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.

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Comments on “Mom Fighting RIAA Moves Ahead, Sans Lawyer”

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smarter than you says:


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.

alternatives says:

Re: 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.

Brendan says:

Re: 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.

alternatives says:

Re: Re: 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.

no, smarter than YOU says:

Re: 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…

John (user link) says:

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.

Pete says:

Re: 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.

Allen says:

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)

Newob says:

Re: 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?

sjc1963 says:

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.

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