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January 17, 2008

RIAA Faces Potential Class Action Over Tactics

The RIAA wins some (Jammie Thomas) and sometimes loses, though their legal strategy is to walk away from cases where it looks as if they are going to lose.  They tried that with one Tanya Andersen, a disabled Oregon mother who was accused of sharing gangster rap via KaZaA.  She not only denied the charges, but filed counterclaims.  The main case was dismissed and later the counterclaims were dismissed without prejudice.  She wanted attorney fees as the prevailing party and won.  Now her counterclaims are going forward as a separate action that is seeking class-action status.  That should make all of those lawsuits the RIAA files even less cost-effective.  Some of the tactics in this case are quite heartwarming, such as the alleged attempts to contact Andersen's eight year old daughter without permission.  It's right up there with the case where the RIAA felt the decent thing to do was to give the children of a dead defendant time to grieve before it took their depositions in the ongoing case.  That action was dismissed by the RIAA after withering criticism in the press.  It's not as if the organization doesn't have legitimate issues it needs to confront.  It's just that it seems to do it with such a monomaniacal approach which destroys most sympathy for its cause.  The story of this case is in Ars Technica.

January 17, 2008 | Permalink

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