Friday, September 16, 2005

Motown v. Nelson: RIAA Moves to Strike Statement of Teenager Who Admits Listening to Kazaa songs

In Motown v. Nelson, in Michigan federal court, the RIAA has moved to strike the deposition testimony of a teenager who had admitted listening to songs on Kazaa while at defendant's house.

In Mowtown Record Company v. James and Angela Nelson, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division, Case No. 04-73646; Honorable: Bernard Friedman, the RIAA sued Mr. Nelson, who had no experience or knowledge of computers. Mr. Nelson's wife operates an in home day care center and has several teenage employees.

During the deposition of one of the employees, the teenager testified that although she listened to songs on Kazaa at the Nelsons' house, she did so with Mr. and Mrs. Nelson's knowledge and approval. Based on the teenager's testimony, the RIAA added Mrs. Nelson as a defendant.

During a second series of depositions, the teenage employee recanted her prior statement and said the Nelsons had nothing to do with Kazaa and did not know where the songs were coming from, and that her previous testimony was influenced by the fact that that she was scared and thought that she was going to be in trouble herself unless she blamed them. "Not surprisingly," reports John Hermann, Mr. Nelson's attorney, "the RIAA has tried to threaten the child in order to induce her to change her testimony, even going so far as to hire a private investigator to try to procure a false affidavit indicating that I was active in suborning perjury. Unless they withdraw their complaint against Mrs. Nelson, I will be asking the Court to award sanctions under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."

It appears that, instead of withdrawing their complaint against Mrs. Nelson, the RIAA plaintiffs have instead chosen to make a motion to strike the teenager's testimony.

No comments: