riaalogo.JPGIn news that will be welcomed by many, the RIAA has suffered a setback in it’s pursuit of individuals that nay or may not be involved in file sharing. The decision has the potential to be devastating for the RIAA, which until now has used its financial muscle to build a string of victories over ordinary citizens in courts.

The RIAA tactic has been to make the legal process so expensive that individuals become compelled to settle out of court. The strategy is that people become very nervous of downloading anything for fear of being named in a law suit.

Tanya Anderson was one such person that became entangled in the RIAA’s legal tactics, but she fought back, and took the fight to its furthest point, thereby making it public knowledge that she emerged victorious. More often than not, cases settled out of court carry specific stipulations regarding any disclosure. This ensures that, for the most part, and RIAA loss will not make headlines.

The Atlantic vs. Andersen case was dismissed without prejudice. Not only is Andersen, a disabled mother, the victor, but she may also now seek to recover her attorney’s fees.

In the case, Andersen was accused of sharing “Gangsta Rap” files using a service called Kazaa P2P client. Andesen denied using the network, and went so far as to file a counter suit . In her own suit she accused the record label of racketeering, fraud, and deceptive business practices. This is a move that more and more people are beginning to make, and could turn the tide in the wave of law suits brought by the RIAA.

As things stand now, the case against Andersen is now off the table, but Andersen can still seek attorney’s fees as well as keep her own case moving forward. Now, without the original suit hanging over her head, she can move forward.

In a related aspect, the RIAA currently has a suit against XM satellite radio regarding the capabilities of the Inno and Helix devices. The RIAA is also in arbitration with both Sirius and XM regarding royalty payments going forward. The RIAA is seeking 10% of subscriber revenue, while Sirius and XM are offering about 1%.

Position - Long Sirius, Long XM