Moby Says 'Disband The RIAA' For Winning $1.92 Million From Jammie Thomas

from the representing-the-artists?!? dept

As a whole bunch of you have sent in, the musician Moby has put up a blog post where he suggests the RIAA should be disbanded for its $1.92 million win over Jammie Thomas. While (unfortunately) he gets a few of the facts wrong (they didn’t sue her for $2 million, but it’s what the jury chose — though it is accurate that the RIAA has clearly suggested it has no problem with the statutory rates for infringement in the past), his overall point is sound. It’s ridiculous that the RIAA thinks this is the proper strategy:

argh. what utter nonsense. this is how the record companies want to protect themselves? suing suburban moms for listening to music? charging $80,000 per song?

punishing people for listening to music is exactly the wrong way to protect the music business. maybe the record companies have adopted the ‘it’s better to be feared than respected’ approach to dealing with music fans. i don’t know, but ‘it’s better to be feared than respected’ doesn’t seem like such a sustainable business model when it comes to consumer choice. how about a new model of ‘it’s better to be loved for helping artists make good records and giving consumers great records at reasonable prices’?

i’m so sorry that any music fan anywhere is ever made to feel bad for making the effort to listen to music.

the riaa needs to be disbanded.

This isn’t new territory for Moby. Way back in 2003, he got angry after finding out that some of his songs were being used by the RIAA to sue people, and stated: “I’m tempted to go onto Kazaa and download some of my own music, just to see if the RIAA would sue me for having mp3’s of my own songs on my hard-drive.”

Still, we’re seeing more and more artists react poorly to the RIAA, who still claims to represent them. Why is it that our politicians still buy that clearly incorrect story?

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Comments on “Moby Says 'Disband The RIAA' For Winning $1.92 Million From Jammie Thomas”

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44 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

Not-so coincidentally, Moby has a new album coming out this month that’s self-released through his own label now he’s free of the RIAA shackles.

Funny how so many of the artists who are becoming free of their contracts are going independent, despite the fact that all these actions are “for the artists”. Personally, I’m glad to see Moby return to his independent roots, where he blew everyone away with “Go” so many years ago… I’ll probably buy the new album “Wait for Me”, even though I didn’t bother with his last couple of major label releases.

R. Miles (profile) says:

It's not over yet.

Why is it that our politicians still buy that clearly incorrect story?
Actually, I read (Ars, maybe?) that some politicians are taking notice regarding the award amount and are rumbling some changes are needed as the “punishment doesn’t fit the crime”.

Moreso, I’m extremely curious how the jury even came up with the figure. Didn’t a single one of these morons stop long enough to realize it could just as well be them in the future?

But given the jury pool, I shouldn’t be surprised, as most, it seems, favors the “rights” of infringement.

Moby isn’t the only one I’ve seen blast this decision. More and more people, especially those in the music industry, are steadfast against the ruling’s outcome.

At any rate, things aren’t going to change. The “RIAAs” of the distribution world will never stop trying to “protect” their dying models.

It’s going to be interesting to see just how this case’s ruling plays out in the coming months.

Jammie may have lost the battle, but the war is certainly not over.

Rob (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I second that — I have never cared for his music, but if I could buy directly from him I would most certainly do so simply to give him my support because he seems like a pretty upright character. Unfortunately though, if any money goes to the RIAA, then I will not be able to do so as I have been successfully boycotting them for 5 years now.

Bob Bunderfeld (profile) says:

Re: Disban the f***ers

Actually this would be collusion. In order for it to be Monopoly, then ONE single entity or individual would have to own the majority and have a Market Share large enough to be considered a Monopoly; although I believe there might be some other Monopoly type law that prevents “Monopolistic Practices” without being a Monopoly.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

The best way to fight them is to drive them out of business. It will happen eventually as artists release on their own. And I am sure that pretty soon, we will see an organization which will help artists implement the whole connect with the fans etc business model. When that happens, we’ll have reached a tipping point. At the moment, the problem is that artists are getting the message that without copyrights they’ll starve. Of course, that is bull, but if a big org emerged which told artists: Here is how you can make a shit load more money without copyrights and we’ll help you (for a price of course). Then we will have won…

Benjamin (user link) says:

How about this. All the artists that are getting fed up wit the RIAA, especially if you could get some of the artists from the list of 24 she was fined on, throw a benefit concert for Jammie Thomas. All sales and proceeds go to help her pay the legal fees and fines. Wouldn’t that just piss in the RIAA’s Wheaties. And every time the RIAA sues someone else; lather: rinse: repeat. Or hell, rather than tweeting about it or saying you’re going to go download your own songs (which the statistical likelihood that the RIAA would come after you is rather abysmal), maybe do something tangible. Write some songs about it, maybe a whole album, put it online for all to download. Anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh who cares? Seriously.

Over the past few months, this place has become a one trick pony.

For how long has Techdirt been talking about “releasing” their health care ideas? Gee, the national debate on health care is on all front pages, yet nothing here. What, you want to wait until it is settled before letting your opinion known?

You talk of the rule of law being important but ignore what the government is currently doing to various bond holders?

