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The Almighty Buck The Courts Music

RIAA Paid $16M+ In Legal Fees To Collect $391K 387

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a rare outburst of subjectivity, I commenced my blog post 'Ha ha ha ha ha' when reporting that, based upon the RIAA's disclosure form for 2008, it had paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 to recover $391,000. If they were doing it to 'send a message,' the messages have been received loud & clear: (1) the big four record labels are managed by idiots; (2) the RIAA's law firms have as much compassion for their client as they do for the lawsuit victims; (3) suing end users, or alleged end users, is a losing game. I don't know why begrudges the RIAA's boss his big compensation; he did a good job... for the lawyers."
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RIAA Paid $16M+ In Legal Fees To Collect $391K

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  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @10:49PM (#32895418)

    Isn't this somehow linked to the report earlier today: []

  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @11:04PM (#32895516)
    the companies that support the riaa just want money so make sure you check to make sure the music you buy does not help a company that supports the riaa. While they continue to waste their money on lawyers stick it to them one lost sell at a time.
  • Re:yes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @11:31PM (#32895676)

    You don't need to stop at all. Just alter you traffic. Get a hosted torrent account, which come at very reasonable prices, and just use SSL FTP, HTTPS, or SFTP to transfer the shows from your host account to your house.

    Extremely Effective.

    As far as the ISP is concerned, your traffic is now coming from a single IP address, a couple of connections, and is encrypted so they can't look at it.

  • Re:Good Heavens! (Score:4, Informative)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @11:34PM (#32895694) Journal

    Um, I thought that the RIAA was composed of the major labels, and is in no way directly accessible and/or responsible to "the little people', namely the actual recording artists.

    And it would not shock me if the labels just spread the expense of these legal fee's across the accounts of all their artists [ie, taxation without representation].

  • Re:the only people? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:22AM (#32896218)

    That is almost true, but let us not forget the "snake oil salesmen" that sell the DRM

    Absolutely, Rovi Corp [] (nee Macrovision Corp) has garnered over 3 billion dollars in assets selling all kinds of crazy-ass DRM schemes to hollywood.

  • Re:yes... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gblackwo ( 1087063 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:43AM (#32896306) Homepage
    Duh: [] It is the VPN run by thepiratebay.
  • Re:To be fair, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Windwraith ( 932426 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:05AM (#32896636)

    "Anyone who writes a song enjoys the benefits being the copyright holder."
    I think a recent article debunks this myth, the song writers only get the crumbs on the plate while the media overlords have the whole cake.
    A shame they decide it's a good idea to throw part of that pie to the pedestrians walking by instead of eating it, or giving it to the real artists.

    Sure you can say they are artists of deceit and corporate evil, but that's art only enjoyable by a minor part of the population.

  • Re:TLDR (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @06:52AM (#32897660)

    Umm... no. If 5000 people pirate music instead of buying CDs, the original owner still has 5000 CDs they can sell to techno-illiterate and/or scrupulous buyers; they're no better or worse off than they were before*.

    If you steal 5000 CDs, then they no longer have those 5000 CDs -- they're actually deprived of property, and need to go get more CDs pressed. See the difference?

    *My wording here is not quite what I mean, but I can't find a concise way of saying it; maybe "they're not materially harmed"?
    One can certainly make the argument that they're "worse off" in one sense because they now face reduced demand, and have to lower price and/or volume -- lower revenue either way. Of course, they'll also face reduced demand & revenue if a rival label signs a band producing music that appeals to the same base; if "theft" applies to the former, it applies to the latter.

  • Re:Good Heavens! (Score:2, Informative)

    by avatar4d ( 192234 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @08:50AM (#32898576)
    And to build upon your Ron Paul quote, Benito Mussolini famously stated that "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Buyer beware.
  • Re:yes... (Score:2, Informative)

    by kitserve ( 1607129 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:10AM (#32898824) Homepage

    Three points:

    First, paying money to a hosted torrent provider to avoid paying money for media doesn't entirely make sense, unless the poster in on some kind of moral crusade against media companies (which I can understand but don't support).

    Second, the ISP won't have been detecting copyright infringement by monitoring the poster's traffic, it will have been picked up by the media company's representatives joining a torrent and logging the participating IP addresses. Moving to a shell account adds an extra link in the chain, but it's still (presumably) traceable to the poster.

    Third, as far as the media companies are concerned it's not really about cutting every alleged infringer off, it's just about cutting off/scaring off the majority. I doubt even the RIAA etc are quite so stupid as to believe that *every* illegal download can be prevented. Of course, making downloading more difficult cuts both ways, e.g. can the media companies be bothered to make the extra effort to track down people using torrent hosting accounts?

  • Re:Timeline (Score:4, Informative)

    will the RIAA see greater collection in the future, based on more recent court cases setting precedent for amounts to be awarded to the RIAA?

    There are only 2 precedents on the challenge to the RIAA's damages theory. Both are lower court cases, so neither is binding. In both cases the defendants were found to have infringed deliberately and wilfully, and to have engaged in additional conduct to cover up their actions.

    In both cases the Court found the maximum recoverable to be $2250 per infringed work.

    In both cases the Court noted that it probably would have awarded less than $2250 were the decision the Court's, rather than a jury's.

    Since most RIAA cases involve 6 or 7 allegedly infringed mp3's, and since it costs hundreds of thousands to litigate a federal case, I doubt the RIAA is thrilled with these decisions.

  • Re:Good Heavens! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bassman59 ( 519820 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:09PM (#32903106) Homepage

    CDs are in fact "records"; they are as much records of performances as LPs were. I don't know why people stopped calling them records just because the media holding the records changed.

    EXACTLY. Please mod parent UP!

    (It's also reasonable to call a CD an "album," as in a collection of things, in this case, songs.)

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay