Although this is great news for the Oklahoma mother, it is a very smart manuever by the RIAA. Obviously the RIAA was in trouble in this case and terminating the case is likely going to work in the RIAA’s favor. Had the trial concluded with the RIAA loosing it may have well been left with a decision which established that simply having an account with an ISP is not evidence that the account holder was engaging in piracy - that is, just because you have an account that doesn’t mean you are doing the downloading or responsible. This may have also gone as far as requiring the RIAA to prove who was actually engaged in the activity in question. Had this happened the RIAA would likely have been up the creek on hundreds of civil actions across the country. Some may argue that most ISPs affix responsibility for use of the account with the account holder. However, just because an account holder is responsible to the ISP, in some limited way, does not particularly mean an account holder is responsible to others who are not a party to that account agreement. By getting the case dismissed the RIAA avoided a judgement that may have well stopped them from engaging in the bulk of their lawsuits, against account holders. Without a judgement the RIAA saved this from happening. You can bet the RIAA is trying to figure out how to avoid this issue coming up in court again…and are probably going to work at avoiding this court in the future. For most entities this case would likely be a real wake up call. For the RIAA, the dismissal will probably provide an opportunity for them to tweak legal strategies without giving up on these overzealous civil actions. Lets hope the EFF and defendants are sucessfull in bringing these issues forward in the future.
[edited by rla on 14.07.2006 20:26]