Liberty and Accessibility

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recording industry is now intimidating bloggers

For months, the recording industry has been suing average people who
can't afford lawyers for supposed copyright violations. Now it seems
that the recording industry wants to intimidate bloggers who write
about their anti-consumer actions. The blogger reported about
counterclaims filed by the defendant in a Florida case, UMG v. DelCid.
The counterclaims against the recording industry company are below.
1. Trespass
2. Computer Fraud and Abuse (18 USC 1030)
3. Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices (Fla. Stat. 501.201)
4. Civil Extortion (CA Penal Code 519 & 523)
5. Civil Conspiracy involving (a) use of private investigators without
license in violation of Fla. Stat. Chapter 493; (b) unauthorized access
to a protected computer system, in interstate commerce, for the purpose
of obtaining information in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (a)(2)(C);
(c) extortion in violation of Ca. Penal Code §§ 519 and 523; and (d)
knowingly collecting an unlawful consumer debt, and using abus[ive]
means to do so, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,
15 U.S.C. § 1692a et seq. and Fla. Stat. § 559.72 et seq.
A blog called New Music Strategies linked to an article about this
case. Then the blogger started getting threatening e-mails from an
executive on the board of the UK version of the recording industry
association. The author has published the e-mails on his blog at
In case if the site gets taken down, here is the e-mail exchange below
with comments from the blog's readers.
An IFPI & BPI Board Member Writes... at New Music Strategies
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An IFPI & BPI Board Member Writes…
Published by Dubber June 14th, 2007 in copyright and promotion.
In the context of a blog about the online music world, I thought you
might be interested in an email exchange I've had this evening with a
board member of both the IFPI and the BPI.
I've had an email conversation with Paul Birch of Revolver Records this
evening. Rather than comment on it, I'll just post it here for your
information, in full and unedited, with his permission.
Looking at your site I do think allowing indiscriminate criticism of
the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution.
Hi Paul,
You might be right, but I'm not a government funded institution, and
nor do I consider my criticism of the RIAA indiscriminate.
However, if you find something that's factually incorrect, I'd be more
than happy to amend it.
Thanks for checking out the site.
Let's talk about it when we next meet-up, as I don't intend to write a
thesis on the subject.
However, I stand by my assertion.
Fair enough. But if you do happen to stumble across something that you
have a particular problem with, if you could point it out to me, that
would be most helpful.
Look forward to catching up.
Andrew, Well I am in regular contact with the RIAA and both they and
the IFPI are subject to hate mail as a consequence of hubcap, our
litigation against consumers for illegally downloading our copyrights.
This manifests itself into individual members of our RIAA management
being singled-out for malicious statements and blogs on the internet.
As an example you probably saw the case earlier in the week of a
Chinese Laundry in the United States being sued for $54M for loosing a
pair of trousers, belonging to a lawyer. If you take a look at the
criticism on your blog of the RIAA by one of the contributors, they are
engaging in a similar malicious prosecution in the US courts but go
further and make a number of assertions through your blog that gives
credibility to illegal downloading.
I am not concerned that people decide to take out law-suits against our
organisations; we have the resources to deal with that. What does
concern me however is the repeating of malicious falsehoods that occur
in a number of internet blog, and are re-reported as having validity
contribute widely to the assertion that right is on the side of wrong-doing.
You might argue that your professional blog is your opinion alone,
however you are interwoven into the views and policy of the University
of Central England and I think that puts you in an exposed positon Andrew.
It might not be nice to be sued by the RIAA and potentially put in a
position of being made bankrupt; neither is issuing redundancy notices
to hard working staff. People don't have to download; they do however
have to work. Consumers that enjoy music have a lot of options and
enjoying it free on the radio is at least one of them, with and
You Tube there is near on demand service free at the point of use. But
stealing isn't clever, but presumably most people don't really wish to
steal, and only share because it is so easy and seems
harmless/victimless. If people need to affirmatively hide their
activities, then there is an understanding of wrongdoing. I feel that
your blog underpins the misuse of our copyright and attacks our trade
There are very serious allegations made in this anti-RIAA link on your
blog, and I don't think its appropriate that you link to them.
2 questions, then please Paul:
1) Which link?
2) Would you be willing for me to post this email to the blog to
present a counterbalance to the anti-RIAA position? _______________________

Above is the link, I am not sure how I navigated to it from your blog.
I am willing for you to publicise anything I say here, but I think that
what is more desirable is to take down links from your site that
promote this hatred of the recording Industry, because the assumption
is that by linking to them that you support the extreme view heralded.
That might be unfair to you by the way as you may or may not hold those
views. I can only seek to reason with those views but my argument about
biting the hand that feeds it is I feel valid. I respect everyone's
right to dissent but I am anxious that Individual managers within our
trade association have the right not to be publicly hounded.
Best wishes
I remember that article. I can see how it would be seen as undesirable
PR for the RIAA, but I'm not at all convinced it either represents an
extreme view or promotes the hounding of individual managers
represented by the recording industry association.
In fact, from my time online reading articles about the music industry,
I would say it's about par for the course. Most independent
commentators take the position that the suing of individuals by the
RIAA has been a public relations disaster, and that rather than deter
illegal activity, they have simply turned the record-buying public
against them. If someone is taking a countersuit against the
organisation, I'm afraid that's comment-worthy. As it happens, I think
I remember hearing that the case was thrown out, but I'd have to check
the facts.
The way I see it is this: what I'm linking to is opinion about a news
story. It's genuine news and it's legitimate opinion. You may not
agree, but I don't see anything there that warrants a take-down notice.
I would never endorse hate speech or the encouragement of the
victimisation of any individual no matter what their job. That link
doesn't even come close to either of those things.
More importantly, as someone who comments about the industry, only
linking to items that echo the official position of the major label
organisations would pretty much make my site valueless to its readers.
Download Squad, the source of that article, is pretty much uniformly
interesting, relevant and linkworthy. I don't think this was an exception.
But I think it's important that both sides are put, so I'll post this
email exchange up on the site. If there's anything else you'd like to
say on this, then pop it in a reply to this email, and I'll leave it at that.
I think it's great that you're willing to have this discussion in
public. Much appreciated.
It expresses opinion, it's not factual. If you persist then I shall
make a formal complaint to the University.
Your choice.
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119 Responses to "An IFPI & BPI Board Member Writes…"
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Jun 14th, 2007 at 10:29 pm
Allen Wagner
Jun 14th, 2007 at 11:25 pm
Oh, for goodness sake!
Doesn't that just reaffirm our general opinion about the
RIAA and those associated with it?
Apparently, it's now improper to have a negative opinion
about the RIAA. (I'm sure they wish it was already illegal.)
"If you've got a negative opinion about us, keep it to
yourself, or they'll be hell to pay!" Sheesh.
I'll bet they'd sue if they could … maybe they will. :)
Great stuff.
Stand firm!
Allen Wagner
Jun 14th, 2007 at 11:31 pm
Well, isn't that telling?
Doesn't this just serve to reinforce our opinion of the
RIAA and those associated with them? I know it does
for me.
So, apparently it's now improper to have a negative
opinion of the RIAA?
"FREEZE! RIAA Thought Police! If you say anything
negative about us you'll live to regret it!" Sheesh. :(
Jun 15th, 2007 at 2:11 am
> What does concern me however is the repeating of
> malicious falsehoods that … are re-reported as having
> validity
I wonder if Paul could suspend his straw men and confirmation bias long
enough to read these articles critically:
Ten inconvenient truths about file swapping
IFPI files 8000 lawsuits but can't keep story straight
More IFPI disinformation
Slyck Interview With ITIC
I'm not saying the IFPI "repeats malicious falsehoods," but they
certainly don't have the moral high ground here.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 3:03 am
This is absolutely priceless. That sentence might actually be one of
the quotes of the past decade on this whole debacle!
"It expresses opinion, it's not factual."
(Take it down or we'll get it taken down)
Unbelieveable. I hope this exchange gets all the attention it deserves.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 3:28 am
Hmm… Standover tactics.
Thanks for publishing this Andrew. It would seem Paul doesnt "get" the
internet and the way the industry is changing.
I imagine back in the day the wooden-wheel-making folk also felt the
same way about those new-fangled rubber tires.
Thats some pretty serious charges the RIAA are facing if the Download
Squad article is accurate.
I have to say I hadnt read it (or noticed it in NMS until this post
with Pauls emails) until now, but now that I have I will be following
the cases with interest.
Thanks Paul
Jun 15th, 2007 at 7:22 am
"RIAA, extortion, and conspiracy, in the same sentence"
…I guess "censorship" can now be added to the sentence, eh?
When your association deals heavily in negative, reactive behaviour
like threats, blackmail and punishment, it shouldn't be a surprise when
people think and say negative things about it.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 8:47 am
We want his email address!
Jun 15th, 2007 at 9:01 am
"with last FM and You Tube there is near on demand service free at the
point of use"
so it's ok to watch copyrighted music videos on youtube? 'kthxbye
Jun 15th, 2007 at 9:04 am
I'm not giving out Paul's email address.
He has offered his comments and given his permission to publish them
here. He has not given me permission to circulate his personal contact
details, and in the light of his comments concerning the personal abuse
of members of his affiliate organisations, it would be bad form of me
to do so, to say the least.
Nor do I encourage anyone to contact Paul directly about this. If he
invites debate, then fine. I have merely given him a public forum
within which to express his views.
