live (the UK) I don't think there'd be the slightest concern that the right answer would be found. I hope the same is true in the USA.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (2, Interesting)

Suicide Drink (1125803) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055679)

And I fail to see how this lawsuit is anything other than a legal attack upon Ray in an attempt to smear his good name and discredit him as a lawyer.

...and to waste his time and divert his attention.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055767)

I believe strongly in the idea of free speech, and don't much care for censorship or other speech restrictions. That said, on some level I think I can agree with the idea that lawyers are part of our legal justice system, and therefore to be held to a higher standard of conduct than we mere mortals.

I had no idea that lawyers were immortal.

Re:Pot, meet kettle? (4, Interesting)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055827)

I believe strongly in the idea of free speech, and don't much care for censorship or other speech restrictions. That said, on some level I think I can agree with the idea that lawyers are part of our legal justice system, and therefore to be held to a higher standard of conduct than we mere mortals.

Lawyers are held to a much higher standard of conduct than "mere mortals." Although it is ultimately decided by each state's bar association, you can find the ABA's model rules of professional conduct here [abanet.org] . Virtually every accredited law school teaches those in Professional Responsibility.

These rules are, incidentally, a large part of the reason that slimeball lawyers tend to have a short shelf life. They create something of an ethical minefield for attorneys, and govern everything from what an attorney is allowed to say to the media during trial, to what his duties to non-clients are, to what sort of information he can disclose about a case.

Without having a copy of the actual complain handy, I can't say exactly what the RIAA is accusing Beckerman of, but the quotes from the Wired article make it sound like a meritorious claims and contentions [abanet.org] issue; in effect, they're saying Beckerman violated his ethical duty to only make meritorious arguments by dragging out the trial with motions, claims, etc. that he knew were not valid.

For what it's worth, I've followed Beckerman's blog somewhat closely. And if my speculation about the actual claims being levied at Beckerman are true, I'd be inclined to say that this isn't just a case of the pot calling the kettle black in some general "the RIAA is bad!" kind of sense. It seems to me that, in that case, they'd be violating the exact same rule they're accusing Beckerman of violating by filing this complaint.

But, I'm just a law student playing armchair lawyer here. Take the above with a grain of salt.

Vexatious (5, Informative)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055303)

Yah I didn't know the meaning either:

Main Entry:
        vexatious Listen to the pronunciation of vexatious
Pronunciation:
        \-shs\
Function:
        adjective
Date:
        1534

1 a: causing vexation : distressing b: intended to harass 2: full of disorder or stress : troubled

FTA:
The RIAA said Beckerman, one of the nation's few attorneys who defends accused file sharers, "has maintained an anti-recording industry blog during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass plaintiffs," the RIAA wrote (.pdf) in court briefs. "Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions."

BASELESS motions? Sure, what lawyer wouldn't want to bolster his PR, but maybe, JUST maybe, the motions ARE baseless?
EMBARRASS plaintiffs? Look, if you are suing someone, you better BE PREPARED. It's as simple as that. There's nothing about getting embarrassed if you are going to sue.

The RIAA really sounds like it's going out on a whim here. Maybe suing your own customers is a bad idea, do they get it yet? Geesh, I wish the RIAA would just GO AWAY!

Re:Vexatious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055531)

Funny they use that word, this lawsuit (and some might say the RIAA's entire campaign) fits the definition much better than anything Beckerman has done.

Re:Vexatious (5, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055649)

So can Ray sue them for professional libel for stating that all of his claims are baseless?

Re:Vexatious (3, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055983)

Probably not. Lawyers saying things about each other's claims on behalf of clients are generally given a lot of leeway before anyone hits the "defamation" button. Also, there's the problem that he'd have to prove damages - which means he'd have to prove that someone actually believed what the RIAA said.

Re:Vexatious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25056005)

So can Ray sue them for professional libel for stating that all of his claims are baseless?

No, because they made them in a court filing.

It's the exact same tactic that SCOX used.

The things you learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055803)

embarrass plaintiffs (riaa)

I had no idea that a stinking pile of dog-turd was capable of being embarrassed. Next you'll tell that it's sentient.

