Law Offices of Charles Lee Mudd Jr.

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A New Dark Twist to the RIAA’s Litigation Tactics



CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August 10, 2006) – Individuals who have settled with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) beware. The RIAA either has developed a new tactic of harassment or has failed to conduct due diligence in maintaining its records of those individuals with whom it has settled. In short, the RIAA, through its most recent national counsel Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, has begun to issue threatening letters claiming never to have received settlement funds from those who paid the RIAA’s former counsel nearly three years ago.

In July 2006, Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. received two letters from Donald Kelso of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP attempting to collect the debt allegedly owed by two of his former clients. Specifically, the letters claimed that the record companies with whom his clients settled (effectively, the RIAA) had not received settlement payment and threatened to initiate collection proceedings unless the “Record Companies” received what, in effect, would amount to a second settlement payment.

Despite contacting and speaking with Donald Kelso to explain the RIAA’s error, Mr. Mudd received a phone call nearly two weeks later from the RIAA’s settlement information line (identified as PSC Group LLC) demanding to know why compliance had not yet been made with the terms of the settlement agreements. In fact, Mr. Mudd’s efforts to again explain the RIAA’s errors were ignored as the RIAA representative began to notify him of what would happen should his clients fail to comply. In the end, Mr. Mudd instructed the RIAA representative to speak to Donald Kelso and the RIAA’s former counsel to resolve the discrepancies internally as his clients had fully complied with all terms of the settlement agreements.

“Am I surprised by this recent tactic of the RIAA? No. Since 2003, I have instructed my clients to send the settlement agreements and payments to my attention so that I could then send it to the RIAA’s attorneys. I did so to protect my clients from this very circumstance,” said Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. “Evidently, from my observations over the past three years, the RIAA does not care about due diligence. It fails to investigate the individuals whom it has sued prior to imposing extortive settlement demands. It does not care about families’ mitigating circumstances. It fails to recognize when it has sued the wrong individuals. It seeks what constitute unconstitutional statutory damages. And now, it obviously fails to care whether it has received and deposited settlement payments before sending threatening collection notices to individuals who have previously settled with it.”


Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. does not see any end to this type of conduct. “Until the courts consistently require the RIAA to meet pleading and evidentiary standards, and until Congress recognizes that the RIAA’s tactics have harmed and continue to harm hard-working, well-intentioned, law-abiding families, the RIAA’s tactics will continue unabated, including the continuing harassment of those individuals who have, reluctantly and out of necessity, paid it thousands of dollars years ago.”

Charles Lee Mudd, Jr. has represented individuals sued by the RIAA since the beginning of its en masse litigation initiative against alleged file-sharers in the second half of 2003. During the past three years, he has represented more than 80 individuals finding themselves at the mercy of the RIAA’s settlement demands. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR), in Rolling Stone Magazine, and numerous other electronic and print publications throughout the United States. He co-sponsored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) the First Annual P2P Litigation Summit held in Chicago, Illinois in November 2005. He continues to represent individuals who have no choice but to settle with the RIAA out of financial necessity and who have decided to defend themselves against the unjust and legally unsound efforts of the RIAA.

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For more information, contact:
Charles Lee Mudd, Jr.
Mudd Law Offices
3114 W. Irving Park Road Suite 1W
Chicago, Illinois 60618
773 588 5410
773 588 5440
cmudd@muddlawoffices.com
www.muddlawoffices.com

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