Saturday, November 21, 2009

A teen comments on the future of the music biz

Why the Music Industry is Going to Die

//Create your sharelet with desired properties and set button element to false
var object = SHARETHIS.addEntry({
summary: 'Sharing is good for the soul.'},
//Output your customized button
//Tie customized button to ShareThis button functionality.
var element = document.getElementById("share2");

November 20, 2009 – Comments (2)
As I sit here typing, a phenomenon you may or may not be aware of is occuring in electronic media. Contrary to what you may of have heard, or what some people have said, this phenomenon is not going to go away, and in fact, will be the defining characteristic of the new era in the technological world.
I am talking about illegal downloading.
In the past 10 or so years, the spread of file sharing programs has rendered the conventional business model for selling music and software programs obsolete. Some of these programs you may of heard of, programs and websites like Bearshare, Ares, Frostwire, Limewire, Bittorrent, Pirate Bay, Isohunt, and others are now the dominant way for the acquistion of both music and software.
At this point, 95% of music is downloaded online without paying. The CD is dead. Online music stores like iTunes and Rhapsody are hardly hanging on to a sliver of the music market, and everyday others leave for aforementioned programs. The music industry doesn't want you to know this. They have spent a fortune trying to sway public opinion that this trend is only temporary, and that with the proper government regulation and a healthy public awareness campaign, they can end this problem.
OoohHH, how wrong they are.
No one in my high school, and hardly anyone below 25 pays for music anymore. There is actually a huge negative stigma on those that purchase music. You're seen as "paying the man" for something you can and should get for free. The public ad campaign launched by the RIAA is absoulouty laughable. They are never going to be able to stop it.
The arguements that the RIAA makes against downloading are laughed down by anyone even mildly familiar with downloading.

1. Downloading music will give you viruses.
Response: A decent firewall or anti virus program will keep you clean, and you should only download music that is "at the top of the list". Many viruses, trojans, and malware are planted by RIAA agents to discredit download sources, and this only stirs up anger towards them.

2. Downloading hurts artists.
Response: Large artists with high volume songs are hurt the most, but music downloading helps smaller bands by increasing their exposure. It's hard for people to feel guilty about this when they know only a few cents on every download goes to the artist.

3. It's stealing and uncool to download.
Response: With a product that can by duplicated for no cost, it's no wonder that people will take it for free. Coolness is and always will be fighting against the man, and thumbing your nose at big companies is something every kid loves to do.

The music industry is petrified about the future, with good reason to be. The future of music is going to be bands realeasing their music for free, and making their money on merchandise and touring. In other words, the middle man is cut out and the large music companies are left cold.
The newest trend is downloading software from the internet. This is an emerging problem that has the potential to hurt companies like EA and Blizzard.
For anyone with holdings in companies that rely on conventional methods to produce and distribute software, music, and movies, please be aware that the future is going to be very perilous for your investment. Regardless of wheather it is right or wrong, a whole generation is growing up used to not paying for electronic media. The older customers are dieing out, and they will take the old music industry with them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The RIAA tries to sneak another subsidy past congress

