Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bridgeport Music case confirms attorneys fee award to defendant where no 'Fogerty Factors' shown

In Bridgeport Music v. WB Music, the Sixth Circuit has pointed out that the "Fogerty factors" were never intended by the Supreme Court to be exclusive, and that the key to "Fogerty" was evenhandedness.

The Court held that even where none of those factors are present, the Court should routinely award attorneys fees to a prevailing defendant.

In Bridgeport the Court sustained an award of attorneys fees to the defendant even though specifically finding that the plaintiff's claim was "objectively reasonable".

Copy of decision




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

7 comments:

derivative said...

That's delicious. How did you manage to refrain from pointing out that the defendant who fought so hard and vigorously for attorney's fees is one of the same plaintiffs on the other side in many of the RIAA cases?

This is a clear-cut case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Or, the more blunt saying that if you always tell the truth, you don't have to remember all your lies.

In any case, this has to be the most excellent material any defendant seeking legal fees from the RIAA could ask for. Defense lawyers should dig in harder and find the actual approved fees.

Richard said...

"In Bridgeport the Court sustained an award of attorneys fees to the defendant even though specifically finding that the plaintiff's claim was "objectively reasonable"."

That case is highly distinguishable from the topic of your blog since the defendant here was part of the well known and respected record companies collective too.
Here defendants are not part of the criminals and thiefs population that want to devastate the industry.
A fee award to defendant was necessary so that the industry members play nice among themself and do not waste recources to sue each other!

That is something completely different when it comes to awarding fees to defendant where defendants are members of the criminals and thiefs collective!

--
Richard

Anonymous said...

This has got to be good news overall.

And in the RIAA related cases it should be considered very "Objectively Unreasonable" that the mere, and highly questionably accurate at that, identification of an ISP accountholder by an IP address and timestamp alone has automatically identified the actual infringer, and that you have basis to sue them — or even force identification of them.

Or that it then becomes the ISP accountholders "duty" to provide the identification of the "Actual Infringer" to the copyright cops.

Other parts of this pattern include: filing a single complaint over 900 pages long with hundreds of separate claims and defendants; engaging in discovery abuses; abusing the summary judgment process by submitting massive statements of disputed facts which included legal conclusions and immaterial and argumentative assertions; and engaging in sharp pre-trial practices.

Are you sure this isn't RIAA Plaintiffs? :^)

I do find it distressing that it's acceptable to reduce the billing amounts on the theory that some work could have been prepared by lesser skilled -- and lower paid -- paralegals. It seems to say that the top lawyers should sit idle if any work is beneath them. But overall, more pluses than minuses.

XK-E

arteekay said...

@ RIAA Richard

It's distinguishable, but definitely of interest to the reader of Ray's blog. You're right, the defendant here is a member of the infamous and disrespected record company cartel, that's what makes it so interesting to the us!

At this blog, we're interested in seeing the rabid machinations of the hopelessly outdated record companies fight to stay relevant now that the distribution problem has been solved. It's like watching a movie where two hill billy's throw two old mangy wolfs into a pit just to see how desperate and dirty they'll fight, or the proverbial "fish out of water"'s last futile gasps.

Since you're a card cardying, fist shaking member of the criminal and thieves collective (read "music industry cartel") it's not surprising you can't see the utter hypocrisy of your post.

Anonymous said...

arteekay-
Since you're a card cardying, fist shaking member of the criminal and thieves collective (read "music industry cartel") it's not surprising you can't see the utter hypocrisy of your post.

It is highly doubtful this was RIAA Richard, the user link resolves to thepiratebay.org, for starters.

Q

Anonymous said...

To RIAA Richard,

This is not as distinguishable as you might wish. It deals with Defendants getting a fair shake at their fees when they're the prevailing party in a copyright suit, and of the strictly advisory nature of the Fogerty Factors. And with a case seeking centori on precisely this issue, this Circuit Court adds fuel to the need for SCOTUS review. These types of decisions can't be good news for meritless RIAA boilerplate cases.

XK-E

Richard said...

Q wrote
"It is highly doubtful this was RIAA Richard, the user link resolves to thepiratebay.org, for starters."

So you would draw other conclusions if the userlink would link to some "Lawyers of the Year 2007"-article instead?
That's no problem! :-)

Obviously you would not be the kind of judge the well known and respected record companies counsels seems to prefer:
You do not believe in the argument -that they themself like to use- that a "username" like for example "jrlindor@kazza" or RichardL.Gabriel@piratebay" or some kind of link to somewhere is any kind of "information" that makes it possible to draw conclusions about real existing persons or the identity of one of those Thiefs and Criminals.


Smart Q! :-)

--
Richard