Saturday, April 19, 2008

Case dismissed as to John Does 2-9 in Ohio State University case, for misjoinder

Once again one of the RIAA's John Doe cases has been dismissed for improper joinder of unrelated John Does, this time in the case targeting Ohio State University students, Arista v. Does 1-9, in Columbus, Ohio.

Magistrate Judge Mark R. Abel held that the mere use by the defendants of the same internet service provider (the university) did not give rise to any basis for joinder under Fed. R. Civ. P. 20, dismissed as to all John Does except John Doe #1, and ordered the RIAA to file separate new cases against each of the dismissed John Does within 20 days.

The judge did not, however, question the sufficiency of the complaint, or the plaintiffs' showing of a need for ex parte discovery.

[Ed. note. How many times does this have to happen before the courts start awarding sanctions against the RIAA's attorneys? The RIAA attorneys have NO NON-FRIVOLOUS ARGUMENT for why they should be joining these defendants. They have simply been taking advantage of the fact that the cases are ex parte and are hoping the judges don't find out about the earlier rulings. Also, when will they finally be held in contempt of the November 2004 order in Fonovisa v. Does 1-41?]

April 18, 2008, Order and Opinion of Magistrate Judge Mark R. Abel, dismissing complaint as to John Does 2-9*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation



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

11 comments:

Ray Beckerman said...

Comment by "Rich" rejected. Sounded like something the RIAA would submit in an attempt to make trouble for me.

Alter_Fritz said...

why would it?
aren't service providers and operators not responsible for comments/ links of third parties.

Or is their something in it that linking by commenters can bring blogoperators into trouble?

Ray Beckerman said...

Please don't make extra work for me, alter_fritz.

Ray Beckerman said...

it didn't have to do with legal liability... it was a suggestion which, if people followed it, might have gotten judges annoyed with my blog... which as you know is riaa richard's goal....

Ray Beckerman said...

also it had a link to riaa richard's firm's web site, which i found odd....

Alter_Fritz said...

so no free advertisements on your blog for Mr. "Super Lawyer" then.
Will try to remember THAT one too ;-)

Ray Beckerman said...

Well don't you think his bio is a little misleading? It doesn't mention that he makes his living suing children.

Anonymous said...

The RIAA is playing a numbers game. I believe that sanctions in any particular court are unlikely for a first offense. Since most cases are a first time experience for a judge, they simply rule on the law and move on. Based on the cases in your blog, the misjoinder issue has only recently been going against them. Why change what works? Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

That said, I believe the numbers will start to work against them. The more judges they expose to this process, the greater the chance they will run into one that will take a dim view of their tactics. I will even predict that a judge will rule adversely on the tactics alone, before looking at the questionable legal case.

Russell

Anonymous said...

It does seem to me that the concept of suing a lot of people in many different jurisdictions, using the ex parte process, followed by a "settlement offer" is actually quite profitable. This has been going on for some years now, and what should be seen as a gross misuse of the legal system, is occurring with frightening regularity. How long before other less than ethical organizations jump on board? What is the mechanism for policing this sort of behavior? I think that the actions of RIAA have negative implications for the perception that the judicial system is a mechanism for obtaining justice. I see this RIAA process as not just a terror campaign against P2P users, but an assault on the foundations of our legal system. Am I the only one who sees this?

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I really wonder what is going on financially in the RIAA. I'd bet they're losing plenty on the cases that go to court but not to verdict, but I have no idea how that weighs against the income from the pre-lawsuit settlements (or even whether there is a net income from those settlements, after investigation and lawyer costs are factored in).

Russell said...

This being the entertainment industry, there won't be any net profits that could be returned to the artists on whose behalf they are suing.

But disregarding that, $3000 is not a lot to put the case together, even with the shortcuts they are taking. Everybody's time adds up. Not just the direct time but the indirect time like reports and documentation. MS, SS and the RIAA.

I assume that the $3000 represents about break even to a small loss. Remember they have to make their pricepoint lower than hiring a lawyer to defend. Even if it doesn't cover costs.