FINAL ROUND: RIAA vs Halliburton

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Relive the magic by checking out the preceding posts in this series.


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  1. Theseus says:

    Throughout this competition, it just blows my mind that the annoying doucebaggery of the RIAA would even be put on the same level as Halliburton, which is putting countless lives at risk every day for the sake of profits.

    That is evil is the truest sense of the word.

  2. FunPaul says:

    I’m sure that if the RIAA were given a chance, they’d gladly trade others’ lives for a little bit of money.

  3. regexp says:

    I don’t get it. RIAA isn’t a company. Its a lobbying organization. You don’t -buy- anything from the RIAA. They are idiots yes – but not a company.

    Secondly – how do you judge Halliburton? Has anyone here ever purchased or had to deal with them in any capacity? Or are we just going after them because of their ties to cheney and via perceptions on how they run their company? Btw – the devision that everyone is blaming for them is KBR and was spin off of Halliburton a while ago. In a difficult operating environment they’ve made money for their shareholders and having no personal dealings with them – i can’t comment on how they treat their customers.

  4. Absolutely they would. Next thing ya know, the RIAA will be hiring insurgents to avenge their lost profits.

  5. faust1200 says:

    I……CAN’T……CHOOSE…!!!!!! Gahhhh…!

  6. Aeroracere says:

    Clearly you can’t vote for Halliburton, since they’re moving to Dubai…

  7. TimSPC says:

    I heard Halliburton moved to Dubai just so they wouldn’t win this tournament.

  8. konstantConsumer says:

    @Theseus: word.

  9. Theseus says:

    As mentioned in a previous post, HQ is moving but they’re still incorporated in Delaware.

    They’re as American as a rotten, greedy, soulless apple pie.

  10. jeblis says:

    Can one of the idio..err persons voting for the RIAA over Halliburton please stop by and explain yourself?

  11. Xkeeper says:

    I’m speaking for myself here, but I’ve never even heard of Halliburton’s actions.

    Whereas the RIAA is everywhere lately.

    I’m not going to vote (uninformed), but, well, mabye you have an idea now.

  12. kcskater says:

    @jeblis: I was about to ask the opposite question. what does halliburton actually do that makes it evil? The RIAA has sued stroke victims, dead people, people without computers, and relatives of alleged ‘infringers’ that don’t live under the same roof. They raise rates to unreasonable levels and are ruthlessly extorting money from what might otherwise be paying customers.

  13. jeblis says:

    The main problem with Halliburton is that they put profits over the safety of their employees. Also with their no-bid contracts they are fleecing the American taxpayer out of billions of dollars )$8 billion in contracts in Iraq in 2003 alone) for substandard work.

  14. Parsnip says:

    Our tax dollars go to Halliburton for their no bid contracts. We have no choice in the matter. If there is no legal basis for the claim, RIAA is unable to collect. There are artists that choose to give their music for free download. It IS stealing to download copywrited material without the owners consent. Their tactics may not be the best, but it least they can be defended in court.

  15. Elaine Chow says:

    How about it selling expired food at a tremendous mark-up to soldiers? Is that evil enough for you?

    “The recorded interviewer asked, “Are you saying that Halliburton deliberately falsified the number of meals they prepared and then submitted false claims for reimbursement and that they did this to make up for past amounts auditors had disallowed?” Mayberry firmly answered “yes.” He said that serving expired food rations was “an everyday occurrence, sometimes every meal.””

    Mostly though, we hate Halliburton because of its war profiteering.

    I still think Monsanto should’ve been up there though.

  16. Kornkob says:

    @kcskater: What hasn’t Halliburton done? Plundered worker’s pensions. Hired mercs to enforce company policy. Left drivers unarmed and tasked to operate convoys in war zones. Stripped areas of natural resources and left ecological disasters behind.

    Never mind the massive war profiteering they engaged in on a daily basis these days. The RIAA may be suing a few people but Halliburton is costing Americans money right now— their no-bid contracts in Iraq are not insignificant.

  17. mattshu says:

    Halliburton has former ties to Dick Cheney. For many people that’s enough to make them the worst company EVER!!!

  18. timmus says:

    This is really tough, because Halliburton is not the one screwing random innocent Americans out of their life savings.

