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RIAA Wants To Bar Jammie From Making Objections

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the also-she-must-stand-on-one-foot dept.

The Courts 306

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In the Duluth, Minnesota case headed for a re-trial on June 15th, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset, the RIAA has filed a motion seeking to bar the defendant, Jammie Thomas-Rasset (she got married recently), from making objections to the plaintiffs' copyright registration documents. To preempt those of you reacting with shock and anger at the American judicial system, let me assure you this motion has nothing to do with the American judicial system; the RIAA's motion has the chance of a snowball in Hell of being granted, as there is simply no legal basis for preventing a person from making valid legal objections in Trial #2, just because the lawyer she had in Trial #1 didn't make similar objections. I'm guessing that the RIAA lawyers realized they have some kind of problem with their paperwork, and thought this a clever way of short-circuiting it. Instead, of course, they have merely red-flagged it for Ms. Thomas-Rasset's new legal team. A few days earlier, the RIAA lawyers filed a similarly ludicrous motion trying to keep Ms. Thomas-Rasset's expert witness from testifying; that too is doomed."

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306 comments

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Sorry... (5, Interesting)

T-Bucket (823202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228555)

Sorry, but the RIAA has filed a motion to keep me from posting a comment...

Re:Sorry... (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228695)

Sorry, but the RIAA has filed a motion to keep me from posting a comment...

Sorry but they've filed a motion to keep me from telling you that their motion is frivolous.

Re:Sorry... (5, Funny)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228763)

Obligatory Simpsons quote, when Principal Skinner shows up in court to prove that Bart did not kill him:

Prosecutor: "Your honor, I move that Principal Skinner's entire testimony be stricken from the record."
Judge: "Denied!"

Re:Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228857)

So that's where the RIAA's learning their tactics!

What I want to know is (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229065)

Why do these buffoons get far-reaching presidential appointments, while decent, experienced, talented people (Like NewYorkCountryLawyer, for example) get the shaft?

Re:What I want to know is (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229167)

To be fair, it's a really nice shaft.....

Re:Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228741)

And nothing of value was lost.

Re:Sorry... (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229073)

Damn them. I'll post whatever I w

it flies in the face of common sense (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228569)

What's the point in having a second trial or an appeal if you aren't allowed to do things differently?

Then again, this is law we're talking about, so logic and common sense probably don't apply.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228717)

What's the point in having a second trial or an appeal if you aren't allowed to do things differently? Then again, this is law we're talking about, so logic and common sense probably don't apply.

This is NOT law; this is baloney. The RIAA lawyers wouldn't know the law if it hit them on the head.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (3, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228779)

So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

Their motion opposing the defense expert seemed to me to be incompetant. They don't seem to understand Daubert and to be able to distinguish between "speculation" and presentation of scientifically plausible alternative scenarios.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228795)

So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation?

"So, do you know that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation?"

There, fixed that for you. The answer is yes.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (2, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228831)

Why weren't they able to obtain competent representation? With all due respect to lawyers, there certainly seem to be competent lawyers who will take on very dubious cases if paid enough, e.g. David Boies representing SCO.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (4, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229055)

Competent lawyers, would, at some point, stop acting the fool. That's why the RIAA refuses to hire them. They need, to put it nicely, uncouth slavering attack dogs. If they could abuse a bulldog into wearing a suit, they wouldn't even need human lawyers.
Come on. Asking the judge to bar your opponent from participating in the court? What kind of sheep-brained idiocy is this? How could they even think that was a valid tactic to use? The only possible conclusion is that the RIAA lawyers are the victims of a full frontal lobotomy.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228863)

I believe all the "good" ones are in Washington working for Obama. For some definition of "Good" I suppose.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (5, Insightful)

k10quaint (1344115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228873)

Sadly, all the lawyers that used to work for the RIAA have new jobs in the justice department. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/obama-taps-fift/ [wired.com]
The good news is, the RIAA is suffering now. The bad news is, many people may be suffering later.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228911)

So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

Having the resources to afford competent representation doesn't necessarily mean having the judgement to select competent representation. Its probably not all that uncommon that people with plenty of resources (particularly if the position they want to take is not well supported) end up with the representation most willing to tell them what they want to hear, not necessarily the most effective at providing useful advice and effective advocacy.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (5, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229025)

So, do you think that the RIAA was unable to obtain competent representation? I would think that they could afford it.

