RIAA site off-line

Dear oh dear.  For some reason, the RIAA  site  went down on the morning of July 31. Had it been hacked, blocked  by someone or something somewhere?  Or was it on the receiving end of attentions from Anonymous? – the shadowy Citizens for Justice group

RIAA CEO To Tout “Transformed” Music Business To Congressional Panel Reviewing “Future of Audio”   said a headline on its blog.   Attempts to find out  exactly what that meant took us nowhere.  The link was duff.

And it was the same with USTR: Stepping In To Help Struggling Music Markets In Ukraine and Indonesia. Nada  was the headline.


USTR  is of course short for US Trade Representative   and the, the last  I heard  the representative hissef was the notorious Ron Kirk doyen, of  the  movie and recording industry entertainment cartels.

Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration,  “owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes from earlier in the decade and has agreed to make his payments, the Senate Finance Committee ,” says  Fox news,  going on,

“The committee said the taxes arise from Kirk’s handling of speaking fees that he donated to his alma mater, and for his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.

“The disclosure made the former Dallas mayor the latest in a string of top-level Obama administration appointees found to have underpaid their taxes, following Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle, who withdrew as candidate for Health and Human Services secretary. Nancy Killefer, Obama’s pick for chief performance officer, also bowed out amid tax problems.

“There was no immediate reaction from the White House to the underpayments, which were uncovered by the committee’s staff in a review of Kirk’s nomination papers.

“Despite the error, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, issued a statement calling Kirk “the right person for this job,” and said he would attempt to have the nomination moved through the panel quickly.”

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 the RIAA’s 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 Mitch Bainwol’s  leadership, like the Mafia, the RIAA has caused misery and serious financial hardship to thousands of Americans  and their 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 and now it’s up to the new CEO,  the despised  lawyer and former RIAA president Cary ‘Tough Love’ Sherman.