Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Briefing Schedule Set for RIAA's Motion to Dismiss Affirmative Defense of Copyright Misuse

The briefing schedule has been set in UMG v. Lindor for the RIAA's motion to dismiss Ms. Lindor's affirmative defense of copyright misuse, which alleges:

8. The plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have.
9. As such, they are guilty of misuse of their copyrights.
The plaintiffs' moving papers are due August 27th.

In the past, the RIAA has made several motions to dismiss "copyright misuse" where it has been affirmatively alleged as a counterclaim. So far, its record in that area is 2-1-1 (it has won 2 motions, lost 1, and the Court deferred ruling on another). To the best of our knowledge it has not attempted to dismiss copyright misuse where it has been alleged only as a defense. So this is a first for the RIAA.

August 15, 2007, Memo Endorsed Order Approving Briefing Schedule*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

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


AMD FanBoi said...

I would so much like to see them lose their copyrights over this. There is nothing I can imagine that would bring this reckless, evil, campaign to a screeching halt than the possibility -- or certainty -- of losing those precious, unConstitutional (read what the US Constitution intended for Copyright, and the reasons behind that clause) copyrights.

The RIAA is like Al Qaeda. They bomb their targets indiscriminately.

raybeckerman said...

I don't think they're going to get the copyright misuse defense shot down. It's been around in the Second Circuit for many decades.

Jack Brooks said...

In my mind, this is one of the most important decisions that will be made in this multifaceted battle between individual music fans and the RIAA. Anyone interested in perfecting a copyright misuse claim has got to understand the importance of defeating the motion. Once discovery can begin on the copyright misuse defense (or counterclaim) it should become readily apparent the extent of the conspiracy (ala RICO) or proof of purgery should they attempt denial. All of the defendants in the pending cases would benefit from defeating the motion and enjoying the proceeds of the subsequent discovery. The cleanest claim regarding their unclean hands is probably extortion. Their legal actions, aside from the PR aspects which likely are not illegal, can certainly be proved as an extortionate scheme on an unprecendented scale.