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Real numbers about RIAA anti-P2P campaign

By Oz_Media ·

During an occasionally testy cross examination, a Sony executive said what many observers have suspected for a long time. The RIAA?s four-year-old lawsuit campaign is costing the music industry millions of dollars and is a big money-loser for the record labels. The revelation came during the first day of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, the first file-sharing case to go to trial (it was formerly known as Virgin v. Thomas. One of the biggest bombshells from the cross-examination was Pariser?s admission that the RIAA?s legal campaign isn?t making the labels any money, and that, furthermore, the industry has no idea of the actual damages it suffers due to file-sharing. The admission came during questioning over the amount of damages the RIAA is seeking in the case. Toder asked Pariser how much Sony was suing the defendant for, and she replied that the amount was for the jury to decide and that the labels weren?t suing for actual damages. More info about that particular case from AP (aka can you sue someone with wireless router).

As is the case with the other file-sharing lawsuits, the record industry is only seeking the punitive damages available via the Copyright Act, which can range from $750 to $150,000 per song. ?What are your actual damages?? asked Toder. 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.? The RIAA?s settlement amounts are typically in the neighborhood of $3,000-$4,000 for those who settle once they receive a letter from the music industry. On the other side of the balance sheet is the amount of money paid to SafeNet (formerly MediaSentry) to conduct its investigations, and the cash spent on the RIAA?s legal team and on local counsel to help with the various cases. As Pariser admitted under oath today, the entire campaign is a money pit. Now everyone knows how useless you guys are, so why not stop it at all? It would be better life on the Earth?"

So WHO'S costing artists and labels millions of dollars? Downloaders or the RIAA lawsuits to recover frivolous amounts?

Also a side bar that was linked in the above doc: Addresses the trial of Jamie Thomas where she claims someone could have infiltrated her wireless signal, from outside her window, to download files.

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