Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New York teen sues record industry

'Pirate' boy bites back

Illustration By Dustin Ingalls

By Nick Farrell: Wednesday 31 January 2007, 16:15

A New York teen, dubbed a pirate by the Record Industry, is counter suing them for defamation, violating anti-trust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats.

In papers responding to a lawsuit filed by five record companies, Robert Santangelo, who was 11 when he is supposed to have downloaded music, has come out fighting. He denies sharing music using P2P technology and says it's impossible for the record companies to prove that that he did.

Robert Santangelo and his lawyer, Jordan Glass, have raised 32 defences against the music industry's charges. Amongst Robert's defence is the information that all the music that it was claimed he downloaded he already owned on shop bought CDs.

They have demanded a jury trial and filing a counterclaim against the companies for allegedly damaging the boy's reputation, distracting him from school and costing him legal fees. The record companies have engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United States, the court documents say. Competitors in the recording industry are a cartel acting together in violation of the antitrust laws by bringing the piracy cases jointly and using the same agency "to make extortionate threats ... to force defendants to pay", our precocious teen wrote.

Santangelo's mum, Patti Santangelo, is 42-year-old suburban mother of five who also refused to pay up when the music industry accused her of being a pirate. After the case started to get messy, particularly when it became clear that Patti didn't know how to turn a computer on, let alone file share, the music lawyers dropped its case against her.