Why I Hope The RIAA Succeeds

from the no,-seriously dept

This week's post in the lack of scarcity series is going to be brief, since I'm busy at the latest DEMO show (I'll be doing a post on the interesting trends later). However, I have noticed something in the comments from the series of posts I've done. Plenty of people who seem to agree with what I'm writing make sure to add in something about how they hate the RIAA or the MPAA (sometimes in... well... colorful language). There's also a running assumption that I clearly hate these organizations -- and they equally dislike me.

While I have no clue about their feelings towards me, I should clarify my feelings towards them -- which I would hope is clear from these posts. I do not hate the recording industry or the movie industry. Quite the opposite. I'm a big fan of both music and movies. The point of this series is not to slam the organizations making these moves, but to help them. I hope they succeed, because it would be a lot easier for everyone involved. However, I do believe that their current strategies of alienating their best customers, relying on government protection, and pretending this is some sort of epic battle between good and evil aren't just doomed to fail, they're actively making things worse for themselves. What I write shouldn't be viewed as hatred for these organizations, but suggestions on how they could create for themselves a much bigger and more successful market that doesn't require everyone to hate them. I'm quite confident that the market for entertainment is only going to grow to tremendous levels going forward -- and I believe these organizations have every opportunity to capture quite a bit of it (though, they've been throwing that chance away every day). It's just a matter of recognizing the long-term strategic errors of their ways.

This seems like an obvious point to me, but given some of the discussions and comments, it seemed worth reiterating.


If you're looking to catch up on the posts in the series, I've listed them out below:

Economics Of Abundance Getting Some Well Deserved Attention
The Importance Of Zero In Destroying The Scarcity Myth Of Economics
The Economics Of Abundance Is Not A Moral Issue
A Lack Of Scarcity Has (Almost) Nothing To Do With Piracy
A Lack Of Scarcity Feeds The Long Tail By Increasing The Pie
Why The Lack Of Scarcity In Economics Is Getting More Important Now
History Repeats Itself: How The RIAA Is Like 17th Century French Button-Makers
Infinity Is Your Friend In Economics Step One To Embracing A Lack Of Scarcity: Recognize What Market You're Really In

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  1. identicon
    Marsh, 1 Feb 2007 @ 2:18pm

    It does make sense.

    Mike's argument makes perfect sense. The RIAA could (albeit with a lot of effort) become a driving force behind the distribution of media to the new market. The basic idea behind the group is a good one, but as noted, the policies that they choose are becoming more of a hinderance than a help to the public and the recording industry.

    Many people I know despise the RIAA, but when you attempt to view the situation from an external perspective, they really are attempting to do something in the current situation that will help the music industry.

    I'm not saying that their current tactics are good, in fact I would say the opposite, and, as Mike has emphasised, until they change, they are going to see more people turning to pirated media as a way to do what they want with the media that they would have bought in a different situation.

    While Brooks makes a point in the behavior section, maybe it is time that we tried to influence the behavior of the RIAA instead of just sitting and griping(Don't ask ME how). If the RIAA had hard evidence that their actions were driving away customers instead of attracting customers, maybe it would be a step towards changing their behaviors, and therefore changing people's view of the RIAA. Many of the people I know who strongly dislike the RIAA dislike it because they know someone else who dislikes it, and as a consequence, they have not heard anything positive or even neutral about the RIAA. Of course, the problem with this is that they might not listen. So the question remains: How do you convince the RIAA that their current business model isn't valid, and is actually conterproductive?

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