More On Deserving To Get Paid
from the vs-infringement dept
There’s been an interesting discussion concerning my post taking the RIAA to task for various (incorrect) “FACTS” it listed about Joel Tenenbaum and his case. As expected, of course, not everyone agrees with me, but there’s a point of disagreement that I wanted to focus on, because I think people are merging two ideas in their minds, and it’s clouding their judgment:
- There’s the issue of whether or not Joel Tenenbaum had the right to download or share the songs that he did. On that we absolutely agree that he broke the law. No questions at all.
- There’s a separate issue of whether or not the RIAA “deserves to get paid” for its music.
The folks who are arguing against my point combine these two as a single point, and say that if Joel downloaded/shared the music then the labels “deserve to get paid.” My argument is that those are two separate discussions. We agree that Joel broke the law. But that doesn’t mean that the record labels “deserve payment.” There’s no indication that Tenenbaum would have bought CDs in absence of the songs being available online. The labels have a job to do, which is putting in place a business model that gets them paid. And they’re failing in doing so, which is why their financials are looking so pitiful these days.
I recognize that it’s difficult to separate out these two issues, but it’s important. If you understand that these are two separate issues, then you recognize that this is a business model issue, not a legal one. If you recognize that these are two separate issues, then you recognize that it’s not about “deserving to get paid” and there’s no “we had no choice but to sue.” Instead, you recognize that the issue is that the labels have failed to put in place a business model, and their response has been to fight the wrong thing. It’s to legally go after the people who wish the labels had put in place a better business model, rather than actually putting in place a better business model.