What a great story! It starts with our good friends the RIAA (Recording Industry of America Association) going after a suspected music pirate Patti Santangelo. Of the thousands of piracy suits filed by the RIAA very few people have stood up to their heavy handed, almost bordering on thugery tactics. Patti did stand up, and Patti, now $24,000 in the hole for legal fee’s did win.

The RIAA being very poor losers decided that they would have a second bite at the Santangelo family and started a suit against Patti’s two children. Robert Santangelo was 11 when this alleged music piracy too place.

My guess is that the Santangelo family has had about as much as they can take of being bullied by the music mafia, and have decided to fight back.

Robert Santangelo now aged 16 has filed suit against the RIAA. The suit filed last Tuesday accuses the organization of violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats.

The RIAA is downplaying the importance of the suit, huffing, puffing and blustering, they say that all of these charges are old hat, and have been adequately addressed in other previous cases.

In reality that is not true. This lawsuit has a great deal of potential in it to bring down the house of cards. To date the RIAA has managed to avoid lifting its skirts, and revealing exact method they use to find illegal music downloaders. It is well known that much of the work involves the use of Media Sentry software.

What is not clear is how accurate Media Sentry data is. This lawsuit if proven will put the RIAA in a whole lot of hurt. If successful it could even result in criminal charges, and even if it is not successful it could reveal a great deal of information that will be embarrassing to the RIAA.

Understanding the process that Media Sentry uses will almost certainly lead to new Peer To Peer (P2P) technology to defeat their snooping.

This is a story that I will be watching with interest.

Simon Barrett


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