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Class Action Suit Against RIAA Can Proceed

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nothing-but-net dept.

Music 133

fourohfour writes "Ars Technica is running a story on Tanya Andersen, who was awarded attorney fees in September of last year after the RIAA dropped their case against her. The RIAA subsequently appealed that award, but a US District Court judge yesterday not only upheld the award, but also upheld the dismissal of her counterclaims without prejudice. They may now be heard as part of a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA. Andersen is seeking class action status for her lawsuit, so that anyone else who has not engaged in illegal file sharing but has been threatened with legal action by the RIAA may join in. This is the case that alleges that the RIAA attempted to contact Andersen's then eight-year-old daughter under false pretenses without her permission."

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Hooray! (-1, Redundant)

TW Atwater (1145245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083600)

I hope she takes the Nazis to the cleaners.

Re:Hooray! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083640)

Indeed, nothing I hate worse than dirtily-laundered Nazi's. >=(

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083692)

Pfft. I HATE dirtily-laundered Illinois Nazis

Re:Hooray! (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086936)

I imagine Hitler is turning over in his grave right about now... well what's left of him anyway. ^_^

Re:Hooray! (1)

2phar (137027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083672)

From TFA:
"The RIAA has denied any wrongdoing and has moved for dismissal of the lawsuit."

Hurdles, hurdles..

Re:Hooray! (5, Funny)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084470)

denied any wrongdoing and has moved for dismissal

Ha, what do you want ? That was expected.

What the RIAA should do is throw us all off guard and say

"you're right! fair use! we're wrong, you're right! here take our ill-gotten gains and here have our Samauri sword and please please please be swift and merciful!

Then everyone would be completely confused, erase their file sharing software and run to Wal-mart to buy CDs.

:-)

Re:Hooray! (5, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083924)

I hope she takes the Nazis to the cleaners.
Sure, go ahead! Godwin this article before the rest of us have a chance to post a snarky comment. You insensitive clod!

Well... (5, Insightful)

Artaxs (1002024) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083602)

...even though the lawyers will take the lion's share of the money awarded in such a lawsuit, I hope that the sum awarded the plaintiffs is large enough to deter the MAFIAA from prosecuting under such dubious "John Doe" discoveries in the future.

Re:Well... (4, Funny)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083964)

Haaaaar! The cutlasses be honed an' th' boardin' hooks be ready, plunder an' plenty o' booty await us when th' mafiaa ship be finally taken a prize.

Re:Well... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085214)

Haaaar, matey, ye be wantin' none o' that mafiaa booty, yer be getting the drippy pox thataway! Thar mafiaa captains be spendin all thar ill gotten gains on ladies o' ill repute, I hear.

/. readers are excluded then (4, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083634)

so that anyone else who has not engaged in illegal file sharing but has been threatened with legal action by the RIAA may join in.

Counts us all out then :-)

Re:/. readers are excluded then (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083682)

It all depends on what is *really* legal vs what they say is illegal. These bastards have so muddied the waters that even judges don't know anymore.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083754)

Remember that you are innocent in the eyes of the law until you are proven guilty. Have you been convicted?

Re:/. readers are excluded then (5, Insightful)

xannash (861526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083994)

Actually I think you have it backwards. You are guilty in the eyes of the law until proven innocent. Why else would they arrest someone and hold them in jail awaiting the trial. If you were presumed to be innocent then you would be free to go do as you pleased because everyone believes you to be innocent until proven otherwise. In fact the whole thing is an oxymoron, how can one say that "we presume you to be innocent, yet we must believe that you are guilty otherwise we wouldn't be trying to prove that you were guilty"

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

Hunter-Killer (144296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084166)

If people were really "guilty before proven innocent," then bail would not exist.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084712)

Ah, so you're "innocent until proven guilty if you've got an extra $500,000 lying around"

Gotcha.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (3, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085858)

Ah, so you're "innocent until proven guilty if you've got an extra $500,000 lying around"


Actually in most areas, if not all, you merely have to pay a percentage of the bail amount set by the judge. I believe 10% is the going rate.
I'm from Oregon where they don't have bail bondsmen and you simply pay your percent to the jail itself. So I'm not sure how the rest of the country operates.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22087766)

It varies from state to state, but in a lot of areas you pay 10% to the court or a bail bondsmen. Financing is sometimes available by both too.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

gormanly (134067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086374)

Yup. Just like the London Police Inspector (same rank as Lieutenant in the US) who was bailed [bbc.co.uk] in September - innocent until proven guilty, he paid £200,000 (~ US$400,000) to walk around free while awaiting trial for the strangling of his wife with a cable tie.