To dispel any potential accusations of bias or agenda-setting, the
account is unedited, and I have made sure that he has the last word. He
is also, of course, free to post any additional comments here.
I'll refrain from commenting further, but I just wanted to make it
absolutely clear that I wish Paul no ill, and I am not inclined to set
the internet on him.
I just wish to report, with fairness and accuracy, issues of interest
to the music industries in the online environment, of which the major
record labels and their representative organisations form one part.
That's what I do on this website.
Giving out the personal contact details of individuals within that
ecology without their approval is not part of that brief, whether I
agree with those individuals or not.
Mark Jones
Jun 15th, 2007 at 9:34 am
A very interesting exchange. Kudos to Paul Birch for allowing it to be
posted unedited. Paul's personal view is understandable, given his job
at a record company. It's just unfortunate that he sees his view as the
only valid one. The legality of file-sharing is not the issue -
everyone understands that. The RIAA's pursuit of individuals whom they
know were not involved in file sharing - that's the real issue. Why
would Paul have a problem with criticism of a clearly dubious practice ?
Oh - and if you ever have an exchange with Paul again, could you clear
something up for me ? If I am only buying the right to listen to the
songs on a CD - so I can't make a backup - will he replace it if it
gets scratched ?
Paul Birch
Jun 15th, 2007 at 10:02 am
Thank you for clarifying these are my personal views not those of the
IFPI, RIAA, BPI or others.
In response to Mark I actually think there is nothing wrong with making
a copy for your own use, in a sense side-loading to an iPod or similar
is an extension of that use. Under current copyright legislation there
is a need for customers to be allowed that facility but without it
giving rise to them then making multiple copies for sale. The very
specific instrument that allows the one and not the other is the
difficulty in drafting any amendment.
Revolver Records
Michael Jackson
Jun 15th, 2007 at 10:38 am
What strikes me most about this piece is: "against consumers for
illegally downloading OUR copyrights"
Shouldn't that say 'our artist's copyrights' ???
THAT is the problem of these moneyhungry pimptypes.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 10:48 am
You've just been BoingBoinged just wait until the US comes online.
in case yopu haven't seen the Grauniad today : 'Downloads fail to stem
Britains' love of the CD',,2103600,00.html
Jun 15th, 2007 at 10:49 am
Paul needs a hug
Jun 15th, 2007 at 11:31 am
I'd be very afraid if I were you - who cares if he reports you to your
university - but he might just tell on you to your Mum next!!! That
could be nasty.
(Childish, ineffective and prone to tantrums? RIAA? Never!)
Jun 15th, 2007 at 11:32 am
Just getting this in Canada, I was just about to share this with Boing
Boing when I found I was beaten to it. Indeed, Dub, you've been
entirely above board to simply lay out the complete debate (if one
could call it that) with no decoration of additional opinion/bias. It
speaks for itself without you pushing it, so you won't.
The internet community will make of it what it will - and believe me,
it WILL. You've done your due diligence, and been classy as always. Well done.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 11:46 am
This Paul fellow is out of touch with reality.
People who fileshare know exactly what they are doing but continue
since they realize that a solid moral case can be made for a culture of
sharing. Copyright has from the beginning been a virtual right i.e. a
construct that societies may decide to have if (and that's a big if) it
leads to better consequences compared with other systems of cultural
and intellectual production. Internet and globalization has now
provided those other, better systems so laws against non-commercial
copying has served its (short) historical purpose. It's simply time to
move on. Polls shows that the people agree on that. Just give us a fair
referendum on the issue and we'll settle it democratically once and for all.
"If people need to affirmatively hide their activities, then there is
an understanding of wrongdoing."
Uh no, rather there is understanding that organizations like IFPI and
RIAA have grown so powerful and full of themselves that they don't
hesitate to bully anyone anywhere.
Finally, thanks Paul for drawing my (and probably countless others)
attention to the interesting article in Download Squad.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:15 pm
Putting aside the RIAA actions for a moment I was really taken aback by
the final threat.
"It expresses opinion, it's not factual. If you persist then I shall
make a formal complaint to the University.
Your choice."
All this has done is REINFORCE the negative view a lot of people have
about recording industry execs. If Paul had simply argued against music
piracy he might have got somewhere, but the threat? Oh no, that is
exactly where he looses any sympathy and goes from man who has a point
to just another recording industry bully. Own goal.
Thought police SWAT team
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:17 pm
What I don't like about Paul's interaction is the underlying threat. He
clearly doesn't like the link, but it's a link of interest in relation
to the music industries and how consumers feel about current
developments (but never mind, the biggest downloaders are only the
biggest legal consumers too).
And as for 'telling the University', what is that all about? This is
Dubber's personal space, and is nothing to do with the policy of a
University. By the way – 'redundancy' is when you haven't a role for
someone anymore, not as the result of formal complaints against some
imaginary policy a University should have (in your mind).
If I disagree with you Paul are you going to sue my Mum (who is
certainly an institution )? She knows about my opinions, which are
personally interwoven into her life; surely this makes it her opinion
too. Cripes, she may even be responsible for some of my opinions too;
I'm dialling the thought police now. Now I know that sounds daft – but do you?
By the way – aren't Universities supposed to be arenas of rationalised
debate and a variety of approaches and opinions on subject areas
through evidence and developments from the perspective of both music
consumers, producers and institutions (something that Dubber provides
material for)? God help those academics who have ever carried out
ethnographies of music consumers who may criticise the controls of the
music industry; I can only imagine Routledge will be recalling books as
we speak.
Did people not challenge the 'earth is flat' in such arena's under the
threat of prison, death and such like….It's amazing that when people
don't like an opinion they lash out; but do note that being bombastic
doesn't make you right. Perhaps it would have been more useful to put
your point across about such matters Paul, rather than lashing out and
talking about issues (personal hate mail) against individuals which the
link doesn't even deal with! Paul seems to think that anyone who
criticises the current copyright system and legal action is a
'hate-mailer'; people can actually disagree sensibly you know.
Ironically this becomes quite a personal and individualised attack with
an attempt at a 'superficial' threat against Dubber's vocational postion.
I don't like the undercurrent and attempt at bullying here - it's not
big and it's not clever. Either debate or don't bother - but don't
start with my Dad is bigger than your Dad stuff and threats to
intelligent people's livelihood and any notion of free debate in the
public sphere. As I remember when I was a kid, those who started with
those claims, often found themselves with egg on their face (that's a
metaphor by the way Paul, I'm not threatening you in some superficial
semi Mafioso way).
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:22 pm
I think it is pretty important to remember here that Andrew writes a
blog that is designed to help those that make their livings from music
in it's various forms to understand and best utilise the online environment.
Trying to educate the owners of copyright and producers and suppliers
of music in the different ways they can make money online is a million
miles from encouraging copyright theft. Andrew is trying to stimulate
and encourage economic activity in new and interesting ways so that
small music industry people can use the online environment to make
their livings.
If reading NMS helps a small label or online retailer to understand
that every mp3 shared does not equal one lost sale but is another
opportunity gained, then the industry will really be moving in the
right direction.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:22 pm
This only leaves me firmer on my stance to never buy another thing
produced by an RIAA company. Thanks Paul!
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:46 pm
I'm bringing out an album shortly.
If any of you evil file-sharers who are reading this copy it or give it
the Russians then I'm going to get my Dad on you.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:56 pm
Absolutely fascinating stuff! I simply had to bring this to our readers
over at TorrentFreak. We have a million hits per month so this will now
get a little more exposure ;) You can find our post here
and of course for all the Diggers (don't be shy!)
Wonderful post Andrew, thanks for the fast response.
Chris Richardson
Jun 15th, 2007 at 1:56 pm
Good grief. Why should government funding prevent someone from
commenting on the policies of an industry body? Why should government
funding prevent someone from commenting on the policies of *any* body?
Would Paul subscribe to the belief that academics at a
government-funded university shouldn't criticise government policy?
Perhaps he'd like press censorship too. Never mind that I disagree with
the RIAA's ridiculous bullying, as someone who used to teach at a
government-funded university, I find his whole viewpoint very disturbing.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 2:47 pm
Amen to the above. Since when did a publicly funded institution have to
say only the things that businesses want to hear?
Get that, Paul? PUBLICLY FUNDED…not RIAA funded! If Dubber has a duty
to anyone,it is to British taxpayers like ourselves, all of us who want
to know how to find our way around the ever-changing world that is the
music industry. Tools that we can use, rather than the recording
industry keeping all its secrets to itself to dole out in teeny chunks
to the favoured few, thus keeping all the power and not sharing it with
the actual producers of the music.
This blog is empowering musicians like myself who don't necessarily
want to have to sign their rights away in blood to record companies to
make a living. and if that means less for the big boys, so be it.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 3:22 pm
I just had an email from Paul. It seems that somebody claiming to be
him posted a comment here, welcoming discussion via email — and gave
out the address.
As I said — and meant — I'm not in favour of giving personal details
out without Paul's permission. The real Paul, that is.
I've deleted the comment at his request.
Play nice.
Nick Dunn
Jun 15th, 2007 at 3:22 pm
Dear All
There seems to be a lot of bashing going on here that shouldn't have
happened. As you read through all the correspondence between Paul and
Andrew, the complaint to Andrew is very clear; the journalist in
downloadsquad has used words such as terrorists that is highly
inappropriate especially in this day plus many more that were in fact
an expression of personal opinion not fact. Paul was correctly pointing
out the RIAA are attempting to do their job by protecting the
intellectual copyright of the artists and composers. I personally feel
that if RIAA were in the wrong then the US courts would have made
criticism and thrown out their cases, which from what I understand is
not the case.