NAB Outlines Negative Impact of Performance Fee
WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 19, 2009
-- Congressional opposition to RIAA-backed bill grows --
WASHINGTON, DC -- Representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters met with members of Congress and representatives from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to reiterate the negative impact an additional performance fee would have on local radio stations and its 235 million weekly listeners.
NAB Joint Board Chairman Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Kentucky-based Commonwealth Broadcasting, and NAB Radio Board Chairman Charles Warfield, president and COO of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, along with representatives from the National Association of Black-owned Broadcasters and the Spanish Broadcasters Association attended the meeting. Rep. Mike Conaway (TX-11), an original co-sponsor of a countering resolution known as The Local Radio Freedom Act, also participated in today’s meeting.
Commenting on today’s meeting, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:
"Out of deference to key members of Congress, NAB representatives met today with representatives of RIAA and the music industry to discuss pending performance tax legislation. NAB representatives, along with representatives of minority-owned radio stations, reiterated our strong concerns over the negative impact that the bill would have on the ability of free and local radio stations to continue serving our listeners"
Meanwhile Utah Democrat Jim Matheson (UT-2) became the 253rd member of House of Representatives to cosponsor the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bipartisan resolution that opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations for music aired free to listeners. To date a bipartisan group of 253 House lawmakers and 27 U.S. Senators have publicly expressed opposition to the RIAA-backed legislation.
The 253 House cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include:
Robert Aderholt (AL-4) John Adler (NJ-3) Rob Andrews (NJ-1) Todd Akin (MO-2) Rodney Alexander (LA-5) Jason Altmire (PA-4) Mike Arcuri (NY-24) Steve Austria (OH-7) Michele Bachmann (MN-6) Spencer Bachus (AL-6) Brian Baird (WA-3) Gresham Barrett (SC-3) John Barrow (GA-12) Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6) Melissa Bean (IL-8) Shelley Berkley (NV-1) Marion Berry (AR-1) Judy Biggert (IL-13) Brian Bilbray (CA-50) Gus Bilirakis(FL-9) Sanford Bishop (GA-2) Roy Blunt (MO-7) John Boccieri (OH-16) Jo Bonner (AL-1) John Boozman (AR-3) Dan Boren (OK-2) Leonard Boswell (IA-3) Charles Boustany (LA-7) Allen Boyd (FL-2) Kevin Brady (TX-8) Robert Brady (PA-1) Bruce Braley (IA-1) Bobby Bright (AL-2) Paul Broun (GA-10) Corrine Brown (FL-3) Henry Brown (SC-1) Ginny Brown-Waite (FL-5) Vern Buchanan (FL-13) Michael Burgess (TX-26) Dan Burton (IN-5) Steve Buyer (IN-4) John Campbell (CA-48) Shelly Moore Capito (WV-2) Ken Calvert (CA-44) Anh "Joseph" Cao (LA-2) Mike Capuano (MA-8) Dennis Cardoza (CA-18) Russ Carnahan (MO-3) Christopher Carney (PA-10) Andre Carson (IN-7) John Carter (TX-31) Bill Cassidy (LA-6) Michael Castle (DE-AL) Ben Chandler (KY-6) William Lacy Clay (MO-1) Mike Coffman (CO-6) Tom Cole (OK-4) Mike Conaway (TX-11) Jerry Costello (IL-12) Joseph Courtney (CT-2) Ander Crenshaw (FL-4) Henry Cuellar (TX-28) John Culberson (TX-7) Elijah Cummings (MD-7) Artur Davis (AL-7) Danny Davis (IL-7) Geoff Davis (KY-4) Lincoln Davis (TN-4) Charles Dent (PA-15) Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21) Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) Norm Dicks (WA-6) Joe Donnelly (IN-2) Steve Driehaus (OH-1) John Duncan (TN-2) Chet Edwards (TX-17) Vernon Ehlers (MI-3) Brad Ellsworth (IN-8) Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8) Bob Etheridge (NC-2) Mary Fallin (OK-5) Chaka Fattah (PA-2) John Fleming (LA-4) Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Bill Foster (IL-14) Virginia Foxx (NC-5) Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) Scott Garrett (NJ-5) Elton Gallegly (CA-24) Jim Gerlach (PA-6) Phil Gingrey (GA-11) Kay Granger (TX-12) Sam Graves (MO-6) Al Green (TX-9) Gene Green (TX-29) Parker Griffith (AL-5) Brett Guthrie (KY-2) Ralph Hall (TX-4) Deborah Halvorson (IL-11) Phil