Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Record Companies Sueing Local Man

From WWAY TV 3

Wilmington man sued by record company
Nov 29, 2005, 04:47 PM

A Wilmington man tells us someone using his daughter's screen name downloaded more than 600 songs off the internet. Now he's getting sued by the record companies.
Mark Woessner shares an AOL account with his children, who are off at college. He had no idea his account was being used for illegal downloads.

Pirating music has been going on for years, but the record companies are now fighting back against the people stealing their songs. They've sued more than 15,000 people to date and it's now reaching people in our area.

Mark Woessner says he doesn't even know how to download songs, and he can't believe he's being sued.

"It's been a nightmare trying to get it resolved," Woessner said. "It's been going on for several months, and they don't really care about me; it seems like they just care about getting the money."

They said they damages for the downloading was $460,000, but they said they would settle out of court for $3750.

Representatives for the recording industry say thousands of people have lost their jobs in the music business because of illegal downloading.

They say these lawsuits against individuals have already gone a long way to deter people from pirating music.

But can the record companies really make mark pay? Especially when he says he's not the one who downloaded the music?

Local attorneys say these are uncharted waters.

Many defendants have settled out of court, but none of the cases has yet gone to court.

Attorney Chad Hogston said, "I don't think that there has been a landmark case yet to say that average Joe who is sued by Capitol Records is hereby held liable and has a judgment against him for four or $500,000."

As much as Mark may want to argue his case in court Mr. Hogston recommends Mark settle with the record companies for $3,700 rather than spending thousands more on an attorney, and still run the risk of losing.

You are allowed to download from sites that are authorized by the owners of the copyrighted music like, AOL Music, and Apple's iTunes. There's often a small fee associated with using these sites. But downloading from pirate sites like Kazaa, Grokster, Winmx, and Limewire always puts you on the wrong side of the law.

posted by David at 5:31 AM :: Permalink ::

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