He used the time to shoot dead his wife's mother, then kill himself with the same gun ...

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084700)

"If you were presumed to be innocent then you would be free to go do as you pleased because everyone believes you to be innocent until proven otherwise."

I get your overall drift, but this doesn't follow. Being presumed innocent has nothing to do with what everyone believes of the situation.

Plus, even being found not guilty after a trial does not mean that you were in fact innocent.

all the best,

drew

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085184)

You must be found guilty before you can be sentenced to a punishment for a crime, which is what is referred to in the phrase "innocent until proven guilty". Being arrested and held before trial isn't a punishment, it's the means by which you are compelled to face trial. We do operate under the expectation that those suspected of crimes are forced to face trial. The force involved varies, but it mostly consists of taking control of your person, or of your money until the trial is complete.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

xannash (861526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085380)

Really, being forced to stay in jail against your will isn't punishment? Hmmm...that's funny seems like it would be punishment to me.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (3, Insightful)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085788)

Yep. Punishment is not identical with suffering. Maybe having your abdomen slashed open would feel like punishment to you, too. But if your surgeon does it so he can reach in and remove your infected appendix before it bursts, is he punishing you? I don't think so. Neither are the authorities punishing you when you are arrested... you are being controlled. Your freedom is briefly removed when you are examined as you pass through an airport security check point... perhaps having to go through that feels like torture? Say yes all you want, but it's not torture. There is no doubt being deprived of your liberty is at best a significant hardship... that is why the power to arrest is so highly limited, and why the penalties for false arrest are serious. But it just is NOT punishment.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (3, Insightful)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086750)

As long as a couple of other rights and principles are observed, the position you seem to be advocating is certainly simplistic and to some extent a bit silly.

There is a difference between jail and prison, despite the way these terms are used interchangeably. In general, prison is punishment for convicted criminals.

If you think about it a bit, it seems very difficult to create a system of justice whereby "presumed innocent" criminals can be permitted to roam free during the weeks or months of their trial. Crimes occur. Someone commits them. The chap you found may not actually be guilty. But if your policy is that you cannot apprehend someone until a court conviction, what guarantee do you have that the accused will stick around for the trial? The policy of arrest/jail/bail may have false positives. But a system of never putting someone into jail into convicted seems horribly naive. Either you don't let them know you're "proving them guilty" and just catch them when you've done so (which doesn't provide for a defense) or you let them know they're a suspect and politely request they don't bolt for Mexico and please don't kill anyone else while they're gathering evidence.

Having said that, we must have safeguards for Habeus Corpus and the right to a speedy trial for this to work. Otherwise, we devolve into a system whereby the police (or corrupt leaders) do indeed judge you guilty (or otherwise deserving of punishment/pain) and toss you into jail where you rot. Think "Les Miserables".

This is why the recent diminishments of Habeus Corpus and the fact that several people (US citizens apprehended in the US) have spent YEARS in Guantanamo Bay before any charges were filed are so incredibly troubling.