Paul is a very well respected member of the music community who has
done much great work for the artists and independent labels; often he
has battled against the major companies all in the name of making the
playing field fairer. I feel the comments made by many people show that
not only a lack of knowledge and understanding on their part, but also
a rudeness in not reading the entire thread. This whole situation makes
a mockery of what Andrew is trying to achieve as this is clearly
becoming a place where individual thought cannot be expressed.
Universities are for expressing thought however thought should never be
expressed until you have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter on
both sides of the coin. I hope that people here will read thoroughly
the article and the emails between Paul and Andrew before joining the
bandwagon of nonsense views and refrain from making threatening and
unproductive views. I would hope there are musicians here who realise
not everyone is out to rob them and that there needs to be things in
place that will protect you from the thoughtless people who blatantly
steel (such as the RIAA, IFPI and BPI etc).
Jun 15th, 2007 at 3:41 pm
The threat here is pretty explicit. First, "…and I think that puts you
in an exposed positon (sic) Andrew. It might not be nice to be sued by
the RIAA and potentially put in a position of being made bankrupt;" And
then, of course, the final "If you persist then I shall make a formal
complaint to the University."
Now, Andrew here is a polite and well-mannered fellow. I am afraid if a
RIAA/IFPI exec threatened me with personal bankrupcy I would have been
much more forthright about what he should do with his "warnings".
Paul's complete lack of understanding what does "freedom of speech"
means is no surprise, but it's rare to find it on display in such a
naked and explicit way…
Cory Doctorow
Jun 15th, 2007 at 4:08 pm
"thought should never be expressed until you have a thorough knowledge
of the subject matter on both sides of the coin"
This sentence violates its own edict. In fact, universities are places
that embrace dialectic — that is, the proffering of contradictory
theses and the vigorous discussion of their clash. If you understood
"both sides of the coin" (e.g., how academic discourse works), you
wouldn't assert this.
And no one at the site in question called anyone a terrorist. The word
is "terrorize" — as in "frighten." Given that the RIAA's publicly
avowed purpose for its lawsuits is to frighten students and other
downloader, this seems like a fair accusation.
Everything else in that post is a quote from a legal filing: IOW, the
site reported on a lawsuit that alleged several charges, and, in the
course of its reportage, recited the charges. This is just journalism.
Fuzzy Gerdes
Jun 15th, 2007 at 4:19 pm
Paul: "Thank you for clarifying these are my personal views not those
of the IFPI, RIAA, BPI or others."
So, Paul, you're allowed to have personal opinions separate from
organizations you might be associated with, but Andrew is not? Right,
good to know.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 4:34 pm
Oh cry me a river Paul!
Do you even realize how much PR you've just generated from this threat?
Sans the threat this would have just gone down as another e-mail
exchange about the music industry, but thanks to your immature hollow
threats I would have never known about this blog (thanks to Boing
Boing) and e-mailed the link to several other news sites.
Your industry is dying, thanks to people like you.
Now you going to tell my mom?
Ray Beckerman
Jun 15th, 2007 at 5:06 pm
Here is a factual post on the subject:
""RIAA Accused of Extortion and Conspiracy in Tampa, Florida, case, UMG
v. Del Cid"
Jon Newton
Jun 15th, 2007 at 5:38 pm
Hi Andrew: Interesting post, to considerably understate it : )
I'm running it in full in p2pnet here
It'll be interesting to see if Birch follows up on this, and if any of
the Big 4 cartel members have anything to say about it.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 5:38 pm
I have really only read one clear instance of 'threat' on this posting
board and that is from Mr. Birch. Surely, if your point about knowing
all sides of the argument is true, Andrew is adding to this knowledge
and not taking away from it; he even looks beyond the two sides of the
coin! It's really patronising to maintain that the posters here do not
have the knowledge and awareness of the music industry, and to say they
are threatening anyone. I really don't see that happening.
This article really has a very vague allusion to the anger felt by many
consumers and that they feel their civil liberties and privacy are
being undermined (do see the detail of the legal action, especially
related to the alleged abuse of information gained from computer hard
drives - this is linked from the page).
Surely music consumers and the public (whose personal data may be used
in ways which contravene various state/international laws) are 'one
side of the coin'. I also don't think that court judgements make the
RIAA's actions morally correct even if legally correct, but that's a
whole different debate – and whoops, it's based on reasoned opinion.
Personally, perhaps the RIAA should look at how consumers want to use
and consume music, what technologies are developing and work with these
continual changes rather than restrict, control and punish. Consumers
are a fairly key part of the industry, wouldn't you say? This is not to
say, 'it should all be free'; but the approach currently being taken is
not productive for consumers (those people who BUY from the industry).
Jun 15th, 2007 at 5:39 pm
To me, Paul Birch's responses only further underline this 'control'
focus, even to the extent of academic debate (which Dubber was not
really indulging in with the link). Does this now mean that as an
academic one cannot go and interview consumers about their opinions,
consumption practices and music use (ethnography) then publish the
material online/in literature? Would our publisher (and potentially as
the provider of funds for research our University and/or international
funding body) be sued as these ideas are 'only opinion' and we are then
introducing them to the wider world? If this is the case then that's
exceptionally worrying, especially for media studies, social sciences,
criminology, psychology – the list goes on. Perhaps it would be wise
for some people in this forum to really make themselves aware of what
Universities do before making claims and threats about how to
potentially hush/restrict an employee of one on his personal blog.
The online article offered a perspective on something which actually
happened, and barring getting into a debate about the impossibility of
objectivity in any reporting I don't see anything wrong with that (what
fun we could have with a variety of news networks and their labelling
of various groups in society). In fact the article DOES NOT mention
'terrorists', but uses the word 'terrorized' (please ensure your
comments ARE accurate). As I say, it would be wise to ensure that
accusations and claims regarding the article are correct – especially
before you publish that opinion.
If you want to be pedantic, internationally renowned journalists use in
their everyday reporting:
Your vague allusion to events in the wider world is a little tenuous.
It is odd the BBC have not been briefed on such a consideration. In
fact, as many journalists will know the word can also be used to
discuss coercion and dominance too, as it is in the linked articles.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 5:39 pm
I would also say that
would likely fill the person being sued with terror and fear.
Do note that you claim winning lawsuits vilifies the RIAA and proves
them right. In this instance the case was 'dismissed with prejudice'
against the plaintiff (RIAA), this actually means that the court
considered that the RIAA cannot bring a lawsuit against this same
person again. Do see
for why this decision is usually made.
Jun 15th, 2007 at 6:03 pm
This rather undermines your claim, although sadly most other plaintiffs
just pay up rather than face three years of such a suit and the
emotional, financial and health consequences of such litigation.
You may be right that the RIAA's job is to protect copyright. But there
is something which is NOT their job, and that is to try and restrict
online blogs which may link to content which reports an actual event.
Neither is it their role to control academic research and debate
(although as this is Andrew's site this is really not an issue).
What is really sad here is that Andrew is probably someone that the
music industry bodies could learn a huge amount from, as are the
consumers of music. His research offers insight into the development of
the music industries and how it can benefit music and economy. Nick, I
really think you are underplaying the threat contained in Paul Birch's
interaction; it's misplaced, unfair and unfounded.
In my opinion (if I dare have it) change seems to be something seen as
dangerous which must be restricted; even through media coverage and
creating a fear of litigation. Can change not be embraced and
developed? The opinions and feelings of the consumers in the industry
matter – many feel maligned and I think that the RIAA should take some
notice of that.
Ryan Carter
Jun 15th, 2007 at 6:08 pm
Thanks for the link and the thoughts on my post. I feel that there is a
valid point made in that the RIAA has gone too far and used tactics
that are less than honorable to attack people who clearly have not been
involved with infringing activity. Scare tactics and PR seem to be the
aim, but really the point is that someone is finally standing up for
their rights in court against what I consider to be unjust litigation
in some cases, nothing more.
My personal opinion is that the RIAA should spend more time finding
innovative ways to allow their customers to purchase and use music
freely (such as EMI and iTunes have begun to do) and the general
populace wouldn't be so filled with angst (if you will) against the big
bad wolf.
If the record companies and the association would consider the fact
that CD sales are not in their best interest with the advent of newer
digital music technology, they would be better off. DRM is another
issue which turns consumers against the RIAA as well, and incidents
such as Sony's CD root-kit fiasco don't inspire trust and goodwill either.
To sum up, I think the RIAA and some of the record companies deserve
the negative PR they are receiving to some degree, and will continue to
receive the same until they align their priorities to providing content
that consumers actually want and stop attacking helpless and uninvolved
persons as a scare tactic for the general public.
I wish the association no ill-will, and appreciate Paul's candor on the
matter, though as you might expect I must soundly disagree.
Thanks again.
-Ryan Carter
writer of the article linked that created this whole mess in the first place.
Vay Porloc
Jun 15th, 2007 at 7:16 pm
I wouldn't buy a music CD if it was given to me. These jokers have to
be put out of business!
Jun 16th, 2007 at 7:06 am
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and consult for
their common good, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
1st Amendment. Hey RIAA - I grieve you. Sue me.
Mr Anchvoy
Jun 16th, 2007 at 9:45 am
Nick Dunn: "the complaint to Andrew is very clear; the journalist in
downloadsquad has used words such as terrorists that is highly
inappropriate especially in this day plus many more that were in fact
an expression of personal opinion not fact."
