Thursday, October 30, 2008

University of Oregon John Doe case, Arista v. Does 1-17, withdrawn "without prejudice"

As it usually does once it obtains its response to the subpoena in its John Doe cases, the RIAA has voluntarily dismissed without prejudice its Portland, Oregon, case targeting students at the University of Oregon, Arista Records v. Does 1-17.

Notice of Dismissal

[Ed. note. I cannot for the life of me understand why the judge is allowing them to get away with this. They commenced what they claimed was a copyright infringement action against 17 individuals located at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. Then, once they get the identities of those individuals, they seek to dismiss the case so that they can pursue the defendants individually, thus denying them the benefits which would inure to them by having a common defense, common defense lawyers, etc. I think it is outrageous. I hope the judge wakes up to the fraud which has been perpetrated upon him, and in which he is an unwitting accomplice. -R.B.]

Keywords: lawyer 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 portable music player


Anonymous said...

Can the Does in this case contest the dismissal in demanding that this case be litigated in its present form, or dismissed with prejudice?

Even better, can they demand their own attorney's fees as the prevailing party even though the dismissal was voluntary because the Plaintiffs clearly threw in the towel once their discovery had been completed. Obviously these Plaintiffs realized once they got their information that they had no case here and therefore owe these Defendants all their legals costs to date.

Should the Does have counterclaimed just so that the Plaintiffs cannot cut and run as is their wont?

Would the judge have had to sever the case before any information had been revealed by the subpoena if some Does counterclaimed while others didn't - or made differing counterclaims requiring different findings of fact?

In short, this dismissal should be challenged immediately, and there must be some way to throw a Monkees [sic] wrench into the process at this stage.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

It seems that a defendant really ought to have explained to the judge that the RIAA had no intent to pursue this case. The judge needed and needs to see this in writing, so that when the RIAA dismisses, like they just did, the judge can take reasonable action. Are the defendants too late in this case?

I could imagine a cautious judge simply tabling a defendant's motion to dismiss and reexamining it when plaintiffs withdraw. Maybe that's wishful thinking.


Anonymous said...

The problem is none of the Does have been served, nor have they filed an answer, so the Plaintiffs will claim they are not out anything.

Of course, it would be interesting to see a Defendant after having lost a dismissal or quash motion to go ahead and file an answer with counterclaims.
From my understanding, a dismissal after answer would not dismiss the counterclaims filed.

I often wondered if it would be easier to win at this stage, since they dont plan on using this complaint for anything but information farming, I am betting that it might have errors, or lacks facts specific to a case. Also fewer works are specified than they plead if they sue later. Seems to me that the more you fight them, the more works they lump into their cases.


Jadeic said...

Unless the judges in these cases are flown in specially from Neptune none of them can possibly have failed to notice the established RIAA tactic of dismissal without prejudice once the defendants are named. I know justice should be blind but it should never be as blinkered as it is in these cases.


Igor said...


This is off topic but this may help in future filings. I stumbled upon this article. The notable paragraph in this is:
"Pirate Bay makes no secret of the fact that it inserts the random IP addresses of users, some of who may not even know what file sharing is, to the list of people downloading files, leading investigators up a virtual garden path."

I'm not sure if anyone that the RIAA accuses uses bit torrent, but if they do, this definitely raises major doubt if in fact the IP registered to them is involved at all.

Reluctant Raconteur said...

Is this the case the State AG was involved in?

I still wonder how this process has gotten so institutionalized. On the face of it, this is stretching the rules of the court, at least you should expect a some denials, yet no judge ever rejects the tactics.

StephenH said...

I think that the RIAA probably is in fear with the Oregon Attorney General representing the University in this case. I think that they may fear a far worse defense if this case were to go forward given the fact that the attorney general is a government agency.

raybeckerman said...

I beg to differ, Stephen. The RIAA's dropping the "John Doe" case after it gets the names and addresses is routine.

Anonymous said...


I have yet to read of an RIAA case against a bittorrent user. Of course MediaSentry would need to be clever if it wanted to pursue these cases, for the regular bittorent clients always upload when downloading, and that would probably go over poorly in court. Also, bittorrent is distributed, meaning you usually get your file from many sources. What does it mean to infringe the copyright on %5 of an mp3? If those sections aren't even contiguous? Can the RIAA sue everyone who provided part of an mp3, or are they limited to one uploader?

Regarding the current cases, the RIAA files suit against users for both uploading and downloading mp3s. Say Adam uploaded to Betty. If the RIAA sues both Adam and Betty for direct copyright infringement, it is double dipping. Is this legal? If it's illegal, who has the burden of checking for it? What if one of the two parties settles out of court? Is the other party still liable?


Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

"Regarding the current cases, the RIAA files suit against users for both uploading and downloading mp3s."

It does? I was under the impression that it only sued (or could sue) for uploading.

Anonymous said...

Like I've said before, this particular judge is not the brightest bulb.