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Music Savaged By The Average Beast






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for October 5, 2005


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Extort Reform
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love cares about you and hopes youíre well. Summer is slipping away like a quiet blonde who attends high school in another town. The war plugs along distantly, poisonously. Turning on the news or opening a paper has long since become a minefield of confusing mental images. To escape, we plug in out iPods or tune to Jack radio: no commercials, no news, nobody with a Molotov since the seventies.
 
Funny then, when this rounds the corner: a 41-year-old disabled single mother was sued by the RIAA for downloading gangster rap songs. Tanya Anderson says she didnít, and that the RIAA trespassed against her by rifling through her computer files without her permission. Further, Andersonís countersued.
 
How long has the RIAA been strong-arming the essentially defenseless? Why has it taken so long for someone to sue them back? Have people been countersuing all along and nobodyís said anything about it? Your Delight canít say, but she can say this: read the suit. Itís an eye-opener. Even if you know nothing about the law, you can understand this:

10. When Ms. Andersen contacted Settlement Support Center, she was advised that her personal home computer had been secretly entered by the record companiesíagents, MediaSentry.

Or:

12. Settlement Support Center threatened that if Ms. Andersen did not immediately pay them, the record companies would bring an expensive and disruptive federal lawsuit using her actual name and they would get a judgment for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Or:

15. An employee of Settlement Support Center admitted to Ms. Andersen that he believed that she had not downloaded any music. He explained, however, that Settlement Support Center and the record companies would not quit their debt collection activities because to do so would encourage other people to defend themselves against the record companiesí claims.

You donít have to be a genius to mutter under your breath, ďIf I did that itíd be called extortion. Where are the Feds?Ē
 
That, dear friends, is the best question of all.
 

 

©2005 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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