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Music Media The Almighty Buck

RIAA Not Sharing Settlement Money With Artists 233

Posted by kdawson
from the play-nicely-now dept.
Klatoo55 writes "Various artists are considering lawsuits in order to press for their share of the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars the RIAA has obtained from settlements with services such as Bolt, KaZaA, and Napster. According to TorrentFreak's report on the potential action, there may not even be much left to pay out after monstrous legal fees are taken care of. The comments from the labels all claim that the money is on its way, and is simply taking longer due to difficulties dividing it all up."
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RIAA Not Sharing Settlement Money With Artists

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  • I Wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by glavenoid (636808) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:11PM (#22594504) Journal
    ...how difficult it is to divide by one...
    • by Stanistani (808333) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:13PM (#22594532) Homepage Journal
      One is the loneliest number...
      • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:15PM (#22594556) Homepage Journal
        Sir, you've violated the copyright of Three Dog Night with your dissemination of their song "One is the Loneliest Number".

        We're here to take your first born to our Vinyl Mines.
        • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:26PM (#22594694) Homepage Journal
          Harry Nilsson wrote "One", Three Dog Night merely covered it... WITHOUT ASKING!!!
          • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:44PM (#22594874)
            But it was done from within the music industry, so it was fair use. It's only stealing if someone without enough money for lawyers does it.
          • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

            by invader_vim (1243902) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:00PM (#22595030)

            You don't have to ask to cover a song. You just have to let the relevant administrative body (APRA in Australia, I believe it falls to ASCAP et al. in America) know about any recording or performance you have done of it, so that the artist will be recompensed for your use of the song.

            • by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:03PM (#22595060) Homepage Journal
              Excellent. I didn't illegally download music, I merely let my computer perform a very similar cover version.
            • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

              by hedwards (940851) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:14PM (#22595150)
              That only applies to live music. ASCAP is responsible for licensing musical performances. If I want to perform music that ASCAP licenses, I pay them a fee and get to use the work.

              A typical bar featuring music will typically pay ASCAP a recurring fee to cover the songs in that catalog and be allowed to perform any of them. You don't technically have to pay ASCAP a fee just because you have music, but you're in for a world of hurt if you get caught with an unlicensed performance of a covered work.

              The big dirty secret here is that ASCAP doesn't tell anybody how it is that they distribute the license money. It's incredibly hard to know if relatively unknown artists are being compensated fairly.

              "Live" performances are radio, TV, phone systems, intercoms and any other venue where the main use of the music is listening to rather than a copy of. Frequently places will just buy a license through a third party which pays the fees as well as provides the music itself to simplify the whole process. Muzak is one of the more common outfits that provides the service.
              • by m0nkyman (7101)
                I don't know about ASCAP, but up here in the great white north, SOCAN performs a similar function, and they use a formula based on a combination of radio playlists and reports from any licensees. I remember that most indie clubs I DJ'ed for were very consistent in filing our playlists so that the indie bands on our playlists would get some of the money...

                http://www.socan.ca/pdf/en/pub_HowYourMusicMakesMoney07.pdf [socan.ca]
            • by MushMouth (5650)
              In the US it's covered by the Harry Fox Agency. It's simply a matter of paying the mechanical royalty.
          • by Zordak (123132)

            Harry Nilsson wrote "One", Three Dog Night merely covered it... WITHOUT ASKING!!!
            Which is perfectly legal if you pay the mechanical royalties (and meet some other requirements).
  • by Adradis (1160201) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:11PM (#22594508)

    The comments from the labels all claim that the money is on its way, and is simply taking longer due to difficulties dividing it all up.
    Of course it's coming. We've just got to process it with all our high expense people so that you, the artist, receive the mere pennies you deserve!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:39PM (#22594834)
      Actually they are probably figuring out how to divvy up the remaining lawyer bill amongst the artists.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ehrichweiss (706417)
        Mods, wake up!! The parent post is "interesting" but it's magnitudes more "funny".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by arth1 (260657)
          What's sad is that it's possibly more insightful than we think.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by z80kid (711852)

            Mods, wake up!! The parent post is "interesting" but it's magnitudes more "funny".

            What's sad is that it's possibly more insightful than we think.

