Slams the $1.92 million verdict against Jammie Thomas, even calling for the RIA to be disbanded.
Late last week we saw the closely watched retrial against accused file-sharer Jammie Thomas come to a close with the jury finding the suburban mother of two guilty and ordering her to pay some $1.92 million in damages.
Accused of illegally “making available” 24 songs in her KaZaA shared folder, the verdict comes out to a staggering $80,000 per song! It was immediately met with widespread criticism, many observing the fact that for each of the 24 songs you could purchase 80,000 more on iTunes.
Electonica wunderkind Moby added his voice to the discussion in a blog post on his site.
“Arg,” he groaned. “What utter nonsense.”
We can all agree on that one.
“This is how the record companies want to protect themselves? Suing suburban moms for listening to music? Charging $80,000 per song?”
In fact, the amount was so enormous that it didn’t serve as a warning to others as the RIAA hoped, or at least often claims. Instead the amount was seen as outlandish, bearing little semblance of the damage she alone could’ve been responsible for, and illustrated to the world just how desperate and out of touch the RIAA really is.
Moby argues this “sue-em all” strategy isn’t the way to go, that the record industry’s business model shouldn’t be based on fear and intimidation of file-sharing music fans. Considering that numerous studies have concluded that P2P actually increases music consumption, suing file-sharers has a particularly negative effect on music sales.
Punishing people for listening to music is exactly the wrong way to protect the music business. Maybe the record companies have adopted the ‘it’s better to be feared than respected’ approach to dealing with music fans. I don’t know, but ‘it’s better to be feared than respected’ doesn’t seem like such a sustainable business model when it comes to consumer choice. How about a new model of ‘it’s better to be loved for helping artists make good records and giving consumers great records at reasonable prices’?
The RIAA has spent more than 10yrs suing more than 35,000 people and has yet to reduce the number of file-sharers, or establish any meaningful, fear-based deterrence to the practice.
In short, by any measure lawsuits have failed miserably and only seem to punish people for simply wanting to listen to music, something many musicians are glad to have happen.
“I”m so sorry that any music fan anywhere is ever made to feel bad for making the effort to listen to music,” adds Moby.
Now to be fair he RIAA says it quit suing new file-sharers last September, but it continues to file NEW lawsuits so actions speaker louder than words.
Moby has an idea of what should happen to it.
“The RIAA needs to be disbanded.”