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RIAA Protests Oregon AG Discovery Request 172

Posted by Zonk
from the tough-pill-to-swallow dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA is apparently having an allergic reaction to the request by the State Attorney General of Oregon for information about the RIAA's investigative tactics. The request came in Arista v. Does 1-17, the Portland, Oregon, case targeting students at the University of Oregon. Not only are the record companies opposing the request (pdf), they're asking the Judge not to even read it. (pdf)"
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RIAA Protests Oregon AG Discovery Request

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  • Right... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mesa MIke (1193721) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:38PM (#21705520) Homepage
    Nevermind our tactics, just give us the convictions (oh, and the penalty money too) we seek!
    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Funny)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:49PM (#21705580) Homepage Journal
      "As punishment, all titles the the RIAA represent are now in the public domain. Next case."

      That would end it once and for all.
      • Re:Right... (Score:5, Funny)

        by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:58PM (#21705628)

        "As punishment, all titles the the RIAA represent are now in the public domain. Next case."

        Dood, share what you're smoking over there. Yeah, it's a great idea, but it's as likely as me becoming Miss America. For one thing, I'm in my 50's, and for another, I think they'd freak at the beard...

        • Re:Right... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:13AM (#21705726)
          When some vegetable can become president of a nation, why shouldn't a bearded guy in his 50s become Miss America?
        • Re:Right... (Score:5, Funny)

          by chuckymonkey (1059244) <(charles.d.burton) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:41AM (#21705854) Journal
          Stallman?! Is that you?
        • Re:Right... (Score:5, Funny)

          by macshit (157376) <milesNO@SPAMgnu.org> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:47AM (#21705880) Homepage
          it's as likely as me becoming Miss America. For one thing, I'm in my 50's, and for another, I think they'd freak at the beard...

          Emphasize the talent angle, I suppose.
        • Re:Right... (Score:5, Funny)

          by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:56AM (#21705936)

          For one thing, I'm in my 50's, and for another, I think they'd freak at the beard...
          Mom?!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zenkonami (971656)

          Yeah, it's a great idea, but it's as likely as me becoming Miss America.

          ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR GOURD?

          Dood, share what you're smoking over there...For one thing, I'm in my 50's, and for another, I think they'd freak at the beard...

          Ahh...you are. Nevermind...but this

          "As punishment, all titles the the RIAA represent are now in the public domain. Next case."

          ...from the previous poster is absurd. It's not a good idea. The fact is a lot of artists would lose a lot of money, and we're not talking income here necessarily. Many of them may not be able to "pay off" their advances.

          Kill the RIAA? Sure. Kill the major labels and their evil machine? Absolutely. But somebody please think of the childr...er...artists!

          • That would depend on whether the labels were considered liable for the losses incurred by the artists in question. It might actually be a good thing overall. If artists were allowed to treat every download as a lost sale (the RIAA's argument, after all) then they would receive the 2 or whatever their contract says per download from the label, until the label ran out of money. Their debts would be cleared very quickly and the labels would then be forced to sell them back their contracts. The ones with re
          • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @10:16AM (#21708072)
            we don't need 'artists'. its an expensive idea that we have a new solution for.

            outsource.

            some guy (or girl) in india is willing to play that song or sing it for 1/3 to 1/100 of the US cost.

            as a software guy who watches his field erode to outsourcing, I say (sincerely) - outsource the 'arts' too!

            no one has a 'right' to make enormous amounts of money. and today, no one has a 'right' to even earn a living. I'm sure many slashdotters would agree if they've ever had to train their replacement..

            I'm half serious. the entertainment industry thinks they have a 'right' to continue the same old ways. I don't get that right as an engineer. why should 'artists', then?

