The RIAA had a policy of threatening anyone it considered a pirate with costly legal action in a bid to get them to pay up. The policy seemed to be working until a few hardy souls decided not to pay up and test the strength of the RIAA's legal case in court.
So far it has been doing badly with case after case being chucked out by Judges who seem to be miffed that the RIAA wants them to convict people without any evidence.
According to the Recordingindustryvrspeople bog, here, the RIAA has had another embarrassment in the case of Tanya Andersen's Motion for Attorneys Fees.
Tanya Andersen incurred lawyers fees while the RIAA mucked around trying to find enough evidence to convict her. After two years they dropped the case.
Magistrate Judge Donald Ashmanskas, in a 15 page decision, waded into the RIAA saying that they were either unable to obtain, or chose not to produce, significant evidence to support their claims.
He said the case was unjustified as a reasonable exploration of the boundaries of copyright law particularly as the RIAA ran away from getting any rulings on any significant legal issues under the Copyright Act.
He said that if the RIAA was allowed to get away with this sort of legal bullying, "members of the public would be more hesitant to use the Internet to share creative works in general, regardless of whether their specific conduct violated copyright law or occupied an area yet to be addressed by copyright law."
Judge Ashmanskas said that copyright holders and these plaintiffs specifically, should be deterred from prosecuting infringement claims as the plaintiffs did in this case. He said that the RIAA exerted too much power over the course of discovery, repeatedly and successfully seeking the court's help through an unusually extended and contentious period of discovery disputes. Then when the evidence was not forthcoming they bravely ran away.
More here. µ
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