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The Courts Music

UMG v. Lindor Ends, No Fees, No Sanctions 113

Posted by kdawson
from the attempting-graceful-extrication dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The 5-year-old case of UMG Recordings v. Lindor (which we've discussed all those years) has come to a close in Brooklyn, without ever reaching the deposition and document production of MediaSentry. The District Judge denied the RIAA's motions for discovery sanctions but granted the RIAA's motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice and without attorneys fees, adopting the report and recommendation of the Magistrate Judge."
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UMG v. Lindor Ends, No Fees, No Sanctions

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  • Re:Ray... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @04:40PM (#31000828) Journal

    Where do you work that Slashdot is allowed but recordingindustryvspeople isn't?

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @04:48PM (#31000976)

    I'm really surprised that with all this potential wrecking of lives, no otherwise-innocent person has simply arranged for a meeting with the accusing attorneys and shot them to death.

    I'm not advocating this, but I'm surprised that no one has snapped in that manner.

  • Re:finally, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 2obvious4u (871996) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @04:50PM (#31000998)
    Can they counter sue? I mean they did ruin this guys life for the past couple of years...
  • Re:Ray... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MonsterTrimble (1205334) <monstertrimble@[ ... m ['hot' in gap]> on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @04:54PM (#31001038)
    Some place that uses Fortinet? http://www.fortinet.net/ [fortinet.net]

    Same boat. Epically sucks.

  • by micheas (231635) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:12PM (#31001232) Homepage Journal

    The recent history has been to shoot the family of the Judge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Lefkow [wikipedia.org] .

    There is starting to be a realization that civil court is basically out of the reach of the lower 70% of the US citizenry. and this is starting to strain the fabric of society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:18PM (#31001334)

    You win, you owe money. You lose, you owe money. And, even if you "don't play the game" (i.e. violate copyright), you can still be sued by the RIAA and taken to court.

    Here's one. The RIAA brings suit, but 'you are actually innocent' (never have violated copyright), but you still need a lawyer, which costs money. Case gets thrown out, but you still have to pay the lawyer. Turns out the lawyer works for a firm, quietly owned by RIAA membership. They still win!

    Does it smell like RICO in here yet?

  • Weird (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jwinster (1620555) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:30PM (#31001482)

    Reading the judge's decision, he blames most of the court costs on the fact that the Lindors may have had a houseguest in 2004, and that she sold her computers sometime between 2004 and 2008, which was a loss of evidence for the RIAA. If they had disclosed their houseguest then a lot of this could have been averted, according to the judge. Talk about overcompensation for a small discrepancy, you effectively ruin a family because they didn't disclose a houseguest they had for an unknown amount of time. I am not a lawyer, but that seems like a pretty large case of overkill.

  • Re:finally, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:48PM (#31001632)

    It's nice to know that a judge can stick you for doing your job.

    What the fuck is "unduly contentious"? Shouldn't a lawyer work harder when up against a more formidable foe than "Joe's Garage and Automobile Recycling?"

    "You successfully wore down the representatives of a large monopoly. We can't have that. You and your client must be punished"

    --
    BMO

  • Re:finally, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:51PM (#31001688) Journal

    Just because the defendant prevails in a case doesn't mean that the case was frivolous.

    No, and I don't mean to imply that...

    To say that it was a frivolous case would mean that the plaintiff had no hope of winning from the outset.

    The RIAA has sued a 12-year-old girl, an 85-year-old grandmother who never touched a computer in her life (not sure about the precise ages, but about that), a dead person, and a network printer.

    I suppose it's possible this case had some reasonable grounds, but in general, they've been litigious bastards, and it seems pretty clear that it was never their goal to win in court, but rather, to pressure the defense (financially, with legal fees) into a settlement.

    I'm not a lawyer, and I have no idea whether it was actually frivolous, but it seems to me that this is exactly the reason we have the ability to award legal fees -- to prevent litigious bastards from abusing the system.

  • by Xelios (822510) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @06:17PM (#31001982)

    "The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here - it is slow and cold, and it is theirs. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin."

    -Quellcrist Falconer

  • Re:finally, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @07:35PM (#31002782) Homepage

    They spend money on artists? I thought the big costs were promotion and producers. Unless, of course, you had meant the marketing artists and the audio producers who keep adding autotune to everything.

  • Re:finally, (Score:4, Interesting)

    What the fuck is "unduly contentious"?

    The judge doesn't say, does he? That's because he doesn't know of any instance in which I was "unduly contentious". Because there wasn't any.

  • Re:finally, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:30AM (#31005708)
    The judge doesn't say, does he?

    Are the fee awards simply at the judges discretion (as in he could deny them if you wore a purple tie and he didn't like purple), or is there some legal basis that, in the absence of actual contentious behavior, would allow for an appeal on the grounds that the judge committed a procedural error?
  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @12:56AM (#31005908)

    uhm, correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the recording industry has been paddled *twice* over price-fixing in regards to compact discs. TWICE. I don't recall prices dropping all that much either time. I think they sent out $1 coupons if you wrote them a letter or some stupid shit like that. Probably not. That's just a guess and assumption that sounds about right, it's most likely not what happened. The price fixing thing should be spot on, though.

  • racketeering (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @11:03AM (#31009886) Homepage Journal

    That's why we need "corporate death penalties" [usatoday.com] for this sort of behavior. And payola [wikipedia.org] is/was common, which shows ongoing behavior, or racketeering. And nothing really happens even when they get busted.

        Just being able to pay a joke fine, that is just passed on to their next customers, for criminal actions isn't working with these big corporations very well. They need to lose their charters and their stock made worthless. Shareholders are not doing their due diligence and oversight as owners over their employees very well, and they need to learn the hard way that this free lunch just throw money at some companies comes with some responsibility as well as any profits. We could also try increasing whistle blower protections so that honest employees don't have to worry so much about disclosing criminality and shady dealings, and it wouldn't have to get to the point of delisting corporations then (applies to whistleblowers in their government jobs also).

    As a side, to the music and movie industry, just for grins and amusement purposes, I dare some agency to do some surprise raids with drug dogs at any of these *AA affiliated outfits big offices and production and recording studios, just for a starter to get their attention. If they can do that to like junior high schools, just lock them down and run the dogs through there, they can do that to these various big money and entertainment places as well. If you are going fishing, why not try the very well stocked pond *first*? muahahahahaha!

  • sadly unclear (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Weezul (52464) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @02:44PM (#31013128)

    Yes, loser-pays works wonderfully in Europe. Their nationalized health care works well too. ;)

    I'd support both loser-pays and nationalized health care, but they're both tricky social constructs that must be developed carefully. In particular, the Republicans have clearly pushed a version of loser-pays that discourages lawsuits against companies, vastly different form the European implementation.

    Also, European nations have far stronger laws protecting employees and the environment, placing the state more often on the little guys side during litigation. Most loser-pays countries only award compensatory civil litigation damages. Courts and lawyers must become more accounting oriented since loser-pays is implement per motion, i.e. each failed motion costs the loser.

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