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 the 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 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.