Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The RIAA: still complete bastards

And the beast creeps closer.
[By Steven Musil, CNET Tue Aug 26, 10:20 PM ET]

The RIAA continues to sue people, not to stop them from downloading music or making music available for download, but just because they are bastards.
"RIAA experts found that Howell uninstalled Kazaa and reformatted his hard drive,..." and concluded that "'The deliberate destruction... by itself, compels the conclusion that such evidence supported Plaintiffs' case.'"
A husband and wife were sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for something or other, I think just breathing too loudly, but after the couple received notice of the suit, they deleted the offending material from their computer. But the RIAA believes that not doing something makes you just as guilty as doing it.

Judge: "And what is the RIAA position?"
RIAA: "Well, your honor, they fixed the problem."
Judge:"So you withdraw the suit?"
RIAA:"No, your honor, they fixed the problem!"
Judge:"Isn't that the basis for your complaint? That they were making music available on their computer? And so they stopped do it. Didn't that satisfy the complaint?"
RIAA: "Absolutely not."
Judge: "Why not?"
RIAA: "Because we are total bastards!"

In the real world, if your mango tree is dropping mangoes on my property that rot and attract insects, I might sue you to get you to cut back your tree. I want your mangoes off my property. But in the RIAA world, when they sue, they want you to continue whatever violation was brought in the complaint. Because if you continue, obviously, you're ignoring the complaint, but if you stop doing whatever is in the complaint, you violate the spirit of the complaint, which is that the RIAA needs you to give them more evidence to create a stronger case. Their argument is that everyone is guilty of something.

I still think we are witnessing the slow inexorable march toward libraries.

The RIAA can't possibly approve of what libraries do, since we allow so many people access to a single copy of something. There's got to be some law against that, right? And libraries don't charge for all this use! That's one Bette Midler CD borrowed one time... okay, strike that. That's one Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana CD borrowed 214 times multiplied by $16 in lost sales = how should I know. No one said there'd be math.
"The deliberate destruction... by itself, compels the conclusion that such evidence supported Plaintiffs' case."
So watch out librarians, for when you discharge that Bel Biv DeVoe CD, you are destroying evidence! And you will go to jail. Or more likely, be ordered to pay some billionaire executives about $3,000 as damages for all their lost revenue. Did I mention they're bastards?