p2pnet news | RIAA News:- “Paul Rapp, a Massachusetts lawyer, said most families pay the pre-settlement because of the ‘magic number.’ At about $3,500, it’s perfectly positioned to inflict pain, yet it’s a bargain compared with a trial.”
Actually, most families do nothing of the sort, and far from being a “bargain,” $3,500 is outright, US-government-sanctioned, extortion, and most of the 30,000 or so American families on the Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG attack list can’t afford to pay $3.5K, either, or anywhere near it.
The Big 4, the multi-billion-dollar dinosaurs which in 2008 rule the corporate music industry, are slowly but surely erasing what little goodwill they’ve been able to retain after robbing their own customers and artists blind for decades.
“I’m on welfare,” said Howell, a part-time cab driver quoted in the East Valley Tribune who, “recorded hundreds of songs onto his computer and downloaded them onto his MP3 player so he could listen to them during his shifts.”
“They have janitors who make more than I do,” he went on. “What’s the use of suing someone with no money? They`re going after people who can`t defend themselves.”
Howell is the Jeffrey Howell who’s resisting all efforts by the Big 4′s RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to hang him out to dry for allegedly sharing copyrighted music files online.
His case has attracted international attention, as well as creating an on- and offline media uproar with RIAA boss Carey Sherman trying to excuse a potentially devastating (for the RIAA) blunder by a Sony lawyer, giving evidence in the one and only case which has so far reached a jury, as mere ‘misspeaking’.
Rapp is quoted in the Syracuse Post-Standard and he practices in New York as well as Massachusetts .
Interestingly, he’s also a musician with his own band and as such, is probably one of the few lawyers with a genuinely intimate knowledge of what’s going down in the world of online music.
“I was at the Future of Music conference this fall,” he posts on Rapp on this, “and one of the speakers said, ‘Let`s face it, payment for music these days is entirely voluntary’.
He goes on:
And she was pretty much right. Thirty thousand lawsuits by the music industry against its core customers notwithstanding, you can find whatever you want for free on the Internet, or just cop a file from a friend, or, if you`re in a real pinch, you can buy the damn song. Music wants to be free, and music gets what it wants. And no amount of huffing, puffing, or litigating or legislating is going to change that. The era of Big Music is just about over. And you know what? More music is being made now than ever before in the history of the human race. And, like always, some of it is real good.
Rapp shows up in the Syracuse-Standard in a story featuring another RIAA victim, this time a student, Kasey Brooks, 20, a sophomore at Morrisville State College in New York.
“At first, she didn’t believe the letter,” says the story, going on:
“It said she had illegally shared 10 songs on the Internet last February and she was in big trouble. The Recording Industry Association of America intended to sue her.
“Then came the limited-time offer:
“Pay $3,600 in the next 20 days, and her problem would go away.”
“I was distraught, and I didn’t know what was going on,” said Kasey Brooks, 20, a sophomore at Morrisville State College in New York. “Now, though, it really seems like people have been trying to intimidate me.”
“Seems like” is entirely the wrong phrase because that’s exactly what the RIAA is doing —- threatening very ordinary people with very ordinary incomes with civil legal procedures its bosses, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, know full well their victims won’t be able to contest.
The relatively few innocent people who do somehow manage to scrape together enough money to buy the RIAA attack dogs off do so not because they’re admitting any kind of ‘guilt,’ but because they’d rather do that than risk being ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, like Minnesota mother Jammie Thomas.
Says Brooks in the Syracuse-Standard, she and her friends have stopped downloading but, “I think they’re just looking for the way around it,” Brooks added. “And once they find the way – I mean, everyone’s going to find a way – then they’ll do it all they want.”
In the east Vallye Tribune, Howell, “contends lawyers and recording companies are trying to make up the rules for copying music as they progress through the courts and are trying to play out the theme of a song he is accused of illegally sharing – ‘Money for Nothing‘ by Dire Straits [pic].”
“I’ve spent a lot of time reading the fine print on the Internet regarding this stuff,” Howell declares, adding:
“I never used to need reading glasses. This is stressful. I can’t sleep. I used to spend a lot of time on the computer – now I want to quit the Internet and not get on the computer anymore,” he said.
Recently, I posted a p2pnet spoof in which I had RIAA staff people staging a sudden mass walk-out because, “We no longer believe threats, government sanctioned extortion and legal blackmail are the way to go …”
But really —- how do they sleep at night?
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Syracuse Post-Standard – The upshot of downloading, December 23, 2007
East Valley Tribune – Cabby takes on record industry over copying, January 6, 2008
media uproar – RIAA: copying your CD is illegalDecember 29, 2007
potentially devastating – RIAA ‘misspeaks’ itself: Jammie Thomas case, January 5, 2008
genuinely intimate knowledge – File sharing is NOT a crime!, August 17, 2005
Jammie Thomas – RIAA ‘misspeaks’ itself: Jammie Thomas case, January 5, 2007
p2pnet spoof – RIAA staffers in mass walk-out, January 3, 2007
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