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RIAA Sues Woman Who Has Never Used a Computer 637

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the luddite-encouragement dept.
boarder8925 writes "Marie Lindor, a home health aide who has never bought, used, or even turned on a computer in her life, was sued by the RIAA in Brooklyn federal court for using an 'online distribution system' to 'download, distribute, and/or make available for distribution' plaintiff's music files. She has requested a pre-motion conference in anticipation of making a summary judgment motion dismissing the complaint and awarding her attorneys fees under the Copyright Act."
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RIAA Sues Woman Who Has Never Used a Computer

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  • by hummassa (157160) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:03AM (#14633284) Homepage Journal
    Punitive Damages !!!!
    • by commodoresloat (172735) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:25AM (#14633357)
      This woman does laundry a lot and has no dryer, so she hangs her clothes to dry. When the RIAA said she was using an "online distribution system" to make plaintiff's music files available, they were not referring to a computer; what they meant was that she is often heard whistling copyrighted songs while she hangs clothes on the line; hence, "online distribution system." Typical slashbots rush to this criminal's defense when it is clear she was openly and shamelessly stealing music and she was caught red-handed. Meanwhile, the RIAA music executives are being deprived of a living (or at least of a third yacht) thanks to the lawless actions of such criminals. Eventually this will kill music, as the RIAA warned us about home taping so long ago -- why would an artist bother creating or recording new songs when any old lady can just come by forty years later and whistle it without paying the company that distributes your cds a dime?
    • by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel&bcgreen,com> on Friday February 03, 2006 @05:46AM (#14633719) Homepage Journal
      She's not using a computer. She's not downloading porn^w music illegally. This means that she's denying the RIAA the right -- the right(!) to sue her for illegally downloading music.

      This is costing them income and thus profit.

      Them's fightin' words!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2006 @07:24AM (#14633918)
      On the relevant side, this my google quote of day:

      "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
          - Hunter S. Thompson
    • If it is true that this woman has never used a computer, it is clear that this woman must be a cyborg. How else could she have downloaded all these songs and reproduce them in all that analog bliss with a 3-note range? *She* must be the computer doing all the downloading and redistributing, causing the decline of capitalism and the rise of Godless comunism.

      I advise that we send her ass to GitMo or Area 49 (used for cyborgs, not aliens, located in California, of course) for some serious probing- let Congre

  • by montyzooooma (853414) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:04AM (#14633289)
    I mean she's NEVER used a computer?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:07AM (#14633301)
      Me neither.
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:10AM (#14633309) Homepage Journal
      I mean she's NEVER used a computer?

      Maybe she is 80 years old. Personal computers started to become practical when she turned 60. She has always been a Home Health Aide, and has never had to fill out an online timesheet or purchase order.

      I am sure there are lots of people like that out there, just that us geeks are not aways aware of them.

      • by hhawk (26580) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:13AM (#14633498) Homepage Journal
        Sounds like some one in her home used her name/credit to buy Net Access leading them to sue her rather than whoever used the computer. Or perhaps this is a case of an identity thef!

        It is also of course factually wrong that she has never used a computer. People use them all the them. There are embedded system in microwaves, ovens, washing machines, medical devices, etc. It would be impossible for anyone but the Unibomber to have never used anything that contained a computer... of course they mean personal computer/PC.. well, they should say that..
        • by jbb1003 (514899) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:55AM (#14633605) Homepage
          I'm pretty sure the only embedded processor my dad (58) uses is in the telephone, and that's only because I gave a him a digital model with answerphone to replace his old one. He doesn't have a microwave, I seriously doubt either his oven or washing machine have a processor in. He doesn't have an ATM card; he gets money out at the till. Partly because he's a builder, and partly because he wouldn't trust an ATM card (and given this is a slashdot, are you saying he's *wrong* there?), not to mention that he'd probably find it very hard to remember a PIN.

          As for medical devices, you generally have someone use them on you, you don't use them yourself, unless you guys in the US regularly conduct your own ECGs or something? (I'm in the UK).

          He knows of the existence of email and has asked me to send some for him in the past. But he didn't realise that I could email someone while they were away from home.

          Now this guy has a degree from Cambridge University, and speaks two languages fluently and two passably. So let's say he's above average...

          Now, how do I explain to my dad what I do at work?

          Ben
          • by bcattwoo (737354) on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:30AM (#14634151)
            Does he drive a car made in the last 20 years? That undoubtedly has some kind of "computer" in it.

            That said, it's amazing how many slashdotters think that playing dumb and ignorant of the contextual or common meaning of a word or phrase makes them appear really smart.

            • "That said, it's amazing how many slashdotters think that playing dumb and ignorant of the contextual or common meaning of a word or phrase makes them appear really smart."

              True but it allows the discussion to wander into how many embedded devices there are and what is meant by the meaning of use.

