AfterDawn: Tech news

Children sued by RIAA try to bring Sharman with them

Written by Dave Horvath @ 16 Aug 2007 19:59 User comments (33)

Children sued by RIAA try to bring Sharman with them Some time ago, the RIAA had filed suit against Patti Santangelo and her two children Michelle and Robert for allegedly illegally downloading copyrighted music from the Internet. Patti, the mother, had managed to escape the lawsuit without any damages, however her children are still locked in battle with the recording industry. The lawyer of these two children has now issued a claim to bring Sharman Networks, the creator of famed P2P application KaZaA and also, AOL, which provides internet service for the Santangelo family.
The motion was filed yesterday seeking permission to name Sharman Networks and AOL as third-party defendants, effectively placing liability on these two companies for any harm that has been done to the recording industry. Sharman's application KaZaA was allegedly used by Michelle and Robert to download copyrighted material but the Santangelo's lawyer claims that KaZaA "operates in the background of one's computer", while "recklessly disregarding copyright law". He contined to claim that KaZaA uses these tactics to trap "unsuspecting uses into unintended sharing". Also according to the motion, KaZaA is alleged to have blocked all warnings from the RIAA about copyright infringement. Finally, the proposed summons dictates that Sharman had settled for over $100 million with the RIAA but failed to take Sharman's "other victims" int account during the settlement. These victims of course are users who weren't aware that their music was eing shared over the network because of the reasons above.

AOL is also wanting to be named for "reckless endangerment of children," among other things. The summons states that AOL was aware that there is illegal P2P traffic going across their network and it had the ability to prevent children from accessing these files over the P2P network. However, they state AOL failed to take any action against illegal activities across their network.

Whether or not this is a PROPER course of action to take or not, its definitely going to be an expensive case for the RIAA to continue to pursue should these other parties become named on the lawsuit.

Source:
ARS Technica

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33 user comments

116.8.2007 20:16

This is a wild article. Also i dont know why they would even use KaZaa. They had that site locked down for a few years now. Using sites like that is like committing suicide with a loaded gun you thought was empty.

216.8.2007 20:41

don't blame your children's stupidity on others...
this lady is an idiot

316.8.2007 20:42
vinny13
Inactive

Jesus Christ >:O

Nothing more.

416.8.2007 20:54

wow aol an kazaa are old school news they are bringing those suits back up...Talk aobut years an years old....loooks like the riaa is tryin to get money from the big and little guys out there.....dont matter i stopped purchasing music unless given to me....

517.8.2007 4:23

was it downloading or sharing?

617.8.2007 5:29

Looks like the children are going to win this case. From history of the RIAA lawsuits, all you have to do to win is make the court costs higher than the costs the RIAA is suing and they will drop the charges.
Just another way to see that the RIAA only cares about making their millions of dollars...

717.8.2007 5:31

Just say what Shaggy says: "Wasn't Me"

817.8.2007 5:48

This has huge implications for the future. If AOL is found responsible, that means that the pressure will be put on ALL ISP's to do their part in the prevention of piracy.

I'm all for screwing the RIAA and doubly so because they don't know what the hell they are doing. Picking names out of a hat for people to sue is just unethical.

This suit has the potential to really shaft the RIAA, but it will reign down to affect the entire internet community in regards to what you will be able to access over your current ISP. This umbrella could then be spread to all ISP's

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Aug 2007 @ 5:51

917.8.2007 6:18

You know, that's the funny thing about corporate lawyer lackeys.
They think they can do anything to anybody and they're safe.
That they're above the law or protected because they're in the business.
They're arrogant.
I mean, they have cars, don't they?
Cars they have to walk out to at night?
Expensive homes?
Families that they're rarely home protecting?
I wonder how long it will be until people get fed up with the RIAA/MPAA Mafia and start hitting back?
You'd think they'd have some common sense. Enough sense to know caution.
It's interesting.

1017.8.2007 6:23

Originally posted by Unfocused:
This has huge implications for the future. If AOL is found responsible, that means that the pressure will be put on ALL ISP's to do their part in the prevention of piracy.

I'm all for screwing the RIAA and doubly so because they don't know what the hell they are doing. Picking names out of a hat for people to sue is just unethical.