  19. John Stracke says:


    It IS stealing to download copywrited material without the owners consent.

    No, it’s not; it’s copyright infringement. The RIAA refers to it as stealing because that makes it sound worse.

  20. John Stracke says:


    I’ve never even heard of Halliburton’s actions.

    That’s because they’re in cahoots with the White House. The Republicans’ tame corporate media won’t cover them.

  21. DuncanC says:

    Halliburton’s tactics may be questionable, but:

    a) Their worst offenses (no bid contracts, private war mongering) are really the fault of our government.

    b) Unlike the RIAA, they actually produce something of value. (Even if they overcharge for it.)

    c) From a purely business standpoint (ie. making money for shareholders) they’re amazing. The RIAA is actually hurting the businesses they are supposed to represent.

    Halliburton may be evil, but at least they’re good at it.

  22. I voted for Halliburton. They’re so evil that they’re actually profiting on bloodshed, as opposed to the RIAA, which probably wishes it could. Plus, Halliburton had to most their headquarters to Dubai, which only goes to show the lengths they’re willing to go to continue doing their evil business out of the prying eyes of journalists and government.

  23. bastarre says:

    On the other hand, Haliburton is providing many services that others can’t/won’t. And why shouldn’t they charge a lot money to operate in a combat zone? Many companies out there are paying folks $500-$1000 a DAY to provide services out there. Companies like SAIC, Blackwater, Triple Canopy, oil companies, telecommunications companies, civil engineers, ad naseum. That money doesn’t come out of the companie’s pocket–that’s contract money from the government. And in response to the comment about unarmed civilians working over there…you just said it: CIVILIANS. There is no international law that I know of that allows private foreign nationals to carry firearms in their country. It’s a legal issue. That’s why they are accompanied by US military or operators from the aforementioned companies. I’m not necessarily defending these guys–the no bid contracts thing sucks, but look at the big picture. They’ve been fined and called to task for overcharging and other transgressions. It’s dangerous work…they deserve to be compensated for it. Disclaimer: I am US military and have been over there numerous times and have this stuff going down. Frankly, I’m jealous…I wish I got paid like those guys did–for doing the same exact work.

  24. thejbs says:

    This is definitely a case of evil apples vs. evil oranges.

    I voted for the RIAA because I hope this contest will get some additional media attention and start turning the larger wave of public opinion against the RIAA and their BS activities. As consumers, we may be able to change the recording industry from OUR side.

    Everyone in the universe already has Halliburton burned into their minds, and we can’t do sh#t about it, they will never be a nice company.

    But the Recording Industry, making a fortune off of things we love and consume everyday, and then blaming COMSUMERS for all thier problems.. they need a huge kick in the face.

  25. KevinQ says:

    I voted for the RIAA. Yes, Halliburton is evil, but they’re just doing what companies are supposed to do – lowering costs and raising revenues. The reason we allow incorporation is so that we can make decisions devoid of human conscience. If we punish Halliburton for doing exactly that, then we send the wrong message.

    The RIAA, on the other hand, is doing what good companies should not be doing – directly attacking their own customers. That, to my mind, makes them the “worst” company.


  26. mac-phisto says:

    the move to dubai has nothing to do with journalists & bad rep & everything to do with the jebel ali free zone (JAFZ). this is just a business move to increase value for shareholders.

    halliburton doesn’t care whether or not you like them…they have maneuvered themselves into a position between conglomerations & government officials which ensures their survival & profitability despite public opinion.

    i voted for haliburton, but in truth my blame lies with our government. they are a collective of corrupt, self-serving, two-faced bastards & their misdoings over the past few decades make halliburton look like the nature conservancy.

  27. TPK says:

    Haliburton is generally disliked because of politics. RIAA is generally disliked because of consumer issues. If you want to vote on politics, that’s fine, but this is a consumer blog, not a political blog! ;-)

  28. mac-phisto says:

    to bastarre – & you should (get paid what they get paid). it’s criminal that companies like blackwater are raking in millions for security details & our average soldier is making

    imho, it should work more like police work. here in connecticut, cops are required to sit behind utility trucks, contractors, whatever while their working on a public road. the cops are paid a premium by the contractors & if that money is coming out of a government contract, the cost needs to be included in the bid.

    my point is, if you are u.s. military standing next to blackwater mercs protecting a halliburton operation, you should be making just as much as the merc & halliburton should be required to pay your salary out of their contract money.

