For today’s TunesDay, why don’t we forget about the music and talk about music lawyering? Because really, chicks dig the suits.
Let’s start with my favorite assortment of anti-music fucknozzles, the RIAA. Up first, one of the industry group’s top hired guns wants to “intervene” in a probable cause hearing. Seems some kids at NC State aren’t terribly happy about the RIAA’s business model random trolling for file-sharing violations. You know how it works – ‘let’s sue everybody on the off chance that they might be guilty and/or unable to afford a lawyer.”
Of course, those Woofpack students can at least stand up for themselves. Check this episode of asshaberdashery, though:
Their RIAA is suing a young transplant patient in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Nineteen-year-old Ciara Sauro has pancreatitis and because she needs an islet cell transplant, she’s hospitalized every week, a situation resulting in a huge accumulation of medical bills.
Now, “Because she didn’t defend herself against a copyright lawsuit, a federal judge in Pittsburgh ruled she’s a music pirate, and that could cost the Sauros almost $8,000 in fines,” says Pittsburg news channel WTAE.com.
“I already have severe depression,” the story has her saying. “I mean, it’s so hard to sit there and think that I have to get in trouble for something that I didn’t do. It’s not fair.”
As SlashDot notes, Sauro “claims that she did not infringe any copyrights.” However, “she failed to answer the complaint in time, and a default judgment was taken against her.”
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Apparently neither are poverty, grave illness or innocence.
But hey, enough about the innocent. Now let’s talk about the damn-sure-looks-guilty.
You may have heard that Joe Satriani is litigating Coldplay. Their most recent CD, he alleges, has a song – “Viva la Vida” – that rips off one of his songs – “If I Could Fly.” Of course, people claim that other people are imitating them all the time, right?
Coldplay might want to make a settlement offer here, though. I mean, George Harrison got punked for infringing on “He’s So Fine,” and Satch has a better case. Seriously. His lawyer will have to demonstrate that Coldplay had been exposed to “If I Could Fly,” I suppose, but Coldplay’s lawyer is going to have find a jury with a profound belief in coincidence. (Then again, this is America, and lots of folks believe in weirder stuff than this.)
What am I talking about? I’m talking about this. Pay particular attention to the part that commences around the 1:00 mark.
Trust me, counsel, you do not want the jury to see this clip…