Disabled single mother Tanya Andersen is going to be a folk hero. She took on the might of the RIAA, challenging them to prove she’d pirated music – and won. Now the RIAA has to pay a whopping $107,951 in legal fees, and she’s filed suit against them.
It all began four years ago when the RIAA accused Andersen and her eight-year-old daughter of illegally downloading gangsta rap. Andersen claimed her innocence, even offering to let the RIAA inspect her computer, but they refused, threatening her with prosecution unless she handed over several thousand dollars.
Then Andersen made a stand. After being served court papers, she hired attorney Lory Lybeck, who said:
"I said to myself, either she’s a good actor and a good liar, or what they have done to her is really crummy."
Andersen’s PC was analyzed by the RIAA’s legal team, who refused to release the report until ordered to do so by the court. It showed no evidence of piracy. The judge then gave the RIAA until the start of last June to provide evidence to prove its case. As the deadline went, the group had produced nothing, dropped the case and said it would take no more action.
It did, however, try to haggle on paying legal costs, offering first $30,000, then $60,000 until they were finally ordered to pay the costs in full.
Now Andersen has filed her own suit. What happens there will be very interesting to see.