Monday, January 02, 2006

Programmer Challenges RIAA "Investigation" in Court Papers Filed Dec. 28th to Vacate "Ex Parte" Order

At the core of the whole RIAA litigation process are:
(1) the mass lawsuit against a large number of "John Does";
(2) the "ex parte" order of discovery; and
(3) the subpoenas demanding the names and addresses of the "John Does".
(For more detailed description see "How the RIAA Litigation Machine Rolls Along"(Digital Music News))

In Atlantic v. John Does 1-25, a case pending in federal court in Manhattan, a midwesterner sued as John Doe Number 8 has made motions which seek to knock out all three (3) prongs of the RIAA litigation machine.

On December 1st he made a motion to sever the mass lawsuit, and dismiss as to John Does 2-25, on the ground that it is impermissible to join 25 unrelated defendants under the federal rules, where there is no connection between the defendants other than the fact that they are accused of engaging in similar, but unconnected, conduct.

Also on December 1st, he moved to quash the subpoena issued to his ISP, on the ground that the RIAA has not sufficiently alleged any copyright infringement.

Today, December 28th, he has moved to knock out the third underpinning of the RIAA John Doe weaponry -- the ex parte order.

Notice of Motion to Vacate Ex Parte Order
(Alternate link)(Alternate link #2)(Alternate link #3)
Affidavit of Zi Mei in Support of Motion
(Alternate link)(Alternate link #2)
Affidavit of Ty Rogers In Support of Motion
(Alternate link)(Alternate link #2)
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Exhibit D
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 1)
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 2)
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 3)
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 4)
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 5)
Exhibit 1 to Exhibit D (part 6)
Exhibit E
Exhibit F
Exhibit G
Memorandum of Law In Support of Motion
(Alternate link)(Alternate link #2)
Appendix 1 to Memorandum of Law
Appendix 2 to Memorandum of Law
Appendix 3 to Memorandum of Law

In addition to pointing out that the RIAA has failed to submit any proper evidentiary showing that it has a case -- which is necessary in order to obtain an order permitting discovery of identities -- John Doe #8 has also submitted the affidavit of programmer Zi Mei, who attacks the validity of the Media Sentry investigation upon which the lawsuit was based.

The case is pending before Judge Laura Taylor Swain, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan.

Keywords: copyright download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa mp3 independent


David Thomas said...

It sounds like a reasonable case.

Good luck!!!

eclectica said...

Those 4 pdf files you linked to are dead with 0k filesizes, as you can see here:
Index of /atlantic_does

raybeckerman said...

Thanks for the input. I've repaired the links now!

raybeckerman said...

Dear conceptgenesis:

Maybe so. Interesting thought.

Best regards,


raybeckerman said...

Dear Oli,

Mr. RIAA did wind up looking pretty bad, I thought.

"Illegal" isn't a real legal term. These cases are civil, not criminal. The issue is whether a copyright was infringed or not.

Best regards,


raybeckerman said...

Dear Marsvenge:

No, it is not a proper use of a lawsuit to bring it just to find out who you should really be suing.

There would be no infringement case if plaintiff can't sustain its burden of proving it has a copyight.

There is simply no legal basis in statutes, rules, or cases, for joining the unrelated John Does.

Since their allegations are so vague, we feel that they should be required to state what the basis of their information and belief is.

Best regards,