Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Government The Courts Businesses News

RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer 593

Posted by Zonk
from the kicks-his-puppy-puts-suger-in-his-gas-tank dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1." From Ray's comments: "You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer

Comments Filter:
  • by linuxci (3530) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:45PM (#17018328)
    How low can they go? What does calling someones employer have to benefit the RIAA? The only thing it can do is give this persons boss a bad impression which may see him put last on any promotion shortlist and first on any planned redundancies as no doubt the RIAA would create the impression that this person is a full scale pirate (yarr).

    What's worse is that it's not even the accused, it's the accused's son.

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:48PM (#17018388)

      ...before it becomes actionable defamation? Surely they've already crossed the boundary and this guy has grounds to sue for slander, right?

      • by chrish (4714) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:07PM (#17018810) Homepage
        How's he going to beat the RIAA in court for that when they've already got billions of dollars worth of lawyers aimed at his family?
        • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:45PM (#17019588) Journal

          How's he going to beat the RIAA in court for that when they've already got billions of dollars worth of lawyers aimed at his family?

          Those billions of dollars of lawyers cost money. If I was sued by RIAA I'd go pro-say and drag it out for as long as humanly possible. I'd file motion after motion that they'd have to answer (while paying hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour for that legal help) and tie it up for years. I'd drag out any depositions that they requested for hours and hours. You think it can't be done? I've known people that turned "What is your name and occupation?" into a four page long answer about how that question reminds them of their favorite childhood pet.

          And counter suits? I'd counter sue them for everything from harassment to loss of consortium (my wife is stressed out by the suit they filed) to PTSD. Every thing that I file or every question that I answer with a non-answer costs them hundreds or thousands of dollars..

          And in the end, if they won? That's what bankruptcy is for.

          Yeah, I know, it doesn't have the glamour of fighting the good fight. But if just half of the people sued by RIAA adopted these tactics of filibustering and delay it would cost them a fortune and grind the court system to a screeching halt. It costs you nothing but grief and sweat equity. In the end they lose money.

          • They'd drop the case. They are nothing but bullies without the balls to fight. They are hoping you give in.
            • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:11PM (#17020176) Journal
              Well I doubt it would be that easy given what they are doing in other cases where the people have decided to fight instead of rolling over.

              Still, even accounting for "time is money", I know that I could cost a hellva lot more money then they could cost me, were they ever to come after me. And I have nothing to lose. I have few assets and little disposable income. If they beat me, hello Chapter 7. And they'd still be out the money.

              If I did have money to lose then I'd run up huge legal bills defending myself. My lawyers get priority in any bankruptcy proceeding and I'd rather give them all the money then RIAA.

              If everybody had this attitude they wouldn't be able to get away with this.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Mister Whirly (964219)
                The answer to ridiculous lawsuits is not more ridiculous lawsuits...
                • Yes it is (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:38PM (#17020658)
                  Fight fire with fire.

                  They don't listen to reason, they listen to money. Denying them money is like denying fuel to fire.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    If they get less money, though, they claim it's because of the "pirates." Then they just use it as an example of how "piracy" is hurting them.
                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by drinkypoo (153816)
                      Regardless, if everyone they sued did this, they'd have to abandon their tactics and move on to something else. We can't even get to THAT point if we sit around HERE where we are now.
                • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:41PM (#17020756) Journal
                  It's about not filing a ridiculous lawsuit. It's about making it un-profitable for them to continue with their existing ridiculous lawsuit.

                  If you want to come after me then I'm going to stipulate nothing. I'm going to send you a merry paper chase with my interrogatories. I'm going to drag out any depositions that you may request to the point that you walk away with nothing useful. I'm going to file a counterclaim that you'll have to answer.

                  The point is that they are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour on their lawyers and that if everybody did this then even RIAA would not be able to justify that sort of expense. Do you think the shareholders would approve of pouring tens of millions into a legal black hole when you are only expecting to cover a few thousand per case if you win and if the defendant has any money or assets that can be seized.

                  And if RIAA does get a judgement, then so what? You think civil judgements are the end of your life? Ask OJ how hard that civil judgement hurt him -- he didn't even need to file bankruptcy (always an option) to avoid paying it!

