Whatever You Think Of The RIAA's Lawsuit Over Aurous, Shouldn't We Be Concerned That It's Pretending SOPA Is Law?
from the seems-like-an-issue-that-ought-to-be-looked-at dept
So given all that, I fully expect that Sampson will lose the lawsuit (and lose easily) if the case gets that far. However, that doesn't mean that parts of the lawsuit aren't concerning. Of particular concern is what the RIAA is asking for in the lawsuit -- and what the judge appears to have granted. Specifically, in the lawsuit itself, the RIAA doesn't just ask for Aurous to be shut down, but also asks for all sorts of third parties to be restrained as well. Here's the list of things the RIAA asks the court to issue an order for:
(A) enjoining Defendants and all third parties with notice of the Order, including any Web hosts, domain name registrars, domain name registries, or their administrators, from facilitating access to any or all domain names, URLs, and websites (including, without limitation, www.aurous.me) through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights;This is problematic, to say the least. Remember, SOPA did not become law, and yet the main part of the original SOPA bill was to create just this sort of remedy, whereby copyright providers could get a court order to get third party companies to be barred from doing any business at all with a site deemed a "pirate" site. Yet, SOPA did not become the law and the RIAA is just pretending it is law in asking the court to block all of those third parties from providing any services to the site.
(B) requiring domain name registries and/or registrars holding or listing Defendants’ domain names and websites (including, without limitation, www.aurous.me) through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights to: (a) disable www.aurous.me and any related domain names specified by Plaintiffs through a registry hold or otherwise, and to make them inactive and non-transferable, and (b) transfer Defendants’ domain names to a registrar to be appointed by Plaintiffs to re-register the domain names in Plaintiffs’ names and under Plaintiffs’ ownership;
(C) enjoining all third parties with notice of the Order from maintaining, operating, or providing advertising, financial, technical, or other support to Defendants and any other domain names, URLs or websites through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights, including without limitation www.aurous.me; and
(D) enjoining all third-party distributors of applications, toolbars, or similar software with notice of the Order from distributing any applications, toolbars, or similar software applications that interoperate with any domain names, URLs or websites through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights, including without limitation www.aurous.me.
The RIAA also submitted a desired temporary restraining order, which the judge effectively rubber stamped, granting everything the RIAA asked for -- but rejecting the RIAA's request not to have to put up a bond over this. Instead, the judge ordered the RIAA to put up a tiny $5,000 bond in case a party was "wrongfully" enjoined. That temporary restraining order seems pretty broad as well:
... Defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and all persons who in active concert or participation with each or any of them, or who are aiding and abetting their conduct, are hereby RESTRAINED and ENJOINED until further Order of this Court from infringing, or causing, enabling, facilitating, encouraging, promoting and inducing or participating in the infringement of, any of Plaintiffs’ copyrights protected by the Copyright Act, whether now in existence or hereafter created...Of course, one might question what qualifies as "all persons who are in active concert or participation," but it still has the potential to be overbroad, and to pull in all sorts of third parties who are doing nothing more than providing basic services.
Again, none of this is to say that Aurous is legal or shouldn't be facing this lawsuit. But pulling in third parties here was exactly the kind of thing that Congress chose not to do when it did not pass SOPA, in the wake of overwhelming public sentiment against allowing these sorts of remedies.
So why is the RIAA simply acting like it got what it wanted with SOPA and asking the court to proceed accordingly?