By Jon Newton 2/23/05
The Big Music cartels RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has become famous not as an efficient trade organization, but as a fumbling, big-mouthed PR disaster.
It's adopted the world's most bizarre marketing campaign: Sue Your Customers Into Buying Product, which has, predictably, completely failed to achieve the desired result - an increase in sales.
Nonetheless, having set out on this dooomed-to-fail course, it can't now abandon it and its latest screw-up is to try to add a 70-year-old immigrant, who doesnt speak much English and whos never owned a computer, to the list of people its conned.
Not one of the 8,423 cases filed by EMI, UMG, Warner and Sony BMG, who comprise the record label cartel, against people who share music with each other has ever seen the light of day in a court. Yet their RIAA implies its successfully sued these file-sharing criminals. And the mainstream media eat it up.
Now, A Bay City family got served with notice of such a lawsuit last month at their home on King Street, says the Bay City Times, going on to quote and single mother Margaret Szeliga as saying. "What happened? How did this happen? I was in shock when I saw those court papers."
The RIAA lsays Szeliga's mother, whos named in the lawsuit, shared 671 songs.
But, the Times states. Szeliga says her 17-year-old daughter, like millions of other teens, took part in online music swapping while the two lived with her mom before moving into another apartment in the same home. Since her mother paid the Internet bill, she's listed as the one doing the swapping.
Szeliga phoned the industry lawyers and quickly hashed out a tentative settlement, she said, avoiding the expense of hiring a lawyer and the hassle of court proceedings and a threat of even greater cost.
But it's not cheap, the the Bay City Times points out.
She has 90 days to find $3,750 to pay the RIAA and:
She'll raid her 17-year-old daughter's college fund and senior class trip fund and take out a personal loan to pay the unexpected bill, adds the story.
She said her daughter is devastated, feeling guilty, depressed and angry for being penalized for an activity that's common practice.
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Rated "I" for Inappropriate