There is no song I would pay $80,000 for. Not one

I almost fell out of my chair today at work while I was culling the news for today and found that Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $1.92 million to the Recording Industry *ahems* of America.

For those of you who haven’t been following the story, Thomas is a Minnesota mother who was one of the many lucky people the RIAA has targeted in illegal filesharing lawsuits. Thomas was one of the few not to settle out of court and stand up to the RIAA.

Thomas lost a previous case and was ordered to pay an exorbitant $220,000 in October 2007, but that was thrown out after the judge disclosed he gave the jury the RIAA’s definition of what needed to be proven. It’s sort of like holding a debate with one of the rules being one side is right all the time. Sort of puts the other side at a disadvantage.

But now the news comes down today that she’s being ordered to pay nearly 10 times that amount by a jury. When you take the 24 representative songs she’s accused of downloading, that’s roughly $80,000 per song.

How about some more perspective? iTunes charges 99 cents (or thereabouts) for individual songs. My music collection, which is 100 percent legal, consists of roughly 20,000 songs. Well, at least I call it legal. They were ripped from CDs that I own, but the RIAA doesn’t believe that’s legal so maybe I’ll have my own lawsuit hammering down on me.

Those CDs take up a lot of room in plastic containers I’m almost ready to put into storage. It took about two weeks to import them all into iTunes. By the iTunes pricing, my entire music collection would cost less than 1/4 of what one song was valued by the jury in the Thomas case.

Of course the great irony of all those CDs is that most of them were purchased more than four years ago. In the past two years I’ve maybe bought a couple of CDs at the most and a few singles off of iTunes.

Why is that you ask? The music today isn’t worth buying.

Does that mean I hop onto Limewire and download everything I can? No. It means I just find other avenues of entertainment. I have a full queue of podcasts on my iPod Shuffle and even more here at work to get me through the day. There are only two I have to pay for, otherwise my commute every day is filled by free entertainment not attached to the recording industry.

And you know that just irks them something awful. Maybe if they focused more on the music instead of attacking 13 year olds and single mothers, they might actually pry my wallet open.

Did you make the digital leap?

Today’s the big day when most analog signals are shut off and it’s all digital from here. Let us know if you’re having trouble getting a signal or if you want to tell your tale of finally getting ready for a new era of television.

Click on the link below that says “Post a Comment” to, well post a comment.

And if you can’t seem to get things working or if you’re confused, check out my previous piece on the subject.

Thoughts on an E3 gone by and Final Fantasy ranting

Project Natal grabbed headlines early on, and apparently grabbed a well-known Wii hacker for the development process. But I couldn’t quite get past the name. A fully immersive experience with a name related to small children…where have I heard this before?

Oh yeah. The anti-abortion crowd might want to look into this…

I’m personally stupidly stoked for the New Super Mario Bros Wii coming out somewhere near the holiday season. I played the original on my DS which was an amazing nostalgic experience with and updated feel and can’t wait to see what multiplayer will bring about. Disappointed to hear very little about a new Zelda though.

About Sony: PSP Go is overpriced and needs an option to convert disc-based games to be playable on the system, no PS3 slim or price drop is bad news for an expensive piece of hardware in a bad economy and Final Fantasy XIV? Really? XIII isn’t even out yet.

Speaking of Final Fantasy I’m getting more and more disappointed by Crystal Bearers for the Wii which has been promoted for four years with no results. Actually to some degree I’m just getting p.o.’d at the entire non-handheld Crystal Chronicles in general. The two Wiiware titles absolutely blew, this one is nothing like the original in terms of multiplayer support (yeah three GBAs and cables was weird, but it worked). Hell, even Ring of Fates was close to quite a few pounds of suck. Echoes of Time has been the closest to getting the formula right, unless you count the Wii version which could only host and not join games and did an odd split screen action. That one was at least on the right path.

And that’s not even the end of my rant on the series. I blew through what I thought was going to be a complete sequel to Final Fantasy IV on WiiWare, but ended up being the first part of what’ll add up to be a $37 download when all is said and done. Come on Square Enix, are you really trying to give me an aneurysm or something?

Bald Bull is not a terrorist

I ran into this piece of work courtesy of from a man who claims Bald Bull proclaims Allah Akbar when he throws a hook. The phrase translates to “God is Great.” From that, the guy goes off the deep end and says the game is promoting Islamic militancy.

First off, the phrase “God is Great” shouldn’t mean there’s a plot brewing in Nintendo to unleash a boxing holy war. It’s like saying every time someone grabs a pipe bomb and heads to a rival church. It doesn’t connect.

Second, the guy’s got wax in his ears. I’ll leave it up to you to decide, but it sounds something like allev achmed.(?) No idea what it means but I invite anyone in the comments to help figure this one out.

June 2009 Appeal-Democrat pages

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