Quantcast
“It's not like we were doing anything illegal.”
——Sylvia Torres (and 260 other people)
WHAT’S THIS WE HEAR ABOUT
SOME LAWSUITS?
RIAA Suits Are Front-Page News, Even Here
As expected, there is lots of talk about the 261 people sued by the RIAA for file-swapping. Opinions are offered, analysis of the industry is taking place, and even sensationalistic portraits of defendants are being published. Hey, at least people are talking about music.

Published reports say that of the 261 sued for sharing an average of 1,000 songs, 24 were in Los Angeles and approximately 60 were in New York. That means there were 175-some from somewhere else.

One of those sued New Yorkers apparently has a great publicist, as those bastions of even-handed journalism, the New York Post and the New York Daily News, feature Brianna LaHara on their front pages. The 12-year old girl was one of the 261 served by the RIAA yesterday, which says it doesn’t have any personal information on the people it is serving. In the article, LaHara says she and her family signed up for Kazaa’s paid service. LaHara’s mom, Sylvia Torres, expressing a common belief, told the Post, “It's not like we were doing anything illegal.” Um, okay.

In the more cut-and-dried dailies, the focus is on the long-term impact of the lawsuits, the olive branch of amnesty for voluntary confessions of swapping, UMG’s price cuts, and downloading services such as buymusic.com and Apple’s iTunes are examined. You know, the kind of stuff you normally see in the pages of music trade mags.

The New York Times explains at length that the message from these suits is that music is not free. In fact, it could cost defendants $150,000 per violation. One of the stories in the Times’ package includes an interview with Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, which recently did a study concluding that the industry is losing $700 million a year in sales because of swapping. Bernoff also notes that between 1999 and 2002 the industry has lost $2 billion in sales. Please, look under your couch cushions; it might have fallen out of your pocket.

If you’re looking for news to cheer you up, steer clear of the Wall Street Journal’s assessment of the music industry. With phrases like the music business “may not be able to recapture its glory days,” and “All these tactics—lawsuits, price cuts, mergers—are the hallmarks of many other mature and declining industries, from steel to food,” are best read over a stiff drink, not breakfast. Actually, several stiff drinks.

On the West Coast, a major daily newspaper based in Los Angeles has reaction from a cross-section of the industry, from indie bands you’ve never heard of to Steve Jobs of Apple, who says, “People keep their music collections on their computers. They want to burn CDs and to put their music on portable players. Why shop at a record store?”

Good times, good times.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KENDRICK INKS WITH UMPG
Lamar enters the House of Jody. (10/27a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PART 8,761: SURGERY IN THE TIME OF COVID
Planning for an Election Day hopped up on painkillers. (10/27a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/27a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)