News, , business initiative, lawsuit, mercenaries, riaa — November 9, 2010 2:42 — 2 Comments
RIAA Hires Crack Team of Mercenaries to Recover Stolen Music
Representatives from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have confirmed today the launch of Project: A-Team, which involves the hiring of several groups of mercenaries to recover music stolen by the music industry’s customers over the past few years.
“This is a huge step in our effort to get recoup losses from all the flagrant theft of music that happens online, every day.” Said Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA, strapping on a weathered bandolier. “It used to be that all we’d do was sue you into oblivion, but now? Now we’ll grind your ass to paste.”
Over the past few years, as online access has become more ubiquitous and music sharing sites have become more common and easier to use, more and more users have taken to downloading songs — stealing them — rather than paying for it. Online services like iTunes, with low prices and one-click-and-you’re-done purchasing, have gone far to stem the trend, but piracy is still a very large problem, one that the RIAA has tried repeatedly — and unsuccessfully — to deal with.
For years, the RIAA has been engaged in wholesale legal action against individual infringers, suing customers who downloaded a handful of songs, and winning staggering large amounts of money in court settlements. “For a while, we were basically guaranteed to get a hundred thousand per song. Per song! Those were the salad days. After a while, though, judges realized that $92,500 for a single Beck song was a tiny bit high, especially considering you can just buy the whole album for $10-$15. Once that lawsuit well dried up, we had to move onto different things.” Sherman said.
After the RIAA stopped suing individual customers, they moved on to suing file-sharing providers, like Limewire and Kazaa. They were successful in getting Grokster to shut down, but it’s proving impossible for the lumbering, bloated organization to keep up with the endless tide of new file-sharing services that keep popping up.
“They’re like the goddamn hydra.”
As the years progressed, the RIAA received repeated criticisms for being out of touch to the desires of its customers, for not understanding the shape of the new digital world, and for trying to sue the business landscape into ossification.
“And don’t forget about the customers; our suing some of them for $12,000 a song is making all of them hate us, for some reason! Can you believe that? You’d think it would serve as a warning to us, but it just makes us seem — and this is the part that baffles me — makes us seem like we’re just some money-grubbing, faceless corporate douchebags.” Sherman said.
Sherman has high hopes that Project: A-Team will both return the music industry to its industrial-era glory, and make its customers love them again. And prevent any more high-profile musicians from going it on their own. “We’re all really excited about this new initiative. The courts said we can’t spy on everybody’s machines anymore, but they didn’t explicitly say anything about us creating an illegal paramilitary organization to essentially do the exact same thing. And as far as our so-called customers go, who’s going to steal from us if they think they might get shot in the face by B.A. Baracus?”
Sherman added: “That goes double for all those turncoat musicians out there. You know who you are.”
Public response to this plan has been mixed. While some understand the necessity of a person protecting their intellectual property, however extremely, many are nervous about the RIAA’s track record in locating guilty parties. “When they were suing people, if they got the wrong guy, they’d just cancel the lawsuit. Now if they mistakenly think I’ve got their stuff, what are they going to do? Reattach my thumbs?” Said Jake Piper, a DJ in Colorado Springs.
The mercenary community is enthused about the RIAA’s initiative: “Steady employment is something all gun-toting mercenaries struggle to find, so we’re excited about Project: A-Team. I mean, sure, the courts will eventually shut this down, and the RIAA themselves will be out of business by the end of the decade, but if there’s one thing they’ve shown, it’s that they’re willing to throw good money after bad for YEARS after the thing’s stopped making any sense whatsoever. They’re going to put a new floor on my house!”