back to article Oklahoma woman takes sue happy RIAA to the bank

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 …


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  1. Kenny Swan


    Can someone please explain the difference between these tactics and extortion? Seriously. I don't get how they can get away with legal bully tactics like this. They only evidence they have is IP data and we know how easily spoofed that is. They don't have a hope in hell of ever winning this battle and all they're doing is try to grab whatever scraps available. It's sad, desperate and alienates the public. Have they ever successfully convicted someone in court through the proper channels without resorting to intimidating someone into settlement?

  2. elder norm

    Scum of the earth :-)

    The RIAA and its major labels are / are becoming the total scum of the earth. They do not want to earn money by developing new authors of music, rather, they want everyone to pay them money just because they might possibly at some time have heard a song. :-)

    Microsoft caved into Universal and paid 1$ per Zune cause Zune users were going to be song stealers. And Universal would not release its music to Microsoft unless they did pay them.

    After that, Universal has been trying to get everyone else in the world to give it money, er, just because.

    You listen to music in your car, pay the man.

    You have a record player, pay the man.

    Get the idea? Why produce a good product when you can just sue people with large banks of lawyers and intimidate everyone to pay, cause they don't know better???

    Greed and record companies, they seem to go together. Hmmmm,maybe iTunes can allow song writers and musicians to go directly to iTunes. Lets see if we can't find a way to cut out the middle man. ????


  3. kain preacher

    Bout damn time

    Now only if we could get the other thousands of litigants to fight the RIAA

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm worried

    You don't seem to be writing "Recording Industry Ass. of America" anymore...

    What's happening?

  5. MTT

    a few questions

    In the U.S., is there a civil law construct similar to the equal protection clause governing criminal prosecutions?

    I don't see how the RIAA can pick and choose who it prosecutes for copyright infringement, when the only criteria for avoiding prosecution seems to be whoever pays them some fraction of their products' value. That really does seem like extortion, or damn near close to it.

    Moreover, I thought monetary damages in cases of copyright protection were based somewhat on the value of the product in question and how that value relates to the distribution of the product. For example, if I determine the value of broadcasting an original episode of "Seinfeld" to be $1 million per showing during network prime-time, then I can sue for damages at-or-around that much if the local TV station shows that episode a later date without securing rights.

    However, since the RIAA is all over the map with how much it's collecting from individual file sharers, and each "illegal" file has the capacity to reach an unlimited number of people, doesn't that inherently de-value the worth of the copyright to the lowest settlement value?

    I'm not up to speed on all the copyright "gotcha" provisions, so maybe I'm totally off base here. It just seems that the RIAA has devalued their own product by pursuing relief according to the traditional model of distribution and property rights.

  6. Michael


    What the RIAA is doing is flat-out extortion. They send you a letter telling you to give them money or they'll file a lawsuit. To give them money isn't even a settlement, because in order to "settle out of court" there has to be a suit to settle. This is the RIAA flat out threatening to sue you unless you pay them off.

    I think the department of justice needs to convene a grand jury to investigate the racketeering of the RIAA. But oh wait, the RIAA and the DoJ are buddies, so that's never gonna happen.

  7. kain preacher

    Iqual protection clause governing criminal prosecutions?

    'n the U.S., is there a civil law construct similar to the equal protection clause governing criminal prosecutions?

    Nope. There is no such thing for criminal trials. thats why you have people who commit the same crimes and one gets far less time or the charges are greatly reduced. You can pick and choose

  8. heystoopid

    Most Interesting!

    Most interesting , whilst still cheating and trying to avoid paying out to the innocent , this is a true landmark case decision , and has set the precedent , now if the other two counter attacks in Texas and Oregon come home to roost , that will open a real can of worms which neither the RIAA or the MPAA can afford to lose!

    After this case , I would not be surprised if the cheque book boys have been despatched to Oregon and Texas, to settle out of court on the usual QT clause! , and the other wanker even though he went over every item fee listed with a fine tooth comb to compare against current court list charged scheduled items , has been sacked for failing to reduce the termination figure to less then $4000 ? , the judge in that case must have been truly a patient in dealing with that fool !

