p2pnet view RIAA:- Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s RIAA is well pleased with Eva Hart (right), awarding her a hearty pat on the back for reproducing corporate music industry claptrap as opinion.
“Most people wouldn’t go out and steal a shirt from a retailer, or steal a car from a car dealer”, it quotes her February ‘OpEd’ in the Boise State Arbiter Online as saying, going on:
“These people are causing others not to make the money they worked hard for and deserve.”
Other gems >>>
- [...] downloading music raises an ethical question: “Is it stealing?” The answer is yes. Just because it’s easy to do and hard to get caught doing, downloading music from unauthorized sites is stealing.
- Downloading free music is breaking copyright laws, which was exactly the point the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was trying to make by suing LimeWire for copyright infringement. The RIAA is entitled to $150,000 for each registered work infringed. The number of infringing works is likely in the millions — which is absolutely too many songs being stolen.
- Copyright laws exist to help protect the artists’ intellectual work, and the people who are making money from the artists’ music, such as the record company, stores that sell the music and the artists themselves.
- According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, 95 percent of music downloaded online is illegal. In hopes of lessening illegal downloading, the RIAA attempted to make an example of LimeWire and scare other companies away from using file sharing.
- It’s one thing for bands to give out their music for free. It’s another when a band who isn’t giving away free music is being stolen from — especially from their so-called “fans.” If these people care about the well-being of their favorite bands and are genuine fans, they’ll take responsibility for their actions and stop stealing music.
- When people download free music, they probably aren’t thinking of all the people they are affecting. According to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation, music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U.S. jobs are lost with a loss of $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings. People who download free music might as well be laying these workers off themselves.
“”We applaud The Arbiter for publishing this thoughtful piece and encouraging college students to think twice about who pays when music is stolen”, says the RIAA.
FACT: File sharing isn’t stealing.
FACT: Eva is a victim of one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated.
Way back in December, 2008, I posted >>>
“When 15 college students recently visited the Tribune editorial board, we asked them if they had committed a certain crime.”
That’s the Chicago Tribune, a respected mainstream newspaper.
So, what crime would that be?
“They all eagerly pleaded guilty,” story goes on. “They illegally download music on the Internet. ”
Ah! The crime of illegal downloading!
Except it isn’t a crime. Neither is file sharing.
Copyright infringement might come into it. But even that’s only a civil matter, although Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG and their RIAA have spent billions of dollars convincing the likes of the Chicago Tribune it’s a ‘crime’ of a similar magnitude to rape and murder.
Sharing does not equal stealing
“The Recording Industry Association of America says 7.8 million U.S. households a month steal music online,” says the story. “That means singers, songwriters, musicians, producers and others don’t get compensated for their work.”
Actually, it means nothing of the sort.
Sharing does not equal stealing. No exchange of money is involved and no one, least of all the Big 4, has been permanently or temporarily deprived of something it, or they, used to own.
Nor has it caused “singers, songwriters, musicians, producers” to lose income.
The Institute for Policy Innovation, “a pro-business think tank, says illegal music sharing costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion a year,” says the story, the implication being the IPI is a credible organisation whose statements and statistics should be taken seriously.
However, “think tank” is incorrect. It’s another organisation that’s in many ways akin to the marketing firm NPD Group, which regularly and routinely pumps out highly questionable ( to be charitable) statistics which ‘prove’ the Big $ and their RIAA are making headway in their battle to sue music lovers into becoming compliant corporate cash cows.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
On file sharing, “The music industry’s preferred method of fighting this — filing large lawsuits against a tiny percentage of downloaders — has earned the RIAA plenty of bad publicity, with little deterrent effect,” says the Chicago Tribune, continuing, “The RIAA seems finally to have realized that. It announced last week that it would stop filing lawsuits against individual music thieves — in favor of other, more creative deterrents.”
Making piracy ‘irrelevant’
Creative? Not at all.
The RIAA has merely stolen an idea originated by Hollywood’s MPAA, and which it still uses: get ISPs to act as corporate copyright cops.
Meanwhile, “illegal downloading is not as harmless as illegal parking,” opines the newspaper in a mangled comparison.
