p2pnet.net news:- A judge in New Mexico has struck a telling and extremely important blow upholding the rights of people being attacked by Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
In an escalation of its aberrant marketing efforts to use so far unproven copyright infringements to force people to buy digital downloads produced by its masters, the Big 4, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is currently targeting students at universities across America.
It threatens school administrators, who then bring tremendous pressure to bear on their own students. Very few schools have resisted.
However, unprompted, chief US magistrate judge Lorenzo F. Garcia saw through the RIAA’s bid to use him to compel the University of New Mexico to hand over the identities of students.
The idea is: with the names of the students in hand, the RIAA can intimidate them into signing up for its specious ‘settlement’ programme.
Under it, students pay thousands of dollars to get the RIAA to drop lawsuits it’s levelled at them.
In the process, students hand over personal information about themselves, admit guilt for ‘file sharing,’ a ‘crime’ that doesn’t even exist on the statute books, and set themselves up for possible prosecution in the future, their payments not withstanding.
Garcia was once chosen by the State Bar of New Mexico as the state’s Outstanding Lawyer, receiving the Edith Surgan Memorial Award for outstanding support to victims of violent crime.
In the New Mexico case, defended by Albuquerque lawyer Sean Olivas, Garcia ruled there was no reason for the University to hand over the the identities of students to the RIAA.
Ray Beckerman was one of the first American lawyers to begin defending RIAA victims, and now also runs Recording Industry vs The People detailing cases across the US and listing lawyers, who can, and do, help people being persecuted by the Big 4 record labels
“I’m very gratified to see that there are Judges out there who can see through the RIAA smokescreen, and who will apply the American principles of justice to deny the RIAA’s fascistic interpretation of the law,” he told p2pnet, going on:
Under our federal rules, all applications to a court are supposed to be on notice. All parties whose rights might be affected are supposed to be afforded prior notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Court takes any action.
Magistrate Judge Lorenzo F. Garcia has recognized and enforced those principles, and in so doing has done his country a great service. What is more, he has done a great service by recognizing the nonsensical nature of the RIAA’s claims of “irreparable harm”, and by recognizing the importance of an individual’s privacy rights.
It’s indeed a pleasure to see a rational, fair decision of this nature, and I hope to see many more in the future.
Definitely stay tuned.
currently targeting students – Stand up to the RIAA bullies, May 4, 2007
Very few – Ohio U failing students in RIAA attacks, May 25, 2007
bid to use him – RIAA ID demand thrown out, June 20, 2007
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Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!