Oregon Attorney General Fighting Back Against RIAA Lawsuits

from the messed-with-the-wrong-attorney-general dept

Over the summer, we wrote about a lawsuit someone had filed against the RIAA in Oregon, claiming that the RIAA’s investigation tactics were illegal, since the firm it used to sniff out unauthorized users, MediaSentry, was not a licensed investigator in Oregon. This seemed like a relatively weak claim (or at least one focused on the letter of the law more than the spirit). However, it appears that argument has caught the attention of Oregon’s Attorney General who already is unhappy with the RIAA. You may recall that earlier this month, the Attorney General stood up to the RIAA after it tried to get the University of Oregon to identify students. It was surprising to see the AG get involved in such an issue, but clearly, he believes the RIAA is going too far. The RIAA responded to his filing, opposing the motion, of course. And now the Attorney General has responded, not just about this particular issue, but slamming the RIAA on a number of fronts, suggesting that the RIAA may be in a bit more hot water than it believed. He repeats the argument that the RIAA’s investigation techniques are illegal and then goes on to slam the evidence the RIAA has, how it’s gathered, how it uses these cases to squeeze money out of unsophisticated people and many other points about these RIAA cases. The response then points out why this is an important matter for the Attorney General to take a stand on and how it would like to get some answers from the RIAA:

“Because Plaintiffs routinely obtain ex parte discovery in their John Doe infringement suits, as they themselves have pointed out, their factual assertions supporting their good cause argument are never challenged by an adverse party and their investigative methods remain free of scrutiny. They often settle their cases quickly before defendants obtain legal representation and begin to conduct discovery…. While the University is not a party to the case, Plaintiffs’ subpoena affects the university’s rights and obligations. Plaintiffs may be spying on students who use the University’s computer system and may be accessing much more than IP addresses. The University seeks the Court’s permission to serve the attached interrogatories on Plaintiffs and conduct telephonic depositions of the individuals who investigated the seventeen John Does named in this lawsuit to determine 1) what their investigative practices are and 2) whether they have any additional information with which to identify the John Does.”

It looks like the RIAA may have messed with the wrong university in the wrong state.

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Companies: mediasentry, riaa

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Comments on “Oregon Attorney General Fighting Back Against RIAA Lawsuits”

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Mike C. says:

This case and one other...

The court documents submitted by the Attorney General make for some very interesting reading, especially footnote #5 on page 6.

Another related case in Binghamton, NY is Interscope v. Kimmel where the RIAA is facing dismissal with prejudice for filing the same claim too many times. The defendants lawyer made some rather valid points in his response pointing out why the John Doe lawsuits count towards the “two-dismissal” rule.

Between these two cases, it’s starting to look like the litigation house of cards is showing some weakness.

For those not as familiar, here is a snippet from the initial motion to dismiss about the rule:
Rule 41(a)(1) provides that “a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has once dismissed in any court of the United States or of any state an action based on or including the same claim.” This provision, which is an exception to the general rule that a dismissal by notice is without prejudice, is known as the “two dismissal rule.”

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: This case and one other...

> does ‘dismissal with prejudice’ mean the
> plaintiff has to pay legal fees, or can in
> turn be sued for something?

No, it just means the lawsuit can never be refiled. The court is saying it will be prejudiced against any further attempts to file the claim in the future.

When a court dismisses a suit WITHOUT prejudice it is basically saying, “You have failed to provide enough evidence to make a prima facie case here but if you come up with more or better evidence in the future, you can re-file and be heard.”

Mike C. says:

Re: Re: Re: This case and one other...

I believe you’re mostly right. Dismissal WITH prejudice means the suit cannot be filed again. It also means the defendant is technically the winner on the merits of the case and CAN APPLY for costs/fees. There’s no guarantee the costs will be paid and if paid, no guarantee that ALL costs will be paid.

Still… at least you have a chance. I believe the best example is the case in Oklahoma that the RIAA actually dismissed with prejudice and then got hit for costs. They fought the costs and the final award was somewhere around 60%-70% of the initial request.

Search. Engines WEB (user link) says:

Free Digital Music

All of this, because some people do not want to pay for their digital music.

Everyone is a victim in this case. The Artists who lose royalties, the students who’s rights are violated and an already overburdened court system.

And to think – just two decades ago – students were perfectly happy with copying cassette tapes and taping off the radio

matt says:

Re: Free Digital Music

Please, the artists set themselves up for this garbage by signing on with these record labels. As prince has discovered (even though he screwed up a bit with the whole no internet distribution nooooesss), going solo can make more money if you are talented.

