stories filed under: "racketeering"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 4th 2008 1:21am
Radio talk show host Michael Savage apparently isn't as open to accepting criticism as he is in dishing it out. He's suing the Council on American-Islamic Relations for copyright infringement, because CAIR used clips from Savage's show to respond to, and criticize, his statements. That's a perfectly reasonable fair use of copyrighted content. It seems clear that this is merely an attempt to bully and silence a critic. To add even more weight to that claim, Savage isn't just claiming copyright infringement, but racketeering. The reasoning behind the racketeering charge isn't entirely clear (and from the EFF's response about the problems with Savage's filings, it sounds like the reasoning isn't clear to even those who made the racketeering claim), but the idea that posting some radio clips and criticizing them could be seen as racketeering seems pretty ridiculous.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 15th 2007 3:57pm
from the the-not-so-free-paid-trial dept
Way back in 2003, we wrote about accusations that Microsoft and Best Buy were scamming customers into signing up for Microsoft's ISP MSN. The accusation was that Best Buy employees would scan the "free trial" MSN CD-ROMs that were at the store when customers would make a purchase. Customers wouldn't realize it, but the scan would then charge that customer's credit card once the free trial ended, signing them up as fully paying customers. While we wondered how widespread this practice was, some Best Buy employees have come forward to confirm that it was done at times. Both Best Buy and Microsoft have been fighting the case, and an appeal went all the way up to the Supreme Court, trying to get the case thrown out, but the Supreme Court has refused to review it, meaning the case can move forward. Of course, what's left out of much of the coverage is that lawyers working for Best Buy have already admitted to altering some of the documents he handed over in the case, which certainly doesn't bode well for Best Buy. While it's still unclear just how big a "class" this covers, if the two companies really were involved in such an activity, it does seem quite sleazy.
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 17th 2007 1:55pm
from the might-not-be-the-best-idea dept
Tanya Andersen has been fighting back against a bogus RIAA lawsuit for a while, and got some attention earlier this summer when she accused the RIAA of breaking the law with its investigation technique. It's also one of a few cases that have questioned whether or not the RIAA's settlement offer process can be considered illegal racketeering. However, she's now looking to turn her lawsuit into a class action case, covering all of those who have been sued by the RIAA. It may be quite difficult to convince a judge that this really deserves class action status, but if it gets that far, it'll certainly be fun to watch. It's been pretty clear for quite some time that the RIAA is abusing the process by making it cheaper to settle than even to defend your innocence (which sounds mighty similar to the classic shakedown). However, whether or not you can build a class out of those offered settlement deals (or sued) isn't entirely clear. But, if it can actually get somewhere, then it might finally make the RIAA recognize that it's practices are questionable. So far, every time someone has accused them of anything like this, they just try to get out of the case and move on to suing others who are less likely to fight back.