            Can't decide.... interesting? or insightful? ..uh, funny? Ow... my head! Must decide... Ow!

            Oh hell. Now I've posted and can't mod anyway.

    • It's probably going to come with the levy money labels get from Canadian blank medias. I'm happy they can't sue in Canada as long as they accept receiving this as a fair compensation for piracy but the artists are once again getting shafted.
  • T'was Ever Thus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:12PM (#22594514) Homepage Journal
    With these crooks.
    • Re:T'was Ever Thus (Score:4, Interesting)

      by siddesu (698447) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:36PM (#22594800)
      Well, *. I. Ass. of wherever are obviously crooks. That said, however, I don't feel particularly broken that their members are getting screwed by their own representative. Most of the members of the various labels under the hat of IFPI & Co. are there for one reason -- to pool lobbying resources so that they can bribe politicians more effectively into extending the (already extravagant) copyright laws.

      This is as an attempt to screw me, the consumer, twice -- first, by raising the prices (which I accept while the copyright lasts, as long as the time limits are reasonable, and they stopped being so long time ago), and second by removing competition, usually by directly abusing legal system.

      So, I am amused rather than heart-broken. Suck it, people, and before you call on lawyers to extortion for you, don't be surprised if you get extorted in turn.
      • by s.bots (1099921) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:45PM (#22594884)

        That said, however, I don't feel particularly broken that their members are getting screwed by their own representative
        It's not the members that are getting screwed in this case though, it is the artists. They entered into contracts with the record companies most likely at a time when you needed the financial help of the record company to get them off the ground, when home recording equipment was not nearly as cheap or as ubiquitous as it is now.
        • by siddesu (698447)
          As far as I understand it, Ass. of A. can only sue on behalf of labels. It is the labels that aren't receiving settlement money, not the artists. It seems the artists don't have a direct (or indirect) claim on the settlement cash anyway. But IANAL, so if someone can clarify this point, I'll appreciate it.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Fieryphoenix (1161565)
            A simple RoTFA would clarify it. The RIAA per se didn't get the settlements, EMI, Universal Music and Warner Music did. The people complaining they are not getting any of it are the managers of various high profile artists, such as the Rolling Stones, Korn, Christina Aguilera, The Eagles, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon and Seal.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by siddesu (698447)
              Now if you englighten me to the difference in the positions of the main players of the RIAA and RIAA itself ...
              • Re:T'was Ever Thus (Score:5, Insightful)

                by budgenator (254554) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @09:03PM (#22595546) Journal
                The RIAA represents the record companies and it function is to spend as much money as fast as it can and any left over goes back to their clients the record company. The record company represents the artists and it's function is to spend as much money as fast as it can and any left over goes to their clients the artists. Wash rinse repeat, lawyers that can't get hired into the record companies settle for probate law. Do you know what the difference between a vampire and a probate lawyer is? The vampire quits sucking your blood when your dead!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          They used to extort abusive "public performance" fees from bars and restaurants with a jukebox or radio on.

          This is just the latest in their continuing line of business.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zippthorne (748122)
            You do realize that those juke boxes, even with the "extortive fees" put a lot of real, local artists out of business: instead of needing a band 3 or 4 nights a week, the bars could scale down to the 1 or 2 most popular nights.

            Juke boxes are like, the Wal*Mart of the bar music industry.
  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:12PM (#22594526) Homepage Journal
    They're just waiting for all the execs to be declared honorary lawyers by some diploma mill or another so they can claim the whole thing as 'legal fees'.
  • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:13PM (#22594530)
    The recent RIAA extortion has never been about the artists, merely keeping the "coke & whores" budget healthy.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:31PM (#22594740) Homepage
      The hefty legal fees are staying in the family so it's all good.

      Well....not so good if you're an artist, but any artist who still hasn't figured out what the RIAA is all about probably deserves it.

      The only CDs I've paid for in the last couple of years were from places like CDBaby who state exactly how much the artist will receive for each CD sold. Worse, I've bought albums I didn't really like from CDBaby because that artist has made other albums which I did like. The reason was I wanted the artist to have some money but the RIAA had control of the album I liked.

      Pissing off your paying customers? Not a good business model.

