p2pnet news | RIAA News:- “I think that because … we do have clear and persuasive evidence that the individual did engage in illegal music trafficking, then people are willing to settle because they realize the liability, they realize they did do this, and they want to get it off their plate,” .”
That’s RIAA mouthperson Clara Duckworth with another of her manifestly insincere, painfully unconvincing, explanations as to why the Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG hit organisation is going after students, ruining their ability to concentrate on their studies and seriously interfering with normal school administrative functions.
The quote comes in a post in the George Washington University student newspaper, the GW Hatchet featuring ‘Sherry,’ and exposing yet another example of a US school putting the interests of the purely commercial corporate music industry before those of its students.
Sherry, not her real name, is a full-time college student with two jobs who’s decided she’s not willing to let the RIAA hang her out of dry.
Instead, she’s fighting back.
Sherry said she downloaded eight songs and in late-October, learned the RIAA was targeting her for copyright infringement, says the Hatchet, going on:
Now her case has become the crux of a legal battle being monitored by experts across the country. The RIAA has subpoenaed the University to learn the names of the 19 anonymous GW students targeted in the suit – using their IP addresses.
Four of those students have agreed to outside settlements, according to court documents. Sherry is fighting the industry’s methods alone in federal court. What has become a drawn out legal battle began, she said, when GW’s legal team informed her of the suit.
“No one really gave me information, which was very discouraging,” she said. “The general counsel told me who was suing me, but they couldn’t give me any legal advice. They told me to call the hotline the RIAA had set up.”
When she called the hotline, they said she needed her IP address to asses the damages being sought – something she did not have. She was encouraged to settle out of court for about $4,000, or risk paying more after a trial.
“I’m furious about it,” she said. “I do buy CDs when I go to concerts, and I do support the artists. It’s very discouraging. I’m a college student. I already work two jobs and take classes, and buying music sucks because it’s expensive. Music should be something everyone can enjoy.”
Students, “don’t have time or the effort or enough money to seek counsel and to endure the very very huge expense it takes to defend a case in federal court,” the story has Stephen Roberston, Sherry’s attorney, saying.
“I can tell you that this has been a huge burden and a financial drain on our firm, but we’re not always in this for the money.”
He added his client, and his firm, continue to fight and lose money against the industry because of the principle.
“You have to want to fight the fight for reasons of principle, which I know is one of the motivating forces for my client,” he said. “She knows this is just wrong. She thinks this whole approach is wrong.”
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