    & thanks for everything.

  29. Sudonum says:

    RIAA isn’t even a company. They are a trade association that represents the recording studios. When they sue innocent people they are doing so at the behest of their trade members. Put the record companies in this competition, in fact Sony was in and lost in an earlier round. Haliburton all the way!

  30. wezelboy says:

    The NPR thing tipped it for me.

  31. nakmario says:


    you Americans are class acts.

    Here you have one company that steals from taxpayers and for the sake of profit margins provides the cheapest service possible to your troops.

    Then you have a company that seeks to defend the property (albeit misguidedly) of its members.

    And you choose RIAA because you want free music?

    Little do you know that the money wasted in Iraq (and by that i mean just that money that has gone unaccounted for) divided by the number of tax payers is greater than what you would spend on all of the music if you bought it legally.

    But then again, i am talking about a population who for the most part cannot even locate Iraq on a map.


  32. xamarshahx says:

    Haliburton is hands down worst, they screw the tax payers and our troops. They continue to do so even after being caught.

  33. brianary says:

    Hard to choose.

    However, the RIAA is part of a pretty evil movement (with the MPAA, WIPO, etc.–the MAFIAA) to enslave (through impoverishment) Americans by making them pay for trivial things–like *listening to music*.

    Musicians should have no guarantee of wealth because of something they *once* performed. Everyone should have enough music background to enrich themselves (or at least enough to get our math scores up), and successful musicians should make money by *performing*. People should get paid to work, not for *having once* worked.

    As a nation, we’ve pissed away too much on entertainment, and now that’s all we do. No one here builds anything of value. We bitch about paying schoolteachers another $20 a year in property taxes while we spend many, many times that on iTunes or coffee or movies or sporting events, making us too stupid not to let companies like Halliburton walk by and “privatize” (read: “plunder”) our government.

  34. orielbean says:

    And the blood-red logo with the slogan “release the energy” and the Cheney connection is decidedly vampiric. Drinking the blood of “insignificants” so you don’t have to.

  35. artifishall says:

    Looks like the RIAA is going to win, you would think Halliburton has a leg up since they are in the business of death, but I guess staying out of the way of the RIAA’s lawyers is more important.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    @nakmario: nice flame. can you hold that up for a moment? i need a light. we can find iraq just fine. it’s all those piddly countries that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things that we have trouble locating – you know, mexico, canada, basically any country that has a whole lot of nothing that we want. i would’ve chose “foreign nationals taking advantage of loose tax laws & great opportunity by living here without becoming an american”, but that wasn’t an option.

  37. Seriously, I’m appalled that people consider RIAA to be more evil than Haliburton.

  38. lihtox says:

    To my mind, the people who run Halliburton should be in prison on felony charges for their war profiteering; RIAA needs to be neutered, but not jailed. I vote Halliburton.

  39. kimsama says:

    Argh, why do I get an error when I try to vote? I haven’t been able to vote on FF or IE since like the first round! What gives?!

  40. radiofree says:


    Couldn’t agree more. Again, I’ll say it: The RIAA represents an industry that releases products none of which is essential to our life (CDs, that is; music, of course, is essential to living). Let it go, they are a business. They get huffy when you steal from them, and whether it’s justified or not, downloading copyright protected music is illegal.

    First Exxon, and now Halliburton, represent true problems to our economy, our domestic politics and foreign policy.

    That, to me, is not good customer service. Besides, the RIAA does offer GREAT customer service. It’s just that their customers are all record companies.

  41. Logan26 says:


    Lets look at your propsed numbers shall we. To date roughly 1 trillion dollars has been spent on Iraq in 3+ years. thats $1,000,000,000,000.00. Now divide by 300 million, thats 300,000,000 divide by an average cost of 15 bucks because new cds are 20 and older ones are 15 and way old stuff is around 10. you could buy a grand total of 222.222222 CD per person in the US. You wouldn’t exactly be able to buy every single artist at your local chain music store.

