Saturday , June 22 2024
$28 billion award to former smoker deep discounted to $28 million, but a significant tobacco loss nonetheless - makes me think of the music industry.

“Change That ‘B’ to an ‘M'”

Despite the judge’s removal of two zeros from the award to Betty Bullock against Philip Morris for at least partially being responsible for her cancer, the $28 million judgment is nonetheless significant. Though I am ardently anti-tobacco industry, $28 billion to a single smoker may have been a tad excessive.

As significant as the story is on its own, though, I can’t help but think of parallels to the record industry. They are beginning to lose suits brought by artists, suits filed in behalf of consumers, and after spanking Napster and Madster, they haven’t been able to pin down Kazaa yet.

Once the tide turns, momentum can steamroll: it wasn’t that long ago that the tobacco industry HAD NEVER LOST A CASE and were the most insufferably smug assholes on the planet. Now they’re the little boy with his fingers AND toes in the dyke, fast running out of phalanges. Precedent usually rules in law, that’s why momentum is so important. Now that precedent has been set against both tobacco and the music business, can the deluge be far behind?

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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