(Originally from quite a while ago; consolidating content.)
Recently, the RIAA filed a 98 billion (that’s nine-eight-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero) dollar lawsuit against a student at Michigan Technological University (“MTU”, for short), one of the two colleges within 30 miles of where I live, for copyright violation and piracy.
Before I go any further, NINETY EIGHT BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS.
Last time I checked, a ballpark figure of Bill Gates’ personal holdings was somewhere close to 29 billion dollars. So because some college kid created a website or a server that allows the people who visit it to download MP3 files (I’m not going to explain what an “MP3 file” is. If you’re reading this and you don’t even have a remote clue what in the fuck it is that I’m talking about, why don’t you pop on over to Nick.com and spend a few hours playing some Flash “Spongebob Squarepants” game, wrapped in your blanket of obliviousness to anything that’s been going on in technological news since, I dunno, 1998 or somesuch. Just be careful not to swallow your own tongue, you retard.), he’s expected to somehow amass a fortune over three times that of the richest man in the world, then hand it over to some of the other richest, greediest, kittenfucking pricks in the U.S.
I’m not going to claim that violating copyright laws is an honorable and moral thing to do. (Though, it turns out, there were several mp3′s that he gave access to that are downloadable and distributable with the artists’ permission off of their own websites.) It is, in essence, theft, whether it’s stealing something tangible that you can hold in your hand and carry out of a store or not. People do end up getting ripped off, and somewhere down the line, someone is losing money.
I don’t know what the RIAA looks like, but I did a search on
Images Dot Google and this is what came up.
But student Joseph Nievelt is no bigger a perpetrator of “ripping off” than the RIAA itself… the so-called “victim” in all of this. In fact, the multi-dicked rape monster that is the Recording Industry Association of America has been giving quite the fierce fucking to artists and customers alike.
I know a lot of this is going to be review, but let’s all get out our Houghton-Mifflin “Corporate Greedy Fucks” textbooks and go over the material.
For starters, only a fraction of the profits from each CD sold actually goes to the artist(s) him/herself/themselves. The majority is sucked away by the recording industry. Basically, they’re saying that it’s not the art and music that matters, it’s the marketing and hype.
Which, in my opinion, ends up causing a lot of problems in terms of deteriorating the quality and artistry of music-making. It has come to be that it’s not so much about the quality of music anymore as it is about proper marketing. There’s so much similar-sounding “music” out there, and it’s almost all shit. It’s all cliche, recycled, stock-footage shit. Allow me to give you a little hint: If you play one of your favorite CDs and put it on “shuffle” and it takes more than ten seconds of actual music (i.e. barring sound-effect lead-ins, etc.) in order for you to identify which song it is that’s playing, you’re listening to shit. Now, you may like shit, that’s up to you to decide, but I’m just letting you know. I mean, the genre may be really cool. Personally, I like just about every kind of music. But when nearly all the songs by a particular artist or set of artists sounds exactly the same, then it’s shit. Pick one song out of all of them, call it “awesome”, the rest can be cheap ripoffs, and let’s move the fuck on.
Hell, you can even add more variety than you could ever get from buying the CD’s by just playing around a little. Buy, say, a single from almost any “NuMetal” band and put it into your CD drive and rip (extract the music from) it, then run it through some sound editing program, changing the tempo and/or pitch (maybe even reversing it if you really feel creative) and voi-FUCKING-la, instantly more creative than any other track that you’d have gotten if you’d have purchased the entire CD. Or hey, want a new Shania Twain song? (*Grumble* Shania Twain… her lyrics are about as charming as a photo album of the holocaust, about as original as basically any “Lifetime” movie, and about as witty as a speech by George Duh-buh-yuh.) All you have to do is sample audio of a girl reading any Tiger Beat magazine article to some semi-twangy somewhat synthetic music, twist the “vocals” a little to get that digital “blurp” effect and there you go! Instant Shania Twain.
Don’t get me wrong, there ARE talented, creative artists out there who make some damn fine music that’s original and fresh, but most of the stuff out there is shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. And the art is disappearing faster than an erection in a chilly auditorium filled with Ralph Nader lookalikes, because it’s becoming more about selling than it is about creation. It’s hard to believe that a lot of these fuckers can actually feel proud of their “music”. It’d be like doing a victory dance after honking out a footlong dirtsnake. “I kick ASS at TAKING a SHIT!”
