Thanks guys, way to make me look like an asshole. In spite of my brash claims this week that Radiohead’s all-Internet marketing strategy would instantly end the music downloading controversy, a woman in Minnesota was ordered yesterday by a federal jury to pay $222,000 in damages for downloading copyrighted songs. How many songs? 24.
Yes, two dozen songs. That’s two albums (or five Pink Floyd albums). That comes to $9,250 dollars a song. There’s only one song worth that much cash: “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie.
So now this poor woman’s going to have to pay out the ass for whatever shitty Guns and Roses album she downloaded, and I think it’s a damn shame. And just so you know, record companies, action like this doesn’t help you in the least. Two hundred grand’s not going to cover the massive losses you’re taking while you drag your feet on your way to the 21st century, and in the meantime, you’re not helping your image much.
When a bunch of sexually harassed women band together to fight the sexist mining establishment, that’s a class-action lawsuit (and a fine film). But when Capitol Records, Sony, Arista Records, Interscope Records, UMG Records and Warner Brothers sue a single mother, that’s gang-raping your consumer.
And the RIAA must think that rape is okay as long as you just put the tip in, because they’ve recently begun sending hundreds of “discount settlement offers” to music pirates (ie, you) letting people pay a fee online to be taken off the “to sue” list. Is this okay now? Can giant companies literally blackmail us into giving them money because they’re losing profits and are too lazy or bloated to change their business paradigm? Would the barbarians have us pay for Josh Groban’s Christmas album? Can I possibly reference any more CRACKED blog posts in a single entry?
My only theory as to how they can get away with it is based on the following article excerpt:
Commenting on Gizmodo.com, a reader identifying himself as DirtyBacon said he was shocked but not surprised by the verdict.
I don’t care how reasoned your argument is, you’re not going to get much accomplished with the name DirtyBacon. Let’s step it up people. Unless you want to end up sporting a Time Warner Ankle Monitor (or TWAM) at all times, we need less PartyWang99’s and more Demosthenes18’s.