RIAA Says It Shouldn't Have To Pay Legal Fees Because Woman Didn't Settle; Judge Says Think Again

from the a-new-low dept

Despite the RIAA's astounding legal gymnastics and its questionable -- if not illegal -- investigative techniques, it typically finds a way to wiggle out of paying the legal bills of anybody it has sued in its misguided legal campaign against record labels' customers. Though there's been a few exceptions, the group's strategy of dropping cases when people notice their flimsy evidence seems to generally shield them from having to pay costs. That's a real problem, since it makes it very easy, and relatively cheap, for the RIAA to abuse the legal system by filing thousands of suits, then suffer no repercussions when it drops them after they're exposed as bogus. Hopefully, though, that's starting to change, as more judges become aware of the RIAA's tactics, or at least pay attention to the facts of its cases. A judge in Oklahoma has now ordered the RIAA to pay $70,000 in legal fees to an Oklahoma woman, after tossing out the group's suit against her earlier this year. In this case, the RIAA didn't make a very good impression on the judge by claiming that they shouldn't have to pay the defendant's legal bills because she could have avoided being sued, had she "appropriately assisted their copyright infringement investigation and litigation" -- which means had she given in to their bullying and accepting one of their generous settlement offers. That's absolutely ridiculous, as the judge noted, since it steamrolls a defendant's right to defend themselves against bogus suits. It's up there with the RIAA's promise in another case not to incorrectly sue a woman a second time, as long as they didn't have to pay her legal bills for the first time they wrongly sued her. The RIAA has gotten away for far too long with bending the legal system to fit its desires; hopefully those days are coming to an end.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Buzz, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

    Eh?

    The RIAA calls their brigade "copyright infringement investigation and litigation"? Do they honestly feel their campaign is having a positive influence on the world?

    At this point, it would seem that the RIAA is enjoying this. There were several business opportunities introduced with the advent of music downloads. They simply chose the worst one. Rather than work with the masses, they chose to view the unending series of downloads as an endless supply of lawsuits. I think they LIKE the fact that so much of their music is pirated.

    I wonder, if I started passing around several dozen silent MP3 files with famous song titles for filenames on P2P networks, would the RIAA flag those as being shared illegally and send me a lawsuit notification? I would be giddy. I would take them to court, plead "guilty" to the charges relating to sharing of those specific files, and then embarrass the RIAA substantially when they find that my files have three minutes of silence.

    The RIAA's search methods may be more sophisticated than that, but judging by their ability to sue individuals who do not even own a computer, maybe they don't...

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    jhunter, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:16pm

    astounding

    "claiming that they shouldn't have to pay the defandant's legal bills because she could have avoided being sued, had she "appropriately assisted their copyright infringement investigation and litigation"

    Wait.... what?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    What a bunch of pricks... Damn the RIAA is bad.

    They are basically trying to tell the Judge - well, she's guilty anyway, no matter what our evidence says, so we shouldn't have to pay legal fees.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Jonathan, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:25pm

    techdirt

    techdirt articles on the RIAA always have the most links in them. but this article has no external links. not one. zero. no article about a counter-suit from another bullied riaa victim. no links to new information. recycled news.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Eh?

    The RIAA calls their brigade "copyright infringement investigation and litigation"? Do they honestly feel their campaign is having a positive influence on the world?
    Are you assuming that's their goal, or that they even care?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Wolfger, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Eh?

    Do they honestly feel their campaign is having a positive influence on the world?

    Insofar as they live in their own little world... Yes.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Bill, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:40pm

    People really should stop saying RIAA. They represent the record labels whom are the one's suing. It may be the RIAA's lawyers but it's Capitol records in this case that's bringing the suit in the first place.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Bob, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 12:51pm

    Seriously though, haven't you told us this before? Slow news day? Every link here is to a techdirt article from the past, what's new about this that warrants a new article? Perhaps you should have filed this under "summarizing what we've already said"? Filing it under "a-new-low" indicates there might be some new content here, which is entirely misleading.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    The Missing Links.

