RIAA Cuts More Jobs, Awards Bonuses to Execs

The RIAA has just submitted its latest tax filing to the IRS, covering the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. Time for us to see where the music industry’s anti-piracy arm stands.

In previous years the RIAA reported a massive decline in revenue after the record labels cut back on their membership dues, but this trend now appears to have stopped.

Total revenue according to the latest filing is $24.2 million, a slight increase from $24.1 million the year before. Despite the stabilizing income, which mostly comes from the record label’s membership dues, the RIAA continues to trim employees.

Over the past five years the number of employees at the RIAA has been slashed in half, dropping from 117 to just 55.

In its most recent filing the RIAA lists 55 people on the payroll compared to 58 the year before. In total these employees earned $11.7 million of which more than 25% went into the pockets of three top executives.

Interestingly, while more than half of the organization’s workers have been let go, the RIAA’s top employees have enjoyed salary increases year after year, including some healthy bonuses.

Link (TorrentFreak)

Piracy Lawsuits Dominated By Just Three Movie Companies

Thanks to the development of advanced file-sharing systems and fast Internet connections, lawsuits aimed at alleged Internet pirates have become commonplace over the past decade and are showing no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

The statistics behind the threats have been documented periodically but now a detailed study of IP litigation as a whole has painted a clearer picture of trends during the past 10 years.

Published by Matthew Sag, Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, IP Litigation in United States District Courts: 1994 to 2014 provides a review of all IP litigation in U.S. district courts over the past two decades to include copyright, patent and trademark lawsuits over 190,000 case filings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly one of the paper’s key findings is that Internet file-sharing has transformed copyright litigation in the United States, in one area in particular.

“To the extent that the rate of copyright litigation has increased over the last two decades, that increase appears to be entirely attributable to lawsuits against anonymous Internet file sharers,” the paper reads.

In broad terms the paper places lawsuits against alleged pirates into two categories – those with an aim of discouraging illegal file-sharing and those that exist to monetize online infringement.

Category one is dominated by lawsuits filed by the RIAA against users of software such as Kazaa and LimeWire who downloaded and shared tracks without permission. Announced in 2003, the wave seriously got underway during 2004 and persisted until 2008, straggling cases aside.

Category two is dominated by the so-called copyright trolls that have plagued file-sharing networks since 2010. These companies, largely from the adult movie sector, track down alleged file-sharers with the aim of extracting cash settlements.

Link (TorrentFreak)