With no viable defense, Sony BMG Music just settled FTC claims that requires it to pay consumers up to $150 each for damages caused by anti- music piracy software its CDs installed on computers. In another case, a 16-year-old boy accused of music piracy when he was as young as 11, has just filed counter-claims against the five major recording companies for “violating antitrust laws, conspiring to defraud the courts and making extortionate threats.”
Although I’m not condoning music piracy, no one likes a bully. And the recording industry, after buying Congress with campaign contributions, has clearly overstepped its bounds.
When the head of Warner Music admits that his kids have illegally downloaded music but he dealt with it as a family matter (no RIAA lawsuits, no shakedown demands, etc.), I have absolutely no sympathy for music piracy hypocrites.
And if you want to read a monologue filled with self-importance, check out NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright’s speech to a piracy summit in Switzerland (tax-deductible ski vacation). Bob lumps the dangers of counterfeit baby formula and drugs with bootleg CDs and DVDs. Who is he kidding? The battle against music piracy is a joke because the companies involved have made it so.