23 September 2007

Kai Ryssdal/Bob Moon Story on 4 Years of RIAA Lawsuits

The old goats at the RIAA have now been suing file-sharers — and innocent people, including grandmothers and small children — for four years now. Kai Ryssdal on public radio has a three-part story on the absurdity and cruelty of the RIAA. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

In Part 1 we learn that the RIAA harrasses a single mother and her 7-year-old girl. They refuse to look at the woman’s computer, presumably because forensic examination might show that she is innocent (a key part of the RIAA’s strategy is to maximize pain while minimizing due process). The kid is deposed, and the RIAA accuses her of illegally distributing gangsta rap.

EFF’s Fred von Lohmann sums up the RIAA’s “legal” strategy:
VON LOHMANN: One of their spokespersons once said, “Sometimes when you go fishing with a driftnet, you catch a few dolphins.” And that, I think, really is their attitude about that.

Meanwhile, wonderful music is available legally and for a decent price (DRM-free high-ish bitrate MP3s, playable on any platform) from emusic.com. Some of my favorite, non-RIAA-affiliated artists:

The RIAA has made a helpful page so we can check the consumer abuse factor before we buy: RIAA Members.

Ultimately, the solution to this whole mess will be something like collective licensing.

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