Having the resources to afford competent representation doesn't necessarily mean having the judgement to select competent representation. Its probably not all that uncommon that people with plenty of resources (particularly if the position they want to take is not well supported) end up with the representation most willing to tell them what they want to hear, not necessarily the most effective at providing useful advice and effective advocacy.

Let's put it this way: the RIAA has the representation it deserves .

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229131)

So do we now that they've been moved to the justice department.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (3, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228789)

Just how badly does a lawyer have to behave in the US to be disbarred?

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228843)

Just how badly does a lawyer have to behave in the US to be disbarred?

Well, keep your eye on the RIAA's lawyer handling this case; I think he's trying to find out. He'll probably have an answer for you one of these days.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228845)

I dunno, go ask someone with more experience with these things [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229229)

Or, if you can afford his speaking fee, you could ask this guy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

AK Dave (1459433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229227)

*cough* Jack Thompson *cough*

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

erc (38443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228815)

Stipulated, counselor; does this mean that the RIAA and its individual lawyers can be sanctioned - by the court, the bar, or both?

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (3, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229193)

This is NOT law; this is baloney. The RIAA lawyers wouldn't know the law if it hit them on the head.

I think it would bounce off their money umbrella and never reach their head at all.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228727)

You just might want to read the summary...

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (4, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228743)

It's a second trial. As Ray points out, there's no chance of the motion succeeding, but to play Devil's advocate: I think the reason the first trial was thrown out is an incorrect jury instruction ("making available"). In theory, I suppose you could argue this could be rectified without substantial deviation from the original trial.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (4, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228881)

In theory, I suppose you could argue this could be rectified without substantial deviation from the original trial.

...unless of course you were following the law.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (2, Informative)

countach (534280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228747)

In many legal systems, appeals are limited to matters of law, not matters of fact. At least in certain levels of the legal system. The highest courts don't want to bother themselves with deciding the facts, they want to spend their precious time on examining the law. Whether the RIAA has their paperwork in order is a matter of fact.

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (5, Informative)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228783)

In many legal systems, appeals are limited to matters of law, not matters of fact. At least in certain levels of the legal system. The highest courts don't want to bother themselves with deciding the facts, they want to spend their precious time on examining the law. Whether the RIAA has their paperwork in order is a matter of fact.

Which does not apply here as this is not an appeal. The original trial was negated due to inappropriate jury instructions. That makes this effectively a new first trial (sort of like in football where you can get a new first down).

Re:it flies in the face of common sense (3, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228819)

This is not an appeal. It is a new trial.

Is it a case of "no harm in trying" (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228573)

Or can the judicial assign penalties for such frivolous or even illegal requests?

It seems that the RIAA could bury the system under stacks of such requests if they wished, but if they're all groundless then perhaps penalties would be in order? Intentionally wasting the judicial's time shouldn't be allowed.

don't you just love... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228593)

visiting NYCL's blog? Oh wait, no I don't. I visited Slashdot too bad so many of these stories crop up.

Re:don't you just love... (4, Insightful)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228631)

I've hardly ever had to visit his blog due to the marvelous quality of his summaries. Maybe if he cut down on the quality of his summaries he could up the traffic to his blog.

Re:don't you just love... (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228765)

I've hardly ever had to visit his blog due to the marvelous quality of his summaries. Maybe if he cut down on the quality of his summaries he could up the traffic to his blog.

Now you tell me.

Re:don't you just love... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228655)

If you really don't want to see anything by NYCL, go to your preferences, then exclusions, and type in his name.

Re:don't you just love... (3, Insightful)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228703)

Don't be silly, hes not got an account.. why else would he post anonymously.

*whisper*

What's that? Under a bridge you say? Oh, a troll! well nevermind then.