            I don't feel any more sorry for artists or ceo's whose business model is not valid anymore - since there is no one in society to worry about US!

            the arts won't die. only the money-grubbing parasites will die or be forced to find another 'business'. and good riddance, too.

            the built-in protection is not fair across the board for all working people. I see no reason to give 'artists' a free pass when the rest of us are suffering in a failing economy.
            • Why even pay anyone when there are plenty of musicians willing to do it for free. Just look around the internet. They are not hard to find. Yeah, a lot of it sounds amateurish and crappy, but that is because they have no budget and have crappy equipment.

              If you want a "solution", why not create a site to help people find these musicians, and also a system to get them some decent equipment--maybe a donation system which sends new equipment to the most popular musicians. Maybe have free music studios available

          • ...from the previous poster is absurd. It's not a good idea. The fact is a lot of artists would lose a lot of money, and we're not talking income here necessarily. Many of them may not be able to "pay off" their advances.
            Having worked in game. The standard for such advances are NON-REFUNDABLE advances. The music industry can't be so fucked these advances are refundable; it's the entire basis of that kind of publishing.

            Eivind.

            • by rhizome (115711)
              The standard for such advances are NON-REFUNDABLE advances. The music industry can't be so fucked these advances are refundable; it's the entire basis of that kind of publishing.

              But are they NON-RECOUPABLE as well?
          • by MacWiz (665750)
            It's not a good idea. The fact is a lot of artists would lose a lot of money

            How about if the copyright is stripped from the record label and given over to the artists which appear on it?
        • At least you'd know what the capital of Budapest is during the questions.

          Oh, no. That's the part when everybody goes out of the room to put more popcorn in the microwave.

    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Informative)

      by digitig (1056110) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @06:32AM (#21707104)

      Did you actually read the RAs? Oh, of course not, this is /.

      Had you read them, you would have seen that the issue is that the University has raised new issues at a point in the process where new issues are not permitted, because it wouldn't give the RIAA proper opportunity to reply to them. What the RIAA is asking is that either the new issues are struck down without consideration or they be given the right of reply.

      The RIAA seems to do some pretty dreadful things, but this one looks perfectly reasonable to me.

      • by gordgekko (574109)
        Shhhhhhh. Posting knowledgeable and reasoned responses to stories in Slashdot is verbotten.
  • Cornered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psued0ch (1200431) <sunoij6@gmail.com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:39PM (#21705532)
    The RIAA is a cornered beast that is under increasing scrutiny, of course it will react like this in response to a federal case. Not to mention it is a profit-hungry corporation just like all the rest.
    • Re:Cornered (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:06AM (#21705682)
      I wouldn't say they're cornered, exactly, but there does appear to be a rising tide of awareness among the judiciary of the RIAA's tactics. Doesn't seem like they're getting rubberstamped as often as they use to be.
  • Damn Lawyers. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WK2 (1072560) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:48PM (#21705576) Homepage

    Not only are the record companies opposing the request, they're asking the Judge not to even read it.

    Isn't this standard lawyer behavior? Objecting to everything the other side does?

    • by ThaNooch (1186931) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:53PM (#21705604)
      I object to this motion on the grounds that it may allow the defense to finally prove that I'm a heinous bitch.
      • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@NOspam.beckermanlegal.com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:56PM (#21705618) Homepage Journal

        I object to this motion on the grounds that it may allow the defense to finally prove that I'm a heinous bitch.
        I know I full well deserve to be modded down for this but...

        :)

        Good one.
        • Re:Damn Lawyers. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rts008 (812749) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @01:40AM (#21706076) Journal
          Ray, instead of being modded down for that reply, we should mod you up both for your work in this area and for submitting the article.

          BTW, I may have mentioned this before, but thanks for your efforts here, and for causing me to rethink my view on lawyers. (the subject line of this thread says it all-'re:Damn Lawyers') You are a gem.
          It's easy to lose sight of some of the good trees in the dark, creepy forest of our legal system nowadays.

          As a side note, I have decided to contribute my tax return $$'s to EFF and several similar ongoing efforts we all benefit from.
          I call on all /.'ers to make a small, similar effort. If we have the numbers and power to reduce servers to a molten ruin (the /. effect!), then there are enough of us to throw $5-10 bucks at the grunts on the front line- come on y'all, let's show the world the mighty power that is /.!!!
          Yeah, a little over the top, but this IS a pep talk!
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Symbolis (1157151)
            ...and I just spent the last of my mod points earlier. :( Someone mod this one for me?
            • Re:Damn Lawyers. (Score:4, Interesting)

              by rts008 (812749) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @02:44AM (#21706308) Journal
              Thanks for the thought, but I cannot seem to harm my Karma on /., so I don't really worry about mod points.

              Thank /. for the 'preview' button! wow!

              I don't know that I really expressed myself well above. The last part seemed too cavalier for what I intended.

              I don't try too much to pay attention to the mod's to my replies, as it doesn't seem to make much difference to my Karma. Perhaps I inadvertently balance the good, the bad, and the fuggly in my replies after reaching the "Excellent Karma" rating I have. Sometimes I can be rather an asshat- especially when I've been drinking. (which is frequent- I like to relax with some good beer after getting off work at 2300 hrs.--if you doubt this, just enter my user name and "slashdot" in Google search!- and yes, I am most of my way through a sixpack of Guinness Extra Stout right this moment)

              As far as Ray Beckerman (NewYorkCountryLawer) goes, I meant every word I typed. I have made him one of my (few) /. 'friends' for several reasons:
              1. As a 'friend', his posts are "+" rated so that I can see them at my current settings. He always has something to say that is worth listening to whether you agree with him or not.
              2. I admire and respect his work on our behalf. (not just the /. crowd, but media lovers everywhere) and envy his saeemingly superpower energy to juggle all the things he is doing! He even takes the time to keep us here up to date, and gives us his insider type insight without crossing the line of trying to lawyer or preach to us.
              3. He backs his play in real life- 'puts his money where his mouth is'. Yes, I'm sure he is a successful attorney in the usual parameters, but he is one of the few who 'dare go where eagles fear to tread'(bad paraphrase).
              4.?????
              5. Profit!!! (Sorry, this IS /. after all!)

              This post brought to you by an idiot powered by Guinness!!!

              "Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!"

              "Huh? What? Damn, thought I was pissing on my own shrubs...sorry neighbor! I'll just go home now."

              "Er, uh, could you point me towards my house? Most obliged!" *staggers off*
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Alsee (515537)
            99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

            -
          • As a side note, I have decided to contribute my tax return $$'s to EFF and several similar ongoing efforts we all benefit from. I call on all /.'ers to make a small, similar effort. If we have the numbers and power to reduce servers to a molten ruin (the /. effect!), then there are enough of us to throw $5-10 bucks at the grunts on the front line- come on y'all, let's show the world the mighty power that is /.!!! Yeah, a little over the top, but this IS a pep talk!

            Thanks, rts.

            The best ways to contribute financially to the anti-RIAA fight, at the moment, are the Expert Witness Defense fund, the Marie Lindor Defense Fund, and the Jammie Thomas Defense Fund. Links to all 3 are here [blogspot.com]. Contributions to the Expert Witness Defense Fund are tax deductible.

          • Ray, instead of being modded down for that reply, we should mod you up both for your work in this area and for submitting the article.
            Because nothing says "thanks for all the hard legal work" like Slashdot Karma. ;-)
          • Or. You could adjust your withholding and give to the EFF every week. You know so the gov't doesn't get an interest free loan from you.
        • by hyades1 (1149581)

          ThaNooch, NewYorkCountryLawyer, et al vs the People Who Take Everything Seriously

          Never thought when I started visiting this site that I'd spend so much time laughing my ass off.

