You know, I read about this last week on IMDB.com Andrew and I forgot to post about it here. I've never even heard of the RIAA up until now and this whole "pretext exemption" is ridiculous. "We need to pretend we are someone else in order to catch bootleggers?" Definitely a lame excuse.
Oh and trekgeezer, apparently the RIAA was handed a verdict to halt massive "John Doe" lawsuits, but still persists in handing them out. Oddly enough, the RIAA has not been held in contempt. (Then again, the Supreme Court didn't issue this decision.) Here's a bit about this in the legal blog you posted about:
The courts have recognized and agreed with the severance point, however, noting that it is improper to join the multiple John Does. See, e.g., Fonovisa v. Does 1-41, 04-CA-550 LY (W.D. Texas, Austin Div., 2004). The Fonovisa court ordered the RIAA to cease its practice of joining "John Does". The RIAA, however, has continued the practice. We are not aware of any contempt motions having been made yet.
Since when have the RIAA become powerful enough to shrug off a court decision? I believe that both it and the MPAA are a bit too powerful for their own good....