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RIAA Gives Up In Atlantic Recording v. Brennan

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the wasn't-one-of-the-ghostbusters-named-ray? dept.

The Courts 230

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic Recording v. Brennan, the landmark Connecticut case in which the first decision rejecting the RIAA's 'making available' theory was handed down, the RIAA has finally thrown in the towel and dismissed its own case. Mr. Brennan never appeared in the case at all. In February, 2008, the RIAA's motion for a default judgment was rejected for a number of reasons, including the Court's ruling (PDF) that there is no claim for 'making available for distribution' under the US Copyright Act. The RIAA moved for reconsideration; that motion was denied. Then, in December, the RIAA's second motion for default judgment was rejected. Finally the RIAA filed a 'notice of dismissal' ending the case."

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And there was a cheer throughout the land... (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385017)

Its ow available for distribution on my website...

Re:And there was a cheer throughout the land... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385091)

Haha, I found this funny video of cats! http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nTasT5h0LEg

Re:And there was a cheer throughout the land... (5, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386187)

I'm not cheering. Think about how much money was wasted by RIAA, by the defendant, and by the U.S. Government prosecuting a case that went nowhere.

When a prosecutor or litigant voluntarily closes a case, the government should impose a fine for "wasting taxpayer dollars" or something similar. Discourage RIAA and others from wasting the People's money on BS cases.

Re:And there was a cheer throughout the land... (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386329)

So to play Devil's Advocate, if you know that you've got a loser (either because new evidence comes to light or just by the way that the trial is moving), you think that they should continue to waste taxpayer money in order to avoid a fine rather than cutting their (and the taxpayer) losses and dismissing the case?

Re:And there was a cheer throughout the land... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387097)

If they are doomed to lose, then the costs to the government and the defendant will be paid by RIAA. More importantly, there will be a precedent set that can be used in future cases, so the money has not been wasted. It has been well spent.

Not the end by a longshot (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385021)

We can expect our good friends of the Righteous Inquisition Army of Autocrats to file more lawsuits and claim that their arguments were never rejected in court because they dismissed their counterclaim before the judge could smack it down. Business as usual for the scum of the earth, I guess. Hey remember when these guys used to SELL MUSIC?

Re:Not the end by a longshot (5, Interesting)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385089)

Actually, I doubt they will file any more lawsuits, considering they are trying to work with the ISPs (AKA shift the bad PR away from themselves) to "handle" downloaders.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (3, Interesting)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385109)

And as they have their claws into Obama via Biden and not an RIAA lawyer appointed to the administration (Tom Perrelli for associate attorney general and David Ogden for deputy attorney general). To me hiring this man comes awful close to breaking a promise of not lobbyist in his administration..

Re:Not the end by a longshot (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385215)

Lawyers are not lobbyists. They MAY be the scum of the earth, but they are a hired hitter and often have no real opinion one way or another about a case except winning. In reality this is WHY they are as scummy as they are, they have scruples and no loyalties or moralities to anything unless it could ultimately hurt them like knowing a client is guilty through the clients own admission but hiding this fact.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (4, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385239)

That's why I said this is *close* to breaking the promise nit that he did break the promise. Since about 2001 this guy has been on speed dial for a lobby group. I am unable to find anything he has done outside of the Recording industry for the past seven years. This, to me, is straining the spirit of that promise.. The guy decided to make his bones throwing for one industry while in public life (2001-2008) and lawyer or not that says something about his relationship to lobbyist..

Re:Not the end by a longshot (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385703)

I'm amused.

Don't get me wrong- I'm still idealistic enough to *hope* that Obama is everything he said he was going to be. But I'm amused that there are people who *expect* him to be.

History lesson- GWB (the first time) ran as a centrist with a proven ability to bring Dems and Repubs together.

The Clinton Gestalt ran as a centrist who would bring the two sides together.

Both were card-carrying extremists with no real agenda other than bashing up members of the opposite tribe.

Bit of a corollary to Barnum's famous saying. You don't have to fool all of the people all of the time. You just have to fool enough to take the Electoral College.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (0)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385851)

Oh don't get me wrong I knew Obama was going to turn out to be just like the rest of them, albeit more well spoken, I just like to point out the 'Hope' and 'Change' is nothing but a slogan (sort of like 'Mission Accomplished') for people to gobble up..

