Judge Holds RIAA Evidence Insufficient

Rich Tate

Supreme [H]ardness
Jun 9, 2005
Another RIAA case was tossed out, this time bringing into question the lack of correlation between a person’s username and the actual person, among other things.

Clearly, plaintiffs are entitled to relief if Dangler downloaded and distributed the Copyrighted Recordings without plaintiffs’ consent. The question this Court must decide is whether plaintiffs have proven that those circumstances exist here. Although the complaint establishes that someone using the “KaZaA” online peer-to-peer file sharing service uploaded the Copyrighted Recordings, or otherwise offered them for distribution, the complaint does not identify details such as the time period during which the violations allegedly took place, or explain how that user, dentified only by the username heavyjeffmc@KaZaA, was determined to be the defendant.


Limp Gawd
Aug 9, 2006
Main difference between this case and the one the RIAA won a couple of weeks ago was that the lady used the same account name for all her stuff.


ViragoAdmin Emeritus
May 27, 2000
I wouldn't say it was exactly "tossed out". Dangler failed to respond to the original complaint (he defaulted), making the plaintiffs eligible for a default judgment on that basis alone.

The judge, however, has denied the motion for default judgment (on the plaintiffs' terms) and is ordering a hearing.

Based on the evidence plaintiffs presented, I am not convinced that default judgment in the manner requested by plaintiffs should be entered at this time. Specifically, there are significant issues of fact regarding the identification of the defendant...

I conclude, therefore, that additional evidence concerning the alleged copyright violations is required, and thus a hearing is necessary pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) “in order to enable the court to enter judgment.”
This case is far from over. But unless Dangler can show good cause to have the default set aside, he has already lost the right to defend himself. The hearing is solely for the judge to determine what (if any) damages will be awarded to the plaintiffs.

Moral of the story: If you receive a summons like this, don't ignore it. ;)
Aug 24, 2004
Well who knows well see what happens. This could prove an interesting point in other cases of such manner.