Innocent Man Seeks Legal Fees From RIAA

Wants Supreme Court to decide

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A man falsely accused of file sharing by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is asking the U.S. Supreme Court if the RIAA will have to pay his legal fees.

"This case is about the ability of an innocent defendant accused of copyright infringement to defend himself in court, litigate his defenses, and, if successful, recover his attorney’s fees to the same extent as a prevailing plaintiff would under the same circumstances," argued Cliff Thompson of San Antonio, Tex. in his petition.

The RIAA filed a suit against Thompson in 2004, but later dropped the case. The RIAA then went after Thompson’s adult daughter alleging she was the one at fault. Thompson said he spent about $7,500 to defend himself.

The RIAA normally goes after individuals after tracking a users IP address to uploading activity on a peer-to-peer site. Frequently the user that is linked to the IP address is not the one violating copyright law.

So far the RIAA has sued more than 20,000 people for copyright infringement. Most of the cases are settled out of court for $3,000 to $4,000. The courts have ordered the RIAA to pay attorney fees in two cases where the defendants were falsely accused.

Innocent Man Seeks Legal Fees From RIAA
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  • http://www.petfoodstory.com/cats.htm David

    In the court system, if you don’t defend yourself, the plaintiff is always the victor. Because the system is set up this way, you have to defend any action against you otherwise you will be judged liable.

    Someone with deep pockets, like the RIAA, could intimidate the public by suing lots of people, causing financial hardness to most.

    In other countries, the plaintiff has to post a bond to cover court expenses for them and the defendant incase they lose or withdrawal. In this country  you can sue with little out of pocket expenses and force the other side to settle, or expect the consequences of a long and expensive ordeal.

    Since lawyers have been able to monopolize the legal system,  you can’t find one for less than $200 an hour. It’s very easy for large institutions like the RIAA to intimidate the little guy.

    It’s ok to sue if you think you’ve been wronged.  But if you drop the case because you think you can’t win or don’t care to pursue any longer, then you should be held liable for the expenses of the defendant you sued.

  • http://rbsblog.wordpress.com djpinklady

    he wins

  • http://www.mnlawoffice.com/ chicago personal injury lawyers

    Looking forward to reading more about this in future posts.

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