RIAA Can't Wiggle Its Way Out Of Paying Victim's Legal Fees

from the a-good-lesson dept

The RIAA's lawsuit against Patti Santangelo has seen a number of interesting twists and turns, which has made it one of the more high-profile cases out there. If you'll recall, the RIAA tried dropping its case last year when it became clear that it had no chance of winning at trial against the indebted mother of five. But it only offered to do drop the case with the stipulation that it would not have to pay back any of her enormous legal fees. If it got its way, Santangelo's "victory" would have been rather hollow, since it would've left her in pretty bad shape. Fortunately, the RIAA's motion to dismiss the case without prejudice has been rejected by the judge, which leaves the group with two options. It can drop the case with prejudice, which means it would have to compensate Santangelo for her legal fees, or it can proceed to trial, where it's almost certain to lose, and then it would still have to pay for her lawyer. It's not clear which way the RIAA will decide to go, but it's clearly a very bad ruling for the group, as it's finally going to have to pay up for its ongoing abuse of the legal system.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Faceless minion, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 2:27pm

    They've abused the legal system for years. It's good to see them finally start to get abused back.

     

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  2.  
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    JT, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:09pm

    sing to the RIAA

    In the words of Justin Timberlakes latest song. What goes around, comes around.

     

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  3.  
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    Joe Smith, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:18pm

    old saying

    As the old saying goes:

    "Time wounds all heels ..."

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:30pm

    You Spin Me Right Round...Pt II

    I certainly hope they have to cover her losses, but it won't change anything. The next time their asked about their strategy of suing everyone and their brother and their brother's dog, they'll just point to this case and say "See? When we saw we were wrong we dropped the suit and paid their legal fees, so clearly we aren't abusing the system."

    The RIAA is a predator with big fangs filled with lawyer venom. It feeds solely on the weakest and least-able-to-defend itself members of the herd. Time to call an exterminator.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:45pm

    "See? When we saw we were wrong we dropped the suit and paid their legal fees, so clearly we aren't abusing the system."

    Except they only dropped the suit when they figured out they had no chance of winning the case, and even THEN they tried to get it dropped with the stipulation that they WOULDN'T pay for Ms. Santangelo's legal fees. They were trying to abuse the legal system by bringing about a patently unprovable case to court, then when they got their press and eventually figured out they couldn't win, they tried to weasel their way out of the case without having to pay for bringing about a bogus lawsuit.

    It's about goddamned time the courts finally saw through the RIAA's bullshit and forced them to either take a case to trial or pay up.

    Down with treating your customers like criminals! Down with bogus lawsuits! AND TO HELL WITH THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Asian, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:46pm

    Re: sing to the RIAA

    in the words of cindi lauper : Time after Time .. i hope RIAA loses every case and has to pay out to every one. who does the general public think they are .. using the internet to d/l music ... thats not what the information was made for

     

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  7.  
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    MISHA, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:50pm

    Re: You Spin Me Right Round...Pt II

    You are right in that they are going to point to the case and say that they paid the legal fees but I don't think that is enough. How much has that woman been out because she can't work? What about emotional distress. The RIAA clearly needs to be put on a leash. There method of blindly sending out court action based on bandwidth usage is not good. Somebody that has been harassed by this beast needs to turn around and sue them for harrassment and then I would try and find everybody else they have done the same thing to. Everybody is on the Bush administration because of the way the FBI had been checking up on people. They need to get on the RIAA the same way. They clearly have done the same thing. What is Congress doing about that?

     

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  8.  
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    PopeRatzo, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    Paying her legal fees does not make Mrs Santangelo whole. She's spent years messing with these crooks. It's just her lawyers that make out in this case.

    At least this might give all the other people who are getting harassed by the RIAA hope that it might be worth fighting these cases.

    Shame on the RIAA.

     

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  9.  
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    Beefcake, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    Re:

    Exactly, but they won't mention that they were FORCED to do it, so Mike will post something pointing out that fact and we'll get to talk about how much they suck some more.

    Ah, the circle of life. Oops, I just used a lyric without permission...

     

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  10.  
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    Tahoe916, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 4:08pm

    Fuck the RIAA, fuck them in their silly little monkey asses.

    I'm so tired of these asshats showing off their wizard hats.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 4:32pm

    How

    > Fuck the RIAA, fuck them in their silly little monkey asses.

    I wonder how the RIAA could win ANY jury trial with people's perception of them.

