Oh Look... RIAA Still Filing Lawsuits...

from the of-course-they-are dept

Remember back in December all the fanfare around that WSJ article claiming that the RIAA was abandoning its litigation strategy? In retrospect, the whole thing is looking like a huge PR campaign rather than anything significant. The story was planted by the RIAA to give the impression that it was no longer suing people, while also using it to pressure ISPs into agreeing to become copyright cops. But the RIAA wasn't actually stopping the lawsuits. Note that it claimed it was abandoning the strategy of mass lawsuits. Even then, the RIAA claimed that it had not initiated any new lawsuits for "months." Except... there was a pretty long list of lawsuits filed after the date that the RIAA insisted it had stopped. When pressed on it, they came up with the ridiculous excuse that they just couldn't stop other lawsuits that were in progress (even though they hadn't been filed). Apparently, once an investigation has begun there's simply no way to stop it, according to the logic of RIAA lawyers.

And that seems to continue until this day, as Ray Beckerman is noticing that lawsuits are still being filed against individual file sharers. Realistically, it was a pretty good PR campaign. Lots of people think the RIAA has stopped its lawsuits when it hasn't. While it may have cut back on the number of lawsuits filed, that almost certainly has a lot more to do with the layoffs to RIAA staff, and the fact that record labels are refusing to give them as much money for lawsuits, rather than any actual change of heart or realization of how much the strategy backfired.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:19am

    fuck'em!

     

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  2.  
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    MrGutts, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:42am

    Bailout

    Next, they will want a bailout from the Government... Then we will all be paying them via tax dollars.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 4:12am

    Judging by the state of the country at the moment, I'm starting to get the impression that the American corporate mindset is to do everything they can as ass-backwards as possible for as long as possible. Need more examples? Look at all the companies that're asking for government bailouts because of their own dumbassery.

    America's fucked. Remember, I said it first.

     

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  4.  
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    Liam, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    you never said that first, you liar :p

     

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  5.  
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    Jon, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Re:

    Hm I am not to confident that your country where ever it may be is not much better off. By your english I would say somewhere in the U.k

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Because Mr. Beckerman is an attorney, I would expect a bit more precision in his comments about who actually files a lawsuit.

    The RIAA is an organization comprised of large and small labels, and serves largely as a lobbying group. It does not file lawsuits. They are done by one or more of the companies that happen to be members of the RIAA.

    If invective is to be directed anywhere, it really ought to be directed to the individual companies filing such lawsuits.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    I'm waiting for the RIAA to put out a "Best Hits" album. It definitely needs to include the song from the "Titanic" the band plays while the ship sinks.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    America is fucked, and so is much of the western world, and likely world at whole (but I haven't really read any legit russian or chinese news, nor do I live there). Bailing out the institutions that caused the problem is only going to set ourselves up for a bigger crash later, perhaps when there's no money left to bail out, perhaps when many of those same institutions do it again.

    We, as a western/capitalist society have just removed the major check from the system, by bailing out big companies, and leaving small ones to crash, we aren't creating a more open market, but a more restricted one. No doubt a few innovative companies will find niches, like they always do, but the collapse of larger companies often leads to more employment and competition in the long run. Propping them up while they layoff thousands isn't going to do much.

     

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  9.  
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    Michial, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:57am

    Distorted facts

    I love how you distort the facts for your own agenda...

    I may not like the RIAA, but you need to report accurately:

    The RIAA's original statement said that they are no longer filing lawsuits AGAINST USERS OF PARTICIPATING ISPs.

    They NEVER claimed not to be stopping the filing of lawsuits....

    At least get something accurate if your going to hammer someone on their actions.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Mike ...

    stop pretending to be surprised or upset. sad i can believe, but you knew this was going to be happening

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 8:35am

    Re: Distorted facts

    Then the RIAA should have issued a retraction/restatement back in December instead of letting people to believe that which is false.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Oh Look... Mike is still writing about the RIAA. You haven't made any progress in ten years at what point do you give up?

     

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  13.  
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    Alligator, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Anonymous Coward @6:34 a.m., the RIAA does file lawsuits. Look at the complaints: the RIAA is a named plaintiff, although one of the labels tends to be the lead plaintiff. Also, if the RIAA does file lawsuits or get involved in the actual litigation, why does Matthew Oppenheim seem to be involved in nearly every case regardless of which label is the lead plaintiff?

    Michial, could you provide a source? In the WSJ article, none of that is clearly stated, if at all.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    Mr. Beckerman and many others keep talking about "RIAA lawsuits", yet I have never seen a lawsuit where the RIAA is a plaintiff. Why? Because the RIAA is not a copyright holder. Discussions would be much more productive if he and others accurately noted the names of the real plaintiffs.

    Now, if someone can direct me to a specific lawsuit where the RIAA is in fact listed on the complaint as a plaintiff, then I will be glad to take a look at it to try and figure out how an entity that does not hold a copyright is able to bring suit on behalf of another who is actually a copyright holder.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Talk about ignorant. Nice job, Mike.

    Here's a few facts to clue you in after your uninformed rant:

    The litigation in question was started *prior* to the announcement that no "new" lawsuits would be filed.

