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RIAA Wins Worst Company In America 2007 306

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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  • by phlegmofdiscontent ( 459470 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:14PM (#18454029)
    I thought they were an anarcho-fascist commune....
  • by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:19PM (#18454071)
    As much as the RIAA has stirred up resentment for attempting to keep the status quo at all costs, including alienating the record buyer, I pretty sure that this poll was done before Halliburton announced that they're moving their headquarters to Dubai.
  • by fowkswe ( 724293 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:20PM (#18454083)
    if you think about it, the riaa is just trying to protect its intellectual property. isnt halliburton guilty of a far worse crime to humanity?
  • by KKlaus ( 1012919 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:21PM (#18454109)
    It's not Sony BMG, Warner, etc at the top of the list, it's their front group the RIAA. People hate the RIAA? Guess what, that's exactly what it was created with in mind. Recording companies get to engage in strong-armed consumer-alienating behavior, but dodge the consequences because the "RIAA" is there to take the flak.

    So don't call this a victory for us! This is a victory for the record companies, because it shows that they have successfully redirected your wrath to a "company" (I don't know why the summary uses that word) that doesn't have a product, and could care less that you don't like them.
  • by aldheorte ( 162967 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:23PM (#18454121)
    The RIAA is a trade group, not a company, although I have long wondered why they do not run afoul of anti-trust laws since they essentially serve as a vehicle for price fixing, joint litigation, and other forms of collusion between the member companies, which, taken together, represent a de facto monopoly in the music industry.
  • How Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by djlurch ( 781932 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:26PM (#18454147)
    How sad it is that the fight over music usage rights eclipses war profiteering by Haliburton.
  • by essence ( 812715 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:26PM (#18454149) Homepage Journal
    I think the US government counts as a company now, it's controlled by corporatist frontmen.
  • by descil ( 119554 ) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [netaret]> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:27PM (#18454155)
    Take a look at the votes on their "Big Board" and you'll quickly find that their methodology is a complete crock.

    Comcast or Verizon or Microsoft could easily have won against the RIAA, given the appropriate competition on the big board. But, hahaha, to figure out who the "worst company" was they pitted the RIAA against United Airlines, U-Haul, Exxon, and Halliburton. Halliburton is the only one that was any challenge at all. Change the board around - make it RIAA against Microsoft, RIAA against Comcast, and you'll see different results.

    Furthermore, the RIAA v. Halliburton... so funny... RIAA takes money away close to home, Halliburton kills everyone in the rest of the world - but who is hated more? America, you fail. Rot in hell. :)
  • by honkycat ( 249849 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:33PM (#18454207) Homepage Journal
    Maybe he actually meant they "could care less." Just because they're running a despicable, heartless organization like the RIAA doesn't mean they don't have hopes, dreams, and feelings of their own! It hurts to be so hated! They sure could care less!
  • by Xenographic ( 557057 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:35PM (#18454239) Journal
    > the riaa is just trying to protect its intellectual property.

    No, they're not "just" trying to do that. They've manipulated the law to their own ends and complain whenever people decry that as unfair. They sue innocent people, attempting to ruin their lives. And if they do find out that someone's innocent, they use discovery to invade the innocent person's life, looking to find the real infringer. Which might well be them, after they have MediaSentry flood the P2P networks with bogus files and bogus search data (including the very searches they use to find "infringers"!) And if you insist upon corruption, just what do you call payola? Are bribes not considered corruption these days, or what?

    Now, don't get me wrong--Halliburton isn't exactly some nice company, either. But this is "most hated" not "most evil" and the RIAA has gotten a lot more press lately.

    But please, don't say they're "just" trying to protect their "property" because there's no way in hell I'll buy that lame excuse.
  • by mamono ( 706685 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:38PM (#18454245)
    The correct term for this is "cartel" which is exactly what the RIAA is.
  • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:38PM (#18454249)
    Comcast or Verizon or Microsoft could easily have won against the RIAA, given the appropriate competition on the big board.

    That's why in any bracket they always put the #1 ranked team against the #16 ranked team. (and #2 against #15...and so on, so the only "real" competition happens in the middle.)

    Check out your nearby Final Four bracket and check how they're grouped. I think you'll be pleasently disappointed. ...Although I'd say Comcast lost fair and square to Sony.
  • by wile_e_wonka ( 934864 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:40PM (#18454265)
    Here's how I view it--these big corporations with lots of IP and money to spend traditionally have fought hard over seemingly small IP issues. It's much like a game it seems, with one company choosing to infringe a little bit on another company's IP knowing ahead of time how it's going to argue in court, and then the court irons things out. There are tons of example of this, and the reason is because it adds up to millions of dollars. And it really is much like a game to these companies--"let's see what I can get away with."

