Monday, October 01, 2007

Judge in Virgin v. Thomas Precludes RIAA from Introducing 784 pages of documents not previously produced

In Virgin v. Thomas, in which a jury trial is scheduled to start tomorrow, October 2nd, Judge Michael J. Davis has granted Ms. Thomas's motion to preclude the RIAA from introducing 784 pages of documents which it had failed to produce until 2 weeks prior to the trial date. The RIAA claimed that these documents were needed to show who were the owners of 14 of the copyrights in question.

Defendant's In Limine Motion to Exclude Plaintiffs' Exhibit 4 (Copyright chain of title documents)*
October 1, 2007, Granting Defendant's In Limine Motion to Exclude Plaintiffs' Exhibit 4 (Copyright chain of title documents)*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

Slyck




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




10 comments:

mhoyes62 said...

It is good to see the the RIAA can overstep the bounds of reason and try to slip things in under the door, so to speak. I was surprised that there was really no discussion of why the judge saw fit to rule as he did, and I wonder if that opens the door to appeals?

I also wonder about the last motion in Limine, that is wanting to preclude mentioning the defendant's counsel's motion to be released. Was this an older motion, or have the cost reached a level that she is at risk of loosing her counsel?

StephenH said...

This is a blow to the RIAA. If they cannot now prove that they own the copyrights, it gives defendants a better chance of winning.

Mike said...

Am I reading this wrong or does this have all the makings of turning into a VERY short trial?

AMD FanBoi said...

If this were Slashdot, the only possible tag for this would be the widely-used: 'haha'.

Scott said...

Aside from specializing in maritime law, the defendant's attorney, Brian N. Toder, is listed on his firm's web site as having an active practice area in "representing clients in class action litigation both in the Twin City area of Minneapolis and St. Paul and nationally."

I think the RIAA really stuck its foot in the manure pile on this one.

Megan said...

I see the RIAA attorneys have been taking discovery lessons from the folks representing SCO. It's nice to see them brought down a peg. I imagine the RIAA will be appealing this decision... if they're not permitted to present documentation indicating they own the copyrights, it'll be difficult indeed to claim copyright infringement. (Resisting the urge to make another SCO joke here).

Ray Beckerman said...

Well, megan, that's the problem with most RIAA cases...

the part about "it'll be difficult indeed to claim copyright infringement"

no way in the world would a circuit court ever consider it an error, let alone an appealable error, to preclude a plaintiff from introducing documents it failed to produce discovery....

Ray Beckerman said...

mhoyes62, when a judge has to decide a stack of limine motions the day before the jury trial he doesn't have time to sit around writing fancy decisions... i'm sure his reasoning was the same as what mr. toder put in his brief... they failed to produce the material when they were supposed to... and producing it on the eve of trial deprived the other side of an opportunity to deal with it....

Megan said...

I was just surmising that they will appeal... probability of them winning the appeal, or even being granted a hearing on it, is another matter entirely.

Ray Beckerman said...

which is probably what they intended... they didn't want to give mr. toder a chance to rummage through the junk and expose it as junk.....