Big Karma sticks it to Big Content™
Back in February, I wrote about a speech made by NARAS President and CEO Michael Greene entitled The Insidious Virus of Illegal Music Downloading. In this speech, which was delivered at the Grammy Awards, he blamed file-sharing for the music industry’s woes and stepped into the realm of crazed hyperbole when he called the matter of file sharing a life-and-death issue. You might also remember that I had this little message for Greene:
Mr. Greene, I respectfully suggest that you stop harassing the customers, and while you’re at it, stop harassing your own executives too.
Good news, kids. Greene’s out of a job, having stepped down from his position in disgrace.
First, there’s the matter of the sexual harassment settlement, for which a female employee of Greene’s was paid $650,000 rather than face a potentially damaging lawsuit. Six other women in his employ have filed similar complaints, and some of these cases have alos been settled out of court.
Then there’s the MusiCares scandal. MusiCares is a classic “aren’t we wonderful people?” project. Its purpose is to provide medical and financial help for ailing or indigent musicians. The problem is that only 10% of the money raised actually went to ailing and indigent musicians. The rest of the money seems to have gone to “other expenses”. The Los Angeles Times did a story on this fiasco that led to both a suit by NARAS against the Times and an IRS investigation. In light of the pious “we’re trying to help the musicians and you file-sharers are robbing them” stance, this is downright hypocritical.