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RIAA Will Finally Face the Music In Court

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the discovery-channel dept.

The Courts 282

Falstaff writes "Exonerated RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen is expected to refile her malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA today. The refiling will mark a significant watershed in the RIAA's fight against P2P users because for the first time, the group's tactics, secret agreements, and fee splitting with MediaSentry are likely to come to light, thanks to discovery. Andersen's attorney says he'll be 'digging into agreements between the RIAA, RIAA member companies, MediaSentry, and the Settlement Support Sentry. Part of that will involve looking at compensation, like how much MediaSentry gets from each settlement. "I'd love to know what kind of bounty MediaSentry got paid to supply erroneous identities to the RIAA," Lybeck says.' The judge has barred further motions to dismiss the complaint, which means the RIAA will have to face the music. 'Unlike the thousands of lawsuits filed so far, the RIAA does not have the luxury of walking away from this case if there's a real chance of embarrassing information being released. "Once discovery happens in the cases the RIAA brings, they run," Lybeck says. "This is our case now, and they can't run."'"

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well? (-1, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752174)

fuck you fish tits

What is this (2, Funny)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752312)

What is this! What is going on here? Please delete your swearing and curse words immediately. I don't care if you do it, or you have to get one of the moderators to do it for you.

I'm going to check back at 1700GMT on the dot, and if this message is still here and has not been cleaned up, I'm going to call the police.

I'm bored out of my mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752186)

with my life.

Re:I'm bored out of my mind... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752818)

The rest of us are bored out of our minds with your life, too.

Re:I'm bored out of my mind... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752878)

[I'm bored out of my mind...] with my life.
Have you considered trying marijuana?

If She Doesn't Settle (4, Interesting)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752194)

The judge has barred further motions for dismissal, so unless the RIAA decides to settle--a move Lybeck believes is in the group's best interest--the case will proceed through discovery and to trial.

Hopefully she won't settle for the carrot that the RIAA would probably dangle in front of her. She has the opportunity to bring all these lawsuits to a screeching halt.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Insightful)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752336)

The RIAA could easily dangle a $1-2 million carrot in front of her, and probably will. While we all know she shouldn't take it, most sane people (and probably her lawyer) would say "take the money and run" to not have to deal with this issue for the next 5 years...

Call me a pessimist, but her case against the RIAA will not change their tactics because they will buy their way out of the mess.

Now, if some DA or AG were to file criminal charges against the RIAA (God knows the FBI won't), then that would change their ways... But, alas, we live in the Corporate States of America.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752520)

That's not necessarily a victory for the RIAA. Because what works once works twice, too. In other words, being sued falsly by the RIAA might be the jackpot.

I'm fairly sure we'll soon see lawyers hopping onto it, specializing in counter suits against the RIAA if they simply try to buy their way out of an embarrassing trial. It's easy money for them.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (4, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752940)

hm...
RIAAmbluance chasers?

better name?

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752676)

She should settle for this:

- $2 million (after taxes), PLUS
- The ability to share as many free copies of RIAA member music as she likes with as many people as she likes.

Now THAT would be a deal worth taking.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752760)

So we outbid them.

Get a million people together (shouldn't be hard if all the torrent sites make note of the campaign) to chip in $1 or $10 each to make a matching offer: "We'll pay you to take this to trial."

Even if the RIAA outbids The Internets, it's still a PR coup -- "Look at what they were willing to do in order to hide stuff..."

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Insightful)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752956)

That is a DAMN good idea. I'd easily contribute $20 or more to a cause like that.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752994)

So would I. The RIAA would lose such a bidding war with the Internet.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753014)

So we outbid them.

Get a million people together (shouldn't be hard if all the torrent sites make note of the campaign) to chip in $1 or $10 each to make a matching offer: "We'll pay you to take this to trial."

Even if the RIAA outbids The Internets, it's still a PR coup -- "Look at what they were willing to do in order to hide stuff..."
Wouldn't that also be a case of malicious prosecution?

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752794)

The RIAA lawyers will be running the US government, maybe one will even become president.

Hooray for Corporate America! Long live the lawyer clan! Long live the RIAA!

