Friday, November 28, 2008

District Judge grants severance as to all John Does other than John Doe #1 in case targeting Case Western Reserve students, Arista v. Does 1-11

In a Cleveland, Ohio, case targeting students at Case Western Reserve University, Arista Records v. Does 1-11, the District Court has granted the defendant John Doe #9's motion for severance, and severed as to Doe #9 and all other defendants except John Doe #1.

District Judge Kathleen O'Malley rejected the RIAA's argument that severance was premature, agreed with the authorities that had granted severance, and dismissed the authorities cited by the RIAA as providing insufficient analysis, explanation, or rationale.

November 3, 2008, Decision

Keywords: lawyer 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 portable music player


Anonymous said...

Bad day to be Doe #1.

For plaintiffs to argue that the decision on misjoinder should have been postponed until the results of expedited discovery were received is so disingenuous a motive that this man wishes he could use much stronger, and more appropriate to these plaintiffs, language than is likely to be accepted for comments in this blog.

Again a magistrate judge offends this man by attempting to rule that the squeaky wheel (Doe #9) be kept in this case and all other Does dismissed for misjoinder. What is with these magistrate judges anyway? And how would identification of all Does actually determine if their actions were concerted? Clearly this magistrate judge doesn't understand (or maybe he does) that he was about to hand over to the plaintiffs everything they wanted despite the obvious misjoinder. Doe #9 was clearly correct to complain about this terrible misunderstanding of the law and attempt to punish him alone for daring to defend himself against this illegal assault on his privacy.

Fortunately the judge seems to have gotten it right here.

The Court, however, disagrees with Plaintiffs and concludes that joinder can and should be decided before the Doe Defendants are identified.

What a lovely, axiomatic, statement!

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure should not be cast aside merely in the name of potential efficiency.

Another true gem!

In all likelihood, if the joinder decision were to be postponed, the Court would never have an opportunity to rule on the propriety of Plaintiffs’ joinder of the Doe Defendants.

A judge who truly get it! Too bad she then bends-over backwards at the end to make it easy for the RIAA to pursue the individual cases by doing all their paperwork for them. If all the remaining Does object at this point, however, it will be 11 times the previous amount of work for these plaintiffs to deal with all their separate filings. This man also wonders if new cases will get randomly assigned new judges, or if the plaintiffs will now attempt to specify all these cases as related? This man will certainly stay tuned.

Now why doesn't this logic apply to the next blog entry (Fonovisa v. Does 1-9)? Isn't justice supposed to be equal for all, and aren't all these cases Xerox copies of each other?

{The Common Man Speaking}

Lior said...

It is odd that the Court is not requiring the plaintiffs to show cause why they should not be disciplined, after quoting another case where they were required to show cause. Surely they were on notice at the time of filing that their process was illegal?

Anonymous said...

Will the RIAA pay the $350/person that they need with the growing number of judges who throw out improper joinder? It'll be interesting to see.


Anonymous said...

Lior, The Common Man Speaking: I believe these cases are in different circuits. Binding precedent is obtained only via the appeals court in one's own circuit (or the Supreme Court), and non-binding precedent has far less impact when it's from another circuit.

The Common Man Speaking: The new cases, if pursued, will be assigned to that judge, as it says in the order.


Matt Fitzpatrick said...

I'd bet money that there has never, even once, been a file sharing Doe case (RIAA or otherwise) in which the plaintiffs agreed to severance of non-related defendants after the Doe identities are disclosed.

Dismissal without prejudice. Every Doe. Every time.

Any file sharing plaintiff who suggests something different could happen this time needs an ethics refresher.

Alter_Fritz said...

Well, long time no "see", but I had some beef with my old ISP and other stuff that prevented me from commenting the last quarter or so.
Sorry Ray! (I do remember you "told" me some time ago not to cease commenting without proper notice or to go AWOL.) ;-)
While I am reading regularily again for a few days already, I thought this order here by Jugde Kathleen O'Malley would be the best one to resurface again! (I thought about "saying" something to the "trouble" you got in while me was not here, but since the HRO stuff asking for sanctioning you as counsel in Lindor is so laughable at least [Lets see if the "Big Apple Judges" agrees that it is HRO and Co. Lawyers that are the ones that should be "Rule11'ed"], I decided to do my first new comment on this one.

So here it comes:

The common man already quoted some interesting sentences from the Judge. So what I think is notable too is that she(!) obivously takes her job serious. It is nice to see the footnotes where she mentions the locations of the decisions that Ray had collected! What I do read into her order is that she is "not amused" with the gaming by plaintiffs and their counsel to burry courts in a list of cases just so that plaintiffs get what they want even if that is unreasonable or even clearly against your Rules!
Refreshing for me to see that you americans still have judges that take their job serious and refreshing even more to see that it is Ray's work in collecting those cases and make them easily available for the ordanary people and even judges that are interested in serving justice while they have a clear understanding and picture of what is going on and is done by those plaintiffs!

Thank you your Honor! I guess it was pleasing for Mr. Beckerman to see that you demonstrated with the footnotes in your order that his work is valuable for the judicial community and your honors collegues.


Ray Beckerman said...

Welcome back, Alter_Fritz. It just wasn't the same without you!!!!