AfterDawn: Tech news

Lawsuit victim sues RIAA under RICO Act

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Oct 2005 6:33 User comments (40)

Lawsuit victim sues RIAA under RICO Act The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued close to 15,000 file sharers in the United States since the group started it's campaign against illegal file sharing in 2003. Not even 5,000 of these suits has been settled yet not one of them has ended up in an actual court case just yet. Among those sued are university students, kids, unaware parents, senior citizens and even a dead woman.
So as you can imagine, the RIAA doesn't really mind who gets sued, as long as the message is spread. However, the entire setup of these lawsuits is strange to say the least and the actual evidence has been doubted by many lawyers and experts as being enough to sustain a lawsuit. One woman, Tanya Andersen, has just counter-sued the RIAA for Oregon RICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of "outrage", and deceptive business practices.

Andersen, 42, a disabled mother, lives alone with her eight-year-old daughter. She is demanding a trial by jury, not willing to give into the lawsuit. Represented by Lory Lybeck of Lybeck Murphy in Oregon, Andersen decided she wasn’t going to be bullied into paying an extortionate charge to a blackmail center acting for the major record labels.

She is not the only person to stand up to the RIAA lately however, there are also others like Patricia Santangelo. She has refused to settle with the RIAA. "Don't let your fear of these massive companies allow you to deny your belief in your own innocence," she said. "Paying these settlements is an admission of guilt. If you're not guilty of violating the law, don't pay."


Thanks Jon again for the email and thanks to tinfoil who later on also submitted the news using the News Submission form.

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40 user comments

12.10.2005 19:00

This is just brilliant... if enough people stand up against these bullying b*stards and win, they might just get the message...

22.10.2005 19:43

I would appreciate if some well known organizetion (perhaps Electronic Frontier Foundation) started a legal deffense fund, that could be used to fight those a-holes. For one I havent buy a CD in long time, so I could spare a 'Hamilton', or two...

32.10.2005 20:12

we can only hope this story attracts the attentions of millions ... this will hopefully be the downfall of this industry .. ;)

42.10.2005 20:37

KICK @SS!!! Now see...that is what I am talking about...I guaranttee that this is going to get some national coverage, especially since more and more lawsuits are being filed, more and more counter-lawsuits will be filed. Hopefully...the RIAA and MPAA are going to realize that the general public, no matter how much you try, there is only so much pushing you can do... until someone decides to push back.

52.10.2005 22:11

even a dead woman.
That is the funniest thing i read in a while... The RIAA doesnt have anything better to do and they cant fight people that can actualy counter sue as this woman is doing soo they are going for a dead woman... How dumb and desparate does The RIAA have to get... Get a life i say... and more power to the mum she is standing up for all of us... Never underestmate a person with a disability, u will b amazed at what there able to do... :)

62.10.2005 23:00

I just saw the "...sues RIAA..." in the title and I was squealing I was so happy. I hope she makes a fortune.

73.10.2005 00:59

YOWSA!! YES! YES !!!! I am *thrilled* that A/D is following these critical events. This latest countersuit is (I think) the second major blow that the RIAA is now going to have to deal with. I am so very proud of Ms. Santangelo's courage that I can't even sit up straight! At the initial time of her being sued, I believe she was quite unaware of the rat's nest which the RIAA had previously created. But with the support of the Internet Community via their *outrage* at how far the RIAA had gone, she is now fighting BACK! And don't you think that it is just a bit ballsy of the RIAA to set up a "redemption center" (or whatever in the f--- they call it), whereby an "evil, offending downloader" can hang his head in shame and just plunk down his hard-earned $$$ simply because the RIAA says so? In it's haughty arrogance, the RIAA very incorrectly assumed that everyone it sued would simply become lambs to the slaughter and cave-in to its damning demands for payment, whether they were guilty or not. And NOW we have Ms. Tanya Anderson fighting back!!!! Man oh man, the RIAA is cruising for a bruising!!! Just LOOK at the wonderful counter-charges her attorney is filing: ...fraud; invasion of privacy; abuse of process; electronic trespass; .....[clunk] .. [ooops! I just fell off my chair in glee!]......violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; negligent misrepresentation.... Ahh! What _sweet_ justice this is! What _music_ to my ears! And you know? Since this magnificent lady is insisting on a trial by jury no less, rather than by a judge who can be bought out by the bottomless pockets of the RIAA, she stands an *awfully* good chance of _crucifying_ these deplorable, presumptious corporate fearmongers! People, the RIAA is going to FRY. It's just a matter of time. When (not if) either or both of these delightful ladies win their cases, it is going to have HUGE repercussions on the Internet and in the news media. The RIAA, (you know.... they actually *used* to be a respectable organization, hard as that may be to believe. Remember the 'RIAA' LP (vinyl) equalization curve they developed for improved audio playback of phonograph records?) - now metamorphed into perhaps one of the most reviled and corrupt organizations on Earth, - is *finally* going to be nakedly exposed to the world for what it has become, and the depths to which it has sunk to feed it's ongoing greed. It will be interesting to see how they publicy respond when the gavel comes smacking down on their corrupt little heads. I only hope to God these two courageous ladies will sue for punitive damages and personal suffering. What do you wanna bet that the RIAA will crawl like the lizards they are, and offer them a quiet "out-of-court" settlement? Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!! :-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Oct 2005 @ 1:01

