RIAA Thinking Of Backing Righthaven

from the can-they-get-any-more-out-of-touch dept

Every time you think the RIAA can't make things even worse for itself... it does. The latest is that it's apparently considering helping Righthaven out. Righthaven! The company that has become the total laughingstock of the copyright world, that is on the losing end of a bunch of cases and is desperately trying to get out of paying all the attorneys' fees awards that are being given to the companies, individuals and sites it has sued. Of course, as some have noted, the good thing about Righthaven is that it has tee'd up a bunch of rulings that will be useful precedents in other copyright cases.

And that's what has the RIAA scared.

In particular, the RIAA is freaked out about a couple of rulings saying that even reposting full articles can be fair use. That has the RIAA shaking, because the big labels hate the concept of fair use. The major labels are still upset at the idea that the Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose ruling means that commercial use can still be fair use. And they love the the Bridgeport Music ruling that wasn't about fair use, per se, but did take away de minimis use, saying "Get a license or do not sample."

So, now the RIAA is realizing that Righthaven -- and in particular the Hoehn ruling, which lays out in great detail why the full use of a copyrighted offering can still be fair use -- is suddenly an important battlefront in its war on fair use. Just having the line from the case "wholesale copying does not preclude a finding of fair use" freaks the RIAA out.

So we've now seen that RIAA's chief apologist litigator is suggesting that perhaps the RIAA is going to get involved in the fight (from an interview behind a paywall, so we'll just quote her words) concerning the fair use finding in Hoehn:
"From our perspective, that just can't stand."
That certainly suggests that the RIAA is thinking of inserting itself into the appeals process here. Probably with an amicus brief, but it makes you wonder if they won't also consider figuring out ways to fund Righthaven to keep it afloat. There are already quite reasonable concerns that the company is effectively insolvent due to all the legal fees it owes to those it has sued. Either way, when you're at the level where you're joining forces with Righthaven, you've really hit the bottom of the barrel.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    That's pretty noxious. The RIAA is practically admitting that it's committed to abusing the public for its own gain. There's plenty of case law on fair use cutting both ways, and while the Hoehn ruling is an excellent one in favor of the principle, it's not like letting it stand means open season on sampling and unlicensed reproduction. There are plenty of countervailing interests that will crop up in other fair use analyses, especially in a more entertainment-oriented context [music rather than news articles]. If they really jump in to help out a company as cynically abusive and predatory as Righthaven simply because they can't stand to let just the other side of the aisle have a much-deserved win, they're just as despicable as the plaintiffs in that case.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

      Re:

      Fucking RIAA is always up to no good.I would love to see this Organization die before my death.That is one of my greatest wishes.I will feel no sympathy for these guys if anything bad were to happen to them or anyone who has the stupidity to work for them.These are the schmucks who are also one of the main players behind SOPA, etc.
      Suck my dog's Ass RIAA !!!

       

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      Andy, Nov 21st, 2011 @ 3:42am

      Re: Fair Use

      Just a quick question,

      If i download a movie so that i can use part of that movie to create a youtube video of specific clips in a legal fair use way(say as a review,or humorous comment) would it make downloading the movie in the first place legal.

       

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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    That is the funniest thing I've read all week. Thank you for that glorious belly laugh I just had. This is priceless.

    This should literally be printed out and framed with a placard reading "This is some funny shit" beneath it.

     

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      Atkray (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      I agree when I saw the title I though for sure it was another one of Tim's satirical pieces. I saw Mike as the author and was like O_O

      Great piece for a Friday afternoon.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    I still think Righthaven was intentional

    Every time I read about Righthaven, it conjures up a conspiracy theory that perhaps someone had created them intentionally to fail, test some of the gray areas of copyright law in court, and set precedent so that there are clearer lines.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    !!!

    from an interview behind a paywall, so we'll just quote her words
    IINNNFRINGGGEMENT!!!

    - The RIAA

     

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    MrWilson, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    I hope they do keep Righthaven going. The more cases that Righthaven screws up, the more well established fair use defenses will get in case law.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    They Need A Monopoly On Lawsuits

    So the basic problem is that Righthaven has gone off on its own tangent without consultation with the RIAA, filing cases that lead to verdicts that do not make the RIAA happy at all.

    So perhaps what the RIAA wants is monopoly control over the legal strategy, so that nobody can file these sorts of lawsuits without its agreement, so that Big Content can offer a united front with minimal chance of having unfavourable verdicts passed against it.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Can someone help me out here? I thought that appeals only dealt with evidence in the actual trial. How can the RIAA just insert themselves into a case that has nothing to do with them?