    Mind you , there is always the complete Jack Abramoff direct bribe to the entire congress option , to create new felony penalties rather than civil action for copyright theft? , forcing all State and Federal Public Prosecutors to act on their behalf at the taxpayers expense at no cost to themselves !

  9. NRT

    What about her wasted time?

    While it is nice to see the RIAA having to cough up for the attorney's time, Deborah Foster has had to waste 3 years fighting this vindictive organisation.

    It would be nice to see her compensated as well.

  10. umacf24

    It's NOT extortion

    It's terrorism.

    The RIAA wants as many people as possible to be horrified by the possibility that they will be caught under a legal shitrain like this one. That way they get self policing, which is better than any external enforcement.

    This case is a success for them, because of the publicity, and the cost is a deductible expense. Unlike many publicity campaigns, this one does have a self funding element (how much did the daughter pay?) but it's not the purpose. Legal process, maliciously, efficiently and shamelessly used, puts punitive force in the hands of any wealthy person.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >she was not entitled to fees for work that could have been avoided "had she assisted the RIAA or acceded to settlement."

    So the RIAA are claiming that if she'd paid up in the first place thereby avoiding legal costs, even though she was innocent, it wouldn't have cost her so much and therefore shouldn't be awarded those extra costs. If I were the judge hearing that I would have doubled the amount claimed not cut it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Justice, money and the Recording Ass. of America

    It is clear to any person with a natural sense of justice that the Recording Ass. of America (*) are abusing their monopoly.

    That directly violates the US Anti-trust regulations.

    One would have thought that the Department of Justice would launch an investigation automatically. But then the victims don't have the money that our litigious friends have.

    When money and justice collide, money usually wins.

    (*) Bring it back, please.

  13. Dan


    - she was not entitled to fees for work that could have been avoided "had she assisted the RIAA or acceded to settlement" - so let's get this straight, she is not entitled to recover the costs of disagreeing (which is, after all, the whole point of a court case) with the RIAA, or costs that she would not have incurred had she capitulated and simply paid up?! How f***ed up is that?!

  14. Tim Bates

    Re: I'm worried

    "You don't seem to be writing "Recording Industry Ass. of America" anymore...

    What's happening?"

    The donkeys of America complained that it was degrading to have it implied that RIAA were like them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The land of the Free...

    ...Providing you can afford it.

    Anywho, I thought it was Rec In Ass of America!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh? You cheeky b***ards!

    [...] 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." [...]

    RIAA, you bastards. Yeah, you would've liked to have had her pay a settlement, wouldn't you. And by default make it look like she admits guilt!

    You should be hauled over the bloody coals, your costs should've been punitively raised three times the amount really required. You lot truly are the scum of the earth. You are below pond scum. You do not deserve the label human. You are sickening.

    Screw you and the high horse you ride into court on.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We got legal precedence fo' ign'rance in Oklahoma

    We got Jerry Taylor and CentOS, we got Tin Drum banned- if a woman says she's ignorant of Kazaa and the RIAA's, you best be believin' it, now!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder why no prosecutor

    has filed rico charges against these guys

    extortion using the courts is a ploy the

    courts refuse to contemplate unless forced

    to but using the law for extortion is illegal

    letters of the sort that say pay up or else

    are not protected behavior the funny part

    is that given the rather wretched overall

    return their product is fetching these days

    and how poorly it is being received eventually

    the compensation for infringment will be quite small.

  19. Nix

    Hopefully more people will fight back now

    I still to this day do not understand why anyone would choose to pay. In a Civil Court proceeding, all you have to do as a defendant is prove that in all likelihood you did not commit the wrong.

