Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, lobbyists, musicians

copyright alliance, riaa

RIAA Still Pretending It Represents Musicians

from the feed-a-musician,-support-those-who-ditch-the-RIAA dept

The somewhat redundant new copyright lobbying organization, The Copyright Alliance (who still doesn't seem to actually understand copyright) held a little dog and pony show in Washington DC last week. It didn't sound all that well attended from the description, and even copyright's best friend, Rep. Howard Berman skipped the show, despite being a scheduled speaker. Perhaps even Berman has noticed the shifting tide. However, other than a sad display of solidarity, perhaps the most ridiculous statement on the event came from the RIAA, who hung up a t-shirt saying "Feed a musician. Download legally." That suggests that the RIAA still wants people to believe it represents the best interests of musicians. Such a concept becomes more laughable every day, as musicians seem to be shoving each other aside to bail out on the record labels to take their chances making money without them. The RIAA has never represented the interests of musicians, and it's sad that so many politicians act as if it does. The RIAA has always represented the interests of the recording industry -- whose own interests have often involved treating musicians terribly. So if you want to feed a musician, you're better off not paying money to the RIAA -- but figuring out ways to pay for things where the money actually goes back to the musician.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    MusicLover, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 3:10am

    So is any better?

    So why pay a subscription to usenet sites? They are worse as NONE of the funds collected go to the musos.
    RIAA is the pits, but at least a fraction of sales goes to the artists.
    Perhaps the better business model would be like Radiohead. Pay what you think it's worth.

    The other thing about torrents/binaries etc is that a lot of the music is just not available via retail download/brick&mortar shops.
    Just my rant....

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

  2. identicon
    JustMe, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 3:41am

    Re: So is any better?

    I'm sure this is a common theme but I download to preview... if I like it I buy it giving preference to purchasing options that put my money in the artists hands (i.e. buying direct) and, on occasion, buying the cheapest legal download and then some kind of merch from the band when it looks like they'd see zero profit from a CD purchase.

    I insist on previewing before paying, though, despite whatever legal downloads may be available... way too many dollars go into marketing meant to sway me and that seems the only practical recourse. I want music *I* like...

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

  3. identicon
    Known Coward, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 4:42am

    Paying for Usenet

    No need to pay usenet subscriptions. I get free usenet with Roadrunner.

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

  4. identicon
    Danny, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re: So is any better?

    I use that method as well. The RIAA is not going to coerce, persuade, or force me to blindly buy at 15 track album at $20 just to find out that I only like 2-4 of the tracks.

    Same thing with other stuff. I watch movies and tv shows before I buy the boxed sets. It's been years since I bought a video game without reading a few reviews, asked about it on forums, or talked to a friend that bought it first. And I know I'm not the only person that will test drive a car before buying it. It puzzles me as to why the recording industry thinks they are special in thinking that music fans should just blindly buy music from them that is locked down to the point where you can barely do anything with it.

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

  5. identicon
    Sherman T. Potter, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 6:01am

    Doris Day

    Personally I love Doris Day singing Sentimental Journey on the old record player...just takes me back. Just makes my boots tingle.

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

  6. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 6:57am

    Re: So is any better?

    You're assuming that the RIAA pays the musicians in the first place. Maybe you missed the article about a year ago where the RIAA owed many artists royalties and simply hasn't paid them because they claim they can't get in touch with them. So they get to keep the money and do with it as they please, and the moment someone complains they can simply claim they didn't have current contact info for the artists.

    That's like your uncle who paid your way through college, but molested you.

    I buy my CD's at concerts. That way the artist gets money for the gig and a much bigger cut of the take from the CD than the RIAA would ever give them.

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

  7. identicon
    Sean, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 8:44am

    Representing who

    Saying the RIAA represents the musicians is like saying the the politicians represent the people.

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

  8. identicon
    Just Me, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 8:49am

    Download VS Buy

    While I have no objection to paying for music I've really been leaning more and more towards downloading anyway for one simple reason - DRM.
    All this crap is ridiculous. I can download a track listen to it when I want , where I want copy to whatever I want easily, or I can buy a cd/pay for a download and hope it doesn't come preloaded with junk that keeps it from playing on my MP3 player.

    Hmmm, tough call.

    If I can get a cd that is assured to have music I like (as in can listen to *all* of the tracks to weed out filler) and can be freely copied to my MP3 player and backup CD's then sure I'll buy it, but with all these cd's nowadays preloaded with DRM I'd rather not roll those dice.

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

  9. identicon
    Just Me, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 8:50am


    Here Here!!

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

  10. identicon
    Mr. Joshua, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 9:45am


    RIAA = RECORDING INDUSTRY association of america NOT the MUSICIANS INDUSTRY. The RIAA supports the companys the create, produce and distribute music (recording industry) not artists. It is truly laughable that they are standing as the proud defender of musicians. Life with RIAA (numbers a little off but you get the idea): $ .29 - Musicians royalty $ 6.00 - CD production (RIAA) $ 3.70 - Shipping Distribution (RIAA) $10.00 - Retail Market Up (RIAA) ----------- $19.99 - CD = Bad for consumer, Good for RIAA, Bad for Musician Life without the RIAA: $ .49 - Musicians royalty (charges what he wants) $ .50 - Format for Digital Distribution (some other party) ----------- $ .79 - Good for consumers, Bad for RIAA, Good for musician. I'll take option B.

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

  11. identicon
    Eric the Grey, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 12:58pm

    Why bring usenet into the picture?

    Usenet is not JUST for downloading binaries. There are a ton of discussions available there for the having, providing you can sift through the noise (read: spam)

    I used to read a couple of groups on Usenet years ago when it was included with my ISP subscription. Binaries was cool when I first found it, but it was more often a haven for virus' and Trojans and just plain bad and incomplete files. It's just not worth the time to mess with unless you have a decent discussion group.


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

  12. identicon
    MP, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 1:11pm


    For a fine breakdown and rant about the industry and the artist I reccomend Steve Albini's classic piece "The Problem With Music", at

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

  13. identicon
    Mr. Joshua, Oct 17th, 2007 @ 1:29pm


    Excellent article.. what I was trying to get at (albeit in a far less informative manner). Thanks!

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

  14. identicon
    Copyright Alliance member, Oct 18th, 2007 @ 5:52am

    misrepresentation of event

    As you acknowledge not attending the event, let me correct your description. There were between 300 and 400 in attendance based on sign-in sheets and name badges distributed. Berman and two other MoCs did not attend for the same reason most members weren't on the Hill that day; the funeral for the late Jo Ann Davis was scheduled for the same time and Congress was in recess. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers did speak, however, along with Dept. of Commerce IP Coordinator Chris Israel; author Stuart Taylor, Jr.; and graphic artist and liberal cartoonist Lloyd Dangle. RIAA was one of about 15 exhibitors, which included a union for performers, performing rights organizations (Isaac Hayes and two other singer-songwriters were at the BSA booth), TV networks, video game manufacturers, motion picture makers, business software concerns, book publishers, magazine publishers, photographers and graphic artists. The creative community's fight for copyright really does go beyond the recording industry, but of course it's much easier picking on the RIAA than it is a freelance photographer or cartoonist.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2007 @ 8:52pm

    Mike on RIAA Again? NO WAY!

    Mike would be a decent journalist if he knew anything about any other topic besides the RIAA. Hopefully he will find the following repeated message just as annoying as I find his repetitive RIAA articles:

    Mike writing about the RIAA again...and again...and again...and again....and again....and again....and again....and again...and again...and again....

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

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