RIAA Ignores Court Ruling Over Bogus File Sharing Suit; Doesn't Pay Up Legal Fees

from the maybe-if-we-pretend... dept

In Capitol v. Foster, one of the many RIAA lawsuits where it was later determined that the record labels sued the wrong individual, the judge decided (reasonably) that the RIAA should be responsible for the defendant Debbie Foster’s legal bills. This makes sense. She was incorrectly accused with flimsy evidence. It seems only reasonable that the wrongful accuser should pay the legal bills. Of course, as it always does, the RIAA asked the judge to reconsider, and the judge smacked the RIAA down with some pretty harsh words, chastising a number of RIAA practices. Apparently, this ruling stung so much that the RIAA simply decided to ignore it and not pay up Foster’s legal bills. She’s now asking the court for judgment, so she can go after the record labels for payment of the money owed. This seems doubly amusing (not to Ms. Foster, of course) when you consider the lack of leniency the RIAA provides to those it wants to pay up. Remember the MIT student who was told by the RIAA she should drop out of school and work in order to pay an RIAA fine? Perhaps it’s time for the RIAA to get a real job as well, so it can afford to pay its fines.

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Comments on “RIAA Ignores Court Ruling Over Bogus File Sharing Suit; Doesn't Pay Up Legal Fees”

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34 Comments
Shad Price (profile) says:

Typical

Man I hope the court comes down hard on them for this. It’s really sad how far the RIAA is allowed to go in it’s attempts to save it’s failing business model. This is yet another example for us to see.

Hopefully, more and more examples will follow, which at some point help the RIAA to understand what they are doing is wrong. Innovate or die RIAA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Whiners

You had a lousy lawyer who wasn’t interested in your case because it was too small.

You go to small claims court for $50. If you win you win. If you lose you lose.

It’s really good when they don’t show up because you win. It happens often.

Then you get a lien on their property – another $50.

Nothing happens for a while – until they want to sell or use the property as collateral or something. Then they go ballistic, and they are at your mercy. Man, is that satisfying!! You wind up with a lot more than your suit was for – it’s all negotiable at that point.

Alex Hagen says:

Come on

I swear, the RIAA makes it hard for even someone like me, who has defended them several times here, to continue to justify what they do.

I don’t think the lawsuits are a bad idea. I think they have a right to do so and it makes business sense. I think that they might actually succeed in scaring away a lot of people from P2P networks if they crank it up even more. And I think that the people who say “you can’t tell who someone really is based on an IP address” are only rarely right and mostly wrong.

That being said, if you are going to do thousands of John Doe lawsuits based on IP address, occasionally you are going to be wrong. It’s going to happen. So be a friggin’ man about it, admit it, pay for it if you have to, and move on the next lawsuit. Really, if the RIAA is trying to convince people that what they aren’t doing isn’t just extortion, this isn’t the best way to go about it.

Vincent Clement says:

Re: Come on

It’s one thing to scare SOME people from P2P networks. It’s another to scare them into BUYING music. If that’s the business model you want to defend, feel free to do so. The recording industry problem is not piracy, it’s competition from an ever growing number of entertainment products and services. You don’t add value to your product by suing people.

lar3ry says:

Who didn't expect this?

I’d like to make it clear that I’m not an RIAA apologist. I think they are lower than pond scum with their shifty tactics, bogus “experts,” and stunningly stupid comments.

Be that as it may, the bad guy here is Capitol Records, not the RIAA. Capitol is the one that lost Capitol vs Foster, and they are the ones that need to pay up. In addition, Capitol’s lawyers may be expecting to file an appeal of the decision, so they may think that paying the fees is premature at this point, but I think they need to make it clear to the judge that this is/was their intention.

Finally, large corporations are notoriously slow in paying fines or other legal judgments. Find out how much Exxon has paid for the Valdeez disaster where a decision against them was made over a decade ago.

BTR701 (profile) says:

Re: Who didn't expect this?

> Capitol’s lawyers may be expecting to file an appeal of the
> decision, so they may think that paying the fees is premature
> at this point

If that’s what Capitol’s lawyers think, then Capitol needs to get new lawyers– ones who actually know how to practice law. When a judgment is rendered by the trial court, the loser has to pay. They either pay the other party directly and move on, or they pay into a fund held by the court until all appeals are exhausted, at which point the court releases the money to the ultimate winner of the case.

Bottom line, the loser doesn’t just get to ignore the court’s judgment because they think they might want to appeal the case.

Neal says:

Treble Damages?

Wouldn’t it be sweet if Debbie Foster could notify the label a few times then sue for treble damages and get awarded triple her attorney fees. I know at least some jurisdictions can/will award such if a debtor ignores X written demands for payment. Certainly a big recording firm, with plenty of attorneys on retainer, could respond or pay… so that might sway a judge to award such.

