Former RIAA defendant wants payback

Beaverton (OR) – Former RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen is now suing the major record labels and the RIAA for negligent and illegal investigation and prosecution. In a thirteen count civil suit filed in Oregon District Court, she alleges that record labels didn’t use properly licensed investigators and violated her privacy.

You may remember Andersen as the single mother who was accused of illegally downloaded music through peer to peer networks. After a two-year legal battle, she forced the RIAA to dismiss the case with prejudice. Now, with the help of the attorneys at Lybeck and Murphy, Andersen is turning this into a classic case of "hunter becoming the hunted" by suing for direct and punitive damages.

In addition to suing the RIAA, Andersen is targeting Atlantic Recording, Priority Records, Capital Records, UMG Recordings and BMG Music. She is also naming Media Sentry and RIAA’s Settlement Support Center as defendants. Andersen’s lawyers are hitting the defendants with the full power of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and federal and state RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Act), something that is often used against mafia and street gang members.

Andersen claims the defendants used a scheme of “threatening and intimidating” tactics to force alleged downloaders to pay thousands of dollars in settlement fees. The victims often cannot mount an effective defense because they are only given a “short” 10-day time period to answer, according to Andersen.

The lawsuit also claims that most of those targeted by the RIAA are probably innocent because Media Sentry, the company that tracks the downloaders, doesn’t fully investigate the matter. Andersen also says the company is acting like a private investigator, something that Media Sentry isn’t licensed for in the state of Oregon.
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