AfterDawn: Tech news

RIAA sues woman that has no computer

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Feb 2006 6:13 User comments (38)

RIAA sues woman that has no computer The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has found yet another strange case amongst the thousands of copyright infringement suits it has launched against file sharers in the United States. In this case, the accused woman, Marie Lindor actually has never bought or used a PC. Attorneys for the Brooklyn, New York-based health aide sent a letter on Thursday to Judge David G. Trager of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York asking for a summary judgment dismissing the RIAA's complaint, along with attorney fees.
So how could it be possible that a woman without a computer could be accused of sharing music illegally? It turns out that while she had no computer, and claims to never have owned one, there was an insecure wireless router operating in her apartment. Additionally, there once was a computer in her apartment, but the dates provided in the RIAA suit are after that computer was gone.

"She personally has never used a computer in her life," Ray Beckerman, an attorney with Beldock Levine & Hoffman said. "She paid for the Internet access in her apartment, which the last I heard, is not a copyright infringement." Of course it is possible that someone outside the apartment used her Internet connection via the wireless router to download and share music files.

Her son, Woody Raymond, said that he had taken the computer away to his apartment before the alleged infringement took place. "At the time my mother didn’t want people in the house," he said. "The computer wasn’t working. I left the wireless router because everything was connected, but there was no computer attached and no laptop at the house." He tried explaining this to the RIAA's lawyers but they insisted that a $4,500 settlement must be paid.

Another mystery is alleged nickname used for sharing. "JR Lindor" was the nickname used, but her son's last name is not Lindor as he took his fathers last name. "Everything we told them, they don’t care," he said. "They are harassing me. I answered their questions, and they’re asking me the same questions over and over and over. It doesn’t seem like they’re interested in getting this resolved, only in dragging their feet."

The dangers of running an insecure, unencrypted wireless network in an apartment building should be obvious. However, now along with file snooping fears and the use of your Internet connection to download child porn and other illicit material, avoiding a lawsuit by the recording industry for music sharing by someone stealing your Internet connection bandwidth is yet another reason to secure your network.

Red Herring

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38 user comments

15.2.2006 18:32

You've got to be f**king kidding me. This is absolutely rediculous. When will people pull their heads out of their asses. I may just burn down the RIAA.

25.2.2006 19:19

So now someone has a honest excuse that they couldn't have possibly downloaded music "ilegally" and that an IP adress isn't enough to sue a person. She can counter sue and get tons of money from the RIAA for harrasment and help other people that they are harrasing.

35.2.2006 19:42

omg in my place i let my wireless connection unencrpyted for months but i think it's time for me to lock it up now. i though sharing is caring think i'm wrong.

45.2.2006 21:55

I guess we should just be thankful that this is a civil law matter. If this would have been a criminal law issue, then you know that it would be only a matter of time before the RIAA had the police paddywagons backing up to the local Starbucks or any other local Wi-Fi hotspot.

55.2.2006 22:09

Well, even though the RIAA are a bunch of idiots, you should always have your network protected. The problem is that the default settings for most routers right out of the box is unprotected. If you've never set up a wireless network before it can be pretty confusing, esp. if you're not familiar with computers or the jargon that goes along with it.

65.2.2006 23:43

The RIAA's incredible ability to pinpoint exactly who has committed infringement is simply astonishing! Watch out pirates - after all the innocent people are sued, they're coming after you!

76.2.2006 01:18

Ahhh the corprate blight is so nice *L* Its like the whole amputee and rumsfield thing,thier saying rumsfield dosnet know WTH hes saying. I can understand why some are pissed off by it god knows our troops need all the help and respect they can get!!! BTW if the mods think everythign past the frist line is to hot feel free to remove it ^^

86.2.2006 03:38

I just think this is a little much...I mean first a a computerless old woman? It's like those capital one commercials, except the RIAA is the pirates now... "What's in your computer?"

