Still hating the RIAA

Following a bit of a stream of RIAA-owned music from, er, somewhere else or other, maybe somewhere that can afford the insane fees you have to pay to advertise them by playing their music, I managed to come close to how I feel about the current situation, with five corporations owning 90% of the music I’ve ever heard, and keeping 80% of it locked up at any given time:

diskette biscuit stool

I know this is supposed to be cheering us up, but the soundtrack for my entire life, my entire culture, is locked up in the vaults of five corporations. All the stuff that hasn’t been sold since I was in grade school, all the stuff I’ve never heard, but would love, which they couldn’t afford to sell in physical stores, they could be letting me hear, and buy, but they’re too afraid.


(I’m becoming quite fond of having my swearing rewritten as random nouns, but rest assured that those are all “fuck”, and there’s a whole huge lump of more of them, still caught in my throat.)


Comment by KafkaesquĆ­ #
2003-10-03 04:30:48

Cup ’em.

Comment by Jim #
2003-10-03 09:58:09

Yeah, it is sad although I’d not been able to phrase it quite that eloquently. All I know is that I actually feal real fear to play, even for a small group of people, songs from Simon & Garfunkel’s ”Bridge Over Trouble Water”.

When I was young, I wasn’t afraid to fall in love for the first time with those songs guiding the way, or break free from my elders’ ways of thinking with those lyrics as my touchstone.

30 years later, here I am afraid of playing those very songs … and the songs themselves are the soundtrack to that fear. Very ironic. And sad.

Comment by Marie #
2003-10-04 07:26:28

I’d hate to think it’s over, because I just can’t stomach the stuff they’re releasing today.

Comment by Simon Lee #
2003-10-07 04:27:57

I echo Marie’s sentinents. None of today’s releases even hold a candle.

Comment by Andrew Zubritsky #
2003-10-07 05:25:30

Hate? Hehe.

Comment by Matt Hood #
2003-10-16 17:49:46

The RIAA is a corporate blackmail machine, there is no doubt about it. Unfortunately they have the upper hand. I hate to play devils advocate here but tell me that trading music DOESN’T break copyright laws… And back it up…

Bah, things were so much less complicated before MP3s and the internet became so popular. Try passing an album over a 28.8baud modem as a bunch of .wav files! Ahhh. Those were the days.

Then I had to go and get addicted to napster… Then Kazaa and then USENET! Damnit! I hate being an addict! I hate being a criminal! But I blame it all on the RIAA, for without their interference I would have remained unworried!

(Can I sue the RIAA if I get an ulcer over this?) Fuck them anyway.


Comment by Jim #
2003-10-20 16:19:18

I hate to play devils advocate here but tell me that trading music DOESN’T break copyright laws… And back it up…

The doctrine of first sale means trading music doesn’t break copyright laws. I buy a CD, you buy a CD, we are allowed to trade them quite legally. At no point are any copies made, so copyright law has nothing to say on the matter.

What, you didn’t mean trading music at all, but rather sending copies out over the Internet? That may or may not be legal. Sometimes it’s certainly legal, as the copyright holder has given permission.

Please try and watch your terminology – when you talk about ”trading music” as if it exclusively means mass-distributing illegal copies, you disparage every legitimate trader and give the impression file sharing applications are nothing but tools for criminals. The same applies to anybody who would use ’file sharing’ as a synonym for copyright infringement.

Comment by Michael Gersh #
2003-10-20 16:45:22

Seth Godin got it right a little over a year ago in Fast Company. The future is coming; it’s just around the bend. Don’t be such a pessimist, Phil.

Comment by noname #
2003-10-23 14:17:29

I don’t think mp3 ripped from original CD track is exact copy of this track. It’s different media and copyright laws shouldn’t spread on it ;)

Comment by fluffy #
2003-11-04 19:17:49

I haven’t bought an RIAA release in quite some time. Most of my music purchases come from small bands who happen to be playing in town, or from CDBaby.

My life’s soundtrack is mostly RIAA-free.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-11-04 19:56:46

Yep, my current soundtrack is, too. It’s just that I can’t rewrite my various firsts: I’d love to have the sound of my first time going skiing alone be Deb Talan, but it’s too late, and to remember that trip I need the permission of A&M Records.

