updated 04:35 pm EDT, Fri April 24, 2009
RIAA case held for appeal
A recent lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of Arista Records against 16 students at the Albany Campus of the State University of New York is being put on hold while an appeals court investigates what happened in the lower courts. An appeal by one of the unnamed 'John Doe' students, identified only as #3, was granted (PDF) by an appeals court on Wednesday, the result of which could set a precedent in the way RIAA performs its ex parte lawsuits on individuals who have no knowledge of being sued until they can no longer file an appeal.
In their case, the 16 students argued that their constitutional rights were violated, that the complaint was insufficient, that there was a lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants, there was an improper misjoinder of the defendants, and that the RIAA illegally procured its 'evidence' through the use of an unlicensed investigator, MediaSentry. They seeked a refund of their legal fees as well. Their arguments, specifically those regarding RIAA's questionable tactics or attempting to silence their opposition and illegally employing unlicensed investigators in the form of MediaSentry, were brought up in separate cases in the past.
Both the Magistrate Judge and District Court Judge denied the John Does motion, which prompted John Doe #3 to file the appeal, asking for the subpoena and lower court proceedings to be stayed until the appeal is concluded. [via Slashdot]