Monday, April 18, 2005

The RIAA's New Comcast Fundraiser

Here's an absolutely frightening bit of information for you, if you're a Comcast user. If you've been downloading a lot of things from the web, you could be in danger of having your credit destroyed. At least that's what's apparently happening to one Seattle woman.

Rueters is running an article involving a Seattle woman who is suing Comcast for turning over her name and contact information, in violation of Comcast's privacy policies, to the RIAA. No court order was given. Comcast wasn't required to do anything. They simply buckled to the RIAA's demands.

What's even more vile is that instead of suing her in open court, they've handed her over to a collections agency demanding that she remit $4,500 for downloading music files over the internet, or face a lawsuit to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Is this a new fundraising technique for the RIAA, or something? Let's use intimidation tactics to blackmail people into giving us money? What did they do? Take a lesson from the Mafia in how to collect "protection money?"

Maybe it's their failure in open court to get the information that has led the RIAA to start doing this. They've already lost three suits (the original and two appeals) to force ISPs to hand over names back in January. No court order was given in this case either, so what does Comcast have to gain from it? Nothing that's been revealed so far.

Maybe what's happening here is that the RIAA is trying to take the law into their own hands, become the new vigilantes of copyright protection. It's the Despicable Duo! RIAA-man and Comcast boy! Saving the day for overpaid recording label executives!

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