FYI, radio is dumbed down quality “because of piracy”, its not until that law was released that the “HD radio” came around, which is still garbage.

The only victim is the consumer. Who wants to deal with this crap? HD DVD vs Bluray battle, companies saying they refuse to allow certain morality of their media?

Mike C. says:

Re: Free Digital Music

You must be new here….

People download music because it’s that version that can be played on their computer, transferred to their MP3 player and burned to a CD to play in their car. They are also only downloading the 1 or 2 good songs on a CD of 14+ songs.

People are looking for good music with the flexibility to play it where they want. People are more than willing to pay for that (over 1 BILLION iTunes tracks sold anyone?).

As for cassette tapes, they were happy with that because that was convenient and easy. When CD’s came along, they became MORE convenient (e.g. skipping tracks). Now that MP3’s are here to stay, those are the preferred format. Give the consumers a quality product in a convenient form and they will gladly pay you for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Free Digital Music

“All of this, because some people do not want to pay for their digital music.”

– Most people would pay for the music if it could be used wherever they want without having to REPURCHASE it. The record labels are merely using DRM as a means to force you to buy the same good over and over, under the false pretense of ‘anti-piracy’, because it worked really well for them when CDs came out.

“Everyone is a victim in this case. The Artists who lose royalties, the students who’s rights are violated and an already overburdened court system.”

– The Artists get a very very minuscule amount of the money generated from Album sales. Granted, this can still easily be a few million but the majority of money Artists make is from other means. Tours (which generate much of their revenue and advertise for new albums), clothing lines, (cologne, purses, shoes, full business suits) and other products that they can use to turn their image into a Brand.

– The RIAA represents the recording industry, not the music industry. It is highly likely that the Artist doesn’t receive ANY money from the lawsuits though this is one facet I haven’t checked to verify, just merely a suspicion.

– Yes, the RIAA wants to violate the rights of the customer base of the people it represents. They’re looking at the judiciary as a system to get what they want, rather than to get compensation. In the US looking at the contents of an E-Mail you are not privy to would be considered a violation of rights of privacy. Essentially, they’re doing the same thing. Only difference is if they were a legal body they could claim probable cause. But they AREN’T a federal/state level government agency. They AREN’T ALLOWED to do that, but they have been. If a UPS package was vibrating, yes the bomb squad could detonate it or w.e to get rid of it. Same merits, if someone opens a package at UPS they get fired because its illegal for them to do so.

– A good portion of the lawsuits filed by the RIAA are not even against a party that is guilty of the crime. You have cases of people without computers being sued for downloading music, cases of mistaken identity because someone read an IP address wrong, and even worse given the ease of which an IP address is to ‘spoof’ you still aren’t guaranteed that you nabbed the right person, but they don’t bother getting any other evidence.

The RIAA’s behavior shows utter disrespect for the spirit and letter of the law. The fact that its taken years for an Attorney General to get the backbone to do his/her job is more than a little upsetting. I’m glad Oregon’s is doing his, and standing up for his state (remember, in America the People are given sovereignty and since the Attorney General represents the State he is well within his power to provide defense for ‘the People of Oregon’, not just the government agencies/administration when someone sues them) and I hope people rally around this.

The RIAA’s tactics are immoral and illegal. At this point there is (or very nearly) enough evidence of their behavior to justify racketeering charges in some states. Furthermore, the punishments they have been getting exacted on the defendants violate the defendant’s rights (freedom from excessive bails, freedom from excessive fines, no punishment greater than the crime, etc. Check your State/Federal constitutions).

If I walked into a store and shoplifted a physical copy of a CD I’d be better off than if I downloaded the same CD, possibly and probably deleting 98% of the tracks, and then got sued by the RIAA.

The reason for this is because the RIAA points out vaguely how P2P technology works and so you are not getting punished for the CD you downloaded, but also for the mass reproduction and distribution of that selfsame CD! Why is this a problem? Most of these people are ignorant of the way the P2P program works otherwise they would have TURNED OFF the uploading of the content (called “leaching”) and SHOULD be able to get the more appropriate punishment (misdemeanor if even that) without worry of the excess.

The RIAA should be having to prove INTENT to share. Because the programs do it by default, a defendant in an RIAA case may not be aware of the uploading. Instead, the RIAA either gets their large settlements, or even larger winnings thanks to an incompetent judge (how I WISH/HOPE that qualified as bad standing) and ignorant juries.

