Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finding a Lucrative Career

If you are greedy and without morals, there's a fine career to be made in the lobbying industry where big bucks go to those who prostitute themselves to make sure the democracy is beaten back to make room for corporate greed. From
CEO Update, a D.C.-based trade publication for association executives (a.k.a., “what we read on Blain’s couch while he’s on conference calls”), finds seven lobbyists who made seven figures in 2009, the latest year with data available:

1) Cary Sherman, Recording Industry Association of America, $3,185,026;

2) Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $1,340,455;

3) Todd Hauptli, American Association of Airport Executives, $1,312,350;

4) Alan Roth, USTelecom: The Broadband Association, $1,159,138;

5) Cynthia Fornelli, American Institute of CPAs, $1,154,37;

6) Rick Pollack, American Hospital Association, $1,087,024; and

7) Howard Schloss, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), $1,065,628.

(Fine print: “highest paid non-CEO staffer who is a federally registered lobbyist in a tax-exempt organization. Compensation figures include base pay, bonuses, deferred salary and nontax income on … tax return from years ending in 2009.”
The sad fact is that if you actually labour for a living making something in a factory, or teaching kids, or doing useful service like a firefighter or policeman, you might see an income like this after working for 20 years. But these lobbyists get paid this big bucks to help unravel society and allow the rapacious to feed on those who create real value.

Cary Sherman of the RIAA hounds people who share music files and ensures they lose their house and end up broke and on the street, so he can feast on $3,185,026/year. Some examples out of the 30,000 court cases brought by RIAA against individuals...

Billboard reports that a Minnesota jury has awarded the RIAA $1.92 million in their lawsuit against a woman named Jammie Thomas-Rasset. The jury found that she had willfully infringed on record labels' copyrights after she downloaded and shared 24 songs on Kazaa. So that works out to $80,000 in damages per song.

Billboard reports that during the trial, Thomas-Rasset testified that it was probably her two sons, eight and 10 years old at the time, or her ex-boyfriend who did most of the downloading.
From the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review:
The RIAA’s suit against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for sharing music files looks like it is headed for a third trial. In order to avoid this trial, Thomas-Rasset would have to accept the settlement offered by the RIAA. Her lawyers have stated that she will not accept it, reports Wired, making another trial likely. The lawsuit has attracted critical attention because of the massive damages awarded in two earlier trials, and because it is part of a larger RIAA lawsuit campaign against music file-sharing. Thomas-Rasset was the first U.S. defendant in this campaign to take her case to trial.

The first trial took place in 2007. A jury found that Thomas-Rasset (then simply Thomas) had “willfully” infringed and held her liable for $222,000 in damages. That figure came from a penalty of $9,250 per song, out of the $150,000 per song maximum permitted by the Copyright Act.
From Wired magazine:
A federal judge on Monday finalized a $675,000 jury verdict against a defendant who went to trial after the Recording Industry Association of America sued him for file sharing.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner presided over the Joel Tenenbaum case in summer 2009. Tenenbaum was only the nation’s second individual defendant not to settle with the RIAA before trial.

The judge also issued an injunction preventing the 25-year-old Boston University student from file sharing.
It takes a lot of lawyers threatening and squeezing a lot of little people to pump up the volume of dollars needed to keep these fat cats in their multi-million dollar salaries.

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