Saturday, February 24, 2007

RIAA is insane.

I believe the technical term is schizophrenic. Anyway, the RIAA is the group that is supposed to be protecting and serving artists. Instead, for the past 5 years, they have been engaged in a huge series of mostly spectacularly unsuccessful suits against music fans. I read this digital music news thing where they compile many stories of interest. A few weeks ago, there was a great double story where the first was an announcement of the RIAA losing a case, and the second about a label paying the legal fees for a music fan who was sued by the RIAA. What this said to me was that even the labels who are part of the RIAA are helping fans who are being sued, then it's all over for the RIAA.

And then today, this story came out. Basically, the RIAA lost a case, and now are asking a judge to allow THEM NOT TO PAY the legal fees of the poor woman who they sued! Not only that, but they are asking the judge to accept some wacko theory that says if you have an open wifi connection and someone uses that connection to "steal" music, then you are liable! So I guess this means that drunk drivers are almost off the hook. After all, if the state made the road and allows you to drive drunk on the road, then the state must be liable for all damages when you crash into someone else. INSANE!

And then if you go to RIAA's site, you can read some seemingly sane articles about "important issues". But if you dig deep enough, you can find the two-sided insanity.

Our challenge as a music industry is all about how to make music relevant, and important in everyday life, and how to continue to foster a live music scene, and get people to recognize the important contributions of artists to daily life. And then to make sure that these artists get compensated fairly for these contributions. This is as much as PR battle as anything else. When the RIAA steps in to sue fans for spreading music, enjoying music, and does so in direct OPPOSITION to the artists and labels they serve, this PR battle is lost before it gets off the ground. Kind of like going into a war with faulty intelligence and re-directing important resources from another very important and real battle. What happens is you let the real bad guy get away, and make a whole bunch of "bad guys" out of regular people merely cause you've drawn an arbitrary line in the sand.

If you can't tell I'm wound up by this stuff, I'll post some video of me pulling out my hair. . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Soungalo, but your hair is much too short to pull out! Better you go to the top of a tall building and yell and scream in frustration.