When he bought his 10-year-old a computer, Antonio Morrell was just trying to help the boy get ahead in school. Now the Miami construction worker is being sued by the music industry, which has brought its battle against Internet piracy to South Florida for the first time.
More than a dozen record companies have sued 30 South Florida residents, accusing them of illegally downloading music and making it available for others to copy.
Some of those named in the lawsuits told The Herald the record companies have offered to settle for about $4,000 each.
Morrell said he never downloaded any songs. Yet he's named in a lawsuit, he said, because his son, Alessandro -- who was 10 when his father bought him a computer two years ago -- downloaded about 1,000 songs and opened the door for others to copy them.
''I don't see how I could be paying somebody $4,000 for something I didn't do,'' Morrell said. ``I bought the computer for schoolwork. I'm sure he didn't know he was doing anything illegal.''
Morrell said he separated from his wife over a year ago and wasn't around to monitor his son's computer activity.