Mom Fighting RIAA Moves Ahead, Sans Lawyer

from the somebody-call-Matlock dept

The story of the woman fighting the RIAA has taken another turn with the news that she'll be representing herself in the matter from now on. It's hard to figure out exactly what's going on here, with a blog post by her former lawyer saying she couldn't afford pretrial discovery, and that it's clear the RIAA's case is "frivolous", so she shouldn't go to extraordinary means to pay for a defense. This comes a week or so after the judge refused to dismiss the RIAA's suit, and with it the defendant's lawyer's hopes of quickly and cheaply winning the case. When the lawyer first took the case, he talked about charging reduced fees, and how the motion to dismiss was expected to work, adding "We will fight to the end. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't take on something unless I am prepared to fight to the end. Also, anyone who knows me knows that the one thing I can't stand is a bully. The RIAA will give up long before we do, because sooner or later it will dawn upon them that their attorneys are taking them for a ride." He also mentioned he expected the RIAA would eventually have to foot the legal bill in the case. But now, since this early attempt to get the case dismissed without going to trial failed, apparently the cost is too high. What was already an uphill battle has become even steeper for the woman, and the RIAA must be thrilled. It's this sort of thing they bank on: getting people into situations where the "best" solution is just to settle, rather than actually go to court and have to argue -- gasp -- the merits of their case.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    SkullOne, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 12:32am

    EFF

    Couldnt she make a case for the EFF to join her side to help her out? I thought lawyrs are required to do X number of cases with no fees during their career.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      smarter than you, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 3:17am

      Re: EFF

      Couldnt she make a case for the EFF to join her side to help her out? I thought lawyrs are required to do X number of cases with no fees during their career.
      No, lawyers are not required to do X number of cases with no fees during their career. WTF is that??!!? That's like telling a doctor they should perform X number of surgeries for free because, well, ... they make a lot of money! yeah! right-on!
      You're a 'tard.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        alternatives, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 4:43am

        Re: EFF

        You're a 'tard.

        Gee, what a thoughtful response.

        (Some law firms want to appear as helping the community so they ask the lawyers to not bill some efforts.)

        She IS be able to defend herself in court - a few years ago a woman was representing herself in court. Will she be successful? Hard to say.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          otac0n, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 5:11am

          Re: EFF

          My father has represented himself in many cases, and has won all but one. If this woman can just get good advice from a lowyer friend, she is set.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Michal Palczewski, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 8:29am

        Re: EFF

        >> That's like telling a doctor they should perform X number of surgeries for free

        well, yeah, that is essentially what happens

        >> You're a 'tard.

        stop being such an asshole. There was no call for that, dick.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Brendan, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 9:59am

        Re: EFF

        Why wouldn't people take the case pro bono. Lawyers do that to get publicity in trials just like this. Fuck the RIAA, I boycott those motherfuckers. Never again will I pay for music, and I used to not mind doing it. But since they are such stingy pricks, I am never buying a CD again. I try to convince as many people as I can not to support them, so they feel their losses.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          alternatives, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 11:06am

          Re: EFF

          I am never buying a CD again. I try to convince as many people as I can not to support them, so they feel their losses.

          Welcome to the club. I got pissed off when a musition I was 'collecting' issued a new CD and I figured out is wasn't all that new. Then the Little Feat CD developed 'silver rot' - I decided "why buy?" and have turned my back on the bastards.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        no, smarter than YOU, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 11:29am

        Re: EFF

        Er, actually, the ABA has guidelines for how much pro bono a lawyer should do at a *minimum* each year (I believe it's 50 hours). Many lawyers do much more, and it's frequently brought up during judicial nominations at all levels (Justice Roberts believes quite strongly in it, for example).
        Moving on...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anarchy_Creator, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 2:41am

    Ever Hear Of Pro Bono?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      John, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 11:59am

      Re: Ever Hear Of Pro Bono?

      I believe the "pre-trial discovery" means that she has to pay to make searches, and copies of documents, etc.

      That's not the attorney's fee (which probably could have been pro bono), but actual cash that must be fronted to proceed with the appeal.

