Michelle Santangelo Sues Kazaa, AOL And Anyone Else She Can Think Of For Her Getting Sued By The RIAA

from the questionable-lawsuits dept

We’ve been following the story of Patti Santangelo and her family’s fight against the RIAA for some time — but the latest moves by the Santangelo family seem a bit scattershot. Santangelo, of course, was one of the first people to fight back against a bogus RIAA lawsuit. This was fantastic, as many others simply settled, rather than going through the trouble of fighting the questionable charges (especially in cases where parents were sued for the actions of their kids). A year and a half later, the RIAA finally admitted it didn’t have any evidence against Patti Santangelo and dropped the case (and tried to get out of paying her legal fees), but then quickly sued her kids instead. This wasn’t a huge surprise. The RIAA had been secretly investigating her kids for some time. However, the response of the kids has been a bit questionable. Patti’s son Robert’s response included every argument in the book against the RIAA — including a number of weak ones that could hurt his case more than help it. There are a few strong arguments that can be used against the RIAA. Including a bunch of very weak ones probably doesn’t help. Now, Patti’s daughter Michelle is taking a similarly broad approach, not in responding to the RIAA, but in blaming everyone she can possibly think of for the fact that she was sued by the RIAA. She’s filed lawsuits against Kazaa, AOL and the guy who installed Kazaa on her computer, saying they were all complicit in getting her to share copyrighted content, without warning her of the consequences. This is an incredibly weak argument that hasn’t gotten very far in the past. This lawsuit just makes it look like she doesn’t want to take responsibility for her own actions.

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Companies: aol, kazaa, riaa

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Comments on “Michelle Santangelo Sues Kazaa, AOL And Anyone Else She Can Think Of For Her Getting Sued By The RIAA”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I know, but it’s funny, because she’s trying to sue the person who put kazaa on her pc too. The kid was probably a friend, and possibly trying to accomplish what I mentioned above for her. Then she got busted somehow (AOL probably ratted her out), now she is suing him.

Of course, that is all speculation. But, probably not far from the truth.

R3d Jack says:


“This lawsuit just makes it look like she doesn’t want to take responsibility for her own actions.”

Isn’t this why we don’t allow minors to enter into contracts? I’m not talking about teens violating laws they clearly understand (although we don’t punish them using adult standards). I am saying that expecting kids to take responsibility in the same way in which we expect adults to do so is a bit ridiculous.

A “cease and desist” demand, along with making the kid delete their ill-gotten music collection, is reasonable. Suing kids for ridiculous, unrealized damages is, as someone noted above, “evil”.

Chazman says:

9th graders

Being sued by the RIAA sounds like a bunch of overpaid executives with too much time on their hands, not a lot of common sense, and a ninth-grader’s mentality suing ninth-graders. Coupled with attorneys who will sue anyone for a fee they all look like clowns on parade. The rest of the world is laughing at America.
I’ve got a better idea; give away low-fidelity 96K songs as a teaser, and sell me 256K versions that I can play on any player. Duh!
I wonder how long it will take the ninth-graders at RIAA to figure this one out.

Mike C. says:

Don't apply real-world logic to this...

I think the big problem here is that you’re applying real-world logic to a court of law and the two don’t mix well. From what I’ve seen of the RIAA tactics (and I read Ray’s blog daily), these cases are all about shifting blame. The move here is not necessarily to NOT take responsibility, but to minimize the eventual exposure if she loses.

By joining two deep pocket parties, she likely stands a much better chance of keeping any eventual settlement on her part to a minimum. In my view, it’s a business decision, not a personality one.

Richard O. Langley says:


Companies that offer FREE downloads of music or any other service that has copyright or patent attached to it should be held at fault.It is only natural that people do this,it says “FREE”,why not.There was a time when musicians and other artist would give their stuff away just to be heard or seen,nowadays if a musician or artist did that their promoter or label would sue them.What a screwed up world we live in.

Mike C. says:

Re: the best

This is an example of the real-world ideas being applied to the courtroom. Trespass doesn’t necessarily mean he was in the house uninvited. It could mean using the computer without permission. It could also be limited to downloading the software without permission which I would believe is the angle they are trying to take.

Therefore, the way I read this is “trespassing and reckless installation” = “he downloaded the software and installed it without my approval or knowledge”

Maychic.com/wealthology (user link) says:

Santangelo Sues Kazaa, AOL And Anyone Else

Bravo to this brave woman. These bloated belligerent big corporations who have made too much money and don’t know what to do with it anymore except terrorizing their customers through filing frivolous lawsuits need to know that customers can equally hit them back with lawsuits. The only way to send the right message to bullies is to fight them bag using the same weapons and strategies they use. If more people can follow in Michelle’s footsteps, this menace by these corporations would halt.

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