RIAA Drops Yet Another Case

from the something-seems-wrong dept

Given just how many cases the RIAA has had to drop after it was pointed out that it’s sued the wrong person, why isn’t anyone questioning why the RIAA is allowed to file thousands of cases in a single shot when it’s clearly not very careful about the process? The latest is that the RIAA has dropped a case after it was pointed out to the RIAA that the person being sued wasn’t actually a subscriber to the ISP in question at the time of the observed file sharing. Oops. At some point, you would think that someone would point out that the RIAA appears to be abusing the legal system as its personal plaything in suing whoever it wants whenever it wants on whatever flimsy evidence it can find.

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Comments on “RIAA Drops Yet Another Case”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Pointing Out the Obvious

At some point, you would think that someone would point out that the RIAA appears to be abusing the legal system as its personal plaything in suing whoever it wants whenever it wants on whatever flimsy evidence it can find.

I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. I’ve seen it pointed out more times than I can remember, yet nothing changes. Is it because the majority of Americans actually approve of their methods? Or it it because America is not actually a country of majority rule? I really don’t know. It might be an interesting debate though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pointing Out the Obvious

We are a Republic, not a Democracy! Majority rule is mob rule and that is a failed system just like communism.

Then I wonder why the US is fighting wars to, according to US leaders, impose democracy on other countries. Is democracy good for other countries but not the US?

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Re: Re: Pointing Out the Obvious

The question of whether or not democracy is good for the US is a question for the ages.

I wonder why politicians act like the US is a democracy when it is clearly not. And as for why the US leaders are fighting for democracy in other nations, PR. It makes the US government look good to the American masses to talk about democracy and freedom (which almost always in the same sentence).

US leaders want to force other countries to act, think, feel, and live just like America and then they tell the masses that they are fighting to bring democracy, freedom, and “American morals and values”.

RevMike says:

Re: Pointing Out the Obvious

Is it because the majority of Americans actually approve of their methods? Or it it because America is not actually a country of majority rule? I really don’t know.


The simple fact is that, of 300,000,000 Americans, 299,000,000 or so just don’t care that much about this issue. So it is difficult for a democracy to “get it right” when the vast majority of people are ambivelent.

Let’s put it a different way. How many congressman are concerned that their stand on this issue might affect their reelection? The number is probably 0, or pretty close to it. How many congressman are concerned that their stands on taxes, availability of health care, viability of Social Security, Iraq, or abortion might affect their reelection chances? Virtually all of them. Guess where they are going to be working hard to “get it right”.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Re: Pointing Out the Obvious

I’d like to add some fuel to the fire of why big business is able to get away with so much. Along with many Americans not caring big business knows that still have to deal with the ones that do care and would try to stop them. In order to deal with those people big business uses the meadia (and money) to spin them into looking the bad guys (in other words pulling the wool over the eyes of the uncaring masses).

In a stand up by Chris Rock (I think it was called Never Scared) he talks about the old saying that states something to the effect of, “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.” By that he’s is talking about how a company would make a fortune by immoral means and then “lobby” (read:pay) to have laws put in place to stop someone else from doing the same thing or topple their dominant position on whatever industry they are in. Case in the point the RIAA. They once had a strangehold on the music industry but now that digital distribution has taken off the RIAA is scrambling with everything they have to take control of that too. And if they can’t control it they will stop at nothing to end it altogther.

So uncaring masses aren’t the only obstacle. Big business and the government officals in their pockets are actively trying to make sure the masses remain just that, uncaring.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Pointing Out the Obvious

I forgot something.

Big business and the goverment officals in their pockets are also doing what they can to stop the ones that do care from being able to do anything about it.

Two pronged attack really. Someone mentioned that the RIAA cases get little to no time in the mainstrem media becuase that would trigger the Streisand Effect (yes companies know perfectly well when and when not to trigger it) causing more people to learn about the issue. That’s true. And they are also throwing out all those shotgun lawsuits in a last ditch effort to set some sort of precedent that they can wave like a flag in future cases. Someone asked if the RIAA has one a case that has actually gone to trial. I doubt that becuase if they had you can believe that the RIAA would be proclaiming victory from the highest mountain (i.e. mainstream media). Sorry for the long rant.

Jason says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Pointing Out the Obvious

Heh sounds true… That’s pretty much the same case with cable modem uncappers, most isps don’t put too much effort in trying to find these hackers that uncap their modems to bring them to justice since it’d be costly as well attract attention to the fact that people can actually uncap their modems and get free service which in turn would hurt them more. Still.. It hurts the the quality of their services they’re providing so it isn’t fair for the customer at all, they could at least increase security a bit like changing the snmp community strings a bit more often and refrain from having national wide community strings. Or at least increase their maintance on their equipment to handle the additional subscribers / uncappers onto their network so no one hurts at all. Out here they oversubscribe & overload their systems and the end result is pissed off customers & bad biz. They merely just care bout the $$$$ it’s all bout $$$ nothing else.

rahrens (profile) says:

more to the point

There isn’t an overall umbrella authority which oversees the country’s court system that has the authority to stop them. If you file in one District, that’s one authority, and there are a lot of Federal court Districts. When or if one is allowed to file is generally up to the individual court judge, and everybody has the right to file wherever they need to by jurisdiction.

Same thing with the State and local jurisdictions. These guys shotgun their suits all over the country, wherever their victims, er, I mean plaintiffs, happen to live.

