This Week in Piracy: Fighting the Power of the Recording Industry

Robert Santangelo fights the music industry cartel.

Posted by Michael Bordash on Wed Jan 31, 2007

Robert Santangelo, a 16-year old boy charged with music piracy by the music industry, has countersued the industry at large. He is accusing five record companies of violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats. Robert was 11 when the piracy allegedly occurred.

His mother Patti was also brought to court by music labels in 2005. She refused to settle, took her case to the public and forced the industry to drop the case. According to an AP report, Robert Santangelo and his lawyer, Jordan Glass, demand a jury trial and filed a counterclaim against the five record companies accusing them of damaging Robert's reputation, distracting him from school and costing him legal fees.

In his defense, Robert claims that the record companies "have engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United States... ostensibly competitors in the recording industry, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and public policy." They "make extortionate threats ... to force defendants to pay."

In related news, the music industry is threatening the free exchange of data across the internet by attacking internet service providers, claiming they are also at fault for allowing piracy to traverse their networks.

The pirate bay website, the most popular directory of video and music torrents, has raised over $20,000 to acquire the sovereign island 'nation' of Sealand to avoid country-specific legislation of online information exchange. For more information on this event, visit

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