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How iTunes and Amazon were scammed.
edited March 2012
Interesting, if brief, story of how a group played iTunes and Amazon for royalties:
edited March 2012
from the article:
...the gang scammed iTunes and Amazon out of somewhere between £750,000 and £1 million (that's between $1.2 and $1.6 million USD) in royalty payments, themselves raking in about £500,000 (that's $800,600 USD).
The gang was caught when iTunes realized that they "were paying royalties to what appeared to be utterly unknown artists at a rate they expect to pay someone like Madonna."
1. I wonder how much $ they actually spent on their own 'fake' artists' downloads to generate $1.2 and $1.6 million USD in royalty payments? Can you imagine if, instead of using stolen CC info to purchase 'fake' songs to scam the resulting royalty payments, they actually downloaded actual, real songs from real artists? They'd probably have 1 copy of everything available (especially if they were savvy enough to exploit Amazon's various deals and promotions).
2. Sounds like they could've continued for much longer if they increased their stable of 'fake' artists by an order of magnitude or more and thereby fly under the iTunes' Royalty Radar (tm) ... so instead of iTunes paying out $5,000 (guessing) a month for each "Mr. Unknown Band" (versions 1-10) and raising eyebrows in iTunes accounting they could've instead established 500 "Mr. Unknown Bands" that would each be receiving royalty checks of $100/month.
...ok a third observation: If they included AmieStreet in their scam (with a starting price of 'free') I wouldn't be surprised to find out I actually have some of their product in my own library.
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