In principle, your view that we're "guilty until proven innocent" seems quite wrong. In practice, it also seems we're sliding somewhat in that direction.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085740)

Aaah, but then there's the other fun topics concerning the bail. Like how if you post a 10% bond for someone, even if they are proven 100% innocent of the crime, the clerk will then take 10% of the 10% you posted. Read that again to make sure you get it: Even if you're proven innocent, they take money from you because you didn't post the whole thing. I have heard they've started tacking a "tax" on full-cash bonds as well but I've taken to completely avoiding courthouses so I can't verify that.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085898)

Criminal defendants do not prove that they are innocent. In fact, they do not have to affirmatively prove anything at all. It is fairly common for criminal defense attorneys to not present a case. Instead, they will simply argue to the jury that the prosecutor has not met his burden. The burden is always on the prosecutor to prove that the defendant is guilty. He either carries that burden or he doesn't. If he doesn't, then you are not found guilty (which is probably more accurate than "found not guilty", which implies an affirmative finding). This is hypothetically true even if the jury is 75% convinced of your guilt, but does not feel convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086140)

In fact, people are routinely released "on their own recognizance", ie, nothing more than a promise to show up for the trial, if the offense is relatively minor and they think you probably will show up.

Consider traffic tickets, for example -- you sign a promise to show up for trial (or to plead guilty by mail and pay the fine) when you accept the ticket. If you don't sign, the cop can and probably will haul you off to jail.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086598)

In fact, people are routinely released "on their own recognizance", ie, nothing more than a promise to show up for the trial, if the offense is relatively minor and they think you probably will show up.

I don't think that the severity is very relevant. What is relevant is that you are not a danger to other people, you are not in a position to destroy evidence, you are not likely to leave town and you are likely to show up in court.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

Dr_Art (937436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085396)

Remember that you are innocent in the eyes of the law until you are proven guilty. Have you been convicted?
These cases are in civil court, where matters are decided "by a preponderance of the evidence" (i.e., defendants must prove innocence as much as the plaintiffs must prove guilt). The "innocent until proven guilty" and "conviction" applies in criminal court.

Regards,
Art

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085934)

Its not as clear cut anymore, when they consider a traffic violations a "civil" offense.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (4, Funny)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083832)

Well, it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

matria (157464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083876)

I occasionally download books of interest, but all I ever have "available" in my shared folder is a set of Edgar Rice Burrough's Mars books. So if "distribution" is the illegal act, I'm not doing anything illegal.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084606)

I occasionally download books of interest, but all I ever have "available" in my shared folder is a set of Edgar Rice Burrough's Mars books. So if "distribution" is the illegal act, I'm not doing anything illegal.
This is the RIAA, you know music and whatnot, not whatever the equivalent book sellers organization is. Name dropper.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083898)

that is so true they have made it so that almost every type of digital copy of music is illegal less it was bought from like itunes or some other store. Most judges don't even know the difference if they were anymore so i hope they win the case even if the lawyer takes most the money it would stick a sword were the sun don't shine on the riaa and maybe make them think twice on their lawsuits upcoming.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085956)

It all depends on what is *really* legal vs what they say is illegal. These bastards have so muddied the waters that even judges don't know anymore.


Claim what you will of the RIAA. There's no doubt that they have lied and mislead to their utmost ability. But to claim that THEY are the ones who are responsible for the muddied waters misses the fact that the Judges are the ones who are making a final determination in many cases. It is the Judges whom are to blame even more than the RIAA. The Judges do not need to, nor should the have to, become technology experts. But the fact that many Judges do not understand the technology and do not care enough to even determine whether they know enough before they render a decision is a sad statement on our legal system. This is the reason why the RIAA has been able to successfully muddy the waters like they have.

When a case becomes more about the knowledge, perceived status of, and ability to misdirect and verbally spin words of the lawyers involved then justice, such as it is, has lost out to grandstanding. This is why these cases have fallen to the level that they have. All of these cases that I have seen should be easy to decide based on the actual laws and facts of the case. I'm not referring to the "I did it and I don't want to pay" defendants, nor am I singling out the award amounts (another topic all it's own). I'm referring to the simple matters of the actual laws and the real facts of the case.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1, Flamebait)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083766)

Does making those kind of confessions on a public (and probably traceable) forum bother you?

Re:/. readers are excluded then (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083976)

He was modded funny rather than insightful, so it can't be used as evidence.

Which is a good thing, since it would be evidence against all of us.

No, I'm not worried.

Seriously.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22087608)

"Seriously."

Ok, if you were into a +5 Funny, it seems you used the wrong word here.

Nope (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084108)

Firstly I'm in the UK, the RIAssA et al can stuff themselves.

