Filing a $1.65 TRILLION Lawsuit is a Cry For Help by the RIAA

by Johnny Debacle

The RIAA filed a $1.65 trillion lawsuit against last week. is Russian website which sold Mp3’s free of DRM to anyone in the world, and apparently did not reimburse any copyright holders. This was legal under Russian law (as most things are, including but not limited to murder, stealing, felching, kidnapping, rape, arson, armed robbery, unarmed robbery and assault) and in our opinion, highly efficient.

The RIAA have waited years to act on this matter, but when they did, they did it with panache. Let’s put $1.65 trillion in perspective.

If has destroyed $1.65 trillion of value or committed acts worth $1.65 trillion in punishment, there is implicit in that the idea that the RIAA stakeholders are worth a minimum of $1.65 trillion plus whatever fair market values would peg them at. A quick perusal of the enteprise values of the constituents of the RIAA make it clear that they are not worth even $100bn, much less 16x that.

Also implicit in the $1.65 trillion number is that has sold somewhere close to $1.65 trillion worth of music in its 3-4 years of mainstream existence. In 2004, there was $30-40bn of total music recording sales (and the RIAA does not represent all of that figure). The GDP of Russia is about $1.5 trillion. In 2005 there were $1.1bn of digital music sales. So in 3-4 years, did the damage worth the revenue equivalent of 40-55 years of total music recording sales or 1x the GDP of Russia.

The RIAA has a resume of distorting reality in an effort to protect its members’ interests. Using the words “stealing” and “piracy” to describe copyright infringement, an act where no one is deprived of their property. Using the assumption that a song illegally downloaded is a sale foregone on a 1 for 1 basis. Never getting on the ball and creating a legal service which makes the digital music as facile as the black market is. Advocating the extension of copyright tenure despite the fact that the time it takes to monetize copyrighted material continues to fall as technology improves and society speeds up. And now suing a website for the entire GDP of Russia.

Recommendation: The smell of desperation is strong, the likelihood of disintermediate is high and we are long irrational acts by the RIAA. We recommend evaluating investments in such potential RIAA moves as:

  • Suing for sonic rights to the dark side of the Moon, based on Pink Floyd’s album, and by extention, the entire universe which has ever been blocked by the dark side of the moon.
  • Reprogramming Carson Daly’s Prime Directives. Previously these were
    1. Serve the corporate trust
    2. Protect the public from thinking
    3. Uphold corporate interests
    4. Never oppose a media company officer (any attempt to arrest a media company rep results in automatic Carson Daly shutdown)

    The RIAA may append a fifth directive as follows: “5. Conquer Russia and destroy Crush the insolent.”

  • Proposing a bill to congress through one of their many shills requiring that each citizen have a meter attached to their ear which would keep track of how much RIAA content you listen to and charge you for it. Failure to pay would result in their using the installed ear meter chip to broadcast Crazy Town’s Butterfly directly into your brain until you agree to pay or until your head explodes.
  • Suing the dead. (Edit: Apparently the RIAA has already sued the dead)

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  1. January 8th, 2007 | 9:14 pm

    Tom Leher once pronounced that the day Kissinger recieved the Nobel Peace Prize was the day Satire died.

    Since the real world is now so preposterous that we no longer need satire, I am going short The Onion, The Daily Show & The Colbert Report.

    In addition, every time Will Ferrell does his GW Bush impression I am going to be playing the spread between the people who know it’s not really Dubya and the people who don’t.

  2. January 8th, 2007 | 10:20 pm

    Tom pegged the day he said that as the day he was officially old.

  3. HarlemHaberdasher
    January 10th, 2007 | 4:45 pm

    “…there is implicit…the idea that the RIAA stakeholders are worth a minimum of $1.65 trillion plus whatever fair market values would peg them at.”

    For a firm originally valued at 100 billion, max? If that’s not value-added, I don’t know what is. Those lawyers are in the wrong business.

  4. January 10th, 2007 | 5:06 pm

    If we could invest in one people asset class, it would probably be lawyers. If there was one people asset class we would destroy with lasers if given the chance, it would probably be lawyers.

  5. Goldman Slacks
    January 17th, 2007 | 7:30 pm

    great article. i managed to blurt out on the trading floor what “felching” meant. needless to say, i had a quick meeting with the md soon afterwards.

  6. January 18th, 2007 | 8:30 am

    It seems like your workplace is actively discriminating against felching, which in my book makes the lot of them felcherists. A prejudice is a prejudice. Consider filing a 4 trillion suit against your firm.

    Also, bon pantalons.

  7. Goldman Slacks
    January 18th, 2007 | 6:49 pm

    yes, it’s quite worrysome. my workplace has a very conservative culture. i don’t think felchism was covered in our non-discrimination workshop during training. thanks for the advice on the lawsuit. i’m going to hire my lawyer friends over at Morrison & Foerster (

  8. January 19th, 2007 | 10:26 am

    We’ve formed a quorum and decided that if we could only invest in one asset class it would be boobies.

  9. January 19th, 2007 | 10:43 am

    Id invest in “asset” assets, Im an outlier.