In a new case, targeting students at the State University of New York's Albany, New York, campus, two "John Doe" students -- one of them named twice as different John Does -- have joined together, hired an attorney, and made a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena seeking their, and other students', identities, in Arista Records v. Does 1-16.
The defendants' motion argues that:
-the plaintiffs have failed to make a sufficient showing to overcome the defendants' First Amendment right of anonymity;
-the plaintiffs failed to make a showing that the Court would have personal jurisdiction;
-the plaintiffs' case is based on evidence that was illegally procured;
-the rules do not authorize the joinder of the defendants in a single action; and
-the Court should award attorneys fees to defendants.
In his "Preliminary Statement", defendants' counsel wrote:
This litigation campaign has been seriously detrimental to the administration of justice and the public policy need to establish clear boundaries to copyright law. Repeatedly, the RIAA has used questionable and illegal investigations, unsupported and erroneous legal theories, and hardball and abusive litigation tactics against individuals who, it may safely be assumed, do not normally find themselves forced to defend their personal use of computers in federal courts. These individuals have the choices of paying the RIAA’s non-negotiable pre-litigation settlement demand (usually between $3000 and $5000), or defaulting, or defending themselves, either pro se or with counsel, if they can afford it. Few can. The RIAA has sued mostly working-class individuals, students, children, the disabled, the homeless and even the dead. They have frequently sued entirely innocent persons and are quite cavalier about the burden they impose on the legal process and the federal judiciary, and the effects of such frivolous suits on their defendants. Moreover, they are apparently in contempt of a district court’s order forbidding them from bringing actions against unrelated individuals, contrary to the joinder provisions of F.R.Civ.P. 20 and 21. See In re Cases Filed by Recording Companies” ILRWeb (P&F) 3053 (W.D.Tex. Nov. 17, 2004)(“Plaintiffs are ordered to file any future cases of this nature against one defendant at a time, and may not join defendants for their convenience.”). Yet they have done precisely that, hundreds if not thousands of times.
Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Quash Subpoena
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