Second Way To Get RIAA To Drop Case: Die And Get Your Story Told Widely

from the start-making-a-list dept

Last month we pointed to a few examples of the RIAA dropping file sharing lawsuits once it became clear that they couldn’t prove who was actually using the internet connection (since they only have IP address info to base their lawsuits on). Trying that is probably a more reasonable method than dying, especially after yesterday’s story wondering why the RIAA would keep going after a family after the person named in the suit had died. As we explained, even if it was within the RIAA’s legal right to go after the estate (as it is), it seemed like a ridiculously bad move from a PR standpoint, for almost no real gain for the RIAA. It appears that, in fact, no one at the RIAA actually thought through the consequences of pushing on with the case (following a 60 day break to allow the family to “grieve”). However, once the issue started getting a bunch of attention over the weekend on various blogs, the RIAA has now decided to drop the case. They explain that the man who passed away had admitted that his stepson had actually done the file sharing, so they were simply trying to finalize the details of a settlement. However, out of their “abundance of sensitivity” (yes, they used that phrase), they have decided to drop the case. Seems a bit funny that said abundance of sensitivity didn’t show up until the equally abundant “bad PR” hit the internet.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Second Way To Get RIAA To Drop Case: Die And Get Your Story Told Widely”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Matthew says:

Re: Can and should

Can and should by dorpus on Aug 15th, 2006 @ 1:55am

What’s to prevent future pirates from taking advantage of dead relatives to steal music?

Spoken in your typical classy fashion, Dorpo.

A man dies and you would demand to press on the search for a couple grand. Who wouldn’t rat out their step son, after all, it isn’t like it is real flesh-and-blood, is it? And yet they back off based on the political PR issues. Sounds like Republican flip-flopping to me. (MP3s of mass-destruction?)

They have the keys to the candy store and their fingers are getting messy.

Celes says:

Re: Re: Can and should

How come whenever someone says something stupid, someone else remarks on their political affiliation?

I know plenty of people from all parties who are stupid, greedy, and pigheaded. (Note that I said “all”, not “both”. I’m registered independent, and all the little parties under that flag have them too.)

Some of them are so pigheaded that they use “Republican” or “Democrat” as a derogatory term. There are intelligent, caring, good people in all parties, too.

VPR says:

I doubt all the “abundance of sensitivity” were from blogs alone. If I were an artist I would have personally called the RIAA & shared a comment or two concerning their less-than-clever decision.

Their reversal of position doesn’t change a damn thing as far as I’m concerned. The fact is they were going to pursue it in the first place.

To the one person who made the decision to grant the 60 day extension instead of just dropping it…well done. Your keen skills may be thorough, but they’re far from people-friendly. Since the RIAA’s actions are being watched more now than before, perhaps a better location for you is running the mail room.

I hope they pay you well, fricking scavenger.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Perfect solution

No, there’s one better way to keep the RIAA off your butt.. Don’t buy ANY music 🙂

Don’t download it illegally either though..

Just listen to the radio, lol.

I won’t buy from any artist that’s associated with the RIAA, period. Ever.

Anyone know of a list out there of artists who are NOT members of the RIAA?

Dastardly says:

Take Squatting one step further....

Why wait until they die? Find someone who has no real value in society, use their IP to download and upload all the content you can, then help them get out of the lawsuits by offing them yourself. Its no worse than the RIAA’s tactics here..

(Just joking, I would not suggest doing that to anyone unless the worked directly for the RIAA… Hmmmmmmm….)

welovtod/l says:

to buy or not to buy

i hate it when people say if you would just buy the music it would all be ok. thats bull Shit we download to listen and if we think it is worth the 12 or 13 dollers to buy the shit then we will buy it. so dont tell me that we are killing the industry buy down loading the shit. they make enough money off of one cd to live a life time.

Bull Shifter says:

Re: to buy or not to buy

Hey, buddy. I’ve heard of this invention that’s been around for a while. It’s got a couple of knobs on it. One says “ON-OFF” and the other has a bunch of numbers on it – 88 to 108 – or something like that. If you turn that “On – OFF” knob past the little clicky thing you’ll hear noise come out of it. If you turn the other knob, you hear music. I couldn’t believe it. You can hear Country, Rap, Rock, all kinds of stuff!!!

You want samples? Turn the friggin’ radio on.

Spartacus says:

Probably not original

Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone would sneak onto the RIAA headquarters computer network and downloaded and uploaded gigs of music? I bet you’d have an overzealous lawyer see an IP addy and just decide to sue before he/she found out who it belonged to. This is probably not an original suggestion but I’d love to read about someone doing it some day.

yangyang (profile) says:

Re Ha Ha Ha

You really don’t get it do you Sanguine Dream, once they caught on to the bad press, they gave up their greedy ambitions and decided to cut out in the hopes of making some kind of endearing statement about themselves. Still, anyone feeling rotten about the RIAA can comfort themselves with the thought that sooner (rather than later) their long spindly grasping miserly misanthropic fingers will soon drop off when the final nail in their coffin is driven in. Internet being the proverbial hammer.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: Re Ha Ha Ha

I do get it. My bad for not adding the sarcasm markers on that statement. This story came up here a few days ago and a few people went into how RIAA may have pursued simply to get a piece of the estate. That first post I made was just for them. My point was that just like most of the other actions the RIAA has been taking money is not the immediate short term goal. The short term goals are power, fear, and media spin and this sudden dropping of case is definitely media spin. And you could call their initial desicion to go after the estate fear.

