Out With The Old… In With The Older At The RIAA

from the facepalm dept

There were rumors about this last week, but now it’s been confirmed that RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol has left to head up the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. I’m sort of curious what his job qualifications were?

Mitch: “Rather than help a legacy industry adapt to changing times, I focused on a self-destructive legal campaign against fans, got Congress to pass bad laws that made things worse, made the companies I represent more hated than before (and we already started super low!) and, on top of all that, failed to do anything to help the record labels improve their bottom lines.”

Detroit: “Wow, you sound like our kind of guy… Sign here!”

Honestly, Bainwol’s biggest accomplishment may have been making his predecessor, Hilary Rosen, look insightful and progressive in her views on the recording industry.

So, with Bainwol out, did the RIAA find someone who actually is willing to help the RIAA and the record labels adapt to these changing times a decade and a half too late? Did it hire someone who won’t fall for the same old traps again, but who might actually embrace the modern world in a way that helps the record labels earn more money?

Nope. It just promoted President Cary Sherman, who has probably been a lot more public and vocal than Bainwol anyway. Oh, and they also promoted Mitch Glazier to take on more responsibilities as well. If you want any more evidence as to just how anti-artist the RIAA is, all you have to do is look at Glazier’s most famous moment, allegedly sneaking in a few words into an unrelated bill to take away the ability of musicians to take back their copyrights from record labels, when he was a nobody Congressional staffer. A few months later, he was pulling down a half million dollar salary from the RIAA. Convenient. This created such a scandal among musicians that it’s one of the few major policy issues in which Congress eventually rolled back his changes. I don’t see how the RIAA presents itself as “pro-artist,” when this is the guy they have as second in charge.

As for Sherman, not only is he one of the highest paid lobbyists out there (making even more than Bainwol), but among his greatest hits are his desire to roll back the DMCA’s safe harbors (the one good part of the DMCA), his explanation for why suing college kids is good for business and his lovely attempts to get federal financial aid pulled from universities that don’t act as copyright cops.

This is not how you drag the recording industry into this century. It’s how you drag it down.

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Companies: riaa

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Comments on “Out With The Old… In With The Older At The RIAA”

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ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If they want the recording industry to survive they should appoint er someone like Mike Masnick maybe.

I doubt Mike would want the job. The money is great, but having to sell your soul to get it just isn’t worth it. The folks in charge of the RIAA, and the RIAA itself, have to tow the party line given to them by the majors…as they are in business to support the majors. If the majors don’t like who they have in the chair, the majors will change it. We are thinking of RIAA as a separate and powerful organization, but really what they are now is just the lobbying arm of the majors. To make changes, you need to get rid of the CEOs of Warner, Sony, etc., and replace them with folks that are interested in modernizing the business.

gorehound (profile) says:

All I can say is two things:

1.Fuck Off RIAA !!! I dumped you and your shitty lables back in 1976 and never came back and never will.Any Artist who sings with these bastards are a traitor to the rst of us starving musicians.Go pull yer Wanker fools.

2. I n 2012 I will be stopping my practice of always voting for the lesser evil and choosing a Democrat to stop a Republican.I will now be voting for another Party like The Green Party maybe or INDIE Politicians.
No more asshole Dems and Reps and all their legal corrupt money payoffs.

out_of_the_blue says:

"I'm sort of curious what his job qualifications were?"

He’s been through management classes at a college. He knows all about widgets and maybe a little about “managing”, but nothing about any actual hardware. He’s an organization man, a manipulator of people, not of the physical. One of the worst changes since the 60’s is disappearance of the hard-science, empirical, scientific, “geeky” types who were into manufacturing, and who regarded the rest of the business, including profits, as almost incidental.

Even worse are the abstract types who in their ivory towers study vague “economics” without even grasping where their daily food comes from, who can blithely make up examples that totally disregard “sunk (or fixed) costs” so that they can “prove” that marginal costs are the only relevant consideration.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Think of the RIAA as Faux News.

They look at everything going on in the world, then throw tiny bits of truth together to support their goals, and then report that to their “followers” as the gospel truth.

Your busy running a record label, blaming everything going wrong on those damn pirates, you watch the Faux News report that they got this law fixed, changed that, and screwed over your workforce.

Faux gets a couple talking heads offering commentary, people that will be recognized by their demographic as being important (but not so relevant any more). So Bono and Prince give their editorial commentary, it has to be editorial because they can’t support what they say in with facts. When you attack what they say with facts they use other distraction methods about how you hate music.

They report how the record labels are loosing trillions, and can’t afford to pay artists like they should. The poor artists are being screwed by the pirates! (not the evil contracts) When stories about the labels stealing from the artists get any coverage they are discredited and called an “oversight”. (They were on the hook for 6 Billion in Canada for not paying artists when they used their work commercially… which is actual piracy of music.)

