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
    OMAC, 1 Feb 2007 @ 6:51pm

    The RIAA does not record music and the MPAA has never made a movie. These are trade associations with LOTS of political clout, lobbyists and an endless supply of lawyers. Nothing more. I love movies and I listen to music. But I hate the RIAA and MPAA, and I hope they fail spectacularly.

    The RIAA is currently trying to make it illegal to record satellite radio. How ridiculous is that? Satellite radio is no different than FM in the sense that the end result is the same. You get audio out of a speaker. People have been making mix tapes since the tape recorder has been invented and, contrary to the claims of the RIAA, the recording industry is still around and thriving.

    Then there was the time people from the RIAA dressed up in paramilitary garb, complete with RIAA stenciled on the back of their non-uniforms and proceeded to raid a street vendor who was selling bootleg copies of movies and music. Yeah, the vendor was clearly in the wrong here, but the tactics that the RIAA used were just as illegal.

    And just a few weeks ago they had a DJ arrested for doing what a DJ does, mixing tracks. And as I understand it, the DJ had permission from the labels and credited the artists. Yet the RIAA took it upon themselves to rid the world of this evil person.

    The RIAA tried to get a bill passed into law that would hold the manufacturers of certain products responsible if they were used to rip/store/distribute illegal content. Why should Seagate or Maxtor be held responsible because someone had illegal MP3s on their hard drive? Why should Apple be held responsible because some guy made a copy of a DVD on his MacBook?

    I am not saying piracy is okay or right. All I am saying is that things that have been legally acceptable in the past like recording off the radio or recording a TV show then fast forwarding through the commercials, are all of a sudden coming under scrutiny and considered illegal. I am considered a criminal because I do these things.

    If I were to import a DVD to my Zen, I would be breaking the law because it is illegal to break the encryption on a DVD.

    These are some of the reasons I hate the RIAA and MPAA. I won't even get into the issues of suing dead people, middle schoolers and people that don't own computers. Both organizations and anyone that supports them can burn in eternity for all I care.

    The music and movie industry can survive without the RIAA and MPAA. In fact, the planet would be a better place without these organizations.

    To Hell with the RIAA and MPAA.

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