VPR says:

Anyone know of a list out there of artists who are NOT members of the RIAA?

Ironically I thought about doing this myself but figured there was already a site that had that information.

What about all the good things that the RIAA has done?

Ever hear the term “One “awe-shit” ruins all the “atta-boys” you had”? In this case the RIAA can’t seem to stop their trend of “awe-shits”…or just don’t care to.

Honestly, what type of person tells a kid he should drop out of school because he downloaded music files?

Bull Shifter says:


I went to the RIAA website. It is basically an organization which represents the record companies. The record companies represent the artists, record their music, and tend to various business enterprises, I would imagine. If you’re going to condemn RIAA, then condemnation would be in order from top to bottom: RIAA, the record companies, and the artists.

Although their techniques aren’t that palatable, this case of overkill is greatly blown out of proportion. Everyone is siezing on this one instance to rationalize and justify what is basically an illegal activity. I’ve read on this and the previous post, comparisons to Hitler, Little Big Horn, etc, ad-nauseum, so that people can say this. RIAA is wrong so I can do wrong.

It reminds me rearing my kids. One of the boys comes home crying because the neighbor kid hit him. I go to check things out and come to find out my kid started the whole thing by taunting and hitting the neighbor kid himself. The moral is this. When you look at things only on the surface they appear alot more damning that if you start peeling back the onion to get the whole picture. Same goes for the MIT student. Look at the whole picture. Ask the hard questions. How much music did the guy ILLEGALLY download. Was it one song? I doubt it. The guy obviously had the whole Motown collection, the Classic Rock library ’64-’69, etc, and made no bones about sharing his booty.

No matter what anyone says, your momma’s taught you this. Don’t mess with it if it doesn’t belong to you

KevinG79 (profile) says:


Fuck you, Bull Shifter. You and your pro-RIAA friends once again totally miss the point. I will say it again… the advent of online file sharing has actually HELPED record sales. When will you idiots (RIAA supporters and the RIAA itself) REALIZE that? And perhaps if a CD with 10 shitty songs out of 13 didn’t sell for $21.99, more people would actually buy CDs.

And I just love how you call me a criminal for downloading a song…but yet you fail to see the true criminal. Oh, you went to their bullshit website and that made you feel good about their business, right? You actually believed all their BS progaganda and that the RIAA is “there for the artist.” You are so friggen BLIND. The RIAA steals more from the artists than any downloader ever could.

Bull Shifter says:


And back at ‘cha, baby doll. What does what you’ve stated have to do with the fact that:

A – downloading and distributing files is illegal

B – If you download and distribute files, someone will come after you.

That, my exciteable friend, is the point.

The other statements you’ve made are rationalizations. Oh, and I didn’t call you a criminal. It’s an “if the shoe fits” situation. So, you incriminated yourself. Also, I cut to the chase and gave a down and dirty assessment of their overall purpose. Again, you called them “there for the artist.”

Yes, I wear corrective lenses. They obviously help me see the bottom line on the issue. More than I can say for you. You’re dealing with fluff, buddy, and your view is clouded with a child-like rage due to the fact that someone is out to make people responsible for their actions. I can see why you’re angry. People don’t like to “Man up” and say, you know, I fucked up.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: RIAA

They obviously help me see the bottom line on the issue.

Funny then that you seem to totally miss the bottom line. The point is that the RIAA’s actions have continued to hurt their business by pissing off their biggest fans. The “bottom line” is coming up with a new business model that embraces what the fans want, rather than pissing them off at every turn and calling out the lawyers.

I have said repeatedly that I do not condone the distribution of unauthorized files. I don’t download or share songs myself. It is illegal.

However, the “bottom line” is that it’s a bad business policy for the RIAA to go down this route rather than looking for ways to deliver what people want.

Bull Shifter says:

Re: Re: Re: RIAA

Sorry, Buddy, you missed the target. There is a difference between the bottom line and a side issue.

“the RIAA’s actions have continued to hurt their business by pissing off their biggest fans” This is a result of the RIAA’s actions. Besides, if I recall, the RIAA has no fans. It’s a trade organization comprised of record companies. When’s the last time you, as a fan, went to an RIAA concert?

“…coming up with a new business model that embraces what the fans want, rather than pissing them off at every turn.” What these “fans” want is free music. If you had a box of cookies and your friends kept taking them from you without asking, would you come up with a new business model that embraces your friends so that you wouldn’t piss them off….. for stealing your cookies?

“the “bottom line” is that it’s a bad business policy for the RIAA to go down this route.” It’s actually good business policy for the RIAA to not only go down this route but to also take up all 4 lanes on this road. They’re recovering money lost from file sharing. And, don’t YOU go down the “route” of saying the artists/record labels/etc make too much as it is. That’s called free enterprise, and, again, it’s a side issue. If you were The Beastie Boys, you’d want to be able to make money off of your record “sales” as well as anyone else.

Don Gray says:

Why has...

no one asked what impact the RIAA dropping this suit has on future lawsuits?

The RIAA has demonstrated in this case that they really weren’t harmed by the activity that the decesaed was acused of. They say they were in settlement talks, but have now decided to abandon any claims and essentially accept a settlement of zero dollars.

If the RIAA was truly damaged by this activity then they wouldn’t have settled for $0…

If I ever got sued by the RIAA (interesting, since I don’t download music…) I would point directly to this case.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...