p2pnet news view RIAA | Kids & Kartels:- “My name is Brittany Kruger. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a tough person. I cry almost every night these days, and I’m scared to death of what is going to happen to me in the future. Most of all I’m not a pirate, I don’t have a peg leg or a hook for a hand, and I don’t raid ships on the high seas looking for booty.”
They’re the first three lines Britanny (right) wrote in a story explaining exactly what it’s like to be an American student hounded by Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but run by a Canadian).
Because, say Mitch Bainwol, Cary Sherman, Cara Duckworth, Jonathan Lamy and all the other good people at the unAmerican (literally) Big 4′s RIAA, Brittany has shared with other people. And that, they say, just cannot be allowed.
“During the past several years, thousands of regular working class folks in the music community have lost their jobs precisely because of the illegal activity involved in this case,” said Duckworth in a written statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Duckworth wasn’t referring to Britanny’s lawsuit. Rather, she was talking about the Joel Tenenbaum farce in which a Boston student is being represented by professor Charles Nesson and his team of Harvard law students.
But even that’s incorrect. Joel Tenenbaum’s one case isn’t responsible any more than any of the other file sharing cases, only one of which has ever made it to court. And that’s having to be re-tried.
If Big 4 artists and support workers are in trouble, it’s because the labels missed the boat when it was time to move from the physical 20th into the 21st digital century.
The Tenebaum lawsuit has struck terror into the hearts of Bainwol and Sherman, et al, because judge Nancy Gertner said it was OK for oral arguments to be streamed live so they could be seen and heard online.
Despite the fact the Big 4 and their RIAA claim the sue ‘em all lawsuit campaign is designed to educate people on the evils of file sharing, there’s no way they want the proceedings to see the light of day and they’re currently doing everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Duckworth’s statement is just one glaring example of the kind of nonsensical rhetoric she and other RIAA sophists issue on a daily basis to be picked up and run by the mainstream media, and which later come to be seen as fact.
One filesharing case is responsible for thousands of people being thrown out of work? Of course, Duckworth doesn’t mean that. She means all of these “regular working class folks” are in dire straits because of all of those other “regular working class folks” whom the Big 4 and their RIAA have labelled criminals and thieves because according to the corporate music industry »»»
When someone shares a song with someone else, it’s exactly the same as walking into a record store and stealing a CD off the shelf.
When a song is shared, a sale which would have otherwise occurred, is killed.
Both claims are, of course, ridiculous, and if anyone made them in even a junior school debate, they wouldn’t stand up for five seconds.
But Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US) and their RIAA-clones around the world, have been getting away those statements since 2003.
A pack of lies
During the week we published a letter from Randy Kruger. His daughter, Brittany, “is being hung out to dry by the labels, with the RIAA fronting for them,” we said, quoting recording Industry vs The People’s Ray Beckerman who described her case like this »»»
The RIAA is being especially vengeful towards Brittany, because she, with the help of her non-lawyer father, dared to question the legality of MediaSentry`s conducting investigations in Michigan without an investigator`s license.
Her complaint prompted an investigation by Michigan`s Department of Labor and Economic Growth which encouraged other college students, and even colleges, in Michigan to follow suit, probably led to reform of Michigan`s licensing statute, caught MediaSentry up in a pack of lies, and which may yet lead to criminal prosecution, but which was not sufficient to cause MediaSentry to stop its illegal practice.
Not at all incidentally, MediaSentry has been fired to be replaced by another company, this time conveniently located in Denmark.
Here’s Brittany’s story, unedited and just the way she wrote it so you can see what the life of an evil filesharing pirate is like.
And please, whether you’re a website or blog owner or a reader and forum poster, republish Brittany’s story, or pass it on in any other way. No need for attribution to p2pnet »»»
My name is Brittany Kruger. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a tough person. I cry almost every night these days, and I’m scared to death of what is going to happen to me in the future. Most of all I’m not a pirate, I don’t have a peg leg or a hook for a hand, and I don’t raid ships on the high seas looking for booty.I was a regular kid (I may be 22 years old now, but I still rely on my parents for almost everything!). I’ve no real knowledge of the world at this point in life other than how hard it is to establish credit or get a loan.
Today, February 3rd, I had a lovely conversation with one Morgan Schwartzlander [the 'lead' at the RIAA settlement extortion centre], and let me just tell you, it was outstanding, so great in fact I got off the phone in tears. My suggested settlement of $2,000 was “ridiculous” compared to their (“not negotiable”) $8,100 settlement.