83.10.2005 04:09

I'm going to try to find where I can donate money to this cause. It's about time, I think we should all get behind these brave ones.

93.10.2005 06:09

Its about time the thought if one person wins then there will be a presisadent set that all others can counterclaim with more lawyers will be willing to go against them and blow them away.... we as americans put up with alot and we are very guliable in beleaving that if we are sued then we must be guiltty ... but thats not the way it works it really states that you only need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt but what if there was a virus that made your system download music or movies out there in cyber space then it would not have been intentionally done thus not our fault.... they cant say that your machine wasnt hijacked and forced to download either because we all know there is so much spyware out there and so many viruses what happens if the right two or three got together what could they do to our systems....... mind boggleing and a trial by jury is deffently the way to go reminding all that this is the same music they play freely on the radio....

103.10.2005 07:24

I think she should sue her ISP for giving out her private information.

113.10.2005 09:24

*bill038 i think some months ago a woman from seattle sued comcast for giving her infos to the RIAA, but idk the outcome of the trial. plus like the woman she should have her trial by jury it's more fair, but straight up i can c that the Anderson just gonna win. these freakin RIAA bastards should just go after those who's making a big profits off their musics. instead of going these working parents, senior citizens, poor college students, and comin let the dead woman rest in peace.

123.10.2005 09:53

damn straight, dont let them take away your fun

133.10.2005 10:47

from slashdot: "Is mrs. Anderson The ONE...?"

143.10.2005 11:18

i wish that all torrent and p2p's diod wt piratebay did it wud give us all a laugh

153.10.2005 19:08 this is the comcast lawsuit.

stop hoping, start loving.

163.10.2005 19:34

Same incident, different target.

173.10.2005 21:07

I am downloading a song (illegal I might add) to show my support for the cause. Please join me as we download together as one against corporate greed and injustice. Fight back and download for free in a show for solidarity.

183.10.2005 21:09

and yes she is "The One"

196.10.2005 06:45

Is there a defense fund to help support these people?

206.10.2005 07:26

If there is a fighting fund I'll chuck in a couple of - oh dear - do you lot accept UK pounds?

216.10.2005 08:23


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Oct 2005 @ 2:05

226.10.2005 08:25

I agree. I had not thought about it, but this is extortion. The publishers are blackmailing people to cough up the money or be burdened by a pathetic lawsuit that they never intend to file. They are only threatening us so that we will give up money. Extortion to the highest degree. If we can send Martha "I'm a Loser" Stewart to jail for selling stock on insider knowledge, we should be able to crack down on these big corporations who are literally threatening individual citizens.

236.10.2005 10:49


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Oct 2005 @ 7:23

246.10.2005 13:14


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Oct 2005 @ 7:22

256.10.2005 13:26

Not only is the RIAA a bunch of bullying s****, they now aren't happy about how much iTunes are selling tracks for. They seem to think that iTunes should be charging more than they are at present. Aren't they just grateful that people are paying something? They've had it too much their own way for far too long, and still they want more. They are nothing better than leeches. Good luck to this woman, I hope they get it stuck up them in court. Problem is if it doesn't go their way, the bottomless pit of money will feed the vultures (sorry lawyers)until it goes their way.