Anonymous Coward says:

If they sue you even if there is shakey evidence, they try to grind you into dust. They lose and have to admit a mistake/pay restitution, just ignore it, it’ll go away. I don’t care if there is an appeal. A lawful decision was made, it isn’t life or death, the loser can afford immediate payment. Pay now and get your money back later IF an appeal falls in your favor. You know D@mn well the record company would be hounding her to death had she lost.

Farging Iceholes…

Anonymous Coward says:

The recording industry seems to forget that long before the internet allowed for file sharing, there were cassetes and people made copies from records, 8 track, CD’s, and radio. Why wasn’t it such a big deal then. I’m sure they didn’t like it, but I don’t remember them suing people en masse with little evidence. I think the problem really does stem from their putting out, for the most part, a hugely undesirable product. The manufactured bands are mostly crap, it seem like only the bands that pay their dues (read: work hard at it) made and continue to make it big. Sign real talent, not carbon copies.

Calix says:

In defense of the RIAA

Arguments about P2P not being a major hit on the RIAA’s membership sales of CDs would be valid, except for the fact that the vast majority of music being traded on P2P is owned by RIAA members. No one is really downloading that really cool but unsigned indie polka/thrash band from Montana, they’re downloading the latest Killers track – a track they’re attracted to because of the investment of time and money the label and distributor has put into promoting the Killers, an investment they deserve to have the opportunity to try and recoup through sales of music (even digital sales) without having 50% of the market simply stealing the music instead.

Just because some might think that any and all music SHOULD be freely available doesn’t make it so – studios still charge for time, producers still gotta make the Beemer payments, lead singers need to pay for coke and HIV tests, and college students still need to feel good about being called “record promoters” for shilling (okay, the college students don’t usually get paid in money for that last one.)

Don’t like what the RIAA is doing? Then don’t buy any music by an artist on an RIAA label. There’s plenty of options out there other than the latest Killers track. That’s still not a justification for theft of intellectual property. If the Killers want to charge a bazillion dollars per download for their latest song, either pay it or move on – but don’t tell me you somehow have a “right” to get it for less or download it for free anyway. You don’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: In defense of the RIAA

You didn’t read the article did you.

The judge found in favour of the defendent NOT the record labels. So this whole article is about the record labels being such cunts that not only did they sue an innocent woman they will not even adhere to legal rulings.

It’s not about P2P or if people have a right to free music. It’s about a large corporation abusing it’s power then having idiot sheep like you bleet on about how the individual should abide by laws the corporations don’t.

Well no thanks, I’ll steal every piece of music I desire.

reed says:

In defense of the fascist RIAA

“Arguments about P2P not being a major hit on the RIAA’s membership sales of CDs would be valid, except for the fact that the vast majority of music being traded on P2P is owned by RIAA members.”

The is a huge presumption on your part. I for one use P2P all the time for legal content.

“No one is really downloading that really cool but unsigned indie polka/thrash band from Montana,”

Another HUGE assumption on your part. You know what they say about assuming. I for one support my local bands, but if you like to worship huge labels maybe Indie music isn’t for you.

“An investment they deserve to have the opportunity to try and recoup through sales of music (even digital sales) without having 50% of the market simply stealing the music instead.”

No-one deserves anything unless your talking about some new form of capitalism I have never heard of. Companies make bad decisions/poor investments all the time and they do not deserve to re-coupe their losses.

“Just because some might think that any and all music SHOULD be freely available doesn’t make it so”

Just because you think it shouldn’t be doesn’t make it so either. Interesting argument, reminds me of a dog chasing its own tail.

“Don’t like what the RIAA is doing?”

Yes

“Then don’t buy any music by an artist on an RIAA label.”

Tried that and their still around messing with my rights.

“but don’t tell me you somehow have a “right” to get it for less or download it for free anyway. You don’t.”

Rights are determined by public discourse and our culture not your pandering to the RIAA. If society decides music is free then so be it. It is up to us not corporations!

Calix says:

1) I never said P2P wasn’t ever used for legal content. Are you saying that P2P isn’t used to “share” copyrighted material illegally? I personally know a whole lot of people who have downloaded copyrighted material illegally. (Maybe I’m just hanging out with the wrong crowd.)

2) Admitting that I was a tad overstating, I thus modify my comment: VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE really downloading that really cool but unsigned indie polka/thrash band from Montana, especially in comparison to the number of people who are illegally trading in the latest cut by the Killers.

