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RIAA Wins Worst Company In America 2007 306

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the best-of-the-worst dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After 15 punishing rounds of combat involving 32 of America's most hated companies, 100,000 voters have spoken: More hated than Halliburton, more despised than Walmart, the RIAA has defeated all comers to become the Worst Company in America 2007."
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RIAA Wins Worst Company In America 2007

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  • Re:comcast (Score:5, Informative)

    by rayde (738949) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:20PM (#18454095) Homepage
    um, sony beat them in the first round [consumerist.com]
  • by grommit (97148) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:35PM (#18454235)
    It wasn't. If you bothered to click on the link in the summary and scanned down the page a bit, you would have seen the message about Halliburton moving it's HQ to Dubai just before Round 13.

    Unrelated to your post but I'm too lazy to create another post of my own: It's funny how 100,000+ voteS in the actual article turns into 100,000+ voteRS in the Slashdot summary. It seems that the highest number of individual voters in any single round was around 23,000. That's a pretty small sample size but considering that the people who frequent The Consumerist seem to be at least a bit more educated about consumer issues than your regular joe perhaps these votes count for a bit more than a poll that reached more people and got more numbers.
  • by yotto (590067) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:42PM (#18454281) Homepage
    I don't agree that the RIAA makes for a great front for Warner, Sony BMG, et al to use as a shield. I personally (and many friends of mine) won't buy from *any* label under the RIAA umbrella, and we use the RIAA-Radar [riaaradar.com] to help our purchasing decisions.

    Being in the RIAA can't help more than it hurts.
  • Re:RIAA != company (Score:3, Informative)

    by NormalVisual (565491) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:05AM (#18454453)
    It's actually "Recording Industry Association of America, Inc.". It's a privately held not-for-profit corporation [state.ny.us] based in New York. No way to tell for sure, but one would assume the vast majority of shares (if not all of them) are held by the member companies.
  • Re:RIAA != company (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:26AM (#18454591) Homepage
    Company: a corporation - or, less commonly, an association, partnership or union - that carries on industrial enterprise.
    -Black's Law Dictionary

    The RIAA is a company. It's even a corporation. Just because a bunch of people on slashdot have a different vague notion* of what constitutes a "company" doesn't mean it isn't.

    * the fact that no one has articulated exactly why they think they don't constitute a company pretty well indicates that they don't know exactly what a company is.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:31AM (#18454625) Journal

    * their lobbying efforts alone make their non-profit status pretty hard to justify under 501(c)(3)
    But they are not registered as a 501(c)3.

    501(c)3 is a designation for non-profits to whom personal donations are tax-deductible; there are many, many non-profits that do not fall under this category. Under federal tax law, a business may still deduct donations to a lobbying non-profit as business expenses, if the lobbying is in support of the business interests of the business -- personal contributions, however, aren't exempt.

    Yet another way the corporations and their crony legislators have reinforced their domination of the legislative process.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:33AM (#18454633) Journal
    > the riaa is just trying to protect its intellectual property.

    The problem is that IP laws have been so twisted by lobbyists and big business. They seek to profit by taking away our rights. We are supposed to have rights to fair use, fair pricing, and things entering the public domain in a reasonable period, and the artists receiving a fair deal.

    But when Mickey Mouse was supposed to enter the public domain, Disney went to the politicans so firmly in their pocket and got them to change the way. Same for the public domain period which congress just keeps setting back and back and back. And the DMCA which was a rights grab and now I can't even watch a DVD I purchased in another country without breaking the law. Some anime series are overpriced: the maker puts 5 episodes on the first DVD, whittling it down to 2 episodes (on a $30 DVD) on the last. Yet this is legal. And while the MPAA and the RIAA hiss and spit about how they're only protecting the authors' rights, they use Hollywood Accounting to rob those very same artists blind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org] And look a the tactics the RIAA shareholders have used to steal royalties off music artists. Recently when someone submitting a movie to the MPAA for ratings, the MPAA made and distributed copies against their wishes, and the court found the MPAA could do what it wants. Their hypocrisy is staggering. We have the absurdity of Adobe, who engineered an incompetant encryption scheme, using the DMCA to throw the guy who exposed them into jail. The DMCA means Macrovision is now by law built into every video device, with the result that my old color TV can't watch new videos. In Australia Channel 9 was fiddling with their digital feed to stop people from copying shows, with the results digital TV sets across the country kept locking up. http://www.smh.com.au/news/home-theatre/case-of-th e-csi-lg-tv-freeze-cracked/2007/03/21/117415312601 5.html [smh.com.au]
    The pendulum has clearly swung too far.

