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Andersen Vs. RIAA Counterclaims Challenged

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the schmisabled dept.

The Courts 149

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is now challenging the counterclaims (PDF) in Atlantic v. Andersen, for Electronic Trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Invasion of Privacy, Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, the tort of Outrage, Deceptive Business Practices under Oregon Trade Practices Act, and Oregon RICO, first discussed here in October 2005. The RIAA has moved to dismiss the counterclaims (PDF) brought by a disabled single mother in Oregon who lives on Social Security Disability and has never engaged in file sharing, this after unsuccessfully trying to force the face-to-face deposition of Ms. Andersen's 10-year-old daughter. Ms. Andersen's lawyer has filed opposition papers (PDF)."

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What a Catch-22! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887135)

If she doesn't allow her daughter to give a deposition, she'll face another charge but if she exposes her daughter to lawyers, she'll definitely face negligence charges!

RIAA put its foot in a trap. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887145)

It will be interesting to see how much of its leg must be knawed off.

Barry Bonds, dead at 42 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887309)

I just heard some sad news on ESPN talk radio. Barry Bonds, world-famous baseball player, has passed away at the age of 42 from a brain aneurysm. He was close to breaking Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record, which now will sadly live on. Even if you didn't appreciate his endless skills and uplifting attitude towards everyone around him, there's no denying his contributions to modern-day sports. Truly an American icon.

Anonymous Coward, dead at 15 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887731)

I just read some sad news at the Register. Anonymous Coward, long-time Slashdot poster, has passed away at the tender age of 15 from RSI. He was undoubtedly the most prolific poster on Slashdot by a wide margin, a record which will no doubt live on into eternity. Even if you didn't appreciate his endless posts, flames, frist prosts and wide range of viewpoints, there's no denying his contributions to the Slashdot comment sections. Truly an internet icon.

Re:Anonymous Coward, dead at 15 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888231)

Holy shit, he's posting from beyond the grave!

Re:Anonymous Coward, dead at 15 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888373)

Don't I mean, "Holy shit, I'm posting from beyond the grave!"?

Re:Anonymous Coward, dead at 15 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18889023)

No. I clearly meant what I said...and now I'm talking to myself?

Re:Anonymous Coward, dead at 15 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18889163)

Anonymous can never die. We are legion

The reports of my death ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888683)

are greatly exaggerated.

Re:RIAA put its foot in a trap. (4, Funny)

Asmandeus (640419) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888835)

Hopefully they don't stop gnawing until well past the head.

Why? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887153)

With all due respect to NYCL, why is this front-page news? Do we really need to hear about every stupid law-and-motion issue that arises in one of these cases? Significant judgments, OK. Landmark rulings, fine. But a fucking motion? Last week I swear there was a "story" about a routine DISCOVERY order. . .

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

NeoPaladin394 (1044484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887287)

These things are front page news because they have the potential to define the future for media and, more importantly, technology related to the internet. These RIAA actions can and probably will have a very big impact on exactly how data can be accessed across networks, draw lines in fair use, define or rewrite copyright as it pertains to electronic media, and maybe even have internet laws written/rewritten as a byproduct. DRM, anyone? I find many of the big stories have little nuances that may very well effect different segments of the above mentioned.

News for nerds. Stuff that matters.

Besides: If you're not interested, it's as simple as not clicking on the article.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887495)

You missed the point entirely. I'm not disputing the importance of the RIAA actions generally, but this particular story is pretty much about NOTHING (dressed up with some sensationalism about single mothers and the like). Nothing has been decided by any judge or jury. One side filed a tactical motion in an ongoing lawsuit, and the motion hasn't even been fully briefed yet (much less ruled upon). Is every procedural hiccup in these cases "newsworthy"?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888099)

Is every procedural hiccup in these cases "newsworthy"?


For one thing, not every case the RIAA is pursuing is being covered here. While I can not authoratively state that every motion in this case is being reported here, I would highly suspect that is the case, however every motion filed in a lawsuit is important, though to varying degrees and those degrees sometimes not known till the outcome of the case. Though this is not to say that an important motion won't be ignored or tossed out by the judge or prejudicially ignored or overenhanced in importance by a jury. Its a lawyers job to get such assessments to have a lean towards their clients case.

In this case the RIAA is being accused of breaking the law and violation of the defendant's rights. THIS is very important to everyone because it is likely that the RIAA has used similar procedures in acquiring their "evidence" against other reputed violator's of copyright that they are pursuing cases against. If the RIAA is found to be liable in these instances the judge in the case may well refer to the state prosecutor for criminal charges. If the case makes it into the news enough the citizens of the state may well demand criminal charges against the RIAA. For that matter the state attorney general may decide to pursue it without a public outcry.

Personally, I would love to see a point by point breakdown of the charges against the RIAA in this case discussed here. A collection of the most valid points of each could be accumulated into an article worth of posting on a targeted website and/or forwarded to the news media that would get such information wider dispersal in the media would be nice too. People need to know what the RIAA is up to and how the government has been supporting them in their activities. It could also provide Slashdotters with ammo to fire letters off to their politicians.

It would be nice if people would realize that the justice system works best if kept in a free and open manner. Much like software, the greater number of eyes watching it the better, of course all the eyes can turn into a lynchmob.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888025)

it's as simple as not clicking on the article.

Most Slashdotters don't have any trouble not clicking on the articles.

Re:Why? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888685)

Besides: If you're not interested, it's as simple as not clicking on the article.
that's a damn good point. regardless of the articles validity or how "nerd" worthy the story is, i've wondered repeatedly what possesses people to, instead of just moving on, not only READ the article, but then post a long tirade on why it shouldn't be there.

*sigh* such is the state of the internet, i suppose.

Because. (4, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887373)

They are trying to set a precedence that runs in their favor.

This will affect everyone in the United States, even you. If you don't live in the US, I'd still be worried if I were you. We've all seen how the US "exports" it's policies (Pirate Bay, anyone?).

