Sue first and ask questions later seems to be Gene Simmons, the legendary Kiss bassist and frontman, device in handling his business. At the recent MIPCOM convention in Cannes, France, Simmons was invited as a keynote speaker to speak about “branding” and how he managed to transfer KISS into a million dollar business, expanding the brand everywhere from guitars, to comic books, to condoms.
“Make sure your brand is protected,” Said Simmons. “Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars. Don’t let anybody cross that line.”
This means no exception. In Simmons’ world, anyone who illegally downloads should be treated like any common criminal. Yeah, every fresh faced, frekled kid, college boy out there. Busted, sued, and sent to jail.
This all however sounds preposterous considering there are over a hundred million bittorrent users all over the world. The phenomenon simply can’t be stopped. When a download fails, there are ten others to take his place. Who’s to blame for all this? Simmons likes to point his finger at the RIAA eunuchs.
“The music industry was asleep at the wheel,” Simmons complained, “and didn’t have the balls to sue every fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid who downloaded material. And so now we’re left with hundreds of thousands of people without jobs. There’s no industry.”
As previously reported by Steve, the RIAA spent “$16 million on attorney fees to recover $390,000. Even worse, the year prior they spend $21M on lawyer fees plus an additional $3.5M on “investigative operations” only to gain back half a million. Even worse, in 2006 they spent $19M and $3.6M, respectively, to recover $400K.” I can conclude two things from this: 1. someone should tell the RIAA a thing or two about ROI and 2. It’s practically and financially impossible to stop file sharing. OK, shut down the internet.
This all doesn’t seem to stop him making loads of cash, however. If there’s anything I would have to give Simmons credit for, besides being an asshole and having a big tongue, is that he’s an extraordinary businessman. The man simply knows how people work, what they want and how to package and deliver.
His most recent famous venture is a reality TV show which is already at its 5th season, called Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, where he stars with actress and former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed and their two children. The TV show is now celebrating its 100th episode! Worth noting is also the fact that Simmons owns over 2500 licenses, has his own highly successful marketing company and even is the chairman of a internet start-up called NGTV.com
“Everything from KISS condoms to KISS caskets,” Simmons disclosed. “We’ll get you coming and we’ll get you going. We literally have everything from KISS Hi-Def television sets that are about to come on the market to KISS Motorcycles. Well, it’s Planet KISS. Oh, I’ve already trademarked that, I forgot that.”