  42. TinaT says:

    I’m with those voting based on consumer issues rather than political ones.

  43. Kanchi says:

    This whole poll has just become such a joke. This isn’t about which company is worse, or has caused more harm, or is more damaging to our economy and way of life, or is more poorly run, it’s just which one has attracted the most nerd rage.

    You people who have voted RIAA over Monsanto, Exxon, and Halliburton are the most pathetically narrow minded people this country has to offer, you deserve to have people like the RIAA pissing you off, just for your lack of perspective.

    Personally I blame The Consumerist for shredding my last few remnants of respect for the level of education on the internet, mostly because they named this poll incorrectly. They should have given it a name that would have told educated and informed people to steer clear of it all together. Instead of calling it “What is the worst company in America?” They should have called it:

    “Hey Net Nerds! Come vent you nerd-rage in this pointless poll that will distract you from pathetically shallow existence for a few seconds!”

  44. Mad_Science says:

    As a US taxpayer, I’m a customer of Halliburton. I’m definitely appalled at the way they’ve run their company.

    Yeah, the RIAA are a bunch of douche-nozzles, but no one’s taken a bullet for them.

    It’s one thing to commercialize music, it’s another to profit from war. Although, I will agree that a greater responsibility lies with our government, which elected to run this war in such an irresponsible manner.

  45. B says:

    I guess this poll comes down to which part of the US Government do you hate most. The part that made the DMCA a law, or the part that’s “running” the war in Iraq. Maybe next year we can just put in the US Government as a choice, and they’d win in a landslide. I think it’s fair, isn’t the guy in charge supposed to be the CEO president?

  46. rdm says:

    @Theseus: Word. It’s truly amazing.

  47. Americana says:

    “Can one of the idio..err persons voting for the RIAA over Halliburton please stop by and explain yourself?”

    How is one an idiot for actually voting based on shitty company policies or how it affects one personally rather than political ideology? Halliburton doesn’t affect me in any way, shape, or form – the RIAA does. Maybe you braniacs don’t know this, but the war wasn’t fought because of Halliburton – they’re opportunists.

    “You people who have voted RIAA over Monsanto, Exxon, and Halliburton are the most pathetically narrow minded people this country has to offer”

    Or we’re realists and not little posie sniffers who get mad because of companies pumping oil (or oh no! denying global warming!) or building all the facilities in a war-torn nation. And for most of us, Halliburton doesn’t affect us (besides the empty moral outrage, which is directed at the wrong target). You’re far more narrow minded than I shall ever be, friend.

    “First Exxon, and now Halliburton, represent true problems to our economy, our domestic politics and foreign policy.”

    No, they don’t. If any of you think the war (a war I never supported and still do not support) was about oil (originally I mean, not when the companies moved in afterwards) than you shouldn’t be commenting on politics.

  48. Deryn says:

    @mac-phisto: I love you. You are the very next person I marry; I promise.

  49. Deryn says:

    @mac-phisto: I meant for this comment.

  50. Kanchi says:


    Your naiveté is breath taking. You sir are proof that these companies marketing dollars, and paid apologists are money well spent. And here I thought their talking points were so clumsy, obtuse, and transparent that no one could be stupid enough to actually fall for them, let alone repeat them. On that (and only that) you have proven me wrong.

    If your world view works for you, then by all means stay shallow, selfish, and ignorant. But if you want to stay that way, whatever you do, don’t use the vast research abilities of the internet to look into even a single thing of what you just spouted in your post. Don’t question it for a second, and don’t think too deep. Keep taking everything the apologists say at face value. After all, why would they lie?

  51. Deryn says:

    Seriously, all of this hate is getting me down, man. I especially don’t understand all of you Halliburton people who are slamming the RIAA people as idiot pathetic narrow-minded moronic nerds who can’t find Iraq on a map (it’s somewhere in the middle, right?). There’s plenty of factual awfulness in Halliburton without resorting to name-calling.

    I have seen the Evil, and it is us.

