The misnamed Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the US spin organisation run by EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) with Warner Music bringing up the rear as the only American company, has been able to use the lawsuits to suggest it’s won countless copyright infringement (it prefers the word ‘violation’) lawsuits.
Yet no one has ever appeared before a civil court or jury, or been found guilty of anything, let alone copyright infringement.
Have there been cases, but is the RIAA keeping quiet because it doesn’t want to make its failures publicly known?
Possibly, but p2pnet understands from two separate sources that to date, there’s never been a trial.
However, that could be about to change.
Says a document in a file sharing case brought by Virgin Records America, Capitol Records, Sony BMG, Arista Records, Warner Bros Records and UMG
On February 21, 2005, Plaintiffs’ investigator, SafeNet, Inc., detected an individual using Internet Protocol (‘IP’) address 188.8.131.52 engaged in the infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings. This individual was distributing 1,702 digital audio files – many of them Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings – from the KaZaA ‘shared’ folder on her computer. This individual was distributing these audio files for free over the Internet under the username ‘tereastarr@KaZaA’ to potentially millions of other KaZaA users. SafeNet determined that Charter Communications, Inc. was the Internet Service Provider associated with IP address 184.108.40.206. Plaintiffs then filed a ‘Doe’ lawsuit and obtained an order for expedited discovery to determine the identity of the infringer.
SafeNet is another online scalp hunter of MediaDefender ilk trying to get rich from entertainment cartel anti-P2P, anti-file sharer cases and Kazaa is the badly marred P2P file sharing application owned by Australia’s Sharman networks and which is on the wrong end in two class action and third-party lawsuits.
Now, “The RIAA’s motion for ‘summary adjudication’ was denied last week, and the jury trial in Virgin v Thomas is now scheduled to begin on October 2nd, at 9:00 AM, before Hon. Michael Thomas, at the federal courthouse in Duluth, Minnesota,” posts Ray Beckerman on Recording Industry vs The People, stressing the trial will be open to the public.
He goes on:
This is a case in which the RIAA has no evidence that the defendant, Ms. Jammie Thomas, committed any copyright infringement. The RIAA has claimed that it will call Dr. Doug Jacobson and Cary Sherman as witnesses, as well as employees of the various record companies and of SafeNet/MediaSentry.
Ms. Thomas is represented by Brian Toder of Chestnut & Cambronne, located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
The RIAA is represented by Richard Gabriel and Timothy Reynolds of Holmes Roberts & Owen, located in Denver, Colorado.
This is believed to be the first jury trial since the RIAA began its litigation campaign more than 4 years ago.
Jacobson is another of the RIAA’s ‘expert’ witnesses whose expertise has repeatedly been called into question, and Cary Sherman is the RIAA’s most experienced sophist.
Apart from other considerations, trying to claim an IP address is sufficient for firm identification purposes is fraught with danger – for the RIAA.
A speedy summary judgment before a judge unlikely to have the technical knowledge needed to be able to frame pertinent questions or thoroughly probe ‘expert’ testimony would have been far better.
Now, however, the RIAA will be compelled to present its ‘evidence’ in full and in detail.
Definitely stay tuned.
estimated 30,000 – RIAA attacks Massachusetts mother, students, September 10, 2007
MediaDefender ilk – MediaDefender fiasco: update III, September 19, 2007
class action – Michelle Santangelo vs the RIAA, July 16, 2007
third-party – Pay us $8M, Santangelos tell AOL, Kazaa, September 13, 2007
Recording Industry vs The People – First RIAA Jury Trial to Start Monday October 2nd in Duluth, Minnesota, in Virgin v. Thomas; Motion for “Summary Adjudication” Denied, September 27, 2006