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RIAA Drops Suit Against Santangelo 190

Posted by Zonk
from the christmas-presents dept.
VE3OGG writes "The RIAA, in an expected motion, has recently dismissed the case against Patti Santangelo, one of the most famous targets of the RIAA lawsuits. The mother of five was described by the judge presiding as an 'internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from kazoo.' While this is good news, the RIAA is still pursuing its case against two of Mrs. Santangelo's children. To make matters worse, the RIAA has also dismissed the case 'without prejudice', meaning that they could, in theory, take action against her again later on. The RIAA alleges that Santangelo's children downloaded and subsequently distributed more than 1,000 songs. The damages they seek are presently unknown"
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RIAA Drops Suit Against Santangelo

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  • by ColeonyxOnline (966334) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:34PM (#17330962)

    When I play some of those MMORPG's on the net, I often wonder why in the heck do I have to treat "children" in game any different then an adult. I have heard several times people that defend and excuse some of the most disgusting behavior only because "they are children." Does being a child mean that you get away with a heck lot just because of your age? Even if you did know that what you were doing was wrong? Does something magically change when they turn 18?

    What about the mother? How could she claim ignorance when it was her job to educate and take care of them? Parents already have Free School (more like a prison really), a free ride to school, they get a heck lot of money back in taxes for having those dawn children. Couldn't she take at least care of their Internet behavior? What about having 5 children? Come on, we live in 2006, not 1906, family planning is there, one is a mistake, after that it was her choice.

    Downloading those music files with her computer and paid for net access was like going into a store and robbing the place with your parents' car and gun.

  • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:45PM (#17331096)
    Does being a child mean that you get away with a heck lot just because of your age?
    Yep

    Even if you did know that what you were doing was wrong?
    Can't prove they do or don't, so you say they're young and ignorant, which is generally the case.

    Does something magically change when they turn 18?
    Nope, but that's the age when they can't blame someone else for their ignorance. Mostly, it wises them up pretty quickly. Mostly.

    What about the mother? How could she claim ignorance when it was her job to educate and take care of them?
    Have kids. It'll enlighten you. Really. Whole different world all of a sudden. Your own entire childhood becomes clear.

    Couldn't she take at least care of their Internet behavior? What about having 5 children? Come on, we live in 2006, not 1906, family planning is there, one is a mistake, after that it was her choice.
    I assume this one is tongue-in-cheek. But seriously, some people want to take care of children. When your children are growing up and not needing you every day, you go out and have some other child who will make you feel important again.
  • Despicable Tactic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tavor (845700) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:57PM (#17331212)
    Essentially, what the RIAA has done, is to drain the target of resources before going in for the kill. With how they have drained Patty's coffers fighting her, she is now broke while they go after her kids. This is similar to how some viruses attack the human body.

    Anyone have a truckload of coal to spare? I know someone who needs it wrapped, individually, and dumped on their front door.
  • by CthulhuDreamer (844223) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:07PM (#17331332)
    And Bronfman would be the first person I would call in to give testimony in a jury trial. He had evidence that his kids were pirating music, yet he failed to have the RIAA take them trial. I'm sure the jury would love to hear why his kids went free over something he's suing other kids for.
  • by FLEB (312391) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:12PM (#17331380) Homepage Journal
    So it's like this. Suppose there are some kids, from your neighborhood. They're always on your damn lawn. No one of them is doing anything significantly malicious, but taken as a whole, they're starting to wear a path and beat it down. Unfortunately, the only thing you own is a tank. No, you don't have a house, you just live in the tank, parked on the lawn. Now, as it stands, you've got two choices: Let the kids trample the lawn to a muddy mess, or shoot them, with the tank. Unfortunately, every time you explode one of the offensive little twerps into a misty pink cloud, invariably mothers' groups and angry citizens will harrumph and criticize, saying you went too far, and that the young child-who-is-now-a-crater didn't deserve such treatment. But, if you hold off on your right to evaporate the malicious darlings, you'll find that your well-cultivated lawn starts looking like more of a post-Woodstock mud-pit.

    What the law needs to do is give this fictional property owner a beatin' stick, so they can give the kids a wailin' they'll never forget, but not obliterate them into bite-size morsels. I think casual infringement is a problem, for artists' rights if not for profits, but the common response is so heavy-handed that more sympathy gets shown to the infringers. Copyright law needs to have some manner of punishment for casual infringement that is well above the market value of the work (as it should be a discouragement, not just a payoff), but not so high that families are bankrupted just thinking about it. Unfortunately, it seems the homeowner (tankowner?) may have started to enjoy exploding small children.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:16PM (#17331404)
    WTF is wrong with you people? +5 Interesting? The Mob fucking murders people.

    Maybe, just MAYBE, it is a little different?

  • by MacDork (560499) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:43PM (#17331704) Journal

    Downloading those music files with her computer and paid for net access was like going into a store and robbing the place with your parents' car and gun.

    Interesting. I liken it more to going to the public library and making a copy of a chapter out of a book with the Xerox machine. You didn't buy the book. Is the library therefore assisting you in stealing the book?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:49PM (#17331784)
    The Mob fucking murders people.

    Maybe, just MAYBE, it is a little different?

    It's not hugely different at all.

    The mob first tries to suck you dry if you made the mistake of crossing their business path, and then if that's not enough they kill you to preserve the atmosphere of fright. They have no qualms at all what effect their actions have on people and their families, as long as it preserves that fright.

    The RIAA is devoted entirely to sucking people dry, and they have no compunction whatsoever what that does to people's livelihoods or families or reputations. They do so even when you haven't crossed their business path, because they invent a totally fictitious one of their own: the ridiculous and totally non-existent "loss" that they claim to incur when people share music.

    The RIAA don't kill, but they might as well do so. After your life and reputation and credit rating is shattered in court and your livelihood is demolished by utterly incredible invented damages and lawyer fees, there's very little left worth living for, you're a total wreck. Yet, what did you do to deserve this? You did a GOOD thing, you shared what you enjoy with others. And for that the RIAA mobsters destroyed your life.

    And as for your point about not killing ... the RIAA don't need to kill, because the necessary fright is created by the law that they helped create: if you don't comply, men with guns will turn up at your doorstep. That's actually a lot more frightening than the mob, since the mob isn't protected by the law and you could seek protection. You can't seek protection against the RIAA and their minions.

    So, don't come to us with crap about the RIAA being nice people. They're utter scum, like their paymasters. If those lawyers had a shred of professional decency, they'd tell the studios to get stuffed and hire some hitmen to do their dirty work instead.
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @08:50PM (#17332314)
    I suppose what I meant was, like your dad, some people aren't happy without kids around to teach, to love, to help in some way. Didn't mean to sound like I was belittling anyone. There are times, however, when a person can't reasonably handle more children, and it takes away from both participants' experiences.
  • Bullshit, man. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skadet (528657) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:59AM (#17335248) Homepage
    What a lame argument you're making. It's no different from, and as valid as, this one:
    "Man, I just got laid off, despite my fantastic track record and measurable performance. You know why?

    "My old company is devoted entirely to sucking people dry, and they have no compunction whatsoever what that does to people's livelihoods or families or reputations. They do so even when you haven't crossed their business path, because they invent a totally fictitious one of their own: the ridiculous and totally non-existent "loss" that they claim to incur when people don't do the things they would do in the company's perfect world.

    "My old company doesn't kill, but they might as well do so. After my life and reputation and credit rating are shattered in court and my livelihood is demolished by utterly incredible invented damages and lawyer fees, there's very little left worth living for, I'm a total wreck. Yet, what did I do to deserve this? I did a GOOD thing, I worked hard. And for that the company mobsters destroyed my life.
    Phrased that way, it doesn't sound so noble, does it? It sounds like the life of an everyday Joe. The RIAA isn't bad in some special way. They're bad the way all large, privately funded, unchecked business are: they don't give two shits about anything except themselves, right now.

    I'm not passing judgment that it is a "good thing" or a "bad thing". It is what it is, and it generally seems to work. I'm just pointing out the the RIAA isn't some dear-god-who-could-have-seen-the-serpent-coming sort of organization. This is an agency we all built together, the unavoidable product of our economy. If I remember correctly, Eli Whitney either broke even or *lost* money on the cotton gin because farmers stole his intellectual property (plans to make a cotton gin) and refused to buy Whitney's gin. In fact, the arguments were nearly the same as they are about file sharing: Whitney's gin damages the cotton! (purchased music comes with DRM!). It's cheaper to make my own! (It's cheaper to download my own!). Could you really tell me that if Whitney had an agency like the RIAA for farm equipment, he wouldn't have enlisted their services?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @07:24AM (#17335568)
    Your point seems to be that it's common for businesses to be evil, so we shouldn't think of the RIAA as being particularly bad, as they just reflect the common evil.

    Well sorry, but not everyone is in terminal moral shutdown like you are. Some of us actually care when evildoers driven by pure greed seek to destroy the lives of millions. If nobody did anything to combat bad things just because "they're a product of our community" then the world would rapidly spiral downwards into universal evil.

    There are many grey areas in the "IP" world that arise from universal network connectivity, but they're grey only because bloodsucking vultures wish to suck the community dry and so invent the greyness. Music is the classic example.

    Marketeers are happy to pay huge money for anything that increases exposure for their products, and every uploaded song is doing precisely that. They should be overjoyed that it's being done for free, instead of swallowing up their marketting budgets. For any thinking organization, it should be clear that for any single sale lost due to P2P, dozens or hundreds of other people are getting to hear a particular item of music, and each of those are a potential customer for the physical product. In any balanced argument, such marketting gains need to be offset against any possible sales losses. What's more, that alleged "lost sale" also entailed a production saving to add to the marketting saving.

    It was exactly so in the past, when radio stations would commonly play entire albums, and marketting would benefit hugely from cassette-recorded copies spreading the word and creating legions of fans -- a physical form of P2P. And then later in life, those usually cash-impaired schoolkids and students would eventually turn the best of those old but dear cassettes into physical music sales, and the studios would reap the rewards. It worked, just requiring community awareness and a little patience.

    But what we have now is just simple mobster-like evil incarnate in the studios/RIAA coupling, no longer interested in the long-term view and in recognizing the benefits of P2P both to fandom and to themselves, and instead seeking to criminalize an activity that a very large proportion of society considers to be positive.

    Well, I have no time for anyone whose business plan is entirely parasitic, their contribution to community is nil, and their effect on the lives of people is completely destructive. Those lawyers should be ashamed at their choice of employer.

    Clear anti-community evil needs to be combatted, not ignored like you seem to wish.

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