Jenni Engebretsen, spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America, the coalition of music companies that is pressing the lawsuits, would not comment specifically on Santangelo’s case.
“Our goal with all these anti-piracy efforts is to protect the ability of the recording industry to invest in new bands and new music and give legal online services a chance to flourish,” she said. “The illegal downloading of music is just as wrong as shoplifting from a local record store.”
But I guess trying to extort a single mother of 5 is less wrong than shoplifting.
Her travail started when the record companies used an investigator to go online and search for copyrighted recordings being made available by individuals. The investigator allegedly found hundreds on her computer on April 11, 2004. Months later, there was a phone call from the industry’s “settlement center,” demanding about $7,500 “to keep me from being named in a lawsuit,” Santangelo said.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Kazaa style file-sharing is copyright infringement and theft. I just think that the RIAA is doing their cause more harm than good in the way they are dealing with the issue.