Record Store Owners Blame RIAA For Destroying The Music Industry

from the nice-work dept

It’s not like it hasn’t been said many times before, but it’s nice to see the NY Times running an opinion piece about the RIAA from a pair of record store owners which basically points out how at every opportunity, the RIAA has made the wrong move and made things worse:

The major labels wanted to kill the single. Instead they killed the album. The association wanted to kill Napster. Instead it killed the compact disc. And today it’s not just record stores that are in trouble, but the labels themselves, now belatedly embracing the Internet revolution without having quite figured out how to make it pay.

Also, it’s not every day that you see a NY Times piece use the word “boneheadedness” to describe the strategy of an organization. At this point, this story has been so obvious for so long, it’s worth asking why anyone (well, mainly policy makers in DC) still bother listening to the RIAA. If you could have scripted out the worst possible strategy to damage your own industry, I don’t think you could have planned anything worse than what the RIAA has actually done.

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Comments on “Record Store Owners Blame RIAA For Destroying The Music Industry”

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CatBandit says:

Lesson to be learned

Not that RIAA is going to learn anything, but others may. This story is valuable because there are hundreds, nay, thousands of businesses who still haven’t found a way to make the new technologies work for them.

The “deer in the headlights” syndrome has claimed many victims such as those mentioned, and will continue to wreak havoc until everyone learns that new business models must be looked at as potentially lethal competition, and either adopted, or otherwise dealt with.

Let’s hope that utility companies discuss and act on global warming trends, that US automakers (read that “labor unions) seriously address global competitors, and others open their eyes and minds to the lessons the RIAA has so painfully brought to our attention.

RIAA SuX1 says:

Riaa shot itself in the head

Because of what they did to Napster I still haven’t bought another music cd and I rarely listen to the crappy ass radio.The riaa is a dinosaur go away we got tired of your thievery. Ironic isn’t it the the distributor was the crook.When it gets to 10 cents a song then I might start listening to music again but not that crap rap. I thought when Napster showed up I might have been able to go to a record store and have them burn me a cd of all the songs I like.But that just didn’t happen,instead the dinosaur went on a rampage and bought senators and judges to do their bidding.Wow all that power and the riaa is still a village idiot.

Joe Smith says:


“At this point, this story has been so obvious for so long, it’s worth asking why anyone (well, mainly policy makers in DC) still bother listening to the RIAA. If you could have scripted out the worst possible strategy to damage your own industry, I don’t think you could have planned anything worse than what the RIAA has actually done.”

Considering the mess that Washington has made of Iraq its not really surprising that government is lsitening to the RIAA – they share ability levels.

Comicfan says:

Re: Re:

I don’t agree, when the IRAA went on it’s childish, “GREEDY” rampage, many refused to buy CD’s, including myself and haven’t bought one in almost 7 years. Yes, i’m proud of myself. I don’t illegal download and didn’t before, I simply don’t like the power they seem able to impose. They are a “RECORDING” industry, yet have taken steps that the F.B.I can’t get away with. Now, what’s wrong with this picture??

Many people won’t and haven’t bought a CD due to this, and so yes, this is hurting, albeit unfortunately, the record stores.

Who brought them down when it was “I believe” the 70’s when they were KNOWINGLY overcharging EVERYONE for records ? The STOLE from EVERYONE. I guess that was alright and only downloaders are criminals. My ass.

They had to pay back a large amount of money, however, they made FAR more than what they had to pay, even so, money was worth a hell of a lot more then than now, so they made out just fine and got away with it if you look at percenteges, AAMOF, they made a lot of money even with that little fine.

No, I truly hope the IRAA falls flat on it’s ass and stays there, musicians become independent and actually keep their own earnings. IRAA isn’t a recording industry, it’s a governement unto itself, it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. Nothing outside our own government should have any such power, surely not the IRAA, fat cat rich @$%^#$ that push people around and our judicial system allows it.

Goes to show, GovernmentBig business they are truly one.


squik says:


Twenty-five years ago if you wanted to buy music, you went to the record store and browsed. You listened to tracks and albums. The stores I went to would open up any vinyl and let you listen before you bought. You could spend hours browsing the bins looking for something new and interesting. You went there with your friends and talked about music and shared the store experience. In sum, the record store provided a social space and a form of entertainment, not just a place to buy.

People no longer need record stores for social or entertainment activities. It has been replaced by a myriad of different options: cable television, interactive media, online social spaces, mmorpgs, etc. People no longer need to browse the bins or look up release dates in the catalogues. A search at Amazon or Google solves that problem.

Online stores, downloads, and big-box stores have made obtaining music a cheap economic transaction. There’s no more excitement, rushing to the store to get the latest release, when you’ve pre-ordered it to appear on your doorstep a day before the official release.

Record stores went away because of these changes, which were external to the music industry. If the industry had made moves to protect the record store as consumers’ preferred distributor of music, then no doubt we would be reading here about how terrible the RIAA was for doing that.

Not every move the RIAA makes is good. And not every bad move is made because they want to make the move. But every move they make will be seen as bad in someone’s perspective.

James says:

Don't buy their crap

I’ve said it over and over… the best way to teach these guys a lesson is to NOT BUY ANY CDs or DVDs.. simply refuse.

