RIAA Can't Wiggle Its Way Out Of Paying Victim's Legal Fees

from the a-good-lesson dept

The RIAA’s lawsuit against Patti Santangelo has seen a number of interesting twists and turns, which has made it one of the more high-profile cases out there. If you’ll recall, the RIAA tried dropping its case last year when it became clear that it had no chance of winning at trial against the indebted mother of five. But it only offered to do drop the case with the stipulation that it would not have to pay back any of her enormous legal fees. If it got its way, Santangelo’s “victory” would have been rather hollow, since it would’ve left her in pretty bad shape. Fortunately, the RIAA’s motion to dismiss the case without prejudice has been rejected by the judge, which leaves the group with two options. It can drop the case with prejudice, which means it would have to compensate Santangelo for her legal fees, or it can proceed to trial, where it’s almost certain to lose, and then it would still have to pay for her lawyer. It’s not clear which way the RIAA will decide to go, but it’s clearly a very bad ruling for the group, as it’s finally going to have to pay up for its ongoing abuse of the legal system.


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Comments on “RIAA Can't Wiggle Its Way Out Of Paying Victim's Legal Fees”

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26 Comments
Jeremy (user link) says:

Re: sing to the RIAA

Justin Timberlake??????? (comment #2) Ratt came out with that phrase in 1984 on their song Round and Round! Great song by the way…great album (Out of the Cellar)…
The RIAA is enjoying its last run of lawsuits, and the legal well will be running dry soon. Lots of file sharers are discovering the privacy provided by encrypted file-sharing apps like GigaTribe ( http://www.gigatribe.com). No army of lawyers can stop people from sharing files with friends in an encrypted environment.

dataGuy says:

Re: Re: sing to the RIAA

You think Ratt originated the phrase “what goes around comes around”? That was good for a chuckle 🙂

I have no idea when the phrase originated – my guess is it predates spoken language. I’m fairly sure the cavemen had a grunt that loosely translated to “what goes around comes around”. But you had to listen closely because that grunt had a similar sound to the grunt that means “STFU” 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

You Spin Me Right Round...Pt II

I certainly hope they have to cover her losses, but it won’t change anything. The next time their asked about their strategy of suing everyone and their brother and their brother’s dog, they’ll just point to this case and say “See? When we saw we were wrong we dropped the suit and paid their legal fees, so clearly we aren’t abusing the system.”

The RIAA is a predator with big fangs filled with lawyer venom. It feeds solely on the weakest and least-able-to-defend itself members of the herd. Time to call an exterminator.

MISHA says:

Re: You Spin Me Right Round...Pt II

You are right in that they are going to point to the case and say that they paid the legal fees but I don’t think that is enough. How much has that woman been out because she can’t work? What about emotional distress. The RIAA clearly needs to be put on a leash. There method of blindly sending out court action based on bandwidth usage is not good. Somebody that has been harassed by this beast needs to turn around and sue them for harrassment and then I would try and find everybody else they have done the same thing to. Everybody is on the Bush administration because of the way the FBI had been checking up on people. They need to get on the RIAA the same way. They clearly have done the same thing. What is Congress doing about that?

Anonymous Poster (profile) says:

“See? When we saw we were wrong we dropped the suit and paid their legal fees, so clearly we aren’t abusing the system.”

Except they only dropped the suit when they figured out they had no chance of winning the case, and even THEN they tried to get it dropped with the stipulation that they WOULDN’T pay for Ms. Santangelo’s legal fees. They were trying to abuse the legal system by bringing about a patently unprovable case to court, then when they got their press and eventually figured out they couldn’t win, they tried to weasel their way out of the case without having to pay for bringing about a bogus lawsuit.

It’s about goddamned time the courts finally saw through the RIAA’s bullshit and forced them to either take a case to trial or pay up.

Down with treating your customers like criminals! Down with bogus lawsuits! AND TO HELL WITH THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA!

Mark says:

Re: How

Easy. A Jury panel is a section of peers. Most people in the US are slobbering, blundering idiots who don’t know much more than what they hear on Fox news in the evening.

“This just in, RIAA sues another group of people for illegally distributing copyrighted material”

They respond by telling their kids not to do this and move on. They don’t lurk here or on slashdot or any of the blog of the months to konw that there is more to the story.

And Yes, I live in the US, and occasionally slobber.

The HipNerd (user link) says:

Re: Catch me if you can...

Ok, so by a back-of-the-envelope calculation, that’s about 4 years worth of music. I’m not trying to put you down by asking the following questions, but I’m curious: Do you collect music just to collect it? Do you download everything you can get your hands on, or do you say, well I don’t like (for example) classical music and pass on that? How do you go about listening to your collection? Do you play randomly through your entire library, or try to organize particular playlists, etc.?

J.O. says:

If the EFF isn't in yet, here's a chance to kill t

Call-out to he EFF… If you aren’t all ready involved, help Patti win, go for the jugular, assist her existing defense to claim emotional distress, affecting her ability to work, et.c. Go after such a huge settlement that the RIAA will be reluctant to ever try again. Years of her life have been affected by this corporation that exists solely due to greed.

Billy Jenkins says:

Lawers at the bottom of the ocean

Definitely, she should take the RIAA for all they are worth. I would like her to start a website or work with the EFF and start a collection. I’d help.

If there was a law passed that in any civil case, a corporate entity acting as a plantiff, can only spend 1:1 on legal fees as the defendant, one can imagine many of the problems with the legal system would probably magically dissappear, as would the majority of corporate lawfirms, which would be a good thing… Thoughts?

I think the halls of the RIAA must be filled with Despair.com posters like http://despair.com/arrogance.html

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