Tuesday, May 23, 2006

THE LINKS BETWEEN MUSIC AND CRIME

The RIAA wants everyone to get involved in shopping CD pirates. Why? Well, because it makes their life easier. But what's in it for the average person? Bugger all. So the RIAA tries to convince you it's in your interests. Perhaps, you know, the money from a Wishbone Ash bootleg might be being used to fund organised crime?

Organised crime! That'll be it!. The RIAA claimed, for instance, on February 14th 2004 that:

"Today's report to USTR reflects our heightened concern about the growth of illegal CD-R replication, organized crime's involvement in the manufacture and international distribution of pirate CDs and other media, and internet piracy."

So, you see, you might think you're buying a copy of an otherwise unobtainable CD, but in fact, you're practically giving money straight to the mob.

And the mob, they're bad guys. You can tell by the sort of people they hang out with.

Hang on, though... what's this? Joaquin Garcia, who was in the FBI for thirty years, was giving evidence in the trial of Gregory DePalma, alleged mafia boss. Garcia worked undercover to win DePalma's trust, and claims the boss opened up to him. DePalma described his glittering lifestyle:

In one conversation, DePalma claimed that he and his wife had dinner with singer Mariah Carey and her ex-husband, Tommy Mottola, before the mobster went to prison.

Interestingly, at the time Mottola was still going to dinner with Mariah Carey, Mottola would have been CEO of Sony. So it would be extraordinarily unlikely that the head of one of the RIAA's main labels would have been sitting down to break bread with the head of a crime family.

Mottola, it should be pointed out, has denied any such meeting ever took place; DePalma's defence suggests he likes to exaggerate.

Even so, it's fascinating that DePalma should have chosen Mottola's name to drop as a dinner partner.