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RIAA Pays $16 Million in Legal Fees, Gets $391K - Makes Lawyers Rich
July 13, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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The RIAA's legal costs in 2008 came to a whopping $16 million, with a return value of only $391,000, according to If the RIAA is only collecting $391,000 from alleged file-sharers, could we say this is the price of doing business? Although the music industry still has a lot of money, even after 10 years of decimation thanks to the switch from CD to digital music, is there any hidden benefit that isn't so clear on a tax form?

The purpose of the legal campaign, now on its death bed (at least from the major industries) really wasn't to make money - but to educate people. Make examples. Show people that they can't download without being held accountable. Perhaps with a big enough investment (aka $16 a year) people will change their download habits. Maybe people will start buying music again.

Well...that didn't really happen. You could argue that iTunes has been a success, and that's true to an extent. It terms of dollars and cents, sure, it's doing well and it's making money. But in the big picture, it doesn't make enough to compensate for the loss of CD sales. Probably nothing will.

So...much like the US Copyright Group lawsuits, the only ones making money off suing alleged P2P butt pirates are lawyers.


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