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Record Companies Sues Parent and Her Kids
Business Law Info | 2006/11/02 18:30

Five record companies, represented by the Recording Industry Association of America, filed a lawsuit in federal court in White Plains on Wednesday against Patricia Santangelo's son and daughter, accusing them of pirating songs over the Internet.

The lawsuit accuses Michelle Santangelo, 20, and brother Robert, 16 of downloading and distributing over 1,000 songs, including "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" by the Offspring, "MMMBop" by Hanson and "Beat It" by Michael Jackson, and that Michelle acknowledged downloading songs on the family computer.

The complaint read, "In short, each of the defendants participated in the substantial violations of plaintiffs' copyrights at issue and then concealed their involvement, standing idly by as Patricia Santangelo repeatedly protested their innocence and chastised plaintiffs for filing allegedly frivolous litigation."

Jordan Glass, attorney for the Santangelos, disputed the recording industry's allegations and said he was at Michelle Santangelo's deposition and does not recall her "admitting or acknowledging downloading."

Called "an Internet illiterate parent," by a federal judge last year, Paricia Santangelo came to the forefront of attention by her denial of downloading songs and her adamant refusal to settle with the recording industry, for $7,500 to keep her name out of the lawsuit.

Defenders of Internet freedom helped pay for Santangelo's attorney. Patricia Santangelo stated her personal innocence but of her children she said she had no knowledge of them downloading and, if they did, to blame the computer programs.

The industry is requesting unspecified damages for each download, an injunction, and court costs.

The record companies have forced most file-sharing computer networks , and has sued thousands of individuals, including minors, for allegedly music pirating.



Angelina Jolie May Sue Ex-Partner Over Funds
Business Law Info | 2006/11/01 18:49

A lawsuit may be filed on behalf of Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress, against the head of a Cambodian aid group she alleges misappropriated her donations.

Trevor Neilson, who is the philanthropic and political advisor for Jolie and partner Brad Pitt, told The Associated Press in New York Monday, "We are considering filing a lawsuit to recover the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is missing and which he was responsible for,"

Neilson was referring to Mounh Sarath, director of Cambodian Vision in Development, to whom Jolie once gave funds for conservation and community development work in Cambodia.

Neilson denied the actress had broken any agreement with Mounh Sarath, in response to Mounh Sarath's allegations that Joile had reneged on an agreement by stopping funds for his group, "We have specific evidence (of) him having taken the money, and we are considering whether to file a lawsuit or press charges against him in Cambodia," Neilson said.

Jolie has set up an independent Cambodian organization to administer a conservation project for remote northwestern areas of Cambodia, the director of the new group said Monday.

Jolie terminated the contract with Cambodian Vision in Development and the U.S. conservation group WildAid, which had co-managed the project, in December, said Stephan Bognar, executive director of the Maddox Jolie Project. The new group is named for Jolie's 5-year-old son Maddox, who was adopted from Cambodia in 2002.

The 31-year-old actress has promised up to US$1.3 million over five years for the forest conservation program, which was approved by the Cambodia government in 2003. On Tuesday, Mounh Sarath denied the allegations and said "I will fight any lawsuit to find out the truth and to see if they have any documented proof of the money stolen."

Jolie filmed scenes from the 2001 movie, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," at Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple.

Breaking Legal News.com
Sheryl M. Jones
Staff Writer



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