No matter. “It’s the theft of someone’s work,” says the story. “But if you file 30,000 lawsuits, you hit fewer than four-tenths of 1 percent of the estimated 7.8 million people who illegally download. The RIAA finally sees that it doesn’t need a different enforcement model, it needs a different business model. It needs to make piracy ‘irurelevant,’ [sic] says RIAA President Cary Sherman.”
Where would the RIAA, MPAA, CRIA, IFPI, BPI, so on and etc, be without all these wonderful magic numbers?
“When the RIAA detects a serial downloader, it will notify the person’s ISP,” story goes on. The ISP will, “initially ask the downloaders to simply stop, eventually slow down their Internet service and, finally, cut them off.”
The RIAA hopes.
And 30,000 lawsuits? Actually, that’s subopenas, a subpoena being a piece of paper, not a court case. And it’s probably more like 40,000.
However, subpoenas are excellent for terrorising innocent men, women and children and, “Most of the targets, faced with the prospect of attorneys fees and ruinous financial judgments, settle and agree to pay,” says the Chicago Tribune in another industry inspired exaggeration
The RIAA never releases numbers on precisely how many people settle. But “most” should be “some” because without exception, the RIAA’s innocent victims (not one of them has ever been found guilty of anything in any court) are very ordinary people with very ordinary means. They can no more afford to meet the RIAA’s extortionate ’settlement’ demands than they can pay for adequate legal representation to defend themselves against the legions of highly paid lawyers fielded by the RIAA.
But the object of the exercise is to generate headlines and imply thousands of people have been successfully prosecuted for the non-existent crime of file sharing.
As we said earlier, numbers are magic, especially when they’re supplied by such as the Institute for Policy Innovation and NPD Group.
What’s the difference between the RIAA, MPAA and BSA? – p2pnet asked recently, answering, rhetorically:
“There is no difference. MPAA means Motion Picture Association of America, RIAA is Recording Industry Association of America and BSA is Business Software Alliance.
“All three are front organizations owned and maintained by vested entertainment and software interests to give the entirely false illusion that they operate in a fair, free and open market place.”
The point was to suggest statistics and claims from any or all of these organizations are often unreliable at best, or completely fabricated at worst.
The music, movie and software cartels claim ‘piracy’ is a Number One problem not only for themselves, but for the world as a whole, I said in a 2006 story.
The industries have, “fabricated a multi-headed monster by turning a simple commercial concept — copyright infringement which in truth, affects only them — into a huge, international conspiracy involving millions of their own innocent customers around the world, and genuine criminal counterfeiters,” I said, continuing »»»
So successful are their continuing dis- and misinformation propaganda campaigns that they’ve been able to use them to dragoon entire governments and police forces into acting as industry enforcers.
However, the cartels are also frequently accused of fabricating statistics upon which they base their claims and according to the Havocscope global index of illicit markets, far from being at the top of the pile, movie and music piracy are way, way down the list, ranking 16th and 20th, respectively.
And even those positions are highly questionable given that in both instances, to reach them, Havocscope relies on statistics tainted more than somewhat by the industries concerned.
The movie industry figures are, for instance, based on, a study released by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), bolstered by further stats from the Institute for Policy Innovation which, starting from an MPAA $6.1 billion claim, says the, total impact of movie piracy in terms of lost jobs and tax revenue costs the US economy $20.5 billion.
But the latter numbers were also put together with, some funding from NBC Universal and the MPAA, says The Washington Post.
And guess where the music statistics come from?
The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), owned by EMI, Warner Music, EMI and Vivendi Unversal, the members of the multi-billion-dollar Big Four Organized Music family who singly and collectively claim they’re being devastated by their own customers who are, they scream, ‘criminals’ and ‘thieves’.
Institute for Policy Innovation
I’d described the IPI study cited by the MPAA as “deeply flawed,” suggesting its attempts to qualify music industry claims that files shared equal sales lost were just so much hogwash.
A Reader’s Write contributed by IPI boss Tom Giovanetti responded, “I love it when someone only gives a cursory scan to a press release and then thinks they can characterize an economic study as ‘deeply flawed’.”
He went on, “Why don’t you at least read the study and then tell us precisely how you think the study is flawed? Why don’t you show some sign of actually familiarizing youself with something before firing off a knee-jerk reaction?
