RIAA's High School MusicKILL

It finally happened.

And it took a bunch of kids to do it.

Someone stood up to the RIAA.

And once they did, someone else stood up to the music industry's bully puppet that has been terrorizing young people, families, college students and even the dead with threats of lawsuits for stealing music.

Only about a month ago my friend, Steve Meyer, the publisher of Disc & DAT reported to his subscribers that "RIAA defendant, Deborah Foster, who won her case against the association for wrongful cause, and was rewarded with her attorney fees from the organization".

Meyer warned at the time that " With this precedent in place, the RIAA now has to decide if the risks of filing future lawsuits against alleged illegal downloaders is really worth it."

Now it's happened.

A class action suit filed by Tanya Anderson who tangled with the RIAA's truth squad in 2005.

Now the RIAA has to ask itself -- truth or dare.

Do they continue their holy war against average consumers in the name of protecting artists from having their pockets picked by piracy or do they cover their butt, put this thing on hold and hope the class action suit gets dismissed before they resume bullying people.

In the world of music where the only mega albums these days are from Disney Records (Hannah Montana, Hilary Duff and the soundtrack of High School Musical) RIAA is acting like a bunch of lawyers in search of billable hours.

Oh, that's what they are -- a bunch of lawyers...

Inspired by defending these young perpetrators of crime, average citizens are now seeking counsel and getting ready to hit RIAA where it hurts -- in court.

It would have been great if a radio company had the guts to take up the cause and defend one of these unfortunate people. Great headlines. Great karma. It would have sent a message that radio is on the side of young people everywhere.

Okay, that's fantasy. I admit it.

But young people make up the music buying public and radio's position with them is slipping.

Okay, never mind.

Let individual citizens stand up to the RIAA.

You've got to be rooting for Ms. Anderson and any other RIAA targets who come forward. Some of them are innocent and some are guilty.

But no one is guiltier than the RIAA.

Like it or not technology allows stealing music online. Some young people often see a difference between pirating music online and actually stealing a CD from a record store (if they ever went into one). There are legitimate ethical issues here which deserve debate.

But as a practical matter what business sues its customers?

A stupid one, that's who.

Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy arrest thieves and often prosecute but they somehow resist the temptation of making headlines with how aggressive they're going to be. It's unsettling to the 99% of their customers who don't steal.

The labels have a right to be concerned about stealing music online, but ten years from now (if they are still around) they might have won the legal battles and lost the war.

The RIAA is suing and scaring the hell out of people because --- well, because -- it can.

Now, thanks to this gutsy class action suit against the RIAA, they've got something to lose.

No, not the lawsuit.

The battle to end piracy by targeting the few, the proud, the parents of the teens. Even the many who have done nothing wrong!

Watch out. This has the makings of a mini-series aimed at teens.

Shall we call it "High School MusicKILL" -- about the day the people rose up and said enough!

It's the RIAA killing music.

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