Blog Post

RIAA(T)

Read “Right”…</sarcasm>

“I think this is the biggest accolade you can be given because it means your fans have gone out and bought your records. And that’s why we make records – for our public.” – Sir Elton John, 3/16/1999 at the launch of the RIAA® Diamond® Award

Your fans will continue to buy your records as long as you are good enough! You can easily be replaced by local artists who are better and free. Oh, and Sir Elton, you have never written an album “for our public.” You have only written albums for “your pockets,” just like every artist who is governed by New York, Los Angeles, and the Nashville morons. Groups that write albums “for our public” don’t join hands with the RIAA and tend to put their music out there for free. You and the RIAA need to learn the definition of piracy and pirates. Piracy is to steal cargo at the high seas, I don’t know who you all think you are, but your cargo isn’t worthy of any of the seas, maybe a retention pond holding raw sewage.

If people want to share the music they have purchased, then so be it. Remember, if your music is “good enough,” people are going to buy the CDs no matter what. The idiots who distribute music without sharing (note I didn’t call them pirates) or not purchasing only make up a small percentage of the people SHARING music. If I bought it, I own it, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it. I hope that New York teen tears you apart in the courts!

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  • Jeremy

    I’m surprised you posted this. You pull a quote from 1999, and then rant about it. Why bother? Are you just trolling for blog hits?

    If you are indeed only as far as 1999, let me give you a spoiler. The “Grokster case” verdict says your definition of “sharing” is “copyright infringement”.

    Let’s clear up a few things shall we?

    piracy
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/piracy?view=uk
    1 the practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.
    2 the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work.

    The RIAA is using definition #2. Correctly.

    pirate
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/pirate?view=uk
    1 a person who attacks and robs ships at sea.
    2 before another noun denoting a text, film, recording, etc. that has been reproduced and used for profit without permission: pirate videos.

    According to this definition, illegally copying a song from a CD is piracy, but you are not a pirate if you do not profit from making that copy.

    > If people want to share the music they have purchased, then so be it.
    > If I bought it, I own it, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it.
    You own the CD. You can share that CD by giving it — the physical CD — to any one you want. You can use it as a coaster or a flying disc. However, you cannot rip that CD and distribute the ripped bits all over the Internet. That’s “copyright infringement”.

  • Greg

    After reading your blog, I think you have seriously lost it. First off, if an artist like Elton wasn’t any good, they certainly wouldn’t still be around after 35 years. Second off, looking at the word “pirates”, from say dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pirates), definition #3 states “One who makes use of or reproduces the work of another without authorization.” Now I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with either side, just think it might be a good idea to do a little research first. Just a thought.

  • Greg, how can you lose what you don’t have? 🙂

    Elton is a rock legend, I love everything musically he does, but it is his philosophy with the RIAA that is way out of whack.

    I have done my research, and dictionary.com and the others are wrong. Only until the past couple of years did those idiots add that as a definition. Why? Because our media conglomerates and the RIAA made up the definition. And of course dictionary.com believes everything is reads and sees on TV. A person who doesn’t share his/her music is a distributor or in my eyes a thief. I am not saying the artists shouldn’t get paid for their work, but why is it illegal to share what is rightfully mine? I bought the CD that contains the songs, so those songs are mine, I can do whatever I want with them. What’s next? I bought the car, but I don’t have the right to replace the rims or trade it in for another one?

  • Jeremy:

    The reason I used that quote is because it is plastered on the RIAA website. If Sir Elton’s views have changed since then, I am sure he would have told them to take it down. And who the hell would want to live in the 90’s? I am living in the 70’s brother! 🙂

    As for the definitions I will not accept them. They were created by people who didn’t know any better and ended coining the word pirate in this case. Now unless people are going in and holding a mutiny in Tower Records or Walmart, pirate won’t cut it for me.