    Orson Scott Card (Author of "Ender's Game") wrote an excellent essay on this:

    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-07-1 .html [ornery.org]
    http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2003-09-14-1 .html [ornery.org]

    With today's Internet in place, the RIAA and MPAA and their moneyed up masters would have never come into existence. They're a cartel living off an old business model, with duplicitous congressmen with bulging pockets changing the law at their beckoned call. If you want to know which congressmen have supported it and which ones have fought it, start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:How Sad (Score:3, Informative)

    by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Friday March 23, 2007 @01:07AM (#18454853) Journal
    Halliburton affects millions of Iraqis. RIAA affects millions of Americans. You are an American. Do the math.
  • Re:comcast (Score:3, Informative)

    by farmerj (566229) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:28AM (#18456207)

    they often leave it in gear to keep it from rolling in the lot

    Evidently they don't understand the mechanics of a manual transmission either. Or, indeed, any car. That's what the handbrake is for.

    It's pretty standard practice to leave a larger vehicle in first or reverse, especially for older vehicles and hilly areas.

    Cars this side of the world (Europe) normally have the hand-brake on the rear axle and are driven on the front axle.
    If left parked in gear this means that both axles are braked.
    Also means that the vehicle won't roll if the hand-brake fails.

  • Find new bands? (Score:3, Informative)

    by interactive_civilian (205158) <mamoruNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:45AM (#18456281) Homepage Journal

    Should I just give up on music?
    How about finding new artists that aren't associated with the RIAA? There are a LOT of them out there, some of them are quite good, and a good number of them are just giving their music away.

    I don't know what kind of music you like, but I'll give you a few links to get you started:
    Archive.org's Music Section [archive.org] - There's a lot of good stuff under NetLabels
    Archive.org's Live Music Archive [archive.org] - Concert recordings from bands that allow it, including a good number of artists under RIAA labels
    LegalTorrents [legaltorrents.com] - download entire archives of NetLabel music
    Creative Commons Audio [creativecommons.org] - more music under CC licenses


    There are a lot more places out there, including the much-hated MySpace. I haven't payed a single bit of money to an RIAA member company in almost 2 years, and almost all of the music I've gotten since then has been legal.
  • Re:comcast (Score:3, Informative)

    by Skater (41976) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:07AM (#18456719) Homepage Journal
    I saw an annoying, related trick from another company (Budget, I think): When we got there Saturday morning to pick up the truck, they wanted to charge us double the quoted price. Why? Because we didn't have proof that the insurance policy covered rentals. My brother (who actually was renting the truck) was furious - if they'd told him that in advance he could have easily had the proof with him when he went in.

    They tried to call his insurance agent, who of course wasn't in (Saturday morning), and refused to do anything more. They conveniently "forget" to mention this little stipulation when you make the reservation, then expect that since you'll need the truck you'll pay the inflated rate.

    We left without the truck and got one from U-Haul. They were helpful, though the truck wasn't in good shape. (I've had pretty good luck with U-Haul over the years, but I think it really depends on which locations you go to more than anything else - a few are good.)
  • by zero_offset (200586) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:41PM (#18460225) Homepage
    If by "interesting" you mean "predictable" then I think you're on to something.
  • That's probably a good idea. This is whole reason the BBB exists: to police the business practices of companies in the US and protect the customers.

    If you still know people working there and they have seen the same offenses you have, ask them to start documenting the incident: date, time, people present, short description, opinion of what was wrong about the encounter. When they have documented a sufficient number of incidents (I leave it to you do determine how many is enough) bring it to the BBB. They will investigate for you.

    Another track would be to try and elevate the problem to people higher up the food chain than the manager. Talk to the branch manager/owner, or call corporate. Sometimes the higher ups are not aware of the abuses of their policies that go on, and since they are more directly responsible to the shareholders, they are more likely to do something about it.

    If you're willing to be a whistle-blower, it will be good for the customers, the employees, and ultimately the shareholders, who will see a larger long-term return from an honest company than they will from a dishonest one. It probably won't be so good for your manager, but, as you so aptly said in your anecdote, fuck 'im. :-)

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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