And no, you can’t say “well if they downloaded it, they’d obviously feel the need/desire to upload it”. For one, most people are selfish and don’t care if someone else downloads it. Once they get what they want they’ll probably uninstall the program and never run it again. For two, that’s the top of a slippery slope you can not recover from. By same extension that is as if saying “well they stole that car/broke into that house/did drugs/some other crime, so they don’t respect the law, so they could murder someone, so we’ll give them the death penalty like they did murder someone”.

A bit extreame but you get the point. It’d open a nasty doorway no self respecting citizen of ANY country would want open.

So in short, being punished for downloading: Fine by me, you get what you sow. Being punished for imagined crimes at exponential punishment levels: Get the hell out of my country if your going to abuse the laws like that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Free Digital Music

well that is the ideal way our country is supposed to be ran, but face, it is not about ‘we the people’ its about ‘we the government’ and the fact is RIAA gives alot of money to ‘we the government’ and in turn has been allowed this, do you see any of our politicians bringing this up? no, of course not, infact i belive that the democratic something or another was funded by these criminals. Its nice to see somone in the goverment accutuly looking at this and going hey, wait a minute, so there is still some hope for our country…BUT ITS ONLY ONE PERSON!!!!! RIAA has destroyed the lives of poor people with children, college students trying to make our future…what do you mean little evidence of racketeering, these fuckers are criminals and only one person in our government has the balls to do anything and that is because it is not about the people anymore, we are not in charge its all a illusion, America wake up because if this next election doesnt change anything we are going to half to force a change, unless of course they take our guns away, wich is a very real possibility now.

windwolf says:


Some one , Somewhere, paid for the music on the net. If i bought a cd, and asked friends to come over and listen to my new cd, I am supposing i have to charge them royleties so they can listen legaly. Yeah right. Thats what is happening here. We used to share cassetts, but there was no trail of share untill the internet. Someone has to step up and stop the maddness.

Sweet Daddy says:

Re: Honestly ..

I sent two E-mails to Mike Cox, Attorney General for Michigan, as well as a phone call to his office and the only thing that I have gotten back is nothing. The Attorney General has told others that they do not get involved in colleges and universities legal actions, but yet Michigan’s AG was quick to file a brief on behalf of the U of M when they were accused of racial discrimination earlier in 2007. They need to step up and do the job.

I still say says:

We need to start burning down the house..

Don’t download because little Johnny can’t get his braces.. (remember that tv spot?) My asss.. Someone needs to string these RIAA bastards up by the knuts and light the fires……. Just like when Bush stoled the election the first time ( here we go) and no one had the knuts to do anything about it.. Such a sad state we have made it to.. Time to get a boat and become a citizen of the world..

They need to put expiration dates on any new “laws” that come to be.. Next thing you know, “they” will be saying we can’t go to Mars for some reason..

terry says:

