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

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 …

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Joke

Fines

"The suit accused the two of downloading and distributing 1,000 songs including “MMMBop” by Hanson"

Does this mean the average value of a song by Hanson is $7? That seems a bit steep, even for the original recording.

They should have sued for breach of decent taste and gotten more than $7000.

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Alert

Evil

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

Pure evil.

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Anonymous Coward

So much for that...

Infosec was a dissapointment this year. Fewer people, fewer exhibitors and fewer freebies, even if you count the baggy white Y-Fronts on the Sophos stand. No, I didnt grab a pair.

Overall there seemed to be little new to see in terms of technology - maybe I missed it - and most of the vendors seemed to be selling the same stuff they were selling last year with a few extra bells and whistles to try and tart it up a bit.

Also noticable was the low number of Booth Babes in evidence. The only ones I spotted were two young ladies in black and red burlesque type outfits who seemed distinctly underwhelmed by the whole thing; Two girls in red shorts and T-Shirts handing out Slushies and trying to persuade sweaty overweight security geeks to take part in a whack-mole type competition; and the bevy ( ok 4, does that count? ) of rather self concious ladies in skintight spandex leggings and cropped T-Shirts holding a half hearted "Picket" outside the event waving signs that said somthing about firewalls. For the life of me I can't remember which companies any of the were promoting.

The highlight was definately the free food and beer at the Portcullis Arms where the waitresses were better looking than any of the "babes" employed by exhibitors in the hall. I doubt they read this but if the tall one with the long black hair happens to see this, you were gorgeous!

Quite whether it is worth the expense of hiring a pub for three days and providing free food and beer is open to debate, but I'm pretty certain it was the only reason a good number of people bothered to turn up at all in these cash strapped times.

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Anonymous Coward

Thats because...

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

...it isn't and it wasn't.

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Stop

RIAA is EVIL

RIAA,

You people are complete bullys and you should know better. The American public will not stand for this forever. Someday soon -- hopefully due to the recession -- your industry will collapse under the dead weight of the filth and garbage that signed artists now produce. If you could just see that, you would understand why people pirate music and not buy it. I couldn't even consider pirating music as 80% of what comes out is so awful that I wouldn't wish it upon anybodies ears. So, take the hint; drop the dead weight, restructure, catch up with the times, and leave people the **** alone. Once that's done, we can all continue on with our lives in a much happier world.

Signed,

Player 3

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Hanson?

Could the family not counter-sue for libel? afterall, the RIAA were claiming that the defendants had downloaded and shared MMMBop by Hanson, which a pretty damning allegation!

dave

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mmm

"including “MMMBop” by Hanson"

Throw away the key.

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@AC 14:09

Uhhhh....

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Anonymous Coward

MMMeh

distributing “MMMBop” by Hanson.

WHAT, Hanging is too good for them.

Still an efficient victory for the MAFIA, what was the outcome in the other 14,800 cases? at this rate it will be the year 61,209 before the MAFIAA get a result, no doubt at that time they will still be whinging about how downloading is damaging the industry.

What is interesting about this is what is not reported.

$7,000 for distributing the 1000 songs, or 999 songs if you exclude MMMbop, how many times were they 'distributed'? I though the original case was because she made them available rather than actually distributing any content.

It shows what the MAFFIA is prepared to accept as their 'loss' on downloaded music, could be used to set a precedent in future cases. 1000 songs, I thought the original case was for 6 songs, are the MAFIAA trying to move the goal posts again. They (the MAFIAA/Elektra Entertainment Group) originally wanted $7,500, presumably for making 6 songs available, but are now willing to accept $7000 for a 1,000 songs. Does this mean that their first claim was grossly overstated?

This is just the MAFIAA rearanging the deck chairs on the Titanic

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Joke

If you care to hear 'Beat It'...

...here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHQiIKbZ2XY

Please, do not steal music.

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Pirate

The mafiaa are pleased

They're pleased that they managed to destroy a family.

Imagine the toll the stress must take on any family accused of piracy and being found guilty with or without evidence.

The RIAA/MPAA are a major threat to families. They must be stopped.

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re: Evil, RIAA is EVIL

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

Pure evil."

OK, I'll probably get jumped on for this, but how is that evil? Standing up for your rights is now considered evil if you're a corporation or if the public doesn't like you? If, and that's a very big if, but if the defendant really did illegally distribute music the plaintiff holds the copyrights to, why shouldn't the plaintiff be able to protect their rights?

Is it also "pure evil" for GNU and FSF to protect their copyrights by going after companies that violate the GPL (most often by including GPL-licensed software embedded in their hardware without distributing the source as well)? Or is that OK because they're on "our" side?

"... your industry will collapse under the dead weight of the filth and garbage that signed artists now produce. If you could just see that, you would understand why people pirate music and not buy it... So, take the hint; drop the dead weight, restructure, catch up with the times, and leave people the **** alone. Once that's done, we can all continue on with our lives in a much happier world."

Or people could, you know, stop pirating music. It's an extremely simple concept -- either you think the music is worth the price they're asking for it, or it's not. If it is, you buy it. If not, you leave it. To think you somehow have a right to take it without compensating those who created it and made it available is ludicrous. Just because piracy doesn't involve physical theft doesn't mean it's a harmless act (no, I do not consider each act of piracy a "lost sale").

I'm certainly no friend of the RIAA, but copying music for the explicit purpose of avoiding compensation is wrong. Despite what some may say, it's not the same as creating mix tapes; people created mix tapes to give their friends a taste of music they likely hadn't heard before, music which they did go out and purchase if they liked it. Copying/downloading is the same as going into a music store, taking the CDs from the shelves, copying them, and putting them back on the shelves. Do you also think that would be acceptable?

