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Music Media Your Rights Online

One Man's Check From The RIAA 280

Posted by timothy
from the too-little-too-late-too-bad dept.
c0rk writes "I received my $13.86 check today. This was my claim in the Compact Disk Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. I wrote in detail about the letter/check I received here in my blog and posted a readable image of said documentation (not the check though...sorry). Score 1 for the consumer!"
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One Man's Check From The RIAA

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  • Ya know... (Score:4, Funny)

    by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:19PM (#8350983) Homepage Journal
    It would be really sad if being slashdotted costs more than the $13.86 check. I mean, the image of the letter alone is 50k, and it didn't have to be. I hope you have a flat rate, no cap on bandwidth. Course, it's smart to have those Amazon referrer links. Good luck with that. Kind of hypocritical. "Hey, look at my RIAA settlement...now buy some music."(fp)
    • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:23PM (#8351019) Homepage Journal
      Buying overpriced CDs for years ($1,306.19)
      Sticking it to the RIAA (-$13.86)

      Getting a Slashdot-induced bandwidth bill of $3,000: Priceless.

      Way to go.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Some better punchlines:

        Making fun of people's misfortune...priceless.

        -or-

        Karma whoring...priceless.
      • by ascalon (683759) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @05:32PM (#8351829) Homepage
        Correction:

        Getting a Slashdot-induced bandwidth bill of $3,000: $3000
      • Re:Ya know... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by geekee (591277)
        " Buying overpriced CDs for years ($1,306.19)"

        If it was overpriced, why did you buy it? Don't use govt. thugs to limit the freedoms of others just because you don't like the deal they offer. There is no such thing as a right to a good or service from another person. That is an endorsement of a form of slavery. The hypocrisy of /. sickens me. You're all worried about your own rights, but have no qualms about treading on the rights of those you don't like.
        • Re:Ya know... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Prior Restraint (179698) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @07:09PM (#8352486)

          I don't know what twisted vision of capitalism you have in mind, but nobody has the right to demolish the underpinnings of the free market by colluding to restrict competition. This settlement was A Good Thing [tm]; it was designed to remove a distortion in the market.

          • Re:Ya know... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sdo1 (213835)
            This settlement was A Good Thing [tm]; it was designed to remove a distortion in the market.

            The ending of price fixing is a good thing. The punshment for years of the practice, which netted the record companies billions, was completely unacceptible.

            -S

    • Re:Ya know... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:25PM (#8351033)
      If you're going to make a kilobyte of black text on white into a 50K image, you deserve every cent of the bandwidth bill.
    • I figure we're even (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rodgster (671476)
      I took my settlement a long time ago.

      The RIAA can shove their check up their ....
    • Interesting sig. What source code is it from (or is it just made up)?
  • For once... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    we are thanking the RIAA?


    Sizzly [sizzly.com]

    • Re:For once... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:28PM (#8351050)
      would you thank someone if you were unknowingly (to you) over-charged for something, and then as penance, the seller offered a fraction of what they wrongly took from you?

      "thanks" aren't in order, unless it's in the form of "thanks for the memories - i can think of one conglomerate that will no longer get any of my money."
  • Super! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cflorio (604840) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:21PM (#8351000) Homepage
    Does that $13 check really make up for price fixing on hundreds of CD's that you've purchased over the years (I know it's hundreds for me at least)... It should be $3000 each like they are trying to get from us!!!
    • Re:Super! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by knownzero (571410) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:24PM (#8351028)
      I hear that. Well, the lawyers got enough to cover their entire cd collections worth of overpricing, and that's all that matters nowadays isn't it?
      • Re:Super! (Score:2, Funny)

        by fermion (181285)
        In the olden days we didna need no stinkin lawya. When a man crossed us we challanged him to duel. Problem one, the rich mothas would hire profesionas. We coudna hire no one, so we would send our best out, and pray he didna die, which he usualy did. When we were real angy, we just plant a bomb at the rich mothas house.
    • Re:Super! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by doormat (63648)
      You mean people still buy CDs?

      Seriously, over the time period this lawsuit is addressing, I bought about 10 CDs a year. If they inflated the price $1.50 per CD, then its almost right. Yes, it screws over the people who bought a ton of CDs, as more of their money was taken by the industry, whereas if you only bought 1 CD, you more or less got that CD for free. But there is no logistical way they could ask you how many CDs you bought and adjusted it for that, and be able to verify it.
    • Re:Super! (Score:2, Insightful)

      it does for the lawyer who got 50 % of the procedes.
    • Um (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KalvinB (205500) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:37PM (#8351097) Homepage
      You agreed to pay the price. Nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to buy those CDs.

      I'd agree they'd owe us more if they were selling something necessary like food or fuel products.

      But they're not. They're selling luxeries. Things you don't need.

      As it is, they're giving you a check based on the average overcharge. People who only bought a CD or two are getting the same amount as people who bought dozens or hundreds of CDs.

      There's no way the RIAA is going to count reciepts for everyone that requested a check and give proportionatly the same to everyone. Do you even have reciepts for all those CDs to prove you bought them and when you bought them?

      It's just a lot easier to divide the entire fine by everyone who requested compensation and give equal size checks to everyone regardless of how much they spent.

      And this is perfectly reasonable since nobody forced you to buy any of those CDs. If you're mad about how much you pay for CDs, buy them used. Use that check to buy used CDs so that none of the money goes back to the RIAA. And then stop buying new CDs.

      Ben
      • Re:Um (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)
        " You agreed to pay the price. Nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to buy those CDs.

        I'd agree they'd owe us more if they were selling something necessary like food or fuel products.

        But they're not. They're selling luxeries. Things you don't need.
        "

        irrelevant. They where caught doing something wrong, and are being punished. The fact that is a luxary item don't enter into it.

        "As it is, they're giving you a check based on the average overcharge. People who only bought a CD or two are getting the s
      • Re:Um (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Way to go. I agree. Lets take the anti trust garbage off of everything that isn't needed. So, would that include clothes? How about a Coke? No one is making you buy a Coke. Indeed how about Cigarettes. Lets bring them back. No one is holding a gun to anyone to make people buy them. How about bottled water - tap water is just fine.

        The point is that they have gotten away with charging us a LOT more than the CD costs and a LOT more profit than a tape brings in for years. I have hundreds of CD's that

      • Re:Um (Score:2, Insightful)

        by idfubar (668691) *
        You're not qualified to say who needs music and who doesn't.
      • Re:Um (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ironica (124657)
        You agreed to pay the price. Nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to buy those CDs.

        I'd agree they'd owe us more if they were selling something necessary like food or fuel products.

        But they're not. They're selling luxeries. Things you don't need.


        The free-market capitalist economy does not apply only to "necessaries." When you break the rules, it doesn't matter if what you were selling is life-and-death or totally frivolous; you still broke the rules by which the system works.

        Granted, I'd pref
      • I'd agree they'd owe us more if they were selling something necessary like food or fuel products.

        But they're not. They're selling luxeries. Things you don't need.


        Well since the product has been proven irrelevent then we can download all we want for free, after all it has no value since we won't die without it.
      • Re:Um (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Epistax (544591)
        You agreed to pay the price. Nobody held a gun to your head and forced you to buy those CDs.

        Ok compare to right now. There is still massive price fixing, and the alternative (downloading the music) results in what? Being sued. Wait, someone remind me what it's called when you put someone in a position where someone's best choice is breaking a law? Oh yeah!

        extortion n.
        2. Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
        3. An excessive or exorbitant charge.
    • Re:Super! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I agree, ideally, we should be compensated an appopriate amount for the amount of money we spent. I own a collection of about 500 CDs, and MOST were bought during the early to mid 90's.

      I *SHOULD* be compensated a LOT more than $14. But I don't really have any proof when I bought the CDs. I don't agree that somebody, like my Mother, who has bought a grand total of about 10 CDs in her life should receive a $3000 settlement however.

      How do you manage that discrepancy? I just don't know.

      Anyway, I stopped
    • Re:Super! (Score:3, Funny)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      It should be $3000 each like they are trying to get from us!!!
      If they are counting each copied CD at $150.000, the we should too! $150.000 for each overpriced CD you bought, woo hoo!
    • You had the option to opt out of the class and file your own suit, you know...Nobody forced you to join the class action.
    • Re:Super! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekee (591277) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @06:51PM (#8352375)
      Does buying cds of your own free will give you the right to steal $13 from the person you bought it from, just because you don't like their offer? This lawsuit is an insult to individual freedom, and your support of it is support of oppression and tyranny.
      • Re:Super! (Score:4, Informative)

        by hyc (241590) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @06:16AM (#8354879) Homepage Journal
        It worked for Robin Hood, and nobody accused him of supporting oppression and tyranny.

        When I started my band in 1996 the statutory rate for artist royalty payments was 6 cents per track. So for a CD with say, 12 songs on it, a signed artist makes 72 cents per sale of the CD *maximum*. If the artist happened to sign a "sucker deal" with their recording label, then they probably agreed to pay management fees, theft/destruction contingencies, promotional fees and assorted other gouging, bringing their take down to less than 1 cent per track. There are plenty of bands out there whose first big-label CD sold hundreds of thousands of copies but the artists earned effectively nil. (And they have only themselves to blame, for signing such an abusive contract. But anyway...)

        With the actual reproduction costs of CDs down in the 10-20 cent range, the amount of money that the labels and RIAA collectively rakes in vs pays out is stupendous.

        By the way, while giving people the guilt trip about stealing money from the hands of their favorite artists, think about it again. For the $20 you might have paid for a CD, only $0.72 maximum would have gone to the artist. That's a whopping 3.6% at most. Of the remaining 96.4%, probably half of it went to the retailer, whose basic expense is shelf space, and the other half went to the label. Most of that is pure profit that never would have gone anywhere near the artist in the first place. And if the artist had a sucker deal, their cut was probably less than 1/3 of a percent. Just noise.

        No matter how you slice it, the RIAA is screwing everyone, and still doing a fine job of getting away with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:22PM (#8351006)
    $9.99 CD.... Plus tax... Your total is $13.86. We, the RIAA, will keep this check we were going to send you and call it even.

    Blogzine.net [blogzine.net]
    • $3.87 tax? What state do YOU live in so I don't move there!
  • by PktLoss (647983) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:23PM (#8351022) Homepage Journal
    I like how the letter doesn't admit fault.

    Its just the 'challenged' pricing policies, rather than any of the stronger language that could have been used like 'illegal price fixing pricing policies'.
    • by mesach (191869) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:48PM (#8351166)
      Now I don't know law, I'm not a lawyer(obviously) but since they have been found GUILTY of price fixing, and by admission have sent out checks to people, and the prices of CD's STILL haven't fallen down.

      Can we bring some sort of lawsuit against them?

      Is the sending of the checks some sort of "get away with it forever now that we have paid some people money for our indescretion" card?
      • Can somebody show me a CD they think is overpriced? How much exactly qualifies as too high? I'm willing to pay up to 15 dollars for an album I want, and I've never had a problem finding what I want under 15 dollars. I don't understand what the big problem is with CD prices now. Yes price fixing is bad, but I don't remember ever feeling like I overpaid for a CD or that a CD was too expensive.
        • Can somebody show me a CD they think is overpriced? . . . Yes price fixing is bad, but I don't remember ever feeling like I overpaid for a CD or that a CD was too expensive.

          Okay. I originally bought Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album on LP. A few years later, I bought it again on tape. A couple of years ago, I bought it yet again on CD for $16.99. Was the thrice-purchased, 30-year-old album on CD overpriced? Yes, by about $16.

      • Is the sending of the checks some sort of "get away with it forever now that we have paid some people money for our indescretion" card?

        Well.. the CRIA obviously doesn't believe that because even though we Canadians are paying a blank CD levy there are still people who are going to be sued.
      • ...since they have been found GUILTY of price fixing...

        Methinks you're unfamiliar with what exactly a settlement is.

    • What's to admit? The letter was written by the counsel for the plaintiff(s), i.e., the people suing the RIAA. :/
      • Perhapps admit was the wrong word. I still feel that it would have made sense for the letter to have pushed the fact that wrong doing had indeed been done.

        We have seen a lot of trials go by where the accused settles out of court to pay up only on the condition that they do not have to admit guilt, in this instance the RIAA was indeed in the wrong, and the world should know it.
  • Sadly (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:23PM (#8351023)
    That's not even enough to buy some new CD's. Guess I'll just have to spend it on alcohol!
  • Nice! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dswensen (252552) * on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:24PM (#8351026) Homepage
    Hey, with that money, you could almost buy yourself a new CD!

    Oh, wait...
    • A Modest Proposal. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:01PM (#8351257) Homepage
      May I make a suggestion?

      $13.86 isn't enough for a new CD from many stores, but you could use the money to buy an album from one of the many excellent artists from non-RIAA record labels such as Matador or Ninja Tune available from the iTunes Music Store [apple.com].

      Or perhaps purchase music for download in unencumbered MP3 format directly from non-RIAA record label Warp Records [warprecords.com].

      $10 thrown at the first option could get you, if you like rock music, one of the Yo La Tengo albums (if you like rock), Cat Power's "Moon Pix" album (if you like folky rock sung by a drunk manic-depressive woman), or Amon Tobin's "Supermodified" (if you like jazzy d&b-ish techno), and still leave you $3.86 for your own nefarious purposes. Any of these would be excellent choices.

      From the second option, if you like electronica, $13.86 would be just enough to neatly buy Boards of Canada's probably-career-high Music Has the Right to Children album plus Autechre's probably-career-high gantz_graf EP and leave you enough money for a soda at a vending machine.
  • Now Go Out... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vontrotsky (667853) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:24PM (#8351027)
    ... and spend that $13 on an a CD from an independant lable.
    • start here: cd baby [cdbaby.com]
    • Re:Now Go Out... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by chunderfest (755217)
      ...or donate it to Daniel Peng's fund [arbornet.org] to help reimburse him for being sued by the RIAA in April 2003, costing him his $15,000 total life's savings (and legal fees on top of that). He's still down many thousand$.

      I donated last summer.

      ---

      • Re:Now Go Out... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DragonMagic (170846)
        I don't get it. The guy illegally traded music on a college network, got sued, lost.

        We should be giving him money because he was a moron? Or am I missing something?
      • Re:Now Go Out... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nyseal (523659)
        Now WHY would I want to donate to a person caught downloading? Yes, IRTFA and basically Mr. Peng is going on-line to reimburse himself for getting caught. Fuck that. That's like saying: "I need to pay my mortgage this month and I don't have enough money. I'll put up a website that asks for 'donations' so I don't lose my home". Please. Right or wrong, d/l'ing copyright music is currently illegal in the US. Everyone knows this, yet he wouldn't even comment on his own downloading practices. HINT: guil
    • Re:Now Go Out... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Stallmanite (752733)
      Be careful. Sometimes "independent" labels are just fronts for larger labels.

      http://www.boycott-riaa.com/membership
    • Name one.
  • wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:24PM (#8351029) Homepage
    LABELS: Capitol Records, Inc d/b/a EMI Music Distribution, Virgin Records America, Inc, and Priority Records LLC; Time Warner, Inc, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp, WEA, Inc, Warner Music Group, Inc, Warner Bros Records, Inc, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc, and Rhino Entertainment Company; Universal Music & Video Distribution Corporation, Universal Music Group, Inc, and UMG Recordings, Inc; Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc and BMG Music; and, Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

    RETAILERS: MTS, Inc d/b/a Tower Records, Musicland Stores Corp, and Trans World Entertainment Corp.

    when you take all of those together, and divide 70 million or so between them, it's not as hard as a blow as we thought it was... (score +1, interesting)

    on a side note, did this really need a second story (score -1, troll)
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:27PM (#8351042) Homepage
    Or rather, score $13.86 for the consumer.

    The score now stands at:

    The consumer: $13.86
    The RIAA: $33,000,000,000

    Looks like the RIAA's in real trouble now!
    • by zurab (188064) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:59PM (#8351246)
      Absolutely right. RIAA strategy has been:

      - violate laws (anti-competitive/price-fixing/accounting/privacy/ etc.)
      - get sued
      - pay fines
      - continue doing exactly the same as before

      Violating laws is a minor cost of doing business only while associated fines are cheaper than purchasing new, more favorable laws. Score 1 consumer, sure! I didn't know RIAA was submitting stories to Slashdot!
    • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @05:28PM (#8351801) Homepage

      Your sarcasm is only partially correct. Though the settlement constitutes a fraction of their resources, you are wrong to haphazardly label this award as insinificant. If you read page 20 of the settlement [findlaw.com], you will find the amount awarded to over 3.5 million people is $143,075,000. That is not trivial and sets a useful legal precedent. You do damage to the cause against the RIAA by belittling this victory.

      • If you read page 20 of the settlement, you will find the amount awarded to over 3.5 million people is $143,075,000.

        So, for each of the 8 parent companies named as respondents, that's $17,884,375.00.

        Sony Corp. earned $875 million in the last quarter of 2003. Universal Music recorded $510 million *profit* in 2002. EMI made (profitted) about $64.5 million in the first half of 2003, before swallowing Warner music. And I'm guessing the companies involved are not going to split the burden equally, either.

        A
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:27PM (#8351043)
    blank cd-r's with my check. If I wait for the right deal, I should be able to 100 for 13 bucks.
    • by lambent (234167)

      And a sizeable percentage of your 14-cent CD-Rs will go bad within a year.

      I learned my lesson with uber-discount blanks. There's a reason why they couldn't sell them at higher prices.

      • I had a friend of mine poke fun at me for spending $1 per floppy disk when he could get 3 for a dollar.

        He was also complaining about how his floppies were always going bad! I wonder why?! :)

        I had much fewer problems.

        P.S. I have dealt with Office Depot floppies at work. I have had a lot of them go bad, some right away.
    • While I know you were most likely trying to be funny, realize that part of the money that you spend on a CD-R goes right to the RIAA again. This is in effect a "piracy tax" that the industry managed to get placed on recordable media such as the CD-R, supposedly to cover the cost of potential losses from the piracy that some users of the media may do.
      • Re:I'm gonna buy.... (Score:2, Informative)

        by Hooded One (684008)
        Not quite. See here [cdrfaq.org] and here [cdrfaq.org]. In the US, only the "music" CD-Rs are taxed. The only reason to buy those is for a personal CD recording device anyway. Stick with data CD-Rs and you're fine.
  • RIAA (Score:2, Interesting)

    While P2P and HTTP may be excellent ways of file sharing, for better or for worse, the RIAA _will_ stop them. Right now they have attacked legally, which is leading P2P developers to make some advancements in the way of encryption, anonymity, etc. The RIAA seems to realize, now, that there really is no way to stop technology. We have already won.

    Now they are taking the overused advice of "adopt a new business model", which seems to be services such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, BuyMusic.com , Rhapsody, an
  • Ha (Score:4, Funny)

    by djenvee (587484) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:29PM (#8351058)
    Score 1 for the consumer!" And score 1000000 for the lawyers!
  • Donate it to EFF! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:30PM (#8351066)
    .

    I'm putting this in anonymously because suggesting to donate to EFF is a great thing, but also a karma whore move.

    So anyway, get yourself over to the EFF donate page and give them the money [eff.org]. It's quick and painless.

    .

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:31PM (#8351074)
    My check from the RIAA... Confused yet?

    My being part of a class action law suit paid off. This morning I received my portion of the settlement made due to the Compact Disk Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. I filed a claim to be part of this class action suit about a year or so ago... anyone having purchased a Music CD between Jan1st, 1995 and December 22nd, 2000 was eligible to redeem part of this settlement. Surprisingly, I was part of this demographic since I will on occasion purchase certain artist's CD's whom I deem worthy of my entertainment dollar.

    This is essentially my being reimbursed for the financial damages I suffered as a music CD purchaser during a time when CD pricing policy was overwhelmingly unfair to the consumer. I received approximately $14.00 as restitution from both record companies and music retailers. These companies and retailers where indicted for violations of the Sherman Act which works to prevent companies from engaging in shady business practices... in this case price fixing. The defendants attempted to exploit their MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policies to cheat the consumer. The willingness of the defendants to settle with plaintiffs (that's me) with a significant pay out, $14.00 of which will be deposited in MY bank account, more than confirms their guilt.

    Here is a list of the defendants (that restitution... these are the guys supplying it):

    LABELS: Capitol Records, Inc d/b/a EMI Music Distribution, Virgin Records America, Inc, and Priority Records LLC; Time Warner, Inc, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp, WEA, Inc, Warner Music Group, Inc, Warner Bros Records, Inc, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc, and Rhino Entertainment Company; Universal Music & Video Distribution Corporation, Universal Music Group, Inc, and UMG Recordings, Inc; Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc and BMG Music; and, Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

    RETAILERS: MTS, Inc d/b/a Tower Records, Musicland Stores Corp, and Trans World Entertainment Corp.

    This victory, though not a MAJOR blow to these giant conglomerates, does feel good at time when music lovers are being actively hunted and sued for copyright infringement by the RIAA. I will more than likely use a portion of my settlement to invest in what I consider a legitimate and fair business model --- iTunes. If the RIAA had jumped on the legitimate internet distribution band wagon instead of conspiring to rob the consumer with their aging CD business model through price fixing, maybe they wouldn't be up to their ears in legal fees these days.

    My thanks go out to the legal teams and active citizens who were instrumental in the success of this litigation... score one for the consumer (there is a statement you don't hear much anymore).

    Here is a scan of the letter I received from the legal team representing the plaintiffs... though I'm still waiting for my personal letter of apology from the RIAA... but I'm not holding my breath. My check was attached to the bottom of this letter, but is not pictured here for obvious reasons...

    *****

    February, 2004

    Dear New Jersey Music Purchaser:

    As Lead Counsel for the Private Class Plaintiffs, we are pleased to enclose payment for your claim in the settlement of the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. This lawsuit was brought by the Attorneys General of 43 states and three territories and by counsel for PRivate Class Plaintiffs on behalf of purchasers of music CDs. In accordance with the terms of the court-approved settlement, payment is being made to music purchasers who filed a valid and timely claim.

    Whether you filed your claim online at the settlement web site, www.MusicCDSettlement.com, or by mail, the attached payment represents full payment of your portion of the Settlement. Please note that the attached payment instrument must be cashed by May 20, 2004.

    It is a pleasure to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion and to return value to c
  • the real $$ flow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:33PM (#8351081)
    as you drool over your measly 13 bucks, how much did the lawyer$ take home? class-action lawsuits are all the rave now and make $$ mostly for them. similar to micro$oft type settlements where the plaintaifs get a *free* copy of something from M$ and the lawyer$ get cost$, fee$, and other itemization$ paid for. no one wins here but the lawyer$.

    now....go get ya a burger.
  • by sdo1 (213835) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:34PM (#8351085) Journal
    Score 1 for the consumer!

    Are you NUTS? The consumer got completely SCREWED on this deal. The ONLY winners here with the record labels who took in BILLIONS in extra profit because of ILLEGAL price fixing and all the consumers got back was a tiny percentage.

    Score 1 my ass!

    -S

    • by Kohath (38547) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:39PM (#8351118)
      The lawyers also hit the jackpot.
    • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Saturday February 21, 2004 @06:31PM (#8352250) Homepage
      Obviously you know nothing about this case. The music companies didn't make an extra buck from the price fixing this case was about. This case was about the music companies trying to keep big chain stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Target from selling CDs at or below cost as a way to get people into their store and spend money on other items. The music companies still sold the CDs to these place at the same price they do everywhere else, so they didn't make a single dollar on it.

      As much as everyone is blasting the music companies on this, I actually support them on this case, because their goal was to keep the music stores, specifically the smaller mom and pop music stores, from being wiped out by the big chains. The suit didn't say $15 was too much for a CD, it said that the music companies can't stop places from selling the CDs at a loss to get people into their stores.
  • by Graemee (524726) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:37PM (#8351100)
    Since $13 bucks is only enough for a McRottens lunch, why not donate it to a fund to help against the RIAA. Slashdotters can be free to give it to whom they please. Suggestions?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:37PM (#8351106)
    I don't know about you, but I JUST want the right to download the song, no service from anyone. I was considering this before when I saw tapes in a record store. If the tape costs $10, and the CD costs $15, am I legally in the right to buy the tape, then download the tracks of the CD, and burn them to CD? Presumably some of the money spent on the tape goes to the actual production of the tape, so how much does it cost for just the right to listen?

    This new 'legitimate' downloading helps answer this, kind of. I'll use iTunes as an example.

    It costs $0.99 per song to download from a 'legitimate' music service.

    $0.33 go to Apple for their storing and serving the song. $0.66 go to the record label.

    My question is: Will they ever sell "licenses" to download songs at $0.66/song, and let you obtain the song however you please? (p2p)
  • by oboylet (660310) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @03:43PM (#8351142)
    If there were enough co-complaintants, the RIAA would have sent this money to fund public music programs.

    Not enough people signed on, indicating (1) not enough people were aware of their rights, (2) not enough people cared, or more likely (3) not enough people understand just how evil the RIAA is.

    I'll be getting a check, and I know what I should do with it -- give it to a local school.

  • by Richthofen80 (412488) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:24PM (#8351394) Homepage
    wow, so thousands of dollars in legal fees later, we have ... a check for 13 dollars.

    I really wonder, why even bother? Did this 'bite' the industry, or the 'violators'? a little. Probably not much.

    I don't support this kind of legal action. I believe those who make stuff have the right to set the price. They can collude, conspire, or whatever. I don't care. if they're being unreasonable, I won't buy.

    How much more effective could the community who was holding this lawsuit be by boycotting and organizing? a lot more effective than a lawsuit, which is long, drawn-out, and up to the capriciousness of a judge rather than our own individual decisions. How could I get $13.86 back? by refusing to do business with unreasonable companies. People say in previous posts to this thread 'i've bought $3,000 worth of merchandise and was overcharged more than $13!' and to that I say 'why the hell did you spend $3,000 with a company you thought was overcharging you?'

    • by Anonymous Coward

      to that I say 'why the hell did you spend $3,000 with a company you thought was overcharging you?'

      Because there is zero competition. If you want music by most artists, you have no choice but to get it through their record company.

      Don't talk about independent labels and other crap like that. You can't call yourself a music fan and ignore he music that you like just because they overcharge you.

    • I believe those who make stuff have the right to set the price. They can collude, conspire, or whatever. I don't care. if they're being unreasonable, I won't buy.

      But in the case of collusion, you don't necessarily *know* they're being unreasonable. Because they've fixed prices industry-wide, the consumer's perception is that "this is how much this costs," not "this is how much they think I'll pay."

      Competition is one of the essentials of the free-market economy. This is anti-competitive behavior. Adam
    • They can collude, conspire, or whatever. I don't care.

      This is a horrible idea! You are saying that you dont mind if companies conspire to all set prices higher??? That means car companies could all agree to jack up the cost of all thier cars 20,000$. Or all the gas stations could charge more. Or any other product or service could skyrocket in price and you'd have no means of recourse!!! These types of laws stop monopolies and cartels. We would be so screwed if companies were allowed to price fix.
  • by SubtleNuance (184325) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:25PM (#8351402) Journal
    Score 1 for the consumer!

    Why have Americans taken to calling themselves Consumers? Your real power lies in Law, that law is written by CITIZENS. If your preceding citizens hadnt written some pretty keen laws, you current "Consumers" would be out $13.xx.

    I cant stand it when people call me, or anyone else a f'ing consumer. Its goddamn offensive.
    • by Mitleid (734193)
      Because in a country as heavily capitalist as America, the only chance you have of effectively voicing your opinion is with your dollars. The legal system here has become so jaded and manipulated that it only seems to benefit those with enough money and influence to sway it to their whims, and sadly the only way Americans can make any difference is by taking some of that power away; namely depriving those powerful and rich individuals of our dollars.

      I agree, it is offensive. But don't blame the semantics;
  • by tacarat (696339) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:27PM (#8351421) Journal
    Too bad that copy of the letter you made was illegal. The RIAA will be by shortly to deliver your subpoena.
  • by proclivity76 (755220) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:41PM (#8351517)

    For those of you who aren't keen to the way these settlements work, I'll enlignten. The lawyers get paid right away based on the total amount of the settlement. The consumers, plaintiff's, etc. get their money later, if not never.

    The reason why insurance of all kinds is so high is because of this unending battle between insurance companies and trial lawyers. And you would think that insurance companies would be your friends in this type of situation, but they aren't. The more letigious society is, the more insurance you need. The more your insurance costs, the more money the insurance company makes with their margins.

