This is a story for anyone who actually wants to see Gene Simmons’ proposal of suing every illegal downloader in action. Jalopnik.com reported a story about how one RIAA lawsuit basically forced one illegal downloader to sell his beloved Mustang. Warning: this story will especially pull the heart strings of the obsessed fanatic of music and cars.
At age 16, Shane Comegys was handed a packet from the RIAA’s lawyers for illegally downloading 1,940 songs from the service Kazaa. The lawyers gave him two options: pay a $4,250 fee or be sued for damages amounting to $750 per song (that’s a grand total of $1.45 million). Realizing they didn’t have a chance against them in court, the Comegys family settled. However, Shane and his family didn’t have enough money to actually pay. Unable to raise enough money from his part time job after four months, Comegys was left with one option: to sell his 1970 Mustang Coupe with a 351 Windsor V8 and a drag setup.
In the piece with Jalopnik, Comegys expressed his sadness over losing his beloved Mustang, but also expressed remorse for his actions. He stated the following:
“People that are pirating media shouldn’t think they are completely protected, there are always ways to figure out who you are and what you are transferring. If you enjoy the music as much as I do you should have no problem taking $10 out of your wallet for the latest release at the local Best Buy or on iTunes.
I know that downloading music through a sharing network is not a good idea. I don’t condone it. I have learned from it, although I think that the way the music company sues random kids is ‘fed up.”
So there you go, Gene. There’s an example of how the RIAA’s suing campaign actually works. In the grand scheme of life, though, Comegys could’ve faced worse scenarios. However, the whole thing still seems like a drastic way for the record companies to make examples out of underage illegal downloaders.
You can read the entire piece over at Jalopnik.com.