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October 3, 2005
And When Force is Gone, There's Always Mom. Hi Mom!
What's another word for "Cartel?" How about "racket?" How about "organized criminal conspiracy?"
That's the charge made by Tanya Andersen, the latest addition to the anti-RIAA supermoms club. Ms. Andersen, a disabled single mom, decided not to roll over and play dead when the Cartel came knocking. Instead, she's gone on the offensive, filing a counter-suit charging the RIAA and the recording industry with Oregon RICO violations, 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.
I don't know where Ms Andersen will get the legal muscle to pursue this raft of charges (she's currently being represented by Lory Lybeck of Lybeck Murphy in Oregon) but if she can make even one of them stick it could be a significant victory against the Cartel's anti-consumer jihad. What she's claiming is that the Cartel is (ab)using the legal system to get peoples' personal information, purely for the purpose of turning this information over to its collection center. She's further claiming that the Cartel's collection agency (err... "Settlement Center") admits to mistakes but won't halt collections even in cases of error. She's claiming that the Cartel intruded on her computer in violation of the law. She's claiming her innocence and asserting that because the Cartel continued its collection activities in the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing that its behavior is "coercive and deceptive."
There's much more detail over on the P2Pnet site. My guess is that the Cartel will do its damnedest to prevent this ever getting in front of a judge and jury. If Andersen can somehow survive long enough and the judge appears unfriendly, the Cartel will offer a settlement and may even promise to reform some of is more egregious abuses. As long as it's not backed up by an actual court judgement they'll feel free to ignore any such promised reforms.
Note to RIAA: quit picking on moms. They're way tougher than you are.
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