Record Industry (RIAA) AKA Mafia Gets Smart


The Record Industry who I akin to the Mafia

The record industry who I like to akin to the Mafia has finally gotten smart. I am no fan. They have used strong-arm tactics against college campuses, students etc. They complain about all the pilfering of music online yet the record industry continues to rake in the money.

Its about time they change there ways.  Here is what recently just happened?.

I found this on Techdirt.

RIAA Abandoning Mass Lawsuits In Favor Of Backroom 3 Strikes Policy

from the it’s-a-step,-but-a-very-small-one dept

It really was just three days ago that we suggested that if the record labels actually wanted anyone to take them seriously concerning their desire to come up with more constructive solutions to the business model challenges they face, they should at least stop suing folks as a gesture of trying something new. The usual recording industry defenders in the comments claimed this was a ridiculous suggestion, but it appears that the RIAA is at least taking a small step in that direction. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the recording industry (the WSJ mis-labels it “the music industry”) is abandoning its strategy of mass lawsuits.

First off, this is a step in the right direction — and we think it’s great that the record labels have agreed to do this, even if it’s many, many years too late. And, it’s hardly a huge concession. The lawsuits have been an unmitigated disaster. They have done nothing to slow file sharing (in fact, the publicity generated from the lawsuits has often been credited with alerting many people to the possibility). The strategy has also splintered the file sharing space into many, many different players, many of them way underground, unlike in the early days when there were a manageable number of players who could be worked with proactively. It’s also done tremendous damage to the brands of the major record labels (Universal, Warner, EMI and Sony) and the RIAA itself — leading many to swear off buying any of their products. Finally — and most importantly — the strategy did absolutely nothing to help musicians adapt to a changing market that was opening up tremendous new opportunities both to spread their music and to profit. So, kudos to the folks at the RIAA for finally realizing how backwards this strategy has been.

The fine print

But, of course, this is the RIAA, so you can rest assured that the details aren’t anything to be happy about. In exchange for not filing mass lawsuits, the RIAA has worked out backroom deals with numerous ISPs (brokered by Andrew Cuomo — who has a history of using baseless threats to get ISPs to censor content they have no legal responsibility to censor). The exact details are a bit sketchy, but it sounds like a variation on the ridiculous three strikes policy that has been (mostly) rejected in Europe as a violation of basic civil rights. Basically, these ISPs will agree to be the RIAA enforcers. Based solely on the RIAA’s flimsy evidence, the ISPs will either pass on, or directly email subscribers with, warning letters. Depending on the specifics of the agreement, the users will get one or two more warning letters before the ISP will start limiting their internet access or potentially cutting them off entirely. If you think this sounds suspiciously like what Europe just rejected, you’re right.

And, of course, the RIAA still says it may sue those who don’t stop file sharing after all of this. They’re just backing away from the mass lawsuit filings that they’ve been doing.

Why this is still a bad deal

Okay, so over the past few weeks, recording industry defenders have said that we were jumping the gun in criticizing a potential plan because it wasn’t final. Our point was that since the record labels claim they want a “conversation,” these deals shouldn’t be negotiated in backrooms not involving substantial stakeholders. So what happened here? Yup, a backroom deal was negotiated without any involvement from users. And it was done under the direction of Andrew Cuomo, who just spent many months browbeating ISPs into agreeing to censor content. 

To read the remainder of the article

RIAA Abandong Mass Lawsuits in Favor of Backroom Strikes Policy

Posted Michael Corey,

Founder & CEO, Ntirety

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