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RIAA Defendant Cross-Sues Kazaa And AOL 266

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In what appears to be a first, RIAA defendant Michelle Santangelo, the 20-year old daughter of Patti Santangelo, has made a motion for leave to serve a third party complaint against Kazaa and AOL, as well as against someone who installed Kazaa software, in Elektra v. Santangelo II. Her proposed third-party complaint (pdf) alleges that any injuries plaintiffs might have sustained were the result of the third party defendants' "negligence and breaches... in the defective design of Sharman Network's program, "Kazaa" which was a dangerous instrumentality in its each and every use as it existed in 2002-2004; the trespassing and reckless installation by Matthew Seckler [the person who allegedly installed the software without authorization] of such program; the failure to warn by AOL and Sharman; the failure to block the downloading of such files by AOL; the improper blocking of alleged (RIAA) warning messages by AOL and Sharman; and, the secretive file sharing system of and by Kazaa.""
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RIAA Defendant Cross-Sues Kazaa And AOL

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  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:06PM (#20255779) Homepage Journal
    Take responsibility. Stand up and declare your rights.

    Don't weasel out by blaming the other guy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The one defendant was 10 years old at the time. Yeah, he knew what he was doing.
    • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:31PM (#20255975) Homepage Journal
      1) Extend the trial
      2) Sue for legal expenses
      3) Gouge Elektra for $200,000 due to extra court costs due to motions
      4) ...
      5) Profit

      Step 4 has something to do with getting the lawyer who just got a $200,000 paycheck to cut you in on the deal ;)

      -Rick
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 )
        Just make it 400k. If I learned anything from the trials surrounding the RIAA, then that damages needn't have anything to do with amounts charged.
    • Take responsibility. Stand up and declare your rights.

      Don't weasel out by blaming the other guy.


      This is pretty much the perfect argument. She owns the computer, but she didn't install or use the software. Who is guilty? Can she prove that this other guy installed it, and will he even admit to it? When it something is essentially shared property it can be very difficult to tie blame to an individual. Probably to the point that any RIAA suit becomes almost impossible to litigate. The "owner" of a compute
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:50PM (#20256109) Homepage Journal
        This reminds me of people who leave their bong in the lounge room or other "communal area" in share accommodation. If the cops burst in they can't prove who was smoking the pot, so they can't arrest anyone, right?

        Well, no. The cops just charge everyone with possession and when they try to pull that communal area crap in court they get laughed at by the judge.

        • So you get put in jail even though you never saw, heard about or touched any pot? What makes me think you're talking nonsense?
          • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @09:17PM (#20256289) Homepage Journal
            It varies from state to state. In most, though, you're looking at a fine, not jail time, and common areas are considered everyone's responsibility, not no-one's responsibility. Obviously if they find drugs in your roommate's room, not in yours, then you're clear.

            • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:10AM (#20257661) Journal
              I had a long fight once where I was at a house visiting a friend, a knock came at the door and the guy came in to split some coke up that they bought together. Literally 3 minutes after he walked through the door, they were passing it back and forth looking at it and three knocks came to the door followed by it bursting open with about 6 officers running in telling everyone to get down. IF you weren't on th floor by the time they reached you, they put you on the floor and I don't mean helping you either.

              In the commotion, the 8ball got tossed onto the floor and everyone got arrested for it. Including me and another friend I was riding with.

              It took 10 months of fighting in court and almost 5 grand to get out of it. Evidently, the guy who came in, bought it from a undercover cop and they followed him home instead of busting him there because the two (who were splitting it) were actually talking on the cell phone trying to haggle the price when the one got it from the cops. I had both of them saying I wasn't involved and it didn't matter at all. This was about 12 or 13 years ago during an election year and they were tough on crime.

