Friday, February 2, 2007

RIAA gets bitchslapped


I really shouldn't be posting this as I work for the AFM and all, but I'm going to anyway.

The recording industry’s cartel known as the RIAA still hasn't stopped its ridiculous crusade attacking grandmothers and teenagers with enormous lawsuits for mp3 swapping. But 16-year-old Robert Santangelo isn't taking it lying down.

He filed a countersuit raising 32 defenses, including claims that the record companies, "ostensibly competitors in the recording industry, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and public policy" by bringing the piracy cases jointly and using the same agency "to make extortionate threats ... to force defendants to pay," the AP reports. His suit also claims the companies "have engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to defraud the courts of the United States."

You go, boy.

The RIAA claims it's trying to protect recording artists, but musicians themselves are speaking out in increasing numbers against its practices (see here). Seems to me all it's trying to protect is an archaic, bloated, overly bureaucratic system which hurts the very artists it claims to want to help.

Rather than spending millions in petty, irrational lawsuits (of which artists see not one dime, btw), the RIAA should focus its energy on working toward creating a legal means by which consumers can use file sharing programs while making sure that artists see their fair share. Sane organizations like Electronic Frontier Foundation are taking steps toward finding a constructive solution. If you want to take a stand against the madness, sign the EFF’s petition.

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