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The Courts

Florida Judge Smacks Down RIAA 301

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is going to have to face the music in Tampa, Florida, and answer the charges of extortion, trespass, conspiracy, unlicensed investigation, and computer fraud and abuse that have been leveled against them there. And the judge delivered his ruling against them in in pretty unceremonious fashion — receiving their dismissal motion last night, and denying the motion this morning. The RIAA's unvarying M.O., when hit with counterclaims, is to make a motion to dismiss them. It did just that in one Tampa case, UMG v. Del Cid, but the judge upheld 5 of the 6 counterclaims. The RIAA quickly settled that one. When a new case came up in the same Tampa courthouse before the very same judge, and the same 5 counterclaims were leveled against the record companies, I opined that 'it is highly unlikely that the RIAA will make a motion to dismiss counterclaims,' since I knew they'd be risking sanctions if they did. Well I guess I underestimated the chutzpah — or the propensity for frivolous motion practice — of the RIAA lawyers, as they in essence thumbed their nose at the judge, making the dismissal motion anyway, telling District Judge Richard A. Lazzara that his earlier decision had been wrong. The judge wasted no time telling the record companies that he did not agree (PDF)."
The Courts

Class Action Complaint Against RIAA Now Online 176

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Recommended reading for all interested in the RIAA's litigation war against p2p file sharing is the amended class action complaint just filed in Oregon in Andersen v. Atlantic. This landmark 109-page document (pdf) tells both the general story of the RIAA's campaign against ordinary folks, and the specific story of its harassment of Tanya Andersen, and even of her young daughter. The complaint includes federal and state RICO claims, as well as other legal theories, and alleges that "The world's four major recording studios had devised an illegal enterprise intent on maintaining their virtually complete monopoly over the distribution of recorded music." The point has been made by one commentator that the RIAA won't be able to weasel its out of this one by simply withdrawing it; this one, they will have to answer for. If the relief requested in the complaint is granted, the RIAA's entire campaign will be shut down for good."
The Courts

RIAA's Attack On NewYorkCountryLawyer Fails 222

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes " reports that the RIAA has egg on its face. When the Electronic Frontier Foundation requested permission to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Boston University students challenging the RIAA's ex parte discovery order, the RIAA lawyers attacked the blog 'Recording Industry vs. The People' for its criticism of the RIAA as seeking to 'abuse the American judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children' and then falsely claimed that the blog's author is an EFF attorney — this despite the fact that they know that the blog's author (known on Slashdot as NewYorkCountryLawyer) is a partner in a New York law firm and not an EFF attorney. Judge Gertner apparently wasn't impressed, and granted the EFF's motion, rejecting the RIAA's objections, since she felt amici curiae might 'shed light' on the 'copyright law' and 'computer technology' issues before her."
The Courts

RIAA Must Divulge Expenses-Per-Download 305

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Court has ordered UMG Recordings, Warner Bros. Records, Interscope Records, Motown, and SONY BMG to disclose their expenses-per-download to the defendant's lawyers, in UMG v. Lindor, a case pending in Brooklyn. The Court held that the expense figures are relevant to the issue of whether the RIAA's attempt to recover damages of $750 or more per 99-cent song file, is an unconstitutional violation of due process."
The Courts

U.of Oregon Says No to RIAA 241

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The University of Oregon has filed a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena for information on student identities in what is believed to be the first such motion made by a university with support from the state Attorney General. The motion (pdf) explains that it is impossible to identify the alleged infringers from the information the RIAA has presented: 'Five of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from double occupancy dorm rooms at the University. With regard to these Does, the University is able to identify only the room where the content was accessed and whether or not the computer used was a Macintosh or a PC ... The University cannot determine whether the content in question accessed by one occupant as opposed to another, or whether it was accessed instead by a visitor.' The AG's motion further argues (pdf) that "Plaintiffs' subpoena is unduly burdensome and overbroad. It seeks information that the University does not readily possess. In order to attempt to comply with the subpoena, the University would be forced to undertake an investigation to create discovery for Plaintiffs — an obligation not imposed by Rule 45. As the University is unable to identify the alleged infringers with any accuracy, it cannot comply with its federal obligation to notify students potentially affected by the subpoena. One commentator has likened the AG's argument to saying, in effect, that the RIAA's evidence is 'rubbish'."
The Courts

Judge Kimball Strikes SCO's Jury Trial Demand 149

watchingeyes writes "In a ruling on various pre-trial motions in limine and other, similar motions in the SCO vs Novell case, Judge Kimball today issued a ruling striking SCO's demand for a jury trial, ruling that Novell's claims seek equitable, and not legal relief. In addition, he denied SCO's request for entry of judgment that would allow them to appeal his ruling on the UNIX copyrights and Novell's waiver rights, ruling that if SCO wants to appeal any of his rulings, it can do them all at once after trial. He also granted Novell's request to voluntarily dismiss its own breach of contract claim, denied SCO's motion to exclude press coverage and evidence from the IBM case, granted Novell's motion in limine preventing SCO from contesting his summary judgment ruling at trial, granted Novell's second motion in limine preventing SCO from arguing that SCOsource licenses that license SVRx only incidentally aren't SVRx licenses, denied another SCO motion in limine which improperly asked the Judge to issue rulings on contractual issues and denied Novell's final motion in limine which sought to prevent SCO from contesting Novell's apportionment of royalties analysis. Looks like SCO will be facing a trial in-front of a judge which has already ruled against them numerous times."