New Jersey Mom Countersues RIAA for Racketeering

In what legal experts described as a novel strategy,
Michele Scimeca is citing federal racketeering laws like the one that
jailed mob boss John Gotti to countersue record labels that accused her
in December
of sharing some 1,400 copyrighted songs over the Internet.

The Rockaway Township woman, who claims she was targeted for her teenager’s school
research project, is among hundreds of individuals sued by the music industry
since last summer. Another 531 computer users were sued yesterday in "John
Doe" suits filed in Trenton, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Orlando.

Labels are using "scare tactics (that) amount to extortion" in efforts
to extract settlements, Scimeca alleges in legal papers sent to the U.S. District
Court in Newark.

"They’re banding together to extort money, telling people they’re guilty
and they will have to pay big bucks to defend their cases if they don’t pony
up now. It is fundamentally not fair," Scimeca’s lawyer, Bart Lombardo,
said yesterday. The Cranford attorney said he occasionally downloads songs for
personal use and sees nothing wrong with that.

from the New Jersey Star-Ledger

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