A week ago, a judge decided that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a Minnesota mom, owes the RIAA $1.92 million due to her illegal downloading of 24 songs off of Kazaa, a popular P2P network. Thankfully, many artists, especially those who were lucky enough to be on Thomas-Rasset’s list of 24 songs, are facing the music, so to speak.
Richard Marx, a pop/rock artist who made the list, is speaking out against the court’s ruling, saying that he is “ashamed” to be associated with the outlandish fine.
“As a longtime professional songwriter, I have always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music. I have also always, however, been sympathetic to the average music fan, who has been consistently financially abused by the greedy actions of major labels,” Marx dictated in a statement. “These labels, until recently, were responsible for the distribution of the majority of recorded music, and instead of nurturing the industry and doing their best to provide the highest quality of music to the fans, they predominantly chose to ream the consumer and fill their pockets.”
Marx continued, “So now we have a ‘judgment’ in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial comeuppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas-Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I’m ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.”
Marx isn’t the only artist who is borderline disgusted with the court’s decision. Moby released a statement concerning the fine on his website. Agreeing with Marx, Moby says, “What utter nonsense. This is how the record companies want to protect themselves? Suing suburban moms for listening to music? Charging $80,000 per song? Punishing people for listening to music is exactly the wrong way to protect the music business.” Moby continues on a note that succeeds at being sentimental, “I’m so sorry that any music fan anywhere is ever made to feel bad for making the effort to listen to music. The RIAA needs to be disbanded.”
Apparently, the RIAA doesn’t expect Thomas-Rasset to pay the fine but desperately want to use this opportunity to scare people who download music. However, I’m not sure they succeeded. And I’m sure as heck not scared.