Its story, last week, “described a New York family accused of copyright infringement, a case the RIAA voluntarily dismissed last month as a judge was considering a motion to dismiss the case based on the ‘making available’ theory,” says David Kravets, going on >>>
The RIAA was initially zeroing in on the mother, Joan Cassin, as being the copyright infringer.
Two weeks later, the RIAA subsequently re-filed the identical allegations in a new lawsuit that was sent to another judge because the RIAA did not ‘relate’ the cases. The record companies immediately demanded discovery to find out whose Kazaa file share folder was open for the pilfering of music – a share folder on the same Verizon internet account used at the Cassin household.
The previous judge halted discovery, pending his ‘making available’ ruling.
The new lawsuit was filed as a Doe case, meaning it didn’t name a defendant.
The RIAA said Monday it dismissed the original claim against the mother on the word of her attorney, Ray Beckerman, an outspoken critic of the RIAA who runs the blog Recording Industry vs The People. Beckerman, who described the RIAA as ‘psychos’ and suggested the RIAA was shopping for a new judge in the case, had informed the RIAA that the mother was innocent of the allegations.”
How come the Big 4 enforcer didn’t bother to mention the first suit when it got into the second?
If it’d done so, Kravets figures correctly, “the new case likely would stay before the same judge who was expected to rule any day on perhaps the most important question in RIAA litigation defense: Can somebody be liable for copyright violations for having a peer-to-peer share folder open and hence ‘making available’ copyrighted music?”
Beckerman [right] says he explained the background to judge Charles L. Brieant, “asking him to mark the case as ‘related’ to Warner v Cassin, asking him to refer the matter back to Judge Robinson,” and arguing the RIAA had filed the new case to:
- Engage in forum shopping;
- Do an end-run around the impending decision of the dismissal motion; and
- Do an end-run around the stay of discovery.
“You just can’t make this stuff up,” said Beckerman.
“Guess what the new complaint says about ‘making available’? Answer: nothing.”
Meanwhile, “Plaintiffs dismissed the Cassin case based, in part, on her counsel’s statement that she was not responsible for the infringement at issue,” says the RIAA, observing, “Unless Ms. Cassin is now changing her story, she is not a Doe defendant in this case and has no basis to assert a res judicata defense.”
“I’ve reviewed the RIAA’s response,” Beckerman told p2pnet today.
. .Stumble It!
Wired – RIAA Defends Refiling Contested Piracy Case With New Judge, June 17, 2008
explained the background – RIAA files new action against Cassin family after dismissing ‘making available’ action, Warner v. Does 1-4, June 12, 2008
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