The NSA is spying on you. We all know that ... now.
For Hollywood musicland, that's old hat.
Apparently, the Recording Industry Association of America is spying on you ... and your children ... and has no qualms about going after them to get to you.
The Big Four record labels are escalating their attack on Patti Santangelo, the New York mother who's so far the only person to stand up to them.
And they'll be using her children as weapons against her.
On Tuesday judge Mark D. Fox presided over a discovery hearing in Elektra v Santangelo and, "Elektra's attorneys have answered Patti's objections to their discovery questions," her lawyer, Jordan Glass, told p2pnet.
"They've started to push back aggressively. They're going after her children - and this time not directly so they can get around certain protections the children have. They had information about the children that wasn't public, or wasn't supposed to be public, and it's of great concern not only that that they were able to obtain it, but also that they wanted it.
"They're not treating this as a single case or as seeking a verdict for $3,500.00. They're treating this as a symbol for how the other cases will go and I hope everyone who reads this will recognize the serious impact this case could have on their children."Oh, and lest we forget: All this is tax-deductible ... for the mega studios. For Mrs. Santangelo, defending herself has to come out of her after-tax income.
"This case is jeopardizing the actual well-being of children and you're going to see problems develop which will be far worse than the mere 'shakedown for money' ['settlements']," says Glass emphatically.
"As just one example, it was deeply unsettling for us to learn just how much personal, non-public information the RIAA had collected on Patti's children.
"All parents should be concerned and I think people have to know the implications.
"It's one thing to sue children directly. They get a lawyer, rules are established, the court might offer certain protections, etc, but when it's done through a back door - suing a parent to get information about a child - the child has no protections, especially when the plaintiff doesn't even have the decency to not publish personal information about the child.
"This, then, is going to become the new feeding ground for those who seek to exploit children, whether through improper contact or identity theft.
"This new class of child - scared and facing the federal legal system, with few protections and their personal contact and identification information, as well as their posted feelings, fears, desires and thoughts - is now exposed to the world for all to see.
"And exploit."Of course, as we learned from Ronald Reagan, mothers of children are to be distrusted and condemned, while multinational corporations are to be praised for ... their family values? Oh, that's right: Their political campaign donations. So don't expect any help from our elected officials.
Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing notes some background:
The recording industry has escalated its attacks on a soccer mom whose PC may have been used to share music files by attacking her children. Westchester County's Patti Santangelo bought a PC for her kids that the RIAA claims was used to share copyrighted music, but Patti never used her PC for this, and there's no evidence that the files ever resided on her computer. Since she's innocent, Patti's refused to pay the labels' shakedown demand of $3500, making her the first RIAA victim to stand up for her rights.The Sunday Question: How many PACs does it take for a multinational corporate empire to have more rights than human beings?