RIAA Shows Zero Compassion For Single Mom Who Did Nothing Wrong

from the what-an-uplifting-organization dept

Here's yet another story of someone who had no idea their internet connection was actually being used for file sharing, and the RIAA is bullying her to extort money from her she doesn't have. In this case, it's a single mom making $21,000/year who doesn't even know how to use a computer. However, her daughter shared some songs, and the industry is telling her she may owe them over half a million dollars. When she pointed out she doesn't have that kind of money they "graciously" offered to settle for a $4,000 payout. When she pointed out, again, that she didn't have that kind of money, the RIAA told her "go find a lawyer." When, once again, she pointed out she didn't have the money to talk to a lawyer, the RIAA said, more or less, "too bad." In this case, once again, the woman could make the perfectly reasonable argument that she broke no laws. Her daughter may have, but the industry can't prove that it was her or her mother, or someone entirely different. However, they have no problem bullying her into paying a lot of money she doesn't have.

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  1. identicon
    LittleW0lf, 28 May 2004 @ 8:39am

    Re: Child Porn

    Seeing as how a net connection costs anywhere between $10-60/mo, and a computer could cost as little as $200, that doesn't say much about being able to afford it.

    Quite right Wolfman, and even more, in some places people actually donate old computers to needy families (as I have done several times with my old hardware.) They have to purchase Windows for my donated hardware if they want to run it as my hardware comes with Linux, but the hardware is free (but in my experience, those I've given computers to just continued using the Linux OS.)

    With computers becoming far more pervasive in the work force now, charity organizations are finding that there is a need for kids to be exposed to computers at an early age. And there are many "free" dial-up services still out there, offered by charity organizations, or open and legal wifi-access, and some cities actually provide internet access too.

    To think that just because someone has a computer means that they are rich enough to afford the RIAA's extortion fees is just silly (an pretty much a circular argument.) It would be like saying that someone who owns a car is rich enough to afford the gas companies frequently high price fixing, or someone who doesn't have a car is rich enough to afford public transportation (which is $1.50 per ride here in San Diego now.) Just because someone has an item that would normally cost money to procure doesn't mean that they have enough to pay for someone elses questionable "fees" for use of that item.

    Copyright infringement is wrong, and I'd be the first to fight against someone saying otherwise, but the punishment should be reasonable, and quite frankly this isn't. Any judge sitting in this case would take that into account when the judgement was decided. Unfortunately, in the current justice system we have, we allow the plantiff with a large amount of expendible cash to play the judge for settlements, especially against a person who is unable to afford to make sure that their rights and interests are protected. It is obviously a conflict of interest that is allowed to perpetuate...how can the plantiff be fair and impartial at determining the judgement when their goal is to make the other side pay for the crime they are accused of doing? And when a large and rich company beats up a single mother with a $20,000 a year paycheck over something she didn't do, I personally have a problem with this. The RIAA is slow to work against the real criminals (those who illegally profit on the sale of rip-off CDs and represent a couple million orders of magnitude larger damage to the recording industry, and have significant capital to fight them,) but quick to attack single mothers, grandparents, and children when they, or someone they know, share a few songs with others.

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