p2pnet news | RIAA news:- Friday the 13th was lucky for Michelle Santangelo, the New York girl Elektra Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Virgin Records, BMG Music and Sony-BMG, falsely accused of being a massive, and illegal, distributor of copyrighted music.
The daughter of Patti Santangelo, one of the first to defy the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Michelle was on the hook for $30,750, plus another $490 in “costs,” for good measure, levied because she’d allegedly failed to answer a complaint within a given time frame.
However, at a scheduled hearing on Friday, July 13, federal district court judge Stephen C. Robinson ruled the judgment against Michelle will be vacated which, to all intents and purposes, means it’s been dropped and Michelle can go back to square one, pleading her case as if the ruling had never been made.
Equally important, it had also given her a negative credit record, which would have followed her through life.
However, her attorney, Jordan Glass, says part of the original default issue still remains to be argued: the RIAA may still demand lawyer fees for having lodged the judgment in the first place.
Judge Robinson also said various motions have to heard, including one by Michelle and her brother, Bobby (left), which could have a significant effect on their cases, as well as those of other people being sued by the RIAA.
If they go through, Sharman Networks’ Kazaa P2P file sharing application, as well as AOL, might well be brought into the spotlight at an argument scheduled to take place sometime in September.
Kazaa is already very much on the wrong end of a class action.
“Kazaa designed its software, ‘in such a manner as to create a shared files folder and make that folder available to anyone using Kazaa, while at the same time failing to make the user aware that it had done so,’ says a court document offered by
Charles Mudd, representing RIAA sue ‘em all victim Catherine Lewan.
It goes on:
The Sharman Defendants marketed KaZaA as the P2P service that allowed individuals to share files.
The Sharman Defendants deceptively marketed the KaZaA Product as allowing ‘free’ downloads.
The Sharman Defendants deceptively marketed the use of the KaZaA Product as legal.
The Sharman Defendants deceptively knew that most users of the KaZaA Product would use the KaZaA Product to catalog and store digital copies of copyrighted sound recordings and films.
The Sharman Defendants encouraged, invited and solicited such conduct from the public, its customers, and users of the KaZaA Product.
To use the KaZaA Product, an individual user would download the KaZaA software and install it on their computer.
The user could then use the KaZaA Product to catalog files on the individual’s computer. These files would be contained within a ‘share folder’.
To increase the sound recordings and films available on the KaZaA network, the Sharman Defendants designed the KaZaA software to create the shared folder and make the share folder accessible to anyone using the KaZaA software on the KaZaA network. They did so such that neither the KaZaA software nor the individual user’s computer would inform the user that this had occurred.
In other words, the Sharman Defendants designed the KaZaA software to share the contents of the individual users ‘share folder’ without letting the user of the KaZaA software know that he or she made such content available to others on the KaZaA network.
Further on, the class-action document says:
The Sharman defendants designed the KaZaA software to install a number of additional programmes (‘spyware’) on an individual user’s computer for nefarious purposes. They did so such that neither the KaZaA software nor the individual user’s computer would inform the user had this had occurred.
The spyware employed by the KaZaA software affected computers adversely.
The Sharman Defendants designed the KaZaA software to be nearly impossible to fully eradicate from a user’s computer. Consequently, an individual’s shared folder would remain accessible to the KaZaA Network after the KaZaA software had been removed from the individual’s computer.
By automatically sharing files in the shared folder, KaZaA exposed its users to claims of copyright infringement by making such files accessible to other users of the KaZaA network to download.
The Sharman Defendants knew and continue to know that the use of the KaZaA Product exposes its users to claims of copyright infringement.
Meanwhile, at the Robinson hearing, no mention was made of when the decision and various schedules will be published.