Re:Not the end by a longshot (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386525)

Obama is a politician.

Politicians lie.

QED Obama lies. I don't know why this comes as such a shock to you, but I know how you feel. I was duped by Clinton in 1992. Hopefully you've now learned, as I learned, not to trust either side of the Demo-Ruplicrat Duopoly. They lie to got votes, just the same as you and I would lie on our resume to get a job. "They are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps." - Thomas Jefferson.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387137)

I've been modded flamebait, because one of the moderators couldn't handle the truth:

- Obama is a career politician. (shrug). I thought that was self-evident, but I guess some people can't see the forest because they are being distracted by the trees.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387249)

He's either a career politician, xor he's a completely inexperienced nobody. (cf. republican propaganda during election season)

I'm getting a little tired of the relentless bashing of the guy a genuine majority of the country elected. Where were you asstards when Bush "won" with less than 49% of the voters?

Re:Not the end by a longshot (3, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385937)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's also illegal in the U.S. for a lawyer to refuse a case based on their personal opinions one way or the other. Just because a lawyer made a case in court doesn't mean they actually believe their own rhetoric. Lobbyists, now that's another story.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386315)

I believe it's ... illegal in the U.S. for a lawyer to refuse a case based on their personal opinions one way or the other

You are 100% incorrect.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (4, Informative)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386421)

Consider yourself corrected...

Only a public defender *has* to take a case and even then there are ways to get out of it. A private lawyer working, usually, with the initiator of a law suit, can say no for any reason they want (outside of normal discrimination laws)

Re:Not the end by a longshot (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386605)

>>>also illegal in the U.S. for a lawyer to refuse a case based on their personal opinions one way or the other.

I doubt that. Matlock and Perry Mason refused cases all the time. ;-) But seriously, if I was a lawyer I would refuse to do any case I felt was unethical, same as I would refuse as an engineer to develop a biological weapon that indiscriminately targets children. There's a Law higher than Congressional law.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386061)

Lawyers are not lobbyists.

A lobbyist is paid to proselytize all the time. A (retained) lawyer is paid to look out for your legal interests all the time. Given that the only court that really matters is that of public opinion, it is not really surprising that the two jobs have considerable overlap.

Lawyers! (1, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386571)

They MAY be the scum of the earth ...

Except Ray Beckerman [slashdot.org] .

And Pamela Jones [groklaw.net] , who is not a lawyer but a paralegal.

Hey, Ray and Pamela! Both of you are quite compatible, and have similar ideals. Are both of you single? If so, can we matchmake you?

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386649)

they have scruples and no loyalties or moralities to anything unless it could ultimately hurt them like knowing a client is guilty through the clients own admission but hiding this fact

For general litigators, I agree with you completely. I vehemently disagree with you in many other areas. For example, most public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys are deeply loyal to the Constitution, protecting 4th and 5th Amendment rights, even in the face of potential guilt. It's not so much about the guilt as it is about proper police procedure. As in Blackstone's Formulation [wikipedia.org] it is "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

District Attorneys, while equally passionate, go to the other extreme in their allegiances.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385137)

I like your comment a lot better than what I was going to post:

"F*cking scum!"

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385319)

I wish the Judges in the US would deny these filing for dismissal. If they never get a ruling, the RIAA can continue to bully their customers with this constant going to court. Then the Judge needs to make a ruling so that there is precedence on file showing that the RIAA can't do what they've been doing anymore. Then we'd have some security. But on the flip side the RIAA is going to stop filing court orders with consumers and instead go for the ISPs.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (2, Informative)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385641)

There WAS a ruling already. This is dismissing the fight against that ruling.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385539)

Hey remember when these guys used to SELL MUSIC?

Not really. I'm only 23 :(

Re:Not the end by a longshot (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385737)

Hey remember when these guys used to SELL MUSIC?

They never sold music, they sold records. The music was just a reason to get you to buy a black piece of plastic with grooves, or a silver piece of plastic with rainbows. If they were selling music to you, you would own the music and it would be yours to do with as you wished. As it was, you could do anything you wished with the plastic disk, but not the music it contained.

The folks who publich sheet music for musicians to buy in music stores sell music.

Now the majors are trying to rent music and call it a sale. All they are selling is a service, a download of bits. Whether or not there is DRM you have no rights to the music you "buy" from them. You are paying only for the download. IMO sixty nine cents for a download of bits you have no rights to is insane.

