Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Court Issues Stay of Subpoena in University of South Florida case

In Interscope v. Does 1-40, the Tampa, Florida, case in which two (2) University of South Florida students designated as "John Does" by the RIAA have gotten together, hired a lawyer, and made a motion to quash the subpoena directed to the University, the Court has stayed the subpoena pending resolution of the motion.

The language of the docket entry reads as follows:

ORDER GRANTING [14] MOTION for protective order or in the alternative to quash ex parte subpoena filed by Doe #37, Doe #21 to the extent that
responses to this subpoena are STAYED pending resolution of this
motion. Signed by Judge Thomas G. Wilson on 8/13/2007. (Williams, Carrie)

However, the language of the order seems to say that responses are only stayed as to John Does #21 and #37.

Order Staying Subpoena*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:


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AMD FanBoi said...

There must be a few other Does that wish that they'd joined this case at this point.

But why aren't they requesting complete severance as well? They're, fortunately, not Doe #1, meaning if they were severed they're out of the case entirely until -- if ever -- it's refiled individually against each one of them.

raybeckerman said...

They asked for dismissal as to all Does other than John Doe #1. That was the right thing to ask for.

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray, your quoting of the order is not 100% the same as in the pdf.
the pdf reads; "[...]Granted to the extent that
responses to this subpoena regarding John Does #21 and #37 are STAYED pending resolution of this motion

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to do nitpicking by correcting you but since we all know how well versed RIAA lawyers are in using weasel words; From the plain language of the order as this non-native speaker here understands it, isn't it reasonable to assume RIAA will argue and demand that University has still to comply with the suponea with respect to all the other 38 Does?

But despite my beforementioned fear I guess it's a good sign to see yet another judge acting resonable in repect of what the rules supply and not as an lakai for "well-known and respected record companies" helping them in their run around resonable FRCP provisions.

raybeckerman said...

alter_fritz, I wasn't quoting from the order, I was quoting from the docket sheet. It was an exact quote.

raybeckerman said...

alter_fritz, thank you very much for bringing that discrepancy -- between the docket sheet and the order -- to my attention. I have amended the post to reflect the discrepancy.

I'm lucky to have such an astute reader!!!!

The moral of the story is that the other 38 students should have been smart enough to seek legal counsel as well.

bbsux said...


Am I missing something? if these 2 "doe's" are able to get their portion of the supoena quashed -- doesn't it automatically quash the rest? (forgetting the texas order that says they actually have to file these one at a time and not join unrelated doe's in a lawsuit)

AND IF it does and the university has already given info to the Riaa, then what?

raybeckerman said...

Well bbsux, I feel sorry for the 38 people who weren't smart enough to consult with an attorney. But that's the way the legal system is. If you don't stand up for your rights, no one's going to do it for you.

Of course I think the judge should have stayed the whole thing. It's one subpoena. If it's wrong as to 2 people it's wrong as to all of them.

But that's what happened.

The moral of the story: every student who is a John Doe should get themselves into a lawyer's office. If all 40 had gone into Michael's office in Tampa, they could have split the cost of the motion 40 ways and it would have cost each of them next to nothing.

As it now stands, the RIAA could well decide to drop the whole thing against Michael's 2 clients and just pursue it against the other 38. Which would probably be the smart play at this point, to avoid a negative precedent.

AMD FanBoi said...

Alter_fritz, your posts are great!

And "lackey" is the word you were searching for, meaning among other things, "minion".

Alter_Fritz said...

<smart ass mode>
AMD, actualy me wasn't searching, me was of course just thinking german* </smart ass mode>


* http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lakai&oldid=35431843