"A US District Court judge in Oregon has reaffirmed a magistrate's award of attorneys' fees and the dismissal of exonerated RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen's counterclaims against the RIAA without prejudice so that her class-action lawsuit against the record labels can move ahead.
Andersen, a disabled single mother who resides in Oregon, was sued by the RIAA in February 2005 for distributing gangster rap over KaZaA using the handle "gotenkito." She denied all of the RIAA's allegations and filed the now-dismissed counterclaims in October of that year. After over two years of contentious filings and allegations of misconduct by the RIAA's investigators, Atlantic v. Andersen was dismissed with prejudice after the record labels decided to drop the case.
Andersen was awarded attorneys' fees by the magistrate overseeing the case in September of last year, a decision that was quickly appealed by the RIAA. In a ruling noticed this morning by copyright attorney Ray Beckerman, Judge James A. Redden agreed with the magistrate's findings, writing that "the court's order dismissing Andersen's claims without prejudice provide a sufficient 'judicial imprimatur' on the 'alteration of the legal relationship of the parties' to justify conferring prevailing party status on Andersen."
Andersen's malicious prosecution lawsuit accuses the RIAA of invasion of privacy, deceptive business practices, libel, slander, and a host of other misdeeds, saying that the RIAA has "engaged in a coordinated enterprise to pursue a scheme of threatening and intimidating litigation in an attempt to maintain its music distribution monopoly."