Print 51 comment(s) - last by mithunchetan.. on Jul 28 at 1:50 AM

The cold hard numbers show the RIAA's legal campaign to be about as successful financially as burning money in a pit.  (Source: Views Skewed)
"That does not make sense!"

In the infamous Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) 2008 IRS tax filing, the organization revealed the stunning financial futility of its battle against piracy.  The document[PDF], obtained by P2PNet, reads like a lawyer's dream and like a financial officer's worst nightmare.

At the end of the day, RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9,364,901 in 2008, Jenner & Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million to pursue claims against music pirates.  That's a total of over $17.6M USD.  And there were more law firms listed -- those were just the top three fees. 

In return, it received a mere $391,000 USD in compensation from its pirate victims.  In other words -- the RIAA spent over 45 times on lawsuits and threats than what it received in return.

The document proves similar to those obtained from past years.  For example in 2006 the RIAA in excess of $19M+ USD in legal fees and $3.6M USD investigative fees to pull in $455,000 (Source [PDF]).  And in 2007, it recovered $515,929 after spending $21M+ USD on legal fees and another $3.5M USD on its investigation (Source [PDF]).

In total, from 2006 to 2008 the RIAA spent $64M USD to make $1.361M USD.

Unless you're an electric car company, those kind of financials would typically spell the end of your company or organization.  However, the music industry seems more than happy to keep pouring money into the hole, as they feel they're overall preventing an even greater loss of revenue at the hands of pirates.

Unfortunately for them this may not be true at all.  Time and time again studies have shown that pirates will continue to pirate music and movies despite the RIAA's best efforts.  Piracy shows no sign of slowing down, despite all the lawsuits.  And likewise BitTorrent traffic continues to grow.

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RE: Meh..
By amanojaku on 7/14/2010 10:29:44 AM , Rating: 5
I stopped pirating because it was too much work to find sources that weren't being monitored. Funny thing is I stopped buying media around the same time. Pirating was a try-before-buy thing for me; with all the crap out today I'm not willing to take a chance on anything I haven't seen or listened to first. I don't listen to the radio any more as I'm 30+ (it seems like the market is the 16-28 crowd; Jonas, Kanye, Swift, Rihanna, Timberlake, Beyonce, BOOOOOOO!!! ), and by the time shows make it to disc I've already forgotten them and moved on to the next one.

An interesting side effect is that I see little value in buying media any more now that I've lived for years without buying anything. I'll pick up something rare or truly great (IMHO), like the Pink Floyd boxed set, complete with book and postcards. Or the AC/DC boxed set with poster, guitar pick, and bottle opener.

And thanks to the scrubbing YouTube regularly gets I can't find rare or little-known media any more. Like that black-and-white version of Beethoven's 5th by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. I haven't seen it for sale (I bought the boxed set of 9 symphonies, and it included a newer, crappier performance), and I was pissed when it was taken down due to copyright violation. WHO'S COPYRIGHT??? If I can't buy it it shouldn't be copyrighted!

RE: Meh..
By bigdawg1988 on 7/14/2010 9:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Try rhapsody, napster, or pandora. At least you can listen to the samples or songs and then buy what you want. I've found some good stuff on the rhapsody channels, although you do have to pay for it. Pandora's best if you don't want to pay (at least the 1st 40 hours).
BMI/ASCAP controls royalties for about 95% of all published music, even music in the public domain (WTF!). Those ass hats own the royalty business and nobody is big enough to stand up to them. Prince tried, but they ignored him and laughed at his ass, which probably drove him to saying crazy things like "the internet is over."

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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