RIAA Accused of Extortion & Conspiracy

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The defendant in a Tampa, Florida, case, UMG v. Del Cid, has filed counterclaims accusing the RIAA record labels of conspiracy and extortion. The counterclaims (pdf) are for Trespass, Computer Fraud and Abuse (18 USC 1030), Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices (Fla. Stat. 501.201), Civil Extortion (CA Penal Code 519 & 523), and Civil Conspiracy involving (a) use of private investigators without license in violation of Fla. Stat. Chapter 493; (b) unauthorized access to a protected computer system, in interstate commerce, for the purpose of obtaining information in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030 (a)(2)(C); (c) extortion in violation of Ca. Penal Code 519 and 523; and (d) knowingly collecting an unlawful consumer debt, and using abus[ive] means to do so, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692a et seq. and Fla. Stat. 559.72 et seq."


Good luck bro...


About fucking time someone sticks it to those cunts.


I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
Sounds to me like this countersuit may hold water.


There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Some more good news .....

RIAA throws in the towel in Atlantic v. Andersen

By Eric Bangeman | Published: June 04, 2007 - 04:04PM CT

One of the most notorious file-sharing cases is drawing to a close. Both parties in Atlantic v. Andersen have agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means that Tanya Andersen is the prevailing party and can attempt to recover attorneys fees.

Tanya Andersen was originally sued by the RIAA in 2005. She's a disabled single mother with a nine-year-old daughter living in Oregon; she was targeted by the music industry for downloading gangster rap over Kazaa under the handle "gotenkito." She denied engaging in piracy and in October 2005, she filed a countersuit accusing the record industry of racketeering, fraud, and deceptive business practices, among other things.

As we noted earlier today, counterclaims accusing the RIAA of all sorts of wrongdoing have become increasingly common. Late last month, Andersen filed a motion for summary judgment, saying that the plaintiffs have "failed to provide competent evidence sufficient to satisfy summary judgment standards" to show that she engaged in copyright infringement. Most notably, a forensic expert retained by the RIAA failed to locate "any evidence whatsoever" on Andersen's PC that she had engaged in file-sharing.

The RIAA has already taken a beating in the press in this case—accusing a disabled single mother of sharing songs like "Hoes in My Room" over Kazaa and then pressing doggedly ahead with the case despite mounting evidence that it had erred tends to look bad. Faced with the prospect of a case that was all but unwinnable, the RIAA has cut its losses by agreeing to dismiss the case even though Andersen did not agree to drop her counterclaims.

What's unusual is that the RIAA has stipulated to a dismissal with prejudice, completely exonerating Andersen. Next to a negative verdict, an exonerated defendant is the last thing the RIAA wants. When faced with an undesirable outcome, the RIAA's tactic has been to move to dismiss without prejudice, a "no harm, no foul" strategy that puts an end to a lawsuit without declaring a winner and a loser. Dismissing a case with prejudice opens the RIAA up to an attorneys' fee award, which happened in the case of another woman caught in the music industry's driftnet, Debbie Foster.

With the original RIAA complaint has dismissed, Andersen told Ars Technica in an e-mail that the counterclaim is "now standing on its own," meaning that she will still have the opportunity to argue her counterclaims before the court while the RIAA is unable to pursue the copyright infringement claims any further. Given the allegations she has made, prevailing with the counterclaim could prove even more troubling to the RIAA.

Given the facts of the case and the precedent set by Capitol v. Foster, an attorneys' fee award is not out of the question. Getting the RIAA to actually cut a check may prove to be a bit more difficult, as Foster's attorneys have discovered. You can track the progress of Foster's attempts to recover fees—and many other file-sharing cases—at Recording Industry vs. The People.