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Interview Lawyers Who Defend Against RIAA Suits 289

Posted by Roblimo
from the when-you-want-an-expert-opinion-ask-an-expert dept.
Attorneys Ty Rogers and Ray Beckerman maintain a blog called Recording Industry vs The People, subtitled, "A blog devoted to the RIAA's lawsuits of intimidation brought against ordinary working people," which was most recently linked from Slashdot on Sept. 10. They've agreed to answer your questions about RIAA suits -- and they obviously will not preface their answers with "IANAL," although we must note that they cannot give specific legal advice about specific cases. For that you need to engage an attorney yourself. (Luckily, their site contains a directory of lawyers willing to defend against RIAA suits.) In any case, these guys obviously know more than the average bear (or lawyer) about how the RIAA goes about suing music fans, how to keep from getting sued by the RIAA, and how to fight back if you do get sued, so we're glad they're willing to help us learn more about this apparently endless legal mess. Usual Slashdot interview rules apply.
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Interview Lawyers Who Defend Against RIAA Suits

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  • Re:Cost (Score:2, Informative)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Monday September 11, 2006 @01:41PM (#16083053)
    As with any civil case, the cost of a defense tends to be *far* higher if you are guilty, that is, if the plaintiff has evidence that suggests you are actually responsible for the damage being claimed.

    When you hear about expensive lawsuit defenses, where people try to scare you out of the idea of even *trying* to defend yourself, you generally do not hear it from someone who is clearly in no way responsible for the damage being claimed. In fact, you usually hear it from someone who is actually guilty but still wants to avoid the consequences of being found guilty.

  • by DzugZug (52149) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:00PM (#16083227) Journal
    $150,000 is a statutory penalty and has no relation to the cost to the label. The same penalty occures for infringement without monetary gain.
  • by westlake (615356) on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:58PM (#16084875)
    As others have said, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a sure thing.

    "All debts are wiped out in Chapter 7 bankruptcy."

    You wish. Certain types of debts cannot be discharged (erased). They include child support, alimony, government-issued or government-guaranteed student loans, and debts incurred as the result of fraud. It's also very unlikely that a judge will discharge legal settlements you've been assessed, such as money you've been ordered to pay to someone who sued you. 12 myths about bankruptcy [bankrate.com]

    Changes in the law have made liquidation under Chapter 7 much more difficult: Bankruptcy filings fall to lowest level in 5 years [kten.com]

  • by westlake (615356) on Monday September 11, 2006 @05:51PM (#16085240)
    If it got that bad, I'd probably stop working and play stay-at-home dad. They'd be getting no blood from this turnip. Until they reinstituted debtor prisons, they couldn't touch me so long as I wasn't married. In Ohio we have a very strict definition of marriage, so the RIAA couldn't try to get money from my girlfriend

    Your girl friend may want to talk to a lawyer about her exposure under federal civil and criminal law. Living arrangements that appear to have been constructed to avoid a legal judgement can get you into no end of trouble.

    The judegement isn't going away. Negotiate a realistic payment schedule and get on with your life,

  • by cheshire_cqx (175259) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:46PM (#16086064) Homepage
    Hold you in civil contempt and put you in jail. Do you remember Judith Miller [wikipedia.org]?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:43PM (#16086473)
    $150,000 is a statutory penalty and has no relation to the cost to the label. The same penalty occures for infringement without monetary gain.


    Actually, $150,000 is the maximum statutory penalty, given willful infringement and some other exacerbations. If a violator can prove innocent infringement, the court can drop the fine per work to $200 (thats as low as it can go). For this reason the RIAA usually only litigates 6-12 infringements.

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

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