Re:don't you just love... (2, Funny)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228841)

some people like to get kinky and like to put on masks... just for the fun of it.

Gimmee a break (3, Insightful)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228597)

That would be like me standing over you with a baseball bat and:

a. You are not allowed to defend yourself

b. You can not attack back

c. You can not yell for help

d. And if you do survive, you can neither charge me or sue me.

Re:Gimmee a break (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229205)

So you're a cop and I'm a black man?

Hmmh (3, Funny)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228603)

Hope NYCL is correct about the RIAA motions failing. Should they succeed, it's like the prosecution calling the defense shots. How does she get a fair trial? Wouldn't something like this be more apropos to either a) trying to bring up something new after the trial has commenced, or b) an appeal situation? NYCL?

Re:Hmmh (5, Insightful)

slarrg (931336) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228669)

It seems to me that the RIAA is just doing a lot of "make busy" work to make the case as expensive as possible for her pro bono counsel.

Re:Hmmh (4, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228971)

Even if they were doing it to annoy the defense it should only prove to be a minor hindrance. Consider that a successful defense of Jamie Thomas-Rasset against the RIAA, possibly winding its way to a spectacular conclusion with arguments before the Supreme Court, would boost the career of an enterprising pro-bono attorney tremendously. It could put them on the fast track to partnership in a big firm or, at the very least, increase their profile enough to attract new clients with similar cases and deeper pockets.

Re:Hmmh (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229113)

In addition, the legal profession has rules such that, if you can show that a motion is frivolous, you can make the other side pay for your time spent arguing against it.

Is it a trap? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228609)

I wonder if they're intentionally calling attention to the documents, and have something in mind to try when the defense objects to the documents. Or am I on drugs?

estoppel? (5, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228617)

The RIAA's main argument is essentially judicial estoppel.The problem is that since the verdict in the first trial was overturned, matters implicit in that verdict were also overturned, so that there is effectively no previous determination. As I understand it, if the court in the first trial had made a separate determination of the validity of the copyrights, then reversal of the verdict on other grounds might let that determination stand and therefore prevent the defense from making the argument in the second trail, but since there was no such separate determination, overturning the verdict throws out everything.

The RIAA has an additional argument that seems to me to have some validity, namely the expense of obtaining certified copies on an expedited basis. But isn't that actually a basis for a request for a continuance, or for permission to submit the certificates after the start of trial?

Re:estoppel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229079)

Hey, Godwin's law.

What the... (3, Interesting)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228623)

Are they really relying on the argument that the previous jury upheld their claims, when said verdict was overturned? Are they that dense, or is this desperation?

Better yet, do they have a song on their list which the artist didn't assign the copyright to the label?

Re:What the... (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228731)

Are they really relying on the argument that the previous jury upheld their claims, when said verdict was overturned? Are they that dense, or is this desperation?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Re:What the... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228905)

Are they really relying on the argument that the previous jury upheld their claims, when said verdict was overturned? Are they that dense, or is this desperation?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I'd go with yes, no and yes, but the result is much the same.

Obscuring justice? (2, Interesting)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228629)

From the article:

The Judge scheduled a June 8th telephone conference regarding the RIAA's motion to preclude objections.

The in limine motions are scheduled for June 10th.

Plaintiffs' motion to preclude defendants from making objections at trial
Plaintiffs' opposition to defendant's motion to suppress MediaSentry materials
Notice of hearing scheduling plaintiffs' motion to preclude objections
Defendants' response to plaintiffs' motion to foreclose fair use defense
Defendant's response to plaintiffs' motion to preclude reference to cases
Defendant's response to plaintiffs' motion to exclude defendant's expert witness's testimony

So the idea is to make some kind of legal argument limiting the capability of the defendant to defend themselves? Yeah I guess that seems fair considering they (RIAA) are like totally only doing this to defend the rights of Artists. I wonder how much further they can push these strategies upon people and the courts before a angry mob with pitchforks try to storm their office buildings (remind me to invest stock in pitchfork companies at the earliest opportunity).

Re:Obscuring justice? (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228751)

So the idea is to make some kind of legal argument limiting the capability of the defendant to defend themselves?