    You are right, they have said that “sharing” is “copyright infringement,” and this scares me. Like I said in my previous comment post ^^, what’s next? Literally using that complaint they can mandate rules and regulations for everything you purchase. So in a way, you aren’t purchasing the material, you are renting it. If I pay $15 or $20 for a CD or DVD and I want to share it with someone, why can’t I? (besides it currently being illegal, I always hated that FBI warning). I know it is copyright infringement, and I don’t agree with it. It is getting to the point to where it will be illegal (well it is if you in fact illegally misuse software to take advantage of the encryption at least here in the United States) to back up my music and movies.

    Also, when I share my music, I share it with people I know, not the entire world. I share it with people who won’t abuse what I have given them and then distribute it around the world. If my friend wants 1 song off of the CD, I am going to share it with him. I know in my case, people who have shared music or videos with me and I enjoy it, I will go and purchase the album or movie. I don’t think it is fair to take advantage of the artists, but who am I to tell someone they shouldn’t do it, and who is the RIAA for going after people who do it? The RIAA was made up because the media moguls were afraid they would lose their Beverly Hills and Malibu mansions and didn’t know how to procede. So, the RIAA creates itself as a legal entity and then puts God knows how many lobbiests in DC to get these laws mandated.

    The main point though, is that the RIAA’s main goal is to even make it illegal to copy. That is absurd.

  • Eddie M.

    Jeremy/Greg:

    As Nixternal noted, the RIAA is evil. As opposed to the MPAA which was created, literally, to make the movie studios look good.

    This is who we are trusting to run our laws? A PR agency? This is who is telling us how to live our lives? You support these institutions? I don’t understand the logic behind such positions.

    I am reminded of a quote by Bobba Fett from some random star wars book, when asked to join the Rebel Allience. ‘Your rebel group illegally rose up against a legally elected government.” Or something to that degree. Are you going against everything Luke Skywalker and Yoda stand for? The example is insane of course, but the logic is parallel.

    Red herrings aside (the use of the word pirate), the difference between your stances and those of nixternal is the difference between the constitutionality of a law and it’s legal status. Yes it is copyright infringment. No it is not not a consitutional right to pursue such so called criminials. You might think ‘pirates’ (to use the term loosely) are breaking the law and deserve to be thrown in jail, with the key thrown away. Fine. I’ll concede the point, at least momentarily, for the sake of making my own point.

    What about the record companies? What about the extortion, collusion, and bullying monopolistic practices of the record companies? What about the artists who get 20 points (TOPS! closer to 10 usually) from record companies. 80-90% overhead sounds more like loansharking then business to me. Where is the outrage there?

    I’ll tell you. There is no outrage because such contracts have become standard legal practice. True some lables such as Touch and Go offer more points. Corey Rusk offers 50 points. But then again, no one is pirating (again loosely) the touch and go catalogue. Why?

    Because the best DRM will always be a good product. Not just the music. The music, you will note, is still in demand. The problem is the policy behind the music by said music industry. The public is fed up with extortion, overpriced cds, and they have an alternative.

    Alternatives? Doesn’t the Decleration of Indpedence say something to the degree of ‘tearing down and reforming useless governments’? No? It must by my imagination then.

    Let’s not talk about how good an artist is though. Millions have been made by Britney Spears, the Spice Girls etc. American Idol. We see literally how artists are made up and fed to us by large corporate entities, afraid of a market where creativity and sound policy triumpts. So yes, Elton John is good, and yes he is still making money. But how much money is being made OFF of him, American Idol etc.?

    It’s not just that an unconsitutional law exists. It’s that the companies hide behind a thin veil of humanism while activly trying to squash other’s legal rights to do as they wish. Immidiatly assuming someone is going to break the law speaks more about a body’s (human, government, corporation) pressism then it does of legalities.

    Another thought. The Internet is nothing BUT shared information. Every website is shared information. Every file, link, image, is shared information. So we can use ‘the tubes’ to share information? That sounds like a step back to me.

