A new twist in the RIAA’s fight

A new twist in the RIAA’s fight
The music industry continues to shoot itself in the foot with the people that matter the most — their customers. Read Cory Treffiletti’s cutting column in MediaPost’s Online Spin. He tells the story of a San Francisco nightclub being sued for allowing bands to perform songs of their (and your) favorite artists. ASCAP sends spies into clubs and then sues the owners for not having the proper license. But Cory uses the episode to underscore the bigger issues:

The record industry has now made a crusade to formally crush the spirit of what was responsible for its growth over the last 50 years…

The reason the record industry is so hard-pressed to remain profitable is not because the community is cheating, but because the quality of the music is poor…

In the last few years there have been a handful of acts that have sold well beyond the industry’s expectations. Linkin Park, 50 Cent and a number of other acts have been successful in spite of the online file-sharing community. I would argue that they have been successful as a result of this community by spreading their songs to areas and audiences that might not have heard them before due to the singular voice of modern radio conglomerates and the singular vision of MTV and VH1. These acts were supported by their fans, utilized the Internet to spread their music and to foster the community at hand. The product was good. The community was strong, and the sales were high.

By now venturing outside of the Internet and into the local pub to subvert the community by creating a tense situation every time a local band plays a cover of “All Along The Watchtower” or “Evenflow,” the industry has proven its distance and lack of compassion for the same people that were responsible for its growth and excitement. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

As I’ve mentioned before, this whole thing is a lesson in Postmodern economics. The ultimate losers will be these guys in the suits trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Consumers, and especially Pomos, are fed up with crap like this. They will demand their way and get it, even if it means the total annihilation of the copyright cartel.


  1. Clubs & Taverns have been caught for years & years trying to skip out on “performance rights” payments. This has always been enforced. I remember clubs back in the 69’s in my hometown of Raleigh, NC being hit with fines for non-payment of performance right fees. Clubs earn money mostly by selling alcohol, and attracting drinking patrons by offering live music means they must pay when musicians perform songs that are covered by performance rights (not all are, fyi)

    Old story, though now with the “evil RIAA” spin. Silly as blaming the FCC for enforcing illegal broadcasting regulations.

    — george tirebiter

  2. Point taken, but here’s a thought for you, George: So much has changed since the days when the copyright law was written that perhaps we ought to think about changing it. Heresy, eh? I know.

  3. They are shooting themselves in the foot, george, because they’re making it so damn difficult for people to enjoy their art, which is their real product.

    I’ll give you an example. Do you know which two of my bills get paid in full and perfectly on time every month? The two that I have automatic draft for — the two that are *easiest* to pay, because I have to do NOTHING. Now, that’s an extreme example, but if these greedy bozos would get creative and make it easy for their artists to get paid, they would!

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