It’s about time that someone finally addressed the constitutionality of the RIAA’s lawsuits. While it has been about a year since the RIAA quit pursuing individual file-sharers and successfully began pressuring internet service providers to end file-sharers’ internet service, but there are plenty of cases still in the courts. Part of the problem has been the willingness of those sued to “settle” for a couple thousand dollars instead of paying the 6-7 figures that juries have been rewarding the RIAA or spend the money that it takes to appeal (and possibly lose). That is until now, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was told that she had to pay 1.5million dollars for sharing 24 songs, the judge then lowered the amount that the jury rewarded the RIAA to $54k (because the judge that 1.5million was ridiculous and 54k was still harsh). (more…)
Whenever some new use of the internet to download music comes along, the Recording Industry Association of America tries to shut the action down through litigation . . . unless of course the action was created by iTunes. This time around Apple is interested in cloud computing where iTunes users can access their music database via streaming technology from anywhere there’s the internet. Users would upload their (legally purchased) music onto an Apple server and always have access to their music. Sounds good, only this idea is not new nor has the RIAA been approving of this structure in the past. (more…)
Previously, I mentioned that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) won its first lawsuit against people sharing music via the internet. As long as there has been copyright legislation, there has been “piracy” – I’m sure that someone was bootlegging copies of Beethoven’s symphonies. However, no one had before been charged for pirating something where they were in turn not profiting from its sale. Sharing music online is not the same thing as selling illegally reproduced music. Furthermore, all of this is being done in the name of the musicians – the RIAA argues that when people download music on file-sharing programs, they are stealing from musicians. But where is the money going from the RIAA’s litigation? Typically the money from lawsuits (not just about file-sharing) goes back to the RIAA and the major record labels. What follows is a brief explanation of why the RIAA and the major record labels are more exploitative of musicians than file-sharers. Future blog posts will further elucidate the erroneous nature of the music industry’s arguments about file-sharing. (more…)
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been filing lawsuits against “pirates” (aka music file-sharers) since 2003, but few people have tried to fight them. They sue users for an absurd amount of money for each song that they upload and these people usually have uploaded songs in the 1000s. In fact no case has gone to trial . . . until now. A jury of your “peers” found Jammie Thomas-Rasset guilty of willfully violating copyright law – cost: $1.92 million! You read that right, $1,920,000 or $80,000 per song and they convicted her of sharing 24 songs. (more…)
For years, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been suing people for sharing files. One of the main problems is that the RIAA has never been remotely transparent about who they are suing. Now I’m no legal scholar, but it occurred to me two years ago that this seems to violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Unfortunately, the RIAA’s tactics for suing file-sharers have been so egregious that no one has had the financial power to fight their lawsuits. They sue for as much as thousands of dollars per song with total lawsuits in the frequently in the millions. If the plaintiff wants to fight the lawsuit, the RIAA’s lawyers make it clear that it is going to cost more to fight than they have in assets. Then, plaintiffs are usually given the option to settle for the amount of their total life savings. This is certainly a criminal action by the RIAA, but no one has had the courage to fight back until now. Enter Joel Tenenbaum. (more…)
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is charged with the task of creating a legal/political atmosphere so that record labels can generate massive profits. While it professes to be representative of the entire recording industry, the members of its board are primarily from the â€œBig Fourâ€ record labels (Sony BMG, EMI, Universal and Warner). These four companies control the vast majority of the music industry (including so-called â€œindieâ€ labels).