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The RIAA Loses Another File-Sharing Case
PassablyNews.com ^ | 4/10/07

Posted on 04/11/2007 8:43:14 AM PDT by LibWhacker

A federal judge has dismissed Elektra v. Santangelo with prejudice, leaving the door open for defendant Patti Santangelo to recover attorneys' fees from the RIAA. Last month, Judge Colleen McMahon denied the RIAA's motion to dismiss the case without prejudice, ruling that the case should either be dismissed with prejudice or proceed to trial so that Santangelo could have a shot at being exonerated of the RIAA's accusations of file-sharing and copyright infringement.

A stipulation of discontinuance with prejudice was entered yesterday by both the plaintiffs and defendants, which means that Santangelo is the prevailing party and therefore eligible to file a motion to recover attorneys' fees. It is anticipated that the RIAA will strongly oppose any such award of fees, as they have in Capitol v. Foster.

Patti Santangelo was targeted by the RIAA in 2005 as part of its crackdown against suspected file-sharing. The divorced mother of five denied engaging in file sharing herself or having any knowledge of its happening in her house. The RIAA subsequently sued two of her children, Michelle and Robert, who were 15 and 11 years old when the alleged infringement took place.

The dismissal strikes another blow against the music industry's doctrine of secondary infringement. It's an argument that the record labels have consistently made in their lawsuits: if a defendant has "a reason to know" of any infringing activity, he or she should therefore be liable for any and all infringement—even if the defendant was not aware of it. So far, the courts have not found the argument convincing, which could lead to still more dismissals. Ruling in Capitol v. Foster, Judge Lee R. West called the record labels' secondary infringement claims "untested and marginal."

This is a scenario the RIAA has been anxious to avoid. Although the record industry has been eager to file lawsuits, it never wants to see the defendants exonerated, even when it's a clear case of mistaken identity. Instead, it would rather just quietly drop unwinnable cases and walk away, leaving defendants to deal with the legal bills from defending against a case that should never have been brought. For at least the second time, a judge has prevented the RIAA from doing exactly that. If the trend continues, the music industry's legal strategy could end up being far more expensive than it anticipated.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: case; filesharing; loses; riaa; riaathugs

1 posted on 04/11/2007 8:43:15 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Sounds like this defendant got a fair shake from the judge.


2 posted on 04/11/2007 8:49:00 AM PDT by 3AngelaD
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To: LibWhacker

RIAA’s strong-armed shakedowns may be falling apart — especially when they get hit with court costs for bringing their frivilous lawsuits.

The victims should also have the right to sue RIAA for malicious prosecution or some similar punitive action.

What RIAA is doing is not much different than what Nifong did to the Duke laCrosse players. They create lawsuits without sufficient evidence to prosecute.


3 posted on 04/11/2007 8:51:06 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: LibWhacker

Good. RIAA needs to keep on getting smacked in the courts. Suing kids, grannies, and even dead people is despicable. If RIAA wants to combat piracy, then it needs to look toward Red China.


4 posted on 04/11/2007 9:03:25 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
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To: TomGuy
What RIAA is doing is not much different than what Nifong did to the Duke laCrosse players. They create lawsuits without sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Sure. They just bet that the Little People have no resources to fight them and will pay protection.

That is why, even though as a lifelong respecter of IP, I have no sympathy for the Phonograph Mafia. Death is too good for them, because they are predators..and a lot of the time they do not even treat their artists much better than their quarry.

5 posted on 04/11/2007 9:05:27 AM PDT by Gorzaloon (Global Warming: A New Kind Of Scientology for the Rest Of Us.)
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To: LibWhacker

Who would want to even illegally download the crap that’s coming out now days?


6 posted on 04/11/2007 9:12:08 AM PDT by tobyhill (only wimps believe in retreat in defeat)
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To: TomGuy
BTTT Agree with your comments.

Music distribution is going through a major change. Trying to prevent the move by the old policy/money makers will eventually lose. This is an evolution... The same as when society moved from the farm to the cities, from horse & buggy to automobiles, from landlines to cellular, from television to internet. How information (and entertainment) is exchanged will always be changing. In the early days of records, the record industry tried to prevent radio stations from playing their records. It was because they wanted the sole market on how people heard their content. That failed then, and the RIAA will fail now... Cheers.

7 posted on 04/11/2007 9:12:29 AM PDT by alligator (To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.)
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To: alligator

B’but those nasty little kids are preventing britney spears from buying the latest gulfstream. Alas, she has to fly last year’s model. All because of those nasty little file sharing kiddies out there.


8 posted on 04/11/2007 9:17:47 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (The Right Brothers Rock)
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To: alligator
In the early days of records, the record industry tried to prevent radio stations from playing their records.

Actually, it was the musicians' unions, who wanted to protect the jobs of their members in broadcasting.

9 posted on 04/11/2007 9:18:31 AM PDT by Erasmus (This tagline on sabbatical.)
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To: tobyhill
"Who would want to even illegally download the crap that’s coming out now days?"

If all you've ever heard was garbage, how would you know it was garbage?


10 posted on 04/11/2007 9:30:12 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Compromise with Islam means you will submit to them killing you!)
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To: LibWhacker

The RIAA is just following the Tony Soprano extortion model.
Sue the people who you know can’t pay and then settle for a bit more than the victim can actually afford.
Talk about pirates, the RIAA is in the extortion and racketeering business. Pay me or I’ll beat you to death financially.


11 posted on 04/11/2007 9:39:08 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: BuffaloJack; ShadowAce

To a degree, yes...

IMHO, they’re also using SCO as their mentors...


12 posted on 04/11/2007 9:45:14 AM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: rawcatslyentist

That’s too funny...


13 posted on 04/11/2007 9:47:20 AM PDT by Michael Barnes (If Rudy is the GOP's guy, I'm voting for Hillary. Hey, why do anything half ass?)
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To: rawcatslyentist

TOOOOO FUNNY!


14 posted on 04/11/2007 9:52:33 AM PDT by DreamsofPolycarp (Ron Paul in '08)
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To: rawcatslyentist

LOL

...where can i get a copy? 8^)


15 posted on 04/11/2007 9:57:22 AM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: LibWhacker
This is a scenario the RIAA has been anxious to avoid. Although the record industry has been eager to file lawsuits, it never wants to see the defendants exonerated, even when it's a clear case of mistaken identity. Instead, it would rather just quietly drop unwinnable cases and walk away, leaving defendants to deal with the legal bills from defending against a case that should never have been brought.

This is a clear indication that the courts are being used for the RIAA's revenue weapon, and not for the cause of justice. I would hope that more judges begin to resent being thus used.

The RIAA are simply street thugs, extorting shakedown money from those who aren't likely to defend themselves.

16 posted on 04/11/2007 9:58:17 AM PDT by TChris (The Democrat Party: A sewer into which is emptied treason, inhumanity and barbarism - O. Morton)
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Click Here--Clippy meets vi
17 posted on 04/11/2007 10:00:39 AM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: alligator
In the early days of records, the record industry tried to prevent radio stations from playing their records.

I remember when I was a kid in the 50s and the first commercially available reel-to-reel tape recorders came out. The recording industry went bonkers and sued everyone in sight. They lost that one, too. I agree... They'll lose this in the end.

18 posted on 04/11/2007 10:37:21 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: rawcatslyentist

That is way too funny.


19 posted on 04/11/2007 11:14:12 AM PDT by tobyhill (only wimps believe in retreat in defeat)
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To: rdb3; chance33_98; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; PenguinWry; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; ..

20 posted on 04/11/2007 1:51:19 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: rzeznikj at stout

I’ve always loved that cartoon.


21 posted on 04/11/2007 2:37:37 PM PDT by Seņor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: LibWhacker

They should be hit with the costs for their trivial lawsuits.

What they seem to want is a judicial equivalent of a “heads I win, tails you lose” coin toss.


22 posted on 04/11/2007 2:38:55 PM PDT by Seņor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: rzeznikj at stout

Clippy meets vi, then both are swallowed by Emacs


23 posted on 04/11/2007 2:42:23 PM PDT by zeugma (MS Vista has detected your mouse has moved, Cancel or Allow?)
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To: Seņor Zorro

I actually get it now that I’ve been using vi quite a bit...


24 posted on 04/11/2007 3:05:33 PM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: zeugma

For whatever reason, I didn’t catch on to Emacs—a lot in pico (with my Unix class), and vi at work...

I should probably learn how to at least do basic stuff in Emacs though...


25 posted on 04/11/2007 3:07:04 PM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: LibWhacker

This is a good start. I won’t be completely happy till the defendants get trebled RICO damages, since this is clearly a scam.


26 posted on 04/11/2007 3:20:35 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: rzeznikj at stout
I'm not really an emacs guy either. vi(m) is definitely my preferred editor. 

I do prefer emacs command line editing (set -o emacs) though. 

27 posted on 04/11/2007 4:01:41 PM PDT by zeugma (MS Vista has detected your mouse has moved, Cancel or Allow?)
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To: LibWhacker

Good, hope these maggots get taken to the cleaners.


28 posted on 04/11/2007 4:06:45 PM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Won't vote for a liberal in the democrat party, won't vote for one in the Republican party. Ever)
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To: LibWhacker

I’m happy for the lady, but I’m even happier for later victims, as now precedent has been set twice. No more free ride for the copyright cartel in its abuses of our justice system.


29 posted on 04/11/2007 5:17:45 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: zeugma

I haven’t done command-line editing yet...8^)


30 posted on 04/11/2007 6:36:56 PM PDT by rzeznikj at stout (Boldly Going Nowhere...)
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To: TomGuy

What RIAA is doing is not much different than what Nifong did to the Duke laCrosse players. They create lawsuits without sufficient evidence to prosecute.
-—<>-—<>-—<>-—<>-—<>-—

Don’t forget how the race baiters and the FRAUDcasters and the Duke,et al “intelligensia” supported them. This is SO much like the way the intelligensia has hopped on the global alarmist bandwagon, too... Must suppress all evidence to the effect that they’re not seeing and acting rationally.


31 posted on 04/12/2007 4:49:44 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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