Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Pittsbrugh Channel - A young Pittsburgh woman who needs a transplant has another fight on her hands. She's being sued by the music industry for illegally downloading music from the Internet. But 19-year-old Ciara Sauro strongly denies the charge and says she and her mother are overwhelmed with medical debts.

"Look and see where it (the downloads) came from, and look and see that it's not me. It's not fair to do to me," said Sauro.

Sauro, who lives in Ross Township, is disabled with pancreatitis. She needs an islet cell transplant and is hospitalized weekly. Because she didn't defend herself against a copyright lawsuit, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled she's a music pirate, and that could cost the Sauros almost $8,000 in fines.

"I already have severe depression. I mean, it's so hard to sit there and think that I have to get in trouble for something that I didn't do. It's not fair," Sauro said.

Sauro and her mother, Lisa, are being sued for the fines because they didn't challenge a music industry lawsuit in Pittsburgh federal court.

The lawsuit accuses Ciara Sauro of illegally sharing 10 songs online with strangers through free Internet software. . .

The Sauros said they've lived in their home since Ciara's father moved out. They claim the Internet account in the lawsuit was opened by him at his new address.

Attorney James Brink told WTAE Channel 4 Action News that he's offering to represent the Sauros for free and ask a judge to reopen the case.

Brink, who has defended other similar lawsuits, said the persons being sued only have so many days to respond before a judge enters a default judgment. He also said it's common for people to be intimidated by the legal documents.

"A lay person getting this -- first of all, it's 60 pages thick," he said. "It's full of legalese and jargon from the company. They see the record company suing them for thousands of dollars. They get scared."


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