The indies are far more honest and reasonable; they give the music away on websites and via P2P, using the music itself as a reason for you to buy other things (CDs, t-shirts, etc).

Re:Not the end by a longshot (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385885)

The indies are far more honest and reasonable; they give the music away on websites and via P2P, using the music itself as a reason for you to buy other things (CDs, t-shirts, etc).

Indies also sell their music, and anyone who professes to hate the RIAA should be sure to buy music from indie performers.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386257)

anyone who professes to hate the RIAA should be sure to buy music from indie performers

Well, other than saying they sell music (like I said, you don't won the music you "buy", only the medium or the act of downloading) I agree completely. Plus, the indies have the advantages of usually being less expensive, and the music on the media or the download you buy is usually higher quality (I'm referring to the quality of the music, not the quality of the recording, which is also often superior). RIAA fare is produced and recorded only for the money; it is a commercial item only, like a black velvet painting of Elvis or dogs playing poker. Indie fare is often (perhaps usually) art for art's sake where the artist cares more about the art than whether or not it sells.

Truth Be Known (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26386517)

Indies also sell their music, and anyone who professes to hate the RIAA should be sure to buy music from indie performers.

The problem is that most :indies" are - CRAP - and few want to listen to them. That's why they are "indies". Otherwise, some lable would have flashed moo-lah in front of them a long time ago.

Re:Truth Be Known (2, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386939)

The problem is that most :indies" are - CRAP - and few want to listen to them.

98% of everything is crap. Like everyone else, the indies have crap, but their fraction of crap is lower than the RIAA's.

That's why they are "indies". Otherwise, some lable would have flashed moo-lah in front of them a long time ago.

You need to read what musicians are saying about the big labels. The RIAA is where musicians go to lose moo-lah, not make it. Whatever money the RIAA "flashes" at someone, just gives them some idea of what lower bound they should expect to make somewhere.

Re:Truth Be Known (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387227)

The RIAA is where musicians go to lose moo-lah, not make it.

I guess you do know a little something about the "Big 4" recording companies, and how they operate.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (5, Insightful)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387169)

I've been reading these stories for years and wanted to thank you for the good work you have all done.

It's changed my perspective and my families purchasing habits with music. Everyone I speak with knows I don't purchase music when the RIAA will benefit from it.

I go to sites such as secondspin.com, gametz.com or amazon.com marketplace and purchase second hand music if I must have that song. Also I've been using google to find independents to purchase directly online.

The internet is a liberating tool. Another reason I'm hoping it becomes like public roads. Everyone should have it available and fast. This way we can punish organizations such as these guys by taking our money elsewhere.

Over the last few years I've also switched my home computers to Ubuntu Linux (kicking Microsoft out) and replaced Concast Internet with a local provider. Similar reasons. I don't like their poor attitude and won't do business with them.

This is the only way everyday people will get these companies attention. Perhaps they will figure it out. Then again, perhaps they will be the ones asking for a bail out as well.

Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Re:Not the end by a longshot (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387333)

I've been reading these stories for years and wanted to thank you for the good work you have all done. It's changed my perspective and my families purchasing habits with music. Everyone I speak with knows I don't purchase music when the RIAA will benefit from it. I go to sites such as secondspin.com, gametz.com or amazon.com marketplace and purchase second hand music if I must have that song. Also I've been using google to find independents to purchase directly online. The internet is a liberating tool. Another reason I'm hoping it becomes like public roads. Everyone should have it available and fast. This way we can punish organizations such as these guys by taking our money elsewhere. Over the last few years I've also switched my home computers to Ubuntu Linux (kicking Microsoft out) and replaced Concast Internet with a local provider. Similar reasons. I don't like their poor attitude and won't do business with them. This is the only way everyday people will get these companies attention. Perhaps they will figure it out. Then again, perhaps they will be the ones asking for a bail out as well. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

On behalf of the folks who have suffered so much from this long RIAA nightmare, thank YOU for being so conscientious about being sure not to do business with the bad guys. I keep a list [blogspot.com] of independent music sources for consumers such as yourself.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387053)

The folks who publich sheet music for musicians to buy in music stores sell music.