open murder conspiracy in portland oregon

my name is terry wagar I’m e-mailing you because I’m at a loss as to what i can do about a very dangerous murder conspiracy against me and others, for over 2 and a half years I’ve suffered from this conspiracy, it began { as best as i can tell,} when my wife joan wagar started having a affair with a co-worker named eric carlson, there affair started around April of 2005, i had reason to believe they was trying to kill me back then but i wasnt sure at the time, I’m very very sure now! there is a very interesting fact about eric that joan tried to hide from me and my daughters, he is almost identical in appearance to me! my wife nicknamed him doubleclick, when i learned of my wifes affair i also learned of that nickname and asked joan “why do you call him doubleclick ” she said ” oh thats what everyone calls him at work,” ever since my wife joan insisted her affair was over, it never ended, year and a half all kinds of odd things was happening i started getting very sick from time to time, i suspected she was poisoning me but was not sure at the time, i am now! in early 2006 around Feb or mar i went to the hospital asking to be tested because my wife was talking in her sleep saying she was poisoning me, i went to OHSU and signed in, they informed me that its unlikely that they will find anything but they took my vitals and i waited in the lobby, i waited 4 and a half hours and they never called me back to be checked, and no officers came to question me about my concerns. so i went home, i could tell no one there cared. this is just too long to explain so i will try to get to the point, on march 26th of 2007 at 5;55 am i put a audio recorder in joans purse because i heard my wife whispering to someone in her bedroom, { i slept on the couch, our marriage was falling apart.} i heard what sounded like a guy whispering back, so i put my recorder in her purse expecting to finally catch joan in the act and laid down pretending to still be asleep, ten minutes later my wife left for work, what i caught on there was a lot more than i expected, i caught a murder conspiracy! i didn’t know it right away because the audio i got is like 17 hours long, when i heard on it she was with eric two days later i left her and moved in with my oldest daughter shawna, i spent the next week and a half on and off trying to listen to this audio, it didn’t take long to figure out i was being framed for something by my wife and her lover, and they had help! lots of help, i learned i was under INVESTIGATION BY THE FBI and these INVESTIGATORS were good friends with joan and eric and they all met up at our apartment that morning in joans bedroom, they climbed in through joans window, i learned they were there to frame me as a pedophile, eric was posing for pictures in kayles bedroom,{ our youngest daughter,} while the INVESTIGATOR named ERICA { last name unknown to me.} was taking pictures of him while kayle slept, after words eric climbed out joans window and waited for her in her car, and a john ray climbed in and helped joan put something on our computer and then he left the way he came, joan finished getting ready for work and picked up her purse and left for work, once outside joan was talking to these INVESTIGATORS and discussing what they was going to do next, joan and eric on the ride to work was discussing what they was going to say to other employees when they get there, joan mentioned to eric {you woke her up} referring to kayle, and then they discussed breaking into shawnas apartment with ERICA, after lots of listening to that audio i learned joan eric and erica planed to rape shawna and murder her and then frame me for this! they planed to use a signed check of mine to purchase a gun in my name, remember eric looks almost like me in appearance, eric was going to use my ID and one of my checks to purchase a gun, joan was instructed to collect my sperm, eric was going to rape and murder shawna, erica was going to plant my sperm on shawnas body along with other false evidence, joan and eric met up at walmart along with vickie {joans sister} and the investigators and was waiting at the front door for someone to let them in, other employees showed up and the investigators pretended to have caught me in the act, [ referring to eric in kayles room,} and saying they got me on fotogenic, once inside the investigators proceed to put on a phony show of investigating while in the presence of walmart employees while joan and eric and vickie are trashing my name to there fellow employees turning everyone there against me, joan was even addmeting eric has been impersonating me for other crimes, after hours and hours of the investigators claiming in walmart employees presence that i was doing wrong things and joan and eric telling countless lies about me the investigators gave permission to all of them to pedifie me, joan started printing out flyers about me at walmart,{ unknown to me whether they used them or not.} i learned they had me under a illegal video survealence the hole apartment had hidden cameras and the investigators asked there supervisor to take 6;30 off of joan because john ray broke in there, when i left joan and moved in to my daughters apartment about 3 or 4 days later the FBI took over the apartment above shawna and they proceeded to spread rumors in shawnas neiborhood, and was spying on us as well with hidden cameras, they didn’t know at that time that i knew they were up there, the ceiling in shawnas apartment has no insulation so i could hear them up there talking about editing my audio and discussing ways of killing me, i knew because they are members of authorities i couldn’t get help calling 911, not to mention i was very worried for my family’s safety i was afraid to tell shawna about this at this time for her own safety so i just continued to listen to the audio trying to learn as much about this as i could but for my own safety i pretended to not understand it well, about a week and a half after i left joan on April 7th donna { joans mother who also lives at shawnas apartment complex, } asked shawna if i could go to her apartment to fix her computer she said it wouldn’t work on the Internet, i didn’t want to but shawna insisted so i went over to Donna with shawna and tried to fix her computer, donna offered me a cup of coffee and i accepted, she brought me a cup of coffee and what looked like a mayonaze lid filled with sugar, i put 2 or 3 spoonfuls in my coffee and was sipping while working on her computer, finally i told donna i cant fix it and that maybe she should get a new computer, i drank up my coffee and me and shawna left to go back to shawnas apartment which isn’t far away, by the time i got to the stairs i started not feeling well, once inside i really started feeling very