As for your opinion regarding the "filth and garbage that signed artists now produce", I think you'll find that millions of people disagree with you. Despite what you and I may think about the majority of major-label artists, you can't deny that a lot of people like it (just look at the popularity of American Idol to see that). While I don't like that music, it doesn't mean it's bad. Similarly, the fact that most of the people who like that music don't like King Diamond, Moonspell, or Diary of Dreams doesn't make those artists' music bad, either.

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@Mectron

I'm sorry, but I can do nothing but openly laugh at people like you. Your claims of the RIAA stealing money are laughably absurd. Are many members of the RIAA unethical? I have no doubt that they are. But they have never stolen a single penny from me or anyone else who purchased CDs. Every single CD I have ever purchased (and the tapes and vinyl before that) was purchased voluntarily. I decided that the music was, to me, worth the price the establishment was asking for. Similarly, there have been many CDs I have chosen not to buy because I did not feel they were worth the asking price. Even if you accept the fact that the various labels colluded to artificially drive up the price of music, that still does not equate to stealing. You, the buying public, still have the same choice you have always had -- you decide that the music is worth the asking price and so you buy it, or you decide it is not worth it and so you don't buy it. Nobody is stealing anything from you. You are voluntarily trading your cash for the CD.

As for the artists... I sympathize with those artists who get screwed over by the various labels every day, really, I do. However, I would guess that in all but the most extreme cases, they have not had anything stolen by the RIAA or the labels. The artists voluntarily chose to sign contracts. Now, we can debate whether or not the contracts are ethical (I would venture a guess that most of them are not), but that does not equate to stealing, either. It equates to a bad decision on the artists' part, possibly based on bad advice from an attorney or agent (who may be stealing from the artists), but it does not equate to theft by the RIAA or label.

Really, people, these are not difficult concepts. Unethical business dealings, no matter how much you or I personally disagree with them, do not make them illegal. The fact that you don't like a company does not justify taking illegal actions against that company.

Lastly, you need to admit that most of the people downloading music don't do so out of some general resentment towards the RIAA or as a way to "stick it to the man". Most people download music because they're too cheap to pay for it. They like the music, and they want to hear it; they just don't want to pay for it. It's not about a principle or a movement, it's about wanting something for nothing. Well, I'm thankful to have been enlightened enough to realize that if someone has something I want, whether it's a tangible product such as hardware, an intangible product such as music, or simply their time, that they should be compensated for their talent and their time (their investment). I only wish others were so enlightened.

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Pirate

@Chris C

I agree with your point of view Chris but I think most people are more upset with the bullying tactics used by the RIAA. Granted using the term illegal in these arguements is a little deluded, your use of unethical is closer to the mark.

I for one can't see the value of stinging someone for $7000+ when the music they may have downloaded was probably only worth at best $1000. Granted there are 'cheap' people out there but there are also poor people as well, so picking on the unlucky few that get caught is probably not the best example. For the RIAA to be successful in any way shape or form is to go after the bigger players who distribute 'wholesale' on the net, catching joe public at it and then punishing them financially is not going to win 'hearts and minds', hit them with a bit of community service instead, but no the RIAA isn't interested in justice they are interested in money.

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris C

>As for the artists... I sympathize with those artists who get screwed over by the various labels every day, really, I do. However, I would guess that in all but the most extreme cases, they have not had anything stolen by the RIAA or the labels.

So putting your own name as the composer of a song as a condition of making a brief star of the real composer is not stealing when you call it unethical or getting screwewd?

Also where I live there is a music tax on all hard drives, virgin CDs, mp3/4 players and so on. As far as I've been able to find out not a single penny of that has found it's way to an artist. Similarly I believe that all the money collected from those lawsuits has gone into the coffers of the RIAA and not to the artists.

After an artist's first few albums any further ones are recompilations of what's gone before with maybe a couple of new songs. I know it's your choice to pay full whack for the new release and although it doesn't count as stealing from the consumer it does encourage downloading the songs that you don't yet have. Also this model only benefits the recording industry not the artists. The artists get virtually sod all from it with the majority going to the industry, new album means new producer, arranger, all salaried while the industry gets percentages from sales for doing nothing.

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Phew!

@Player_16 - thanks for that. No wonder no one pays for this drivel. What I want to know is why anyone would even want it for free. Best deposited in the trashbin. I feel for Ms. Santangelo, look at what her money is buying.

@Chris C - I have paid for many albums and been badly disappointed. The only way I would buy an album today is if I hear it first, and determine it is worth it. Since its hard to legally preview an album, the result is that I don't buy them anymore.

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@ Chris C

I took it to mean 'evil' in the way in which they have pursued a (relatively poor) family for so long. People commit suicide over less.

Evil has a name, RIAA is that name.

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Happy

@chris c ....and all the other paytards

...supposing (hypothetically) , a law was passed that allowed you to support a MAX of 10 bands at a MIN donation of 10.00 euro per band per year, and that law exempted you from prosecution (if you met both criteria) for illegal downloading providing they were on hard disk rather than a permenant archive medium , like cd or dvd (for research purposes),what impact do you think this would have?

Signed artists could not be donated to. But their work could be accessed (for research purposes....prior art & original material , which as a patron, you should be entitled to research...just no archiving).

Which 10 artists would you pick?

Can apply to film directors as well!

Would welcome all feedback on this .... but STRICT on the 10 artist rule, though.

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