Feeds

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

Because I'm worth it

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.