RIAA Sends Out Fake News Clip To TV Stations

The RIAA wants you to know that everyone loses with pirated products, so they’ve put together a fake news story and sent it out to TV stations around the country—maybe it will show up on your cash-strapped local news over the next few days, if you’re lucky. We’re torn, though, on posting this because it’s being leaked (promoted?) heavily by the video news release (VNR) company that produced it—we want you to scoff at it with us, but keep your bullshit “stealth marketing” sensors up.

Our favorite line is one of their warning signs that you might be buying a pirated product: “Compilation CDs that could only exist in the dreams of a music fan.” In other words, “A product you would actually want, that is equal in value to what we’re charging you for it.”

“RIAA Fake News!” [LiveLeak]


Edit Your Comment

  1. HRHKingFriday says:

    Wow. Their heads finally got so far up their asses that they cameout the other side again. Spewing shit like that.

  2. chipslave says:

    Huh… I never knew that liegitimate cd’s cant be found at the same place I play 3 card monte.

    Good to know…

  3. MPHinPgh says:

    Does anyone still take anything from the RIAA seriously, except for their lawsuits, of course?

    Oh…wait. That’s about all that comes from them.


  4. A-Fucking-Mazing

  5. G-Dog says:

    Why I’m not buying music these days:
    I only listen to Podcasts.

  6. clevershark says:

    If it were a legit RIAA product, you’d have to pay $15 for two good tunes and 10 filler tracks. Thanks for clearing that up!

  7. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    I actually started buying CDs again recently. But only from artists listed here. -> http://www.riaaradar.com

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    LOVE their tagline: If it’s something that you’ll really want to buy, it didn’t come from us.”

  9. Zodiack says:

    Wow. Just, wow.

  10. noquarter says:

    I guess the only way to be absolutely certain that my music money isn’t going to organized crime is to download it all for free from now on.

    Thank God this important piece of journalism clued me in on the issues.

  11. faust1200 says:

    I feel stupid now. I knew something was too good to be true about this Menudo box set.

  12. noquarter says:

    Also, didn’t Comcast get hit for doing this recently?

    I didn’t see the tag showing the affiliation in this VNR. Is that something the station is supposed to do themselves?

  13. clocker says:

    The production values, scripting and overall feel of that vid are pretty cheezy.

    I think it was pirated.

  14. SactoKev says:

    That it seriously one of the lowest quality VNR’s I’ve ever seen, especially when its from conglomerates who are allegedly media professionals.

    It really sucks. That’s the best way i can put it.

  15. Shadowman615 says:

    Interesting. My office firewall blocked it “because it falls under the category: Tasteless & Offensive.”

    I’m sure that sums it up.

  16. Myotheralt says:

    @SactoKev: I agree. I just went through the Army’s broadcast school, and on day 1 I learned to keep the camera steady. Actually, I already knew that, we just learned why. That camera man needs to be shot!

  17. Monkey4Sale says:

    Wow, it sounds so real.

  18. bravo369 says:

    That’s hilarious. RIAA is such a waste of an organization. gotta love their ways to tell pirated music.
    Reason 1: if price is too low…Of course because RIAA tries to screw you out of every dollar. No way they sell a cd for what people actually want to pay for it.
    Reason 2 people covered
    Reason 3: package…yeah, because i buy cd’s for the packaging
    Reason 4: flee market is an unusual place? that’s the best place to get deals. i guess people can’t resell cd’s either.
    reason 5: sound quality? seriously? sound quality of MP3’s is as good if not the same. Unless you are professionally mixing then no one will ever notice.

  19. EvilSquirrel says:

    Allow me to translate their helpful hints:

    * If you do not feel screwed by the price, it must be pirated

    * If you would actually want to buy it, it must be pirated.

    * We spent over 10,000 man hours designing the album cover. Guess how much time we spent on the actual album.

    * Buying used CDs is like stealing bread from the mouths of children.

    * We think you are stupid enough to believe that there is some sort of degradation in quality when copying music in a digital audio format. The truth is that the quality of our products have declined over the years and we just needed an excuse for the last dozen or so albums you purchased at Walmart this decade.

  20. TechnoDestructo says:


    Re: sound quality:

    And what’s to stop music from being pirated in lossless formats, for that matter?

  21. youbastid says:

    Anyone else find it ironic that they’re talking about how these billions of dollars are unknowingly going to organized crime, and then the RIAA spokesperson or whoever he is was standing in front of a giant portrait of Frank Sinatra? Anyone?

  22. bornconsumer says:

    Does anyone else find it ‘interesting’ that the RIAA spokesman is in front of a photo of Frank Sinatra.. someone rumored to be connected to the ‘mob’?

  23. SpdRacer says:

    I think Old Blue Eyes should climb down off that poster and strangle that moron doing the “interview”. The mob could just handle it from there.

  24. MoCo says:

    I fell asleep watching that fake piece of journalism. No TV station in the entire country is going to pick up that piece of trash.

  25. Michael Belisle says:

    @youbastid: Nothing was ever proved.

  26. macinjosh says:

    You mean Power Ballads and Malt Shop Memories are pirated? My world is shattering.

  27. Optimus says:

    @MoCo: Obviously you’ve never lived in Alabama.

  28. Xerloq says:

    Isn’t most news on TV pre-canned in some form or another? Seems to me we had a section in one of my broadcasting classes that talked about how to use these canned pieces.

  29. DrGirlfriend says:

    I may just break my longstanding boycott of the news shows on my local Fox station just to see if they air this piece. If anyone will, it will be them.

  30. hn333 says:

    This is why I never watch local news. 99% Fud and crap.

