The RIAA's Latest PR Strategy: Gibberish

from the jedi-mind-trick dept

News.com sat down for an interview with Cary Sherman and Mitch Bainwol, the president and chairman, respectively, of the RIAA, who did little to improve their maligned reputations. Some of their answers to the reporter’s questions are such bad non sequitors, you almost wonder if something’s gotten screwed up in the transcription. When asked if they regret suing people like 12-year-old girls and grandmothers, Sherman says no, and that they’re “feeling pretty good”, then goes on with some lines that pay lip service to the idea that they’re interested in coming up with new business models, rather than just using litigation as the cornerstone of their strategy. The most egregious comment, though, comes from Bainwol, who says “nobody” has any problem with DRM and copy protection. While consumers might not know what DRM is, they know when they songs they’ve purchased won’t play on their new MP3 player, because it’s not compatible, or when they can’t burn a CD to their computer because a record label thinks they’re a criminal, or when the copy protection on a CD opens their computer up to hackers. People understand the restrictions copy protection and DRM impose on them and content they’ve legally bought, even if they are unfamiliar with the term. Bainwol’s belief that “nobody” has a problem with DRM fuels his efforts to mandate the use of copy protection by law, and it’s a belief that ultimately undo the music industry. Continually frustrating customers by rigidily controlling how they play back content and making the digital content world a morass of incompatibility will come back to haunt it.


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Comments on “The RIAA's Latest PR Strategy: Gibberish”

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75 Comments
Denfro Licious says:

agreed

Yes, because I would feel pretty good to sue a 12-year old too. And I’d feel good if I deprived someone of their college education because I sue’d them as well. And I’d also feel good in knowing that although these are my “customers” I am going to make them all criminals. And ALSO because my company consists of various douche bags we can’t possibly think of a better way to deliver WHAT MY CUSTOMERS WANT *cough* iTunes *cough* because we’re too busy suing people who downloaded music even though they don’t have a computer.

RIAA, Really Idiotic Association of Arses

Adam says:

He gets paid a lot of money at his job and position. You think he is going to tell the truth and give in for the sake of rightousness, or lie and talk nonsense to keep his 6 figure job?

I think almost anyone of us in his position would say ‘screw the world and fairness, just give me my paycheck’.

That is reality.

What? You didn’t think he was just really that stupid with those anwsers now did ya? Only looking out for his own interests, just like everyone else that works for controversial businesses but make big $$$.

Tis life my friends, otherwise anyone working for such companys like the RIAA / MPAA would have quited a long time ago for ‘principle’.

Don says:

Re: Re:

I think almost anyone of us in his position would say ‘screw the world and fairness, just give me my paycheck’.

No, a lot of people actually value honesty and fariness over money, and play fairly with you as long as you play fairly with them.

I have no real compassion for someone who got screwed and cheated when that person’s philosophy is to screw and cheat both their clients and their customers.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think we should just boycott music. Period. Dropping that bomb on their sorry asses for 30 days alone would be enough to send the message that “nobdoy has a problem with DRM” is 100% bollocks. I have a very big problem with voluntarily giving someone money so that they can brand me a thief in the process. Ungrateful.

silver says:

Re: Re: Re:

Don’t forget that it’s also their MONEY that you are using. Yes those green backs which are lent to you at high interest which you pay back through taxes, regulations, and fees.

If you want to strike at the heart of the RIAA/MPAA then STOP USING THEIR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!! and start using

http://www.e-gold.com

http://www.pecunix.com

http://www.goldmoney.com

Join in with thousands of other businesses that already do:

http://www.gold-pages.net

Good Luck

DittoBox (user link) says:

That's it

This abso-freaking-lutely pisses me off. I’d be up for assualt if I was in front of these sick bastards when they these things:

Q: Do your view your lawsuits, even ones where you sued a 12-year-old girl or a Boston grandmother, as a success overall and do you think the process is working?

Sherman: Yes. We’re feeling pretty good…

Bainwol: Now there is additional legal clarity.

