Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

RIAA faces class action lawsuit for maliciously suing thousands of Americans

The Recording Industry Association of America, which has become infamous for suing its own customers over the last few years, is now itself facing possible class action litigation for malicious prosecution - in other words, falsely accusing individuals of downloading music from peer to peer (P2P) networks, and filing suit to collect damages.

Back in June, after winning her initial case against the RIAA, Oregon mother Tanya Anderson launched a second suit against the RIAA - because taking a hard line with bullies is the only way to stop their unacceptable behavior:
Former RIAA target Tanya Andersen has sued several major record labels, the parent company of RIAA investigative arm MediaSentry, and the RIAA's Settlement Support Center for malicious prosecution, a development first reported by P2P litigation attorney Ray Beckerman of Vandenberg & Feliu. Earlier this month, Andersen and the RIAA agreed to dismiss the case against her with prejudice, making her the prevailing party and eligible for attorneys fees.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Oregon late last week and accuses the RIAA of a number of misdeeds, including invasion of privacy, libel and slander, and deceptive business practices.

Andersen is a disabled single mother residing in Oregon. In 2005, she was sued by the RIAA for file-sharing, accused of sharing a library of gangsta rap over Kazaa. She denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim alleging fraud, racketeering, and deceptive business practices by the record labels.
Last Wednesday, Andersen's attorney filed court documents seeking to elevate the case to class action, allowing other wronged Americans to share in any relief:
In a request for class action status which, if and when successful, will ultimately include every one of the 30,000 or so RIAA victims, Andersen and her lawyer, Lory Lybeck (right), are looking to recover compensation for the, “significant damages caused by the Defendants” as well as punitive damages, statutory penalties, litigation fees and expenses and equitable relief.

Her amended complaint is impressive. She’s citing negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, federal and state RICO, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, deceptive business practices, misuse of copyright law, and civil conspiracy.
It's about time somebody took these greedy corporate cons on in court. The RIAA has gotten away with its despicable tactics of legal intimidation for far too long. Tanya Andersen is a hero for taking on the behemoth and refusing to quit. We at NPI are deeply grateful for her willingness to head back into the courtroom. The entire region ought to be proud of her.

<< Home