No, you are buying pieces of paper with musical notations printed on it. You still do not have full rights to the music itself.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (3, Insightful)

secretcurse (1266724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385833)

The RIAA has never sold music. It is a trade group representing the huge labels. The RIAA has never done anything to help any artist anywhere.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26386163)

remember when whining cunts like you used to PAY FOR music?

thought not.

Re:Not the end by a longshot (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386577)

One can only hope that those sued by the RIAA can recover large sums due to the nonsense nature of the suits. Breaking even is unfair to the victims of these creeps.

Does this have status as precedent? (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385051)

The rejection of the making available argument appears to have stuck, but in dismissing the case does the law still recognize the summary judgment as a precedent for future cases?

Re:Does this have status as precedent? (1)

acedotcom (998378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385571)

as far as i know it does not set a precedent. If the RIAA dropped the case then it never met a full conclusion. it just means they gave up and no conclusion was reached.

they did this so it doesnt set a precedent, keeping future and current lawsuits open to litigation.

Make this avalible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385069)

Slashdot users are all morbidly obese linux zealots who can't get laid.

If this gets a -1, you confirmed its true! Mod away you sheep fuckers! Deh evil RIAA!!!11! who get laid with hot grits demands it.

Re:Make this avalible (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385165)

That's not true! We have lots of (simulated) sex with really hot (CG) women at all the hottest (second life) clubs!

Re:Make this avalible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385565)

There is a real person behind every avatar.

Note: I said person. Not woman.

Re:Make this avalible (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385979)

You are wrong. Some of us are unhealthily underweight. In fact the skinny nerd with the thick glasses is the stereotype. And some of us do get laid [NSFW] [slashdot.org]

And it isn't true about us all being Linux zealots. There are Mac zealots here too!

Re:Make this avalible (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386495)

And some of us do get laid [NSFW] [slashdot.org]

Here are ten strategies that can actually get you in bed with a member of the opposite sex, whether you're a male nerd or a female nerd.

When has a female anything needed ten strategies to get laid? ;)

Hmm. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385113)

I'm guessing that by "gives up" TFA actually means "is allowed to leave without any consequences for filing a meritless suit". This seems rather like finding a thief in your house and having him give your stuff back and leave. I'd rather have my stuff back than not; but somehow justice seems underserved.

Re:Hmm. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385495)

The fact that it was defeated doesn't imply that the original action was without merit. I, for one, was of the opinion that holding liable people who make copyrighted materials available is sensible. In many circumstances, they are, after all, just as party to causing damages to the copyright holder as the person/people who take advantage of the availability. Since copyright infringement is so notoriously difficult to pinpoint, it seems sensible to attack it from both ends.

Re:Hmm. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385691)

"Sensible" really isn't good enough when you've pulled a legal theory out of your ass and started hitting people with it. If "making available" should be included in copyright law, then that change needs to be made. Until it is, though, it isn't law.

Re:Hmm. (2, Funny)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386203)

So to further the OP's analogy, the thief was in your home because you were at his video arcade playing the games he offers for free, but not buying any of the merch he sells...

It really sounded less convoluted when I started this post.

Re:Hmm. (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386711)

I agree with you, but until such time as I can buy a Britney Spears CD or a Speedracer DVD, try them, determine they are trash, and return them for either a refund or store credit, then I will continue to pirate. I am sick-and-tired of wasting my money buying Hollywood trash.

Any other industry, even the food industry, guarantees satisfaction or your money back. There's no reason for the entertainment industry to be any different. I consider refusal to provide refunds/credits to be as bad as corporate theft.

You misunderstand "making available". (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386791)

I, for one, was of the opinion that holding liable people who make copyrighted materials available is sensible.

Even if nobody takes advantage of the availability?

In many circumstances, they are, after all, just as party to causing damages to the copyright holder as the person/people who take advantage of the availability.

If someone DOES download them, it's the person who distributed them who IS liable. The "making available" theory isn't saying "the distributor is liable"... that's true regardless. The "making available" theory is "if someone MIGHT have been able to download them, then you're guilty of distributing them".

