TuneCore: RIAA Has Become A Part Of The Problem For Artists
from the indeed dept
Beyond his continually awesome series of posts providing tons and tons of useful data that the legacy recording industry has totally ignored, he's written a brilliant response to Cary Sherman's NYT op-ed that we've been discussing. Price points out that the real disinformation campaign has been from the RIAA, and the key point is that the RIAA does not represent artists, but rather it represents the major labels, who very frequently have agendas that are at odds with artists:
Furthermore, he notes that the RIAA's strategy here now puts it at odds with what's actually best for musicians. He goes on to point out that SOPA/PIPA in their original forms might have actually been the end of a service like TuneCore:
The RIAA has become part of the problem of protecting copyright due to its occasional less than honest approach to things. You just can’t take what the RIAA says at face value as their agenda is not clear—is it to protect copyright or is it to protect the interests of its label members at any cost?
After all, this is the same organization that had the RIAA employee Mitch Glazer attempt to sneak language into a bill on Capitol Hill changing the definition of “work for hire,” depriving artists of their rights (there’s a great article about this in the Austin Chronicle).
Now add to this that as the RIAA demands that its label members’ copyrights be respected and properly compensated, its members have knowingly taken hundreds of millions of dollars of other peoples’ songwriter royalties over the past few years. Knowingly taking money generated from the copyrights of others—aka “Black Box Money”—sounds eerily like stealing.
No matter how much the legacy players in the industry want to claim that it was "just Google" that helped kill the bill, there's simply no way anyone can credibly claim that TuneCore is a Google puppet. In fact, I think it's clear that TuneCore has been one of the most useful tools out there for getting artists paid. And it's coming out strongly against the RIAA on this one, highlighting the key point that too often gets lost in this debate. The RIAA represents the gatekeepers, not the artists. This has never been about protecting content. It's always been about protecting gatekeepers.
However, if the original SOPA and PIPA bills were passed years ago, TuneCore most likely would not have existed, and power would still be concentrated with the old regime; they would have found a way to slow the market shift away from them. In the guise of “protecting copyright” the original SOPA bill would have provided the RIAA unilateral and almost unchecked power to kill the new emerging industry.
All the RIAA would have had to do is claim that music distributed by TuneCore was infringing on its label members’ copyrights. With limited to no due process, TuneCore could have been shut down just like Dajaz1.
And I can assure you, from time to time TuneCore gets illegitimate and wrongful claims of infringement by the RIAA (and some of its label members).