p2pnet.net News:- Paul H. Wilke, a 52-year-old Illinois man the Big Four Organized Music cartel is trying to nail for alleged copyright infringement, says he’s never used p2p file sharing programs, let alone illicitly distributed songs or made them available for distribution online.
Nor, he says, are any of the songs cited by the Big Four’s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as being on his computer ‘illegally,’ in any way ‘illegal’. Rather, he says, they were ripped from CDs he’d bought and paid for.
But these aren’t the only mistakes made by the RIAA. The so-called ‘trade’ organization’s lawyers, Holme Roberts & Owen, also managed to get Wilke’s name wrong.
With the plaintiffs bringing hundreds upon hundreds of cases through the courts each month, they’re bound to mistakenly bring cases against innocent individuals with their drift net litigation tactics, says his lawyer, Daliah Saper. It’s through this litigation machine that the RIAA has wrongly brought a suit against Paul Wilke.
On February 24, 2006, he received a letter saying he’d been sued for copyright infringement by numerous record companies.
Baffled and confused by the charge, Wilke hired a professional systems expert to check his computer.
The professional confirmed that no such programs existed on his hard drive, Saper told p2pnet. Paul contacted the Settlement Information Line to clear up any misunderstandings. He explained to the settlement hotline representative that he only used iTunes to download songs and that he’s never used any type of file sharing program. The remaining songs on his computer have all been transferred from purchased CD’s which are still in his possession.
But instead of dropping the case, the ‘settlement’ officer, who isn’t an attorney, told Wilke she had no authority to negotiate and could only offer to settle for $3,750.
Paul’s subsequent attempts at contacting the actual attorneys for the RIAA were re-routed to the Settlement Hotline, Saper states. “Before he knew it, the RIAA named him in a suit filed in the Northern District of Illinois.
But, undeterred by such strong arm tactics, he decided to take the expensive and time consuming route of defending his innocence.
Saper asked Judge James Holderman to dismiss Elektra v Wilke in Chicago federal court, this morning (August 22) and, “Paul Wilke also stepped up.”
Holderman’s reaction to the motion was, “extremely favorable,” says Saper. “He bluntly asked the RIAA’s counsel what, if anything, they’d have to say in a responsive pleading.
The RIAA’s counsel said further investigation was necessary.
Holderman has set a date for Wilke’s deposition, but urged the parties to come to a resolution before September 19, the date the RIAA’s responsive pleadings are due, says Saper.
Definitely stay tuned.