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MP3 Pirates Fined

Sidd Finch
Saturday, January 12, 2008

Related News:

New Source of Revenue

FinedThe Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has settled with three college students from the University of Houston accused of operating largescale networks of pirated music. Andy Fastbowl, Jeff Killing and Kenny Lay were named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit last month for pirating thoursands of MP3 music files.  The three settled out of court agreeing to pay fines of $12,000 to $17,000 each. "Dat's not a problem," said Fastbowl.  Fastbowl said that he expected they could pay off the fines in a few days or weeks at most.  "There's bigger opportunities out there than MP3 files.  We're lookin' at energy trading, money launderin', importation of a few natural resources, like dat."  The students originally built their web site as a computer science course project, but when it became popular, transferred into the university's business program.  "We learned a few things 'bout fines," said Killing.  "You cut the lawyers in for a slice and they fine, too." 

Decline of CD Sales

The music industry has suffered a decline of 15% in CD sales in the last two years with further declines expected.  Music industry executives blame the loss on MP3 piracy sites, peer-to-peer file sharing and CD burning.  Recording artists blame the problem on high CD prices and antiquated distribution.  Consumers blame it on Celine Dion, Eminem and boy bands.  "There's nothing to buy but Britney effin' Spears, is there?" said Killing. 

RIAA spokesperson Alice Springs was optimistic about the settlement.  "This is good news for everyone," she said.  "We have finally found a new source of revenue for the music industry.  And the best part is we don't have to deal with recording artists any more."  The RIAA has stepped up a new campaign called "download a file, meet a lawyer" which aggressively targets university students.  "We think this is a good way for us to turn the music industry back into a growth business."

About the author
Sidd Finch is a telecommunications industry reporter who has never inhaled MP3 files.

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