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RIAA Says It Doesn't Have Enough Evidence 208

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Elektra v. Wilke, the Chicago RIAA case in which defendant Paul Wilke has moved for summary judgment, the RIAA has responded to the summary judgment motion by filing a motion for 'expedited discovery', alleging that it needs expedited pretrial discovery because it does not have sufficient evidence to withstand Mr. Wilke's motion. The RIAA's lawyer said: 'Plaintiffs cannot at this time, without an opportunity for full discovery present by affidavit facts essential to justify their opposition to Defendant's motion.' The motion and supporting affidavit are available online."
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RIAA Says It Doesn't Have Enough Evidence

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  • Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:33AM (#16075103)
    Since almost everyone just settles *cough*extortion*cough*, they rarely have to prove anything.
  • ah-ha (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:35AM (#16075109)
    no evidence ... how interesting. hollow people, hollow lawsuits. finally exposed!
  • by Nicolas MONNET ( 4727 ) <nicoaltiva AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:37AM (#16075112) Journal
    ... could'nt he just fucking translate the submission into english before posting ...

    "Nul n'est sensé ignorer la loi", but who the fuck he supposed to understand legalese, I wonder.
  • by donaggie03 ( 769758 ) <d_osmeyer@hotmail.cDEGASom minus painter> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:48AM (#16075123)
    Is this saying that RIAA sued someone, and the defendant actually fought back with a motion for dismissal? And the RIAA says that they don't actually have the evidence they need to prove anything, but just give them a minute, and they'll scrounge something up? Shouldn't the RIAA have thier evidence BEFORE the trial??
  • Evidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:35AM (#16075198) Homepage Journal
    Not exactly.

    They have enough evidence to start proceedings, but not enough to prove guilt. So they ask for more with the discovery. This is also seen in other types of cases, so its not unheard of.

    The discovery might even entail impounding his entire home, and all his assets for 'review'. A good 'threat' to cause him to settle out of court like everyone else has. Does he have the balls for it? The RIAA has nothing to lose by a war of attrition. He does. ( we all do )
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:43AM (#16075218)
    It also means that their supporting tort wasn't very strong, and might set precedent to require greater revelation in the tort to support their accusation before messing with both the court and the defendent(s).

    It's a smelly, scummy sort of ambulance chaser that doesn't have his/her ducks in a row before they baste some poor person in oil and fry them before the bench.

    This bodes badly for whatever hacks the RIAA has employed to enforce their ex-foreclosure bar-bells. I doubt they're embarrassed, as it is impossible to embarrass sociopaths.

    Now mod me down for troll-- or be enlightened and understand that the poster actually got some most interesting and relevant information: the RIAA's enforcers are starting to sputter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:44AM (#16075219)
    No, this doesn't mean they have the same lawyers as SCO, just the same "sue upon suspicion, find evidence later" style of handling things.

    From the RIAA's point of view, that's not as dumb as it sounds.

    1) They get the publicity (another mile on the piracy lawsuit odometer). Whether this one is guilty or not, it counts just as well in their scare tactics.

    2) The mere fact that there *is* a lawsuit leads to out-of-court settlements more often than to court sessions, because the defendants (plain citizens) believe they'll save on legal expenses that way.

    In this case they had the bad luck to "hit" a 50+ year old guy who stands up for himself, but suppose it'd been someone with a 14-year old kid using the family's internet connection. You know how kids are, and they wouldn't file a complaint if they had nothing to back it, would they? So you'd probably believe it, and try to move it into history as fast and as cheap as you can.
  • by nenya ( 557317 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:53AM (#16075240) Homepage
    When a plaintiff files suit in court, it does not necessarily need to have all of the evidence it needs to win. This is the purpose of the discovery phase of a lawsuit.

    If a plaintiff believes it has been wronged but the information necessary to sufficiently prove their case is somehow privileged, there is no way for them to possess that information as evidence without discovery. That's why it's called "discovery". Plaintiffs frequently believe that internal documents or sworn testimony of the defendant will prove their case, but without discovery, they will never be able to read those documents or obtain that testimony.

    In this case, the RIAA needs access to defendant's computer to prove its case. It has no such access without a subpoena, which it cannot obtain without a lawsuit. Plaintiff has filed that lawsuit and is now asking the court for permission to obtain the evidence needed to prove it.

    I would be very surprised if the court denied their motion.
  • by Shemmie ( 909181 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @09:23AM (#16075306)
    Thank God for lawyers. Without them, how would we ever decode legal issues that have been encoded by other lawyers. Wait a minute...
  • by muskieman ( 935340 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @09:28AM (#16075314)
    Sad to back these tools up, but they (claim) did have evidence, they tracked an ip address that was traced to an account, then filed a lawsuit against that account. Paul claims he did not share files and does not have them on his computer. So, the tools want to verify his claims by inspecting his computer etc etc. This is all reasonable (while the concept of the lawsuits may not be)

    Hopefully, Paul (or Paule) does not have any evidence of those songs on his computer (and more importantly, does not have evidence that they may have been erased, there was a precedent where someone got the book thrown at them after using a drive wiper, hopefully that gets thrown back on appeal). Sadly, even if he is innocent, if they (the tools) can convince a judge that the data has been tampered with (wiped hard drive, another computer, whatever) they could still reak (pun intended) havoc.

    This is an opportunity to raise the bar by requiring much more specific proof of infringement before violating a person's right to privacy and disrupting their lives, but don't expect that to come out of Chicago. Next best thing is that if Paul can withstand the expedited discovery (and many dirty tricks will probably be used) then he wins and precedent is set. This will limit and force the hand of the tools in future cases and encourage others to resist the suit (specifically if Paul can get attorney fees).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @10:33AM (#16075531)
    Americans have rights still? I thought you gave all those up to get rid of the deaths caused by terrorism, which amounts to less than a fraction of a percent.
  • by thej1nx ( 763573 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:06AM (#16075671)
    You know how kids are, and they wouldn't file a complaint if they had nothing to back it, would they?

    Unfortunately, media is all too full of stories of RIAA falsely suing old grannies, dead people and folks that do ot even own a computer. So no, that is not a natural assumption anymore. You are wrong.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:17PM (#16077823)

    Thanks for the dig at America - really necessary.

    Anyway, as an actual engineer in the US, I can assure you that all modern testing equipment is metric. Even if it displays in English units, it still is configurable to metric. We use grams and mm (and probably liters, though I don't deal with volumes much). Conversion is a pain, but it hardly seems to hurt America's ability to engineer things. Before you make a snarky comment about crappy American cars, they have been all-metric for perhaps 20 years now. And in what other country does your metric ratchet set come for a 1/4 inch driver :) Anyway, the government does not control the people here (yet), and the people here do not like the metric system. They tried to change the road signs already, and it failed miserably. Even though all foods have been labeled in metric and English units for longer than I've been alive, I've yet to hear an American refer to a 4-liter bottle of milk. And yet, no one has any problem with the 2-liter bottle of soda that has become standard. Even though thermometers all have F and C marked on them, the average American wouldn't have a clue that 30 degrees is really, really hot and 0 degrees is mildly cold. Anyway, you can't fool me, I've been out your way over in Asia, and you still can order a pint at the pub...

  • by dwandy ( 907337 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:40PM (#16077889) Homepage Journal
    THEN they wiped the HDD
    While everyone seems to have accepted this as the way it went down, some people on the /. thread about this case wondered how you prove timing.
    If someone wipes a drive and is sued 2 days later, how do you prove the wipe had nothing to do with the suit?

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire