Senator Cautions Those Tempted By RIAA Amnesty Offer

from the everyone-says-stay-away dept

Okay, this really wasn’t supposed to be “bash the RIAA” day, but there are backlash articles appearing everywhere. The latest is that even Senator Norm Coleman (who used to have the RIAA’s new chief, Mitch Bainwol as his campaign head) is telling people not to fall for the RIAA’s amnesty offer, saying that doing so, “may not be the best approach to achieving a balance between protecting copyright laws and punishing those who violate those laws.” When even the guy he helped get elected is questioning the RIAA CEO’s plans, you have to wonder how well thought out they were.

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Comments on “Senator Cautions Those Tempted By RIAA Amnesty Offer”

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LittleW0lf says:

RIAA Bashing?

Sorry, Mike, but the RIAA needs to be bashed. They are running on pure greed at the moment, slitting their own wrists with no thought of the damage they will leave in their wake. From one of the articles, it was stated in the last seven weeks between the subpoenas and now, CD sales have dropped 54%!!!! And the sad thing, when this is over, the RIAA will blame file-sharing on their downfall, when everyone knows it was their own stupidity.

Maybe their right, maybe their customers are terrorists. Maybe we’d all be better off with life imprisonment without parole for buying their music. Better yet, maybe they should just set their sights a little higher, maybe Al Gore, Vint Cerf, and all the other creators of the internet need to be arrested and jailed for creating a tool to facilitate copywrite infringement. Oh, better yet, God and the satan should both be arrested and jailed, because the satan created evil, and God created our brains, which is obviously a tool used to facilitate copyright infringement. Then again, putting their lord and master, satan, in jail might not be a good career move.

bbay says:

Piracy beside the point

The recording industry is utterly doomed if they don’t get their heads on straight.

Their only point is that copying music without permission is illegal. We get this. It’s not necessary to expound upon this because it’s beside the point entirely.

Sure, the sharing networks are currently being used mostly to do something that is arguably wrong. A little bit wrong individually, and maybe greatly damaging in the aggregate. (That’s maybe damaging, opinions on this can differ intelligently.)

But piracy isn’t what’s going to destroy the recording industry. They will be destroyed by the first company that comes along that puts music into the sharing networks on purpose, as part of their non-distribution-related business plan.

The record labels of the future will be companies that service artists needs. They’ll provide studio facilities at various tiers of pricing and with various levels of engineering expertise available, probably for a flat hourly fee, no royalties. They’ll provide PR, again not as the owner of the content, but as a service company, just like a present day PR firm. They’ll help the artists schedule gigs, manage their time, book flights, print CDs and more, acting in the role of executive assistant to the artist. And the most important thing they’ll do, before and above all other things, is to get the artists songs onto the sharing networks.

This is obviously a vision of a leaner industry, probably made up of smaller and more numerous entities. And without much room for all the fat that the current industry supports. This last is likely to be the source of the pathological blind spot they seem to have about the future.

Mike has been trying to do the recording industry a huge favor for years, by giving them excellent free advice. The industry has a lot of knowledge and expertise that will continue to be useful to artists for the forseable future. They should leverage that to build a business that will survive. One that doesn’t have distribution as the sole source of income. And, of course, doesn’t include the usury of the present day record ‘deal’.

Bart says:

Why thieves make bad business strategists

Over the last three years, music industry revenues have fallen by about 15 percent, dropping $1.5 billion per year. Is it that people don’t like music anymore? I don’t think so. Is it that CDs are too expensive? People didn’t think so three years ago.
No. We all know what’s happened. It’s the convenient and ubiquitous availability of free, illegally copied music. In this regard the common person has become a criminal, and it is not only ironic, but typically shallow of the common person to feel that his wrongfulness is diminished by the simple fact that so many other people are doing the wrongful deed too.
Those same people now rant about the “insensitivity of the recording industry.” Insensitivity, you declare? My god. Take a look at the stuff on your hard drive and show some damned humility. That $1.5 billion per year doesn’t just end up in some rich executive’s pocket. It employs literally thousands of people…err…it DID employ thousands of people. And those jobs are going fast simply because stealing got so convenient.
So if anybody thinks the RIAA is insensitive, consider that they are trying to protect the disappearing livelihoods of thousands of people, and that the self-serving desire to be groovin’ to free tunes is no better conceived or directed than mere masturbation.