              Sometimes you will be in just as much trouble just being there until you can prove your innocence. The cops kept saying they were going to take my cars and sell them and all that shit. Fortunately, My job easily payed enough to cover my "lifestyle" and they couldn't find anything indicating I was selling drugs to support it. And yes, they had my banking records and frozen my accounts for 2 months when my lawyer was finally able to got them back. They charged me with conspiracy, trafficking, possession with intent (which was part of the conspiracy) resisting arrest (because I wasn't on the floor fast enough), then they attempted to say I could plead out to on charge of possession and get 5 year probation. Of course I refused and fought it but the guy who drove me there took the deal and got hit for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was still out almost $5000 though and had a bunch of checks bounce when they froze my accounts.

              My advice, if you see it happening, throw it out or move out yourself. Maybe breaking it a couple of time would force them to keep it locked away. It just isn't worth it if your not doing it "too". Pot alone is a little more relaxed then an 8 ball of cocaine and a few quarter bags. But I could easily see a cop being an ass and trying to make an example or something. My lawyer said if it wasn't an election year when it went down, I would have probably been let go the day it happened.
          • If it is in a communal area you would nearly have HAD to have been on some form of drug not to notice it.

            My interpretation of the law reads similar to the 'accessory to the crime' ruling where you get charged even though you didn't actually murder the person.
        • by mrbcs ( 737902 )
          Or until somebody straps on a set of nuts and takes responsibility and claims the dope.
          No sense in having 3 guys get charged for the 1/4 lb of hash.

          /got arrested, charges dropped
          //buddy claimed it was personal for the three of us
          /// got a $500 fine.. and we lost the hash of course.
          //// pretending I'm on fark

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ookabooka ( 731013 )
      What rights? The right to violate copyright law? Before modding me troll, keep in mind that what most of these people do is copyright violation even though most people wouldn't think it is that big of a problem. What needs to happen is jury nullification or legislation to change to catch up to the new information age.
      • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
        Yes, the right to copy and communicate whatever we please, even if it violates someone's copyright.

        • Yes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bzipitidoo ( 647217 )

          If there wasn't any copyright law to violate, then we could copy and communicate whatever we please. No one would get hurt. All the supposed damages from copyright violations are hypothetical. However much hypothetical damage is caused by disobeying copyright, seems to me there's greater hypothetical damage caused by obeying copyright. People dying because life saving medical techniques, in addition to all the other delays, are being held up until publication and registering of copyrights and the making

          • > If there wasn't any copyright law to violate, then we could copy and communicate whatever we please. No one would get hurt. All the supposed damages from copyright violations are hypothetical.

            See O'Reilly Media, Inc. whose profits on earlier copyrighted works allowed them to expand their scope to the point where profits from protected later works allowed them to re-issue their earlier works to the public for free.

            > People dying because life saving medical techniques, in addition to all the other del
      • I dunno, if this gains any traction (I'm not a lawyer so I have no idea how likely this would be), but I could see it leading to laws where the government says ISPs need to monitor all our traffic when we logon, in order to proactively alert us to shifty dealings on our computers. Of course the NSA will also get copies of that data to support the "War on Terror".

        Or they could pass laws regulating what type of traffic is on the Internet in general. P2P is gone for the aforementioned reason. The need to "prot
    • I disagree... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EdBear69 ( 823550 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:50PM (#20256107)

      Take responsibility. Stand up and declare your rights.

      Don't weasel out by blaming the other guy.

      While I'm not sure what you mean by 'Stand up and declare your rights', I'll let it go and talk about weaseling for a second.

      In this case, the defendant claims to have done nothing wrong and to be guilty only of the following:

      • 1. owning a computer
      • 2. having an aol account
      • 3. allowing the computer to connect with the internet
      • 4. not monitoring their computer to ensure it was not being used for illegal activity

      Taken at face value, I don't see any weaseling going on. The only seemingly weasel-ish aspect is the way that the third party complaint spreads across so many defendants. This, however, is perfectly acceptable in the legal system if, again, you take the original defendant's testimony at face value.

      The way I see it, Miss Santangelo is basically saying, "I didn't do it. It's not my fault. I don't know who is responsible, but it's probably one of these guys, let the court figure it out."

      It's not that she's accusing aol and Sharman as much as she's saying that they had more to do with any infraction than she did.

