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28 February 2003 @ 06:03 pm
Worthwhile  
Did you buy any CDs from 1995 to 2000? Then you are eligible for a minor part of a major class action lawsuit against the studios for non-competitive practices.

ideaspace brought this to my attention, and I bring it to yours. Click here to see why. And, more importantly, how. But do so before midnight on March 3.
 
 
 
some guyself on February 28th, 2003 08:09 pm (UTC)
ugh.
There is no "why."

The music industry loses $143,075,000.00 in cash and merchandise, with the claimants earning no more than $20.00 apiece. Great justice, right?

If the lawyers take only 10% of the winnings, that's fourteen thousand dollars in their pocket from simply capitalizing on mob hysteria.

And afterwards?

The hundred fourty-three million dollar loss is passed on to consumers, and struggling acts like Venice and Gabriel Mann get dropped from their labels, or never picked up, 'cause there's no longer a comfortable buffer to cover the risk.

I'm pretty selective about what music I spend money on, and I spend it in good conscience. It'd be nice if a larger percentage made it back to the artists involved, but if my contribution encourages the label to put out another album like it, I'm okay with that too.

Most of the music I hear is provided free of charge on the radio, and I've downloaded more than my share of MP3s. I choose to spend the dollars I do. Demanding one cent of that back would be nothing short of hypocrisy.

To summarize:
  • It doesn't change the world.
  • It doesn't right the wrong.
  • The accused will shrug it off.
  • Well-meaning consumers will shoulder the burden.
  • Parasytic lawyers on both sides will benefit disportionately.

You'll forgive me for not supporting this?
The Savage Young Bat: wonderfulideaspace on March 1st, 2003 02:34 am (UTC)
Re: ugh.
Misconstruing your points, I'm sure :)

Waaaaal, to be fair... if the case is correct, they violated anti-trust laws, committing a crime. They should be punished for that crime, because corporations need to be accountable for their actions. I wouldn't like to say, "If we put this guy in jail, he's only going to get mad and hurt more people when he gets out, so we better let him go."

The money returned to consumers is merely token. It's like the cops caught this notorious pickpocket and they're saying "His stash is here, and we don't know who's is what, so everyone gets twenny bucks."

Most of what we do every day doesn't change the world or right the wrongs (in the long run),and behemoths shrug off nearly everything, the poor always share most of the burden, and lawyers always make money. Going by your points, it wouldn't be worth it to get up in the morning. At least this says that we don't like cheaters. Corporations are going to raise prices anyway - why not have them do it as a result of doing the right thing?

Now, I think the class action suit against Blockbuster was foolish - because it's your own damn fault if you don't know when things are due. Here, the people were scammed. I don't think we should apologize for corporations, or allow them to get away with stuff just because they're so big and mean. And just because we don't like lawyers in general, it doesn't make the corporations or insurance companies our friends.

I agree that good artists need funding for exposure, but I also think that people will go to where the good music winds up. And the people who won't look for good music? Do you think they'd buy it even if it was on a major label?

But - and this is my real point - I wouldn't want to convince you to do anything you're not comfortable with. There's a place on the website to remove yourself from the suit. I like discussing issues of law and purposefulness. I'm reminded ofJWZ saying that sometimes you just want to fuck with people (corporations) who are irritating.
some guyself on March 1st, 2003 09:50 am (UTC)
here we go.
>>>>>
I wouldn't like to say, "If we put this guy in jail, he's only going to get mad and hurt more people when he gets out, so we better let him go."
<<<<<
    Nor would I. But nobody's talking about sending folks to jail for their crimes. This is a civil suit, seeking punitive damages. That's not how we settle anti-trust issues.

    If we were to follow your analogy, it would actually be closer to "If we try to put this guy in jail, we'll actually end up serving time in his place while he continues to hurt other people. What an interesting loophole! We should re-evaluate this strategy."


>>>>>
The money returned to consumers is merely token. It's like the cops caught this notorious pickpocket and they're saying "His stash is here, and we don't know who's is what, so everyone gets twenny bucks."
<<<<<
    ...keeping (at least) fourteen thousand for themselves, but still leaving most of that stash with the pickpocket and releasing him back onto the street without any jailtime or additional surveilance.

    It's an opportunistic feeding frenzy, orchestrated by sharks. It accomplishes none of what it claims, does more harm than good, and heaps great reward upon the most cynical of people, who called you to riot hoping for just this outcome. Who cares if I'm comfortable with it? Let's not reduce this to individual opinion.


