Lawyers Host Conference to Fight Record Industry Lawsuits

By Jon Newton 10/07/05

November 3 is the date ear-marked for the Chicago Northwestern University Law School one-day conference (and the first) for lawyers and other people involved in Big Music cartel sue 'em all marketing campaign.

"An entire conference devoted to discussing what the hell the RIAA is doing with its indiscriminate litigation?" - says boing boing in a post Cory Doctorow picked up from Recording Industry vs The People.

"Wow. I thought the RIAA was in the business of making records, but it turns out that the music is a loss-leader to sell its its real product: lawuits."

Jon Newton

In September, 2003, the Recording Association of America filed the first wave of lawsuits against individual p2p file sharers, says the registration site, going on:

"Two years and 14,000 lawsuits later, both P2P file-sharing and file-sharing litigation continue unabated, and members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are now suing individual and Internet users as well. It's time to step back and consider where this litigation has been, where it's going, and whether there is a better way.

"This one-day conference will cover these salient legal issues. This First Annual P2P Litigation Summit brings together public and private defense attorneys, clients, investigators, advocates and academics for their views on the latest developments in peer-to-peer litigation through panel discussions and presentations."

One of the speakers is Michigan lawyer John Hermann who's looking after several RIAA victims, including Candy Chan who's daughter has just been named as the RIAA's newest victim.

Another is Ray Beckerman who's representing Patricia Santangelo, the New York mother who was the first to stand up to the cartel.

Beckerman will be writing a report for p2pnet, and we'll also be hearing from John Hermann.

Others taking part in the conference include David Andora, the defendant in Virgin Records International, et al v David Andora, BayTSP boss Mark Ishikawa, and Alex Cameron, University of Ottawa.

Conspicuous by their absence are RIAA (Recording Association of America) spinsters Cary Sherman and Mitch 'The Don' Bainwol.

The conference will feature four panels:

Panel I: Broadening the Landscape
Too-often, debates about file-sharing focus exclusively on the views and actions of US-based content providers and music/video fans. This panel will offer diverse perspectives that are sometimes forgotten. Panelists will explore the pros and cons of litigation against end-users as opposed to intermediaries, the role of Internet Service Providers in the file-sharing litigation, and the role of private investigators in identifying potential defendants and building legal cases.

Panel II: Escaping the Litigation Quagmire: Searching for Alternative Means to Reduce Infringement and LitigationTwo years and 14,000 lawsuits after the RIAA filed the first wave of cases against P2P file-sharing music fans, both file-sharing and file-sharing litigation continue unabated. Panelists will discuss alternative approaches, from voluntary collective licensing to legislative intervention, and compare U.S. approaches to those of neighboring jurisdictions, such as Canada and the European Union.

Panel III: Litigation Update
Panelists will discuss recent decisions and events on the litigation landscape. Which legal strategies are working in the courts? Which are not? Audience members are strongly encouraged to share their experiences.

Panel IV: Settlement v. Litigation
Panelists will discuss settlement strategies, settlement agreements and the viability of choosing to litigate instead. What is the formula for current settlement demands? What circumstances give rise to flexibility? Is litigation worthwhile in light of litigation developments? What is the future for mass settlement support centers? What are some of the key issues within existing settlement agreements? Audience members will be strongly encouraged to share their experiences.

Topics will include:

How do the RIAA and MPAA go about identifying plaintiffs?

What are the most effective legal strategies and tactics?

Is it better to settle immediately, or fight it out in the courts?

What is the role of ISPs in this quagmire?

Should Congress step in and, if so, what legislation is needed?

Audience members will be strongly encouraged to share their experiences.

Most read
Meanwhile, and not at all incidentally, yesterday, just about 24 hours ago we posted Big Music wants Britanny Chan which describes how EMI, Warner, Sony BMG and Universal to use their RIAA to sue a 14-year-old Michigan girl

At7:15 am Pacific today, in the fastest rise for any p2pnet story since we started counting at the beginning of the year, at 39,567 and rising like a rocket, it was it was the second most read item .

Significantly, the Number One spot is still held by the 'We're Not Taking Any More' club post ( 52,695) with RIAA victim talks to p2pnet at Number Three with 26,403.

And that's only p2pnet.

The people are paying attention.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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Other MP3 stories:
Mother sues RIAA under RICO Act
The Net is the Independent Artist's Radio


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