Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tenenbaum moves to compel Matthew Oppenheim to appear for deposition

In SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, the defendant has moved to compel Matthew J. Oppenheim to appear for his deposition.

Mr. Oppenheim is the person who has been identified by the RIAA lawyers sometimes as the "client", sometimes as the "industry representative", and sometimes as the "client representative", and on at least one occasion as "the only person who had settlement authority" for the RIAA members. He claims to be associated with an entity called "The Oppenheim Group", and has acted as attorney of record for the record companies in several proceedings in Washington, D.C.

He sat at the counsel table in Capitol v. Thomas, where he was observed at one point, by the on-scene reporter from Ars Technica, to be reading "Recording Industry vs. The People" on his laptop during the trial.

He intervened on MediaSentry's behalf in the investigative proceedings which have been taking place in North Carolina, looking into MediaSentry's having engaged in investigation of North Carolina residents without an investigator's license.

Motion to Depose Matthew Oppenheim
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion

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

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

To this man this appears as another plaintiff tactic to delay, deny, ignore, oppose, block, and just wear down defendants until they capitulate, while continuously demanding everything yesterday, including information defendants are neither likely to have nor have an ability to acquire (e.g. serial numbers and mac addresses of discarded computers) in the process. These plaintiffs show a clear bias to the belief that only defendants have to play by the rules.

It also serves to throw the January 22 hearing to be televised against the shrill complaints of the plaintiffs into question. For plaintiffs to avoid a televised Jan. 22 appearance to give them more time to oppose televising it at all is certainly a plus to them. They clearly do not be believe that the public should see justice meted out when it applies to them.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

Maybe deposing Carlos Linares and his "personal knowledge" would not be a bad idea either.

Copyrights & Campaigns said...

Tenenbaum's legal team's tactics are really beyond the pale, as I explain here:

http://copyrightsandcampaigns.blogspot.com/2009/01/tenenbaums-legal-team-seeks-to-stage.html

ScrewMaster said...

Ray,

I'd like to hear your opinion of Copyrights and Compaigns blog article. Are Tenenbaum's legal tactics really "beyond the pale"?

I don't know. Considering the caliber of their opponents, maybe this is a case of fighting fire with fire.

Ray Beckerman said...

Point by point.

1. Of course they are correct that if the stay is granted the hearing should be postponed until the appeals court has had a chance to determine the televising issue.

2. They are absolutely right to depose Oppenheim. He has been represented to be the "client", the "client representative", the "industry representative", and the "only person who has settlement authority". To hide behind the fact that he is also a lawyer would be improper. He has knowledge relevant to the defenses and/or counterclaims. He is the link to the coordinated collusion between 4 supposed competitors. His deposition is vital.

Mr. Sheffner is wrong. He is making assumptions which he would not be making were he as familiar as I am with Mr. Oppenheim's shady role in acting as an "enforcer" as I am. He is assuming Mr. Oppenheim has just been a lawyer in these cases, which he has almost never been.

Ray Beckerman said...

Mr. Sheffner indicates among his credentials:

-Senior Counsel, Content Protection Litigation at Fox, and

-Litigation Counsel at NBC Universal

I have never once heard him decry the "underhanded" tactics the RIAA lawyers have been using on a daily basis in multiple cases for 5 1/2 years.

One day he pops up and says that he thinks that the proceeding should be televised. Then the next day he says that the reason he feels that way is that Mr. Tenenbaum proved himself to be a copyright infringer at his publicly available deposition. And then the next day he says he's changing his mind because he doesn't think Oppenheim's deposition should be a spectacle.

It's obvious where he's coming from, he's a friend of Oppenheim and the whole content cartel, and he undoubtedly makes at least a part of his living from serving that quarter.

So don't asking me to waste any more of my precious time reviewing and commenting on his pronouncements. I have much more important things to do fighting his pals' "underhanded" tactics.

Alter_Fritz said...

"-Senior Counsel, Content Protection Litigation at Fox, and

-Litigation Counsel at NBC Universal
"

Hm, those names...
They sued YouTube, did they not?
Had he a hand in that too?
And if not, at least he has proven with his rantings that he thinks that "copyleft" stuff is better (He took a CC picture for his post where only attribution is necessary) instead of PAYING for one a license fee for his usage in these old copyrighted shemes where you pay for the usage rights!

While he is good at using ad hominem (sp?) attacks, in calling those people that object to the way organised content behaves "copyleft" guys, he himself seems to like the camp of the "copylefters" when he can safe a buck or two. Help me if my intellectual property regarding english language is insufficient; the vocabulary for that is hypocrite, isn't it?