These sorry SOBs now “feel pretty good” and get “additional legal clarity” at the expense of 12 year old girls and grandmothers.

Go to Hell.

Photog_7 says:

A short boycott might work

I think Anonymous Coward is on to something. Suppose everyone just boycotted music for one day? We could call it NO-DRM Day or DRM Independence Day. I propose Monday, July 3 as “DRM Independence Day,” the day to let them know how we feel. If everyone boycotts all the online music services that day, I think they will notice. What do you all think?

RareButSeriousSideEffects (user link) says:

Re: A short boycott might work

I like your optimism Photog_7, but I think it’s going to take something more severe than that.

I’d suggest promoting some kind of “painless boycott” (from the boycotters’ perspective, that is): badger people into buying only *used* music and movies. Consumers could tolerate that for a lot longer than an absolute boycott.

Secondary to a campaign like that, I’d promote awareness of independent artists, studios & labels who’ve broken ranks with the MAFIAA (http://mafiaa.org).

If we don’t make the dollars dry up for a significant stretch of time, these goons will continue to have the resources to invade our privacy, our property rights, and our autonomy. In the US, you can’t restrict even hate speech, so why do we let them restrict technical speech and software freedoms? Every dollar we fork over to these extortionists helps them lobby congress to step even harder on our constitutional rights, and for what? …all for the sake of the entertainment industry’s profit margins.

The general public has *got* to start thinking skeptically about what that new CD, DVD or movie ticket is costing society. They need to acquire a healthy suspicion about the latest and greatest shiny new HDTV equipment… and for God’s sake, someone stop them from buying in to HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, or Windows Vista. If those products turn hot, it’s probably too late.

The Battle for Your Digital Media Devices:

http://www.eff.org/IP/fairuse/

Kyle says:

yeah thats a great idea- so we can buy it tomorrow. we cant stop em. the only person that can stop them is bill gates and his army of robots.

the only way to stop the riaa is to stop the government from supporting them. aka as killing them all.

now who is up for a rebellion?

oh crap, how are we supposed to all get together with gas prices like this? i guess well have to wait till they drop..

CoJeff says:

WTF!!!!

I almost fell out of my chair reading that article. I couldn’t believe their responses.

Q:Do you actually need to make certain receivers illegal to manufacture, which is the path being taken by Sen. Ted Stevens’ proposal or Rep. Mike Ferguson’s bill?

“Any kind of traditional copying would be fine. Just don’t create a library like an iTunes library.”

So with this comment I’m a criminal cause my library can play 70 days without repeating.

Q: Could the DRM debate flare up again because of public missteps like Sony’s rootkit-enabled CDs?

“DRM has just gotten a bad rap based on this notion that it’s going to restrict consumer choice. ”

That is exactly what DRM does is restrict a consumers choice. A person buying a tune from the itunes music store won’t be able to place it on their non-ipod player without a bunch of workaround steps that will increase the quality loss. So how is this not restrictive?????

flan4u (user link) says:

Are these guys held prisoner in a concrete box with no contact with the real world? Especially the internet!

Maybe that’s why RIAA has lost touch with reality and common sense. The people coming up with these insane ideas that suing 12 year old girls or those without any means of copying music are criminals must be sequestered away in isolation to reduce their desire for compassion and fair use.

Maybe it’s time that we begin to feel bad for these poor deprived fellows? …. Nope .. not gonna happen!

And did I misinterpret a statement that implied that for those who don’t know what DRM is, it doesn’t matter to them until they try to copy it?

In many cases, people who don’t know what DRM is find out the hard way when they try to PLAY, NOT COPY, the CD they purchased legally on a PC.

I might be wrong here, but isn’t music simply a melodic form of self expression intended for all to hear and maybe enjoy?

Mitch the Bitch says:

A boycott wont do anything but give the RIAA more ammunition to take to the crooked congress.

