BusinessWeek recently wrote about her in a major story, and she’s been featured by on- and offline print and electronic media around the world.
But she wishes that wasn’t the case.
Because Tanya’s notoriety stems from the fact she’s a single mother on a medical disability pension who, with her lawyer, Lory Lybeck, took on Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG and their RIAA.
“I’ve said this before in open court. There is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources. The law is also overwhelmingly on their side. They bring cases against individuals, individuals who don’t have lawyers and don’t have access to lawyers and who don’t understand their legal rights.”
That’s judge Nancy Gertner quoted by Ars Technica in How Harvard Law threw down the gauntlet to the RIAA, the case centering on the case in which the Big 4 have zeroed in on American law professor Charles Nesson who, with a team of young Harvard students, is defending Joel Tenenbaum, accused by the RIAA of being a massive online distributor of copyrighted music files.
On RIAA lawsuits in general, Gertner said:
“Some category of individuals are defaulted because they read the summons, and they haven’t the foggiest idea what it means and don’t know where to go, so they’re defaulted, and they owe money anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 as a result of these defaults.”
She ruled the Courtroom View Network could narrowcast a live video of the oral arguments to Harvard University`s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which would then publicly re-broadcast them, said p2pnet, adding:
“But, having ruthlessly and shamelessly exploited the mainstream media for years, the RIAA is now throwing up its metaphysical hands in horror at the prospect of itself being in the public eye for all to see, demanding permission be revoked.”
Going beyond ‘permitted’
Interestingly, Gertner is herself a blogger who, on Slate’s Convictions site, states
Although judges are more limited than other public actors in what they can say about a host of things, like cases pending before me or even cases pending before other judges, we are permitted to speak about the administration of justice and other general legal matters.
To me, the issue goes beyond what we are ”permitted” to comment about and what we are not “permitted” to comment about. I think judges have a responsibility to participate in the public debate and that’s what I hope to do here – all consistent with, indeed enhancing, my ”day” job.
That’s easy to say from the lofty heights of the civil court bench, but down in the trenches there’s no such thing as “public debate”.
There, the RIAA and its teams of highly paid, expert litigation attorneys fight dirty – really dirty – with impunity.
“The RIAA`s lawyers are the bottom of the barrel. I hope the public won’t think they are typical of the legal profession, because they are not.
“They are the worst of our profession.”
From Tanya to Brittany
Brittany Kruger is a young Michigan University student. But her studies are seriously hobbled because she’s another of the innocent people targeted by the RIAA.
In a Reader’s Write to the p2pnet story on Brittany’s troubles, “I’ve wondered so many times why the powers that can do something, just won’t. It makes me angry,” Tanya said. “I was shocked (and still am) that our government, etc., is letting this go on in the US.”
She went on »»»
There are many good people out there who are trying to help. Sites such as P2Pnet are making a huge difference. I remember when I first started my own fight with the RIAA it was a huge relief when I found out there were others who actually knew what I was talking about. (Because at times, it felt like this was some hidden thing that was happening to just me and many people I contacted knew nothing.)
There are still many people though who seem to have no idea what these lawsuits are all about. They don`t and won`t possibly understand what Brittany and her family are going through. It is maddening.
These people that work for these companies that pursue the lawsuits, I don`t understand. I guess it`s all about money to them; and they somehow make themselves feel okay about totally destroying another human beings life. That`s how I see it anyway. This is supposed to be one of the funnest times of Brittany`s life and she`s having to deal with this BS.
One might think that, having won her settlement from the RIAA, Tanya’s own troubles are over.
But they’re not.
Tanya turned the tables, going after the recording industry saying the RIAA and its helpers such as MediaSentry, since fired by the RIAA, worked together to frighten their victims into making financial payoffs.
They “secretly met and conspired” to develop a “litigation enterprise” with the ultimate goal of preserving the major record companies’ control over the music business, she said, asking for class action status in which she’s seeking at least $5 million in compensation for herself and other victims.
But, “I’m still fighting with the RIAA,” she told me last night. “This still isn’t over.
“I did win the lawsuit the RIAA had against me; however, I have the class action case against them. It’s still in discovery at this time.”
And the RIAA is using the same dirty tactics that are now hallmarks of its sue ‘em all campaign.
“So far, they’ve subpoened records from my medical providers, past employers, government records, and many others,” says Tanya, adding:
“It feels like more humiliation and invasion of privacy.
“Most recently, I’ve learned that they are calling me in for yet another deposition. The last deposition was close to six hours long and extremely stressful. So, here we go again.
But, Tanya promises, “I won’t give up.
“It’s just too important.”
February , 2009
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It`s really easy!
Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/p2p.rss | | Mobile – http://p2pnet.net/index-wml.php
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.