Reports from or about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and other regional lobbyists for the legacy methods of creation, distribution and funding of music they represent.

U.S. firms drop music download lawsuit against woman

We have always known that the word "evidence" has no meaning for the major record labels and motion picture studios. A CBC News story talks about yet another dropped case against a person falsely accused of unauthorized music filesharing. The Government of Canada seems to have also forgotten the concept of "evidence" as they fast-track Bill C-59.

Is this a case of the Conservative Government wanting to be seen to do something based on Gov. Schwarzenegger's requests, being unwilling to do anything substantive on climate change?

See also: p2pnet

Figuring out the Music Industry...

The following is a comment to a discussion in the latest This Week In Tech podcast.

I wanted to help the group better understand what is happening in the music industry. In the conversation you were speaking as if it was one big happy industry, when in fact you need to divide it into at least 3 warring factions to make sense out of things: composers (and their publishers), performers, and "makers" of sound recordings.

Q & A with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails

There is an Australian Herald Sun interview with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails who lets rip at ignorant record companies.

It is interesting to note that he has only one album owed to a major label, and then he is free of those antiquated shackles. Should be very interesting to see how much better things get after that. It would be interesting to know how many other artists are coming out from under that legacy control, and thus how quickly the irrelevant major labels will be pushed aside by the emerging modern music industry.

Yoni Goldstein: The future of online music sales

An article in the National Post by Yoni Goldstein puts the blame for much of the lack of online digital music sales where it should be -- on the major labels themself.

The recording industry itself is to blame for this trend, because it imposes harsh copy protection rules on the sale of digital music. For example, consumers must accept a laundry list of restrictions when they buy music from an online store: rules about what computer program the music can play on, how many times the music may be copied, and a ban on burning music to blank CDs. With all these limitations, it’s not surprising that online sales are disappointing.

Music's future digital and online: experts

A CBC News article reports on the recent panel in Toronto.

CRIA stats all part of their lobbying efforts

I replied to an article by Brendan Murphy where he discussed problems with CRIA statistics on the decline of sales of physical media.

I wrote:

Almost everything that comes out of CRIA these days is part of their lobbying effort go convince the federal government to ratify the 1996 WIPO treaties, including the extremely controversial parts which allow copyright holders to impose software choices on technology owners. As music fans and technology owners we need to fight back.

Professor asks institution to Protect Harvard from the RIAA

An op-ed for The Harvard Crimson was co-written by HLS Professor Charles Nesson and Wendy Seltzer, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

But mere understanding is no reason for a university to voluntarily assist the RIAA with its threatening and abusive tactics. Instead, we should be assisting our students both by explaining the law and by resisting the subpoenas that the RIAA serves upon us. We should be deploying our clinical legal student training programs to defend our targeted students. We should be lobbying Congress for a roll back of the draconian copyright law that the copyright industry has forced upon us. Intellectual property can be efficient when its boundaries are relatively self-evident.

Defective By Design: Warner Music Wake Up Call

A Defective by Design bulletin documents:

Warner Music, one of the Big Four labels, hasn't budged in their opposition. After the EMI announcement they even suggested a hostile takeover of EMI to prevent the music from becoming available without DRM. Just this week Warner filed a lawsuit against to stop them from distributing MP3s of Warner's music to customers who buy the CD.
Join us today in calling on Warner Music to drop their opposition to DRM free digital sales and make their catalog available through online music stores free of Digital Restrictions.

Future of Music Coalition Applauds Payola Settlement

See this press release from the Future of Music Coalition talks about the payola agreement between F.C.C. and big broadcast chains. While it doesn't talk about the major labels, this is an unlawful activity originating with the labels. I think it should be obvious that payola is far more harmful to the larger music industry than any amount of infringing sharing, and yet the major labels always claims it is private citizens that are the "criminals".

p2pnet RIAA survey results has been running a survey.

I'll be making Sultans of Spin public as Monday (April 16), and I'll leave it online until Saturday (April 21) so anyone, anywhere, can use the statistics for their own analyses.

Unfortunately some of the questions won't give as useful results as I would like. For instance, asking if someone shares files doesn't ask the relevant question which is whether that sharing is authorized or not, and whether any unauthorized sharing is actually infringing.

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