          And in response to my esteemed opponent here today to represent the RIAA, might I respectfully point out that I got yer copyright violation right here.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ronin441 (89631)
          Dude, you're not exactly hurting for karma.
      • Lawyer: "I expect the court to stop proceedings."
        Judge: "Heck, why?"
        Lawyer: "Because else I'd lose the case, duh."
    • Re:Damn Lawyers. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:18AM (#21705750)
      No, at least not with smart lawyers. Judges tend to get annoyed with it and shoot your objections down by default after a while, even when they're legit.
      • by Alsee (515537)
        Judges tend to get annoyed with it and shoot your objections down by default after a while, even when they're legit.

        Shhhhhh! You're revealing SCO's deep dark secret strategy for dragging their case out through multiple appeals.

        -
    • by magarity (164372)
      Not only are the record companies opposing the request, they're asking the Judge not to even read it.
      Isn't this standard lawyer behavior? Objecting to everything the other side does?

       
      It's not standard practice for judges to take orders on what they may any may not do except from judges on higher ranked courts. Anyone else trying to order a judge around just irritates the heck out of said judge.

    • I skimmed the memo, and I didn't see anything where they ask the judge not to read their opponent's request.
    • by Zordak (123132)
      Not really. Good lawyers conduct discovery amicably with little or no running to the judge unless there is a general, reasonable dispute. Judges hate to have their time wasted, and when it happens, both sides tend to lose something. Shady lawyers with shady clients who have something to hide---those are the ones that object to every reasonable discovery request. I know one like this. He is pretty much hated by every lawyer in the city. He is one of very few lawyers who has to think twice about removin
      • Good lawyers conduct discovery amicably with little or no running to the judge unless there is a general, reasonable dispute. Judges hate to have their time wasted, and when it happens, both sides tend to lose something. Shady lawyers with shady clients who have something to hide---those are the ones that object to every reasonable discovery request. I know one like this. He is pretty much hated by every lawyer in the city.

        I suggest that he seek employment at Holmes Roberts & Owen. He would fit in well with their corporate culture. Tell him to send his resume to Richard L. Gabriel, Esq.

  • But wouldn't the judge not reading the request be grounds for appeal?
    • by The Empiricist (854346) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:32AM (#21705824)
      Striking something is not quite the same as not even reading it. What Arista records seems to be saying is that the University of Oregon added new arguments in a reply memorandum and that these new arguments should not be considered by the court.

      When a party in a case wants the court to do something, that party often provides a memorandum in support of the requested action. This support brief provides the arguments as to why the court should take action. The opposing party then has an opportunity to counter these arguments by providing arguments as to why the court should not take action. This is the response brief. At this point, the party that asked the court to do something can counter the arguments made by the opposing party. This is the reply brief. Then the court makes a decision.

      The party that asked the court to do something generally cannot add new arguments into the reply memorandum. That party may reaffirm its original arguments or try to shoot holes in the opposing party's arguments, but new arguments are generally not allowed. The reason for this is that the opposing party no longer has an opportunity to respond to arguments before the court makes a decision.

      If the party that asked the court to do something were allowed to make new arguments, then it would make sense to withhold the best arguments until the reply brief is filed. This would tilt the outcome to the party making the request, which would lead to parties making a lot of requests (it is bad enough now, but it could be a lot worse).

      The reality is that procedural matters are an important part of our legal system. A judge could be required to retry a case if an argument was improperly considered or improperly dismissed. Some scrutiny has to be applied, especially when the issue of whether to consider an argument is raised.

      The judge would probably read the University of Oregon's reply carefully to determine whether new arguments were raised or not. If new arguments were raised, then the judge might very well strike the new arguments or even the entire reply, thus basing the decision on just the support and response briefs. If the arguments in the reply are not new (or simply shoot holes in Arista's response), then the judge would not strike the reply and make a decision based on all three briefs.