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Interesting)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753012)

Less we forget that she can still get that $2 million+ at the conclusion of the trial? If the RIAA thinks that a mere $2 million will cut the trial short and hide their dirty laundry, then they have seriously under estimated the wrath of a woman who has been royally PISSED OFF. Knowing what they put her through I can't imagine her settling before the RIAA's bag of tricks are all spread out on the table for everyone to see. Can you just imagine what a jury would think? Thats when the real music (that they don't own) begins to play.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Interesting)

AGSHender (696890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752440)

My girlfriend worked for Judge Brown last summer as a law student, and she had a consistently favorable opinion of her. Judge Brown is a Clinton appointee and is on the more liberal side of the bench compared to a couple of the other federal judges working in the same building.

She's fair and doesn't put up with bullshit from lawyers or defendants. If she finds in favor of the RIAA, it's going to be on the basis of the law and not because of pressure on her. At the very least, she's going to be very suspicious of their arguments and have some critical things to say about them and their tactics in open court--even if they do win in the end.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752856)

Judge Brown is a Clinton appointee...

It was Clinton who gave us the DMCA. Not just Republican administrations are corporate puppets.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752972)

Judging by the grandparent poster's reference to his law-school gf, he's probably too young to recall the Bill Clinton era. Ahh, you've gotta love the youth vote. To be young and idealistic instead of old and practical again...

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1)

BigwayneO (1229884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753036)

ROFL!!! old and practical..... just like the net is a series of tube huh, jokes

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (4, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752484)

I agree, and the best way to do this may be societal support. I don't know Ms. Anderson, so I have no idea what qualms she has about a material settlement out of court. She may very well be willing to do this for the long haul, just to make the RIAA STFU & GTFO.

However, even if she's set on this, showing support from the outside will help her (and her lawyer, who I'm sure is hoping for a nice chunk of change) to reaffirm her will. If she's not completely set on it, outside support would help her see that this has effects reaching more than just the time the RIAA forced her to waste.

The best way I can think of to do this is a personal letter. Something short, personally signed, saying "You're fighting the good fight, tally ho!" and made via snail mail. Obviously, getting her home address might not be the best idea. Does anyone know a good way to go about this? Perhaps send mail to the law firm/individual representing her?

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752780)

Find the law firm's address, send it to them C/O Ms. Anderson. It'll get to the right place.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752786)

Address at Mr. Beckerman's website. [blogspot.com] With more case info, scroll down for the address of her lawyer. Would suggest that mail be marked as regarding the case.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (5, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752852)

Her lawyer's address is:

500 Island Corporate Center
7525 Southeast 24th Street
Mercer Island, Washington 98040-2336

It's a relatively small practice - two partners and a dozen attorneys all told - so I would expect that anything mailed to Tanya Anderson c/o Lory Lybeck will reach her attention.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22753000)

And if you send it to the law firm, the lawyer will bill her for the time it takes to forward the mail. So lawyers fee * x snail mail messages = oops

Might be better to just create a website with a donate to their legal fund and send just one letter to let them know about it.

http://www.stfu-riaa.com/ [stfu-riaa.com] might be nice.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752620)

So even if they settle they are in trouble because it will encourage other people RIAA sued to pursue the same route. If they don't settle, all their shady dealings will be exposed. Hahaha! Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Boy do I love this.

Re:If She Doesn't Settle (1)

rockout (1039072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752980)

A lawyer once told me, "You don't litigate on principle." I'm sure he didn't come up with that, but it made enough sense to me to remember it forever.

Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (4, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752196)

I fully expect the RIAA to do everything in it's power to hide any so called "embarrassing" information, probably successfully so. I hate to be such a pessimist but the fact of the matter is multi-million dollar corporations will always have the upper hand in this sort of thing. I got my fingers crossed though, hopefully someone will finally slay the dragon.

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752346)

Just remember... The soft spot is right on the neck.

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752534)

Sorry, the RIAA is no dragon, it's a hydra. Chop off a head, two will grow back.

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752538)

Wrong, everyone knows the soft spot on dragons is in the right armpit...

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752348)

Which isn't much, unless their attorneys can convince the judge not to allow investigation into these charges. Which they shouldn't be able to, the only way that they're going to be able to avoid answering them is by witness tampering or other methods of obstruction of justice.

Which isn't good, if there's one thing which judges don't like it's having their cases tampered with in that manner. I'm just surprised that it's taken as long for the judges involved to start getting cranky about being used.

