Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Once Again, Texas Tips the Table Towards IP Holders

A Texas Judge has dismissed counterclaims against the RIAA for Declaratory Judgment of Non infringement and Copyright Misuse, thus opening the floodgates in Texas for rampant abuse of the Judicial System by the RIAA.

The whole point of the Declaratory Judgment Act is to allow people accused of infringing on copyrights (or patents) to claim against the accuser in order to clear their name and, if they succeed, to recover attorney's fees for being wrongly accused, along with other potential damages.

The RIAA is well known for quickly dropping cases against defendants if they come to the conclusion that they don't have enough evidence to pursue their copyright infringement claims, leaving the former defendant with a mountain of legal bills. In response, defendants have been routinely bringing non-infringement counterclaims against the RIAA, which forces the RIAA to completely exonerate a Defendant if they wish to discontinue their legal action. Numerous judges in other districts of the United States have routinely refused to dismiss these counterclaims because doing so would undermine the fundamental purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act. Texas, to my knowledge, is the only district that has now done so.

Now, the defendants in this case will have no recourse against flagrant abuse of the legal system by the RIAA. I hope this is appealed and the counterclaims are upheld.


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