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