      Of course, some research into the specific procedures of the District Court for the District of Oregon is necessary to fully understand the situation, but that seems to be the gist of what is going on.
      • by iabervon (1971)
        It does seem like the AG's request is procedurally bogus; I'm not even sure that the judge is permitted to follow the request in that document, because it's part of a motion to do something else. In fact, it's so out-of-line that it looks to me like somebody filed the document with the wrong title or something. The argument looks like a motion to compel discovery, not a reply memorandum in support of a motion to quash a subpoena. I think the judge's options are to quash the subpoena, not quash it, or not ha
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fnord666 (889225)

        The party that asked the court to do something generally cannot add new arguments into the reply memorandum. That party may reaffirm its original arguments or try to shoot holes in the opposing party's arguments, but new arguments are generally not allowed. The reason for this is that the opposing party no longer has an opportunity to respond to arguments before the court makes a decision.

        There is a way for the second party to file a reply to the new arguments. It is called a surreply and the RIAA has do

        • There is a way for the second party to file a reply to the new arguments. It is called a surreply and the RIAA has done so as well. This allows them to address the new arguments in case the judge choses to allow the first party's reply. Without that they give the first party an opportunity to enter something uncontested nto the record.

          I would guess most surreplies are limited to a rather narrow set of allegations such as that the other party raises a new argument or blatently mischaracterized the law. If

  • by redelm (54142) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:27AM (#21705784) Homepage
    This brings up the rather good point that civil discovery is a startlingly invasive process conducted by people who are hostile. While some discovery leads to evidence which is admitted and becomes public, the vast bulk does not.


    Some sorts of safeguards are required for this material. Traditionally, this has been up to attornies having professional ethics. A dubious proposition in some cases. Perhaps some sort of "fruit of the poisoned vine" is required for civil evidence.

    • by kabocox (199019)
      Some sorts of safeguards are required for this material. Traditionally, this has been up to attornies having professional ethics. A dubious proposition in some cases. Perhaps some sort of "fruit of the poisoned vine" is required for civil evidence.

      Just require everything that is discovered to be instantly public domain. This would make corps think a lot before trying to sue each other. Would you sue anyone if you were aware that the other side could publicly air your dirty laundry at the same time?
      • by redelm (54142)
        No, "instant public domain" would yield other problems -- nothing-to-lose plaintiffs attacking corps with specious charges just for the discovery value.

  • What?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toppavak (943659)
    Where's the mafiaa tag???
  • Read it, read it all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:43AM (#21705860) Homepage
    The question that I haven't seen anyone pose yet is if the claims by the RIAA attorneys are valid. Is it permitted under Oregon rules to raise the items that were raised in the University's reply? Are the seven different points all just meaningless drivel or is there something real there?

    I don't know. It does not seem to be completely without merit and the University's reply seems to contain a bunch of material that is utterly irrelevalent. Certainly when arguing for the quashing of discovery bringing up opinions about what the plantiff's motivations may or may not be is not relevant to the issue at hand. Implying (or stating) that the plantiff is "spying" on the Does hardly seems to be on point in such a reply either.
    • by eddeye (85134) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @05:24AM (#21706838)

      The description in the summary about asking the judge not to read it is grossly misleading. The linked filing is nothing but a run-of-the-mill procedural issue.

      What normally happens in court is a petitioner files a Motion, the respondent files a Response, and finally the petitioner files a Reply. Then the judge decides the issue. These are the procedural rules of litigation. The petitioner isn't allowed to make new arguments in the Reply. All their arguments must be made in the initial Motion so that the respondent has a chance to address them in the Response. The Reply gives the petitioner a final chance to address the respondent's Response arguments.

      Here's what happened: University filed a motion to quash. RIAA filed their Reply. University filed a Response, which (according to the RIAA) contains new arguments. The second linked filing by the RIAA says hey that's unfair. Either ignore the new arguments that we didn't get to address, or give us a chance to address them (the Surreply in the first link). It's a perfectly legitimate request. If the University included new arguments, they broke the rules here. Either way, it's no big deal. The judge will most likely just consider the RIAA's Surreply in deciding the motion to quash. No harm, no foul. It happens all the time in civil litigation.

