The RIAA believes it is on the cusp of victory in its lawsuit against Limewire, thanks mainly to its large selection of damaging charts. However, it seems to be expecting the worst, if these leaked documents are any indication. All evidence below indicates that the RIAA will be willing to settle for only $15 billion (out of a possible $55 billion). Not only that, but it already has plans in place for the dispersal of the Limewire settlement.
First and foremost, the legal war chest must be refilled. It never sleeps and it is always hungry. Copyright won't protect itself and every battle to secure these rights has become long, uphill and against the wind.
A $15 billion payout doesn't come around every day and our executives are justly entitled to a large chunk of that ($3.15 bil.). As an added bonus (to the bonuses), all executives will be treated to a celebratory blimp ride ($2.25 bil.). This dollar amount seems high until you consider that each executive will be requiring their own blimp. Previously, the executives had shared one blimp, but in the post-Napster environment, "sharing" is obviously no longer a legal option.
Other line items include the ongoing efforts in Washington to impose the RIAA's will on the internet, research and development and the opaquely-named "Other Expenditures."
(1) Other Expenditures
Having run the "Stealing a Song = Stealing a Car" analogy into the ground, we need a new "go to" catchphrase. Hence, $1.05 billion should be earmarked for development of a new anti-piracy metaphor. Suggestions include:
Other incidental expenditures include a much-needed re-upholstering of the executive suites and a celebratory hot tub full of money to splash around in with various members of the escort community, each of whom will be paid in full for their services, including any fees due for public performance.
(2) Research and Development
A lion's share of the payout will go towards the ongoing development of a time machine/wormhole to 1991 ($450 million). Many recent efforts have come close but the RIAA has yet to reach the pre-Napster days and develop a parallel timeline in which CD sales increase forever. On the plus side, it did manage to get our mom to hook up with our dad, thus ensuring our continued existence.
Other products/services on the way:
- A computer-unfriendly music delivery system, much needed in this time of digital theft. Wax cylinders have been discussed as well as a partnership with RealPlayer, whose clumsy, bug-ridden software would likely prevent music from being enjoyed on a wide variety of operating systems.
- "Lost Sales" calculation improvements, which should allow the RIAA to seek even larger damages from various file sharing services. It is hoped that we will finally reach the trillion dollar mark within the next decade. In addition, breakthroughs should also be sought in the "Shocking Graph" field, what with the recent success of the "Napster Ruined Everything" line graphs.
- A partnership with the developers of The Club to prevent music from being stolen. A possible route would be some sort of clamp that could be tightened around an ethernet cable to prevent uploading. In other words, not so much "throttling" as "strangling."
- Domain seizure technology, via the RIAA's partnership with ICE, which has already proven its ability to take thousands of sites offline despite lack of evidence or proper investigative techniques. On the front burner: cooperating with ICE's takedown of many large pharmaceutical companies who continue to make themselves rich off various anti-seizure remedies, including the weirdly-named Antivan and Dilantin.
Royalty disbursements, as expected, will be delivered in a "top down" fashion. Those artists with the most sales will receive a disproportionately large share of the proceeds. After the "Big 3" are taken care of (and a chunk of money thrown towards Paul McGuiness in hopes that some of it lands in his mouth), the remaining funds will be dispersed to yet more lawyers and an appreciable amount ($300,000 ) put towards the ongoing health of Jon Bon Jovi's remaining hair. It is hoped that he will be able to put off his eventual "Trump Hair" for another 7-10 years, thus ensuring his continued success in the field of "fairly attractive frontmen." See footnotes for royalty dispersals.
$300,000 will be divided evenly among those artists currently in the Top 40 at the point of dispersal. If said artist happen to include any of the "Big 3," well, I suppose the rest of you should just write better hits, right? There's no crying in the music industry, especially if you're unrecouped.
The remainder of the RIAA's roster will split $150,000. To qualify for payment, bands/musicians must have a viable Wikipedia page (stubs and pages slated for deletion do not count) and a web presence that includes more than just a long-abandoned MySpace page. (Try Facebook.)