A new decision has been handed down by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Mostly Memories v. For Your Ease, which holds that a prevailing copyright defendant is presumptively entitled to an attorneys fees award, even where the dismissal came about because the plaintiff "threw in the towel".
The Court further held that the presumption is "very strong".
Mostly Memories is consistent with Bridgeport Music v. WB Music and Riviera Distributors, Inc. v. Jones.
May 27, 2008, Decision, Mostly Memories v. For Your Ease
[Ed. note. As most of you know, this is a very important principle in the RIAA cases, since the RIAA's "throwing in the towel", and then trying to avoid paying attorneys fees, is the most common scenario in cases where the defendant refuses to pay the RIAA's extortion demand. The Mostly Memories decision is directly relevant to the appeals in Warner v. Stubbs, Lava v. Amurao, and Interscope v. Leadbetter, and to the pending "throw in the towel" motion in Elektra v. Licata. The RIAA is fond of arguing, in these "throw in the towel" cases, that the plaintiffs should not be assessed with attorneys fees for suing the wrong person.... that it was really the defendant's fault, and therefore plaintiffs' frivolous conduct wasn't really frivolous. If the rule enunciated by the Seventh Circuit, following the Supreme Court's Fogerty holding, is followed, then it just won't be an issue anymore whether the RIAA's laziness and irresponsibility is or is not sufficient to warrant attorneys fees: the attorneys fees will be awarded because the RIAA sued and lost, absent some exceptional circumstance justifying the RIAA's failure to properly investigate. That will go a long way towards stopping the RIAA from continuing to file more meritless cases. - R.B.]
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