Ouch! These RIAA lawsuits against music listeners is just plain abuse of the legal system, and certainly poor public relations. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t condone downloading free music through bit-torrent (file sharing sites are blocked on my computer), but suing some poor guy for backing up his music on his computer is going way to far.
In legal documents in its [RIAA] federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
If thats the case, I better get myself a lawyer, because the first thing I do when I get a new CD is to burn it to my computer. I don’t even own a CD player, and I mostly listen to music on my computer while I work.
The net result of all these feeble attempts to sustain an outdated business model is to encourage and strengthen the indie music industry.
Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA, sees it coming.
The RIAA’s legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only “created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies,” Beckerman says. “Every problem they’re trying to solve is worse now than when they started.”
If there ever was a time to be an independent artist, it is now! Recording gear AND distribution costs are going exponentially down — all it takes is the determination go at it and the talent to stand out from the rest (and sometimes not even that…).