The City of Angels is known for its brash and brilliant moguls producing our nation's entertainment via music and movies. These days the busiest suits in town seem to be the lawyers who are turning LA into the City of Lawsuits. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, since the summer of 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America has brought lawsuits against 20,000 music listeners for alleged illegal file sharing. The defendants have settled for an average of $3,750 totalling around $75,000,000. Those are some expenive downloads!
The record companies are not the only ones getting their litigation fix. The Motion Picture A ssociation of America has been filing its fair share of suits as well. Over the years, movie companies have filed various lawsuits to stop various technologies, including now nearly outdated VCR. Reports have the MPAA mulling over the possibility of adopting the RIAA strategy of going after individual consumers who download or otherwise purchase illegally made movie copies.
While many of the suits may have legal merit, you have to wonder from a marketing perspective how well these companies are endearing themselves to even non-offending consumers? There is a certain bully element to this strategy that is a turn off. And, I can honestly say I've never used file sharing programs. But, even nerdy law abiders like me are turned off by the seemingly heavy-handedness. This probably explains some of the reasons why iTunes singles sales have been doing well, but full length record sales are going down. You beat up enough people and others aren't going to want to come around even if you have some cool things to offer.