Inappropriate? Quite possibly yes.
Personal opinion not fact? Absolutely
Why should Andrew face a formal complaint for pointing out someone
else's opinion? If we stand idle to such threats, what do we open
ourselves up to next, being threated for linking to a one-star review
from Rolling Stone? After all, such a review would merely be one's
opinion, not fact, and could hurt those with a financial interest in
the album in question.
Jun 16th, 2007 at 10:06 am
Found this via Digg. Prepare for more traffic. :)
Jun 16th, 2007 at 10:11 am
Birch, are you attacking our freedom of speech? We're all entitled to
our opinion! that is why this is the free world!
Andrew King
Jun 16th, 2007 at 10:16 am
I believe, that Faye needs her own blog. I would subscribe tomorrow.
Fabulous writing.
The problem, Paul, is that you have done exactly what the world would
expect you to do - when you see that something isn't going your way…
You threaten. I don't put it past you to go whine at the university -
the recording industry will just add it to the laundry list of things
to whine about in their next regular meeting in which they complain
about all the evil students that are stealing from them.
Here's another of my opinions: Too many people (other than the artist),
have gotten too rich, for too long, on the backs of those that can
accomplish that which they cannot. This is unfortunate, as those that
can create, will always do so and those that have profited unjustly
from their work will find themselves a failure. The winds of change are
blowing. People, while still buying music, are changing how they buy
it, and it will cleave the industry in two.
Beyond Row
Jun 16th, 2007 at 12:03 pm
I am fully aware of Paul Birch, he has been a cornerstone in the
industry for many years. I have been running my own label for about 8
years now.
Paul has helped the music industry dramatically over the years,
however, his ideals havn't moved on and his theories havn't evolved
with the times.
Please DO NOT take his opinion as the opinion of ALL record labels. I
disagree with the way individuals are sued for downloading. I am angry
in the way he our free speech is deemed as unviable towards the industry brass.
I saw the site was offline last night and I scoured the internet for
contact details for Andrew to tell him about it and voice my anger at
the way this site has been treated.
Long Live New Music Strategies!
Jun 16th, 2007 at 12:43 pm
Jun 16th, 2007 at 1:40 pm
I'm a lyricist and have also worked in different capacities with indie
labels. There's one myth I'd like to kill: the idea of the labels
making millions on the backs of musicians.
Many, many labels have gone to the wall over the past five years and
many more have become even smaller. Nearly every label I know has cut
back on production and certainly development. This despite the fact
that many of these same labels embrace the new technologies, etc.
So the idea that, "they had this coming" only goes so far. It was
certainly true of the majors, but that's only about 20% of music
production. It's kinda tiring to hear the indies being painted with the
same brush the whole time.
Music-sharing has had a direct effect on every level of the business.
Mr Dubber's blog reflects one mentality: "well, let's make the most of
what we can". I subscribe to that as well. But it takes a brave man to
sink upwards of €30,000 / £20,000 or whatever in the production of a
first album these days, with the double or more in promotion (very
modest estimates by the way).
Apart from that, I find the exchange with Mr Birch as gob-smacking as
the rest of you! Not very inspired.
Jun 16th, 2007 at 1:57 pm
hmm …
Why is my other comment blank ??
Anyway .. to try again.
As another poster mentioned.
If it weren't for the not-so-veiled threat
" It might not be nice to be sued by the RIAA and potentially put in a
position of being made bankrupt "
This would have been just another P2P/sharing debate.
The open threat to Mr. Dubbers financial well being
will insure that this exchange will be heard far and
Thank you Mr. Birch for helping us show just how much
contempt you have for musicians, artists, and fans.
Jun 16th, 2007 at 4:30 pm
So I JUST finished watching "V for Vendetta" - with all the censors
blocking your freedoms, prosecuting dissidents, etc. And then I read
this. A guy being threatened (financially and through employment) for
linking to an op-ed piece written by someone else. Scary times.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't really have a clue about what's
going on about the whole RIAA thing. I do know a thing or two about
Free Speech though. This is not a good precedent being set here.
Good luck.
I think you should try some other media outlets out there and get this
exposed as much as possible.
Jun 16th, 2007 at 4:48 pm
> "It expresses opinion, it's not factual."
I ran that through the English-to-Newspeak translator and it came out,
"Doubleplus ungood crimethink."
> "If you persist then I shall make a formal
> complaint to the University."
I bet you didn't expect a kind of RIAA Inquisition, did you, Andrew?
"NO ONE expects the RIAA Inquisition!!! Our chief weapon is fear! Fear
and surprise! Our two weapons are fear and surprise! And lawsuits! Our
three weapons are fear, surprise, lawsuits, and an almost fanatical
contempt of the consumer! Amongst our weapons… Amongst our weaponry are
elements such as fear, surprise… oh bugger, I'll come in again."
"NO ONE expects the RIAA Inquisition!!!"
Jun 16th, 2007 at 5:35 pm
Amazing read. I knew it was bad, but I never really knew how bad.
Dear Paul,
In your attempt to defend an industry that has serious problems you
have now managed to alienate a large number of people that might have
been receptive to your arguments, had you not completely blown your
credibility by including some veiled (and some not so veiled) threats.
Normally if you don't get your way the proper response is not to
threaten to use force but to try to find common ground and then to use
reasoning and factfinding skills.
You misrepresent the piece that was linked to, you threaten a respected
individual, you reserve the right to have your own 'personal opinions'
but you deny that same right to others.
I don't know what your position with 'revolver records' is, but I hope
that your management and shareholders will see this for what it is, an
old fashioned attempt at bullying whilst being in the wrong.
You have managed to do Revolver records unimaginable harm with your
careless words, and you have harmed the interests of all the artists
that are currently with 'revolver'.
Now aim for the other foot…
Jacques Mattheij
Steve Walker
Jun 16th, 2007 at 5:39 pm
"You might argue that your professional blog is your opinion alone,
however you are interwoven into the views and policy of the University
of Central England and I think that puts you in an exposed positon Andrew"
"If you persist then I shall make a formal complaint to the University."
I hope this chap is thoroughly ashamed of making such ugly, transparent
threats in pursuit of censorship. Kudos to Andrew Dubber for standing
firm on his right to hold an opinion.
Jay Bonter
Jun 16th, 2007 at 8:13 pm
"Universities are for expressing thought however thought should never
be expressed until you have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter
on both sides of the coin."
Mmf. As one with a thorough knowledge of scholastic numismatics, it is
incumbent upon me to express the thought that this is either tripe… or
a sublime expression of ironic absurdity.
Occam says tripe.
Christopher Mercer
Jun 16th, 2007 at 8:15 pm
Since this is a professional site, you are in the employment of an
academic institute, would not the opinions of this blog fall under
academic freedom?
The constant battle of the RIAA and its other international
organizations to sue users while fighting a loosing PR battle seems
hopeless. It is something I often comment on, and I feel my comments
are as valid as their's. I have every right to comment on the products
I consume as the producers of those products have a right to rebut my comments.
Although it's hard to accept the opinions of a trade organization since
it is their job to defend their products, even when that same industry
might be wrong. They gain from the defense, I as a consumer gain
nothing from defending or criticizing a particular product or organization.
So while Paul might not be happy with your comment, they come from some
educated and experienced background. I would consider them more valid
then his. After all, he is paid to defend a particular view point and
if possible enforce it. Since your comments are not libel, you are
fully entitled to criticize to your hearts content. He can complain,
but I believe your University should only acknowledge the complaint as
far as to say they received it. Nothing more.
Jun 17th, 2007 at 3:55 am
Thank you for being civil to this pinhead. The RIAA will be history in
a short time. The usefulness of hiring a gang of lawyers is destroying
the corporations PR. They will fall together. Seen it many times.
Jun 17th, 2007 at 5:33 am
The riaa has been charging Canadians a surtax on blank cds(regardless
of what they are to be used for). When do we get our music? Or are we
supposed to get it via P2P? Mr. Birch?
Jun 17th, 2007 at 7:34 pm
great read but shows how much the Riaa is losing this battle rather
then reading what people are saying and learning they just attack
Jun 17th, 2007 at 8:40 pm
It's so nice that Birch's commnents are self-parodying.
It saves me so much work.
Jun 17th, 2007 at 10:48 pm
Hello Andrew Dubber,
I'm a bit confused;
"Revolver-Man" demanded:
"but I think that what is more desirable is to take down links from
your site that promote this hatred of the recording Industry"
While I tried hard to find on your site some of those links Mr. Birch
talks about in your email conversation, I couldn't. Of course, it could
be that my search capabilites aren't as good as his, or that I did it
wrong even when I tried to use google as aditional help when my own
initiatives where fruitless.
So please, If you do have somewhere on your site a posting of yours
where the link is mentioned by you (or in a comment) please be so nice
and point me to that post. Thanks.
Jun 17th, 2007 at 11:08 pm
I can only think that Paul must have found my Newswire page, which is a
collection of links to news stories and articles about the online music world.
The page is updated daily, and many of the site's readers choose to get
the latest links emailed to them on a daily basis - which is very easy
to set up.
Like you, I scoured the site and couldn't find the link, even though I
had a clear recollection of having read the article. Then I remembered
where I'd put it.
It was just another link in my day to day round up of "what's being
said today about music business on the internet".
Stef Lewandowski
Jun 17th, 2007 at 11:08 pm
I've read through the email correspondence, followed the links and then
followed a few links-of-links.
To be honest, I'm not sure what the fuss is all about.