I don’t know about you, but I think all this talk on patents, copyright and trademark is a pretty small topic when you look at what is currently being debated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Except this is how our freedoms are being destroyed and how they’re seeking to control the Internet. This is how copyright is being destroyed and how ginormous corporations are taking over (even more). They have more politicians in their pockets than probably any other industry, and that doesn’t scare the shit out of you? It does me. I now fully *EXPECT* politicians to be totally corrupt and to make laws that are blindingly obviously for corporate america and NOT for the people they’re supposed to represent, and that’s fucking sad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Oh who cares? Seriously.

Over the past few months, this place has become a one trick pony.”

I know how you feel! Last week I was logging into an Oracle tech support forum, and I was so sick and tired that everyone was always whining about how their discs weren’t working and stuff! Can’t they talk about something else for a change? Like, discuss the latest episode of Dr. House or exchange key lime pie recipes, for crying out loud!

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh god, this is rich.

Moby. Didn’t Eminem say “nobody listens to techno”?

He is going to release a new album. How was that album paid for? By the money Moby made as part of the process that includes the RIAA. Perhaps if he gave away all his money, all his stuff, and went back to how he was before he had a recording contract and THEN started making comments, we would have something. Moby got rich off the system, and now he fingers his nose at it.

Classy guy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: AC the dumb dumb

He is going to release a new album. How was that album paid for? By the money Moby made as part of the process that includes the RIAA. Perhaps if he gave away all his money, all his stuff, and went back to how he was before he had a recording contract and THEN started making comments, we would have something. Moby got rich off the system, and now he fingers his nose at it.

Wrong. Instinct Records is not and was not in any way a part of RIAA. So no, he did not get rich off of the “system” perpetuated by RIAA and their shills (like you). Try again, clown.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Maybe it’s because I’m from the UK where the 1988-1993 rave period was where Moby made his name originally, but that’s wrong IMHO. He had his first UK #1 (Go) while signed to an independent label. Not only that, but did so during a period where major labels would normally ignore that kind of music (until the likes of XL Recordings started getting regular top 10 hits).

Perhaps you’re a latecomer who only discovered Moby when every ad, TV show and movie seemed to feature music from the Play album, but Moby is definitely one artist who didn’t make his name on the back of major labels (though he did end up signed to them for a while).

SuperSparky (user link) says:

Al Capone would be proud

Al Capone had a successful business of racketeering, “protection”, speak-easy’s, and low quality contraband booze. The government could never get him for it. It took tax evasion to finally take him down. Frankly, the actions of the RIAA is racketeering and yet supported by our judicial system.

Al Capone should have entered the music business. He’d never been investigated in the first place.

What kind of a brain-dead jury awards this much to anyone, private or company, for such a small infraction? I swear, people are completely stupid. They’d better hope their children haven’t downloaded any songs … idiots.

Anonymous Coward says:

The RIAA offices need to be picketed day and night until they are forced to reimburse everyone they have sued for the amount they sued them for (not the settlement amount, but the original suing amount) and are bankrupted and shut down, their legal team disbarred, and their execs put on trial for racketeering and extortion charges, among others.

Rosedale (profile) says:

I applaud Moby

I really do. Go Moby! I still say in what twisted world would ever think it right to ask for or award such an egrigious amount of money from a private, otherwise law abiding, citizen who profited 0 from the infringement.

Ars ran a story today that was great. Talking about how such a huge sum is getting noticed by not only artists but lawyers, politicians, and lobbying groups. So there is a good chance that some steam against the RIAA could be put into motion. If it is anything like the backlash of The Pirate Bay than this could actually be for good!

Coyote says:

Agree with Moby, but..

The RIAA is bad for many reasons, and while they don’t deserve a dime, it was the jury that decided on the $2M in total penalties. They could have hit her with a $0.99 a song if they wanted to.

You want to talk stupid? Lie to the jury and get caught destroying evidence in your first trial, then appeal it. Jurors (aka. people like you and me) really don’t like having their time wasted. The massive punishment dealt to Thomas is, IMHO, deserved at this point. It’s just a shame the money is going to RIAA. She’s definitely a crook, but not for downloading music.

On that note, Moby should put his money where his mouth is. He has given a hell of a lot of money to animal rights groups. etc… if he’s serious about his sentiment, and he really thinks she should get a break, he should pay the $2M on her behalf, then fund his legal team until they find a way to withhold all proceed from his album sales from RIAA. Let him take on their lawyers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 'Tard Reading Comprehension

“Wow, YOU cant read, can you?

Moby was NEVER ON AN RIAA LABEL. Get it? Sheesh.”

Um… then why are Mute and V2 both listed on RIAA Radar’s list of RIAA labels? And although RIAA’s own site doesn’t list Mute as a RIAA label, it does list EMI, Mute’s parent label.

Here’s Moby’s listing on EMI’s site.

That said, so what? Moby, like many artists, signed onto RIAA labels for many reasons, including it being… well, just what everybody did who wanted to get known and sell albums in stores (the only way to sell music until relatively recently). Many artists have been on RIAA labels and have since realized that was a bad idea, and have left.

That’s okay. Moby, like many others, has opened his eyes and seen there are better ways. So can we stop this bashing on people because of former associations?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: 'Tard Reading Comprehension

“Moby was NEVER ON AN RIAA LABEL. Get it? Sheesh.”

Moby was signed in the UK to Mute Records in 1993, which became a subsidiary of EMI in 2002. In the US, he was signed to V2 Recordings, which was distributed by BMG before it was sold to Universal in 2007.

If you’re going to attack people, get your facts straight first. Moby was a major label, RIAA artist for most of his mainstream career.

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