In some ways this is a simple case of stopping the idiocy now.

Re:Because. (2, Interesting)

Borland (123542) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888707)

Pirate Bay, anyone?

While I have sympathy for the distaste others might have for American legal exports, I gotta say that if you have the brass balls to call yourself "The Pirate Bay" and offer 95% illegal material...you probably don't have a lot of moral ground to stand on.

If our legal heft is threatening your iraqquagmire.co.uk website, then I think I'd feel the outrage a bit more.

Re:Because. (4, Insightful)

SillySlashdotName (466702) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889091)

...and offer 95% illegal material...

The site was not offering anything illegal, nor were they providing anything illegal.

Where they are(were?) located what they were doing WAS NOT ILLEGAL.

They had ALL THE MORAL GROUND there is, what ground did the *iaa have to persecute them ILLEGALLY?

The RIAA demonstrated they know little about how bitTorrent works.

Re:Why? You must be new here! (1)

knightf0x (218696) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887837)

This is Slashdot and it's about the RIAA! Duh!

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887907)

Last week I swear there was a "story" about a routine DISCOVERY order. . .


So you consider requiring a high school student to give a deposition [blogspot.com] with less than 24 hours notice - and on a school day, no less - a "routine DISCOVERY order?"

Slashdot may be giving a lot of attention to these stories, but the corporate media is virtually ignoring them, or presenting them from the point of view of the recording industry. If you think the RIAA challenging the counter-claim is not news, fine. That doesn't mean the rest of us are not interested.

Why is it people feel they need to complain when a story they don't think is "worthy" appears on Slashdot? Are you paying by the bit or what? I scroll past plenty of articles I am not interested in. Sometimes, I even visit other sites.

Re:Why? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888289)

Because 'news for nerds' had a very specific type of nerd in mind and that has evolved into 'news for whatever as long as someone is nerdy about it'

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888645)

Uh, "Very specific type of nerd?"

When has that *ever* been true?

Or, by 'nerd', do you mean people like you?

You seem to be acting like the sort of people nerds commonly accuse of oppresing them.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18889117)

Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

Re:Why? (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889353)

You're the type of nerd who takes his date to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then mutters, "Guys, it's not that funny," when my group can't stop laughing at how Splinter looks like Chester the Cheetah and talks in a horrible Chinese accent.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888855)

Dear Mr. Coward, this is extremely important because the outcome of this motion could determine whether the RIAA can afford to keep on harassing people or not. If these counterclaims hold up... or even some of them... the RIAA is dead meat, because almost everything that happened to Ms. Andersen happened to most of the other RIAA lawsuit victims, and all of the present and future defendants will begin asserting similar counterclaims.

A second reason that it is important is that Ms. Andersen was the first person to seriously interpose aggressive counterclaims against the RIAA based on the RIAA's own misconduct.

If Tanya Andersen wins this round, the RIAA will be on the defensive all across the country.

RIAA says, "Mission Accomplished!" (2, Insightful)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887211)

The summary is exactly what the media conglomerates want burned into every American consumers brain.

Fear anything that is not authorized or offered to you by the media conglomerates.

If Dave Barry were here . . . (5, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887217)

The "Tort of Outrage" would be a great name for a band.

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (5, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887533)

I was thinking it sounded like a delicious dessert!

"I'll try the death by chocolate...oh, wait, the tort of outrage looks yummy!"

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (5, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887651)

I was thinking it sounded like a delicious dessert!

"I'll try the death by chocolate...oh, wait, the tort of outrage looks yummy!"
Sorry son, you don't get any dessert until you've finished your Grapes of Wrath.

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888147)

Sour Grapes of Wrath

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (3, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888481)

But Dad, you told me I was going to get my Just Deserts!

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887757)

Then, there's the torte made with Limburger cheese: the torte of public nuisance.

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888029)

Hah! Accidentally read that as Limbaugh cheese. Public nuisance, indeed!

Re:If Dave Barry were here . . . (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887791)

"I'll try the death by chocolate...oh, wait, the tort of outrage looks yummy!"

Oh... you said death first!

Oh, alright. Give him "tort of outrage"

Just be glad I'm not Church of England.

Argh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887237)

I can't be bothered to write a comment, but trust me, it would have been insightful if I had.

Consider Your Music Library (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887251)

If you don't have more indy bands, go get their stuff!! Pay artists directly!
Why support RIAA by buying their music, when they are using YOUR MONEY in a way that is morally wrong?

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887401)

Well that's the point, isn't it. How much of a failure do you call it, when in a commodity market you create a movement of customers who specifically try to avoid your brand of goods?

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888873)

I think that should read:

"....customers AND producers who specifically try to avoid your brand of goods....."

Re:Consider Your Music Library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887483)

Because, even thought their are cases like this, alot of bands feel they have to follow the RIAA. Even though they do things like this they still do protect their artist from true pirates. Pirates... I hate using that term when talking about people who download songs from P2P. Alot of them don't know what it is or what it means. The people the RIAA should be going after are the ones who create the pirated copies for profit. Profit is where the travisty is. I like to think most people will pay for music and when music is sold at a cost it seems to take that money from the artist, where if it was downloaded for free they probably never would have seen that income anyways.

So as for why we still listen to RIAA music, even though Indy is still a good source of music, its not highly advertised. The majority of people on here were listening to RIAA music before the RIAA was going after file sharers. Bands have followings, if you asked me not to buy the next foo fighters album I would kick you squa in the nuts. I do listen to indy bands there are alot out there. But how many common file sharers or consumers even know about them, and if they do how to find them?

The answer comes down to education, if you are really against it start promoting the indy bands for what they are. Tell people to get indy band music, I believe the profits seem to go more to the artist when a big lable and the RIAA are not invovled.

Lastly this might work for music, but what about the MPAA I don't really want to watch an indy movie instead of spider-man 3.

Because I'm Evil (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887537)

And lazy.

