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07-18-07, 08:49 AM #1
RIAA sues woman, woman wins nearly 70k USD
Oklahoma woman takes sue happy RIAA to the bank
$68,685.23 to cover three year case
By Austin Modine in Mountain View
Published Tuesday 17th July 2007 20:30 GMT
In what appears to be the first known case of its kind, the RIAA has been ordered to pay a defendant nearly $70,000 in attorney fees and costs after unsuccessfully suing for copyright infringement.
According to court documents, the Recording Industry Association of America first contacted Oklahoma resident Deborah Foster by phone in 2004. An RIAA settlement representative accused her of downloading copyrighted material off the file-sharing program, Kazaa, using the screen name "fllygirl11," and demanded a payment of $5,000. Foster refused, claiming she did not download any songs from the internet. The settlement representative responded by offering to go down as far as $3,750, but Foster again refused to pay.
(RIAA watchdog Recording Industry vs. The People have been following the paperwork.)
In response, the RIAA filed suit against Deborah Foster in November 2004. Her adult daughter Amanda was added to the complaint in July 2005 when it was indicated that she had access to the internet account. Because Amanda failed to defend herself against the complaint, the RIAA won the case against her by default.
The ruling against Deborah was then amended to allege she "contributorily and/or vicariously" infringed on copyrighted recordings.
The RIAA continued its lawsuit against Deborah Foster, claiming she was liable as the owner of the internet account responsible for the copyright infringement. Foster refused to settle with the RIAA outside of court, and as the case dragged on, her litigation investment became considerable.
On July 13, 2006 the Oklahoma court ordered the RIAA's claims against Foster be dismissed with prejudice and ruled she was eligible to be awarded attorneys fees. The court was skeptical that "an internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from a kazoo" could be liable for copyright infringement committed by someone else using her internet account.
Foster first requested $105,680.75 in attorney fees, but the RIAA objected to this, claiming the figure was unreasonable and that she was not entitled to fees for work that could have been avoided "had she assisted the RIAA or acceded to settlement." The court eventually whittled the award down to $68,685.23 in a 14-page document which itemized her expenses.
A RIAA representative would not talk to us about the case, and said she did not know if it was the first time attorneys' fees were rewarded to a defendant in similar RIAA copyright lawsuits.
The organization has gained notoriety for its fight against copyright infringement through blind pursuit of improbable offenders and gross intimidation. Last month, an unemployed single mom renewed a legal challenge against the RIAA, accusing the organization of contacting her 10-year-old daughter at school by impersonating the girl's grandmother on the phone. The organization claims it has been successful in a recent campaign of blanketing colleges with threatening legal letters, and offering to absolve students guilty or otherwise if they pay a settlement at an RIAA website (major credit cards accepted.)
"My thoughts are that this award, together with some interesting interim decisions against the RIAA in other cases, will be incentive for more defendants to vigorously fight the RIAA, and of course where successful, demand attorneys' fees," said Leonard Rubin, an attorney at Chicago-based Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver.
Rubin does not, however, believe the case will serve as a deterrent to the RIAA in its lawsuit campaign. "The RIAA is in a headlong rush to discourage downloaders, many of them college students, from unlawfully copying copyrighted music, and the RIAA apparently doesn't care how much it costs them — they do not file these cases for the sake of collecting either settlement money or monetary
07-18-07, 08:54 PM #2
The RIAA won't learn until they put themselves out of business
accusing the organization of contacting her 10-year-old daughter at school by impersonating the girl's grandmother on the phone
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07-20-07, 02:27 AM #3
That kind of makes me nervous...
Nervous enough to stop downloading? Nope.
07-20-07, 02:45 AM #4
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07-20-07, 09:09 AM #5That kind of makes me nervous...
07-20-07, 09:38 AM #6Originally Posted by MRDMain: MOBO: MSI P67A-G45, CPU: i7 2600k w/ VenX (4.4ghz @ 1.33v), RAM: 2x8gb Kingston HyperX Blu Red Series DDR3 1600, GFX: Galaxy GTX670 GC, PSU: OCZ 1250w ZX, CASE: Corsair 500R, HDD: 120gb Samsung 840, WD 4TB Black
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07-20-07, 09:44 AM #7
yeah, i've been following all this on slashdot. she was asking for $140,000. This is teh same case where the judge made the RIAA turn over documents showing what they paid their lawyers, but the decision doesn't say what that amount was.
Theres another case where they settled for $300...people are speculating that the court sort of forced it, because they didn't want the case wasting their time, so the defendent made an offer for $300 to make the case go away (not to imply guilt) and the RIAA accepted.
Theres some other decisions that happened lately too. check out slashdot if you are interested. and this guy is the one who submits all the stories to slashdot: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/______________________________/\/\__________________/\/\_____
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07-20-07, 09:52 PM #8
The courts are probably getting sick of the RIAA wasting their time with this crap. I mean, it's one thing if you've got a guy hosting 10,000 mp3's on a server for free download. It's quite another if you've got some 12 year old girl who downloads 1 mp3 file. I mean really, let it go. Don't waste the court's time or the taxpayers' money on this trivial crap.
07-20-07, 11:04 PM #9
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$70,000 is lunch money to RIAA. It's a start...
07-21-07, 12:29 AM #10
I've always hated the RIAA. They're no good, greedy ********. It won't be long before they start suing unborn babies.
I'm just glad the only music I download is Japanese. The RIAA has no precedence over that, though I'm sure if they wanted to they could sue me anyway.
07-21-07, 01:36 AM #11Originally Posted by Soichiro
07-21-07, 06:16 PM #12
Originally Posted by Randyman...
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