Tuesday, May 15, 2007

RIAA Backs Down in Mississippi case, Elektra v. Dennis

The RIAA has backed down in a Jackson, Mississippi, case, Elektra v. Dennis. In response to the defendant's dismissal and summary judgment motion, filed in March, the RIAA has filed responsive papers indicating that it does not object to the case being dismissed "without prejudice", and without any attorneys fee award.

Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law Consenting to Dismissal "Without Prejudice"*

Mr. Dennis is represented by Karen Spencer of Spencer & Spencer in Jackson, Mississippi.

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

p2pnet.net

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

11 comments:

Alter_Fritz said...

Can anybody tell me what stuff this RIAA lawyer from Balch & Bingham L.L.P. is smoking that he thinks that asking for a ~$4000 settlement payment is the equivalent to "resolve this matter with the least amount of burden and expense to all parties"?

Must be good stuff!

Because until now I thought the least amount of expense would be archived with the "Lex Bronfman"-kind of resolving this kind of matters by having a stern talking between father and child!

But maybe the stuff this Balch & Bingham guy is smoking isn't that good after all, and this kind of measuring with 2 yardsticks when it comes to ordinary peoples kids instead of Label CEOs brats is just the result of the plain old wisdom "Birds of a feather flock together" (sp?)

equinoise said...

Ray:
What I enjoyed seeing in this brief was an apparent RIAA admission that a judgment against a direct infringer is "duplicative" of a judgment against a vicarious/contributory infringer for the same copyrighted materials. Of course, I still think the Orwellian scope of secondary liability urged by the industry absurd and contrary to law, but this marks a noteworthy step forward on the damages front.

AMD FanBoi said...

It is unlikely that anyone other than the RIAA themselves would refer to their offer of "settlement" as anything other than "extortion."

It is also unlikely that anyone with any P2P system in existance could possibly distribute 541 audio files to "millions of other individuals", given the nature of P2P systems, and the limited upload bandwidth available to any home user.

The RIAA should not be getting off without paying Defendant's attorney's fees for what they've clearly admitted was suing the wrong person. They claim they've not exonerated the Defendant, yet they're willing to drop the case against him. This is such a transparent attempt to say, "He may still be guilty, we can't prove it, and therefore he deserves no money from us for our outrageous, poorly targeted, lawsuit against him. Let him pay his own attorney's fees as punishment."

Then they say to everyone else: "It's always going to be cheaper to settle with us than fight, because we'll never go to court and lose."

This is why these people must be beaten firmly into the ground with lost cases. Otherwise they can continue this judge, jury, and executioner style of financial punishment to virtually anyone they wish.

Arteekay said...

No doubt, equinoise, that stood right out at me as well!

Now if they can just admit that all these cases are duplicative, they've already recovered their "damages" when they sued the "online media distribution system".

CodeWarrior said...

Someday, when this madness of lawsuits is over and the last decision is signed, there will be some things I predict.

First of all, if the RIAA survives this little excursion into madness, there will be a meeting in which, the NEW head of the RIAA looks around and asks, "Exactly who was the genius who decided that suing children, old people, and our customers, was a good idea?". Furthermore, as history looks back at this fiasco, there will be heroes and heroines such as our friend Ray, and other lawyers such as Larry Feldman who owns boycott-riaa.

The irony of it all, there will be two real classes of heros...those citizens who have resisted the RIAA and the lawyers who, often pro bono, helped them in that resistance.

The villains will be the lawyers who worked for the RIAA, and the toadies like Media Sentry who helped them in their evil schemes.

Thus, one group of professionals will hold both heroes and villains...the attorneys.

Ray...God bless you for this blog, and for all you do to fight for the right!
~Code

Ray Beckerman said...

by the way.....

that whole section of the brief where the riaa lawyer talks about (and no doubt lies about) off-the-record setttlement conversations, is a violation of the law and of ethical rules.....

Markbnj said...

So, Ray, this is saying that the defendent wants to close without legal fees??? some of us NON-lawyers get confused at times too!

jellie said...

Mr. Beckerman,

IANAL, but I'm interested in law and legal proceedings. If it doesn't take too much time, could you provide a sentence or two of analysis (like in your comment about the off-the-record discussions). I would really appreciate it, as it helps to understand the motions. What do others think?

On the other hand, I want to know more :) What can the defense do now?

Scott said...

Well, assuming that the RIAA attorneys are experienced, they determined that there would be no consequence to their "violation of the law and of ethical rules," so they did it anyway. Is this what judicial temprament is about?

Alter_Fritz said...

IANMB (I am not Mr. Beckerman) but I try to answer to see if I understand it myself or if Ray must correct me.

Defendant asked for throwing out the case himself, but he asked for money too. (the second link in Rays posting)
Now the smokers from Balch & Bingham L.L.P. say "we are fine with throwing the case out too now, but US having him payed his lawyer expenses? No way! He should pay his costs himself"

Now its up to the judge to decide if he allowes RIAA to drop the case like they want to, or if he grants defendants motion to throw it out and order RIAA to pay him.

Ray Beckerman said...

Thanks, Alter, fixed the non-working link.