              Then you have the other people saying this person or that person doesn't use devices that have embedded cpus in them which then leads to what do you mean by use.

              Do you use the CPU in the stop light when you drive?..
        • by dwandy (907337)
          We were just talking about microwave networks to connect remote communities ... and I was wondering what a medium-sized kitchen appliance had to do with internet connections.
          There was some debate here, so thanks for clearing up that it is a computer. ...so, err, how do you get the internet onto one of them things?

          I guess this OT here, and should go in as an Ask/. but any help would be appreciated.

        • Sounds like some one in her home used her name/credit to buy Net Access leading them to sue her rather than whoever used the computer. Or perhaps this is a case of an identity thef!

          I was actually accused of identity theft because of an ISP ineptitude.

          I moved to a friend's place some years ago, and when he decided to move out, he transferred his phone line and DSL service to me. As can be expected, the ISP did not do the transfer properly (even though it is a division of the phone company), and for about

      • by muszek (882567) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:35AM (#14633563) Homepage
        My father (who is 55), had never used a computer until 2 years ago or so (sorry for poor grammar. "paster than past" tenses were always a nightmare for me). He just didn't have a reason to do it. Right now he's on the PC for most of his spare time, reading news, watching stock market (and making transactions), doing e-banking, searching for a new house (apparently that's not a task that might be accomplished faster than in 3 years), etc. I used to encourage him and now I have to pay for it. Whenever I visit them on weekends and try to do some work, all I hear is "are you done?", "would you please let me sit for a second?", "go help your mother" or "can you remove the snow from the driveway? now would be a good time". Last night he called asking whether he should restrain from logging into windows today (I can't get Skype to work under Ubuntu @ their place... some weird stuff happens). You know, that file-overwritting virus that's about to strike.

        The point is: he's not 80 and he was perfectly fine without ever touching a computer as recently as 2 years ago. It's just not a thing that a regular person can't survive without. Yet.
    • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:15AM (#14633505) Journal
      As improbable as it may seem, there remain some people who exist outside of the modern economy.

      I, for example, have never used a lawyer.
    • by BarryNorton (778694) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:31AM (#14633550)
      I mean she's NEVER used a computer?
      I know... like, how the hell does she pirate music and have meaningless arguments with strangers?
      • That's easy (Score:5, Funny)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:42AM (#14633828)
        I know... like, how the hell does she pirate music and have meaningless arguments with strangers?

        You join either the Democrat or Republican parties and attend the party congress. You will get into plenty of meaningless arguments although some say the the patriotic music offered at these events tends to be a bit cheesy. If you want to get serious about meaningless arguments you can also run for the Senate. Be warned it is an expensive hobby and you have to have your moral backbone and conscience surgically removed.
  • How... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Parham (892904) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:06AM (#14633294)
    How they managed to find this woman and sue her is beyond me... It just goes to show you that you can't get away from the RIAA even if you've never used a computer in your life. They managed to find one of only a handful of people who has never used a computer and sue her... I should be scared for my parents right now.
    • Re:How... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Flyboy Connor (741764) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:52AM (#14633443)
      How they managed to find this woman and sue her is beyond me...

      Oh, that is simple. The RIAA imagines that everyone uses a computer and shares music, and is therefore a thief. And when they have convinced themselves of that, they just have to open the phonebook and pick any name to sue.

      • Re:How... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PHPfanboy (841183)
        This is pure brilliance! It's a dictionary spam mail attack with lawyers to back you up. Fantastic business model.

        It's like selling Cialis tabs/ Pen1s enlargement pills except the potential upside is much higher.

        I mean normally you're going to sic your lawyers on the spammers, but now our lawyers ARE the spammer (no Soviet Russia gags please).

        Put the RIAA on the NO SPAM list and you'll be fine.... or did I miss something?
      • by l3prador (700532) <wkankla@gmaTOKYOil.com minus city> on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:51AM (#14634245) Homepage
        Lawyer: "When's the last time you used a computer?"
        Ms. Lindor: "Actually, I've never used one in my life."
        RIAA Lawyer: "OBJECTION, relevance!"
    • Re:How... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shark72 (702619) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:55AM (#14633454)

      "How they managed to find this woman and sue her is beyond me..."

      Probably one of her kids, or somebody in her hourse, was doing the actual file trading, and this woman's name happens to be on the cable or phone bill.

    • Why would the RIAA actually bother to investigate what songs are downloaded and by whom? Too much trouble for them! Everyone has illegally downloaded before, right? So no one will ever notice if you just ...

      1. pick up the phone book and choose your victims at random.
      2. pick a few popular songs that everyone must have downloaded anyway
      3. ...
      4. profit!
    • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Friday February 03, 2006 @09:35AM (#14634509) Homepage Journal
      this is just the ISP's playing games with the RIAA.