      Looking at how this looks for precedence, I'm interested to see how this turns out. We currently have laws that hold a bar liable if a patron gets a DUI on the way home. Bars serve alcohol, it's what they do. But they get in trouble if people use their product illegally. By the same token, aol supplies internet access. Should they be held completely harmless if people use their product illegally? If so, why is there a double standard between bars and ISPs?

      • Re:I disagree... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lesrahpem ( 687242 ) <`devnull' `at' `iadnah.net'> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @09:40PM (#20256429) Homepage
        I think ISP's fall more along the lines of something like a telephone company. Does the telephone company get in trouble if you use their service to make prank calls? No, not as long as they assist the police when someone misuses their service.
        • In theory, although I have seen arguments both ways, they're a "common carrier", like phone companies. As long as they're open to everyone, they can have this status. The phone company isn't responsible if you plan or operate a crime using their phone lines, just as the town isn't responsible if you use the road to flee after a bank robbery.

          But as I said, this has not been clearly established, and such a status requires that they accept any business, i.e. not filter or favor certain business. If they block
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ajs ( 35943 )

        Taken at face value, I don't see any weaseling going on.
        The claim that AOL should have blocked the downloads is the killer, here. That one needs to be shot down, and fast, otherwise you can kiss you nice fast Linux downloads goodbye, since ISPs will feel compelled to block all peer to peer traffic.
      • Bar are being held liable if they serve you too much alcohol when it's obvious you plan to drive home. IN theory, even if you're not driving they are contributing to your public drunkenness. The idea is that they are negligent by contributing to the crime when they should know better. Now, you could also make the argument that AOL should monitor their customers to make sure they aren't attempting to perform crimes (hacking, etc) using their product. Is it negligence that they don't block access to know
    • How *is* AOL not an accessory in this case? If I buy some crack, but it's not me; it's for a friend, i'm still guilty.

      Also is she really taking it to court? How many legal battles has the RIAA won in court again?
    • Someone get this girl a prune before she explodes!
  • by Perseid ( 660451 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:06PM (#20255783)
    Is everyone suing everyone for everything? It's getting to the point where if I hear about a lawsuit my first thought is that the plaintiff is trying to take advantage of someone. If that a sign that I'm an extreme cynic or that there's something really wrong out there?
    • by Tomy ( 34647 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:12PM (#20255823)
      "Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens."

      To paraphrase, "Sue 'em all, let the courts sort it out."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      No, she's just trying to make a really strong and solid argument to build her case on.

      1) Declare innocence
      2) Blame some guy for installing alleged software.
      3) Blame the maker of alleged software for working as intended.
      4) Blame ISP for not informing her that she was using her bandwidth that she was paying for.
      5) ???
      6) Profit.

      All in all, it's a fairly reasonable defensive strategy. I mean, who wouldn't want to shed doubt on their case's credibility early on in the proceedings?
    • It's the Media. Lawsuits, being one of the more interesting aspects of life, are widely publicised, giving us a false impression of ubiquity.
  • WTF??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by photomonkey ( 987563 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:08PM (#20255789)

    The speedometer on my Jeep goes up to 100mph. Does that mean that if I get pulled over doing 100mph in a school zone that it's Chrysler's fault and not mine? Did Chrysler take measures to prevent me from speeding in a school zone?

    Generally, I'm excited when anyone fights the maFIAA, but in this case, I hope she loses badly so she'll learn about pointing fingers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cyphercell ( 843398 )

      ...the improper blocking of alleged (RIAA) warning messages by AOL and Sharman ...

      This is the only line I see here that she should get to pursue to the end of time. If Chrysler made it impossible for her to determine that she was in a school zone then yes, she can sue.

    • Re:WTF??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:13PM (#20255835) Journal

      Does that mean that if I get pulled over doing 100mph in a school zone that it's Chrysler's fault and not mine? Did Chrysler take measures to prevent me from speeding in a school zone?
      My first thought was similar, but the complaint has an interesting point: AOL offers parental controls. If those controls don't keep your child from using the computer in an illegal manner, are they defective and does this make AOL liable?

