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RIAA says court should not pause its legal costs claim in ongoing Yout dispute

By | Published on Monday 9 January 2023


The Recording Industry Association Of America has urged a US court to knock back efforts by stream-ripping operation Yout to stay the trade body’s motion seeking a contribution to the legal costs it incurred fighting a lawsuit filed by the stream-ripper.

Yout sued the RIAA after the trade group tried to get the stream ripping website removed from Google search on copyright grounds. Via the lawsuit, Yout hoped that an American court would confirm that its service is compliant with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But, alas, said court did the opposite, confirming that the Yout service circumvents technical protection measures put in place by YouTube that are designed to stop people grabbing permanent downloads of temporary streams delivered via the Google video site. And such circumvention is prohibited by the DMCA.

Yout is currently appealing that judgement. But, in the meantime, the RIAA would like the stream-ripping site to contribute $250,000 towards the legal costs it has incurred fighting this legal battle to date.

Last month Yout requested that the RIAA’s motion for legal costs be stayed on the basis that it being forced to hand over $250,000 at this point would negatively impact on its ability to pursue an appeal.

It also argued that it’s in the public interest for that appeal to be heard, because the precedent set by the lower court in this legal battle is potentially far reaching.

However, in a legal filing submitted just before Christmas, the RIAA says there is “no reasonable basis” for staying its motion regarding legal costs.

“The case law clearly provides that judicial economy favours deciding fee motions while they are fresh in the court’s mind”, the RIAA’s filing adds. “Yout has failed to justify deviation from this routine practice”.

Not only that, it goes on, but Yout also failed to “support its motion with a cogent explanation or a shred of evidence regarding how resolution of RIAA’s motion would cause Yout irreparable harm”.

As for the public interest argument, well, in fact, the RIAA reckons, it’s in the public interest for its motion on legal costs to proceed. Because, it states, “the public interest is furthered by protecting the rights of music creators and discouraging meritless lawsuits like this one”.

With all that in mind, the “RIAA respectfully requests that the court deny Yout’s motion to stay and grant RIAA’s … motion for attorneys’ fees”.