      RIAA: Give us the user of this IP address!!!
      ISP: Why?
      RIAA: We have the right to commit murder to prevent copying of our intellectual property under the DMCA! This IP was trading files! Give us the name or we'll kill you!
      ISP: [flips through phonebook.....] Ok, Ok...it was....Joe Schlabotnick, of 123 Main Street, Fukyusville, Montana.
      RIAA: Thank you. Well...not really. You should consider yourselves honoured to give us the information of your cruminal customer scum!
      ISP: Oh, we are....we are... [giggling in background]
      RIAA: SUESUESUESUESUESUE!!!! [Calls Joe Schlabotnick]
      Joe: Hello?
      RIAA: We know you are stealing our music using Napster! [whispering in background...What?...that's legal now....ok, then what's still illegal?......] using KaZaA, eMule, LimeWire, and Bearshare, all at once! You have no chance to survive make your time!
      Joe Schlabotnick: Huh? It couldn't have been me. I don't even own a computer.
      RIAA: What happen? Someone set us up the bomb!
  • by bombboyer (948246) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:07AM (#14633302) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't this prove something about the RIAA's investigative methods? Let's assume that the woman is telling the truth, she has in fact never touched a computer in her life, therefore she has not downloaded the music in question. Meaning she has been FALSLY IDENTIFIED by the RIAA's investigative methods (whatever those may consist of).

    My question is, now that this obvious inconsistency has been exposed, what does this mean to those that have already been convicted? Isn't it to say, if you incorrectly fingered this woman as a pirate, how can you prove that you accurately identified me as a pirate?
    • by Carthag (643047) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:11AM (#14633310) Homepage
      I can't even begin to figure out how they would identify her as a "pirate". I thought they usually went by IP addresses and such, but how can you tie one to someone who doesn't have a computer?
      • identity theft perhaps? (i dunno, just a possibility)
      • by Duhavid (677874) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:25AM (#14633358)
        Name similarity.

        My mother used to get all kinda of harrasing phone calls
        because there was a women on her street with the same
        first and last name. The collections people would
        see on in ,
        and that was that.

        And they would always assume that what she was telling them
        was a lie to get them off her back.
        • by Jack Taylor (829836) on Friday February 03, 2006 @07:16AM (#14633897)
          Reminds me of my boss, who goes by the name of John Shuttleworth. Now, he lives in a flat on the ground floor of a house which he owns. He rents the flat above to his nephew, who goes by the name of *drumroll* John Shuttleworth. We call the nephew "Junior" as a rule. Anyway, Junior went bankrupt due to some bad business decisions, and suddenly John Senior found himself not being able to use his credit cards anymore. He only managed to get them back after several heated phone calls...

          They did give him £50 (I think that was the amount) when they found out they'd got the wrong guy. I can sympathise with the bank though - same name, same address, must be the same person, right?
        • by MECC (8478) on Friday February 03, 2006 @09:14AM (#14634366)
          "Name similarity."

          That's how the terminator did it....

      • IP (Score:5, Insightful)

        by commodoresloat (172735) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:30AM (#14633378)
        Yeah but when they come to break down your door they need a geographic address, not an IP address -- presumably the address you signed up for your ISP with. So most likely the actual pirate here signed up for an ISP using her home address and name.
        • Re:IP (Score:3, Insightful)

          by shark72 (702619)

          "So most likely the actual pirate here signed up for an ISP using her home address and name."

          Yup... like one of her kids. Remember when you were under 18, and your phone and cable bills were in your parent's name?

          The RIAA has already sued a lot of parents over the actions of their kids. So far, "I didn't know my kids were using my computer to break the law" has not been an effective loophole.

          • Re:IP (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Kjella (173770)
            The RIAA has already sued a lot of parents over the actions of their kids. So far, "I didn't know my kids were using my computer to break the law" has not been an effective loophole.

            Well, if I remember the case about Brittany Chan (search google or slashdot if you don't remember) it seems the parent will get off. Of course, then they'll sue your kid instead, which makes it sooooo much better. Either the parents will a) be held liable for negligence b) pay the kid's bill so s/he can have a life or c) have a
    • Has anyone been convicted? I thought that all of the RIAA cases were either settled or dismissed. Has any of these cases gone the distance?
    • by n54 (807502) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:14AM (#14633321) Homepage Journal
      "Doesn't this prove something about the RIAA's investigative methods?"

      1. Rip pages out of telephone directory
      2. Pin to wall as darts target
      3. Throw dart
      4. Sue based on the result
      5. Profit!!!
      (6. Repeat)

      A tried and true business method :)
      • That is what is really bad, because just about everyone violates copyright, from your parents down to your little kid brother. It is like arresting people for being terrorists because they had bomb making materials under their sink...as does just about every single person in America.