Re:Vexatious (4, Informative)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055941)

Your definition of vexatious is correct as far as ordinary English usage goes; however, here's more from a legal dictionary:

Litigation is typically classified as vexatious when an attorney or a pro se litigant (a person representing himself without an attorney) repeatedly files groundless lawsuits and repeatedly loses.

It sure seems to me as an observer of this ongoing imbroglio that all of the vexatiousness is on the part of RIAA.

Keep up the good work, Ray.

Re:Vexatious (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056015)

I think the term you were wanting to use was "out on a limb".

Wow. Though expected. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055315)

We've seen the "I sue dead people" and granny-no-computer on the business end of a (dia)RIAA lawsuit.. but this takes the cake.

Cant they dismiss this lawsuit on grounds of anti-SLAPP? He's here all the time and his blog letting us know whats happening. I've not witnessed any "RIAA are convicted murderers" or anything that would be represented as libel. He just tells who's suing who, based upon X evidence, and results of said cases.

IIRC, isnt there a ground that a judge can take away "lawsuit powers" when used as a weapon, rather than as to pursue 'truth and justice'?

Re:Wow. Though expected. (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055481)

Cant they dismiss this lawsuit on grounds of anti-SLAPP?

It's not really a lawsuit, it's just a motion in a case he's on. Motions for sanctions are actually fairly common.

IIRC, isnt there a ground that a judge can take away "lawsuit powers" when used as a weapon, rather than as to pursue 'truth and justice'?

Yes, but it's very rarely done. If someone is just completely crazy about filing multiple frivolous lawsuits, the court will occasionally order that the frivolous party cannot file lawsuits except through independent counsel; I think they did this to Jack Thompson. The theory is an attorney will filter out the crazy stuff, or face professional sanctions themselves.

Re:Wow. Though expected. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055643)

---It's not really a lawsuit, it's just a motion in a case he's on. Motions for sanctions are actually fairly common.

Yeah, I did just notice that. They PDF was downloading around 1KB/s.. and it doesnt help that our home connection is modem :(

---Yes, but it's very rarely done. If someone is just completely crazy about filing multiple frivolous lawsuits, the court will occasionally order that the frivolous party cannot file lawsuits except through independent counsel; I think they did this to Jack Thompson. The theory is an attorney will filter out the crazy stuff, or face professional sanctions themselves.

As I said, how could this not be attributed to the RIAA lawyers? Filing thousands of lawsuits, and many of them frivolous is not a cause of censure?

My Favourite Part (5, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055357)

This is probably my favourite part of the situation - "Readers should note the cover sheet (.pdf) of the court filing lists Richard Gabriel as the RIAA's lead counsel. Gabriel was named a Colorado judge in May and no longer works on behalf of the RIAA." Yeah. Ok. Good work there guys.

Re:My Favourite Part (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055601)

They just want you to think that he no longer works for them... how do you think he got his judge position in the first place, hmmm?

Re:My Favourite Part (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055763)

They just want you to think that he no longer works for them... how do you think he got his judge position in the first place, hmmm?

Oh really? You don't say. [crashonmyhead.com]

Re:My Favourite Part (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055723)

how did a scumbag like that get elected as a judge??

holy crap, people in Colorado will elect anyone.

Re:My Favourite Part (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055859)

My understanding is that being named a judge removes the individual from the case (continuing work would clearly constitute a conflict of interest), but their name remains on any pertinent documents relating to cases which were begun in their domain.

Re:My Favourite Part (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055875)

Whatever, the boilerplate legalese is probably 90% of the text. Like for example when I read "No warranty" I just zone out of the rest of the section since it'll just tell me all the ways it has no warranty. So someone copy-pasted a bit much, if that was a sign of anything most companies would be in deep shit. Funny little curiosity but it doesn't really say anything about anybody, at best maybe it says an intern was bored and zoned out.

Let me just say... (1)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055361)

Go get em' Ray!!