When their sales drop in half, perhaps they will rethink their strategies. You can’t sue ppl for simply NOT buying your crap.

Yes this will hurt/continue to hurt the record stores, well its unfortunate they aligned themselves with such a-holes.

It’d be nice to see major artists rethink their recording contracts and sell their music on their own website (and/or through a 3rd party) as mp3 files. Most artists make much of their $$ on t-shirts and concerts tickets than the scant $$ the RIAA is paying them per CD anyways.

Anonymous Coward says:

The NYT piece isn’t news, it is news that they consider it news.

The funny part is that there are readers here that don’t see how RIAA lawyers cheated the people it was supposed to protect and serve- the recording industry.

RIAA stole a lot of money from the companies in the industry by tricking them into thinking they would help them.

Instead, they took their money, paid themselves well, made donations to their friends and alienated their record companies customer base.

When I realized that by buying a CD, part of my own money would be used against me by a group of creeps, I stopped buying CDs all together. I had bought hundreds of them prior and went to zero.

SHHHHHH! Be quiet. No more talking. Quick, delete this message- I think the MPAA is coming. 🙂

squik says:

Re: Cancel your cable service too

When I realized that by buying a CD, part of my own money would be used against me by a group of creeps, I stopped buying CDs all together. I had bought hundreds of them prior and went to zero.

A portion of your fee goes to pay for cable stations in the standard line up. That includes Fox News. The president of Fox New is a former RNC chairman. Fox News faithfully reports Republican and White House talking points as news. Your cable fee, in essence, is a tax that goes to promote the views of the Republican party. In other words, part of your cable fee is being used against you by a group of creeps. (Apologies to Republicans, you aren’t all creeps, but this particular perversion of the free market is creepy).

So, cancel your cable service, or better yet, work for laws to unbundle cable service so that you aren’t forced to subsidize that which you may not like.

A chicken passeth by says:

“”You can’t sue ppl for simply NOT buying your crap.”

No, you sue the competitor. Then once the competitor is outlawed you have the right to sue, or even do whatever you want with everyone who peruses the competitor, because the law can no longer protect them. It’s a strategy that always works.

see: bittorrent. see: VOIP.

I’m voting the pirate parties of every country.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Fox News/RIAA

“the other 90%? Who knows, well, i’m sure we could all guess. “

A large chunk of the other 90% goes as signing advances to bands you’ve never heard of whose debut album ended up in the cut out bin. A larger chunk goes to the marketing of bands that don’t catch on.

The reason CD’s are so expensive is to pay for the failures.

nonuser says:

headline is misleading

From the article:

By 2002, it was clear that downloading was affecting music retail stores like ours. Our regulars weren’t coming in as often, and when they did, they weren’t buying as much. Our impulse-buy weekend customers were staying away altogether. And it wasn’t just the independent stores; even big chains like Tower and Musicland were struggling.

In other words, it was not the RIAA that killed the profitability of the record stores… it was file sharing! And this gives lie to those who claim that sharing is essentially victimless because people would never have paid for the music anyway.

But the authors of the piece clearly want to let off some steam over the failure of their cherished business, and they can’t afford to insult their customer base in their new one. So they blame the record labels (or the RIAA which is not really the same thing, but is a convenient bogeyman because the labels actually designed it that way). Sure, the labels made mistakes. But it’s easy to make mistakes when your business is collapsing and your business environment is changing on a daily basis.

Comicfan says:

I’m sure there could be an argument to go on for years over all this. There is a point i’d like to make. Being that most of my music I grew up with is 70’s and 80’s bound, I am not going to go searching a music store and pay top dollar for this stuff any more. IF you can find it. I would think by now many artists are mainly retired, no longer alive, gave up on music, or were no longer popular and pushed out.

This said, years ago, right before I quit buying CDs, Tapes, etc… I couldn’t even find most of what I wanted from those eras and when I did, they were collectors editions that were upwards of hundreds of dollars. huh, yeah, i’m not a collector so don’t think so.

I still say I have a good idea, after so many years, if a certain group, record, etc…isn’t selling, say 15 years even, then why not make it legal to download? Anything after, make illegal until the time line is passed. I’m not talking like the 50’s becoming legal after all that time , I mean many of us will be dead by the time our music becomes legally free, lol. Hmmm, another RIAA plan? Nah.

I honestly think this would be a good solution. I’m almost 40 and doubt i’ll be attending any Poison concerts any time soon, buying albumsCDs, or cruisin’ around with my buddies with my hair blowing in the wind. What’s left of it would undoubtebly fall off. So why not let us older generations enjoy our music without paying up the nose? I did that back in the 80’s.

The RIAA and i’m sure some artists, are simply built on greed and won’t do this anyway. The whole 10 dollars a year profits may benefit someone.


Question says:

Album Sales

I noticed while watching television the other day that the “artist” Beyonce released a large number of music videos at one time. Although I am 100% sure that Beyonce isn’t the person to credit with this idea, I wonder if someone higher up decided to try an experiment to boost sales of her entire album. Personally, I thought the album was awful (not surprising, considering she recorded it in 10 days). There were definitely some songs I thought needed a little more re-touching. But watching the music videos actually made the songs seem better than they are. I wonder if consumers would be more prone to buying a whole album if they see four-five music videos flood the channel for a week or two, as opposed to one music video released every few months.

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