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Poor RIAA Recovers Only a Tiny Fraction of Legal Fees From Piracy Cases

We get a big kick out of picking on the RIAA here at Switched. And with good reason. There are few organizations out there as openly hostile to its customers as this front for the recording industry. When the group isn't busy suing file sharers, it's spreading propaganda and pressuring Congress and universities to crack down on piracy. While we don't approve of illegal activity, the RIAA hasn't earned itself much sympathy, thanks to its combative behavior and regular practices of suing little fish. So we can't help but take a little bit of schadenfreude when we heard that the organization was spending tens of millions of dollars to recover only a fraction of that amount in piracy fees.

According to an RIAA-tracking blog called Recording Industry Vs. The People, the industry association dropped an astounding $64 million on legal fees from 2006 though 2008, and only recovered a measly $1.3 million in awards from file sharers. In 2008 alone, it paid roughly $16 million for lawyers and "investigative operations" while pulling in only $391,000 from piracy recovery. There's no reason to believe that the tens of millions of courtroom dollars were only spent on prosecuting pirates, but, since prosecution is one of the RIAA's primary functions, it's safe to assume that a large chunk of that cash went towards finding and suing music thieves. Maybe if record labels weren't paying a largely ineffective organization tens of millions of dollars a year to create a PR nightmare for the music industry, they wouldn't be crying so much about how much money they're not making. [From: Recording Industry Vs. The People, via: Download Squad]

Tags: FileSharing, law, music, piracy, RecordingIndustry, RecordingIndustryVs.ThePeople, riaa, top