Jammie Thomas: Crown of Thorns in the Side of the RIAA

The music industry was obsolete 10 years ago, and kind of corrupt and exploitative 10 years, 20 years, and 100 years ago. There are existing technologies and candidate business models for having a thriving, artist-centric music scene where we all get to hear what we want and pay the artists for hearing it, instead of hearing what Big Content let us and paying them so they might pay the artist if they feel like it, a little, possibly not. Indie labels are halfway there already. The RIAA and it’s governing cabal of entrenched transnationals are determined keep up their rent-seeking as long as they can, and since they don’t have any legitimate logistical reasons to exist anymore, they’ve turned to political clout and legal warfare as a substitute. We all know this. I can shut up now. I could have shut up at the start of the paragraph.

Jammie Starr is the first of the (3000? 30 000? depends who you ask) victims of the RIAA’s industrial-scale blackmail program to fight back. The court case went against her and the jury, prompted by some dubious directions from the judge and a bizarre set of copyright rules, have pegged her with $222 000 in penalties. Because by “making available for download” a couple of dozen music files she did $220 000 dollars worth of crime. Seems fair.

She’s going to appeal. She has, in a calm and friendly tone, announced herself a lifelong “thorn in the side of the RIAA”. Lawyers bills t0 date are estimated in the $100 000 + range (yay blind justice!) and now they’re going to go up. She’s taking donations. Jammie died for all our sins. Kick a little something her way to cover the bills.

update: between 8:30am and 10:30pm today, the tally went from $500 and change to just shy of 4 large. The lady needs some crucifix money. Keep it coming.

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