The RIAA has dropped its file-sharing suit against an Oklahoma mother who had no connection to any such activities, beyond paying an ISP bill. Good news -- sort of. The case was dropped after the woman filed a claim to have it dismissed, then faced with the prospect their case would be thrown out, the RIAA asked -- and was allowed -- to withdraw it on their own instead. This is basically the same scenario as that of a Michigan woman who the group sued because her kids were alleged to be file-sharing, though in this most recent case, the RIAA will have to pay the defandant's legal bills. Several questions are raised here, but first and foremost is why does the RIAA simply get to drop these lawsuits with little or no repercussions when it becomes clear they're bogus? Again and again, the RIAA has filed these spurious lawsuits, simply bullying people and employing dubious tactics. And despite not ever actually winning a fully litigated case, instead just trying to steamroll people into paying ridiculous damages, the RIAA rolls on. At some point, shouldn't somebody put a stop to these bogus suits, and force the RIAA to own up to the consequences of using the legal system as its personal sandbox? The costs of these individual cases mean nothing to the RIAA, even if they have to pay a defendant's legal bills, but the costs to the people they're suing -- who are often innocent, but are bullied into settling -- are significant. Why are they allowed to continue? Keep in mind, too, that the lawsuits have done nothing to stop file-sharing.
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