I was talking to a guy at my kids hockey game who was distressed because the RIAA was suing his daughter (18 freshmen in college) for $100k for downloading 300 songs (full value maybe $400. Now of course this is ridiculousness that these fines are even possible, but he said attorney fees had gone north of $10k already and it was having a devastating effect on the family.
That is their MO... it is blackmail by any interpretation. Generally they sue for an amount that is not economically feasible to hire an attorney for... so even if you are innocent, it is cheaper to pay the ransom then to prove your innocence. They are probably stringing this guy's daughter along, letting them rack up attorney's fees, then they will offer to settle for $10-15k. Their atty will recommend they settle. It will probably never see a court room unless she has made statements of her guilt.