Secondly I don't share music. (Yep, that's a full stop!) I'm able to afford to buy any that I take a fancy to. Haven't bought a CD for almost a year now though, prefer to switch on the radio.

Pr0n OTOH :-)

Bonus: We now have the BBC streaming iPlayer, who could ask for anything more?

Re:Nope (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085794)

Better watch out about the Pr0n. Apparently a bunch of the larger production companies have started prosecuting PornTube and a couple others that I've never heard of. Hope they don't hit my favorite pr0n torrent site.

IP thieves are killing PC gaming (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084450)

Are PC games in trouble yet again? It seems like no one has written a "PC Gaming is dead" piece in a few months, and while I don't think the industry is dying (yet), there are some awfully worrying signs on the horizon. A few days ago Robert Bowling, community relations manager for Infinity Ward, posted a few thoughts on his blog [blogspot.com] under the despairing title "They Wonder Why People Don't Make PC Games Any More."

"On another PC related note, we pulled some disturbing numbers this past week about the amount of PC players currently playing Multiplayer (which was fantastic). What wasn't fantastic was the percentage of those numbers who were playing on stolen copies of the game on stolen / cracked CD keys of pirated copies (and that was only people playing online)," Bowling wrote. "The amount of people who pirate PC games is astounding. It blows me away at the amount of people willing to steal games (or anything) simply because it's not physical or it's on the safety of the internet to do."

While Call of Duty 4 was a sales success, most of the units moved were on consoles. Other big-name titles haven't been so lucky: both Unreal Tournament 3 and Crysis crashed and burned at retail, although Unreal Tournament 3 will see a boost from the PS3 and Xbox 360 sales of the game.

The PC is still fertile ground for gaming, and certainly MMO fans wouldn't dream of going anyplace else, but it has to hurt to see PC-only releases do so poorly, and then sit down and see your own PC efforts get pirated in what sounds like large numbers. Developing games is a for-profit venture; with these kinds of numbers and an alternative (consoles), the days of PC-only releases may come rather quickly to an end.

Re:/. readers are excluded then (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22087136)

as someone who knows a lot of musicians, i have been told that riaa, ascap, and the like have made themself Judge Jury and Executioner for the suspects, and never has forwarded a penny to the artists they supposedly represent the rights of. If that's the case, where do i donate to help the class-action?

oohhh yeeesss... but... (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083646)

I was waiting for this to happen, and finally, it did. Now, my mind races forward, to the end of the suit, maybe decades ahead: up to how much money can the RIAA be held accountable for? What I mean is, how much money can they be fined till they are bankrupt? Can (or should) the RIAA member companies actually pay the fine - in which case we're talking much larger sums?

End Result (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083718)

The end result?

RIAA loses. Everyone gets a coupon worth $1 off the latest (DRM laden) Britney Spears CD.

Re:End Result (5, Funny)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083850)

Everyone gets a coupon worth $1 off the latest (DRM laden) Britney Spears CD.

But if they lose, why do we get punished?

Re:End Result (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084746)

Choose your moderation. Alternate quote emphasis:

Everyone gets a coupon worth $1 off the latest (DRM laden) Britney Spears CD.
But if they lose, why do we get punished?

Re:End Result (4, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084826)

... (DRM laden) ...

bin Laden's rapper brother?

Re:End Result (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086200)

But if they lose, why do we get punished?

That's if the RIAA loses, you need to read the rest of the story. If the RIAA wins, everybody gets a coupon for $2 off the latest DRM-laden Britney CD.

...you forgot the lawyers. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085408)

The lawyers all buy retirement mansions.

Re:End Result (1)

Teflon_Jeff (1221290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086068)

And I'd still want my money back.

Re:oohhh yeeesss... but... (2, Insightful)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083774)

how much money can the RIAA be held accountable for?

Just ever so slightly more than the lawyers will charge for their services...

Re:oohhh yeeesss... but... (5, Interesting)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083796)

Can (or should) the RIAA member companies actually pay the fine - in which case we're talking much larger sums?

