p2pnet news view | RIAA News:- The RIAA is now on the rampage over at the State University of Albany in New York.
But in yet another example of the growing disinclination of students to allow Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG’s RIAA to extort money under the threat of specious lawsuits, the targets have hired lawyer Richard Altman (right) to have the case thrown out.
Three John Does have teamed up in a motion to quash the RIAA’s subpoena calling for their, and other students’, identities, says Recording Industry vs The People.
In Arista Records . Does 1-16, they’re arguing:
The labels have failed to make a sufficient showing to overcome the defendants’ First Amendment right of anonymity;
- The labels failed to make a showing that the Court would have personal jurisdiction;
- The labels’ case is based on evidence that was illegally procured;
- The rules do not authorize the joinder of the defendants in a single action; and
- The Court should award attorneys fees to defendants.
In his “Preliminary Statement”, defendants’ counsel wrote »»»
This litigation campaign has been seriously detrimental to the administration of justice and the public policy need to establish clear boundaries to copyright law. Repeatedly, the RIAA has used questionable and illegal investigations, unsupported and erroneous legal theories, and hardball and abusive litigation tactics against individuals who, it may safely be assumed, do not normally find themselves forced to defend their personal use of computers in federal courts. These individuals have the choices of paying the RIAA`s non-negotiable pre-litigation settlement demand (usually between $3000 and $5000), or defaulting, or defending themselves, either pro se or with counsel, if they can afford it. Few can. The RIAA has sued mostly working-class individuals, students, children, the disabled, the homeless and even the dead. They have frequently sued entirely innocent persons and are quite cavalier about the burden they impose on the legal process and the federal judiciary, and the effects of such frivolous suits on their defendants. Moreover, they are apparently in contempt of a district court`s order forbidding them from bringing actions against unrelated individuals, contrary to the joinder provisions of F.R.Civ.P. 20 and 21. See In re Cases Filed by Recording Companies ILRWeb (P&F) 3053 (W.D.Tex. Nov. 17, 2004)(Plaintiffs are ordered to file any future cases of this nature against one defendant at a time, and may not join defendants for their convenience.). Yet they have done precisely that, hundreds if not thousands of times.
And, “Given the gross imbalance in the economic status of the parties, the vague and conclusory boilerplate pleading, the lack of any specific allegations or evidence to support plaintiffs` claims, the illegality of plaintiffs` investigation, and the procedural improprieties in joining sixteen unrelated defendants in one action, a fee award would serve an important and salutary purpose in this and other cases,” Altman says.
Recording Industry vs The People – RIAA going after students at the State University of Albany, in Arista Records v. Does 1-16. Students retain lawyer and make motion to quash, September 16, 2008
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