                  Make it massively unprofitable and sooner or later the shareholders of the RIAA companies will demand an end to this little adventure.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Mister Whirly (964219)
                    The RIAA isn't suing people to get the specific money that person owes them, that is not their point. They are worried about the big picture. They want to scare the average person into doing what they want- not downloading music - without having to sue everyone . Your idealistic solution would not work on them - anyone that is serious about fighting them will never make it to a courtroom, that is part of their plan. I applaud your attitude, but realistically don't think it would work out.

                    And as far as fil
                    • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:59PM (#17021206) Journal

                      And as far as filing bankruptcy goes to spite them, that's great if you don't want to purchase a house, car, major appliance, or anything else you may need credit for in the next 7 - 10 years. If so you are only screwing yourself.

                      Not exactly. A timeline for you:

                      Sep 2005: BK (Chapter 7) filed.
                      Dec 2005: BK discharged.
                      Dec 2005: Obtained $200 secured credit card.
                      Dec 2005: Obtained $500 secured installment loan.
                      Mar 2006: Obtained $1,000 unsecured credit card with $25 annual fee and 24.9% APR.
                      May 2006: Obtained $12,000 car loan at 13.6% APR.
                      May 2006: Obtained $2,000 unsecured credit card with no annual fee and 16.9% APR.
                      Nov 2006: Re-fi'ed previous car loan with local lender: 7.5% APR.
                      Nov 2006: Obtained $5,000 unsecured credit card from same lender with no annual fee, 9.9% fixed APR and 1% cashback.

                      Less then one year after a BK discharge this person has a car loan at a more or less prime rate and a FICO score of 660. In another year they will be able to obtain a mortgage at the same rate as anybody else. They could get one now -- it would just cost more.

                      Bankruptcy isn't the end of your credit life by a longshot these days.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by Mister Whirly (964219)
                      That's extremely fortunate for that particular person. The experince I had dealing with my ex-wife's bankruptcy was not the same. It prevented us from buying a car, and delayed the buying of our house by a good year and a half. Cars and credit cards are one thing, but I bet that person would still have a hard time buying a house without having at least 25% cash downpayment.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by morcego (260031) *

                    Make it massively unprofitable and sooner or later the shareholders of the RIAA companies will demand an end to this little adventure.

                    See, you are very wrong there.

                    Lets try the "whats more likely" approach and see what happens, shall we ?

                    Ok, what is more likely ?

                    1) RIAA will just give up chasing people around
                    or
                    2) RIAA will lobby in congress and supreme court and have some new law/precedent stopping people from doing this kind of stunt ?

                    Not sure about you, but for me, #2 seems MUCH more likely.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by TheCarp (96830) *
                Sure you can cost them more money than they can cost you....

                but can you cost them a larger percentage of their revenue stream than the percentage that they can cost yours?

                I dunno about you... but I am pretty sure the RIAA can take a million dollar hit much more gracefully and with less notice than I could personally take a thousand dollar hit.

                Not that you are wrong, I agree... these are the sorts of tactics that could work. Just make them drop the case by dragging it out.

                -Steve
              • by balsy2001 (941953) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:39PM (#17020710)
                Hey and if you have to go that route just remember that your assets in 401 k)s and IRAs and other tax exempt retirement accounts can not be taken from you during Chapter 7 (http://detroitbankruptcylawyer.com/dosdonts.htm).
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ncc74656 (45571) *

            Those billions of dollars of lawyers cost money. If I was sued by RIAA I'd go pro se and drag it out for as long as humanly possible.

            That wouldn't be a bad idea for someone who's retired, but what about those of us who have to earn a living? The time you'd spend in court is time you're not at work. Not only can most people not afford lawyers to go up against the Media Mafia, they probably can't afford the time off from work to aggressively pursue the matter themselves, which means they're even more fr