Yes. Because, if she were permitted to defend herself, there's a possibility that, like.......she might win.

Re:Obscuring justice? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229005)

Win? Wow, I am going to have to add NYCL's contact information to my phone. Because when (and not if) I get sued for copyright violation I want to have a real chance at a defense.

Let's see, I download 10,000 songs and 1,000 movies. I probably have that many sitting on computers now. Jammie was only originally sued for 24 with some seemingly outrageous fine. I figure that if a fair use argument can be made for her, it ought to be able to be made for me as well. Especially since I am primarily a leech - I do not share outbound anything that I have downloaded. So for the most part, I am not distributing just "using". Sounds fair, right? Fair use, OK?

I would think that this case could then be used as a clear president for other cases and pretty much throw copyright to the wind. NYCL sounds liek the man to have on your side for this sort of fight. We all grew up with stuff being downloaded for free and it should continue to be just that way.

Re:Obscuring justice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229233)

If the RIAA was smart they wouldn't go after those who download but those that make the content available to others without a broadcast license. Now I know the Internet is not considered a broadcast medium but the content availability is there. What about all the people that copy songs from the radio/cable or copy movies from TV/cable? The broadcaster is making them freely available but have to pay licensing fees to the FCC. The RIAA should petition the FCC to make people pay a licensing fee instead of going after people who copy things with no intent of reselling.

Re:Obscuring justice? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229199)

Defendant's response to plaintiffs' motion to preclude reference to cases

Now, I'm no lawyer, and I don't speak legalese. But if this were English, I'd think the RIAA had filed a motion to prevent the defense from citing precedents set in other cases. Is that seriously what this is?

What does the Judge think of these tactics? (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228637)

If NewYorkCountryLawyer thinks a motion is ludicrous and doomed what does the judge think?

Doesn't this sort of telegraph to the judge the tactics being employed?

Is it really smart to effectively tell the whole court that you intend to grasp at every straw that comes your way?

They can't possibly be that stupid (5, Funny)

Guil Rarey (306566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228653)

To file a motion to bar objections on something that hasn't been the subject of exhaustive motion and discovery practice?

Correct me if I'm wrong (IANAL) you file a motion like that when the other side has been relentlessly arguing a point beyond all sense and reason and you are just trying to get them to knock it off and acknowledge - a la a request for admissions, that reality is what it is. Or perhaps you are asking the judge to compel them to acknowledge that reality is real.

In any event, you don't file this cold on something that hasn't been a bone of contention. That's just painting a target on it, right?

Counsel for Ms Thomas: "Oh wait? you don't want me to ask about your copyright registrations? really? oh? Your Honor, I'd like to see proof that the parties are actual the valid holders of the copyrights at issue in this lawsuit."

Judge: "So ordered"

RIAA counsel: "How could a 7 foot Wookie live on Endor? That... does not make sense. I... do not make sense."

NY Country Lawyer: "Oh no, they're using the Chewbacca defense again!"

What a non-story (5, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228659)

The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that. Frankly, the motion is not as evil as people here will make it out to be, since the issue of ownership of the copyrights isn't really in dispute anyway, and it will save both sides time & money to get to the important parts of the case.

Another thing to note is that this appears to be a new trial, which is not the same thing as an appeal. Despite what many people think, an appeal is not like a do-over of the original case. Once the original trial has been carried out, an appeal can only be made of issues that were properly disputed and objected to at trial. So, if a fact is established at trial, and there is no clear objection that is preserved for appeal, you can't argue it, even if you think that would be a great way to win the case during appeal. An appeal is almost always about questions of law instead of fact as well, and appellate courts usually give a great deal of deference to what the factfinders (usually the jury) determined during the trial, and will only overturn or (more commonly) vacate a lower court's factfinding if the jury reached a clearly erroneous conclusion. In fact, there is actually no constitutional right of appeal. By standard judicial custom most cases do get one appeal as long as they weren't dismissed with prejudice (for something like a patently frivolous claim, or for a case that clearly lacked standing like suing God).