266.10.2005 14:17

SCREW THE RIAA, screw the goverment

276.10.2005 15:36

"Andersen, 42, a disabled mother, lives alone with her eight-year-old daughter." I'm sorry, but if you think a person who can probably barely afford to get by buying groceries - given that she's single and unemployeed due to disability, can afford to challange some legal mumbo jumbo company like the RIAA, you are making a fool out of yourself. She probably will go broke and into debt before she can even get to court - and ruin all potential for her kids to go to college (which is probably already in doubt if their mom's stupid enough to challange the RIAA). She's just making a laughing stock out of herself. The whole premisis to this story is hillarious, and her case will probably be thrown out of court in 0.000000001 seconds . DMCA outrules the RICO act, whatever BS that RICO act is. Don't people get it - the United States is a country where justice is all about how much damn money you have to fight off the case. If I wanted, I could go out and do 5 MPH over the speedlimit every day, get 6 speeding tickets a year, and not have a single point added to my license if I pay a lawyer enough money. People get by with taking pictures of celeberties without their permission (paparazi), but ordinary Joe gets a few months in jail for taking pictures of girls at the swimming pool.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Oct 2005 @ 3:45

286.10.2005 20:01

She's not being stupid. She's doing the right thing - which is probably the only chance she has. With all that you said, do you really think she could afford to settle for several thousand dollars? If she has to spend money she doesn't have anyway, I'd rather see her give it to lawyers and have a chance of coming out ahead than just giving it to the RIAA so they can go out and sue some other helpless victim.

296.10.2005 22:23

Paying these settlements is an admission of guilt. If you're not guilty of violating the law, don't pay." Well, not really. Most will settle saying they do not admit guilt, which can't be used against them criminally, but what it is can be construed as naive cave ins. You take your average Joe Student. Odds are he is in debt, doesn't live even in the same state as his parents, so RIAA can't get any money from the parents. I applaud this lady demanding a jury trial. Do you know why none of these cases have gone to trial? Because 99% never do. Why? Lawyers. They want upfront fees to go to court. court trials are freaking expensive, that's why they never get to court. LLet's say RIAA tells it's lawyers to go after the lady and the college student. Let's say they win a billion dollar settlement. How are they going to collect? They are not. They can't. The lawyers know it, and RIAA will not pay an horly fee to lawyers to take each person to trial. It is simply far too expensive to pay the lawyers compared to what they allege they are losing in revenue. Here's an idea, RIAA, try putting some decent music out there you little jerk offs. Jesus Christ, rap music condoning rape and murder, Nsync? Puke. Yeah, Justin and Janet, we really want more music from you! Btw, where the hell have you both been? Most bands`don't even sing anymore. There are other reasons why RIAA is losing revenue, and file sharing is a fraction of what the real reason is; nobody is making any decent music. (There are exceptions obviously.) If you live in California, (we're broke)Louisiana, broke, etc. Federal government, broke. Nobody can afford to prosecute you criminally, and nobody can afford to sue you in civil proceedings. Don't settle with these bastards, that's the worst thing to do because it's what they WANT you to do. It's the only result available to them. If you take it away, and stop settling, they will stop their nonsense BECAUSE IT IS NOT COST EFFECTIVE TO DO SO. It really is that simple. If you don't believe me, believe the numbers. Not a single casde has gone to trial. Ask yourself why.

307.10.2005 05:37

nihilator you are so right with what you said, the RIAA can get $4500 straight up without it costing them a thing or they can agree to go to court, pay there lawyers a shit load and even with the hardest evidence possible to win in court they would get what $10 a week forever from the person they sue as that person prolly wouldnt be able to pay the crazy amount they get sued for. if everyone did let it go to court the RIAA would either stop sending these people threat letters or start suing rich people only so as to get there cash upfront. this then would become a problem as a rich kid can afford better lawyers meaning the trial could drag on for a long time costin the RIAA more in legal fees and also reduce the chance of the RIAA winning in court and getting counter sued for the trouble they caused.

