Sunday, August 13, 2006

RIAA Wants to Depose Dead Defendant's Children; But Will Allow them 60 Days to "Grieve"

Just when we think we've heard it all....

In Michigan, in Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury, after learning that the defendant had passed away, the RIAA made a motion to stay the case for 60 days in order to allow the family time to "grieve", after which time they want to start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury's children:

Motion for 60-Day Stay and Extension of "Deadlines"

Thanks to John Hermann, the great Michigan lawyer who's been fighting the RIAA there, for bringing this to my attention. John's contact info: 2684 West Eleven Mile Road Berkley, MI 48072 248-591-9291 Email:

By the way the lawyer who signed the motion is the same lawyer who was representing the RIAA in Motown v. Nelson, in which a 15-year old girl testified that Mr. Krichbaum tried to put words in her mouth at her first deposition.

Here is a profile of the late Larry Scantlebury. Thanks to "alter_fritz", a reader of this blog, for bringing it to my attention.

A couple of interesting documents in the Scantlebury case, also brought to my attention by "alter_fritz":
1. Mr. Scantlebury had accused the plaintiffs of "telephoning him at his home, masquerading as 'settlement counselors', adopting as actual aspects of the law never litigated or resolved by an Appellate Court and expressing those non resolved factors as established guidelines"; and
2. Mr. Krichbaum's partner withdrew from the case, back in May.
(I haven't yet verified the foregoing documents, but they appear genuine.).

Additional coverage and discussion of this story at:
boing boing
ars technica
Hard OCP
the Inquirer
Athens Exchange
PC Pro
The Consumerist
Dutch Cowboys (Dutch)

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


Alter_Fritz said...


What kind of [self censored] are these lawyers?!

Ray, a few posts ago you told me not to throw all lawyers in one pot to call them sharks and you used the word attack dogs instead.
Maybe NOW you can understand why I call lawyers sharks.

I don't know anything about us law regarding insult,libel slander and so on, but can't you or someother US blogger set up a list of those lawyers that work for the RIAA and write letters like this one?
(like your Pro-People lawyer index but just as a "stay away from these guys" index)
What kind of human (Me personly not sure about that classification; see my maritime animal reference above) is this MATTHEW E. KRICHBAUM?

And to give you some less emotional part that you can do something as a lawyer with, I have a question for you)
The person the riaa has sued is now dead. Under US law can they simply because the dead has before his death said "i didn't do it" now simply going after other persons without an totally independent formal case against them starting?


And for this "stay away from:" index this is the first and most prominent so far entry

Attorneys for RIAA-Members
221 North Main Street, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
(734) 996 5600

Alter_Fritz said...

But maybe he is no maritime animal but just concerned that their 90% rate drops?

working for technology dinosaurs (RIAA) and having themself a dinosaur website where the information is only in pictures!
That's good for webindexing firms like google and handicapped people!

Alter_Fritz said...

This "is him":

And this is how he looks:

raybeckerman said...

No, alter_fritz, I do not understand why you would lump lawyers together.

There are good ones and bad ones.

This one, obviously, has no sense of decency.

He is working under the supervision of a lawyer at Holme Roberts & Owen, who likewise has no sense of decency.

raybeckerman said...

Agreed, jeff.

I hope the judges start seeing what they are, and handing it to them.

raybeckerman said...

Dear "rufus"

They obviously do have such orders.

What troubles me is their lawyers' willingness and even eagerness to carry out those orders.

Lawyers aren't supposed to just follow orders from their clients, when their clients are just.... plain..... wrong....

J said...

Is there any way to get this case moved to a venue where the jury can award damages to the defendant (assuming it's not already in one)?

raybeckerman said...

Dear "j"

The defendant is dead. He is not represented. This is more "ex parte" action by the RIAA. I hope the judge levels them.

J said...

If there's a suit there's a defendant, even if he's pining for the fjords. Can't they award him damages that the heirs get?

A.R.Yngve said...

They are not suing the dead man's children just for the sake of the money. They are doing it for the sake of principles...

...that is, the principles of Al Capone:
"I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his friends dead! I want..."

Jeff Freeman said...

What troubles me is their lawyers' willingness and even eagerness to carry out those orders.

Lawyers aren't supposed to just follow orders from their clients, when their clients are just.... plain..... wrong....

We don't know anything about the lawyers involved, they may have strongly urged their employer to drop this for all we know.

At a point they have to decide to stop being a person's lawyer, or to carry forth with whatever their employer has hired them to do.

And if they *don't* quit, then appearing to be "willing and eager" is part of the deal. Would you want a lawyer who rolls his eyes as he states your case?

Hm. On second thought, maybe I should shut my mouth since defending these lawyers here is going to make me look like a big jerk.