    Since this case is a brand new trial, there is likely little that cannot be brought back into play, for what little that's worth.

Re:What a non-story (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228875)

The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that.

It may not be so black and white. IIRC, if copyrights are not registered within a certain time period, one can only sue for actual damages and not statutory damages. This would make a huge difference to the defendent, since actual damages would be about $10.

Re:What a non-story (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228899)

The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that.

It may not be so black and white. IIRC, if copyrights are not registered within a certain time period, one can only sue for actual damages and not statutory damages. This would make a huge difference to the defendant, since actual damages would be about $10.

Quite right! Yes YDRC.

Re:What a non-story (2)

Guil Rarey (306566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228893)

But these works are not works-for-hire and plaintiffs are not natural persons, so the entities suing are not necessarily the originators of the appropriate copyrights. They should be the assignees (that's what royalties are all about) but that's not the same thing and is NOT an unfair question to ask them to prove that they have the appropriate assignments of copyright from the original creators.

Re:What a non-story (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229297)

The record company still has the rights via the original artist's assignment even if it is not the owner via a work-for-hire.

Re:What a non-story (1)

brain juice (924343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229039)

Once the original trial has been carried out, an appeal can only be made of issues that were properly disputed and objected to at trial. So, if a fact is established at trial, and there is no clear objection that is preserved for appeal, you can't argue it, even if you think that would be a great way to win the case during appeal

Almost. You can argue ineffective assistance of counsel to get around that.

Pretty standard argument in criminal felony appeals, not sure it applies to civil trials as well.

Re:What a non-story (2, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229087)

The copyright registration documents are merely the paperwork that indicates that the copyright owners registered their works... which is a necessary precondition to suing for damages. The documents themselves also establish a prima facie presumption that the plaintiffs actually own the copyrights to the works that are allegedly infringed. In other words: Even if this motion to suppress objections fails, the defense is going to have to prove that the plaintiffs do not have rights to the copyrights in question... good luck trying to prove that. Frankly, the motion is not as evil as people here will make it out to be, since the issue of ownership of the copyrights isn't really in dispute anyway, and it will save both sides time & money to get to the important parts of the case.

I would assume that when a record company owns the copyright to a work then they would have some paperwork proving it. Either the copyright registration, or some document where the previous copyright owner assigns the copyright to them. Record companies are big companies with excellent lawyers who would never lose that kind of paperwork. The conclusion is that if a record company doesn't have any paperwork demonstrating the ownership of a copyright, then it is most likely that they don't own the copyright.

So who says that ownership of copyrights is not in dispute? Of course, we don't have any evidence that the RIAA lawyers are lying, but in a case where they already tried to get $200,000 off Mrs. Thomas, I think the defendant shouldn't have to take their word for it when they claim copyright ownership.

Re:What a non-story (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229117)

Wait a second, I just remember: The creator of a work can be copyright holder without there being any paperwork to prove it, and without witnesses. The company that I work for which pays me to write software owns the copyright without any paperwork proving it, but they could show my employment contract and call me as a witness if the matter came to court. But anyone else _must_ have some piece of paper that proves ownership. Copyright cannot change ownership without a written document that transfers ownership (at least that is what we learned from SCO vs. Novell).

So if a record company doesn't have the paper to show they are the owner, they cannot be the owner of the copyright.

Procedurally Invalid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228665)

You say it's essentially impossible; but you said too that it was "procedurally invalid" for them to file a certain injunction in another recent case.

I'm not saying that you - as a matter of legal procedure - are wrong. I'm just saying that they don't seem to be playing by the same rules as everyone else in this game.

I really hope that you're right. I really, really do.

Time eat money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228677)

However, this does eat up a lot more time. That would have to be wearing on someone who does not have an unlimited budget.

Legal S&M (3, Interesting)

docbrody (1159409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228679)

This is just about tying them up and strapping them down with endless motions and other legal hassles so that it gives any other lawyer thinking about taking on the RIAA (pro bono or not) a major reason to think about it twice. they don't even excpect to win these motions, its just about burying the other side in paper work.

