With the announcement earlier today that the RIAA just successfully sued the pants off of a Minnesota woman named Jammie Thomas, it's becoming even more apparent that the record industry is still in the dark ages, digitally speaking.
Basically, Thomas was found to have made in the area of 1,700 songs available for online file sharing, and under copyright protection laws, was ordered to pay $222,000.
To me, and to many others, I'm sure, this seems like Thomas has been made an example of in the harshest terms possible, which reeks of another desperate attempt on behalf of the big labels Stateside to scare the shit out of anyone considering free file-sharing. And while they may have made a few nasty examples along the way, the lawsuit is just another reminder that the RIAA can't even consider the idea that the way we listen to, acquire and share music is changing.
I'm not going to get into the ethical issues surrounding the whole deal, because that would go nowhere. Instead, I'm just gonna point out that record sales have dropped consistently for the last 7 years, and file sharing is huge, as many of us already know and generally accept.
So why is the RIAA so hesitant? The thing I've always understood about any business or industry is that things inevitably change, and the successful people and companies are the ones who adapt, and even reinvent themselves, which is clearly not the case here.
O yeah, and they're also going to try and sue a bunch more people too, so, you know, lesson learned.