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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
    Scorpiaux, 7 Jan 2008 @ 8:18am

    Re: Whoa, this makes no sense at all

    "... neither the RIAA nor MPAA make movies or music. Artists, musicians, directors, writers, etc, actually make the entertainment that we enjoy." - Brooks


    Essentially, creators of intellectual property own their creations unless:

    1. they are producing their creations as employees, in which case the creative works(s) belong to the employer,
    2. they are not employees but they have signed over their creative rights to someone else.

    I feel certain that many many creators discover early on that it can take huge investments in time and money to sell their creations. Accordingly, they accept agreements with other parties to share their rights or assign over their rights to another party in exchange for other considerations, usually money, stipulated in contracts. What agreements are reached between the creator and other parties is strictly between those parties and no one else. Any artist is free to walk away from any offer before it is accepted. Most artists are not business people, but some of them are very astute. But then, "life isn't fair" and some supremely gifted artists fade in and out over time and may wind up destitute. Didn't Van Gogh die a pauper?

    What "makes no sense at all" to me is that some people decide that they should ride to the rescue to save all those artists from suffering the consequences of poorly written contracts not in the artists' favor. As for my own perspective, RIAA, MPAA, and all of those starving artists could go down in the proverbial flames and I wouldn't budge to save any of them. Niche replacements would probably appear in short order. None of them need my help.

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