RIAA meets the face of evil, and it's a 12-year-old disadvantaged girl
September 9, 2003 9:01 PM   Subscribe

RIAA settles with a disadvantaged, now sick, 12-year-old girl. Read CNN's brief of the settlement and the feel-good synopsis by Gary Sherman, president of RIAA. OR, head over to the UK to learn that the 12-yr-old has been getting sick from anxiety, feels terrible for the fragile artists and lives in a rent control apartment with her family. I'd take the UK's cynicism over the US slant anyday.
posted by omidius (46 comments total)
 
They rip me off every time I buy a blank CD or tape just as though they were sneaking into my bedroom in the middle of the night.
posted by HTuttle at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2003


it's not personal, HTuttle, it's just business.
posted by quonsar at 9:36 PM on September 9, 2003


you understand about business, don'tcha HTuttle? and how's that nice-lookin' family of yours? all healthy, i hope.
posted by quonsar at 9:39 PM on September 9, 2003


Jesus. I saw this headline on Yahoo News earlier. I'm still waiting for "RIAA kills kittens with hammers."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:57 PM on September 9, 2003


This doesn't strike me as a cross-Atlantic disparity so much as a case of different target audiences. After all, The Register isn't a tv news network or a newspaper or even a news magazine; it's a computer news site specifically targeted towards IT workers. Technology websites on both sides of the Atlantic (cf. Slashdot or Arstechnica) have been quite unanimous in denouncing the RIAA's every move, while general media on both sides have generally taken a more 'balanced' approach.
posted by boaz at 9:57 PM on September 9, 2003


RIAA is a corrupt organization. I believe it is a mob-controlled, or at least mob-initiated, operation. It is villainous group of dinosaur-brained scum, and needs to be rendered extinct ASAP.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2003


RIAA kills kittens with hammers

The traditional method involves a dirty mag and a jar of lube, but to each their own.
posted by dhoyt at 10:07 PM on September 9, 2003


This sickens me. And makes me want to smack any RIAA rep in the face.
posted by fenriq at 10:10 PM on September 9, 2003


As a friend of mine said: "Please tell me someone's started a fund to get the money back to her family?"
posted by SpecialK at 10:36 PM on September 9, 2003


Didn't the RIAA violate the Child Online Protection Act by collecting information on this under 13 year old girl without the parent's consent?

Why doesn't this law apply to them?
posted by pemulis at 10:38 PM on September 9, 2003


That's a brilliant point pemulis, but given all the "You must be over the age of 13 to access this site" warnings you see around the net, it's possible she annulled that defence by choosing to access the service as a minor. Any legal minds here care to elaborate?
posted by Jimbob at 10:42 PM on September 9, 2003


rat bastards
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 10:49 PM on September 9, 2003


I'd like to hear some of the artists come out and say they support this kind of action. But they won't because they are cowards hiding behind (and under the thumb of) the record labels, who in turn are cowards hiding behind the RIAA.

It's time for me to start writing to my favorite bands who are on RIAA-member labels, and tell them I'm not buying their next album, and here's why.
posted by pitchblende at 11:32 PM on September 9, 2003


Jimbob - she was using Kazaa apparantly, there are no "You must be over the age of 13 to access this site" signs around.
posted by dabitch at 12:51 AM on September 10, 2003


How about helping Brianna raise the 2 grand? One dollar a pop for 2,000 MeFites would make quick work of it.
posted by moonbird at 1:21 AM on September 10, 2003


I'm in.
posted by influx at 1:30 AM on September 10, 2003


A mysterious swede by the name of robert entered #mefi and volunteered to make a paypal account and deliver the money. His e-mail address is robert@lowbud.com. He doesn't have a mefi account so I did him a favor.
posted by lazy-ville at 1:36 AM on September 10, 2003


Ahh. He isn't so mysterious after all. He's got a blog.
posted by lazy-ville at 1:46 AM on September 10, 2003


This doesn't strike me as a cross-Atlantic disparity so much as a case of different target audiences...
Also, I guess being part of that AOL Time Warner monster they need to tow the company line, while The Register is just doing what it does best, being really sarcastic.
I preferred the previous article on the subject myself...
Brianna could face charges of up to $150,000 per infringed song, but we have a feeling this might be a tad unrealistic. We suggest the RIAA take all of her toys instead.
posted by chill at 1:59 AM on September 10, 2003


You think the CNN coverage might be related to the fact that CNN is owned by AOL Time Warner, whose companies include Warner Bros, and Warner Music, distinguished RIAA members? Or am I just spouting conspiracy talk here?
This RIAA radar I think might come in handy...
posted by talos at 2:10 AM on September 10, 2003


Eh! Should have noticed chill's post making the same point on preview... It seems impossible to read or view the media nowadays without taking into account corporate ties.
posted by talos at 2:13 AM on September 10, 2003


From the CNN article:

Record companies blame illegal music file-trading for a 31-percent fall in compact disc sales since mid-2000.

