AfterDawn: Tech news

RIAA wins judgement from 20 year old girl

Written by Dave Horvath @ 13 Jan 2007 7:42 User comments (35)

RIAA wins judgement from 20 year old girl There are some who may remember a little while back when the Recording Industry Association of America attempted to sue NY native Patricia Santangelo. The case got a lot of media attention because Mrs. Santagelo was adamant that she had no illegally downloaded any music as the RIAA had claimed. By not settling with the RIAA and taking her case to court, she was able to show the judge that she did not download any music illegally and if her children had, in fact, done so that its the file-sharing programs that should be blamed. The case was dropped and Mrs. Santagelo won her case. The RIAA released a statement that their pursuit would not end there.
The RIAA issued two new cases against Patricia Santangelo's children, Michelle (20) and Robert (16). Although nothing seems to have been ruled against Robert, Michelle did not fair so well.

Judge Stephen C. Robinson of United States District Court has ordered Michelle Santangelo to pay some $750 for each of the 41 songs she was accused of illegally downloading. The total bill coming to $30,750 for a mere 41 songs shows that the RIAA has some very pursuasive legal entities on their side. I'm not sure where the $750 per song figure came from, but the recording industry doesn't even make close to that if the music were purchased legally.

The case fell into default judgement when Michelle Santangelo failed to respond to the RIAA's claims. There's no telling whether or not this default judgement will mark a closure for the case as most judgements of this nature are often set aside so that lawsuits can be decided on the grounds of the default judgement. Neither Jordan Glass, Ms. Santangelo's lawyer or Jenni R. Engebretsen, RIAA spearhead in most of their lawsuit cases and coordinator of thousands of cases of piracy, had any comments on this case.

Source:
New York Times

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35 user comments

113.1.2007 10:12

and the RIAA wonders why sales are down because they are going after their customers its to funny. its really funny how they are only hurting their own pocket and pushin the consumer outthe door. it shows u you how music companies are really screwed for money. Figuring how tower records went out of business and a gang of problems coming to music labels figuring their really isnt alot of great music like there use to be so sales should be down

213.1.2007 11:12

"The case fell into default judgement when Michelle Santangelo failed to respond to the RIAA's claims." This is the only reason why she was ruled againest (this basically means she failed to show up in court which is a no-no in any case civil or criminal), even though she should be able to appeal and have it turned over or at least get the $750.00 per song knocked down, as long as she wasn't caught uploading to 757 people (counting $.99 as the base legal cost to download a song legally).

313.1.2007 12:09

The 750 figure doesn't really have anything to do with how much damage she actually caused, its just that she broke a law. If you could steal a car from a store, and the worst punishment would be pay the price of the car, than people would just steal everything and if they get caught, no big deal. That wouldn't work

413.1.2007 12:17
WierdName
Inactive

But to even make her pay, they would have to prove without a doubt that she did infact steal it. Otherwise, this is a just communism(spelling?).

513.1.2007 17:58

"The 750 figure doesn't really have anything to do with how much damage she actually caused, its just that she broke a law. If you could steal a car from a store, and the worst punishment would be pay the price of the car, than people would just steal everything and if they get caught, no big deal. That wouldn't work" That is in criminal cases in civil you can only sue for the damages that occur, not what you want from the person, if they could then I could sue for a million dollars just because someone stubbed my toe, which is a no-no, the judge would tell me that I can only sue for the hospital bill and the time that I missed at work, aka the damages not what I want from the person.

613.1.2007 18:04

"But to even make her pay, they would have to prove without a doubt that she did infact steal it. Otherwise, this is a just communism(spelling?)." She failed to show up in court meaning that by default the RIAA wins, they don't have to prove anything in this situation (you can't not show up in court just because you feel like the allegations are stupid), but like I said before she can appeal the case.

713.1.2007 18:07
WierdName
Inactive

I didnt put that down very well. What I meant was that they cant force her to pay that crapload of a $750 per song unless they can prove without a doubt that she stole it. Even then she shouldnt have to pay that much.

813.1.2007 18:27

"I didnt put that down very well. What I meant was that they cant force her to pay that crapload of a $750 per song unless they can prove without a doubt that she stole it." I repeat she didn't show up in court when she was supposed to, so the judge ruled in the favor of the RIAA by default, in this situation they don't have to prove anything, but again she can appeal the decision. "Even then she shouldnt have to pay that much." If her appeal is succesful then no, even if it is not she can request that actually damages be paid not inflated prices and then the RIAA would have to prove that her damages amounted to $750.00 and as I estimated before she would have to upload a song 757 times for her damages to equal that amount.