        If we are going to have laws, the punishment should fit the crime, and getting 60,000.00 out of some poor sap for doing the same thing that every other person is doing is just wrong. If someone was printing up 10 thousand copies
        • by n54 (807502) on Friday February 03, 2006 @07:16AM (#14633898) Homepage Journal
          Good illustration with the pipe bomb example.

          The only thing I disagree with is the lynch mob because we simply don't need it, society already does something much more effective: blatantly ignoring misconstrued laws. It's not even civil disobedience simply the aggregate of common sense. Imho RIAA lost close to a decade ago and have since been involved in a protracted harakiri as they continue to sue willy-nilly while not managing to follow their own rules and seeing major artists publicly state their support for ordinary filesharing.

          I know it's little comfort for those unlucky enough to be affected by the death throes of RIAA. I know the justice system and most politicians are lagging at least 20 years behind society but that has always been the case and isn't any kind of surprise. If one tries to speed things up one should be very wary of doing more harm than good.

          Rant warning!

          RIAA really had/has no reason to fear individuals filesharing and should have jumped at this gratis opportunity for broad artist exposure and recognize the market for high-quality reasonably priced unobstructive digital formats. Instead of their centralized campaigns for a handful of artists they could have taken advantage of everyone promoting everyone for free and let the naturally popular artists rise instead of trying to manufacture them. If they had any business sense they would be actively promoting filesharing, making it easy for fans and casual listeners alike to support & pay those they enjoy, making it easy for artists and consumers alike to find each other and create communities. If they did all that they would be doing their job which boils down to having a living thriving music industry, as it is they're doing the opposite. They could still change course but they wont because they do not understand anything about their customers or the market. Businesses that have no clue about their own market disappear over time, I doubt the RIAA will exist in their present form come 2016.

          Wow I've got to add a rant warning at the beginning lol :)

          MPAA has tried to learn from RIAAs fiasco but the whole bizarre strategy of DRM, DCMA etc. is so fundamentally flawed that they can't have learned much. At the least they have not understood that the only people they punish with such strategies are their lawabiding customers and as such they're in practice fighting for "piracy" even if that's not their intent.

          RIAA & MPAA shooting themselves in the foot is too much of a mild description; they're repeatedly stabbing themselves in the chest and have been doing so for years -- noone survives that but luckily it has nothing to do with the continued existense of great music and movies as eventually the cash flows will just end up being rerouted around them.

          I'm eagerly avaiting the day a senators or congressmembers child/familymember is hauled in to court by the RIAA or MPAA, they share too. Hell, I'm pro-Bush but I'm sure there's at least one track on his beloved iPod that's "pirated" lol :)
          • by SeanDuggan (732224) on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:32AM (#14634161) Homepage Journal
            RIAA really had/has no reason to fear individuals filesharing and should have jumped at this gratis opportunity for broad artist exposure and recognize the market for high-quality reasonably priced unobstructive digital formats. Instead of their centralized campaigns for a handful of artists they could have taken advantage of everyone promoting everyone for free and let the naturally popular artists rise instead of trying to manufacture them.
            While I want to agree with you, I'm going to have to call you on that. I suspect they make a lot more money by grooming particular artists and therefore knowing where their money will be coming from. To use an analogy, look at the state of animal husbandry. In medieval times, it was not uncommon to let your pig or cow free range for food. It was considered cheaper than providing for feed. Nowadays, I'm sure people would argue that it provides for a survival of the fittest, much as you state your idea regarding music. However, what typically happened was that there was little control over your animal and its productiveness. Your cow might be stolen by bandits. It might be shot by an errant poacher (or an earnest one). Even when it survived, you had no idea what it had been eating and who it was breeding with. And average production for those cows was small. With modern animal husbandry techniques, we now keep the naimals penned and well fed, control their breeding, and we wind up with cows who have easily 50 times the milk production of medieval cows. Right now, the RIAA has those penned and bred cows. They know they can milk those cows and be assured of a rich bounty because they bred them that way. And you're asking them to free range their artists? It's just not a smart move for them.

            I'm eagerly avaiting the day a senators or congressmembers child/familymember is hauled in to court by the RIAA or MPAA, they share too. Hell, I'm pro-Bush but I'm sure there's at least one track on his beloved iPod that's "pirated" lol :)
            Feh! Do you think their lawyers would let them get that far? I would not be surprised if they have a database of names which they automatically remove from consideration. At that, they probably do make a non-token effort to ascertain who's actually pirating out of the people they prosecute. It's only due to volume that we're getting these "never touched the Internet" people. If the RIAA were at all smart, they'd come out publically and state that this person was all a mistake and award her $500 worth of music from RIAA artists. It would be good publicity, the "we made a mistake and are making up for it" kind, plus it will cost them all of $5 plus shipping to do so, since they own the CDs.

