p2pnet news view | Kids & Kartels:- The Big Four record labels are escalating their attack on Patti Santangelo, the New York mother who’s so far the only person to stand up to them.
And they’ll be using her children as weapons against her.
On Tuesday judge Mark D. Fox presided over a discovery hearing in Elektra v Santangelo and, “Elektra’s attorneys have answered Patti’s objections to their discovery questions,” her lawyer, Jordan Glass, told p2pnet.
“They’ve started to push back aggressively. They’re going after her children – and this time not directly so they can get around certain protections the children have. They had information about the children that wasn’t public, or wasn’t supposed to be public, and it’s of great concern not only that that they were able to obtain it, but also that they wanted it.
“They’re not treating this as a single case or as seeking a verdict for $3,500.00. They’re treating this as a symbol for how the other cases will go and I hope everyone who reads this will recognize the serious impact this case could have on their children.”
The RIAA has spent enough to feed a small country on trying to make the world believe it’s owners, the multi-billion-dollar Big Four labels, are being “devastated” (their word) by people who share music online, that contracted artists are suffering and that support workers are being driven into extreme financial hardship.
They make the completely unsupportable assertion that people using the p2p networks to share files would otherwise have paid $1 or more to buy the song from an online corporate music site or an offline music store.
And they claim file sharers are criminals and thieves, although nothing has been stolen and at worst, file sharing, a purely civil, not criminal, matter, involves copyright infringement.
Patti is said to have shared music, an allegation she flatly denies, and when the Big Four’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) tried to get her to buy them off, she would have none of it, instead electing to act as her own lawyer against the labels.
When p2pnet spoke to her last September, “Assuming your case ends up in court, how far are you willing to go?” – we asked her.
“I’m willing to take it as far as I have to to prevent other innocent people being dragged into frivolous lawsuits,” she replied. “It’s wrong.”
She also said, “I have three teenage children who love music and I think that’s a great thing. I can’t count the amount of concert tickets and CDs that I’ve purchased over the past few years, and I still have two younger ones who are showing the same love for music. I find it hard to believe that file sharing could impact record companies to the point of devastation. There are some people, apparently, who copy and sell CDs, and that is piracy and they are the ones that need to be stopped.”
Thanks to the generosity of p2pnet readers, Patti has been able to retain Glass and is now going through the process of collecting the materials she needs to defend herself against the Big Four, Warner Music (US), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan, Germany) and EMI (Britain).
“This case is jeopardizing the actual well-being of children and you’re going to see problems develop which will be far worse than the mere ‘shakedown for money’ ['settlements'],” says Glass emphatically.
“As just one example, it was deeply unsettling for us to learn just how much personal, non-public information the RIAA had collected on Patti’s children.
“All parents should be concerned and I think people have to know the implications.
“It’s one thing to sue children directly. They get a lawyer, rules are established, the court might offer certain protections, etc, but when it’s done through a back door – suing a parent to get information about a child – the child has no protections, especially when the plaintiff doesn’t even have the decency to not publish personal information about the child.
“This, then, is going to become the new feeding ground for those who seek to exploit children, whether through improper contact or identity theft.
“This new class of child – scared and facing the federal legal system, with few protections and their personal contact and identification information, as well as their posted feelings, fears, desires and thoughts – is now exposed to the world for all to see.
Glass is working virtually for expenses and the lion’s share of the $7,862.62 donated so far is going on collecting and collating the discovery materials and other documents necessary for Patti’s defense.
But a lot more will be needed, so please contribute whatever you can to the Fight Goliath campaign, bearing in mind Patti has taken on the international corporate music industry as much for other parents and children around the world who might find themselves in her position, as for herself and her children.
You can make a PayPal donation by clicking the button under the picture below, or you can send a cheque or money to:
C/O PO Box 274
New York 10530-0274
All donations are held in escrow and Patti personally approves all outgoings and expenses.
Spread the word. Blog, post, use IM, emails, ICR, whatever. Contact your local tv / radio station / newspaper. Can you get something on slashdot? Can you get the Fight Goliath campaign on Digg or anywhere else?
Thanks for your help. Patti quite literally can’t do this without you.