Thursday, March 22, 2007

RIAA given Hobson's Choice

The early positive feeling the RIAA got from its legal pursuit of its own customers - as people caved in without a fight and paid up - is starting to vanish as those who did face down the outrageous demands for money have their day in court.

For example, Patti Santangelo. You might remember that she fought back against the RIAA, who then responded by trying to sue her kids instead. At the same time, though, they pushed ahead with demands for cash from Patti herself on the grounds that she had "secondary liability."

The RIAA had asked for the case to be dismissed without prejudice - a bit of a climbdown for them in the first place - but now the Judge, Colleen McMahon, has refused, saying the case will either be dismissed with prejudice (allowing Santangelo to seek to recover costs from the label) or else go to full jury trial - where the RIAA would have to spend a lot of money trying to get an argument that's already been defeated once past a jury.

Either way, it could end up getting rather expensive and embarrassing for the RIAA.