It has been something of a David and Goliath battle, but the first skirmishes in the war on file sharing are over. While the RIAA jubilantly claimed success last year, it is another case that has has now silenced the RIAA, as it avoids drawing attention to the case it never had.
If you read a mainstream media news report about file sharing or talk to a reporter about (illicit) filesharing, you would think that the only case involving the RIAA was Capitol V Thomas, a case that made news nationwide for the size of the fines. However, there are a number of cases going on around the country, cases where the RIAA did not win.
One of the most under-reported is Atlantic V Anderson, which has taken over 3 years from start to finish. The RIAA eventually dropped it with prejudice, meaning they accept the fault was theirs in this case. A similar thing happened in the case against another alleged filesharer, Foster, but both cases were relatively under-reported in mainstream media.
Copyright law, like most other aspects of civil law, allows for the prevailing party to recoup legal fees and costs incurred in the case. This is exactly what Foster and Anderson did, with success. The Foster case was awarded over $68,000 in attorney fees and costs. Likewise, the Anderson case was awarded fees and costs but of a substantially greater amount; $107,834 to be precise, in an order dated July 28th 2008.
It is encouraging to finally hear that last night, the RIAA and the member companies that were involved in the case finally paid the fees (they refused first), putting an end to this protracted legal wrangling. The amount paid was not, however, $107,834 but a figure of $107,951 , a figure which takes into account interest accrued due to delay.
It should be noted that while this is the end of Atlantic V Anderson, it is not the end of Anderson V Atlantic, the case where Ms Anderson is taking her former accusers to task over their practices in this field. It is a heartening victory, and one that is spurring the tide.
So, with Thomas looking to head to a mistrial, making the $222,000 judgment null and void, the two largest decisions in the RIAA’s ‘war on downloading’ have been against them. In both cases the RIAA admitted it was wrong, and ordered to pay the fees.
Thanks to Recording Industry Vs People