By Mark O’Neill
I think I have just found my new hero. A 45 year-old single mother accused of stealing music on the internet (subsequently sued by the RIAA and vindicated) has now decided to turn the tables against her former accusers—by suing THEM for $5 million, citing conspiracy and illegal investigative practices.
Tanya Andersen alleges the way the RIAA goes pursuing people is illegal, that the way they pressure and threaten people to pay huge out-of-court settlements without first having to prove any wrongdoing is also illegal and investigative companies hired by record companies routinely violate people’s privacy by snooping through computers and private files without legal permission. Andersen herself alleges that she was threatened with “financial ruin” unless she immediately paid $5000.
The RIAA (of course) says that Andersen’s claims are false, that all they are doing is aggressively taking steps to protect their intellectual property. So who cares if a few innocent victims get caught in the crossfire, right? They’ve got all those billions of dollars to protect.