      The main reason I share music these days is just to annoy the RIAA.

      • Agree 100% (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:38PM (#22595368)
        I have a collection of, probably, 1200 CD's. 95% bought from music shops, some from boot-sales, flea-markets etc. NONE, & I repeat none are newer that 2004. You see I stopped buying!. {see the full stop?} after the record companies' agents started calling their customers "criminals".

        I still have a considerably large vinyl collection, + a shed-load of commercial (not copied) tapes (mostly dupes of the vinyl - for playing in the car) even though I now don't have a functioning record player.

        I looked this evening & for e.g. I have Bat out of Hell on vinyl, tape & CD - bloody three times!!

        But if I fire up a p2p client - I'm a criminal.
        WTF?

        Copyright infringement is not "illegal".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Copyright infringement is not "illegal".

          sure it is, there are laws and everything. In fact, that's just a stupid statement.

          Of course, it is generally held by the course the copyright infringement is about the distribution of material, and the receiving of material.
          There's a good reason for this.

          now you can say it's not immoral, but that is different.

    • by xero314 (722674)

      The recent RIAA extortion has never been about the artists, merely keeping the "coke & whores" budget healthy.
      Coke and Whores? That sounds like it's completely about the artists to me. I mean that's the only reason to be a professional musician right?
  • by Alexx K (1167919) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:14PM (#22594542)
    The RIAA does not exist to serve the artists. It's mission now is to suck all the money it can out of a dying business model.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      For additional information, please see:

      Software companies
      Hardware companies
      Automobile companies
      Colleges & Universities
      Banking
      Housing
      What's outside your window...
  • by sdkramer (411640) <sethNO@SPAMsethkramer.com> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:14PM (#22594546) Homepage
    Give me a moment to recover.
  • makes sense (Score:5, Funny)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:16PM (#22594574)
    Well why should they share the money when a good portion of it was gotten from people that didn't even download music from a copyrighted artist? You don't give money to artists if there was no damage. Logically what should be done is the RIAA should go to hell.
  • by Helios1182 (629010) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:17PM (#22594592)
    They have all the data on how many times each song was infringed, so I'm sure this ought to be easy.
  • Oh come on now (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:18PM (#22594598)
    I'm no fan of RIAA, but the RIAA lawsuits aren't about recouping money for the artists. That would be a ludicrous business model (one where you let people steal your product and then sue them to recover you loses on a routine basis). The RIAA lawsuits are about raising the risk/reward ratio to make people decide not to steal music. It is about punishing bad behavior, not recouping lost royalties. Even if, in the end, RIAA burns every dollar it "recoups" on ongoing legal fees, that's fine and acceptable. The point is to hurt the downloaders, not help the artists WITH THE LEGAL JUDGMENTS. They serve to help the artists by stopping the illegal downloading.
    • Re:Oh come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:39PM (#22594832) Homepage Journal
      And that's why other countries don't have punitive damages. Somehow civil matters got all mixed up in the USA. I guess greed does that.
      • And that's why other countries don't have punitive damages.
        How then do they punish gross negligence or wanton disregard for the harms caused to others or do they just not distinguish between those and accidental harms? The USA may have more than its fair share of asshats, but we don't have a monopoly on bad behavior.
      • Re:Oh come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jgarra23 (1109651) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:25PM (#22595252)
        Who modded parent insightful?

        And that's why other countries don't have punitive damages. Somehow civil matters got all mixed up in the USA. I guess
        greed does that.


        That is not why. Most countries that do not have punitive damage allowances in their laws are usually run by tyrants anyways. The idea of of punitive damages is to punish an entity enough so they think twice before they do it again, it's a civil punishment for a civil case where a criminal punishment should be enacted but cannot be for whatever reason.

        You know what happens when tort reform runs rampant and punitive damages are out the window? Companies like Exxon can get away with murder by polluting an entire coastline and having only to pay 2 weeks worth of profit as a fine. This is not greed, this is not tort reform, this is justice gone wrong. Thanks to the tort reform in America Exxon has a punishment that does virtually nothing to a company which committed a criminal act. The amount they have to pay is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the citizens of Alaska have paid with their well-being. So perhaps it is the lack of a real punitive damage which is greedy!

