"A disabled single mother from Oregon has filed a countersuit against the US record industry after it accused her of file sharing and demanded compensation.
Forty-two year old Tanya Anderson claims that she has absolutely no interest whatsoever in the gangster rap she was alleged to have downloaded. Her countersuit accuses the Recording Industry Association of America of several crimes including fraud, deceptive business practices and racketeering.
Anderson claims that RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) lawyers admitted to illegally infiltrating her computer to gain evidence and even admitted that in all likelihood she is innocent.
'Despite knowing that infringing activity was not observed, the record companies used the threat of expensive and intrusive litigation as a tool to coerce Ms Andersen to pay many thousands of dollars for an obligation she did not owe,' the countersuit states, 'The record companies pursued their collection activities and this lawsuit for the primary purpose of threatening Ms Andersen (and many others) as part of its public relations campaign targeting electronic file sharing.'
Anderson even offered to hand over her computer for inspection after which the original lawsuit against her was dismissed only for the record companies to file a new one.
'The continuing victimisation of Ms Anderson and the unwillingness of the record companies to conduct even the most basic investigation before turning her life upside down betrays the total lack of concern they have for any concepts of fairness, due process and the rights of the individuals who they have wrongfully targeted,' her lawyer, Lorry Lybeck, told p2pnet.
'Copyright infringement is wrong,' he added. 'Thug-like threats by multi-national, multi-billion dollar businesses against people who cannot afford to speak or even explain their innocence is a much greater wrong.'
Anderson's refusal to give in to the RIAA highlights the fact that, to date, no-one in the US has actually been found guilty of illegally sharing copyrighted music, or for that matter movie, files. The overwhelming majority have simply accepted the lawyers' at their word and paid up.
The same is true in the UK, where five alleged sharers face court action after refusing to settle with the BPI.
The RIAA declined to comment.
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