Friday, May 23, 2008

Arista v. Greubel continues under new case against children, UMG v. Greubel

We reported 2 weeks ago that the Fort Worth, Texas, case of Arista v. Greubel had been settled. This is the case in which Nettwerk Music was paying for the costs of the defense.

We have since learned, through a comment posted here, that the RIAA has sued Mr. Greubel's children. The name of the case is UMG v. Greubel.

The docket number is 06-860, N.D. Texas.

Among the things we have learned through an examination of the docket sheet is that

-one of the four defendants is a minor;
-a motion for appointment of a guardian ad litem had been made, and was then withdrawn;
-a settlement conference was held at which Matthew Oppenheim, instead of any record company representatives, was the sole "client" representative;
-the RIAA has attempted to subpoena, from the father, David Greubel, his communications with his attorneys and with Nettwerk Music;
-Mr. Greubel has made a motion to quash the subpoena, and the motion has been referred to the Magistrate Judge; and
-a hard drive inspection was done under a stipulated protective order similar to the protective order in SONY v. Arellanes.

We have posted a sampling of miscellaneous documents from the Court file.

Hard drive protective order*
Amended complaint*
Motion to file reference list under seal*
Answer of Adam Greubel*
Reply memorandum in support of motion to appoint guardian ad litem for minor child*
Withdrawal of motion to appoint guardian ad litem for minor child*
Defendants' report of settlement conference*
Motion to quash subpoena served upon defendants' father*
Order referring motion to quash to Magistrate Judge*

[Ed. note. The report of settlement conference is interesting. Once again Matthew "the Enforcer" Oppenheim was there to insist upon his pound of flesh. For how much suffering has this one man been responsible? -R.B.]

* 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


Jadeic said...

Excuse me while I re-calibrate my Appall-ometer. It appears to have gone off the top of the scale.


Alter_Fritz said...

to bad we only got these infos so late.

If we had them earlier we could have had for example advised the parties that the HDD protective order is a teethless one since deleted files [which might fall under attorney to client or here -since a record label seems to be involved on the "light side"- work product privilege] on Mr Greubel's HDD are fair game since such deleted, but with HDD tools relatively easy readable files, fall NOT under the order or will be included in a log file from the Attorneys if the procedure is handled like it is outlined in that stipulation!

Further I refrain from commenting since it would end probably in a Rule 7 violation given what I have read about the behaviour of RIAA this time!

Jadeic said...

I see you still characterise Matthew Oppenheim as "the Enforcer". I am reminded of Peter Cook's (of Dudley Moore fame for my Transatlantic readers) withering description of Zsa Zsa Gabor as 'a complete non-entity'. In the scheme of things Oppenheim, too, is an irritating irrelevance who has yet to add anything constructive to the wider debate. It is axiomatic that he is beneath contempt.


Rick Boatright said...

ok, I know I'm not a lawyer, so I have a VERY VERY STUPID QUESTION.

Why would he refer the motion to quash to the magistrate judge instead of just saying "yes" since it's so FREAKING OBVIOUS that you can't subpoena atty-client privileged material????

Anonymous said...

An interesting tactic.
Drop the original case so
that the financial backing
of Nettwerk music goes away.

Attack the family again when they
only have their own resources
to fight with.

I hope Nettwerk is still watching
and maybe still helping.


raybeckerman said...

I believe Nettwerk is still in the game.

Anonymous said...

Not that there is any reason to be paranoid when being sued by the RIAA....

I was surprised to see that the "Hard drive protective order" mentions the use of " MD5 or equivalent hash...." While the order pre-dates the latest exploit, serious issues with MD5 were raised back in 2004. Although it remains in wide use, MD5 has been compromised. I would expect that a qualified forensic expert hired to help design the plan detailed in the order would be aware of these issues and would recommend a different hash function. Is the RIAA hiring incompetent experts or just giving themselves options if they don't initially find files to support their claims?

Alter_Fritz said...

> Is the RIAA hiring incompetent experts

Yes! (just use the sitesearch and search for Dr. Douglas Jacobson)

> or just giving themselves options if they don't initially find files to support their claims?

While me of course would not accuse them of willful spoilation with evidence -which is a serious crime-; given how they "developed new evidence" like Rich wrote in the lindor case to the judge, I'm not willing to rule it out 100% either.

Given their previous record in the last ~5 years which we can observe a bit thanks to Ray's work with this blog, they surprised us more then once with hitting a new low when it comes to their conduct!

Anonymous said...

Now I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that we're finally at a point that new cases brought by the RIAA should be easily dismissable before discovery as follows:

1) Motion for a more definite statement (FRCP 12(e)), i.e., more specificity as to times and places that infringing copying and distribution is alleged

2) Motion to strike the "making available" language (as there are plenty of supporting decisions now)

3) Motion to dismiss based on failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted (FRCP 12(b)6; no time/place alleged, so no actual transfer took place, so no basis for copy/distribute claim)