Reader Noah was surfing the RIAA's web site recently, when he found something odd. Under the "About" section, between "services" and "licensing", there's what appears to be a totally out of place section defending free speech rights
, in which it claims that the RIAA "takes an uncompromising stand against censorship and for the First Amendment rights of all artists to create freely. From the nation's capital to state capitals across the country, RIAA works to stop unconstitutional action against the people who make the music of our times--and those who enjoy it." It also quotes the First Amendment.
Considering that the RIAA is one of the leading backers of PROTECT IP and SOPA, which would look to undermine the First Amendment and place massive regulations on the internet, especially harming those who make music in new ways, such as via sampling and mashups, this all rings a little hollow. Of course, if you click through to the details (which still don't explain why this section is in the "About" category), it appears that what the RIAA means as "free speech rights," is the rights of minors to buy their music. Ah, that
kind of First Amendment...