Tanya Andersen Decides To Drop Racketeering Charges Against The RIAA

from the this-is-for-the-best dept

Business Week has a fantastic and detailed article going through the history of Tanya Andersen's legal battles with the RIAA. As has been pointed out from early on, the RIAA went after her with very little evidence, bullied her to settle and pay up, and then tried to force her to agree not to countersue before it would drop charges. Andersen and her lawyer, however, refused to give up -- and not only won against the RIAA, but had the RIAA pay up on Andersen's lawyers' fees. After all that, she and her lawyer have filed a series of lawsuits against the RIAA alleging illegal investigative practices and racketeering.

While it's great to see her fighting back, we'd always said that the racketeering claim was a huge stretch, based on the specifics of the law. It doesn't do anyone any good to file a racketeering charge if it can't be proven. So, it's good to see that Andersen appears ready to drop that claim. At the very end of the article, it notes that a judge has pushed back on Andersen's filing, and she plans to drop the racketeering and fraud charges. Instead, a new filing will focus on "conspiracy, negligence, and abuse of the legal process." Again, "conspiracy" seems like a long shot -- but negligence and abuse of the legal process seem a lot more interesting. Either way, there will be plenty to follow in this case.

Filed Under: copyright, piracy, racketeering, riaa, tanya andersen
Companies: riaa

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  1. identicon
    Tack Furlo, 28 Apr 2008 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Conspiracy

    I would just like to point out that as a certified paralegal, though you are correct that conspiracy as defined in state law (I haven't read up on my federal law lately) is a criminal charge, fraud is actually both a criminal and civil claim. If she is claiming that the parties (the record companies, MediaSentry, collection agencies, etc) worked in tandem to defraud people, then each is guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. That is to say that if she can prove that any one party - we'll say just Sony, for example - was attempting to defraud people, and another company, we'll say MediaSentry, had a reasonable suspicion that Sony's intent was fraudulous, then even if MediaSentry wasn't sure, both Sony and MediaSentry can be found liable (the civil equivelent of guilty) of conspiracy to commit fraud.

    The reason this is done so that when people lose their life savings to a con artist, even if they still want the guy put behind bars in jail, they can still recoup some of their money. Otherwise, since fraud is a criminal charge, if it was not also a civil cause of action, people would not be able to get their money back even if the prick goes to jail.

    Remember, criminal means jail time & civil means money. Conspiracy to commit murder isn't something you go against to get money. Conspiracy to commit fraud is. Though this may not be what she is trying to claim, there are conspiracy charges in civil law too.

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