Thursday, May 17, 2007

In UMG v. Lindor Parties Stipulate to Procedure for Determining Wholesale Download Prices for Purposes of Unconstitutionality Issue

In UMG v. Lindor, some six (6) months after the plaintiffs were ordered to provide defendant with "all relevant documents" concerning the wholesale prices of single song downloads, the parties were able to reach agreement on a stipulated procedure, which dispenses with the need for the RIAA to produce documents, for the determination of the wholesale download prices for purposes of determining the issue of the constitutionality of plaintiffs' $750-per-file statutory damages theory.

Under the procedure agreed upon, the RIAA will provide Ms. Lindor's counsel with declarations describing the price range of wholesale downloads; the declarations will be confidential pending further court order; and it will be assumed, for purposes of the litigation only, that the low end of the price range is the wholesale per-song price:

Stipulations for Determination of Wholesale Download Prices*
Order approving stipulations*

* 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:

jaded said...

Certainly looks like this has the potential of being the hole in the dike that can no longer be plugged with an available digit (confidentiality notwithstanding). Once settled, the $3500 to $7000 'beneficient' settlements will have no basis in reality (or legality) and should quickly go by the wayside. Unfortunately, does little for those already 'snared' and 'settled'.

AMD FanBoi said...

When you've got so much to hide (I'm talking about you, Mr. RIAA), you should really be leery of going into court at all -- especially when you could have avoided all this. Actual profits per digital download. Media Sentry contracts. Illegal, anti-trust, extortionate, RICO, unconstitutional, misuse actions on your part, can all come to haunt the arrogant.

Jaded: Not completely in agreement with your analysis. If the RIAA "proved" illegal infringement and collected constitutional damages of 3X to 10X per a thousand songs detected (1000 shared songs was their initial threshold -- it's now obviously lower), that would fall into the range of payments you quote. It's only when they sue for hundreds of millions of alleged damages that they are so far over the line vis-a-vi the Constitution and previous SCOTUS rulings on the matter.

recordjackethistorian said...

The issue this raises is the same one which was raised when Ray came to the tech community to ask for advice and input on what the RIAA called "evidence". As we all know, Beckerman & co are accomplished lawyers but not accomplished computer techs. Without the tech communities input, they would not have known what was a smoke screen and what was real.

The same thing is true here, if someone gives you a list and documents saying this is the wholesale price of this and that is what it cost us to do whatever, how do you know its the truth? The real cost or recordings has always been shrouded in mystery (intentionally, I think). I know what it costs a band to produce a CD, I know what pressing costs. But I really have no idea what a major company like Sony/BMG or EMI true costs are. The RIAA demand for confidentiality is not without reason. They fear the expertise of the masses.

Cheers,
David
a.k.a. The Record Jacket Historian.

Ray Beckerman said...

dear recordjack....

1. we already know the price is ~70 cents

2. this is about the revenues, not costs... we haven't gotten into the costs yet...

3. what do you know about my expertise in this area? i've been working in music law for 32 1/2 years....

4. you can't possibly believe that i was relying on the slashdot and groklaw communities for my technical information.... i put the question out there to the community, and got a lot of valuable thinking and a lot of valuable input... but i didn't take anyone's word for it and didn't rely on anything i was told by any anonymous poster.... everything serious was run through my technical advisor, Mr. Zi Mei... i feel insulted that you think i wouldn't have known how to depose dr. jacobson had i not had that extra assistance... i first worked on an expert witness deposition about 30 years ago.....