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (5, Informative)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752578)

Actually, if a defendant is unable to produce evidence because it appears to have been deleted when it should be available, a court will usually take that into consideration and may assume that the defendant did that to hide something, and thus hold that against them. The reverse is of course true for the prosecution if they are likewise unable to produce evidence, although the courts will hold an individual to a more reasonable requirement than a large organization which is expected to maintain a higher standard.

Its only if they have a reasonable data retention policy already in place, and can show that the deleted or destroyed information or records were destroyed in accordance with that plan - and that they have been following that plan rigorously and not just in this one instance, that they can justify not producing the records. If for instance they have formally established and been following a records retention policy whereby they state they will destroy email records after holding them in backup for say a 5 year period (higher in some industries where its specified by law how long you must preserve those records), and have done so and thereby cannot produce records from before that period, then a judge should not hold it against them during discovery. They made a plan, stuck to it prior to entering litigation, and the court has to recognize there is a cost associated with maintaining and backing up such data that should have a logical limit when the utility of that data has been reduced by the time that has passed. If however they have not followed that policy, don't have such a policy, or give the appearance of selectively applying it to hide potentially damaging evidence, they can have it held against them (possibly with the assumption that the information in question was damaging), and they can be fined by the court. They can even have the court summarily find in favour of the prosecution. They can be fined if they cannot produce the evidence in a reasonable period of time, and will usually bear the brunt of the cost of producing those records - no matter how difficult or expensive that may be - as long as the other side can produce sufficient cause to justify the importance of that evidence to their case. Sometimes the other side can be required to pay for some of the cost of course, if its reasonable. This can be extended well beyond physical records and emails, to include IM traffic, chat logs etc, all of which an organization bears a responsibility to back up and maintain. You can even be held liable if your backups cannot be restored due to changes to technology over time - you are expected to transfer those backups to a new format, or maintain the old equipment required to restore them etc. If you failed to place backups in offsite storage and they were destroyed in a fire, thats your fault too for not taking reasonable precautions and storing the backups elsewhere. I expect a few companies are going to get bit badly in the next few years when they cannot produce backups of all the IM traffic that passed over their networks for instance - because if anything that happened during those IM sessions has any bearing on anything legal, its a record that needs to be backed up, period. If you and I discuss a business deal, and then I send you an email that just says something like "About our conversation yesterday, lets do it" and the lets do it implies a verbal agreement to pursue a business deal, that email is a legal record, same thing if we agree via IM chat :P

So simply removing evidence by destroying it is not necessarily of any benefit to an organization when they hit the courts. The courts can and should take a very dim view of someone who deliberately destroys damaging evidence :P

IANAL, but I used to work for some who dealt with records retention, discovery etc, and picked up some of the details. Its surprising how many companies and organizations do not have and do not follow a logical retention policy with regards to data (apparently about 40% or so), something that they are legally required to establish and do, and its bitten a lot of companies in the butt down the road, to the tune of millions of dollars in damages.

That said, I would be willing to bet that a lot of the deals the RIAA has made are not accurately recorded and the records will not be easily produced. Hopefully they pay for it in the end...

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (3, Informative)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752606)

Oh I forgot, the moment a company enters litigation, they are also supposed to place a Hold order with regards to records created by their organization - ie, absolutely no one deletes or destroys anything. Ie you dont delete email or backups

Re:Gentlemen, start your paper shredders (3, Insightful)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752988)

I don't agree (not necessarily with you but with general policy) that all things must be logged and archived. IM is the one thing I think should not be logged unless it serves a specific purpose. It is not the same as an email message. I think it is unreasonable to expect to log and archive IM.

It is more analogous to telephone conversations. Most telephone conversations are not recorded and kept for any real length of time either (although, they *can* be, and can be used in court also). There is no expectation that IM messages would be logged, whereas it's reasonable to expect email messages to be.

However, if IM is purposely or inadvertently logged... it should certainly be discoverable.

Just my $.02

I found the "???" (5, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752202)

Lybeck tells Ars that he'll be digging into agreements between the RIAA, RIAA member companies, MediaSentry, and the Settlement Support Sentry. Part of that will involve looking at compensation, like how much MediaSentry gets from each settlement. "I'd love to know what kind of bounty MediaSentry got paid to supply erroneous identities to the RIAA," Lybeck says.

I see...

