Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oklahoma State University 'neglects' to respond to RIAA subpoena

In Arista v. Does 1-11, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the case against Oklahoma State University students, despite the Court's denial of the motion by some of the students to quash the subpoena, it appears that the university has failed to respond to the subpoena.

According to the RIAA lawyers, the university has "neglected" to respond to the subpoena despite "many reminders".

Oddly, it appears that the RIAA is asking the Court to direct the students' lawyer, Marilyn Barringer-Thomson, to divulge the identities of her clients, which is clearly confidential information protected by attorney-client privilege.

[Ed. note: Anyone have any ideas on why Oklahoma State University hasn't complied with the subpoena? Is it possible that, being a state university, it might have consulted with Oklahoma's Attorney General, and learned that it has been violating federal law by failing to protect its students' legal rights? Maybe the Oklahoma AG has read the papers of the Oregon AG pointing out that the RIAA is asking the university to violate federal law and that the RIAA has itself violated a cluster of laws? Just wondering. -R.B.]

RIAA Application for order to show cause and conference*
Exhibit (January 31, 2008, letter of Marilyn Barringer-Thomson*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:


Keywords: digital copyright law online internet 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 intellectual property


Igor said...

I still think that any member of the university has standing to file a motion to quash since an IP address doesn't identify a person but rather a computer. Thus even a non john doe could be their client!

tompoe said...

Is a response called for? When a criminal convinces a judge to grant a subpoena based on violation of a law, does that require the recipient to acknowledge and respond? Which begs the question, what would possess the judge to grant the subpoena to begin with? Doesn't that expose her to judicial action?

Anonymous said...

It is highly curious that the RIAA Plaintiffs feel that they have the standing, and ability, to force a private attorney to unmask their clients. Especially since the RIAA is known to use any identity information they acquire to then file additional suits. In fact, it would be hugely remiss to reveal *any* information to the RIAA under any circumstances.



Anonymous said...

Not going quite as crazy as Tompoe here, but what is the University exposing itself to, punitive fines? Loss of football scholarships? I mean I'd think the University would feel obliged to respect the authority of the judge, but if they just don't?

Anonymous said...

Ben: bingo. If the President doesn't have to obey the law or respect the courts, why should anyone else?

"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"

I will find it deeply ironic if it is these RIAA lawsuits which force State public institutions to demand changes to Federal copyright law. Talk about shooting yourself in both feet.

Reluctant Raconteur said...


the subpoena is legal until a judge rules that it is illegal. The underlying basis for the subpoena can be challenged but the subpoena itself cannot be ignored. OU had a chance to object and hasn't.

I don't think any of these subpoenas have been entirely quashed, so how do you figure that would expose the judge to punishment? I think that the bar for judicial censure is set pretty high with regards to interpreting the law. I doubt that any judge will get sanctioned for not setting a new precedent.

In the end, OU gave up the names but there delay has opened up an new can of worms which I am sure Ray will post.