Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Deborah Foster Asks Court to Assess Attorneys Fees Against RIAA in Oklahoma

Following up on the Court's July 13th order, Deborah Foster has filed a motion for attorneys fees, in Capitol Records v. Foster, in federal court in Oklahoma. We have obtained some of the documents forming the basis of the motion:

Memorandum of Law in Support of Deborah Foster's Motion for Attorneys Fees*
Declaration of Richard B. Wilkinson in Support of Deborah Foster's Motion for Attorneys Fees*
Motion for Leave to Supplement Motion for Attorneys Fees*
Motion for Scheduling Order of Deborah Foster's Motion for Attorneys Fees*

Will furnish the remaining documents when we obtain copies.

This is the case against a mother -- whose only connection to the alleged filesharing was that she was the person who paid for the internet access -- which was withdrawn by the RIAA.

Faced with the mother's motion for leave to file a summary judgment motion dismissing the case against her, and awarding her attorneys fees, the RIAA made its own motion for permission to withdraw its case.

The Court granted the motion and let the RIAA drop its case.

The Court went on to hold that the defendant, Ms. Foster, is the "prevailing party" under the Copyright Act and is therefore eligible for an award of attorneys fees.

The Court then indicated that it would decide the attorneys fees award question upon receipt of a motion for attorneys fees.

July 13, 2006, Order Dismissing Case and Finding Defendant to be Eligible for Award of Attorneys Fees against Plaintiffs*

Well now a motion for attorneys fees has been filed.

For background of the case see:
Amended Answer and Counterclaims*

* Document available online at Internet Law & Regulation

The attorney for Ms. Foster is Marilyn D. Barringer-Thomson, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Steve Gordon, a New York-based entertainment attorney, formerly in house counsel at SONY, and the author of the well known book on digital music "The Future of the Music Business", had this comment on Capitol v. Foster:

"This case demonstrates weakness in RIAA's cases in general. If they cannot back up their claims of infringement with legally required evidence, this could affect all their cases and encourage more defendants to fight back -- especially if, as in this case, the court awards attorneys fees for the defendant."

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

1 comment:

StephenH said...

Go Deborah! I feel that RIAA needs to lose this, and pay her fees for suing an innocent victim!