May 27, 2004

Bring Back Debtor’s Prisons!?! [8:33 am]

Single mom overwhelmed by recording industry suit [via TechDirt]

Tammy Lafky has a computer at home but said she doesn’t use it. “I don’t know how,” the 41-year-old woman said, somewhat sheepishly.

But her 15-year-old daughter, Cassandra, does. And what Cassandra may have done, like millions of other teenagers and adults around the world, landed Lafky in legal hot water this week that could cost her thousands of dollars.

[...] The lawsuit has stunned Lafky, who earns $12 an hour and faces penalties that top $500,000. She says she can’t even afford an offer by the record companies to settle the case for $4,000.

[...] A record company attorney from Los Angeles contacted Lafky about a week ago, telling Lafky she could owe up to $540,000, but the companies would settle for $4,000.

“I told her I don’t have the money,” Lafky said. “She told me to go talk to a lawyer and I told her I don’t have no money to talk to a lawyer.”

[...] Pierre-Louis said the RIAA isn’t afraid of a consumer backlash. “We’re facing a daunting challenge and we have to face it head-on,” he said.

Tammy Lafky is facing her own challenge. She said she doesn’t know what she’ll do. “I told her,” she said, referring to the record company lawyer, “if I had the money I would give it to you, but I don’t have it.”

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