Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Dead, Non-Computer Owner Sued By The RIAA For Swapping 700 Songs

from the from-beyond?? dept

There have been plenty of stories about the entertainment industry threatening completely innocent people, but now they're getting even worse. According to Broadband Reports among the people sued in the latest batch of lawsuits from the RIAA was an 83-year-old woman who is now deceased. Even when she was alive she never owned a computer, let alone had the username "smittenedkitten," or shared over 700 songs online. The RIAA responds, oh so politely, by saying they'll now dismiss the case. However, that's not the real issue. All of these examples show that the RIAA doesn't really know who's doing what -- and yet they're filing tons of indiscriminate lawsuits. Every time a screwup like this happens, they apologize and remove the lawsuit, but shouldn't they be punished for filing frivolous lawsuits? It's clear that they really don't have the right tools to be able to tell who actually committed a crime. A smart lawyer should use these cases to show that the industry has no real evidence that any of these lawsuits are valid.

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  • identicon
    Tim, 5 Feb 2005 @ 2:46am

    No Subject Given

    Agreed, and I've said much the same thing before, myself. However, find me a smart lawyer... one stop away from an honest one? ;)

    The emails one gets are
    a) Unsolicited;
    b) arguably Commercial (because they're trying to extort money from you through the legal system);
    c) definitely Bulk, because they spray them to all and sundry;
    d) useless and inappropriate. If the MPAA were interested in solving a "problem" of "piracy" (there's a latent discussion in its own right), why don't they send webmaster@whateverdomain an email saying "do you mind removing..?", rather than blasting people listed in whois, which is inevitably at least one level removed? Why don't they actually include any *evidence* in their email and get it over and done with, file seen, file removed, move along please?

    All of this makes me think the appropriate action is to forward the mail to the FCC (that's the right org in the US, isn't it?) asking for investigation of their business practices, and pipe the mail through spamassassin -r: report to, razor2, pyzor.

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

  • identicon
    Aaron Halvorson, 8 Aug 2006 @ 8:52am


    It's amazing you only here about the 14 year old kids who acctually are guilty on the news. Looks like someone is influincing the media with their wallet.

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

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