How Long Does The RIAA Get To Abuse The Legal System?

from the keep-on-suing dept

The RIAA has dropped its file-sharing suit against an Oklahoma mother who had no connection to any such activities, beyond paying an ISP bill. Good news -- sort of. The case was dropped after the woman filed a claim to have it dismissed, then faced with the prospect their case would be thrown out, the RIAA asked -- and was allowed -- to withdraw it on their own instead. This is basically the same scenario as that of a Michigan woman who the group sued because her kids were alleged to be file-sharing, though in this most recent case, the RIAA will have to pay the defandant's legal bills. Several questions are raised here, but first and foremost is why does the RIAA simply get to drop these lawsuits with little or no repercussions when it becomes clear they're bogus? Again and again, the RIAA has filed these spurious lawsuits, simply bullying people and employing dubious tactics. And despite not ever actually winning a fully litigated case, instead just trying to steamroll people into paying ridiculous damages, the RIAA rolls on. At some point, shouldn't somebody put a stop to these bogus suits, and force the RIAA to own up to the consequences of using the legal system as its personal sandbox? The costs of these individual cases mean nothing to the RIAA, even if they have to pay a defendant's legal bills, but the costs to the people they're suing -- who are often innocent, but are bullied into settling -- are significant. Why are they allowed to continue? Keep in mind, too, that the lawsuits have done nothing to stop file-sharing.

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  1. icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 14 Jul 2006 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Post 17

    Buc, you make a valid point. That slight impairment might seriously impact a person's ability to provide for their family based on whatever their profession was before. And that family could face some significant changes.

    But let's look at this realistically here...

    "How much is being able to play airplane with your child or jog with your dog to you?"

    That's the kind of mentality that makes the lawyers drool. How is $5mil (number from thin air here), of which you only get a small portion, going to make up for it? Are you going to use that money to hire a person to play airplane with your kid? Are you going to pay someone to jog with your dog then tell you about it? BS. That large chunk of pain & suffering money is not used to ease P&S, it's used to make people rich. And if being rich is a good trade-off for playing with your kids... yeah. Find me one person who'd agree to that. I agree that a price or a limit cannot be placed on those kinds of things. I will also say that the answer is not "let's rub it with money until it doesn't hurt anymore".

    I see where you're coming from on the idea of limits. At first blush, having someone tell you "your pain and suffering is limited to $XX" can sound pretty insulting. "How dare you tell me how much I'm suffering!".

    No. What I'm talking about is limiting the amount of money you get for that.

    Loss of income and loss of earning capacity is different. That can be qualified and quantified. You can sit down a math that out.

    And above all, what about society on a whole. We've seen that uncapped P&S awards have driven up healthcare costs to the point that a good majority of our citizens cannot even afford to go to a doctor. We've seen that the current system is flawed. We've seen that the root of that flaw is uncontrolled litigation and P&S awards. Why not change that.

    You say it shouldn't be changed, but I say it must change. Otherwise, nothing will ever be fixed.

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