  • Fuck the RIAA! (Score:2, Insightful)

    I think this deserves an insightful mod. :)
  • Pfff (Score:4, Funny)

    by tsa (15680) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @02:11AM (#21706200) Homepage
    I'm getting tired of articles about the RIAA. But I also keep being amazed about how an organization can be that clueless and detached from the real world. Anyway, wake me when they're being dismantled and cease to exist, OK?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jamstar7 (694492)

      I'm getting tired of articles about the RIAA. But I also keep being amazed about how an organization can be that clueless and detached from the real world.

      As long as they have the legal fees they'll be in business. They're in this for the quick buck and to build enough precedents to haul in front of their bought and paid for Congresscritters to show that 'there is a serious problem and something must be done'. Their solution of course is to buy legislation to loot anybody they can target, with the taxpa

    • by wellingj (1030460)
      If you want to spend the next 10 years in a comatose state why don't you just start drinking instead of making excuses like "The RIAA made me do it"?
  • ...they're asking the Judge not to even read it...

    The RIAA also wants the judge to put his fingers in his ears and say, "nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you, nah, nah, nah...", whenever the Oregon AG speaks.

  • by Fnord666 (889225) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @09:49AM (#21707908) Journal

    Next, the University attempts to call into question Plaintiffs' pre-litigation discovery efforts to discover copyright infringement over peer-to-peer ("P2P") networks in an effort to convince theCourt to reconsider its grant of Plaintiffs' discovery motion. The Court should reject the University's attempts for two reasons. One, the University has no evidence whatsoever that Plaintiffs acted at all improperly during the course of this litigation. The University's arguments concerning Plaintiffs' discovery and litigation practices are based entirely on allegations and deposition testimony from different cases and amount to nothing more than pure conjecture. Two, the University's attempted challenge to Plaintiffs' discovery and litigation practices is irrelevant to any issues presently before this Court. The evidence submitted regarding what mayhave happened in different cases involving different parties, different facts, different allegations, and different circumstances has no bearing on this case.

    Likewise, the University's continued insistence that the subpoena is unduly burdensome and overly broad, despite the fact that Plaintiffs have clarified the scope of information they are seeking, is unavailing. Plaintiffs are seeking only information sufficient to identify the individual(s) associated with the IP addresses listed in the subpoena, information that the University admits it already has. The University's argument that this information is overbroad and that producing this information would be unduly burdensome is specious. Over one hundred different universities around the country have responded to identical subpoenas without raising objections based on burden.
    I love how the RIAA argues that what has happened and evidence that has been introduced in other cases similar to this one has no bearing because they are different cases with what may be different circumstances, then turns right around in the next paragraph and cites what has happened in other cases where universities have caved ^b^b^b^b^b responded to their requests without objection as a basis for their arguments.
  • and discovery of evidence and development of the chain of evidence is a bedrock principle of the law in the US. the absolute best mafIAA can hope for is an independent monitor from the judiciary to look at the requested discovery evidence, and rule it in or out.

    fsck 'em. they chose the court, they can play by the home rules.
  • ...why doesn't PJ work her magic on the RIAA? I can't help but think that her constant vigil and simple-get-the-truth-out interpretations of activity in the SCO case helped keep the good guys motivated.

    Help the world, Groklaw... you're our only hope!

    • Now that SCO is essentially done for... why doesn't PJ work her magic on the RIAA? I can't help but think that her constant vigil and simple-get-the-truth-out interpretations of activity in the SCO case helped keep the good guys motivated. Help the world, Groklaw... you're our only hope!
      I second that motion. Groklaw is fantastic.

      PJ has covered the RIAA stuff, but if she now plunged into it as she did the SCO case, that would just be unbelievable.

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