Digital Music

Teen Sues Major Labels For Collusion

16-year-old Robert Santangelo has filed a counter-suit against five record labels and the RIAA for conspiring to defraud the courts and making
extortionate threats. Santangelo,
who was 11 when theLegal_9
alleged piracy occurred, denies having shared music illegally and claims it’s impossible to prove that he did.

His court filings claim that the major labels (who have
filed more than 18,000 anti-piracy lawsuits) "have engaged
in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United
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States."  He alleges that the companies, "ostensibly competitors in the
recording industry, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the
antitrust laws and public policy" by bringing the piracy cases jointly
and using the same agency "to make extortionate threats … to force
defendants to pay."

His personal defense also includes claims that:

  • he never shared copyrighted music
  • major labels originally promoted file
    sharing
  • average computer users were
    never warned that file sharing was illegal
  • the statute of limitations has
    passed
  • that all the music claimed to have been downloaded was owned by his sister on CD’s.
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