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Milwaukee Man Accused of Stealing Music

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Once again the music industry is suing people for stealing music. This time, the emphasis has shifted to a mechanic in Milwaukee, who does not even own a computer.

The Recording Industry Association of America has long been criticized for its tactics in suing those that steal music.

The Recording Industry Association of America has long been criticized for its tactics in suing those that steal music. They have filed hundreds of lawsuits against individuals at a time and accused everyone from the dead to people who don’t own computers of stealing music.

The most recent person to have the RIAA spotlight fall on them is a Milwaukee area mechanic, Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzerelli. Agents of the Music industry claim that “The Fonz” has been exploiting a little known bug in a jukebox to steal music since the early seventies.

generally ASCAP fees are paid by the businesses where jukeboxes are housed

Normally, this would not be an issue for the RIAA, as generally ASCAP fees are paid by the businesses where jukeboxes are housed; in this case, a local restaurant known as “Arnold’s”. But in this case, it falls under the jurisdiction of the RIAA because “The Fonz” was circumventing rights protection technology in violation of the Digital Copyright Millennium Act.

If "The Fonz" is found guilty of stealing this music, he could be held accountable for find of up to 3 billion dollars (or $100,000 a song), for the estimated 30,000 songs he stole between 1974 and 2004 and could have legally purchased for $.05 a listen. But “The Fonz” is remaining strong. When asked by reporters what he thought of his chances in of a manageable settlement, he held up his thumb and replied, “Ayyyy”. Arnold was unavailable for comment.


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