Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Denial of attorneys fees affirmed in 5th Circuit case, Virgin v. Thompson

In a case we had never heard of until today, Virgin v. Thompson, an order denying a defendant's motion for attorneys fees was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, on the ground that the denial of attorneys fees was not an abuse of discretion.

January 4, 2008, order of affirmance*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

Keywords: digital copyright law online internet 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 intellectual property


Anonymous said...

This is Horrible. Allowing a big corporation to beat you up financially. A big corporation to whom money has no meaning since they're funded to any degree necessary to carry on their campaign of terror.

Among the true errors of fact here:

The letter stated that Plaintiffs had gathered evidence that Thompson had infringed their copyrights and asked him to contact them if he had “an interest in discussing this matter, including settlement.

Of course, they never had any evidence that Thompson was the one infringing anything. All they ever knew was that he was the likely owner of the ISP account that MediaSentry claims to have fingered by an IP address and a timestamp. In short, the RIAA Plaintiffs were lying to Thompson from the very beginning, which doesn't seem to have counted against them in the least.

The truth is: They sued the wrong person, extorted him to become their unpaid investigator in the case, cut and ran (dismissed their case) when it was obvious that they'd sued the wrong person (i.e. they truly didn't have any evidence as to who the direct infringer ever was in the first place, despite filing the suit), and neither the judge, nor the appeals court, finds this action either outrageous, or worthy of recompense. Nor do they feel awarding of fees would qualify as any deterrent against future episodes of SUING THE WRONG PERSON!

This sends a truly chilling word back that the little guy shouldn't fight for his rights, although the RIAA is blessed by the court as completely in the right in how they use the court system to protect, not rights, but simply profits. And that statutes awarding attorney's fees to the victor are only advisories that judges can ignore at their whim.

Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disgusts me! It's a sad day for justice.


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone go to and sue the RIAA back?