RIAA Still Filing Lawsuits...

from the but,-of-course dept

Back in December, the RIAA claimed that it had discontinued its strategy of filing lawsuits against individual file sharers. Specifically, the RIAA's letter to Congress stated "we discontinued initiating new lawsuits in August." While we've pointed out in the past that this is wholly untrue, some Hollywood lawyers took us to task, claiming the RIAA never said anything of the sort (even as RIAA lobbyists have been pushing that exact story to the press over and over again). It seems the entertainment industry wants to have it both ways. They want to claim they gave up the lawsuits when it suits them as a publicity stunt, but when you corner them, they want to claim that they never said they'd stop filing lawsuits. So, the lawsuits keep coming. As Ray Beckerman has noted, there are still new lawsuits being filed on a regular basis. Once again, the RIAA's original claim appears to have been nothing more than a PR stunt to get newspapers to claim the group had given up on its backwards legal strategy, when the truth is quite different.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    DS78, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    This is me....

    ...pretending to be surprised.

    Almost fooled you didn't I?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:35am

    Question

    "It seems the entertainment industry wants to have it both ways"

    Ok, so is this a purposeful disinformation campaign against the public by the RIAA, where they claim they are/will doing/do something they have NO intention of doing? Or is this simply what we used to call a chain-of-command issue, where the orders from the top aren't properly being communicated and implemented by the "ground troops"?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Pjerky (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    I call this...

    BS from above. The RIAA is just a slimy organization trying to strong arm as much money out of individuals as possible. I would really like to see this type of lobbying stopped, but I am not sure the best approach to stop the bad ones while letting the good ones continue. Granted you could argue that there is no such thing as a good lobbyist.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:05am

      Re: I call this...

      "It seems the entertainment industry wants to have it both ways"

      Yes, yes I could. Strongly, and with a big stick.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Ima Fish, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re: I call this...

        "Yes, yes I could. Strongly, and with a big stick."

        And yet people in this forum accuse me of being gay?!

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re: I call this...

          In the service, "big stick" has a very different meaning. Although since I was Navy, I guess that doesn't really help to convince that I'm not gay.

          But here's the real question: when have I ever said that I was a male? Why did you take my stick reference to mean phallis (sp?)? Just because someone is in the military, which I know I mention, does not make me male (although I am). How politically incorrect of you.

          And BTW, I know it's a play on words, but Ima is a girl's name :)

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Ima Fish, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I call this...

            "But here's the real question..."

            Actually it was merely an attempt at a joke.

            "Ima is a girl's name"

            I never said I wasn't girly!

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          Tgeigs, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:26am

          Re: Re: Re: I call this...

          And I just reread the quote I posted, which was the incorrect one. It was supposed to be:

          "Granted you could argue that there is no such thing as a good lobbyist"

          The original is funnier, however...

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    RE: Question

    While this may well be, on some level, a chain-of-command issue, it is still wholly worthy of ridicule in my opinion, because we are now nine months out from the initial announcement that the RIAA is no longer filing lawsuits. As convoluted as any chain of command may be, to think that it will take 3/4 of a year for an email to filter down from the head brass to the grunts is laughable.

    I read this situation as the possible result of two different scenarios: Either the RIAA truly wants to have it both ways, or they are so incompetent that they cannot effectively manage their own people. Neither case makes the disconnect between their public stance and their actions acceptable, and both show that they are unworthy of trust at this point.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    If the point of the lawsuits is to put fear into people, to stop them from using P2P, then what's the point of pretending the lawsuits have stopped?

    And I have to say that this sentence "we discontinued initiating new lawsuits in August" really does not mean anything.

    First, it doesn't say that the RIAA "stopped" doing anything. To "discontinue" does not mean to "stop," it means "to break the continuity of."

    Second, anything it does say about the RIAA is limited to only the month of August. For example, if I say "Best Buy stopped having 10% off sales in August." That in no way means that Best Buy stopped having 10% off sales forever.

    Third, more ambiguity is added by the word "initiate." The use of "initiate" gives the RIAA a lot of wiggle room to start new lawsuits. If anyone complains, the RIAA can merely say, "this lawsuit was actually initiated sometime ago when we first started investigating it."

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 7:44am

    imagine all the money they would save by giving up.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Lindsay S., May 5th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    Who has two thumbs and doesn't believe a thing to come outof the RIAA?

    *THIS GAL* (((// \))) (woo thumbs! can you see it?)

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    I think there is a change that it wasn't a mistake, but a way of calming the people before the attack on TPB.

    Oh am I being over the top with that?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    JustMe, May 5th, 2009 @ 8:51am

    If it were a C&C issue

    then surely they are using the slowest method of office communication EVER

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Crack

    The lawsuits are like Crack. On some days some people in the RIAA want to quit, but it is hard to go cold turkey.

