Read this New York Times article for the facts of the case. In essence, the RIAA accused Michelle and Robert Santangelo, who were aged 20 and 16 at the time and are the children of Patricia Santangelo, of illegally downloading about 1,000 songs, including "MMMBop" and "Beat It." After four years of litigation (originally against the mother, subsequently against her kids), the RIAA and the Santangelo family have reached a settlement in which the Santangelo family will pay dearly.
To the tune of $7,000.
Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the R.I.A.A. [was asked] how much had been spent to win the $7,000 settlement, and whether it was a victory, she said, “We don’t break out costs per case, and it’s not a question of it being ‘worth it’ or a ‘victory.’ ”
She said the lawsuit had succeeded in showing that breaking the law has consequences and in steering music fans toward legal online services “that fairly compensate musicians and labels.”
Of course, some musicians may wonder whether they're being fairly compensated. Perhaps Ms. Duckworth can detail how much of the $7,000 will go to the artists and songwriters. It should be illuminating.
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