      To use your car analogy (usually a bad idea), Chrysler sells the car with a parental control which they claim will keep your kids out of trouble and your kids are stopped doing 100mph in a school zone, does Chrysler have any liability?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by wvmarle ( 1070040 )

        My first thought was similar, but the complaint has an interesting point: AOL offers parental controls. If those controls don't keep your child from using the computer in an illegal manner, are they defective and does this make AOL liable?

        This totally depends imho on how this service has been advertised. "Parental controls", as such, doesn't say much. What is a "parental control", really? Does it limit times, who can log in, what they can do (which software to use), what they can download (file type, content type, from which source)? This all is not obvious nor can anything be considered "normal service" for such a service.

        I also really doubt there will be anything in AOL's "parental controls" advertising or sales contracts or TOS that sa

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mcrbids ( 148650 )

        To use your car analogy (usually a bad idea), Chrysler sells the car with a parental control which they claim will keep your kids out of trouble and your kids are stopped doing 100mph in a school zone, does Chrysler have any liability?


        I like bad car analogies. They usually clarify a point that nobody intended to make, while hiding the fact that nobody has any clue what you are talking about. I think the analogy here would be more like:

        Chrysler sells the car with a parental control which they claim will keep
    • Re:WTF??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:27PM (#20255955)
      My computer runs anything that is a valid Win32 executable. Does that mean if I get infected with a trojan after double clicking something sent to me called invoice.pdf.exe that it's MS's fault and not mine? Did MS take measures to prevent me from running just any kind of program?

      Sorry if it sounds like mockery, but in this case it's actually the case. We blame MS. We blame the trojan writer. We do not blame the clickmonkey who can't resist double clicking everything he sees. Why is that so? Why is it excusable to use zero brains when accessing a computer, claiming it's "too hard" or "too limiting" to take responsibility and instead blame the manufacturer of the system?

      You have no idea how hard it was for me to write this, since I do blame MS for a lot of things, many rightfully, but they are actually only partly responsible for the amoung of malware currently circulating. Until the advent of MPack, nearly all widely spread malware used user stupidity as the key attack vector, requiring user interaction and actual "help" from the user to infect a system. Why is the user not liable for stupidly clicking everything he sees?
      • "Why is it excusable to use zero brains when accessing a computer, claiming it's "too hard" or "too limiting" .... "

        Have you seen some of the users? This is really not too far of a stretch. Seriously.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by X0563511 ( 793323 )
          That's no excuse! A modern computer is one of the most complex machines known to Man, yet everyone expects to be able to use one without danger.

          They make you test to get a license to use firearms, drive cars, fly aircraft, sail large ships, operate heavy machinery, work with volatile chemicals. But just anyone can hop on a computer, and damn if it's their fault something gets fucked up. Heaven forbid they freaking PAY ATTENTION to what the hell they are doing and use more than 3 braincells at a time! It's a
    • The speedometer on my Jeep goes up to 100mph. Does that mean that if I get pulled over doing 100mph in a school zone that it's Chrysler's fault and not mine? Did Chrysler take measures to prevent me from speeding in a school zone?
      No. This partially why we have driver's licenses: to place the responsibility of your actions on the road upon you alone.
  • umm, no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyphercell ( 843398 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:08PM (#20255795) Homepage Journal

    the failure to block the downloading of such files by AOL;

    No, AOL should not block files that I am downloading at all.

    • the failure to block the downloading of such files by AOL; the improper blocking of alleged (RIAA) warning messages by AOL


      So which is it - AOL should or should not block?
      • For her sake, I hope the judge doesn't bring that up.
        • For our sake, I do, too.

          Being liable for downloads is the last straw required to get ISPs into a filter frenzy.
      • AOL should block the download if and only if the appropriate parental controls are enabled. It's that simple.
        • How would that be determined? People changed file extension, compress, and do a million other different things. A smart kid would have a Linux flash drive or live cd and bypass anything their parents put on the computer anyways.
  • by karmaflux ( 148909 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:09PM (#20255803)
    I hope this chick loses. If she wins this idiotic suit, it would set legal precedent that it's the ISP's responsibility to police its users. That's just about the worst possible idea ever.
    • Wasn't this precident set when tobacco companies were sued for lung cancer?
      and fast food for obesity?
      and gun dealers for crime?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by StikyPad ( 445176 )
        Not exactly.

