Since When Does The Associated Press Simply Reprint RIAA Propaganda?

from the a-word-from-the-other-side,-maybe? dept

We all know that the RIAA likes to think its strategy of suing its best customers is about "educating" people, but you would think that by now the press would know better than to simply reprint RIAA propaganda. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The latest AP article (that's getting picked up in a variety of places) about the threat letters to college students basically reprints a lot of RIAA propaganda as fact, misstates what the letters are actually about and doesn't bother to get a quote from anyone who questions the RIAA's legal standing or business rationale for these letters. Instead, it's a scare story that the RIAA will use to show universities that their students better pay up. The article is full of stories about students who can barely afford to pay, but who feel compelled to pay the RIAA $3,000 without ever getting a chance to defend themselves. The article never once notes that the students often have pretty strong legal defenses, and Universities have no requirement to pass on the threats until an actual lawsuit is filed. Meanwhile, it falsely states that the lawsuit threats are for "downloading" when they're actually for sharing or uploading. You would think that, with the RIAA having so many cases shot down these days, while various universities are fighting back against the bogus RIAA threats, that an AP reporter would at least mention some of these issues, rather than accepting the RIAA spin as fact.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Dan Rather, May 14th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    A lazy reporter not checking his/her facts/sources?

    Inconceivable!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    charlie potatoes, May 14th, 2007 @ 4:01pm

    Frankly im shocked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    DontpileonMe, May 14th, 2007 @ 4:01pm

    Mike Does What he Accuses others of

    Mike repeats the following anti RIAA Propoganda

    "We all know that the RIAA likes to think its strategy of suing its best customers is about "educating" people, but you would think that by now the press would know better than to simply reprint RIAA propaganda."

    It is simply not correct to keep on asserting that college students are the "best customers". Read the industry reports- the lions share of the $ spent to buy product is in the 30+ segment. And customer has a clear and specific meaning in the English language. I think we all know what it means and I wish you would quit distorting the word. At the point a person is infringing or downloading a specific song they have not paid for (or offered legitmately for free as a promotion or whatever) they are not a customer for that transaction.

    Please do not distort the argument by such inaccuracies. You have some valid points but this is pure pandering and sloppiness that you accuse other reporters of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    boycott, May 14th, 2007 @ 4:01pm

    boycott

    Time to boycott the Associated Press.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Eh, May 14th, 2007 @ 4:20pm

    What's that?

    Well, it certainly provides a challenge to triple-source data when all studies on record have recieved some sort of funding (directly or indirectly) from the same industry group! Part of the problem is that the RIAA is not publicly held, so there is no outside review or auditing process. I'd be wary of any data saying the sky is falling from the RIAA.

    Also the labels report business activity under the entire conglomerated business because of their LP/LLP structure.

    In a world where you can make the news, you can make the statistics too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Tim, May 14th, 2007 @ 4:41pm

    no truth in the press????

    They print all the lies from the DNC why not the RIAA>

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 14th, 2007 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Mike Does What he Accuses others of

    It is simply not correct to keep on asserting that college students are the "best customers".

    You misunderstand me. I'm not saying "college students" are the industry's best customers. I'm saying music fans are.

    And customer has a clear and specific meaning in the English language. I think we all know what it means and I wish you would quit distorting the word.

    How have I distorted it?

    At the point a person is infringing or downloading a specific song they have not paid for (or offered legitmately for free as a promotion or whatever) they are not a customer for that transaction.

    That's an exceptionally narrow view of a customer -- and while it wouldn't surprise me that that's how the RIAA thinks of its customers, it also helps explain why the industry is in so much trouble.

    When BMW puts an ad on TV, according to your definition, they're not advertising to customers. I'd argue the opposite. They're advertising to people they believe will be future customers -- and are targeting those most likely to buy.

    The music industry is targeting those most likely to buy as well -- but instead of targeting them with opportunities, they're targeting them with threats and lawsuits. Can you imagine if BMW did the same thing?

