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By | John Oates 4th October 2005 12:11

Disabled woman sues RIAA

Computer snooping claim

Justice can sometimes be poetic: the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has sued 14,800 people for using peer-to-peer networks, is itself being sued.

An Oregon woman is using anti-gangster RICO laws to countersue the organisation which spends its time suing individual file sharers. She denies ever having downloaded or distributed music and accuses the organisation of trespass - by secretly snooping into her computer.

According to documents filed with the Oregon court Tanya Andersen, a 42-year old single mother, was accused of downloading gangster rap at 4.24am using the user name gotenkito. The document notes: "Ms Andersen does not like 'gangster rap' music, does not recognise the name 'gotenkito', is not awake at 4.24am and has never downloaded music."

Ms Andersen was told she could settle with the RIAA or face expensive legal action.

Count 8 of the document accuses the RIAA of breach of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisation (RICO) laws. The document says: "The record companies directed its agents to unlawfully break into private computers and engage in extreme acts of unlawful coercion, extortion, fraud, and other criminal conduct. The record companies and their agents stood to financially benefit from these deceptive and unlawful acts."

The RIAA was sued under the same gangster laws last year. Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, RICO requires the explicit threat or use of physical violence.

Bootnote: An ongoing antitrust suit against the RIAA filed by grassroots webcasters needs your help. ®

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