RIAA sues deceased non-PC owner

The RIAA is getting creative with their anti-P2P litigation. Now, they are suing an 83 year old grandmother who may not be able to attend any of the litigation hearings, being that she’s dead.

Add to that the fact that even while alive, she did not own a computer. No word on whether she got a computer or connected to the internet in the afterworld.

Here’s the AP report:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The recording industry sued Gertrude Walton, accusing her of illegally trading music over the Internet as "smittenedkitten."

But the lawsuit was filed more than a month after the 83-year-old woman died in December, and her daughter says Walton hated computers, anyway.

A group of record companies named Walton as the sole defendant in a federal lawsuit, claiming she made more than 700 songs available for free on the Internet.

Walton’s daughter, Robin Chianumba, lived with her mother for the last 17 years and said her mother objected to having a computer in the house. "My mother wouldn’t know how to turn on a computer," Chianumba said.

She said she faxed a copy of her mother’s death certificate to record company officials several days before the lawsuit was filed, in response to a letter from the company regarding the upcoming legal filing.

"I am pretty sure she is not going to leave Greenwood Memorial Park (where she is buried) to attend the hearing," Chianumba said.

A Recording Industry Association of America spokesman said Thursday that Walton was likely not the smittenedkitten it’s searching for. "Our evidence gathering and our subsequent legal actions all were initiated weeks and even months ago," said RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy. "We will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case."

UPDATE:  February 6, 2005, 10:21am

Apparently, the RIAA is dropping the suit, according to a Betanews (via linkfilter)


Dead Woman, Who Didn’t Have Computer, Sued For Music Trading
Associated Press, 7:47 am EST February 4, 2005


RIAA Sues Deceased Grandmother
Nate Mook
BetaNews, February 4, 2005, 10:50 AM

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