Sunday, June 21, 2009
The RIAA $2 million legal settlement & Earache?
Question: You've spoken about Pirate Bay here, so what is Earache's opinion on the RIAA vs Jammie Thomas.Does Earache get a share of the two million dollars she has to pay.What is your opinion of this?
Answer:Nah dude, Earache is NOT A MEMBER of the RIAA and has no part in any of this.
You are referring to the legal case of RIAA versus Jammie Thomas which has just been adjudged in the USA in favour of the Record Industry, and damages of $1.92 Million awarded against the 34yr old mother of 4 from Minnesota - check her MySpace -because she was downloading music illegally.
The amount is staggering but its actually the amount which is set in law as damages to be paid over by anyone caught infringing the copyrights of anyone else.Apparently she only downloaded 24 songs but the law states up to $150,000 per instance of infringment, if its wilfully done- hence the huge amount awarded to the RIAA.Its not a simple case of stealing 24 songs at 99 cents and so pay back the $22 or whatever.I guess the law is basically set up in USA to discourage the wholesale bootlegging of the global brands and intellectual property/software/music/entertainment which has made the USA the most prosperous country in the world.The law sees no difference between a counterfeiter with a huge operation making and selling say, fake Tommy Hilfiger clothing for sale on market stalls, and the simple act of loading up some P2P software to download and subsequently share on to others, a couple of albums. She became part of a music counterfeiting chain, unwittingly. She would have got off more lightly had she just walked into a store and stolen the Cds right from under the store owners nose, actually.
If only Spotify had launched in USA- she could have listened to the albums for free at any time, perfectly legally.
As a label owner we are plagued by so-called-fans who instead of supporting the artists and label, prefer to download the music for free.Even some of our bands openly advocate the free downloading of their music, so its not something we are unfamiliar with.Its a tricky situation.
I highly doubt the RIAA even will get the money,and even if they did, its probable that only the big 4 Majors would keep it, some biggish Indies - Relapse & Victory etc -are RIAA members but they wont see a penny, I'd wager.
The whole idea is grandstanding, to generate news headlines and slowly but surely discourage the act of downloading music by casual fans.Leave the mass-downloading of music to the bootleggers and counterfeiters of this world, who know the risks.Its a highly serious matter in the eyes of the law even if its a completely trivial act to load up the P2P software.There are a ton of legal paid-for, and now even free ad-supported services where almost every album ever released is available for streaming.Spotify is the one we recommend which should launch in USA very soon.Everyone needs to get it.