From the 2003 Annual Report of EMI (Chairman's Statement):

Sales in Recorded Music fell 12.6% to £1,774.2m as the result of a combination of factors including macro-economic effects in some regions, a growing impact of piracy in all its forms and the disruptive impact of our restructuring activities, some of which took longer than originally planned.

("Piracy in all its forms" would include those warehouses in Asia cranking out pirate CDs by the truckload, not just file-trading.)

But never fear, shareholders:

Our focus on generating profitable sales—rather than market share at any cost—together with full delivery of the projected cost savings and efficiency improvements from restructuring, resulted in an increase in operating profit (EBITA) of 81% to £150.5m. Our performance in North America was particularly pleasing as we saw margin improve by over 12 percentage points. The UK business had another year of excellent progress and in South East Asia we moved into profit for the first time in a number of years.
posted by rory at 2:48 AM on September 10, 2003


(I'm not trying to say that 12.6% < 31%, by the way, because they're calculated over different periods, and this is only one company. Just pointing out that (a) falling sales, at least for this major company, are by its own admission the result of many factors, and (b) a fall in sales need not mean—has not meant—a fall in profits.)
posted by rory at 2:54 AM on September 10, 2003


$2,000 is a small price to pay to avoid the negative publicity.

Just another reason I'm glad I don't buy RIAA music.
posted by infowar at 5:31 AM on September 10, 2003


As a friend of mine said: "Please tell me someone's started a fund to get the money back to her family?"

Good idea. But first let's make sure that the RIAA can't garnish any of the little girl's income as a punishment for her heinous crimes.
posted by sic at 5:57 AM on September 10, 2003


I'd like to hear some of the artists come out and say they support this kind of action. But they won't because they are cowards hiding behind (and under the thumb of) the record labels, who in turn are cowards hiding behind the RIAA.

It's time for me to start writing to my favorite bands who are on RIAA-member labels, and tell them I'm not buying their next album, and here's why.


Well, here is your chance. RIAA Members

In fact, I say we go one better....whoever your favorite band is, just write them and say you will never buy their CDs as long as they are members of the RIAA. Finding out if they actually are could be too much work. If they write back and say they aren't, then continue shopping.
posted by CrazyJub at 6:04 AM on September 10, 2003


here's another site raising money.

here.
posted by Woney at 6:14 AM on September 10, 2003


What a whacked case. Of course I feel bad for this 12 year old and I feel that the RIAA has gone overboard in prosecuting someone such as a CHILD.

However, remember - she did pirate those goods, not purchase them.
posted by tgrundke at 6:18 AM on September 10, 2003


Arrr, and the curse shall never be lifted, me hearties.
posted by rory at 6:23 AM on September 10, 2003


However, remember - she did pirate those goods, not purchase them.
posted by tgrundke at 6:18 AM PST on September 10


Jesus christ read the story. The girl and her parents are both obviously not the savvy internet users such as yourself tgrundke. They said they paid the $29.99 for access and thought that gave them the right. Maybe they're lying. Maybe not. I'd tend to think not. I've seen too many people who think that they can get to the "interweb" or that "online thing" and do what they want.

$2000 for a single mom, living in the projects has to be a major financial hit. Pirated or not, this is just complete bullshit.

And tgrundke, what would we find if we snooped around your computer? Are you completely and totally sin free? Hmmmm?
posted by damnitkage at 6:41 AM on September 10, 2003


I think the issue that the RIAA is pursuing isn't even the downloading of the songs -- they are going after the people who download and then share. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the RIAA ... but I think the RIAA detractors are also making misleading arguments: she was targeted because she was making copyrighted work available for download from her machine, not because she downloaded the files in the first place.
posted by bclark at 6:45 AM on September 10, 2003


And isn't Kazaa set up to automatically share the files in your download folder? I know that the p2p software I use automatically puts anything I've downloaded into a "shared" folder that is made available to others on the network--I have to manually move everything out of that folder. If Brianna and her mother are relatively unsophisticated computer users, they more than likely accepted the default settings on Kazaa--i.e., to share everything in the download folder.
posted by eilatan at 6:54 AM on September 10, 2003


I don't think they even knew the songs stayed on their computer. They are quoted as saying they just listened and let them go. That is they deleted them out of the download log window and assumed that meant the song was gone. They probably had no idea there were songs still on their computer -- much less in a folder to be shared with the world.
posted by willnot at 7:13 AM on September 10, 2003


Just keep up the good work RIAA, keep it up....
posted by eas98 at 7:17 AM on September 10, 2003


I don't think enough of y'all are looking at this from the RIAA's perspective.

