Friday, April 25, 2008

Excellent story in Business Week on the Tanya Andersen case

An excellent story has come out in Business Week on the Tanya Andersen case:

Does She Look Like a Music Pirate?

Inside Tanya Andersen's private war with the recording industry. Hint: She's winning

Photo by Brian Smale

Andersen got the piracy case against her dropped; now she's going after the RIAA for conspiracy

by Heather Green

When Tanya Andersen opens the door to her modest apartment in suburban Portland, Ore., her Maltese-terrier mix, Tazz, runs over and wags his tail in a friendly hello. The 45-year-old single mother doesn't seem like much of a fighter. She spends most of her days sitting on an overstuffed sofa with a heating pad behind her back to ease chronic pain and migraines that have kept her on disability for nearly five years. Her voice is soft and halting. Yet this woman is behind a fierce assault on the music industry and its tactics for combating music piracy on the Internet. "I've just got to keep doing what I believe is right," she says, with Tazz curled up next to her on the couch. "And that's fighting and letting people know what's happening."

After being sued by the music industry for stealing songs and winning the case's dismissal, Andersen is now taking the record industry to court. Her case is aimed at exposing investigative practices that are controversial and may be illegal, according to the lawsuit. One company hired by the record industry, she claims, snoops through people's computers, uncovering private files and photos, even though it has no legal right to do so. A different industry-backed company uses tactics similar to those of debt collectors, pressuring people to pay thousands of dollars in settlements even before any wrongdoing is proven. In Andersen's case, the industry's Settlement Support Center said that unless she paid $4,000 to $5,000 immediately, it would "ruin her financially," the suit alleges.

Andersen is going after the recording industry under conspiracy laws. She argues the Recording Industry Association of America, the industry's trade group, and its affiliates worked together on a broad campaign to intimidate people into making financial payoffs. The defendants "secretly met and conspired" to develop a "litigation enterprise" with the ultimate goal of preserving the major record companies' control over the music business. Andersen is requesting class action status for her case, seeking at least $5 million in compensation for the class.
Complete article


Background coverage of Tanya Andersen by

For the best in-depth background on the ordeal of the Tanya Andersen family, see the incredible coverage by Jon Newton of, who's been covering this story regularly since 2005. Apart from keeping his readers abreast of the key legal developments, Jon's coverage has given us all important and moving insights into the human toll the RIAA's litigations have taken on America's families, and the harm they are doing to our country.

There are probably over a hundred articles; here's just a partial list:

The We're Not Taking Any More Club
RIAA, Tanya Andersen: 3rd amended complaint
RIAA named in first class action
Tanya Andersen sues the RIAA
Tanya Andersen takes the RIAA head-on
Tanya Andersen beats the RIAA
RIAA vs Kylee Andersen, 10

Commentary & discussion:

Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

The article says that the Settlement Support Center has been dissolved. I don't recall hearing that little piece of news before.


Anonymous said...

From the article -
"Gabriel says it's not accurate to say the RIAA dropped its suit for lack of evidence. He says the user name Gotenkito may have been inspired by Kylee, since she admitted she liked Dragon Ball Z, a Japanese anime TV series that has a character with a similar name. He also says Andersen said in her deposition that she knew or listened to some of the country and rock artists whose songs were offered for download. "We took the high road," says Gabriel. "The judge inferred that we dropped the case because we didn't have enough evidence; we could have pursued the case until the end of time.""

Unbelievable. Note to Mr. Gabriel - your nose is getting VERY long.

Alter_Fritz said...

I know this is considered bad journalistic work if you quote someone in a way that it might change the meaning of what he said originally, but non the less me thinks its more like THIS way what he wanted to say!

[B]ecause we didn't have enough evidence; we could have pursued the case until the end of time.

there you have it! the modus operandi that they are using in the Lindor case right now! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Some interesting comments posted at Business Week regarding the article. Seems like mainstream American business is not impressed with Mr. Gabriel and can spot BS a mile away.

As the saying goes, sometimes the best thing a lawyer can do is keep his/her mouth shut outside the courtroom.

(Except for Ray - he's walking the line quite well.)

Rick Boatright said...

Ray, I note in the p2pnet coverage a comment that the court set aside the THIRD amended complaint and requested a FOURTH.

Any more information on what's going on with that?