That neither Ray nor the defense team in Tenenbaum is for the abolishen of copyright per se but for achieving a level playing field or for the observation of constituional stuff for example is one of the points that makes HIS blog where he attacks "copylefters" a blog that fits perfectly into the discription that "Rich" Gabriel tried to sell to judges back then with regards to Ray's RIvTP blog.

Apropo "Universal" the content cartel player he worked for: Councel for them are not the smartest which is evidenced for example in the following observation:
" "Under UMG’s interpretation, § 512(c) would apply only to operational features that provide or constitute storage — and nothing more. But there is no language in § 512(c) that so limits its applicability.
Congress did not provide merely that “a service provider shall not be liable for storing material at the direction of the user” or that “a service provider’s liability shall be limited only for conduct that is storage.”
Instead, as the language makes clear, the statute extends to functions other than mere storage; it applies to “infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user . . . .” 17 U.S.C. § 512(c).
In short, the narrow construction of the statute that UMG advocates is not the one Congress enacted." [Emphasis added]
-- The Honorable A. HOWARD MATZ, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE in the Case UMG RECORDINGS, INC., et al. v. VEOH NETWORKS, INC., et al. CV 07-5744 AHM (AJWx)
"

In short: my advise is to ignore Ben Sheffner and his unqualified blog rantings It looks as if his "journalism background" is just content cartel lamescream propaganda shit background which he might feel comfortable with given his admittance of "a strong interest in politics."
Mc Cain is that not "politicaly right"? that might explain what looks to me as Mr Sheffner's detest for everything left! Even when the word "left" has nothing to do with the antagonist of "right" in political spectrum sense like in copy"left".

Anonymous said...

"As sympathetic as I am to having the hearing webcast, Tenenbaum's position here is the height of chutzpah. The point of the hearing is to give the parties the opportunity to argue several important issues to the judge; whether the hearing happens to be webcast is of secondary or tertiary importance." - Copyrights+Campaigns

If C+C believes this is true, then he should say the same thing about plaintiffs. Why would the RIAA's attorneys want to contest something that's secondary or tertiary? It appears they think it's really important, just like Tenenbaum's attorneys do. C+C, if you want to start a flame war, you might succeed, but please keep it on your own site.

I won't be responding to C+C any longer.

XYZZY

Anonymous said...

As a point of clarification, I think C+C is trying to spread FUD in hopes of creating a flame war or noise that might mask otherwise useful commentary. Of course, if you find C+C's commentary not disingenuous, don't let my silence influence you.

XYZZY

Ray Beckerman said...

I neglected to mention, on the subject of Oppenheim, that when the Magistrate ordered the plaintiffs to attend a settlement conference and bring "principals" with them, the only "principal" they brought was Matthew Oppenheim. The Magistrate Judge accepted Oppenheim as the "principal" of all of the record companies, because he was represented to be the only person in the world that had settlement authority.

Ray Beckerman said...

The RIAA lawyers have previously presented Oppenheim to be a "principal" of Maverick Recording, SONY BMG Music, Warner Bros. Records, and Arista Records. See this and then this. When I objected, the Magistrate Judge said that in an ex parte conversation Gabriel and Oppenheim had established to his satisfaction that Oppenheim was a "principal" because he "may be the only person in the world who actually does have settlement authority".

What are they going to do now? Pretend that he's just acting as a lawyer?

Ray Beckerman said...

Deleted A_F's comment for obvious reasons.

Alter_Fritz said...

sorry, it seems sometimes european oppenheim genes take over my personality.

Anonymous said...

This man finds the most significant part of Ben Sheffner's C & C posting is that he has now broken cover in this blog. While undoubtedly many pro-industry overreaching copyright zealots follow this blog, few have the temerity to openly admit it - except, perhaps, when citing it to the court in a misguided attempt to bolster their flimsy and off-target arguments.

Ben (may this man call you "Ben"?) has taken an action he cannot now reverse. Furthermore, he admits (although he may not have realized it at the time) that his actions are in reaction to this blog, rather than striking out on his own course unswayed by others.

While he has achieved his immediate goal of greatly raising the visibility of his own opinions through is appearance here, he has yet to improve those opinions in the process.

He also shows himself as ignorant of proper Internet and html conventions by his inability to render an "&" ampersand correctly.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

This man adds one additional postscript to his comments.

Whether or not the proceeding under discussion is actually televised should not affect the veracity of the proceeding itself. Only if participants perform differently when an unseen audience is present, or wish to present items while preserving the secrecy of those items in open court, should the outcome be affected by a audio-visual recording and broadcast of the proceedings.

If any party present (plaintiffs, defendant, or judge) believes that they would alter their arguments and/or affect the justice dispensed due to the fact of the AV webcast they should declare openly why they will act differently when actually watched as opposed to when arguing in obscurity.

