The Recording Industry Association of America is spending the holiday season wiping the egg off its face. It was recently discovered that the trade group—known for bringing massive lawsuits against individuals who pirate copyrighted music—has been doing a bit of pirating itself.
The website YouHaveDownloaded allows users to search IP addresses to see who, or what, is illegally downloading copyrighted materials. A search conducted by torrentfreak.com revealed that the RIAA has illegally downloaded various movies, TV shows and software—up to $9 million worth.
Over the years, the RIAA has sued roughly 20,000 individuals for downloading music online. The group is generally unmerciful, vying for tough penalties that often bankrupt file-sharers in order to make an example out of them.
So what’s the RIAA’s excuse for engaging in the same activities it ruthlessly attempts to suppress? The organization claims that a third-party accessed the company’s IP addresses, and then downloaded the materials.
Hopefully the irony isn’t lost on them. This is likely the same defense that most of the 20,000 defendants the RIAA has prosecuted claimed.