Hare (IL-17) Gregg Harper (MS-3) Alcee Hastings (FL-23) Doc Hastings (WA-4) Dean Heller (NV-2) Wally Herger (CA-2) Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL) Baron Hill (IN-9) Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15) Pete Hoekstra (MI-2) Tim Holden (PA-17) Duncan Hunter (CA-52) Bob Inglis (SC-4) Lynn Jenkins (KS-2) Timothy Johnson (IL-15) Walter Jones (NC-3) Jim Jordan (OH-4) Steve Kagen (WI-8) Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) Dale Kildee (MI-5) Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15) Ron Kind (WI-3) Jack Kingston (GA-1) Mark Kirk (IL-10) Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1) Larry Kissell (NC-8) John Kline (MN-2) Frank Kratovil (MD-1) Doug Lamborn (CO-5) Leonard Lance (NJ-7) Rick Larsen (WA-2) Tom Latham (IA-4) Steve LaTourette (OH-14) Robert Latta (OH-5) Jerry Lewis (CA-41) John Lewis (GA-5) John Linder (GA-7) Chris Lee (NY-26) Frank Lucas (OK-3) Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) Dave Loebsack (IA-2) Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3) Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL) Daniel Lungren (CA-3) Don Manzullo (IL-16) Kenny Marchant (TX-24) Betsy Markey (CO-4) Jim Matheson (UT-2) Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4) Michael McCaul (TX-10) Tom McClintock (CA-4) Patrick McHenry (NC-10) John McHugh (NY-23) Mike McIntyre (NC-7) Howard McKeon (CA-25) Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-5) Kendrick Meek (FL-17) Charlie Melancon (LA-3) Michael Michaud (ME-2) Brad Miller (NC-13) Candice Miller (MI-10) Gary Miller (CA-42) Jeff Miller (FL-1) Walt Minnick (ID-1) Harry Mitchell (AZ-5) Alan Mollohan (WV-1) Dennis Moore (KS-3) Jerry Moran (KS-1) Sue Myrick (NC-9)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) Devin Nunes (CA-21) Glenn Nye (VA-2) James Oberstar (MN-8) Pete Olson (TX-22) Solomon Ortiz (TX-27) Frank Pallone (NJ-6) Erik Paulson (MN-3) Bill Pascrell (NJ-8) Ron Paul (TX-14) Mike Pence (IN-6) Tom Perriello (VA-5) Tom Petri (WI-6) Pedro Pierluisi (PR-At Large) Joe Pitts (PA-16) Todd Platts (PA-19) Ted Poe (TX-2) Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL) Bill Posey (FL-15) David Price (NC-4) Tom Price (GA-6) Adam Putnam (FL-12) George Radanovich (CA-19) Nick Rahall (WV-3) Charles Rangel (NY-15) Dennis Rehberg (MT-AL) Dave Reichert (WA-8) Silvestre Reyes (TX-16) Phil Roe (TN-1) Harold Rogers (KY-5) Mike Rogers (AL-3) Mike Rogers (MI-8) Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) Peter Roskam (IL-6) Mike Ross (AR-4) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) Edward Royce (CA-40) Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2) Bobby Rush (IL-1) Paul Ryan (WI-1) Tim Ryan (OH-17) John Sarbanes (MD-3) Steve Scalise (LA-1) Jean Schmidt (OH-2) Aaron Schock (IL-18) Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) David Scott (GA-13) Pete Sessions (TX-32) Joe Sestak (PA-7) John Shimkus (IL-19) Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1) Heath Shuler (NC-11) Bill Shuster (PA-9) Mike Simpson (ID-2) Albio Sires (NJ-13) Ike Skelton (MO-4) Adrian Smith (NE-3) Christopher Smith (NJ-4) Zack Space (OH-18) Mark Souder (IN-3) John Spratt (SC-5) Cliff Stearns (FL-6) Bart Stupak (MI-1) John Sullivan (OK-1) Harry Teague (NM-2) Lee Terry (NE-2) Mike Thompson (CA-1) Glenn Thompson (PA-5) "Mac" Thornberry (TX-13) Todd Tiahrt (KS-4) Pat Tiberi (OH-12) Dina Titus (NV-3) Mike Turner (OH-3) Fred Upton (MI-6) Peter Visclosky (IN-1) Greg Walden (OR-2) Timothy Walz (MN-1) Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3) Ed Whitfield (KY-1) Charlie Wilson (OH-6) Joe Wilson (SC-2) Rob Wittman (VA-1) Frank Wolf (VA-10) Don Young (AK-At Large)
The Local Radio Freedom Act’s 27 Senate cosponsors are:
John Barrasso (WY) Max Baucus (MT) Jeff Bingaman (NM) Christopher Bond (MO) Sam Brownback (KS) Richard Burr (NC) Thad Cochran (MS) Susan Collins (ME) Mike Crapo (ID)
Michael Enzi (WY) Judd Gregg (NH) Kay Hagan (NC) James Inhofe (OK) Johnny Isakson (GA) Mike Johanns (NE) Tim Johnson (SD) Mary Landrieu (LA) Joseph Lieberman (CT)
Blanche Lincoln (AR) Benjamin Nelson (NE) Jim Risch (ID) Pat Roberts (KS) Olympia Snowe (ME) Jon Tester (MT) John Thune (SD) David Vitter (LA) Roger Wicker (MS)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