[Which, of course, says a lot of good things about y'all.]
posted by moonbiter at 7:21 AM on September 10, 2003


This only reinforces my feeling that it is everyone's solemn duty to pirate as much music as they can carry off.
posted by UncleFes at 7:39 AM on September 10, 2003


$2 a song, isn't that the going price for a CD anyway?
posted by m@ at 7:48 AM on September 10, 2003


This case illustrates a bigger problem in America: the lack of child labor prisons. Abused record companies need their money back so pull these kids out of school and have them package $17 CDs, clean up after J-Lo's posse, etc.

Think of all the poor artists, Thom Yorke of Radiohead probably lost 30 cents! 50 cent lost 50 cents! It all adds up people. May the privatized prison industry find a solution to help us all.

Oh, also can we brand these kids on the forehead. A nice P2P burned into their skulls will teach others a lesson about not messing with the all-powerful content industry. Perhaps a nice pro-business bought and sold senator can introduce a "lose your low-income housing if you trade mp3s" bill. Hollings, don't let us down!
posted by skallas at 8:18 AM on September 10, 2003


So any parents out there with children under 12 can expect their precious tots' crimes to cost around $1,000. That's comforting.

Time to get a token child for the house.
posted by carfilhiot at 8:41 AM on September 10, 2003


The strangest thing about this is that these people were paying $29.99 per month for Kazaa! People actually pay for Kazaa? Obviously the RIAA are targeting the dumbest first.
posted by carfilhiot at 8:44 AM on September 10, 2003


President of Grokster offering to pay the $2000 fine

Choice quote: "I thought that the two Joes, McCarthy and Stalin, were dead. But little did I know that they're both alive and well and running the RIAA."
posted by sinical at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2003


From the Current CNN article:
There are signs some people have stopped file-sharing since June, when the RIAA announced its lawsuit campaign, and also have moved to other file-swapping networks perceived to be safer than the market leader, Kazaa.

Traffic on the FastTrack network, the conduit for Kazaa and Grokster users, declined over the summer and climbed again last month, as has the number of people using less popular file-sharing software like eDonkey, Garland said.

At the same time, a decline in CD sales worsened. Between June 15 and August 3, the decline in CD sales accelerated 54 percent. And as of August 3, CD sales were down 9.4 percent over the same period in 2002, according to the Yankee Group.
The way we'll kill the beast that is the RIAA is to stop feeding it money. Don't break the law, but don't buy their product either.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:07 PM on September 10, 2003


If the RIAA is killed, it will be killed by artists refusing to continue to sign rapacious contracts with major labels -- not by you and a dozen of your friends refusing to buy CDs. After all, the artists have much more of a stake.
posted by kindall at 3:32 PM on September 10, 2003


from the cnn article Joey Michaels quoted:
At the same time, a decline in CD sales worsened. Between June 15 and August 3, the decline in CD sales accelerated 54 percent. And as of August 3, CD sales were down 9.4 percent over the same period in 2002, according to the Yankee Group.

I could be wrong, but wasn't this about the same time when everyone was worrying about unemployment going up and it being incredibly hard to find jobs and the economy not doing too well? Are they just looking at cd sales in some sort of vacuum or are they actually looking at the context of these sails going down? I, for one, have purchased maybe one or two cds since before I started going to school full time again [two and a half year ago]. [Before, I worked a full-time job and purchased approximately two or three cds a month.] I think it's just ridiculous that they continue to look at filesharing as the sole reason for their revenue loss, when they should be looking at the general economy of the country.
posted by zorrine at 4:35 PM on September 10, 2003


If the RIAA is killed, it will be killed by artists refusing to continue to sign rapacious contracts with major labels -- not by you and a dozen of your friends refusing to buy CDs.

if i boycott, and convince my friends to boycott, don't you think they'd try to convince their friends too? companies are brought to their knees by bad publicity and declining sales. this tactic by the RIAA is just one of the last gasps of an obsolete business model.
posted by schlaager at 4:42 PM on September 10, 2003


This case illustrates a bigger problem in America: the lack of child labor prisons.

I had a choking fit of laughter. Thanks.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:39 PM on September 10, 2003


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