Re:Consider Your Music Library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887691)

Wow, look at that UID!!!!!!!!! I wish I still had my old logon from '98 (but yours is still smaller, wow!)!

The established industry would be on its last legs even if the internet were never developed, and the indies would be rising as well, although maybe not as quickly as with P2P amd MySpace.

I'm a geezer and normally listen to Springfield's two "classic rock" stations (as well as (WQNA, which is an educational station that plays an eclectic mix; I've heard Tennessee Ernie Ford followed by the Dead Kennedies there). The other night when a couple of my twenty dollar girlfriends were in the car, they put it on DBR, the local pop station. What do I hear? "Take a look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I got..." only it wasn't Supertramp, it was some 21st century hiphop medley of old geezer music!

Then this morning I had QLZ ("The 'rock' station") on and I hear... another Supertramp cover, followed by a cover of Lynard Skynard's "Simple Man".

Clearly the labels are in deep trouble. Apparently, nobody with any originality or talent wants anything to do with the RIAA labels.

I just wish that, like SCO, they would hurry up and die already.

-mcgrew
ps-whoever's making the capchas, there is no such word as "signally". You guys are making it harder for geezers to read than bots!

Re:Consider Your Music Library (5, Funny)

parkrrrr (30782) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887903)

(but yours is still smaller, wow!)

Only on Slashdot....

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889679)

Only on Slashdot....
You think that's funny, but I am waiting for the flood of "he bought it on Ebay" posts.

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887901)

I agree 100%. I've been doing this for years. Most people are just too lazy. I'd like to propose that if you buy your music over iTunes, or from BestBuy, or any of those nasty places, that you can't bitch about the RIAA on Slashdot.

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888425)

The iTunes store has plenty of indy music. It's just not advertised on the front page, so you have to know what you're looking for.

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888655)

It's not YOUR MONEY. It ceased to be YOUR MONEY when you traded it for a shiny trinket (aka a CD). If you want it to be YOUR MONEY, you shouldn't give YOUR MONEY to RIAA. Your employer may not like the house or car you bought with YOUR MONEY, by your logic it is THEIR MONEY.

Re:Consider Your Music Library (1)

Javi0084 (926402) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888787)

Recommend me some good indy bands.

Naaw.. i thought they'd just sit back and take it. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887453)

This should be filed under the DUH tag.

If someone accuses you in civil court and you stand to lose more from the judgment than you would from the defense, you defend yourself.

I dont know anyone who would do any different.

what is important is what is yet to come, the result of the counterclaim case. That will be newsworthy either way.

criminal charges? (4, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887477)

As I understand it, the RIAA ADMITS to having entered Ms.Andersen's computer without her consent. Is this not a criminal offense? Has a criminal complaint been brought?

Pity it wasn't a University Computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887803)

University owned computers, IIRC, tend to be "federal interest computers" under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. In other words, had they hacked one of those, you just might be able to send the FBI after them and get them charged with a felony.

Man, I'd love to see that, RIAA thugs going to prison for their nasty shakedown tactics, but I'm probably dreaming :/

Say what? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887481)

Spelling mistakes are mine:

As part of this campaign, these record companies (...) retained MediaSentry to illegally investigate and purportedly invade private home computers and collect personal information. Based on private information allegedly extracted from these personal home computers, the record companies have reportedly filed lawsuits against perhaps 30,000 citizens.
...
Since February 2005, Tanya Andersen has been trying to get the record companies to do one thing: look at her home computer so that this nightmare will end.
...
When Ms Andersen contacted Settlement Support Center, she was advised that her computer had been secretly entered by another record company agent: MediaSentry
So... did MediaSentry "illegally investigate and purportedly invade" her computer or not?

If not, and Ms. Andersen had reached a settlement, wouldn't it have been in bad faith, since the Settlement Support Center knowingly lied to her?

I guess my real question is: how much of the quoted material is lawerly hyperbole and how much is based on actual facts.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887663)

Oh, it gets explained further on.
Here's a pic of the explanation:
http://i17.tinypic.com/352g7jp.jpg [tinypic.com]

Claiming that sniffing around the P2P network by a non-legit peer is somehow an action that requires consent... I'm not buying it. Especially not the concept that it's illegal pretexting.

Further, if Ms. Andersen never had Kazaa installed,
how could MediaSentry have trespassed upon her computer
?

Or is there some fine legal point which allows one to sue for something that (according to Ms Andersen) could never have happened?

Re:Say what? (1)

bjpowers39 (768740) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889775)

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a person can claim alternate inconsistent theories. The theory is that you put everything out there at the beginning and then whittle the complaints down as discovery goes on.

thinkofthechildren (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887551)

Really. I can accept making a 10 year old testify as a witness in a murder case, to prevent the killer from striking again. But in a civil copyright case, in which she, as a minor, is not even accountable? Give me a break! The lawyers and executives involved should be charged with attempted harm to a minor.

Re:thinkofthechildren (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887683)

There's nothing special about children that prevents people from having them testify in legal proceedings. So long as they, like anyone else, are able to understand that they need to tell the truth, they can testify. Also, minors can be found liable for copyright infringement. There's nothing special about them in that regard either.

Re:thinkofthechildren (2, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887911)

Also, minors can be found liable for copyright infringement. There's nothing special about them in that regard either.

How about having no money? "Blood from a stone (or turnip)" and all that?

But kidding aside, I can't see why a child could be liable for laws they have no say in. I'm sure there's a legally great reason, but not a morally good one.

The luckiest of all is the child who was never born.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888377)

But kidding aside, I can't see why a child could be liable for laws they have no say in. I'm sure there's a legally great reason, but not a morally good one.


Are you suggesting that children can kill people at will because they don't get to vote? How about convicted felons who can't vote either, do they get a free pass? Legal and illegal aliens?

