I’ve been away for some time because of heart problems, but before I stopped publishing p2pnet, two of my principal targets were ex-RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol (right) and his partner in crime Cary Sherman (left).
[I don’t know who that guy is in the middle. but could it be Mitch Glazier, who jumped from an $80,000 job as a House Judiciary Committee staffer to a $500,000 a year job with the RIAA just weeks after somebody on the committee staff pulled a fast one on the Committee and inserted three lines in an unrelated telecommunications bill which magically turned every sound recording ever made in the US into a “work for hire,” — wrote my friend and associate p2pnet editor the late Fred Wilhelms in the process, “it “preserved forever ownership of those recordings in the hands of (surprise!) the major labels, he noted.
Glazier and the RIAA deny there was any connection between the bill (which took two years, several million dollars and the invention of the Recording Artists Coalition to reverse) and Glazier’s job. Of course there wasn’t. He added, “Coincidences like that happen all the time beyond the looking glass.”]
Meanwhile,“The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is short for Recording industry Association of America”, as it says blandly on its web page.
The trouble is, none of its principal members are American.
They are Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music’s (US, but controlled by a Canadian.) In style and operation, the trade group resembles the infamous Mafia a“criminal society,” that’s a “loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct,” as the Wikipedia describes it.
Under Bainwol’s leadership, like the Mafia, the RIAA has caused misery and serious financial hardship to thousands of American families. But unlike the Mafia, it targets not only adult victims, but also very young children.
And unlike the Mafia, not only does it operate with the full knowledge and support of the US government, many of its ’soldiers’ are directly employed by the Department of Justice, the which in a fair and just world would be investigating it.
Bainwol’s brief was to curb online filesharing which, the big four record labels falsely claim, constitutes theft although nothing has been stolen and no one has been deprived of something they used to own.
He failed miserably.
But like other US organisations, the RIAA must file IRS form 990s, more commonly known as ‘financials’, and if they reveal Bainwol is now a millionaire many times over, they also show RIAA president Cary Sherman, who must by now be one of the longest serving RIAA spinsters, isn’t doing badly either.
In 2007 his salary was $984,615, rising to $1,331,747 in 2008.
In that year, the RIAA spent $3,548,575 on ‘investigative operations’, $1,197,670 on ‘political advocacy’ and $1,046,372 on ’state legislative support’, among other things.
It lashed out $21,223,792 in legal fees, and under ‘funds held for others’ is the impressive amount of $102,882,308.
How much will the automakers’ alliance be paying him? Who knows? But it’ll be lotsa bucks.
The RIAA won The Consumerist’s “Worst Company In America 2007” poll.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade outfit representing BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.