Who is there that has the authority to stop them? Perhaps Congress could get into the act? Don’t make me laugh!

mike allen says:

one out of how meny

What is needed are 2 things in my humble observations.
1 Net radio stations to tell these b******s to stick there copyright where the sun dont shine and continue to broadcast. I know i would.
2 everyone sued by them to state that they will not adhere to any court order or any order from the rigormortice insane analslappers association and will not pay a cent again i would. are you all gutless look what happened at digg the community won. lets take the web back to the people and make it free again.

The infamous Joe says:

Under the Radar

Now, I don’t watch a lot of TV, and most, if not all, my news comes from online– but I can’t recall ever seeing an RIAA related news story on TV– definitely not at the rate that this site has them. Also, minus a few sites (digg, techdirt, /., etc.) the RIAA isn’t given much face time at all.

What I’m trying to get at is that a majority of people probably haven’t even heard of the RIAA and their shotgun lawsuits. (I did a random poll around the office and only people I’ve mentioned the RIAA to have heard of them) If the voters don’t care, then it’s a safe bet that the politicians don’t give it much, if any, thought. Hence why nothing ever happens about it.

We, as Americans, seem to be able to ignore a lot of things that shouldn’t be ignored because it doesn’t directly and drastically worsen our quality of life. For example: Gas prices. If they go up quickly like last summer, there is a huge and televised outcry– but if they go up gradually, as they have been, then they can get just as high (like now) and no one seems to care.

The day will come when the RIAA shotgun sues a senator’s son or daughter and *then* something will happen– but the steady erosion of our freedom to do what we want with what we buy is too gradual for America to care.

Maybe, though, we could get digg on it. 😛

mike allen says:

Re: Under the Radar

Ask why smething as important as several thousand people being sued for i dare say NO reason other than downloading music is not headline news some under the age of 12, If that 12yr old was beaten up by a gang of yobs at least locally it would hit the news, answear is simple the old media Radio TV Newspapers do not want to drew your attention to the fact that there are better alternatives on the web to what they can do with the old technology. So they all try to restrict the new ie the web.and they certainly hate the fact that you and I can put a story on line through sites like this or Digg or Google the list is endless withhout that story being edited by them or written by a “professional” drunk er sorry reporter. and so by using money to sue the new at every opertunity.

The infamous Joe says:

Re: Re: Under the Radar

Mr. Allen,

I think you and I may see eye to eye on how wrong the RIAA are for their tactics, but I worry about this line:

several thousand people being sued for i dare say NO reason other than downloading music

This line draws away from your argument (and perhaps more) because the RIAA is perfectly in their rights to sue. I happen to download music, myself, and I still make no claim that it isn’t against the law. My issue is how the RIAA tries to go about suing people. Mainly, without any real proof or direction, e.g. “Shotgun litigation”.

Now, if we were discussing if the labels should *allow* their music to be downloaded for free, I’d have much more to say, but as it stands now they have the right to sue if someone infringes on their copyrights, but they don’t have the right to sue semi-random groups of people with little to no real proof, or even more insanely, send letters to kids offering a settlement or they’ll sue.

PS- The new reply to this comment box is very nice. 🙂

TriZz says:

Has the RIAA ever...?

Has the RIAA ever won a case where someone has stood up for themselves? I read TechDirt on a daily basis, and I have yet to see a story where the RIAA actually wins.

This is a serious question, does the RIAA ever win in court? I know tons of people probably pay the settlement fee. But if every time they go to court — they lost, you’d think that they’d stop going to court.

Blob says:

Subscriber or not...

MMM so in other words the people who are stealing ISP service by using hacked cable modems or whatever can’t be held accountable on what they download? There are lots of bandwidth hogs out there with their tweaked out modems leeching at least 10mb-25mb per sec off the iNet But since the ISP doesn’t have them in the system cept for the person whom they’ve cloned their cable modem mac to which is more likely a legit user… What happens in that case? Do they take the legit user and hold him accountable? Or drop it? The RIAA & MPAA need to throw in the towel they’re never gonna be able to bring down this massive scale file swapping scene.. they’re just making it worst by letting the general public know that they can do this, its a good thing they don’t get too much attention on TV News or for sure the file swapping would increase.

Norman (profile) says:

Re: Subscriber or not...

Huh…? Sorry but I think you are misinformed on the capabilities of the cable modem. I worked for Time Warner Cable as a broadband tech for 5 years. I know a whole lot about their system and how limits are set up. No amount of modem tweaking will boost your speed. The caps are set at the router servicing each area. Unless you know how to hack the router there is no way you will boost your speeds. The modems themselves are capable of doing approx 40Mbps if the routers weren’t limiting them. So again there is no way you can remove the speed cap w/o hacking the router servicing the neighborhood. This bandwidth hog stuff is also myth. The reason some people exp latency is due to the routers in their area being slammed. The ISP subscriber can not widen their pipe from 4Mbps to say 10Mbps by simple hacking for the local cable modem. At some point in the past cable companies may have been setting the limits at the modem when the service was new but I can tell that hasn’t been the case for a very LONG time.

Blob says:

No Amount of tweaking??

LOL you don’t know?? Anyone can tweak their modem to grab a diffrent config off the tftp which has the parameters given to each modem telling it what speed limit is set on it… These hackers force the modem to grab the fastest config… Like an admin config which brings unlimited up and download speeds of course it will be limited by the node… depending on how good the node is… Of course the tftp doesn’t give out tftp filenames so they are forced to snmp scan / sniff for a faster one using snmp admin strings which they have discovered by endless hours of scanning, Man you’re so lucky you got a job there as a tech because i don’t see how you did it cuz uncapping modems is very well possible…

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