p2pnet news | RIAA News:- It’ll be news to the mainstream media and others unfamiliar with corporate music industry practices of inventing facts and statistics to suit the occasion, but Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG have no idea how much money, if any, they’re losing to file sharing.
The admission came from Sony BMG’s Jennifer Pariser.
Moreover, continues Ars Technica, she owned up to something else followers of Big 4 efforts to pummel their customers into submission have known for some time: that the sue ‘em all campaign is in fact a bizarre form of loss-leader.
Designed to ultimately drive people into the waiting arms of the Big 4, it isn’t saving them money, it’s costing them, says Pariser, quoted in the story.
The revelations are certain to seriously unsettle the RIAA’s case that the BIG 4 are being: ‘devastated’ (their word) by file sharers; losing billions of dollars; and, are being forced to lay off workers in their droves because of people who share music with with each other.
They came during a trial when for the first time, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and its minions are being forced to pony up with accurate information instead of unsupported generalisations and claims, something they’ve been getting away with since the sue ‘em all marketing project was launched in 2003.
Focus of the trial is Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old Minnesota First Nations mother of two who’s accused of illegally distributing copyrighted music online.
She works for the Department of Natural Resources of the Mille Lacs Band.
She’s an Ojibwe and we haven’t been able to discover whether or not she lives on a reservation. But if she does, it might raise interesting possibilities given that North American Indian bands claim full nation status and it’s not inconceivable that the RIAA and its lawyers might at some point find themselves facing a complex jurisdictional problem as they try to railroad a victim who, to all intents and purposes, might live in what amounts to a foreign country.
Fanciful? Probably, but then so is the entire RIAA case.
Meanwhile, Thomas’ is the first file sharing case to go to trial.
As Ars Technica points out, it started out as as Virgin v Thomas, “but the sole Virgin Records track was stricken from the complaint, making Capitol Records the lead plaintiff”.
The story goes on:
After a relatively calm morning session, proceedings resumed after lunch. After RIAA lead counsel Richard Gabriel finished his direct examination, Thomas’ attorney David [sic - his name is Brian] Toder began his attempts to undermine the labels’ case. He focused on apparent inconsistencies from the testimony of Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG’s the head of litigation. Toder also got Pariser to admit that IP addresses and screenshots “don’t identify human beings.”
Toder talso asked her how many people had actually downloaded music from the defendant but, “We don’t know,” she admitted.
“I can’t identify any other entities aside from what SafeNet reported, but I know that many others did… that’s the way the system works.”
Ars Technica adds:
Toder then raised the question of the RIAA targeting the wrong people in its lawsuits. “How many dead people have you sued?” he asked, a question that was blocked after Gabriel objected. Toder then took a different tack, asking Pariser if she recognized the names of Gertrude Walton, Sarah Ward, Cindy Chan, and Paul Wilke – all innocent victims of the RIAA’s driftnet tactics.
The next line of questioning was how many suits the RIAA has filed so far. Pariser estimated the number at a “few thousand.” “More like 20,000,” suggested Toder. “That’s probably an overstatement,” Pariser replied. She then made perhaps the most startling comment of the day. Saying that the record labels have spent “millions” on the lawsuits, she then said that “we’ve lost money on this program.”
We’ve yet to learn how Toder will deal with discredited RIAA ‘expert’ Dr Doug Jacobson (upper right), due to testify today.
His evidence in another case involving 57-year-old home health aide Maried Lindor, who doesn’t know one end of a computer from the other but who’s also alleged by the RIAA to be a massive illegal distributor of corporate product, was described by Lindor’s lawyere, Ray Beckerman, as “junk science”.
Toder’s toughest opponent will be fellow lawyer Cary Sherman, a brilliant sophist who for years has been leading the way for RIAA dissemblers.
He’s also slated to give evidence.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Ars Technica – RIAA anti-P2P campaign a real money pit, according to testimony, October 3, 2007
discredited RIAA ‘expert’ – Lindor vs the RIAA: round I0, May 17, 2007
massive illegal distributor – Marie Lindor, RIAA copyright crook, September 14, 2007