Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




Cary Sherman Responds To Critics

from the and-yet-misses-the-point dept

Cary Sherman from the RIAA has written up a response to critics of the RIAA's lawsuits where he continues to miss the point. He mocks people for being more concerned with the PR effects of the lawsuits than the "piracy problem". That's not the issue. The people who are worried about the PR understand that the lawyers like Cary Sherman are making a bad business decision. The PR problem means that the industry will make less money - and we thought his job was to help the industry make more money. He then goes on to justify why they're suing parents of kids, saying that they're responsible for everything the kid does online and it's really just too bad if they don't know their kid happens to be downloading nursery rhymes. Of course, he's ignoring the simple fact that "service providers" are considered exempt from what people do on their connection according to Mr. Sherman's favorite law: the DMCA. He then goes on to worry about the poor musicians who don't see a dime from royalties anyway, and who would be better served by giving away their music free so people will pay them to go to concerts. He insists that the critics of the lawsuits aren't concerned about what file sharers are doing to the record industry. He's wrong. We are concerned. It's just that we think that the RIAA lawsuits are doing a hell of a lot more harm to the industry than people sharing music. What he seems to be missing, is that many of us are very concerned about the future of the music industry and believe that the RIAA's lawyers are killing their own industry one step at a time.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous, 19 Sep 2003 @ 5:07am

    Dear Mr. Sherman,

    We, your critics, would like very much to interview your consumers who back your lawsuits. We've got costal property in Arizona for sale, and believe these people might be interested.
    We would also appreciate it if you'd point out who handed the RIAA the responsibility of policing others' morals. You whine about "it would be nice if those who disagreed with our strategy showed a little more concern for what illegal file-sharers are doing to our business and even more important, what they are doing to common notions of right and wrong."
    Yes, we're sure you'd like very much for all of us to join hands and sing 'cumbaya' (no doubt, after paying a royalty to the RIAA) and agree that downloading music is wrong. It may very well be wrong, but who is anyone to impose morality on the other? Sure, its illegal too but only because special interest groups (like yours) don't have a fucking clue that P2P is ultimately **good** for your business.
    Here's something that'll help: Read *every* article on every technews site (start with Slashdot and Kuro5hin) and see how many "pirates" actually use P2P networks to get a feel for what music they like and then (*gasp*) actually go out and purchase said music.
    You want to know why you're seeing declines in record sales in some areas? The public is disgusted with all the cookie-cutter garbage that your industry is cranking out. Any other industry would've adjusted their business model to follow profits. Apparently, the RIAA, the record labels and the 'artists' feel that they can spoon-feed whatever tripe they want to us.
    Until you get your head out of your ass, we'll keep our P2P networks.
    Signed,
    The American Public

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Donald Jessop, 19 Sep 2003 @ 7:22am

    RIAA does what?

    I am a little confused by the RIAA in general. I honestly don't know what they do for the artists, except sue other people. Yes, I guess they collect royalties, but the bloated structure within the RIAA (witness the dozens of lawyers they must have on staff) mean that the royalties disappear in "Organizational Overhead". There must be tremendous opportunites here.

    Is there something to prevent another organziation from starting up and replacing the RIAA? Granted it may be small at the beginning, but with the right business model(i.e. deliver more value to the consumer than forcing them to bend over) I am sure that it would be embraced by artists and consumers alike. Where are the RIAA-killer organizations? Are they too scared to start? This is an area where a smart VC company could invest some limited funds and receive excellent long term payback.

    I still think the best thing to do to emphasize to the RIAA that the consumer is in control, not them, is to organize a "Don't Buy Music" Day. With the proper advertisement and promotion and the cooperation of millions of people, this would show the RIAA that the consumer is in control. Without them they would be out of existence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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