RIAA sues grandmother for downloading Snoop Dogg

New York Times story on the odd tale of 66-year-old sculptor and retired schoolteacher Sarah Ward, who received notice she was being sued by the RIAA (the case has since been dropped, but the RIAA reserves the right to sue again):

Mrs. Ward was deeply confused by the accusations, which have disrupted her gentle life in the suburbs of Boston. She does not trade music, she says, does not have any younger music-loving relatives living with her, and does not use her computer for much more than sending e-mail and checking the tides. Even then, her husband does the typing. "I'm a very much dyslexic person who has not actually engaged using the computer as a tool yet," she explained in her first interview about the case. (…)

In a number of the 261 lawsuits the industry has filed so far, members of the household other than the named defendant might have had access to the machines, she said. But some of those being sued, she added, are contending that their cases are purely ones of mistaken identity.

That is exactly what Mrs. Ward says happened to her. Not only does nobody else use her computer in more than a passing way, the computer, an Apple Macintosh, is not even capable of running the KaZaA file-swapping program. And though the lawsuit against her said that she was heavily into the works of hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Ms. Ward says her musical tastes run to Celtic and folk.

Link to NYT story (registration required) (thanks, SupeMatt!), Link to SFGate story (Thanks, Johnny!)