913.1.2007 20:27

This is what its come down too. RIAA taking on kids cause they can't beat people their own size. Shame to the RIAA pick on someone your own size. For a mezlit 41 songs come on. There are priate organsiations that download a lot more crapp than just 41 songs to go after than just kids. Shame...

1013.1.2007 21:04

Default judgment??? What? She didn't even show up for court? Real smart. Thanks for helping the team out there, Michelle.

1113.1.2007 21:28
duckNrun
Inactive

I believe that the $750 per offense is based upon current copyright law. The argument is not about actual damages but what the statute actually allows to be collected by the copyright holder for the violation. This is basically what the other suit where the lawyer is getting the RIAA to fess up to actual wholesale prices is trying to over turn. By showing that actual damages (to the industry) are only 79 CENTS they are arguing that $750 per song (about 1000 times damages) is unconstitutionaly excessive.

1214.1.2007 4:20
tabletpc
Inactive

interresting the mother turns in her own kids to the RIAA and tells them it's my kids fault so that she doesn't go to jail what a pain and 750.00 a song what the heck the RIAA is lucky if they make less then 2 cents a song from downloadable services and you also find it funny that they go after people but yet have gone after people in china the u.k and mexico where 90 percent of all music is pirated how stupid i would have asked the RIAA to prove why they need 750.00 per each song thats a lot of money and funny that the daughter gets the fine while the brother gets off free

1314.1.2007 5:03

This is ridiculous. Why doesn't this Congress do something to stop this nonsense, instead of helping it happen?

1414.1.2007 7:00
jziman
Inactive

All the more reason I check to see if a band I like is part of the RIAA. If they are I refuse to buy that cd. I guess crap like this is why I will not buy a CD from a group that is part of the RIAA.

1514.1.2007 7:33
hans471
Inactive

Congress will NOT do anything about this junk because the RIAA wrote the laws and had them passed by the congressmen they OWN. I am sad to see that our government is actually run by the big businesses that paid to get these jerks elected. Look at the oil companies. Teddy Roosevelt worked hard to break up Standard Oil when it controlled the oil market. Now Congress lets the oil companies merge back together so they can screw us again. Look at their profits. Big oil, big tobacco, big entertainment industry, they are all the same. They have the big money to get whatever they want. Don't thing congress is going to change anything in favor of you or me. Big business owns congress and will get what ever they want. Our only hope is to just stop buying their crap until they figure out what customers are and how you have to be nice to them.

1614.1.2007 16:43

Just the more reason to move to Canada. I'll probably get a couple hate replies for that comment.

1714.1.2007 17:07

ok that was not a smart thing to say canada has soem faults to.

1814.1.2007 17:24
WierdName
Inactive

Almost(all that I know of) everyone that says there going to leave the country because of something dont actually leave when everything is all said and done.

1914.1.2007 18:09

When did they start pursuing downloaders and not just the uploaders?

2014.1.2007 18:24

Originally posted by WierdName:
Almost(all that I know of) everyone that says there going to leave the country because of something dont actually leave when everything is all said and done.

yeah most people i know that say that never acually make the effort to leave or at the last minute back out:)...

the've been going after both for a little bit now...i think?


2114.1.2007 20:05

Yes Canada has faults too, but I'm not going to comment on Afghanistan. The reason the RIAA and whoever else are going after both Downloaders and Uploaders is because PSP services like Limewire/Frostwire etc.. you had the option of not sharing what you were downloading and once a song or album was done downloading you could simply move it out of the sharing folder. Whereas with Torrent programs a person is forced to share what they are downloading. Thus contributing to the Uploading of a song.

2215.1.2007 8:02

I'm waiting for Alec Baldwin and company to leave, looks like it will be a long wait though. I love Canada but what a mess they have as well. There are always problems when you have extreme power instilled in governments as we do today, "Power Corrupts Absolutely"! I love how the goverment can give themselves a raise and better benifits and its not becuase they are doing a good job either, what a joke. The average working PRODUCIVE person is LUCY to get a 3% raise it doesn't make sense. It's a shame that big business can bend and manipulate our laws to suite them and go against the basic rules laid down by the framers of our constatution. As someone else stated you should ONLY be able to sue for damages not a pipe dream of monies. Hopefully Michelle will say screw you and not pay them a cent I'm not sure that they can put a lean on her earnings, if so then she is just screwed, let's hope not.

2315.1.2007 10:51

"I believe that the $750 per offense is based upon current copyright law. The argument is not about actual damages but what the statute actually allows to be collected by the copyright holder for the violation. This is basically what the other suit where the lawyer is getting the RIAA to fess up to actual wholesale prices is trying to over turn. By showing that actual damages (to the industry) are only 79 CENTS they are arguing that $750 per song (about 1000 times damages) is unconstitutionaly excessive." Then why not have the artist sue for lost damages. Screw the RIAA.