The RIAA are being sued by someone, a blogger wrote a post about it,
then Andrew re-posted the link.
It seems to me that other than the word 'terrorize', which perhaps in
America has now taken on a new meaning and has become unacceptable to
use, that the Download Squad article was the kind of thing of which I
would normally scan through the first sentence and then close the browser tab.
The RIAA and other trade associations are no doubt going to be
redefining themselves over the coming years, and as a co-owner of a
record label I would urge them to do so as rapidly as possible to
maintain their relevance, support and influence - especially for
independent labels like mine that have embraced the Creative Commons /
non-DRM environment we operate in.
However, I do think that Paul has a valid point in questioning your
position in who you represent, Andrew. From his point of view you are a
University lecturer, and as such most of us would expect you to treat
your blog in the same way as any other academic publication method. By
linking to another site, does this mean that you endorse the content I
will find there? Has it been peer-reviewed for accuracy? Can I trust
your sources? etc.
In other academic situations I would expect a degree of filtering to
have taken place before publication occurs. It seems to me that the
blog article you linked to is relatively sensationalist in the
adjectives it uses and is not the kind of reference I would expect to
see in a publication.
I think at this point we need a clear lead, maybe a link on every page
on whether you are blogging here as an academic ( I heard you're using
some the content of your 20 things on your course? ) or independently.
Perhaps your next area to look at is freedom of content publication for
music academics? I know that many academics are afraid of publishing
content on blogs external from their departments because this content
will not be handled by their Universities' legal departments. Could
academic content move to an open source model? What happens to the 6
year PHD in that kind of environment?
"New academic strategies"?!
Perhaps a Manifesto for academic bloggers?
Anyway - I hope it resolves itself.
Jun 17th, 2007 at 11:40 pm
All good questions, Stef — but I think there are two key things to
point out here. The first one's really simple: I am not my job.
The About Me page on this site mentions what I do for a living for the
sake of context and perhaps, to an extent, to offer credentials, but
none of my three other blogs are peer reviewed either.
The second deserves a bit more explanation: this is not an academic
publication. I write in all sorts of different contexts.
The fact that I work for a university does not mean that everything I
write must be in the academic mode.
I co-wrote a book fairly recently about new technologies for
broadcasters in developing countries. It was commissioned by UNESCO,
and in the brief was the requirement that it NOT be written in an
academic fashion. We were pretty thorough and well researched, as you
might expect — but I would expect an entirely different standard from a
peer-reviewed journal.
Nor would it be appropriate for me to do a conference presentation the
way I teach a class, or write an email the same way I talk on the telephone.
In the Media and Communication Department, where I work, that's one of
the first things we try and get through to the students:
mode-appropriate communication.
If you need a parallel, I suppose this is more in line with an op-ed
piece. I write what occurs to me, and it's important to me that I get
at least some of it right.
But this is not my job. I'm not teaching the 20 Things as part of a
degree course. It's not a textbook, and nor should it be. But nor am I
keeping it a secret from my music industries students. I think it might
well be helpful to them. I tell them to read Music Week too — but we're
not studying that either.
That said, much of what I tell my students doing the 2nd year Music
Online module also turns up in discussion here. We talk about Web 2.0,
we talk about Creative Commons licensing, and we talk about innovation.
Hardly surprising, I suppose.
But if you really need to make the distinction, I'm a music industries
academic who also blogs about what he's most interested in — not a
"blogging music academic".
Links to external sites indicate that there is other stuff in the world
other than just what I write here. It's all publicly accessible. You
make your own mind up whether you agree or not.
The idea that this blog won't be 'protected' by my university's legal
team is a notion that has never entered my head.
And apart from anything else, if my salary was also covering all the
time I spend working on this blog, I'd be on about £2 an hour.
Does that help?
Jun 18th, 2007 at 12:12 am
Thanks Andrew,
so do I understand it right that he was "mad with you" just because of
a link you gave in some semi automatic newsletter RSS feed stuff thingy
that is not even a "real work"-posting like your minifesto link or
other postings of you that involve real editorial work of yours!
Oh boy, under those circumstances me wonders what Mr Birch might thing
about this (*) posting then, where there is also not so much editorial
work in it but links to the "story about the story" which I understand
introduces Mr. Birch as "RIAA coward".
David Hendricks
Jun 18th, 2007 at 2:00 am
Funny, I mentioned this same cas in my blog a couple of weeks ago, as
it happened in the State in which I live (my city even!). I agree that
you are not your job, but Stef brings up a point worth pondering. I
work in acedemia myself, and sometimes my superiors don't always see it
that way you see it. I found myself wondering what your University
thought of all this. Your opinions are always well balanced and well
researched, so I don't think anyone could fault you, at least I hope
not, I want to keep reading you for a long time!
Jun 18th, 2007 at 5:18 am
I'm a 40 year old average consumer who isn't a big buyer of music and
who never goes to the trouble of downloading it either - but I was
thinking of buying a CD recently just to support an artist whose
politics I like. Now after reading this I've decided to never buy a CD
again. I'd rather not hand any of my hard-earned dollars to thugs like Paul.
I'll stick to listening to the radio, like we did in the olden days.
Stef Lewandowski
Jun 18th, 2007 at 8:26 am
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the considered response - that does help. I obviously got
the wrong end of the stick about "20 things" (which is great, by the
way) being used in an academic situation.
It was mainly this sentence in the email exchange that made me think
along those lines:
You might argue that your professional blog is your opinion alone,
however you are interwoven into the views and policy of the University
of Central England and I think that puts you in an exposed positon Andrew.
I'd guess that he clicked on the 'Author' tab in your navigation and
got this intro:
My name's Andrew Dubber. I'm the Degree Leader for Music Industries at
UCE Birmingham, UK. I'm a senior lecturer and researcher with a
particular interest in online music, radio and new media technology.
So, perhaps you could adapt some of what you just said and add it to that page?
Either way, keep up the good work.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 9:51 am
Nice thought, Stef. I've made an amendment that will hopefully deflect
even the most wilful misinterpretations.
It now reads:
My name's Andrew Dubber. I'm the Degree Leader for Music Industries at
UCE Birmingham, UK. I'm a senior lecturer and researcher with a
particular interest in online music, radio and new media technology.
I tell you this not to suggest that anything here is connected to UCE —
merely to offer context, and in some small way, present my credentials.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 11:42 am
Paul you have done yourself more harm, with your e-mail then this blog
could do with Dubber's opinion piece. This is now on Digg, Slashdot,
and many other places of Geek interest. When are you going to come to
the understanding that if you try to censor something the communities
on the internet come together? Ignore it and it won't become big
something those AACS Lawyers should of realised.
You're associated with Revolver Records? I shall never buy a CD from
there now and I shall tell my friends and family to do likewise. I
stopped buying from Sony BMG after that stunt with their draconian XCP,
and treating all honest consumers like thieves. You also make it sound
like you're helping Artists, shame the Labels own the copyrights and
Artists make 5-6% on CD sales.. They make most their money on touring.
Artists are rebeling at your own tactics, check Trent Reznor voice
about your evil record label tactics,21985,21741980-5006024,00.html

helping the Artists? hmmm… what about Jamiroquai? more and
more are rebeling, eventually you will be out of the job. Not a bad
thing, bands will turn to releasing music digitally no labels like what
Enter Shikari did for a long time.
mikhail alexandrovich
Jun 18th, 2007 at 12:59 pm
I am mostly eating popcorn and laughing my head off at this one. Some
people have nothing better to do than argue all day on the internet,
some of us have nothing better to do than read it. What does Paul do
for a living again? Where does his income come from again? What
percentage of his total income comes from Music? Is he saying he has
never done anything illegal? Sorry I can't offer any additional
discussion on the issues raised above but i have work to be getting on
with and i can't spare the time right now. ha ha. I tell you what, I'll
write to the university and make a complaint myself, this stuff should
be televised, not blogged. I wonder how Paul would react if anyone who
disagreed with him wrote to the suppliers of his wages and threatened
to make complaints about him. oh sorry, i forgot, thats bully boy
tactics isn't it. Cheers Paul and Andrew, you both make top
entertainment for someone with no idea about anything anymore. more! more!
Jun 18th, 2007 at 2:01 pm
So if you work for a government funded agency you are not allowed to
speak your opinions regardless of where you do it. I didn't know
working for a government funded agency you don't get to voice opinion
anymore. On my blog I am often critical of Microsoft and I work for a
government agency in the US. I would staunchly defend my right to free
speech. And on a side note I think its deplorable that in the US the
RIAA gets to write legislation for laws written by the US government. I
am critically outspoken on the RIAA and their tactics. I do think that
the tone of what you say should be objective. I feel that the blogger
in this case was objective in their criticism of the RIAA and fits the
guidelines of someone who has a right to speak out against them. They
did not incite riotous behavior. the IFPI exec needs to get off his
high horse and examine comments to realize why people are so critical
of them in the first place starting with why its inappropriate to play
tattle tale because of commentary that doesn't suit them. They need to
take a step back and quit the militant behavior against the very people
that fund them. Its amazing that consumers pocket their salaries but
its those very consumers they turn into villains through their zeal to
protect intellectual property. Its amazing however that they keep pushing.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 3:28 pm
Jesus Christ what happened to freedom of speech ??
Jun 18th, 2007 at 4:08 pm
Astra asked:
"Jesus Christ what happened to freedom of speech ??"
-> That was copyrighted by God with an exclusive usage license given to
RIAA/IFPI/BPI members.