This is a great question. Will the member companies use the RIAA like an umbrella company saying that the liability is the RIAA's or will they take responsibility for filing these frivolous suits?
More to the point, these suits are filed as Record Label vs. some poor joe not as RIAA vs. right? This case is Atlantic vs. Anderson, is Atlantic responsible for the damages? It would certainly seem to me that the RIAA cant claim all the liability when Atlantic's name is on the suit. Any Lawyers out there who know whether the RIAA can be used as an umbrella to protect the label from liability in this kind of litigation?

Re:oohhh yeeesss... but... (4, Interesting)

Doc Daneeka (1107345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084862)

IANAL, but if the RIAA were to claim liability for the damages to minimize the losses taken by Atlantic, wouldn't that make all member organizations culpable?

The way I see it is Atlantic and the RIAA have two choices:
1) Atlantic takes full responsibility for being a part of an organization that brings spurious claims to court and is the only business to be responsible for damages.
2) The RIAA attempts to intercede, or Atlantic tries to shift blame towards the RIAA, and forces all members of the RIAA to be culpable due to collusion.

Just one last note, the RIAA cannot bring the cases against the alleged copy-right violators because they do not have standing to sue as they are not directly harmed financially by the "infringement". If they did have standing to sue in place of their member businesses then that would make the argument for collusion, price fixing, and monopolization essentially set in stone.

Forget the end result (5, Interesting)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083908)

This is going to be the best litigation show on slashdot since the Sco vs. Novell chronicles.

Re:Forget the end result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084248)

I hope a new PJ turns up (preferably called DJ) to explain all this legal speak to all the /. legal experts

Re:Forget the end result (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086422)

I hope you're right. Let's hope it actually does begin (the suit has not been filed, yet), and that it ends fairly quickly. That is, before the end of the next decade.

Re:oohhh yeeesss... but... (3, Informative)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084034)

Something to remember is that RIAA isn't a company, as such, but a collection of companies.

Re:oohhh yeeesss... but... (1)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085044)

I have a letter from CA Attorney General Bill Lockyer from Feb 1994 posted above my desk telling me how pleased he is to bring settlement to the CD pricing antitrust litigation that was brought against the record companies as a class-action suit. Basically, they decided to settle rather than fight the allegations in court. The result was that I got a check for $13 after I entered a claim, which supposedly offsets the millions they made in illegal collusion on pricing. I'm sure the biggest expense was the labels paying for their own legal costs. I would expect about the same thing here, except probably much less than a $13 payout for individuals at the end.

That doesn't really address how much the *IAA will end up paying, but it gives an idea of what any individual claimant is likely to get.

so let me get this straight... (1)

ImYY4U (539546) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083680)

all of us who didn't share files but were prosecuted can join the lawsuit? ok, the one other person who fits this description please stand up. how about everyone who was prosecuted but didn't know they were sharing files (kazaa) or everyone who was prosecuted that was a minor and therefore should not be legally held accountable for their actions. or everyone who was prosecuted because their son or daughter were sharing files. what about all those people? and for God's sake, what about all the people who DID share files knowingly but still think the RIAA needs to die? this is the majority of people and these are the people that need to get together and file a class action lawsuit.

RIAA needs counseling (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083690)

Trying to contact the young daughter without permission, what did they do, offer her candy to get into a van with them? RIAA-pedos.

Re:RIAA needs counseling (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22083874)

Trying to contact the young daughter without permission, what did they do, offer her candy to get into a van with them? RIAA-pedos.

Everybody knows that no amount of counseling will cure a person, unless that person's a congressman, then he'll go through rehab and be cured.

Re:RIAA needs counseling (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086472)

Trying to contact the young daughter without permission, what did they do, offer her candy to get into a van with them? RIAA-pedos.

I wonder if Megans law would apply in this case ;-)

What did they say to her daughter? (4, Funny)

The Queen (56621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083744)

From TFA: "Her complaint contains some very disturbing allegations, including one that labels attempted to contact her then eight-year-old daughter under false pretenses without Andersen's permission."

