RIAA’s legal overreaching is being brought under control

Posted on August 17, 2007

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Since RIAA decided to start their misguided anti-downloading crusade, they’ve relied on fear of overwhelming legal fees to get their targets to settle out of court for thousands of dollars. And they’ve used the easily abused Digital Millennium Copyright Act as a means to get preliminary rulings against anonymous targets that effectively extort people to settle before risking federal lawsuits.

But some people haven’t been willing to provide the information, and so they’ve gone to court to fight against the DMCA and RIAA’s legal overreaching. And today, we have two bits of news about people who have fought back.

In the first case, Capitol vs. Foster, RIAA submitted that they were planning on appealing any award of fees to Ms. Foster in their lawsuit. Ms. Foster refused to be pushed around and filed to request that RIAA put up a $210,000 security against paying her current and future legal fees to fight the appeal.

In the second case, Capitol v. Alaujan, the judge has denied a request for a summary judgment against the self-representing Colleen Fanguiaire based on the fact that RIAA didn’t serve their legal documents to either the court or to Ms. Fanguiaire. It probably didn’t help RIAA’s case that the initial request to Ms. Fanguiaire mentioned only 9 songs, but the request for admissions to the court mentioned 41.

People are refusing to be bullied by bad federal laws and even worse RIAA lawyers, and as they do so, they’re winning in court and making RIAA spend legal fees to get bad free press. This needs to continue, and it will until RIAA and the rest of the global recording industry learn to live with downloading instead of fight against it. And when the music industry finally figures this out, they’ll also have come to terms with the fact that their profits keep falling not because of downloaders, but rather because of the all crappy music that’s not worth spending money to acquire.

(Thanks to Slashdot for pointing me to these.)

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