Newsflash from hell... (2, Funny)

rthille (8526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228713)

A snowball insulated with enough money lasts quite awhile here.

Re:Newsflash from hell... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228761)

Are you implying that the judge has been bribed?

Re:Newsflash from hell... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228927)

Judges who allow stuff like this are either A) Incompetent in the law B) have some kind of bias C) are bribed or otherwise make money from these sort of cases.

Hmm... (4, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228745)

NewYorkCountryLawyer, This isn't the clearest summary you've written. I'd suggest that next time, you just give us the facts, for instance the first sentence of your summary would have been enough, and then you just let us do our part and let us add the outrage, the anger, the guessing, and the confusing remarks, all by ourselves.

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228865)

NewYorkCountryLawyer, This isn't the clearest summary you've written. I'd suggest that next time, you just give us the facts, for instance the first sentence of your summary would have been enough, and then you just let us do our part and let us add the outrage, the anger, the guessing, and the confusing remarks, all by ourselves.

And let you guys have all the fun? NFW.

Re:Hmm... (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228945)

he's just trying to up the traffic to his blog by decreasing the marvelous quality of his summaries

Re:Hmm... (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228955)

However, it was entertaining and related important information that I would not have inferred myself not being a lawyer. Keep it up and disregard the self important idiot that posted the parent to this.

Thanks for the summary and the commentary both.

I'm confused (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228791)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as near as I can figure out, although these motions might make sense for an appeal, they are totally inappropriate for a re-trial. Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that they can't tell the difference?

Re:I'm confused (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228825)

Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that they can't tell the difference?

Is that a trick question, or something? To any question which starts out "Can the RIAA lawyers really be so ignorant that...." the answer has to be yes. I have yet to plumb the depths of their ignorance, as I have yet to plumb the depths of their immorality. I keep hoping I've finally, in my explorations, gotten to the depths of those oceans, but am constantly disappointed.

Re:I'm confused (0, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228947)

You scoff, yet I'll wager my share options that those soulless weasels get a better hourly rate than you.

Re:I'm confused (1)

zimbolite (414614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229063)

You scoff, yet I'll wager my share options that those soulless weasels get a better hourly rate than you.

Does that somehow justify their actions?

Re:I'm confused (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229135)

> I have yet to plumb the depths of their ignorance, as I have yet to plumb the depths of their immorality

Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute has a submarine that just might reach....

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17242-robot-sub-reaches-the-worlds-deepest-abyss.html [newscientist.com]

Then again, maybe even it can't reach.

if the jedge has any good sense (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228827)

this will be like a large caliber bullet fired in to the RIAA's foot

Panic. Oh yeah. Panic. Oh yeah. (5, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228929)

The RIAA lawyers gave the defendant's lawyers notice that they were going to introduce documentary evidence at trial. If the defendant's lawyers don't object, then the documentary evidence comes into evidence without objection. If the defendant's lawyers DO object, then the RIAA lawyers have to prove that the document is what it purports to be (that is, a real federal copyright public record).

It appears that the alleged pirate's lawyers did object. HA!

Typically proving a government copyright document is what it is is accomplished by getting a sealed certificate from the government attached to a copy of the document. It's really easy and relatively cheap. But the RIAA hasn't done this and the trial date is screaming down on them.

They are in panic-street because they understand just how crucial that document is!

It's a lawyer's nightmare--messing up something easy to prove but essential to prove. They're hoping that the trial judge will bail them out somehow by letting their UN-certified public record copyright document into evidence.

I can understand their pain, but I can't have too much sympathy because when they have the upper hand, they are very hard. Now, they are soft and whiny to the trial judge, begging for mercy and an escape from the operation of the law. HA!
 

Sand in eyes (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228951)

Since NewYorkCountryLawyer writes there is no ground for the motions of the RIAA, the question is why do they want to waste the defendant's time?
Perhaps it's a distraction from something more serious that they don't want them to notice?

Re:Sand in eyes (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229007)

Hey, they're just being proactive. If she's busy being sued, she'll have less time for piracy.