As to the monetary issue, parents are responsible for the financial debts of their minor children with few exceptions.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888447)

As to the monetary issue, parents are responsible for the financial debts of their minor children with few exceptions.
Actually one very big one. Copyright, where in the parents have no legal requirement to pay. All that has to be done is the copies destroyed and thats it. The RIAA redefined that one due to "digital rights" though.

Re:thinkofthechildren (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888487)

Are you suggesting that children can kill people at will because they don't get to vote?

Totally, man. Then I'll send my army of immune child assassins to clean up Slashdot. Then the world! I'm king of the world, and there's nothing you can do to stop me with my tiny army!!!! Mwuhahahhahahahaha!!!

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889745)

Off-topic, I know, but your sig goes perfectly with the post.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888711)

As to the monetary issue, parents are responsible for the financial debts of their minor children with few exceptions.

Actually, that's the other way around. There's a decent memo on this subject (with regard to copyright infringement) on the EFF site, IIRC. The main issue, of course, is a combination of preemption and that merely being a parent of a minor child doesn't rise to the level of secondary infringement. If you're a plaintiff going up against a minor in such a suit, your best hope, if the parents won't volunteer to cover it, is to get the judgment, wait for the child to get assets, and then collect, hoping that the infringement in question isn't subject to being discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889715)

Are you suggesting that children can kill people at will because they don't get to vote? How about convicted felons who can't vote either, do they get a free pass? Legal and illegal aliens?

According to the rules of ethics, a person is only responsible for actions when they have a right corresponding to that action. For example, a person who has no right to decide if they possess a gun has no ethical responsibility for accidentally shooting someone with one. With children most of their basic human rights are held in abeyance until they reach their majority. Their parents and the state claim ownership of their rights and as such are ethically responsible for the consequences of actions that correspond to those rights. Legally, in many places the laws follow this same convention, with a number of exceptions.

As the children killing at will, legally a child does have the right to live and neither their parent nor the state can kill them at will, thus a child does not have the right to willfully kill another, although legally the punishment or so doing is correspondingly limited based upon their degree of responsibility. The same applies to felons and illegal aliens. As to the right to vote, well that is where we get into a regression with all other rights legally enforced, at least in theory, by the process of voting. Ethically, if you are not given the option to opt into the legal system, then you have no ethical obligation to abide by its decisions. That does not mean it won't take actions against you. It only speaks to ethical responsibility.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888223)

"So long as they, like anyone else, are able to understand that they need to tell the truth, they can testify. "

yeah.. sadly minors often consider telling someone what they think they want to hear is the same as truth.

Putting a minor on a stand has to be looked at very carefully because of many issues such as reliability, the idea of consequences can be foriegn, and many other issues.

Finally, a minor should not be tried for copyright infringement, except under certian exception, determined on a case by case basis. CLearly, someone who turns 18 the day after they stol a car shhould be tried as an 18 year old, OTOH a 10 year old that takes a car to drive around should not. There parents are responsible, not the child.

IMHO, any child under 13 shuld never go to court for any action they do...Any Action. It serves no good purpose. Before you say it, no it does not teach them a good lesson. Putting achild in jail is more likely to make the criminals as adults.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888583)

Finally, a minor should not be tried for copyright infringement, except under certian exception, determined on a case by case basis.

Why? Remember, copyright suits are almost always civil. The copyright owner is suing for money damages and equitable remedies such as injunctions; it is not a state prosecution and imprisonment is not on the table. If the copyright holder couldn't sue, then they'd suffer the injuries without any kind of redress. That's not a fair solution.

There parents are responsible, not the child.

No. People are usually responsible for their own torts. Honestly, I can't think of any circumstances in which a parent would actually be responsible for the torts of a child merely by virtue of being the parent. In some cases (more limited than you'd think) the parent might have to pay the damages owed by the child, but even then no one thinks that the parent is the real culpable party. That's just a way to deal with the issue of children generally being judgment proof.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889085)

I think I'm with geekoid on this one. A minor under a certain age (I like 13) should not prosecuted on any for any civil or criminal charges.

At some point children don't have the capacity to make rational decisions. In cases like copyright infringement and shoplifting the child should get a warning and a pass the first time. If there is a second or third time the parents could be held liable. If the parents can't or won't prevent their kid from continuing to do something illegal there should be some intervention (perhaps by child services). If the kid commits crimes specifically to hurt their parents there should be some other resolution.

In criminal matters like arson, assault, and murder no one under 15 should ever be tried as an adult. The should have mandatory counseling, and their home environment should be examined. I don't believe for a second that anyone under 15 is truly incorrigible. The right social pressures should be able to straighten out even the worst children. After 15 we can start considering juvenile detention, but even that should only be for "hardened" child criminals.

Re:thinkofthechildren (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889455)

I'm not sure the GP poster was arguing about the legal status, but rather the ethical one.

On the one hand, someone too young to understand that something is wrong and the negative consequences of doing it clearly should not be punished for their actions. On the other hand, the older person responsible for them who does understand should not be giving them the freedom to do damaging things. If, as a result of the responsible adult's negligence, a child causes harm to someone else, then while the responsible adult isn't guilty of causing the damage, I think it is ethical to expect them to offer fair compensation.

I will now add two caveats to the above.

Firstly, I think the age of "innocence" is vastly exaggerated in many western societies. I have seen kids hanging around by the cars outside my home, deliberately damaging them, and when confronted by an adult, one of them shouting, "I'm under 10, I can't commit a crime!" It may or may not be appropriate to fine the kid £500 for a respray of the side panel of the car he damaged, but he knew damn well that he was doing something wrong and it's certainly reasonable to deny him privileges for a few days so he gets the point that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Secondly, yes, sometimes damage will be done and it's not really fair to blame anyone. Kids are kids, and if an adult responsible for them took reasonable steps to control them and a genuine accident happens, that's life. In a socialist society, the answer to this is state compensation; in a capitalist society, it is private insurance. Not all ambulances should be chased by a predatory lawyer.

