Judge In RIAA v. Mom Case Sees The Issues

from the proof? dept

Recently, the story of the woman fighting the RIAA over the lawsuit filed against her for file sharing has been getting plenty of attention. When we originally wrote about it, we pointed out many of the issues suggesting that anyone who fights the RIAA probably has a strong case, since the RIAA has to prove a lot to show that the person they filed the suit against is actually guilty. However, most people settle because it's far cheaper than actually going to court (and risking a loss). The discussion about the case has grown a lot in the past few weeks and Copyfight points to Mike Godwin's analysis where he wonders why the RIAA would ever sue in situations where the case wasn't completely solid. It's just going to make them look bad. He also points to the initial transcript from the first court appearance by the woman, Patricia Santangelo, pointing out how the judge snapped at the RIAA's lawyer for suggesting that the case could just be "handled" by the RIAA's "settlement" or "conference center." Actually, the more interesting part of the transcript comes earlier, when the judge (after noting her fear that her kids would download something and get her sued) says: "Well, I think it would be a really good idea for you to get a lawyer, because I would love to see a mom fighting one of these." Between all these quotes, it seems that the judge sees that the RIAA is simply bullying people into settling, rather than making sure they have real cases. As Copyfight implies, the judge is making it clear to the RIAA that this is a court case and not an education campaign, as the RIAA likes to think of it. While it would be great if this case does go to court, all this publicity is upping the ante for the RIAA to push for a settlement as quickly as possible. The cost of them losing this case would be tremendous -- and they absolutely could lose. It wouldn't be surprising if they cut and ran, and maybe gave the woman some free music to get her to quiet down. Hopefully, she won't accept that.

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  1. identicon
    Pete Austin, 30 Aug 2005 @ 1:36am

    Background Documents and Transcript

    Santangelo's lawyer filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it fails to properly state a claim. The record companies have responded that the suit makes out a valid claim against Santangelo. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon will decide the issue.Poughkeepsie Journal

    Once the judge in the case suggested Santangelo hire a lawyer to help her case, she tapped New York's Morlan Ty Rogers, who quickly suspected that the case might be the first one in which a defendant could fight the RIAA, and maybe even win... Rogers, who recently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against Santangelo... U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon is expected to issue a judgement in the Santangelo case soon.VH1

    Text transcript of a preliminary conference between a lawyerless Santangelo, the RIAA lawyer, and the judge. thedigitalmusicweblog

    A blog devoted to the RIAA's lawsuits of intimidation brought against ordinary working people... We are lawyers in New York City. Recording Industry vs The People

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