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:30PM (#17020508)
            IANAL, but this is great advice to follow. You can always do well in court going pro say. You should be able to prove mens ray without a problem. It's obviously a prema fashuh case once you supena their motis operondeye. Your lingwa franka may be free music coupons in sitoo of money if you don't argue it right, but that's kwid pro kwo in an ex partay decision. You should have some stare deseesis on your side, but still, good luck.
        • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:50PM (#17019674) Homepage Journal
          Easy, the defamation costing him his job which can be proven in court, IN A SEPARATE LAWSUIT, the RIAA is 100% fucked. He's got proof of defamation, left and right, when he's not a part of the infringement lawsuit. Once he loses his job, or any chance of promotion, he can take the RIAA for destroying his job, effectively sue them for EVERYTHING they're worth (since they have just cost him everything, it's not an injust or unfair fine for the RIAA to pay) and that's the end of story. His family has the problem of one lawsuit, he can find a pro-bono lawyer easily and get one hellified lump-sum for defamation, harassment, emotional/mental damages, slander (since they called his employer) and at that point the RIAA is going to have to pay bigtime. I'm just hoping the son has enough sense or knowledge to sue the RIAA for somethign in the billions of dollars range in a civil lawsuit which they can't back themselves out of once he brings it in. I also hope he's smart enough to NOT FUCKING SETTLE OUT OF COURT.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Red Flayer (890720)
            If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

            Easy, the defamation costing him his job which can be proven in court, IN A SEPARATE LAWSUIT, the RIAA is 100% fucked. He's got proof of defamation, left and right, when he's not a part of the infringement lawsuit.

            Oh? Has he lost his job? What if the claims of the RIAA are true? What if the son used his comapny's property to infringe on copyright, thereby exposing them to liability? Defamation might not be so easy to prove.

            he can take the RIAA for destroying

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:51PM (#17018472) Homepage Journal
      The only thing it can do is give this persons boss a bad impression which may see him put last on any promotion shortlist and first on any planned redundancies as no doubt the RIAA would create the impression that this person is a full scale pirate (yarr).

      The RIAA should fire their lawyers post haste. Seriously. While IANAL, it sounds like this guy easily has a defamation of character suit against the RIAA. What's more is that he doesn't need any serious resources to fight it. All he has to do is go find himself an ambulance chaser who will take the case on contingency since it's a deep pockets lawsuit that he's likely to win. Pain and suffering, loss of income or potential income...kaching!

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:29PM (#17019208) Homepage Journal

        The RIAA should fire their lawyers post haste.

        Why?

        The message the RIAA wants to send you is that you WILL be hurt if you're involved in P2P piracy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The RIAA isn't going to lay-off the stereotypical (but improbable) 80 year old grandma suffering cancer and a missing limb who's never touched a computer in their lives. They want you to know they're going to go after her. They want "you" to know, as a 20-something poor-little-rich-kid zit-faced P2P user who has been caught bang-to-rights redistributing their member's content and has barely any moral credibility whatsoever, that there's pretty much nothing you can do about it, they will go after you, after all, they're prepared to go after Mother Theresa, why the hell wouldn't they go after you?

        Of course it's terrible. It's supposed to be. The truth, which NYCL and others kind of gloss over (and there's a reason for that), is that the practical powers of the RIAA are strictly limited, so the entire deal is to make themselves look like the biggest bastards possible. They look for people redistributing, they get the only identifying information available (the ISP logs), they sue, and they hope there's enough publicity that other users of P2P networks will be sufficiently scared enough to avoid fighting back. And sometimes the best way to generate that publicity is to sue grandma and a few unrelated parties and let "Good cop" (a few radio DJs and artists) cry out about it.

        And if Good Cop's not available, there's always an ambulance-chasing lawyer around with a silky populistic patter who also has plenty of incentives to play up the "Monster, out-of-control, can do anything and will" image of the RIAA who'll faithfully repeat the message and scare the pirates just a little bit more.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shakrai (717556)

          They want "you" to know, as a 20-something poor-little-rich-kid zit-faced P2P user who has been caught bang-to-rights redistributing their member's content and has barely any moral credibility whatsoever, that there's pretty much nothing you can do about it

          And what exactly can they do about it? Get a judgement against that 20 year zit-faced brat with no assets and little income? What does he have to lose? The time it takes to find a bankruptcy lawyer and file?

          • by purduephotog (218304) <[moc.tibroni] [ta] [hcsrih]> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:22PM (#17020364) Homepage Journal
            No, it's when they get the judgement against his *parents* - where they're ruined.

            I've been involved and vindicated in court case (Same Name, Different Guy) that has a, shall we say, credit problem. I was taken to court by his creditors- even though I proved I wasn't the person they wanted.

            I lost about 20 lbs in the time that it took to straighten out and felt like shit for the entire time.

            So... what can they do? They can make you so miserable that you don't want to live.