Re:thinkofthechildren (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889527)

CLearly, someone who turns 18 the day after they stol a car shhould be tried as an 18 year old, OTOH a 10 year old that takes a car to drive around should not. There parents are responsible, not the child.
As a parent, I wouldn't want to be held responsible if my 10 year old stole a car. I raised my children not to do that, but that doesn't mean they won't. If they caused any damage, I guess it would go against my insurance, but believe me, that kid would be paying me back, and if it raised my insurance rates, he would be paying me the difference until my premium went back down. Of course, society says a 10 year old can't work, so I would have to just charge him interest until he was old enough to work. (I worked when I was 10, but that was okay when I grew up. Now kids have to live in a virtual antiseptic bubble until they are 18).
Now, if there were criminal charges for the car theft, I would just laugh at anybody that tried to hold me responsible. I didn't do it. My kid did. I taught him right. He did wrong. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. Nobody gets to blame anyone else for what they did. This flies in the face of all modern thinking, but it is the way things need to be.

Can they? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888917)

I seem to remember there being some rules that basically prohibited spouses from being required to testify against one another (although they could so voluntarily). That might be a local one (Canadian) though, but I though the US had something similar.

If such rules exist, then I would imagine that a similar protection might exist for young children in that the should not be compelled to bear witness against their parents/guardians. This would be especially important and it would be rather emotionally traumatizing for a child, and as it stands lawyers are good enough at manipulating words to dance legal circles around confused adult witnesses, let along children.

Re:thinkofthechildren (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18889643)

How about mental competence? I don't know about you, but most children(10~yrs and youger) probably do not understand the legal framework surrounding copyright infringement, and fair-use.

As such, do you really think their feet should be held to the fire when the behavior(file-sharing) they are displaying is ethically questionable? Something else I'm pretty sure they also, don't understand.

Legal or Illegal? (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887569)

So, was the seven year old girl (at the time) doing legal activities... or rather, are illegal activities made legal when you are young?

It's interesting to think about. I don't necessarily like the RIAA :P But let's say she got drunk and drove around in a car. That's illegal, too. Should she not be prosecuted at all because, after all, she's only 7?

I fully realize that's an outrageous comparison. But a few things strike me as seeming to go unnoticed in most of the "RIAA is the devil incarnate!" discussions.

  • Parents don't seem to care what their kids do, unless they are caught. Of course, since there's a huge push for kids being allowed to do whatever they want and that parents shouldn't force any sort of morals on their kids and stuff like that, it just makes sense. But seriously, parents should know what their kids are doing.
  • Whether or not you like the RIAA, pirated music IS illegal, is it not? Whether or not this is a good way to go about catching illegally pirated music, that does not get rid of the fact that pirating music is illegal. Whether or not you're seven years old. Drunk driving is illegal at age seven, pirating music is illegal at age seven. Typical laws don't change based on your age. Punishment might, and culpability might to some degree, but it's not like you have to be 21 or older to illegal pirate music. Copyrights apply to minors.
  • While the RIAA is consistently criticized (and perhaps rightly so), very few suggestions are made for protecting copyrighted music. I happen to be a musician (well, composer) and copyrights can be a rather helpful thing, because there are people that will steal and even promote it as their own, taking royalties or sales or whatever you like. Enforcing copyrights is something we have to do, we can't rely on "good human nature" because that fails quite a bit, regardless of your particular anthropological views.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

maggiemerc (950581) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887773)

The thing is she was 7 at the time of the alleged infringement. Even here in the "evil" United States we look out for kids. They can depose the poor kid but no jury will take it seriously. At the age of 7 the voracity of a kid's statements is EASILY brought into question. They are a minor (to the extreme!). Even at 10, 3 years after the fact, what she says will be highly suspicious. 3 years for a 10 year old is vastly different then for a 25 or even a 14 year old. Her testimony just isn't reliable. The woman needs to keep pressing for a trial. Don't let these azzles get summary judgements or anything else. She gets a jury and she's fine, and the RIAA is in big trouble. They're probably hoping the threat of deposition will scare the woman into settling.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887921)

But that doesn't solve the problem. Yes, she was young. Whether or not her testimony is reliable is an interesting question (it seems that it is generally easier to see when a 7 year old is lying than 25 year old... we get much better at that sort of thing as we get older).

But the question remains. It was illegal, was it not? If her illegal activity had been shooting someone in the foot or running over your dog, would things be different?

It's an interesting discussion, because this particular thing, as mentioned in other posts, is often done (knowingly!) by young people. Online gaming starts at what, now, age 10? Earlier? Kids don't suddenly become conscious at age 18 when they aren't minors anymore. I'm pretty sure a 12 year old (yes, I know she was younger) can fully understand that pirating music is illegal. Now, I think parents have some responsibility in telling them... most parents don't seem to care, though.

Her age is an issue. So, here's a question then. Since she IS so young... well let's say her mother was driving a car and the seven year old didn't have a seatbelt on and they get pulled over. I believe it's the mother that is culpable in that situation, right? Interesting thought.

Just because someone is young doesn't mean all illegal activity should just be overlooked. Regardless of the RIAA, the general problem of what to do is still there, and the fact that this WAS illegal is still there. Who is to be punished, and if they should be in the first place, is the question.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887991)

Yes but isnt the point of them being a minor is so they have time to grow make mistakes and be corrected for it before they face the "Real World"

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

maggiemerc (950581) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888167)

