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2 Rulings Favor Aimster In Suit

Aimster won two small victories in its ongoing battles with the Recording Industry Association of America when a federal judge heard the opening salvos in the file-swapping company’s suit confronting the RIAA and seeking a declaratory judgment that it does not violate recording copyrights.

First, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn on Friday refused the RIAA’s motion that the suit be dismissed. The RIAA, on behalf of itself and 17 of its member labels, had argued that Aimster filed suit as a pre-emptive strike against itself being sued.

Kahn disagreed, ruling that Aimster’s action fit the Declaratory Judgment Act’s purpose of enabling “a party who is challenged, or endangered in its enjoyment of what he claims to be his rights, to initiate the proceedings against his tormentor and remove the cloud by an authoritative determination of plaintiff’s legal right.”

Secondly, Kahn denied the RIAA’s request that the suit be transferred to Manhattan, where two subsequent suits representing 36 companies have been filed accusing Aimster of copyright infringement.