RIAA wins $675,000 from user

In a way, Joel Tenanbaum was a file sharer who had it coming. The RIAA didn’t file a suit after simply catching him sharing music. He received his first complaint in 2005 and lied about subsequent complaints until 2008. Tenanbaum was sued by the RIAA for 30 songs, and he was found guilty after admitting that he willingly shared the songs and lied to the company about not knowing what he was doing. It was the dumbest defense he could have, unless he was cocky and sure that they would let him off the hook.

They didn’t, and now each song will cost him $22,500. That’s a lot of money, and it’s not fair. Most people don’t have that kind of money, so what is the point in trying to yank it out of people? I understand that they hope that these trials are reported heavily in the media in an attempt to curb further use of file sharing programs. At the same time, this sort of thing makes people quite resentful of the corporations and very, very likely to find more discrete ways to obtain files. There are various places one can go to have access to a virtual private network, but those vary in their levels of success. That’s not even touching on dark nets, about which I could still stand to learn more. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

It’s mostly disgusting to me that the RIAA is suing so grandly for damages and not a dime goes to the music artists they are supposed to represent. What damages are really being incurred here? Music is getting out for free, but that’s been happening ever since recording devices caught on. It’s the accessibility that’s driving the record industry crazy now.

I just don’t get how a song, which considering current online pricing can only be a maximum of $1.29, can be worth over $20,000. To reach that penalty, it should be necessary to prove that the user uploaded every song to over 17,400 people. I could see a penalty of a few hundred dollars per song, but thousands? That’s absurd and just shows why I don’t exactly support the record industry anymore. What’s the point in supporting an industry that ultimately wants to bankrupt its supporters? But there’s no good way to stand up against them if you like music and want to support your favorite artists – not unless the artists involve themselves in the fight as well. Things like this court case are going to go on for a while until enough artists, popular ones at that, get disenchanted with the record business.

About Gospel X

Media commentator who tries not to waste time - and often fails

Posted on August 5, 2009, in business, culture, digital distribution, music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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