Cracked vs. RIAA damages

A trenchant and funny infographic from (which really is a worthy successor to the beloved print magazine of my boyhood) illustrates the absurdity of the damages that the RIAA seeks in music downloading cases.

The Pirate Bay


  1. Excuse me, but exactly when, and by whom, was the magazine version of CRACKED ever “beloved”? Most of the 11-year-olds of my acquaintance considered it a vastly inferior ripoff of MAD. The current website is a lot funnier by a factor of at least 10.

  2. Also your average ipod classic holds 160gb of music or 40.000 songs. Ergo you need aproximately 40.000$ to fill it with music from iTunes.

    Now i dont think that there are more than a few people on this planet that have actually bought that much music, yet Apple sells millions of ipods.

    It is my opinion then that Apple (and of course all manufacturers) profits greatly by piracy since without it many gadgets would be useless and would sell a lot less.

    Yet it is always the filesharers fault. HAH.

    1. Actually, Zio Donnie, the 160gb iPod Classic was just one model of iPod Classic. Mine only holds 80gb.

      My girlfriend has the 160gb model, because she’s got a huge CD collection.

      Furthermore, some people use the extra storage on their iPods for other purposes. I remember reading about a DNA researcher who carried around a copy of the human genome on his iPod.

  3. I think if someone has to pay that much money for “damages” due to possible distribution, then I would say they own those songs now.

    The RIAA could then sue themselves out of a media library.

    Its like saying that the Mona Lisa painting is worth 40 million. Yet getting awarded 40 million every time someone takes a picture of it.

    Someone politically has to stand up and end this BS. It is NOT Piracy. It is NOT theft. It is copyright infringement and should be treated as such.

    Piracy involves a ship, and possible pillaging and raping, and the theft of “loot”. Theft involves me stealing something from you, in that you don’t have it anymore, and are quite distressed about the fact that you no longer have access to something you once had. Copyright infringement, is someone copying the works of someone else either without permission, or without payment.

    What angers me most is that most of what goes out there in the public is just a thin veneer of lies, that to me seems like anyone with any common sense can see through in about 5 seconds. Yet politicians whom I can only assume are corrupt seem so willing to accept whatever the media corporations tell them, and actively try not to delve into it, lest they discover it is all a steaming pile of crap. The fact that the media corporation lie to the public with such ease, and are never taken to task is shameful. It is really starting to make me wonder if so-called mainstream news sources and “journalists” are either A) complicit or colluding, due to bias, and conflict of interest, or B) incompetent in the extreme. In the YEARS that this has been going on, why hasn’t there been a peep in Canada about any of this anywhere but from niche sources? This isn’t just some lofty ideal, this will actually effect every single Canadian, you would think it would be big news, and a topic of debate…

    1. “I think if someone has to pay that much money for “damages” due to possible distribution, then I would say they own those songs now.”

      If it’s Vanilla Ice, RIAA owes double that in damages and liabilities. It’s worse than murder. They should be considered a terrorist group.

  4. Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    Copyright infringement is one issue. Inventing your own economics (the idea that a pirate copy represents stealing something [money] that never existed in the first place) to impose a new morality is something completely differant.

    Good on cracked for getting it right, and to frame it within the big picture, rather than simply our lobbiest-imposed legal framework and social engineering.

  5. Amazing, hopefully people start understanding that RIAA is seriously wrong doing the people who get “caught” with illegal copies of music.

    Good comment @ DarthVain!!

  6. Ya the politics in Canada on this are completely f*d up.

    It’s sort of a glitch on the radar, when surveys are taken Canadians come out squarely on the side against heavy-handed copyright laws, but more or less the media decides to keep the very debate on the down-low as much as possible. Mostly because of the few media monopolies, I’m sure.

    And what hits the radar full blast? For 15 years we’ve been diluged with talking points about wasting a billion dollars on a long gun registry. The endless conservative long gun talking point.

    First of all 15 years, 33 million people, that’s $30 bucks a person, or $2/year/person. Ok I lost that much, and believe me I’m willing to pay that much again just to have them shut up about it. Second of all why are we talking about rifles so much and not iPods. There are a hell of a lot more iPods then rifles in this country, so why are the copyright laws not the bigger political issue?

