Saturday, January 28, 2006
Patricia Santangelo, one of many people the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is suing for illegal downloading, has acquired a new attorney. She had to drop her initial law firm, Beldock, Levine & Hoffman, after the legal bills mounted up, and at a court appearance in December she appeared pro se, since the judge is allowing the case to proceed. Supporters have started collecting cash to assist Santangelo, who claims an "Internet-illiterate" defense, to which the judge refers in her ruling. "The Court notes that this case has garnered a considerable following on the Internet--partly due to a mistaken belief that I have already decided the case in favor of Mrs. Santangelo. I have not--and today's simple pleading ruling does not begin to address the merits. We will turn to them now, and to the question that is raised by this and similar complaints: is an Internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from a kazoo, and who can barely retrieve her e-mail, liable for copyright infringement committed by that parent's minor child, who downloads music over the Web without the parent's knowledge or permission--but using the parent's Internet account?"
Meanwhile, MTV News reports that Canadian label Nettwork Music Group has offered to pay attorney fees for one defendant family sued by the RIAA.