Leaked Documents Show How The RIAA Plans To Spend The Limewire Settlement

from the it's-not-75-trillion-but-it's-a-start dept

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.

Explanatory Notes

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 Payments

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.

*Charting Artists

$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.

*Non-Charting Artists

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.)

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Companies: limewire, riaa

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Comments on “Leaked Documents Show How The RIAA Plans To Spend The Limewire Settlement”

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A Dan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Let’s all go start our own artists label co-op with our own capital! Surely there isn’t anything that a label provides that’s actually useful to the artist, and all the people at the top do is make money off the lowly artists or office peons without contributing anything important to the company! Who needs direction anyway?

I’m sorry, when I see or hear “fat cats” I immediately discount what the person says. Perhaps you don’t deserve that, in which case I’m sorry.

I would never have expected money to go to the artists. The artists weren’t hurt by file sharing; the labels were.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here’s the skinny: no-one deserves to earn anything for nothing, not artists, not CEOs. The ones running the RIAA are doing nothing and earning many hundreds of thousands of dollars under a government mandate. In an era of huge deficits, why not try and eradicate excessive spending, subsidising an industry that refuses to adapt?

HM says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I wouldnt say his goals and ideology extend over the same area as the pirates but rather he knows that in this digital age piracy isnt going to disappear no matter how hard people try. Businesses would be better off competing with piracy on the market or using the 0 marginal cost of internet goods to their advantage rather than pretending we can roll back time to 1988. And that the current state of copyright, as evident by patent trolls and drug prices ect, does more of a hinder to society(or the advancement of science, public health, creative works ect)than to advance it, which is in opposition to its stated purpose.

I guess thats more for him to say than either of us, but that is certainly how i see things.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Speaking for myself alone,

It is not hatred it is a general dislike and contempt for people and/or organizations that feel entitled.

I really don’t care for people that want to glut themselves on a one-time accomplishment or even worse the one-time accomplishment of someone else.

So when someone stands in front of me spraying my face with spit as they demand that I payment for something that is more than 6 months old I get irritated.

I feel this way about my son’s girlfriend that is about to calve again and has never paid for groceries in her life because “the State gives” them to her just as much as I do about someone waving a copyright or patent in my face.

Fudbuster says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s because we can see the logical conclusion to all of this and that a huge heavy handed malevolent government is going to be required to enforce copyrights in an information based economy. Every principle of limited government will have to be abandoned for all of this copyright owner protectionism.

Mike Masnick says:

Re: Re: Re:

I hate copyright. I’m a chubby nerd that despises record labels and all the money they make. Even though they really don’t…
Which is kinda obvious, isn’t it? I mean, compared to musicians, how many record label employees do you see with a garage full of sports cars?

Anyway, musicians. I resent them because they were always cooler than me and got laid. I hate them cuz they’re the ones that make the money. Once again, kinda obvious. That show isn’t called “MTV’s Record Label Employee Cribs”, now is it?

So yeah, dig my blog where I pretend to to be about business models but in reality just bitch about copyright and piracy enforcement every week.

Irate Pirate says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Wow, that was pathetic. Makes me feel kinda sorry for you… kinda. If you really want to stick it to the pirates, figure out a way to successfully monetize piracy and single handedly save the industry we pirates supposedly hate. You would be a hero to your people, and they would canonize you as a saint. Of course, doing so would mean having to embrace pirates, and that is probably just too high of a price to bear for the mouth breathing copyright maximalist trolls/shills out there. Besides, we all know its really about control for you guys, not the money (yet).

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Serious question, when did this site become a pro-music-piracy site? Was it ever predominantly about tech or was its focus always on hating copyright?

I always got the impression that this site’s stance was “anti-stupidity” more than anything else, whether it’s tech related or not.

And copyright issues seem to be falling into that category more and more.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Try harder

You’re right. I must have been thinking about how copyright should be more like kidnapping: the victims are usually from a single generation.

Duly noted. Stealing a song is like kidnapping the artist’s children, waiting until the artist is dead and then coming back for their grandkids and etc. So, pirates are nothing if not tenacious.

charliebrown (profile) says:

What Makes People Turn Into Pirates?