Dumbasses (4, Informative)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055377)

I guess the RIAA decided to take a page from the MPAA's playbook [torrentfreak.com] on this one.

Too bad NYCL can't comment on the suit.

Re:Dumbasses (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055585)

> Too bad NYCL can't comment on the suit.

Hm.. that actually might be why they did it. If they can relate all of his other cases to this one, such that he can't comment on them, either, as they're involved in the pending one, then he can't cheerlead on here in topics related to his cases.

Re:Dumbasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25056075)

Too bad NYCL can't comment on the suit.

That's probably one of the main reasons for it.

(Edit: the captcha says "acquit"... :-)

Finally (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055415)

Time to get the EFF on their collective ass.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25056059)

Time to get the EFF on their collective ass.

Considering the EFF's track record, that's not a very intimidating threat.

HEY MISTER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055419)

I DON'T LIKE WHAT YOU SAY. I'M GOING TO TAKE YOU TO COURT.

spam filter spam filter spam filter spam filter spam filter spam filter spam filter spam filter

The guy can at least defend himself (4, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055431)

Honestly, this is a fortunate turn of events. This gentleman is at least capable of defending himself against whatever accusations RIAA is making against him, while at the same time consuming time and legal resources that the fuckwits at RIAA could be using to put another party in legal jeopardy.

In fact, since this is not the same as the boilerplate legal case that RIAA makes against thousands of consumers annually, it probably also consumed more resources. We should all be thankful that RIAA has chosen this course of action.

Re:The guy can at least defend himself (5, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055871)

I have little doubt that the goal is not to win the lawsuit, but to waste his time. They're hoping that the triple burden of his day job, his blog, and defending this lawsuit will be too much.

Don't give in to them, Ray. It's important for us to have this blog asa counter-attack to the RIAA BS machine.

Re:The guy can at least defend himself (1)

infalliable (1239578) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056049)

Yeah, that seems to be the most likely motive. There aren't that many experienced, anti-RIAA lawyers out there. This basically takes one out until the issue is resolved. It will also likely take the blog out for the time being as well.

It appears to be a pretty baseless accusation though IANAL.

Re:The guy can at least defend himself (1)

d-r0ck (1365765) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055915)

Yes it is indeed a fortunate turn of events in that this is clearly a frivolous lawsuit. However on the other hand this is also going to consume resources of Beckerman and his firm. This may detract from their other lawsuits between Beckermans clients and the RIAA. Perhaps part of the RIAA reason behind this lawsuit is not to discredit Beckerman, but to force him to spend time on things that are irrelevant in the grander scheme of things.

Defending file-sharers (4, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055445)

The RIAA said Beckerman, one of the nation's few attorneys who defends accused file sharers

How DARE he!!!

Re:Defending file-sharers (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055605)

The RIAA said Beckerman, one of the nation's few attorneys who defends accused file sharers

How DARE he!!!

It's a slippery slope.

Next thing you know lawyers will be required to represent thieves, rapists and murderers.

Re:Defending file-sharers (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055623)

Indeed.

Actually I wonder if this is just an extension of the RIAA's legal tactics to the lawyers themselves. Previously, they would sue people in order to intimidate them into settling and/or not file-sharing. Now, they are applying the same logic to lawyers: suing lawyers with the audacity to defend file-sharers, so as to intimidate other potential defense lawyers from even taking a file-sharing case.

As usual, even if the RIAA loses (or eventually drops the case), they "win" in the sense that they send the message that they are willing to make life hell for anyone who opposes them (including other lawyers).

Such a tactic from the RIAA is presumably illegal... but it's probably very difficult to prove in court that this is their intention.

Re:Defending file-sharers (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055993)

It wouldn't matter. Unlike college students, lawyers have both the experience needed and the money to take these cases to court. Given the RIAA's shaky prosecution tactics, I wouldn't be surprised if not only every lawyer being sued in this manner takes the case to court, but a number of them are secretly wishing to be sued just to make an example out of their opponents and get their name out.

Re:Defending file-sharers (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056055)

DARE to teach kids: "DRM Abuse Resistance Education, We love --- to be -- a DRM nation!"