No different than what’s happening in Hollywood. Hollywonks havent put out a decent movie in years but instead of looking within as to why Hollywood as an entertainment enterprise is losing money hand over fist they instead they look to pass the blame onto “pirates” instead of themselves and look to the crooks in congress to give them a free pass and business as usual.

Clooney, Sarandon, and the rest of the Hollywonks need look no further than themselves to see why Hollywood is no longer “entertainment” but instead has become nothing more than an arm of the lunatic left, thus effectively taking away around 50% of their audience. Real fn smart….

Mitch

Tim Arview (user link) says:

Well...

Far be it from me to defend an organization who while meaning well *cough*, are certainly misled in their notions, I would like to point out that some of us are employed by CD and DVD manufacturing facilities and are facing severe job losses (read: thousands of layoffs) due to slow sales.

Of course, I’m not implying that these job losses are completely due to piracy, but the logic says piracy can’t help.

And boycotss wouldn’t help us either. And they really wouldn’t affect the RIAA that much. So please, continue to buy DVDs and CDs, even if you want to copy them to your MP3 player, etc. It’s keeping my family fed.

CoJeff says:

Re: Well...

That is going to be part of the times my friend. As more and more people switch to a digitial format there will be less need to manufacturing CD/dvds.

I agree though that a boycott of the RIAA won’t work. To make any kind of effect you would need a large percentage of the world population and that isn’t going to happen.

Chris says:

Re: Well...

> Tim Arview on May 25th, 2006 @ 3:14pm

> I would like to point out that some of us are employed by

> CD and DVD manufacturing facilities and are facing severe

> job losses (read: thousands of layoffs) due to slow sales.

I am sorry, but if you aren’t working at a company that provides something consumers value, then sales are going to go down. Demand for content delivered on optical disks is going to go down. I want content delievered to me directly.

You should probably look for a new job, and not expect consumers to buy stuff just to keep you feed.

> Of course, I’m not implying that these job losses are

> completely due to piracy, but the logic says piracy can’t

> help.

I highly doubt you can truly make convincing logical argument that concludes that music swapping results in job losses. If you do try and make this argument try not to ignore the actual facts and studies like the RIAA likes to do.

I would guess all the money for these jobs are going to the lawyers…

Tim Arview (user link) says:

Re: Re: Well...

“I highly doubt you can truly make convincing logical argument that concludes that music swapping results in job losses. If you do try and make this argument try not to ignore the actual facts and studies like the RIAA likes to do.”

I did not say that music swapping resulted in job losses. What I contend is that piracy does not improve sales.

As for all the heartfelt comments regarding the fate of anyone who works for a CD/DVD manufacturer, I am teary-eyed. It’s so nice to see people coming together to support one another.

I’m not naive, nor stupid. I realize that technology evolves and we must evolve with it. My contention was that by refusing to purchase a DVD or CD, based *solely* on whether that item had copy protection, you are helping the process.

If it were sociology, that would be called “ethnic cleansing.” These are real people who depend on these jobs. And you’re going to give them a pink slip because you can’t copy a song?

Tim Arview (user link) says:

Re: Re: Well...

“I highly doubt you can truly make convincing logical argument that concludes that music swapping results in job losses. If you do try and make this argument try not to ignore the actual facts and studies like the RIAA likes to do.”

I did not say that music swapping resulted in job losses. What I contend is that piracy does not improve sales.

As for all the heartfelt comments regarding the fate of anyone who works for a CD/DVD manufacturer, I am teary-eyed. It’s so nice to see people coming together to support one another.

I’m not naive, nor stupid. I realize that technology evolves and we must evolve with it. My contention was that by refusing to purchase a DVD or CD, based *solely* on whether that item had copy protection, you are helping the process.

If it were sociology, that would be called “ethnic cleansing.” These are real people who depend on these jobs. And you’re going to give them a pink slip because you can’t copy a song?

discojohnson says:

Re: Well...