It’s almost 4:30am as I type this but I’ve finished reading TechDirt and I’m bored. As a bit of a lark, I decided to think about what turns ordinary every day people into pirates on the internet. There’s quite a few variations of internet pirates out there. We’ll start with the uploaders first.

These are the people who crack software or write the applications that crack the DRM on DVD’s and the like. They enjoy the challenge. They do it for the glory of releasing it first. If “first” is before the copyright holder releases it, even better. And for a lot of them, if they can piss off a big corporation in the process, it’s all the more satisfying. These people also want to get movies out as soon as they are at the cinema or get that CD out the same day the promo copies are sent to radio stations. They do it for the virtual glory. They also do games.

These are the people who rip their CD’s and DVD’s and record stuff off the TV and radio to upload it for people just because they like to share their things. It doesn’t matter that they don’t necessarily know the people they are sharing it with, as long as they can make people happy.

Of course, some people just copy a CD or DVD they own or record a TV show for their friends. They’re not putting it up online. They are simple sharing a file or a burned disc the way people would tape an album for a friend in the 1980’s. But they are still pirates. It’s the way it is.

So now we’ve looked at the basic variations of the uploaders. There’s also variations on downloaders.

These people just download because they can. It doesn’t matter what they get, as long as they don’t have to pay for it. These people are just as likely to have a few Linux ISO’s as they are to have a Windows 7 ISO simply because they were free.

These people are also downloading stuff because it is free. However, they still on occasion buy things too. These are the people on a tight budget who would buy, say, a CD or DVD every week because that is all they can afford but, because they can download stuff for free, they have a dozen times more than they would otherwise have. They generally only have what they like and delete things they don’t like. These are the kinds of people who, in the 1980’s, were taping songs off the radio and taping TV shows in the 1990’s.

Not to be confused with the “Broke Downloaders”, these are people who want stuff that they can’t buy. CD’s that have been deleted since 1987, TV shows that somebody taped in the 1990’s that haven’t been released on DVD. They buy what they want but if they can’t buy it, it doesn’t mean they should go without. Chances are, if it exists, there is a pirate copy available to download somewhere. Sometimes these people don’t buy things because the only way to buy it is to pay a huge sum of money on eBay or Amazon Marketplace for it. Still not to be confused with the “Broke Downloaders”, if you want a CD, for example, and the only way to get it was to buy it from somebody asking hundreds of dollars for it, would you? Some would, some wouldn’t.

Of course, there are lots more reasons than this. When all is said and done, though, these are the three main categories that the majority of uploading and downloading pirates fall into. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this little article which I made up off the top of my head based on observations I’ve made across the last 10 years or so. And, in case you didn’t notice, I left out “money” from the uploading categories because the number of people who actually make money from uploading are so far in the minority as to barely be a blip on the radar.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What Makes People Turn Into Pirates?

great post, i just see one category missing.

Twice bitten downloaders:
People that have suffered buyers remorse too many times. Although happy to pay for content they enjoy they refuse to buy anything without sampling it first.

I got into pirating as a broke downloader in college. Now I have money but I hate buying an album to find out it only has one good song or buying a game or movie to find out its an overpriced piece of shit. I happily pay for things I feel are worth my money but I certainly sample a larger selection than what i end up buying.

Call me Al says:

Re: Re: What Makes People Turn Into Pirates?

Buyers remorse was my thought as well. At least a portion of my downloading is a try before you buy type of thing. In the non-digital days I would have rented it out, but considering buying something may cost $5-10 and renting costs at least ?3 it is crazy to rent now.

Anonymous Coward says:

What a hoot for satire.

Of course there won’t be even so much as enough money to pay the lawyers out of this ‘settlement’ even if they are shooting for the sky. (I heard Chicken Little complaining about this the other day)

They’ll get the domain as partial payment and at some point some idiot will think name recognition is a great way to pull in money. After which it will fall on it’s face.

Other than that, the great money hole has claimed another in the pursuit of the legal circus. The copywrong forces ought to go out with a bang and just go ahead and sue all the world governments for 3ʳᵈ party infringement and be done with it. It’s all those countries that house internet access companies fault you know.

Thanks for a laugh at the end of the week.

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