96.2.2006 04:19

i really am starting to belive the RIAA lays out a phone book and throws lawn darts at it to pick who will be their next victim

106.2.2006 04:30

with the latest round of people they are going after it only shows that they (riaa) care nothing of the person only the the file.... now they are going after the owner of the wireless hotspot... nice twist then why dont they go after Mcdonalds who incourage patrons to use their wireless signal or the comfort sueit hotel chain as far as that goes that would also include holiday innn and alot more then they wouldnt be able to get away with it. see money talks and the RIAA knows that going after random people who dont know any better will cave and pay out the nose but big busness would laugh at them ... take notice world its not over yet..... sad to say

116.2.2006 08:11

The RIAA Record Industry Asses Association. I bought two CD's this week Both from the Net. Both independent with no affiliation with any RIAA member. The cost was less than half of the average download costs (iPod) and the nusic ten times as good. That is the only way I will ever buy music.

126.2.2006 09:19

He tried explaining this to the RIAA's lawyers but they insisted that a $4,500 settlement must be paid.
Jeez, you wonder who the real theifs are eh.. -Mike

136.2.2006 09:54

I just bought 3 cd`s from bmg that they announce on their website as cd+dvd but when it arrived it had a cd+vcd wich don`t play im my dvd player,now is this the way the`re fighting piracy? telling lies to their consumers about their products? by the way you can`t return a product once it`s open.

146.2.2006 10:53

Who said that lawyers are smart????????

156.2.2006 11:53

neo1000 even tho they have a fing lamanet machine behinde the counter at most EB,Staples,Best buy chains it seem they refuse to wrap newly return stuff in it and call it new...they would rather force you to keep a 50$ crapy game then return it......

166.2.2006 12:47

Who they gonna sue next? A dog

176.2.2006 12:51

HAHAHAHA ^ They might...

186.2.2006 13:03

I wouldn't put anything past them

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196.2.2006 14:12

depends on if the dart lands there or not so people make sure your dogs are unlisted cuz they will be the next targets

206.2.2006 14:38

I am not a fan of heavy handed tacticts but I am going to have to call "bullshit" on the part of the defendant in this case. "I took out the computer but left the high speed connection running for months" This story has too many holes in it. Nobody I know is going to continue to pay for broadband month in and month out when they are not using it. That and I use my real name and address for all of my logins. Give me a break.

216.2.2006 14:48

Man this story is giving me ideas, whenever I'm on my laptop I detect 3 wireless routers. 1 being my own and my neighboors have it and they are unsecured. Hmmmm(thinking....)

226.2.2006 15:23

Fact is that a vast number of people never change default passwords or activate a modems hardware security. Leaving a network set up even if compters have been removed, although strange, has some logic although naivity may play a part. What this does hilight is the flaw in the laws that allow the likes of RIAA to do what they do. Laws are suppose to exist to protect citizens. Most seem to lean towards protecting commerce. The whole RIAA thing should have been kept in the civil arena and not the criminal one. What ever happened to due course. if this was a police search I doubt that a warrent would have been issued.

