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Mom fights RIAA's piracy charges

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec 29, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A White Plains, N.Y., mother of five who doesn't know Kazaa from a kazoo, is fighting federal charges filed against her for music piracy.

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed 16,000 lawsuits against individuals accused of downloading copyrighted material through peer-to-peer networks. Nearly all cases have been settled for few thousand dollars and a signed pledge from the accused to get their music from legal channels, Pollstar reports.

But Patricia Santangelo, described as "an Internet illiterate parent," said she refused the RIAA's settlement offer on moral grounds.

"I can't sign something that says I agree to stop doing something I never did," she said.

She has spent $24,000 fighting the RIAA in federal court so far, and recently had to dismiss her lawyer and go it alone.

Judge Colleen McMahon said the key issue to be decided in the trial next year is whether "an Internet-illiterate parent" can be held liable for her children's downloads.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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