Before I get into more recording industry bashing, I’d like to reiterate that:
a): these are my personal opinions, and not necessarily reflective of any organization I belong to.
b): I believe that artists deserve to be monetarily compensated for their work.
OK, let’s commence with the denigration.
I understand that copyright is a tough issue to parse, particularly if you’re not legally-minded. But surely you know about "fair use," which essentially says you
aren’t violating a the law if you make a copy of something you’ve purchased — so long as said copy is for personal use and not for profit.
Sometime after the turn of the millennium, many of us hard-core (though not necessarily hardcore) music fans went through a period of ripping our considerable CD collections onto our computers. This was primarily so we could load them into nifty portable devices like iPods.
Well, those sweet folks at the RIAA say this is against the law. Check out this Ars Technica article in which the head of litigation from Sony BMG, Jennifer Pariser, declares people like you and me to be out-and-out brigands:
When asked by the RIAA’s lead counsel whether it was wrong for
consumers to make copies of CDs they have purchased, Jennifer Pariser
replied in the negative. "When an individual makes a copy of a song for
himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song," said Pariser. Making "a
copy" of a song you own is just "a nice way of saying ‘steals just one
copy’," according to Pariser.
I’m beginning to come around to the possibility that "music as a service" is the only way to stop this industry from total self-destruction. The major-labels’ "scorched earth" policy in regard to ownership and personal use is frankly appalling, and it can’t possibly be good for business.
Here’s what I think needs to happen:
These aren’t my ideas, but I believe their adoption could help the music industry pull itself out of the paranoid pit of confusion and antagonism it currently wallows in.
Or they can keep fighting each other over scraps, like the post-Gambino Mafia.