    In otherwords, go out and buy a wireless router, plug it in and leave it wide open. From that point on you can honestly state that anyone could have accessed your internet connection and used it to download files. Nowhere in any legal documentation that I've seen does it state a user is required to lock down their network, and to claim they are responsible for actions commited with it is as ridiculous as stating a car owner is responsible for a hit and run perpetrated with a car they left unlocked in their driveway.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I propose the screwworm fly solution

    The root cause of the problem is an infestation of lawyers. Why not employ a remedy similar to that used on many ranches when an explosion of a pest population is damaging? The method is simply to release a quantity of sterilized adults into the infesting population to reduce the infestation and eliminate it over time. No poisons are introduced that might be damaging to the population you're trying to protect.

    My proposal is simply to sterilize everyone who passes the bar exams to become a lawyer. This will produce the beneficial effect of eliminating their immediate offspring and eradicate one supply of more of these leeches. The knowledge of the consequences of pursuing a career as a bottom feeding scum sucker may encourage some others to seek more societally useful work such as becoming professional "pet poo" (thanks, Mike Rowe) cleaners thereby satisfying some deep need in themselves.

    Ultimately, the gene that produces these parasites will be cleansed from the pool.

    The same technique might work with spammers, though it is yet to be proved that this group is the product of normal biological reproduction.

  21. Dillon Pyron

    Malilcious Prosecution

    It's a hard case to prove, but people have successfully done it before. She could also claim that the RIAA pursued her case in an "arbitrary and capricious manner", also tough to prove, but it's been done before (although mostly in criminal cases).

    Austin, you guys are slipping. Not once did I see the word "pigopolists".

  22. Jeff Hansen

    RIAA bloodsuckers

    Ok, RIAA loses. Lawyer (not theres, but they are ALL of same blood sucking ILK) can see and states that RIAA suits are NOT about winning anything. I say if they aren't in it FTW, toss'em out on their asses after determining assets (personal) of RIAA heads, and relieving them of same for filing frivilous lawsuits. Then, as final punishment, load their underwear with raw liver, and drop in some hungry, rabid wolverines.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computer security

    Anyone with the know how can hack the court system and download songs onto the judges computer, or the pentagons or the DOJ. People are just suckers and caving into their own fear of losing. You can buy the equipment from radio shack to drive down the street and find an open network and start downloading. Thats simple hacking. No system is safe. Everyone should flood the RIAA and the DOJ to critically shut their systems down. That can be done also, however most daily desk top users are generally illiterate on what their PC can actually do.

  24. Luther Blissett

    This is the compensation culture

    in reverse, from the other PoV. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the R.I. Ass of A. clearly. Show me a coin with just one side.

    What I cannot understand is the people who want to be "compensated" by musicians, photographers, etc in terms of a waiver in perpetuity on the use of their products. Why? Is it so hard being alive in 2007?

    Just bear in mind that if the public wants music for peanuts, only monkeys will make it for the love of doing it. Even vanity publishing costs. In some such bleak future where the major labels turn into promoters, at least we can look forward to genuine musicianship and honest production values coming to the fore again.

  25. Colin

    Capital Justice System

    Have you forgotten the true meaning of the term Capital Justice System?

    Simply put it means the more "Capital" you have, the more "Justice" you get.

    People forget something else too. We are the bosses, not the politicians and certainly not corporate entities or lawyers. As such when the creeps come looking to sue everyone should refuse to give them even one penny.

    Bitching on blogs won't help you any. Several tons of paper landing on the desks of the politicians will. Get your family and friends writing letters and get your friends to get their families doing it too.

    Write to your representatives daily and insist that the racketeering activities of the RIAA and the MPAA be stopped at once. If the politicos are getting thousands of letters every week all saying stop these creeps or you won't be re-elected trust me then you will see action against them.

    Especially if one or two of them lose their seats in by-elections.

  26. Scott Coe

    Politicians as Remedy?

    Writing to the politicians doesn't do a damn thing in this country any more. Across the political spectrum politicians vote how they want to and damn the constiuents. Action will only happen when Joe Q Public gets so pi**ed off that his gas now costs $10 a gallon, that he'll march on Washingon. The corporate structure has a complete stranglehold on the political apparatus in this country. Workers of the US Unite!

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