     

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      DandonTRJ (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      Probably just means amicus briefs or giving Righthaven financial/legal assistance on appeal. Still grotesque.

       

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      fogbugzd (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      >>How can the RIAA just insert themselves into a case that has nothing to do with them?

      As the article notes, there are at least a couple of ways. One is to file an amicus (or "friend of the court") brief. It isn't unusual to have amicus briefs filed in high-profile cases.

      The RIAA could also help fund Righthaven, although that might be tricky. Also, the RIAA is no longer has limitless resources itself. As you might have heard, CD sales are down just a bit, and the labels haven't really figured out how to replace the revenue. Apple has been trying to show them one way, but the labels have resisted because the execs are fascinated by shiny round objects. A lot of the funding for IP FUD has been coming from the MPAA which seems to be flush with money in spite of infringement. However, I don't think the Hoehn ruling threatens the MPAA as much as it does the RIAA.

       

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        Jay (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re:

        Let's not forget the overinflated salaries of those at the top.

         

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 5:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Not all amicus briefs have to be accepted by the court nor do they have to be considered at the end of the day. Most aren't.

        What's ironic here is that the guys that head the *AAs are boomers, the same ones that made them in the first place. Recorded music and medium and high end sound systems were devoured by us Boomers to listen to that awful Jungle Music, modern Country music and a host of other things. We're also the same ones who mixed our LP's to listen to in the car or play at parties or dances which didn't seem to hurt album sales. I'm sure the *AA heads did the same thing. Cassettes were wonderful things even if they had a limited life expectancy.

        We're also the ones who flocked to movies when they were affordable and didn't resemble or copy television shows.

        Keep in mind the RIAA was pretty small spuds before we boomers came along and, while the MPAA (Studios by another name) were powerful in one area but not really anywhere else.

        Now it's our kids who won't pay for shiny plastic disks filled with crap for one good song and, funnily enough, nor will their parents. Welcome to the world on the MP3, sonic junk but still better than what they studios have to offer.

        I suspect that at the end of the day what's scaring them both is the rise of do-it-yourself recording (wide spread now) and the same for "movies" (ramping up) now that the equipment and software allows just about anyone to do it at a comparatively inexpensive price.

        First it's piracy, then it's independent bands, then guys and gals making their own films...who knows where it will end?

        These guys may be sleeping under tarps in parks soon, ya'know, bottle of cheap vodka in hand passing stories about the good old days when they could afford great booze and better drugs!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      How can the RIAA just insert themselves into a case that has nothing to do with them?

      When you control the system, you can do whatever you want, and the RIAA spends an enormous amount of time, effort, and money increasing and maintaining their control over the system. The actual music industry is more of a side business for them.

       

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      hmm (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

      Re:

      They insert themselves using that famous wedge known as "a fucking big pile of cold hard cash"....that can squeeze its way into any case.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    RIAA Guidance?

    The RIAA is going to give the judge guidance so they can further guide Righthaven in the proper direction to win these cases.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    That has the RIAA shaking, because the big labels hate the concept of fair use. The major labels are still upset at the idea that the Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose ruling means that commercial use can still be fair use. And they love the the Bridgeport Music ruling that wasn't about fair use, per se, but did take away de minimis use, saying "Get a license or do not sample."

    This paragraph is a complete lie. 2 Live Crew was a major label artist when it released "Oh Pretty Woman", so if the major labels hated fair use, why would they defend it in front of the Supreme Court?

    And from Wikipedia: "The most recent significant copyright case involving sampling held that even sampling three notes could constitute copyright infringement. Bridgeport Music Inc. v. Dimension Films, 410 F.3d 792 (6th Cir. 2005). This case was roundly criticised by many in the music industry, including the RIAA."

    You can criticise the RIAA and major label's efforts to enforce verbatim copyright infringement, but the idea that they "hate fair use" has absolutely no basis in fact.

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

      Re: You can criticise the RIAA and major label's efforts to enforce verbatim copyright infringement, but the idea that they "hate fair use" has absolutely no basis in fact.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      doublethink much?

       

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      The eejit (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      See, the problem is that the RIAA only backed fair use when it was useful to the people it represents.

       

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      jhn1, Nov 19th, 2011 @ 9:10am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

      No, you miss the fact that some music is beyond copyright (too old) there are mathmatically only so many three note combinations, and three note elements could be found in that old music to void most all RIAA copyrights.

