Record Companies Sues Parent and Her Kids

Business Law

Five record companies, represented by the Recording Industry Association of America, filed a lawsuit in federal court in White Plains on Wednesday against Patricia Santangelo's son and daughter, accusing them of pirating songs over the Internet.

The lawsuit accuses Michelle Santangelo, 20, and brother Robert, 16 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, and that Michelle acknowledged downloading songs on the family computer.

The complaint read, "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."

Jordan Glass, attorney for the Santangelos, disputed the recording industry's allegations and said he was at Michelle Santangelo's deposition and does not recall her "admitting or acknowledging downloading."

Called "an Internet illiterate parent," by a federal judge last year, Paricia Santangelo came to the forefront of attention by her denial of downloading songs and her adamant refusal to settle with the recording industry, for $7,500 to keep her name out of the lawsuit.

Defenders of Internet freedom helped pay for Santangelo's attorney. Patricia Santangelo stated her personal innocence but of her children she said she had no knowledge of them downloading and, if they did, to blame the computer programs.

The industry is requesting unspecified damages for each download, an injunction, and court costs.

The record companies have forced most file-sharing computer networks , and has sued thousands of individuals, including minors, for allegedly music pirating.

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