Comment by Shannon #
2003-11-12 17:25:31

Seriously, Phil. Six weeks? This is getting a little crazy. TALK TO ME!

Comment by aroon #
2003-11-13 15:04:59

i second the motion.

Comment by Geodog #
2003-11-25 00:16:39

Phil, you OK?

Going on hiatus with no notice is ok, I’ve done it myself, but leave a little note saying you are ok or something, will ya?

If you aren’t, I hope you recover from whatever it is soon.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-11-25 07:58:56

Still alive and kicking, just looking for my lighthouses, and not finding them so far.

Thanks for worrying about me!

Comment by billsaysthis #
2003-11-26 19:08:40

How about this one?

I saw it in person, very lovely, very inspirational.

Comment by Donna #
2003-12-10 18:42:46

Worrying isn’t the right word, so much as ”missing”. You’re too thoughtful not to be missed. Have good holidays!

Comment by MTSearch #
2003-11-16 02:07:24

MTsearch is a new MIRC MP3 collecting program a frined of mine made. support the RIAA

Comment by Aine #
2003-11-18 10:45:43

I’ve paid for my music collection FOUR times : vinyl, 8-track, cassette, and cd. And even though I no longer have copies of the old formats to prove I’ve legally bought them, and I don’t save my receipts for thirty+ years, I think I have earned the right to have a fifth format (.mp3) for free, don’t you?

I also don’t like the rules for internet radio broadcasters. Why should they have to pay all these excess fees to umpteen entities for streaming audio over the internet (which does NOT use up public airwave bandwidth, and they’re paying for their internet bandwidth already) when over-the-air broadcasters don’t have to pay the same fees to those same entities? It is blatantly unfair and gives over-the-air broadcasters an advantage they don’t deserve and haven’t earned, as far as I’m concerned. If anyone thinks they’ve earned such an advantage, recall ”Macarena” being played a bazillion times repeatedly over the airwaves, and then tell me again why they deserve the advantage. ;)

If artists want their profits, they should connect directly to music consumers and abandon the old ways of doing things, cutting out the middlemen in the process. The RIAA is a lobbyist group, they are NOT the music industry as a whole, just a bunch of mouthpieces. How they stepped into it and are legally able to sue anyone to begin with is questionable at best. The RIAA doesn’t have anything to do with music production and distribution, and why anyone at any level (even the court system) is listening to them is beyond me.

I don’t do file sharing. I’ve never used Kazaa or Napster or Morpheus or anything else. At this point in time, I’m sort of glad about that because I shouldn’t be appearing on their -list- of criminals. It’s funny how they turned customers into criminals, too. A recent independent study* of movie pirating concluded that 77% of all pirated dvds were copied and redistributed *before* the dvds were ever released to the public. The only logical conclusion is that for all the noise the MPAA is making about pirating, it’s movie industry insiders that are doing the majority of the pirating.


Comment by Shelley #
2003-11-27 19:28:24

Glad to hear you’re looking for lighthouses, Phil. You take all the time you want (though it is deadly quiet without you).

We’ll be here when you get back.

Well, maybe. Spammers are taking over, may not be room for us.

Comment by Tim #
2004-01-13 00:56:43

Still checking on you occasionally. Hoping …

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2004-01-13 01:11:22

I’d have more time to think about writing again, if I could get out from under the comment spammers for a while. Even after I finally got around to installing MT-Blacklist (yesterday), I still had 76 to delete tonight from a few minutes work by a fairly cunning scripter. Sigh. I poked my head back into the blog-stream the last couple of days, and everything seemed so bitter, and angry, and so much the same as it was when I last looked. Liberal v. strict parsing of syndication feeds? How many times, oh lord, how many times have we done this now? I’ll be back, in time…

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2004-01-13 01:12:52

Oops, and I see I broke threading. Tomorrow.

Comment by tbk #
2004-01-15 04:55:36

Damn drive by spammers. Why don’t you just change the comments link to a javascript popup. That should stop the comment spammers.

Trackback by #
2003-10-10 08:05:16

Pre-vacation linkage.

Last month, I missed seeing Peter Scholtes’ Twin Cities’ City Pages article ”First Love” (via Mamatha’s m’s journal) J. is…

Trackback by randomWalks flux #
2003-12-20 23:09:12

phil ringnalda dot com: Still hating the RIAA…

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