Five record companies are suing the children of a New Jersey soccer mom who refused to pay them blood money when she was accused of downloading music. Patti Santangelo is a "computer illiterate parent" whom the record companies accused of downloading infringing music and from whom they demanded $7500. Santangelo had never downloaded anything, so she refused. The record companies sued her. She defended herself.
Now Warner Music, EMI, Sony BMG and Vivendi Universal are suing her children, alleging that they are the infringers. It's apparently a publicity stunt, as the record companies leaked the news of the suit before they served the children with papers.
It said Michelle Santangelo, 20, has acknowledged downloading songs on the family computer and that her brother, Robert, 16, had been implicated in statements his best friend made. It accuses the two of downloading and distributing over 1,000 songs, including "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by the Offspring, "MMMBop" by Hanson and "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.
"In short, each of the defendants participated in the substantial violations of plaintiffs' copyrights at issue and then concealed their involvement, standing idly by as Patricia Santangelo repeatedly protested their innocence and chastised plaintiffs for filing allegedly frivolous litigation," the complaint said.
The Santangelos' lawyer, Jordan Glass, disputed the recording industry's allegations and said he was at Michelle Santangelo's deposition and does not recall her "admitting or acknowledging downloading."
Interview with mom who won't pay off the RIAA shakedown
RIAA using kids' private info to attack their mother
Judge to RIAA: Keep your "conference center" out of my court
Anti-RIAA lawyer: no limit on how many people we can defend
Online fundraiser for mom being sued by the RIAA
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