  7. DarthVain,

    So here’s my theory of everything:

    Society is a mixture of dog-eat-dog, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Emperor’s New Clothes. In general, people believe in an unspoken social contract in which everyone is supposed to play fair. Exactly how they play fair, however, is relative to each person. They’re really all playing by different rules and they think that everyone else knows what these rules are and should be following. There are some people (the power elites) who don’t believe in the social contract and who just live by their own rules, which is usually, “survival of the greediest, trickiest, etc.” As far as they’re concerned, it’s fair for them to rip you off because if they don’t do the screwing, they’re the ones who will get screwed. It’s not their fault that you have a nagging conscience or a lack of start-up capital in order to buy or build an empire of greed. You should have been more clever. The problem for these elites is that there’s potential for the hoi polloi to revolt if they feel that the fair play social contract is being broken. So it benefits the elites to pretend that they believe in fair play. They give to charities because it makes them look better. They speak of making the world a better place through the purchase of their products. But in the end, the Emperor has no clothes. They’re just you so that you and the rest of the villagers won’t grab your pitchforks and torches. Everyone below the elites benefits from likewise pretending that the Emperor isn’t naked because if they stand out, they’ll be ripped apart by others who benefit from the consensus lie. In order to survive, you benefit from screwing over other people who are also under the boot heel of the elites. Politicians benefit from pandering to those in real power (the wealthy), so their jobs are really to give the elites what they want at the same time as making it look like they’re playing fair. When a politician fails to keep up this illusion, then they lose support from the hoi polloi. The power elites benefit from pacifying the masses with ipods and ipads and reality tv and porn, etc. They benefit from puppeteering our causes and directing our rage against each other (Dem’s vs Rep’s, Christians vs atheists, etc). So that’s why as a whole, even if people can clearly see the b.s., few people speak out against it.

    Sorry for the tl;dr edition…

  8. Alas, this is why I have no guilt when downloading major music label music off the Inter-web-itubes. I will support independent artists that like however. My current favorite: Zoe Keating.

  9. My favorite line:

    “According to the RIAA, The Pirate Bay has stolen 46 times more dollars then actually exist on earth.”

    Remember when copying for personal use was protected under the copyright laws? Up until 1996 when the RIAA and MPAA lobbyists got the DMCA passed.

    It is NOT stealing, stop parroting the RIAA spin:
    If you steal anything you are arrested, not sued, even something as small as a candybar. The reason the RIAA sues people is that they are claiming damages/losses due to copyright infringement. If the law considered it stealing, especially in the dollar amounts claimed, every violator would be serving jail time, not having to pay damages. It should be obvious that even the law does not consider it theft, it considers it unauthorized duplication.

  10. You want absurd, be glad you don’t live in Canada, where CRIA has mandated a “copying levy” to be applied to all blank recordable media, in an effort to “offset” the losses to Canadian artists caused by illegal file sharing.

    This levy currently only applies to blank audio cassettes and CD-R/RW discs, but if CRIA had their way, it would include music players and all forms of flash drives. Yes, the Compact Flash card I buy for my DSLR could potentially have a levy tacked on to compensate the poor artists that I’ve been pre-supposed to be ripping off.

    Here’s the real killer though: all these levies go ONLY to Canadian artists, regardless of whose material I (allegedly) download illegally… regardless of whether it’s music, movies, TV shows, e-books…

    That’s right: I buy a blank CD-R, I pay a 29-cent “sin tax” on it… I put a downloaded DivX movie on that disc… and Bryan Adams and Celine Dion get most of that 29 cents.


    1. I’d agree that isn’t the best/ideal solution.

      It is still lightyears better then criminalizing the general public and disproportionately wrecking lives, so large corporations can recoup overinflated or imaginary damages.

      They at least tried to find a solution that would help the artists and not hurt the general public.
      The US version only helps the large corporations in the middle.

      When the RIAA or MPAA sue john doe, do the artists get one cent of the resulting money? no. it is not about the artists. even most artists agree that is a lie.

      I’d take the Canadian version over the US version anyday! and blank usb and hard drives are taxed in canada as well, just looked it up.

      1. Yeah, except CRIA won’t accept that its levy makes downloading ok. They want your money and they don’t want you to get anything for the money you are paying.

  11. “The Pirate Bay was politely reminded that – oh yeah – all the moral justifications in the world don’t make it any less illegal.”

    Ummm… I’m sorry. Whether or not you “support” “piracy”, what they are doing is not/should not be illegal. They host no material, they upload no content. All content is user uploaded, and user hosted. It is not illegal in Sweden, where the owners of the site live, and I do not even understand how the lawsuit was successful. If what TPB does is illegal, on the grounds that it makes illegal content available to users, then google should be shut down as well… All search engines should be shut down… The INTERNET should be shut down.

  12. We need to tie the stated value of the property in question to taxes the owner pays. Let the RIAA have its inflated value, but the IRS and state revenue services should start using this stated value as the tax basis. After all, the courts wouldn’t use an unfair value.

    If there is one thing politicians love more than a bribe, its a new tax source.

  13. Wait, so this means that my iPod Shuffle that got stolen a couple of years ago (with digital copies of all my CDs) was actually worth millions?! Wow. Once I get this new info to the local police department they will be thrilled to take on huge case like this! And imagine the luck of the thief, he thought that all he got was a battered second hand iPod shuffle when in reality he got a shuffle with enough worth to buy him a new Ferrari and a couple of castles in France!

    Imagine that!

  14. LOL! I love how you just cram ThePirateBay there in at the end.

    ThePirateBay FTW. <3

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