How Far Will the RIAA Go? 09/17/2009
With the record industry in a state of emergency, music artists and record execs alike are scrambling around trying to find solutions to an ever changing market. The infrastructure that the industry has known and loved for over half a century is falling down. As they would tell you, thanks to us, the music fan, we’re the primary, in not the only, cause to this mayhem that we’re witnessing today. Due to file sharing, we are the criminals who are sharing files over P2P networks. We are the criminals who want to stream music for free on sites such as Last.fm, imeem, and Pandora. We are the criminals who are responsible for artists not receiving royalty checks because we’re spinning their songs on our podcast without licensing. Is it really our faults? Or are organizations such as the RIAA and record execs looking for someone to blame in a changing economy? Are they afraid to admit that their time has come to change? Are they trying to hold onto a cash cow that has raped music artists and fans for decades?
In 2002, Felix Oberholzer-Gee , an associate professor at Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf , an associate professor at University of North Carolina, released a report detailing the affects of file sharing. The data that they collected over a 17 week period concluded that file sharing actually boosted CD sales.
In 2008, after Last.fm was acquired by CBS, this allowed Last.fm to gain access to over a million tracks from the four major record labels. Two months after the acquisition, Last.fm reported that Amazon.com, one of its affiliates, showed a 119% increase in digital sales. Again, we prove that allowing music fans to stream music prompts them to buy music.
With proof that new concepts such as file sharing and music streaming causing an increase in buying habits, the record industry continued to push forward with trying to control the market. They shut down file sharing sites such as Napster andOink. They began filing lawsuits against piraters. And their latest act that has succeeded in France is the “3 Strikes Plan”, in which ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are now policing the internet, shutting your service off for up to a year if you’re caught downloading illegal files.
Just when you thought the RIAA and the Pro Music movement have slowed their approach to attacking the new reality, we see videos like the one below:
I stumbled upon this video online the other day and the response from the viewers was as expected. The RIAA and SIAA (Software & Information Industry Association Anti-Piracy), the ones responsible for this video, have gone too far with trying to convey their message. After watching the video, my only question for the anti-piracy campaigners were; do you really think that this video will grab the attention of so called criminals or piraters? As I stated earlier, I think that the industry has a lot to learn when it comes to change.