Friday, October 05, 2007

For shame

The RIAA wins its first case.

I wish these fuckers would concentrate on making some music that was actually worth $222,000. Wired has the list from the above suit:

Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle," "November Rain"
Vanessa Williams "Save the Best for Last"
Janet Jackson "Let's Wait Awhile"
Gloria Estefan "Here We Are," "Coming Out of the Heart," "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
Journey "Faithfully," "Don't Stop Believing"
Sara McLachlan "Possession," "Building a Mystery"
Aerosmith "Cryin'"
Linkin Park "One Step Closer
Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
Reba McEntire "One Honest Heart"
Bryan Adams "Somebody"
No Doubt "Bathwater," "Hella Good," "Different People"
Sheryl Crow "Run Baby Run"
Richard Marx "Now and Forever"
Destiny's Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"
Green Day "Basket Case"

I might give you a buck for the lot.

Actually, no: I'll pay someone to take it all out of circulation. (Except maybe for "Don't Stop Believing," which has camp value for me).

P2Pnet has some perspective. (Check it out: "the judge in the case ruled that jurors may find copyright infringement liability against somebody solely for sharing files on the internet. The RIAA did not have to prove that others downloaded the files." Just ridiculous.)


Matt said...

Wow, one of those struggling artists listed might have to file for bankruptcy thanks to her evil downloading. What a bunch of crap.

Andrew said...

Yeah. If only someone could productively harness and redirect all the energy and resources that are going into these frivolous lawsuits. We could probably cure cancer or something.

Maria's Music said...

Does it matter if the artists need the money? It is stealing, no? Take away the diminishing few that want to support their favorite bands monetarily, or who want to have the tangible CD, and your small time bands are going to make even less money.

With the number of musicians I hear commenting that their art forms are under appreciated (and I agree), I think the loss of CD sales would be disconcerting to musicians. Note, I say this on the blog "Jazz: The Music of Unemployment". Even if they do not aspire to become rich, musicians do need to make enough money to survive.

I agree that many artists do not need the money, but there are artists who do. And never the less, it IS stealing. If morality does not convince you, I would think losing money from kids downloading your music, instead of buying it, would.

You may say, "none of the bands on that list need money, but the jazz groups do. It's okay/not bad to steal from the rich". I would say that it is wrong to steal from the rich groups, as well as the poor groups, but I can’t say come to that belief through any sort of pragmatism. Even the pragmatist would have to understand that when you allow illegal downloading of rich bands, the acceptability will slip from stealing only from the rich, to stealing from the poor bands also. If you can illegally download the latest big rap or rock song why not download a jazz cd while you’re at it?

Most humans will try to get as much as they can for as little as possible, which is perfectly understandable. But that is why there need to be these sort of lawsuits, to keep us in check.

Andrew said...

Hey Maria, thanks for commenting, and welcome to the wacky world of blogging.

Obviously (I hope) I am very much in favor of musicians "making enough money to survive" -- more, even! Most of my daily existence, in fact, is focused on how to do exactly that.

And part of the reason I can't (at least not consistently) is because the "status quo record industry" is not truly interested in music. They are interested in product. You talk about the "diminishing few that want to support their favorite bands monetarily" -- well, why do you think this is? Did people just suddely get bored by music? Or has the major label system (like the educational system, to some extent) utterly failed in its responsibility (not to mention its financial interest) to actually support the arts?

What have the labels done to foster interest in music in this country? Have they launched a "music appreciation" PR campaign to match the force of their "copyright education" campaign? Have they worked with (or established) venues that can help spawn (affordable) music scenes? Have they put any real effort into A&R (the aesthetic equivalent of R&D)? Have they put as much energy into establishing long-term relationships with interesting-but-not-always-commercially-viable artists as they do into finding the next teeny-bopper cash cow with which they can fund their enterprise?

Given the tenor of all the copyright legislation of the last twenty years, I suspect that if the labels had their way, there would be no "public space" for hearing music -- everything would be proprietary. And if that happened, how would music as an art form grow and develop? How would young, struggling student composer/songwriters learn their art? Creativity is always built on what has already happened -- but what if, given the fact that there is so much to hear (especially after more than a hundred years of recording technology) it became cost-prohibitive for someone to even discover a single genre?

In my case, the question is: how do you get people to support the music by coming to a show or buying a CD if they've never heard it before? The traditional answer to that would be "radio," but the "big" commercial radio stations have so constricted their playlists that it is nearly impossible for a group like mine to get exposure that way (college radio is another story, but the exposure is much more limited). So I welcome downloading because I see it as a way to generate interest in the group.

And I trust that if people actually discover and grow to like my group through downloading, they will eventually support us financially. Radiohead's recent experiment with "pay what you think you should pay" suggests that people are actually pretty honorable about this sort of thing.

That's sort of a rough-and-ready response, but hopefully I've answered some of your questions...