The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are the music pimps of the universe and essentially do their best to make as much money as possible (i.e. hose the consumer).
They’re at the head of every legal action taken against file-sharing applications, search engines for files on a network, and generally resort to intimidation and threats of lawsuit to get their way. Oh, and they have the lawyers to do it.
From Jesse J., the runner of Chewplastic:
I am truly appalled by the RIAA’s unprofessional conduct in dealing with my case. A very well-known top lawyer at the RIAA, while making threats of further legal actions, referred to himself as a “dentist” that I would not want to “have another visit with”. I will not be intimidated by the RIAA – they’re just going to have to put up with me.
The RIAA also recently lost a court case for price fixing. What? They try to FIX PRICES to make as much money as unethically possible? Well! Who would’ve thought.
I personally think getting MP3s and other copyrighted media without any real legal right is unethical. That’s not the issue. The issue is the RIAA telling people applications such as Kaazaa and search engines (like the one Chewplastic has for that campus network) don’t have the right to exist. These applications have LEGITIMATE uses. There’s a term called Fair Use of copyrighted works. Associations like the RIAA and MPAA(Motion Picture Association of America) have heavy financial insentives to limit fair use as much as possible in order to make as much as possible.
Any group of people seeking to dominate others through sheer financial power will obviously see a backlash. Unethical behavior dominates both sides.
WWJD(What Would Jesus Do)?