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Divorced mom of five may challenge RIAA

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 15 Aug 2005 22:39 User comments (54)

Divorced mom of five may challenge RIAA Patricia Santangelo, a divorced mother of five children, is one of the thousands of victims of lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) aimed at P2P filesharers. The record companies say her computer and internet account were used to illegally distribute copyrighted music through P2P networks. Many of the past lawsuit victims settled for sums ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. The RIAA's settlement centre wanted her to pay $7,500 to settle the case.
However, she has said that she would rather pay lawyers fees than give in to record company intimidation. Of the thousands of lawsuits, none of the cases have ever gone to trial. "I am still nervous about the whole thing," she said. "I just got so aggravated about how threatening they were." She accuses the settlement centre of bullying her, trying to get her to accept the settlement offer. "I didn't do anything wrong," she said. "Why should I pay them?"

The P2P software she is supposed to have infringed copyrights with is Kazaa. It is installed on her computer but she claims she had no knowledge of what it was before the lawsuit. She also says that she believes a friend of her children is responsible for the infringement she is being accused of. Many hope that one day someone will battle the RIAA suit in court. "If this particular woman is willing to go to trial, that's something new," said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). "The threat is so great that most people don't even risk it."

RIAA spokesman Jonathon Lamy claims that the record companies have "ironclad evidence" Santangelo's home computer and Internet account were used to illegally download music. However, Santangelo's lawyer, Morlan Ty Rogers, is sceptical of the evidence the RIAA claims to possess. He said nobody has yet challenged the "boilerplate" language of the lawsuits and said the companies have not got enough evidence to bring the case to court.

"Many of these lawsuits have been brought against people who are simply the names on the Internet account," Rogers said. He believes that is not good enough to sustain a lawsuit. He said the companies are targeting unsuspecting parents and grandparents, some who have only just managed to switch from vinyl to compact disc. "It's really surprising no one has attacked the record companies' basis for the lawsuits," he said, "because the record companies' claims are actually very weak."

Rogers has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it fails to properly state a claim. The record companies responded by saying simply that they had a valid claim against the woman. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon will decide the issue. She told the record companies lawyers that the settlement centre was now no part of this case. "I would love to see a mom fighting one of these," she said.

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54 user comments

115.8.2005 22:47

wow gj fight those idiots!

215.8.2005 22:51

Good for her. I wish her the best because you know the RIAA is going to come down on her with all they've got. The RIAA is nothing but a bunch of damn bullies anyway.

316.8.2005 0:10

That´s my girl! How can I show my support to this brave woman?

416.8.2005 1:06

Don't worry bout a thing it's gonna be alright. I don't see why you have to pay RIAA if the stuff is to you free on the net.Just keep the faith and it will be okay. regards lex

516.8.2005 1:16

Good on her. The riaa disgust me

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:23

616.8.2005 3:41

good on ya! giv em hell. bitches

716.8.2005 5:02

It's about time someone decided to fight them. You gotta love what she is doing.

816.8.2005 7:08

Hell yeah. Finally, someone to get back at those Blowholes.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Aug 2005 @ 6:26

916.8.2005 7:50

This lawsuit could make or break the lawsuits that RIAA uses, and could be the most landmark case in terms of rights of the people who use p2p. Also this is actually one of the very most important case that the org's fighting the RIAA has been waiting for, this should set the precedent of how much information that the RIAA needs to sue people and thus they should do what ever they can to support her.

1016.8.2005 8:49

I've always wondered how the RIAA can sue someone without proving that they were the person downloading. Usually a writ has to be brought against a specific party. With 6 people in the family, surely they must have to prove who exactly was doing the downloading or they could face counter writs. Athough IANAL.

1116.8.2005 8:55

I hope she wins this then everyone who get these letters from the RIAA will take them to court. I would anyway it would cost the RIAA alot of money if all the people they are accusing of downloading took them to court.

1216.8.2005 9:54

1316.8.2005 12:27

Make the RIAA suffer. After you win this case, counter-sue for harassment and invasion of privacy. Muhahaha! >:-)

1416.8.2005 15:22

Her connection could have been hijacked and therefore she would have had no knowledge of this downloading! LOL,deny everything! Fuck em! The emphasis is on them to prove without reasonable doubt that SHE was the one doing the downloading. They will NEVER prove that because if they had the potential to do it then she could counter claim for invasion of privacy

1516.8.2005 17:36

Why is it when the government conducts counter terrorism operations on the Internet, everyone screams bloddy murder. But, when a non-government entity (RIAA) engages in espionage, there is not a peep about invasion of privacy????

