Thursday, December 13, 2007

In 4 Brooklyn cases, RIAA asks Court permission to file untimely motions to dismiss counterclaims

In four (4) Brooklyn cases, including Warner v. Attal, in which the defendants are represented by Jaime Lathrop of Brooklyn, the RIAA has requested permission to file untimely motions to dismiss the defendants' counterclaims.

The defendants have opposed the request.

December 12, 2007, Letter of Richard Guida to Judge Trager requesting permission for late filing of motions*
December 12, 2007, Letter of Jaime Lathrop to Judge Trager opposing RIAA request for permission for late filing of motions*
December 13, 2007, Letter of Richard Guida to Hon. David G. Trager*

* 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


Alter_Fritz said...

good chance to see if the Honorable Judge Trager is "pro juris" (sp?) or "pro RIAA" depending how he decides...

Art said...

Here was the last draft version just before the final one that was filed:

Dear Judge,

I know we ruthlessly jump on any procedural error made by the defendants in any one of our thousands of cases. But you should forgive us for not following proper procedures ourselves, because there's like trillions of illegal files being shared on the Internet. There's only so much time in the day to suck money from artists and innocent music consumers. Besides, our dog really did eat our brief!

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs

Anonymous said...

…but asks that Plaintiffs themselves not be penalized for their counsel's mistake.

I see here how the RIAA attorneys seek to make themselves separate from their clients, so when they screw up they can whine that the innocent Plaintiffs not suffer for such incompetence. They also imply that neither should the attorneys pay any price for their mistakes here. In fact, we should just skip over all these silly rules and conferences. If this were to be the standard for proper law practice, why even have rules at all since they are meaningless in the above context.

The RIAA lawyers also claim that although they admit not sending motion papers to one Defendant at all, that because the claims are the same and the attorney of record is the same, that this is the same as sending it to everyone. This echoes of the infamous Chewbacca Defense.

Clearly the Plaintiff's attorneys don't want to have to be bothered with rules or pre-trail[sic] conferences. Hey, those RIAA attorneys have lots of cases to pursue, and no time to waste on individual conferences times four – once for each Defendant. In fact, I strongly suspect that they're stretched so thin already that they'd have trouble making it to all these conferences (times 4), so why not just dispense with them altogether and get on to the directed judgment in the Plaintiff's favor? (In fairness, I must point out that the Defense offers a differing explanation on why Plaintiffs might wish to skip such conferences.)

I love how the term "forum shopping" has been interjected so neatly into the matter at hand. This whole idea of the RIAA dropping cases when things seem to go against them, while designating unrelated cases as "related" when they feel they have a friendly judge, is exactly their pattern to this outside observer.

Can anybody identify that lovely font that Jamie Lathrop uses as a printed signature?


Alter_Fritz said...

according to the pdf source text it is "English111VivaceBT-Regular" (Font20 in the pdf identified at 000474d4)
And indeed it looks very much like the font named that way found here with google search for the name

(Note I don't know the legal status of that font. Download it at your own risk!)

Anonymous said...

Alter Fritz,

Reading the PDF source is an impressive feat. It's not the most user friendly (think XML as something that is) format. Thanks for the font identifier.

Can you also tell me if the RIAA's arguments make any more sense when viewed in raw PDF encoding?


Alter_Fritz said...

well, RIAA lawyers papers are glibberish no matter if you view them in notepad, Irfan View's Hex view or as intended as a PDF ;-)

But this one here from Mr. Lanthrop is even in notepad pleasing to read :-)

Virtualchoirboy said...

My first thought after reading the request from the RIAA (and before reading the reply) was that perhaps Mr. Lathrop did not do anything about the motions to dismiss because he was waiting for the pre-motion conference. No pre-motion conference = no action necessary.

Of course, in reading the reply we find that the RIAA WERE notified of their failure and STILL failed to do what was required. In my opinion, they're either horribly incompetent or were planning on late filing all along.

I also agree with alter_fritz in that this may be a good test to see where the Honorable Judge Trager's opinions really lay.

Art said...


Now Plaintiffs have waived their copying and distribution rights!

They claim that defendants waive their "tresspass to chattels" right as follows: using an online file sharing program to distribute files over the Internet to other users, Defendants opened their computer to the world...

They release their copyrighted works on media that does not prevent riping or copying (e.g., CDs, tapes, LPs, etc.). This leaves their works "open to the world". So, using their logic, it follows that they have waived their copying and distribution rights.

Case dismissed!!!