        1) "Big tobacco" arranged a deal where they donate X billion dollars and promote an anti-smoking campaign, and in exchange they would be protected against future lawsuits.

        2 & 3) To my knowledge, a lawsuit has never been won against either fast food [wikipedia.org] or guns [overlawyered.com]. I believe there are now Federal protections in place for gun manufacturers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rts008 ( 812749 )
          Dig a little deeper than 2003 (when your ref's happened). There have been many cases of firearms mfg.'s being successfully sued in conjunction with shooting trials over the past several decades.

          Basically, anything that SHOULD fall under common sense is being taken to civil court to avoid personal responsibility during the past several decades.

          If you look at civil/liability court cases from oh, let's say 1980 onward, you will find an alarming increase in what I call 'lack of common sense/personal responsibil
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xigxag ( 167441 )
      Don't get all panicky. Not every stupid legal result becomes "precedent," particularly not at the trial level. Furthermore, trying to implead KazaA isn't really stupid even if it's wrong. It sounds like she's got decent legal representation. The best result for her is that there's no liability to begin with. But her lawyer wants to be prepared for that theory failing, so in the alternative, it was really KazaA's /AOL's fault to begin with. I'm sure he's also prepared to argue that even if there was so
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      No, It is already NOT the ISP's responsibility, as ISP's have common carrier status.

      I'd love to not only see her lose (she will), but AOL and Sharman may very well sue for damages, that'd be hilarious, her mistake could get 3 unsavory corporations on her back.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:09PM (#20255805) Journal
    1 "End User License Agreement," a contract of adhesion, abominably long, written in tiny print, which no one reads.
    • At least she's not lying in court. Everything in this sentence is painfully true. Though she omitted "kept in legalese so nobody with a sane mind can understand it, even if he did read it".
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by orkysoft ( 93727 )

      contract of adhesion

      You mean they use it to stick it to you?

  • by Vader82 ( 234990 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:13PM (#20255831) Homepage
    We've done a very good job of engineering a rights-based society here in the United States. But unfortunately for us, there has been little-to-no mention of any kind of responsibility. And as the legal profession has slowly figured that out our society has grown more and more responsibility averse.

    There is no motivation to take responsibility for anything since you aren't forced (or even encouraged) to. By freely granting all rights without associating any responsibilities we've created a system that doesn't have enough incentive for good behavior. And we're reaping it with every frivolous lawsuit that bogs down our legal system.

    I hope either we eventually figure this out and evolve to a system with a good rights/responsibilities balance, or after our country eventually declines that future generations will take the lessons we've learned to heart and not make the same mistakes.
    • by NoMaster ( 142776 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:44PM (#20256051) Homepage Journal
      I'm normally one of the first to shout 'grow some balls and take responsibility!' when things like this come up, but she does have a couple of points:
      • the improper blocking of alleged (RIAA) warning messages by AOL and Sharman: This is interesting. If AOL (or, somehow, Kazaa/Sharman Networks) prevented her from receiving warning messages which may have caused her to stop, then any infringement after those messages were sent may be at least partially down to them. If so, they they should take some of the liability.
      • the secretive file sharing system of and by Kazaa: This is a goodie! Any normal & reasonable user expects a program to stop running when you click the 'close' button, right? Kazaa kept running in the background ! If a user takes reasonable steps (i.e. clicking that 'close' button) to stop infringing, and yet the program continues on infringing, whose fault is that ? The user has tried, in good faith and to the best of their knowledge, to avoid further infringement - but the program decided that it knew better...

      As I said, interesting...

      • It's hardly secretive though. The icon is in the system tray at least. Windows file and printer sharing is a lot more "secretive" than that. If the application didn't close when intended, the cause is ignorance on the part of the user, not "secretive file sharing" on the part of the application.