While the tactics are sleazy and totally unrelated to the point, a certain demographic falls into lockstep with the ideals. They support every idea, not ever thinking that it might affect them because they do nothing wrong it doesn’t affect them.

And slowly little frog, the pot gets a little warmer… and warmer… and then you can’t DVR your favorite show… then you can’t have surround sound because they turned off that port with a law…. then you find ICE storming your house to verify all of the music on your iPod is legally purchased…

It might be a little hyperbole, but is it that far removed from what they already have done?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yes, yes, you’re being persecuted and your right to infringe on someone else’s work is being taken from you, then you are being tattooed with the dollar amount that your infringement allegedly cost the industry. After that, you folks are being taken to camps where they test out the effects of frostbite and joining you with others who infringed on the same songs as you to see if your bodies are compatible. We get it.

Seriously, give more information. Spouting off slogans and insisting that your point of view should be obvious to everyone is no way to debate someone. All it does it show how ignorant you are and how you just want stuff for free. You aren’t showing otherwise.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Actually the civil liberties of people, the right to privacy, the rule of law are all being taken away from people – freetard or not, all in the vain hope that a single industry can continue in the fashion they have operated for a very long time.

Now you can make the claim that if your innocent you have nothing to fear, but we have seen time and time again in the history of the world that this is not true. As more and more is taken away, you are left with nothing.

What we have here is a lobbyist group who on multiple occasions have lied, made it clear they hold all fans in contempt (paying or not), and want the entire world altered for a small group of businesses.

BTW you way better at this than the other shill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Hell, I’m not a shill. I’m a troll. I like being a troll for a variety of reasons. I do this on purpose. I get a kick out of it. Once I’ve scooted in the word ‘freetard’ (to ensure I keep getting fed) and try to correct my personal hangups with people comparing whatever retardation they stand for to the holocaust (in any forum I visit…you’d be amazed how often people think what they went through is the same thing) I use words like ‘infringement’ to describe what is going on instead of the usual rhetoric.

Truthfully I think both sides of this have it wrong. I think that the government is an over-reaching monstrosity, but I think that the people who run around bitching that they’re going to be taken, tattooed, beaten, and have horrible experiments on them are just making most of you guys look like a stupid bunch of kids that just want free stuff. I know better, but those few are so much fun to troll.

Now please get out of my thread so I can keep destroying the retards instead of people who are attempting to be reasonable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Actually I’m a big fan of both Coulton and Palmer. I admire that they didn’t like (for different reasons) labels and didn’t want to be a part of that. I admire the fact that they went out to make their fortune without labels at some point. I’m glad they’re both doing well. However, if you sign a contract you should either honor the contract or do what Amanda Palmer did and get them to agree to drop you.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

> If they didn’t like the terms, they shouldn’t
> have signed with the label.

But that same sentiment never applies to the industry, right? That’s why it’s okay to sneak in a repeal of copyright reclamation into an unrelated bill at the eleventh hour.


After all, using your standard, if the record labels didn’t like the law, they should have found another industry in which to do business.


Let me guess… it’s ‘different’ when they do it.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If you have to go back a few centuries to find that reference then you have no argument. There are no death camps for copyright infringers.

Interesting link though. People think corporations take copying seriously these days? Breaking the wheel sounds downright nasty, even as torture goes.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Are you talking about the Dilbert story, the Wil Wheaton story, the Real Estate story, the Web 2.0 story, Advertising, or Skilled Immigrants?

If you have a crystal ball account just log in.

And he was talking about the death penalty story. Separately, fyi, the list of titles that you see in the crystal ball are not all of the stories that we’re working on. Just a selection of five random ones. They only start showing definitely if they’re ready to go and set to post. In this case, he was talking about the death penalty one.

Still, it amuses me to no end that someone running around yelling “freetard” appears to have paid us for a crystal ball. Might as well log in and show off your “insider” badge. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Mike, see my above post. I bought a couple of T-shirts and your book a while back. If I wanted my name attached, I’d log in. It’s difficult to repeatedly use the same troll methods if I keep my name attached.

P.S. That’s still not a death camp. It’s a whole fucking lot of people, and it’s downright sick that they did this, but it is still not a camp and it is still centuries ago.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Mike, see my above post. I bought a couple of T-shirts and your book a while back. If I wanted my name attached, I’d log in. It’s difficult to repeatedly use the same troll methods if I keep my name attached.

You’d be surprised. We have a few around who are named.

P.S. That’s still not a death camp.

I didn’t claim it was. I agree that the death camp claim is silly. But I was just pointing out what that particular comment was about since you seemed to have missed it.

