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RIAA Countersued Under Racketeering Laws

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the prohibition-is-on dept.

Music 893

Negadin writes "According to CNET News, a New Jersey woman, one of the hundreds of people accused of copyright infringement by the Recording Industry Association of America, has countersued the big record labels, charging them with extortion and violations of the federal antiracketeering act." The woman's attornies are arguing that " suing file-swappers for copyright infringement, and then offering to settle instead of pursuing a case where liability could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the RIAA is violating the same laws that are more typically applied to gangsters and organized crime."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322769) Please make the necessary adjustments.

John "Eff'ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322810)

(Audiotape, April 18, 1971):

MR. CROSBY NOYES (Washington Evening Star): Mr. Kerry, you said at one time or another that you think our policies in Vietnam are tantamount to genocide and that the responsibility lies at all chains of command over there. Do you consider that you personally as a Naval officer committed atrocities in Vietnam or crimes punishable by law in this country?

SEN. KERRY: There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.

(End audiotape)

Who is the bigger criminal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322832)

Kerry, who at least had his ass in Vietnam, or Bush who used his family+money influence to keep his pussy ass stateside?

Re:John "Eff'ing" Kerry (0, Offtopic)

dewhite (412211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322846)

Is that for serious? I don't know what it has to do with the RIAA - but it's pretty interesting...

"Eff'ing"??? WHAT KIND OF PUSSY SHIT IS THIS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322917)

If you mean "FUCKING" then say "FUCKING" you goddamn fucking loser! What, are you afraid you'll OFFEND someone? You some sort of FUCKING LIBERAL? How about you GROW A SPINE you DICKLESS COMMIE!

About time! (2, Insightful)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322770)

Good for her! Its about time someone took on the illegal monopoly that is the RIAA. Take 'em down! I'll join!

She has a case (5, Insightful)

Alcoholocaust (717580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322845)

Section 1964 of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act not only provides for civil remedies in cases like this, but also automatically triples the damages and covers court costs and lawyers' fees. Personally, I'd like to see a massive class-action lawsuit against these dirtbags. If it can be won, surely the damages would be enough to curb their malicious behavior.

Re:She has a case (1, Insightful)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322881)

We just have to pray that it makes it to a Jury (that the RIAA is unable to pay off). I don't think there are very many Jury's in the world that would side with the RIAA... regardless of the facts.

Re:She has a case (4, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322918)

Look for Howard Berman [] , et al, to start introducing rackateering-exempt bills that would protect organizations such as members of the RIAA and MPAA.

eh (-1, Offtopic)

steveargonman (183377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322771)


I am (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322772)

a homo

Cache of Slashdot (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322774)

Just in case Slashdot gets Slashdotted, here's a copy of the front page:

503 Service Unavailable

The service is not available. Please try again later.

Probably won't stick (5, Interesting)

steve's nose is blee (636466) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322775)

It probably won't stick, but Bravo! I'm tired of watching the RIAA offer to settle with people regardless of guilt. By agreeing to settle many people look guilty and add fuel to the RIAA's fires.

Stick it to the Man!

What a waste (3, Funny)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322776)

Should be suing SCO for extortion and racketeering. On second thought, sue them both.

"Our issue is with the enforceability of the GPL" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322826)

In reference to SCO including GPL software in products, Blake Stowell said:

"Our issue is with the enforceability of the GPL"


When software is released with a GPL license, the author(s) still retains the copyright, but is granting specific terms under which the copyrighted work may be used without consulting the author.

If Mr. Stowell and SCO do not believe that the terms of license are valid, then the aggreement of the license is nullified, and use of the work without other permission from the author is breaking copyright law.

Under these special circumstances, I believe that the authors of the GPL software in question should get clarification, and ask SCO for a written agreement to the terms of the GPL, or else demand a halt to the software use, and possibly payment for any infringment.

Re:What a waste (4, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322916)

I hope the RIAA finds illigal MP3s on SCOs corporate servers. Ohhh, that would be so sweet!

Hmm, wonder if RIAA uses Linux on their servers? (4, Funny)

b0r0din (304712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322926)

Maybe you could get SCO to sue the RIAA if they use Linux on their machines, and vice versa? Oh if it were only possible to get them both suing each other, and maybe take themselves out in the process. Or maybe just nuke em both.

