AfterDawn: Tech news owner faces a $360m lawsuit

Written by Jari Ketola @ 18 Oct 2004 6:10 User comments (16) owner faces a $360m lawsuit The owner and webmaster of, Stephen Cooper, faces a lawsuit of AU$500m ($364m) from the world's record companies. The site, which the ex-policeman ran since 1998 until he was raided in October 2003, provided links to MP3 files hosted on various servers around the Internet.
Cooper says that he never thought that there was anything illegal about the site, and ran it merely as a hobby. Some claim that he made up to AU$65,000 ($37,400) a month from the site, but Cooper denies such allegations. "There are no millions of dollars stashed away anywhere, no secret garages full of Porsches and Ferraris," he said. He also stated that he thinks that the whole lawsuit is ridiculous, and he can't afford the legal fees to fight the case in the Federal Court.

In addition to suing Cooper, the recording industry has also sued Comcen, the ISP hosting while it was still online.

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) fails to see the ridiculous aspects of their $500m claims. They are seeking full damages -- regardless of whether Cooper and ComCen are capable of paying for them. But more importantly, they are trying to seek a ruling that criminalize even linking to pirated content.


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16 user comments

119.10.2004 12:09

Ridiculous concept, ridiculous fee (500,000,000? WTF?), and a ridiculous victim. You're suing an EX Policeman, who is LINKING to pirated content with a sum of 500 MILLION. What the hell were they thinking?

219.10.2004 17:51

Maybe if Cooper was hosting the files sue him but LINKING? COME ON! This world is getting way too ridiculous these days. Next thing you know they will have random raids everywhere on Earth taking everything you don't have a reciept for. Shees.

319.10.2004 20:14

SO what did he do that was so wrong? The record companies have been robbing people for years,the only difference is,they do it legally !

419.10.2004 20:51

I can believe they sued the ISP too? What does the ISP have to do with any of this, they just hosted the site,big deal.It's going too far with the record company.

520.10.2004 18:38


620.10.2004 20:06

Cooper is just caught in the middle. The ISP is the real target but if all they have is linking I can't see this case being successful. Don't the actions of "ARIA" & "RIAA" smack of antitrust violations in a strict sense? They're simply going too far. If hosting a site who only provides the links is found to be illegal, what next? If you hit the site or even a site providing downloads you'll get a summons? This is all quite frustrating.

720.10.2004 21:23


820.10.2004 22:03

I wonder if the stockholders are being paid dividends on the income being generated from the american lawsuits against individuals. That lawsuit is madness. Hope he gets a judge that does his job correctly and a sympathetic jury.

921.10.2004 12:08

It's ironic how ARIA is an italian name for "Song" or "Music", and what ARIA is really doing is destroying the music industry.

Everyone is entitled to their own true opinion. Either respect that or don't.

1021.10.2004 12:47

That is ironic toilet good one

1122.10.2004 19:42

I just wish I'm the record company, so I can sue people around with more money than I could make from songs.

1225.10.2004 13:42

The world governments don't see the plain fact that if the RIAA can get away with sueing people for this large sum in every country that they can eventually rule the entire world. Hell there would be no need for seperate government heads when the RIAA has the trillions of US dollars to buy anyone out that they see fit. This is the only reason that no anti trust suits were filed against them and even if they were, it would never stand trial. Even Harverd suggests such a complaint against this organization.

1329.10.2004 06:55

wait a couple more months will be sued for helping ppl to find bad stuff

149.12.2004 21:39

Hope it all works out and he is aquitted... They are crazy.

1510.12.2004 21:03

You can better bet they'll sue the hell out of him and there will be no way out. Remember like I said the RIAA has bribed lots of government heads there for if your being sued by the RIAA you may as well put a gun to your head and pull the trigger because otherwise you, your family, friends or anyone who associated with you will get the burn. This is no laughing matter. I bet the Pantara incident was a raving member of the RIAA who was mad at them for so-called stealing his musical idea. There will be alot more artists getting shot durring their performances all because of the Evil RIAA. So better have eyes in the back of your head. I do have Napster To Go and an iRiver H320 Mp3 player. Love it for just $9.95/Mo I can Download whatever I want. Its getting better folks.

1610.5.2005 19:21

I think sharind should not be a problem, hasn't anyone ever heard that very common phrase "Caring is Sharing"?

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