Re:Hmm. (4, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387143)

In many cases, a woman (or man) standing on a corner at midnight dressed in hot pants, bikini top and spiked heels, is soliciting for prostitution, but to make an arrest stick, she (or he) still has to actually ask for money. We make cops go through the action of bringing up price and getting an answer, to avoid basing an arrest merely on whether that same cop thinks someone is dressed too provocatively.
      Copyright infringement may be every bit as difficult to pinpoint as you say, but it's equally difficult to say just where to draw the line if we start drawing it somewhere in the largish space of 'making available'. Just like Barney Fife may honestly think that woman standing on the curb, trying to hail a cab, in the same outfit she went clubbing in, is a hooker, the RIAA may honestly think (or claim to think) that having a torrent program at all is over where the line should be drawn.
        In debating just where to draw the legal line, it should always be remembered, some lines have practical problems when it comes to actually testing them, some are based on simple principles, and some require very intricate interpretations of those principles. Good laws are usually, if not always, ones where the lines are simple enough to apply in many cases, clear cut enough to repeatedly give the same verdicts when the same circumstances apply, and based on principles that can be explained to the general public's satisfaction.

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387269)

I am of the opinion that holding people liable when there is only a possibility that some crime has occurred is wrong. There is possibilities all around us, but only a limited set actually happens.

Re:Hmm. (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385509)

Judge Roy Bean would say the thief 'gave back your stuff' as it fell from his hands shortly after his heart stopped working.

Isn't there some room for a counter suit based on harassment of a frivolous litigation? Trained and experienced lawyers 'should' know better than to initiate frivolous litigation. Isn't that an act that can be penalized? [cbsnews.com]

I certainly hope that there is a punishment dished out to the RIAA legal team. It might put a lot of this to rest quickly, and subdue any plans to have ISPs start bollocking their own customers.

Is it just me... (3, Interesting)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385171)

...or is it looking more and more like the RIAA has realized that downloading really isn't hurting them, and they don't want the embarrassment of admitting it publicly, so they're just slowly backing off from their "Piracy is da debil!" stance and hoping that we won't notice?

Re:Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385671)

It's just you. The RIAA hasn't realized anything of the nature, whether true or not. What the RIAA has> realized is that the lawsuits are ineffective (duh, big surprise, dumbasses) and that there are less costly and probably more effective ways of dealing with copyright infringement, such as pushing the responsibility over to the ISPs.

As I've said before, I think the RIAA has discovered a way to either force or at least entice ISPs to do their bidding.

I'm not in the loop on this, but here's the entirety of what I think

1) P2P has, most recently and very publicly, become a headache for high speed Internet providers. P2P traffic taxes their infrastructure, so they make moves to block or at least limit it, including everything from additional charges through routing changes, to downright packet manipulation.

2) RIAA has a different reason for disliking P2P. But they see that the ISPs have a common enemy here: P2P.

3) The only remaining question is -- where to go from here? P2P is prevalent enough and has enough legitimate uses that the ISPs don't want to outright cancel customers, but they also don't want customers taxing their infrastructure to the max.

How do RIAA and the ISPs team up in this regard? It's a good question. I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of network neutrality.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385813)

What the RIAA has realized is that the lawsuits are ineffective (duh, big surprise, dumbasses)

Digital music guy Steve Meyer just came out with a good article [blogspot.com] on that subject.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386375)

One important issue though is that a lot of people purchase the higher tiered internet plans specifically for P2P (or if not P2P, other equally bandwidth heavy activities). If you're just browsing the web and looking at email you just don't need high bandwidth, or the higher costs associated with it.

I know that I personally would transition to a much cheaper tier of service if Bitorrent weren't available to me.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386599)

P2P has, most recently and very publicly, become a headache for high speed Internet providers. P2P traffic taxes their infrastructure, so they make moves to block or at least limit it, including everything from additional charges through routing changes, to downright packet manipulation.

Yeah, P2P has become a headache for ISPs but how much of that headache is caused on music vs video? I could download/upload 60 mp3s and probably not have the same impact on my ISP as the neighbor downloading last nights American Idol......

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385743)

It's just you.

Btw, still sunny on Happyland? Are the unicorns as cute as always?

Re:Is it just me... (2, Insightful)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386023)

more like the RIAA has realized that trying to stuff cats into a bag like they are trying to do prosecuting individual uploaders is not effective method of getting people to buy more stuff.

Not that anyone should really be surprised (5, Insightful)

Proteus (1926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385187)

Anyone who paid attention and had even a hobbyist's legal training could see that the goal of the RIAA lawsuit in question was primarily intimidation.