I meet people all the time who admit they steal music using the Internet. I regularly ask this question: how many songs have you downloaded that aren’t available on a traditionally distributed record label? Even when talking to people with THOUSANDS of illegally downloaded songs, the answer is, at best, “One or two.”

How many songs has anyone here downloaded that aren’t available on a traditionally distributed record label? What percentage of your “stolen library” does that make up?

On an aside, having personally been in more than one “local band” in my life, it’s amusing that you would think I wouldn’t support them. I just don’t support crappy music, even if it calls itself “cool and indie and local.”

3) When you get done taking a course in remedial understanding of basic English, go back and note that I said a label/distributor has the right to TRY and recoup. Of course they might fail miserably at it – it happens all the time. But just because technology makes stealing IP easier and more anonymous, undercutting the legal market for their product, that doesn’t make it morally (or legally) right.

4) While you’re at that community college course, ask someone to define “irony” and then re-read how you claim the RIAA is “messing around with my rights” in a post about how the RIAA shouldn’t be allowed to defend those of its members.

5) Finally, pop into an Intro to American History class and you might learn that “rights” in this country aren’t determined by “public discourse and our culture” but by rule of law; there’s a subtle but significant difference between mobs of internet hoodlums stealing copyrighted material and the due political process in determining what rights exist for IP. At this time, the law of the land is (mostly) on the side of the RIAA.

(In the meantime, how about while you’re off at community college I pop over to your house and exercise my “right” to your television and your car?)

reed says:

Re: Feeling Zealous?

Personally I know a whole lot of independent developers that use my favorite client Bittorent which is P2P. How could I get my free source projects and share mine without a server otherwise?

I have downloaded more new free music recently than I have ever before in my life. I think you may be out of step with the way music culture is heading. The crap the RIAA turns out is speaking to an increasingly shrinking crowd. At the same time they are demanding more rights on their behalf. Doesn’t make sense to side with the losing side, society has already made its decision about music.

We do not agree on intellectual property nor the difference between electronic storage and physical objects.
What you call stealing could be merely be the evolution of culture and expression.

The RIAA is spending millions of dollars to lobby for draconian laws that will eventually result in the prosecution of my fellow Americans and their subsequent incarceration. Do not talk to me about irony when we already have the worlds largest prison population. The road you are heading down is WRONG and so is the RIAA for the tactics they are already guilty of.

Dan says:

This is farther evidence that the RIAA feels it is above the law. Do they have every right (and even the responsibility) to try and prevent illegal downloads? Yes, they do. However, they also have the responsibility to follow the law while doing so. This is an example of not following a direct court, so this has nothing to do with the RIAA being right or not in it suits, this only deals with them listening to the courts. This would not be the first time, as they continue to file suits against many people at a time, a practice that they were specifically ask to stop by a court order.

Tony McKay says:

RIAA

Ripoff Industry Association of America. Trying to prevent progress at the expense of the average person who just wants a few minutes of listening pleasure by flexing your big bad muscles is certainly not going to win in the court of public opinion, and in regular court either. Look at the Berlin Wall. Once the people decide enough is enough, not only can you not protect whatever ridiculous ideals you are hanging onto, you lose it all. I have NO problem spending money for something of value, but being forced into buying substandard product, inferior backwards technology and delivery systems, (not to mention one of the most UN-Green industries on earth)is something I should not tolerate, anor will I. Unless and until the RIAA and associated businesses get with it, they will become irrelevant faster than The Milkman, The Insurance Agent, The Travel Agent, The Bank Teller, Hood Ornaments, and the Typewriter. People will always find a way…

SP says:

Fuckin Evil Hypocrites..RIAA, BURN IN HELL

Leave it to the assholes at the RIAA to completely NOT “practise what they preach.” Here is an (evil) organization that will sue 10 year children, sue people who aren’t even “guilty” of “illegal downloads,” use scare tactics and brute force to get their precious “lost revenue” back…but yet… when THEY are told to follw the LAW and pay legal fees… They simply ignore the bill and go on like nothing happened. Gee, NOW WHO IS STEALING!?! Once again, you guessed it, the good ol boys at the RIAA.

It’s okay for you to STEAL FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS AND THE ARTISTS YOU “SUPPORT” but it’s NOT okay for me to download a few mp3s??? Umm, no. FUCK YOU RIAA. You are NOT above the law and it’s about time our Government is FINALLY catching on to your bullshit.

I hope you continue to get sued up the ass by all the “customers” you have stole from and whose lives you have ruined. I hope one day there is a ruling that results in a lot of RIAA execs GOING TO PRISON FOR THE CRIMES, TRUE CRIMES, they have committed! It’ll only be a matter of time before this DOES happen. We have ALL had enough of the MAFIAA and their evil tactics. It’s PAYBACK TIME, BITCHES.

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