1616.8.2005 20:00

Bout time some one decided to fight back , I wish her the best and hope she crushes em in court.

1716.8.2005 22:18

So they cant go and get the big guys they have to go and get a woman and a single mum. Well I am brought up by my mum and shes a single parent and their a lot stronger than these people think. So i just wish her the best and i hope she wins her case. :)

1817.8.2005 5:01

Someone or some big company that has money needs to fight these bastards. Just because someone has Kazaa or another P2P program on the PC in the home does not mean they are ripping off The big wheels at the record company. When will it all end> when we have to scramble our TV signals to watch free TV? Take on the giants with enough man or money power & they will think twice!

1917.8.2005 5:11

Good for her, hope she wins and then all the other people who got railroaded because they were afraid to fight can come back and sue. Maybe someone will finally take a look at RIAA tactics.

2017.8.2005 7:52

Good luck to her. So does anyone know how we can support her besides sending her $$$ for the court fees ??

2117.8.2005 8:21

A idea on how you can support her besides sending her money (which she has not asked for, just to mention that), you can found out where to send her lawyer facts (not opinions) about p2p and its legal surroundings.

2217.8.2005 11:39

I think a good start on supporting her would be to send her a program (or link to a program) that wipes her HD of all evidence. Formatting is never enough. If there is no evidence of Kazaa or any mp3 ever on her HD it would be a tough case for RIAA. Also, there are programs that can easily Hijack PCs without the owner/user even knowing. While doing this the hijacker can easily run any program in the background or simply use the Hijacked PC as a connection hub, and using the hijacked PC's IP rather than their own in order to do whatever they wish on the internet. Hopefully they didn't Impound the PC and Ms. Santangelo can wipe her HD using the Peter Gutman method of Destruction. There will be no evidence of anything on her PC's hard drive at all. BCWipe is a good Free Program which also wipes Swap Space and other temporary space. Then something like Evidence Eliminator or Detection Master (used for trial trial period) can be used to take care of misc. stuff like click history, save/open history, progam logs, backups, and do some type of anti-magnetic resonance underwriting, etc... After that, format, wipe drive again using new or external HD with OS and the drive is clean of everything. This will defeat even scanning of the HD with powerful electron microscopes. There will be no trace of anything and lots of wasted $$$ of the RIAA.

2317.8.2005 15:06

I would counter sue those bastards

2417.8.2005 15:33

My God, please defeat these scumbags and lets put an end to this idiotic misuse of the legal system. She should start accepting legal fund donations through Paypal.

2518.8.2005 9:08

Before we start sending donations, let's see if this even goes to trial. Now that she's called the RIAA's bluff, maybe they'll just back down completely and drop it on some made-up pretext.

2619.8.2005 5:09

Count me in for a few bucks if it goes to trial. I said a long time ago and I'll say again. The RIAA attest that they are trafficing in "stolen" material. If the said party arrived in court with every CD that was supposedly passed through the internet. Wouldn't the lawyers have to prove a crime was commited? If a kid breaks into his parents gunsafe and used the guns to rob banks. Who's at fault? The parents showed prudence by keeping them locked up? It's the kid. She had 5. The RIAA has a 20% chance of picking the right kid. When hackers broke into government installations and such. The hacker lost his computer and was possibly jailed, not mom and dad. What makes the RIAA special? I'm behind her 100%

2719.8.2005 6:35

WHOOT WHOOT!! good for her. count me in for a few bucks if it goes to trial.

2819.8.2005 6:57

I don't understand how the penalty is determined. I mean if a CD has on it 18 tracks and the thing costs $18, that's $1 a piece, right? So I would imagine someone would have to download about 7500 songs to be slapped with a fine like this woman has. That's a lot of data! Is this even possible? But here's another question... why do many of the disks out there that only have 12, 14, 15 or how ever many tracks still have a price of $18 ??? And why is it that when I buy a disk (and the licensed rights to listen to it) am I sill not allowed to download the same tracks and preserve my original??? The RIAA doesn't seem to care if I damage my disk instead they would rather force me to buy a new one! Instead, I think the RIAA should be forced to refund my money if I send them the disk back if it was damaged, scratched or if I just wasn't satisfied with the 12 out of 13 tracks like most disks. Really though, why aren't they forced to at least replace a damaged disk with the same title for a small fee to cover shipping if I send them back the original. After all I did already pay for the disk and the license rights once! If I have to buy a second one myself or just decide to throw it in the trash I should then be allowed to download it - right??? I think the problem is that the MPAA and the RIAA have had there way to long and are becoming an unstopable train. Look, we regulate and put salary caps on sports celebraties as is done in many other industries so why isn't this done in in the entertainment industry too. In a sence I think the crooks of the RIAA and the MPAA should all byte the big one and wait for their judgement day when they'll all be sent to Hell !

