An Open Letter To the RIAA & film Industry

I caught several headlines on the CNN website about the RIAA and I have to ask the question “When are you guys going to get a clue?”

I won’t deny that piracy is a legitimate issue, but I think your actions past & present are only helping to proliferate the problem. Shaking down 12yr olds for $2k will only increase the animosity felt by consumers and you can copy protect CDs all you want that won’t boost your sales either.

Back in high school I remember my sister taught me the art of making mix tapes. (Any DJ will tell you the wrong song will clear the dance floor or completely ruin the vibe of a tape). With all the hoopla the RIAA is spinning I haven’t read too much on the opposing side about preserving fair use copyrights. I certainly don’t want entertainment media to become like software where if I own three computers Bill “You Will Be Assimilated” Gates says I have to license three copies of Windows XP for $100 a pop. If I’m forced to buy one CD for my house, and another copy for my car and a third copy for my Discman then I’ll jump on the peer-to-peer bandwagon. Because inevitably after purchasing a CD you may be inclined to make your own remixes. I know for long road trips I want to have an overall mix of Rock, Metal & Hip-Hop. Record companies don’t sign songwriters or musicians anymore, they churn out homogenized automatons programmed from piles of market research data. If fair use copyrights are going away and copy protection is the future, consumers will expect a full return policy for your crappy products.

I stand by what I said earlier, if other industries have to cut costs by downsizing employees and slashing wages how come the entertainment industry doesn’t tighten it’s belt a little? Since 2000 I’ve seen the average salary in the IT industry reduced by almost 30%. Maybe that’s why nobody’s buying your f#ckin’ CDs, middle-class two income families can barely get by. A lot of folks have seen their annual raises reduced or even put on hold because of the economy. I want to see Jim Carrey settle for $1 million dollars a film instead of $20 million. It would be nice to read an entertainment story where the cast of Friends had to take a $500k per episode pay cut due to budget constraints.

I don’t have any easy answers for you. If I did I’d charge you $20 million dollars then hold out for two months while I renegotiated a better rate.

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2 comments

  • I agree wholeheartedly! If a CD costs about 10 euro (11 USD) I’d consider buying it, but not for 17 Euro! it’s just a way too much, esp. for teenagers or students. I also use P2P to listen to music beforehand I buy it. I almost always buy CDs of my favorite band because it’s bad for my ears to listen to bad-encoded mp3s. I think if the music industry would consider cutting prices (well the production costs of a cd are almost 0) more people would buy cds instead.

  • If fair use copyrights are going away and copy protection is the future, consumers will expect a full return policy for your crappy products.

    I don’t think true fair use is going away. I think the “personal license” part will stay, so that when you purchase a CD with copyrighted songs on it, your license permits you to make copies for different types of playback devices, etc.

    Since 2000 I’ve seen the average salary in the IT industry reduced by almost 30%. Maybe that’s why nobody’s buying your f#ckin’ CDs, middle-class two income families can barely get by.

    I agree. The numbers the RIAA is using sound high to me, too. So if a lawsuit against a file swapper ever made it to court, the court would sort out the damages. Hopefully, someone on the defense would make a case for decreased sales based on larger economic factors, not just freely downloaded songs.

    I want to see Jim Carrey settle for $1 million dollars a film instead of $20 million. It would be nice to read an entertainment story where the cast of Friends had to take a $500k per episode pay cut due to budget constraints.

    It’s going to be a looooong wait, I’m afraid.

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