Must...resist...urge comment.

Drat. Failed my saving throw.

raybeckerman said...

Dear "jeff freeman":

When the client's position is wrong a lawyer should advise the client that either it changes its position, or he resigns from the representation.


Anyone who's not willing to do that is not a lawyer.

raybeckerman said...

realtimeintellect said..."Procedurally this doesn't make sense. The case should be held in abeyance pending the appointment of the estate representatives. No? Hopefully someone will make their Rule 25 motion."

Agreed, Jason. But I think the family probably can't afford, and doesn't have, a lawyer to point that out.

Shawn Gordon said...

I just can't see how the defendants children are responsible forthe actions of their father. Principles or not, it would appear more that the RIAA is sour grapes about their lack of ground recently and wants to make a shining example of how they have longer arms with a tighter grip. Here is a thought, why not ask the artists what they think, since ultimately it was THEIR materials that were "stolen".

Where there is a accusation, there is a plantiff. Behind a plantif there is a secondary interested party. In this case the RIAA is supposed to stand up for artists. Again, if the artists have no problem with the fact the defendant is dead, then why not just make a motion to ensure said stolen materials are deleted from their location.

Oh wait... that woudl require a bit of thought and compassion.

Alter_Fritz said...

reading some of his reviews and seeing his uploaded picture with his grandchild(?) on his arm i don't belive that this honnest looking man was that what those RIAA thugs call "criminal" and "thief".

raybeckerman said...

We all have strong feelings about this, but please try to keep comments (a) civil, (b) accurate, and (c) devoid of curse words.

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray, there is much to read in your link regarding the RIAA-Lawyers actions in another case and hard to find the specifics :(

It starts around paragraph 40:
40. When asked why at her original deposition she stated that she and the Nelson’s had used KaZaA program to listen to music, Ms. Granado testified that Plaintiffs’ counsel was “placing words in her mouth” and trying to get her to say things that weren’t true. (Exhibit 9, pp. 52)
41. Ms. Granado went on to testify Plaintiffs local counsel Matthew Krichbaum had urged her to provide false and inaccurate testimony with regard to the entire portion of her original testimony implicating the Nelsons. (Exhibit 9, pp. 49-65)
42. Even before giving her original deposition testimony, Ms. Granado was contacted by Mr. Krichbaum and told to stick to her story implicating the Nelsons even though it wasn’t true. (Exhibit 9, pp. 68-69)
43. Ms. Granado went on to testify that after making her second statement in which she corrected certain inaccuracies in her original deposition testimony she was repeatedly contacted by Mr. Krichbaum and told that she needed to go back to original story regardless of the truth otherwise he would lose his case. (Exhibit 9, pp. 69-71)

[highlighting my blogcommenter]

P.S. I want to appologise for the use of the word thug. Mr. MATTHEW E. KRICHBAUM is of course no thug...
Regarding "thief" and "criminal" thats the words the RIAA uses for "copyrightinfringers" in its PR campains. These are not my words, and I would not use them neither for those guilty of copyrightinfringement nor those RIAAcounsels like MATTHEW E. KRICHBAUM.

raybeckerman said...

"alter_fritz" wrote: "there is much to read in your link regarding the RIAA-Lawyers actions in another case and hard to find the specifics :("

Seems to me he found the "specifics".

I find it interesting that a year or so after the prior incident, the RIAA continues to use Mr. Krichbaum as their local counsel. I can only infer, from that, that he is "their kind of guy".

Alter_Fritz said...

Hey Ray,
some guy over at ars technica dugg thru the legal papers.

Just for the records couldn't you upload them to this pike and fisher thingy?

raybeckerman said...

Dear "alter_fritz":

Thanks for the documents. I've updated the post to include links to several of them.

I couldn't send them to Pike & Fischer because I'm not in a position to verify them, or to verify whether there are other documents that would need to be presented to present a balanced picture.

I just used the links you sent me, and added a disclaimer.

Thanks very much.

Best regards,


Unknown said...

This is definitely a new low for the riaa.

b0b0b0b said...

:( those poor kids. The only reason I can see for following through with this is so the RIAA can get first in line to deplete the recently deceased guy's assets. This is what capitalism + democracy is, isn't it? I hope the RIAA doesn't get damages + fees. In any event I hope the guy's family has enough left over to cover the services, etc.

Karim said...

I Honestly WONDER why NONE of the falsely accused people that the RIAA has gone after have not filed counter-suit's ESPECIALLY in the case where they tried to make that 15-year old girl LIE in court..... I for one WOULD LOVE to see people start filing MASSIVE lawsuits against them, and frankly the way they have taken this WONDER why the record industry is complaining of profits disappearing... it used to be that they just screwed the artists, now they're screwing their customers too.

Grey said...

Everyone needs to send letters of complaint to their congressman.

The RIAA is nothing more than a media mafia and should be brought up on rico act charges.

raybeckerman said...

Matt writes: "it is important to recognize that the lawyers working for the RIAA are required to zealously represent their clients. These lawyers are fulfilling their duties as lawyers."

Not so, Matt. In civil cases a lawyer is not supposed to represent a client who is wrong. He's supposed to resign the representation. Note that Mr. Krichbaum's partner did just that back in May.

A lawyer who isn't willing to fire his client isn't a real lawyer.

BasicTek said...

"removes morales"

How can you blame the lawyer??? think of all the $$$ he's sucking out of the RIAA for this...

If the RIAA offered you a million bucks wouldn't you sue dead people???

"takes back morales"

Nothing but low life scum if you ask me. lol

John Haller said...

Ken Lay's estate does not get a free pass. The only thing that happened there was the Ken Lay's conviction expired. His assets are still subject to civil liability.

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray when someone is on a subpage the link
"Home Page (Go Here for Links to All Recent Stories)" does not point to the starting page right now, but only to the subpage itself again!
Only the "Homepage of the blog" link much further below points to

raybeckerman said...

Dear "alter_fritz"
Thanks for bringing the link snafu to my attention.
Best regards,

Alter_Fritz said...

It seams you know more about Internet and its lingo then me.
I really had to look up what "snafu" means;
Zwischen 1943 und 1945 erschienen dann 28 etwa drei- bis fünfminütige S/W-Cartoons namens „Private Snafu“ (einer von MGM, einer von Harman-Ising und 26 von Warner Bros. produziert; 26 Cartoons der Serie sind insgesamt noch erhalten. []

Hey Mr Lawyer NOW you are in serious trouble; using stuff from the military and from cartoons copyrighted by WB. Be aware MPAA will sue you for copyright infringement using their letters here in this blog full of "inaccurate" postings by a defence counsel that seams to think he has this old fashion right of free speech when it comes to RIAA business ;)

Cvllelaw said...

Does it matter to anyone that Matthew Krichbaum has also represented clients on the "good" side as well? For example, Google his name and you will see that he represented 20 high school students who were strip-searched to look for some missing "prom money", apparently a few hundred dollars.

I don't think it made any sense at all to be going after the estate and deposing the kids, but let's not turn that idiocy into a general rant against Krichbaum or against lawyers in general.

1138 said...

"Legal" Scum is what they are.

Alter_Fritz said...

@ an_IP_lawyer

If you are really an IP lawyer that would explain your posted examples:
Hell, what are you talking about?
What you are doing here is "Äpfel mit Birnen vergleichen"

Being defrauded of your lifesavings or having your child killed by a drunken lawyer that was frustrated that he has lost a case because his awfull tactics of influencing witnesses doese'nt work and then drove from the bar with his porsche.

THOSE examples you brought up are something completely different then a case about 10 fuxxx songs worth each 79 cent!
you should feel ashamed that you even tried to compare loosing a child with an (alledged) copyright infringement of 10 (ten) fuxxx soundrecordings!

raybeckerman said...

Dear "an_ip_lawyer";

Your comment is extremely misleading.

1. There was no indication that the plaintiffs were moving to substitute the estate.

2. There was no indication that the plaintiffs had a valid claim against Mr. Scantlebury. The indication was that they were under the impression that their claim was not against Mr. Scantlebury at all, but against one or more of his children, and that they were going to pursue the case as a platform for discovery.

3. Your suggestion that the depositions were for the purpose of developing information against Mr. Scantlebury likewise was not supported by the record.

Hence the deletion of your post.

raybeckerman said...

To my real readers:

I just deleted another post from "an_ip_lawyer" in which he used a curse word -- which I have requested people avoid -- and said that "Warner just nonsuited".... which I take it to mean that the RIAA withdrew its case against Mr. Scantlebury. This confirms my suspicion that "an_ip_lawyer" is an RIAA troll, because if the RIAA did withdraw its case, how did he learn of that?

In any event, I'm not aware of having the ability to block a particular registered user from posting comments, so if you see any more similar fake posts from "an_ip_lawyer" please be aware that he is probably an RIAA troll. So if you have the time, let him have it.

raybeckerman said...

Dear "an_ip_lawyer"

1. I will not tolerate misstatement of the facts from anyone, regardless of what their point of view is.

2. The RIAA's lawyers are actively seeking to disaparage my blog to the judges before whom I practice, because they realize that the existence of centralized, publicly available information about the lawsuits is helpful to their opposition. It is therefore imperative that I preserve some measure of dignity, hence the ban on cursing.

