RIAA's Case Against Mother Faltering

A U.S. District Court Judge has denied the RIAA's effort to walk away quietly from its case against New York resident Patricia Santangelo, saying she had the right to have her legal status resolved "one way or the other."

In a judgment filed on Monday and obtained by BetaNews, Judge Colleen McMahon ruled that RIAA will either have to proceed to trial or motion to dismiss the case with prejudice. Either way will result in an unfavorable situation for the group.

If the case goes to court, it is likely that Santangelo's defense will prevail in proving that she was not guilty of copyright infringement. Equally embarrassing for the plaintiff would be a dismissal with prejudice, which would essentially be a ruling in the mother of five's favor.


Dismissals with prejudice make the plaintiffs responsible for court costs as it is essentially an admission that there is no case against the defendant. It will also likely impact RIAA's case against her kids Michelle and Robert, which it sued in November.

"This case is two years old," McMahon wrote. "There has been extensive fact discovery. After taking this discovery, either plaintiffs want to make their case that Mrs. Santangelo is guilty of contributory copyright or they do not."

The one-page judgment seems to take on almost a scolding tone against the RIAA, indicating the judge's patience may be wearing thin. She also dismissed the assertions that Santangelo may be lying to the court about her computer knowledge.

"I would be shocked if she had NOT become a bit more sophisticated and computer literate over the last 24 months," she chided.

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