Announcing Amnesty for RIAA Supporters

Countering the proposed amnesty program the RIAA is launching, letting close to 1600 individuals 'off the hook' for illegally sharing copyrighted music, InternetDJ is offering amnesty for those people who support these draconian efforts. What are your thoughts?

Posted by Michael Bordash on Mon Sep 8, 2003

The Recording Industry of America has been plagued by one bad idea after another to help stamp out illegal copyrighted music distribution on the internet. The latest fiasco involves offering amnesty to known copyright offenders. Under this plan, users must sign a notarized affidavit promising to stop making copyrighted music available to the public on network programs like Kazaa. Furthermore they must delete all songs they have illegally acquired. According to AP, the RIAA is expecting to file lawsuits early next week against hundreds of peer-to-peer users suspected of engaging in widespread copyright violations. The question I have is where are their heads at?

RIAA efforts are generating publicity that extends to consumers throughout the world. The long standing perception of the Music Industry is that they screw artists. Illegal downloaders and uploaders alike have no qualms with stealing copyrighted music for they feel the Industry has "enough money" and the artists never see the bulk of the money anyway.

Taking legal action against individual offenders alienates consumers and increases the hatred for the Industry. The wide spread media coverage of the RIAA's legal actions will further incense the public as they look to alternative means of obtaining music whether through independent outlets or protected private music sharing networks outside the US.

I, for one, prefer to obtain music legally whether by buying a CD or paying for a download. It's the easiest way to get the best quality while supporting our artists at some level. Universal has announced plans to reduce prices of their CDs to $12.98 MSRP. Although there is still a large difference between getting a free copy from the internet versus 13 bucks, it is a step in the right direction to incentivize the public into legitimately purchasing music.

Educating the public should have been the first step in resolving this problem, not lawsuits. A proactive marketing campaign describing the "real state" of the music industry would have been effective, although might have caused a diminishing of the mystical ways of how the industry works. People are in awe of artists, perhaps by affirming its mighty grip on society via lawsuits, it maintains that shroud of secrecy and mania we have signed artists.

Another alternative would be to incentivize consumers. Take the "Golden Ticket" idea from Willy Wonka! Wouldn't you buy a CD if there was a chance that you could meet, or win something great, from the artist? I certainly would buy CDs from my favorite artists for a chance at finding the Golden Ticket.

What is your position on this? Post your comments here.

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