We here at 4080Records have covered this subject a few times, and doubtless you’ve seen it all over the internet or at least read it in the papers. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been on a crusade to sue everyone they possibly can.
Allegedly, this mission is to help stop the flow of piracy. They’ve been behind the legal action that have managed to bring down some big names like Napster, Torrentspy and most of the other big peer-2-peer companies.
More importantly, they’ve sued thousands of American citizens, ranging from grandmothers, dead grandmothers, university kids, single mothers and a lot of others. Granted, some of them probably deserved to be sued based on the wide-scale of their piracy. But a lot of them didn’t. Some were taken advantage of by family members exploiting their internet connection, others only downloaded one or two songs. Not to attempt to justify it or anything, but I think thousand dollar settlements for one or two tracks is obscene.
Overall, this has been a public relations disaster for the RIAA and a lot of major labels. CD sales still slide, but in my view it’s not piracy that’s to blame. Instead, the insane popularity of things like ipods and other mp3 players are to blame. Why would you buy a CD when you can buy the electronic file from Amazon, Itunes, Napster, or any of the other services? And there’s a lot of good music out there that’s completely legal and free! The RIAA argues that they sue to stop piracy, and they sue to make sure artists are compensated for their efforts. We here at 4080 can get behind that idea. If you love an artist, buy the album. Go to the show. Buy some merch. Or mail them a cheque. Do whatever your conscience dictates, but make sure to support artists you love. The more underground the artist, the more important your support can be.
Now, the New York Post is reporting that the music artists that the RIAA claims to represent, in whose name the RIAA is suing, have not seen the money from these settlements yet.
A contingent of prominent artist managers claims that little to none of that money has trickled down to their clients. They are now considering legal action.
“Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for,” said lawyer John Branca, who has represented Korn, Don Henley, and The Rolling Stones, among others.
“Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don’t get paid soon.”
Interesting that the artists are considering suing the RIAA and their record labels for some of this money that was collected to support them.
Now you’ll understand the quote from whence this site got its name. A Tribe Called Quest was right.
“Industry Rule number 4080, record company people are shady.”