RIAA Still Filing Lawsuits…

from the but,-of-course dept

Back in December, the RIAA claimed that it had discontinued its strategy of filing lawsuits against individual file sharers. Specifically, the RIAA’s letter to Congress stated “we discontinued initiating new lawsuits in August.” While we’ve pointed out in the past that this is wholly untrue, some Hollywood lawyers took us to task, claiming the RIAA never said anything of the sort (even as RIAA lobbyists have been pushing that exact story to the press over and over again). It seems the entertainment industry wants to have it both ways. They want to claim they gave up the lawsuits when it suits them as a publicity stunt, but when you corner them, they want to claim that they never said they’d stop filing lawsuits. So, the lawsuits keep coming. As Ray Beckerman has noted, there are still new lawsuits being filed on a regular basis. Once again, the RIAA’s original claim appears to have been nothing more than a PR stunt to get newspapers to claim the group had given up on its backwards legal strategy, when the truth is quite different.

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Comments on “RIAA Still Filing Lawsuits…”

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32 Comments
Tgeigs says:

Question

“It seems the entertainment industry wants to have it both ways”

Ok, so is this a purposeful disinformation campaign against the public by the RIAA, where they claim they are/will doing/do something they have NO intention of doing? Or is this simply what we used to call a chain-of-command issue, where the orders from the top aren’t properly being communicated and implemented by the “ground troops”?

Pjerky (profile) says:

I call this...

BS from above. The RIAA is just a slimy organization trying to strong arm as much money out of individuals as possible. I would really like to see this type of lobbying stopped, but I am not sure the best approach to stop the bad ones while letting the good ones continue. Granted you could argue that there is no such thing as a good lobbyist.

Tgeigs says:

Re: Re: Re: I call this...

In the service, “big stick” has a very different meaning. Although since I was Navy, I guess that doesn’t really help to convince that I’m not gay.

But here’s the real question: when have I ever said that I was a male? Why did you take my stick reference to mean phallis (sp?)? Just because someone is in the military, which I know I mention, does not make me male (although I am). How politically incorrect of you.

And BTW, I know it’s a play on words, but Ima is a girl’s name 🙂

Eponymous Coward says:

RE: Question

While this may well be, on some level, a chain-of-command issue, it is still wholly worthy of ridicule in my opinion, because we are now nine months out from the initial announcement that the RIAA is no longer filing lawsuits. As convoluted as any chain of command may be, to think that it will take 3/4 of a year for an email to filter down from the head brass to the grunts is laughable.

I read this situation as the possible result of two different scenarios: Either the RIAA truly wants to have it both ways, or they are so incompetent that they cannot effectively manage their own people. Neither case makes the disconnect between their public stance and their actions acceptable, and both show that they are unworthy of trust at this point.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

If the point of the lawsuits is to put fear into people, to stop them from using P2P, then what’s the point of pretending the lawsuits have stopped?

And I have to say that this sentence “we discontinued initiating new lawsuits in August” really does not mean anything.

First, it doesn’t say that the RIAA “stopped” doing anything. To “discontinue” does not mean to “stop,” it means “to break the continuity of.”

Second, anything it does say about the RIAA is limited to only the month of August. For example, if I say “Best Buy stopped having 10% off sales in August.” That in no way means that Best Buy stopped having 10% off sales forever.

Third, more ambiguity is added by the word “initiate.” The use of “initiate” gives the RIAA a lot of wiggle room to start new lawsuits. If anyone complains, the RIAA can merely say, “this lawsuit was actually initiated sometime ago when we first started investigating it.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Crack

The lawsuits are like Crack. On some days some people in the RIAA want to quit, but it is hard to go cold turkey.

It reminds me of conferences where industry people seem to come out of their haze and start talking about how the industry’s real problems aren’t piracy. Just when you think they have had a breakthrough moment someone stands up and says “but we have to do something about the piracy” and they all nod and go back into denial. They are sure they can quit, but it would feel so good just to file one more lawsuit. Really, they can quit any time. In fact they will quit. One little lawsuit won’t matter. Really.

Ric says:

Reap what you sow

They so long ago turned us from fans into consumers that they forgot that they are engineers of their own downfall. I payed a great deal for music at one time in the past when they held a delivery monopoly and cared about the quality of what they released.

However, those days soon passed and their greed was their undoing as they thought they could forever dictate to us the ‘New’ consumer. Well, they pushed many of us too far and when physical media became obsolete … so to became their business model and business practices. I have turned into the kind of audio respository where I lovingly digitize and post entire back catalog discographies in order to ensure that vintage is not lost and fans that have paid way more to the industry than it deserves, get what they need and what the content owners fail to provide. Think of all the money you lost on music fans like me, and honestly, good new music is a rare commodity and something I can get from most of the artists themselves, so quite frankly:

I just dont need you anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

I am wary of utilizing Mr. Beckerman’s blog as an authoritative source for advancing the claim that the RIAA has reneged on its word and/or outright lied. I respect Mr. Beckerman as an able advocate for the causes of his clients, but at the same time do recognize that it serves his clients’ interests to try and characterize the RIAA as an organization that is not trustworthy.

The data I have seen to date informs me that these so-called “new” lawsuits are little more than the continuation of previously existing lawsuits that at the time of the RIAA’s public announcement were then at the stage of “Doe” complaints, and that once “Does” were identified the “Doe” reference was changed to the name of the actual defendant.

Does either Techdirt, Mr. Beckerman, or any other organization possess data demonstrating that a “brand spanking” new lawsuit has been initiated that was not at the time of the announcement by the RIAA the subject of a then existing lawsuit?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It bears mentioning that the RIAA is an industry association that does not file lawsuits. Such filings are done by one or more labels who are the actual holders of copyright in the music associated with ongoing litigation.

It also bears mentioning that the RIAA is composed of and speaks for the record labels filing the lawsuits in question.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It bears mentioning that the RIAA is an industry association that does not file lawsuits. Such filings are done by one or more labels who are the actual holders of copyright in the music associated with ongoing litigation.

It also bears mentioning that the RIAA is composed of and speaks for the record labels filing the lawsuits in question.

It also bears mentioning that the RIAA has run and coordinated the legal strategy, and is represented in the various lawsuits. Claiming that the RIAA is not involved in the lawsuits is an even bigger lie than saying that they discontinued the lawsuits.

Anonymous Coward says:

As long as the RIAA continues I will not pay a red cent for music. It will be downloads, borrowed, used CDs, radio, or simply do without.

I have a hard time understanding why the labels would continue to support an organization that is so clearly harming their financial interests. In the long term it will sort out, by strategy shift, or by bankruptcy.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Claiming that the RIAA is not involved in the lawsuits is an even bigger lie than saying that they discontinued the lawsuits.”

I did not make such a claim. What I did say is that the RIAA does not file lawsuits. The lawsuits are filed by the copyright holders. The fact these copyright holders are in many instances members of the RIAA is irrelevant. Even Mr. Beckerman concedes this point, and has stated he uses the term “RIAA” merely as a shorthand reference to the individual labels.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“What I did say is that the RIAA does not file lawsuits. “

That’s a lie!
they do file lawsuits!
Those suits when it is about getting money from the defaults.
Then it is RIAA as plaintiff that took over the claim from the previous plaintiffs, and it is the RIAA that keeps the money, no artist gets a single cent from those suits!

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