The wheel of justice grinds slow... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322777)

...but fine.

That is if you have a clever attorney.

Extorsion, coersion, blackmail... (5, Funny)

gui_tarzan2000 (625775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322778)

... sounds like a good plot for an episode of "The Sopranos"!

Re:Extorsion, coersion, blackmail... (3, Funny)

Defender2000 (177459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322851)

Or, in this case, the Sopriaanos.

Re:Extorsion, coersion, blackmail... (5, Funny)

Takara (711260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322856)

Conversation after the RIAA cornered one of the newly sued.

RIAA: You really would let me sue you, you sick fuck.
College Kid: You ever hear of casettes? People have been downloading music for decades. The Industry tried to take advantage of people back then, and where are they now?
RIAA: You're looking at them, asshole.

FROSY PISS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322780)

frosty piss




Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322844)



Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like BURPING SPERM.

wwweeee~ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322781)

Didn't even read it. I dun't care cuz I'm the first poster! Yipoeeeee...

(Vote for bush!)

Re:wwweeee~ (-1, Offtopic)

fdobbie (226067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322802)

Pity you're not actually the first poster, though.

Irony is amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322783)

I think they've got a longshot, but it's worth pursing. RICO statutes are powerful weapons.

Start a Trend (5, Interesting)

36526542DD (456961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322786)

Now if everyone who got sued by the RIAA counter-sued with similar charges, you'd see these lawsuits go away entirely, for two reasons:

1) The RIAA can't stand up to intense public scrutiny, without shooting themselves (and their industry) in the foot.

2) Being sued by over 1,000 people becomes cost prohibitive very quickly, particularly considering it will be in 100's of different courtrooms spread across America.

I'm not a big fan of lawsuits, but I say good for her.

Yes! (0)

PDAToday (661417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322788)

This is awesome! Ive been waiting for them to get stung by their tactics. This is thebest news I've heard in over a month. B

Racket (5, Funny)

Abit667 (745465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322790)

The RIAA does make a bit of a racket, finally some one telling them to quiet up.

Coincidence???? (4, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322791)

Was I the only person who was unable to access the Slashdot site at the exact moment that this was posted?

Coincidence? I think not!

Re:Coincidence???? (1)

Megaslow (694447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322813)

Maybe Slashdot got slashdotted by the Bizarro Slashdot...

Re:Coincidence???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322814)

Yep. Bunch of 503's... I'm thinking DDOS.

Admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322815)

you wanted FP didn't you?

Re:Coincidence???? (-1)

StarManta (692541) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322829)

I could've sworn I saw this exact story up a while ago (like an hour or two-ish)... did anyone else see that?

Re:Coincidence???? (1)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322944)

My last name begins with A, as does Neil Armstrong's.

Coincidence? I think not!


A Long Shot? (5, Informative)

klasikahl (627381) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322792)

I think it's worthy to note that, in the headline, CNET News called the lawsuit a "long-shot."

Finally! (4, Interesting)

BenSpinSpace (683543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322793)

Someone's suing the RIAA! Good things are going to happen, good things are going to happen.

(Of course, this will end when the RIAA then settles with the woman herself, paying her to shut up.)

In fact, whether the woman wins or loses, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

Unregistered (584479) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322937)

Of course, if the RIAA settles, then everyone'll sue them on racketeering charges and bye bye lawsuit buisness. Hopefully more people will sue the RIAA. This should get interesting.

Re:Finally! (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322950)

Wow, A story thats made my night, just before I go to sleep!

Now, all I need to wake up to is a headline along the lines of: "SCO Daryl arrested over linux copyright claims", and I will consider buying a lottery ticket, as good things come in three...


In his immortal gangster words... (5, Funny)

narftrek (549077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322795)

Say hello to my LITTLE FRIEND!

*mows down RIAA*

God I love you Pacino....

Re:In his immortal gangster words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322816)

I was thinking the same thing. If they could take down scarface then maybe the same laws can take down the RIAA!!!!

RIAA getting sued... (4, Interesting)

Parhelion Poser (715324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322796)

Does anyone else feel this took way too long? I seriously can't believe any of the others haven't had the balls (or money) to stand up to them yet.

Re:RIAA getting sued... (1)

climberkid (712298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322850)

There have been others, just none as popular or creative at this one...

