p2p news special / p2pnet: Some 18,000 innocent men, women and children have been quite literally terrorized by the Big Four Organized Music cartel’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
Thanks to the unrelenting, multi-million-dollar Big Four anti-p2p campaign, they’ve been held up as as thieves and criminals by the corporate media corps.
Yet nothing has been stolen, no money has changed hands, not one of the 18,000 has ever been found guilt of anything, and the unimaginably rich Warner Music, Vivendi Universal, EMI and Sony BMG have never been able to uphold their claims that they’re being “devastated” by file sharers.
Nor have they ever been able to substantiate their assertions that a file shared equals a sale lost.
Santangelo is refusing to admit she’s shared even one file and will be the first person to challenge the labels in an open court before a jury.
Andersen, who’s laid RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization) allegations of her own against the RIAA, also flatly denies its charges and since early last year, has been trying to get the labels to check her hard-drive as proof.
The Big Four ‘trade’ organization didn’t want to know. Period. But suddenly, it decided it did, after all, require access to her hard-drive
And the RIAA will have to pay his or her bill.
Meanwhile, Andersen – pictured here with Kylee, her daughter, and Tazz, their terrier/Maltese cross – used to buy music through BMG, but dropped the service when she was sued.
Now, in this Q&A with p2pnet, she describes how BMG Music asked her to return to the fold because she’d been, “such a great customer”.
They also promised her a free CD if she’d sign up again.
“I think it’s sad that all the beautiful and hard work of artists is being tarnished by these lawsuits,” she told p2pnet.
p2pnet: You’ve been embroiled in a fight with the Big Four record labels for some time, now. Mark Eilers at their Tukwila, Washington, ‘Settlement Centre,’ claims you downloaded ‘illegal’ digital files. But you’ve said from Day One the allegation isn’t true. Do you have any idea how they decided to zero in on you?
Andersen: No, I don’t. There were a lot of things that went on with my computer during that month – I was down for a week and had to call Verizon to get me back on line. During that time, there was an employee that went in and did some things to my computer – worked my computer from their office; also having me go in and change my ip address several times. I also had a virus that month that I had a hard time getting rid of. I really have no idea. I just know that I never did what they’re saying I did.
p2pnet: Have you ever shared files?
p2pnet: Do you know how to share files?
Andersen: I’d heard about people file sharing before this lawsuit was filed against me. But if you told me to go into a program and do it, I wouldn’t know how. Through this lawsuit, I’ve had to educate myself through reading and talking to people to learn about how Kaaza works and about how file sharing works.
p2pnet: Your lawyer says in a, “sweeping and indefinite manner,” the RIAA lists 1,406 file names. This represents statutory damages of either $4,500 or $1,054,500. How much is the RIAA actually demanding from you?
Andersen: The Settlement Support Center that kept calling me told me if I didn’t agree to pay them that they’d be filing a huge lawsuit against me in Federal Court, and would sue me for hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I told them I didn’t do what they were saying, they told me they just don’t end these things and I’d better just pay. Or else. I kept telling them there is no way I did what they said, and could I please see the proof of what they were saying I did. They told me they couldn’t provide that to me at that time. It wasn’t something they did. That, when they filed a lawsuit against me, I could see what they had. He did finally tell me on the phone how many songs there were, named some of them, and told me the user name (which I’d never heard of). I continued to tell him I didn’t do what they were saying. They would just say they’d sue me for hundreds of thousands of dollars if I didn?t enter into an agreement with the Settlement Support Center to pay.
p2pnet: How much are they demanding from you?
Andersen: I’m not even sure, at this point, the exact amount they are suing me for. I just know it’s huge.
p2pnet: Have they told you which files they’re accusing you of sharing?
Andersen: When the Settlement Support Center called, they had told me the names of a few they were accusing me of. It was not until I got served the lawsuit and saw the exhibits that I found out what all I was even actually being accused of.
p2pnet: Have you considered paying to get the RIAA off your back?
Andersen: Nope. I don’t believe I should pay for something I did not do.
p2pnet: Your daughter, Kylee, is nine, now. Does she understand what’s going on?
Andersen: She understands that her mom is being sued, but isn’t sure what all that means. I’ve tried to keep a lot of it away from her. Even though I try that, she’s still heard some things. I found out one day that this stuff was affecting her more than I knew and that she’s heard some of it. One day, out of the blue, she asked me if those people are going to take her mom away and if I’d go to jail. She wanted to know if we’d still have a place to live and food to eat and would we be OK. It scares and confuses her. She keeps asking me if they’re still suing me.
p2pnet: Might she have shared files on your computer without you knowing?
Andersen: No. She was seven at the time – only a few months into the age of seven. She still doesn’t know how to even connect to the internet. She’s always had to ask if she does get on the computer. The computer is out in the living room, and always had been, where I can see it. It also had passwords on it. She gets on the computer to play with her store-bought kid software or has gone on children?s site occasionally, if I help her get on there. She doesn’t even know how to do that herself.
p2pnet: Is the RIAA action affecting her in any way?
Andersen: Yes. She’s scared they’re going to take her mom away for something she doesn’t understand. She’s worried if we’re going to be OK. Plus, she puts up with a mom who has more stress than normal, at times. I try real hard to keep that under control, but it’s pretty hard at times.
p2pnet: When they can’t get to parents, the RIAA is infamous for going after children. Do you know if it’s thinking about a suit against your daughter?
Andersen: No, I haven’t heard of that.
p2pnet: We understand you wrote US senator Ron Wyden and Congressman David Wu, and state senator Gordon Smith, all from Oregon, asking for their help both as an Oregon citizen, and ex-employee of the Oregon Department of Justice. Did they respond?
Andersen: They each responded with a letter that appeared generic in reply. They all told me that, as congress people, they couldn’t get involved in someone being sued in a lawsuit. I could tell by the letters that they didn’t even understand what I was talking about.
p2pnet: What do your friends and neighbors think of the law suit?
Andersen: Most think it is pretty insane and can’t believe this is happening to me. They know I didn’t download or share music.
p2pnet: Do you have any idea at all how the RIAA zeroed in on you?
Andersen: No, I don’t.
p2pnet: Are, or were you, a customer of any of the labels?
Andersen: Yes, I was. I bought CDs regularly and was a member of BMG?s music club. I ordered a lot of CDs from BMG. I cancelled my membership when this happened.
The weird thing is the other day, I received a phone call from BMG Music asking me to come back because I had been ‘such a great customer.’ They told me if I signed back up, they’d give me a free CD. I told them No and they asked me why. I told them that maybe they should quit suing their great customers. They guy on the phone told me he didn’t even know they were doing that. (I’m sure he was just a telemarketer and it didn?t matter much to him.)
There are songs out now that I hear and love and would love to buy the CD, but when I see the recording company, I feel sick to my stomach and won’t buy it. It?s sad to me because music used to be something that would relax me and make me feel good – it was a huge joy in my life.
Now, knowing what I know, the entire industry has left me with a different feeling.
p2pnet: What would you say to any of the other people who are being victimized by the RIAA?
Andersen: People can make a difference. I believe that.
Believe in yourself and don’t let someone bully you into paying for something you haven’t done.
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