Mother sues RIAA under RICO Act

By Jon Newton 10/02/05

"I just read your 'We're Not Taking It Anymore' Club article on," emailed Anna. "I've never been sued by RIAA, but I do feel strongly against their actions."

She suggested the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization) might be a way to go, continuing, "Don't laugh. It's a very potent law. It was originally created to battle the Mafiosi, but it has been recently used to file suits against insurance companies (by the medical associations), corrupt moving companies, and even against 'quackbusters.' Google it; it gets to be interesting reading.

Jon Newton

"I believe that what the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is doing is racketeering and harassment. I think a creative lawyer could possibly go to town on this. If they get maybe 15 or 20 people who have been unjustifiably sued by RIAA, I'm sure they'll have a strong case.”

Now, in what could be the beginning of the end for the Big Music cartel's vicious sue 'em all marketing campaign, RIAA victim Tanya Andersen (upper right) has just counter-sued the RIAA for Oregon RICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of "outrage", and deceptive business practices, says Recording Industry vs The People.

Andersen, 42, a disabled mother, lives alone with her eight-year-old daughter. The two exist on government disability payments.

She’s demanding a trial by jury and she’s one of a growing number of people who have had enough of the blatant terror tactics being used by the entertainment and software cartels.

Represented by Lory Lybeck of Lybeck Murphy in Oregon, Andersen decided she wasn’t going to be bullied into paying an extortionate charge to a blackmail centre acting for the Big Four record label cartel.

New York mother of five Patricia Santangelo also says she won't be persecuted by EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG, the members of the multi-billion-dollar record label cartel.

"Don't let your fear of these massive companies allow you to deny your belief in your own innocence," Santangelo, the first RIAA victim to defy the labels, says.

"Paying these settlements is an admission of guilt. If you're not guilty of violating the law, don't pay."

"Thug-like threats"

The first hint of the nightmare Andersen was entering came from Verizon, her ISP.

"It was something I got in the mail and that I didn't quite understand from them stating they were releasing my private information," Andersen told p2pnet recently. "They had a subpoena attached and it basically sounded to me when I read it that they were just investigating something and wanted my information.

"I thought, 'Well I haven't done anything wrong so I'm not going to worry about it'."

The letter told her the company was releasing personal information to the Big Four's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), fronted by one of the Settlement Centers the enforcement unit uses to do its dirty work.

"Copyright infringement is wrong," Andersen's lawyer, Lory Lybeck, told p2pnet. But, "Thug-like threats by multi-national, multi-billion dollar businesses against people who cannot afford to speak or even explain their innonence is a much greater wrong. The music industry with all of its assets and all of its talents has the ability to handle the 'problem' of downloading much more effectively and much more humanely. Their present tactics cause real harm to real people.

"Theses tactics do nothing to address highjackers, spoofers and commercially motivated copyright infringers around the world."

Andersen is making the following allegations, among others, says Recording Industry vs The People.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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