I asked that in a follow-up to an earlier p2pnet story which’d revealed Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music’s (US) RIAA had blown literally millions of dollars away to recover a tiny $391,000.
ABA stands for American Bar Association, the largest voluntary professional association in the world.
“Spokespersons for the RIAA” and the law firms involved “didn’t immediately return messages and e-mails seeking comment”, it said.
However, that’s now been rectified, although RIAA lead spinsters Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol (salary in 2008, $2,032,072) and Cary ‘Scary’ Sherman (salary in 2008, $1,331,747) wisely stayed out of it.
Instead, they left it to junior spinster Jonathan Lamy (right, salary in 2008, $298,786) to try to convince us, the ABA Journal and the Big 4 from whose pockets it ultimately came, that it was money well spent.
And in the strange, dark RIAA world where $1 equals $43,478 it was, well, spent, as p2pnet was the first to report.
Now the RIAA is defending the more than $17 million it blew on legal fees in 2008 “after bloggers claimed the organization’s aggressive pursuit of damages for illegal downloading was yielding little legal in the way of legal recoveries”, says the ABA Journal.
However, dissembles Lamy, “victories aren’t always measured in dollars and cents”.
Which is passing strange given the RIAA sue ‘em all ‘victories’, wrung from a handful of innocent Americans and their families who had no chance of defending themselves, were about nothing else.
“Lamy says the blog accounts are based on a publicly available 2008 tax document that lists legal fees for a whole variety of legal efforts, including notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, legal advice on pending legislation, multiyear litigation concerning royalties, and litigation against file-sharing websites”, says the story, going on:
” He points out that litigation often spans multiple years, so that legal fees spent one year result in later victories.”
“Attempting to draw some larger conclusion about the effectiveness of our anti-piracy efforts based just on that one line in our tax document is simply inaccurate and highly misleading,” Lamy told the ABA Journal.
“Our anti-piracy efforts are primarily designed to foster a respect for the rights of creators”, he says in the story. “The idea is to raise awareness so fans will buy their music from legitimate platforms. And on that count, we think our efforts have made a real difference.”
Awareness certainly was raised. Thanks to non-stop RIAA puff pieces from such as Lamy, the whole world now knows just how easy it is to share music online, and how to do it.
However, as far as making a difference goes, the only corporate music site to be doing any business is Apple’s iTunes, itself more of a user-funded online front-end for the iPod than an actual music service. And that very definitely has nothing to do with the RIAA.
Moreover, even iTunes doesn’t even begin to match what’s happening every hour of every day of every month in the real world of online music — the above-and-below-surface P2P networks and sites.
The story has Recording Industry vs The People‘s Ray Beckerman, who made the initial $391,000 calculation, wondering why the RIAA is collecting judgments on behalf of record label plaintiffs, since it is supposed to represent the entire industry.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
… and identi.ca
recover a tiny $391,000 – Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!, July 13, 2010
ABA Journal – RIAA Reportedly Spent More than $17M in Legal Fees in 2008, July 15, 2010
p2pnet – RIAA tax pigeons: coming home to roost, July 16, 2010
p2pnet – RIAA boss Bainwol paid $2 million in 2008, July 12, 2010
Recording Industry vs The People – ABA Journal: $17M for Legal Fees Is Money Well Spent, RIAA Says, July 29, 2010
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