        And it stinks that she's trying to blame the person who allegedly installed it for her in the first place. Words would not describe the anger I would feel if someone tried to blame me for something like that. Th
        • by number11 ( 129686 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:51PM (#20256833)
          It's hardly secretive though. The icon is in the system tray at least.

          The average user (who doesn't read /.) doesn't have a clue what all that crap on the system tray is. Take the average consumer computer that comes with all those convenient preloaded programs, it's got about 25 tiny inscrutible icons down there, the only one they've figured out is the clock. Maybe. So they ignore all that stuff.

          And half the time Windows hides those icons anyhow.
          • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:51AM (#20258559) Homepage
            it's got about 25 tiny inscrutible icons down there, the only one they've figured out is the clock

            Holy shit! Those little numbers in the corner are a clock?
            Daaaaamn! You're right! The numbers in the corner of my computer are almost the same as the numbers on the front of my cable box! That's neat!
            I'm really starting to get into this computer stuff. I learn something new almost every month.

            -
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        she does have a couple of points: * the improper blocking of alleged (RIAA) warning messages by AOL and Sharman: This is interesting. If AOL (or, somehow, Kazaa/Sharman Networks) prevented her from receiving warning messages which may have caused her to stop, then any infringement after those messages were sent may be at least partially down to them. If so, they they should take some of the liability. * the secretive file sharing system of and by Kazaa: This is a goodie! Any normal & reasonable user expects a program to stop running when you click the 'close' button, right? Kazaa kept running in the background ! If a user takes reasonable steps (i.e. clicking that 'close' button) to stop infringing, and yet the program continues on infringing, whose fault is that ? The user has tried, in good faith and to the best of their knowledge, to avoid further infringement - but the program decided that it knew better...

        It is a fact that Kazaa was full of adware, spyware, viruses, and all sorts of trick devices, and studies have shown that most Kazaa users did not know if they were sharing, or what they were sharing; many of them were sharing every single file on their computer and didn't even know about it. See, e.g., RIAA November 15, 2004, testimony at Federal Trade Commission, exhibit A to reply affidavit of Zi Mei in Atlantic v. Does 1-25 [blogspot.com] and November, 2006, report to US Patent and Trademark Office, set forth as exhi

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by RealGrouchy ( 943109 )

        As I said, interesting...
        According to you, maybe.

        According to the /. mods, it's only 20% Interesting. Luckily for you, it's also 50% Insightful and 30% Informative, though!

        - RG>
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:15PM (#20255855)
    Sure, sounds silly. You have Kazaa on your computer, so who's responsible for the downloads?

    If Kazaa was a trojan, it wouldn't be the user. So I'm quite interested in seeing how this turns out. Is ignorance a defense? It is usually in the case of computer malware, where you can act as irresponsible as you want and click on anything and everything. You're not liable for it, whether you become the spamchucker of the week, another drone in a DDoS attack or a launching point for more malware, you're off the hook. You're too dumb to understand it, so you're not liable.

    I'll be waiting for that verdict. Is ignorance an excuse? Are you responsible for your computer's actions? I could well see this becoming an interesting turning point in the question who's liable for your computer's actions.
    • by Duhavid ( 677874 )
      Depends on who put it there, and what was told her about it.

      Of course, assuming that someone else put it on there and said
      something like "yeah, download what you want, its all free, no
      worries" only really means that the installer is also liable
      ( not liable instead of ).
    • by bwcbwc ( 601780 )
      Actually, I think in this case ignorance IS an excuse. Not ignorance of the law, but ignorance of the fact that infringing activity was occurring. IIRC, copyright infringement requires that the infringement occurs knowingly and intentionally. On the other hand, IANAL.
  • by GeneralEmergency ( 240687 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:20PM (#20255907) Journal

    ...I think this is an interesting legal strategy. This appears to me to be a tactic to grow this case exponentially in size and thus cost, complexity and duration.

    Let 'em litigate this for 3 years.

    I'm only surprised that they didn't assert that the plaintffs are partially liable for continuing to publish DRM free CDs long past the point when they knew that tools and techniques existed which permitted these tracks to be ripped and shared.

    Hmmm...I'm still wondering if that last paragraph of mine is a joke or not.