2919.8.2005 7:52

We should contact her lawyer about putting up a website so people can follow the case and also send in donations. A paypal link on a site like that would generate some funds for her I bet. I would sure donate. Colleen McMahon is a U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York Judge. Doing a few searches in New York I think this is possibly Patricia Santangelo's lawyer. His email is Good luck Patricia! A lot of tax paying consumers are behind your decision to defend your family and rights.

3019.8.2005 8:00

RighT oN!!! You Go GirL!@! RIAA Snoopin around is in infrigment on your privacy rights, Kinda like, "lets break the law to inforce it. Anything tangable? Name those Songs? if it was a copyright infringment, the person that originally created the copy would be at fault, not the pc that transfered the data, or group of pc's on any ISP's network.

3119.8.2005 8:50

Hello! I would agree with the others that have backed the decision to help with the funds... Vik

3219.8.2005 9:38

skeil909 Have you made any attempt to confirm that lawyer's involvement? If so, has he offered any info about creating an online legal defense fund? I'd like to contribute, but I want to know that it's going where I want it to go.

3319.8.2005 9:54

I see all the rhetoric supporting this woman's action. Now how about some real support, like with $$$. Anyone out there know how to open a donation account?

3419.8.2005 10:36

Steve83, I sent out an email this morning. I will post any info that I obtain as soon as I get it.

3519.8.2005 15:45

It makes me sick when they relate downloading to stealing. Steven King didn't lose money when I checked out a copy of "Bag of Bones" from the library.

3619.8.2005 15:51

Suppose they did stop downloading music and people simply purchased everthing without listening to it first. Will the record companies refund everyone's money if they aren't satisfied? If I buy a $20 cd and only like one song, I'm taking it back!

3719.8.2005 18:41

074kiev, That's one reason I have no remorse for the record industry. As a child I picked albums with neat covers as I had no knowledge of the band. Let's just say I got stuck with a lot of crap. I dismissed buying albums ever again. CDs came along and cool record stores allowed you to hear them. I bought more music once again. I believe the RIAA tried to put a halt to listening to CDs before buying. Very few albums are packed with good tunes, buying songs for a buck is the coolest thing. I think RIAA is pissed at that as I'll only buy the one or two songs off the album then the whole shabang. I think it would even be better if 16 kbps songs would be totally free. Then I'd get the gist of the song. Buy the good ones and save bandwidth. I'm not in the "music scene" so I nead to hear it. Earlier Banchee had the odd assumption that each song was a dollar. Anybody know how that works with classical music which usually only has 2-5 tracks?

3820.8.2005 0:53

The most effective way of supporting this woman is at the ballot box. Write to your congressman, local member, senator or whatever and let them no in no uncertain terms that you will not support them come next election if the RIAA continue with what should be regarded as unlawful activities. Nothing motivates legislators more than the possiblity of loosing an election. Encourage as many folk in your local area to do the same. In the US judges are elected. The voter has the power.

3920.8.2005 8:36

Can you imagine if she wins! The ambulance chasers will be lining up to represent the other victims. It will probably end up being a class action suit that could ultimately cost the RIAA millions.

4020.8.2005 11:04

I see four possible outcomes: 1) The RIAA backs out knowing that they could lose the chance to sue people. 2) The RIAA wins and intensifies their lawsuits against users. 3) She wins and the RIAA quits sueing people. 4) She wins and the RIAA continues to sue people, but the lawsuits become a joke that everybody now knows that they can beat.

4120.8.2005 11:15

I certainly hope she wins and wins BIG. I hope they make RIAA pay her 10 times what they are trying to extort from her plus all her legal expenses. These lawsuits are so unfair. If RIAA wasn't still realizing a healthy profit, they wouldn't be able to afford all these petty lawsuits. It's all just pure greed. With all the spyware, trojans, highjackers, & drive-by installers that can invade a persons computer without their knowledge, a smart hacker could easily have used her computer as a proxy to download this stuff and the only thing she might have noticed would be a slowed down computer, which is problematic with windows anyway. Hey, why doesn't RIAA just sue Microsoft for providing windows and be done with it all.