Bart says:

Re: Re: Why thieves make bad business strategists

The market for music hasn’t changed, and music isn’t becoming obsolete like the buggy. It is only the methods of distributing music that are being obsoleted by technological advances. So your example is not analagous.

Your point is really more convenient (and self-serving) than apt: that if technology makes it sufficiently easy to steal property, then property rights become obsolete.

I would only ask that you provide me with your home address so I can show you how easily I can make YOUR property rights become a thing of the past.

Study: 1) how capital is formed, and 2) how much you yourself depend on it and benefit from it.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Why thieves make bad business strategists

You really think that the market is for the music? Nope. The market that the RIAA is worried about is for CDs – and technology is making that obsolete.

My point isn’t self-serving. I don’t use file sharing networks at all. I have no music on my computer that I do not own on CD. I don’t commit music copyright infringement.

My point is designed to help the music industry realize that the market is changing thanks to new technologies, and that they need to adapt. If they don’t, they will die. It’s that simple. There are business models around giving away music for free. Just because you think an obsolete business model needs to stick around doesn’t mean the market is going to agree with you.

I would suggest that YOU study a little bit about the economic nature of digital goods, and the fact that copying a digital good is not theft. Digital property rights and tangible property rights are completely different. If you broke into my house and stole my furniture, I would be left without furniture. If I made a copy of your music, we’d both have the music. That’s simply not the same thing.

Do you really not see the difference?

westpac says:

Re: Re: Re: Why thieves make bad business strategists

It isn’t about theft or property rights, it’s about reasonable cost for goods and services. Apple’s itunes showed that people are willing to pay for legal downloads if they’re available. There’s a lot of music that I’d pay a buck a tune to download, but damn few I’m willing to pay eighteen bucks for a lame-ass CD to get. So I do without for the most part. I don’t download music because I really don’t like the low-quality of MP3 files. For a legal download a CD audio quality track should be provided.

All the RIAA is doing is guaranteeing that file sharing will get worse until either they wise up and embrace it or the music industry collapses under it’s own lumbering weight.

CharlesW says:

Re: Re: Re: Why thieves make bad business strategists

quote from Bart:
The market for music hasn’t changed, and music isn’t becoming obsolete like the buggy. It is only the methods of distributing music that are being obsoleted by technological advances. So your example is not analagous.
end quote

OK how about the train operators? When trucking became a big deal, and freight started being moved by trucks the train companies got left out. The methods of distributing goods changed, but the companies that own the goods didn’t die. They changed their proccesses to have loading docks etc to load trucks, and got rid of train sidings etc to load trains.

Lots of people lost their jobs at the train companies. Some railroad companies were able to adapt, and became transport companies. Transfering freight in many different manners (truck, train, air, ship). Some didn’t and had to layoff alot of people, and some had to close down.

Lets outlaw trucks becuase they took jobs away from people that worked on the railroad.

Anonymous Coward says:

The Recording Industry must like fskcing it's arti

…thats the *only* rational explanation for their behavior.

So… today was kind of the breaking point for me. I decided that if I can’t share music anonymously with “friends”, I was going to get creative and work on other ways of ripping the music that interestes me (and please note that:

1 – I own most of the music I share
2 – I live in a country where CD rentals are legal (costs about $2 per cd for a 3 day rental).

…So, I learned how to use two very useful utilities today: Streamripper and Total Recorder. Used in conjunction with peercast and shoutcast, I have 5 background streamripper32 streams a ripping in the background with I rip a 6th stream that I listen to on Peercast. In lettle less than 4 hours, I have accumlated several hundred tracks already. After I have filtered out the crap from the good stuff, I’ll spin up a peercast channel.

The really weird thing that P2P/stream ripping has caused me to realize is that I actually like remixes better than originals. I mean it’s kind of obvious. Originals are somone in a studio mixing room vision… remixes, on the other hand, have multiple infinite possibilities what extend already polished works. It’s obvious which is going to more enjoyable to listen to.

I really don’t think the RIAA understands exactly what kind of pissed off hell-spawn their creating with their antics. Indeed, at this point, it is my desire to see all artists that fall under the RIAA flag to suffer the most devistaing and severe economic hardships possible.

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