    The whole point is that the biggest fans of music are where you are most likely to obtain your money from... and pissing them off makes it much less likely that you will be able to make any future revenue from that. That's just bad strategic thinking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    rEdEyEz, May 14th, 2007 @ 5:03pm

    Everyone is a criminal...

    ...and you're all gonna pay.


    "The industry says attitudes need changing, and invests money from the settlements in educational programs meant to be used by schools and other groups to spread the word that illegally downloading can have severe consequences.
    Some of the programs are tailored to start with third-graders.
    "We do recognize that by the time students reach college, many of their music habits are already formed," Engebretsen said."

    Wow.
    They're going to BULLY third-graders, before their "music habits" form?

    What the hell is a "music habit"??

    These people are insane.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    glitch, May 14th, 2007 @ 5:31pm

    there is a far larger axis of evil that effcts us

    RIAA, MPAA, BSA

    to,lesser degrees: ClearChannel and Live Nation

    and while i am on a roll, lets not forget WalMart

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    elgeebar, May 14th, 2007 @ 5:43pm

    >Yawn

    tell me something thats news >Yawn

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Bob Sadler, May 14th, 2007 @ 6:34pm

    looking to the past ...

    One must wonder just when the RIAA will have the "youth" of today marching in the streets and turning in their families for what they believe to be illegal activities.

    For those that lived thru that era, I'm not trying to offend or make light of your plight, only saying that the RIAA "re-education" program sounds a bit chilling, much like the "re-education" of the youth in Germany.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Brad, May 14th, 2007 @ 6:46pm

    Repeating PR as News

    The AP's been doing this for years. They routinely publish Bush Admin press releases as "news" instead of fact checking and doing their own research. It's lead to a "he said / she said" type of journalism where the press prints the rantings of extremists to get ratings, but never does the research to find out who's telling the truth.

    The only way to find out what's really going on is to go to source documents yourself and read news from very wide variety of sources.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    den, May 14th, 2007 @ 9:09pm

    RIAA threats

    As a musician I have to say these threats only hurt bands that want their music heard. Once again very short sighted. In a changing industry most musicians see that if more people hear their music it benifits them.
    The RIAA is hurting the very people they are claiming to protect and the AP is helping.
    Even big time acts worried about cd sales will do better on tour. Things are changing and most musicians know it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    yogi, May 14th, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    Even referencing AP is an embarrassment to this site.Shame on you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 15th, 2007 @ 7:30am

    Missing the point

    Given that:

    1) Without a college degree one is far more likely to earn low wages throughout ones life.

    2) High wage-earners tend to spend more on entertainment than low.

    Therefore:

    3) It is clear that college students are far more likely to have higher earnings spend more sums of money over their lifetime.

    It amazes me that **AA are going out of their way to p!ss off a group, who will be their best customers one day.

    I believe that was Mike's point. I also believe that most of us (including the banks!) get it. Apparently you didn't.

    When I was a "starving student" I taped off the radio. Once I graduated I started buying. Over the years I have spend thousands of dollars on CDs. The tapes are long gone. Had the **AA smacked me or my friends around back then they would not have have seen a dime of my money. Ever.

    Do they have a legal high ground here? Possibly... but they seem obsessed with winning a battle while losing the war.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Bignumone, May 15th, 2007 @ 7:37am

    boycott

    I agree, but boycott any and all music represented by the RIAA.
    I have said it before and I will say it again. The price of music would drop if no one bought it. And although it is wrong to steal music, telling us we should buy a seperate license for each player we have it on is just silly. They have the right to say that, but YOU have the right to not buy the product.
    I do find it interesting that the RIAA members that are bitching the most are fairly wealthy. So ask yourself, how many expensive cars could they buy and how many parties could they go to with a stack of unpurchased disks?
    (But don't steal, either)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Jaylen Smith, May 15th, 2007 @ 8:44am

    I read the artical in my local paper. While I could get easily get upset at students being bullied into paying 3 grand to settle, what got me was what RIAA was going to do with that money.
    Instead of paying the actual artist that had their music stolen via royalties, the money is going to education. The promotion of RIAA on the badness of stealing music.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This