RIAA Insists on Deposing 10-Year old Daughter of Disabled Woman

  • Comments: 4
  • Written on: March 26th, 2007

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is insisting on deposing a 10-year old girl in relation to her disabled mother’s counterclaim against the organization.

This is a case that many in the Internet community will be watching closely. The RIAA employs a number of tactics to catch those who download and share music files illegally from their homes, including alleged “data farming”. Data farming is the act of suing an Internet service provider to obtain the IP Addresses (the address of their customer’s computers) in an effort to identify likely file sharing suspects.

Tanya Andersen, a 41 year old disabled single mother found herself to be the target of one of the RIAA’s cases in Oregon. The only problem is that she claims to never have downloaded or shared a song on the computer in her life. The RIAA doesn’t really care much about denials, but the Association may have bitten off more than they can chew this time.

Rather than rolling over and toeing the RIAA line, she has decided to fight back. Andersen is alleging that the RIAA engaged in violations of the RICO act (originally enacted to stop organized crime), fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of “outrage”, and deceptive business practices.

The counter claim, originally filed in October of 2005, has a new twist now as the RIAA is demanding that the woman’s ten year old daughter be put under oath in the case.

It is rare that anyone ever publicly fights back against the RIAA. According to Ms. Andersen, the RIAA sued her Internet Service Provider to get her IP address, and then hired a third party company to break into her computer and spy on her activities. In addition her claim alleges that the RIAA then failed to notify Ms. Andersen that she was being sued, and obtained a default judgement when she failed to appear in court. That judgement was then allegedly turned over to the RIAA’s internal collection agency who did have enough information to demand thousands of dollars from Ms. Andersen to settle the “debt.”

If the RIAA wins this case, not a whole lot will change about how the organization operates. If Ms. Andersen wins however, the RIAA could be slapped with punitive damages for the thousands and thousands of people they subjected to the same alleged process who simply paid the bill rather than fighting the multi-billion dollar association. Keep an eye on this one, as it is going to get interesting!

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