p2pnet.net News:- The Associated Press is fielding Jim Fitzgerald’s Record Companies Sue Defendant’s Kids.
And as p2pnet posted yesterday, “Having made New York mother Patti Santangelo’s life quite literally a living hell, Warner Music, EMI, Sony BMG and Vivendi Universal have now turned their attentions to two of her children, Michelle and Robert, going so far as to blackmail Robert’s best friend into making statements against him.”
The AP wire article is also running in The New York Times and The Washington Post. And do a news search on Santangelo and it’s everywhere online as well: US Today, CBS and Fox news, The San Francisco Chronicle, BusinessWeek.
Everyone has it —
—- everyone, that is, except the Santangelo family and their lawyer, Jordan Glass.
Because the RIAA (Recording (Industry Association of America), run by EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France) and Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), with Warner Music as the sole US company, chose to use the mainstream media to launch their suit by releasing a suppose court document without bothering to file it with a court.
Claims made in this kind of document, “are by no means evidence,” we said yesterday. “In fact, they’re often little more than one step above the extortionate frighteners lawyers routinely mail and email to their clients’ victims as part of the softening up process.”
We were wrong. It’s one step lower. In fact, it could be construed that the ‘filing’ by media release was designed specifically to bolster a farce the Big Four Organized Music cartel has been running since 2003 – that people who share music online with each other are “criminals” and “thieves” and that the multi-billion-dollar labels are being “devastated” by it.
Not long after p2pnet started up, and when the RIAA sue ‘em all marketing campaign was just getting under way, we posted a story about Lorraine Sullivan, a New York student who was among the first people to be subpoenaed for file sharing.
“She learned she was expected to turn up in court from a reporter and it took the RIAA a further seven days before she heard from them officially,” she told us, saying she settled out of court for $2,500.
In the last two weeks we’ve heard from two other women – why are they always women? – both of whom are mothers and both of whom learned they were on the RIAA sue ‘em all hit list when media reps phoned them for stories. Nor are they alone. Far from it. In fact, it now seems to be standard intimidation practice for Warner, et al, to tell the media about certain suits without troubling to let their victims know.
When I spoke to Jordan Glass last night, he was wondering when he was going to be officially informed about the suit.
He was still in the dark when I talked to him again this morning.
Theoretically, the process should work like this:
1. The plaintiff drafts a summons and complaint (or summons with notice).
2. The plaintiff buys an index number by bringing it to the court and filing with the clerk of the court (and paying a fee).
3. The plaintiff then serves the defendant with a copy of the papers (this can happeny any time up to 120 days after the index number has been obtained).
4. The defendant has an opportunity to answer (usually 20 or 30 days), including filing counterclaims (against the plaintiff) and third-party claims (against others who might have liability either to the plaintiff or the defendant as it relates to the same matter).
But incredible though it may seem, apparently, there’s no law to stop plaintiffs from doing what the RIAA did —- that’s to say release information intended for a court case to the press before the defendants have seen it.
Is the supposed court document the RIAA leaked to the media no more than blatant flim-flam – a way to once again manipulate mainstream reporters to act as Big Four threat bearers to intimidate defendants before they’ve been anywhere near a court?
And does it also mean that, having served its purpose to publicly harrass and humiliate the defendants in the on- and offline print and electronic media, it need never be submitted to a court?
Will it ever be indexed? And if it is, will the Santangelos and their lawyer, Jordan Glass, have to wait 120 days to find out?
Meanwhile, as far as I was able able to discover by 11:23 am Pacific, the RIAA still hadn’t acquired an index number. Nor had Glass received the document.