1st RIAA Jury Trial Begins Tuesday in Minnesota

by Pamela Jones

September 27 2007

Do you remember when Ray Beckerman asked to pick your brain about an upcoming deposition? Well, he tells me that a case (with the same expert who was deposed) is about to go to trial now, and he thought you'd like to know about it. If there are any folks in or near Duluth, Minnesota, who would like to attend the trial, it is set for Tuesday at 9 AM. I'll let Ray tell you about the details, but if anyone does go, please send us a report. This is history in the making, in that this is the very first RIAA jury trial to actually go to trial in all the years since the RIAA began to sue people four or so years ago. I gather they tried to get out of this one too, but now it's set and it will happen.


First RIAA Jury Trial to Begin Tuesday, October 2nd, in Duluth, Minnesota
~ by Ray Beckerman

One thing that has never happened during the RIAA's four and a half year litigation campaign against consumers is a trial. In the past, when pressed to go to trial, the RIAA has dropped the case. See, e.g., Elektra v. Santangelo [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2006/12/riaa-drops-case-against-patti.html ], Atlantic v. Andersen [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/06/riaa-drops-its-case-against-tanya.html ], and Capitol v. Foster [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2006/07/riaa-case-against-mother-dismissed.html ].

Now, after losing its eleventh hour motion for summary adjudication [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/09/riaa-trying-to-avoid-jury-trial-in.html ], the RIAA is now scheduled to go forward with its very first jury trial [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/09/first-riaa-jury-trial-to-start-monday.html ] on Tuesday, October, 2nd, in, of all places, Duluth, Minnesota.

The case does not appear to be one of the stronger cases the RIAA could have brought, since there is no indication of the defendant having committed a copyright infringement.

The plaintiff's witness list, submitted last week, includes such luminaries as the RIAA's president Cary Sherman [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/09/first-riaa-jury-trial-to-start-monday.html ] and the RIAA's "expert witness" Dr. Doug Jacobson, the Iowa State educator in whose deposition [ http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/03/deposition-of-riaas-expert-available.html ] the Groklaw community participated actively, both in formulating questions [ http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061229171726760 ] and in vetting the finished transcript [ http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070302073736822 ].

The proceedings are of course open to the public. Details are as follows: Tuesday, October 2, 2007 9:00 A.M. US District Court, District of Minnesota Duluth Division Courtroom of Hon. Michael Davis 417 Federal Building 515 W. 1st Street Duluth, Minnesota

Directions to the courthouse may be found here [ http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/directions_to_duluth_courth.htm ].

06:50 PM EDT

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