( dpa ) - A single mother charged with copyright violations for allegedly downloading songs from the internet has countersued record companies with charges of racketeering, fraud and illegal spying.
Tanya Andersen's lawsuit claims that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hired a company called MediaSentry to illegally monitor the download activities of thousands of people.
The complaint, filed Friday in the US District Court in Portland seeks national class-action status for other people allegedly victimized by the industry's anti-piracy campaign.
The lawsuit accuses the RIAA of launching a spying campaign "by unlicensed, unregistered and uncertified private investigators" who "have illegally entered the hard drives of tens of thousands of private American citizens" in violation of laws "in virtually every state in the country."
The information was used to file "sham" lawsuits intended only as intimidation to further the anti-piracy campaign, the lawsuit said.
"We're very pleased that we'll finally be able to force the RIAA and MediaSentry to give up secret records they have steadfastly refused to disclose in tens of thousands of cases that they've filed," said Lory Lybeck, Andersen's attorney in a statement announcing the lawsuit.