So please, continue to buy DVDs and CDs, even if you want to copy them to your MP3 player, etc. It’s keeping my family fed.

whether it comes from a CEO or the layman, the cry is the same: we can’t survive doing what we’ve been doing for X amount of time because things have changed, so let’s hang on as long as possible. there is nothing wrong with you wanting to hang on (or the CEOs), but inevitably things WILL change and people will be put out of jobs. adapt or be eaten–it applied to more than just ecology.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well...

Get another job…

If its not a boycott, it will be the management.

You have to think about the mentality of those you work for. they will make money, even in the face of their own mistakes, at the cost of their employees.

Your not losing jobs because college students are sharing music. Your loosing jobs because the executive in charge wants a new house.. and his wife wants a new house… and his mistress wants a new house…. not to mention the kids trip to Europe.. . oh and there’s the cruse in the Caribbean.

Phinneus J. Boddington says:

Re: Well...

You know Tim, I used to work in a buggy whip factory, and then that basterd Ford came in and popularized the automobile.

The next thing I knew, people were buying fewer and fewer buggy whips with which to whip their horses because they were buying automobiles instead. The buggy whip lobby wasn’t anything near the size of the music/production/entertainment lobby and guess what happened. We failed to make cars illegal and people stopped making buggy whips because it’s stupid to try and whip a car to make it go faster.

You need another job instead of asking/bribing/contributing to the election funds of lawmakers to make innovation illegal to protect sunset technologies. (not you personally, that would be silly, the people you work for)

How do you think the film stock industry is doing or the video tape manufacturing industry or the post office are doing. The only difference between these industries and the music/movie business is the amount of money that gets funneled into protecting their interests.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well...

So please, continue to buy DVDs and CDs, even if you want to copy them to your MP3 player, etc. It’s keeping my family fed.

I, like the trucker in one of the previous posts, used to buy a lot of musics. 100+ alums a year. From 87-01 my music collection grew from 15 albums to over 1,500 albums. Unfortunately I had to stop buying for a while due to financial constraints imposed as a result of Sept. 11th. By the time I could afford to do so again the RIAA was in full “attack” mode and I didn’t buy any albums for almost four years.

Sorry but I’m an NOT paying $15-20 for an album that is 80% rubbish with only one or two good song, DRM laden on top of it, and sold by labels that steal their artist’s property (the rights to their songs) then try to cheat them financially (if the music is a “licence” ask Sony why the are being sued for paying their artists the lower sales royalty rate instead of the higher licencing royalty rate).

These days I’ll only buy music from secondhand shops, inpdependant labels, or direct from artist whenever possible. Sorry your family is starving, but if you can’t get your bosses to sell stuff I actually want to buy, I’d suggest perhaps finding a new line of work.

Jimbo says:

Re: Well...

Good logic

Do not forget all the people who lost there jobs during the evolution of the Auto industry. (Most people had cars and the demand had almost disappeared)

You should NEVER drive a used car because that used car is taking away peoples jobs!

DO NOT stop buying new Cars every 4 years!

Or Auto makers will lose money and workers will lose jobs!

Welcome to a growing/changing world of business. To resist is only going to cause more pain for the lower end workers.

CoJeff says:

DRM is restrictive

I volunteer in the itunes discussion forums all the time and not a day goes by without someone posting a question about how to get a itunes music store song into mp3 format so they can put on their non ipod.

Another thing is if each company comes up with their own DRM then our PCs will have to run multiple DRMs, which will slow down the PC over time.

(I get a little fired up over DRM dont I?)

R D Lee says:

RIAA----DRM

Those two idiots might think that “no body’s” brothered by their scam of DRM but I used to buy 6 to 8 CD’s a month sometimes in a week if I found music I liked. I drive an 18 wheeler cross country for a living and didn’t think XM Radio was all that good an idea. Now I listen to my music on XM Radio and don’t buy more then 2 or 3 Cd’s in 6 months and then I buy direct form the artist if at all possible. Maybe they want miss my few purchases but multiply the few I don’t buy by another 200 thousand CDL drivers on the road and I bet they miss those purchases.