    There are more to come. They had filed a batch of them just prior to the announcement.

    existing!=new.

    Try again, genius.

     

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  16.  
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    Ray Beckerman (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    RIAA / Record Labels / Precision in terminology

    The RIAA is actually filing the cases, although the named plaintiffs are the record companies. It would be more accurate to name the big 4 record companies as the plaintiffs, but I write so much on this I use "RIAA" as shorthand. Sorry. You are correct that invective should be directed at EMI, UMG, Warner Bros, & SONY. But I think the RIAA also deserves invective for allowing itself to be used as a front for this brutal campaign.

     

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  17.  
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    Ray Beckerman (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Distorted facts

    The RIAA and now you are the ones distorting the facts. They said that they had stopped filing lawsuits in August.

    Then when confronted with the fact that they had commenced hundreds of lawsuits since August, they came up with that explanation.

    I dare you to find one of the original reports making the distinction you seek to draw.

    Plus, it is a fact that they brought a number of John Doe Lawsuits after August, so even the new lie is a lie.

     

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  18.  
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    Ray Beckerman (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    RIAA/record companies

    See my response earlier on explaining relationship in connection with the litigations between RIAA and the record companies. By the way, the RIAA is now taking over the collection cases in its own name. See, e.g. RIAA v. Buckley

     

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  19.  
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    Ray Beckerman (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    You're talking music

    You're talking music.

    That's not their field.

     

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  20.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Love the fact that people who disagree with me feel the need to throw out a ton of insults per sentence... and never seem to have a single fact to back them up.

    The RIAA claimed it had stopped filing new lawsuits after August. You claim they filed a bunch just prior to the announcement.

    So one (or both) of you is lying.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:58am

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re: RIAA / Record Labels / Precision in terminology

    The sad realization is that the RIAA really exists FOR this purpose rather than being a useful organization that is being used as a front.

    Just like many of the still existing worker's unions in the U.S., the RIAA has become an organization that primarily exists to maintain its own existence. Acting as 'a front' for this lawsuit campaign is the way they see themselves continuing to exist in a digital-distribution and peer-marketing world.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re:

    This distinction is a useless strawman argument anyway. There is no effective difference to the CONSUMER.

    If the RIAA wanted to show good faith at moving forward in a new direction they would have stopped CURRENT litigation. It is not impossible for them to do so, it just would actually cost them something (wasted expenses until then).

    They would also be liable for court costs, and quite possibly by responses by the Judges in those cases. Precedent could be set which is dangerous to their future lawsuit campaign... and there you have the reason why they didn't stop current litigation.

    It was a PR stunt, not a good faith action by the organization. This is obvious to all of us who do not work for the RIAA.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    When the RIAA is dead and buried, nothing more than a glitch in history, and a pile of empty Tums bottles.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    batch, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    monster

    they're just this horrible monster in the throes of death and just keep lashing out, again and again. why won't it just die already? do they really have to keep pushing to make things as absolutely horrible as possible before the end? aren't things bad enough already that reasonable people can recognize what is happening and what should be happening?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    Re: RIAA/record companies

    Interesting that the RIAA would become involved in a collection action (bad PR), but certainly not surprising given that assignments of the right to collect debts is not particulary earth shattering. Of course, unless one actually deals with litigation matters improper motives may be ascribed that may not stand up to scrutiny under the circumstances.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    luckybleu, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    riaa

    its the riaa's stategy to license free music services that they have approved .When there are enough music services out there that give people a legal alternative to download music for free,then you will see a vigorous pursuit by the riaa to sue illegal sites out of existence,at that point when there are many licensed sites ,the courts will have no choice but to side with the labels and the riaa, and declare unlicensed sites illegal.This is the riaa tactic now and it will succeed.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Chuck Money, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 11:35pm

    Re:

    Well actually, you could have...

    awww hell, I'll save my more detailed arguments for a post where I haven't made them yet. I agree, fuck'em!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    Sheer genius.

    The precedent that would set (Dropping existing cases) would be counter-productive to say the least.

    ...and since when did this become "about the CONSUMER"??? I don't recall the RIAA (or the legal system, for that matter) ever caring a whit about them.

    "This is obvious to all of us who do not work for the RIAA."

    *laughing*

    So anyone who disagrees with you works for the RIAA? Teehee... Yer so cute!

     

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  30.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re:


    ...and since when did this become "about the CONSUMER"??? I don't recall the RIAA (or the legal system, for that matter) ever caring a whit about them.


    And there, in one sentence, you have the real reason why the record labels are going out of business.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Funny how the vast majority of consumers still buy CDs, then, huh?

    I guess their all just stupid?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Brett Glass, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Why should they stop?

    If people were stealing YOUR property, would YOU stop suing them?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    J.Lee, Apr 4th, 2009 @ 1:33am

    RIAA

    Jesus H. Christ, everyone seems to hate the RIAA. How long will it be before someone resorts to violence to resolve the issue. I can hardly wait; the TV news of late has been boring!

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    bryan, Jun 8th, 2009 @ 8:16pm

    Re:

    lol you didnt say it first. people have been saying it for decades. ever since the whole "American" image was shattered during the war in vietnam, and probably before that. but this time it may actually be true. america really is fucking up

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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