This whole thing is stupid... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055487)

You know, what this comes down to is plain and simple. If everyone payed the artist including the recording industry, then we would not have this problem. Is there a reason you want an album and then won't pay for it? Just GO BUY THE CD or BUY THE MP3'S. If the artist intended for you to have th emusic for free, they would put it up on their myspace account for download. Since they DON'T, PAY FOR IT!!! This includes movies. You don't need something that bad you need to steal it do you. I wish all sides would just grow up on this deal and REALIZE the only people getting rich are the stupid Lawyers.

Sigh... (3, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055825)

"Is there a reason you want an album and then won't pay for it? Just GO BUY THE CD or BUY THE MP3'S. If the artist intended for you to have th emusic for free, they would put it up on their myspace account for download. Since they DON'T, PAY FOR IT!!! "

I've tried saying that here before, but you run into a brick wall of nitpicking denial. Somehow the idea that it's not physical media makes it impossible to steal. Or it's the record companies that lose out, the artist gets shafted anyway. Or real artists should just want their music listened to. Like there are no costs involved in creating music.

I've long since reconciled myself to the fact that while I believe in intellectual property rights, most people around me don't. Of course the vast majority of those people have never tried to make a living by producing something for the mass market.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25056111)

Of course the vast majority of those people have never tried to make a living by producing something for the mass market.

Producing something for the mass market where they are harassed by the various and sundry institutions of the music industry, no less. Like the RIAA and SoundExchange, for instance.

Re:This whole thing is stupid... (2, Insightful)

fracai (796392) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055943)

Silly AC, reason is not for this site.

Really though I think the rationale comes across as the belief that the content isn't worth the asking rate, so taking it for free is OK. I think it's reasonably arguable that the proper action would be to just not buy the item. Otherwise you're dealing with an item that is so worthless that it's not worth buying, yet so valuable that it's worth violating the copyright. If the content owner isn't willing to offer the item on the terms that you desire, it doesn't give you the right to procure it by different means.

WTF RIAA? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055491)

Are the pigopolists looking for some kind of unilateral gag order?

"Mom, make him shut up, he's talking about us!"

RIAA legal team == tards of the worst order. When the revolution comes, they won't survive long enough to be stood up against the wall.

Re:WTF RIAA? (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055999)

Are the pigopolists looking for some kind of unilateral gag order?

"Mom, make him shut up, he's talking about us!"

RIAA legal team == tards of the worst order. When the revolution comes, they won't survive long enough to be stood up against the wall.

By locking him into a legal battle that could be about everything the RIAA does, that he won't be able to comment on, they might be able to do just that... regardless if they even go to court.

the Mark of Desperation! (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055507)

if employees of the RIAA step outside and it's raining, they immediately think of suing God.

some people, you say "hi" to them, they say "howdy." some folks say "F# off." RIAA workers say, "you bastard pirate, I'm taking you to court!"

the world will not be in its right orbit, the climate will continue to deteriorate, yea, even Wacko bin Looney will plot and cackle in his Secret Location, as long as the RIAA and its evil tradesmen continue to run rampant across the legal system.

the center of all the evil is the RIAA

Thanks RIAA (4, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055525)

This guy seems to have bothered you, I have never read his blog but, as you find it so threating there must be some value in it. Thanks for the recommendation.
Understanding complicated matters, such as law, is always hard because of the bad advice that goes about. I commend you RIAA for your services to education.

Well this'll be interesting.... (1)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055533)

This is the kind of drama you need popcorn for!

NYCL Posts? (5, Interesting)

unfasten (1335957) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055555)

Is this going to stop Ray Beckerman from posting articles and making comments about other ongoing cases on slashdot now? I really hope not because his posts are usually the best way to keep informed about their cases.
From TFA

has maintained an anti-recording industry blog during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass plaintiffs

This also makes it sound like that's exactly what they're trying to stop, him actually informing people (us) about their baseless cases. I wonder if they're going to seek a gag order?

Everyone thank RIAA (5, Insightful)

Umuri (897961) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055593)

Let me be the first to point out what everyone's been thinking.

