Oklahoma mother, Debbie Foster, was accused by the RIAA of illegally downloading downloading music over Kazaa back in November 2004. The RIAA said that it would leave the single mother alone if she paid $5,000.
However, Foster didn't have $5,000 and more to the point, she had not downloaded any music. In fact she didn't own a computer or know how to use one. Her name was on the broadband bill.
After finding a lawyer to represent her, Foster managed to get the case to court where the RIAA tried to cut its losses and withdraw. However, that would have meant that Foster would have to pay her legal costs and so she tried to get the court to rule that the RIAA case should be dismissed 'with prejudice' which meant that she could get the Recording Industry to pay her legal bills.
The RIAA opposed the motion because it makes it more costly to back out of cases where there is a shortage of evidence to get to court. So far the RIAA has taken dead people and grandmothers to court on the basis of its technical evidence. If a few more fought back, its attempts to lean on people to settle out of court before a trail might prove a bit costly.
You can read details of the case here. µ
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