An article by The Daily Free Press (‘The RIAA’s $1 million man,’ Nov. 7, p. 1) wrongly suggests that the RIAA is asking for $1 million in a music downloading case. That is inaccurate. While we prefer to argue our cases in the courtroom, we will take this opportunity to set the record straight on a few key facts regarding our enforcement campaign.
First, if a case goes to court, we never ask for a specific amount in damages. We leave that up to the court to decide.’
Second, contrary to what the article suggests, we aren’t in the business of ‘threaten[ing] to fine’ people. It’s not in our interest to bring legal action against innocent individuals. If someone is the recipient of a pre-litigation letter, we have collected the evidence necessary to bring a lawsuit. We’ve caught that person engaging in the same illegal activity that has cost the music industry billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in just a few short years.
To avoid a lawsuit, we offer a reasonable alternative that allows individuals to keep a clean slate and settle for far, far less than what the law allows. If an individual wishes to challenge a case for whatever reason, that’s his/her prerogative and we’re happy to hear them out.
We’ve never looked to this program to turn a profit. In fact, we lose money on the program. But it’s necessary in order to help the legitimate music marketplace reach its full potential and deter users from getting music the wrong way. What is sometimes lost is that this program is a means to an end, and that end is a thriving legal marketplace that serves fans, artists and record labels. With all the new and innovative business models that the record companies continue to actively invest in ‘-‘- whether it is free, unlimited music streaming models like MySpace Music, Pandora and Last.fm or discounted a la carte and subscription options from stores like AmazonMP3 and Rhapsody ‘-‘- there are plenty of options for fans to get their favorite music the right way.
Deputy Director, Communications
Recording Industry Association of America