Politician Reveals Lobbying Tactics Of The Recording Industry: All About Fear

from the fear,-fear-and-a-bit-more-fear dept

Mikester writes in to point to an opinion piece written by a Canadian politician that not only points out why it's time to stop rolling over and pushing through every law Big Content wants, but also sheds a bit of light on their lobbying process. It's not surprising, but you very rarely hear a politician admit what goes on behind closed doors. He notes that the first meeting he had with a recording industry lobbyist was about how the internet is a "highway of stolen goods and child pornography that goes into the bedroom of every kid in this country." In other words, the entire lobbying effort is built based on fear. It starts with fear that this one particular industry can't cope with the new technology, and then spreads to other kinds of fears about crimes and child pornography (things that are easy for politicians to rally behind for the sake of headlines). On the other side, unfortunately, there are many fewer lobbyists pointing out that this is only a small part of the internet, and that there are tremendous benefits to those who embrace it. The opinion piece notes that this is unfair, and clearly more about protecting an increasingly obsolete business model than a real concern:
"When it comes to assessing the "threats" or "benefits" from P2P, politicians need to be very wary about proscribing emerging technologies simply because it is upsetting existing business models. When high quality FM radio signals were invented in the 1930s, the U.S. regulatory agencies did everything they could to shut this technology down because it posed a competitive threat to large AM radio interests. Thus the public put up with crappy AM signals for 30 years because politicians didn't want to inconvenience big corporate players like RCA."
And, before people start saying that this guy doesn't understand the industry, prior to his political career he was a musician for many years, depending on the traditional royalty system. However, he knows that the old business model just doesn't make as much sense any more: "The 20th century distribution system is dead and no amount of restrictive legislation will bring it back."

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    an old guy, 17 May 2006 @ 11:31am

    The recording industry lobbyist should be home watching over what his children are doing on the computer.

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

  • icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 17 May 2006 @ 12:05pm

    "The 20th century distribution system is dead and no amount of restrictive legislation will bring it back"


    Can I get that on a t-shirt?!?

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

  • identicon
    eb, 17 May 2006 @ 12:28pm

    Well that was a Canadian politician

    You KNOW that no American politician would say anything like that--it might cut into the revenue stream for the next campaign.

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

  • identicon
    Brian, 17 May 2006 @ 12:48pm

    What it really is

    "In other words, the entire lobbying effort is built based on fear"

    Some people would call this terrorism.

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

  • icon
    Tom (profile), 17 May 2006 @ 12:58pm

    Looks like they have a lot in common with the environmentalist lobbyists then!

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

  • identicon
    Will, 17 May 2006 @ 1:49pm

    Except that there's really something to fear regarding the environment.

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

  • identicon
    Andy, 17 May 2006 @ 2:15pm

    Simple psychology

    The entirety of modern politics is based on fear. Watch the BBC "Power of nightmares". The established political order has had nothing positive to offer humainity for half a century. We keep them in jobs and feed them with power so they can abuse us. And yes Brian, political influence by fear is the textbook definition of terrorism. Which is why they're so eager to deflect the use of that meme at others. It's called projection and is the classic hallmark of the narcissistic psychopath. Contemporary politics has been stripped of altruists, humanists and socialists and replaced by a thugish gang of greed driven whackos. It's not something unique to the technology industry, it's a problem we all have to deal with.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2006 @ 3:09pm

    the RIAA are terrorists. if we pirate music the terrorists actually lose!!! START YOU DOWNLOADS!

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

  • identicon
    TonyK, 17 May 2006 @ 3:44pm

    When 45's were $1.49, I bought them, and a lot of them. When albums were $7.99, I bought them because there was a lot of good music on them and to buy all the 45's would have cost twice as much. I still have all that vinyl, and some still sound great. I loaned them to my friends, I made mix tapes and gave them to my friends, and they gave me theirs. Songs each of us would probably not have purchased.
    This exposed all of us to songs and artists we would not ordinary have paid attention to, an as a result, went out nd purchased other songs by these artists.
    The moral of the story the RIAA does not get is, that no one wants to pay $20 for one song mixed and recorded 15 different ways. Put out quality material, and people will pay for it. As long as labels keep putting out garbage no one wants, they will continue to see profits shrink, and continue to refuse to accept any responsibility in the matter.
    I would much rather grab a CD off the shelf and play it than download, save, bun, rip, etc.,but I'll be damned if I am going to buy a CD with one or 2 good tracks. Smarten up, RIAA.

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

  • identicon
    smokebreak, 17 May 2006 @ 4:56pm

    RIAA domination

    The way things seem to be heading, I wouldn't be surprised if the internet is policed by the NSA in the near future, if it isn't already........The government is wiping their ass with the bill of rights and constitution. All I can say is TAKE WHAT YOU CAN! Get It all now and sit on it untill things are changed. Before long all we'll be able to do on the internet is see commercials and have "supervised" private chats. The government is falling and big buisness is pushing their policy on the consumers

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

  • identicon
    Paul, 17 May 2006 @ 5:32pm

    Makes sense

    Part of me has to agree with "RIAA domination by smokebreak" here. . . I wonder how all this relates to the emergence of media coverage exposing 'internet predators' and child molesters/pornographers. It appears that every television station has a 'special' focused on this lately. I may be wrong, but it seems to me, that an internet-fear campaign has begun. Internet policing will happen. Its just a question of when.

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

  • identicon
    Louis, 18 May 2006 @ 2:35am

    Interesting...

    I wonder if, twenty years from now, in History class, my kids will be taught of the Information Revolution that took place in the late 2000 teens.

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

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 18 May 2006 @ 10:08am

    what's the difference between PETA and the RIAA?

    the RIAA would club a seal to protect "artist rights", but PETA would club Seal to protect "animal rights".

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

  • identicon
    Sandbomb, 4 Jul 2006 @ 2:05am

    BOYCOTT!!!!!!

    Okay, im sure everyone is aware of movie and music piracy and the attempt by

    movie and audio labels to stop it. every year millions are brought to court to

    pay huge loads of money just to compinsate for "illegally" viewing a small

    movie or playing a song that might not even popularly last for a month. But

    this year...2006, it will all change, a boycott of original movie and music

    products (DVDS, VHS and CDs) etc will be boycotted by who ever wishes to do so

    to prove to movie studios and music labels that WE are the customers and WE

    make them who they are. it shall start on the 4th of July and hopefully end on

    4th of August. i sure hope you participate in this (hoped to be) global event.

    for more send or add this email "sandbomb_bc@hotmail.com". thank you for your

    time and i hope you spread the word.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.