Thursday, November 20, 2008

New RICO class action claims asserted against RIAA in St. Louis in Atlantic Recording v. Raleigh

In Atlantic Recording v. Raleigh, a St. Louis, Missouri, case in which the Court dismissed defendant's counterclaims in August, new, more detailed, amended class action counterclaims have been filed, alleging claims for:

-Prima Facie Tort
-violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act.

The amended counterclaims specifically reference Capitol Records v. Foster and several other cases.

The predicate acts for the RICO count were extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

The class on behalf of whom the claims are asserted is all persons residing in the United States who:

a. were falsely accused by Counterclaim Defendants and RIAA of downloading copyrighted sound recordings owned by the ounterclaim Defendants and making them available for distribution or mass distribution over a P2P network and who incurred costs and damages including legal fees in defense of such false claims; and/or

b. whose computers used in interstate commerce and/or communication were accessed by Counterclaim Defendants without permission or authority through conduct involving interstate communication and from which information was obtained in violation of such person’s rights within two years prior to the date of the filing of this amended counterclaim.

Amended Answer and Counterclaims

Commentary & discussion:
Sir Arthur's Den
Effect Measure
Scholars & Rogues


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...

Ray, a little off topic, but what is going on with the other class action suit (Tanya Anderson vs. Atlantic)? I haven't seen anything since the end of May 2008; is this just waiting for the judge to certify it as a class action suit?

Anonymous said...

This man certainly agrees that massive fraud has been committed by the RIAA on every occasion where they have informed any citizen that Making Available and/or permitting a download to their authorized agent MediaSentry is copyright infringement.

Additionally their claim that the evidence necessary to prove your guilt has already been secured is an outright lie. Were that the case then forensic examinations of computer hard drives would never have been necessary as part of any case.

This man prays for the righteous to prevail over these evil companies who, while they actually may have been damaged to some small degree (not nearly as much as they claim) by filesharing actions still aren't entitled to bend, twist, and warp laws that don't yet criminalize this activity into what they can only wish they were.

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

Not a chance this will go through.

I do think that the RIAA campaign is extortion. It is nothing more than a protection scheme.

But proving RICO is hard. How many RICO cases brought by a non governmental agency have ever succeeded?

And frankly, the use of a P2P implies consent for anonymous access to the shared folder. That issue is a non starter


Anonymous said...

"And frankly, the use of a P2P implies consent for anonymous access to the shared folder."

Completely incorrect. Some applications yes, all p2p? No.

raybeckerman said...

"the use of a P2P implies consent for anonymous access to the shared folder"

That statement is wrong on so many levels.

1. The class action is brought primarily on behalf of the people who did NOT use p2p and were sued anyway.

2. The RIAA itself has testified that the majority of people whose files are accessible don't know that their files are accessible.

3. Consent to a person who is part one's network is not consent to a private investigator seeking to build a copyright infringement case. I.e., even those users of a p2p network such as Kazaa or Gnutella who did knowingly and deliberate allow sharing of their files were consenting to allow a limited number of other people to listen to their music for their listening pleasure. That is not tantamount to a waiver of their rights under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to allow someone to enter their computer under false pretenses for an unintended purpose.

Anonymous said...

This man's additional observation is that this class should fully encompass every ISP account holder who did not perform the actual act of filesharing themselves - which seems to be many if not most of them. The RIAA has shown themselves quick to sue the account holder as the actual infringer, and then use the threat of that suit to turn the screws down on them until they're ready to give the RIAA their entire case against someone else. The RIAA remains very slow to drop the original defendant even when they have good reason to believe that person couldn't have been the actual infringer but don't have a strong enough case against anyone else yet.

To sue, as the RIAA does, people when they know they don't have any evidence besides the casual connection to an ISP account needs to be seen as frivolous, malpractice, misuse of the judicial system, and RICO - when performed in the number of cases this has encompassed.

{The Common Man Speaking}