RIAA Now Reaches Denial Stage

from the you-really-believe-that? dept

It appears that the RIAA goes through a slightly different “stages of grief” than your average person. It starts with lawsuits, is followed by gibberish, and then comes denial. Believe it or not, the RIAA is now claiming that downloading and sharing of unauthorized songs has now been “contained.” Of course, reality doesn’t back that up. BigChampagne, the firm that tracks all of this stuff, notes that it appears to just keep going up, with no noticeable hesitation or decline due to the recording industry’s tactics.

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Comments on “RIAA Now Reaches Denial Stage”

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thecaptain says:


Of Course, reality doesn’t back that up.

Dammit Mike BE QUIET!! They might HEAR YOU!

Let ’em believe its contained and they can focus on other things…let em buy full spread front page ads in all major publications to announce their “victory” for all I care.

The main point is, they’re in denial and backing off…

At least I HOPE their denial is leading to them backing off.

I have a plan to escape from this job! says:

The silly part is...

All the RIAA achieved was to motivate individuals to create alternate technologies to be used for the same file sharing they attempted to stop. To put it in one word TORRENTS.

File sharing is about as contained as terrorism now days. For every Napster that goes down 1000 come up.

Gunnar says:

Why do people think their efforts are in vain

Ok, 1 non “OMFG RIAA LOLZZOR U SUCK” comment.

Although I don’t care for them more than the next person, and I certainly know that they can do little to hamper illegal music downloads, I think it would be naive to think they hadn’t made some minimal impact (I’d imagine that even 0.1% less worldwide downloads means $$ for the industry)

If they never would have tried anything, and programs like napster and kazaa had been allowed to flourish, the situation would certainly be worse for the record industry. Meaning that perhaps if they hadn’t made such a fuss about it to begin with sites like Itunes maybe wouldn’t have caught on so fast?

I’m not aggreeing with their tactics, they should have from day 1 worked with downloaders, not against them.

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

“If they never would have tried anything, and programs like napster and kazaa had been allowed to flourish, the situation would certainly be worse for the record industry.”


No… I’m going to stick with my belief that it wasn’t this alleged “piracy” that would have killed the beast, it would have been the reliance on a business model that over-charges for unusable content. And it wouldn’t have “killed the music industry”… it would have hastened the trend we’re seeing now: musicians self-releasing their music on download and making money on other things to sell (shirts, tickets, etc).

Besides, the whole “piracy” is still a legal debate anyway.

“I’m not aggreeing with their tactics, they should have from day 1 worked with downloaders, not against them.”


Now this one, I agree with. I was reading through the article linked in the post and realized something that I hadn’t really put together until then. The RIAA has certainly had a “hulk smash!” approach to this. It dawned on me finally when I read the comment from XM about how (paraphrase here) “lawsuits are the RIAA’s negotiating tactic”.

I now have this politcal-cartoon-esque image in my mind of a cave man labeled “RIAA” standing over a slain game animal labeled “business model”, swinging a club labeled “lawsuits” around at anything that moves. I have that image of a grunting, unthinking Neanderthal just trying to save its meal from anything that may try to take it. Like his own shadow, for example.

If there are any cartoonists around, feel free to yoink that. I’d love to see it in ink. 🙂

Ben says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

I would agree with you except their rampant assault on innocent people (the grandparents and kids and people without internet or computers) has cause many more people to become aware of Kazaa and Torrents. So, apperantly, they didn’t see that whenever they tried to shut down a site and it came back it was more popular than when they first attacked it. They tried to Sh*t on the new idea’s, unfortunately for them it acted like fertalizer and Torrents grew larger than they could handle.

Searcher619 says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

“Why do people think their efforts are in vain ”

Errr… do you live in the same world as teh rest of us? They only helped people be smarter about their file sharing. LOL Their tactics had people learning new and better ways to share and download stuff. I had people that were concerned about the RIAA and I simply enlightened them in the ways of the dark side. The only ones that they stopped are the few clueless that didn’t know anyone that could better educate them. ANd just becasue soemone decides that downloading pirate stuff is risky does not mean they will bend over and bay over inflated prices for the stuff. I haven’t bought a music CD in over 15 years. And yeah 0.1 % is pretty much ZERO effect. LOL It’s like saying you put a dent in the rising of the world’s ocen levels by preventing a few drops of rain from reaching the ocean. LOL get real my friend.

ChrisSz says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

I have to say, Gunnar,that your thought that the RIAA’s efforts having even a minimal reduction in illegal song sharing equating to more money for them is only valid if you buy into the flawed thinking that the people that are sharing songs are doing so at the expense of actually BUYING the CD. I believe that is a mortally flawed assumption. Just because you stop illegally downloading a song doesn’t mean you are going to turn around and buy the enitre CD instead. That has been the RIAA’s justification for all the ENORMOUS cash-loss claims they have been spouting, and it’s just wrong!

John Bailey says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

They have failed spectacularly. They may have had a miniscule effect on a tiny proportion of file sharers, but the result has actually been huge publicity for the file sharing systems, further justification for people to not see it as stealing from the record companies, and bad publicity for the record companies. Its not contained, its GROWING!!

Years ago there were warez sites filled with porn banners, a few newsgroups where you could download the occaisional useful program which might even work now and then or perhaps a few mp3s of very mainstream artists, and that was about it. Then the first peer to peer networks started. Bad quality music files were the first to be slowly downloaded, but it got better and better as time went on. Every time there is an article on P2P in the mainstream media, more people decide to give it a try.

Thanks to the RIAA and their publicity machine, its bigger than before. A perfect example is the recent case of the Pirate Bay site having it’s servers confiscated. They were back online in a few days with MORE users than before.. Who needs to advertise.

What could have happened, is for these companies, both software and music/movie industry to wake up and accept that piracy has gone on from the first time a book was printed and the first note was written down, and will go on for ever. Then to find a way to take advantage of the system. Can’t see this happening though, so it looks like they will have to sue themselves into extinction.


Lilbase says:

Re: Why do people think their efforts are in vain

Here is the key to everyone saying that kiling downloads would creat $$s for the industry:

Zero from Zero is Zero.

More than likely, the people who download the music would not have bout the music anyway. So, there is no aditional sale from nothing.

But, after a person downloads it, how likely are they to actually buy it? Sample then buy it? No way!

This link puts it into perspective:


Read it, it is from authors and musicians talking about sales of their works.

And also think of this: Go to any car dealership, new or used. They allow you to take a test drive before hand so you know if you like the car or not. How many cars would they sell if they wouldn’t let you test it…


Asura says:

I think they finally realised that the publicity given by they’re law suits was doing more to edicate the average non-computer user that there were a myriad of ways to get music free, than just trying to ignore the problem, and find alternative distribution methods/revenu streams themselves.

don’t beleive me? take a look at some of the recent artivcles on how the trafic for T.P.B. has DOUBLED since the MPAA/RIAA took their site down and they came back online.

NSMike says:

I don't buy CDs...

…Because there’s nothing on the shelves I want to buy. I don’t even waste my time to download music, legally or otherwise. There’s nothing worth the extra bandwidth. Much like Hollywood, the recording industry needed a scapegoat to explain away their loss in profits, and piracy has become that scapegoat. Nevermind the fact that they haven’t introduced a decent artist/band to the music scene in recent years. Nevermind the fact that Hollywood can’t get out of the sequel/remake slump. Nevermind the fact that I’d rather spend my hard earned $8.00 on two bottles of Cheese Whiz than a movie ticket.

I get my music from Magnatune. Google it.

Howard (user link) says:

Re: I don't buy CDs...

From NSMike: “I get my music from Magnatune. Google it.”

Indeed! I discovered Magnatune just last week, and I LOVE it! You can preview any of the music on the site (even listen to whole albums) before buying it. You then choose how much you want to pay for it (with a reasonable lower limit), and half of that goes to the ARTIST! (The RIAA is probably looking for a way to outlaw that!)

What’s interesting about listening to the albums for free online is that each track has a short announcement in a really sexy female voice about what you just heard (“That was (CD name), (track #), performed by (artist), from Magnatune.com”) — sort of like you would hear on an all-music radio station. I’d almost rather buy a version with the announcements than just the music! These folks actually motivated me to finally buy an MP3 player.

I have no business relationship with Magnatune (although if they ever have an affiliate program, I’d probably join it) other than as a customer. I expect that Magnatune (or other similar venue) will be the only way I buy music from now on.

The Celtic Fiddler — violins and accessories.

Ken Roberts (user link) says:

I've seen the future..lala

What irks me is that none of the artists has dared to stand up and say what the RIAA is doing is wrong and, in some cases, illegal. Kind of shoots to hell all that ‘we love our fans’ garbage you hear at the Grammy’s.

I wonder if lala.com will be the next thing to catch RIAA attention.

Millions of people swapping CDs for less than $2 each. One large, well organized used CD store.

I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

nixr says:

Go back to sleep.

Rest assured. The RIAA and MPAA will still do everything possible to maintain their stranglehold artistic expression. They will find new and more clever ways to get you to relinquish your hard earned cash for whatever putrid sludge they slap a pretty label on. This does not indicate a victory for either side but rather a change in strategy for the entertainment industry.The asserion that illegal downloads are down is just part of that strategy. Go back to sleep America.

I, for one says:

Admission of defeat

“About 1.5 billion songs are available for free swapping at any given time on file-sharing networks, says Garland, a mix of current hits and songs from such artists as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin that have yet to be released to the digital music stores. That number is huge but hasn’t grown substantially…”

This metric refers to the growth in unique files, not the growth in those doing the sharing.

About 2 billion is the total number of significant commercially produced titles ever made. It represents the entire catalogue that comes under the control of the RIAA.

This is not denial. It is an admission of defeat. Sharing is not contained, it is saturated.

DittoBox (user link) says:

I'd do it to

I’ve been thinking about taking up “sharing” of music. Just because the RIAA isn’t being such stupid idiots.

