The RIAA is resorting to even more bizarre behavior in its quest to be institutionalized for its own protection.
AllOfMP3.com is a Russian site that has been thumbing its nose at the recording industry for years, selling high quality mp3 files of whatever you want for next to nothing and claiming that its operation is legal because it pays trivial amounts to a Russian copyright authority that has no authority and keeps the money. The RIAA has been going nuts trying to get someone in Russia to pay attention to the injustice of it all.
Last month the RIAA decided it was time to take off the gloves and hit AllOfMP3.com where it hurts, by filing a huge lawsuit.
In New York.
You might be thinking, what does New York have to do with anything? Why would a pirate Russian company care about a lawsuit in New York?
This puts you one step ahead of the RIAA, which got uncritical coverage in the media for this completely irrelevant stunt.
But the RIAA couldn’t just stop with a media stunt – it had to make it so ridiculously over the top that the effect is just laughable. The lawsuit demands statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the eleven million songs downloaded between June and October 2006. That’s 1.65 trillion dollars, baby – more than twice the entire Gross Domestic Product for the entire country! I’ll bet AllOfMp3 is shaking now! Because, hey, if you’re going to file a completely frivolous lawsuit, you might as well ask for an incredibly stupid amount of money, right?
Lots of RIAA lawyers will make lots of money flailing around on this pointless exercise. It’s just for show – the real battle has already been won, and it has nothing to do with media-driven lawsuits. The RIAA has been pressuring the US government to lean on Russia and got results a few weeks ago when the Russian government agreed to change its copyright laws as a condition of entry into the World Trade Organization. AllOfMP3.com will likely be shut down, but not as a result of inane lawsuits for trillions of dollars.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Well, at least the RIAA doesn’t do anything foolish in its lawsuits against US defendants – like dismiss the piracy lawsuit it wrongfully brought against a mother of five with an infuriating comment about how its preference was to “pursue defendant’s children.”
Ha ha! Just kidding. They did that too.