1. Get contract to find copyright violators.

2. The "???" is: Just grab folks that may look guilty.

3. Profit!

Re:I found the "???" (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752636)

Oh my god, you killed a South Park meme. You bastard. j/k

I'm just hoping the discovery phase of things actually find something instead of random paper shredding by the guilty.

RIAA Karma (5, Funny)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752208)

RIAA's current Karma: Troll.

Judge Says: Overrated.

Re:RIAA Karma (1, Funny)

paitre (32242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752236)

omg. I wish my mod points hadn't expired last night.
Funny +1

So... (3, Funny)

controlBreak (1218314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752220)

Is it wrong that I'm excited about this?

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752288)

Not at all. Its a good thing to want to see how a group(The RIAA) does its dirty laundry.

w00t! (-1, Troll)

jimboindeutchland (1125659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752230)

Look at these morose looking RIAA motherfuckers right here. Looks like someone shit in their cereal.
Bong!

BEATINGS (0, Flamebait)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752250)

Like most of the readers here, I will watch this case closely (enough to actually RTFAs).

My sincere hope in this is that MediaSentry and the RIAA in general get their asses handed to them. I am all for dragging the top 4 levels of each guilty corporation into the street and publically beating them for their wrong-doings.

Then releasing the video of the beatings on youtube.

Re:BEATINGS (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752680)

Then releasing the video of the beatings on youtube.
And The Pirate Bay, Usenet, etc. etc...

Re:BEATINGS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752868)

"I am all for dragging the top 4 levels of each guilty corporation into the street and publically beating them for their wrong-doings."

Better yet, air drop them into Iraq hostile territory sporting "I Love Bush" tee-shirts and we'll see a new version of the corporate saying, "heads must roll".

Paul Harvey quote? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752252)

Now, it's time for 'the rest of the story'....

This will be more than interesting. I hope that they have all the legal advice and tech advice necessary to pull the fingernails off of the **AA legal team, one at a time, no pain killers.

What y'all cheering for? (-1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752262)

Mostly all y'alls do steal music, so this case has got nothing to do with you.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752342)

Mostly all y'alls do steal music, so this case has got nothing to do with you.

And this is why we should have never allowed the south to have access to the internet.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752532)

And this is why we should have never allowed the south to have access to the internet.

Trust me, ignorant idiots exist across the world. There's no lock in the southern states for THAT...

On-topic, while I'm not expecting it, I'd LOVE to see if Congress might have a hearing or two after this case is over...

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752354)

Mostly all y'alls do steal music, so this case has got nothing to do with you.
First of all... What?!
Secondly, I'm cheering because I don't want to be the target of "illegal p2p" because I download the latest version of Linux. There be legal p2p as well as pirates me matey...

Re:What y'all cheering for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752400)

WOOOOSH!

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752374)

I forgot that each song costs thousands of dollars. Oh wait...

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752448)

I forgot that each song costs thousands of dollars.
Actually, a friend of mine was in a band and had their CD done at a professional studio. It cost them a ton of coin to produce it on their own. Even selling every copy they had pressed they just broke even on making it. So, they lost money when you took into account the gas money for trucking them around. And that was selling them at 15 bucks a pop.

Then again, if you own the studio I'm sure you get much lower rates.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752476)

I guess the key word to take from that is "professional"

Also, I'd wager that the studio's a one time fee. Pressings are cheap once all the mastering is done; so the more distribution you get, the easier it is to break even.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752518)

I don't think that's what he meant by "each song costs thousands of dollars".

I'll pay fifteen bucks for a CD, no problem. But if someone copies that CD instead of buying it that's only fifteen bucks, not 9,000 times however many tracks are on the CD, which is what the RIAA is demanding. They're better off shoplifting it: the fines are unlikely to be more than a few hundred dollars.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753002)

The way I saw it was that the time spent in the studio is what the cost was; pressing the CD was nothing. So the song itself and the time it took to mix it is actually where the cost is not the CD. If they only had 1 CD pressed they would charge far more for it than if they pressed 15,000 just to break even. The song itself is what cost them, not the CD.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (5, Interesting)

zzsmirkzz (974536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752402)

::Being Rant:: First of all, it is not stealing! It is copyright infringement. I'm damn sick of people confusing the two, they are not the same; they are not interchangeable. Stealing is clearly defined, Copyright Infringement is also defined; downloading music over the Internet is in no way stealing, period. It may, arguably, be copyright infringement, depending on the specific circumstances. ::End Rant::

Second, what does it matter if we have committed copyright infringement? We are still a member of society who has an interest in seeing the innocent not being railroaded by the Music Industry. We still have an interest in stopping the Music Industry from illegally violating our rights, hacking into our computers (Federal crime by the way, much worse than copyright infringement), and extorting people for large sums of money.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (5, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752404)

Whether or not people here illegally download and share copyrighted music isn't the issue. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that most Slashdotters don't file baseless lawsuits against random people who are unprepared to defend themselves from the full force of a massive corporation's legal department realizing most will capitulate and just settle regardless of any wrongdoing as a tragically misguided attempt to strike fear into the heart of someone who gets the latest Britney Spears release from bittorrent.

Big companies are abusing the legal system due to circumstances brought about by new technologies and the Internet. Meanwhile real (and innocent) people are having their lives and livlihoods ruined in the crossfire. So yes, we care a lot about that.

Speak for yourself, Kemosabe. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752460)

All we-all don't steal^H^H^H^H^Hmake unauthorized copies of music, nohow, podner. And whether we-all do or not, the RIAA's behavior is downright ornery. They're a mad dog, boy, and need to be put down.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752488)

Absolutely. We all make a perfect copy of the master tape, then erase every other copy of the track in existence (and also the memories that people have of how the track may be reproduced).
That is the definition of stealing music.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752490)

all y'alls

All m'alls eyes are bleeding from reading that.

Re:What y'all cheering for? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752560)

Stealing music? I never broke into a studio to snatch that master tape!

I also want to inform you that a slander lawsuit is on its way. Hey, what, it's the new fad to sue randomly for trivialities! I'm just hopping on the bandwagon!

Facing the Music (5, Funny)

auroran (10711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752276)

I'd love to see the RIAA face their own music.
That alone should be suitable punishment for the stuff that they've tried to inflict on the general public. :)

Re:Facing the Music (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752584)

I'd love to see the RIAA face their own music.

Now, now... I don't like the RIAA one bit either, but considering the music they produce... No, I'm against torture in any form. Not even against the RIAA.

Face the music (4, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752278)

The judge has barred further motions to dismiss the complaint, which means the RIAA will have to face the music.

Since the RIAA already owns the music, I guess this won't really frighten them much.

Re:Face the music (5, Funny)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752362)

Have you listened to some of the crap they're selling these days? Just imagine being trapped in a room with some of that playing non-stop.

I'm not afraid!

You will be. You will be.

Re:Face the music (1)

nedburns (1238162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752556)

That sounds like going to the mall. I think the blaring crapola they pound you with is in the top 3 reasons why I never go to the mall, even if the food court is delicious.

Re:Face the music (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752414)

And the court has to pay licensing fees to use that music. But still, it should be awesome.

Re:Face the music (3, Funny)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752590)

Since the RIAA already owns the music, I guess this won't really frighten them much
Given the "quality" of most of their music, this threat alone has them quaking in their boots.

Re:Face the music (1)

zx75 (304335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752668)

No kidding! Plus then they can sue the judge for unauthorized public performance!

Where's NYCL when you need him? (5, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752284)

IANAL, but it sounds like the RIAA is going to want to settle and prevent discovery from happening since they don't want all the sordid details of their dealings brought to light.

But that makes me wonder . . . if they do in fact settle, won't this just embolden all the other lawsuit recipients to file against the RIAA too? They can settle malicious lawsuits to keep them from going to trial to their heartss content (*snicker* we know they don't have hearts), but ultimately they're going to have to either WIN a malicious prosecution suit or stop engaging in malicious suits alltogether, no?

Re:Where's NYCL when you need him? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752388)

IANAL, but it sounds like the RIAA is going to want to settle and prevent discovery from happening since they don't want all the sordid details of their dealings brought to light.

I would be fine with a settlement if the price they had to pay would be enough to fund EFF for a few years, and if they agreed to stop sueing willy-nilly. I have no issue if they keep going after true-infringers (because I am not one of them).

Ultimately, any funds to the EFF would serve a legal arms race against issues that are much more important than being forced to obtain music legally without infringing on somebody's copyright.

Keep Legal Filesharing Legal (5, Insightful)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752302)

The RIAA and MPAA, as well as their counterparts in other countries, have been pressuring legislators, ISPs and Universities to block all filesharing. But much filesharing is completely legal, and needs to be kept that way.

