RIAA sues 12 year-old

— 12:46 PM on September 9, 2003

In what will no doubt reinforce the RIAA's image as The Bad Guy, the recording industry group has named a 12 year-old girl as one of those being sued for sharing songs illegally over the Internet. The RIAA apparently doesn't have access to personal details of those it's filing suit against, so they had no way of knowing that Brianna Torres is only 12 years old.

Critics of the RIAA will no doubt jump all over this story as an example of the group's bullying tactics, but for me the story is more of a poignant example of how clueless the public can be when it comes to the illegality of peer-to-peer music sharing. This comment from the 12 year-old girl's mother sums it up nicely:

"It's not like we were doing anything illegal," said Torres. "This is a 12-year-old girl, for crying out loud."
Apparently, the mother thought that paying for Kazaa's software gave them the right to download and share songs with impunity. The mother isn't alone in her ignorance, which highlights the uphill battle facing the RIAA. Unfortunately, it looks like the RIAA has given up on educating the public and is now intent on suing them.
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