Andersen Expands Class-Action Lawsuit Against RIAA – Calls The Trade Organization “Dolphin Killers”
Tanya Andersen hates the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Hates! In fact, it appears that she has made it her life’s-mission to harass the trade organization with as much venom as possible. Anderson filed an amended complaint to her class action lawsuit against the RIAA, by pointing out that the RIAA likens itself to driftnet fisherman.
“For nearly three years of her life, Tanya Andersen and her young daughter were subjected to an outrageous series of baseless accusations and unrelenting threats of financial ruin,” the complaint states. “The world’s four major recording studios had devised an illegal enterprise intent on maintaining their virtually complete monopoly over the distribution of recorded music. The enterprise is conducted with total disregard for innocent individuals. Dead people have been sued. Children have been sued. People without computers have been sued. As a senior RIAA spokeswoman explained: ‘When you fish with a net, you are going to catch a few dolphins.’ By their own early admission, they were knowingly engaged in a ‘driftnet fishing’ operation and ‘innocent dolphins’ were the collateral damage in their ‘nets.'”
Tough language. Calling the RIAA “dolphin killers” is certainly going to give Anderson the press that she desires, but will it end helping her lawsuit, or end up being too heavy-handed. The RIAA first sued the single mom from Oregon back in 2004, accusing her of illegally downloading tunes from the net. The suit dragged out for over three years, and was eventually dismissed. But Andersen counter-sued, accusing the unctuous organization of attempting to contact her then ten-year-old daughter by faking a phone call from the child’s grandmother.
Anderson’s class action complaint also labels the RIAA a music cartel. “In 2003 and before, the major recording companies conspired with the enforcement/lobbying arm of the music cartel – the RIAA – and MediaSentry to devise an investigation scheme that was both illegal and seriously flawed. The scheme was based on secret private investigations by unlicensed, unregistered and uncertified private investigators.
These private investigators claim to have illegally entered the hard drives of tens of thousands of private American citizens to look for music recordings stored there. This personal invasion is a crime in virtually every state in the country. If music was ‘discovered’ through this illegal process, the private investigators would then sell the identity of the computersâ€™ internet protocol address to the RIAA and the Big 4 record companies.”
‘Dem’s fightin’ wurds fer shur!
The Future: Andersen does make some strong points, but in the US, an under-funded plaintiff in a class-action suit rarely has a chance against a conglomerate. Obviously, Andersen hopes that the suit will cause enough negative-press that changes will be made in the way the RIAA does business. Not a chance…