A magistrate judge has ruled that the RIAA is not entitled to monetary sanctions against attorney Ray Beckerman. Beckerman is accused of filing motions that attack the RIAA and then publishing them on his Recording Industry vs. The People blog. Ray Beckerman most recently represented Marie Lindor, who was a defendant in a RIAA copyright infringement lawsuit that alleged that Lindor made music files available over the Kazaa file sharing service. The RIAA eventually dropped the case.
As Wired Magazine notes, the opinion is not binding on the federal judge who presided over the case involving Lindor. The RIAA alleged that Beckerman “has maintained an anti-recording industry blog during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass plaintiffs. Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions.” Despite these allegations, and even though Beckerman was “less than forthcoming at times,” the magistrate judge found that the RIAA’s arguments were “largely overstated.” This is a significant win for Beckerman, who has argued that the First Amendment protects his use of the Recording Industry vs. The People blog.
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