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The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Old 07-29-10, 06:56 PM
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The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!

Big hat tip to my friend Jon Newton at p2pnet.net for uncovering these documents.

The RIAA's "business plan" is even worse than I'd guessed it was.

The RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9,364,901 in 2008, Jenner & Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its "copyright infringement" claims, in order to recover a mere $391,000. [ps there were many other law firms feeding at the trough too; these were just the ones listed among the top 5 independent contractors.]

Embarrassing.

If the average settlement were $3,900, that would mean 100 settlements for the entire year.

As bad as it was, I guess it was better than the numbers for 2007, in which more than $21 million was spent on legal fees, and $3.5 million on "investigative operations" ... presumably MediaSentry. And the amount recovered was $515,929.

And 2006 was similar: they spent more than $19,000,000 in legal fees and more than $3,600,000 in "investigative operations" expenses to recover $455,000.

So all in all, for a 3 year period, they spent around $64,000,000 in legal and investigative expenses to recover around $1,361,000.

Shrewd.

No wonder they get paid the big bucks

http://recordingindustryvspeople.blo...s-lawyers.html
I'm not surprised, given the music industry's incompetence. Now, whether or not the deterrent effect of litigation threats are worth it, I don't know (though I'm inclined to say "no").
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Old 07-29-10, 07:43 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Yay for thieves.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:04 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post
Yay for thieves.
Are you talking about the lawyers, or about a random college student who downloads an album from P2P to see if it's worth buying?
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Old 07-29-10, 08:18 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

a random college student who downloads an album from P2P to see if it's worth buying
I'm not defending the RIAA, but I would be surprised if even a fourth of those who pirate music actually have the intention of buying it later.
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Old 07-29-10, 10:02 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by TheDuke View Post
I'm not defending the RIAA, but I would be surprised if even a fourth of those who pirate music actually have the intention of buying it later.
I'd be surprised if a hundredth of pirated music would otherwise be purchased.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:53 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

But... all the while, the record companies are embroiled in the largest copyright infringement case in history via their Canadian subsidiaries to the tune of billions. Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association are being sued by artists for theft. They basically sold millions of records nnd never paid a dime to the copyright holders and artists.

They are the biggest 'thieves' on the planet. Torrenters are bush league compared to the kind of corporate theft the record companies pull off.

And all the while the stock value of WMG and the other RIAA companies have dropped like a rock, and their business model is in steep decline. So it's just a pathetic mess of old dinosaur companies, and stupid old men, who weren't able to change with the times. They are the big thieves, trying to punish the little thieves, as their whole business model collapses.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:53 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
I'd be surprised if a hundredth of pirated music would otherwise be purchased.
This. I'd never pirate something I intended to purchase, so it's not a "lost sale". That only works for physical objects. The RIAA doesn't know what it's doing anymore.

That said, once iTunes came along I didn't need to illegally download any more. The only reason I did in the first place was to get music (especially "just one song") that wasn't easily available elsewhere. Now, almost everything I want I can get off iTunes.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:52 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

The only music I don't pirate is from bands I absolutely love. Is it wrong? Sure, but so is charging me $16.99 for a catalog release from 1993. $10 is my price point on all CDs, anything higher and it just isn't worth wasting the money. Especially when that voice in the back of my mind keeps reminding me that I could save that money and download the album to see if it's even any good.
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Old 07-30-10, 11:14 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by TheDuke View Post
I'm not defending the RIAA, but I would be surprised if even a fourth of those who pirate music actually have the intention of buying it later.
I can't speak for anyone else, but when it comes to the music I download, I'll buy it if I like it. If not, it gets deleted. No point in keeping something that's not worth my money.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:02 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by FatTony View Post
I can't speak for anyone else, but when it comes to the music I download, I'll buy it if I like it. If not, it gets deleted. No point in keeping something that's not worth my money.
That's how I am. If it is something that I want, I will buy the physical product. Partly because I happen to like physical product, and partly to support the band. Usually I'll just listen to clips if I can find them to determine whether or not to buy, but sometimes I'll download the whole thing. Many times I will download it when it leaks early, just to get it early. Then I'll go buy it upon release.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:12 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by cdollaz View Post
That's how I am. If it is something that I want, I will buy the physical product. Partly because I happen to like physical product, and partly to support the band. Usually I'll just listen to clips if I can find them to determine whether or not to buy, but sometimes I'll download the whole thing. Many times I will download it when it leaks early, just to get it early. Then I'll go buy it upon release.
Me too.

