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Judge once again affirms award against RIAA in Tanya Andersen case

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 26 Jun 2008 13:06 User comments (9)

Judge once again affirms award against RIAA in Tanya Andersen case It's been nearly 3 years since the RIAA brought a copyright infringement suit against Tanya Andersen accusing her of sharing files illegally on KaZaA, and nearly a year since she was awarded lawyer fees related to the case after it was dismissed with prejudice. Recording industry lawyers characterize Ms. Andersen's claims against them as an attempt to game the system, but the facts simply aren't on their side.
What really happened should be an eye opener for anyone who believes the labels are actually looking for justice, rather than simply trying to show they can bully people because they have the resources to do so. The RIAA spent nearly two years getting through the discovery process. When the investigation was complete they actually had a weaker case than when they started, and still they claimed the moral high ground, even going so far as to assert their lack of evidence shouldn't be held against them.

According to US Magistrate Judge Donald Ashmanskas, the damages awarded to Ms. Andersen were primarily based on the fact that recording industry attorneys didn't even pursue evidence which clearly suggested someone else was actually responsible.

In his original decision awarding damages Judge Ashmanskas stated "both plaintiffs and defendant at some point identified a man residing in Everett, Washington, who has no connection to defendant, as a user of the screen name gotenkito@KaZaA. When contacted by plaintiffs in April 2007 (almost two years after initiating this action), this man made similar denials to those consistently made by defendant. Declaration of Amy Bauer, Ex. F to Plaintiffs' Response Brief, pp. 2-3. Inexplicably, plaintiffs credit his denials and discredit defendant's."

He goes on to say "they appeared to readily accept the denial of infringement by a third party tied to the user name at issue even though the record discloses no reason to do so, nor any reason to wait so long to contact him after plaintiffs had evidence that implicated him as the actual infringer."

In describing the case's conclusion he summed it up with a simple analogy "In poker terms, defendant didn't call; plaintiffs folded."

So how did the RIAA respond? Not surprisingly they chose to ignore the relevant case law addressing the award of lawyer fees, most notably the 1994 case in which John Fogerty was granted a similar judgement after successfully defending himself against a copyright infringement suit from his former label. Instead they argued that the judge should take a case of trademark violation into account.

In his latest ruling Judge Ashmanskas responded by saying simply "In that case, the Ninth Circuit addressed the calculation of attorney's fees under the Lanham Act, not the Copyright Act."

No doubt the RIAA will call the decision a miscarriage of justice, just as they have every other loss in this case. But in reality they're probably scared of the consequences. They have a consistent record of dropping cases when it looks like an important ruling will go against them. This time they were too late, and the defendant was too determined.

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9 user comments

126.6.2008 13:45

RIAA, welching cowards !

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Jun 2008 @ 13:46

226.6.2008 18:21

Tanya Andersen's brave actions against the RIAA started their demise.

Although I don't know her personally I am glad she has the head on her shoulders to fight the lawsuit, triggering the start of the death of the RIAA. Hopefully soon the world will be without the RIAA.

327.6.2008 5:40
nobrainer
Inactive

RIAA extortion racket hits a brick wall but they will continue to send out blanket subpoenas with little or no evidence of actual copywrite infringement until sony, emi, warner and universal get the bills passed that will give them back the monopoly on distribution to force every artist to sign through them, so they can have a cut of every pie.

Beat Anti-Consumer Boycott all products by SONY, WARNER, EMI, UNIVERSAL.


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jun 2008 @ 5:41

427.6.2008 14:18
lynchGOP
Inactive

RIAA execs that insist on pursuing this NOW need to be sentenced to death.
That's my law.
Causing all this financial distress, pain and anguish, unhappiness, worry, feelings of hopelessness is worse than murdering someone in many cases. This poor lady will never feel safe again by the legal actions of other companies.

Hmmmmm...........great movie..............a hired sniper set out to kill all the RIAA executives..............and PRESIDENT BUSH. I'd go see that.

527.6.2008 22:34

Originally posted by lynchGOP:
RIAA execs that insist on pursuing this NOW need to be sentenced to death.
That's my law.
Causing all this financial distress, pain and anguish, unhappiness, worry, feelings of hopelessness is worse than murdering someone in many cases. This poor lady will never feel safe again by the legal actions of other companies.

Hmmmmm...........great movie..............a hired sniper set out to kill all the RIAA executives..............and PRESIDENT BUSH. I'd go see that.
Publicy threatening the president, even in jest, is a major felony in the US. It'd be a good idea, indeed, to NOT GO THERE.

Not that I like the damn chimp either.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jun 2008 @ 22:38

628.6.2008 0:52

Quote:
Originally posted by lynchGOP:
RIAA execs that insist on pursuing this NOW need to be sentenced to death.
That's my law.
Causing all this financial distress, pain and anguish, unhappiness, worry, feelings of hopelessness is worse than murdering someone in many cases. This poor lady will never feel safe again by the legal actions of other companies.

Hmmmmm...........great movie..............a hired sniper set out to kill all the RIAA executives..............and PRESIDENT BUSH. I'd go see that.
Publicy threatening the president, even in jest, is a major felony in the US. It'd be a good idea, indeed, to NOT GO THERE.

Not that I like the damn chimp either.
What do you say to the movie "Death of a President" which does have assasination of President Bush as THE storyline !!

728.6.2008 1:14

A movie isn't the opinion of ONE person - lol. Also, drama get certain license. Don't belileve me if you like, but it IS illegal. Just warning you, like I said, not that I disagree with the sentiment.

In fact, the Secret Service is supposed to investigate ALL such occurences. It's one of their main adjunct functionsI sincerely doubt they have the manpower, but there you go.

The Secret Service, among other things, also investigates counterfeiting and some types of credit card fraud (that crosses state lines). Go figure.

828.6.2008 21:26

OT: The secret service investigates counterfeiting because phony money would affect the financial stability of the country when people do not trust if the currency is real or not. It is therefore a crime which undermines the government.

Back on topic:

I like that judge. But when is some innocent plaintiff gonna countersue the RIAA for extortion?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jun 2008 @ 21:27

Packrat1

930.6.2008 18:00
lynchGOP
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by lynchGOP:
RIAA execs that insist on pursuing this NOW need to be sentenced to death.
That's my law.
Causing all this financial distress, pain and anguish, unhappiness, worry, feelings of hopelessness is worse than murdering someone in many cases. This poor lady will never feel safe again by the legal actions of other companies.

Hmmmmm...........great movie..............a hired sniper set out to kill all the RIAA executives..............and PRESIDENT BUSH. I'd go see that.
Publicy threatening the president, even in jest, is a major felony in the US. It'd be a good idea, indeed, to NOT GO THERE.

Not that I like the damn chimp either.

Not that I really care, but there is no threat when referencing (as I did) to making a great movie (kinda like Death of a President) to the assassination of the president. Are you 12? You must be to have interpreted that as you did and to have that mentality.


THANK YOU "PMSHAH"
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jun 2008 @ 18:01

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