Monday, February 09, 2009

Capitol Records v. Thomas trial adjourned to May 11th, parties ordered to attend settlement conference March 30th & 31st

In Capitol Records v. Thomas, the Court has adjourned the trial date from March 9, 2009, to May 11, 2009.

Additionally, the Court has ordered the parties to attend a settlement conference on March 30, 2009, and on March 31, 2009.

The adjournment was in response to an unopposed motion for continuance by defendant's counsel.

No reference is contained in the order to defendant's request for extension of the discovery deadline to enable defendant to retain an expert witness.

Motion for Continuance
February 9, 2009, Order, Adjourning Trial to May 11, 2009, and Scheduling Settlement Conference for March 30-31, 2009.

[Ed. note. A few observations: (1) Isn't it unusual to schedule a settlement conference for 2 days? I don't think I've ever seen that. (2) Isn't it surprising that the settlement conference is before District Judge Davis, rather than the Magistrate Judge? (3) Doesn't this adjournment obviate the RIAA's excuse for opposing giving Ms. Thomas a chance to retain her own expert witness with the $3000 grant she received from the Free Software Foundation's Expert Witness Defense Fund? -R.B.]

Commentary & discussion:

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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:

Jonathan said...

In looking at the settlement conference, it does not appear that counsel for either D or P requested the conference. Is it standard practice to schedule one after such text in the motion for continuance as "Finally, the parties have had a very limited dialogue respecting settlement.
Having additional time before trial would facilitate the same." or were there conversations outside of the judicial record about scheduling these dates? (realizing I'm asking for some speculation). I could understand at this point that the Plantiffs may wish to avoid retrying this case.

Ray Beckerman said...

No I don't think that it's surprising for the Court to sua sponte schedule a settlement conference. I take that as an indication that the Judge has strong feelings that this case should be settled rather than consume additional taxpayer money.

And I feel this is buttressed by the fact that he scheduled the settlement conference before himself rather than the Magistrate Judge, and by the extraordinary fact that he scheduled the settlement conference to take place over two days.

I expect that Judge Davis will lean on the parties to settle.

And since he will be the judge presiding over the trial, the parties will listen carefully to every word he says to them at the settlement conference.

Sebastien said...

Not to mention, didnt' he just give Thomas her continuance to retain her own expert witness?

I mean, he just gave her an extra 30 days?

eZee.se said...

I hope this finishes for Jammie soon, she has gone through so much... its just not fair or in proportion to what she has been through for a few 99c songs (well less than 99c for the industry I must add to new people following this case).

Would be nice if the judge tells the industry to take the 3k that she was going to use for the expert witness and ends the whole thing, very very unlikely i know... but one can hope.

Stay strong Jammie.

Ryan
www.eZee.se

Scott said...

Is it completely out of the question that the Attorney General's office might be pressuring Judge Davis to keep this case from coming to trial?

(I'm not suggesting that this might be happening -- just asking if it's reasonable to rule this out completely.)

Alter_Fritz said...

Well she claims(ed) that she didn't do anything illegal, so lets have Evil4 pay her 1.5 millions to settle!

And get Mr. Oppenheim arrested when he shows up as the principal for those colluding record companies!

skeeter said...

Could it be that the judge realizes that he would have to instruct the jury that "making available" is not in itself proof of distribution? I think the judge realizes that in the event of another verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, it would only go to an appeallant court and possibly be overturned. More money wasted. I would like to be a fly on the wall during this conference.

Ray Beckerman said...

No the judge isn't worried about being reversed any more. He reversed himself. Now the record is clear.

I think he's worried about the RIAA's attempting to use his courtroom for more grandstanding and he's worried about wasting more taxpayer money to persecute some lady (a) who has no money and (b) who, even if you believe she did "it", didn't do anything so terrible.

That's my guess.