236.2.2006 15:31

Patti Santangelo's new lawyer p2p news / p2pnet: Patti Santangelo now has a team. Its members are Patti herself, her new lawyer, Jordan Glass and you. And you guys are taking on Warner Music, Vivendi Universal, EMI and Sony BMG, the desperate Big Four Organized Music Goliaths. They don't stand a chance. Glass who, bottom line, quite literally wouldn't be beside Patti without help from p2pnet readers, was officially accepted into the New York court system last week and, he told me, he guarantees he'll stay on the case to the end. "I have to thank all of the p2pnet readers who've contributed to the Fight Goliath Campaign," Patti said today. "Their donations so far have enabled me to hire a new attorney, Jordan D. Glass. "I wanted very much to continue this fight on my own but when I sat down with the pile of paperwork, I realized that without an attorney who understood the discovery process, I'd surely lose." Glass is a one-man band in a private practice firm. We'll tell you more about him shortly and we'll also give you details of how the money you're donating is being spent, together with estimates of up-coming outlays. In two other important developments, we now have a private New York PO Box address for snail-mail contributions, and all donations are going into an escrow account administered by Patti herself. And while the RIAA is targetting Santangelo and people like her, on November 15, 2004, in testimony before the Federal Trade Commission, the RIAA openly admitted tmost P2P end users don't even know their files are in a shared files folder, says Recording Industry vs The People. "As an initial matter, P2P software may, upon installation, automatically search a user’s entire hard drive for content," states P2P File-Sharing Workshop – Comment, P034517 - Comments of The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), November 15, 2004, going oin: "Files that users have no intention of sharing may end up being offered to the entire P2P network. Continued sharing of personal information is hard to avoid and is facilitated by confusing and complicated instructions for designating shared items. A study by Nathaniel S. Good and Aaron Krekelberg at HP Laboratories showed that “the majority of the users…were unable to tell what files they were sharing, and sometimes incorrectly assumed they were not sharing any files when in fact they were sharing all files on their hard drive." So far .... ... 558 p2pnet readers have contributed a total of $7,588.27. And there were two single snail-mail donations to the old snail-mail address - one of $40, and one of $50. The total of $7,678.27 looks like a lot, but it isn't. It allowed Patti to retain Glass, but much more will be needed for the discovery process, which has to be completed by May 5. How much more? We're working on an estimate, but for now, it'll be anything upwards of $100,000. If you're having doubts about the money, check out Alex H's thoughts on the matter. And if you're wondering if it's all dollars down the tubes, I, the 558 current donors, Jason Rohrer, who wrote the donations script and set up the central donations tracking page, Jordan Glass, Patti and her kids clearly don't think so. As Alex H sums it up, he's imagining himself standing in the Valley of Elah, "holding a betting slip with 'David - 100 Shakels To Win' written on it." We are too and when Patti wins, shattering the Bkig Four's delusions that we depend on them, instead of the other way around, it's going to make a huge difference to the more than 18,000 people already being pilloried by the Big Four, not to mention people yet to be victimized. You can make an immediate contribution to the Goliath Fund by clicking the PayPal button under the pic. Or you can send it to Patti by snail-mail, address beneath it. Patti Santangelo C/O PO Box 57 Cedarhurst New York 11516, USA If you're a web site owner and you want to post a donations button, go here for the code. You'll find a list of sites featuring donatioins buttons, and some p2pnet story links in the struggle. For now, go here to see what's in so far. Cheers, and thanks. And all the best… 420 million vs almost three billion For anyone who's not familiar with the case, Patti, a New York mother of five, is the first of the more than 18,000 people - men, women and even young children - so far victimized by the Big Four's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Through a vast international PR and propaganda blitz involving the mainstream media and scores of 'trade' organizations, the labels, worth billions of dollars, are trying to claim they're being "devastated" by people who share files on the p2p networks. The RIAA sue 'em all campaign is the American element. Santangelo was distributing copyrighted songs online, says the RIAA. It's unlikely it'll get far with that so the next targets will, inevitably, be Patti's children. They are Michelle, 19 (wht Patti, left), Bobby, 15, and Ryan, 7 (centre) and Nicole (17) and Jack, 10 (bottom left), all of whom live at home. Behind specious claims of a thriving corporate music download market, RIAA spokesmen Mitch 'The Don' Bainwol and Cary 'Scary' Sherman' claim their lawsuits are driving significant numbers people to the tiny handful of sites they service and supply, although the reverse is true. In