Shame-faced music industry bandits from the Recording Industry Association of America blew more than $16 million on legal fees in 2008 according to the outfit's accounts.
The incredible numbers came to light today on the Recording Industry vs The People blog which has had a good old delve through the MAFIAA's accounts, discovering that the organisation had paid law firms Holmes Robert and Owen $9,364,901 Jenner and Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain and Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its copyright infringement claims. And those were just the three top beneficiaries.
The organisation coughed up this huge pile of cash in order to pursue file sharers who were depriving starving artists of their fair slice of the publishing pie. The pesky pirates, who apparently steal food out of the mouths of billionaire rock star's babies, have been dragged through the courts for years by this anachronistic, unelected and unconstitutional band of bellowing dinosaurs, but it was all in a good cause.
The shrewd $16 million investment in sharp-suited legal sharks resulted in a fantastic return of... $391,000.
In fact, in a three-year period the RIAA has managed to piss away $64 million in legal and investigation costs and recovered a little over $1.3 million.
$62.7 million could have brought Bono an awful lot of solid gold patio furniture.
The RIAA will crow that its legal battles are about creating a deterrent rather than generating income, but filling the coffers of parasitic lawyers benefits just one group of people, and certainly doesn't help struggling musicians to survive.
Isn't it time this disgraceful band of self-serving charlatans and bullies was forced to shut up shop forever?