            At least 'justice' worked in my case... now if I could just win judgement against them for violations of the Fair Credit act....
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      Its to scare people. "We will ruin your life, your kid's life, all of your friends. Anyone we can. You better not copy our crappy music, or else!"
    • by Talondel (693866) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:26PM (#17019164)
      I doubt it's possible to dislike the RIAA or these lawsuits more than I do. I think overall the RIAA and MPAA represent an assault against cultural progress and preservation, by seeking to destroy the public domain and make distribution and archiving of even unprofitable works illegal.

      That said, if you don't want an potential litigant to contact you at work, don't actively avoid service at your home. It does not help your case. Few things annoy a judge more than playing games with the requirements for service. Personal service requirements are a constitutional protection to guarantee that people aren't being brought to court without getting notice to defend your self. It is serious business, and courts take it seriously. They don't like it when a person who obviously already has actual notice of a pending subpoena plays games with the system.

      Given the apparent circumstances, the RIAA and their lawyers were well within their bounds to attempt service at his place of employment. If he didn't want to be served there, then he should have accepted any of the previous seven valid attempts to effect service at his house.

      Quoting from the footnotes:

      Well, actually I can't quote from the letter, because it's /.'d but it basically says "we tried to serve him at home 7 times, and we kept getting lame stories, including being told the person we were talking to was actually the person's father, who's been dead for 4 years." Bottom line. Don't play games with process servers. They've got a job to do, and they're going to do it. The harder you make it on them, the harder they'll make it on you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tinkerghost (944862)
        Check your notes on serving a summons etc. In MA it's perfectly valid to simply drop it off at the last known residence (there are some restrictions on how long they stayed there & how long they've been gone) and then sign the service documents as having done so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gt_mattex (1016103)

      FTFA

      In UMG v. Lindor, a case against a home health aide who has never used a computer, the RIAA has now subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's adult son, who lives four (4) miles away from her. Ms. Lindor's son, a paralegal in a law firm, has hired counsel to make a motion to quash the subpoena

      Looks to me like the RIAA is goin fishin.

  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:46PM (#17018344) Homepage
    The RIAA needs to sue the Mafia and the Mafia will send in the hit men.
    • by qwijibo (101731)
      I'm sure that going after judges would be more damaging. The RIAA would be willing to throw some expendable people out as targets. Now, how do we get a list of every judge and politician on the RIAA lawsuit list without them noticing?
  • What to do about it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Heem (448667) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:47PM (#17018378) Homepage Journal
    "if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."

    OK..

    In all seriousness. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

    Please.. what can I do to help make this go away?
    • by ack154 (591432) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:55PM (#17018540)
      Here's one suggestion for fighting back: Don't buy a Zune.

      Most people reading this by now know that MS caved and some sort of "copyright tax" to the RIAA for every Zune sold. Even if you ignore all of the negative reviews and MS is the devil and all that; the money given to the RIAA from the sale of the player is enough for me to never, ever consider buying one. And to recommend the same to anyone I ever happen to know.
    • by theheff (894014) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:55PM (#17018550)
      cmd

      ping www.riaa.com

      (until they stop)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:56PM (#17018566)
      BOYCOTT!!!! Listen to what you already have and don't purchase or download anything else for a year.
      Go to concerts and enjoy live performances but DO NOT BY RECORDINGS IN STORES OR ONLINE!
      If most people took this approach, it would bring the recording industry to its knees or at least drive prices into the ground where they should be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ack154 (591432)
        It really is a great theory... but it wouldn't work. There are too many people that do NOT see this sort of information that will continue to buy music and purchase normally. Of course everyone wants some boycott... but how often do they REALLY work? You just can't reach the necessary audience and have the necessary impact on them for it to be successful.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nschubach (922175)
          You could always petition outside a big name music store in New York, LA, etc. Hold up signs, tip off the national news media. You might get a few hits here and there, but over time it grows and people get word of it.

          Persistence.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Trails (629752)
        They'd just blame piracy.
      • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
        Go to concerts and enjoy live performances but DO NOT BY RECORDINGS IN STORES OR ONLINE!

        Unless the bands are selling the recordings themselves or they're being sold be small-time "tapers" as is done a lot for some jam band shows (MM&W, Lesh, etc). This is with the permission of the band, BTW.

