RIAA Seriously Smacked Down (Again) By Judge
from the worth-reading dept
The RIAA’s track record in court hasn’t been so great lately. After being forced to drop various lawsuits once it was pointed out to the RIAA that the suits were targeted incorrectly, the RIAA has tried (and failed) to get out of paying the legal fees of those they incorrectly sued. The latest ruling comes from a judge who already told the RIAA it needed to pay fees. Now he’s reaffirmed the decision and explained it quite clearly to the RIAA. The quotes are absolutely worth reading at that link, as the judge highlights the fact that copyright isn’t solely for the benefit of the content creator/owner, but for enriching the public domain, and that gives anyone accused of infringement strong defenses to their use of the content.
The judge also challenges a bunch of questionable or misleading claims by the RIAA, basically suggesting that the RIAA was assuming he wouldn’t actually look into any of its claims. For example, the RIAA filing claimed that there were no “reported” cases where attorney fees were awarded without using a specific test, but the judge looked around and quickly found that there were many unreported cases, including ones against the exact same plaintiff. So the claim my be truthful that there were no “reported” cases, but ultimately misleading. Trying to trick a judge that way doesn’t tend to end well. Also, rewriting history doesn’t work well, as the judge points out the RIAA tried to do in claiming that it had offered the defendant a way to settle without paying anything. As the judge says: “Of course, that is not true. By the time the plaintiffs offered to dismiss their claims against the defendant, she had made a considerable litigation investment, and would have been required to pay those expenses already incurred. Furthermore, the plaintiffs offered merely to dismiss their claims without prejudice, thus leaving the defendant exposed to continued litigation in the matter.” There’s a lot more like that in the decision, including the judge pretty much slapping the RIAA down for suggesting that it may have won the case anyway… It’s nice to see judges are recognizing the real issues in these cases.