Re:RIAA getting sued... (-1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322864)

Does anyone else feel this took way too long? I seriously can't believe any of the others haven't had the balls (or money) to stand up to them yet.

The person countersuing is a woman. Isn't it ironic...

Great... (4, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322797)

Now they'll start suing everyone for hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of offering to settle. And they've got the perfect excuse--the US government made them do it.

Re:Great... (5, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322834)

Let them get some huge judgements and watch how fast the laws are amended in the public's favor.

Nothing like a few citizens getting their ass reamed to foster change in government.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322964)

Yeah, it's not like individuals should be responsible for their actions, only companies.

Re:Great... (4, Insightful)

ender81b (520454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322969)

yes, obviously, because unfair punishment laws like "three strikes and your out" and all the war on drugs stuff has caused an enormous backlash...

The difference (5, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322798)

The Mafia doesn't offer you your day in court if you would rather not pay your protection money.

The RIAA is suing those whom they think are guilty of file sharing. If you are not guilty, you have the absolute right to demand your day in court.

I'm not trying to absolve the RIAA for their heinous practices, but there is nothing illegal about what they are doing.

Re:The difference (5, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322901)

They're "Offering a day in court"?


They're saying "Pay this small fine of several thousand dollars, or when we take you to court we'll ensure that you and all of your immediate family are destitute for the next 3 generations"

They're banking (no pun intended) on the fact that most people see that it will cost at least as much as the proposed fine to hire a lawyer and fight, and by fighting there is no guarantee they will win, so they just pay the fine rather than take the risk.

Sounds at least a bit like extortion to me...

Re:The difference (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322967)

Your statement relies on the presumption that the targetted user is completely innocent of violating the RIAA copyrights (or those of the copyright holders that they represent).

They are carefully culling the P2P networks for the file sharers and have a reasonable amount of evidence that proves that those they are targetting are in violation of copyright. The RIAA intends to reap damages for these copyright infringements. If they can, they'd like to accept an out of court settlement because it is better for their reputation to take a couple thousand dollars from some guy than to get a court to take tens of thousands from the same guy.

If they were sending these letters out willy nilly to everyone and their brother, they would definitely be guilty of racketeering. However since they are not doing that, but sending letters only to those they are absolutely sure of (in their view) guilt, they are acting fully within the law.

Re:The difference (5, Insightful)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322931)

The RIAA dosen't offer you a day in court either. They have so much financial resources that they can just force any case that goes to court to stretch out so long that you will simply go bankrupt and try to flee to Mexico. They know that there is hardly a Jury on earth that would side with a corrupt monopoly that sues 12 year olds, so they just force you to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars in the preliminaries before you even get to Jury selection.

Re:The difference IS HUGE (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322975)

If you are not guilty, you have the absolute right to demand your day in court.

You would not be nearly so smug if they sued you, even by accident. Not only can anything happen in a court room, but you'll spend hundreds to throusands of your own dollars to prove your innocence -- of which you won't get a penny back if you do win.

Next time think of the real situation before you post.

Excellent (-1, Redundant)

smoondog (85133) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322800)

Now this really starts to get interesting. I better buy some fresh popcorn.


Double-Edged Sword (2, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322803)

In a way this is a good sign as this will deter companies which like to send out legal threats to "poorer" folks, who can't afford to prepare the case and surrender before the war begins.

On the other hand, this might actually push companies which like to send out legal threats to "poorer" folks to actually go to the court, in defence of being countersued.

She'll lose (5, Insightful)

samsmithnz (702471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322805)

She'll never win, she won't have the cashflow. Even if she were, by some miricle to 'win', she'd probably be bankrupt. Its about as useless as me suing IBM or Microsoft 'just for fun'

Re:She'll lose (1)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322861)

Assuming it actually does make it to a Jury, I think she has a better chance at winning than losing. I think more people hate the RIAA than most would realize. I just hope that the entire jury is made up of those who hate the RIAA.

Re:She'll lose (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322935)

Maybe she is just trying out their own tactic on them... hoping they will settle.

Re:She'll lose (5, Informative)

IllogicalStudent (561279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322960)

She'll never win, she won't have the cashflow.

She might not have the cashflow, but if what an earlier poster said about the Racketeering Act covering legal fees is true, that mightn't matter.