Keithamus Maximus
Jun 18th, 2007 at 4:57 pm
Haha, I guess the RIAA doesn't believe in our country's freedom of
speech. All they care about = $$$$$!!! Hey, doesn't bother me
considering USA is on it's way to a big bad downfall, considering
everythings shabby state.. How much longer will we allow lawyers to
destroy the world we live in? Down with RIAA, up with PIRATING MUSIC,
Jun 18th, 2007 at 5:16 pm
I always chuckle at the argument that music sharing steals from the
artists. Back in the hay-day of Napster I downloaded quite a lot of
music, most of it was deleted within very short order, while some was
kept a bit longer before being deleted. This was also a period during
which I PURCHASED more CDs than at any other time.
Via downloading, I discovered many new artists that I hadn't known
about, or had heard the name of, but never listened to. When I found an
artist I enjoyed, I purchased their album, and usually all of their
previously released albums as well. It was wonderful being able to
explore the music universe without going broke buying music that didn't
appeal to me.
When did I stop? I can still remember the last "major label" album I
purchased. It was B.B. King and Eric Clapton _Riding with the King_,
and it was US$18. Why did I stop? Because the price was outrageous!
So now I purchase music from small independent labels, or explore the
Blues and Jazz backwaters of previous decades. The big business music
can keep their manufacturered pop-bubblegum-gottaloveit-lat
est-whatever music that they want us to purchase.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 5:36 pm
I absolutely _hate_ seeing the RIAA and its ilk post (mis)information
that says 'file sharing is illegal', or worse, 'downloading music is
illegal'. Those are INCORRECT statements! In America, the Copyright Act
of the United States very specifically allows for any copyrighted items
for purposes of criticism, comparitive journalism, reviews, and parody.
It also allows for, very specifically, the making of backup copies of
the media for 'archival purposes'. The actual ACT OF DOWNLOADING is NOT
illegal, REGARDLESS of what you are downloading!!! The burden is on the
user who downloads, and what they do with the content. If any laws are
broken, it is by what the user does with the content after they
download, NOT at the point of downloding it!
Good grief.
We also have a Very Bad law amendment that unfortunately got passed
called the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). In part, it makes
bypassing ANY copy protection device or code illegal, except under some
very restrictive situations (such as university algorithm analysis).
The problem is that this law is in direct opposition to the Copyright
Act in that it now makes it impossible to create an archival backup
copy of purchased media because everything is now copy-protected! OOPS.
It is bad law and needs to be amended and/or thrown away…but the RIAA
has too many of our legislators in their deep pockets. :( /sad
Jun 18th, 2007 at 5:59 pm
I stumbled across this discussion from slashdot and it isn't really
something I usually follow with any interest although I guess I fall
into the camp that dislikes the way RIAA (and others) go about their
business (which they have a right to protect).
I did find it interesting though that someone who can say:
"You might argue that your professional blog is your opinion alone,
however you are interwoven into the views and policy of the University
of Central England and I think that puts you in an exposed positon Andrew."
Can later as a post say:-
"Thank you for clarifying these are my personal views not those of the
IFPI, RIAA, BPI or others."
When he is a board member for IFPI and BPI.
Sally Cinnamon
Jun 18th, 2007 at 6:20 pm
Hang on, isn't this the same Paul Birch the Stone Roses threw paint
over when he re-released their single without permission?
I rather think it is!
Jun 18th, 2007 at 7:35 pm
" Hang on, isn't this the same Paul Birch the Stone Roses threw paint
over when he re-released their single without permission?
I rather think it is! "
They can do that.
One fact the RIAA avoids is that the Record LABEL
owns the rights, not the artist.
Don't agree to that .. you won't get signed.
A LOT of acts didn't read the fine print then, and
don't now. The RIAA/IFPI etc are protecting their OWN
interests, and sadly most people either aren't aware
or only get their info from the media outlets that
the RIAA control, hence the general belief that the
Artist = copyright holder.
Truth ?
Label = Rights holder.
Artist - Indentured servant.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 7:56 pm
To Paul:
I think the biggest issue you face isn't downloads. You work in an
industry that is hated and loathed by many. You may not like negative
or differing opinions but please point me to a place that has a
positive spin on the music industry. As long as you engage in models
that sue your customers you won't find many supporters.
The biggest issue you face is reforming your own industry to produce
products that consumers want and delivering it in a way that they will
purchase it. I am 44 and own roughly 600 cd's. I bought Vinyl, I bought
cassettes and I bought cd's. I think I have purchased about sixty plus
albums in all three formats. I am your model consumer and demographic
but I no longer purchase cd's. I bought a roughly 12 cd's after last
years Grammy's and six of them were crippled and did not allow me to
rip them for use on my ipod. When the Sony root kit issue came to light
of course being a purchaser of lot's of cd's got the root kit screw
over from Sony. This is the price you pay for doing the right thing.
So how can someone like me who wants to buy his music get it in a way
in which he can use it without drm crap from apple and without buying
cd's? If you spent as much time, effort and energy to promoting models
and places to support consumers I think you would have a better result
than suing them.
My kids clearly think differently about entertainment and music than I
do. However, my kids pay money for ring tones and other stuff which
they discard and buy again and again. If you made it as simple and easy
as buying a ring tone I know they would buy music too.
Jun 18th, 2007 at 10:03 pm
Holy Shit!!! This things gone global now. How appropriate his company
is called 'Revolver Records' as everytime he opens his mouth, he shoots
himself in the foot.
Congratulations Paul, Zero to globally ackowledged Asshole in 3 days.
I hear the MPAA and RIAA are planning a merger - to be called Music And
Film Industry Association of America or more simply MAFIAA!!!
Record companies are losing money due to their own stupidity and greed.
If they stopped trying to rip of the consumers and the artists they
would have one of the biggest industries on the planet. I wish I had 20
million people helping to promote my business for free.
Anthony Herron
Jun 18th, 2007 at 10:34 pm
In Paul's defense, the Sally Cinnamon escapade, to cut a long story
short, was NOT about re-releasing their single, it was in fact about
the video. HOWEVER, this episode happened because the Stone Roses
manager at the time screwed them over by stealing the money Revolver
had delivered for the creation of the video.
Mani from the Stone Roses recently talked to Paul Birch at In the City,
Manchester. Paul explained the full situation to him, Mani then walked
away and assulted their old manager who was a guest speaker at a
seminar at the time. This is because Mani then knew all the facts.
There have been man Stone Roses biographies who have printed false information.
It seems everyone has a misconstrued perception about record labels.
Single sales have fallen by 11% within the last year alone (Source:
Music Week). If you think label owners are millionaires, it's almost a
comical image. The reality of it, indie labels have never had it so
hard. I would seriously suggest if you are intereted, to apply for work
expierience at a label and get to know what exactly happens.
People who aren't in the music industry have painted an evil image of
labels and that the artist gets manipulated. Well, this HAS happened in
the past, and it has ALSO worked the other way around. There are
therefore companies in place to ensure artists will always get played,
PPL, VPL, MCPS & PRS (England).
It's important to understand, the MMF (Music Managers Forum) in
association with the Musicians Union launched a campaign 2 years ago to
attempt to spread the word of how labels we're being screwed over, they
gathered a panel of industry experts. What they concluded? that in fact
they weren't aware of all the facts and the campaign was scraped.
Many labels have dissapeared since the birth of Napster, another
indication how little labels are earning.
There is a divide in the industry between Major's and Indies, the
majors can demand and they normally recieve, they have more power,
money and resources to develop their artists careers. Indies, on the
other hand HAVE to club together to ensure they aren't elbowed out of
the game by the bigger boys. Indies HAVE to give discount's to get into
stores like HMV and TESCO (up to 50%), they get less when a track is
downloaded, they basically have to pay more for things.
People who envision the demise of governing bodies of the IFPI such as
the RIAA and the BPI are kidding themselves. As long as there is music,
these companies will exist, they are funded by their members, who are
the music companies, labels, publishers & managers etc.
Didn't mean to waffle on, but couldn't sit back and have people read
this blog and walk away with the wrong information.
Anthony Herron
Mads Randstoft
Jun 19th, 2007 at 7:03 am
So much for "Free Speech"…
It is ofcause clear that any such action is illegal and I would prefer
to see you bring legal actions against Paul Birch for his threats against you.
As always I encurage all to STOP BUYING NEW CDs! A line I have been
following ever since the record conglomerate have started sueing us,
their customers.
It will ofcause lead to a period for all of us not listening to new
music in CD quality (As I don´t encurage stealing) The sooner we can
bring down the moguls the sooner we can normalize the market and get
things the way we (the customers) want to pay for.
Jun 19th, 2007 at 10:29 am
What a ridiculous scenario…one that's becoming more and more common these days.
Good for you, and don't let the buggers grind you down.
Jun 19th, 2007 at 11:38 am
Jun 19th, 2007 at 3:14 pm
Hello Mr. Dubber ( and the others who posted),
First of all I would like to specify that I'm not a native english
speaker so I hope I don't sound too confusing. I would also like to
state that I have no elaborate expertise in law, economics and business
( the music industry in particular ), and… in your blog in general. I
was linked here from SlashDot, and decided to read this while bored at
work. Despite the current debate, and your understandable style of
writing in particular ( which I really appreciate, considering that I
have no background in the fields stated above ), I have refrained from
reading more of your material in order to avoid being influenced by
your ideas. That way I can stay true to my ignorance and bravely ensue
this utterly unfounded comment.