Absent any such delcaration(s) the issue of a web-cast shouldn't even be a consideration. In fact, with the amount of storage available and the very nature of the Internet itself as an On Demand delivery system to any connected and interested party, AV archives of every courtroom proceeding should be made available to any interested citizen.

{The Common Man Speaking}

RTP said...

Reasons why Mr. Oppenheim was a no show at the January 20 deposition:

1) Had a date for the RIAA "Inaugural" ball.

2) Couldn't find his Red Sox T-shirt and sunglasses.

Sorry Ray, couldn't resist.

Alter_Fritz said...

from lawyer to lawyer, ray you might be able to get charles to fax you a copy of the letter, might you not?

"RT @_eon_ "letter" just received threatening nesson with sanctions for moving to compel a deposition. ungefähr 23 Stunden ago from web"

Dinger said...

Well, it's also being reported by Sheffner, and it stands as _EON_'s last twitter at this moment.

I have no problem with Mr. Sheffner running a blog. In fact, I think it's perfectly appropriate that those who align themselves with the RIAA's tactics have a blog, and that both blogs should have mutually exchanging links. No side with a reasonable interest in serving their clients in a manner the public would consider honorable would do otherwise than to allow links to the other side. Similarly, neither party to any proceedings of this class should object to the existence of said blogs and their eminently informative content, nor suggest that legal blogs exist purely for the purpose of smearing the opposition. After all, both sides agree that the point is to inform the public, not run some campaign of persecution and fear. And the genius of blogs is that, ultimately, the public is an accidental tourist: the primary group served by legal blogs over the long tail is the legal community.

And, yes, we're all dying to see what threat was sent to Prof. Nesson.

Shane said...

Twitter:"RT @_eon_ "letter" just received threatening nesson with sanctions for moving to compel a deposition"

Wow! What Rovian gal!!! They ignored the deposition completely and are potentially in contempt of court and they are going to suggest that Nesson may be hit with sanctions???? Amazing...

If the the twitter characterization is true it would seem to be a sure sign that the RIAA is very, very, very afraid of the Openheim deposition, which means that Nesson will be **sure** to get it.

Ray Beckerman said...

Dear Dinger

It really depends.

If it has intellectual integrity, then all well and good.

If it's just industry propaganda meant to curry favor with the large corporations from which the lawyer gets legal business, then who needs it?

We'll see.

Shane said...

"Anonymous Dinger said...

Similarly, neither party to any proceedings of this class should object to the existence of said blogs and their eminently informative content, nor suggest that legal blogs exist purely for the purpose of smearing the opposition. "


Except, of course, the RIAA **vigorously** opposes Ray's blog at every opportunity, and has cited the blog as alleged tangential proof in support of their ridiculous claims that Ray's defense of his clients has been "vexatious."

Shane said...

"Dinger said...

Well, it's also being reported by Sheffner, and it stands as _EON_'s last twitter at this moment."

Yes, Sheffner "reported" the twitter. But only to mock it. Making fun of the use of quotes in the term "letter" and calling the attempt to depose the mysterious key figure in the RIAA's factory litigation campaign ""low-life litigating" and an "underhanded tactic""


Sheffner started his blog 12/28/08, supposedly to offer a "a reasonable pro-copyright-owner perspective." If reasonability was his goal, I'd say he's failed miserably, as he seems to find no fault with the RIAA's questionable history of cookie cutter factory litigation or their use of illegal private investigators, claiming that "the complaints about MediaSentry's alleged invasions of privacy and violations of state private-eye license requirements appear to be without merit" and has even defended Media Sentry's tactics in multiple blog posts since the beginning of the year, completely ignoring the various legal prohibitions and investigations of licensing violations in place against Media Sentry.

If Sheffner is going to excuse the most blatant and excesses of the RIAA's campaign, such as their bald faced use of an unlicensed private investigator in literally tens of thousands of cases, then he is clearly anything but reasonable and I think can be dismissed as an indiscriminate defender of the Copyright Industry and an un-reliable source of information.

Oh, how I miss the **legitimate** industry copyright blog, the Patry Copyright Blog. Sheffner's atrocious blog only serves to make the thoughtful observations on copyright law found in the erstwhile Patry blog all the more contrasting.

Well, at least we have Ray's blog. Ray is an advocate for his clients but also an advocate for transparency, the rule of law and fair dealing. Sheffner? I don't think so.

Ray Beckerman said...

OK the letter threatening Prof. Nesson with sanctions is posted now; the RIAA used it as an exhibit to its papers. And its opposition papers ask the Judge to award sanctions.