The RIAA Was For Freedom Of Speech Before It Was Against It

from the say-what-now? dept

Reader Noah was surfing the RIAA’s web site recently, when he found something odd. Under the “About” section, between “services” and “licensing”, there’s what appears to be a totally out of place section defending free speech rights, in which it claims that the RIAA “takes an uncompromising stand against censorship and for the First Amendment rights of all artists to create freely. From the nation’s capital to state capitals across the country, RIAA works to stop unconstitutional action against the people who make the music of our times–and those who enjoy it.” It also quotes the First Amendment.

Considering that the RIAA is one of the leading backers of PROTECT IP and SOPA, which would look to undermine the First Amendment and place massive regulations on the internet, especially harming those who make music in new ways, such as via sampling and mashups, this all rings a little hollow. Of course, if you click through to the details (which still don’t explain why this section is in the “About” category), it appears that what the RIAA means as “free speech rights,” is the rights of minors to buy their music. Ah, that kind of First Amendment…

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Companies: riaa

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Comments on “The RIAA Was For Freedom Of Speech Before It Was Against It”

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MrWilson says:

Re: This piece isn't just lame, it's legless.

Please cite exactly where in the About page that Mike has stated something that he has since gone in the exact opposite direction regarding.

It’s not a valid comparison to say, “this is a tech blog, but we talk about copyright a lot” is the same as, “we are for freedom of speech except when we’re for censorship.”

jeremy7600 (profile) says:

Re: This piece isn't just lame, it's legless.

The about page specifically states “analyze and offer insight into news stories about changes in government policy, technology and legal issues that affect companies ability to innovate and grow.”

Guess what, every article ever posted on Techdirt is about exactly those things.

Simply because it doesn’t deal with whatever it is *you* think this blog is only about, doesn’t mean the OWNER of the blog can’t put whatever he wants on the blog.

The above being said, government policy, technology AND legal issues are whats discussed here. Hate to break it to you, but calling someone wormy and asking them to read their own page shows just how much you fail at reading comprehension. And on top of that, you don’t even make a case. You just state your opinion as if it were fact and leave it at that.

All you need to remember for the future is government policy, technology and legal issues. If you don’t have the comprehension to understand what those three things mean, remedial education may be in order.

And again, no one is forcing you to read the articles here. The problem is between your ears, not sitting at the CEO’s desk of Floor 64.

hmm (profile) says:

Re: This piece isn't just lame, it's legless.

By ‘wormy’ I take it you mean Mike managed to worm his way into the heart of the RIAA/MPAA and their employees in congress (pretty much most of them) and wriggle around until he uncovers what they’re REALLY up to with our elected officials?

Nothing wrong with worms my friend, they help to aerate the dark places that some people would prefer remain in darkness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sure you can have free speech in a dictatorship that censors the opposition.

The dictator gives you the right to say whatever speech the dictator wants you to say! And if you say something the dictator doesn’t want you to say the dictator has you thrown in handcuffs and put in jail for the next few decades without trial as a political dissident/traitor.

Isn’t that what free speech is all about, the right to say what those in power want you to say?

Anonymous Coward says:

They just want to protect THEIR freedom of speech and to create. Its makes them money when Rhianna’s new song about being a sex slave does not get censored for depravity. (I don’t think it is Im just creating a scene here). But when that same freedom that they and their artists have suddenly I am a pirate who is stealing from them when all I have really done is disagree with their position.

Anonymous Coward says:

The RIAA is a strong proponent of the freedom of speech, and has taken this stance for decades. However, it is possible to be for freedom of speech while being against the unlawful dissemination of speech as to which copyright pertains. These are not inconsistent positions, but it takes more than broad generalizations to appreciate why this is the case.

Beech says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 22nd, 2011 @ 10:48am

The people here generally aren’t opposed to companies protecting their copyrights. The problem is that these new bills have huge potential to be abused to the point of censoring those who are not actively engaged in infringement.

That said, it makes it look like the riaa is for the first amendment until they decide its hurting their bottom line.

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