       

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      hmm (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

      Re:

      RIAA loves their OWN definition of fair use "we can use anything of yours because it belongs to US, fuck your human/legal/civil rights and if you try to use anything of 'OURS' we will take great delight in maliciously screwing you over via the legal system until you are bankrupt and your wife/husband/granny has to give handjobs behind the local mcdonalds for sustenance."

       

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Nov 20th, 2011 @ 8:44am

      Re:

      What a load of shit! They hate fair use, and have repeatedly demonstrated that. Their version of fair use is paying again and again for the same content just because of a hardware platform change, such as going from vinyl to cassette, or CD to digital download. Screw the RIAA, the MPAA, their mothers, children and pets. I hope they die and burn in hell. Eventually, they all will.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    This is an epic twist in the Righthaven movie script. Who would have thought them getting involved in the righthaven moneypit.

    If only mafiaa could join in too.

    Lol

     

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    ken (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    If the RIAA does this I have bought my last song from any RIAA member.

     

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    AR (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    I hope they both go down together

    Like rats clinging together on a floating barrel after the ship has sunk. I can only hope!!!

     

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    Nigel (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    wait, what now?

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/02/8948.ars

    RIAA hates fair use, FACT! They have been bitching about it for years.

    Sort of ironic that I compared the MPAA to Righthaven last night on the not so Creative America facebook page. Just better funded lol...

    Tip of the hat to Mike for chiming in as well. Very concise post about Korea.

    It comes as no surprise to me that they have zero facts or metrics to back up their position and have now resorted to pleading with their base to help support their futile cause. And I quote....

    "Creative America has over 11,300 Facebook fans, yet the recent debate on our wall has been dominated by a handful of fans who nonetheless oppose the legislation we support. This legislation will protect creative content and jobs in the entertainment industry. This is an important conversation worth having so, if you think protecting creative content matters start responding to those who disagree. Fight back by continuing a civil discourse. And please, everyone, we don't need endless loops of discussion on the same points, repetitive arguments, or impugning of wisdom, knowledge, motive or perspicacity."

    Unfortunately, they have nothing to say rooted in fact or logic but I did spend a few amusing hours going rounds with Attorney P.Michael Nugent. Who, incidentally, is the Executive Director of Creative America and as one would guess, on the MPAA payroll. Pretty sad when your base leaves you hanging to fend for yourself.

    All your bases belong to us :)



    Nigel

     

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    David Evans (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Yes please.

    I took one look at the title, and thought "That's what I want for Christmas!"

    Though they could potentially turn it around, which would be bad, it would be fun, and I think more likely, to see them get stuck in Righthaven's tar pit.

     

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    Ed C., Nov 18th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Righthaven...the new SCO!

    Even though it turned out that they didn't actually have any IP, people still will spend many years, and millions, in vain to keep the sinking ship afloat.

     

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    Al Roberts aka. me (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    I do hope the RIAA pays Righthavens victims the money they were awarded. Maybe then judges would see the true reasons behind these lawsuits. Then this will just loose RIAA Credibility.

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

    The stupid! It burns!

     

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      Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 7:42pm

      Re:

      It's like... the RIAA found Righthaven at the bottom of a hole, and are throwing them another shovel and offering to haul the dirt away.

       

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    Michael Chaney, Nov 19th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    this is good

    Honestly, I want people to see Righthaven and the RIAA together. This will harm the RIAA's image even more. I can't believe they don't understand that.

     

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    Bob, Nov 19th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Down with intellectual property

    Pretty soon, I'll be able to use Techdirt's logo on my own website! "Fair use", baby!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

      Re: Down with intellectual property

      You have one, Bob? Maybe you should've let us see it months ago; you might actually retain some "Big Search" credibility there.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Down with intellectual property

      I'm pretty sure Mike would encourage that.

       

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    bugmenot (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Hey, Mike...

    Why did you bother to copyright this?

    I guess you wouldn't also mind sharing some of Floor64's "insight platforms" for free, eh?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Hey, Mike...

      Uh...

      Because copyright in the USA is automatic? I highly doubt that he's registered them. If you want to use Mike's articles, feel free, you have his explicit permission (crediting him is optional as well, but considered common courtesy).

      And I recommend taking a look at the Insight Community link, which is, in fact, free.

      I know you were trying to make some point, but you failed, badly.

       

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    hmm (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 6:41pm

    Well

    What would be HILARIOUSLY funny would be if the RIAA inserted itself into the case, then the defendants were able to sue the RIAA (as an interested party) for MILLIONS......

    I would literally piss myself laughing and have to change my pants.

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Nov 21st, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Something about the use of the word "inserted" is just so true

    Kind of like John C. Holmes inserted himself into his co-stars.

     

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