Most people decry the farce that is the RIAA and their pursuit of personal attacks against the consumer. Rather than adapting to the viral capabilities the internet provides to
independent musicians, the RIAA continues to alienate consumers and kill off loyalty remaining for the labels and artists they represent. As a result, the RIAA has completely
and utterly failed to turn-around the downward spiral of album sales and the rise of digital music sharing.
In a recent Washington Post article, Marc Fisher reports on an unusual
position made by the RIAA. In the case against Jeffrey Howell, accused of storing 2,000 digitial music files on his computer, RIAA lawyer Ira Schwartz argues that copying music
from legally purchased CDs onto his personal computer constitutes unauthorized copies of the recordings. Mr. Fisher quotes Ray Beckerman, a lawyer defending six clients sued by
the RIAA, "The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going
around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation."
All is not lost for millions of iTunes users who scrapped their CDs in favor of digital transfers. The RIAA seems to not have a strong position in this regard, recalling
several recent and past court rulings that found no copyright violation in making personal copies of legally acquired media (remember those VCRs?).
The Music and the Newspaper industry face a similiar demise of their business models. As sales and subscription revenues continue to decline margin will become tighter,
leading to negative territory. This offers management no recourse other than adaptation or demise. As label management earnings decline, artist roytalties will reduce forcing
talent to seek alternative business models.
The old-world music industry owners who still hold on to the good old days will die off and the free-market economy will force the inevitable creation of a new business model.
Time to short-sell en masse. Here is a short list of RIAA represented labels.
Big Machine Records
Red (incl Red Dance)