4220.8.2005 20:08

I wish her the best of luck. I hope she burns their asses. When will these has beens realize that their day has come and gone. For years they forced us to buy cd's that contained 1/4 of what the consumer wants and 3/4 garbage. In my opinion they are only destroying themselves. I think in the near future you will see more and more artists trying to distance themselves from these idiots.

4321.8.2005 1:36

We can only hope she wins but alas the law and governments across the globe exist only for commerce. We no longer vote for a people's governments just a rabble who will bend over backwards to please the multi national corporations. The consumer is somewhere near the bottom of the "What Matters" ladder

4421.8.2005 2:42

I'm with everyone else here. I hope that she fights them to the end and wins big time. Then she needs to sue RIAA for intimidation and take out AVOs (or the US's equivalent [I'm from Australia...]) on any and every one who was involved in bringing this suit to court. She should also claim for court costs and for mental anguish, saying that she's now traumatised by the whole ordeal and that she's afraid to see a CD or DVD lest is reminds her of this case.

4522.8.2005 6:12

If someone uses your gun to shoot someone, they can't charge you with murder. If someone takes your car without permission and robs a bank, they can't charge the car owner with robbery. I don't see why they can't have a defense of "someone used my computer, the RIAA can't prove who it was to charge anyone." I'm not an attorney, clearly, but can a homeowner be charged if their basement is used by underage kids to commit a crime without their knowledge (drugs, stolen property ring.) I think parents can be charged if kids drink in their house.

4625.8.2005 14:30

Agreed that they can't charge someone with murder if it's someone else who uses the gun, but they can charge that person for inproper storage, or something like that There might be something similar in the case of RIAA? But it's something worth looking into - if there's anyone who's studying law, can you provide an answer?

472.9.2005 7:14

On a side note, is it only Kazaa users that are getting sued or are they suing others as well?

487.9.2005 5:24

'm_towell (Newbie) 25 August 2005 18:30 _ Agreed that they can't charge someone with murder if it's someone else who uses the gun, but they can charge that person for inproper storage, or something like that There might be something similar in the case of RIAA? But it's something worth looking into - if there's anyone who's studying law, can you provide an answer?' Well it is not a criminal charge, it is a civil suit. and in terms of your quesiton, if you have a weapon inyour house imporperly secured and someone wiht or without your permission uses to kill somone you can eaily be sued. If you hae booze improperly secured and a monor who is not even your kid gets in it and then hits a another vehcile, the family of the person injured or killed can also sue you and likly win damages. the question is the presumptions as to whether adults need to secure pc's to prevent damages to third parties. I donlt know about htat. with booze and guns there is a presumption of ability to cause harm and also regulations against or limiting use by minors. my guess is there maybe some case law on say harrassing use of a telephone. that would seem to me to logically be in the same class.

4917.9.2005 1:56

I hope the lawyer is good enuff to challenge those buggers, Good luck mom !!! When are we gonna get a CD Machine that can legally burn all the songs we like on one disk... you pay 20$ for a CD with only a couple of songs that are any good on it. It already might be possible, I dont know , but I would rather pay 20$ for the all the songs I want on a CD.. Surely this day and age its easy enough to do.

5017.9.2005 5:32

I would say by the statement below, it's pretty clear which way the judge is leaning. "U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon will decide the issue. She told the record companies lawyers that the settlement centre was now no part of this case. "I would love to see a mom fighting one of these," she said."

5119.9.2006 15:28

ok here is where i stand, i back her argument. However making it clear thati do not support the downloading of music illegally or anyother illegal media at that. The RIAA is just getting stupid, yet at the same time what they are trying to do is scare everyone into stopping and they figure at the same time time to try and make up for that lost money. WHO FREAKING CARES. If they would understand that people want to hear music, nor pay into capitalism. I go buy my music online. But then again i also have my own burnlounge store...

5219.9.2006 17:28

What is a burnlounge store?

5328.5.2008 12:57

Hmmm, never heard of it either. I found is not online (at this time anyway).

Here's what I found out though...

"BurnLounge - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: BurnLounge, Inc. is an allegedly illegal pyramid scheme [1] founded in 2004]"

5428.5.2008 16:05

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