Ramblings

by Mike Masnick




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
    misanthropic humanist, 1 Feb 2007 @ 3:39pm

    too charitable mate

    The RIAA are like an errant brother. You've always been close but you watched him fall in with a bad crowd and start doing drugs. You always stood by him, until that day he whacked an old man you always thought he could get over his sickness. Now he's up on a multiple homocide charge. You love him and want him to get well so you pay his bail money one last time, take him on a holliday somewhere nice to straighten himself out. But then he gets in a fight and stabs a waiter.

    I respect you coming out on a position that is surely a magnet for an inferno of flames Mike, but I think you are misguided and not seeing the animal for what it is, what it has become.


    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.

    It is impossible to dispassionately discuss the behaviour of these people and not appear to hate them. Even with the most neutral language the actions speak for themselves. It's like me trying to say I never really "hated" the Nazis, that I try to see them as human beings caught up in a tide of events beyond their control and that deep down I still feel a warm human love for them as fellows. It's a magnanamous and noble attempt at humanity, but we all know it's so much bullshit. To even acknowledge the behaviour of these people and pretend it provokes anything other than hatred is beyond the patience of the most forgiving and understanding mind.

    As a teenager I used to spend long winter evenings building RIAA preamplifiers for my hi-fi. In those days they were a benign standards organisation. But there is nothing left of that now. It's like staring at the face of a man whos mind has long since gone. The sickness is deep and the rot almost complete. There is nothing inside the RIAA now but lawyers and malevolent greedy bastards. It is a relic of a bygone century that just will not die gracefully.

    I do not hate the recording industry or the movie industry. Quite the opposite. I'm a big fan of both music and movies.

    Me too. But how do you define "industry"? Those things exist despite the MAFIAA, not because of them.

    I'm coming clearly from the "hate them and want them to die" camp. There's no half measures here, the behaviour of the MAFIAA organisations forces a diametric viewpoint. It's just not possible to forgive them or tolerate them any longer for damage they do to all the things we love.

    The point of this series is not to slam the organizations making these moves, but to help them.

    And you still want to help that brother who is an addict. The one now holding a bloody knife in his hand and a look on his face like the Devil sick of sin. I've got some bad news for you. You can't help. You only make a fool of yourself trying and in the end bring more pain.

    The best thing you can do for his own good is turn him in to the cops.

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