There's 3 short points I'd like to bring up.
1. Mr. Paul Birch's reaction and the total incompetence of the
MPAA/RIAA in matters of PR. 2. The actual effects of these law suits on
illegal sharing. 3. The lack of dynamism on behalf of the big record
companies and RIAA.
I am saddened by his not-so-subtle threats.
Some others have posted about the many, positive contributions Mr.
Birch has made to the music industry. As someone who, like many, really
enjoys music, I can only congratulate him and thank him for that. But
he has given a perfect example of how things should NOT be done. It is
not just him. The record industry and RIAA have been making one huge
blunder of a statement after the other. I'm no expert on PR, but let's
analyse the definition.
public relations
1. the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc.,
in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community,
employees, customers, etc. 2. the art, technique, or profession of
promoting such goodwill.
Hmmmmmm… I'm not a university professor, but I'd have to fail them on
this point. I think their actions have earned them anything but a good
reputation in the eyes of the public. In that case, if Mr. Birch or
someone from the RIAA is reading this, I hereby request a job at a
record company or with the RIAA. I have no degree in Public Relations
or anything, but I believe that not being a stubborn idiot would
already prove my superiority in relation to the current employees. (
Mr. Dubber should have my e-mail. You are welcome to contact me. I
could certainly use the money if I want to be able to afford CDs nowadays. )
Scaring people only works for a short while and is hardly effective.
Despite all these aggressives moves on behalf of the RIAA, has their
situation improved? The answer is obvious enough. These people need to
spend more time on the internet. Nothing (realistic) can end the
proliferation of unwanted material on the internet. It's simply
impossible. And if it were possible, it wouldn't be through the use of
the legal system. I rather enjoyed the Slyck interview with ITIC, a
company that has been analysing p2p networks and thus the effect that
recent legal actions have had on those networks. The entire debate on
the effectiveness of the RIAA's recent legal battles can be concluded
with the following quote:
"Lawsuits and lobbying are useless against networked, distributed,
impersonal and decentralized file swaps whose P2P is just an
implementation. If you want to fight misused technology, use the
technology itself first. If you reject the technology, technology will
relegate you to the past."
The desire for total control over their music is something of the past.
Despite what ITIC said about fighting technology with technology, I
still do not agree with that kind of solution. In my oppinion ( and
that of many other people ), these companies should not fight the
recent evolutions in the market, but embrace it. Rather than spending
money and manpower on countless legal struggles, it is imperative that
they use those resources to come up with new and innovative way to
market their goods. The true motor of any economy is innovation.
It's hard and takes a lot of time, but in the long-term it will be what
makes the difference between failure and success. The record companies
can not go on like this. Someone stated earlier on that the RIAA and
record companies will never disappear. I have to agree with that. But
that's because I'm sure that the companies will somday see the light of
their mistake. I just wish they did it sooner than later.
Thanks for reading my useless rant,
Back to oblivion!
Jun 19th, 2007 at 9:15 pm
First of all, I'm not an English Barrister, not even the "son of a
barrister", and not well versed in English law, but here in the States,
we have free speech, and just linking to an article should never be
grounds for legal action. It's good to see that Jon Newton and Ray
Beckerman have waded into the topic, and since I know both individuals
to some degree, I feel comfortable opining on the subject matter.
My personal opinion of Paul, generated only by his comments posted, is
low, and I fear would only get lower the more I was exposed to his
earbashing. He is acting like a Drongo.
"Paul" talks about the "hate mail" targeted to the RIAA and the IFPI.
Gee, reckon they did something that caused this unpleasantness?
I've never been a big fan of threats. If a man has a beef with another
bloke, he should have the courage to meet him face to face and settle it.
Hasn't this bloke got anything better to do than to try to start a row
over something so asinine?
Jun 19th, 2007 at 10:50 pm
It's sad to say, but noting RIAA's previous record on suits and Paul
Birch's demeaner, it appears to me that a number of your responders (to
this blog) have left themselves open to be sued by the RIAA and Paul
Birch. I really don't understand how Birch can make the statements he
has and expect anything but lousy PR.
I'm very impressed by your matter of fact response to Paul Birch's email.
Harry Overviper
Jun 20th, 2007 at 5:08 am
As someone who has spent very many years (though no longer) in many
different aspects of the music industry, I can say this… There IS a
difference between Major Record Labels and Independents. The major
labels are thugs, the independents have the opportunity to reinvent the wheel.
This is a time of uncertainty for the Music Industry. It is not a time
of uncertainty for music…music is created by people who love it so much
they cannot bear to do anything else with their time every day. The
music industry is mostly about greed and fear…Greed, because they
merely sell what others create, Fear, because people are getting hip to
the scam.
The people at Major Record Labels for the most part know nothing about
music anymore. They are (since those labels are owned by even larger
corporations) money people and lawyers who only know that their limos
and perks are threatened.
In the old days we had people like Morris Levy, Dick Griffey, etc. who
were street people…they ripped off their artists, but being from the
street and not totally lacking heart and character would occasionally
do something nice for those artists and allow them to earn a living
too. Then came the lawyers, and over the last 30 or so years, the
artists (except for a very few huge stars) really got hosed in ways
previously unthinkable to individual label owners who were, at bottom,
music people.
Now a situation has arisen where, because the industry is in flux,
those same lawyers are looking to keep their jobs. It is not more
complicated than that. Those smaller labels that manage to find niches
in the marketplace will sell music. Possibly the business will evolve
over time to a model whereby an artist will do it all themself, write,
record, release, market…and we will have the marketplace determine
which of those people it will support. I believe of a certainty that
MUSIC will be better for it.
The RIAA, the IFPI…they are dinosaurs. They are done. The asteroid has
already hit. They have sold us the same music three times
already…vinyl, cassette, CD…it's enough. They'll go on selling stuff
out of their vaults for years to come if they so choose…what they will
no longer do is give us new, exciting music…they have long ago lost the
ability to do it. Now is the time for you to lay down a create
petroleum deposits…at least that way you can leave some kind of legacy
for future generations.
Jun 20th, 2007 at 9:02 am
Oh, That reminds me. A little something I forgot to mention.
There's a fact I never really understood…
A few years ago, SABAM, the Belgian association for the protection of
the artists' copyrights, through lobbying, imposed a new tax on empty
media, CD and DVDs in particular. They went from the presumption that
any CD, DVD, hard disk drive, could be used to stock illegal data. So
the prices were raised with 14% or so.
That such a thing could happen is just mindboggling.
It basically implies that everybody who buys a CD/DVD/etc will use if
for illegal means. Although it would certainly be the case for me,
there's a great deal of people and businesses who would disagree. Is it
not wrong to fine a person for a crime they might or might not commit?
No, that doesn't make sense. Well, if it's not a fine for engaging in
illegal activities, I can only guess it's a kind of compensation to
cover for a possible violation of their copyrights. But wait… wouldn't
that mean that we are paying those companies… for the copying of their
copyrighted material… So, let's see. We pay SABAN in advance because we
might or might not consume SABAN's copyrighted material. That seems a
lot like a purchase to me. So why is it still illegal for us to consume
their copyrighted material? Well, I guess it's still a tax. But that
just means that you're paying them indirectly. Make no mistake, that
14%, which is a LOT of money, goes to the pockets of SABAN and the
politicians who helped them pass that law. Nothing goes to the artists.
a lawyer
Jun 20th, 2007 at 11:36 am
Although I do not normally contribute to fora, I felt obliged to do so
in the light of the polemic and evident misunderstanding a number of
the comments above demonstrate. While this is typical of such fora, it
is atypical of those supervised by academics in the field. While I
accept anyone's entitlement to hold a viewpoint certain staements in
this blog are simply wrong and need to be corrected before they end up
in someone's exam paper.
The underlying philosophy of copyright (and the parallel French
philosophy of Droite d'Auteur) is to incentivise creativity by
rewarding the creator for his work in what is a high risk commercial
environment; i.e. a fraction of 1% of creative works generate any
return for their creators (or those who buy the creations from them
thereby assuming the risk of their success - including record
companies). Absent that incentive creators will, by and large, stop
creating and do something that they can earn a living at (unless they
subscribe to a non-capitalist philosophy across all aspects of life).
comments (which are common place) such as Thomas':
"Copyright has from the beginning been a virtual right i.e. a construct
that societies may decide to have if (and that's a big if) it leads to
better consequences compared with other systems of cultural and
intellectual production. Internet and globalization has now provided
those other, better systems so laws against non-commercial copying has
served its (short) historical purpose. It's simply time to move on.
Polls shows that the people agree on that. Just give us a fair
referendum on the issue and we'll settle it democratically once and for all"…
assuming Thomas is not advocating a far more radical and wideranging
change in the structure of our global society, he is completely ignoring this.
Further to answer Michael Jackson's query about whether Paul Birch
should have referred to "Artists' copyrights". The answer is yes - if
they haven't assigned them to record companies in return for advances
against roylaties (which in nine out of ten cases are not recouped).
Obviously if an artist decides to put their material up on the net for
free then there is no issue (although there is usually a commercial
reason underlying that decision - typically to generate enough public
interest in their product so as to be able demostrate to record
companies that they are worth signing). To that extent the internet has
democratised music. It is worthy of note that, while record companies
are demonised and artists idolised, very few of them turn down the deal
(in the early stages of their career) if they are lucky enough to get
offered one.