No. You're kind of missing the point. She's 10 and supposedly did this at the age of 7. First. At that age can she be held legally responsible for her actions? Usually not. Can her PARENTS be held responsible? I think everyone involved should look into cases of shoplifting. Because honestly that's the age kids experiment and do that. When a 7 year old is caught shoplifting how do the authorities handle it? Do they arrest her? Take her downtown and book her? Or do they call attention to it, discuss it with the parents and let the kid go with a warning. ESPECIALLY on a first time offense. The RIAA has a tiny case that hinges on the actions of a 7 year old girl. No jury, even in Texas, will rule in favor of the RIAA. The kid's age is the main reason. 7 year olds just aren't capable of those kind of moral decisions. Hell even 10 year olds are frequently found to be the same way. Why do you think they are classified as minors? They aren't adults. Regardless of parenting, minors cannot make rational decisions. That's why the 10 year old that beats their best friend to death just goes to jail until their 18. They cannot fully comprehend the law. What the RIAA is trying to do is make a parent culpable for their child's actions. That is some extremely dangerous precedent to set. That means that when a kid is out with a friend and they steal something or hurt someone their PARENTS will be held responsible for the action, as though they themselves did it. And that raises the question of which parent should be blamed? In this case people blame the mother for allowing access to the computer. But if they say parents are responsible for the actions of children one could argue that the girl's dad should also be held responsible. He was a terrible parent and so his kid stole. No. It just doesn't work that way. Minors are minors. Conscience, sentient beings that are incapable of making major moral decisions due to their age. They are not their parents and their parents cannot be held responsible for their actions. I mean dang, if the RIAA can win then people could sue the parents of the Va Tech shooter, or the Columbine shooters. Would that be fair either?

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887821)

The difference between the two cases is the difference between criminal and civil law. The RIAA lawsuits are a matter of civil law. Civil law treats minors very differently than criminal law. For one, minors can't be held to a contract, because it is illegal to make a contract with a child (but, interestingly, the child can hold you up to your end of the contact, but not the other way around). Similarly, you can't sue a minor, only the minor's parents. You can't typically subpoena a minor in a civil case, either -- I think in some states you can't subpoena them in a criminal case, either -- so they can't make her testify.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887975)

The difference between the two cases is the difference between criminal and civil law

I haven't honestly been paying much attention, but are they alleging criminal copyright violation as well?

506. Criminal offenses

(a) Criminal Infringement. - Any person who infringes a copyright willfully either -

(1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, or

(2) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000,

Although this must be a civil case, I just want to raise the point that a minor could indeed be guilty of criminal copyright infringement. Illegally selling a copy of one song is a criminal act. Or distributing more than $1,000 worth of copyrighted materials in a 180 day period, of which there are only two and a bit in a whole year. That wouldn't be particularly hard.

I do have to wonder how the calculation of value works on a bittorrent network. If I distribute 5% of a copyrighted work, do they count that as a full distribution? Or am I only liable for 5% of its value? I can only imagine what the RIAA would ask for, but what has actually happened in court?

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

mrcdeckard (810717) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887827)


although i agree in principle, there are a few things you must consider. first, parents are busy enough providing for their children, and keeping them from HARM's way, they probably don't have time to make sure they're out of the RIAA's way.

your child driving analogy isn't as bad as you think (let's leave the drunk out of it since that wouldn't be necessary for it to be a dangerous act). first, most 7 yr olds simply do not have the same wherewith all that an adults do. second, and most importantly, does a 7 year old understand how to get the correct key, start the car, operate the transmission, etc. etc? this is a relevant question because it leads to the question does a 7yr old understand how to download and install filesharing software, do a search for their favorite music, run the p2p software, or torrent, then open it up and listen to it?

the RIAA is unethical. there is a strong debate about the ethics of filesharing for both sides (just because you may believe strongly for one side doesn't mean that a sound debate doesn't exist) -- the RIAA is helping to push the debate against them with their abhorrent behavior.

mr c

Re:Legal or Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888061)

Response to your 3 points:

1. It's none of the RIAA's business what kids or private citizens do.

2. Copyrighting music is a stupid thing. If a musician is good then everyone knows where the music came from. A good musician is a performing artist.

3. Maybe Music should not have a copyright since it is put into the public arena. If a musician doesn't want to share of perform their music screw em. I don't want to listen to them anyways. Of course, I will pay a talented musician that puts on a show.

And as far as I remember in the US rights are GOD given. Good thing GOD wasn't so insecure as to copyright his work.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888119)

"It's interesting to think about. I don't necessarily like the RIAA :P But let's say she got drunk and drove around in a car. That's illegal, too. Should she not be prosecuted at all because, after all, she's only 7?

No, she should not be prosecuted specifically because she was 7.
It is not reasonable to think she is able to make that distinction.

In your example there are many people who should be prosecuted, she is not one of them.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (4, Insightful)

badfrogw00tz (1090573) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888237)

Copyright infringement is *not* a criminal offense. Your analogy is flawed.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888253)

It's interesting to think about. I don't necessarily like the RIAA :P But let's say she got drunk and drove around in a car. That's illegal, too. Should she not be prosecuted at all because, after all, she's only 7?

(I know you're being rhetorical.)

I can't see how it would serve to benefit society at large to prosecute a 7 year old for drunk driving, or even for driving, since I doubt that drunkenness would make a 7 year old's driving any worse. At some point, a prosecutor and judge would have to say that there is no benefit to anyone to trying a young child. Can you even explain 'copyright' to a 7 year old? I doubt I could. While we're on the subject of vehicular crimes, you might was well prosecute the rabbit that ran in front of the car that made the driver brake and skid out of control into the guardrail. Ridiculous, you say? (Oops, this is Slashdot, "rediculous"). Because you won't really do anything to discourage future bunnies from crossing the street without looking by jailing Harvey the Hare? By the same token, prosecuting someone for a crime they don't even understand is not likely serve justice or the greater good.

I'll assume you're trolling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888507)

"Should she not be prosecuted at all because, after all, she's only 7?"

Well, yeah. It's a pretty fundamental part of western law that a 7 year old really can't be responsible for anything.

Did you just get here off the boat or something? You seem completely obvious to the way the world works.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888885)

...are illegal activities made legal when you are young?

No, but for the most part you cannot be held responsible for doing them. There is a relationship between responsibility and rights that seems sadly overlooked by our educational system. If you do not have legal protection for freedom of speech, then it is unethical to hold someone legally responsible for whatever speech they make. If you don't have the legal right to go where you want and buy a car if you want and apply for a driver's license and legally purchase and consume alcohol, then legally you cannot be held responsible for doing those things. Children's rights are held in trust for them and managed by their parents and by the state. It is, therefor, the legal responsibility of the parents and the state to prevent children from drunk driving.

Parents don't seem to care what their kids do, unless they are caught. Of course, since there's a huge push for kids being allowed to do whatever they want and that parents shouldn't force any sort of morals on their kids and stuff like that, it just makes sense. But seriously, parents should know what their kids are doing.

Parents along with the state are legally responsible for what their children do, so if they are intelligent then they certainly should know what their children are doing and take reasonable steps to control those actions. The problem is when new technology runs into legislation in ways the parents don't even know exist, especially when the ethics of those laws are highly questionable in the first place and are enforced only a tiny fraction of the time.

Whether or not you like the RIAA, pirated music IS illegal, is it not?

Actually, no it probably is not. Distributing copies of copyrighted music is grounds for a civil lawsuit, which is not quite as simple as "pirated music is illegal."

Whether or not you're seven years old.

At 7 years old can you legally use the computer whenever you want to upload whatever you want without your parents being legally able to physically stop you? Do you have the right to do those things, even if your parents tell you not to? If so, then sure hold her legally responsible, but I've never heard of any such legal protection for children.

Copyrights apply to minors.

You know this is taking the whole "ignorance of the law is no excuse" thing to absurd new degrees. You honestly think it is just to hold a 7 year old child responsible for knowing and obeying, literally millions of lines of rules, many of which are accessible only at locations to which they don't have access and which are written in a strange mix of archaic english and latin? If you were seven and your dad smacked you for not obeying a rule you had never been taught, you'd think that is justice? Your perspective, or lack thereof, is tragic.

While the RIAA is consistently criticized (and perhaps rightly so), very few suggestions are made for protecting copyrighted music.

Music copyrights don't need protection at this point. Rather, citizens need protection from absurd copyrights. Copyright law is an artificial restriction that is supposed to exist only for the benefit of society as a whole. I think it is clear at this point that the laws have been corrupted to such an extent by simple greed that they are a detriment to society. Until such a time as they are reformed, It would be better if they were abolished or not enforced at all.

and copyrights can be a rather helpful thing, because there are people that will steal and even promote it as their own

How can one steal a granted right?

...taking royalties or sales or whatever you like.

That is not stealing, by definition. That is committing copyright infringement, which is to say exercising one's basic human right to free expression without regard for legal restrictions put in place ostensibly as a way to artificially promote art and science.

Enforcing copyrights is something we have to do...

Enforcing copyrights is something we should only do if it benefits us as a society and right now I'm pretty sure it is hurting our society more than anything. I am a professional writing and most of my income comes from creating copyrighted works. Although it is not in my own best financial interests, even I recognize that it would be better for everyone if they went away and I'm confident I would be able to alter my business methods to profit from my work in other ways. Copyright law is not some commandment from allah. It is a law created only as a way to benefit society and there is no other justification for its existence. If the law says a 7 year old girl should be punished for playing on the computer, then I say change the law, not the child.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888899)

But let's say she got drunk and drove around in a car. That's illegal, too. Should she not be prosecuted at all because, after all, she's only 7?


No. In the eyes of the law, a 7 year old is amoral and can't distinguish right from wrong.

It would be similar to prosecuting a deer for trespassing or jaywalking.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889029)

So, was the seven year old girl (at the time) doing legal activities... or rather, are illegal activities made legal when you are young?

The problem with your whole argument is that you accept the RIAA's statements as fact when they are in dispute. No one would disagree with you that pirating music is illegal and the fact the girl was seven years old when the pirating allegedly took place. The issue in this case as in many others is whether the RIAA has engaged in illegal behaviors to pursue those who pirate music and pursued those whom they know to be innocent of any charges.

The defendant has claimed that from the beginning she offered her HD to the RIAA to clear her name but that the only two options that they offered to her were a settlement (and payment) or a lawsuit. Her accusations may or may not be true; however, the events of the lawsuit coincide with her story and the RIAA have not disputed her account of the events.

The outrage over her daughter concerns the RIAA's next tactics. After her HD was presented to the RIAA, they have not produced any evidence from it that would suggest that she (or anyone) had engaged in any illegal file-sharing. Despite the lack of evidence, the RIAA wished to depose her minor daughter. During this time, the RIAA pushed her to settle, hinting that they would sue daughter as well if she did not agree. If you were completely innocent of wrongdoing, how outraged would you be if they RIAA went after your children next.

These deplorable tactics are embodied in the counterclaims. When first contacted with the settlement center, they informed her that they already had gathered the evidence against her and that she should settle. If true, their gathering of evidence would constitute trespass. If the statements were false, then the settlement center (and the RIAA) would be guilty of fraud, extortion, and racketeering. Of course, these are all alleged, but her story is not unique from the many cases already reported.

Re:Legal or Illegal? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889225)

Okay, even IF the little one installed Kazaa on her computer (which I highly doubt) consider the following:

Parents (especially those on welfare) don't ever use a computer, let alone have a great knowledge of all what is happening on the computer, so they can't possibly guide their children, how much intent they might have to do so.

This is the USA, not Korea (although...) so you'll first have to prove that it was either the mom or the little one that installed Kazaa (consider that the computer could come from another party that might have installed it before and tried uninstalling it or so, but didn't succeed, then gave away the computer). Then you'll have to prove that either the mom or the kid was knowledgeable enough that they knew they were a) downloading and b) sharing "illegal" media and that it was thus wrong to do so (I can't imagine a 7-year old knowing the distinction between illegal and legal music or the implications of downloading media, using Kazaa or the Internet as a whole).

