Two "John Does", one from the Southwest, the other from the Greater New York area, have joined forces to fight back against the RIAA in Warner v. Does 1-149.
What they have in common is that both discovered recently that they are named as "John Does" in the same case pending in Manhattan federal court.
In September, 2005, the RIAA brought one of their typical John Doe cases, in Manhattan federal court, Warner Bros. Records v. Does 1-149.
The case was first assigned to Judge John G. Koeltl, who recused himself.
The case was then reassigned to Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who likewise recused himself.
Then the case was reassigned to Judge Richard Owen, who granted the RIAA's "ex parte" applications for discovery, and authorized subpoenas to be served on the internet service provider Time Warner Cable.
The subpoena is returnable Monday, April 3rd.
John Doe #37 and John Doe #61 have both hired Ty Rogers and Ray Beckerman of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP to make a motion to (a) vacate the ex parte discovery orders, (b) quash any subpoenas issued under the orders, and (c) sever and dismiss the action as to John Does 2-149.
John Does' Notice of Motion*
Affidavit of Morlan Ty Rogers in Support of Motion*
Affidavit of Zi Mei in Support of Motion*
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion*
John Does 37 and 61 have asked Judge Owen for a stay of the ex parte order and subpoena pending determination of their motion, since the turning over of their identities before the motion is decided would moot the motion.
March 31, 2006, Letter of Morlan Ty Rogers Requesting Stay
The RIAA agrees to a stay, but argues that the stay should only apply to the moving defendants and not to the other 147 defendants.
March 31, 2006, Letter of J. Christopher Jensen Opposing Stay as to Other 147 Defendants
Ray Beckerman, the author of this blog and one of the attorneys for the moving parties, had this comment:
It is a matter of great significance that two different John Does have teamed up in the same case. This cuts the legal costs to each litigant by half, thus reducing the overall economic balance which ordinarily inheres in these cases. I hope this presages a new trend: people banding together to fight back. The old adage 'united we stand, divided we fall', is very important in the war against the RIAA's litigation machine.
* Document available online at Internet Law & Regulation
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