LOS ANGELES, CA - In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, the Recording Industry Association of America announced plans to sue everyone in the United States for illegal whistling of copyrighted songs. According to the suit, individuals are guilty of copyright infringement by knowingly reproducing music with their mouths without compensation.
Following its success against peer-to-peer software like Napster, the music industry has expanded its attacks from the investors in the software to individuals who download copyrighted music. The whistling lawsuit against everyone else is considered a logical step by the industry.
Cary Sherman, senior vice president and general counsel of the RIAA spoke outside the courthouse to explain his actions. "We launched this suit because millions of people whistle every day in this country with no regard for copyright laws. The industry loses billions of dollars when people whistle songs instead of buying records. To reproduce another artists' work without payment is not just harmless fun. It's piracy."
The lawsuit, which is supported by artists like Metallica and Dr. Dre, demands payment from everyone in the United States who has ever whistled a song. "However," Sherman added, "the music industry is sensitive to the desires of its consumers and is working on legal solutions. That's why we're setting up a service that will allow consumers to purchase the right to whistle for only thirty dollars per song."
At the same time, the RIAA launched a suit against Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer, the authors of the theme song for "The Andy Griffith Show" for promoting unauthorized whistling, and Hershey Foods for producing sour candy that promotes the pursing of lips.