Saturday, February 03, 2007

Summary Judgment Battle Rages in Washington in Interscope v. Leadbetter

In Interscope v. Leadbetter, in Seattle, Washington, the RIAA has made a motion for summary judgment against the defendant's son, and the son has cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the case.

Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment*
Selected exhibits submitted in support of plaintiff's summary judgment motion*
Defendant Donald Leadbetter's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment*
Exhibit A to Defendant's Cross-Motion (Gary Millen deposition)*
Exhibit B to Defendant's Cross-Motion (Alan Pitcher deposition)*
Exhibit C to Defendant's Cross-Motion (Donald Leadbetter's affidavit)*
Exhibit B to Defendant's Cross-Motion (Donald Leadbetter deposition)*

Mr. Leadbetter is represented by Lory Lybeck of Lybeck Murphy, LLP, a Seattle, Washington, firm which handles cases in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

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


StephenH said...

I feel that that the notification date of a lawsuit and the hard drive failure of natural causes should not constitute "destruction of evidence", as the RIAA claims. First of all, hard drives do crash on occasion. Next of all, data recovery is very expensive and is often beyond the budget of an average family (sometimes it can be hundrends or even thousands of dollars, as it is hard labor).

Also, it is odvious that Donald is not the proper defendant, as they claim it may have been another family member or even a friend. I think that the courts in the US should carefully read the Deposition of Gary Millin, in which MediaSentry does not really know if a file was copied, who the person was that downloaded files, or even the origin if a file was pirated (due to renaming, their own decoys, decoys from other companies such as MediaDefender, etc)

Worse yet, he was sued and was not notifed for a couple of years that he was a defendant. I feel that this is pathetic, that the RIAA allows so much time to go by, in which people need to indentify who used a computer on a given day and time and expect to be able to know that detail from many months or even years back.

I think that the RIAA should do the following:

1) When the John-Doe "information farming" lawsuits are filed (just to get ones indentity), they should dismiss after and send warning letters to cease and desist against suspected file sharers.

2) If a lawsuit is filed against an individual, I beleive that the RIAA should file in the district the person lives in, not where their ISP's corporate office is.

3) One should not be forced to settle without forensic evaluation of the persons hard drive, and if it is odvious that the person paying the bill for internet access is not the actual file sharer, the case should be dropped and refiled.

4) RIAA should not stonewall discovery, or use tactics to force people into paying them without proof of guilt.

5) In any case where the defendant makes a serious claim of innocense (via fair use, owning the music, not the actual downloader, and others), this should be evaluated by a judge and the RIAA, and if valid and the person is truely innocent, the case should be dropped.

6) In cases of computers with multiple users, more anaylsis should be done to determine which user is responsible.

7) In cases where a connection being paid by one person is used to connect more than one computer to the internet via Ethernet, Wireless, Proxy Servers, VPN, NAT Translation, or other means, the person paying the bill should not be liable for the actions of other users (via direct or contributory infringement) who use the system unless they are married to the person paying the bill, or are the parent of a minor child who is a defendant and they are living in a state where parental financial liability for the actions of minors exists. The actions of roommates, unmarried adult domestic partners, co-habitants, officemates, friends, anonymus users, strangers, and other non-family members should be the reponsibility of themselves, not the person paying the bill for internet access. As with this, it should be RIAA's own burden to determine the correct liable party, and the RIAA should have to accept a motion-to-dismiss granted or a not guilty verdict in cases of them suing the wrong defendant.

8) Settlements should be negotiated, and that the person should be able to contact the record labels suing them and work out a settlement. The RIAA and their member labels should not use a company like Settlement Support Center to humillate and persuade people into paying them money, and then acting like a greedy debt collector.

Unknown said...

Here's a better idea. I don't think the riaa should be filing lawsuits against their "customers." Period.