This suit has the potential to really shaft the RIAA, but it will reign down to affect the entire internet community in regards to what you will be able to access over your current ISP. This umbrella could then be spread to all ISP's
I just got an email from my ISP telling me to stop seeding black.iso (xbox game) I had no idea they could track this (down to the name). My ISP got an email from some copyright people telling them I was doing this!

1117.8.2007 7:22

I realy don't know why no-one hacks the RIAA.
Make life difficult for them.
Maybe they do and you never hear.

1217.8.2007 7:39
vinny13
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by Unfocused:
This has huge implications for the future. If AOL is found responsible, that means that the pressure will be put on ALL ISP's to do their part in the prevention of piracy.

I'm all for screwing the RIAA and doubly so because they don't know what the hell they are doing. Picking names out of a hat for people to sue is just unethical.

This suit has the potential to really shaft the RIAA, but it will reign down to affect the entire internet community in regards to what you will be able to access over your current ISP. This umbrella could then be spread to all ISP's
I just got an email from my ISP telling me to stop seeding black.iso (xbox game) I had no idea they could track this (down to the name). My ISP got an email from some copyright people telling them I was doing this!
Ya, you probably got tracked by the ESA. You have to be careful when downloading stuff like that on public trackers, like Torrentspy and The Pirate Bay. Same thing happened to me when I was downloading a game. But of course, I finished downloading it, and then burned it before I deleted it :P

1317.8.2007 9:18

This kind of makes me happy to see a lawyer trying everything they can for their client. To bad it hurts everyone else and removes personal responsibility. Kids are some of the most tech savy in the world so I think this argument is bs my clients did not know come really? But I guess all you have to care about is protective your client from the RIAA you got to pull every trick you can.

1417.8.2007 10:09

Wait a minute... [He contined to claim that KaZaA uses these tactics to trap "unsuspecting uses into unintended sharing"]

Kazaa Defaults to an empty folder on your PC. You only share what you download or move into that folder for the purpose of sharing. There is soo much wrong with this whole mess.

Mom wins suit, mom decides kids should try for even more money, kids and mom profit while we get screwed. I say just call them stupid ass kids and be done with it.

1517.8.2007 11:57

Interesting tactic. I didn't know you could do that... add a 3rd party as a defendant. "If I'm guilty, then he's guilty too!"

It will be funny if the judge goes for it and the RIAA's lawyers have to fight the KaZaA and AOL lawyers. They might have a valid point if KaZaA was blocking the warnings.

It gets your attention whey they say "children", But, one of Patti Santangelo's "children" (Michele)is an adult! Robert is a minor, and you can't sue a minor. So, his case will be thrown-out if it hasn't already.

1617.8.2007 12:45

I think they're saying that Kazaa is working in the background tricking you because by default it starts with your computer, and people don't realize it.

1717.8.2007 13:59

yeah sure... that gunshop tricked me into buying a gun, thats why i robbed that bank

1817.8.2007 14:51

The way I view this whole mess is that AOL and Kazaa are being brought into this case for a reason not being mentioned by the Santagelos attorney(s). I believe,besides the reasons listed, that they are bringing in these two large corporations in a attempt to scare the RIAA. Look at it the RIAA could easily "out-money" this family, but do you think the RIAA is ready to stand up to the likes of AOL in court? The RIAA may be able to intimidate and influence one family but does it have such a stronghold on Kazaa and AOL? I don't think so, should be interesting to see how this turns out.

1917.8.2007 18:24

Yeah, you guys have nailed the dynamic on this one.
"It's not my fault. It's the SYSTEM!"
"I ate too many Twinkies."
"Maybe I'm bad, but 's worse! Get him!"

God, this world's wimpy.

2017.8.2007 19:43

What has the world come to, suing children now? Will this legal battle ever end? Suing people is not the solution.

2118.8.2007 10:41

Too much WoW.

I had to read it three times before I stopped trying to figure out what Shaman had to do with anything.

2218.8.2007 12:00

So it it just P2P that ISP's have the resources to track, or is it all uploads/downloads?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Aug 2007 @ 12:06

2318.8.2007 12:48

Originally posted by dallasj:
So it it just P2P that ISP's have the resources to track, or is it all uploads/downloads?
I would think it would be all.

2418.8.2007 21:37

I think you guys and girls may be forgetting that at one point in time, RIAA sought responsibility from ISP's. Enforcing the ideal that they must share our IP addresses when asked, and if not, that the ISP's were going against DCMA law.