      There are two fundamental issues here:
      1) Copyright and patent laws are a mistake. The founders knew that. The cotton gin was invented in England, and they prohibited its export, in an attempt to keep it solely for themselves. A man who worked at the factory memorized the entire design, moved to the colonies, and put the British cotton gins out of business. If you're ahead of your competition, a copyright or patent just gives you an incentive NOT to stay ahead.
      2) We need to force the losers in civil suits to pay the winners' court costs (as the British do). That would make the risks much higher for organizations like the RIAA, that are using the system to wear out their opponents.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Pete, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Ever Hear Of Pro Bono?

        um cotton didn't grow in England. Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin, his plan was to own all of them in the US and take a portion of the ginned cotton for himself. That is the historical facts of the matter.
        It makes you look like an idiot to state things as fact which are completely made up by yourself.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 5:29am

    Some lawyer will take it on

    There are a million lawyers in this country, and one of them will take this case pro bono. It's too important not to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    David, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 6:02am

    Legal Defense Fund

    Maybe a few of the dot com's that have benefited from file sharing, will help her set up a Legal Defense Fund. That always seems to work for the political establishment. If the RIAA has it's way we will end up having to pay to listen every time a song is played.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Allen, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 7:01am

    Mom Fighting RIAA Moves Ahead

    Attorneys are not all that bad. Some actually are in it not for the money, but to make a difference. Honest Attorneys takeon challenges for the human spirit.
    Perhaps this lady will give her judgement to a fondation, and/or donation for a good cause. If so, an attorney could represent her for it, and clame notiriety too.
    What, do I live in a dream world.
    btw.. Have you heard about the attorney and the .... (j/K)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    BrooksLaw, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 7:32am

    Pretty normal Posture

    Her lawyer's statements are a fairly normal posture. He was trying to convince the RIAA that they couldn't out-appeal him and that they wouldn't be able to just wear him down. Thing is, I'm sure the RIAA lawyers just looked at his actual record and not his bluster.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Newob, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 9:06am

    I don't get it

    I don't get it. Aren't we supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? How can the RIAA prove that anyone copied a file illegally? What if they bought that CD and encoded the files themselves? If they caught someone downloading because they offered the file for upload, isn't that entrapment?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      garrett, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 9:22am

      Re: I don't get it

      Entrapment is when a government official persuades you to commit the crime. This is the RIAA we're talking about, not a government official.
      As for why it seems that the burden of proof isn't on the RIAA ... well, you've got me. Let me know if you ever figure THAT one out.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        t-bone, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 9:40am

        Re: I don't get it

        What i don't get is how the RIAA is allowed to this. They're using their power to force people into paying because normal individuals can't afford to go to trial. There has got to be something very illegal about that. I wonder how much of a kickback those judges are getting.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Curt, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 10:19am

      Re: I don't get it

      Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. The problem is not with "downloading" a file, it's "sharing" the file for somebody to be able to "download" it that makes the RIAA so upset.

      RIAA takes some "tums".

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Hero, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 1:48pm

      Re: I don't get it

      Aren't we supposed to be innocent until proven guilty?
      Maybe some places, but obviously not in the US.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Newob, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 10:32pm

        Re: I don't get it

        Okay so the RIAA catches my ISP number off of a file-sharing program and tracks down my computer ... assuming it is my computer, all they know is that I ran this program. Does putting a file into a shared folder constitute copyright infringement? Presumably the only way they know about it is that they are running the same program and searching for the music. If they download it, then they are infringing copyright too ... or, if they are allowed to download their own stuff but not other people's, then other copyright holders should be able to do that too. If they don't download it, how do they know it is really the music they think it is?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike Dallos, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 9:45am

    Rock On!!!

    Do it up........


    Love,
    Mike

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    sjc1963, Dec 8th, 2005 @ 11:46am

    No Subject Given

    Of course she's going on without a lawyer. The only one's who win in these cases are the lawyers. They'll lead you along until you run out of money and have to settle out of court. This is one reason why these sort of cases don't make it to court. In fact the RIAA, and the like, don't really want to go to court since they know that their case would be thrown out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This