Archive for November, 2010

Politicians are crazy!

Politicians are crazy I am convinced of it. After the mid term election I think we just might be as crazy as them but it never seems to amaze me what our politicians choose to focus on. Case in point the following article.

Strange Days: Fla. Governor May Pardon Jim Morrison

(Nov. 8) — The music is just about over for Gov. Charlie Crist, but he may have one more noteworthy task left before leaving office: a pardon of fellow Floridian Jim Morrison for indecent exposure charges during a concert 41 years ago.
“Candidly, it’s something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, but it’s something I’m willing to look into in the time I have left,” Crist told Washington, D.C.’s The Hill newspaper. “Anything is possible.”

The lead singer of The Doors was by all accounts drunk by the time he got on stage at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami on March 1, 1969. A raucous concert ensued, even by Morrison standards, and a few days later he was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure and profanity. Jim Morrison

Morrison was found guilty of the latter two counts, and his case was on appeal when he was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in a bathtub in a Paris apartment on July 3, 1971.

Fans have been pushing for a pardon of Morrison, arguing that there was never conclusive evidence that he exposed himself that night, according to The Hill. Crist himself acknowledged in 2007 that there was some doubt about the validity of the charges and said he would consider pardoning Morrison, who like him attended Florida State University, the newspaper said.

Now I’m sure Jim Morrison was beloved by all his fans and probably was a good guy, or maybe he wasn’t who knows the thing I don’t understand is what does it matter? I mean the person it should matter the most to is Jim Morrison and if anyone didn’t notice that’s the least of his problems. So why is this politician wasting his time and taxpayers time visiting this issue?

Downloading songs can cost you!

For years now we have heard horror stories of the RIAA sueing people for downloading music, usually the fine was reduced to a settlement a little over $2,000. That brings me to the story of a woman in Minnesota who instead of trying to settle decided to fight the case. That resulted in her loosing and a large fine imposed that off course she appealed. Well here we are several years and appeals later and another appeals court has ruled she must pay.

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs

What’s the value of a song? Jammie Thomas-Rasset has spent the last few years in court debating that question. The Minnesota mother of four is being penalized for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa in 2006, but how much she owes the record labels has been in question. The jury in her third trial has just ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay Capitol Records $1.5 million, CNET reports, which breaks down to $62,500 per song. It’s a heavy penalty considering the 24 tunes would only cost approximately $24 on iTunes, which was Thomas-Rasset’ argument, too.

Thanks to Thomas-Rasset’s colorful case, she has become the public face of the record industry’s battle with illegal downloaders. In her first trial, in 2007, the jury demanded she pay $222,000 for violating the copyright on more than 1,700 songs by Green Day, Aerosmith and Richard Marx, to name a few. (Marx said he was “ashamed” to be associated with the “farcical” prosecution of an illegal downloader.) Thomas-Rasset maintained she wasn’t the computer user who did the file sharing, and her legal team cited an error in jury instruction to secure a second trial in 2009 that ended with a much harsher result: an astronomical fine of $1.92 million. However, earlier this year a U.S. District Court judge found the $1.92 million penalty against Thomas-Rasset to be “monstrous and shocking” and “gross injustice” before lowering it to $54,000, or $2,250 a song. Thomas-Rasset and her legal team decided to appeal that decision, too.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the organization that represents the four major record labels, was pleased by the most recent decision, even if it has no intention to collect the $1.5 million from Thomas-Rasset. “Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions,” the RIAA said in a statement. Earlier this year, the RIAA offered Thomas-Rasset the opportunity to end the legal battle for $25,000 and an admission of guilt; Thomas-Rasset declined.

Burying a Midwestern mom in insurmountable debt isn’t the best publicity move, so rather than argue the labels are entitled to the cash, the RIAA has sought to make this trial into a cautionary tale for anyone considering illegally downloading music — a reminder that there are penalties. But as the constantly declining weekly Nielsen SoundScan sales figures demonstrate, nothing seems to have deterred music fans from stealing rather than purchasing songs and albums. And in a digital world now dominated by Bit Torrent and Rapidshare, a trial over a music-sharing dinosaur like Kazaa seems nothing but antiquated. (Last month, after a decade of illegal file sharing, peer-to-peer service LimeWire was shut down by the government, much to the surprise of the millions who thought LimeWire had faded years ago into the Internet ether.)

Still, Thomas-Rasset and her legal team are already making plans to appeal, setting the stage for a fourth trial. “The fight continues,” promised Thomas-Rasset’s lawyer Kiwi Camara. Even if Thomas-Rasset were to win the next trial, the RIAA would likely appeal that decision to ensure that copyright infringement without penalization won’t happen. This story has the potential to drag on well into the next decade — when for $1.5 million, all of Thomas-Rasset’s four kids could finish law school and take up the fight on her behalf.

Really I think there is no way she could ever win this case but the problem of illegal downloading is far from being solved. At the beginning there where one or two sites that offered downloads now there are literally hundreds. The industry embraced the internet to late and now is paying for it. The problem is many talented very creative artist are not getting paid like they should. I like to use a service called emusic that actually will be adding Universals catalog was well as Amazon.com to purchase mp3’s.