RIAA spent $58m chasing pirates to recover $1.4m

By on July 14, 2010, 8:48 PM
The RIAA isn't exactly known for having winning legal tactics, but its lengthy crusade against pirates was a bit more than "unsuccessful" as far as the numbers are concerned. Based on tax documents discovered by Jon Newton of p2pnet.net, the group spent over $17 million on lawyers in 2008 to recover $391,000 in settlements and losses were even worse in previous years.

During 2007, the RIAA shelled out $21 million for legal expenses to recoup $515,929, and year prior was just as bad, with $19 million returning $455,000. The organization's pursuit of infringers between the years of 2006 and 2008 ultimately cost $58,258,394 in legal fees, all to scrape in $1,362,572. And that doesn't include the millions spent on "investigative operations."

Granted, it's not all about settlements. The RIAA undoubtedly landed some non-monetary legal victories in the form of site closures, injunctions and more, but a 98% loss on investment surely hurts and it's probably why the industry ceased its legal efforts. Talking with TorrentFreak, an RIAA exec justified the expenses by saying that the group's campaign deterred many would-be pirates.




User Comments: 24

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captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Did they happen to mention exactly who's 58 million they spent.....?

princeton princeton said:

captaincranky said:

Did they happen to mention exactly who's 58 million they spent.....?

Ours. The ******* taxpayers eh?

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

princeton said:

captaincranky said:

Did they happen to mention exactly who's 58 million they spent.....?

Ours. The ******* taxpayers eh?

The RIAA is a corporation, it doesn't have access to federal funds

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

So they pretty much just lost all that money outright? That's some downright laughable company spending if that's the case...

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

I can't believe that music artists are that stupid to have this clusterf*ck of an organization represent them. This again proves that piracy has little effect on the music industry. Artists aren't losing money on piracy, they are losing it because of ****** like the RIAA wasting it. Why pay into an organization that has accomplished pretty much no results?

matrix86 matrix86 said:

from the article:

an RIAA exec justified the expenses by saying that the group's campaign deterred many would-be pirates.

Anything to make you sleep at night. Pirating is still just as active has it has been.....not that I would know this or anything.............so, um...yeah...........

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

filthy pirate

Guest said:

From what I understand, once the RIAA started prosecuting and publicly searching for pirates, the number of pirates skyrocketed. Most people didn't even know the you could illegally download music from the internet before the RIAA started making piracy so public. Just my 2 cents.

Guest said:

The system that allows them to make so much money is the same system that makes them spend all there 'hard earned' cash.. Owned

Guest said:

common dude, shut the "F word" up

RIAA didnt do anything about piracy, piracy expanded by itself, its simpl as that

I'm "pirate", downloading anything and everywhere. If I like it I buy it, else I seed to 1.5 and then delete. Simpl as that.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The RIAA is a corporation, it doesn't have access to federal funds
True enough but, our tax dollars are spent by the federal court system in the litigation of these cases. So, a fair question, or better phrasing of this might be, OK, the RIAA spent fifty mil of their, (or the recording industry's money), but how much of the taxpayer's money did the Federal Court System piss away humoring these a**h****...?

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Shutdown everything down then. Too much is spent on this stuff. Most of what was is gone. Put metal detectors at the Movies and use dogs to sniff out digital recording gear. Go into the projector room and have a security guard monitor that room while you watch a movie. I have security cameras in the theater to catch people in the act. Screen screener who have access to these movies before they hit the street corners instead of the movies houses. This is where they need to focus on and all this crap will stop. If not it going to continue for ever until they just put all movies on the Cable TV or Netflixs.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Shutdown everything down then. Too much is spent on this stuff. Most of what was is gone. Put metal detectors at the Movies and use dogs to sniff out digital recording gear. Go into the projector room and have a security guard monitor that room while you watch a movie. I have security cameras in the theater to catch people in the act. Screen screener who have access to these movies before they hit the street corners instead of the movies houses. This is where they need to focus on and all this crap will stop. If not it going to continue for ever until they just put all movies on the Cable TV or Netflixs.

Well yeah, but we're talking about the >> RIAA << and not the >>MPAA<<.... Which is music, not movies.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Well yeah, but we're talking about the >> RIAA << and not the >>MPAA<<.... Which is music, not movies.

Well oh! Music well the same can be applied. Stop allowing users to record music at the concert level. No cell phones or smart phones. Most of this stuff is at the source anyway. Only takes one person in the recording studio to start being a pirate just to earn fame online.

Yad Yad said:

Thats a big Fail.

aj_the_kidd said:

$58m to recover $1.4m, now thats an EPIC FAIL.

Armanian said:

tipstir said:

Shutdown everything down then. Too much is spent on this stuff. Most of what was is gone. Put metal detectors at the Movies and use dogs to sniff out digital recording gear. Go into the projector room and have a security guard monitor that room while you watch a movie. I have security cameras in the theater to catch people in the act. Screen screener who have access to these movies before they hit the street corners instead of the movies houses. This is where they need to focus on and all this crap will stop. If not it going to continue for ever until they just put all movies on the Cable TV or Netflixs.

If i remember correctly, here in the UK it isn't illegal to take a camcorder into a cinema, its just illegal to take any recordings of a movie with it. Many cinema's also dont have the right to take a cam of a person if they find one in the cinema, they have to leave it to the police.

UglyChild said:

Guest said:

From what I understand, once the RIAA started prosecuting and publicly searching for pirates, the number of pirates skyrocketed. Most people didn't even know the you could illegally download music from the internet before the RIAA started making piracy so public. Just my 2 cents.

Where did you get this info that helped you understand??

captaincranky said:

The RIAA is a corporation, it doesn't have access to federal funds
True enough but, our tax dollars are spent by the federal court system in the litigation of these cases. So, a fair question, or better phrasing of this might be, OK, the RIAA spent fifty mil of their, (or the recording industry's money), but how much of the taxpayer's money did the Federal Court System piss away humoring these a**h****...?

The federal court workers, get a salary, regardless if there is a case to judge or not.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Everyone is missing the point here. The RIAA didn't pursue these cases to make money. They're not a money-making organization. They did it in attempt to stem the insane amount of theft going on. And I think they succeeded to some extent. I have a number of friends who either stopped or reduced their theft because they didn't want to get caught up in the RIAA witch hunt.

Obviously their process wasn't the most efficient tactic. But if nothing, it brought awareness to the pirating issue and that's a start.

Guest said:

No one's saying that the RIAA was trying to turn a profit; however, if their objective was to "Recover" lost money than its fair to say they failed miserably.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

.....ooooorrrrrrrr, everyone could treat others work,effort, and creation with the same respect they would like to have theirs treated and not steal it....nawwww! what a ridiculous notion.

treetops treetops said:

Meh this is the age of reckoning for all the high priced video tapes, cassette tapes, cd's, dvd's and movies they sold and rented at trumped up prices. It costs them what like a penny to make a cd? (maybe a nickel).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The federal court workers, get a salary, regardless if there is a case to judge or not.

Then I suppose you might say that our tax dollars our being spent when these workers are doing work related to the RIAA litigation. After all, this BS is contributing to a backlog of other sorts of cases

If you think they're just being paid to show up for work, you're mistaken. If there was no crime, we could close the courts.

Does this concept sit well with you. "we don't have to do anything, you just have to pay us"?

If you have a federal job where you get paid for doing nothing, feel free to tell us about it, we'll call 60 minutes about it together.

tengeta tengeta said:

Oops... might need to make CD's more than 20 bucks now.

As Nelson from The Simpons would say: "HA HA!"

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