            • by dwandy (907337) on Friday February 03, 2006 @10:09AM (#14634775) Homepage Journal
              we now keep the naimals penned and well fed, control their breeding, and we wind up with cows who have easily 50 times the milk production of medieval cows. Right now, the RIAA has those penned and bred cows. They know they can milk those cows and be assured of a rich bounty because they bred them that way. And you're asking them to free range their artists? It's just not a smart move for them.
              An interesting analogy, 'cause I think it continues:
              Although the production quantities and profit have gone up for the farming conglomorates (from our moddern food production system), there is growing evidence [bbc.co.uk] that we are in essence poisoning [truthpublishing.com] ourselves. As an example, cows are fed steroids and antibiotics and these are then found [enzymeuniversity.com] in the milk. While this is good for the profits of large corporations, it doesn't do us any good. We can already produce more food than we can eat.
              So, the RIAA is able to control music production to their own enrichment. The cost that we are paying is that the human spirit, the soul, the whole reason humans make music in the first place is lost. In other words: the music supply is poisoned.

              The solution is to support free-range artists...

            • With modern animal husbandry techniques, we now keep the animals penned and well fed, control their breeding, and we wind up with cows who have easily 50 times the milk production of medieval cows.

              There is one problem with your analogy. The cows in this case aren't the musicians, they're the consumers. The RIAA wants to keep consumers penned in and forced to listen to radio stations they control, to watch music television they control, and to buy CDs at record stores they control. We are the cows that
    • by mano_k (588614) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:33AM (#14633391) Homepage

      I remember reading about someone working for one of the big record labels in Germany letting something slip about the RIAA's tactics.

      He hinted that it was in their interessed to create such absurd cases so their "hunt for pirates" stayed in the news. If nothing like that happens, people will forget the whole thing and start downloading again, as the papers will not print headlines "RIAA still hunting!" a few month after the first anouncements.

      • From a legal point of view, that method could prove fatal if proven true.

        Filing frivolous lawsuits is already a good way to get in trouble with the judges yourself, filing lawsuits which you know to be completely baseless cab get lawyers disbarred or worse.
      • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday February 03, 2006 @05:02AM (#14633626)
        He hinted that it was in their interessed to create such absurd cases so their "hunt for pirates" stayed in the news. If nothing like that happens, people will forget the whole thing and start downloading again, as the papers will not print headlines "RIAA still hunting!" a few month after the first anouncements.


        That's it! I want to sue the RIAA for deliberately trying to cause global warming!

        Proven past refute by my religion:
        http://www.seanbonner.com/blog/archives/001857.php [seanbonner.com]
    • Presumably the RIAA actually offers "overwhelming evidence" against the people it brings to court, which probably amounts to a fast-talking lawyer. I wish she would have waited until the last possible minute to disclose this piece of information before court, once the RIAA had its (marked) cards on the table she might have caught them lying through their teeth. Actually, I'm not quite sure how the process works, it's probable the RIAA needs to submit that evidence in order to accuse her. In which case, I
    • by shark72 (702619) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:41AM (#14633413)

      "Let's assume that the woman is telling the truth..."

      "My question is, now that this obvious inconsistency has been exposed..."

      The page linked to is that of the woman's lawyer. "Let's automatically believe something the lawyer said" is the last thing I'd ascribe to the typical Slashdot reader. The fact that you're doing so, you're openly admitting it, and you're +5 is really quite astonishing. Well done, my good man. But in case you (and the people who modded you up) weren't aware, of course her lawyer is going to try to convince people that she's innocent. That's what lawyers are paid to do.

      "Isn't it to say, if you incorrectly fingered this woman as a pirate, how can you prove that you accurately identified me as a pirate?"

      The proper thing to do is to judge each case on its own merit. Some people the RIAA have sued have been caught red-handed. In other cases, there was a mistake. Again: judge each case on its own merit. This is how you would want to be treated if you were brought into court for anything, isn't it?

      • See the thing about people who follow the law blindly and don't realize that it should always be followed in spirit not letter is that they act holier than thou while at the same time breaking almost as many rules.

        Somewhere in your dark little mind is the niggling sensation "At least I'm not as bad as..." as you break EULA's don't read legal agreements, break driving laws, don't file every item on your income taxes... etc.

        Have you had your car checked for emissions? Might want to do that EVERY day...

        T
      • by bm_luethke (253362) <luethkebNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:39AM (#14633575)
        "The page linked to is that of the woman's lawyer. "Let's automatically believe something the lawyer said" is the last thing I'd ascribe to the typical Slashdot reader. The fact that you're doing so, you're openly admitting it, and you're +5 is really quite astonishing. Well done, my good man. But in case you (and the people who modded you up) weren't aware, of course her lawyer is going to try to convince people that she's innocent. That's what lawyers are paid to do."