But then I think to myself, no that’s A) telling them we still like their product enough to get our grubby paws on it and B) I’d feel bad for the few artists out there that still are half-way decent, I’d reall like them to get their 12 cent monthly check from their respect label for each set of 20 albums I buy.

For now though, I’ve seriously decided to simply boycott these greedy jerks. Until they wise up, they can kiss my sweet dollar goodbye.

Anonymous Coward says:

“I wonder if lala.com will be the next thing to catch RIAA attention. Millions of people swapping CDs for less than $2 each. One large, well organized used CD store.”

Hmm? Think the RIAA is foolish enough to try? Sure would be fun to watch it go down. So far the RIAA has refused to even comment on lala.com.

BTW, Lala.com opened to the public on 6/8 and the cost is $1.50 ($1 + .50 for shipping. 20% of the $1 goes to the “Z” Foundation will focus on providing health and dental care that is often inaccessible to working musicians.

Time to go through all those CD’s you never listen to anymore…

Anonymous Coward says:

ChrisSz wrote:

” Just because you stop illegally downloading a song doesn’t mean you are going to turn around and buy the enitre CD instead. That has been the RIAA’s justification for all the ENORMOUS cash-loss claims they have been spouting, and it’s just wrong!”

Yup. And the iPod established that:

1) People will pay a nominal fee to download a song,

2) They want _SONGS_ not entire CDs, something the RIAA is choking on… Sorry, no Heimlich available.

3) Most will accept the DRM and device containment restrictions as long as they are offered alternatives like iPod ready docking stations, car CD players, etc.

Only in Europe has device portabilty become a real issue.

And like it or not, the POV of the average Techdirt reader does not represent the POV of Joe Average. He knows and cares a whole lot less. The average iPod owner has no idea how it works, nor does he care as long as it works.

Anonymous Coward says:

British Music Industry

You know what’s interesting is the British music industry…

From what I’ve read, they are extremely big in making a clear reputation for not pursuing small time piracy, and only going after major distribution.

This could be propaganda, as there are people who have a couple gigs of MP3’s with uploading enabled…. But interesting nevertheless.

What they’ve apparently done with this method of addressing things? Gotten some laws implemented rather quickly, and the method for dealing with online piracy normalised.

Leave it to America to be the first to flip the bird.

cycle003 says:

Then give us back our rights to fair use...

I am pleased to hear the RIAA claim that unauthorized P2P sharing of songs has been contained. Such a claim indicates that no new legislation is needed and that civil lawsuits are sufficient to ensure the protection of copyrighted material. If the RIAA perceives that shutting down ‘irresponsible’ P2P sites and suing those sharing copyrighted materials sufficiently contains the sharing of unauthorized songs, then perhaps we consumers will regain our rights to fair use. Certainly, however, the RIAA (and the MPAA) would not agree and will continue to push DRM as far as possible.

Brandon Rusnak (user link) says:

A Scary Thought - RIAA and Net Nutrality

I wonder how long it will be until the RIAA requests that ISPs block the URLs to major file sharing clients? I wouldn’t put it past them. If you can sue a family without a computer for illegally sharing music then you think you can do anything.

They could get the ISPs under “Aiding and Abbeding”.

Scary Thought

A Friend says:


I’m not oblivious to the fact that there was no link in this story to actual statistics from BigChampagne – WHERE ARE THE STATISTICS?? – is it me that is only noticing that they havent published anything since February – WHY WHY WHY??

Can you ask them for me Mike? Are they going to release anything mid year?

sarcastic says:

Real music, anyone?

It’s interesting that people have suggested that copying and sharing recorded sound will bring about ‘the end of music’, considering that recorded music is a comparatively new invention. I gather that some people, such as Bach and Mozart, were able to produce some quite good music, despite the glaring lack of ‘support’ from Sony et al. One can hardly conceive how music managed to survive, and indeed flourish, for hundreds or even thousands of years without the existence of the recording industry.

It seems to me that what’s in danger is the commerce-orientated and invariably anodyne manufactured music: invented somewhere deep within the industry, performed by a bunch of mindless and artificially-selected wannabe-stars and sound-engineered to a synthetic gloop considered to be widely palettable. This thin product is then bolstered with intense publicity, marketing, identification of the music with some particular issue or identity, fashion, scandal… anything to avoid direct and critical examination of the music itself.

I think we’ll see a return to the situation where composition, musicianship, improvisation and the power of musical performance are highly valued, and thus prevalent, rather than glamour and hype. This vast profileration of music trash won’t be supportable any longer. The gum-bubble of vat-grown pop bands will burst; the production-lines will grind to a halt. My goodness, music might even become an art form again.

So no wonder they’re frightened. As someone above suggested, they’re becoming superfluous. A lot of music spreads by word of mouth. Most of the music I listen to has been played to me by friends… and while copying is so easy, that’s a lot of sales lost, even without P2P software. As the power of standard technology found in the home continues to rise, apparently exponentially, it will become more and more difficult to impede copying activity. My advice to them would be: get away from reliance on music, and get into supporting musicians.


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