Grandmother sues RIAA over unlicensed investigators

Ms. Crain, a grandmother who thought she escaped the worst with what Hurricane Rita put her through got another nasty surprise when she received a P2P lawsuit.  For one thing, she never heard of file sharing before the suit, so when the RIAA started demanding her to pay a $4,500 settlement, she filed a counterclaim against the RIAA. 

Her claim is that the RIAA has engaged in one or more open acts of unlawful private investigation to further its case.  In her state of Texas, the law requires investigations companies to be licensed in order to collect evidence for use in a court, but as the RIAA was not using licensed investigative partners, her attorney had filed a motion to amend her counterclaims to add these new allegations against the RIAA and its investigative partners.  According to the motion, the RIAA and its investigations partner MediaSentry agreed and understood that unlicensed and unlawful investigations would take place to produce evidence for this lawsuit, along with others as part of a mass litigation campaign, thus constituting civil conspiracy under Texas law along with her suffering of much undue distress over it.

If Ms. Crain succeeds with her case, it would seriously harm the evidence MediaSentry has been collected in Texas and other states where a similar law exists on requiring investigative partners to be licensed. 

With the large number of lawsuits the RIAA is constantly filing, at least they are finally getting to feel like what it is like having lawsuits bite back at them.  At the rate the RIAA is going, people will mainly see it as an organisation that deals with suing people rather than as an organisation that deals with music.  The first page of Google results (apart from the Wiki result) on a look-up of ‘RIAA’ even makes it appear that the organisation’s speciality is suing people to fight piracy.

Futher info can be read in this source Ars Technica report.  Thanks to GristyMcFisty for letting us know about this news.