RIAA drops lawsuit against man who fought back

Written by Wil Harris

October 16, 2006 | 10:07

Tags: #ip-address #lawsuit #sue

Companies: #riaa

We wrote previously about the case of Elektra v Wilkes, a case in which defendant Paul Wilkes mounted a fairly substantial defence against being sued by the RIAA for file sharing.

Rather than see the case go to court and face the fairly galling prospect of losing, the RIAA has dropped the lawsuit against Wilkes and has turned tail and fled.

He contended that at the point of bringing the lawsuit, all the evidence the RIAA had was that someone using an IP address the ISP had assigned to his account was downloading. There was no evidence that he had actually done anything illegal - hence he asked the judge to throw the case out.

The RIAA responded by asking for permission to search Wilkes' hard drive. In essence, the body asked the judge to allow them to get evidence of the copyright infringement from Wilkes, whereas a plaintiff is supposed to have some evidence before they come to court.

The judge hasn't yet ruled on whether or not the RIAA would be allowed to search, but the RIAA has chosen to quit out rather than await judgment.

This could prove to be an important turning point in the RIAA's legal strategy. Up until this case, nobody had challenged IP allocation as the legal basis of the RIAA's attacks - but now there is a possibility the tactics might not be valid in law, it's sure to cause a ruckus.

What do you make of this latest twist in the file sharing saga? Let us know over in the forums.
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