In August 2005, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a complaint against David Greubel for alleged file sharing. Greubel is accused of having 600 suspected music files on the family computer. The RIAA is targeting nine specific songs, including "Sk8er Boi" by Arista artist Avril Lavigne, a Nettwerk management client. The RIAA has demanded Greubel pay a $9,000 stipulated judgment as a penalty, though it will accept $4,500 should Greubel pay the amount within a specific period of time.
"Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem," stated Terry McBride, C.E.O of Nettwerk Music Group.
Nettwerk became involved in the battle against the RIAA after 15-year-old Elisa Greubel contacted MC Lars, also a Nettwerk management client, to say that she identified with "Download This Song," a track from the artist's latest release. In an e-mail to the artist's web-site, she wrote, "My family is one of many seemingly randomly chosen families to be sued by the RIAA. No fun. You can't fight them, trying could possibly cost us millions. The line 'they sue little kids downloading hit songs,' basically sums a lot of the whole thing up. I'm not saying it is right to download but the whole lawsuit business is a tad bit outrageous."
Chicago-based Mudd Law Offices will take on the legal battle. Charles Lee Mudd Jr. has represented individuals subpoenaed and sued by the RIAA since the suits began in late summer 2003.
Mudd stated, "In an effort to combat the continued injustice of the RIAA's consumer lawsuits, attorneys, musicians and artist managers have joined forces to defend the interests of David Greubel and his family in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. Together, these parties hope to demonstrate the injustice and impropriety of the RIAA Litigation Initiative." Joining the litigation team will be Scott Lundhagen, an associate with Mudd Law Offices, and as local counsel, John G. Browning of Browning & Fleishman, P.C., Dallas, Texas.
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