Transmitting copyright material without authorization (or without a solid fair use claim) is illegal, and I don't begrudge copyright-holders their ability to do so. But simply advertising that you might have some information someone might want? This gets far into the realm of Orwellian and rightly doesn't have any legal teeth.

My bet is that the RIAA is quietly formulating ideas about how to push for legislation that will allow them to draw and quarter... *ahem* litigate against individuals who imply that they might have some copyright content available. Hopefully those of us who get the silliness can educate Congress and keep that from happening.

The system does, kinda-sorta, work. ;-)

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (5, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385399)

The system only works for those who can pay to play.

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (2, Insightful)

secretcurse (1266724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385929)

Well, our forefathers rather intended that. Weren't they the ones that said only white males who were landowners could vote? Didn't they come up with the brilliant proposition that a slave counted officially as 3/5 of a person? If it's working for those who can pay to play, it's working pretty damned well.

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386931)

You say that as if the U.S. Founders were all in agreement, but that was not the case. The Northerners wanted to count slaves as whole people, whereas the Southerners refused to acknowledge blacks as being human. Therefore a compromise was reached to preserve the Union, rather than have a Civil War in 1790. I think it's an elegant solution to a very sticky problem. Sometimes in order to get things done, you need to "push back" your beliefs and leave the question to be resolved by your children or grandchildren (which is what ultimately happened).

The alternative, if they had not compromised, would have been NO United States whatsoever. Back to the topic:

Not all Founders believed in just serving the rich. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and other early Democrats went on record as being opposed to Corporations. They believed wealth==power== suppression of the citizen, and I think history has show that to be true. They would likely label RIAA a "tyrant" that endangers the liberty of the individual, and set-to-work tearing it apart through the passage of new laws.

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387257)

The other guy won while not only not having to pay anything but never even f-ing show up in court.
Get a clue moron.

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385845)

Anyone who paid attention and had even a hobbyist's legal training could see that the goal of the RIAA lawsuit in question was primarily intimidation.

Transmitting copyright material without authorization (or without a solid fair use claim) is illegal, and I don't begrudge copyright-holders their ability to do so. But simply advertising that you might have some information someone might want? This gets far into the realm of Orwellian and rightly doesn't have any legal teeth.

My bet is that the RIAA is quietly formulating ideas about how to push for legislation that will allow them to draw and quarter... *ahem* litigate against individuals who imply that they might have some copyright content available. Hopefully those of us who get the silliness can educate Congress and keep that from happening.

The system does, kinda-sorta, work. ;-)

What do you mean it doesn't have any legal teeth? The red ball told me that in the future, you were going to transmit copyrighted material without authorization!

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386215)

simply advertising that you might have some information someone might want?

So I can run a website saying I am making heroin, illegal firearms and small children available for purchase, and that's fine right up until the money changes hands?
Is that how US law works?
I would have thought that conspiracy to commit a crime was punishable too no?

Re:Not that anyone should really be surprised (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386439)

So I can run a website saying I am making heroin, illegal firearms and small children available for purchase, and that's fine right up until the money changes hands?
Is that how US law works?
I would have thought that conspiracy to commit a crime was punishable too no?

Depends. Are you actually making heroin, illegal firearms, or selling small children? Those are the crimes. Putting up a webpage saying your doing them isn't. Until those activities are verified, it could be a joke, or you could be just lying for publicity. Lookup "bonzai kitty" if you need a real work example of this happening.

So basically, advertising something is not worth anything unless they prove that you were able and willing to carry out your advertised service.

How can I fileshare and not get sued? (-1, Troll)

carterson2 (1133379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386327)

I gotta barge in.

Where can I learn how to fileshare BUT stay off the radar?

E.g. what amount of filesharing, or non-college-filesharing, or anonymoyzer of some sort should I use to not get sued? I need a definitive answer, not speculation.

I assume the sued-people are hushed, but don't they leak out the lawsuit details somewhere so we can all learn?
Thanks
-jim

Re:How can I fileshare and not get sued? (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386357)

You sound like an RIAA investigator.

Re:How can I fileshare and not get sued? (1)

carterson2 (1133379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386503)

anyone else?

Re:How can I fileshare and not get sued? (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386631)

You sound like an RIAA investigator.

Are the RIAA investigators really so incompetent that they'd need to troll Slashdot looking for advic.... scratch that, they are that incompetent.

