MSN Music Blog - Reverb

A lump of coal for the music industry

Companies win royalties case against music pirates – and keep the money

By Mark C. Brown Dec 20, 2012 11:14AM


You know what illegal music downloading does, right? It deprives artists of being paid for their hard work and creativity. So music industry associations like the RIAA go after illegal downloaders - whether it's companies or individuals - and gets huge settlements out of them. Even if it means taking it to ridiculous extremes, such as the woman who was fined more than $1 million for downloading 24 songs.

This year anti-piracy efforts were largely focused on The Pirate Bay, the world's most notorious site for illegal downloading. Its founders got jail time and huge fines as well (despite all that, the site is still up and running and you can download nearly anything you want from it).

So it's Happy Holidays for the artists the RIAA and other organizations represent, right?

Of course not. The RIAA and its international counterparts are keeping all the money for themselves.

Why? So that they can keep fighting the good fight on behalf of the artists to whom they're not paying a penny. And, presumably, keep whatever money they get continuing an unwinnable war against piracy.

As one Pirate Bay official noted, "So who’s the thief when they don’t give the money to the artists?"