The Recording Industry Association of America is battling its customers in a war on the free market and the American way of life. The RIAA has done everything it can since its inception to stifle music, technology and free use. They have hurt musicians, consumers and the market as a whole.
On the music front, they create shady contracts with their talent, create shady laws to control their talent and do everything in their power to squelch any opposition to the RIAA agenda. Music independent of the RIAA is virtually non-existent, and after the passing of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 in congress, the RIAA gained an even stronger strangle hold over the talent they purport to represent. With this act came an RIAA sponsored amendment to the work-for-hire section of the copyright code. The language adds sound recordings to the categories of artists’ work deemed work-for-hire, and therefore not subject to the stipulation that copyrights return to the artist 35 years after first granted. This angered musicians and rap stars alike.
In its attempts to stop the technology of the late 20th century, the RIAA resorted to stopping fair use as we know it. With the passing of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, fair use was obliterated. We no longer own any of that crappy popular music that we buy, and can no longer decide what we do with it. New technology much like the cassettes and compact disks of the past are now illegal to invent. Anything that can be used to circumvent someone’s copyright is now illegal. This is very serious, and in the past six years, scientists, students, consumers and citizens have been stripped of free use and in some cases, they have been stripped of free speech.
Law suits have been flowing out of the RIAA like water out of a faucet. Well, it’s more like hot lava flowing out of a very big, evil, corporate faucet. After about a thousand suits have been threatened against users of peer to peer networks accused of violating copyright law, not a single case has gone to court. These attacks on the consumers did however extract thousands of dollars from settlements. The RIAA took money from children, old ladies, the poor and the uneducated. They knew that just the thought of a law suit, however much frivolous, would get these people to cave in. This is all done under the guise of fighting Piracy.
According to the RIAA, piracy is threatening to take down their empire. This is so exaggerated that anyone outside the RIAA would laugh at it if not for the laws against laughing at the RIAA. They got away with this claim because their music sales had dropped. Their experts said it was the internet file-trader’s fault. Real experts cited the RIAA price gouging, the low quality of the music their pushing, and their scare tactics toward their consumers. In fact, the number one factor of the drop in music sales was probably THE RECESSION. This fact is not lost on the recording industry, which is now seeing record sales steadily rise on par with the economy.
I say we just stop buying from these people. There is a plethora of independent non-MTV music out there just waiting to be listened to. The best place to find music is on the internet. Despite what the RIAA would tell you, it is not illegal to download any music off the internet. So if they do threaten to sue you, tell them to meet you in court.