  31. jimconsumer says:

    What’s with the cuffs? I don’t believe there has been a single criminal action taken against the P2P users they’re targeting. Everything has been civil – thus, no handcuffs.

    They’re trying to scare people into thinking an officer of the law is going to show up, cuff you, and take you to jail if you download music. That’s complete and utter BS, FUD, you name it.

    You would think the United States government would step in and put a stop to this. You effectively have a private company here, threatening citizens with arrest, when they have no jurisdiction to do so. That seems entirely wrong to me, on so many levels.

  32. SJActress says:

    * We think you are stupid enough to believe that there is some sort of degradation in quality when copying music in a digital audio format. The truth is that the quality of our products have declined over the years and we just needed an excuse for the last dozen or so albums you purchased at Walmart this decade.

    You totally beat me to it…we discussed this at length in my Sound Design class. You know, talking about how digital rocked because it could be copied over and over with no degradation.

    The RIAA are idiots.

  33. jimconsumer says:

    Follow up, just watched the video. Nevermind. They’re targeting real criminals who actually burn & sell pirated music. I have no sympathy for them and they DO go to jail, for good reason.

  34. Optimus says:

    @jimconsumer: Yeah, it sounds logical that the US would stop threats of criminal detention from non-government agencies, but who’s funding *cough*lobbying*cough*bribing*cough our government?

    Whew! I need some cough drops.

  35. clarient says:

    That ‘list of tips’ absolutely screams ‘powerpoint presentation!!’

  36. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I have to say Rofl to this. I have been to that area in Los Angeles that they show in the video. I saw the people selling CD’s and obvious bootleg DVD’s that were still in the theatres.

    So the CD guys, some random shop with a table full of CD’s and one is playing on the stereo. But if you couldn’t tell they were bootlegged you were a moron. poorly scanned and printed covers and white cases… If you got caught buying these and claimed you didn’t know they were fake, you should be shot.

    Anyhow they didn’t have anything good anyway, really lame mixes or lame trance cd’s.

  37. elislider says:

    FTV: “the sound quality of pirated cds is often atrocious”

    actually, its 192kbit cbr or better, better than itunes. pirates have standards too…

  38. t0fu says:

    “A product you would actually want, that is equal in value to what we’re charging you for it.”

    Best line ever.

  39. magus_melchior says:

    @SactoKev: “Alleged” is a tad generous. They’re businesspeople who make a big show of claiming to know about media production. The problem is, a chimpanzee can make a better ad.

  40. nuton2wheels says:

    Listening to pirated CDs may cause testicular cancer…

  41. drjayphd says:

    @socalrob: Exactly. Seriously, who the hell buys pirated stuff and thinks it’s real and legit? If you’re buying a DVD of a movie that’s still in theaters, it’s probably safe to say you know it’s pirated. Guess the RIAA’s moving on to targeting the nonexistent “too stupid to function” customer base.

    Hey, at least this VNR wasn’t about file-sharers…

  42. goodkitty says:

    @jimconsumer: It won’t be long before copyright infringement IS a criminal matter, thanks to lobbyists…

  43. scoosdad says:

    The good news is that stations are now required by the FCC to identify the source of these kinds of reports, and stations have been fined bigtime lately for “forgetting” to do so.

  44. SpaceCat85 says:

    You’d think the bad inkjet printouts the bootleggers usually use for the cover art ought to be a bit of a tipoff that you’re not buying something legit…

    One of the outdoor fleamarkets I used to shop at was teeming with this stuff for years until local cops finally got the hint. The bootleggers eventually started parking their vans far away so that they wouldn’t be instantly seized with the stall contents.

    @elislider: MP3s are lossy, so the cheapskate who buys a disc that was ripped-and-burned that way and then re-rips that is going to get what they paid for quality-wise.

    PS: I’m big on buying used discs and avoiding stores that think 1 ordinary new CD is worth $19-20. For some bands, you can buy all their albums used and make your own dream compilation for the price of 1 new compilation from the mall ;)

  45. omyard says:

    I like the “too go to be true” warning. You’re right, the record labels almost never put out good compilations, they’re always dreck like the NOW series.

  46. omyard says:


  47. Shadowfire says:

    Their old [url=http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1774791]video[/url] was much better made… this one is kinda sad.

    @SpaceCat85: Most people won’t be able to tell the difference between a “lossy” MP3 and pure CD audio, so it doesn’t really matter.

  48. Shadowfire says:


    URL embedding doesn’t work the same here. :)

  49. ab3i says:

    @Shadowfire: The I.T. Crowd is hilarious and theiranti-piracy video cracks me up!

  50. macmizzle says:

    Hmmm… I’d honestly think that the RIAA would be able to make something a tad more professional, given that they actually want people to believe them. I’m sure they could use bullets rather than asterisks…

    My skepticism is going way up about the validity of that video. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like defending the RIAA (or even the RIAA itself), but that video seems bogus to me. Shrug.

  51. Ryuuie says:

    =( I want back those precious moments of my time that the RIAA wasted with that piece of shit “news clip”. D:

  52. Busybyeski says:

    @elislider: maybe atrociously high. =D

  53. lostalaska says:

    Would you steal a car if you could?

    No, but if I could make an exact digital duplicate… well I’ll have to think about that one.

  54. Busybyeski says:

    so artists want to stop their music going public?

    first, that sounds really logical on their part. they wouldn’t want people to spread their name, that’s not why they’re in the business.

    if artist don’t want people to make digital copies of their music, they shouldn’t produce multiple copies of their music. perform concerts at small concert venues and don’t let anyone record. no studios. if they release one album, they release one thousand.