RIAA on the run?

from slashdot:

"We talked about Charlie Nesson of Harvard Law School before, and it may not have been known to you, but he is backing former student and Jammie Thomas' new lawyer, K.A.D. Camara. Ars is reporting that Nesson is upping the charges against the RIAA. Not only is file-sharing fair use, but the $100,000,000 the RIAA has collected through fear is due back to those wrongly accused. He's also increasing the number of fronts he's fighting. On Camara's website, he indicates that in another case, Brittany English (pro bono), they 'are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these — 150,000:1 — are unconstitutional and that the RIAA's campaign to extract settlements from individuals by the threat of such unconstitutional damages is itself unlawful, enjoin the RIAA's unlawful campaign, and order the RIAA to return the $100M+ that it obtained as a result of its unlawful campaign.'"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

music artists oppose RIAA tactics

For years music industry lobbyists, headed by the RIAA, have gone after illegal file-sharers - supposedly in the best interests of the artists. Unexpectedly, a group of top musicians has started its very own lobby group to avoid being exploited by these very same record labels, who tend to abuse copyrights for their own sake.
The music industry and its lobbyists often claim they protect the right of artists with their copyright extension plans and anti-piracy efforts. In reality, however, they tend to ignore the people who actually create the music, while making sure that a steady flow of cash goes into the pockets of the label’s bosses.
In an attempt to have their voices heard, a group of leading musicians have started their own lobby group, the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC). The group includes members such as Robbie Williams, Radiohead and Travis and aims to end the extortion-like practices of the record labels and allow artist to gain more control over their own work.
Last year, Travis experienced the aggressiveness of the labels first hand. When the band encouraged fans to share one of their songs with friends, IFPI went after a fan who posted the song on his website. The IFPI realized that it made a mistake and backed off, but it clearly shows that the labels are out of touch with reality.
Unfortunately, the example above is just the tip of the iceberg. In Europe, music industry lobbyists have managed to strike deals with Internet service providers to go after those people who download music illegally. The artists were never involved in these negotiations though, and many of them oppose the aggressive stance of the labels which turns fans into criminals.
“The digital landscape is changing fast and new deals are being struck all the time, but all too often without reference to the people who actually make the music. Just look at the recent MoU on file-sharing between labels, government and the ISPs. Artists were not involved,” Brian Message, co-manager of Radiohead said.
Similarly, Europe is currently planning to extend copyright on audio recordings from 50 to 95 years, gently pushed by music industry lobbyists of course. Again, the musicians prefer a lowering of the current copyright term to 35 years instead.
The artists feel that the record labels are using copyright on the artists’ work to their advantage, restricting free access. “It’s like taking out a mortgage on a house, paying off the mortgage and you still don’t end up owning the house,” Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien said.
Another worry for the artist is the revenue on digital sales. Quite often, the deals record labels make for selling music online are vague and the artists don’t get paid at all. Last year we already reported on one such artist who found his music on iTunes, but never received a penny. Frustrated, he decided to upload his music onto BitTorrent sites so people could download it for free.
According to Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, who’s also a member of the newly formed lobby group, this is not an isolated incident. “The music companies did a deal with Nokia recently, so they could launch phones with access to all sorts of music. We think they all received advances from Nokia, but nobody is saying who got what - and we think some of that money should go to the artists,” he said.
The newly formed lobby of top musicians hopes to set the record straight, and is demanding fair compensation for all artists. They believe musicians should have control over their own work instead of being the puppets of record label bosses. We can’t say that we blame them.