They make it so easy to hate them. The RIAA is trying to screw artists even harder, even as it steps ups its anti-consumer lawsuit campaign. The Recording Industry Association of America has always claimed that they are defending artists when they sue consumers (nevermind that few recording artists seem to be all that keen on suing their fans), but now it’s clear that the only thing driving their insane lawsuit campaign is what most of us long suspected: Greed.
Watch the RIAA make their case for lower royalties by complaining about a changing business landscape (that they have failed to adapt to, unlike the publishers):
During the period when piracy was devastating the record industry, the RIAA argues, profits for publishers rose as revenue generated from ringtones and other innovative services grew. Record industry executives said there was nothing strange about seeking a rate change that would pay less to the people who write the music. “Mechanical royalties currently are out of whack with historical and international rates,” RIAA executive vp and general counsel Steven Marks said. “We hope the judges will restore the proper balance by reducing the rate and moving to a more flexible percentage rate structure so that record companies can continue to create the sound recordings that drive revenues for music publishers.”
Oh, so since you RIAA guys fucked up and sued your customers and failed to bring out a quality digital music store until Apple did it for you, that means you deserve a better deal from music publishers/songwriters? How the fuck does that add up? This is a capitalist system, fuckheads. Survive or perish.
I should also mention that the RIAA represents the evil record companies who insist on paying lower royalties to musicians for downloaded music — including taking a cut for “breakage” in shipping. Newsflash, dudes: If your MP3s are “breaking” you’ve got some serious fucking problems with your distribution model.
The RIAA is pleading with the government for help, but I doubt they’ll be able to push people around as easily since the publishing companies have their own teams of lawyers (most of whom aren’t tied up suing fans — although they do sue lyric sites and tab sites). Let’s hope the publishers string the RIAA up by the balls and demand higher royalty rates.
The RIAA is almost as bad for rock ‘n’ roll as MTV. I hope they all burn in hell.
On the plus side, there are some innovative new ideas out there for musicians and music fans to bypass the RIAA. Check out SellaBand.com for a cool new business model.