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RIAA Drops Case, Should Have Sued Someone Else 195

Posted by Zonk
from the well-why-didn't-you-tell-us-you-were-innocent dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Once again the RIAA has dropped a case with prejudice, this time after concluding it was the defendant's daughter it should have sued in the first place. In the case of Lava v. Amurao, mindful that in similar scenarios it has been held liable for the defendant's attorney fees (Capitol v. Foster and Atlantic v. Andersen), the RIAA went on the offensive. In this case there was actually no attorney fee motion pending, making their motion all the more intriguing. The organization argued that it was the defendant's fault that the record companies sued the wrong person, because the defendant didn't tell them that his daughter was the file sharer they were looking for."
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RIAA Drops Case, Should Have Sued Someone Else

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  • *yawn* (Score:1, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:03PM (#22236422) Homepage Journal
    These guys are getting too much attention. If we ignore them, maybe they'll go away?
  • Stupid RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:05PM (#22236438) Journal
    Why should anyone tell them who anyone is? Shouldn't the RIAA be held for wrongful prosecution or whatever it is, for bringing suit against the wrong person?

    Why aren't judges allowed to look upon all RIAA suits with some level of mistrust. They've been proven wrong in so many cases that it is criminal. YES CRIMINAL. Someone should go to jail for all the crap they've put people through.
  • I wish... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:08PM (#22236472) Journal
    Not exactly the same, but it is a problem [xkcd.com] when other people are taking them seriously. Which means we kind of have to.
  • Burden of proof... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:08PM (#22236476) Homepage Journal
    I was under the impression that the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff.

    But then again, I was also under the impression that the best way to make money is to sell things to your customers instead of sue them, so call me old fasioned.
  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:09PM (#22236488)
    IANAL.. but I believe wrongful prosecution is only valid in criminal, not civil cases. In this case, the defendant's recourse would be to mount a counter suit, and add some sort of charge involving malicious persecution of something...
  • by grilled-cheese (889107) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:09PM (#22236496)
    Only the RIAA could get away with a defence of "it's your fault because you didn't provide us grounds to sue your daughter".
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:17PM (#22236598) Homepage

    All of these articles about the minor skirmishes in *AA's war against infringers are boring and serve no purpose other than to provide yet another forum for some people to say: "Copyright infringement is wrong, like stealing," and for others to claim: "No, it is not exactly the same as stealing, and therefore good." The exact details of each legal encounter don't change anything, and are only useful to the practicing lawyers...

    Unlike the emacs vs. vi flamewars, this one can, actually, be resolved with some certainty, and whoever can be convinced is convinced already...

    Perhaps, our distinguished editors can delegate these articles to some peripheral subsection instead of the front-page?

  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sammy baby (14909) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:24PM (#22236666) Journal
    I, also, am not a lawyer. So I googled this discussion of "malicious prosecution" [answers.com], which does apply to civil cases. From that page:

    To win a suit for malicious prosecution, the plaintiff must prove four elements: (1) that the original case was terminated in favor of the plaintiff, (2) that the defendant played an active role in the original case, (3) that the defendant did not have probable cause or reasonable grounds to support the original case, and (4) that the defendant initiated or continued the initial case with an improper purpose. Each of these elements presents a challenge to the plaintiff.


    #4 sounds like it would be incredibly difficult to prove. I think the only chance the plaintiff would have would be to assert that RIAA was prosecuting the case for the purpose of inspiring fear in other potential targets of litigation, even in the face of evidence suggesting the plaintiff's innocence in the original suit.

    Anyone else have any ideas?
  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:26PM (#22236698) Journal
    How about we stop buying their shit?
  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:35PM (#22236826)

    #4 sounds like it would be incredibly difficult to prove. I think the only chance the plaintiff would have would be to assert that RIAA was prosecuting the case for the purpose of inspiring fear in other potential targets of litigation, even in the face of evidence suggesting the plaintiff's innocence in the original suit.

    A suit for malicious prosecution would be a civil matter. Hence, the standard would be a proponderence of the evidence. So you would only have to convince 12 jurors that the purpose was more likely improper than proper.

    Probably incredibly difficult also.

  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yetihehe (971185) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:40PM (#22236882)
    They will hit pirates harder because they will se decline in their profits.
  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dont shoot me (1230034) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:42PM (#22236900)
    So what if someone breaks into your house while you're on vacation, stays a while and downloads a ****load of music? Do you have to find out who the intruder was? How can they prove it wasn't some unknown persons and the computer owner is innocent? What about if your daughter's bf comes over while you're out and they download or upload songs? My point is... how can they ever prove who is responsible? The RIAA should be out trying to stop the real pirates who are making lots of $$$$ off them instead of going after kids who can't afford their overpriced CDs? Or is this revenge for CD sales being off?
  • Re:Stupid RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:48PM (#22236996) Homepage
    How about we stop buying their shit?

    You can do that, and I suggest that you do, but they will just use it against us by saying that the decline in sales proves that people are pirating.

    Win/lose situation?
  • by MacDork (560499) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @02:53PM (#22237028) Journal
    Is this what America has come to? Wasn't it supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? Now, not only are you considered "probably guilty" from the start of the case, but in order to prove myself innocent, I must produce someone else who can go to jail? Let the witch hunting commence. Coming soon to a court near you: Sued by the RIAA for running open wi-fi when it's obvious they have no evidence to sue you.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @03:39PM (#22237660) Homepage
    The judge decides whether or not he will grant the motion. Of course, even if he grants the motion the defendant's counterclaims will remain. A lawsuit doesn't end just because the plaintiff drops its claims. It's easier to get into court than it is to get out again.
  • by DCTooTall (870500) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:00PM (#22237922)
    Who said it had to be an artist currently signed to one of the labels? Could always be an independant band with some pull. (Radiohead, NiN...etc). The idea is simply a case of giving them a taste of their own medicine, and make them accountable under the same rules they are holding everybody else too.... if not moreso.

    As for the cop breaking the law analogy. It happens. But the cops are held to the same laws we are, and often get punishments on the harder side of what you could get. The logic is they are a cop and should've known better. The problem with the **AA right now is that they aren't being held accountable for any of their actions and get to do whatever they want.
  • RIAA not stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtechie (244489) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:31PM (#22238272)
    For those wondering why the RIAA dropped this case, it's largely because they wanted to avoid any case law on this [ilrweb.com] motion which asked the Plaintiff to actually provide a detailed listing of the infringing songs AND (this is very important) a breakdown of "infringement expenses" for each individual song. The record companies don't HAVE this information, they pull the numbers out of their ass. If they're forced to actually PROVE losses, they have no case and they know it.

  • Re:I wish... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton@NOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:59PM (#22238630) Homepage Journal

    Not exactly the same, but it is a problem [xkcd.com] when other people are taking them seriously.

    Another thing to add about that comic: the same folks who give credence to intelligent design tend to be in the same political circles as those who advocate mountaintop removal mining. [wikipedia.org] So, as the comic says, the universe doesn't require that anyone believes in the mountain, but if enough people don't want the mountain to exist anymore they'll just erase it. In a generation it doesn't matter if anyone believed in the mountain or not...it's gone.

    Moral of the story? Don't underestimate how far people are willing to go.

One man's constant is another man's variable. -- A.J. Perlis

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