     

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  12.  
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    Santino, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 4:44pm

    Don't get mad...

    Just go back to Usenet or Bittorrent and download another 10 cd's worth of music.

    That always makes me smile as I know that I just beat them again!

     

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  13.  
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    Mark, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 4:46pm

    Re: How

    Easy. A Jury panel is a section of peers. Most people in the US are slobbering, blundering idiots who don't know much more than what they hear on Fox news in the evening.

    "This just in, RIAA sues another group of people for illegally distributing copyrighted material"

    They respond by telling their kids not to do this and move on. They don't lurk here or on slashdot or any of the blog of the months to konw that there is more to the story.

    And Yes, I live in the US, and occasionally slobber.

     

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  14.  
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    Whirler, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 5:17pm

    Catch me if you can...

    2.5 Terabytes (MP3s) Strong and still going!

     

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  15.  
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    Erv, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 5:40pm

    eye for an eye

    I hope this case is the seed that produces many more like it, soon the RIAA will be forking out so much money they will have to leave people alone.

     

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  16.  
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    J.O., Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 7:32pm

    If the EFF isn't in yet, here's a chance to kill t

    Call-out to he EFF... If you aren't all ready involved, help Patti win, go for the jugular, assist her existing defense to claim emotional distress, affecting her ability to work, et.c. Go after such a huge settlement that the RIAA will be reluctant to ever try again. Years of her life have been affected by this corporation that exists solely due to greed.

     

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  17.  
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    Extreme Centrist, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 7:40pm

    Where's the ACLU when you need them?

    Time to drop a huge punitive damages award on the RIAA. Maybe a class action suit by all the people they leeched $3,000 from.

     

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  18.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Mar 22nd, 2007 @ 9:27pm

    Just for payback...

    I really think she should counter sue the RIAA. But I doubt she would win a lawsuit against them since they can just point to the fact that their own lawsuit was dropped.

     

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  19.  
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    Billy Jenkins, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 12:41am

    Lawers at the bottom of the ocean

    Definitely, she should take the RIAA for all they are worth. I would like her to start a website or work with the EFF and start a collection. I'd help.

    If there was a law passed that in any civil case, a corporate entity acting as a plantiff, can only spend 1:1 on legal fees as the defendant, one can imagine many of the problems with the legal system would probably magically dissappear, as would the majority of corporate lawfirms, which would be a good thing... Thoughts?


    I think the halls of the RIAA must be filled with Despair.com posters like http://despair.com/arrogance.html

     

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  20.  
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    Billy Jenkins, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 12:48am

    Patti Vs RIAA. Taking Donations!

     

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  21.  
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    Jeremy, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 2:14am

    Re: sing to the RIAA

    Justin Timberlake??????? (comment #2) Ratt came out with that phrase in 1984 on their song Round and Round! Great song by the way...great album (Out of the Cellar)... The RIAA is enjoying its last run of lawsuits, and the legal well will be running dry soon. Lots of file sharers are discovering the privacy provided by encrypted file-sharing apps like GigaTribe ( http://www.gigatribe.com). No army of lawyers can stop people from sharing files with friends in an encrypted environment.

     

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  22.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 4:03am

    Just a thought...

    Would you say the RIAA's whole protectionist racket could now be in, as it were, Dire Straits?

    "We are the Sultans ... the Sultans of suing."

     

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  23.  
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    dataGuy, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: sing to the RIAA

    You think Ratt originated the phrase "what goes around comes around"? That was good for a chuckle :-)

    I have no idea when the phrase originated - my guess is it predates spoken language. I'm fairly sure the cavemen had a grunt that loosely translated to "what goes around comes around". But you had to listen closely because that grunt had a similar sound to the grunt that means "STFU" ;-)

     

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  24.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 23rd, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    Hinduism

    Isn't an important part of Hinduism the idea that what goes around comes around, and that that is divinely intended as a way of keeping the world balanced?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    The HipNerd, Mar 25th, 2007 @ 12:10am

    Re: Catch me if you can...

    Ok, so by a back-of-the-envelope calculation, that's about 4 years worth of music. I'm not trying to put you down by asking the following questions, but I'm curious: Do you collect music just to collect it? Do you download everything you can get your hands on, or do you say, well I don't like (for example) classical music and pass on that? How do you go about listening to your collection? Do you play randomly through your entire library, or try to organize particular playlists, etc.?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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