Wednesday, July 18, 2007

RIAA Owes Wrongfully-Accused Defendant her legal fees, Judge says!

According to wired, The RIAA must pay P2P defendant Debbie Foster $68,685.23 for accusing her of sharing copyrighted music over a P2P network. Judge Lee R. West had ordered the RIAA to pay these fees back in April, but didn't specify a total, which he revealed in an Order (PDF) issued yesterday.
The sum of various fees are $68,685.23.
But RIAA was quick to send a statement to wired!
The RIAA issued a statement regarding a judge's order requiring Capitol Records to pay Debbie Foster over $68K in attorney's fees, claiming that the judge made a mistake in granting the fees that will not be replicated by other judges in similar P2P lawsuits:

"We respectfully believe that this ruling is in error and is an isolated occurrence.

"Our interest in these cases is enforcing the rights of the record companies and artists, while fostering an online environment where the legal marketplace can flourish and the music industry can invest in the new bands of tomorrow. In the handful of cases where the person engaging in the illegal activity in the household is not the person responsible for the ISP account, we look to gather the facts quickly and do our best to identify the appropriate defendant."

It's worth noting that the RIAA was granted a default judgment against Foster's daughter Amanda, who declined to answer the RIAA's complaint. This award of attorney's fees, however, could mean that labels can't claim that the person who pays for an internet account is responsible for infringement that occurs using that account, without incurring risk. The RIAA believes this Capitol vs. Foster order is an "isolated occurrence," but with so many open/shared Wi-Fi networks in operation these days, I think we could see this sort of ruling again.

More over, I thought appeal system was there for this type of Judgmental errors, So RIAA, why not appeal?

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