        -b.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Jehosephat2k (562701)
        A year? How about FOREVER.

        I am RIAA music clean for years. I don't download stuff, and more importantly, I DON'T BUY THE CRAP THEY SELL!!!! None of it. Not a dime.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LunaticTippy (872397)
          Do you ever shop in a store or eat in a restaurant? If so, you're supporting the RIAA. They also get a cut of blank media and hard drives in many countries. Let's see...radio, movies, TV all cut checks as well. I'd say in today's world it is impossible to not give them money.

          You can only minimize it.
    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <rayNO@SPAMbeckermanlegal.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:06PM (#17018780) Homepage Journal


      Great question. Hope you get moderated up to +5 instantly on that one.

      1. The tech community can offer their services as technical consultants to the lawyers and individuals who are fighting these cases, preferably on a reduced fee or pro bono basis. There is a great need for people who can testify and advise about numerous issues that come up in these cases, such as, just to name a few, (a) hard drive forensics issues, (b) IP addresses and the like, (c) file sharing software, (d) the significance of metadata and hash marks, and (e) the unreliability of proprietary software that has never been peer reviewed as a basis for a lawsuit... i.e. all the issues on which the RIAA are trying to mislead the judges.

      2. All tech companies who make profits from the internet should be organizing, and contributing financially to, legal defense funds to assist the RIAA defendants. Right now the only fund I know of that is currently operational is the RIAA legal defense fund operated by "Defective by Design" [fsf.org].

      3. All tech companies should urge their industry trade associations to be assisting the RIAA defendants financially.

      4. Everybody, tech community or not, should be writing to their federal congresspeople about this situation and urging legislation to curb the tide of litigation against ordinary working people.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lawpoop (604919)
        Gary, instead of using defensive maneuvers, hoping that the RIAA will eventually drop their strategy, what do you think of trying to mount an offense against the RIAA? Maybe something like a racketeering lawsuit, or a class-action suit? Am I correct in thinking that a racketeering suit would need to be driven by government prosecutors?
    • by KalvinB (205500) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:39PM (#17019458) Homepage
      problem solved.

      While their tactics can be extreme it's not like they're going through a phone book and randomly suing people. They find an IP that's illegally sharing files of content that is copyright by the RIAA and then contact the ISP to get the information of the person that is responsible for the account the IP was assigned to at the time the offense was committed.

      It doesn't matter what your socioeconomic status is. If you break the law, you broke the law and are subject to punishment. I don't think anyone doesn't understand that if you have something you were supposed to pay for but took it without permission and without paying, you broke the law.

      Game companies do the same thing. It doesn't matter what electonic media you're peddling illegally. It's all warez; music, movies, games etc. And the companies that are victims of the crime are fighting back.

      It's rediculous to try to paint the people committing the crime as the victim just because they're everyday people. There's nothing nobel about taking things you have no right to have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        All of which would be a reasonable argument, if the RIAA were only going after people who were genuinely breaking the law. But, as NYCL and others have pointed out on several occasions, they're not.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:13PM (#17020208)
      There have been plenty of responses thus far to your question, but IMHO none of them go far enough.

      Here's what needs to be done: stop listening to music. Completely. Don't listen to corporate music. Or indie music. Or local bands. Don't go to concerts. Don't listen to the radio. Don't own a radio. Don't buy music. Don't download music, legally or illegally. Don't trade it. Don't have any CDs or tapes or LPs or 8-tracks. Get rid of it all.

      The reason the recording industry seems to have so many people in their clutches is that so many people have made music a part of their lifestyle. Remove music -- ALL music -- from your life, totally. Change your lifestyle.

      That will hurt them the most, and they will have no power over you.

      But so few are willing to do that. You've been trained to think your every action, your every waking moment, needs a soundtrack. It doesn't.