I quote the earlier poster:

Section 1964 of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act not only provides for civil remedies in cases like this, but also automatically triples the damages and covers court costs and lawyers' fees.

I'm not so sure that's a good thing... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322811)

So if convicted, the RIAA can either:

a) Do nothing, and seem ineffective at stopping P2P (which they already are, but it's a different thing to give up the PR battle) or
b) Drive every court case home. The evidence is quite clear, the possible damages huge. The courts might award them considerably higher fines than any settlement.

Somehow I think this will push them to b), and I sure wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of the next $97 billion lawsuit... $97 million, billion, trillion, kazillion is kinda irrelevant at that point anyway.


Re:I'm not so sure that's a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322905)


It's called Kazaa for a reason

Re:I'm not so sure that's a good thing... (2, Interesting)

ImpTech (549794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322924)

I'm not so sure a jury's going to be especially moved listening to the RIAA's "poor us" routine, which presumably factored into their thinking when they decided not to take these cases to court in the first place. Plus there's always the outside chance things don't go their way. If that happens, they'll be barraged by copycat suits in no time flat.

Option B could prove very interesting (5, Insightful)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322948)

Doubltless under what you propose some people may get financially mowed down, but you are leaving out a few factors wich could be very good for the masses:

1) Children age 12, Grandmothers, and People without actual computers being sued in court. Wonderfully bad publicity RIAA
2) Sympathetic Jury Nullification. More wonderfully bad publicity for RIAA
3) A Hung Jury or a simple Not Guilty Verdict. Not only bad for RIAA but it sets a track record. This is one of the things they absolutely DO NOT want.
4) A wealthy defendent who hires an Attorney who can go the distance. This would also be very bad for the RIAA.

So yes, if convicted the RIAA may just take cases to court en masse, but they could also become a classic David vs. Goliath story as well.


Re:I'm not so sure that's a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322953)

I suspect that is the point, to up the ante. The RIAA either drops all action, in which case sharing of RIAA music continues, or the RIAA goes runs some very unpopular court cases, in hich case people get peeved off and sharing of RIAA music escalates.

As you said, it's a shame some people would get hurt by the second option.

Re:I'm not so sure that's a good thing... (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322966)

" So if convicted, the RIAA"

If convicted, the RIAA is left wide open for potential RICO suits. RICO means the music industry, as a whole, is brough down rather swiftly. The RIAA can't afford to let this case be lost. Appeals or not, a racketeering 'conviction' opens the door to the downfall of each and every RIAA member company.


Mobsters (5, Funny)

MaxwellX22 (754258) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322817)

How dare they compare the Scum of the RIAA to such upstanding citizens. Such as: Al Capone, Tony Montana, and Don Corleone

BAD PRESS for poor RIAA (4, Interesting)

holy_smoke (694875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322818)

"It's probably not the first time that record company executives have been likened to Al Capone, but this time a judge might have to agree or disagree."

I sincerely hope that we get a good judge on this one. A precedence ruling in favor of the alleged file swappers would be a nice help.

Every RIAA executive weenie's nightmare:


Her lawyers should do this pro-bono for all the attention they will get from this case.

protection money (5, Funny) (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322822)

if it is cheaper on a monthly basis, I might just pay the protection money to RIAA, instead of signing up for itunes [] /audible [] ;)
It is a joke. Laff!! :)

no fair! she stole my idea!! (0, Flamebait)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322824)

anyone want to get in on a class action?

huh? (5, Interesting)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322828)

According to the RIAA, which filed its latest round of lawsuits against 531 as-yet-anonymous individuals on Tuesday, it has settled with 381 people, including some who had not yet actually had suits filed against them yet.

How's that work.....??

899lb Gorilla (3, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322835)

It's a bit of a stretch, but, there *is* something to be said about the RIAA basically bullying people into settling through what amounts to intimidation. What a judge has to decide is if this is okay when the RIAA is essentially legally "in the right" to begin with. But, there is something to be said for the average defendant not feeling like that have a chance in hell against the RIAA's formidable resources.

Happy Trails


WOOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322836)

YES! I've been waiting for this.

Someone should get her in touch with the EFF.

Is there somewhere to donate money for her legal expenses?

