RIAA's lawsuit against homeless man not going entirely smoothly

The RIAA's file-sharing lawsuit against a homeless man has run into some snags:
In Warner v. Berry, where the RIAA was suing a man who lives in a homeless shelter, the Magistrate Judge -- Hon. Kevin Nathaniel Fox -- recommended that the plaintiffs' application for a default judgment be denied, and that the plaintiffs be ordered to show cause why they should not be sanctioned under Rule 11. The Judge agreed that the default judgment should be denied, but chose not to sanction plaintiffs' attorneys...

The Magistrate Judge found that "[b]y affixing the summons on April 9, 2007, the plaintiffs demonstrated they never intended to conduct 'a thorough address investigation ...' because they employed the 'affix and mail' method of service without exercising due diligence to effect personal service pursuant to CPLR s 308(1) and (2)." Magistrate Judge Fox concluded that Plaintiffs' representation to this Court to the effect that they intended to conduct an investigation to locate Defendant's current address implicated Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b) because it was made for the improper purpose of unnecessary delay.

We can only hope that this won't prejudice the court in the matter of Warner, Electra et al Versus Charitable Hospice for Dying, Helpless, Starving Children Who Rescue Puppies From Burning Buildings and Volunteer at the Old Folks Home. Link (via Slashdot)


  1. But, Cory, you have to remember that some of those kids at the Charitable Hospice for Dying, Helpless, Starving Children Who Rescue Puppies From Burning Buildings and Volunteer at the Old Folks Home have MySpace pages where they say insulting things about the lady who dishes out the gruel, so there aren’t any complete innocents in that case.

  2. They also breathe oxygen, JUST LIKE TERRORISTS! Intellectual property is part of the American way of life. If we stop protecting it, THE TERRORISTS WIN!

  3. I also have to say this is the last place I expected to find giant animated Pro-Scientology box ads

  4. District Judge Harold Baer, Jr., agreed with the Magistrate in most respects, but declined to issue Rule 11 sanctions, because he felt the lawyers’ misrepresentation was the result of sloppiness rather than an intention to mislead, “giving them as officers of the Court the benefit of the doubt”

    I love the smell of judicial corruption in the morning.

  5. @MIKEY LIKES BOINGBOING, @RYANH: Once they started sponsoring ads by Microsoft, what did you expect? I’m sure we’ll see some ads for “the Beijing Olympics” and “Canadian Baby Seal Fur Coats” anytime now.

  6. @7, No, but then again, homeless people don’t have to go to jail “for” something these days. Simply being homeless is a pretty sure ticket to jail.

  7. OT, but if we are back to commenting on BB ads, here’s my recent 2pence..

    I was originally horrified at the Microsoft tie-in, and the Scientology ads (which I haven’t witnessed) are really going pretty far..

    But, and cover your eyes if you are of a weak disposition, I saw THIS the other day standing proudly at the top of a BB page, and was truly appalled..

    If we get “punch the monkey” I will be turned forever..

    Bring back the Microsoft ads, at least they are selling a product that someone wants. (presumably)

  8. Sometimes questionable ads slip through that the BBers don’t want on the site, either. If you’re serious, you’d be better off flagging your own comment so that somebody will investigate, which I will now do. Otherwise, you’re just mouthing off.

  9. God, I always swore I wouldnn’t be that guy the guy that says “use Linux” or some other bullshit, but (my $0.02) I use Firefox with AdBlock Plus, and I don’t see any ads, bad or good. It burns like acid for sites that I like and support (such as BoingBoing), and to answer your unexpressed criticism, yes, it’s like stealing out of their pockets, but I balance this out with a healthy donation to my local Children’s hospital in their name.

    AdBlock. get it. You’re welcome.

  10. Sure, I hate Scientology and Microsoft as much as anyone else (and wouldn’t mind punching the ***k out of the ‘punch-the-monkey’ monkey), but I also don’t want BB to go dark for lack of cash…

    Or, in the words of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, “They may be Pink, but their money’s green.”

  11. Ditto on the Ffox with Adblock Plus. I still see plenty of old-style unanimated ads, so they’re still getting revenue out of my eyeballs.

  12. Michael Brutsch @ 6:

    If you’re going to accuse the BBers of unethical conduct, at least get the terminology right. Microsoft sponsors BoingBoing by purchasing ads on BoingBoing. BoingBoing does not sponsor Microsoft (unless someone’s started plastering Redmond with images of the jackhammer girl).

  13. I was wondering what all the microsoft/scientology yapping was about, then I remembered the web cleansing word… adblock, say it slowly with a sigh.

  14. #10 Antinous.. u talking to me?

    I wasn’t mouthing off, I was saying something remotely funny about a shittty ad.. (haha) I would have thought it was fairly clear, by now, that I like this board and it’s folks.


  15. No. It was just a general statement because three people had mentioned it. Sometimes people talk about stuff in the comments but never actually contact somebody to fix the problem. I would never pick a fight with a guy holding a Guinness.

  16. Also, most of the comments were about some $cientology Ads, which I missed, but would consider fairly note-worthy.. whether they were pranks or not.

    Does anyone have a screengrab? Sounds like a larf..

  17. My $.02…take the money and run. Seriously, are you going to click on the Scientology or Microsoft ads? And if you think the ads have any affect on the content you *really* haven’t been paying attention. Personally, I can’t think of any better recipient of Scientology/Microsoft money than Boing! Boing! Tom Cruise should change his will to name BB as a beneficiary!

    I run an anti-animal rights site (http://www.animalrights.net/) and every so often people would freak out because an ad from PETA or HSUS would show up there. Nothing like being financed in part by the same people you’re trying to put out of business!

    As in my case, I suspect Scientology would probably be more upset to learn where there ad money is going.

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