Record Producer says:

Re: RIAA----DRM

RD Lee: “I used to buy 6 to 8 CD’s a month…”

I used to buy 50-60 CDs monthly. For over 30 years I also used to produce for the record labels (gasp!). For the past 2 years I produce and market ONLY directly for artists, and no longer buy commercial CDs.

No, I wasn’t laid off. Knowing how things work from the inside, I just couldn’t live well with myself knowing how things really work.

P.S. I’ve heard the word ‘boycott’ here. It can only be effective if endorsed by major public figures. Good luck!

P.P.S. No names, but if you read the music rags you can find such celebrities willing to endorse such a move, and have even begun giving their recordings away for free rather than let the RIAA continue to suck their lifeblood.

PopeRatzo says:

I won’t buy CDs or DVDs any more, period. The entire industry can curl up and die for all I care. I’m sorry if you’re working for them, but I’d also be sorry for the poor mafia street soldiers when a mob boss gets busted.

I would be happy if the entire entertainment/industrial complex goes belly up. Creative artists will always be able to find an audience and support themselves doing so. The system as it is does absolutely nothing for the creative people. Rather, it funnels the megabucks to Ashlee Simpson and other creatively bankrupt hacks.

Like the trucker above, if there’s music I want to buy, I do it directly from the artist. If the artist isn’t selling direct, too bad for them. Unfortunately, there’s no similar way to support filmmakers, but I’m betting one will be found soon.

The Sony’s, Disneys, etc will get not one penny from me.

Limerat says:

Don't buy music,in any format that has DRM.

I already only buy music from independent sources like CDBaby.com.

And yes,Id like to see a grass roots movement with the help of Defective By Design and Move On do something about these greedy fat-cats…Seems to me it all started with Microsoft’s bright idea of one Windows product per computer…The record companies noted this and little light bulbs flashed atop their narly bald heads…It’s been downhill since.

It’s all about power and control and the big corps’ want it all at any cost.

And btw,I can make my own music..I’ve played the hammer dulcimer for over ten years.

Time to do something... says:

WTF man

Seriously, we’re all discussing boycotts and cd buying stoppages, but everyone has an ipod. Its freaking rediculus. I was a youth advisor working like crazy to go to college. My 14 and 15 year old kids were on their second and third ipods. The problem isn’t RIAA and their bull about DRM, its really about the consumer culture that has taken over our society. We should talk about that man.

Gary says:

“The world at large is not aware of DRM as an issue. Nobody feels any real problem with it.”

You’re kidding, right? I must be nobody because I have a problem with digital objects that are FUCT (Fair Use Constraining Technology).

I refuse to buy an ipod until I know I can move my music around freely. The only reason I buy DVDs is because I can rip them. It’s nice to use the copy that is user-friendly; that is, starts with the menu, instead of showing unskippable FBI warnings and ads.

Here’s my response to “The world at large is not aware of DRM as an issue. Nobody feels any real problem with it.”: FUCK YOU.

Kevin says:

Evil as a Necessity

I suppose I am a little surprised that people are reacting this way to what RIAA people are saying, they are evil, that is their purpose, they are paid to be evil so the record company can put a stop to this without getting their hands dirty.

They will sue as many 12 year olds and grandmas as it takes to scary people off trading music. They are acting savage and doing things without appearantly caring for the consequences and they are winning. You can’t reason with these people who has no regard for polite rules of society.

The bottom line is: They have the resource and the lack of moral to do whatever they want, and there is no realistic way to stop them.

Desire Campbell (user link) says:

You must aquit!

“Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.”

Advocate of the Devil says:

Hmmm...

So, whatever happened to the times when you had the choice between buying the CD or buying the audio tape if you wanted a song or a few songs from a certain artist? Nobody was complaining back then… but now the industry gives you the technology to buy the songs separately, and then you start complaining about the fact that they are trying to make it harder for you to steal them or share them with friends or even strangers… you wanna share them? Let them listen to it on your oh-so-precious iPod (excuse me while I puke on that word).

