The title of this Recording Industry vs The People post says it all, really: "Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!":
If the average settlement were $3,900, that would mean 100 settlements for the entire year.
As bad as it was, I guess it was better than the numbers for 2007, in which more than $21 million was spent on legal fees, and $3.5 million on "investigative operations" … presumably MediaSentry. And the amount recovered was $515,929.
And 2006 was similar: they spent more than $19,000,000 in legal fees and more than $3,600,000 in "investigative operations" expenses to recover $455,000.
So all in all, for a 3 year period, they spent around $64,000,000 in legal and investigative expenses to recover around $1,361,000.
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