“I challenge you to tell us, from an economic standpoint, how our study is ‘deeply flawed.’ Consider the gauntlet layed down.”
Actually, Tom, I did read it, I answered, “but didn’t see much point in saying anything more than I did,” going on »»»
But since you mention it, I particularly liked the bit where Stephen E. Siwek, the author, says:
In the Motion Picture Piracy study, estimates of the global losses to the U.S. industry from motion picture piracy were available from the extensive piracy survey analysis conducted for the Motion Picture Association of America by L.E.K. Consulting.
Is he referring to The New York Motion Picture & Media Industries: Piracy and the New York Economy (.pdf), prepared for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)?
It’s hard to say: the MPAA comes out with so many of these things. But if that’s the case, the spin is: it’s a definitive document accurately portraying losses incurred by Time Warner, Viacom, Fox, Sony, NBC Universal and Disney due to the ravages of ‘piracy,’ and quoted by the MPAA on its home page.
How accurate is it? Let’s just say statistics produced by Hollywood’s MPAA are generally as fanciful as RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) facts and figures.
In the RIAA (oops, IPI) study, Siwek goes on:
At this writing, no such comprehensive analysis [as the New York item?] of piracy exists for the recorded music industry. However, many of the underlying building blocks of such an analysis do exist in a variety of industry and trade publications.
For this study, the most important of these sources was 2006 Global Recording Industry in Numbers which is published by the International Federation of the Phonogram Industry (IFPI).
It’d be interesting to know who authored it because the IFPI is, of course, nought but another of the many and various enforcement units used by Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG, the members of the Big 4 organised music cartel, to present ‘reports’ purpose-written to bolster Big 4 claims, and justify the lawsu9ts they’ve launched their own customers in a bid to: turn them into compliant consumers; and, gain control of online distribution.
In other words, Siwek is using music industry figures to support music industry claims.
And guess who wrote the MPAA’s Motion Picture Piracy study alluded to above?
Yinka Adegoke picked up our p2pnet post and wrote about it in the Reuters Mediafile, saying, All those illegal music downloads don’t just harm the beleagured music industry, they also damage the wider U.S. economy, according to a new report.
Further down, the story says:
The report has already been panned by some doubters who believe it was funded by the music industry.
But IPI spokeswoman Erin Fitch says the report was paid for by its general support funds for Intellectual Property program. Fitch says the thinktank’s policy is not to disclose its sponsors, though she says IPI, which was founded by former Congressman Dick Armey, has worked with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and could do so in the future.
Well, Yinka, I didn’t actually say I thought it was funded by the music industry. I merely observed:
Confidently expect to see this fulsome and overblown report repeated as incontrovertible fact ad nauseum, and at length and in detail, in the mainstream media, and by various bought-and-paid-for US congresspersons
But since you mention it …
And at the end of his ’study,’ Siwek says:
Economists Incorporated is grateful to the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) and its member associations for their support and assistance in the drafting of this report. In particular, we would like to thank the staff of the IIPA, including Eric H. Smith and Maria Strong, for their comments. The IIPA is a private sector coalition formed in 1984 to represent the U.S. copyright-based industries in bilateral and multilateral efforts to improve international protection and enforcement of copyrighted materials. These six member associations – the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Independent Film & Television Alliance (I.F.T.A., formerly known as AFMA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – represent over 1,300 U.S. companies producing and distributing materials protected by copyright laws throughout the world.
yada yada yada.
All of these outfits are owned by, and represent, heavily vested corporate interests.
Consider what this would mean if it were true: 12 billlion dollars and 300 million Americans. That means that every man, woman and child, every tiny baby, every 100 year old nursing home patient, every prisioner, every soldier OWES the record industry 40 bucks!
And thats just music. Surely the movie industry, software, and game producers could generate a similar report.
Then there are the lesser crybabies: books, phony handbags, duff Rolex watches, Chinese designer clothing, etc, etc., By the time everybody releases their reports, every last American OWES the economy several hundred bucks. This money would come right outa our pockets and into the coffers of ‘the economy’. So let’s bankrupt the nation for the sake of those poor starving cartels.
Isn’t that what their balony report boils down to?
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Arbiter Online – Illegal downloading: The real cost of ‘free’ music, February 28, 2011
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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