What if they had a 'wireless' internet connection... Currently the RIAA just accuses everybody and everyone and hope you'll bend over and pull down your pants while holding your *** open too. If you bite back, they either file a motion to dismiss the case or they try holding on the long end of the case hoping you'll give up and roll over (like what Microsoft did with their monopoly cases and they succeeded in the US although Europe is a little more steadfast). Look at the different cases: refusing to pay up the other parties lawyers if they lose, dismissing the case if they see somebody with some more dough popping up to defend the case, accusing minors, bullying, extorting,...

Relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887575)

... a disabled single mother in Oregon who lives on Social Security Disability ...

How is her condition relevant to the case?

It's not meant to "Troll" or "Flamebait". It's just that, I'm emotionally, socially, and mentally disabled, taking work whenever and wherever I can, addicted to the Internet, just a really sad sack, so please, take that into consideration and have pity on me and mod me up to plus 5 "Insightful".

If not, just imagine that I had an even sadder story and consider that I'm too disabled to register.

Jesus Christ! Everybody thinks they're a member of some downtrodden group that needs (demands) special treatment.

My poor daughter tells me many times folks come in to her restaurant during the Lunch Rush, and when they're not served when they think they should be served, the response from some folks is "It's because I'm Black!"

Yeah right, the Mexican and Black cooks in the back can see the race of the customers. Oh, and it's NEVER noticed that the White customers have been waiting just as long, if not longer, than they were.

It's not just black folks: it's this entire society.

I once read a story of how some dyslexics were demanding more time in Law School to take exams. But if I were ask for a(n) (hourly) discount form these dyslexic attorneys, I'm sure I'd be labeled as "insensitive" or "anti-disabled". So, I guess I have to take my chances that my attorney isn't dyslexic and pay twice as much for their services.

Oh, nevermind.....

Re:Relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887775)

Oh yeah,...

Why should I pay $200+/hour for my lawyer to figure out if the 'dog' or 'god' owned by 'Bob' or 'Bob' bit me?

Re:Relevant? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888161)

It's because they're black. You never hear Mexicans trotting out the race card all the time like black people do.

Your daughter needs to move someplace where there are almost no black people. Most of the west coast is like that. We have a lot of Mexicans over here, but at least most of them will actually attempt to work for a living, usually doing crappy jobs like landscaping and cleaning. Most black people would rather sit around collecting welfare than work for a living, and then have the gall to complain about white people putting them in that position.

Lastly, as someone who works in a restaurant, your daughter probably knows all too well that black people simply do not tip their servers, ever.

Re:Relevant? (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889573)

... a disabled single mother in Oregon who lives on Social Security Disability ...

How is her condition relevant to the case?


She claims her disabling medical condition was worsened by the stress imposed due to the illegal actions of the RIAA's agents. As a result, rather than being able to return to work she is now worse off physically than before.

This is central to the amount of the damage awards she is seeking. Also, in at least one of her claims the dollar value of the amount of damage sought must pass a threshold for that type of claim to be litigated.

Re:Relevant? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889727)

I think you are a troll Mr. Coward. Obviously it's relevant to the counterclaims for extortionate and deceptive practices.

Time for a barratry prosecution against the RIAA (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#18887961)

Barratry [ceb.com] is a criminal offense in California.

From the California Penal Code: [ca.gov]
158. Common barratry is the practice of exciting groundless judicial proceedings, and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months and by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000).

159. No person can be convicted of common barratry except upon proof that he has excited suits or proceedings at law in at least three instances, and with a corrupt or malicious intent to vex and annoy.

Barratry prosecutions are almost unheard of, but there was one in 1988 in California and it was affirmed by an appeals court. The RIAA's activities seem to qualify. "Exciting groundless judicial proceedings" - check. "At least three instances" - check. "Corrupt or malicious intent to vex and annoy" - requires proving intent, and in this last case, that can probably be shown.

Pfft. Yeah, right. On paper only. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888503)

The judicial system is a complete scam. The judges go out of their way to protect both lawyers and other judges. A true case of the fox guarding the chicken coop. Total corruption, IMO.

While Barratry might be on the books as a crime, in practice it is almost never pursued. The only exception might possibly be if you've annoyed enough Judges to warrant exceptional attention to yourself. And even then it's an uphill battle.

If you don't believe me, show me how many lawyers ever get prosecuted for Barratry over the past few years. It's very few, if any. And that's not due to high standards in the legal profession.

What's needed is an independant review committee made up of non-lawyer citizens to review the actions of both Judges and Lawyers. Until then, you'll have the same corruption taking place.

Re:Pfft. Yeah, right. On paper only. (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889371)

"What's needed is an independant[sic] review committee made up of non-lawyer citizens to review the actions of both Judges and Lawyers."

You mean like "voters"? That has worked _so_ well thus far.

Re:Time for a barratry prosecution against the RIA (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888649)

Excellent idea! Throw the entire Association in the county jail!

Astounding!

you 7aiL it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18887977)

resound as fitting than a frac

Do we need to know every time the RIAA farts? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#18888113)

Seriously. It's already been brought up many times that finally, here's someone who's taking a stand and counter-suing the RIAA.

What did you expect the RIAA to do? Roll up in court and say to the judge "Actually, your honour, they're quite right, we're a bunch of misguided nutcases"?

Of course they're going to challenge the counterclaim - and they'll challenge it with everything they can think of because if they lose, suddenly there will be substantially more lawyers prepared to take on defense cases at a very good price (plus a percentage of any winnings in a counterclaim) in their next round of suing people.

F2UCKER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18888977)

Privacy rights! (1)

regiser_this (1093511) | more than 6 years ago | (#18889147)

Copyright is acceptable- going after people through the net is not. Users have an expectation of privacy (most users think they are anonymous, and are/can be for the most part) and the law should recognize the complexity of the internet and networks because they are going on a wild goose chase anytime they go after somebody based on an IP address.

The US government even had credit card records in the largest criminal case against child porn users in the US and were unable to identify users. Of the 35,000 people who were attacked many committed suicide and a mere 100 were prosecuted. Clearly the internet does not provide enough to justify probable cause let alone evidence of a crime.
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