Florida Woman Countersues RIAA for trespass, conspiracy, extortion, etc.
Florida resident Suzy Del Cid, who has been sued by the RIAA for infringement, has countersued the RIAA for computer trespass, conspiracy, extortion, and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
"Tthese record companies hired unlicensed private investigators—in violation of various state laws—who receive a bounty to invade private computers and private computer networks to obtain information—in the form of Internet Protocol ('IP') addresses—allowing them to identify the computers and computer networks that they invaded.," in part reads her complaint, " which is being heard this week in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.
The complaint also details how the RIAA's Settlement Support Center contacts those singled out by the RIAA after John Doe lawsuits are filed to learn the identity of those using an IP address allegedly engaged in file sharing.
In her counterclaim, Del Cid says that the Settlement Support Center takes "no account of the merits" of a particular claim, instead relying on the "inherent inequality of resources and litigation power" between the record companies and defendants. It's almost the exact same argument Andersen made in 2005, when she said that "record companies have repeated these unlawful and deceptive actions with many other victims throughout the United States."
In this case, Del Cid accuses the plaintiffs of computer trespass, fraud, and abuse, saying that they "intruded into Del Cid's personal computer to obtain information."
Although not directly commenting on Del Cid's chances for victory over the RIAA, Ars Technica's Eric Bangeman opines:
"Del Cid does appear to break new ground with a couple of her counterclaims. She alleges that the RIAA used private investigators unlicensed by the state of Florida (where she lives) to track her online activities in violation of Florida law. Del Cid also accuses the RIAA of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by 'knowingly collecting an unlawful consumer debt,' referring to the Settlement Support Center's attempts to settle the case before the lawsuit was filed. "
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