Thank.
You.
RIAA.
Morons.

I mean, honestly. We all are acting all high and mighty, but what we're really thinking is,
"What IDIOT up there thought it would be a good idea to sue one of the most competent, intelligent, LAWYERS who has already expressed a will to fight against their unsound tactics"

Lets take odds, who wants to bet they try to pull out of this the minute someone realizes what they just did, and someone is definitly getting sacked.

Re:Everyone thank RIAA (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055779)

Honestly, when this came down on Ray, I think it was beneficial to his position rather than the RIAA's. A spin could be placed on this (I'm still trying to figure out the legitimacy of the motion) that the RIAA is simply trying to bully anyone who would defend the accused into silence. This could come around as a good thing. Could.

Re:Everyone thank RIAA (3, Insightful)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055815)

Don't thank them yet. Yes, he is competent, etc. But fighting such an action still takes up his time, which leaves him less time to do the things that we appreciate. Their strategy is sound: they have an infinite number of lawyers that they can use to tie him up with this sort of BS, meanwhile he can't keep doing what he's been doing.

Re:Everyone thank RIAA (1)

drijen (919269) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055833)

Could not agree more. The RIAA's past actions in lawsuits have handed Mr. Beckerman far more ammunition than he really needs to fight back.

Have a look at the list of case brief quotes all along the right hand of his website - he is not only someone capable of fighting back, he is intimately familiar with each major case the RIAA has lost.

Besides, this is a net win for everyone; suing a lawyer is a lot like getting into a car wreck with an insurance adjuster.

Re:Everyone thank RIAA (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056087)

Besides, this is a net win for everyone; suing a lawyer is a lot like getting into a car wreck with an insurance adjuster.

OT, but I did have a car accident with a laywer, once. the first words out of the guy's mouth were "hi, I'm a lawyer" or to that effect.

the bastard tried to call it a 'hit and run' even though I did try to work with him on his actual damages. he never contacted me and instead filed hit-and-run on me.

the last laugh was ON him, though; as I had just accepted a job across the country (other coast) and the 2 states did NOT have reciprocal agreements (at the time). when I moved to my current state, they asked 'any tickets, etc, on you?' and I simply said 'no'. they had no way to check and they accepted it. that laywer guy was left holding his (you know what) and got not a penny from me; and my driving record is spotless afaict.

moral: even 'lawyers' can be worked around. not always, but sometimes.

Re:Everyone thank RIAA (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056101)

Yeah its one thing to sue single moms, and grandparents...

Suing other lawyers, particularly those that litigate back probably won't be so much fun I am thinking.

Way to respond to a legal challenge (4, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055595)

In question is the "vexatious" claims that the RIAAs legal tactics is a "sham"

The best way to show that criticism of your valiant, righteous lawsuits is a sham is to sue the critic for being so irritatingly vexatious. Now I (and I imagine this goes for everyone else here on Slashdot) take the RIAA completely seriously. I suspect a million geeks just stopped filesharing a few minutes ago, and that the torrents of the tubes have all gone dead: Seeders 0, Leechers 0. The RIAA has won.

Except ... all sarcasm aside, this is really desperate.

Diversion tactic? (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055645)

I honestly have no idea how much time Ray is going to have to put into this, but is it possible that the RIAA is suing him only to keep him busy dealing with his own case? If it prevents him from having as much time to work on other cases in which the RIAA is involved, would it be worth it for them to create some fairly frivolous suit to keep Ray's hands tied?

Maybe I'm just reading into it, but you'd think with the amount of cash the RIAA has to throw around they could hire a lawyer that could develop a plan like this. Is it even feasible that something like this would suck up enough of his time to prevent him from being able to handle other cases?

Re:Diversion tactic? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055807)

Perhaps, but when lawyers gets sued or accused of a crime, they other lawyers to defend them. Even if you have a JD and have passed the Bar Exam, the man who represents himself still has a fool for a client.

