Monday, November 26, 2007

RIAA Ordered to Turn Over Expense Information in UMG v. Lindor

In UMG v. Lindor, Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy has partially granted the defendant's motion to compel discovery into the RIAA's expenses-per-download, which the RIAA had opposed, giving the record companies two weeks to submit a further response to Ms. Lindor's interrogatory, and authorizing a telephone deposition of the plaintiffs thereafter.

November 25, 2007, Order of Hon. Robert M. Levy, Directing Response to Interrogatory and Telephone Deposition*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:
Ars Technica
The Consumerist
IT Avisen (Norwegian)
Heise Online (German)
Planet (Dutch)
Harmony Central


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

To contribute to Marie Lindor's legal defense, see below.

The above donation button links to a PayPal account established by Marie Lindor's family for people who may wish to make financial contributions to Ms. Lindor's legal defense in UMG v. Lindor. Contributions are not tax deductible.


Anonymous said...

Hmm...should we expect the RIAA to wait two weeks and then file motion to file under seal rather than produce discovery? They do so like to file 11th hour motions rather than produce discovery.

Anonymous said...

Funny how this is the mirror image of the post immediately below where the Plaintiffs were whining about not getting their discovery in a timely manner. I'm sure there is some clever comment about having one's cake and eating it too that could be applied here.


raybeckerman said...

From my experience it has been standard policy of the RIAA lawyers to:

1. stonewall all discovery requests served upon them; and

2. aggressively press for discovery, without limit, from others.

While these might on the surface appear to be inconsistent and hypocritical, there is a common thread between their demands for discovery and their responses to discovery.

It is that they believe in doing anything they can to make the case more costly and onerous for the defendant, without regard to the rules, without regard to custom, without regard to any sense of moderation, and without regard to any sense of decency.

Reluctant Raconteur said...

This is makes perfect sense.

Going after those dirty pirates, of course they have lost all protection of the law, they are guilty and forfeited their rights.

And since the RIAA is on the side of angels, why would anyone question what and how they do things. You insult their integrity.

Anonymous said...


Do you think they'll try to add in the cost of music production, such as studio time, etc....

Anonymous said...

It great to see each case make the RIAA have to come up with answers for their behavior towards the poor folk they are suing. Maybe a 99 cent download is only worth 99 cents, who would of thunk it?

Anonymous said...


"Do you think they'll try to add in the cost of music production, such as studio time, etc...."

Probably, and then divide it by the number of expected sales which will be way short of th actual. And you forgot to add in the cost of the recording companies managment. The managment bonus, the managment private plane, the managment $1500 lunches....

I'm sure the artists would like a proper accounting of the recording industries costs.

Reluctant Raconteur said...


You bring an interesting point to mind. How the overhead costs are allocated will make a big difference in the unit cost of the downloads.

If the production and marketing costs are fully allocated to the CD, then the digital version should have a very low overhead and even at 99c should have a good profit.

If the costs are allocated over both CD and download, more profit for the CD and less for the digital version. I would challenge the logic of those allocations but accounting rules have a lot of flexibility.

Of course, if the same costs are allocated for both CD and digital you wouldn't be able to catch that without a full forensic audit.

Anonymous said...

What should be interesting is how they justify subtracting "breakage" from electronic downloads.

Record contracts and payments to artists were negotiated with the expenses of CD production and distribution in mind, including the cost damaged stock and unsold CDs. There is no damaged stock or leftover media in electronic sales but the Studios pay artists for electronic download sales as if these costs were still part of there expenses.

Anonymous said...

But since they still have 100% of their inventory, doesn't that mean everything is unsold stock? {/sarcasm}

Also an interesting thought: If my MP3 player containing DRM-locked music is stolen, can I use the RIAA's values for determining replacement cost? If somebody can find a way to make that stick once, it'll be interesting to see how much pressure the insurance industry brings to bear in the overall battle.