RIAA's Christmas Treats
Fearful that Christmas might turn out to be less than merry as far as
members' profits are concerned, the Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA) is stepping up anti-piracy efforts on the street and online,
"to help foster the most business-friendly marketplace possible for a
successful fourth quarter of sales," especially in New York and LA, "known
havens for criminal music piracy trafficking."
Online, as well as trying in vain to handle file sharing p2p networks,
the RIAA has, "undertaken an unprecedented effort to halt the spread of
music files that are on the Internet even before the commercial release of
the CD, including efforts on behalf of 40 different artists in the fourth
Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen, RIAA Chairman and CEO, says having nailed
Audiogalaxy, Aimster, Songspy and sites such as Listen4ever.com, the
association is now working with the New York Police Department's (NYPD)
Civil Division Legal Bureau to utilize 'anti-nuisance laws' to, "pursue
repeated instances of music piracy activities at business establishments."
Reach Out says the RIAA has "helped New York City law enforcement" to
bring rafts of cases as part of its 'Padlock Initiative'.
As part of this, "during the holiday buying season" the RIAA's
"business-friendly marketplace" plan calls, among other things, for,
"saturating the streets with investigators, NYPD training programs to
heighten awareness of the problem, and partnering with law enforcement to
deploy anti-piracy rapid response teams.
"The holiday enforcement initiative is currently in place and paying
Translated, this means a hard-core commercial trade group has managed to
get the world-famous NYPD to work for it with New York tax-payers footing
the bill, in all likelihood.
You could indeed say that's paying dividends - for the Record Labels. But
this arrogance is hardly surprising considering the RIAA recently succeeded
in getting the US Navy to do the same, and that a major part of the RIAA's
business strategy is to similarly get police forces around the world to work
for, and on behalf of, the Big Five record labels.
But it IS Christmas, after all, and no doubt the NYPD is overjoyed
at being able to lend a hand to Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner Bros and BMG
during this otherwise notoriously slack holiday period,
And let's not forget that in its Outreach To Fortune 1000 Corporations
And 2,300 Colleges And Universities, the RIAA has also selflessly
launched a, "new, comprehensive effort with other members of the content
community to advise businesses and the higher education community of the
risks and dangers of illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works
on peer-to-peer networks and ways to help address the problem."
One wonders if America's universities and businesses, large and small,
have figured out that trying to find ways to implement the RIAA's
instructions is costing them literally millions of dollars in hard cash for
'anti-pirate' hardware and software, not to speak of serious internal