        That's silly. First off Lawyers aren't supposed to lie. Yes, I know like any human they are motiated by money to some extent, but the original poster said "Let's assume" which means - well - to assume it's the truth. Given his statement if it turns out to be a lie then the rest is worthless. Like any "If..then.." statement the later clause is only relevant if the "if" part is true. That's basic programming logic and as a slashdot user I'n shocked you don't see this. It's amusing that you want the RIAA to have every case stand on it's own but lawyers in general to be derided. There is no reason to believe that this lawyer told the truth or lied, so for the sake of the original poster lets assume that he told the truth. In fact, based on your own logic you shouldn't have any rael opinion.

        "The proper thing to do is to judge each case on its own merit."

        Really, do you truly believe this? If so, were I the RIAA, I would sue everyone. Those innocent would go free, those guilty would face the consequences. I'm not anti-corperation by any means (not even anti-RIAA either), but I'm anti-stupid lawsuit (nothing says the RIAA can not become a useful member of society and I wish it would). The RIAA has shown in the past a willingness to blanket sue which should be punishable. Your past actions should be part of the lawsuits. Of course, if you are guilty then what you say is true (because the prosecution has a vendetta is no reason to get off if you broke the law), but in the case of the blatantly innocent and negligent lawsuit it *should* be part of your past history that you are willing to blanket sue. It becomes important then. A simple "Each case on it's own" only works in the case where each participant is acting in good faith, once one side doesn't it needs to be punished.

        "This is how you would want to be treated if you were brought into court for anything, isn't it?"

        No, after being the 100'th person who is wrongly accused and had to spend 10's of thousands in lawyers fees I would like the court system to slap the prosecution down. Wouldn't you rather that happen if you were one in a long line of wrongly accused?
        • "No, after being the 100'th person who is wrongly accused and had to spend 10's of thousands in lawyers fees I would like the court system to slap the prosecution down."

          So you don't understand the difference in case types?

          Your rant is unwarranted by TFA. The defendant's attorneys have (from linkage) "requested a pre-motion conference in anticipation of making a summary judgment motion dismissing the complaint and awarding her attorneys fees under the Copyright Act."

          Punitive damages can be added by t
      • "Let's automatically believe something the lawyer said" is the last thing I'd ascribe to the typical Slashdot reader.

        You've got it wrong, that's not what the OP is doing. What they're doing is automatically believing something that supports their own beliefs, in this case that the RIAA is evil and/or stupid. That sort of thing I see all the time on slashdot, and indeed everywhere else.
      • "Isn't it to say, if you incorrectly fingered this woman as a pirate, how can you prove that you accurately identified me as a pirate?"

        The proper thing to do is to judge each case on its own merit. Some people the RIAA have sued have been caught red-handed. In other cases, there was a mistake. Again: judge each case on its own merit. This is how you would want to be treated if you were brought into court for anything, isn't it?

        Well, one of the merits of the next case is that the plaintiff (RIAA) has

  • TV License Parallel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chris_bloke (738605) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:09AM (#14633306) Homepage

    Reminds me of a colleague back in the UK who was taken to court for not paying his TV license fee - when asked what his defence was he responded "I don't own one".

    Apparently the judge was not amused with the prosecution for not having bothered to do even this minimal check!

    If this is the case (pardon the pun) with this action then I hope the RIAA get a really embarrasing and well publicised dressing down. Shame on them.

    • by alan.briolat (903558) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:31AM (#14633383)
      ... I hope the RIAA get a really embarrasing and well publicised dressing down.
      Yes, we could hope that. The same way we hope for it every other time they do something REALLY stupid. Instead they will most likely drop charges, pay fees, and make up some story about how they were the "good guys" in all this allowing this person to not be financially ruined. If it was a normal person bring a claim against the defendant, it would be thrown out, but the RIAA keeps a few people in the legal system employed with the number of high-profile cases they keep bringing, so it isn't in their (the court's) best interest to publically humiliate one of their sources of work.

      In a fair world this would be subject to a painful (for the RIAA) counter-suit. But then again, in a fair world you wouldn't have corporations running around bankrupting whoever they felt like just to make an example of them in the first place.

      I for one welcome our new Corporate Overlords [riaa.com]! Oh, they aren't new...
      • by Freexe (717562) *
        Isn't one person counter suing the RAII for racketeering, as it's illegal to go around threatening to sue people and just settling all the cases (because the cost of losing makes it not worth the risk even if you are innocent [you can be completey innocent these days and still be sued for millions of dollars!])
    • by 15Bit (940730) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:23AM (#14633527)
      I remember a friend got a uk speeding ticket with a similar absence of checks. The events went along the lines of:

      1. Fixed penalty ticket arrives.

      2. Friend posts back a denial that he was not at the stated place on the stated day.

      3. System replies, stating that his blue whatnot car with registration plate XYZ was clearly photographed by a speed camera at given location. Please see included picture.

      4. Friend replies again, stating again that he was nowhere the place and could they please review included picture of Red MOTORCYCLE, registration XYZ.

