RIAA sues a guy claiming he’s downloading copyrighted songs without permission. Guy moves for summary judgment saying they got his name wrong, he never downloaded nuthin, doesn’t even have file sharing programs on his computer. RIAA doesn’t actually dispute any of his factual assertions via affidavit, which would be the normal response if they had a case (but can lead to sanctions if they knowingly lie). Instead, RIAA moves for expedited discovery.
Is this just a ‘shopping expedition’? You might expect me to say so. And indeed, news reports would make you think so. But I’ve had a look at the affidavit supporting RIAA’s motion, and it’s not baseless at all. Rather, RIAA says that they have third-party info that a certain IP number was used to do downloads it alleges copied material without a license. And it further has information from an ISP linking that IP number to a person it says is the defendant (he contests that).
Seems to me that the court might reasonably first order discovery on the identity issue before going whole hog. But if the defendant is in fact shown to be the person fingered by the ISP, then I think RIAA’s request for further discovery is not ridiculous. None of which means RIAA will win, or deserves to win (or lose) on the merits about which I am of course ignorant.