CRIA/RIAA/etc

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.

Bob Lefsetz says major labels deserve to go out of business...

Bob Lefsetz of the "The Lefsetz Letter." has written a strongly worded article about EMI's increasing the price of music as part of its inevitable move away from defective by design (DRM infected) files. If you aren't a regular reader of his newsletter, and are interested in the future of music, then you need to be!

EMI deserves to go out of business. As for its lame competitors, they’re so paralyzed that they won’t even make a move. Edgar Bronfman, Jr. wants higher prices WITH the DRM. And Sony BMG is just trying to stay afloat, with an internal war aflame, with the Sony half fighting for its life. And Universal is so arrogant, it somehow believes since it’s got the largest market share with the biggest selling acts, it’s somehow immune. RIDICULOUS!

EMI confirms to sell DRM-free music online

A AFX Financial News article talks about how the EMI Group (The third largest of the 4 current major music labels, in terms of sales) confirmed that it will begin selling songs without copy protection through Apple Inc's iTunes website. This is being done via an unencrypted AAC file format (AAC and MP3 are both audio formats from the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG))) which Apple will charge more for ($US 1.29 vs $US 0.99 for the encrypted version).

Could Kylee happen in Canada?

Kylee Andersen is a 10-year-old the Big 4 music cartel's RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) currently has in its sights for a lawsuit. A comment I wrote about why this isn't happening in Canada has been turned into its own article on p2pnet.

Piracy didn’t kill the major label business model, choice did.

A BLOG article by Bob Lefsetz documents what most of us recognize, but policy makers seem to largely be unaware of.

At some point in the future, earlier rather than later if the majors capitulate and agree to live in the present as opposed to the 1990s, music acquisition on the Net will be monetized. A great deal of revenue will be generated, but it will be distributed amongst a plethora of providers/acts.
...
But the point is you no longer need the major label as a bank, as a marketer, you don’t need that much money and your fans do so much of the work for you. How do the majors compete in this new landscape? Good question.

Drop DRM to reduce customer complaints and increase sales

An article on ARS Technica reports that Deutsche Telekom's Musicload service claims that 75% of customer support calls end up being due to problems with DRM.

They also say that

Championing the "Comeback of MP3," Musicload said that artists choosing to drop DRM saw a 40 percent increase in sales since December, and that more artists and labels are showing interest.

Making sense out of the music industry and a recent Copyright Board decision.

Reading the comments in reply to Michael Geist's BLOG article indicating that the Copyright Board has made a decision on music download royalties indicates common confusion over copyright and royalty issues with the larger music industry. While I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL), I have spent many hours talking about this with musicians. It is yet another example where "clarification and simplification" is needed not only of the Copyright act, but also of a legacy arrangement between industries.

Universal tries not to sell DRM-free downloads

This article tells us that Universal is quietly trialling DRM-free digital sales.

Sounds like an experiment designed to fail :
"The sale [...] is not advertised on Simon's Web site and is not available elsewhere, with other French online retailers selling the album with DRM.

Hands up all those who expect them to report that "we tried selling DRM-free downloads, and people showed us that they wanted the DRMed version instead."

Canadian Music Week Begins Wednesday!

An article by Adam Gonshor in andPOP describes what sounds like an awsome event (March 7-10, 2007 in Toronto). Not only will you see great musicians, but you might even see some fireworks at an event that includes Nettwerk head Terry McBride and many CMCC musicians as well as Graham Henderson representing the foreign major label interests. The two sides of the music industry: those that want to monetize new media and non-commercial filesharing, as well as protect IT property rights, and those special interest extremists who want to outlaw the personal ownership and control of technology and sue music fans.

p2pnet: It's March! RIAA boycott month!

An article by Jon Newton on p2pnet talks about a boycott against the RIAA that some people are trying for this month. At the end he quoted from an article I wrote five years ago today titled: Piracy or Boycott: Can you tell the difference?

Steve Jobs' iTunes dance

Canadian Science Fiction author and online rights activist Cory Doctorow has weighed in on the debate launched by Steve Jobs "Thoughts on Music" essay witb an article in Salon magazine.

Now the Apple CEO says he would gladly sell songs without digital restrictions, if the record companies let him. That's hardly a brave defiance, and besides, I don't believe him.

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