Let The Lawsuits Begin (And Fail)

Universal threatened it and now they've done it. They are suing Grouper.com and Bolt.com for allegedly building traffic by encouraging users to share music videos without their permission. Note Google, which just purchased YouTube, was not included because they worked out a deal. Universal seeks compensation. It cites Mariah Carey's video "Shake It Off" as drawing 50,000 viewers on Grouper alone. Let me understand this. The major labels are hurting. The Internet because of illegal and legal downloading has cut into CD sales. Massive lawsuits from RIAA have not been able to stop the decline. So it makes sense that when the record business has a problem turn it over to the lawyers and sue. But it doesn't make good business sense. This is not to say that Universal and the other labels do not have a right to protect their copyrighted material. Simply put: in the end, it doesn't work and isn't likely to work. Perhaps a better use of time, money and lawyers would be to figure out ways to compete with piracy rather than try to stop it because no matter how successful litigious labels may have been in the past, this Internet thing is not like the past. By the way, that's 50,000 Mariah Carey downloads on Grouper! Put aside that Sony recently purchased Grouper (hint, hint) and keep in mind that the music industry continues to spiral (oops, they did it again). Go figure a way to sell those 50,000 Mariah Carey fans t-shirts -- or something -- because labels are not going to sue themselves into more profit.