Friday, June 19, 2009

RIAA channels Dr. Evil

Well, the RIAA has done it again. It was bad enough extorting teenagers and music lovers out of thousands of dollars, with the threat of high-powered lawyers if they don't comply. Now we find out what happens if you don't settle and actually take it to court: The RIAA turns into Dr. Evil.

"Here's the plan: We take a mother of four to court and make her pay.... $1.9 million dollars!"

That's right, a jury in Minnesota has decided that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 32-year-old mother of four accused of illegaly sharing a whopping 24 songs, must pay the record companies $1.9 million dollars in damages.

I actually used to be pretty anti-illegal file sharing -- I mean, my job is basically to generate intellectual property, so I'm a little sensitive about compensation for IP -- but over time, the record companies have just pissed me off so much that I don't really care anymore. That and a number of musicians I respect have just started giving their music away for free, because they hardly see a dime from the actual record sales.

Whatever. As Ms. Thomas-Rasset makes it clear, there is no way she is paying this, so all they really accomplished was to fuck up her credit. And make themselves look like grade A assholes. Good job, RIAA! Sue your customers for seven figures! That will fix your horrible PR problems. Next time, though, maybe you can find a mentally-challenged person who has been illegaly downloading and try to get him thrown in jail. I bet that would go over even better!

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