    Arguing over the exact definion of the word, (in this case piracy, in another case I saw ‘innovation) distracts from the real issue- the illigetimacy and broken policy of record companies and the RIAA. I don’t trust them, but then again, they don’t give me a reason to.

    -posingaspopular
    (eddiemartinez@gmail.com)

    ps. And yes, I pay for music. I go to many concerts (30+ last year). I have friends in local bands who I support. I go to their practices, flyer for their shows, promote, work on their websites, talk to them about music theory and how to make their music better. I sit on online forums, pick people up when they fall in the mosh pit, and break a ton of glasses in them too.

    But most importantly, I AM NOT A CRIMINAL. I am not a terrorist either, or a child killer, or an infadel. I am myself, I do my best to live life as it should be lived. So you will excuse if I get upset when it’s implied by anyone that my life is otherwise.

  • Jeremy

    Sigh. Here we go again…

    piracy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringements
    http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/T/TennysonAlfred/verse/misc/loverstale.html
    “an early reference was made by Alfred Tennyson in the preface to his poem “The Lover’s Tale” in 1879 where he mentions that sections of this work “have of late been mercilessly pirated”.
    The word “piracy” has been used to colorfully describe copyright infringement for over 100 years. If you don’t accept that, well — I can’t force you to be reasonable.

    Moving on…

    The central issue here is whether you believe copyright should be respected. The dangerous part of rejecting copyright in the interest of “sharing” (that is, “copyright infringement”) is that this very same copyright is required to keep GPL’d code available to all who want it. How so you ask? Let’s examine a paragraph with a simple A/B option as follows:

    The big bad (RIAA/FSF) has no business suing (file-sharers/Tivo) over copied (CDs/GPL’d code). Those copies didn’t cost the (RIAA/FSF) anything. How can you lose what you don’t have? After all, once the original (CDs/GPL’d code) was obtained, anything that (filesharers/Tivo) did was none of the (RIAA’s/FSF’s) businiess. Butt out and let freedom reign!

    Interesting isn’t it? nixternal agrees with option “A” but is less likely to agree with option “B”. Yet the same principle of copyright applies to both. You cant have it both ways. If you want the GPL to be enforceable by copyright, you have to agree to respect copyright. If you want a world where the RIAA has no authority to enforce their copyright on your Britney CD, then don’t complain you are living in a world where the FSF can’t enforce the GPL on the (Linux-based) Tivo code.

  • Jeremy:

    Excellent point on the term piracy, however I still do not agree with it.

    As for the RIAA and CDs versus the FSF and Tivoization, you are correct as I will go with A and not B. RIAA strips our freedoms or at least tries to. FSF and the GPL issue with Tivo was wrong on Tivo’s behalf. Tivo took GPL code and used it, however created hardware that would allow the code to be edited. So in fact they were in violation of the GPL. GPL v2 stipulates that you must not only release the source code, but you also must allow it to be edited/modified in order to suit the user’s purpose. Tivo prevented this so they were in fact violating the GPL. Now Tivo did say that they would release the source but would not release the keys that locked the source to the hardware, which is arguably in violation as well depending on which way your translate the GPL v2.

    Now, that case would have been bettered argued if the RIAA was an established organization representing the artists and the record companies, however the RIAA was established by the labels to lobby in their part against rules and regulations that were made up as they went along. OK, so I will accept to a certain point of “copyright infringement” with the entire sharing concept, however I will not accept “copyright infringement” for my personal copies. I still don’t like the fact of “copyright infringement” on the CDs though. I still don’t see 100% how I am infringing on the copyrights, the music and the words are copyrighted, so I can use them and make them my own, so what does that have to do with sharing. ARGH this can give you a headache. So, no more making mix tapes either for your friends (of course if you are into that), and this kills the whole up and coming DJs, because at everyone of their shows, they are sharing other’s music, so that would be copyright infringement as well according to the RIAA. No matter how you look at it, the RIAA is way to dirty.

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