      Let the RIAA control music all they want. Every lyric, every note, every recordable sound. So what? You don't need any of it. They can control all the music, but it only has value if someone else wants it. Stop wanting it.
  • by Aglassis (10161) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:52PM (#17018478)
    "To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1."
    This isn't a reign of terror. The purges of Stalin would classify as a reign of terror. The French Revolution would classify as a reign of terror. This classifies as merely harassment. I understand that the poster wants to bring up how loathsome the actions of the RIAA are, but exaggeration merely turns people off. When I hear someone talk about a "reign of terror" I typically just ignore that person since he or she is trying to convince me emotionally instead of rationally.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      People like you or me wouldn't be 'terrorized' by it. But the kind of people who are being sued are being terrorized by it. I talk to these people every day.
  • Low act. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:52PM (#17018484)
    Not only will they sue you, they do everything in thier power to make your life and that of your families a misery.
  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <rayNO@SPAMbeckermanlegal.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:52PM (#17018492) Homepage Journal
    By the way, this is the case against the home health care aide.... who has never even used a computer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I really have to wonder how the RIAA think they're going to get anywhere with all of this. They are suing people, but they're suing like .001% of filesharers, and it looks like 5-10 percent of their cases are missing horribly (dead people, people without computers, etc.). Then they make all sorts of ridiculous demands and steamroller people with their financial backings. I mean, they're totally destroying the US legal system and wrecking lives at random, but they can't be making that much money off this,
  • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:53PM (#17018516)
    I'd give him a raise (if only a token one) just to give the Bronx cheer to the **AA Mafia.

    -b.

  • Probable Cause? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CPIMatt (206195) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:55PM (#17018556)
    If you read the response from the record industry, Richard Altman is not an innocent bystander. According to the RIAA he has reinstalled Windows on his mom's computer several times and he was the one who delivered his mom's computer's hard drive to the RIAA. It is not like he has not been involved

    The RIAA says that the hard drive they have is not the hard drive that was attached to the computer they are looking for, so they are looking at Richard Altman's computer equipment to see if he has the information they want.

    Do they have probable cause to do this? I don't think so, but that is their argument.

    -Matt
  • by drewzhrodague (606182) <(drew) (at) (zhrodague.net)> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:57PM (#17018584) Homepage Journal
    See? This is bullshit. I'm so scared of getting sued by the RIAA, that I don't download music anymore -- and I don't buy CDs either. No, I don't have a 20+G inventory of MP3s. Instead, I use many of the online commercial-free radio stations (Like the fabulous SomaFM.com [somafm.com]).

    Now I've been a little scared of being hit by the MPAA for downloading Doctor Who and James Burke shows. Oh, wait...
  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:57PM (#17018592) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:
    However, in this case they basically decided to go for the gold and [the RIAA] made a bold argument claiming that merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement. It was a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet.
    Because there is no internet outside of the US. Or, in fact, anything. It's all just sea, y'know.
    • Because there is no internet outside of the US. Or, in fact, anything. It's all just sea, y'know

      And of the countries outside the US, how many have trade agreements with the US? How many are dependent on the US as an export market?

      How many are signatories to the WTO treaty?

      If you think that the outside world is independent of US political and economic action, that's just as bad as thinking there IS no outside world.

      Of course, it's hubris to think that the US can unilaterally enact decisions this big, isn

  • by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:58PM (#17018612) Homepage
    The main objective is to heighten the fear of using one's own files into the hearts of "normal" users.

    Much like a dog that has been beaten for no reason, consumers then get into a frame of mind where they will go to entertainment corps first and follow crazy usage rules in order to avoid getting criminalized.

    In exchange, then entertainment mega-corps content consumption will appear cheaper.

    I'm liking vhs/dvd's much more now than ever. (until I can build a silent mythtv box anyway)
  • just don't buy any more cd's or download crap for a while, legal or not. If we all did it at once, they'd get the picture.
    • by finkployd (12902)
      They will just use the decline in sales to boost their claims that they need to stop piracy and get some more RIAA friendly laws passed by their pet congressmen. Because there can be no rational explanation for a decrease in CD sales (or even a slowdown in the growth of sales) other than piracy.

      Believe me, this is exactly what would happen.

      Finkployd
    • When people stop buying so many CDs, they just blame piracy for it directly. People have been calling for the boycott of the RIAA or claimed to be doing so for years. In any of the mentions of lower CD sales in the media, have you ever once heard a mention of the fact that some percentage of people may be boycotting the RIAA because the music sucks or because they object to their tactics?
  • Is it legal to have, as your stated and acted-upon goal, the destruction of a company?

    For instance, one might consider the MPAA to be an utterly evil business. A morally inclined person might see destruction of the MPAA as a moral good. But I've also heard of lawsuits related to "interference with business" or some such.

