Sunday, January 23, 2011

Something else to remember when the RIAA starts heading for the moral high ground

We hear a lot from the RIAA about stealing and right and wrong. It's already pretty hard to stomach - what with the proof that the major labels rigged markets; the way they used their punishment for that as a way of offloading unwanted catalogue; the numerous artists who have proven in court that they were bounced into signing unfair contracts and so on.

Add to this Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Junior, who has just been convicted of making millions of dollars through insider trading.

Honestly, that's just like, ooh, stealing piles and piles and piles and piles of CDs from record shops, isn't it? Perhaps the RIAA should get Britney Spears to make a little PSA trying to warn people out of it. Maybe Warner product should carry a little skull-and-crossbones with the words 'Insider dealing is killing financial services'.

Bronfman, naturally, doesn't deny the deal, but maintains that exploiting information not known to the general public in order to achieve a massive financial gain isn't wrong:

Bronfman issued a statement saying he's disappointed the judge didn't share the position of both the public prosecutor and the lead civil claimant in France, the Association of Small Shareholders. Both, according to Bronfman and his lawyer, said he should have been acquitted.

"I will appeal today's decision to the Paris Court of Appeal and continue to vigorously defend myself against this charge," he said in a statement issued by WMG.
It's not a charge, Edgar. You might win an appeal, but until then: you've been convicted. You're a criminal, Edgar, and no better than those kids downloading copies of songs without paying. Right? Because there are no grey areas, are there?

Former Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier was also convicted.

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