First an RIAA press release, now a white flag

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First an RIAA press release, now a white flag

Sun Jan 11, 2009 @ 03:45PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

RIAA We were a little skeptical last month when the RIAA announced that it would be stepping back from its Captain James Norrington approach to taking out the music pirates of the world. Maybe because we hadn't — and still haven't — figured out what the music industry's end-game is in eradicating copyright infringers.

But the RIAA has now done something it hasn't done in the past. Real action. Not a press release. 

RIAA lawyers have filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in Atlantic Recording v. Brennan, a highly publicized case in which a judge gave the first rejection of the music industry's theory that "making available" music on online platforms constituted copyright infringement. 

There are other cases out there where "making available" can be litigated and appealed, but this is certainly a move we wouldn't have expected. Whatever the legal merits of its past legal strategy, the RIAA depended on intimidating defendants into settling quickly. Now a humble RIAA becomes a less intimidating one, which possibly invites more defendants to put up a fight.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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