3. If you have read the comments here, and elsewhere on my blog, and see them as a mindless anti-RIAA diatribe, you haven't been reading carefully. You will see that many of the readers have made important contributions to our information.

4. As to whether or not you are a troll, of course I cannot say. But I can say that your initial post, which you posted twice, contained much misinformation. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that you were just making unwarranted assumptions.

Alter_Fritz said...

Dear "an_IP_lawyer"

It's sorry to see, that YOU have deleted your post YOURSELF. A Post which looked to me like a try to justify what this Mr. Krichbaum is doing in this case. The problem with that post was that you did NOT tried to justified his actions in a rational way.
You tried to compare the alledged loosing of less then 7,90$ for 10 songs (taxes and iTunes share must be deducted from that) that these "Plaintiffs, well-known and respected record companies alledgedly have lost, with a case where a drunken driver had killed himself and your child.
And you tried to justifed going after the estate of that driver as an example to say what Mr. Krichbaum and these Plaintiffs, well-known and respected record companies," are doing is "normal lawyer business" [last quote might not be 100% accurate, YOU deleted it so I must recall from memory instead of accurate courtpapers like the other quote]
Because of that comparison you made I extended your example from "drunk driver" to "drunken lawyer driver" because i was afraid your next post would be to try to justify that it is also "normal lawyer business" to urge underage witnesses to "provide false and inaccurate testimony" like this RIAA-Lawyer Mr. Krichbaum alledgedly had done in another Case "RIAA vs. People".

"Nice blog, but what happens when someone wants to say something other than, "Down with the RIAA?""

Then he is welcome to do so. If you are in fact not a RIAA(Lawyer?)troll and you would have read this blog accurately then you would have observed that THIS blog is NOT one of those tens of thousands RIAA bash blogs.
THIS blog is a directory/catalogue for court documents for a very tiny fraction of those thousends of "extortion" cases the RIAA are doing.
From time to time the Blogowners like to use their right for free speech and then they post an aditional subjective commentary. But all that is nothing what a really serious lawyer that wants to tell the truth to a judge would call "often inaccurately".

This blog is not for rant and rave about anyone.
Neither for the RIAA officials (and their Lawyers or their "Blog-Trolls") that happily like it to call copyrightinfringers "criminals" and "thiefs" nor for commenters that loose their temper and call RIAA and their lawyers thugs like I did to MATTHEW E. KRICHBAUM.
I have apologized for that already before! He is of course no thug...

So If you want to say something positive about RIAA, I bet with you that Mr. Beckerman welcomes you to do so! Because this place is not a RIAA bashing place but a place devoted to the RIAA's lawsuits of intimidation brought against ordinary working people. With that agenda it simply lists facts, official courtdocuments and allows bloggercomments regarding those facts and official courtdocuments.
If you really can find something positive in these documents and facts, at least me the noninvolved german would like to read your contributions.

In looking forward to see them with best regards, "Alter_Fritz"

Alter_Fritz said...

sorry my tiny english let me made an error, if i understand it correct it wasn't you that deleted your post. sorry for my error

raybeckerman said...

"an_ip_lawyer" is correct; his posts were removed by me, not by him.

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray, since many visitors still hitting this page as a starting point you might consider to post an "update" link in the textsection above to redirect them to the new evolvement in this case.
(Just my nonimportant thought) ;)

raybeckerman said...

Dear "an_ip_lawyer"

I don't have time to get into a debate with you. My legal opinions are expressed in the legal papers which are posted on my blog.

The purpose of this blog isn't to persuade you or anyone else of anything. The purpose is to create a place for centralized information on the RIAA's litigation campaign against consumers.

I don't even know who you are.

Alter_Fritz said...

Question: Ray do you know of any centralised register where someone can look up if a lawyer company (for example Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP) is/has representing RIAA members as clients?

So you can make informed choices in case you need a lawyer.
I mean, like where you can look up if a recording is released by a RIAA member.

raybeckerman said...

No I don't, alter_fritz. I just know that the RIAA's local counsel in New York is Cowan Leibowitz & Latman, that Holme Roberts & Owen is their 'national counsel', Shook Hardy & Bacon & Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp were previous 'national' counsel, and that several other local counsel can be identified through the litigation documents, e.g. Mr. Krichbaum's firm in Michigan. Cravath Swaine & Moore is representing the RIAA in its case against Lime Wire.

Unknown said...

Unbelievable I can't believe anybody would stoop to that level.

Anonymous said...

It really is quite unbelievable that they would stoop to that level! Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Ray Beckerman is ATTICUS FINCH.

raybeckerman said...

Clearly the previous comment (a) was off topic, and (b) failed to include the author's 'handle'.

But due to the urgent and important nature of its content, I published it anyway.