The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has tried to sue for $75 trillion, which is more than all the money in the world. They have also sued a single mom for $220,000 for downloading 24 songs. Last week, they won a suit against file-sharing site LimeWire for $105 million. Peer-to-peer sharing sites like LimeWire use a micro-download technology to easily distribute the traffic of downloading large files across all the users that have the file. If 100 people in the network have the same file, a small portion of the file is downloaded from each user, distributing the bandwidth to ease network burden.
Yes, people download illegal music and movies on these services. But they also download open source software, free music from independent artists, unrestricted videos, and public domain art and books. Not all peer-to-peer is bad.
The RIAA begs to differ. They recently sued LimeWire and won $105 million in the process. The RIAA is not there to protect artists. It is there to lobby and sue for big business. The first sentence on their “About” page is:
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies.
Major music companies. Not artists, not musicians. Major music companies. It was more than obvious when TorrentFreak.com interviewed Jonathan Lamy of the RIAA:
Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs.
Money goes to the RIAA because some high school kid or single mom downloads a song. Not to the artist that made the song. It stays with the lobbyist big-business douchebag. Sad.
My dream is that the RIAA (and MPAA for that matter) will be gone in a few years. Artists, musicians, and film makers can create, promote, and distribute their content directly, without the parasitic tactics of these “lobbying” groups.