Monday, December 03, 2007

RIAA's Motion to Dismiss LimeWire Antitrust Counterclaims is Granted; Counterclaims Dismissed in Arista v. LimeWire

In Arista v. LimeWire, the RIAA's motion to dismiss LimeWire's antitrust counterclaims has been granted, and the counterclaims dismissed.

The Court relied upon Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955 (2007) which held that "A party’s “obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”

December 3, 2007, Decision Dismissing Antitrust Counterclaims*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

Punto Informatico (Italian)

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


Unknown said...

"Formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action"? Are we talking about Limewire, or the RIAA?

Anonymous said...

I believe the law on monopolies is that although you're allowed to become one by creating it legally, you are NOT allowed to leverage that monopoly power to expand into a new area.

The monopoly is the record companies – soon to become record company, at this rate – and the new area is ala carte distribution of digital music over the Internet.

One big lie is that the record companies are "competitors" in the music industry. That's a huge lie. They would only be competitors if all of them sold the same music (boy band jokes aside). They don't. Each exclusively sells the songs they own copyrights to.

They also don't act as competitors. They move like a herd to sell their music through the same online stores, litigate as one group of plaintiffs, and pledge to only accept exactly equal settlements. There is no free market here.

I favor compulsory licensing for digital sales.

The judge seems to see this case both ways, to Lime Wire's determent. He says near the end that substantial discovery clearly hasn't taken place because of the request to extend the period 6 months, and then admits that LW has already received 1 million pages of documents and 100 GB of disc files. What gives! That appears more than substantial to this outside observer.

With judge's decisions like this one, it appears – sadly – that the legal branch is either unwilling, or incapable, of protecting the consumers from just about anything and everything the record companies wish to go out and do.


Alter_Fritz said...

while i'm neither a judge nor US lawmaker may I ask where was the judge a while back when the US gov. had this case against the record companies for price fixing anti competetive behaviour and all this stuff that just did not end with a guilty verdict because this billion of dollar cartel could pay for a "get out of jail-card"?

Given what even I have heard about this stuff, I guss what Limewire alledged is definetly "more than labels and conclusions".

But what do I know?

StephenH said...

I feel that LimeWire should appeal this ruling. I find it interesting that almost identical counterclaims held in MGM v Grokster by Sharman Networks.

Scott said...

Plugh said:

"I favor compulsory licensing for digital sales."

In the United States, the right to free speech is enumerated in the First Amendment. What you're proposing is the licensing of speech -- something that is repellent to civilized societies.

The major labels and their trade association are hurtling toward irrelevance as music consumers walk away from them (and from their tired old catalogs of artists who are older than your grandparents). Congress ought to hasten the paradigm shift by removing copyright protection from mechanical performance. You would still pay a royalty to The Harry Fox Agency for recording someone else's work based on the initial number of units you intend to sell, but after it's released, you would not be entitled to collect royalties on subsequent performance and distribution, provided that the work was unaltered and the distribution was free.

The labels could still make a ton of money under such a paradigm, but not in the ways that they're used to. And in any case, a discussion of this topic is outside the focus of this blog.

Anonymous said...