THE RIAA IS GIVING AWAY MONEY !!!! … if you’re a lawyer.

money, money, moneyAs reported just about everywhere but broke by P2Pnet.com in the last couple of days it appears that in 2008 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) paid out to lawyers more than SIXTEEN MILLION DOLLARS to recover the fantastic sum of $391,000. Yeah, you’re not wrong. That is less. A lot less.

The RIAA (which really isn’t an industry association but an trade organization owned outright by four of the large “record” companies: Vivendi Universal, Sony, EMI, and Warner Music. That usually comes as news to most people since most of us assumed it was some organization companies paid dues to for protecting their rights. Whoops– not even close.

The website DailyTech did some number crunching and figured what the RIAA spent on its war campaign versus what they brought in and in the period 2006-2008, the RIAA spent $64 million to get back $1.36 million.

So how has it all worked out for the RIAA? I’m guessing that if you pay lawyers that much money to sue the living snot out of anyone who even smells like they downloaded illegal music the problem must be solved. Right?

Nope. I’m no expert but looking around the ‘net at the sites covering this and look at comments from people who know a hell of a lot more about this then I ever will the issue is alive, well and not going anywhere.

The music industry missed the boat with on-line music and continues to miss the boat. The average person (say 80-90% of the music buying population) would rather have an option to purchase music at a reasonable price then to steal it. This is same with software companies: if you know where to look you can get ANY software you want somewhere illegally but the majority of us don’t.

itunes music store sales

itunes music store sales - Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

As of Febuary 2010, iTunes has sold TEN BILLION SONGS. Billion.  That’s up from Twenty-Five Million in 2004.

There’s lots of people buying music and a lot of people that do download the occational illegal song would buy more too if the industry would just wise up and come up with a model that makes sense.

Oh, and I bet it would help if the popular perception wasn’t that most artists are getting screwed by the record company and were actually getting a fair share of the profit.

“(The record industry’s) treatment of artists has less sympathy and it’s more like ‘What can we get out of you?’ My only concern has always been that my audience is treated fairly.””(The record industry’s) treatment of artists has less sympathy and it’s more like ‘What can we get out of you?’ My only concern has always been that my audience is treated fairly.” –Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails

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