Well if disgruntled San Antonia resident Cliff Thompson has his way they will be. Cliff was on the receiving end of a RIAA lawsuit over downloading pirated music through KaZaA in 2006. The problem was though, it was not Mr. Thompson that was the culprit. Once again the RIAA had used the shaky stance of ‘if the IP address matches you must be guilty’. This argument is getting less and less credible as these RIAA cases are actually arriving in the courtroom.

Once it became apparent, even to our BMW loving RIAA lawyers that Mr. Thompson was not the guilty party they dropped the suit.

Feeling that he has been dealt with in a rather shabby manner he decided to go after the RIAA for his court costs. Alas, because of some procedural issues he did not prevail, and in fact lost a subsequent match up in front of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cliff Thompson has upped the anti and has filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. While it is by no means certain that the Supremes will take the case, it is the type of material that appeals to them, righting an obvious injustice, and setting a precedent in the process.

Should Cliff Thompson prevail, then I suspect this will be yet another nail in the RIAA’s coffin. Already their use of the Media Sentry data has been called into question, as have the abilities of their so called ‘expert witnesses’, if they are forced now into also having to cough up the legal fees of failed suits, suddenly their 20,000 outstanding court cases could become a real liability.

Reading between the lines, the RIAA is not exactly the darling child of the big record companies that it used to be, so the question becomes, how much longer with the companies support the RIAA?

Simon Barrett


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