Elections have consequences, they will get a law (2, Insightful)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387029)

The entertainment industry was an extremely enthusiastic and early backer of Barack Obama. When he needed large masses of money to make abandoning the finance system smart, they were ponying up millions for him, in a single night, so he didn't have to do multiple big fundraisers. The Democratic Party has been a heavy recipient of financial support from them. Unions supplied the GOTV manpower for the party, even if Senator Obama built his own network as well, and the entertainment industry, trial lawyers, and other big money components like Wall Street (Wall Street has been 2:1 Democrat since the Party and Street realized under Clinton that a careful tax and regulation policy can snuff out competition, raising stock prices, even if you have to pay more in taxes).

There are many positive aspects to Sen. Obama's election and becoming President in 11 days. There may be some positive aspects of the enlarged Democratic majority in Congress (I hate large majorities in Congress, because if you don't need moderates in both parties, the wing nuts are in charge).

But don't pretend that pro Entertainment legislation, laws that make more things civil torts as enforcement, and business regulations that somehow entrench the oligopolies that most of the S&P 500 firms operate in, and protect the existing financial sector players at the expense of smaller competition isn't part of the equation.

When the GOP gets power, the religious right gets bones on a bunch of abortion related policies (funding orgs, etc.), the military industrial complex gets Fed, defense contractors get big contracts, etc.

But, if you expect the new administration and Congress to be supportive of the anti-copyright ideals of Slashdot, you are simply ignoring who butters the Democratic Parties bread.

Isn't this the end then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385193)

Why would anyone be able to get sued anymore for the "making available" thing? Don't they have to now have evidence that someone actually got a song from you ?

Sooo.. will it cost the RIAA? (5, Insightful)

Boetsj (1247700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385237)

Is there any way the RIAA can now be held accountable for the costs incurred by the legal system for reviewing the this nonsense?

Re:Sooo.. will it cost the RIAA? (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385587)

Mod parent up.

Brennan should most certainly go for that prevailing party status to get legal expenses reimbursed.

Re:Sooo.. will it cost the RIAA? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385907)

Quoting from NYCL's blog:

Although the notice states it is "without prejudice", under the federal rules a second voluntary dismissal operates as an adjudication on the merits.

What this means is that Brennan should be able to claim his costs, etc., but you can bet they'll fight tooth and nail to avoid having to pay up. (Copyright law is one of the few cases where the winner is supposed to get costs as a matter of course, if I under stand it right)

Re:Sooo.. will it cost the RIAA? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386985)

Well.

We could exercise our Second Amendment right to remove the CEO as a "tyrant" that abuses the People. The only reason I hesitate to do that is because RIAA is now backing down, so the tyrant appears to be capitulating (perhaps because he fears for his life).

So that's it? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385297)

The RIAA hogs the civil justice system for racketeering and ruining people's lives and simply gets to walk away unscathed when they smell a loss?

Past Judgements/Deals (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385329)

Is there any way for people who settled or were prosecuted with similar arguments to have a new case or see their deal reviewed in the legal system? With all the cases going on about what the real costs of each file is worth and that making available is not enough, it would be nice to see all those people bilked for money get something back. However I would assume that's unlikely since those deals/cases are all closed.

Re:Past Judgements/Deals (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386109)

If you settled, then you settled. Short of a class action law suit (in which you might be awarded a DRM-laden Britney Spears CD) or the Attorney General prosecuting for RICO/fraud/etc, it's a closed case.

The next key question (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385345)

Attorney's fees?

Because if I'm not totally mistaken, the standard RIAA tactic on them is:
1. Argue against any counterclaims for attorney's fees on the basis that those can always be handled after the case has been decided and is thus redundant.
2. If they're going to lose (and thus be subject to an attorney's fees hearing), withdraw the case so that no attorney's fees decision gets in front of a judge.

The obvious risk here is that attorney's fees are essential to deterring the "pay up or I'll cost you even more in legal fees" tactic.

File another lawsuit (3, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385519)

I would assume that the only recourse in that event is to file another lawsuit. Of course, since it's a separate case, any lawyer who takes it will want a third of any settlement or judgment, which means you'd have to seek damages in excess of 150% of your original attorney's fees.

If that happens, the ironic thing is that you could clearly argue Brennan's activities never actually resulted in monetary loss to Atlantic... but their witch hunt lawsuit sure as hell did.