        Now I see what you mean when for instance, people who KNEW cigarettes would kill them continue to smoke and now tobacco companies are having to pay out the a** because of some jerk who took a KNOWN risk and then whined about it later but this is a law that needs refining, not a blanket statement that all punitive damages are greedy.
        • Re:Oh come on now (Score:4, Insightful)

          by zotz (3951) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @09:00PM (#22595526) Homepage Journal
          "That is not why. Most countries that do not have punitive damage allowances in their laws are usually run by tyrants anyways. The idea of of punitive damages is to punish an entity enough so they think twice before they do it again, it's a civil punishment for a civil case where a criminal punishment should be enacted but cannot be for whatever reason."

          Well, if that is the case, the punitive part of the award should not go to the plaintiff.

          all the best,

          drew
          • by Gerad (86818)
            Why not? You say the award should not go to the plaintiff, but don't even give a single reason why. Your argument would be a lot more persuasive if there was an actual argument, rather than merely a conclusory statement without reasoning.
            • by zotz (3951)
              "You say the award should not go to the plaintiff, but don't even give a single reason why."

              The reason why is contained in the statement in the post I responded to.

              The point is made that punitive damages are in place to punish an entity enough so they think twice before they do it again. They have nothing to do with the damage suffered by the other party. You can punish the one party without giving what amounts to a lottery winning to the other party. Make the other party whole. Give the punitive part to so
          • Well, if that is the case, the punitive part of the award should not go to the plaintiff.

            Why not?

            You might say that the amount of money is truely excessive, more so than any other person should have. And I grant that. But CEOs make obscene amounts of money, too.

            So, at this point, there seem to be two objections. One would be that CEOs should also be paid less. In which case, if you want to have a tax rate of 100% above some level, apply it to punitive damages as well. Alternatively, you might claim

            • by zotz (3951)
              "Why not?"

              Because they should be made whole and not enriched perhaps?

              Perhaps set aside the punitive part for their continuing the action all the way to the conclusion and then after that, elsewhere. And let them collect their legal fees if that is already in your system. I see pluses and minuses to doing things that way. If I have it right, we don't allow that here, each party pays their own costs.

              all the best,

              drew
      • Well punitive damages are usually used against big corporations - in fact there is a business lobby to remove punitive damages. Or did I miss sarcasm?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RedWizzard (192002)
      The RIAA is collecting damages on the basis that the artists have suffered financial harm due to the defendants actions. The rewards are intended by the courts to compensate the artists for the damage done. The RIAA have a moral (and probably legal) obligation to distribute the money they collect to the artists.
    • Re:Oh come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Solandri (704621) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:17PM (#22595172)

      I'm no fan of RIAA, but the RIAA lawsuits aren't about recouping money for the artists. That would be a ludicrous business model (one where you let people steal your product and then sue them to recover you loses on a routine basis). The RIAA lawsuits are about raising the risk/reward ratio to make people decide not to steal music.
      If you're correct and the copyright infringement penalties are meant to be punitive instead of compensatory, then they are enormously disproportionate. Punitive damages are meant to simply discourage the defendant (and others) from engaging in that behavior, not consign them to a bankruptcy. Being able to file a lawsuit for several dozen times a person's net worth isn't punitive, it's overkill. Would our legal system be considered sane if the potential punitive damages for Microsoft's monopoly case had been $2 trillion?

      The problem is the RIAA wants and is getting their cake and eating it too. They want your music purchase to be treated as a product with no liabilities of a license (like discounted upgrades), but they want to restrict what you do with your purchase like a license. They want copyright infringement and its punishments to be considered a crime, but they want the standard of guilt used in civil cases. They want fines and settlements to be thought of as compensatory ("$billions in lost sales justify what we do"), but bring up the idea of sharing those compensatory awards with artists and suddenly it's punitive. Pick one, or the other. Don't flip flop whenever it's convenient to do so.

