RIAA sues another grandma
'I really didn't know ...'
p2pnet.net News:- The Kazaa p2p application has been singled out in another EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan, Germany) and Warner Music (US) sue 'em all case.
But that Kazaa has yet again been named in a p2p file sharing case, this time involving a Kentucky grandmother, is now appropriate.
After years of trying, Kazaa owner Sharman Networks has managed to cosy up to the Big Four, as well as the Hollywood movie studios, with the major software companies in the background. It hopes this will allow it to finally start marketing its lame duck Digital Restrictions Management software, and other 'services,' to the corporate giants.
Meanwhile, the multi-billion-dollar Big Four labels, under investgation at state and federal level in the US on charges of bribery and price fixing, claim they're being "devastated" by file sharers, calling them thieves, although nothing has been stolen, and saying file sharing is being halted, although in fact, it's still on the rise, as it has been for the last half-decade.
They're using their Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to wage a bizarre and relentless battle against their own customers, brandishing subpoenas to try to terrorize them into buying product.
It's been estimated that about 61 million Americans have shared online. But the RIAA has been able to subpoena only around 19,000, disingenuously claiming victims' IP addresses are enough to go on.
"I really didn't know ..."
Kathy Hartness, a, "grandmother, churchgoer and gardener who had never been in trouble with the law - until she was served with papers in June for something she did more than a year ago," says The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, going on that she and her teenage daughter downloaded music, "after a friend told them about KaZaA" a p2p, "Internet sharing network that lets people download music and other material from another member's computer for free."
"I really didn't know I was doing anything wrong," the story has her saying. "When they say that 4 million people are on there (KaZaA), it must be OK, or why would there be so many people on there?"
Nor is Hartness alone. It seems most of the RIAA's victims, including young children, used Kazaa. And many say when they bought the p2p application, they believed they were in effect buying a license to legally download music.
They also say Sharman failed to make it clear that the folder in which Kazaa downloads were stored needed to be disabled so other people couldn't tap into it. But even if they had known, figuring out how to disable the folder was beyond them, say victims, especially children.
The Big Four use their PR
machines to imply thousands of "thieves" have been successfully prosecuted for the "crime" of sharing music, though no such crime exists and not one of the 19,000 RIAA victims has so far actually appeared before a court or a jury, or been found guilty of anything, let alone copyright infringement.
Verifiable parental consent
Patti Santangelo, a single New York mother with five children, will be the first to take the Big Four with their bottomless pockets and highly paid legal teams, on.
"To have the capability to make money and abuse an innocent consumer, or in most cases a child, is beyond my comprehension," she says. "The owners of Kazaa should be held accountable.
"I'm not sure about the laws of Canada or other countries, but here in the USA we have what is called The COPPA Act (child online protection act). This law was broken by Kazaa. I know this because a requirement of COPPA is have verifiable parental consent for a child to download their so-called 'free' service, and this never happened.
"I want so much to be able to stop them from doing this ......."
Meanwhile, "Iola Scruse of Louisville, a 66-year-old grandmother on Social Security, said her three teenage grandchildren downloaded music using an Internet account in her name," adds the The Courier-Journal.
"Her case ended up as a default judgment because she did not respond to the lawsuit. So Scruse, who also is racking up medical bills for dialysis, must pay $6,000 for the 872 songs her grandchildren downloaded, in addition to court fees.
"Her granddaughter, Direicia Scruse, 17, said she heard about downloading from television and friends. 'I didn't know it was illegal. The instructions were on the Internet,' Direicia said. 'If it was illegal, why was it on there?' "