September 30, 2003

Lorraine Sullivan’s Testimony [6:56 pm]

Referenced yesterday: Statement of Lorriane Sullivan. What’s so sad is that the argument presented in her testimony is that "no one told me it was wrong, so I shouldn’t be held accountable" receives such currency. I’m sure she’s had a terrible time, but this testimony only serves the interests of her opponents.

I willingly told him I had gotten rid of Kazaa and all my files as soon as I contacted Time Warner about the letter of subpoena. I asked him why I was being targeted when Kazaa did not have any disclaimer on their website informing me of the logistics of copy right infringement and not only defaulted to sharing files automatically but also was booted up any time my computer was on because I had a cable modem hooked up. He said he could not discuss that with me since the RIAA were considering or already had entered into litigation with Kazaa. I said that I had read reports that I would be held accountable for $150,000 per song in my “shared folder”. He said the charges could range between $750 per song and $150,000. I was pretty emotional by this point and he told me that the goal of the RIAA was “Not to ruin your life and make you bankrupt”. I replied that actually it felt like that. I told him it was pretty stressful to hear the news from reporters on my answering machine. He then explained reporters had gotten my personal information from waiting around at the courthouse and looking up the names on file.

[...] I asked what a settlement consisted of. She asked if I was interested in settling and I said I was interested in knowing how it worked. She told me that would get papers to sign basically admitting to guilt. Then there would be a mutually agreed upon monetary settlement. I asked what the exact number would be. She told me between three and four thousand. She then said I had probably heard about the 12-year-old who had settled for $2,000 and informed me that that particular case had been a “special case” since Brianna’s mother was on public assistance. This particularly upset me because I thought, “Since I worked hard for so many years and waited until my mid-twenties to go to school and am not on public assistance my case is different?” I couldn’t understand that implication that our cases were so different and was even more emotionally upset at this point. I then asked if the settlement had to be paid in one lump sum. Pat said yes, it did and that they had considered accepting it incrementally but with so many cases it wouldn’t be feasible. I cried at this point and told her that all I had was $1500 in my savings account.

[...] The financial punishment and personal stress I’ve suffered seem a heavy price to pay to far what I’ve been accused of. I’ve settled my lawsuit, gained a whole education of what is really at stake here and my main concern now is that this stop happening to other people. It’s not fair to others like me who weren’t duly warned nor had any idea what others were doing on their computers. We need to change this system without creating any new victims. I hope that change starts here.

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