    This site sums it up Here.

    and the legal filings are here. (Warning, PDF)

    Let's hope this gets the ball rolling, eh? :)

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    jb, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 1:22pm

    I wish

    Those retards tried this on me, I would bury their legal weasels with piles of paperwork, defend myself, and cause their own legal bills to skyrocket. That's the real problem, anyone who hears I am going to sue you, runs and hides, these guys cannot do any real damage, they never could.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Carlo, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 1:27pm

    Re: techdirt

    I managed to cut the sentence with the link to the new story, but it's now been put back in. Thanks for bringing it to my attention in such a friendly tone!

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Re: I wish

    but just to even try to prove your innocent can cost a lot of money. and you can't rely on a judge forcing them to pay the bills for you.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

    Re: I wish

    Asides from huge legal bills, once they hear that your planing on defending yourself they run and hide. They drop the case, as they did in this case, so they don't lose. So, I'm not sure how your going to get them to do anything more.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 2:44pm

    I really think everyone that has been sued by the RIAA should get together and file a class action lawsuit against them and make millions then turn on the record industry for letting them do it

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    jb, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 2:46pm

    Why would you not..

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    jb, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 2:49pm

    Why would you not..

    defend yourself. Like I said earlier, don't run and hide, this is just a CIVIL case, at least at first, make them prove they are right. Those wussies will run to the next case that does not put up a fight.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 4:33pm

    Re:

    That sounds like a plan

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Mike James, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 5:31pm

    They've now added an external link

    ...that external link was not there earlier today. I did notice they didnt forget to link to a half dozen internal links. It is this kind of 'reporting' that has caused several major podcasters to stop referencing Tech Dirt articles.

    They seem to blatantly loop link from one TD article to another in an effort to increase page views or something.....in the end this type of sillyness will be its downfall.

    The proper way to attribute previous stories is to list them at the end under an 'other stories we've done' or 'read also' Your main story should CLEARLY link to your source, not make someone hunt through 15 links to find the one that isnt TD.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 6:04pm

    Re: They've now added an external link

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20070717/103522#c172

    And I bet they appreciate the blogging lesson seeing as how they've been at it for 8 years or something.

    And btw, "major podcaster" is an oxymoron. That's like calling something the best-smelling turd.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 7:32pm

    Re: They've now added an external link

    Agreed. I've also noticed that the quality of Techdirt's articles seems to have gone down. I hope they take notice and do something about it.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 8:00am

    Re: They've now added an external link

    and by "hunt through" you mean move the mouse over?


    or are you stupid and actually click on every link?

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Hieronymus, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 9:20am

    Oh, Those Crazy French! (by John Dvorak)

    “The French are also skeptical about the whole movie-piracy phenomenon. Why should illegally downloading the equivalent of a $19 disc result in a $250,000 fine and 5 years in prison? Shoplifting a $100 item from a store—which is tangible and real—has fewer consequences. Does this make any sense to anyone? The French don’t think so. Illegally copying movies or downloading should be like a traffic ticket—perhaps a $100 fine. Now they are being accused of ‘encouraging’ piracy. How’s that? $100 is a lot of money,” Dvorak writes. “The American tendency to prioritize poorly seems to be thematic. It took yet another new twist when a get-tough stance against Wi-Fi poaching cropped up in Illinois. Yes, forget burglary, where someone steals something tangible. Instead, we need to bust Wi-Fi poachers… Law enforcement should not be wasting the taxpayers’ money looking inside every car where they see some guy sitting reading a newspaper, in hopes of finding a Wi-Fi poacher… I’m moving to France.”

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Cyber Akuma, Jul 18th, 2007 @ 12:41pm

    So basically what they are saying is this?

    RIAA: Well, despite the fact that she was found innocent, we offered her a chance to admit she is guilty and pay us X amount of money without any chance to fight back but she didn't, so why should we pay the legal fees of a person with a 5 figure salary who fought against a multi-billion dollar company whose lunch breaks cost more than what she makes in a year?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    WhereAmI, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Re: They've now added an external link

    Did this guy just learn to use a browser today?
    Major Podcaster?? I Agree with the oxymoron statement

     

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


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