RIAA drops lawsuit, may be liable for attorney fees

I just posted the article RIAA drops lawsuit, may be liable for attorney fees.

RTV71 andDelerious used our news submit to tell us about this story concerning a recent RIAA lawsuit that appears to have gone in favor of the defendant! At the blog site,…

Read the full article here:  [http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/12092-RIAA-drops-lawsuit-may-be-liable-for-attorney-fees.html](http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/12092-RIAA-drops-lawsuit-may-be-liable-for-attorney-fees.html)

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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]

That was my biggest concern as well. I wish the judge would have denied the RIAA’s motion so we’d have a precident to use in other cases. Paying her attornies fees is nice, but I think she should’ve gotten something for the harassment that she had to put up with. When the RIAA dropped their suit, the judge should’ve declared it a frivolous lawsuit and awarded her punitive and treble damages. I’m afraid that’s the only language the RIAA will understand.

As an experienced litigation practitioner, I can tell you : you will never see a court prevent a plaintiff from dropping his case. But as more and more people fight back, you will see a body of caselaw develop. Meanwhile, if the RIAA gets slammed with an attorneys fee award, that will be precedent enough.