Sunday, March 16, 2008

RIAA Lawsuit Could Expose Investigative Techniques, An Oregon woman whose lawsuit against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was thrown out by a federal judge last month plans to file an amended complaint Friday in a move that could finally force the industry group to share details about its controversial techniques for investigating alleged file sharers.

The original case, Atlantic Recording v. Andersen was dropped by the RIAA, due to an overwhelming number of counterclaims by Andersen. Andersen accused the organization of malicious prosecution, libel, negligence, invasion of privacy, electronic trespass and fraud. Sitting that that the recording labels had used unlicensed investigators to illegally gather evidence against her and that the RIAA had violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

However once the RIAA decided to drop the lawsuit Andersen was allowed by the court to drop her counterclaims and file them instead as a direct legal action. That lawsuit, filed in August 2007, and charged the RIAA and five music labels with a string of misdeeds. However on Feb. 19 the suit was dismissed by Oregon District Court Judge Anna Brown. Sitting that that Andersen had failed to adequately state her claims for relief as she couldn't clearly identify the legal basis for each of her claims.

According to Lory Lybeck, Andersen's attorney, the amended complaint will ask the RIAA to provide details on a variety of issues, including how exactly Media Sentry goes about collecting its evidence against alleged copyright infringers, when the RIAA first engaged Media Sentry to carry out such investigations and how it decides which file sharers to sue.

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