Hi, Sally, this is Mr. Nice calling, is your mommy home? No? Good... I mean, uh, well then can I just talk to you for a minute instead? Tell me Sally, how would you feel about living with a foster family after we toss your mommy in the clink? I mean, she's subjecting you to gangsta rap, for Heaven's sakes, we'd be doing you a favor!

Re:What did they say to her daughter? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084280)

Taking advantage of an eight year old girl, which is about as innocent a it gets in the eyes of a jury, and especially when those taking advantage are weaselly lawyers working for the entertainment industry, is about as low as one can go. If I were on the legal team bringing the class action against the RIAA and their big label backers then I would hit this weak spot again and again and again during the trial until they cry uncle and agreed to settle.

Re:What did they say to her daughter? (5, Insightful)

AtlasAxe (977318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084436)

Don't get them to agree to settle. Make it go all the way through a jury verdict so that there's no hiding the terms of the settlement.

Re:What did they say to her daughter? (3, Informative)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085494)

From TFA: "Her complaint contains some very disturbing allegations, including one that labels attempted to contact her then eight-year-old daughter under false pretenses without Andersen's permission."
If memory serves, mommy explicitly denied them access to her daughter, and the RIAA then called the school, pretending to be her grandmother or something, hoping to get her to confess over the phone.

Re:What did they say to her daughter? (1)

rasputin465 (1032646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085754)

From TFA: "Her complaint contains some very disturbing allegations, including one that labels attempted to contact her then eight-year-old daughter under false pretenses without Andersen's permission."

Hi, Sally, this is Mr. Nice calling, is your mommy home? No? Good... I mean, uh, well then can I just talk to you for a minute instead? Tell me Sally, how would you feel about living with a foster family after we toss your mommy in the clink? I mean, she's subjecting you to gangsta rap, for Heaven's sakes, we'd be doing you a favor!


It would've been better if the RIAA had caught the business-end of a "To Catch A Predator" show instead.

Hope this opens the door for Extortion charges (5, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083750)

I would hope that the Malicious Procecution judgement would make it easier to procescute under RICO statues, given that the extortion has been proven in a court of law, and that the class action suit would further canonize the scope of their extortions into case law. I'm not a lawyer, but it seemed like the Federal case against Michael Vick made the state's case and open and shut event. This seems like the same kind of thing.

Then they should hammer the media companies on conspiracy charges because they are the ones knowingly financing the RIAAs shenanagins, that have already been proven illegal.

It'll never do any good! (1, Offtopic)

Voltar (973532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083814)

Unless those RIAA Jerkoffs are eventually dressed in orange jumpsuits. If current Class Action precedent holds, the plaintiffs will all get coupons for a free Britney Spears album as compensation while the lawyers clean up!

Re:It'll never do any good! (3, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083914)

Depending on the scope of the penalty, it may make more individual labels re-evaluate the risk-to-reward ratio that being a member of the RIAA represents.

IOW, this could be yet another nail in the coffin of the RIAA. The bright side is that it could lead to a wider variety of marketing schemes, competition, and better prices for the consumer. The dark side is that it will likely just turn into a series of buyouts until we wind up dealing with the 'Ma Bell' of the recording labels that owns everything that used to be other major labels. But that's capitalism for ya, surf on.

-Rick

Ok, what gives??? (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083940)

We have an article about how a class action suit can proceed against the RIAA. Scroll down a bit and there is a story about Microsoft opening up their binary formats. For free. Download them from their webpage. Scroll down a bit more and there is an article about a trial finally being set to see what SCO owes Novell.

What gives?

Did I slip through some wormhole in space and land in a universe where wishes are granted? Is it April 1st? Next thing I expect to see is a release date for Duke Nukem Forever.

I may just buy some lottery tickets on the way home tonight, just to see if the streak continues.

Yes you did (1)

forand (530402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084266)

Did you see the rain last night? All those donuts are rotting in the street!

Re:Ok, what gives??? (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084284)

Well the DNF team did release a new teaser at Christmas, and had previously stated they wouldn't start releasing media until they were within a year of release...

Time to check hells thermostat maybe..

