Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RIAA attacks Free Software Foundation, Ray Beckerman, and "Recording Industry vs The People", in SONY v. Tenenbaum

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the RIAA has requested leave to file a brief responding to the amicus curiae brief filed by the Free Software Foundation.

The proposed response includes ad hominem attacks on (a) the Free Software Foundation, (b) "Recording Industry vs. The People", and (c) Ray Beckerman. It states that Beckerman "is subject to a pending sanctions motion" in UMG Recordings v. Lindor, but neglects to advise the Court that the RIAA's lawyers are "subject to a Rule 11 sanctions motion" in that same case.

Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Response to Amicus Curiae Brief
Plaintiffs' Response to Amicus Curiae Brief

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

10 comments:

Lior said...

As far as I understand, the first point of the introduction is to argue that "Amicus Curiae" briefs in support of one side are inappropriate. Since one of the RIAA's core functions is to write such briefs in furtherance of its members' agenda, this is an odd position for them to take.

The second point is to claim that any disagreement with the RIAA can only be due to "bias". Is this an attempt to intimidate the judge? ("if you rule for the defendants you'll come down on the side of the un-American bigots")

The third point is to take a dispute about law and policy personally -- not something you expect adults to do, especially adults writing a legal brief. Can't they afford people who can actually write? It looks like this "introduction" was written by a whiny 16 year-old.

Ray Beckerman said...

The unprofessionalism of plaintiffs' lawyers is mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

Just like before, the RIAA cries foul the loudest and hopes that the judge will listen. I hope that FSF and you Ray respond to these lies in a way that makes these jerks look like the complete fools that they are.

Why can't they act like they normally do when they receive a lot of opposition -- pack their bags and run? Oh, I forgot, they have made such a big deal out of this case that to do so would mean that they would probably lose whatever credibility they still have.

StephenH said...

This is no suprise that the RIAA is fighting FSF, but their brief contains some misleading information in my opinion. First of all, the FSF is not an organization that is opposed to copyright law. In fact, their premier license, the GNU GPL is a copyright license built around copyright law.

Yes, it is true that the FSF supports open development and giving people rights when it comes to software that includes copying and modification. However, the developers of programs licensed under one of the GNU GPL or LGPL licenses, among other free software licenses choose to use those licenses by choice, just like many commercial companies use licenses that forbid copying and modifying by choice.

The argument that FSF is biased against the recording industry in general also fails. In fact, on the very same page cited by the RIAA they support developing Ogg Vorbis, a codec used to encode digital music as a patent free alternative to MP3 (and actually has better sound says several sources). Here are just some of the sites in music and radio that FSF links to http://www.fsf.org/resources/formats/ogg_data/oggsites

The fact that FSF has a legal defense fund for people that may not be able to afford a defense for their P2P Lawsuit also should not dispute their amicus neutrality. After all, many non-profit organizations file briefs on the behalf of someone or fund their defense. Public Knowledge, EFF, ACLU, NAACP, Public Citizen, Consumers Union, and just some of them!

Anonymous said...

Having read through RIAA's brief (is that the correct term of art here?) I notice that, once again, the red herrings are swarming. I doubt that sanctions against any given attorney in one case have any bearing on another case in which that attorney is involved.

RIAA disregards the dicta in other peer to peer cases which are cited in the amicus brief and instead cites to cases that are hardly on point and at first glance don't even seem relevant in the interest of supporting an untenable position.

Curious, that.

-Quiet Lurker

Another Kevin said...

I read the brief, and about half of it is devoted to advancing an argument that I would characterize as, "ad hominem, circumstantial, verging upon the genetic fallacy." Is this now the standard of legal discourse? I'd surely have lost points if I attempted to advance such an argument in a high-school debate.

Alter_Fritz said...

I restrain myself from commenting on the (non-)substance of that proposed Timothy Piece.
Just one short for the LOL.

Hey Ray, I was not aware that you are in the business of being an internet Company!
Where did you get all the money to buy out Google?
Timothy claims in footnote2 that you are hosting RIvTP.
Last I checked "blogspot.com" is owned and hosted by google.

Man, I feel sorry for the shareholders that they authorised tools like HRO and Timmy to act in their names.

To quote the main claim of an advertising campaign for a "Baumarkt"-chain named OBI: "Vielleicht h├Ątten sie jemanden fragen sollen der sich mit sowas auskennt!" (maybe they should have asked someone that knows about the stuff)

It seems he knows about the internet as much as he knows about the requirements what it needs to be a friend of the court (amicus curiae).

Anonymous said...

Quiet Lurker:

More to the point, there are no sanctions against Ray, and unless the judge in that case does something totally unexpected, there won't be later, either.

I was struck again by "uploading to potentially millions". I hope a judge will soon ask (a) what that means and (b) in the case that what it means isn't totally vacuous, which I don't expect but anyway, for evidence showing it's plausible, or even possible.

XYZZY

Kilz said...

Shouldn't the RIAA have to prove the file was downloaded, for how long the file has been available?
The FSF against copyright? How can they even utter such falsehood?

Anonymous said...

xyzzy -

'uploading to potentially millions...'

RIAA's downloading theory is only barely plausible on the face of it, and that's only because of the ip address.

Uploading? They'd jolly well better be ready to produce an eye-witness or wire-tap data along with the court order to go along with it.

Wonder if argument/briefing like that would constitute probable cause to suspect felony wiretapping?

-Quet Lurker