Thursday, April 26, 2007

SONY v. Merchant Heats Up in Fresno; Defendants' Lawyer Attacks RIAA "Ex parte" procedures

The widely reported case of SONY v. Merchant, which received worldwide attention when Visalia, California, lawyer Merl Ledford III wrote a strongly worded letter to the RIAA's lawyer that caused the RIAA to promptly withdraw its case, has heated up as the RIAA went to a different court, this time going to Fresno rather than Sacramento, and tried a different tack, this time proceeding "ex parte" so that they would not have to give the Merchants notice of what they were doing, suing under the name SONY v. Does 1-10.

Defendants have launched a full scale attack on the RIAA's tactic of bringing "ex parte" proceedings against multiple John Does, and demanding that notice be given of any applications to the Court prior to their being made. Defendants have also attacked the frivolousness of the RIAA's evidence, and claim that the joinder of various "John Does" in a single case is in violation of the order in Fonovisa v. Does 1-41:


Request for Judicial Notice*
Request for Special Notice*
Declaration of Counsel*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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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

5 comments:

AMD FanBoi said...

FINALLY, someone is going after that joinder at the point where it's most appropriate to do so.

Scott said...

Yay! :)

As much as I slam the law industry in America (and Ray might add, gratuitously), I do love stirring and well-written court documents. The gifted Mr. Ledford can write a paragraph that can make even the most jaded American stand up and cheer:

"As an Officer of this Court of nearly 30 years good standing, I urge the Court (a) to
reject any attempt by Plaintiffs to dismiss their litigation against Mr. and Mrs. MERCHANT
without prejudice in this Second Lawsuit to avoid paying attorneys’ fees under the Copyright
Act; and (b) to not pass up this ripe opportunity to do Justice that the Peoples of our United
States ask of their Judicial Officers rather than merely approaching our functions as though law
were a game (the “Sport of Kings” as one pundit put it). If we, as lawyers and judicial officers,
ever fall into the trap of law-as-a-game where obscenely rich corporate nation-states (that act,
as here, as if they were laws unto themselves) can afford play-to-financial-exhaustion contests
with simple Orosi educators like your REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST, we will have all sown
destruction of our profession; and the true “piracy” of anarchy will be our nation’s bloody
harvest."

AMD FanBoi said...

Let me add, from the Declaration of Counsel, these final sentences:

If we, as lawyers and judicial officers,
ever fall into the trap of law-as-a-game where obscenely rich corporate nation-states (that act,
as here, as if they were laws unto themselves) can afford play-to-financial-exhaustion contests
with simple Orosi educators like your REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST, we will have all sown
destruction of our profession; and the true “piracy” of anarchy will be our nation’s bloody
harvest.


Now there's a declaration of what our courts ought to be -- and what I hope they are.

Jadeic said...

Well - Merl Ledford III's standing was already high following his first rebuff of the RIAA attack dogs but is now pretty well off the scale. His writing is incisive with that lovely peppery tang of barely contained outrage at the RIAA tactics and a passion for the integrity of his profession that does him proud.

The court's response could be a decisive turning point.

Dave

P.S. Hope no-one noticed that I mis-posted this comment earlier. Sorry Ray.

Ray Beckerman said...

Thank you, igor and alter.