In fact “false and incendiary rhetoric” is an essential tool used routinely and unstintingly by Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as it spearheads a campaign designed to quite literally terrorise its owners’ customers into becoming docile compliant “consumers’ of lacklustre, overpriced corporate music downloads.
Increasingly, however, RIAA victims are refusing to co-operate and one of the first to stand up to the Big 4 was Patti Santangelo, a New York mother who flatly refused to be cowed by the billion-dollar bullies.
She was viciously targeted in a lawsuit the RIAA knew from the beginning it could never win. And when she refused to cave in, the Big 4 enforcer dropped its case against her, immediately turning on two of her five children, Bobby, who was only 12 when the onslaught began, and Michelle, who was sixteen.
It’s now Standard Operating Procedure for the RIAA to attack children as young as 10 as another mother, Tahnya Andersen, knows only too well.
The RIAA couldn’t beat her down and she’s turned the tables on the so-called trade organisation, suing it and and labels behind it, accusing them of illegally using unlicensed private ‘investigators’ to harass her, among other things.
The Santangelo case is still in process and an unusual letter submitted jointly by Bobby and Michelle Santangelo and the RIAA says Michelle will be making a motion to vacate the default judgment already lodged against her, says Recording Industry v The People.
She already has a $30,750 judgement against her as the alleged illegal distributor of 41 copywriting songs, with an additional order of $490.00 for costs.
“A judgment like this comes when a defendant fails to answer a complaint within a given time frame,” said p2pnet last December.
“She can ask to have it vacated, meaning a judge can in effect re-instate the case, but even if this happens, the RIAA has smeared her name. The judgment is permanent: it’ll follow her everywhere, appearing on such things as credit reports.”
What does this letter mean? Not much, the Santangelo’s lawyer, Jordan Glass told p2pnet. It’s a status report, in effect, and the final paragraph, says it all:
The parties had numerous settlements discussion in connection with the prior action involving Patricia Santangelo, the mother of the defendants. They were unable to reach a settlement of that action. The parties remain willing to discuss a settlement in this case, but the prospect of a settlement is unknown at this time.
Meanwhile, all the suffering and pain the estimated 30,000 RIAA victims such as the Andersens and Santangelos are going through is for nothing.
On the one hand, the fruitless sue ‘em all lawsuits are causing the music industry to continue haemorrhaging customers, and on the other, every day thousands of people, disgusted by the RIAA and its actions, abandon the already paltry corporate online music business in favour of the free P2P networks and independent music sites.
demonizing the RIAA – Cary Sherman RIAA rant, November 13, 2006
refusing to co-operate – The `We`re Not Taking Any More` club, September 17, 2005
refused to be cowed – Patti Santangelo v RIAA: battle won?, April 18, 2007
couldn’t beat her down – Tanya Andersen sues the RIAA, June 25, 2007
Recording Industry v The People – Michelle Santangelo to Move to Vacate Default Judgment, Juoly 9, 2007
p2pnet – Michelle Santangelo judgment, January 19, 2007
30,00 RIAA victims – Ohio U failing students in RIAA attacks, May 25, 2007
P2P networks – 1 billion songs a DAY shared online, March 8, 2007
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