Anyway, still amuses me that a (self-confessed) troll would give us money, but okay.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I liked the t-shirts and wanted a copy of the book. Just because I’m a troll doesn’t mean I don’t support things that I see value in.

Where would I troll if the places that I troll weren’t supported somehow? I know that you don’t make all (or even much if memory serves) your money from the blog.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I liked the t-shirts and wanted a copy of the book. Just because I’m a troll doesn’t mean I don’t support things that I see value in.

Where would I troll if the places that I troll weren’t supported somehow? I know that you don’t make all (or even much if memory serves) your money from the blog.

Nicedoggy says:

Re: Re: Re:

The hippie-mobile is still charming after all these years LoL

Twisted Sister – Were Not Gona Take It
Starship – We Built This City (Maybe should change the lyrics to “We built this city on freedom”)

The new version is not that cool though.

Volkswagen has unveiled an electric concept vehicle based on the classic VW bus. The Bulli has a driving range of 184 miles, so if it goes into production, it could get you and your friends to Bonnaroo from as far away as Atlanta. It’s smaller than the original bus, but it still seats five — room for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Scooby.

Source: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-04-18-the-ultimate-hippie-mobile-an-electric-vw-bus

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

>>I still won’t be buying anything or spending money on them, I found free(as in freedom) music and I ain’t going back.

Don’t be too content about keeping that type of music site if Protect IP passes. The list of banned sites will probably be based on the RIAA’s list of “pirate” sites. We have already seen those lists, and a lot of the sites promote the type of free music you enjoy. Once they get the full weight of law enforcement behind them, the definition of pirated music will be any site that promotes non-RIAA music.


Only ever been like this.

Oddly, this article brought back memories of the 1979 movie “Over the Edge”. It begins as the class misfit shoots out the window of the villages most hated cop. The school retaliates with an “assembly” where new, strict rules of behavior are announced. “Smoking, on or off school property will result in immediate suspension!” warns the principal. Then they show a silly movie meant to curb vandalism. Naturally, the audience mocks the film and the speaker. Jonathon Kaplan certainly had his finger on the pulse of the kids and their minders, way back then. And today it is business as usual with OUR minders, making it clear that misbehavior will be punished any way possible even if that punishment bears no relation to the alleged infraction. We are all still in high school as far as the business people are concerned. And why not? They aim most of their music and movies at kids and young adults. And they will never stop punishing us for doing stuff they would very much rather we didn’t do, whether it works or not. Because it worked so well in 1979.

Robert Doyle (profile) says:

It's funny to me...

I always think back to my younger years (high school, university) when I would get a song from a buddy on a tape of some garage band (like the Barenaked Ladies – a local crop) or some other group. I would play it, and if I liked it, I would start hunting for their actual tapes (and CD’s when they came out too…) and spending my hard-earned money on those things. It didn’t even occur to me that the ‘free’ copy I had (but it isn’t, is it? They get a cut from every disc sold, but the artists I was recording on it didn’t see that money as they weren’t part of the industry yet) was good enough.

‘Free’ got me to spend money. Without the ‘free,’ none of those artists would have seen a dime from me.

herbert says:

let’s face it. these industries are not in the least bit interested in being brought into the digital age. they are only interested in being in control of the people and the internet and making sure everyone is ripped off as many times as possible for getting the same thing, but in different formats. what does truly amaze me is that there has never been a list of the dinosaurs that are keeping these industries in the dark ages. surely someone knows who they all are? surely those artists that are supposed to be represented know what is going on and how important it is that the digital age is embraced, not continuously fought against? why don’t any of those artists say something? are they so gutless or simply so brainwashed? after all, it’s them that are losing the most, both in money and respect!

Anonymous Coward says:

Yup, what the RIAA needs is to have TPB guys come over and take over. Within months, I am sure they can turn a billion dollar industry into “the last 5 bucks”, and they can trade that for a coffee on the way out as they turn off the lights.

Yup, new business models will really help keep the recording industry going. Yeah, right!

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well the RIAA does not actually run the music industry.
So you fail on that point.

What the RIAA does is create studies, of questionable merit, making claims that the interests they represent are under attack. They then run to the lawmakers and demand that society be altered to support their business model.

I think the music industry would do much better with the RIAA gone. They might finally have to accept that the market has changed, and embrace it.

It seems like new business models have helped them. While CD sales are down/dead, the digital sales have gone up. While they do not make as much from each digital sale as they did on a physical object they do not have to pay as many costs, despite the contracts extracting those payments from artists still.

Napster made music easy to get, and then iTunes helped rocket legal digital sales. It sort of proved the idea, if you make it available at a good price… people will buy.

So maybe removing the dinosaur demanding the industry be protected at the cost of everyone else would be a good thing.

But nice try… go back to your talking points email and pick another couple to try and sell on the board.

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