      5. Silence.

  • by pintomp3 (882811) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:12AM (#14633314)
    i'm assuming she doesn't have broadband either. what ip address did they use to find her? just goes to show how stupid these lawsuits are.
    • "i'm assuming she doesn't have broadband either. what ip address did they use to find her? just goes to show how stupid these lawsuits are."

      A much more likely scenario is that somebody else in her household was doing the file trading, and her name happened to be on the cable or phone bill. It's a very common scenario for the cable or phone bill to be in the name of an adult (typically a parent or guardian), while a child or teenager uses the Internet connection to do something the parent/guardian doesn

  • Will this work?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MagicDude (727944) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:12AM (#14633316)
    Can this work? The entire request to dismiss the case was one paragraph, with only one sentence stating that the defendant never used a computer. Wouldn't some investigation or proof be required in order for a case to be dismissed?
    • by ZenShadow (101870)
      I would think that some sort of evidence or proof would be required to prevent the case from being dismissed. But that's just me.

      --S
    • Re:Will this work?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by judmarc (649183) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:56AM (#14633855)

      Actually, it's not a motion to dismiss, but a motion for summary judgment. That's a key difference. A motion to dismiss would *admit* everything the RIAA says, then contend it still doesn't have a case - so no necessity for evidence, because there are no facts in dispute.

      Where a motion to dismiss says, in effect, "Even if you're right, so what?", a motion for summary judgment says "We'll show you facts that are so clear we don't even need to go through the hassle of a full trial." Then you provide evidence (usually by means of an affidavit or some other way short of the full trial-witness-cross examination thing). If the other side can't seriously dispute those facts, and those facts indeed add up to "You win!", cool - you've just saved everyone the time and expense of a full trial.

      Yes, IAAL.

      • by pla (258480)
        If the other side can't seriously dispute those facts, and those facts indeed add up to "You win!", cool - you've just saved everyone the time and expense of a full trial.

        So in this situation, she should have gone for a full trial, filing delay after delay a la SCO, to cost the RIAA as much as possible? ;-)
  • That's it (Score:3, Funny)

    by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:20AM (#14633343)
    I've had it with this country and it's legal system, and this stupid Internet thing.

    I'm suing Slashdot for wasting wast quantities of my time for the past year.

    CmdrTaco, you're goin' down.

  • by pintomp3 (882811) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:28AM (#14633368)
    but 3 albino kids soaking in water told the RIAA that this woman was planning on buying a computer to pirate music so they sent tom cruise after her. thank god for these pre-emptive lawsuits!
  • by DrJimbo (594231) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:31AM (#14633382)
    ... nobody expects the RIAA inquisition!

    Perhaps this is part of a campaign to instill fear in the hearts of the "guilty" by first stringing up a few obviously innocent people.

  • Goes to show (Score:4, Insightful)

    by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl@nOspaM.excite.com> on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:32AM (#14633387) Journal

    How many times have they said "Well if you don't want to get sued, don't download music!" Explain that statement, in light of THIS!

    I hope the court really slaps them one over this. It's clearly shown that they're not doing the most basic of fact-checking. (I mean, come on now, for godsakes, a dead woman, and now someone who's never used a computer at all?) Where did they pull the IP address out of -this- time? (Never mind, I don't want to know.) This is a massive waste of her time and that of the court, and I hope they get slapped with a good bit worse then attorney's fees. All their suits should be dismissed with prejudice after this garbage.

  • Truth in blurb? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beoswulf (940729) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:35AM (#14633395)
    Okay, did I read the correct story? So she may have never used a computer, but I assume she is paying for the cable or dsl service that is likely attached to her television or phone bill? Or a child used her credit card to open an AOL account... And that there is someone in her household who uses the internet she is paying for to share music on p2p? That happens all the time in these cases. A kid shares the music and the parent is blissfully ignorant. The way the blurb is phrased sounds like it was written by Pravda. Is there another article with more details?
    • Re:Truth in blurb? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shark72 (702619) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:49AM (#14633432)

      "Okay, did I read the correct story? So she may have never used a computer, but I assume she is paying for the cable or dsl service that is likely attached to her television or phone bill? Or a child used her credit card to open an AOL account... And that there is someone in her household who uses the internet she is paying for to share music on p2p? That happens all the time in these cases. A kid shares the music and the parent is blissfully ignorant. The way the blurb is phrased sounds like it was written by Pravda. Is there another article with more details?"

      THANK YOU.

      I have no idea what the full story is here. None of us do. But what I do know is that the page linked to in the writeup is that of the defendant's lawyer.

      It's the lawyer's job to convince you of their client's innocence. They don't need to be fair and balanced. They don't even need to be accurate, if it promotes their agenda and helps them win the case.