>>>>>
Most of what we do every day doesn't change the world or right the wrongs (in the long run),and behemoths shrug off nearly everything, the poor always share most of the burden, and lawyers always make money. Going by your points, it wouldn't be worth it to get up in the morning.
<<<<<
    No, those would be your points. I happen to still get up in the morning because we're capable of changing the world.

    The token you describe (which maxes out at $20, but will in all likelihood be much lower given that the eligability requirements are so wide-open) throws away a hundred fourty-three million dollars, which could be used to campaign for serious legislation and industry reform, to suppliment arts funding in our schools, to feed a small country, cure a disease... That's a crime. And we close the door to those possibilities because of perceived futility - "behemoths shrug off nearly everything, the poor always share most of the burden, and lawyers always make money." Those weren't my points. If you honestly believe them, why do you bother getting up in the morning?

    It's not always if we prevent it once.

    What you're responding to was my description was the cause-effect relationship of one ill-conceived plan. Not to be confused with a statement of world-view.

    This is the wrong solution, and it's participants contribute to a greater wrong.


>>>>>
I agree that good artists need funding for exposure, but I also think that people will go to where the good music winds up. And the people who won't look for good music? Do you think they'd buy it even if it was on a major label?
<<<<<
    Also not what I said.

    Generally speaking, the minor labels are owned by the major ones. If you're able to purchase a CD in stores, you have the behemoths to thank for that. Most everything else is self-produced, sold out of your garage. But that barely covers expenses - your incentive to continue recording ties into the possibility of getting signed. But this is starting to veer off-topic.


>>>>>
There's a place on the website to remove yourself from the suit.
<<<<<
    Spread the word.


>>>>>
sometimes you just want to fuck with people (corporations) who are irritating.
<<<<<
    ...and sometimes, you just want to kill someone.

    Wanting to do it doesn't justify the action.
The Savage Young Batideaspace on March 1st, 2003 03:15 pm (UTC)
Re: and another thing
"behemoths shrug off nearly everything, the poor always share most of the burden, and lawyers always make money." Those weren't my points. If you honestly believe them, why do you bother getting up in the morning?

Oh, heavens no. I thought I was paraphrasing your list of bullet points summarizing why you wouldn't support the action. And I obviously, as I said, misconstrued you. Sorry.

I remain unconvinced that the harm to consumers will be greater than the benefit. That seems to be a cynicism which I don't think you intend. I mean, rather, that you largely seem concerned with actualities and positive solutions, so a supposition of future harm does not seem to keep with your other intentions.

What riot, by the way? I'd only just heard of this because a friend called me up this weekend and asked me to spread the word. Is it on the news? I've no idea, honestly.

some guyself on March 1st, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC)
hmm.
>>>>>
I remain unconvinced that the harm to consumers will be greater than the benefit.
<<<<<
    And I think this is the crux of our misunderstanding.

    Forcing the music industry to adhere to competitive practices would most likely benefit consumers. I can only speculate on that point, because we don't know what retailers would have charged had no minimum price been suggested. But it's reasonable to suppose they would have charged less. Fine.

    There's nothing in this class-action suit which would even begin to make that happen. The benefit to consumers is a one-time payment of less than $20.

    But, supposing this fine does prompt them to obey the law, we've taken the artificially inflated prices and made them legitimately cost that much. No harm done on the surface, but underneath, we've eliminated this intriguing point of leverage. That bridge is burnt, their defenses are up, and we all have less than $20 to show for it. And we had $143 million at our disposal to really go for the jugular.

    $143,000,000 lost, less than $20 gained. Strategic position discarded. Honest-to-goodness chance to change the world traded for more of the same.

    If we eliminate all other downsides from the equation, that's still not desirable.

>>>>>
What riot, by the way? I'd only just heard of this because a friend called me up this weekend and asked me to spread the word. Is it on the news? I've no idea, honestly.
<<<<<
    No clue how far it's spread, but these things go fast on LiveJournal.

    The "riot" metaphor again delves into issues I didn't want to go into here. Namely, the "Injustice? Grab everything you can!" mentality of so many P2P advocates who refuse to admit they're just stealing things because they can (Remember the looting that went on after the Rodney King trial?), and if pressed will say some truly hateful things to justify their position.

    I meant that the lawyers look into this swirling mass of anger, and seize the opportunity to focus it for their own gain. They encourage the worst in us, and call us to action.

    I thought the imagery explained itself. Ah well. Feel free to cast out that part.