Remember, the artist who crated the song is the ONLY entity which OWNS the music. When you buy a CD, or a song separately, you are buying a “listen only” type license. Which means you can listen to the music you purchased however many times you want. But it does not give you the right to sell, give, copy or auction the song in any way, shape or form. In my opinion, they should have cracked down on this a long time ago and a lot harder than what they do now.

I’m sure none of you agree, as you all seem to be under the impression that it’s perfectly OK to copy whichever song or CD you bought and sell/auction/copy/… it however many times you want… That is not the case. That would be the equivolent of buying a book, making copies of it and giving them away or selling them or giving them away. It’s just not right.

franky says:

the rush

Watch out..big Corperation already getting there fingers on the venue game..knocking small promoters out of the loop..and arist charging double to do shows!!..hey no cd sale money..lol they are loosing..soon if you wanna hear that new album..guess what ..you gonna have to go to shows and here it live..then new album sales will based on sales almost like new movies..first 2 or 3 weekend sales on net or cd or whatever media..after that ..it will be free media..hopefully one day.. now real artist will prove who they are!!

by the way..there is a program to make itunes into mp3!! http://www.hymn-project.org/jhymndoc/ its free..

Anonymous Joe says:

boycott may work

if someone was to post a bulliten announcing the boycott on MySpace it might work….think about it over 900,000,000 people are on my space and people talk, we can set the date in 1 or 2 months and boycott for what….eh 6 months? You dont think it might sting or hurt them? You’ll be saving cash on something you dont OWN!!

Apennismightier says:

Don't get caught

If you’re stupid enough to keep using programs like Kazaa to download music, then you deserve to get caught. If you really care about NOT getting caught, then you’ll read up what programs are still safe to use, how to protect yourself. If not, then there are ways around DRM so you don’t have to pay double for the songs you already have.

The internet is the largest information center in the world. Use it. If someone can think of a security issue, some crazy Asian kid somewhere is gonna figure a way around it.

They did it with video games, they did it with cable, they did it with movies, they did it with music, and they’ll keep doing it until the end of time.

Google makes it even easier for those ultra lazy skim readers. There’s no excuse.

I suggest checking out Peerguardian while you’re at it for anyone getting started.

monterino says:

The RIAA is descended from...

The Mafia. But, with every blunder, they become more irrelevant. It will take a strong, unified response from everyone to get the message across: DROP DEAD!! Or find a model that follows the same rules set up in ancient Sumeria, 6,000 years ago: that which one has purchased belongs to them. BTW – most recording artists would gladly walk away from the big record labels if they could get exposure and sell their music online…

Smiley says:

So flippin' complicated, this music industry...

It’s bad business to tick off your customers—unless you’ve monopolized the industry you’re in. I think the RIAA has suceeded in appealing to the greed of the major labels, and has thusly been quite successful at monopolizing the music industry. Not only that, they’ve brought their arrogance public. It disgusts me.

Musicians SHOULD be able to be independent, and actually function as their own business, as opposed to being an entity of a business. The only problem with being an indie artist is that you have to be the artist, the management, and the promotion machine. Most artists are not wired for all of those things, and there’s no way that the artist themselves can get the kind of marketing and exposure on a national and international level that a “signed” act can, simply because the “signed” act has a multi-million dollar machine behind them. Artists just want to make music, and they want as many people as possible to hear their music. So the trade off is, “Do I sign this peice of crap record deal with Sony, or do I stay indie, and keep my freedom and my artistic rights, and not be given the time of day by radio, MTV, etc.?”

Hopefully, with the advent of MySpace Music, Pure Volume, and others, the internet can be where the grassroots can take hold on a large enough level to counter the crap like Britney Spears that the RIAA machine puts out. And it can be DRM free, and the artist will actually get what they deserve—instead of the suits getting rich off of their hard work. And the songs could actually be CHEAPER for the consumer.

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