p2pnet news view RIAA | P2P:- Patti Santangelo is a wonderful person and I’m really glad for her and two of her five children, Michelle and Bobby, that the RIAA’s vicious war against them is now all-but over.
They were the first family to really put up a fight against Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG and their RIAA and it could be said they paved the way for many, if not most, of other RIAA victims who, inspired by her example, decided they weren’t going to take it either.
Tanya Andersen is now famous as the woman who took the RIAA on and won. And as she told me this morning, that might never have happened had it not been for Patti’s example.
“Her case was the one that got me going,” Tanya said. “When the RIAA came after me, I didn’t know anything and it was only by reading about Patti that I was able to get any information.
“She stood up against them and made other people understand they could do the same.”
Way back, Recording Industry vs The People’s Ray Beckerman briefly represented Patty and I asked him how he felt.
“I think she’s a very special person,” he told me, “A great lady. Instead of taking the easy way out, she took a whole world of heat and abuse on her own shoulders, in order to stand up for principle.
“All America should look to her with pride and admiration, and every one of us owes her a debt of gratitude, because it’s people like Patti Santangelo who make freedom possible for the rest of us. If there were more people like Patti, the RIAA’s campaign would have ended years earlier than it did.”
‘… didn’t take advantage of an opportunity …’
Troubles besetting Patti outside of the RIAA case would have been enough to sink a lot of people. But she never gave up, eventually forcing the RIAA to drop its ridiculous claims that she was a massive illegal online distributor of copyrighted corporate music.
The RIAA never thought she was, of course. From day one, they were after Michelle and Bobby — and anyone else they could trap along the way.
It’s standard RIAA practice. First target the parent(s), then the kids.
We were disappointed that Ms. Santangelo didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to get rid of this case quickly, as most people have when they find that somebody in their household or somebody using their computer was in the wrong.
That was an outright lie. ‘Most people’ hadn’t done anything of the kind, and it’s the same today.
Patti was forced to endure endless days of psychological torture – because that’s quite literally what it is – believing the labels and their extortion unit were determined to nail her personally as an infringer or, as the RIAA likes to call it in deliberately inflammatory language designed to catch the eye of the corporate mainstream media, a criminal and thief – a copyright “violator”.
“In this case, if Ms. Santangelo did not do this, then she should tell us who did, and we would modify the complaint accordingly,” said Sherman, also noting:
“We had one grandfather who had those kids work off the amount that he paid to settle as a way of teaching them a lesson and making this a family event.”
As Stephen E. Robertson says in a case in which he’s defending RIAA victim Shahanda Moursy, however »»»
These suits are designed to attract media attention, and often do, as stories emerge of Record Company Counterclaim Defendants’ suits against the elderly, disabled, technologically clueless, and other vulnerable victims. Many of these victims have no idea how to operate a computer, let alone how to install and use peer-to-peer networking software to exchange music they would not likely be listening to anyway. But actual innocence is rarely a consideration to the Record Company Counterclaim Defendants.
The Record Company Counterclaim Defendants’ litigation campaign, its preceding demands, and illegal investigations, are part of a concerted pattern of sham litigation. The Record Company Counterclaim Defendants’ true purpose is not to obtain the relief claimed in its sham litigation, but to intimidate, harass, and oppress the defendant targets and other users of computer networks.
It’s blackmail and extortion
It’s now finished for Patti, Michelle and Bobby who were, and are, innocent of the charges against them.
After almost half a decade of unrelenting pressure from the multi-billion-dollar record labels, a settlement has been reached.
If it’s typical of other similar cases, such as with the Greubels, no details will be revealed and Patti’s lawyer, Jordan Glass, was unable to say anything except he’s expecting to receive the final papers within the next two or three days.
But however you carve it up, to any reasonable person, it’s blackmail and extortion on the parts of Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US and if there was any genuine justice, the Santangelos and the other victims would have an opportunity to take the labels on in a fair courtroom contest — and the labels and their RIAA would find themselves in criminal court for methodic abuse of the US legal system.
However, it’s simple: without exception, the victims are very ordinary people with very ordinary means and they just can’t afford it.
Unlike the Big 4, they don’t have bottomless financial resources and endless streams of expert copyright lawyers at their disposal.
In the final analysis, it’s a cost-benefit exercise. The victims don’t have the means to guarantee a fair hearing, or anything even vaguely near it.
So they have to buy the labels off.
I’m speculating Patti will now have to find some amount of money to pay the extortion, her kids will have to agree to restrictions the public at large will never be told about, and the terms of deal will be kept secret.
But that doesn’t matter.
When she was first held up as a file sharing criminal and thief by the RIAA and its bosses, Mitch Bainwol and Cary Sherman, the mainstream media were only presenting one side of the story – the RIAA’s.
That’s changed and and in 2009, everyone knows who the true criminals and thieves are. And isn’t Patti or any of the other RIAA victims.
The labels are haemorrhaging customers like it’s going out of style, but they have only themselves to blame.
‘… her courage was the catalyst …’
Today, “I’m glad for the Santangelos that they can finally put this ugliness behind them,” says Beckerman, adding »»»
And I am deeply grateful to them – on behalf of all the victims of corporate bullying all across the country – for the Santangelo’s important contribution to the resistance to the RIAA’s now defeated litigatio campaign.
Patti was the very first defendant to take on the RIAA’s fake “making available” theory, and the courts have come to recognize that her position was correct. And her case shed important public attention on the RIAA’s McCarthyistic terror techniques of terrorizing families, friends, and neighbors.
It is arguable that the day Patti Santangelo stepped up and said “no” was the beginning of the end for the RIAA’s campaign, because her courage was the catalyst that brought the rest of us into the fray, and gave us the courage to carry the fight to the now disintegrating ‘big 4′ record labels and their cowardly lawyers.
I’m proud to know Patti.
And, DON’T BUY ANY CORPORATE ‘PRODUCT’.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
February , 2009
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