Music industry blind, deaf, dumb and rude

25 May

If you remember your first free music download, raise your hand. Now go to jail.

(I was a Napster user).

Although the hunt for peer-to-peer users isn’t quite as realistic (not the case in Ireland, as you’ll read below), the search is on for those creating the software. Mark Gorton, creator of LimeWire, was ruled liable for copyright infringement by a federal judge. Gorton could be forced to pay up to $450 million, as stated in this NY Times blog.

RIAA logo. RIAA motto: "We have no idea what we're doing."

The argument against LimeWire: Because Gorton attempted to get licenses to legitimize the downloads, he revealed the fact that he knew the music was being traded illegally. “He thought with his cleverness that he could get away with it,” Mitch Bainwol, the [Recording Industry Association of America’s] chief executive, said. “He’s the Bernie Madoff of Internet crime. He was thumbing his nose at the rule of law to profiteer enormously.” At a minimum, the record association says, LimeWire needs to shut the current service and Mr. Gorton needs to pay for damages out of his own pocket.

LimeWire creator Mark Gorton

While the law seems to favor the RIAA, the record industry’s short-sightedness is much more criminal. Instead of putting the fear of suit/damages to Mark Gorton, the RIAA desperately needs to turn to him as a working partner to help settle the internet music debacle. The RIAA and independent record labels are up against the most challenging issue music will ever see, facing invisible opponents with a lack of regulations. But the RIAA has been through this before with Napster and others and once again will fail to see this as an opportunity rather than a war.

Similar goings on in Ireland, according to the Irish Times. The key difference is the record labels in Ireland are working with Eircom (Ireland’s AT&T) on a process “that will ultimately see persistent online sharers of music lose their broadband connection.” This time the labels took action against the internet service provider, who, in turn, were scared shitless and took actions against its clients. Again, another misdirected attempt by the record labels, punishing their potential buyers for something they can’t figure out how to fix.

Ireland’s The Inquirer explains the process as a three-strikes-you’re-out rule: “Apparently the ISP was so scared of being sued over copyright infringement that it decided to cut off P2P users on its network.” In a trial run, Eircom will process and monitor 50 IP addresses a week. So because record companies can’t figure out their own problems, people will be monitored by Big Brother.

There most definitely is a problem amongst unregulated nations, but the record companies haven’t yet figured out how to solve it. Attacking the users through their ISP provider is invasive and should be illegal. The RIAA have already identified the biggest culprits during a Congressional caucus last week:

“At a morning Capitol Hill news conference, IAPC Co-Chairmen Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) named China, Russia, Mexico, Canada and Spain as “Top Priority Countries” with lax intellectual property enforcement.  China’s Baidu, Canada’s IsoHunt, Ukraine’s mp3fiesta, Germany’s RapidShare, Luxembourg’s and Sweden’s The Pirate Bay were identified as the priority sites.”

However, to sum up the music crisis, we turn to Nas, who says labels just need to put out more music and less garbage: “Nigga, put out music! That’s whats wrong with the music game. It ain’t the music business, it’s niggas and they shit!” Forget a dream artist collaboration, get Nas and Mark Gorton together.

And if you think this is bad, artists do not even receive royalties for television, radio or commercial play in the United Arab Emirates. According to this article in The National, artists and labels are losing millions of dollars every year.


One Response to “Music industry blind, deaf, dumb and rude”

  1. inintedgels June 23, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Very Good site, thank yo mister, it’s help’s me!

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