Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

News of the "Soccer Mom" Sued For Illegal Downloading

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.

Here's a link to the blog Recording Industry vs. The People; here's a link to the RIAA.

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