Monday, December 15, 2008

RIAA granted ex parte discovery for injunctive relief only, but is using information obtained for purposes of extracting monetary settlements

Thanks to LA attorney Lisa Borodkin for alerting us to this story.

In Motown Record Co. v. Doe in Los Angeles, California, one of a group of cases targeting USC students, the District Judge Manuel L. Real granted the RIAA's ex parte discovery motion, but ruled that the discovery was "for the sole purpose of obtaining injunctive relief pursuant to the complaint filed herein protecting plaintiff’s right under the Copyright Act."

According to Lisa's article in the LAist, even though the Judge had ordered that the information was to be used solely for the purpose of obtaining injunctive relief, the RIAA has been calling the identified students and their families seeking monetary settlements.

October 7, 2008, Order granting discovery solely for purpose of obtaining injunctive relief

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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

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

If This Man were That Judge and he heard about his order being violated in the manner that hearsay says it is here, he would be mad as Hell and have the Plaintiff attorneys back in court as fast as their private jets could get them there to face contempt hearings.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

If the identity cannot be disclosed to any other party, how does it come to be in the possession of the settlement people?

Kip

Ray Beckerman said...

I don't know, Kip.

Contempt of court, maybe?

Anonymous said...

Does this surprise anyone since the RIAA thinks that they are a law unto themselves and are not subject to any other laws.

Just wish some judge somewhere would finally slap them down hard.

I guess I can dream.

TomasG

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I've been waiting for a court to give them a limitation like this and watch them break it. Of course if the court does not punish them severely, it'll only confirm that they are above the law, yet again.

Incidentally, the word verification for this post resembles a racial slur.

Jadeic said...

DRAFT

"Sir

I am emailing from the UK. I am not a US citizen. However, I feel compelled to draw to your attention that, contrary to your recent order in Motown Records v. John Doe (08-CV-5029) the plaintiff's have indeed disclosed the identities of the Does in this case to their so-called Settlement Centres and are at present attempting to extort monetary settlements.

Regards

Dave Johnson"

If this is what it takes then please advise Judge Real's email address and I will forward the above for his urgent attention.

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave: You can bet the judge will hear about this from the people receiving the settlement offers. It's on Slashdot, not to mention LA attorneys are aware of it.

Jacob

David Donahue said...

Jacob,

Never assume that just because something seems known, that it actually is reported. That letter from Dave might actually help.

The classic example of this situation is calling the police in a traffic accident situation. Many dozens of people see an accident but they all assume someone else called the police so the accident goes completely unreported.

Its almost always better to risk redundant notifications than risk that it goes without notice.

That said, I'm not sure what a Judge would do when receiving that letter. Isn't input from uninvolved parties usually just considered but not actually part of the case?
-David