Re:Ok, what gives??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085000)

Didn't you hear? It's coming out in just 75 days!!!1!!!111

Re:Ok, what gives??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085604)

We have an article about how a class action suit can proceed against the RIAA. Scroll down a bit and there is a story about Microsoft opening up their binary formats. For free. Download them from their webpage. Scroll down a bit more and there is an article about a trial finally being set to see what SCO owes Novell.

What gives?

It's the end of time. The Second Coming is at hand.

Re:Ok, what gives??? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22085698)

So the allegations weren't dismissed... big whoop, just like every other minor procedural error or mistake the RIAA makes is a "big win". SCO's case wasn't dismissed either, it's a wiiiiiiiiide needleeye to pass. Microsoft slowly gives an inch while they take a foot in securing new monopolies. Finally, SCOs death will be covered on a regular basis for several months to come. What's so new and unique about this? I saw the same last month and expect to see the same next month. Hopefully next *year* SCO will finally be dead, dead, dead but by then I figure it'll be replaced by some Microsoft patent FUD. In other words, business as usual.

Whew (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086484)

Ok. Bitter retorts, sarcasm, and soul crushing pessimism. We're back to normal.

I was worried there for a moment.

Re:Ok, what gives??? (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22087752)

Where's my +10 mod Taco!?!

That was fantastic! Thank you Weaselmancer.

Another Misleading Title (5, Informative)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084004)

The title of the story seems to indicate that a class action suit is underway against the RIAA. That is not the case. The judge's dismissal of the case without prejudice simply means that she can now file a lawsuit and attempt to have her class certified. Class certification is a very complicated process and probably won't happen.

Re:Another Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084828)

Right, the title is just plain wrong. She will never get class certification on this. She can't represent the class of people that the RIAA has sued for breach of their IP, only those people with children that the RIAA inappropriately contacted in a certain way.

Re:Another Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085208)

Fail. FTA:

Andersen is seeking class-action status for her lawsuit, which would allow anyone who was "sued or were threatened with sued by Defendants for file-sharing, downloading or other similar activities, who have not actually engaged in actual copyright infringement" to join the lawsuit.

The Battle of New Orleans (4, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084140)

Unfortunately with the ludicrous lawsuit the people of New Orleans filed against the federal government (I mean in terms of how much money they want), other lesser lawsuits will surely be ignored just on their lack of ostentatiousness.
The only way the class action suit against the RIAA can make any progress is if they sue for One novemdecillion dollars!!
Just the name of the number itself inspires awe.

Think about it.

Is it too much to hope for criminal charges? (5, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084146)

Contacting children for legal or financial matters without consent and presence of a legal guardian should carry mandatory jail time for those responsible, at least if their age was apparent at the time of the transaction. It's easy to see how an 8 year old can be persuades to give out parents' credit card numbers, incriminate themselves needlessly, give false testimony in exchange for promise of a shiny new gadget and otherwise be exploited by a malicious adult. This is a far more serious matter than copyright infringement which only results in a financial loss of trivial amounts of money.

Re:Is it too much to hope for criminal charges? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22086014)

This is a far more serious matter than copyright infringement ... under a rational, just system of law (i.e. one which is understandable by the common man).

Isn't that more or less child abuse? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22087196)

Think about the psychological damage to the child if there were negative consequences of such revelations - either directly or through the damage of the child-parent relationship.

Yeah, jail would be nice - with a lot of soap that is just too slippery to hang on to in the shower..

Next, on To Catch a Predator... (4, Funny)

CF4L (1072112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084220)

From TFA: "Her complaint contains some very disturbing allegations, including one that labels attempted to contact her then eight-year-old daughter under false pretenses without Andersen's permission."

RIAA: Hello little girl...

Chris Hansen: I'm Chris Haaaaansen ... what are you doing? Why don't you have a seat over there.

Re:Next, on To Catch a Predator... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085576)

... Ten minutes later, Chris Hansen and the whole staff of "To Catch a Predator" is out of a job, permanently.

Rich corporations can use newborn babies' skin for toilet paper, didn't you get the memo?

Bad Boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084268)

Bad Boys,
Bad Boys,
Whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for Yoooooou?

