Support the Families - Stop the Lawsuits--Thank you to everyone who donated. We have now finished our fundraising drive.--
The Peer-to-Peer Defense Fund lets you donate money directly to one of the individuals or families being sued by the record companies. We use PayPal for our contribution system because it's the most trusted and widely-used online payment service. PayPal means you can make safe, secure contributions with your credit card, and the money goes directly from you to someone who's being sued (we don't take a cut). If you don't already have a PayPal account, it only takes a few minutes to set one up--this small effort will make a big difference to the person who receives your donation.
If everyone who thinks the record industry's lawsuits are wrong makes a small contribution, we can make a huge difference for these families and put up a real fight against these lawsuits.
Current Legal Costs: $3,500
(out of $82,850 in combined legal costs)
From 275 donors directly to 16 individuals and families.
Desperate to end filesharing, the major record labels have singled out 261 people and are trying to make examples out of them. Without warning, families and individuals are being slammed with enormous lawsuits that they can't possibly afford to defend themselves against.
We've created this Fund so that everyone who thinks the RIAA lawsuits are callous and unwarranted can donate to support the people who are being sued. Rather than collecting donations centrally like a traditional defense fund, our system lets you give money directly to someone who is being sued. More about the contribution system.
Some families want to fight the record companies in court--we can give them the means to defend themselves and to attack the legal basis of these lawsuits. Others just need a way out--we can relieve the financial burden of settling the suit and help them get on with their lives. Above all, if we rally around everyone who's been sued, the record companies' bullying will fail and we can stop these lawsuits.
More Ways to Fight the RIAA Lawsuits
Don't Buy Music from RIAA MembersExecutives at the major record labels--BMG, Sony, Warner, EMI, and Universal--think they can trample over families to scare the public into buying their products. We need to show them that this strategy is unacceptable and will not work. Every time someone buys a CD from an RIAA company, they are helping to fund these lawsuits. To determine whether a CD you're thinking of buying is made by an RIAA member, use RIAA Radar.
Raise Money by Selling Major Label CDs on eBayWe all own some CDs from the major label record companies. By selling these CDs on eBay or Amazon we can turn the record industry's own products into a tool to fight the lawsuits. Sell all those jewel cases, liner notes, and plastic discs. Then donate the funds to someone who's been sued. If you need money too, go 50/50.(You can place the support buttons on your eBay description page.)
Organize an Event for Someone Who's Being SuedA benefit concert is a great way to raise money and to show support for these extremely unlucky people. It won't be hard to find musicians who resent the major labels and oppose these lawsuits, and even a small benefit show can easily raise $500. You can bring people together in your community--and feel what music is really about. Remember, once someone signs their settlement, they can't say a thing in public about how they feel (here's a hint: they're scared and they're pissed off). They can't talk, and we need to organize stuff on their behalf.
Put These Support Buttons on Your Website or WeblogUse these buttons to show support for the individuals and families that are being sued and as a way to encourage others to donate.
Feel free to design your own buttons (if you do, send them along so we can post them here). To use a button, copy the image onto your site with this link: http://www.downhillbattle.org/defense
Ask Musicians to ContributeMany musicians, including musicians on major labels, oppose these lawsuits. Asking a musician to make a contribution is a great way to send the message loud and clear that these lawsuits only benefit corporations, not musicians. Musicians who have contributed to the Fund or who plan to do so can contact us if they'd like to make a statement about why they oppose the lawsuits (it's a great way to make some online friends).
Ask p2p Software Companies to Make a ContributionIf you use peer-to-peer software, ask the company that makes it to give a contribution to the Defense Fund and to put the support buttons on its website.
Sign the EFF Petition to Stop the LawsuitsThe Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created an online petition to put a halt to these lawsuits. Take a moment to sign it.
Contact Your Members of CongressThere is a real opportunity for bipartisan efforts to reign in the record companies. Importantly, many Senators and Representatives are still making up their minds on this issue. They should hear from you.
Who are my members of congress?
What is the RIAA?
The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) is the lobbying organization for the five major record labels, which hold a monopoly on the American music business. These corporations--EMI, Sony,
AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, and Vivendi Universal--use the RIAA to illegally fix prices on CDs and now are using the RIAA to spy on people's home computers and then file lawsuits against them. The big five labels also use the RIAA as a convenient front to hide behind so they can avoid offending their customers.