Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brooklyn Defendants Move to Restore Assignment by Lot to RIAA Cases against Unrelated Defendants

In Elektra v. Torres and Maverick v. Chowdhury, two cases pending in Brooklyn, the defendants have moved to restore "assignment by lot", which is the normal method of case assignment in federal court, and for an order stopping the RIAA from designating all of its cases as "related".

Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Random Reassignment*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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






2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Until Assignment by Lot is restored, justice is impaired. Without AbL, a single judge's opinion on the subject controls the entire court system in that district at the entry level, which is a level few defendants ever progress beyond. Even at the Appeals level, a three judge panel exists, and en banc can be asked for. The Supreme Court involves all nine justices, except under exceptional circumstances. It's astonishing to me that AbL concerning unrelated defendants was ever bypassed in the first place. Judges are, after all, only human as well. AbL balances out any inequities.

Defendant in the instant case also makes a very important point that another similar, yet unrelated, case should also be returned for AbL. Decisions in other cases are most likely to be cited in his own, and prejudice to this Defendant can reasonably be inferred if only one other judge is making all the important decisions in this new and not well-mapped area of the law.

I notice in the quotation at the bottom of Page 6, that the court still seems to treat "copying" and "make the songs available" as inexorably bound to each other. That if you've shared a file, you've automatically copied (i.e. downloaded) that file in an equally illegal manner. These two separate acts are not automatically tied to each other (i.e. the first automatically implying the second), and I would hope to see that assertion more forcefully challenged in future cases.

Ray Beckerman said...

Don't get excited over the quote at the bottom of page 6.

One, it's from 3 1/2 years ago, before there was any awareness of what these cases are actually about.

Secondly, the decision was about joinder and severance, not about anything else.

Thirdly, the court did the right thing by throwing the rascals out of court, so it didn't matter what they were "alleging".