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Tuesday
Sep282010

Why the RIAA needs to be put down

I agree heavy downloaders and especially uploaders of copyrighted content should be punished. I agree drastic measures need to happen. But the RIAA, with the wonderful aid of the majors, got us in to this mess with no evident progressive steps since.

Its an old governing dog incapable of learning any new tricks. RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is that stereotypical Chinese mother smacking her child round the head every time a hand goes in to that cookie jar. There is one way of educating and one way only. Punishment.

I understand why they have to do this. Music is dependent on money from its intellectual property. Artists need to eat. Royalties put food (and often coke) on the table. It’s how the music industry has always functioned. And it always will be - surely?

It’s true that old habits die hard. But like it or not those days are GONE. It is completely ludicrous to even think that by some miracle everyone will stop obtaining music through illegal channels. And it is just as stupid to carry on suing illegal downloaders six figure sums.

Over the past 15 years we have seen the foundations of a musical empire crumble beneath us. Of course, as technology develops at rapid speeds and society continues to fragment, the way music gets distributed and is consumed will change.

If you can’t beat them, JOIN THEM!

Lets rewind to the advent of Napster. Out of no where, music was being obtained through illegal file sharing. This was the opportunity for the music majors to embrace a change in music culture. A chance of acknowledging what was taking place and working with Shawn Fanning to monetize from the new ways of consumption. So what did RIAA do? Prosecute. Imagine if we worked with this new era instead of against it? The money was certainly there to invest in the technologies that power the digitalized industry. We could of invested in creating music store owned by the labels which would see all profits come back to them for reinvestment in future talent. Instead, Apple, the synergy gurus, reap the fruits of music’s misery.

Punishing and suing has always been the case. A few years back a tirade of law suits bulls-eyed at music lovers left a trail of hate and anger with many unjustified victims including, absurdly,  a deceased grandparent.

According to the RIAA, this was a success with drastic drops in illegal downloading over the coming 6 months. But in my eyes this isn’t a success. All that time and resources invested in such an insignificant short time period is typical. A quick fix does not work. I am happily looking forward to the day when this industry wakes up to this.

Use the money, human resources and time to educate the next generation because, in short, our generation is a war not worth trying to win over.

Find new revenue streams. Doesn’t have to be direct. ISPs need to take responsibility for contributing and profiting from its users consuming illegal content. On the topoic of content - what is the value of content anyway?

We need long-term planning and urgently. Lets go with the tide. If we want to see a sustainable and exciting music industry, lets work together on creating a plan through listening, understanding and being ahead of the game. I believe Sony can be an important future player with its soon-to-launch cloud-based music platform. Streaming will be the way forward. Let’s get on top of it before Google and Apple obtain another first mover advantage win.

Reader Comments (4)

This is the RIAA's current anti-downloading campaign, which is very different than suing...
http://www.whymusicmatters.org/video/nick-cave

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterBrian John Mitchell

Thanks Brian. Was in response to Joel Tenenbaum legal case, but the anti-piracy video is refreshing. Is it just a viral video or a complete marketing campaign being pushed here?

Maybe the old dogs can learn a few new tricks after all!

September 29 | Registered CommenterShea Warnes

"Why Music Matters" is sponsored by the RIAA is my understanding. It's a campaign modeled after the Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign of the early 1980s. All I've seen thus far are a few videos & I don't know how well known it is, nor can I remember where I heard about it. But I think it is the campaign that should've started back in 2000 & maybe would've been if we'd had someone like Frank Zappa instead of Lars Ulrich trying to steer the boat for artists' rights.

September 29 | Unregistered CommenterBrian John Mitchell

Dear Brian John Mitchell
"Why Music Matters" is NOT sponsored by the RIAA, and the RIAA is still suing random individuals. They recently settled a lawsuit with Limewire as well for the tune of 105 million. How much of that money went to artists?

0 Dollars, Brian.

October 3 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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