    I want to illustrate how bad this problem has become. Lookup "tobacco settlement lawyers fees" and see the billions that they collected. Also keep in mind the trial lawyers represent THE largets lobbying group in Washington, and not to spark a party line issue here, but the majority of their money goes to Democrat candidates. This is from triallawyersinc.com :

    Out of total U.S. tort costs of over $200 billion--more than 2% of GDP--Trial Lawyers, Inc. grosses $40 billion per year in revenues, or 50% more than Microsoft or Intel and twice those of Coca-Cola.

    Anytime that someone gets a retarded amount of money from some EVIL corporation out there, society on a whole is raped of the value of a hard-earned dollar because someone got something for virtually nothing. That means those who are producing carry the weight of that injust money redistribution on our collective shoulders. My big problem with trial lawyers is that they don't make life one bit better for anyone. When I program, I feel like I'm saving people some time and making life a little better for everyone. Trial lawyers do nothing but obstruct the progress of those that try to make life better. I think of them as financial and quality-of-life terrorists.

    This "something for nothing is harmful" principle can be applied to every societal problem: welfare, prescription drugs, government health care, government housing, etc..

    I urge you to all not celebrate those who get something for nothing. It is not a victory for the common man. It is just more burden for the common man to bear.

    • lawsuit are what corporations understand because it costs them omney. This is a strong deterent.

      Quit frankly, there needs to be a cap on what a trial lawyer can make.
    • My big problem with trial lawyers is that they don't make life one bit better for anyone. When I program, I feel like I'm saving people some time and making life a little better for everyone. Trial lawyers do nothing but obstruct the progress of those that try to make life better. I think of them as financial and quality-of-life terrorists.

      I have a great idea: let's kill all the lawyers! Then, when your boss fires you because he doesn't like your hair, you can go suck your thumb. When your deadbeat son ge

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:44PM (#8351538) Journal
    This is the same trick as MS does.
    Be legal if possible, but if not, then be illegal as hell. Make a ton of money and try not to be caught. If you are caught, then hold it off for as long as possible. The interest alone more than covered all of this. Sad, but true.
  • I didn't sign up. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MisterFancypants (615129) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @05:00PM (#8351636)
    Despite the fact that I could have legitimately signed up for this, for the Microsoft rebates, and various other class-action settlements, I absolutely refuse to do so. The vast majority of class action lawsuits in America these days are just as big a scam as anything the RIAA or Microsoft has ever pulled, and I refuse to be a part of them. Score 1 for the consumers? No, score 1 for the lawyers who walked away with millions. Score nothing for the consumers who walk away with peanuts and no real change in the way business is being done.
  • you poor sap... (Score:2, Interesting)

    not just on the bandwidth either. the obviousness of the riaa legal ploy is really quite brutal. jack prices in collusion with others, pay next to nothing for manufacturing, lure in first time artists with explosive first albums and force them to sign a crappy contract, then do this for 20 years. then get taken to court and make everyone who want's a check worth less than the cost of a new cd in the store run the red tape to get it (no sir i have never downloaded music). any thoughts as to how much money wa
  • sigh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jugger42 (754849) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @06:44PM (#8352334)
    As an ex-member of BMG Music Club and Columbia House, I can tell you that those $13 mean squat when compared to the amount of money these thieves, extortionist, ect have taken from people that purchase CD's like myself. I only purchase from independent and none riaa affiliates now. And that nice little check is going straight to the eff along with my other support. There is a hell of a lot better music out there that doesnt make KC's top 40, real artist, none of this over played hollywood bull shit.
  • Why is this filed under "Your Rights Online"?

    A payment as restitution for price fixing by the RIAA is undoubtedly significant to the Slashdot audience, but it doesn't have much to do with one's rights online.
  • It's "customer". (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Piddle (567882) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @10:32PM (#8353543)

    Businesses have customers upon which the businesses depend. Businesses have no inherent right to people's money, they have to earn it.

    The word "consumer" makes it appear that the customer is actually dependent on the business, which is absolutely not the case. Car engines consume gasoline because they have to, a person buys a Toyota because they want to.

    It's the principle of free will in a free market.

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