Friday, March 28, 2008

Rolando Amurao fights back, argues MediaSentry must be found illegal and Matthew Oppenheim must be deposed

In Lava v. Amurao, Rolando Amurao has fought back, filing papers (a) in further support of his motion to exclude the MediaSentry evidence for having been procured illegally and to compel the deposition of Matthew Oppenheim, and (b) in opposition to the RIAA's motions for voluntary dismissal, for summary judgment on the copyright misuse counterclaim, and for discovery sanctions.

Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to RIAA's 3 motions*
Declaration of Richard A. Altman in Support of application for continuance*
Defendant's Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant's motion to compel discovery and for in limine exclusion of MediaSentry material*

* 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


Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I really would like to see some people go to jail for this whole thing. Unfortunately, if anyone goes to jail (which itself is not that likely), it'll probably be people at MediaSentry, as opposed to the ones in the RIAA that masterminded this whole scheme.

Jadeic said...

I am impressed that is Richard A has at last had the courage to raise the spectre of 'corporate McCarthyism' as a true characterisation of the RIAA tactics that harks back to one of your great country's most shameful periods: albeit I could reflect off-topic on both Bush administrations for quite some time. In fact Richard's whole conclusion to 'Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to RIAA's 3 motions' makes excellent reading. I concur - 'something has gone seriously awry in our society and the legal system it is
supposed to reflect'.

Regarding the 'Declaration of Richard A. Altman in Support of application for continuance' I strongly suspect that the RIAA may concede elsewhere rather than expose dear Oppenheim to discovery: as any good gardener knows, shady characters need to be kept out of direct light.

But the best - Defendant's Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant's motion to compel discovery and for in limine exclusion of MediaSentry material- is kept till last. Here Richard hammers at three key areas of defence strategy: MediaSentry, Oppenheim and Statutory Damages. Like it or not the pressure is rising on the Circuit Judges embroiled in this litigation circus to earn their keep and settle some of these contentious issues. Akin to Mugabe in Zimbabwe, sooner or later MediaSentry must fall - their position is rapidly becoming untenable. Oppenheim - well the argument are strong but I still think this is the one that will be fudged. Which leaves Statutory Damages. To me this is the trickiest to argue if only because the decisions I have read across all circuits suggest that judges will opt for a conservative status quo on this issue. This is wrong but sadly inevitable. The view from over here is that the propensity for the US legal system to relish hugely disproportionate statutory damages settlements is frankly risible. It is frequently reported that European Courts treat them as an anathema and refuse to endorse such settlements.

I wait, as ever, to see how this pans out.


Anonymous said...

defendants who have the temerity to defend themselves or refuse to implicate others are somehow blameworthy, and they are expected to cooperate fully or be sanctioned if they don’t. This is exactly backwards.

There is the entire RIAA litigation strategy in a nutshell. Every "investigator" they use from MediaSentry to extreme pressure on innocent ISP accountholders to "throw somebody else under the bus" is illegal. Innocent Defendants have no obligation to work as unpaid investigators for a suit that should have never been filed in the first place.

And judges have been culpable for allowing these suits to continue as long as they have.

It is absurd for plaintiffs simultaneously to admit that they have no case, and that it is the defendant’s fault for not telling them. There is no basis for sanctions in this action and the Court should in itsdiscretion deny the request.


And when billion-dollar corporations sue individuals solely on the basis of
illegally obtained evidence...the federal courts are becoming willing accomplices to this perversion of copyright law.


One is left to wonder what the practice of law was like in the early days of the USA when there wasn't this vast collection of precedents endlessly cite.