2415.1.2007 12:01

The GOOD NEWS is, that the RIAA still hasn't actually won a case by proof of evidence (AFAIK). well, for less than $30,750, the "girl" could have hired a lawyer and TRIED to defend herself. Or, if she was "guilty", and they had the proof, she could have settled for about $2000, like lots of other people. Not showing-up to defend yourself is the WORST thing you can do!

Quote:
...and Robert (16). Although nothing seems to have been ruled against Robert...
You can't sue a minor. You can sue the parents for damages caused by a minor, but the mother has already won her case, and the court didn't hold her responsible for the action of her children.

2516.1.2007 10:39

I would feel sorry for her, but she broke the golden rule of downloading, "Don't Get Caught!"

2616.1.2007 11:59

How can you NOT get caught?!?!

2716.1.2007 12:10
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by DvdZombie:
How can you NOT get caught?!?!
Simple... Get about 1000 proxy servers all over the globe. Setup your main computer in a bunker about 1000ft below sea level. Surround that bunker with tin foil. Put some mines around it. connect that computer to the other 1000 proxy servers in a row. Now if you even get a download connection, you probably wont get caught... that is, until the CIA busts in to see what the heck your doing in a bunker 1000ft below sea level that reinforced and surrounded by mine...

Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

2817.1.2007 8:52

So does that mean that proggy PeerGuardian does infact not work?

2919.1.2007 17:50

this whole thing is a disgrace, why go after these small timers just to prove point.

3019.1.2007 21:07

[Begin OOT Convo] ChubbyInc. Good Idea on not commenting. I don't think we need a flame war on here (whether it's about Afghanistan, Iraq, Gitmo, The Maher Arar Affair, et al ad infinitum, ad nauseum.) But yes we have faults just like every other country. I don't know about you guys but the politicos up here in my province voted in getting a 25% raise in salary and only raises the minimum wage by a paltry miniscule 25 CENTS a hour!! So yes we have our faults (and fuck ups as well) [End OOT Convo] Would she be able to declare bankruptcy and not pay at all? It seems way too much money for a song you can get for 99 cents or less. Our RIAA/MPAA equivalent is trying to get our copyright laws changed to be the same as the US. so far it hasn't gotten anywhere. So we can download as much as we want as long as we don't upload it to any P2P sites etc. then it's perfectly legal!! :D

3122.1.2007 18:04

RIAA canot make a minor in the state of New York pay. 1 By state law you are conidered a minor if under the age of 21 and live at home. 2 since the "mother" is liable for her children, and she won her case, they canot make her pay due to a little loop hole with a double jepordy clause. 3 In a jurry trial, with the right lawyer, the RIAA would not have a chance for "picking on childern defence". 4 There are a lot of variations too that can fault this case.... they could of had a " virus or back door" and that some one spoofed there ip address. If the childern were downloading music for there own personal use if they already owned this music on cd or dvd the IRAA wil go down the drain.... copyright law if you own it you can make a "back up copy and you canot sell it, but you can "give it as gift" to a family member or friend. If you dl music from the radio station on there website the IRAA can do nothing either... they paid the ASCAP and BMI fees to play music on the net or radio. All independant dj's , jukebox, bars or establishments that have "recorded or live music", and recording companys are required to have this by law. This includes schools, librarys, and other public venues where music listened is copyrighted.

3222.1.2007 18:04

RIAA canot make a minor in the state of New York pay. 1 By state law you are conidered a minor if under the age of 21 and live at home. 2 since the "mother" is liable for her children, and she won her case, they canot make her pay due to a little loop hole with a double jepordy clause. 3 In a jurry trial, with the right lawyer, the RIAA would not have a chance for "picking on childern defence". 4 There are a lot of variations too that can fault this case.... they could of had a " virus or back door" and that some one spoofed there ip address. If the childern were downloading music for there own personal use if they already owned this music on cd or dvd the IRAA wil go down the drain.... copyright law if you own it you can make a "back up copy and you canot sell it, but you can "give it as gift" to a family member or friend. If you dl music from the radio station on there website the IRAA can do nothing either... they paid the ASCAP and BMI fees to play music on the net or radio. All independant dj's , jukebox, bars or establishments that have "recorded or live music", and recording companys are required to have this by law. This includes schools, librarys, and other public venues where music listened is copyrighted.

3323.1.2007 0:20
visa46
Inactive

umm what are the laws in austraila? cos i only know about the laws in place in the u.s. which doesnt really help me now does it ?

343.3.2007 1:16

I am glad that I live in Canada we pay a media tax to protect us from RIAA corporate hogwash

357.3.2007 7:55

Fuck the RIAA!

Well... that's about it.

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