Re:The next key question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387113)

A motion for default means no one ever showed up. How can you argue it's their standard tactic to withdraw before attorney's fees are considered (which doesn't even work and you can get fees even on a withdrawn complaint.) when there isn't even another lawyer to pay.....
Damn slashdot lawyers.

Can we now get $120,000 per dismissed lawsuit? (4, Insightful)

MeNotU (1362683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385369)

Sounds fair to me... That lawsuit could have been affecting at least 720 people!

Re:Can we now get $120,000 per dismissed lawsuit? (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386249)

Sounds fair to me... That lawsuit could have been affecting at least 720 people!

I know where you're coming from, but you also have a serious point there: since their goal is to scare as many people as possible into not copying music, I'd say that it is affecting far more people than that.

Yay? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385393)

Yay! Nice to see this guy managed to beat the RIAA and avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to make a bogus accusation go away.

Oh. Right. Lawyer's fees.

Re:Yay? (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385473)

Maybe NYCL can answer this one, but if they brought a case and admitted later that it was not based on any real laws does this set up a countersuit for barratry? And can this be done in a way that will set a precedent?

Are they allowed to do that? (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385449)

Or should they have to repay everybody for all the time and money they've wasted.

And the damage is done (3, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385451)

Being accused amounts to a punishment as it requires a HUGE expenditure to defend yourself.

With/Without Prejudice (2, Informative)

LouisJBouchard (316266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385689)

I think the issue now is whether the RIAA can dismiss the case at this point without prejudice. If they can, that will allow them to get out of paying the other party's legal fees but allow them to refile the case in the future. If they cannot, they can be held responsible for the legal fees and cannot refile.

So what I want to know it, what is the point where the judges say "Put up or shut up"? I know in the Oklahoma case (don't have the particulars on hand), the RIAA was forced to accept a dismissal with prejudice because significant discovery had already been done. I wonder in this case, had discovery even commenced or did the RIAA try to get a default judgment based on what they had and once they could not get that, dismiss to avoid discovery and the related issues.

I had also read somewhere in one of the RIAA cases that the judge's decision was based on the fact that the defendant has the right to their day in court too if there is a legal issue to prove their innocence. Will that factor here too?

Re:With/Without Prejudice (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385765)

I think the issue now is whether the RIAA can dismiss the case at this point without prejudice.

Under the Federal Rules, a second voluntary dismissal operates as an adjudication on the merits. This is the second case against Mr. Brennan, the first being the case in which they sued him as a John Doe, obtained a subpoena, learned his name and address, and then dismissed. So it would appear to me that this is 'with prejudice' even though they have labeled it 'without prejudice'. In any event, I don't think they're going to mess with Judge Janet Bond Atherton again, any time soon.

Costs? Re:With/Without Prejudice (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387351)

Ray,

First, thank you for (a) your work on behalf of the RIAA's targets (b) your explanations to those of us not legally trained on the details of these suits.

That said, with the RIAA walking away, what is the likelihood of recovering costs? And if this is a de-facto dismissal-with-prejudice, does this set any sort of precedence for the other active cases?

SCOX(Q) DELENDA EST!!

If you ask me... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386319)

The RIAA has being going about this all wrong. I don't think there's so much a case of "making available" being direct grounds for copyright infringement as much as there is a case that making something available would forego any possible claims that it was for personal use only (because really, how can you argue that it was for personal use if you deliberately make it available to others?). I would think that it would even factor into whether or not fair use is applicable as well. This, in turn, _could_ reasonably implicate copyright infringement, depending on whether one had permission to be making copies of the work that weren't for personal use in the first place.

Does this mean (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386413)

that they are liable for the defendant's court costs? I should certainly hope so!

Heh (1, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386783)

Give me a default judgment. The evidence is overwhelmingly in my favor, so having a trial is a waste of time.

No, really, give me a default judgment. The evidence is overwhelmingly in my favor, so having a trial is a waste of time.

Oh, we're going to have a trial? Well, then I have no chance. I give up.

Re:Heh (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387135)

You wouldn't be so smug if it had worked.... which it does every day in this great U.S. legal system.

Lawyers. No worse than the worst of us.

Next Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26386945)

How long till RIAA starts asking for Bailout money?? ;)

Crack Berry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26387229)

And you wonder why Barockstar is being told not to use his Crack Berry when he assumes office!

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