Re:Sand in eyes (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229031)

Well, why *wouldn't* they want to waste the opposition's time? A better question is why do they want to waste the judge's time? (and their own.)

Something along the lines of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228987)

inb4...?

Finally challenging 'work for hire' copyright bs (1)

zimbolite (414614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228997)

I'm hoping that the whole thing unravels and their "we're in this for the artist" is shown for what it's worth.

I've never understood why books are (C) Author, and music is (C) Publisher.

mixle

Re:Finally challenging 'work for hire' copyright b (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229099)

I've never understood why books are (C) Author, and music is (C) Publisher.

Authors have better agents?

Re:Finally challenging 'work for hire' copyright b (3, Informative)

Teese (89081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229139)

I've never understood why books are (C) Author, and music is (C) Publisher

from Salon article in January 2000:Courtney Love does the math [salon.com]

Last November [2000], a Congressional aide named Mitch Glazier, with the support of the RIAA, added a "technical amendment" to a bill that defined recorded music as "works for hire" under the 1978 Copyright Act. He did this after all the hearings on the bill were over. By the time artists found out about the change, it was too late. The bill was on its way to the White House for the president's signature.

That Mitch Glazier, the congresional aide? now an RIAA lobbyist [digitalmed...erence.com] It certainly wasn't an accident. I've never understood why they just didn't fix that.

Re:Finally challenging 'work for hire' copyright b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229241)

I've never understood why books are (C) Author, and music is (C) Publisher

from Salon article in January 2000:Courtney Love does the math [salon.com]

Last November [2000], a Congressional aide named Mitch Glazier, with the support of the RIAA, added a "technical amendment" to a bill that defined recorded music as "works for hire" under the 1978 Copyright Act.

He did this after all the hearings on the bill were over. By the time artists found out about the change, it was too late. The bill was on its way to the White House for the president's signature.

That Mitch Glazier, the congresional aide? now an RIAA lobbyist [digitalmed...erence.com]
It certainly wasn't an accident.

I've never understood why they just didn't fix that.

Bill Clinton strikes again.

Has there ever been as corrupt a sack of shit in the White House? Seriously. Even Barack Obama publicly calls him a liar.

Re:Finally challenging 'work for hire' copyright b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229329)

I've never understood why books are (C) Author, and music is (C) Publisher.

They're not always. Take a glance at your tech refs by multiple authors. Sometimes it's (C)Publisher, and sometimes it's (C)Authors.

In fiction it's usually (C)Author, but there's very little music where that much of the work is done by a solo artist. I suspect if you can find any such albums in your collection, chances are they're (C)Author.

What they're really doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229009)

In recent news, the RIAA filed several motions to have Jammie's lawyer charge her more than she can pay. Internet enraged. Newscast torrented worldwide.

Umm... do I get this right? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229023)

Is this essentially:

"Your honor, we ask that the defendant is not allowed to make any statement in her defense"
"What? Why?"
"'cause else we'd lose the case, duh!"

Reminds me of "Encounter at far point" (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229093)

Picard's trial by Q for the crimes of humanity...

Q: Court is now in session. How do you plead?
Picard: Not guilty.
Q: This court hereby finds you guilty.
Picard: Of what?
Q: Of pleading not guilty.

        .
        .
        .

Q: If he utters any other word but "Guilty" kill him.

--
My rights don't need management.

Why Do We Pay These People To Beat Us Up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229151)

We're paying these people's salaries.

No-one else is.

Why are we doing this?

Why do we continue to pay them to beat us up?

Boy
Cott
RI
AA

Boy
Cott
RI
AA

Boycott RIAA

EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner (2, Insightful)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229209)

Please stop saying "RIAA" unless you also name its constituent organizations. Calling them "RIAA" without naming them simply lets them off the hook: * EMI * Sony Music Entertainment * Universal Music Group * Warner Music Group

Too bad (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229217)

Its too bad they cant throw the RIAA out of court for being stupid.

Bad Idea To Get Married (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229307)

You know, I think I would have held off on the marriage until this was settled. Just live together, sleep together, and allow Jamie to declare bankruptcy if necessary on her own first.
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