      • by 1984 (56406)

        The problem is the RIAA wants and is getting their cake and eating it too. They want your music purchase to be treated as a product with no liabilities of a license (like discounted upgrades), but they want to restrict what you do with your purchase like a license. They want copyright infringement and its punishments to be considered a crime, but they want the standard of guilt used in civil cases. They want fines and settlements to be thought of as compensatory ("$billions in lost sales justify what we do"), but bring up the idea of sharing those compensatory awards with artists and suddenly it's punitive. Pick one, or the other. Don't flip flop whenever it's convenient to do so.

        I'm not a moderator today, so instead I'll tip my hat here to you. That's the nicest summing up I've seen of this instance of playing both ends against the middle.

  • by ween14 (827520) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:18PM (#22594600)
    When the RIAA discovered that they had some money left over after paying the lawyers, they needed some time. They have their best accountants working on it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org].

    Once they are done with the proper accounting procedures, they will make sure to give the token penny or two to the "poor, starving artists".
    • Yes, the artists will receive a "fair" share of the NET profits which will be either zero or asymptotically as close as they can get to zero (i.e. one (1) cent cheques for each artist under contract w/an RIAA member label) after the expenses are subtracted from the total lawsuit revenues.
  • share? why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by themushroom (197365) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:19PM (#22594616) Homepage
    At what point did the RIAA claim that they were going through all these lawsuits on behalf of the artists? Uh... okay... those were the words in the broadside. Hmm.

    Let's try again. At what point did they claim they were doing this to pay the arts for "lost profits"? There, that's it.

    • Re:share? why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:37PM (#22594814) Journal
      I find this all incredibly amusing. Here you have these pricks like Gene Simmons and Metallica out there fighting the good fight for the record companies, and now, suddenly, they all wake up and realize "Waitta minute! Those fuckers in the boardrooms are still crooks!"

      Here's a bit of a friendly nod to all those artists who were retarded enough to believe the record industry was somehow looking out for them:

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
  • by Channard (693317) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:22PM (#22594652) Journal
    .. it means Metallica aren't getting a share. I bet they'e kicking themselves now..
  • Strategy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dunezone (899268) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:26PM (#22594692) Journal
    I dont quite understand the strategy of the RIAA, is this even a profitable strategy. You first need to collect evidence, then you need to file the lawsuit, and finally the defendant has to pay, that is if he or she is found in guilt. So now you to pay for the collection of evidence, then the lawyers, and then you have to hope the defendant has money to pay you to recoup the loss.

    So I guess they have internal lawyers but as the cases grow in numbers you need to hire out law firms which is not cheap. I don't know who they pay to collect the evidence, or to tell if someone is infringing but they have to monitor the P2P networks and I guess the torrents.

    So by the end of the case lets say the defendant is given a infringement cost of $10,000 or something. They still have to pay it up.

    What person in their right mind thought this was a good plan. Theres so many parties to deal with, so much time that needs to paid for. In the end all I see happening is a loss plus tarnishing the name of the RIAA. Hell, if the defendant wins then the RIAA might have to pay them. This seems like a strategy proposed from old-school business into a new-business world.
    • Re:Strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by darkhitman (939662) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:31PM (#22594738)
      It's not about profit (all of which likely just goes straight to the lawyers). It's about instilling fear into the consumer base, in the irrational hopes of scaring them out of downloading music.
      • by dunezone (899268)
        Maybe they should read up on Joseph McCarthy and see how instilling fear into people worked out for him.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        And by scaring people out of downloading music, they instead expect people to go back to buying cd's. But let's not forget that all cd's will now have extreme drm (I'm thinking sony). But eventually they will learn that the entire model of selling music is not making enough money. Therefore the model will shift to leasing music. That way they can keep charging you by the play, or by a time period. However at that point, physically distributing the music is a liability, so you will have to use your over
      • It is about profit. They are the lawyers! What they gets, they keeps. The companies paying them are the real fools.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by initialE (758110)
        Take a hint from the BSA. Once they ran out of legitimate infringements they came after business owners that were marginally not up to their license counts, or even worse, were using legitimate software, but didn't have the receipts to prove it. (Apparently the genuine certificates weren't worth a damn.) If catching piracy supports their bottom line, then it makes sense to them to extend the definition of piracy to the point where nearly everyone is guilty. And that's considered good business. Profitable bu
    • while I'm not privy to any inside information, let me pull this out of my ass, The RIAA is "paid" by dues from their members, when they win an infringement case, they probably get to keep a percentage of the profits and the remainder goes to the record companies and will supposedly be distributed to the artists per their contract terms, which is probably nothing. If the RIAA goes into the hole pursuing a litigation it's probably because they had to pay a contractor that just happened to be owned by the RIA
  • but those contracts are very complicated.
    That money might be divided up among the group, managers, writers, who has rights now, who had rights then, etc . . .

