Four years and two lawsuits later, RIAA settles for $7,000

28 04 2009

One of the longest-running battles in the recording industry’s war against file-sharing appears to have finally come to an end. Michelle (age 22) and Robert (age 18) Santangelo have settled a lawsuit filed against them by the RIAA in November 2006 for P2P use that occurred when Michelle was 15 and Robert 11. The siblings will pay the RIAA a total of 7,000 in installments due by November of this year—a paltry sum given that the RIAA started its settlement offers in the ,000-4,000 range and often raised the cost if the defendant contested the charges in court.

The RIAA had originally sued their mother, Patricia, in February 2005. Having no knowledge of how to download music, she denied the allegations and soon found herself preparing for trial—despite the fact that the judge presiding over the case called her “an Internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from kazoo, and who can barely retrieve her e-mail.” Like the thousands of others who were targeted by the RIAA, she could have made the problem go away with a check for ,000. Instead, she spent over ,000 defending herself against the charges before running out of money and firing her lawyer (a fundraising campaign raised an additional ,000 for her defense).

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