RIAA Sues Project Playlist

In today’s episode of Lawyers Gone Wild, the recording industry filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that Project Playlist, a company that provides an embeddable music player for MySpace and Facebook, has violated its copyright, CNET News reports.

The much-maligned RIAA filed the suit on behalf of nine separate record labels, and alleges that Project Playlist made unauthorized reproductions of their music.

“Project Playlist performs and reproduces plaintiffs’ valuable works (and induces and enables others to do so) without any authorization whatsoever,” the RIAA said in its complaint, “without paying any compensation whatsoever… Defendant is well aware that the overwhelming majority of the sound recordings in its index are infringing. The overwhelming majority of the third-party Web sites that host these recordings do so illegally.”

On the company’s Web site, Project Playlist said that “it is committed to copyright protection and does not support illegal copying of music files.”

What continues to amaze us are the dollar figures thrown around. No one disputes that copying music without paying for it is illegal. But the idea that the record industry lost however many billions because of each violation (Napster, Kazaa, etc.) is ridiculous. It always assumes that users would have bought every single copy of every single song, which few would have done if the pirated music wasn’t available.