    They might be stalling intentionally, but there reason isn't unrealistic.

  • Coming? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Damocles the Elder (1133333) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:35PM (#22594776)
    Of course it's coming, we just have to win the lawsuits first.

    Seriously, with all of the john-due suing that's apparently failed hard enough that the RIAA ends up paying attorney's fees [wired.com], I'd be surprised if there's anything left to divvy up.
    Of course, it goes without saying that the RIAA's board of directors get their yachts first, too. Can't even think about dividing up the money until those get paid off.
  • by Cryophallion (1129715) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:35PM (#22594780)
    A few things:
    1. I remember reading somewhere that the money all went back into more lawsuits, so I don't think that is boding well for money going to anyone who thinks they actually "earned" it
    2. Do the artists get the "real" damages (i.e., paid for the one or two songs mediasentry supposedly caught them downloading), or the higher damages? As I don't think the artist owns the copyright in this case, how much are they really entitled to?
    3. For the settlement letters, is there again a set amount per song that they listed as being due the artist? Or is it again only the royalties they would get from selling one song on a cd or itunes for example? If so, please expect about $.05 per settlement - not what they want (or think they deserve, but as a recent article on slashdot pointed out, the RIAA wants to reduced royalties while they are at it).

    If I was the artist, I wouldn't go buying a car with the expectation that the check was in the mail... not even a matchbox car.
  • Why would they? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monoman (8745) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:36PM (#22594798) Homepage
    I believe it works this way. The record companies pay artists royalties and they pay the RIAA as well. I don't think the artists pay the RIAA. It seems to me that IF the RIAA is going to pay anyone it is going to be the record companies. If that happens will the record companies kick any money back to the artists? I doubt it.
  • RIAA and PR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LithiumX (717017) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:47PM (#22594902)
    I wonder how hard it would be to support a decentralized publicity campaign to directly tie these lawsuits, via the RIAA, to the agencies and artists the RIAA supports?

    At present, it's largely a free lunch for the record companies - who have a vicious attack dog that uses tactics that shouldn't be legal. The bad PR doesn't do a very good job of reflecting back on them.

    If the masses begin to associate these lawsuits with the music they're buying, that's when the pressure would mount.
  • by Venik (915777) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @07:47PM (#22594908)
    Imagine all the problems RIAA's gonna have dividing the profits once it gets the $1.65 trillion from Allofmp3.com! They'll need to rent dump trucks just to deliver checks to the artists.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MicktheMech (697533)
      No, it's all done electronically now and we all know that the internet isn't like a dump truck...

      It's a series of tubes!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      No, they could just ship all the artists to Russia with pieces of paper in their hands saying "The bearer is the owner of 0.5% of Russia". I'm sure Putin will honor it.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @08:10PM (#22595122) Homepage
    ...the trick is to get that point across to the "artists in support of the RIAA"
  • It would be big news if even one artist received so much as one thin dime from these legally sanctioned shakedowns.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @09:31PM (#22595760)
    I'm shocked, shocked to find out that the RIAA is stiffing the artists on piracy settlements, especially after the labels stiffed them on their original contracts.
  • In a legal war... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zobier (585066) <zobier@zobi e r . n et> on Thursday February 28, 2008 @09:48PM (#22595888)
    Only the lawyers win.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Thursday February 28, 2008 @11:02PM (#22596480)
    RIAA Not Sharing Settlement Money With Artists

    Of course they are ... con artists are artists too.
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:26AM (#22597546)
    Hey, you're beautiful
    Don't ever change
    You know what I mean
    My girl will call your girl
    We'll talk, we'll do lunch
    Or leave a message on my machine
    So baby, won't you sign
    On the dotted line
    I'm gonna make your dreams come true
    The check's in the mail
    Would I lie to you

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