Every few years, a different organization makes some progress in the tech industry and for one reason or another, the vast majority of the people following the business simply don't like it.
And while some people's distaste for organizations isn't warranted, the RIAA is not one of them. In fact, I would venture to say that distaste for this organization is not only warranted, it's probably the most sound response anyone can have.
Why you ask? It's simple. Under the veil of "holding the artists' best interests in mind", the RIAA has single-handedly destroyed the music industry and created an environment where the artists are left out in the cold.
Let's examine a bit further.… Read more
WASHINGTON--It's no secret that Recording Industry Association of America President Cary Sherman despises piracy, and he's a vocal fan of proposed laws that would beef up penalties for copyright infringers.
But here's one area where he says the government need not intervene at this point: forcing Internet service providers to be more proactive in curbing pirated content on their networks.
"I don't think anyone here is trying to relegislate this issue," Sherman, said at an Internet policy conference here on Wednesday. "We're much more interested in finding a marketplace way of going … Read more
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the Motion Picture Association of America--Hollywood's antipiracy wing--admitted to releasing data that was not only factually incorrect, it grossly overstated the impact college students have on the movie industry's losses.
The MPAA claims its original figure citing a 44 percent loss due to college piracy was inflated by a whopping 29 percent. In fact, the MPAA admitted that the actual impact college students have on the industry's revenue loss is just 15 percent.
"The 44 percent figure was used to show that if college campuses could somehow solve this problem on this campus, then it would make a tremendous difference in the business of the motion picture industry," an expert covering the case said. The new figures prove "any solution on campus will have only a small impact on the industry itself."
So why do the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America focus so much of their time on college students? Is there something that these disgusting organizations aren't telling us? Are college students really that bad? Sadly, it's just another example of these organizations trying to vilify the easy target when the real violators are left to roam free.… Read more
Now that you had the chance to read my column detailing the misguided beliefs of the RIAA, I wanted to give you the opportunity to see the full transcript of the interview I conducted with the organization.
You'll notice that none of the quotes from the previous column were taken out of context because, well, first and foremost, I didn't need to--this organization speaks for itself. You'll also notice that the RIAA really is all of those things most people believe they are. Of course, don't necessarily tell them that, because they won't believe it.
Regardless, this interview depicts the RIAA exactly how they want to be perceived--a group that relies on (and enjoys) lawsuits. It's an organization that has little idea of what we truly want as consumers and, for some reason, has a severe distaste for college students.
In response to my column, one RIAA representative told me that it's easy "to sit on the sidelines and take potshots. It's less easy when you actually have a dog in the fight."
Is it really? Personally, I think it's a sad day when an organization needs to call upon its high-powered lawyers just because it has "a dog in the fight." Along with that, what is that dog in the fight? The artists or the record labels? My guess is the latter.
But without further ado, here is the unabridged transcript of my interview with the RIAA.… Read more
UPDATE: You can now read the full transcript of the RIAA interview here.
The RIAA has quickly become one of the most disliked organizations in the world. Working ostensibly with the interests of the artists in mind, the organization has single-handedly instituted a policy of lawsuits and education in an attempt to curb the piracy of music.
Although this has been going on for quite some time now, I recently read a press release from the organization outlining its successes and what 2008 will look like for its College Deterrence program.
The press release tells us that the RIAA (on behalf of the music industry) has sent out "a new wave of 407 pre-litigation settlement letters to 18 universities nationwide as part of an ongoing campaign against online music theft. The letters reflect evidence of significant abuse of campus computer networks for the purpose of copyright infringement."
Once those students receive the pre-litigation settlement letters, they have the opportunity to surf over to the P2P Lawsuits Web page to settle with the RIAA before a court battle ensues.
Of course, the story doesn't quite end there.
To get a feeling for why the RIAA has implemented this strategy and has seemingly ignored the piracy cartels all over the world, choosing the soft target instead, I got in touch with the organization and asked a representative 10 questions to clear the air. This transcript will be made available tomorrow on The Digital Home.
Unfortunately, the answers given proved even more damning to an organization that is already sitting on a powder keg.… Read more
At CES on Monday, I was invited over to the Blu-ray booth to speak with top executives at the major Hollywood studios supporting Blu-ray. And while I didn't have the chance to speak with every studio, I did get to speak with the president and chief operating officer at LionsGate, Steve Beeks.
And while Beeks seemed like he had solid command over the finer points of the movie industry, I was interested to see why his studio chose Blu-ray over the alternative.
Expecting the canned answer like, "Well, we thought it was the superior format and I'm happy to say that we were right," you could imagine my surprise when the very first reason he gave was Blu-ray's piracy controls.
For those of you who don't know, Blu-ray's piracy controls--largely based on AACS, BD+, and BD-ROM Mark--are easily the most stringent format to date and have only partially been circumvented to this point.
Regardless, I was utterly appalled at the thought that with all of its benefits--high-capacity, interesting new features to employ while playing movies, major industry backing--Beeks chose piracy as the first talking point.
Of course, I had to find out more.… Read more
The Washington Post has backed off a story that erroneously accused the recording industry of trying to criminalize ripping CDs to a computer.
The Post issued a correction Saturday, more than a week after the paper triggered a wave of media coverage by claiming that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was trying to outlaw the very common practice of copying music from a CD onto a computer or iPod.
"A Dec. 30 Style and Arts column incorrectly said that the recording industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer … Read more