For example, many Open Source installers are available via BitTorrent. Their use of p2p is crucial to their success, because it reduces distribution costs.

P2P is also crucial to the success of struggling musicians who offer their music online for free, as a way to promote themselves. Direct HTTP downloads can lead to bankrupcy if their songs become sudden hits. I myself offer Bit Torrent downloads [geometricvisions.com] of my piano compositions.

(While I presently work as a software engineer, I'm studying piano with the aim of changing careers into music. You could really help me out if you shared my music over the Internet.)

In your letters to your legislators, please emphasize the legal uses of P2p.

Re:Keep Legal Filesharing Legal (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752438)

I myself offer Bit Torrent downloads [geometricvisions.com] of my piano compositions.
And the RIAA would love to shut you down, since you represent competition to the RIAA member companies. Perhaps you even represent a trend that will destroy the RIAA and the RIAA is like a cornered wild animal -- at its most dangerous.

Re:Keep Legal Filesharing Legal (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752612)

Wounded animals should be put down. It's the merciful thing to do.

And I feel very compassionate for the RIAA, so I'd love to be merciful.

Whale Song (3, Interesting)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752318)

For ages human story, communication -- the very thread of humanities' tale -- has been handed down via song. I learned in linguistics that of the few things which both separate us from other species and that we have in common is song: in common because both humans and other animals use it and separate as we add language and "tale". Odd how, in modernity, something such as music has come to this.

I suppose it is natural. If, for some reason, all humans perished today and whales evolved to become the dominant species and have song and tale and language. If they then go on to develope technology. Will they one day sue?

Re:Whale Song (1, Flamebait)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752724)

What in the fuck are you droning on about?

Re:Whale Song (0, Flamebait)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752804)

god I don't know. Thank you for pointing it out tho....

btw, do moths have dicks?

Re:Whale Song (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752958)

Wait... birds don't sing any more? The MAFIAA must have got to them! The whales will be next, mark my words.

Also, if you count my imitative monotone grunts as "song", you're more generous than most. I don't think I'd come out too well in this poll : Who do you want to continue singing, a) Smauler, or b) a nightingale.

It ain't over... (3, Funny)

MoreDruid (584251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752326)

...till the fat lady sings (provided her song has been paid for)

Re:It ain't over... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752638)

Too bad Hillary Rosen ain't their prez anymore. Though I don't know whether I'd want to hear her sing. Croak, maybe.

Re:It ain't over... (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752654)

Oh, anyone in the US can rest assured if you didn't pay for a track ... it's over.

Swing that fat gut around (3, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752368)

In light of resistance from the courts, the RIAA will probably shift its resources toward the legislative branch.

They'll Just Change Tactics (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752378)

It may be fun to win one small battle, but the RIAA companies still control media distribution.

From the RIAA's perspective, this has been a wildly successful strategy because it successfully struck fear into the hearts and minds of consumers.

Re:They'll Just Change Tactics (4, Interesting)

rijrunner (263757) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753022)


    Except, in this case, full discovery is not going to lead to a small win. If it is determined that they have knowingly engaged in illegal activity - and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that their investigation fits that category - then, they are in a pretty bad spot. A security company not licensed in a state can not engage in investigations in that state. That is illegal. They can not install root kits across state lines, that is illegal also. Hacking is illegal. While the RIAA can claim that they themselves did not commit these acts, it is a reasonable conclusion that they would have encountered any number of these questions in any due diligence prior to awarding security contracts. It is also reasonable that they are aware of the legal issues because of that whole Sony root-kit mess a few years back.

    And lawyers who are providing legal advice how to break laws are called co-defendants, not attorneys and they do *not* have attorney-client confidentiality in conspiracy and RICO cases where they are named as co-conspirators.

    The fear goes away if you know they have no evidence they can present in court.

    The RIAA is a trade organization. If you can crack some of their larger members away - and that is quite possible - then the RIAA loses its ability to speak for the industry. The RIAA has not paid out a single penny from any settlement it has won. Add on a lot of punitive damages and criminal charges and the RIAA can be broken quite decisively.

Settlement should not be an option (4, Interesting)

Basilius (184226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752390)

It is common for judges to promote settlement in cases where the victor seems obvious in order to reduce the load on the court system.