    The problem is that the RIAA is now playing the game against regular people who don't have wads of cash to throw at this. They aren't playing the game fair.

    I think this is why the RIAA is easily comparable to a bully--they aren't picking on someone their own size.
  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:45PM (#18454303) Homepage
    The RIAA isn't a company. It's a trade association.
  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:50PM (#18454349) Homepage
    > People hate the RIAA? Guess what, that's exactly what it was created with in mind.

    Nonsense. The RIAA was formed in 1952 to do things like establishing standards for phonographs. Until recently the general public had never heard of it.
  • Re:RIAA != company (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Not The Real Me ( 538784 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:50PM (#18454351)
    Since when is the "Recording Industry Association of America" a company?
    Last time I checked, it was a trade group, and the record companies themselves are members of this group.

    Most of the dorks and geeks that hate the RIAA are to stupid to understand this subtle point. The dweebs that voted the RIAA worst company are also the same group of people who would vote BSA (Business Software Alliance), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) as terrible "companies" as well.
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:54PM (#18454383) Homepage

    if you think about it, the riaa is just trying to protect its intellectual property.
    See, the problem here is that it isn't their "property". Songs, stories, movies--- once they're publicly released, they belong to all of us. Copyright is an artificial, government created, temporary, limited monopoly on the right to copy these artifacts of our common culture. The fact that the thieving bastards have greased the collective palm of congress to obtain perpetual extensions to the temporary monopoly on copying doesn't change the fact that all that stuff is ours. If you actually educate yourself on the long history of artistic creation and the short history of copyright, you'd understand what an absolute evil is being perpetrated upon us by the bastards claiming ownership of this stuff--- and you'd likely no longer parrot the their "intellectual property" fallacy.
  • Re:How Sad (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:57PM (#18454405)
    You seem to forget that 51% of USians de-facto re-elected Haliburton to power in the last vice-presidential election. Half of the people love Haliburton and think they've done nothing wrong.
  • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:13AM (#18454519) Homepage

    The RIAA isn't a company. It's a trade association.
    An arbitrary distinction. They are incorporated in New York, so they are as much a corporation as any other. The fact that their entire customer base consists of a small clique of recording industry companies is wholly irrelevant. They are merely the non-profit* collective "beard" of their members, allowing them to pawn off their dirty work on a faceless third party.

    * their lobbying efforts alone make their non-profit status pretty hard to justify under 501(c)(3)
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:41AM (#18454679) Journal
    As nasty as the RIAA is, they don't hold a candle to the tobacco companies: the only industry whose product, used as recommended, causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease.


  • Sad poll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @12:51AM (#18454755)
    It's depressing to see where peoples priorities are. Haliburton steals tens of billions and New Orleans gets thrown to the wolves to make way for rich people's condos. Oil companies control the government and manage to surpress information about global warming that will affect the lives of everyone on the planet. What people are really concerned with is the free exchange of music, movies and software. People really do need to get their priorities screwed on straight. Anna Nichol Smith and Brittany Spears get more press than global warming and Haliburton. If music and movies are more important that corporations stealing billions from every american with the governments help we're in serious trouble. If you want to get upset get upset about something important. Music and movies could disappear overnight and we wouldn't loose a single life. Global warming is threatening millions and our grandkids will be paying for the eight year term of our current administration. Those are important things. Get angry at the companies behind that not the ones that are trying to restrict downloads.
  • by Voltageaav ( 798022 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @01:22AM (#18454929) Homepage
    My problem is, every band I like is released by members of the RIAA. I searched for quite a while and none of my favorite bands released albums that don't light up on RIAA-RADAR. Is Sirius considered RIAA associated? DoI have to cancel that? Should I just give up on music?
  • by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @01:43AM (#18455021) Homepage
    Dun Malg, I love you. I basically created an entire Web site [] to say what you just said. People like you are VERY rare. My wife read the site and said, "but you're a writer, how can you want people to copy your stuff?" And I thought, wow, if my own wife totally misses the point -- a wife who is technology-friendly and talks with me about this stuff regularly -- then LOTS of people are out of touch with the ideas behind copyright. Here's to you, Dun Malg.
  • by istewart ( 463887 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @01:46AM (#18455031)
    I'd even go a bit farther than that. Throw out the idea of common "ownership," and instead consider the fact that the cost of communicating ideas and information is economically trivial, and getting lower all the time. Communication is a fundamental human activity, and creating artificial roadblocks to it for the benefit of a small minority makes no sense, no matter what's in the Constitution or the Berne Convention or whatever long-standing legal document you wish to throw down. Something that is not truly scarce cannot be considered property.
  • Re:Sad poll (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:09AM (#18456083) Journal
    What people are really concerned with is the free exchange of music, movies and software.

