June 25, 2007

I Hope She Wins Big Time!

In August of 2005 Tanya Andersen's life was turned upside down by the RIAA.

1.2 On August 26, 2005, while Tanya Andersen and her 8 year-old daughter were sitting down to dinner a legal process server knocked on her door. When she answered the door, she was served with a lawsuit filed by RIAA-controlled music distribution companies in a federal court. Ms. Andersen was shocked, afraid, and very distressed. The lawsuit falsely claimed that she owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to these companies as penalties for copyright infringement. Ms. Andersen knew that she was completely innocent of the charges against her. She answered the false claims and asserted counterclaims seeking damages. During discovery, Ms. Andersen learned that the lawsuit filed against her was based solely upon an illegal, flawed and negligent investigation. Almost two years later, on the even of summary judgment, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice. Ms. Andersen's counterclaims continue in that case. Those counterclaims are restated here as direct claims. New claims are also set forth here against the former plaintiffs in that action and against new additional parties....

Just like Nifong (the hanging DA of the Duke rape case) - it didn't matter that she had proof of innocence. They had decided she was "guilty" and they wanted her to pony up their shakedown money. Can you hear it?... "Proof? We don't need no stinkin' proof!"

Now she has turned around and is suing them!

As I only have the Acrobat Reader - I'm not going to copy and paste the exact wording of what was done to this woman, let me paraphrase just one of the actions:

The RIAA had an email address they claimed belonged to her. Ms. Andersen googled (amazing what you can find if you look), she FOUND the person who was actually sharing the music and gave the information to the RIAA - they didn't want it, they weren't the least bit interested in who was really doing the illegal downloading. (see page 11 of the PDF file) All they wanted was the cash and they weren't going away until she forked over the dough so they could "look" like they won.

The RIAA also tried to tried to force Ms. Andersen's 10 year old daughter Kylee to give a deposition. This part I will quote directly from the PDF file (page 13) because it is so incredibly outrageously disturbing.

5.43 Knowing of her distress, the RIAA and its agents even attempted to directly contact Kylee. They called Ms. Andersen's apartment building looking for Kylee. Phone calls were also made to her former elementary school under false pretenses. The voice of the woman on the phone claimed to be Kylee's grandma inquiring as to her attendance.

Read the rest at the link above.

This is your record industry - harassing a 10 year old child to coerce her mother into paying out cash. If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should. Who are these people that they can circumvent all forms of due process, ignore laws, invade privacy and in general stomp all over private citizens? Who gave them this power? Why are they allowed to operate on a level denied to the police (who are ostensibly trying to keep us safe from violent criminals) all to supposedly stop "copyright infringement"?

In this case one must say "supposedly" because they don't seem to be interested in stopping any real culprits, only extorting money.

I want these people prosecuted. I want them in jail. I want them to be on the losing end of this - big time. These are the actions of criminals. If the law is allowing this for simple copying of music - what comes next?

Hat Tip Slashdot and Groklaw

Posted by: Teresa in Law at 06:37 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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October 25, 2006

Know Your Computers?

Looking for a job? How about the FBI?

Cyber Crime High On FBI Priority List, Help Wanted

These are the requirements...

Mershon said that the FBI requires people to be 23 years old, have a Bachelor's degree and demonstrated work experience "except if they have cyber-skills."...

...A cyber agent who asked not to be named said that people with IT skills still have to pass background checks and fitness requirements.

"If you're not a pothead and you can run, and you have a left foot and a right foot and you can pass the interviews, you can do it," he said

Hmmm... computers, guns, arresting bad people... sounds like fun to me.

Posted by: Teresa in Law at 11:48 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 05, 2005

He May Be a Wanker, But...

Eugene Volokh (with a little help from Jim Lindgren) has a series of posts about Ward Churchill - wanker extraordinaire - and freedom of speech. The link takes you to a page with all the related posts (pretty cool!). It's well worth reading - in light of the controversy over Mr. Churchill's reprehensible comments about 9/11. I've heard some pretty angry people calling for his hide. I can't say that I blame them, but Eugene's cautions about First Amendment rights are spot on! After reading his well reasoned argument, I no longer want to fire Churchill for his remarks - I think people should take a different approach...

The fact that the University of Colorado gave tenure to this moonbat, says all you need to know about the institution. From all I've read about the man, he's got extremely poor academic writing behind him, yet he is not only tenured, but head of the department! The only way to get universities to do a better job when granting tenure, is if people vote with their choices and wallets to attend schools that have a better class of professor. Money always talks... especially to universities. If they start losing the best and brightest of students because they are making poor choices for professors - they'll either change their ways or slide into complete obscurity - which would be a very fitting end to University of Colorado.

Posted by: Teresa in Law at 05:58 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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December 08, 2004

A Rare Opportunity

My head is splitting, but even so, I couldn't pass up a rare chance to comment over at the Volokh Conspiracy. It involves CBS and adversing on blogs. My first reaction was pretty visceral... but then I thought about it a bit more. Anyhow, go read it here. See what you think. Personally, I was trying for coherence - something that often eludes me when migraines strike. (spelling isn't too good either... gotta love the Mozilla spell checker even though I forgot to use it when commenting)

Posted by: Teresa in Law at 01:05 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 18, 2004

Expert Testimony?

Asbestos litigation has been around for a long time. I vaguely remember the start of it way back when, and it continues to go strong and full out even today. Yes, years after asbestos became a dirty word - a killer word. When lawyers saw a way to make a really tidy packet off of those cruel companies. You know, the evil companies that didn't care about people as long as they made a buck??? Well, the litigation is still going strong... or it was.

Bankruptcy Judge Puts Brakes on Asbestos Claims

Law, not being my specialty, what I make of this quickly is that the Johns-Manville company was the first to collapse under asbestos litigation. A trust was set up to pay out claims, but the people (or maybe we should say - their lawyers) decided that the settlement wasn't enough - they wanted to go after the Traveler's Insurance company (the insurance company for Johns-Manville) to get more money. The judge just said "no" to that.

The government has even stepped into this one, trying to get the litigation under some sort of control.

Republican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Bill Frist of Tennessee have spearheaded an effort to create a compensation fund that would end asbestos litigation. Democrats blocked their proposed $124 billion fund as inadequate.

You get that? $124 Billion is INADEQUATE! It makes you wonder, just how many people are making asbestos claims? Well, the following article gives us a fuzzy idea of the numbers we're dealing with.

Review of Asbestos X-Rays Gives a Different Picture

Chest X-rays are at the heart of thousands of asbestos lawsuits. Individuals who claim occupational injury from asbestos must show a certain degree of exposure on chest X-rays to get compensation.

At the very least there seem to be a goodly number of people filing suit. Even if you take the word "thousands" to mean 1000 exactly - that's still a huge number of lawsuits.

But the biggest news to come out of all this

The study, to be published today in the scientific journal Academic Radiology, states that six radiologists and pulmonologists who reinterpreted chest X-rays initially screened by plaintiff lawyers' readers "failed to confirm the conclusions in the majority of the cases."

The study's consultants reread each of 492 reports and found possible exposure to asbestos on a significant level in only 4.5% of the cases. The plaintiffs' physicians found that 95.9% of the chest X-rays were positive for parenchymal abnormalities, a sign of asbestos exposure.

Come again? Oh yes, you read it right. 4.5% to 95.9% ....

Big, evil, money grubbing, non-caring companies? Uh - sure, right, whatever you say...

Posted by: Teresa in Law at 04:03 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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