    With lawyers involved, I suppose you never can tell.

  • by toppavak ( 943659 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:22PM (#20255925)
    to sue Microsoft because Windows allowed the installation of software such as Kazaa and the manufacturer of her computer for allowing the installation of a Windows that allowed the installation of Kazaa and the local power company for permitting the operation of a computer which allowed the.... oh you get the point
    • Don't forget $computer_brand, for selling a machine that allows the installation of Windows, and Intel/AMD for running the code of that system. $MB_manufacturer for supporting the CPU used to run the system that allowed the violation, and of course $display_manufacturer for allowing her to see the ...

      Uh... am I just advocating DRM?
      • Uh... am I just advocating DRM?
        Pretty much, which is why I hope she loses.

        The specifics shes complaining about would be TERRIBLE precedents to set.
        • I feel kinda sick now. I just realized that I'd want the RIAA to actually win a case.

          But ... but I don't wanna lose my geek license! It looks pretty with the Tux hologram!
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            It's like the tagline for Alien vs. Predator: "Whoever wins... we lose"

            This is more interesting, though.
    • The modem and network equipment manufactures between her and AOL. Might as well throw in the NIC card to while were at it.
    • by fyoder ( 857358 )

      to sue Microsoft because Windows allowed the installation of software such as Kazaa and the manufacturer of her computer for allowing the installation of a Windows that allowed the installation of Kazaa and the local power company for permitting the operation of a computer which allowed the.... oh you get the point

      And don't forget the person who bought the computer in the first place and placed such a dangerous instrument in the home. They're in for a good suing. Talk about irresponsibility.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:25PM (#20255939)
    She's obviously proved she has what it takes to work for the RIAA.
  • I know I'm probably being redundant here but so far it seems the best arguments are those that question the accuracy, reliability of the evidence along with the methods used in collecting it. When there is success by other parties in defending against the RIAA, other defenders should be paying attention to those successes and should use similar arguments. "Deflecting blame" rarely wins cases of any kind unless you're a politician.
  • they go and remind geeks everywhere that they are living proof that there should be a licence to use the internet. If you are incapable of preventing yourself from illegally downloading copyrighted material (whatever the RIAA do or don't do, and whether that's moral or not is irrelevant, whether we like it or not illegally downloading copyrighted material is illegal in the current climate), you really shouldn't be allowed near a computer because you're a danger to yourself.
  • by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:54PM (#20256139)
    For one, if she didn't install or knowingly use the software it's questionable whether she's responsible.

    Second Kazaa as it once existed tended to at least attempt(if you didn't actively tell it not to, which if she didn't install it she didn't get a chance to choose) to share pretty much every music file on your PC. If she had a legitimate music file on her PC Kazaa would have attempted to share it with the outside world leading to infringement. This was always bad design in every program tham implemented it(it's alright in a media player, but not in a file sharing utility, it'd be like having apache automatically make all your documents available.

    Thirdly the RIAA is presumably alleging that they sent warning e-mails to this girl or her parents, and the girl and/or her parents are apparently alleging that they didn't get them. The suit against the ISP means that the ISP will be required to prove whether those e-mails got through or not and wether they ever got to them in the first place. If they did block them then there's a case there, if they didn't arrive then the RIAA loses their "she knew it was wrong and kept going" angle and look more like vultures going after a little girl who didn't know what she was doing.

    Her suit about the ISP blocking the files is of course bollocks and should and likely will be tossed out(presuming that the ISP wasn't offering some sort of parental filtering service at cost in which case there's a case there too).

  • the uncle's brother's cousin's (twice removed) baby-sitter's father's dog's groomer's great grandfather who forgot to wear his jimmy cap and thus led to the conception of someone.
  • by watchingeyes ( 1097855 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:36AM (#20257489) Homepage
    I hate the RIAA as much as the next guy, but for her to claim that it is AOL's responsibility to monitor and prevent illegal downloads sets a dangerous precedent. An ISP should not be doing this.

    I hope the Judge dismisses her claim against AOL and sanctions her for making ridiculous claims. She's no better than the RIAA in this case.

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