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The Courts

RIAA Sued For Fraud, Abuse, & "Sham Litigation" 187

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "It's been a rough week for the RIAA as massive layoffs are about to cost many employees their job. On top of that, the anti-piracy outfit is being sued in North Carolina for abusing the legal system in its war on piracy, particularly for civil conspiracy, deceptive trade practices, trespassing and computer fraud in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Moursy. Named along with the record companies as defendants on the counterclaims are Safenet (formerly known as MediaSentry) and the RIAA. This case first started out as 'LaFace Records v. Does 1-38' until the court required the RIAA to break it up into 38 separate cases, at which point it morphed into 'SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Doe.' Only after the RIAA finally got its 'expedited' discovery did it become SONY v. Moursy. And from the looks of things, it has a long, long way to go. The RIAA hasn't even filed its answer to the counterclaims yet, but is making a motion to dismiss them on the grounds of legal insufficiency. Sound like a good investment of record company resources, anyone?"
The Courts

RIAA Claim of Stopping Suits "Months" Ago Is False 141

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report on, the RIAA spokesman claimed that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits 'for months,' and according to the Wall Street Journal report discussed here yesterday, the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits 'early this fall.' Knowing that the RIAA has a problem with telling the truth, I did a little investigating, and found out that the RIAA had, in fact, commenced a wave of lawsuits just last week. Why would anyone believe anything their spokesperson says? This is an organization that has a tendency to misspeak a lot, if you know what I mean, even when under oath." CNet has a copy of the RIAA's new form letter that it will ask ISPs to pass on to alleged copyright-infringing users. It says, in part, "This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' rights to recover or claim relief for damages incurred by this illegal activity, nor does it waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft."
The Courts

Judge Tells RIAA To Stop 'Bankrupting' Litigants 332

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Boston judge who has consolidated all of the RIAA's Massachusetts cases into a single case over which she has been presiding for the past 5 years delivered something of a rebuke to the RIAA's lawyers, we have learned. At a conference this past June, the transcript of which (PDF) has just been released, Judge Nancy Gertner said to them that they 'have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers ... to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it ...' She also acknowledged that 'there is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources,' while it is futile for self-represented defendants to resist. The judge did not seem to acknowledge any responsibility on her part, however, for having created the 'imbalance,' and also stated that the law is 'overwhelmingly on the side of the record companies,' even though she seems to recognize that for the past 5 years she has been hearing only one side of the legal story."
The Courts

RIAA Wants Its $222,000 Verdict Back 203

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA, unhappy with the Court's decision setting aside its $222,000 jury verdict over $23.76 worth of song files, and throwing out the legal theory on which it was based, has made a motion for permission to file an appeal from the Judge's order, in Capitol v. Thomas. Normally, only final judgments are appealable, and appeals are not permissible in federal court from 'interlocutory' orders of that nature."

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