Space Ramblings

How Much Money Did the RIAA Lose Again?

The typical ploy by the media and software companies, whether it’s the RIAA or the MPAA or the BSA or the Phonographic Victrola Industry of the Martian Colonies is to present their claim that piracy has destroyed their industry and is worse than a meteor strike on the earth by fronting it with a number. A very impressive number.

e.g. Movie piracy has cost Hollywood 12 billion dollars last year and 89 jobs! or Music piracy through file sharing has cost the music industry 80 trillion dollars and 2 million jobs!

Of course these numbers are usually attacked as inflated nonsense not actually based on anything and a lot of the music industry’s woes have actually come about because of the inability to switch to a new business and technology model after the CD had run its course and MP3’s had become the wave of the future, something for which the music industry insisted on blaming piracy for, and then making a bad deal with Apple for song sales at only 99 cents a piece.

Now Daily Tech is pointing out an interesting tidbit from the Jammie Thomas Kangaroo court

In the same block of testimony where the Pariser disclosed that the RIAA’s lawsuit campaign is costing “millions” more than it earns, Thomas’ counsel pounced on the fact that the record industry was only seeking the punitive damages available in the Copyright Act. “What are your actual damages?” he asked.

Here we go. “We haven’t stopped to calculate the amount of damages we’ve suffered due to downloading,” replied Pariser, who then added that, “that’s not what’s at issue here.” (Judge Michael Davis, who was overseeing the case, quickly remanded her to stay on topic.)

Funny but you’d think the industry’s actual damages would be at issue in a court of law, but then again who said this was a court of law. Either way it appears that the RIAA’s numbers were phony PR numbers and not actual losses they were willing to testify to on the stand.

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