    Does anyone know if it would be legal for us to form the "RIAA/MPAA Bankruptcy League", whose goal is to bring those companies to bankruptcy?
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      For instance, one might consider the MPAA to be an utterly evil business. A morally inclined person might see destruction of the MPAA as a moral good. But I've also heard of lawsuits related to "interference with business" or some such.

      I'd think that it depends on the methods used. Encouraging people to boycott because of specific grievances is OK, especially if you say that the boycott will end if those grievances are addressed. If addressing the grievances will incidentally involve the company being

  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:12PM (#17018890)
    The guy was illegally downloading music, dodging legitimate subpoenas, having people lie about his whereabouts to avoid legitimate subpoenas, having people *impersonate his dead father* to help him dodge legitimate subpoenas, and then after finally being served he tampers with evidence?

    Say what you will about our thieving jackbooted fascist powertripping RIAA overlords, I'm having a hard time mustering up much sympathy for this guy. I disagree with much (if not all) of the **AA's tactics, but I'm just as rapidly running out of compassion for people who don't have the nerve to man up and just *do without* all their downloaded music and movies. At least the stoners have the nerve to stand right in front of the cops in a crowd of thousands and say "go ahead, arrest us all." I've yet to see a single person say "yes, I'm illegally filesharing and I'm willing to take the legal consequences as a symbol protest." Instead all I hear is "b-b-but it's not stealing, it's sharing! Everybody does it! Your business model is outdated and you're *mean*! Lower your prices! Britney sucks!"
  • by drsquare (530038)
    You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids

    This may sound harsh, but how does being any of these things affect whether you should be allowed to infringe copyright? Argue against the copyright system all you want, but don't play the 'little old granny' card: being disabled, single or unemployed doesn't give you a right to piracy.
  • by brenbart (219108)
    You know, people probably wouldn't hate the RIAA so much if they changed their tactics from the "Trying to make a point/set legal precedent" to one of "trying to get the recording industries fair share"

    Wander with me a moment if you will...

    DRM - Change the DRM so that instead of trying to block copying of media it's more of a tattletale. Periodically it informs the RIAA what songs you have, when you copy them, whatever. I don't have this completely fleshed out but it would probably entail some sort of RIA
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:34PM (#17019368) Homepage

    The simple solution would be to ban trade association enforcement. In one swoop that would take out the BSA, RIAA and MPAA. Make the parent companies be the litigants. If Sony starts suing people for file sharing consumers might well start avoiding all their products at the store.

    Make the companies behind these tactics be front and center in any adverse actions and you'll see lawsuits against all but the worst offenders, the ones very few of us feel sorry for, dry up almost overnight.

  • Shenannigans! (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheCabal (215908) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:42PM (#17019528) Journal
    Read what is going on before commenting blindly. I'm probably one of the last to defend *AA but everyone is screaming bloody murder without reading the documentation.

    His employer was called because:
    1) Son is actively trying to avoid being served with legal documents. RIAA attempts to serve him at his place of business (standard practice)
    2) Employer got himself involved in the case. Specifically, he left instructions on how to handle the legal paperwork trying to be served, plus went into discussions on obtaining a court order to protect his company's documents.
  • by wombat13 (1032922) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:02PM (#17019976)
    First of all let me say that I am a Musician. The FUD about downloading costing them money is a smokescreen. What they are really afraid of is Musicians bypassing the record companies entirely and selling their music directly to consumers online. Remember MP3.COM it was shut down by the RIAA even though the music that was available on the site was posted by the musicians that held the copyrights to it. They are afraid that musicians will figure out that they are no longer needed as a middleman. There is an excellent article by Steve Albini who was involved with many of the Seattle Grunge Bands during their heyday. The Article shows just how screwed a Band will Get for Signing a contract and having a hit record. And how much money everyone else makes off them. http://www.negativland.com/albini.html [negativland.com] This has nothing to do with "saving the starving Artists" this is just greed.
  • by Software (179033) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:40PM (#17023380) Homepage Journal
    Why does the summary say, "RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son", when there's no neighbor involved in this story? FTFA:
    In UMG v. Lindor, RIAA lawyer Richard L. Gabriel, in opposing the motion of Ms. Lindor's son
    It's all in the Lindor family.

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

Working...