Morgan will tell you that she is “not legal counsel” but she’ll tell you what she would do if she were in your situation, she’ll give you some statistics about how motions to quash are almost never granted, and then she’ll tell you that whoever suggested your motion to quash is an idiot (I don’t think she knew that was my dad).
I make about $4,500 in a YEAR working at Dairy Queen, and they want a lump sum of $8,000+? I don’t know how that’s going to work. When I buy a song from iTunes, it only cost $.99. Not every college student can have mommy and daddy pay for all their problems to go away.
I was looking through my journal to refresh my bad memory of how everything happened, then I decided that I didn’t want to bore you with dates. So I’m going to tell what I’ve learned about myself these past 2 years.
Today I realized that I cry a lot! Over and over I question myself “am I a bad person?” I’ve never killed anyone, I’m a very sympathetic and forgiving person, I volunteer, and I go to church.
But these people at the RIAA still have a way of making me question myself. Are some people just programmed to be bad no matter how hard they try to be good? That’s exactly how it seems to go for me, one step forward two steps back (or that seems to be how it is for my one person pity party).
Then my mom assures me that it’s not me. The jobs (I call them jobs because I would assume that a career is something that makes you feel good about what you do) these people hold are there to make people feel bad because they don’t have the monetary funds to make all their problems just go away. They are bullies!
I wonder how people like Ms Schwartzlander or Mr Kelso sleep at night, I wonder if they go to church every Sunday and think “I’m a good person”.
[Note: Kelso is Donald J, a Holmes Roberts & Owen attack lawyer acting for the Big 4's RIAA as it extorts American students such as Brittany.]
I think all the time about how something that I love so much could get me into so much trouble?
I never sold copyrighted music for profit; I used it [P2P] to find new music or to figure out if I liked a band enough to buy their CD (because I hate buying a CD for just one song)! I didn’t think I was hurting the bands that I love by finding more of their music, listening to it, and then buying their CD. That makes no sense.
I didn’t even know what copyright was until got called to the Dean’s Office.
I don’t know how everyone else spends their college life, but for me a large portion consists of printing off endless amounts of documents that use language I don’t understand, making pleasant phone calls to settlement agencies, and racing papers to the local court house.
That’s precious time I could be using (studying or hanging out with friends) that’s wasted because of money.
I wonder how many college students have had to go to the police station to file a complaint about a “private investigator” invading my privacy, and have had the police look at them as if they were totally incompetent?
How many students have had their university hand them over like a piece of meat to hungry billion dollar corporate wolves?
I know that the University of Michigan didn’t do that, and Harvard University didn’t do that.
I feel bad for my roommates and friends too, because I know they get pulled into a lot of the problems that I have. They get caught answering the phone when it’s a settlement agency and have no idea what to do or say.
How are they supposed to comfort me when I’m having a bad day? I know that hundreds of kids at NMU, at one point or another, downloaded music, but they didn’t get their computers hacked into, and get accused like me of being a pirate like me, and they’re lucky for that. I think they know that.
I’m not a regular college student. I’m an example for everyone to stop and look at, with a giant stamp on my forehead that says, “Don’t be like me, because I made one mistake as a teenager that will ruin the rest of my life”.
You might not see my face or name plastered everywhere, but I can guarantee you that I’m in every statistic, you see a poster on the wall warning you against “illegal downloading”.
I’m the person they’re talking about. I might even be one of the “stupid” ones fighting the RIAA.
I’m Doe # 5, but I prefer to be called Brittany, because that’s who I am.
I’m a person, not an IP address or a case number.
I’m a person and no one will ever change that about me. I’m me and no one else will ever tell me different. I need to believe in that. Everyone makes mistakes, and the people who are doing this to me are no different.
I’m scared, and now I worry all the time about what is going to happen to me.
I don’t know if it has made me a stronger person or a weaker person. I have problems sleeping, my hair is falling out in ungodly amounts, I’m having a hard time concentrating in class, but most of all I hate the fact that I’ve pulled my entire family into this.
My dad helps me all the time figuring out what I should do, my mom listens to me when I’m having a bad day and need someone to cry to, my brothers and sister, I’m sure get jipped on the time my parents spend with them, and there’s always that perpetual question “hey isn’t your sister being sued or something for downloading music?”.
Right now it doesn’t seem like this is ever going to end, I’m just now entering the tunnel and the light is miles away.
I know it will end. I just don’t know how long it will take to get there.
I guess Murder by Death was right when they said “Sometimes the line walks you”.
Thanks for sharing, Brittany. I know how hard that was for you.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
February , 2009
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