its latest report, the Big Four's IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industries) boasts, "Music fans downloaded 420 million single tracks from the internet last year". And, "legitimate digital music business is steadily pushing back on digital piracy," declared Kennedy, contradicting his and other statements that "Illegal activity on peer-to-peer networks has stayed static in the last year". Meanwhile in the real world of online music, 60 million Americans had logged on a year ago, says the Digital Media Project, and, say statistics from p2p research company BigChampagne, the numbers are steadily increasing year by year. During September, 2005, the average number of files available on p2p networks for download at any moment (average simultaneous files) was 2,789,154,393, BigChampagne told me. Spelled out, that's almost three billionfiles. In America in December, 2005, on average, 6,978,715 people were simultaneously logged onto the p2p networks at any given time, says p2p research firm BigChampagne, which produces statistics centering on the file sharing phenomenon. In 2004, the number was 5,500,314 and in 2003, 3,239,298, says the firm, which compiled statistics for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Information Technology Outlook report for 2004. Globally, in December, 2003, 5,602,384 people were logged onto the p2p nets at the same time at any point around the clock, in 2004 the number had swelled to 7,582,248 and in December, 2005, it was 9,554,298. But neither the Big Four Organized Music cartel members, Warner Music, Vivendi Universal, EMI and Sony BMG, nor their shareholders, are benefitting from this huge Net music phenomenon. They're still locked in the last century with outmoded physical business models and, "Many in the music industry grumble that downloading has been their downfall, and the business has aggressively tried to stop illegal file sharing," says AP. The Big Four spare no expense in their bitter war against the 'consumers' whom, they claim, are thieves and criminals who "illegally" download music without paying for it. This isn't, however, a criminal matter, efforts by the cartel's RIAA to elevate it to that level notwithstanding. It's a civil one. And what's at issue isn't if someone's broken a law it's whether or not he or she has infringed a copyright, which is a very long way from "criminal" or "illegal". At the beginning of the case, Patti was a client of prestigious New York lawyers Beldock, Levine & Hoffman. However, a single mother, she couldn't afford the fees and she and B, L & H decided the only way she could continue was to become her own lawyer. Now, spread the word. Blog, post, use IM, emails, ICR, whatever. Contact your local tv / radio station / newspaper. Can you get something on slashdot? Can you get the Fight Goliath campaign on Digg or anywhere else? And it doesn't matter where in the world you are. The results of the Patti case will affect you as well. That's why sites from countries such as Italy and the UK feature donation buttons. Cheers! And thanks. And all the best ... See: Mother of 5 takes on Big Music - p2pnet Q&A with lawyer Ray Beckerman, August 28, 2005 RIAA victim talks to p2pnet - p2pnet Q&A with Patti Santangelo, September 4, 2005 The 'We're Not Taking Any More' club - Patti isn't the only who's who's had enough, September 17, 2005 Wanted: p2p tech experts - Santangelo's lawyers aren't impressed by RIAA 'evidence,' October 24, 2005 RIAA mass lawsuits 'improper' - Beckerman believes the RIAA oversteps the mark with mass subpoenas, November 21, 2005 1st RIAA trial: victim to defend herself - First news that Santangelo is on her own, December 6, 2005 Teens next RIAA victims - Just before Christmas, the Big Four decide Patti's children might also make targets, December 23, 2005 Santangelo picks up steam - Forced to acknowledge the saga, the mainstream media finally pick it up, December 28, 2005 Tech expert hacks at RIAA evidence - Zi Mei sets out to debunk RIAA 'technical' evidence, December 29, 2005 Patti Santangelo fights Goliath: II - Patti says, 'Thanks for the support,' December 17, 2005 Patti Santangelo campaign launch! - It's the last day of 2005 and the Fight Goliath campaign officially goes up, December 31, 2005 Sceptical about Patti Santangelo? - p2pnet columnist Alex H has a few thoughts for doubters, January 8, 2006 Donate sites: * $2324.82 * $1759.35 * $1149.48 * $879.03 * $329.78 * $328.84 * $135.26 *" class="korostus" target="_blank"> $114.12 * $79.69 * $72.22 * $47.75 * $42.79 * $33.68 * $30.84 * $28.89 * $24.04 * $21.49 * $19.12 *" class="korostus" target="_blank"> $19.12 * $19.12 * $18.92 * $14.45 * $14.26 * $14.11 * $9.60 * http:// $9.41 * $9.41 * $5.65 * $4.50 * $4.13 * $2.61 * $2.31 * $0.67 (Monday 6th February 2006) WHEN ARE YE GUYS GOING TO GET IT IN YE HEADS,(Patti Santangelo's } IS FIGHTING FOR YOU. And ye guys will be next and soon ye guys will be taking on Warner Music, Vivendi Universal, EMI and Sony BMG, the desperate Big Four Organized Music Goliaths. as a knock on ye door or per telephone call. THIS IS TO IMFORM ALL OF YOU,IF (Patti Santangelo's } LOOSES HER CASE YE MUSIC AND MOVIE DOWNLOADERS WILL BE NEXT TO BE SUED AS SOON AS THEY GET YE IP OR E-MAIL ADDRESS. if ye can send her some money to help her to fight for you...