    First of all, let me be perfectly clear: I think the issues you listed are critical, expecially global warming, and I am dismayed at how efficiently the various interest groups managed to obfuscate this critical emergency.

    I would like to bring to your attention that the problem with RIAA is that they have sued, using their almost infinite warchest of money and lawyers, people that have very little means, and have been often completely innocent, but had to settle out of court, because of RIAAs judicial muscle. Basically, RIAA just picked random people and twisted their arms. I think there is something very viscerally hateful in that.

    Again, I don't disagree that there are more important issues, but what fired up people is not only their inability to copy music.
  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday March 23, 2007 @06:53AM (#18456323) Journal
    The RIAA doesn't care if they are voted the 'worst company' - they have succeeded. Since they don't sell anything to the public, the fact that all the hatred has stuck to the RIAA _instead_ of the companies they represent, they have succeeded entirely in this goal - and I predict most people are too blind to this fact to see that this is anything other than an extremely hollow victory. The RIAA doesn't care if they are unpopular with the general public - because the general public is not their customer. So long as the hate and bile sticks to them, instead of the record companies they represent - they are winning.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @07:00AM (#18456363)
    Well, according to Thomas Jefferson, all copyright is a loan from the public domain. We do own all published creative works, it's just that the copyright holder is the only one allowed to profit by them for a while. Jefferson actually did not want copyrights (or patents, for that matter) because he felt that such would ultimately damage the public domain. As usual he was right.

    We really should listen the Founders more often.
  • Re:comcast (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpe ( 36238 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @07:09AM (#18456405)
    That's their business model: They make you believe you have a reservation, then you have to go around all the rental places trying to find one.

    It isn't even an original one. IIRC airlines started with the idea of deliberatly overbooking flights some thirty odd years ago, turn up "too late" and you don't get a seat. More recently some hotel chains have been caught taking bookings for more rooms than they actually have. Even including sending people round to other hotels in the chain.
    Same business model; the only difference is if you are hiring a seat on an aircraft, a room to sleep in or a truck/van.
  • Re:Sad poll (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <> on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:47AM (#18457039) Homepage Journal

    Good luck fighting the Halliburtons of the world when you aren't allowed to learn about them anymore because all information is locked down on a "need to know" basis via nth-gen DRM, and even if you do manage to learn something, you aren't allowed to discuss it without facing felony charges because the other party didn't pay for a license. How about getting your priorities straight?

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @10:02AM (#18457893) Journal
    An interesting theory, but I don't think it's right. For one, not that many people care about copyright or the entertainment industry's effect on technology. If anything, people I know seem to be in favour of copyright and feel genuine guilt when they burn their friend's CDs. I know it's easy to forget that here on slashdot, but it's true. There are simply too many people out there who are more concerned with their children's future, or the environment, or their business's future, or whatever else they care about. The RIAA, to them, isn't the company suing old women and young children, but the organisation responsible for all that annoying music on the radio.

    This is the way they want it. The friendly music industry going hardline, for the benefit of those poor artists, against the scum on that Internet-thingy stealing their work. If the RIAA were to look bad to the public in general, it would just look bad for the music industry in general. People wouldn't trust the RIAA, the members, and probably even independent labels. i.e. anyone connected with the music industry.
  • by jZnat ( 793348 ) * on Friday March 23, 2007 @10:35AM (#18458387) Homepage Journal
    The "Average American" (or as we call them, Joe Sixpack and Grandma, although Grandma is politically active and horrible with computers, while Joe Sixpack owns far too much technology he doesn't know how to use) also doesn't give a shit about "consumer issues", and thus they won't be going to The Consumerist's website. The people who would care, however, were already there, so that news did affect the results.
  • Ugg (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2007 @11:14AM (#18458977)
    Its "awesome" how the RIAA beats out organizations that have a regular + historically negative impact on the environment and the rest of the world. And by awesome I mean sad.

    Sure they wrecked the economy and environment of 10+ other countries, but what about my mp3s!!!!!!!
  • Monsanto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pauljlucas ( 529435 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @11:54AM (#18459589) Homepage Journal
    I find it disturbing that Monsanto didn't make the list. There's companies that screw their employees (e.g., Walmart), companies that screw their customers (e.g., Best Buy), companies that screw all Americans (e.g., Haliburton), and then there's companies that screw all people on the entire planet. Monsanto falls into the last category.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser