RIAA gets $2500 from Lorraine Sullivan

By Jon Newton 9/25/03

Lorraine Sullivan, the New York student subpoenaed by the RIAA for file sharing, will testify at senator Norm Coleman's investigation into the RIAA nail 'em all campaign.

She learned she was expected to turn up in court from a reporter and it took the RIAA a further seven days before she heard from them officially, she told us in an exclusive telephone interview, saying she settled out of court for $2500.

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"I had to because my mother isn't in the best of health and for me, going into litigation way over my head would have been too much for me to deal with," she says.

Before hearing from the RIAA, Sullivan set up a web site appealing for donations and, "to warn people about what could happen to them."

Now she's paid the RIAA, "I'd really like to thank everyone for their moral support and for sending me money towards paying off the RIAA," she says. "Thanks a lot. I received $600 in donations, I had $1500 put away in savings, and I borrowed $400 on my credit card for the rest."

She's leaving for Washington next Tuesday (September 30) to give evidence before Coleman's Senate Governmental Affairs' permanent subcommittee on investigations.

One of the key questions will be: Is the industry being reasonable in its application of the sweeping powers granted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and targeting of potential illegal file-sharers?

There's no doubt in Sullivan's mind.

"I want to go before congress because I still think the way the RIAA has gone about this whole procedure is just off and I hope my testimony will help to change it. I hope there'll be no one else in the position I was in - that it won't be as easy for the RIAA to go and get information and scare people, which is basically what they did to me.

"Like, on Sept 9 or 10, I think it was, I heard about the summons from a reporter and it wasn't until a week later than I actually got it.

"And it's huge - the entire catalog of songs, and then about 10 pages of what they're accusing me of.

"Then attached is a letter saying, and of course I'm paraphrasing, 'If you'd like to settle, call us'. To me it was either deal with this huge, daunting summons and worry about it for months, or 'Pay us and we'll go away'.

"I've done a lot of thinking on this and the most difficult thing is: although I'm not responsible for everything and although I didn't know I was sharing, I was, and there's no getting away from it."

She's referring to the fact that she'd installed newd p2p software on her computer which then went automatically to a folder which stored downloads. "I didn't know it but this folder was also open to the world," she says on her web site. "It was turned off in the old software.

"But," she adds, "People like the grandfather? He had NOTHING to do with it. And the little girl? ......."


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Other MP3 stories:
CDs and the Scarcity Principle
The RIAA Settles Fast With 12-year-old Trader
Copyrights: Two-thirds of Adult File Traders Couldn't Care Less.

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