sick and needed to lie down, fifteen minutes later my head felt like there was acid eating away at me from the inside, not thinking clearly i called Joanne asking if she could take me to the hospital, during the drive there joan was looking at her rear view mirror a whole hell of a lot, which gave me the suspicion we were being followed, keep in mind neither joan nor those investigators knew yet that i knew about them, once at the hospital i was so fucked up and hurting in my head that i needed a wheelchair, once i was admitted and taken back to a emergency room i waited and waited and no doctor ever came and examed me, one person came in acting like a doctor but never examed me, he only wanted to put his finger in my ass supposed for a colon test of some sort, but he never asked me what was wrong, never examed my eyes or mouth or ears, never took my vitals, never took a urine sample, i was holding my head in severe pain and all he wanted was to put his finger in my ass, once done he left, a half hour later a male nurse brought me a bottle of something to drink saying i need to drink the whole bottle and then i was going to some room to have a kind of ex ray of some sort, never once did a doctor examine me nor did a doctor come in to explain what was going on, after i drank the bottle the nurse took me to a room for this ex ray then brought me back to my room, about a hour later a doctor came and explained that the only thing they could find wrong was there was a little bleeding in my colon and he recommended i follow up with a colanoscopie, needless to say i was totally shocked at his blatant attempt to ignore the fact that NOBODY EXAMED ME!!! i knew at this time that those investigators had somehow interfered with my medical treatment and done something to prevent a doctor from examine me! i went back to shawnas apartment still in pain in my head, it felt like acid burning in there, and to this day i am still in pain in my head over this, about a week after this i stopped pretending to know nothing about this crap with joan and the investigators and looked up at the ceiling where they were and called them a bunch of criminals and murderers and that i was completely discuss ted with them, shawna was home at this time but didn’t understand why i did that, an hour later shawna left for work and after that all hell broke loose up stairs, a whole lot of people in suits was going up there and there was some yelling and they seemed very angry, a lot of activity going on for the rest of that day in that apartment above shawnas place, at around 8 or 9 that nite several people went up there talking very loudly acting like they were looking at something and said very loudly { yep thats a pedophile alright.} and then him and a few others from that apartment ran out of there yelling at the top of there lungs through out the hole neaborhood calling me a pedophile, from this point on they was pedifieing me openly in shawnas neaborhood, just flat out calling me a pedophile to others in that neaborhood, this hole time i spent most of my time on the floor in pain from donna poisoning me, i flat out knew i could get no help calling 911 since these were people in authority doing this to me, they stopped doing this when shawna was around they didn’t want her to know about it, i told shawna about this but she didn’t believe me because she never witnessed any of it and no one at work mentioned this to her, she believed donna poisoned me but she never understood any of the other stuff, the investigators were quite until shawna left for work and was loud when she left, they would say things like { were going to FUCK you over now you son of a bitch!} i remained in the apartment for about a week after donna poisoned me unable to walk much because of the pain, around this time eric showed up downstairs talking very loudly up at the investigators, { the investigators were on the third floor on the patio and eric was on the ground talking up at them, shawnas app is in between them} and eric was loudly calling me a pedophile and giving my description to others who were out there trying to piss me off, i didn’t go out to confront him because i knew they wanted to shoot me, before he left he yelled up at the investigators telling them to make sure i drink my coffee, keep in mind they weren’t hiding any of there murder attempts from me, after all eric and joan had permission from the authorities to murder me so they just don’t give a shit, i have reason to believe the authorities pressed charges against me and gave my disscription on tv because where ever i go people seem to recognize me, people in shawnas old neaborhood would point over at me and say “there’s the guy they pedified.” ever since i have been under attack behind my back and in front of my face, i learned from that audio that they pedified me in prison so if i get arrested for anything i will likely be murdered in prison, after they poisoned me at some point they broke into shawnas app and replaced my audio with a differant version hoping i would think its the original, i didn’t fall for that,there version is nothing but a death threat against me and shawna and there demonstrating how they plan to frame my hole family and give them the blame for me being poisoned and pedofied, and at the end of it there flat out frameing me as a pedophile using my voice and kayles, although they made the mistake of admitting somewhere in the middle of the audio that there using kayles voice, on there replacement audio they threatened to pedofie shawna if i say something about this, well they already did that, what it amounts to is they tried to kill me and shawna, i caught them in the act , and then they threatened to kill us if i talk about it and then they tried to kill us again, so it does me no good to heed there threats, as far as I’m concerned they murdered me already and there in the process of murdering shawna right now, there have been too many attempts to tell them all on this, let me suffice it to say the other nite joan and a couple of her friends came here to murder me and that plan failed, but there not scared about it because they have some people in authority covering there asses, i write this on November 13th 2007 and at this very moment this apartment is under a illegal video survielence by the FBI, and they allow others over the Internet to spy on us and make fun of us, chances are there going to murder me for sending this because they made it clear there going to cover there asses, but thats why i saved the best for last.
p.s. the address where this ocured is 8800 se causey loop n-205 clackamas OR 97086, the whole neaberhood there has heard of this and the authorities used a warrant to kick out the tenants above shawnas apartment

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