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April 17, 2007

the RIAA makes its move   (geekin)

I got an email today, from the founder of Pandora, which is an innovator in online music distribution based on the user's unique musical tastes. He asked me to sign a petition to Congress opposing "a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora" retroactive to January 1, 2006. This is a power grab by the RIAA to put its competitors out of business. Sign the petition and do your part to promote innovation in music and music distribution. What I attached to my petition signature is after the jump.

The record companies are greedy and inept. They exist to exploit distribution channels that are quickly becoming obsolete because of the internet and the streaming technologies it enables. So they try to change laws to make their competitors' business models illegal. This is America. This is supposed to be the democratic free market where I vote with my wallet. Innovate or die. But the record...*ahem*, excuse me, packaging and distribution companies can afford to change the rules because they've been exploiting musicians for so long. Is this still America? Is this still the democracy of the free market? I say no. Not for the companies they are trying to bankrupt, and not for the average music listener who just wants to hear music and buy what they like for reasonable prices.

Without sites like Pandora, it is not possible for me to find music I like on my terms without paying ridiculous amounts of money to record companies. And make no mistake, that's where the money goes, it doesn't make it to the artist. To quote Courtney Love's speech to the Digital Hollywood online entertainment conference, given in New York on May 16, 2000, "Piracy is the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it. I'm not talking about Napster-type software. I'm talking about major label recording contracts." If I want to support an artist, I don't go to the store and buy their CD, because I know none of that money goes to them. I go to a concert, something, anything other than supporting what is essentially, in the parlance of our times, the MAFIAA.

Posted by yargevad at April 17, 2007 05:26 PM

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