Does she need it? The article mentions attorneys, as in plural. Perhaps they smell blood and are going pro bono.

good for her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322840)

Like others have suggested, she'll get squashed like a bug (swapping songs is still very much illegal, yah know) but it would be great if she got lots of support from folks who don't approve of the RIAA's tactics, who don't like the DMCA takedown provisions, and who think copyright should be a compromise, not an absolute.

It would be great for the news to show that some people actually don't like what the RIAA does (then again, all the major news outlets have an interest in the case, so I'm not expecting a fair presentation any time soon).

It may also shed some light on what kind of high-quality crack rock the RIAA smokes when they assign huge dollar figures to these "losses" .. that's what really gets me. As if all these songs would actually be *sold* somewhere. As if something that can be duplicated with the click of the button has any intrinsic value.

Thank God, I hope it sticks... (0, Redundant)

IAmAMacOSXAddict (718470) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322842)

Thank God, I hope it sticks...

Why aren't there arrests? (5, Interesting)

The Z Master (234139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322849)

Why is it that the police will arrest individuals, but corporations seem to need to be sued? If someone sent in a tip to the police that the RIAA were racketeering, nothing would happen, but if the same tip were applied to an individual or gang, there would be an investigation. These days, big businesses seem much more powerful because they can hide behind lawyers and deep pockets.

Re:Why aren't there arrests? (3, Funny)

LocoSpitz (175100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322940)

How are they going to arrest the RIAA? Handcuff the front door?

corporate lobbying (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322956)

because it's corporations paying for the laws, not individuals.

Government raids Microsoft, seizes all pc's.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322970)

Today, Police raided the Microsoft compound on a tip from the FBI that were illegally selling WidgetX, a software product written by Jon Smitty and protected under the provisions of the GNU software license.

Microsoft denied any wrong-doing and requested that the computers be returned. They were informed by the FBI, that the machines are being examined and they may not be returned.

It's extortion... (1, Informative)

fpga_guy (753888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322862)

Last year here in Australia a couple of guys were jailed for exactly this.

They had been involved in a car accident with a well-known author, and offered not to give evidence (ie assist a criminal investigation) if he paid them hush money.

It's exactly the same thing here with the RIAA.

Barratry (4, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322866)

Also known as taking unfair advantage of being an officer of the court. From the Scots term for being a corrupt judge, extended to include persistantly filing false suits.

Legal Defense Fund! (1)

watanabe (27967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322867)

Who will set up a legal defense fund for this woman?

(erm, this is slashdot. Let me restate:)

Who will setup a trustworthy legal defense fund for this woman?


peripatetic_bum (211859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322868)

We need a site so we can donate money to her cause.

Is it possible to join the case? (1)

randomized (132106) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322869)

Many people have received letters from RIAA and alike. Is it possible legally to make such people join this case? I mean let's say 100 people who received a letter from RIAA and don't want to pay join under one banner to countersue? I am sure weight of the group would be greater than an individual and damages sought can be greater.

Sounds Fine to Me... (1)

cacepi (100373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322870)

...I always wanted Hilary Rosen to sleep with the fishes.

Make the RIAA pay (5, Insightful)

jettoblack (683831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322874)

The RIAA companies probably make a small profit when someone settles with them for a few grand. Lawyers take their cut, but a settlement contract isn't all that expensive or time consuming for the RIAA.

But unless they win HUGE punitive damages (and the loser actually has the money to pay and doesn't declare bankruptcy) they probably lose money when it comes down to a lawsuit. And that takes a long time and involves a lot of up-front legal expenses, for questionable return.

If enough people start counter-suing the RIAA, or at least going to court instead of settling, then the lawsuits will soon become a huge financial burden on the RIAA, even when they win.

Not only that (2, Funny)

rasafras (637995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322888)

But if the RIAA is making a racket, they might be infringing on the copyright belonging to these guys. []

RIAA overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322889)

I for one welcome our new RIAA overlords!

Right on New Jersey (1)

tgraupmann (679996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322893)

It's about time. I concur with your attorneys. I've known people that have undergone the RIAA lawsuit and later settled only to be recruited by the RIAA in order to pay off ridiculus loans. This is diffinetly organized crime to me.

Like DirecTV, or not? (4, Interesting)

NSash (711724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322896)

This seems like the racketeering suit filed against DirecTV [] , which was tossed out of court. Still, I'm glad that someone is taking a stand. Even if this suits and others like it are not successful, the RIAA may change tactics as they begin to meet resistance.