The reason the RIAA and BPI has gone after individual file sharers
rather than those higher up the chain is because that, certainly prior
to the Supreme Court's "Grokster" decision in the US this was the only
course of action available to them to try and stem endemic file sharing
(which would ultimately put them out of business).
Those providing the software that facilitates file sharing make huge
sums in advertising revenue (usually on a per click basis) and yet to
date have been immune from prosecution. Why is it OK for them to make
vast sums out of content and yet the content owner is castigated for
trying to protect his investment and his artists right to be paid royalties?
If P2P sharing of copyright material continues unchecked, there will no
new material. People will stop producing films, writing books, making
music. What will advertisers and technology innovators dependent on
content and those reading this who rely on books for their education do
then? That is the logical end result or immasculating copyright to the
point of the irrelevance by way of the free exchange of creators efforts.
Jun 20th, 2007 at 2:20 pm
Sorry to be pedantic, again, but I've just noticed this in Paul Birch's email:
"If you take a look at the criticism on your blog of the RIAA by one of
the contributors, they are engaging in a similar malicious prosecution
in the US courts…"
What makes the counter action in the blog malicious and the RIAA's
action not? I don't think I've taken this out of context.
If you look at the detail of the claim there are specific legal reasons
given for the claim.
Michael Lissack
Jun 20th, 2007 at 3:08 pm
I am going to comment on this from the pespective of a professor of
ethics. Paul is taking the position that the record labels are
sovereign (much like the Queen). To make use of items belonging to the
sovereign is a priviledge not a right and the sovereign reserves the
ability to rewrite the rules at any time to suit the sovereign's fancy
at a given moment. One is not to question the sovereign because
questioning may in the long run erode the sovereign's clear authority
to do as he or she likes without check. This position is only "ethical"
if everyone subject t the sovereign has given affirmative consent to
the situation or if the sovereign was placed in that role by God.
Paul it is obvious that the consumers are denying your soveriegn
authority. Would you be so kind as to reveal to us your correspondence
with God Almighty and when it was that he installed you in this exalted
If you have such correspondence which you can/will share it may
successfully turn this debate in your favor.
Jun 20th, 2007 at 3:22 pm
A lawyers comments were right on about Copyright. He just forgot a few
pertinent facts.
"The underlying philosophy of copyright (and the parallel French
philosophy of Droite d'Auteur) is to incentivise creativity by
rewarding the creator for his work in what is a high risk commercial
English for non-lawyers - Copyright law was permitted in our
constitution as a means to motivate CREATIVITY. Great point. But don't
forget to tell the whole story. It was set up "FOR LIMITED TIMES". It
was never intended that copyrights were to provide a means of living
for someone's estate LONG AFTER that creators death. Nor were they
intended to fund major corporations. Most of our forefathers didn't
even want to provide for Copyrights.
The problem with today's copyright laws is the bastardization of
"limited times". What limits? 70 years after the creators death? What
kind of limit is THAT?? I know I won't get to see most works created in
my lifetime reach the public domain, as our forefathers that wrote the
Constitution wanted. To me, the copyright terms might as well be
unlimited, in violation of our Constitution.
"If P2P sharing of copyright material continues unchecked, there will
no new material. People will stop producing films, writing books,
making music. "
Really? I don't think so. P2P sharing creates interest. It encourages
people to perhaps drop $20 on a concert. The creator can make a living
many other ways completely without copyright. People will always be
interested in new films, books and music, and supporting artists that
create such. People are no longer interested in supporting the bottom
line of mega corporations that buy Congress to pass laws that destroy
the intent of our Constitution with obscene Copyright terms.
Jun 20th, 2007 at 4:55 pm
"If P2P sharing of copyright material continues unchecked, there will
no new material. People will stop producing films, writing books,
making music. What will advertisers and technology innovators dependent
on content and those reading this who rely on books for their education
do then? That is the logical end result or immasculating copyright to
the point of the irrelevance by way of the free exchange of creators efforts."
I call BS first!
Oh, come one. You're talking about how people demonize the record
companies, but there you go simplifying a great deal and inventing the
rest. Well, just to be fair, let's say you're somewhat right and P2P
results in the downfall of record studios, movie studios, publishers,
etc. The only industry that would truly suffer from that is the film
industry. Music and literature wouldn't, or at least not to the point
of certain extinction.
Anyhow, people would never let that happen. They love music, movies,
books too much. In a world where there is no large-scale, physical
distribution by major companies, the internet would become the main
tool of proliferation. However, I'm not going to describe an entire new
business model here, because I don't have the know-how. One thing is a
fact, never underestimate the willingness of people to pay a FAIR price
for something they appreciate. I'll give you a stupid example, but take
for example "fansubbing." The fansubbing scene is the collective of
groups that take it upon themselves to translate movies, tv shows,
cartoons in a foreign language to their own language. ( Which is of
course illegal, but bear with me. ) As someone who has had experience
in that scene, I can tell you this: From the smallest groups with the
worst releases, all the way up to the biggest groups with the best
releases, fans would reward them with donations every now and then. By
delivering a free service, and without usually asking, groups would
receive amounts going from 100 to 1000 dollar or more a month. ( Which
were only used to support the group and its activities. ) All of this
considering the fairly small size of those groups, and the fact that it
was just a hobby. Now imagine this in a larger scale and better
managed. That is the future. ( Well, I overly simplified things, but
still… ) Well, sure… perhaps the revenues wouldn't be as high as now,
but is that really needed? Why should some of the more famous musicians
gain such an exaggerated, disproportional amount of money?
Anyhow, I'm just ranting now. It's just that I hate to hear people talk
like that.
Harry Overviper
Jun 20th, 2007 at 5:22 pm
To my friend - "a lawyer"
My friend, you are the problem. I make money from royalties. I will
gladly give it up to see the companies that have created a system of
what can only be called "indentured servitude" brought down. Record
labels are notorious for signing artists to bad deals they can't get
out of. Now we no longer need them.
Your side has all the lawyers, all the money, all the resources. In a
recent US case Disney was instrumental in extending the length of
copyright because Mickey Mouse was going to fall into public domain.
When this extension is up, I have no doubt that some smarmy attorney
(or more accurately "Legal Team) will file to extend the copyright
further. When is it finally enough? 75 years? 100 years? 500 years?
The music INDUSTRY is notorious for non-payments, late payments,
under-payments to the artists it professes to represent in the struggle
to maintain control over that which it only sells but does not create.
It forces artists who are owed money to hock their homes to force
audits that are then delayed, obscured, and appealed by those same
teams of lawyers.
I have sat at tables with those same suits who have said with a
straight face (upon my questioning of a few of the details in their
contracts) that, "You shouldn't really expect to make money off of
record sales. You'll make your money from touring. A record is more of
a promotional thing." Now that they have been caught peeing on the
carpet, they want to have it both ways. No…they do not represent me or
any other musician.
The future may dictate that a recording artist may only sell a few
thousand CD's, and 100,000 may constitute a huge hit. Fine…the artist
will get a much bigger bite of the pie and maintain much more control
over his own creation. You guys have continually seeked to stack the
deck against us and cry the blues (which by the way, you have no shred
of understanding of but only see as another market niche)and ask us to
feel sorry for you as your ship goes down. Allow me to throw you an anchor.
Today Bob Lefsetz wrote an interesting piece re: the iPhone and
Verizon, and how (because Verizon was unwilling to cede any control to
some other company) Apple got into bed with AT & T/Cingular, which was
not their first choice…and how Verizon missed a very big boat. Same
thing here…those companies that put their music online at a reasonable
price (not $1.00 per song, which is another ripoff) and without all
that DRM crap, will do well. They will create a revenue stream that
will be in place for many years to come, require little upkeep or
oversight, and can even grow over time. But they won't do it because
they fear that same loss of control.
Music touches our collective souls. It is not "a product". It is not
something that fits some advertiser-dictated radio demographic…and yet,
you have been giving us, indeed shoving down our throats, this type of
product (for product this type of music indeed is) for so long that you
are not even aware that there's a difference. I have news for you…the
Public IS aware…and they are making their choice.
Jun 20th, 2007 at 6:53 pm
" If P2P sharing of copyright material continues unchecked, there will
no new material. People will stop producing films, writing books,
making music. "
So, when there was no recording industry,
there was no music ?
No musicians ?
No artists ?
uummm no.
Not true.
Never will be true.
As has been said before.
The true artists will always continue to create.
They have to, they are born to it.
With P2P .. these artists can be seen and heard by
millions, whether that majors want them to be heard
or not. On the P2P shelf, the unsigned sits next to
the signed.
The REAL reason the Majors are so upset ?
Many are PREFERRING the unsigned offerings to the
Majors :).
They have pushed the unsigned out of the major retail
They keep the unsigned off the radio.
The are trying to eliminate the streaming internet
stations that play unsigned AND signed .. by hiking
the rates unfairly high.
They are having great success in running the specialty
stores out of business ( making sure that only the
major retail chains, which they control, can sell
CD's )
The RIAA is running scared.
They can't control the internet.
All of your fancy legalese will not change the facts.
The artist will create .. always.
Michael (Shmoo) Steely
Jun 21st, 2007 at 5:03 am
Thanks to Dreddsnik and the others who point out that "a Lawyer" is
wrong in his opinion that artists wouldn't create without the incentive
of copyright. (Saves me from having to do so and my time online is
unfortunately very limited these days!)
Keep up the war against evil folks! We ARE going to win this thing eventually!
–Shmoo, of Electric Gypsy
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« Case study: Indonesian Hip Hop
Just do three things »
Andrew Dubber
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