The REAL file-sharer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084286)

Andersen, a disabled single mother who resides in Oregon, was sued by the RIAA in February 2005 for distributing gangster rap over KaZaA using the handle "gotenkito."
Would the real gotenkito please stand up?

I bet he feels like a total @$$, getting the RIAA sicked on a disabled single mother and her (then) 8-year-old daughter. That, or he feels like a champ. (Depending on whether he has a conscience.)

All Of A Sudden... (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084302)

All of a sudden, being sued by the RIAA might turn out not to be a bad thing at all.

Unless, of course, the settlement is 5 coupons for CD's.

Coupons? For CDs? Never. (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084576)

Heh, more like coupons for DRM laden downloads of music for your .

Re:All Of A Sudden... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084892)

Yeah, that would be no use at all.

I mean, I've already downloaded far more music I could ever listen to....

Class elements (4, Informative)

debrain (29228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084406)

That appears to be a good thing, but I do not think it will necessarily be an easy class to certify. While each jurisdiction with class action legislation has its own version of the following, often with rather concise tests for each element, the general idea is as follows:

A court will certify a class proceeding where there is:
1. An identifiable group
2. With a cause of action that has a triable issue
3. With an appropriate class representative
4. Whom all have common issues
5. and Whose conflict is best resolved by a class action.

In this case, on 1:
Is the identifiable group people who have been sued by the RIAA? The more it is a subset of individuals who have not just been sued by the RIAA, but a subset of that group that has suffered other behaviour and that other behaviour is key to the group, the less identifiable the group is (so to speak).

On 2:
Is there a cause of action for just being sued by the RIAA? If everything that the plaintiff pleads is true, and this would not give rise to a legal judgment, then the action may be dismissed at certification. This is often just a screener to certification of frivolous claims, and some jurisdictions do not have it.

On 3:
Is this lady the best class representative? Can she fund the litigation (in part, though not to the end)? Does she have any interests averse to that of the class?

On 4:
If the case requires more details of how the RIAA treated each individual, then there's an argument that the individual issues predominate over the common ones.

The stronger the case that the RIAA bringing a suit against any individual gives rise to legal remedy,the more the RIAA had a documented pattern of behaviour, the better.

On 5:
If a class proceeding is not the "best" way to resolve a conflict, sometimes it will not be certified. Alternatives including bringing a test case, individual cases, and alternative dispute resolution.

Again, the tests vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but that's the general framework of the hurdle that the plaintiff will have to get over in order to certify her action as a class action.

I wonder (4, Interesting)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084556)

The RIAA uses a ridiculous method of determining damages per violation. They value damages at $750/song. If the defendants use similar inflation, the RIAA could be accountable for a lot. Anyone know how many people they've accused? And how many songs? I hope the courts don't store damages in a 32-bit float.

ThiS is goatsex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085272)

fucEkin6 confirmed:

RIAA cocksuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22085750)

RIAA's new logo is a serpent sucking its own cock tail!

More fodor for the RIAA (1)

Enzo1977 (112600) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086146)

From what I've read of the RIAA, I wouldn't be surprised if they pushed their agenda even stronger against those who were named by the RIAA and chose not to join in the class action suit. They would probably argue, by making the decision to not join in the class action suit against the RIAA you are indrectly claiming you did participate in illegal file sharing.

I think the only fair solution... (3, Interesting)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22086580)

...is to have the RIAA compensate this individual for the full copyright-violation value of every last song they alleged that she infringed on. The law should have no mercy, just as they've argued Jammie should have none, and they must pay around $10,000 per song for every song they alleged that Tanya downloaded and shared. Maybe even treble damages, in that their investigation and prosecution was allegedly malicious. After all, if they refused to listen to reason and harassed this woman and her daughter for months, and screwed-up their lives and forced the woman to risk what few assets she has to pay for lawyers, it's only right that the judgment stings the RIAA and the record companies that collaborated with them just as they were trying to sting the woman they victimized. There should be no lawsuits of the nature of what the RIAA pursues without substantial risk should they lose because they failed to do their due diligence in building an airtight case.

FAILZOrS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22086914)

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