But keeping pissing on the people who actually buy physical media RIAA. We'll get fed up soon enough.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:20 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by FatTony View Post
I can't speak for anyone else, but when it comes to the music I download, I'll buy it if I like it. If not, it gets deleted. No point in keeping something that's not worth my money.
That's how I am, except if I like it I just keep the download since I already have it. It would seem like a waste to get rid of it. Plus then i don't have to make a trip to the store to buy the cd.

If i don't like it, i usually end up keeping it anyway.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:35 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

I'm sure they'll recoup these costs by screwing over the artists and consumers a little more. It's always win-win when you're the RIAA!
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Old 07-30-10, 01:23 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Has anyone read anything about how rising ticket prices correlates to all of this? It seems obvious that lower revenue in media sales would directly lead to increasing other sources of revenue, like raising ticket prices, but maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 07-30-10, 01:47 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

But the RIAA doesn't get money from concerts. That goes to the promoter and the musicians.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:57 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by panchor View Post
But the RIAA doesn't get money from concerts. That goes to the promoter and the musicians.

they probably get some if the CD sales don't cover the advances given to musicians. i doubt lady gaga sold enough CD's to cover all the money the record company sunk into her

the reason for the lawsuits is that they have to defend copyrights by law. if they let people pirate music without suing them then they can lose the rights to the music
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Old 07-30-10, 03:14 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Lady Gaga has sold over 15 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide (according to Wikipedia). I'd say she's probably made her label some money.
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Old 07-30-10, 04:13 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by maxfisher View Post
I'd be surprised if a hundredth of pirated music would otherwise be purchased.
That still doesn't mean you get to have it for free.

However, I'd be surprised if a hundredth of pirated music is ever actually played.
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Old 07-30-10, 07:02 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

At this point I don't even need to download pirated music to see if I like it, I just turn to YouTube to watch some music videos, or even better, sometimes people post the entire album with a static background.
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Old 07-30-10, 07:08 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

What pisses me off is the ton of stuff that's OOP because they aren't big sellers or were never transfer from vinyl to CD. If they produced small quantities and sold them via amazon, like how the various soundtrack licencers do it, that would be awesome.
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Old 07-30-10, 08:57 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
Lady Gaga has sold over 15 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide (according to Wikipedia). I'd say she's probably made her label some money.
But ironically, most likely very little off those sales herself. See Albini's article (and the followup by Love).
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Old 07-30-10, 11:31 PM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
The only music I don't pirate is from bands I absolutely love. Is it wrong? Sure, but so is charging me $16.99 for a catalog release from 1993. $10 is my price point on all CDs, anything higher and it just isn't worth wasting the money. Especially when that voice in the back of my mind keeps reminding me that I could save that money and download the album to see if it's even any good.
95% of all CD's can now be found for under $10.
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Old 07-31-10, 02:29 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Originally Posted by Tarantino View Post
95% of all CD's can now be found for under $10.
Do you have a statistic on that because that's hard to believe. On new release Tuesday you might find it for $9.99 but after that it'll shoot up to $13 or so.

I haven't found a CD that's been out for more than a week for under $10 in a long time. Granted the only B&M stores that have a decent music selection is Target and Best Buy. You gotta look for sales but regular sticker price is always more than $10.
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Old 07-31-10, 06:21 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

Whilst I do download cd's, I support many bands by going to their shows which is how THEY make their money these days.

I'd say an average of 5-6 concerts a month, and 4-5 music festivals a year.
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Old 07-31-10, 09:16 AM
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Re: The RIAA's not getting much return on its investment

I don't know where you can find CDs under $10, but it's certainly true for the digital downloads on Amazon. Anyone who's still using price as an excuse for piracy is lying.
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