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Old 25-09-07, 03:24 AM   #1
multi
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Default Victorious RIAA defendant gets attorneys' fees, turns to class-action plans

ARStechnica

Calling the RIAA's case unjustified "as a reasonable exploration of the boundaries of copyright law," a federal magistrate judge late last week awarded former RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen attorneys' fees for her nearly two-and-a-half-year fight against a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Andersen is a disabled single mother living in Oregon with her now 10-year-old daughter. In February 2005, she was sued by the record labels, which accused her of using KaZaA to distribute gangster rap under the handle "gotenkito." From the outset, she denied all wrongdoing, and in October of that year, filed a countersuit against the record industry, accusing it of racketeering, fraud, and deceptive business practices.

The RIAA continued to press its legal claims against Andersen, despite any evidence other than an IP address tying her to the alleged infringement. Andersen even provided the name, address, and phone number of the person she believed was responsible for the "gotenkito" account. Inexplicably, the RIAA chose not to contact him for over two years, then chose to take his denial at face value, choosing instead to continue prosecuting the case against Andersen.

Throughout its prosecution of the case, Andersen accused the RIAA of underhanded investigative tactics. These included what Andersen describes as inappropriate attempts to contact her daughter. In one instance, the RIAA's investigators allegedly contacted her elementary school, posing as a relative in an attempt to speak with then-eight-year-old Kylee Andersen about the alleged infringement. Even the RIAA's own forensic investigator reported that he could not find "any evidence whatsoever" that Andersen had used KaZaA.

In June of this year, the RIAA finally came to the conclusion that it had an unwinnable case and decided to drop the case prior to its going to trial. The parties stipulated to a dismissal with prejudice—unusual for the RIAA, since it made Andersen the prevailing party and eligible for attorneys' fees. Andersen dismissed her counterclaims without prejudice (meaning she can refile them) after she filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the RIAA.

In his order awarding Andersen attorneys' fees, US Magistrate Judge Donald C. Ashmanskas noted that he had to make a decision on this case "without ever addressing the merits of the claims or the counterclaims." Despite that, Judge Ashmanskas noted that there had been a "material alteration of the legal relationship of the parties," and that with the sole exception of attorneys' fees, Andersen had gotten "all the relief available to a defendant of a claim for copyright infringement."

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Old 28-09-07, 11:12 PM   #2
Drakonix
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Sweet!

It's good to see the dirty tactics the RIAA has used are finally catching up to it.

The judge also said "that the RIAA lacked the prima facie evidence to support the claims of infringement", which means the RIAA knowingly wrongfully prosecuted innocent people.

Now it's the RIAA's turn to be the defendant in a lawsuit. I think the class action will probably win.
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