So, although it will affect us ALL should the two companies be implicated, they can be called forth in this. The fight will be a big one.

But legally arguing that someone else is somehow responsible for your actions is nothing new (eg. burglar enters home and trips down stairs because of a child's toy, breaks arm, sues the home's family and wins). Old news there.

The only interesting thing about this is actually using a previous RIAA tactic on an ISP / P2P company by a regular joe-shmoe person like ourselves.

Should the companies be implicated and still win against the RIAA... Well IMO that will definitely bring attention to the wordage of the laws themselves.

That broad sword being wielded against us will definitely slim down and be more defined. And yes. Please be sure that the ISP companies will either start IP blockage, charge us more money, or amend their contracts to relieve them of any and ALL liability.

2519.8.2007 5:14
Javabean
Inactive

HHHHmmmmm... Kids get $2-3 dollars a week pocket money. Get sued for
$millions ! They'll be dead B4 they can pay off the fine !

still it's very sad to see RIAA breaking into kiddies piggy banks to make money and their point.

2619.8.2007 9:54

Well, this bodes poorly for P2P. I expect to see a major crack down coming from the ISPs within a year or so. Limewire also blames the ISPs as part of the problem.

I think most of our readers over estimate how much computer savvy the general public has. All you have to do is drive around or look who we voted in office to realize at least half the people in the world are morons. I believe a great deal of people don't realize most P2P run in back round. Half the baby-boomers are very ignorant about computers many can't use email or surf the web. A friend of mine got his daughter a 30 G ipod. He would classify himself as computer literate. A computer literate baby boomer is one that can turn on the computer use email, surf the web and use a few simple apps like a word processor. I explained the math for the cost of filling up 30 G legally off the web. I warned him about the media mafia and that he ought to either stop his kids or at least make sure his kids were being a little cautious. The guy changed the subject. He must have felt insecure about looking into the computer to see what was going on. He would rather risk paying the fines. This guy really does not know if his kids are doing something illegally on his computer. I bet over half the parents paying up because their kids were downloading illegally do not know what is going on. They believe their kids need a computer and broadband for education and that they will be more savvy than they are.

I think that is "the other side of the story".

2719.8.2007 19:07

,,,I am sure that those big rich profiteers of many dead artists go to church on every sunday to se who thet sue next

2819.8.2007 19:07

,,,I am sure that those big rich profiteers of many dead artists go to church on every sunday to se who thet sue next

2920.8.2007 9:41
agwild99
Inactive

Originally posted by DVDdoug:
Interesting tactic. I didn't know you could do that... add a 3rd party as a defendant. "If I'm guilty, then he's guilty too!"

It will be funny if the judge goes for it and the RIAA's lawyers have to fight the KaZaA and AOL lawyers. They might have a valid point if KaZaA was blocking the warnings.

It gets your attention whey they say "children", But, one of Patti Santangelo's "children" (Michele)is an adult! Robert is a minor, and you can't sue a minor. So, his case will be thrown-out if it hasn't already.
Actually children can be sued, but the responsibility falls back on the parents. In this case, even though the mom has been exonerated, she may still have to pay for her son's mistake.

I think that it was a good move on the lawyers part to bring AOL and KaZaA into this. Bring in the big guns even if they didn't want in the war. "For the enemy of my enemy is my friend" However, I don't think that the court will see them as at fault. They provide a service that can be used legally. It is the end user that decides what to do with it. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Seriously people, if someone gets hurt in an automobile accident do they have the right to sue the dealership that sold the idiot the car? Can can they sue Chevy or Ford (unless obviously there was something wrong with the car)?

3021.8.2007 21:27

Kazaa. I don't understand why people are still using that program.

3122.8.2007 19:17

@Mez

Good point about the cost of legality.

Just to illustrate what a bunch of hypocrites the RIAA are, I remember seeing a clip a little while back of The President (Bush) saying that the favorite songs on his iPod is his Beatles collection. Last time I checked, you couldn't legally obtain the Beatles music.

Will they go after him?

3230.8.2007 7:26

They are kids, you cant sue a person under 18!

3330.8.2007 18:32

Unfocused, I don't think they are that stupid. That would be the last move they made. That guy likes start wars and crush enemies.

Good point.

I don't think they are hypocrites and they are real consistant. They will do anything they think they can get away with.

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