p2pnet news | RIAA News:- As p2pnet pointed out yesterday, the story of how Tanya Andersen turned the tables on Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA has captured the attention of both the on and off-line media.
Andersen, who’s living on a disablement pension in Oregon, is suing the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in a class action.
The Big 4 enforcement unit went after not only Andersen, but also Kylee, her 10-year-old daughter.
The latest mainstream media report of Andersen’s lawsuit, first revealed by p2pnet, is in Hollywood newspaper Variety.
“If the court grants that status, the RIAA could be facing a losing proposition because class-action suits can be extremely risky for defendants, in this case creating the potential for a big payout by the music labels,” says the story, quoting Ronnie London, “an attorney versed in class-action law,” as saying:
“If class action is certified, it’s more likely that the record companies would settle.”
‘Devastated’ by file sharers
Settlement could also lead to less aggressive legal tactics in pursuit of online pirates, observes Variety, failing to point out that not one of the ‘online pirates’ has yet appeared in court or been found guilty of anything by a judge or a jury in a civil court.
In fact, the RIAA claim that its Big 4 owners, who are worth literally billions of dollars, are being “devastated” by file sharers is about as accurate as their claim that Andersen and most, if not all, of the other 30,000 or so RIAA victims (including 12-year-old children) are “massive online distributors of copyrighted music”.
That’s to say there’s not a word of truth in it.
“The recording industry’s willingness to settle is far from guaranteed, however, given the nuanced variables of class-action suits and the RIAA’s contention that the Oregon suit is meritless and thus should be dismissed – an argument the org plans to make in a brief it will file with the court in the coming weeks,” says Variety, quoting Andersen’s lawyer, Lory Lybeck, as saying:
“Her story is emblematic of the abuse this process has at its core.” Lybeck added that, since filing for class-action status, he’s been contacted “by a number of other people who are in a similar position” and is “confident” that status will be granted.
‘We look forward to presenting our arguments …’
The significance of class-action status “would be huge,” Variety quotes Ray Beckerman, who represents defendants in illegal downloading lawsuits filed by the RIAA, says Variety, continuing:
“The RIAA’s whole gambit has been economic imbalance: four huge multinational corporations join forces in an even larger cartel and sue Mom and Pop. Class actions are economic equalizers, anathema to the RIAA. If there’s a class action, the court could issue a preliminary injunction that would stop the RIAA’s unlawful practices,” Beckerman added. “If class action is certified, there would probably be at least a behavioral change on the part of the record companies. They’ll be more circumspect about which defendants they actually pick and may be more amenable to settling for less money,” London predicted.
But, “”We are confident that (Andersen’s) claims have no merit,” the story has an unnamed RIAA spokeswoman saying. “We look forward to presenting our arguments in the next few weeks to the court about why this case should be dismissed.
“In all our cases, we seek to follow the facts and be fair and reasonable in resolving pending claims.”
When victims show signs of serious resistance, the RIAA’s record so far is mostly to run off with its tail between its legs in the manner of all cowards and bullies.
But Andersen wants to bring a class action against the RIAA and if the Big 4 front unit backs down, the writing will be clearly on the wall for other victims to follow Andersen’s example.
What to do? What to DO?
Definitely stay tuned.
pointed out yesterday – P2P. People Power, August 30, 2007
turned the tables – Tanya Andersen sues the RIAA, June 25, 2007
10-year-old daughter – RIAA vs Kylee hits the mainstream, March 28, 2007
Variety – RIAA faces serious piracy lawsuit, August 30, 2007