      It's really quite sad that so many people are reading a statement by a lawyer handling a case -- and thus whose motivation should be clear -- and are just swallowing it like it's gospel truth. Slashdotters are usually smarter than this.

  • by SiliconEntity (448450) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:49AM (#14633431)
    This has similarities to the Santangelo case [slashdot.org] we discussed last year. There, the mother of four denied that she had ever used a file sharing program or downloaded any of the music the RIAA claimed.

    Here is an article that describes recent news in that case:

    http://www.forbes.com/business/energy/feeds/ap/200 6/01/26/ap2481064.html [forbes.com]

    However her defense has changed slightly:
    The Wappingers Falls woman says she never downloaded any songs and if it was done on her computer by her children or their friends it's the fault of a file-sharing program for allowing them to do it.
    Ah, yes... the old "it's the fault of a file-sharing program for allowing them to do it" defense. I wonder how well that one will fly.

    Apparently Santangelo is receiving all kinds of donations from big hearted Internet file traders but frankly it looks like money down the drain to me. There is no way she is going to win when she's already basically admitting that she failed to supervise her kids and their friends when they were using her computer.

    As far as this new case, who wants to bet that it won't turn out the same way? The lady maybe never touched the computer, but what about the kids? She's responsible for their actions! Saying "I didn't do it" won't help if it's your kids, like what appears to be the case with Santangelo.
  • by Nephrite (82592) on Friday February 03, 2006 @03:59AM (#14633464) Journal
    Seriously, if she never used a computer then she didn't buy any media or software, so media producers lost profits. That's even worse than pirates 'cuz hardware manufacutrers lose profits either! Jail her now.
  • by Kohaku Nanaya (945240) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:01AM (#14633468) Homepage
    Since they first sued a dead woman for copyright infringement, and now they're suing a woman for the same thing that does not have a computer. I can put these facts together, and come up with this idea: The RIAA is really a ghost hunting organization. First the dead woman (a ghost!), and now a nonexistant computer (a ghost!). These clearly show their hidden agenda :)
  • by rockwood (141675) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:57AM (#14633609) Homepage Journal
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

    - Hunter S. Thompson [quotationspage.com]

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday February 03, 2006 @05:45AM (#14633714)
    Let's imagine 2 things for a moment. First, that she's an old granny of 80something, and second, that her grandson bought her a computer so she could stay in touch with him via e-mail.

    No, she didn't download. How could she? She has no idea how that machine works. All she knows is "click here, click there, write text, click here". But what do you think happens then?

    Search warrant, all her neighbors watching, realizing that the police is hauling stuff from her home. A computer? Oh, kiddy porn. After all, that's what you get to see on TV when they haul computers out of homes.

    Granny dealing in kiddy porn? How could she? But then, she's always been the quiet one... you know, gotta watch those creepy quiet ones...

    That lady better be VERY glad she doesn't have a computer! Own a computer, hook it to the 'net and you're already with one foot in the prison. But nobody cares when you own 10 guns and an artillery piece...
  • by GomezAdams (679726) on Friday February 03, 2006 @06:34AM (#14633814)
    But also Bill Gates is due his $300 - $400 dollars for a computer operating system and a full office suite (plus anti-virus software) she should be using. What a thoughtless woman. She and her kind are resposibible for holding back the economy. Think of the starving Chinese children turning out computer boards and peripherals that are being denied their daily bowl of rice. Oh, the humanilty! Think of all those pimple faced kids in their first job at the local appliance stores being deprived of ales. And the ISPs not getting their share.
    What a shame. This woman and her kind are criminals. Let's round them up and send them all to re-education camps and force feed them computer classes until they change their anti-social behaviors.
  • Sadly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Friday February 03, 2006 @08:49AM (#14634238) Homepage Journal
    it doesn't matter.

    RIAA doesn't sue people for the money.

    It doesn't even sue people to get them to stop doing whatever they are supposedly doing.

    They sue them for the publicity.

    This is worse than mere barratry: the more outrageous the abuse of the legal system, the more it suits there purpose. They'd send a spurious C&D to a deaf vegan paraplegic nun who runs a homeless shelter, if they could find one. In fact, brazenly baseless accusations are better than substantive ones; it gets the point across without the expense of a trial.

    They're trying to establish a reputation like the La Cosa Nostra. And they want to use that reputation exactly the same way: to create de facto privileges that do not exist de jure, e.g. "You don't want to park there, that's Vinnie the Hatchet's spot."

    And you can't call them to task for their misappropriation of state machinery to despoil private individuals of their fundamental human right to be left alone; not without talking about it, which is exactly what they want you to do.

  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Friday February 03, 2006 @11:48AM (#14635598) Homepage
    Multiple "john does"...CHECK

    7 year old girl...CHECK

    A mother of four...CHECK

    Non computer users...CHECK

    Nuns...

    President bush...

    Lars Ulrich...

    Ourselves...

    God...

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