Judge Dismisses Racketeering Charge Against RIAA

from the quite-a-racket dept

We were pretty skeptical that charges of racketeering would stick to the RIAA when filed a few years ago, so it comes as little surprise to see a judge dismiss the claim. While the complaint could be refiled, the judge's words indicate that it will be quite difficult to make a successful case for racketeering. As emotionally appealing as it would be to see the RIAA found guilty of racketeering, it is a stretch. It's better to focus on what the RIAA is actually doing, rather than trying to paint its actions falsely. The RIAA is filing questionable lawsuits based on flimsy evidence, but that's not quite enough to prove racketeering.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Danny, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 8:48am

    Extortion...

    I would think that there would be enough proof to go after the RIAA on extortion charges. They offer small "settlements" in exchage for not going after you with massive lawsuits that would be based on weak evidence. When they do start a lawsuit they seek outrageous amounts of money that to this day I don't know how they calculate.

    What is the difference between that and the gangsters that hit up the the old couple running the dry cleaners for a cut of their weekly profts to "prevent accidents from happening"?

     

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  2.  
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    Matt, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:04am

    legal dance

    Although many of us feel it is racketeering and extortion, legally and when pulled to a strict definition its harder to prove than that. This is due to many unfortunate legal loopholes. I don't see many possible ways to them to really allow easier racketeering charges without it being misused, either. No idea for solutions here.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:27am

    Common Sense Says...

    That you could just stop stealing music.

     

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

  4.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:28am

    Re: Extortion...

    What is the difference between that and the gangsters that hit up the the old couple running the dry cleaners for a cut of their weekly profts to "prevent accidents from happening"?

    The main difference, realistically, is that the RIAA at least has *some* claim to say that something illegal has happened. That's not the case with gangsters "preventing accidents." And it's that difference that's they key to proving racketeering.

     

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  5.  
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    The infamous Joe, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Re: Common Sense Says...

    One:

    It's not stealing. In perhaps an ironic twist, if you actually went out and *stole* the music from your nearest retailer, you'd get in far less trouble. Go figure.

    Two:

    If you are innocent, and the RIAA comes knocking at your door because one of your child's friends brought his laptop over one day and had uTorrent running-- and they point out that paying $2500 now or paying $750,000 per song after a lengthy and costly trial later.. most people see the "common sense" in settling, even knowing they are innocent, because they are intimidated by the resources that the RIAA has at it's command and they don't trust our legal system to actually protect the innocent. (Who does these days?)

    It may not be racketeering, in the legal sense, but it's still pretty sketchy, if ya ask me.

     

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  6.  
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    Very Anonymous Super Coward, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Re: Common Sense Says...

    In this case, as with a number of others, the RIAA knew (and in a larger number should have known) that their claims were baseless (i.e., nothing illegal too place, there was no evidence that anything illegal too place, or there was evidence that the person in question was not the perpetrator).

    If I threaten to take you to court for something I knew or should have known you did not do, and then proceed to do so, it is NOT something that I have a legal right to do (see "Abuse of Process" and related issues). Therefore, if I threaten to do something to you (and subsequently follow through) which I do not have the right to do unless you pay me money which you do not owe me, how is that not extortion?

    These are people who have not done anything wrong. Think before you post.

     

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  7.  
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    Joe, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    It's not stealing as the government does not like competitition.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    Go figure. RIAA gets away with yet more gestapo tactics and gets away with it.

     

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


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