Finally, FINALLY we’re starting to treat the RIAA like an organized crime syndicate. Check the latest on a RICO class-action in Missouri, via Slashdot:

“In Atlantic Recording v. Raleigh, an RIAA case pending in St. Louis, Missouri, the defendant has asserted detailed counterclaims against the RIAA for federal RICO violations, fraud, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, prima facie tort, trespass, and conspiracy. The claims focus on the RIAA’s ‘driftnet’ tactic of suing innocent people, and of demanding extortionate settlements. The RICO ‘predicate acts’ alleged in the 42-page pleading (PDF) are extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

This is a wonderful approach. Even if the suit gets nowhere, the RIAA’s business model in recent years has hinged on litigation and intimidation, not finding innovative ways of making the Internets work for them and the artists they allegedly represent.

With a little luck, maybe the Missouri case will intimidate the RIAA right back. With a little more luck, maybe the counterclaimant wins.

Pair that with an FCC appointee (and bear with me while I indulge a hopeless fantasy here) who’s willing to reassert the public interest standard, and you might even have something on the radio that you could stand listening to…..


  • Sam,

    I like the idea of applying the RICO statute to the RIAA. Very outside the box thinking, and I applaud that. Whether it works or not, at least we’ll get closure one way or another.


  • That is a good start. If they apply RICO laws to all that deserve it (along with the confiscation of illegitimate profits) we could pay off the National Debt.

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