Re:Diversion tactic? (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055931)

It makes sense, it'll eat up time for Ray that he'd spend researching for his clients and embarrassing the RIAA by posting their shenanigans on his site. The RIAA might (OK, I really can't see how they could) win this case against Ray, but it could detract from his ability to serve other clients, and it sends a message to other lawyers looking to stand up against the RIAA (they'll make you pay- with your time).

I hope that this case is either A) quickly dismissed as frivolous or B) found in favor of Ray, including attorneys fees. Make sure you bill your own hours, Ray :P

So... time for new tactics! (2, Funny)

herewegoagain (1191439) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055655)

Let's look at the tactics: RIAA sues many people... and publicizes it. Gets poked in the eye by suing dead people and people without computers...(in the mix)... Now. Things don't look good from a PR standpoint. What to do... what to do... Hmmm. How about getting rid of the defense lawyer!! Then things would be much smoother!! Maybe we can push him and silence him!!!!

Translation: (5, Funny)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055707)

Nice practice you got there Ray. 'Be a shame if anything happened to it.

Where is Ray?.. (1)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055739)

We've all seen quite a number of postings from Ray around here, and I'd really like to hear from him. Yo Ray, what's the deal? Tell us you're going to put the RIAA out of business this time around...

Re:Where is Ray?.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25055865)

Now would be a good time for a quote from the Dark Knight:
"He doesn't always show up"
"Why?"
"Hopefully, because he's busy"

Re:Where is Ray?.. (1)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055885)

Something tells me that he isn't going to comment here, as, I'm sure, all such comments would be admissable. It's fine to talk about other people's cases, but prudent to be quiet about your own.

Re:Where is Ray?.. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055921)

He probably can't.

Re:Where is Ray?.. (2, Insightful)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056071)

I know nothing about legal procedure in the USA, and precious little about it in my own country. But I suspect that it would not be wise for NYCL to comment on his own case here on /. and it might also be against the legal rules in the USA. Of course, we all wish Ray well but we might just have to wait until this one is over before we can get the full story.

Good Luck, Ray, for the way you have helped others you deserve some good fortune yourself.

Google 'SLAPP' (5, Interesting)

sgauss (639539) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055771)

"Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLAPP [wikipedia.org] Good luck, Ray, I hope you own these bastards!

Finally! (1)

chainLynx (939076) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055823)

The RIAA sues someone who can actually defend himself! Should be interesting...

I for one, Welcome our RIAA overlords, except.... (1)

fireheadca (853580) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055845)

I for one, Welcome our RIAA overlords, except.... ... I will fight you all until my shifting last bit.

---
Die with your bits on.

Streisand effect (2, Insightful)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 6 years ago | (#25055891)

The more aware the general public is of the morally-dubious position of the labels, the less chance the labels have of pushing through "settlements" under threat of litigation.

This is a good thing (not for Ray, obviously).

This hurts Mr Beckerman. (3, Insightful)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056027)

Mr Beckerman's time is not valueless, and sadly human cloning is still not possible so he's also a finite resource. These RIAA asshats are clearly aiming to distract him from the fine work he does. If he's too busy fighting on his own behalf they'll remove one of their biggest threats. Their strategy is sound.

I'm reminded of the adage that a person who represents themself in court has a "fool for a client". Is this a case where someone like the ACLU or EFF could help Mr Beckerman? Maybe he will need to hire a lawyer to handle this nonsense so he can continue fighting the good fight? If the latter is the case then maybe it's time for /. to tangibly show support: with cash for a Beckerman defense fund. Does anyone know how to set that up?

Defense support? (1)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056037)

Ray I'd be more than willing to send some cash your way to help you fight this. I'm sure others would as well.

What is that saying - An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client? Given that, I don't doubt this will cost you to defend.

Cheers,
~Dave

He's not quite getting sued (4, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#25056077)

This appears to just be a motion for sanctions for "repeated discovery abuses" (which the RIAA no doubt has lots of experience with), which is different than an entirely new lawsuit just to pursue the matter. Courts can award sanctions against an attorney and/or against a party when they are justified by impermissible tactics, delays, frivolous lawsuits or motions, etc.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?