Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Evil Downloaders

The RIAA (music industry) is waging a legal war against file sharers. It's not because the RIAA is selfish, they insist, but because the industry is concerned about the fate of poor, struggling musicians. It's all about the musicians, the RIAA tells us, hand over heart.

So given the industry's obviously pure-as-the-white-snow intentions, I was naturally surprised to read this article from the New York Times about how record labels had shortchanged performers.

The industry recently concluded a settlement with New York's state attorney general whereby the world's top recording companies would pay nearly $50 million to artists. An investigation by the attorney general's office concluded that the world's largest recording companies had failed to maintain contact with many artists and writers and had stopped making required payments to them.

Bob Donnelly, an entertainment lawyer, said that he had planned to file a class-action lawsuit against the music industry, "but every time we'd get a good plaintiff, the record company would offer to pay them."