317.10.2005 10:41

You can't download a song and sell it That's wrong, Down load for yourself is Ok. There can't be any profit or money involved. When I was a kid, 50 years ago, paperbacks used to have a copyright in the front of the book saying you couldn't give the book to anyone else to read.They had to buy they own copy. Even today when you give a paperback or book to someone Are you breaking the Law? Don't believe me, go to a flea market and look at old paperbacks. If I download a song that someone has given to me No law is Broken. Capecod bubba

327.10.2005 11:06

Wow, I just whipped out my calculator, and at an average of $4000 per settlement, they've made over $56 million without even going to court. Wish I could make that much without lifting a finger.

338.10.2005 05:20

The RIAA has lawyers on retainer. I think that the trial fees would have to be coveered by them but I'm not sure. I would like to know if they have sued a lawyer yet someone who knows where they stand in a court of law. What is the criteria of the lawsuits and who has been excluded.I hope the lady takes the bullys' to court and beats them hands down. It would be a shame if when she gets to court they settle with her with a non-disclosure clause. I would give help$$$ to see them beat.

348.10.2005 06:31

Trust me guys, she is not paying a dime probably. Under these lawsuits, there is usually a percent that the attorneys get from the damages, not the plaintiff. So They will collect a huge percent--let's say millions, and the actual victims, if this goes to class-action status, get then a small dividend from the award.

358.10.2005 06:38

But, I have to laugh when I hear the excuse that she is disabled and raises her daughter all by herself. No guys, you and I are raising that daughter with our FICA payments every month--social secruity and medicare. How is she affording internet when she is a welfare recipient. That gets to me. I teach in a inner-city school where nearly everyone is EBT card users, quite a few have babies and yet they all have their $150.00 shoes on, with their gold teeth caps. I disagree with what the music industry is doing, but this irks me when people play the sympathy card for these "disabled" victims. Afterall, amazing how they need to park at the closest parking for handicapped people (cause who could expect them to walk any farther, right?), and yet can walk 2-3 miles around the mall/Wal-Mart when they get in! And no, they don't all use wheelchairs!

368.10.2005 08:24

I know that a lot of times 'disability' is really an abused term, but if it helps make a jury more sympathetic then I'm all for it.

379.10.2005 01:26

1) I am disabled, and I pay 160.00 per Semester for a parking pass that does not guarentee me a parking spot. Although the school is in compliance with the alotted handi-cap spots, I have yet to find one. I'm only 41, and will have two prosthetic hips come this November. It hurts to walk. Don't take things for granted. FICA and Medicare have NOTHING to do with welfare. My dad ran a huge company, and as an employer had to match each employees FICA and Medicare deductions. He died at 55, and never saw a penny from social security. Don't mess with the disabled. We have all the time in the world to mess with heartless bastards such as yourself.

389.10.2005 05:25

No matter how much you want to start another flame thread based on my comments before, I still think that there is no way in hell that any lawsuit filed by anyone against the RIAA will reach the AP or local news. Mainly, because the lawsuit will be thrown out. We need someone with a more prestigous background to sue the RIAA for this stuff. Like Hillary Clinton or some artist from Metallica or Switchfoot, etc. Know why it won't happen? Because they have probably been to college and know that there are legal maters that should go untouched, because if they are touched, they humiliate the person who touched them.

399.10.2005 20:06

Well my point was they have to get to trial before they can be "Thrown out." What's happening is people who are not aware that they have freaking rights in this country, will choose to settle because their lawyer wil them it will cost too much in atty fees not to settle. That is what our judicial system has become. Damn, show up to court, by yourself, plan on just asking for a continuance; I guarentee you that whoever is suing you will most likely not show up. Go to your local courthouse homepage, and see how much it costs just to file the initial complaint. People are caving in becuase threy think "that's the way it is." Poppycock. I wish somebody would sue me.

4018.11.2005 14:44

I have to agree with Nihilator, WTF has happened to music. I 'm not gonna say it's crap period, because everyone has diffrent taste in music. But where have all the real musicians gone? The one's who write, sing, and play there own music. Most of the popular pop music and videos these days are no more than 5min advertisments for some kinda crap u really don't need. I mean good God the music these days is so empty and worthless. whatever happened to real musicans (Eagles, Eric clapton, Jewel, Sarah Mclachlan, Metallica(old stuff) and many more. All i can say is entertainers like 50 cent, Britney spears and one's like them should be scared, because they got payback comin. You can't live a life of lies and thivery and not expect to get it back sooner or later

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