This pig doesn't have wings (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322897)

In fact, even in today's legal climate I doubt it will survive the priliminary hearing. If the RIAA had any legitimate cause they the right to bring action. They also had the right to settle, as did anyone they brought action against.

If you lend someone ten bucks, they say they can't pay, you sue them, and you both agree to settle the matter for a fiver there is no extortion.

In fact the courts do everything they can to encourage such a resolution and avoid a trial.

If she felt the RIAA did not have grounds she had the opportunity to have her day in court.

Settling and then demanding your day in court, plus damages, well, that's a wee bit of a stretch, even against the RIAA.

The people who have been hustled by the RIAA "cops" would stand a much better chance with this sort of action.


Re:This pig doesn't have wings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322971)

according to another post, some people "settled" before any lawsuits were brought against them.

Obligatory Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322898)

In Soviet Russia, the RIAA countersues you!

a classic example of "the laugh test" (5, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322904)

I liked this part of the article:

"Maalouf's attorneys noted that downloading through Kazaa was openly discussed at Maalouf's daughter's school by teachers, and they downloaded songs used in classes. That should be a protected fair use of the music, the attorneys said."

First, I really wonder if the teacher said "now, put thousands of songs in your Kazaa share directory." They got nailed for apparently sharing lots and lots of copyrighted material with Internet users at large without authorization, not for downloading a song or two at the behest of a teacher.

At any rate, helping yourself to a copy of Photoshop because you need it for a class project isn't "protected fair use" (although, sensibly, Adobe and many other software companies do often take steps for students to legally get software at less than retail cost), and neither is downloading a song. Did the teacher mislead them into thinking that massive music piracy was legal? Fine; sue the teacher. But it's no excuse to break the law.

There are plenty of legitimate ways to fight back against the recording industry (as the main subject of the article is doing), but this defense is just plain silly.

Sounds like Home Alone... (1)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322906)

Gangster 'Johnny' (On T.V.): Hey, I tell you what I'm gonna give you, Snakes. I'm gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your ugly, yellow, no-good keister off my property, before I pump your guts full of lead.

Gangster Snakes (On TV): Alright, Johnny, I'm sorry. I'm going.

Gangster 'Johnny' (On T.V.): One, two, ten. Shoots Snakes with his tommy gun while laughing maniacally

Gangster 'Johnny' (On T.V.): Keep the change, you filthy animal.

Fat chance this will actually succeed (2, Insightful)

2000 Britneys (549923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322920)

Why ? because the RIAA has the legal system paid off

It sux but in a country where the "big" business has more to say than the people living there odds are way against such action.

Don't get me wrong I would love to see this suite go forward and have her on the winning side, but on the other side of the spectrum I am a pessimist and all i can see is the dark clouds of RIAA

And what's worse they are coming to my country - Canadians - don't let them win

RIAA == Dead! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322923)

Where they'll get the RIAA is with their setlement terms. Paying them off does not protect you from being sued. Plus you have to admit guilt. That runs counter to the definition of setlement.

Ahh.... FINALLY... (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322930)

Now we're getting close [] .

So what does she want them to do? (3, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322941)

Uhm...let me see if I understand this. They sue people for whom they basically have an open and shut case, and then offer to settle for much less, and she is upset?

Would she be happier if they withdraw the settlement offers, and sue her and each and every other defendent into bankruptcy?

Lawyer Alert (0)

TheOtherKiwi (743507) | more than 10 years ago | (#8322945)

Classic comment: "It is the first I've heard of anyone attempting that," said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn. "I guess that is a silver lining of the fact that the RIAA is suing so many people, that there are a lot of lawyers trying to figure out ways to protect folks."

So lawyers are trying to protect folks, wow, these people are already at the bottom of the cliff! I wonder how many of these cliff-dwellers thought about the legality of their "free" download rather than buying a ligitimate copy. Most probably consider it fair use, like recording off Television or Radio broadcasts. Is there a legal difference because the mdeium is not radio waves?

YOU GO GIRL!!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8322957)

This lady has my respect. For everybody else click on the following link for a great resource for defending your freedom in the digital world: Electronic Frontier Foundation
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