lurkitty: (maneki neko)
[personal profile] lurkitty
In the wake of the $222,000 judgement against the Minnesota woman for music file-sharing, I have been thinking about music sharing lately. I do understand protection of intellectual property, and the very pressing need of musicians to make money from their work. That is a given.

I really hate buying music without hearing it. Those little 20 second previews on iTunes are not enough. I want to hear the song. I want to hear most of the album before I buy it. Back when radio stations were independent, and not all owned by Clear Channel, there was a chance that you could hear a variety of music and buy on that basis. But now, I rely on my friends to introduce me to new music. The problem is, my friends are scattered across the globe. They will introduce me to a new artist by an undisclosed method. If I like a song, I will go buy an album. I'll play it for my for my friends. I'm a fantastic viral saleswoman. I think I've sold at least 5 copies of Devil Doll's Queen of Pain alone. The Grateful Dead made a handsome living by encouraging music sharing throughout their career. I'm also a sucker for buying albums at concerts, but the reality is that Oregon is not on everyone's tour schedule. Sometimes we have to actually tell people that there is an entire state between San Francisco and Seattle (hey - Eugene was one of Jerry Garcia's favorite stops!).

Regardless of the impact of music stealing, I do think that the RIAA is cutting its collective PR throat by going after a single mom with a yearly income of $36,000 as their watershed music sharing case. It's not going to scare all the bulletproof college kids who know how to cover their electronic tracks. It is going to paint the RIAA , and the record companies, as capricious and cruel. It will do nothing to promote the reputation of the artists whose works were stolen. Will the artists see any of the money from this case? Or just the bad publicity?

It could be worse. In the UK, their equivalent of the RIAA, the Performing Rights Society, is suing a car mechanics firm called Kwik Fit because its employees play personal radios at work. According to the Performing Rights Society, this amounts to public performance of music and is a copyright infringement. But. it. was. on. the. radio....aaagggghhhhhh...........


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August 2011

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