The Walkerville Weekly Reader

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Walkerville, VA
Monday, June 10, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

RIAA Claims Child Pornography Infringes on Copyrights

The embattled recording industry organization claims that child pornography found on file sharing networks infringes on industry-owned imagery.

Opening a new front in their battle to restrict the use of their intellectual property, the Recording Industry Association of America are decrying the use of their sexual imagery on public file sharing networks.

“As a guy in the record industry and as a parent, I am shocked that these services are being used to lure children away from stuff they have to pay for,” said Andrew Lack, the chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment. “We spend a lot of money promoting underage sexuality, and it’s really ugly to see our work undermined by Internet file sharers.”

According to Lack, capitalizing on underage sexuality was a core value at Sony Music. One of their current headliners, 16-year-old rapper Bow Wow, began his career with the hit single “Bounce With Me” at the age of 14. The video for “Bounce With Me” included, besides the underage rapper, closeups of women’s bouncing behinds.

The teen-age rapper’s latest album, “Unleashed”, is advertised on the Sony website as “Blingin’, Blastin’, Ballin’”, and includes the hit “Let’s Get Down”. Sony’s video for “Let’s Get Down” focusses on women who appear to be the young rapper’s age wearing revealing clothing and dancing and posing in sexually charged manners.

“This is our turf,” said Lack. “They have no right to infringe upon our property.”

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has called a hearing to look into the connection between file-swapping services, the record industry, and child pornography. According to Hatch, “I like pornography, and I want to protect this industry from the evils of copyright infringement.”

According to Hatch, the sexually-explicit video industry, like the recording industry, has been seeing declining sales due to file-swapping on P2P networks. “The recording industry and the porn industry are intertwined,” said Hatch. “We need to ensure that we protect both industries.”

“P2P stands for Pirate Our Pornography,” quipped Lack.

RIAA Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs Mitch Glazier found it less humorous than his colleague. “Our sexually-explicit underage imagery is being used without our permission to lure children and defraud them into downloading our products without paying for them,” he said. “This is an attack on our intellectual property rights.”

Recording industry advocates in the House, Representatives Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) and Christopher John (D-LA) have introduced a bill requiring file sharing services to pay royalties to the record industry for any underage sexual imagery used on their P2P networks. Such a law would face both technological and legal challenges, and many of the file-sharing services are based outside of the United States. However, Pitts and John were adamant that their approach was necessary. “The child porn industry, including the record industry, must be protected,” said the representatives in a joint press release.

Will Sperman, general counsel for Trojan Media, a San Francisco-based producer of gay erotic videos, brushed aside concerns that their product was similar to the music industry’s. “We spend a lot of money and effort trying to make sure our material only gets into the hands of adults,” he said. “The recording industry spends lots of money and sexual imagery to make sure their material gets into the hands of children. We have completely different markets.”

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