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"Music fans are smart enough to realize that you can’t get something for nothing."
——Mitch Bainwol, RIAA Chairman/CEO
RIAA WINNING WAR,
BUT LOSING BATTLES
Sympathizers Offer to Help Pay for Settlement of Lawsuit Against 12-Year-Old, As RIAA Releases Survey Showing Public Support
Brianna LaHara is the new poster child for file-sharers...illegitimate and legitimate.

The 12-year-old Manhattan girl, who was the first to settle among the 261 suits filed by the RIAA against users of unapproved file-sharing services, has been flooded with donations to help her pay the $2,000 fine.

Tracy Finley, a California film student who started the "Help Brianna" fund, claims: "The whole deal with going after the actual consumer—and the fact that it’s a 12-year-old girl with a single mother who lives in the projects… Well, those people have no decency."

Terre Haute, IN-based legit file-sharing service MusicRebellion has offered to give LaHara a $2,000 acount to prove online music fans that legal alternatives exist.

Said the company’s CEO Jan Eglen: "MusicRebellion is committed to encouraging all age groups to engage in those behaviors which are moral, ethical, and legal. We applaud Brianna's forthrightness in stepping forward and admitting a mistake had been made and then being a responsible citizen in settling the issue immediately. This is exemplary behavior and MusicRebellion, on this one-time basis, wants to show our support for the music industry, for the legal system, and for Brianna's mature behavior."

The $2,000 MusicRebellion account has been set up for LaHara and she can now actively download music legally, paying less than $1 per song.

MusicRebellion is an online media retailer that offers over 200,000 songs that include both independent and major label artists on a pay-per-download model with over 99% being burnable and transportable. Pricing is consumer-driven; the cost of any music file reflects the demand.

Meanwhile, the RIAA released results of a survey conducted last week that shows "an overwhelming majorityh of music consumers support and understand the industry’s decision to gather evidence and take legal action."

In a survey of 803 consumers age 10 and over conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 52% said they were suportive and understanding of the industry’s actions, 21% said they were unsupported and 3% said they were voting for Gary Coleman. The Hart date also showed 58% of those polled in August admitted they knew it was against the law to make music available online for others to download for free, up from 37% in early June.

RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol pointed to the results as a sign "our message is getting through. Music fans are smart enough to realize that you can’t get something for nothing."

But even the trade org's much-ballyhooed amnesty offer has come under attack, with one Eric Parke filing suit in Marin Superior Court of California, claiming the RIAA’s Clean Slate program is a deceptive and fraudulent business practice.

The Clean Slate program allows people who have swapped files to confess to their crimes by sending an affidavit stating they won’t participate in filing sharing and photo ID, along with deleting all of their offending MP3s. In return, the RIAA won’t sue them. What Parke’s suit points out is that the amnesty program doesn’t prevent individual copyright owners from suing people. And by turning in their names to the RIAA, they can be added to a database that copyright owners can subpoena the RIAA to get.

Parke’s attorney, Ira P. Rothken, told the San Jose Mercury News, "They're not really providing amnesty. When you read the legal document closely and get past the headlines, there's no protection from lawsuits. There's no release of all claims."

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