The RIAA aka The Galactic Empire.
Posted by Enkill_Eridos on August 13, 2009
Okay the different associations that protect the big visual and audio entertainment industries have been cracking down on a lot of things lately. Despite these acronymed associations names, they do not look after the interests of the different artists they label. They use the artists keep the artists intellectual property as their own and sometimes do not pay the royalties the artists deserve when the contract is up. There is a lot of fine print in the entertainment industry. I don’t know how many have seen the different things about the RIAA pulling multiple artists content down (even if the content is posted by the actual artist themselves.) off youtube, myspace, and other sites that provide services to allow you to listen to music (not download) streaming on the internet. The artists that endorse these actions usually have thier own label or control all of the rights to thier content. Thus allowing them to actually post new content to promote concerts. The record company actually recieves more off cd sales and itunes and zune purchases than concerts. Concerts is where any performing band actually makes good money. For a $20.00 cd or $13.99 download an artist will recieve anywhere between .5 cents to .05 cents. Not to mention that the penny to half a penny per song played on the radio. These are figures for big labeled bands not those that own their own studio and publish their own content. Which with the advent of p2p networks has given the public more access to the unsigned bands that publish their own content over the internet, the web, whatever you want to call it. The fact that most bands can make an album with nothing more sophisticated than a digital audio authoring program, a laptop, a few cords to record a digital sample, and the internet. It is no wonder why the RIAA is becoming so paranoid about “their content” artists have other options and those options are not as complicated as many would seem. Any computer savvy teenager can create an album with the tools I described above. Even though the programs for digital music mixing range between $150-1000+(some including the proper hardware to be able to record the samplings in digital form), serious bands that want exposure without going through the hassle of wondering if the songs they wrote will be taken off youtube because the record label owns all rights to the bands intellectual property, will pay the money to do this. This is what the RIAA is fighting against, they want all the money in their pocket while the artists get screwed over. This rant right here is just telling you the reader what I think of the RIAA, and believe it or not this rant is relevant to the actual story in this post. I am just getting my ranting out of the way.
RIAA vs. Joel Tenenbaum
I was looking at different my usual rss stream and twitter updates when I came across one about a tribute the website http://thepiratebay.org about one guy named Joel Tenenbaum. This is a topic (RIAA’s treatment of artists using social networking platforms as well as sites like youtube, as promotional platforms for concerts that will be featuring new songs from a new album or whatever. If the RIAA does not approve that the artist can do that through them, they tell the websites admins, not the artist to pull all content related to that particular song or whatever.) that I have been following for quite some time. But this particular story caught my attention. “For 30 tracks, that he downloaded, he is ordered by the court to pay $675,000 to the RIAA.” Notice the words to the RIAA. What about the artists how damaging is that to the artists will the artists see a cent of that? Probably not.
RIAA’s war against P2P software.
Despite the fact the RIAA is sueing over twelve people and will try to get roughly $22k per song (the price of the rights to a master copy of each song), again does the artist see a dime? Many artists such as those belonging to the CMCC (Canadian Music Creator’s Collation. With a wopping 209 musicians, many of these artists have a following in America, and around the world) are not happy with the RIAA treatment of their fans. Mostly because those belonging to a record label that is apart of the RIAA is being unfair to the artists. This in itself is causing fans and artists to buck the system pull out from contracts, breach contracts, in the attempt to protect fans from litigation. I do not condone the current copyright system, because it does not favor the artist that creates the music and puts uses their talent, all for pennies each cd and each time a song is played. While the RIAA gets dollars, some of it is used to pay employees but the rest goes into the RIAA pockets. And these settlements from people who use Kazaa, Limewire, etc. all profit to the RIAA. Also the RIAA has actually started to do some very underhanded things. The RIAA has paid programmers to create viruses to be embedded in music and other “protected media.” The MPAA has also deployed these tactics. It’s easier to do this on Limewire and Kaaza than it is on other p2p networks. This is not some consipracy thing either, it has been proven the code has been shown, like a bomb maker each virus maker has a unique signature in the code. But these viruses are actually embedded into certain songs and released on IP addresses that can be linked to IP’s related to RIAA record labels. Of course there is a huge deniability especially when the RIAA siezes all logs and no one knows if they have been tampered with, as well as the viruses that are believed to originate from the RIAA or made for the purpose of disrupting p2p networks, cannot be proven 100% as the RIAA is not stupid enough to write a signature saying The RIAA is responsible for this virus’. And these virus’ are not nice at all, if the infected file is not caught by an anti-virus the computer will need to be formatted deleting all evidence. You may ask how I found this information sites. From sites that actually try to protect people’s computers from these criminal activites. Distributing Viruses is a worse crime than downloading music. Distributing Viruses is apart of “cyber-terrorism” and you will be labled as such if caught. Of course these are accusations I stand by, since the RIAA and MPAA was caught before inciting the distribution of virus’ a couple of years ago.
RIAA vs. Torrent Search Engines.
File-Sharing websites such as isohunt.com and thepiratebay.org allow you to search for torrents, which is a way to access a host and share a file or collection of files. This version of p2p is concidered safer than Limewire, and Kazaa. Of course torrents are not only used for the copyrighted downloads, but tech companies, and even some game companies are using the security the torrent downloading system provides as a way for consumer’s to download, demos, updates, and system restore disks just to name a few. Of course the RIAA started going after these different websites for hosting this activity. But as these websites are just specific search engines, and claim not to actually host any files on thier webservers the RIAA is finding it tricky to shut down these sites. Also the torrent sites listed above are public about not turning over logs because despite the RIAA propaganda one of which claims that downloading music helps terrorists, which is false because really how do you fund an organization on a data networking structure that does not require, endorse, or encourage bootlegging or paying individuals to be able to download said files. That is old propaganda now I believe the new propaganda is “illegal downloading hurts the artist.” Propaganda never tells the truth, RIAA try this for a propaganda sloagan. “Paying for concerts support the artists, Paying for their intellectual property supports the RIAA.” Bet you they will not.
RIAA vs. Youtube
As the quest for trying to milk consumers of money anyway they can continues, the RIAA’s failed attempts to bring down all free p2p networks, have caused them to start alienating a huge potential promotion source for artists albums (Which is why MTV was created right? Move that idea to youtube and bam.) But the artists that have posted said music videos and music have been forced to pull their content off Youtube. Not only the fan made videos and whatnot (which fans have been doing since the inception of MTV and RIAA did not have a problem with it untill now?) but actual content the artist actually sung, wrote, and created is being pulled as well. So now the RIAA is not only pissing off consumers, they are also pissing off artists. Effectively digging themselves their own graves.
RIAA vs. Artists
It is no trade secret that the RIAA has been ripping off Artists for a long time. This was depicted in the movie Ray when it depicted a recreation of Ray Charles trying to own all of his master copies of the music he wrote. The music industry hides behind smoke, mirrors, and wordplay. They have been doing this for a long long time. They take artists’ moniker’s and intellectual property, then profit off of it leaving the artist next to nothing each album, or song purchase. And if you purchase these songs through Zune, you have a limited amount of time to actually be able to keep the songs you paid for on your device. With Itunes, you pay to download a song from one specific computer. If you have to get a new computer and did not back-up your songs on an Ipod or CD (which the RIAA is trying to find out how to stop you from backing up the product you bought i am sure.) you have to pay for it again. All the while the artist gets little to nothing in royalties.
Everyone remembers the Napster shutdown in 2001 right? Remember all of those millions of dollars that had to be paid? Remember when they paid the artists their share? The last question never happened according to some artists that believed the RIAA bullshit, that was fed to them. These disgruntled artists are looking to take legal action and many who at first said file sharing is stealing, is no longer singing that tune. The fact is from all of these lawsuits the RIAA has been winning, the artists are not getting paid.
The bottom line is the RIAA is getting greedier and greedier and the government is not stopping it. The RIAA is even going as far as to say
“RIAA’s hard-line position seems clear. Its Web site says: “If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you’re stealing. You’re breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages.”
But according to current copyright laws the consumer deserves to make a back up copy of all media, software, movies, and music. In case of damage to the product they paid for. It is allowed to put music on your computer. Just like in some states they still have laws that allow you to grow certain plants in certain quantities, as well as the consumption of said plants in your home or on your property but beyond that it is illegal.
Don’t buy into the RIAA’s greed. It is not illegal for you to make back-ups just illegal to distribute said back-ups. The copyright law used to state for monetary payment, but it just says the distribution of back-ups are illegal.
Sharing music, movies, and video games is not a new concept. People have been letting their friends borrow music, movies, and video games for years. So how is sharing over the internet any different? The RIAA wants you to believe that this is a crime, and it always has been a crime. Even though in the past sharing has led to the person wanting said album, movie, or video game to own. With file sharing now a days over the internet, many in that community eventually buy the full product. Usually shared files tend to degrade and the full experience is missed, so the person goes to buy a cd or buy it of Itunes or Zune. I have known many people that download songs from the internet just to hear some songs. Many independant bands actually encourage the download and share of their digital content to promote concerts.
Let me ask you a question RIAA, Do you think bands that record and author their own music, then share and sell their material is also a crime? Since those bands and artists are not using a RIAA record label, and really can do as they please with their content. Is that kind of thing a crime an unsigned artist or band actually able to reach stardom without a record labels help?
Let me ask you a question, all you artists that are fed up with this association’s lies and manipulating. What is stopping you from recording your own music? The software is out there and some of it is easy to use, if you are not computer savvy see if any of your friends or family is. The Labels that make up the RIAA are middlemen, at one time it was necessary but no longer. Cut out the middlemen, keep your agents book your shows, I know the record companies make it easier to book concerts and what not, but are you really willing to pay the high cost for that convience? Why actually do business with a company that tries at every turn to make as much money as possible off your talent? In the business world, and many other industries this sort of behavior is not tolerated. So why do you artists tolerate it?
That is about it, this post was actually inspired by the Joel Tenenbaum case. Here is a list of tracks pulled from court records if you wish to know the thirty songs that cost him $675,000 that the artists will probably never see.
My last statement of the post, I NOT any other authors or admins or this blog or wordpress.com, Just me I encourage the boycotting of buying albums, music and other things from artists that are labeled in the RIAA. This does not mean go download these songs, I am not telling anyone to do that. But I encourage everyone to stop supporting the RIAA and start supporting the artists. Buy tickets for their concerts t-shirts what have you. Support the independent musicians as well, it is time for us to stop supporting big businesses that use the consumers and laborers (musicians) and treat us like we are nothing more than assets, sources of income, and liabilities. We are people show them how pissed off you are, or are not. Freedom of Speech is more than just my right to voice my opinion about, government, organizations, or news. It is my right to express myself and my ideas and feelings without fear of persecution. It is the purpose of this blog for the authors and readers to excersize this right. I want thoughts, agreements, disagreements, bitches, moans, groans and complants. I want all of those to be added in the comments.
As always if there is something you want me to post about (not going to guarantee I will come to the same conclusion as you.) You can e-mail the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or me personally at enkill_eridos@hotmail.