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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Court Fines Never Went to Suffered Artists

It may come as a shock for the law-abiding citizens, but it turned out that the musicians won’t receive a cent of damages that the industry won in court. Although Big Content has made much hay that it had been hammering the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay to defend the poor struggling musicians, this does not quite appear to be the case...

Media reports revealed that none of the damages will really go to any musicians. Instead, all the money has been allocated to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in order to fund further anti-piracy campaigns.

In the meantime, part of the sentence was penalties that have to be paid to different entertainment industry companies, including Universal Music, EMI Music, Sony Music and many other record labels. Of that, €550,000 was scheduled to be forwarded to compensate musicians and copyright owners for the losses they suffered. However, the situation turned not very fortunate for the artists: in reality, the court money goes to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which has simply decided to pocket it.

Of course, nobody as all has actually received any money. The matter is that The Pirate Bay had no traceable assets in Sweden, while the Enforcement Agency didn’t have any powers to investigate outside the country. In the meantime, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry admits that it has no prospect of recovering funds, but if the outfit does the money will go straight to its subsidiaries in Sweden and London.

According to a former spokesperson of The Pirate Bay Peter Sunde, who was also convicted in the last case, the real thieves appeared to be the music industry, and many would agree with his point of view. Indeed, how else would you call the behavior of the anti-piracy outfit, which promised the court to be giving money to content creators at first, but then claimed that if it got any cash it would have trousered it?

Peter Sunde pointed out that as far as he was aware, no money ever won in a lawsuit by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry or the Recording Industry Association of America has even gone to any actual artists. Sunde believes it’s more likely that this money will be spent on cocaine than the content creators the IFPI is “defending”. There’s no sense for artists in pursuing file-sharers at all, then.

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