Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Judge Rejects RIAA Motion in Lava v. Amurao; Counterclaims for Copyright Misuse and Declaratory Judgment Stand

In Lava v. Amurao, pending in the Southern District of New York, in White Plains, Judge Charles L. Brieant has entered an order denying the RIAA's motion to dismiss counterclaims for (a) declaratory judgment of non-infringement and (b) copyright misuse.

The Judge also granted the motion of the Electronic Frontier Foundation for leave to file an amicus curiae brief.

The copyright misuse counterclaim calls for the plaintiffs to forfeit their copyrights in the songs which form the basis for their suit, on the ground that they are "competitors in the business of recorded music.....[and] are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and public policy, by litigating and settling all cases similar to this one together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in an identical manner and through common lawyers..... Such actions represent an secure for themselves rights far exceeding those provided by copyright laws......Such acts constitute misuse of copyrights, and lead to a forfeiture of the exclusive rights.....".

May 23, 2007, Order of Hon. Charles L. Brieant, Denying RIAA's Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims for Declaratory Judgment and Copyright Misuse, and Granting EFF Leave to File Amicus Curiae Brief*

Mr. Amurao is represented by Richard A. Altman of Manhattan.

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

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Alter_Fritz said...

its refreshing to see that there are still judges that are interested in the arguments.

[...]See transcrip.[...]
Yes, please Ray let us read the transcript of the oral argument.

Maybe the Plaintiffs -that allegedly take so great umbrage that you accused their lawyer firm in NY of lying- would be happy to sponsor the buying of it to show how noble and honest their guys "BM-8573" and "RG-5147" are when it comes to arguing in front of judges contrary to your and judge West's opinion that plaintiffs lawyers writings are simply "not true"

That the plaintiffs at least really should have no reason to be umbraged (sp?) about the classification of what "BM-8573" and "RG-5147" are writing in other cases is public knowledge thanks to the filing of their papers!

Maybe they are honest in arguing oraly? ;-)

AMD FanBoi said...


It looks like Richard John Guida can't figure out which e-mail address to use. And Ray gets the EFF copy as well.

Dreddsnik said...


They are going to cut and run.
VERY soon.

Scott said...

Any judgment which would throw the plaintiffs' copyrights into the public domain would be far more damaging than a big monetary reward. Just one such precedent would stop the RIAA's campaign cold -- no record company would back them after that, because it would put their assets at too great a risk for too little gain.

I wonder if the suits at the member record companies are actually aware that their artist's copyrights are now on the table in a number of these cases? I wonder if the artists themselves know?

Has HR&O given their clients enough information so that they can make an accurate evaluation of the business risk? If they haven't, is that legal malpractice?

Sanji Himura said...

Agreed, however I think that this will turn out like the Stubbs(?) case where the copyright misuse and the Declaratory Judgement counterclaims turn out to be legit issues to be argued.

This won't go away anytime soon.