Record Exec: Experts Cannot Criticize Our Strategies

from the say-what? dept

If you want to see just how confused recording industry execs are these days, go read this exchange between Andrew Dubber and Paul Birch (via Boing Boing). Dubber is a lecturer at the University of Central England who writes a great blog about the music industry focused on new strategies for the industry. Birch is the head of Revolver Records. The email conversation goes back and forth as Birch insists that Dubber’s link to a Download Squad post was somehow inappropriate. The link is about someone fighting back against yet another bad lawsuit by the RIAA. Why is it inappropriate? That’s hard to parse from Birch’s rambling emails, but it appears to have something to do with giving support to people who hate the RIAA. In the end, after Dubber explains that criticism of actual events seems valid, and Birch responds that if Dubber doesn’t take down his post, he’s going to report Dubber to his university. Reading through the exchange, you begin to realize why the recording industry is in so much trouble. They really believe that anyone criticizing them must be some crazy punk kid trying to steal from them — and can’t believe that anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about could criticize their policies, even as the situation gets worse and worse. And, if an expert actually does criticize their policies, it means they’re supporting piracy and putting RIAA execs at risk — and that can’t be allowed.

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Comments on “Record Exec: Experts Cannot Criticize Our Strategies”

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Chris says:

Re: Re: Re:

I agree that it is probably offline because of traffic. If I understand correctly boing boing linked to this site, along with techdirt and God knows how many other sites. That is a lot of traffic. Also, the **AA’s have no legal basis for pulling the site down (Though, thats never stopped them before…)

Anonymous Coward says:

This is scary...

And, if an expert actually does criticize their policies, it means they’re supporting piracy and putting RIAA execs at risk — and that can’t be allowed.


And, if anyone actually does criticize the Bush Administration’s policies, it means they’re supporting terrorism and putting American oil interests at risk — and that can’t be allowed.

IronChef says:

Backwards logic of so many businesses.

Einstein once said to a pupil, when asked the secret to innovation, “Make better mistakes”. The fear of making mistakes prohibits people from experimenting, and they will continue to use the same solutions to solve problems that caused the problem in the first place…

Einstein also said that Insanity was “Doing the same thing over and over again and believing that it will make a difference.” True leadership (like that of Steve Jobs) is about the bravery to try something for the right reasons. You will always achieve something positive if the core reason and goal was customer-focused in the first place!

Successful companies are successful because they stand on the side of their customers. They constantly try to understand and improve the lives of their customers then they will be loved when they get it right and they will be forgiven the times it goes slightly wrong. Customers are becoming increasingly aware, smart and more informed. They choose companies they trust and reject companies that are out for short term profit at the expense of the customer. They are loyal to companies with the best intentions and stay away from others who try to manipulate…

People become leaders through meeting situations that require leadership, and solving problems, not from maintaining the status quo or how many books they have read because answers to today’s tough situations are not in yesterdays books, or maintaining old outdated business models.

In the 17th century you could buy oranges at the market from several vendors. The product looked the same, they tasted the same and they cost the same. Because there were more customers than there were products, the vendors protected each other. Today there are too many products and too few customers. A customer doesn’t need to go to the market to compare anymore either- you can do it on the internet. So you have to question the rules, break them and re-invent the category. You are not selling oranges; you are selling healthy packaged C vitamin kits environmentally produced where profits go to schools for children in underdeveloped countries. You are no longer selling physical media and maintaining a worldwide supply and sales strategy, but enabling an artist to share their perspective of certain experiences through storytelling.

When you break the category, remove the monetary piece from the equation, and take a look at what your company does, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish. And besides, if you take care of the customer’s needs, the profits will absolutely follow.

Andrew Dubber (profile) says:

Site back online


Just thought I’d clarify: it looks like a combination of a misbehaving WordPress plugin and the internet traffic equivalent of a swarm of locusts caused my hosts to decide to take my site offline. Apparently it kept crashing their server.

I’ve posted an explanation here:



Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Site back online

*stares at the people who assumed I was unqualified*

There is a difference between *being* unqualified and offering an unqualified opinion. An unqualified opinion is one that is “not modified by conditions or reservations; absolute”. Check a dictionary before taking offense.

Chris (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Site back online

Chill out!
I was kidding.

I could care less of what people on the internet think of me. That was my way at humor. The truth is that I am not qualified in that, but my assumption was correct, and that is all that matters.

Please, learn to recognize sarcasm (and I apologize if it isn’t Black when everything else is Red, but not all sarcasm can be as blatant as wanted)

OkieFromMuskogee says:

Do they Hate America?

The argument that RIAA critics favor piracy reminds me of a similar argument in the political arena. Some government officials and their mouthpieces tell us that if we are critical of their anti-terrorism policies, that means we want the terrorists to win.

It’s fallacious, and obvious propaganda. But a few dim bulbs will believe it.

Marc Cohen (user link) says:

Desperation is Expected

The recording industry is in the death throes of the business model today’s executives have grown up in. They are fighting desperately to save it. Those that continue to believe in their product but seek out, experiment with and then embrace new revenue models will succeed.

Check out the Ad-Supported Music Central blog at:

Anonymous Coward says:

Unfortunately, the RIAA has engaged in so many questionable and underhanded activities over the years that they will many people will assume they were at fault for the site going down even if they weren’t (which it looks like is actually the case). Sadly, Mr. Birch fails to realize that many of the points in his email exchange are themselves opinions, and not factual. The most interesting part is that if you read the comments in the original email exchange, a number of people from the industry themselves, including a label exec and a lyricist, have themselves come out as critical of Mr. Birch’s views.

Vincent Clement says:

How the RIAA and MPAA think:

1. Dedicating law enforcement resources on violent crimes is not good economic policy.

2. Criticizing the RIAA and MPAA means that you support piracy.

3. It’s okay to install software on people’s computer without their knowledge.

4. It’s okay to make CDs not work in computers and car stereos.

5. It’s okay to insert errors in DVDs so that they skip in older DVD players.

6. It’s okay to make it as difficult as possible for customers to make backup copies of CDs and DVDs.

7. It’s okay to sue people with little to no evidence.

8. It’s okay to extend the government granted monopoly of copyright to well beyond the death of the original creator.

9. It’s okay to make up numbers such as the total ‘cost’ of piracy or the percentage of camcorder copies that originate in Canada.

10. It’s okay to bully other countries into enacting DMCA-type laws when, despite having the DMCA, the US remains one of the biggest sources of pirated material.

11. It’s okay to treat customers like dirt.

Shun says:

Support Piracy

Well, I for one am an avid supporter of piracy. There’s nothing like heading out on the high seas looking for treasure galleons with a crew of mostly stinky old men. Ah…the salt breeze, the smell of gunpowder, salted pork, rum…the occasional raping and pillaging. ‘Tis very nice. I especially like boarding and capture. Hand to hand combat with the scions of the British/Spanish/French Imperialist establishment is so much fun.

Oh, that other kind of piracy. Well, I don’t really see a use for it, with all the fair-use provisions floating around, but I suppose if you are desperate… We call it “copyright infringement” now.

We also have a name for dinosaur, just won’t die, zombie, psychopathic, greedy, inhuman leviathans. We call them “corporations” now.

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