So I was giving a cursory glance over the latest news on Rolling Stone’s website and I came across yet another example of why everyone hates the RIAA over these lawsuits. Now, I could use this space to simply shit all over the rather fascist policies of this organization but that’s been done and probably better than I could this morning. Anyhow, when I read the story, two things stood out and more than likely they’re the same two for you as well:
1.) The original trial led to a judgement of $222,000 that jumped to $1.92M because of “an error in jury instructions” that resulted in a second trial. *cough*bullshit*cough*
and, more importantly,
2.) People still use Kazaa?!
That’s just mind-blowing to me, both because that was the program to use for file-sharing back in, oh, 2001 and also because torrents are so much safer. Just about every single lawsuit brought by the RIAA has been against file-sharers using Kazaa. I suppose we gotta chalk it to ignorance that people still use this program for both reasons…
Of all people, Richard Marx had something to say about this most recent suit, mainly because he was one of the artists listed as having been illegally shared. As he eloquently sums it up:
So now we have a ‘judgment’ in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset [the defendant] accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I’m ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.
So where does that leave us? Well, the RIAA will continue to sue so long as it sees that it’s working, even though – clearly – it isn’t. On the other hand, artists like Marx et al are speaking out against this practice. Meanwhile, this latest case has actually been deemed as unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause by Thomas-Rasset’s attorneys and are filing a motion as such. We can only hope that the recent slowdown of RIAA suits and the dropping of the mass lawsuits policy is some indication that maybe this isn’t such a great idea.