  52. Corydorf says:

    I must agree with the poster who stated this this is a case of evil apples versus evil oranges. Each of these companies have damaged us in many, many ways.
    I can’t stop laughing at Kanchi, I LOVE it when people try to sound important and knowledgable, especially when they’re totally outclassed, out-smarted, and out-witted.
    To me, I’m much more concerned about the future of these indsutries. Haliburton is evil, and companies like them have always existed, and screwed people over as much as possible. However, they are doing nothing outside of the normal laws of economics. They may be bastards, and need to stop thier dishonest practices, but once they do, they’re just another bad company.
    However, the RIAA and thier cohorts are doing much more permanent damage to our society. To me, it’s not about free music, it’s about copyright law. Organizations like them do nothing put hard vital concepts like public domain, copyright reform, free speech, fair use, etc. I am apalled that they continue to behave as they have, and are allowed to do so. If you were to stop thier illegal tactics, like the extortion, the suing dead people, and thier abuses of the american judcial system, I think they are, at thier very core, an evil, damaging group of felons who should not be allowed to exist, in any form, for any reason.
    No words I can say can properly admonish them for thier hienous deeds, and thier blatant disregard of non-scarce economics (to say nothing of thier aforementioned abuse of the judical system) Every man and women who makes those decisions should be declared a felon, and serve jail time as appropriate.

  53. Ikki says:

    Man, this was a tough vote for me… I decided to flip a coin.

    My vote was for Halliburton.

  54. asherchang says:

    Haliburton is just one out of a flock of evil, conniving, heartless, gluttonous, ghoulish flock of vultures. Although it’s the fattest because of its priveledged status. And Dick is a dick. And they commited major fraud. But still… Their very existance is evil, so they can’t do much better.

    Meanwhile the RIAA could do alot better, if it wasn’t headed by and made up of such big assholes. They’re digging themselves further and further into a big rut with their assholedness- angering NPR and Apple and royally screwing artist and consumer alike, while bullying students, 12-year olds, handicappeds, and dead people. They’re just being really stupid, and eventually, they’ll fall apart. Which will be a glorious event to witness. But now, as we are currently watching this car-wreck of an escalation of such assholedness, I think that it’s more timely to vote for RIAA this year as worst company of the year- to capture for posterity the utter jackassedry of the RIAA this year.

  55. Coronagold says:

    Aw, poor biddy biddy boo boos, Halliburton’s all gone aways.

    “And those with no homes to go to,
    please dig yourselves out holes.”

  56. TechnoDestructo says:

    Halliburton vs. RIAA….on the one hand, Halliburton is indirectly responsible for far more deaths, on the other hand the RIAA (though representing multiple companies) commits their evil all by themselves. They own whole categories of evil.

    I voted RIAA.

    Also, what services does Halliburton provide that no other company could have?

  57. ivanjrn says:

    I voted RIAA. As much as I hate Halliburton, I feel the RIAA is causing the most long-term damage. The RIAA has set a precedent of legal judicial abuse for trampling our rights as consumers and citizens while avoiding true due process.

  58. MuhammadSchwarz says:

    Huh? Monsanto did not make it to the finals?

  59. Jesse in Japan says:

    I voted for the RIAA because I think it would be kind of pointless to have this contest and just give the award to Halliburton every year (even though they’ll be ineligible next year due to their relocation). Also, bashing Halliburton is so passe.

    The RIAA is also doing more harm than just suing people. Look at all the laws and international treaties they’ve (with the help of the MPAA) pushed through with all the Congresspeople they’ve bought. Look at the prevalence of DRM.

    They are literally trying to take our culture away from us so that they can rent it back to us for a profit.

  60. rhett121 says:

    We can’t change what Haliburton does. They “own” our government and as it’s been made obvious in the past couple of elections, not even our own votes count. You can’t blame Haliburton directly because it’s the government that lets them get away with it.
    On the other hand, if enough people stood up and said “I’m done buying your crappy DRM’d music” the RIAA would have to listen. WE actually have an opportunity to send a message to the RIAA and let them know we aren’t impressed and will not stand for it.

  61. SteveXo says:

    @nakmario: Wow. I must say, living in Southern California my whole life, you are by far the most angry, elitist, pompous Mexican I have ever had the displeasure of being exposed to. After your snobbish condescending remarks regarding Americans, I decided to read some of your other postings and I’m glad that I did. Before you go getting all huffy about being insulted, let me tell you that although I’m a “wedo”, I was raised in a Mexican household for much of my life. I’m glad that you are proud of being Mexican, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate America and Americans.

