Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RIAA sues Project Playlist for copyright infringement in Manhattan; copy of complaint available online

The RIAA's copyright lawsuit against Project Playlist, Atlantic v. Project Playlist, was filed in Manhattan on April 28th. A copy of the complaint is now available online.


* 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


Anonymous said...

Looking at the complaint as a civilian (non-attorney), it seems to have less hyperbole than what we have seen from the RIAA to date.

This should be an intersting case.

Kip Patterson

raybeckerman said...

Speaking as a lawyer I would say that it's got quite a lot of hyperbole.

Anonymous said...

Is not this filing in the wrong district?

The complaint on page 7 admits Project Playlist is in California. Should not this complaint be filed there? They allege their ad broker is in New York, but they have not named them as a defendant. The WHOIS info for the domain shows a Washington State address. Looks like they want to use New York Law on a non-NewYork person. I did not see any statement that the company actually has a presence in New York. They did attract New York people to use their site, but they also I am sure attract people from the other 49 states, and all the countries of the world as well.

Also curious if this action has been handed to the same 2 judges that have done all the other cases in that district, by checking that "related case" box.

The service promotes itself on its website as "an online community where 24,602,542 music fans create and share music playlists". Since that simple statement makes it clear that the site is nothing more then a type of search engine, looks to me that they are no more of an infringer than Google.

UMG RECORDINGS, INC.; VIRGIN RECORDS AMERICA, INC.;AND WARNER BROS. RECORDS INC., are suing in effect a search engine. I also suspect that most of the 24,602,542 sites are also pointing their guests elseware for the actual music. Since most of the music in these playlists are actually hosted in countries such as Russia where American law does not apply, and since it is now clear that an "Actual Distribution" must occur for infringement to happen. I would hope for a fast summary dismissal of this action.

A basic check of the public IP information would reveal to these plaintiffs that the actual physical servers that host this site are right here in the Middle District of Florida (Kissimmee/Orlando), NOT New York or California. This information is exactly the same information they use in their other cases to determine which ISP to send their Subpoena to, so they cannot claim lack of experence with this process.

I guess they chose to file in New York, as they have already lost here in the Middle District of Florida, when it was ordered that they would have to sever and pay filing fees for each of their information harvesting lawsuits that were filed here. The RIAA has a bad record in this district.


James said...

If hyperbole was oil, the RIAA'd be sitting on a gold mine and wouldn't have to sue people and lie through their teeth to make a profit.

Alter_Fritz said...

Their argument is that the internet and what the defendant is doing in it is reachable in NY, and the plaintiffs are residing there thats enough ground to fiel suit there!
With such a abstruse argument are the plaintiffs by the way in direct conflict to the court in Munich (Germany that is!)
For every stupid stuff in connection with the internet poeple sue in munich since that court there seems to be totally technophobe and often rules in favour of rediculous plaintiff's demands.
The argumetn for the jduges in munich is that they already have internet in bavaria too and thats why they are in charge for those cases.
"When will a bavarian judge sue a New Yorker one?!) ;-)


I don't undestand whats the labels problem with that (exept that they maybe do not have their lawyers under control and they do this stuff on their own initiative to make a buck or two from such really idiotic cases!) service is. It's not that the fact that infringing music is widely available "for free" in every nook and cranny of those millions of interconnected computers is something new that would not exist whre it not for that service!
(If I would post a specially crafted search query you enter into google so it helps you to find what that service finds too, An I, google and Ray in trouble too? will we be added to the complaint as defendants for showing even the last technophobe Label boss that had a conversation with his lawyer what the reality is out there in the "internet"?

I mean, If the labels are so anti- internet and all what comes with it
(and it's not that the internet was invented yesterday so that they got surprised with a new born baby and his behaviour! The "internet" like most of you know it is a full blown acne riddled 15 year old teenager with all the problems that came with such an age!)
why are they continue to release music in digital form day after day?

I mean, can't they simply have the dignity to finaly die at least without making such a fuss about their technophobia if they don't want to adapt and cry foul and "unfair competition" towards reality?!!

Anonymous said...

Well, of course there's hyperbole. Hyperbole is what makes pleading papers so much fun to read.

As for the RIAA's theory, that infringes their copyrights merely by indexing http links to mp3s, just like Google does? That's a page straight out of the MPAA's playbook. How interesting that the RIAA is following in the MPAA's footsteps for a change!

I guess the MPAA's success, in beating Bittorrent indexers and other small search engines into settlements before the merits come anywhere near adjudication (and phooey to the DMCA Safe Harbor!) is catching on. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

What makes pre-1972 recordings distinct from more recent recordings? If they're out of copyright, or treated differently by copyright law, then the RIAA may have no claim other them, although this filing obviously tries to make the "moral" case that the record companies have more rights to pre-1972 recordings than anyone else.