The Universal Music Group, the epicenter of much of today's shiniest, tinseliest, most fleeting stars, has had a fine of $12 million levied against them. It seems claiming inflated sales numbers is a big no-no. A bigger no-no than Sony's and Warner Music Groups no-no's.

And of all forums for this to take place, the fact that it's MTV’s “Total Request Live” just makes it all the sadder. This and the money paid to radio stations was seen as enough to convince everyone that Lohan was a singer. When will these kids learn that boobs alone do not a singer make.

UMG's other 'stars'?

Nick Lachey, Brian McKnight, Ashlee Simpson and Big Tymers.

Of course, there is a long history of payola in rock'n roll and even big band music and vaudville. But the rules concerning it have been known and enforced for some time. Although rules may have to change because this ain't yo mama's music industry.

But now, unlike then, we've got New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on the case. And he's not takin' no crap from no body.

But what can a poor musician do? Go here.

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