The Corporate Law Group

Music to No One’s Ears


The Recording Industry Association of America won its first case. In a blaze of self-righteousness it won $222,000 from a single mother from Brainerd, Minnesota, doing its part to keep our streets safe for gansta rap. The RIAA has filed 26,000 lawsuits over the last four years, but this was the first case to go to trial. The defendant had to pay $9,250 for each of 24 songs. Just ask any college student and for sure they have horror stories of someone down the hall in their dorm getting nailed for $4,000. The RIAA is on its third law firm in as many years, now handling cases through Denver firm Holme, Roberts & Owen. All we can say is HRO must not have been busy enough. The RIAA should have been out front in the evolution of digital music, but instead the best it can do is to weild the blunt instrument of law like a battle ax, crushing in the skull of all those really interested in music. Of course, they argue they are protecting “the artist.” Well, how about offering to let the artist keep more of what they earn for you? No Grateful Dead fans us, but we marveled at their willingness to let fans videotape and record their concerts. Thus was born viral marketing years before anyone coined the term. All the Buzz can say is that we are witness to the last gasps of the recording industry. The music industry is dead; long live music!
Paul Marotta

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