Monday, August 28, 2006

Lindor Judge Rules: RIAA Can Seek Protective Order After Deposition; if videoconference deposition, RIAA Lawyer Can't be in Room

The Magistrate Judge presiding over discovery disputes in UMG v. Lindor in Brooklyn federal court, made several discovery rulings today:
August 28, 2006, Order of Hon. Robert M. Levy, Magistrate Judge*
He ruled that
1. where a deposition of the witness for UMG, Motown, and Interscope is to be done by videoconference in Los Angeles, the lawyer for the RIAA cannot be in the room with her but shall also participate by videoconference; in the alternative the RIAA can compensate defendant up to $500 to enable her lawyer to attend in person;
2. the protective order motion to keep the deposition transcripts secret must be made by formal motion and shall be made after the deposition transcripts are received; the RIAA will have 30 days to designate the portions it wants to keep confidential, the parties will have 15 days after that to "meet and confer" and try to resolve the issues amicably, and then if they are not successful the RIAA will have 30 days to make a formal protective order motion;
3. the RIAA's claim of 'privilege' on its agreements with its investigators will be determined by a protective order motion, with 'in camera' submission of the agreements to the magistrate ('in camera' = submitted to the judge but not to the other side); briefing will be completed by November 10th, and oral argument of the motion held on November 30th;
4. the issue of the timing for Ms. Lindor to make a summary judgment motion should be submitted to Judge Trager;
5. if the motion to amend the answer to assert a defense of unconstitutionality of the RIAA's $750-per-song damages theory hasn't been decided by the time of the deposition, then the plaintiffs' deposition witnesses don't have to testify on the subject of how much money the RIAA gets paid per download; if the motion is granted and another deposition needed, it will be done by telephone, with neither attorney in the room.

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs

4 comments:

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray, this is one of my rare serious(!) and non rethorical questions. So please could you explain it what this ruling means in a few short "non lawyer lingo"-words?

Number 2 does this after recieving mean that the transcript are not "secret" per default after they are produced and if somebody ;-) who is in early posession of the transcript (before the RIAA could file their formal motion to make these transcripts secret) and would "leak" them to the internet would not violate any Laws/Courtrulings?

Ray Beckerman said...

It means that

1. their request for a blanket advance confidentiality order for all deposition transcripts is denied

2. the confidentiality issue will be decided on a transcript by transcript basis

3. the deposition transcripts will be initially confidential for a short period of time

4. if they want the transcripts or any portion to stay confidential, they have to designate which parts

5. then we have to meet and confer with each other to see if we can come to an agreement as to what is confidential

6. if we can't agree then they have to make a motion for a protective order, and they will have the burden of proving "good cause"

7. the motions must be formal motions, with notices of motion, affidavits, etc.

8. the depositions stay confidential until the judge has had a chance to rule on them

9. no one can leak them to the internet; that would be a violation of a court order

10. if the judge feels that any part of the transcript is not confidential, then that portion of the transcript can be filed in court

11. once it's filed in court, it will be public

Alter_Fritz said...

Thank 's for that explaination.
And while you are reading this here, could you just quickly check if this short explaination of the other RIAA-"stunt" hit the head?

Jeff Benson said...

This is great news.