RIAA Countersued, Accused Of RICO Violations

    October 4, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A disabled single mother in Oregon has filed a lawsuit in response to a RIAA action accusing her of illegal downloading.

At the RIAA’s behest, MediaSentry cracked her computer, violating federal computer fraud statutes, and the RIAA employed Settlement Support Center to utilize illegal and deceptive debt collection practices to get her to pay up or face an expensive lawsuit for illegal file; these are among the many claims made by attorneys representing Tanya Andersen in a response to Atlantic v. Andersen.

The actions of the RIAA against Ms. Andersen have made her a cause celebre and drew representation from a New York-based law firm specializing in Internet and computer law. They have established a blog about this and other related cases and made a number of allegations at length against the RIAA and its agents.

One point contends the RIAA filed secret lawsuits against people like Ms. Andersen accusing them of illegal file trading. After those suits have been filed, with no notice given to the defendants, the RIAA employs the Settlement Support Center to demand payment.

One part of the legal answer and counterclaim brings up the prospect of Oregon’s RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) act figuring in the proceedings. Apparently, counsel for Ms. Andersen feel that the RIAA, by virtue of employing MediaSentry and Settlement Support Center to commit what counsel feel are criminal actions, have engaged in the same behavior as the Mafia.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.