For those of you who don’t know: a CD.
Anyway, I once saw a breakdown of where CD profits actually go, and the musicians (or even “musicians”) only take home a small percentage after all is said and done. (Which is still a pretty decent amount, I’m sure, but still…)
Aside from putting dick to ass with the musicians, consumers are forced to pay out the ass for these overpriced plastic discs. According to some market analysts, CD’s should have dropped in price over the last five years to about half of what they are now. (I don’t have specific references to cite, but i read it in a magazine a couple of years ago. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.) The cost of manufacturing CD’s is a very small amount, I’m sure. The blank CD’s themselves have dropped in price dramatically in the last, say, six years. Look at CD-R media and how inexpensive they’ve become. About a year ago, I got 200 blank CD-R’s for free through some kind of Office Max special mail-in offer. I can’t imagine the blank CD’s record companies purchase/manufacture can be very much more expensive, especially when they buy so many at a time. Yet at the same time, the cost of stamped CD’s has remained the same. Sure, there’s also packaging and marketing and all of that (which, as technology gets better, probably costs less and less as well), but you can’t tell me that the ~$16.00 that’s left from a ~$20.00 CD purchase after production costs are considered (I can’t imagine they’d be much more than, say, a dollar) and the small amount that goes to the artists is taken out (say $3.00) is a justified amount for what the record company does, ESPECIALLY as opposed to the artist.
And a lot of the time, you’re lucky if half of the tracks on a CD are all that great. And a lot of the time the CD’s aren’t even all that long. Sometimes you get maybe forty minutes of music. And then half of it is just filler shit garbage for the, say, five decent songs. You end up paying about twenty bucks for about twenty minutes of music that you’ll actually enjoy. And again, if you’re lucky.
I’d be more willing to pay if more money went to the artists, or if they dropped the prices to something a hell of a lot more reasonable, considering the cost to the record companies themselves.
The whole thing is incredibly fucking ridiculous. There’s not even a remote fucking possibility that this guy did 98 billion dollars in damage to the recording industry. Don’t even try to convince me that it’s possible, especially on such a small fucking college campus. If any of you pro-RIAA fucktards want to write me an e-mail trying to counter any of this, don’t even waste your time. Seriously, just shut the fuck up. It would be like trying to hide an elephant with a kleenex.
And what about radio? Sure, you can’t pick the exact song you want to listen to at the exact time, but you can still listen to music basically for free. Same principle at work, here. Downloading a whole bunch of popular mp3′s, making a playlist and putting it on shuffle serves basically the same function as turning on the radio. And that new “satellite radio” apparently gives you even more control over what music you’re listening to, and without the commercials. Of course, it probably won’t be too much longer now before the RIAA starts going after radio stations. I mean, it’s basically the same principal. I could easily hook up a radio to the “line-in” on my sound card and record songs and burn them to CD. It’s almost the exact same thing as downloading an mp3 off of Joseph Nievelt’s server.
In any event, there’s no way he’ll ever make as much as they’re asking for in his entire lifetime. Very few people do. I mean, I know they’re not seriously expecting to get 98 billion out of this kid, but they’re still going to try to ravage his colon. And he’s a fucking COLLEGE STUDENT. Do you realize how immensely greedy that is? Even if he ends up getting pummeled with just ONE of the $250,000 fines they’re trying to… well… pummel him with… it will fuck up the rest of his life having to try to pay all of that off. But hey, it’s worth it because Metallica is apparently living in a studio apartment eating ramen out of old hats or something. And even if the recording industry ends up getting awarded anything, how much do you think the recording artists (and, again, “recording artists”) are going to see of it? If it’s divided up like the profits from CD’s (and why wouldn’t it be? We’re talking about one of the biggest, greediest consumer- and artist-raping entities that has ever existed, here, people), after the recording industry takes its cut (after legal fees of course), out of each $250,000 awarded, all of the musicians represented can expect to divide up about $40,000 amongst themselves.
If the RIAA ends up winning this lawsuit, I plan on assembling an underground army a la “Fight Club” and using it to topple capitalism. Seriously, it would be the single most re-fucking-tarded lawsuit that has ever existed. The guys who cut off their fingers with a lawnmower trying to cut their hedges? Nuh-uh. They got nothing on this. It would serve as verification that our society has gone COMPLETELY BATSHIT INSANE.
Hi! My name is Lars and I’ll be your whiny fuckwad for the evening.