246.2.2006 18:52

This just in, my cat has been sued. Apparently his tail got stuck in the USB port where my wireless USB adaptor goes and he somehow downloaded "The Best of Boy George." I just got the notice in the mail. I thought they were suing me for listening to Boy George, (makes sense) but apparently downloading copyrighted material is illegal. What load a mularkey, I mean who copyrighted "The Best of Boy George." While listening to Boy George isn't a felony (at least not yet), legislation is in the works to ban Michael Bolton from being played within a one mile radius of all Churches and residential areas.

256.2.2006 21:33

No comment... I mean, what do you say to that? I'd laugh, but I don't see anything funny about this. This is just abuse of power and trigger-happy individual's who have nothing better to do than harass people who they know don't know anything about this sort of thing and can't effeciently protect themselves. The RIAA isn't part of a democracy, it's the dictatorship.

266.2.2006 23:36

This is retarded! I can imagine some fat, rich cunt sitting in his leather chair like a director of RIAA or some Major lable and all he wants is make money, money money.. and doesn’t give a shit how and where they come from! How about someone lower CD prices? This is just another way of making money!

277.2.2006 00:52

what a pile of sh*t, these stupid "big 4" have made so many f*ck ups its not funny.... if they want to be such 'important' arrogant pricks why cant they at least do it right, and not sue the nice old lady, i mean clearly, if she hasnt used a computer before, im sure she went to a secret location, hacked her own wireless router and downloaded illegal music, or better yet, the son must of done it, what the hell, weve screwed up once, whats another gonna hurt us... what a bunch of as*holes

287.2.2006 07:04

I've decided to form a militia of hackers to break into the RIAA and tear it apart.

297.2.2006 07:49

Woman getting sued that has no computer. WTF. It's true there are people out there using other peoples wireless connection. I hope the RIAA loses big time.

307.2.2006 08:46

riaa is so stupid have they ever heard of a ip address changer hackers have been using them for years to trick the riaa's tracking software which might i add has a lot of holes

317.2.2006 11:06

Good game.

327.2.2006 11:28

leg3nd said:

I am not a fan of heavy handed tacticts but I am going to have to call "bullshit" on the part of the defendant in this case. "I took out the computer but left the high speed connection running for months" This story has too many holes in it. Nobody I know is going to continue to pay for broadband month in and month out when they are not using it. That and I use my real name and address for all of my logins. Give me a break.
you are not very knowlegable on connection subscriptions. 1) when I worked with an ISP about eight years ago at least one to two percent of all their subscribers were not useing their connections, meaning they had changed ISP's but had not cancelled. often this went one year or longer. 2) curent deals on broadband very often involve no charge or a very small charge for a very long time meaning many people would not notice. indeed their are packages with digital cable where the broadband is in essence a free add on to a package and no savings would be incurred by cancellong the broadband. 3) my mom paid the monthly cell phone bill for a cell phone she did not use for nine months because the name was the same as her landline provider. 4) half the peope I know have their router in their basement or under a peice of furniture and not somewhere where they look at it. easily 3/4 of persons do not change the default password and that is a known fact.

3311.2.2006 16:47

she probably had a computer with which she was sharing stuff and as soon as she found out she was being sued, she got rid of it and lied about never using one

3413.2.2006 15:36

"she probably had a computer with which she was sharing stuff and as soon as she found out she was being sued, she got rid of it and lied about never using one" or any of her neighbors could have used her connection.

3514.2.2006 00:09

"1) when I worked with an ISP about eight years ago at least one to two percent of all their subscribers were not useing their connections, meaning they had changed ISP's but had not cancelled. often this went one year or longer." my dad forget to pay our bill for a while and after 3 months, they cut our connection-we have comcast-not sure how other isp's work

3615.10.2009 18:53

Originally posted by trav2075:
"1) when I worked with an ISP about eight years ago at least one to two percent of all their subscribers were not useing their connections, meaning they had changed ISP's but had not cancelled. often this went one year or longer."

my dad forget to pay our bill for a while and after 3 months, they cut our connection-we have comcast-not sure how other isp's work
I had the opposite happen. ATT ran our cable broadband internet and movies for about a year. It was the lousiest service around. They cut purchased movies off in the middle... Called them up to complain and they told me that I could watch half of the next movie... I took the cable box to their office and canceled service... Now comes the screwy part. They never turned off the cable, only the internet. That was 8 years ago. Comcast purchased the system from ATT a few weeks after I canceled. The cable was still working up to 3 weeks ago when Comcast came through our area upgrading equipment and pulled the plug on the connection. So, we had 8 years of free cable and Comcast hasn't said a word...yet !!!

3715.10.2009 21:03

shhhhh!!!! don't say it to loud as they might hear you & demand all their back payments.

3822.9.2010 21:51

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