    It reminds me of conferences where industry people seem to come out of their haze and start talking about how the industry's real problems aren't piracy. Just when you think they have had a breakthrough moment someone stands up and says "but we have to do something about the piracy" and they all nod and go back into denial. They are sure they can quit, but it would feel so good just to file one more lawsuit. Really, they can quit any time. In fact they will quit. One little lawsuit won't matter. Really.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Ric, May 5th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Reap what you sow

    They so long ago turned us from fans into consumers that they forgot that they are engineers of their own downfall. I payed a great deal for music at one time in the past when they held a delivery monopoly and cared about the quality of what they released.

    However, those days soon passed and their greed was their undoing as they thought they could forever dictate to us the 'New' consumer. Well, they pushed many of us too far and when physical media became obsolete ... so to became their business model and business practices. I have turned into the kind of audio respository where I lovingly digitize and post entire back catalog discographies in order to ensure that vintage is not lost and fans that have paid way more to the industry than it deserves, get what they need and what the content owners fail to provide. Think of all the money you lost on music fans like me, and honestly, good new music is a rare commodity and something I can get from most of the artists themselves, so quite frankly:

    I just dont need you anymore.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    I am wary of utilizing Mr. Beckerman's blog as an authoritative source for advancing the claim that the RIAA has reneged on its word and/or outright lied. I respect Mr. Beckerman as an able advocate for the causes of his clients, but at the same time do recognize that it serves his clients' interests to try and characterize the RIAA as an organization that is not trustworthy.

    The data I have seen to date informs me that these so-called "new" lawsuits are little more than the continuation of previously existing lawsuits that at the time of the RIAA's public announcement were then at the stage of "Doe" complaints, and that once "Does" were identified the "Doe" reference was changed to the name of the actual defendant.

    Does either Techdirt, Mr. Beckerman, or any other organization possess data demonstrating that a "brand spanking" new lawsuit has been initiated that was not at the time of the announcement by the RIAA the subject of a then existing lawsuit?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2009 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      What does this have to do with the claim they were not going to pursue more lawsuits? Changing Does to names does not mean those lawsuits cannot be withdrawn, and is a whole lot easier to claim those were all 'in process' than it is to admit they never intended to stop filing them.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Overcast, May 5th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    If they didn't have lawsuits to file, I suspect they wouldn't have a reason to be around at all - or at least; that's the impression one could get.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      It bears mentioning that the RIAA is an industry association that does not file lawsuits. Such filings are done by one or more labels who are the actual holders of copyright in the music associated with ongoing litigation.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re:

        It bears mentioning that the RIAA is an industry association that does not file lawsuits. Such filings are done by one or more labels who are the actual holders of copyright in the music associated with ongoing litigation.

        It also bears mentioning that the RIAA is composed of and speaks for the record labels filing the lawsuits in question.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Mike (profile), May 5th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It bears mentioning that the RIAA is an industry association that does not file lawsuits. Such filings are done by one or more labels who are the actual holders of copyright in the music associated with ongoing litigation.

          It also bears mentioning that the RIAA is composed of and speaks for the record labels filing the lawsuits in question.

          It also bears mentioning that the RIAA has run and coordinated the legal strategy, and is represented in the various lawsuits. Claiming that the RIAA is not involved in the lawsuits is an even bigger lie than saying that they discontinued the lawsuits.

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re:

        and it bears mentioning that the RIAA is indeed the one that is in the end the one that is mentioned again as the entity that is doing the suing.
        When it comes to enforcing the defaults then it is THEM who is named as the "person" who sues!

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    As long as the RIAA continues I will not pay a red cent for music. It will be downloads, borrowed, used CDs, radio, or simply do without.

    I have a hard time understanding why the labels would continue to support an organization that is so clearly harming their financial interests. In the long term it will sort out, by strategy shift, or by bankruptcy.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    "Claiming that the RIAA is not involved in the lawsuits is an even bigger lie than saying that they discontinued the lawsuits."

    I did not make such a claim. What I did say is that the RIAA does not file lawsuits. The lawsuits are filed by the copyright holders. The fact these copyright holders are in many instances members of the RIAA is irrelevant. Even Mr. Beckerman concedes this point, and has stated he uses the term "RIAA" merely as a shorthand reference to the individual labels.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      "What I did say is that the RIAA does not file lawsuits. "


      That's a lie!
      they do file lawsuits!
      Those suits when it is about getting money from the defaults.
      Then it is RIAA as plaintiff that took over the claim from the previous plaintiffs, and it is the RIAA that keeps the money, no artist gets a single cent from those suits!

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Osirus, May 6th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Public Networks

    So is the RIAA going to sue public entities that offer FREE WIFI where leachers ride the network for P2P downloads?

     

    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