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RIAA Drops Case In Chicago 229

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes, "The RIAA has dropped the Elektra v. Wilke case in Chicago. This is the case in which Mr. Wilke had moved for summary judgment, stating that: '1. He is not "Paule Wilke" which is the name he was sued under. 2. He has never possessed on his computer any of the songs listed in exhibit A [the list of songs the RIAA's investigator downloaded]. He only had a few of the songs from exhibit B [the screenshot] on his computer, and those were from legally purchased CDs owned by Mr. Wilke. 3. He has never used any "online media distribution system" to download, distribute, or make available for distribution, any of plaintiffs' copyrighted recordings.' The RIAA's initial response to the summary judgment motion, prior to dropping the case, had been to cross-move for discovery, indicating that it did not have enough evidence with which to defeat Mr. Wilke's summary judgment motion. P2pnet had termed the Wilke case yet another RIAA blunder."
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RIAA Drops Case In Chicago

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  • Re:Why?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by cooley ( 261024 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @02:29AM (#16434133) Homepage
    I agree that they're not a monopoly, but I suspect that they might be a "trust" (which AFAIK is the same set of laws in the US under which monopolies are dealt with), defined as "a consortium of companies formed to limit competition". They all agree not to under-cut each other on prices, and to work together to protect their cash cow.
  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by saxoholic ( 992773 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @02:32AM (#16434139)
    Yes, more specifically they're probably a cartel "A cartel is a group of formally independent producers whose goal it is to fix prices, to limit supply and to limit competition."
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @04:03AM (#16434403)
    You present essentially every defense you can think of. You are presenting multiple levels and angles of an argument. It's like if you asked if I robbed a store and I say "No I was at work that night, and even if I was near the store I'm not nearly stupid enough to do something like that." The second part of the statement isn't saying the first is false, it's just saying that even if you don't believe me that I was at work, you still should believe I didn't do it.

    In the event of a lawsuit like this, that's how you'd go about it. Off the top of my head I'd challenge if the listing was undoctored (since screenshots are easy to fake), if it was of the right client (many P2P networks will misreport what you have on accident sometimes), if they verified the contents of the files, if they verified that they were coming from the stated IP address, if the IP to account mapping was accurate and unaltered, and if there was a way to prove that nobody else was using my network. It's just pointing out all the levels of problems. So even if the judge/jury buys everything else is legit, they believe it is likely someone else was using my network.

    You'll find in some civil cases there can be hundreds of responses as to why the plaintiffs are full of shit. It's just how the game is played. You throw out any and everything that is wrong with their case, and see what you can get to stick and shoot it down.
  • Re:Why?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @04:33AM (#16434509)
    when most of us (at least 60%,) own the CDs we're downloading off the net.

    Whose ass did you pull that number out of?

    I rip my CDs with EAC and compress with LAME or aoTuV vorbis because that's the only way I know I'm getting good quality. So much stuff on the net is ripped in igorance. I use EncSpot to check over anything I do download and most of the time it reports sync errors and crapass encoders like Xing.
  • by paul248 ( 536459 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @04:35AM (#16434517) Homepage
  • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @07:34AM (#16435057) Journal
    They probably have the lawyers on retainer, so they pay the lawyers regardless of if they're sitting around twiddling their thumbs or scaring private citizens into coughing up money. They most likely cut back on the lawsuits whenever they need the lawyers for more legitimate purposes.
  • Nope, they are paying them by the hour.
  • Re:Counter? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:51AM (#16436087)
    The dismissal is with prejudice [], meaning it can't be refiled at all.
  • by ( 142825 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @03:01PM (#16438057) Homepage
    The purpose of the suit is not to make or recover money from the lawsuit. The idea is to create fear. This is the same thing that the MPAA and Mattel does.

    Many people see "grandmother sued for $1,000,000 for downloading music on the internet" and will be afraid to download music unless the RIAA gives its blessing. The same thing with thing with the MPAA and movies. Though they pay lots of money to their attorneys, their point is made.

    The RIAA filed a dismissal on the eve of a bad ruling against them. I had Mattel do the same with a libel claim, when the judge asked what was libelous, Mattel dropped it. They do this to prevent a bad ruling against them, because they will be stuck with that bad ruling.
  • The withdrawal was clearly consensual and mutual. Yes undoubtedly Mr. Wilke could have insisted that the case continue. Usually, though, when the plaintiffs want to drop the case, the judge will let them. However, they might still be liable for attorneys fees. See Capitol v. Foster [].
  • by The Cydonian ( 603441 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:31PM (#16440781) Homepage Journal
    You probably want to follow the link to the guy's homepage. Among other things, he's the Beckerman answering questions in this interview [], so I'd like to take him on his word.

    Unless you were being ironic, in which case, it's all in good fun.

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