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AOL & KaZaa Could be Added to RIAA v. Santangelo Lawsuit

The RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) has filed an estimated 20,000 lawsuits in the last 3 years against people (many of them unnamed “John Does”) for downloading music on P2P networks. One such lawsuit was filed against siblings Michelle and Robert Santangelo who have filed a motion to add AOL and Sharman Networks/KaZaa as third party defendants.


In this legal strategy, the Santangelos are demanding approximately $3.9 million each from AOL & Sharman. Their claim is that AOL did not take any actions to block file sharing and did not warn Michelle and Robert about consequences. The revised Complaint also blames KaZaa for designing software which automatically shares downloaded files. It also alleges that both AOL and Sharman failed to pass on RIAA warnings related to the legality and consequences of file sharing.

If the Santangelos are successful other P2P defendants in RIAA suits would likely sue their internet service and file sharing network providers for damages. Further, it could lead to file sharing software providers and ISP’s changing how they handle file downloading and uploading on the internet.

The strategy of adding other parties (especially larger companies with deeper pockets) to business lawsuits has been around a long time. It requires a special set of conditions…

to be successful and knowing if this is the best strategy for a lawsuit only comes from years of experience as a trial attorney. There are many strategies to be explored in a lawsuit regardless of which side you are on, and many questions to ask before hiring an attorney.

If you would like to discuss possible legal strategies related to your business problem, feel free to contact me personally at 818-461-8500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              818-461-8500      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.

Richard Oppenheim