Wednesday, May 28, 2008

RIAA hang out the Mission Accomplished banner

The RIAA's Jonathan Lamy has told Bloomberg that, having crushed, they're dropping the lawsuit against the company:

``The site is now defunct and out of business, the result of a successful anti-piracy initiative,'' Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the trade group, said today in an e-mail.

The complaint, filed in December 2006, called the site ``a notorious black market'' that made $30 million a year by directing Internet users to music files available for download, without giving any money to the record labels. The other record labels joining the suit with Sony were Warner Music Group Corp., Vivendi SA and EMI Group Plc.

Well done, everybody.

Although the lawyers for the other side point out that, actually, the music industry never actually filed any correct lawsuit.

And the Allofmp3 team have merely changed the name of the service to MP3sparks and are still merrily trading away.

More to the point, of course, is the question of why the RIAA is dropping its legal action. Wasn't the point to recoup lost earnings - for the artists, you understand - and isn't dropping the lawsuit effectively closing the door on any chance of that? If the aim was merely to stop the company selling illegal mp3s, doesn't this raise an interesting question about the RIAA's skewed approach?

The mother of a child downloading a few songs is pursued for hundreds and hundreds of dollars, despite nobody having made a cent from the "crime", but a company makes millions and millions and is allowed to keep it. What sort of justice does the RIAA believe in?