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Submission + - EFF jumps in to defend bloggers being sued by Prenda (eff.org)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has entered the fray to defend the bloggers sued by Prenda Law Firm. Prenda, oblivious to such well known legal niceties as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the affirmative defense of truth, the difference between a defamatory statement of fact and the expression of a negative opinion, and the First Amendment, has immediately — and illegally — sought to subpoena information leading to the identities of the bloggers. I would not be surprised to see these "lawyers" get into even more hot water than they're already in. And I take my hat off to the EFF for stepping in here."
Open Source

Submission + - Richard Stallman endorses Kallos for NYC Council (stallman.org)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Free Software Founder Richard M. Stallman has endorsed Benjamin Kallos, a tech and free software candidate (also KallosEsq on Slashdot), for New York City Council, pointing to his “record of pushing government to enter the Internet age in the right way, the way that respects people's freedom and increases the public's control over government.” While working for a NY assemblyman, Kallos was, along with Carl Malamud, one of the "gnomes" behind New York's bill to award tax credits to volunteer open source developers, denied them under existing law because they weren't getting paid for their contributions."

Comment Re:This is big (Score 1) 189

Big Grats on this Ray! I know you've been preaching this for a long time. Good to see it finally getting some traction with the Courts. Am I also to believe that progress is being made with the improper joinder issue as well?

Absolutely, just today I posted another of many decisions granting severance and dismissal as to all John Does other than Doe 1:

Comment Re:Was this ruling because the content was porn? (Score 1) 189

While this is a great ruling, I've noticed a recent pattern: most of the cases where judges have come down hard on copyright trolls do not involve material from major studios. They involve pornography, often gay pornography. There are quite a few of these cases chronicled on TorrentFreak. I wonder to what extent the judges are letting their disgust of the underlying material come through in their rulings. Would they be making the same rulings if these people were accused of downloading mainstream music or films?

Good question. I don't know the answer. It certainly seems that the overt sleeziness of the current crop of plaintiffs -- as opposed to the camouflaged sleeziness of the RIAA plaintiffs -- has alerted the judges to the fact that there's something wrong here.

Comment Re:This is big (Score 4, Informative) 189

Moby, the thing is you're supposed to have done an investigation BEFORE bringing a federal lawsuit. When a lawyer signs his name to the complaint he's affirming that he's done that and has EVIDENCE that the DEFENDANT committed a copyright infringement.

In the federal rules there's no procedure for bringing a lawsuit against someone to give yourself the ability to conduct an "Investigation" with all the coercive powers of a court at your disposal.

This judge just called the plaintiff's lawyer's bluff, which is why the lawyer put his tail between his legs and ran.

Comment Re:More evidence (Score 1) 189

But wait... is this really fair?

Are you kidding me?

These jerks abuse the legal system to conduct extortion. Several prominent trolls are facing serious jail time for their crimes, which are numerous. And here you are worried that they have to have actual proof before trying to ruin somebodys life?!


Now let's see, do I think it's fair? Hmmmm..........

Uh......., yeah, I do.

Comment This is big (Score 5, Informative) 189

This ruling is huge.

Ever since I first got involved in fighting the RIAA's litigation campaign, and blogging about it, in 2005 [that's almost 8 years ago] I've been arguing that it is not a sufficient basis to bring a lawsuit against someone that an internet access account for which he or she pays the bill was used by someone for a copyright infringement. Even though I, and lots of other lawyers, and lots of other techies, and lots of other people from all walks of life knew this, I have never -- until this ruling -- seen a JUDGE dismiss a complaint because of this.

If those of you who are saying this is "not a big deal" or "was expected" know of any prior decisions like this, please show them to me. Otherwise, STFU about it not being big. After about 10 years and hundreds of thousands of frivolous lawsuits, finally a judge has pointed out that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

It is one of the most newsworthy copyright posts I have ever seen on Slashdot.

Submission + - Troll complaint dismissed; subscriber not necessarily infringer (blogspot.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The courts are finally starting to get it, that the subscriber to an internet access account which has been used for a copyright infringement is not necessarily the infringer. In AF Holdings v. Rogers, a case in the Southern District of California, the Chief Judge of the Court has granted a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim where the only evidence the plaintiff has against defendant is that defendant appears to have been the subscriber to the internet access account in question. In his 7-page opinion (PDF), Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz noted that "just because an IP address is registered to an individual does not mean that he or she is guilty of infringement when that IP address is used to commit infringing activity"."

Comment Re:"the Native American Minnesotan" (Score 1) 146

Why do we care that she's of tribal descent? Are we now saying tribal American's are exempt from copyright laws? I flatly refuse to redefine native they way the PC crowd does, if you were born in the US you are native. I happen to be of Cherokee linage as well, but that doesn't matter, I'm native because I was born here.

In this case, I personally believe that she was discriminated against by the jury, because she was a Native American. She was tried many many miles from where she lived and worked, and did not have a jury of her peers.

Comment Re:Question for NYCountryLawyer re illegal downloa (Score 2) 146

Was she really convicted of "illegal downloading?"

1. She wasn't "convicted" of anything; this wasn't a criminal case. She was found liable for copyright infringement by making copies through downloading, thus violating the record companies' exclusive reproduction rights.
2. She was also sued for "distributing" and "making available for distributing", but the judge threw out the "making available for distributing" claim, and there was no evidence offered of the "distributing" claim.

So yes, the only thing she was found liable for was downloading.

Comment Re:by my estimation (Score 1) 146

This case is Capitol vs Thomas, not RIAA vs Thomas. Capitol is a music publisher, and this case was about their works.

1. Capitol is but one of the plaintiffs.
2. The RIAA was in fact running the case, with the aid of the record company plaintiffs.
3. Capitol is a record company, not a music publisher.
4. The case was about the recordings of several different companies.

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