    You said in another topic that Catholics = Latinos, but I think my Irish/Italian wife would dispute that. Good job talking down on Americans, all the while revealing what a true self-absorbed prick you are. By the way, Fuck You Very Much. Some Americans may not be able to locate Iraq on a map, but that didn’t stop your family from coming to our country so you could have an American life, did it? Go back to drinking your Starbucks and smiling to yourself, safe in the knowledge that you are so much better than the rest of us.

  62. Trick says:

    RIAA gets the vote. The sheeple can squawk Haliburton all day long. Nobody had a problem with Haliburton in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Yet all of a sudden Haliburton was bad right around the year 2000/2001.

    Odd coincidence, huh?

    Bush sucks people. Republicans suck. Democrats suck. The Hollywood celebrities many of you drool over whenever they tell you to do what they say, not do suck.

    But hey, you just know you feel much better now after squawking “HALIBURTON IS EEEEEVVIIIIILLLL!”

  63. magnificon says:

    First off Halliburton is ripping off every person in the U.S. by overbilling our government for gas, services, and equipment. That money comes from every tax paying person in this country. The RIAA only affects those that take an interest in music. The RIAA aren’t a company as much as a group of businesses acting in collusion to extort money from their fans. You have a choice to download music or not you don’t have a choice on how your tax dollars are being spent. The government has the authority but not the responsibility the goverened has the responsibility but not the authority. Without polls like this to raise awareness, Halliburton will continue to swidle the good people of the U.S. I don’t agree with or support the RIAA but hopefully the prevalence of home recording studios and internet marketing will remove and eventually starve these thugs out of business.

  64. erock0 says:

    Halliburton is akin to most government subcontractors except they do the work IN THE WARZONE! Yeah, it’s gonna cos a lot to operate over there when there you’re driving a truck with 60,000 pounds of explosive (or useful gasoline) behind you. Setting up infrastructure where people are constantly trying to destroy it is difficult. I voted for the RIAA not because of their ridiculous lawsuits, but because of the decline in the quality of music over the years. To find talented ARTISTS (not singers that have decent writers) is difficult. I listen to just about every band on When you let your fans record your stuff you got trust!

  65. Orval says:

    There should be an actual Consolation Side or Miss Congeniality award, for organizations that actually sell something to us consumers, unlike both the finalists. I would have loved to see UHell go up against Walmort for instance.

    But in terms of pernicious and evil influence on the world of us consumers, RIAA is hard to beat. Haliburton only screws me on my taxes and foreign policy, they don’t sell me anything, nor have much direct effect on those that do. The chances of me ever directly interacting with them are zilch. RIAA may not sell me anything, but they will sue me personally, and they do have an effect on other people that might want to sell or give me something.

    So from a consumerist viewpoint, clearly no contest at all.

  66. Americana says:

    “They “own” our government and as it’s been made obvious in the past couple of elections, not even our own votes count. “

    It hurts me that your vote counts as much as mine.

    Sorry, the Republicans (I dislike both parties equally) didn’t steal the election. In fact, Diebold executives give money to the Democrats – so there’s a better conspiracy at that end.

    Halliburton doesn’t own our government. They’re, in fact, losing money.

    “Your naiveté is breath taking. You sir are proof that these companies marketing dollars, and paid apologists are money well spent. And here I thought their talking points were so clumsy, obtuse, and transparent that no one could be stupid enough to actually fall for them, let alone repeat them. On that (and only that) you have proven me wrong.”

    If you look up irony in the dictionary, you’d find this post.

    I am no apologist for Halliburton, but they have no effect on my life. And I contained no talking points – look it up, they’re losing money. Their net income last year was negative 2.3 billion dollars.

    “If your world view works for you, then by all means stay shallow, selfish, and ignorant.”

    My worldview works because it’s HOW THE WORLD WORKS. It’s actually the exact opposite of being naive and ignorant. How someone so deficient in logic, reason, or facts could have the gall to write such a post in response to mine is mind-boggling. I don’t think you even understood my post, based on yours.

    You only proved my point in your response. Good show.