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RIAA sues woman that has no computer.


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Download Suit Defense: ‘No PC’

Music industry association charges woman with downloading files illegally, even though she doesn’t use a computer.

February 3, 2006

A home health aide in Brooklyn, New York, has been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally downloading music files, even though the woman claims she has never used a computer, or even turned one on.

Attorneys for Marie Lindor with the New York City-based firm Beldock Levine & Hoffman sent a letter Thursday to Judge David G. Trager of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York asking for a summary judgment dismissing the RIAA’s complaint, along with attorney fees.

“Ms. Lindor is a home health aide who not only never ‘downloaded, distributed, or made available for distribution’ any files, but has never purchased, used, or even turned on a computer in her life,” wrote Morlan Ty Rogers, an attorney with the firm.

The RIAA has been stepping up its efforts to crack down on illegal downloading of copyrighted music files, although it has attracted considerable controversy from people who have criticized the industry’s heavy-handed tactics against music fans (see RIAA Files More Lawsuits).

Despite claims that the RIAA often goes after innocent computer users, the criticism has not deterred the music industry. On Tuesday, the RIAA filed copyright infringement lawsuits against another 750 individuals.

Ms. Lindor’s attorneys and relatives insist she is innocent.

Ray Beckerman, an attorney with Beldock Levine & Hoffman, said his firm has requested a pre-motion conference with the judge so he can make a summary judgment to dismiss the case.

“She personally has never used a computer in her life,” he said. “She paid for the Internet access in her apartment, which the last I heard, is not a copyright infringement.”

He added that a computer had been in Ms. Lindor’s apartment previously, but “not at the time they allege. There was Internet access at some time and a wireless router, but on the date they say there was a shared file folder, there was no computer there.”

Wireless Mystery

Mr. Beckerman admitted that someone outside the apartment may have been using the open wireless Internet connection to download the music files.

“It’s very possible,” he said. “There was an insecure wireless router hooked up. It’s all mysterious because the name that was allegedly used did have Lindor in it. It was ‘JR Lindor.’ I don’t know what that name is. According to the family, nobody at that time period would have had access to a computer.”

Ms. Lindor’s son, Woody Raymond, is also puzzled because he had taken the tower-style computer away to his apartment to be repaired when the infringement is supposed to have occurred.

“At the time my mother didn’t want people in the house,” he said. “The computer wasn’t working. I left the wireless router because everything was connected, but there was no computer attached and no laptop at the house.”

Mr. Raymond said he has repeatedly explained the situation to the RIAA’s attorneys, but they have continued to insist that his mother pay $4,500 for the music files they claim she downloaded. He said he didn’t download the files either, and he had even tried to cancel the DSL account.

“Nobody in my house ever used that account,” he said. “I told them we don’t have the same last name. Lindor is my mother’s last name, and we took our father’s last name, but the lawyer didn’t care.”

He was contacted by lawyers from Shook Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, Missouri, a firm that has been representing the record industry in its lawsuits. However, the RIAA has reportedly changed its representation to another firm, Holme Roberts & Owen, based in Denver.

The RIAA, Shook Hardy & Bacon, and Holme Roberts & Owen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Raymond has been frustrated by the intransigence of the lawyers and the RIAA, which has not even offered to lower its $4,500 demand.

“Everything we told them, they don’t care,” he said. “They are harassing me. I answered their questions, and they’re asking me the same questions over and over and over. It doesn’t seem like they’re interested in getting this resolved, only in dragging their feet.”


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this does not suprise me one little bit

please make sure your grandparents are not paying for internet access when they dont have a computer or working computer ^_^

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