Feeds

RIAA settles for $7,000 after 4 years pursuing NY mum

Because I'm worth it

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The recording industry has accepted a paltry $7,000 to settle a long-running federal music piracy lawsuit it brought against a family in New York four years ago.

The settlement to end the legal spat between the family of 46-year-old divorced mother of five, Patricia Santangelo, who lives in Wappingers Falls, NY, and the Recording Industry Ass. of America was approved late last week.

Santangelo was one of 14,800 people sued by the RIAA, after it undertook an aggressive anti-piracy campaign against individuals who downloaded and distributed music on the interwebs.

The RIAA accused her of illegally distributing copyrighted material, but Santangelo claimed a friend of the family had put Kazaa on her computer and said she had not heard of the P2P service before the legal action kicked off.

For a while she became something of a poster child for the file-sharing community. In January 2006 an online news service collected money for Santangelo's defence fund as part of its “Fight Goliath” campaign to help “victims” of the RIAA.

It raised about $15,000 for the New York mum; she had racked up huge expenses to fight the case. If she had settled out of court Santangelo would have been required to pay $4,000.

The RIAA actually brought two lawsuits against Santangelo and her family over the past four years.

It dropped its initial suit against her and filed a new one against two of her offspring, Michelle and Robert, who were aged 20 and 16 at the time. The suit accused the two of downloading and distributing 1,000 songs including “MMMBop” by Hanson and "Beat It” by Michael Jackson.

Both denied wrongdoing, but the RIAA said Michelle had admitted piracy in a deposition and added that a friend had implicated Robert.

The $7,000 settlement was filed in court in White Plains late last Friday. The family paid half the amount on 20 April and are required to make six payments of $583.33 by October this year, according to Associated Press.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Santangelos,” Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, told AP. She declined to comment on how much the organisation had spent to secure the $7,000 settlement.

“We don’t break out costs per case, and it’s not a question of it being ‘worth it’ or a ‘victory’,” she said. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.