In this particular case, pursuing it to the full extent should actually REDUCE the burden on the court system by severely restricting the RIAA's ability to file new suits.

The only way I could see a settlement working in the long run is if it's equivalent to an unconditional surrender with all sorts of guilt admissions. I just can't picture the RIAA agreeing to that, and the plaintiffs should not settle for less.

THIS is the opportunity. Do not let it slip through your fingers.

They'll be facing the music? (5, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752392)

PLEASE tell me it's William Hung!

What we really want to know is... (-1, Offtopic)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752398)

why is google advertising portable restrooms on slashdot?

Why wait for a judgement? (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752426)

Start encouraging your favorite artist to go a route of sales & distribution and royality collection outside of the RIAA.

Though there may be contracts holding them to the RIAA directly or indirectly, such contract will either become expired or after this case, be challenge-able.

misleading title (3, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752442)

The RIAA Will Finally Face What They Like to Call Music in Court

There, fixed that for you.

I got three words for you: (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752454)

Jig's up, asshats. Payment in full upon the sound of the gavel on wood.

Or on your head, it'll sound the same due to the fact that it's made of the same stuff as the bench is. XD

Money will buy this out (1, Flamebait)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752566)

If she doesn't get bought, her attorney will be. If he isn't, the bar will have formal complaints lodged against him and barristers will be bought out and he will lose his license to practice. The judge will be bought. We are talking about people who have no problem spending 30,000$ on a sandwich. I don't think buying out everyone they need to is going to be difficult. I really am praying to god that it doesn't happen, but I'm so damn jaded about this stuff at this point.

Re:Money will buy this out (3, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752630)

The judge has barred further motions for dismissal, so unless the RIAA decides to settle--a move Lybeck believes is in the group's best interest--the case will proceed through discovery and to trial. Unlike the thousands of lawsuits filed so far, the RIAA does not have the luxury of walking away from this case if there's a real chance of embarrassing information being released. "Once discovery happens in the cases the RIAA brings, they run," Lybeck says. "This is our case now, and they can't run."
Her lawyer's words are very discouraging - she already has settlement in mind.

Re:Money will buy this out (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752890)

I interpreted that as meaning that the "group" referred to the RIAA -- and it probably is, at least on the surface, in their best interest to settle in a manner which keeps this quiet. And, it probably is also in her interest, too -- less legal bills, money right now, possibly even more than she might get from a lawsuit.

OTOH, if she tries to fight for The Greater Good or something, this might not get settled. Still ... if someone offered you $10 Million to settle, wouldn't you consider it? I know I sure as hell would.

OUCH... (1)

GeneralPayne (1252500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752592)

Will this be the overdue butt pounding for the RIAA and Media Sentry for all their dastardly deeds against poor innocent folks? Will they get their just desserts? Will they bend over and smile while taking it like the hoes that they are? Will their victims get satisfaction from their misfortune? What is the price of a good shredder? How much will it cost to eliminate all data pertaining to Media Sentry's activities and cost/share analysis between the RIAA and Media Sentry? How about Bank deposits for Media Sentry? Will the RIAA and Media Sentry be forced to return all of their ill-gotten gains? Will others follow in the aftermath of this case or will it set a precedent for all other like minded Judges to follow? God so many questions.

Chances (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22752714)

Yes, there is the the chance that she will settle.

But from what we have seen from this woman, well... I think it's pretty obvious that she is very pissed and she will not settle for anything less than victory in this.

If I were in this position, I would be recording every phone call and saving every e-mail. I hope they're dumb enough to try to threaten or bribe her, because she seems like the kind of person who is going to make that kind of information public and make the RIAA look much worse than they already do.

Tactics sound familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22752810)

Dunno if anyone's mentioned this before, but the RIAA tactics seem startlingly similar to the CIA/FBI tactics: they both assert that the ends justify the means, so if they have to trample on a few innocents to bring the terrorists -- I mean IP violators -- to justice, well then that should be permitted because this is so fundamentally important to the survival of our society.

I wonder if the CIA/FBI/Exec branch will intervene on their behalf to support their reasoning.

Finally (1)

mscholin (1230004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22753030)

This will be great news as long as there is no settlement. Even if a settlement is offered the case should go ahead and have all of these companies policies made public. I don't know if this is possible though(I'm not a lawyer); but if it was me, I wouldn't settle.
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