Friday, August 09, 2002

Never Enough Calling RIAA's Bluff Department

Remember Janis Ian, the chanteuse of the 60s and 70s who brought hits like "Seventeen" to the world? Well, not only is she still around, but she's weighed in with an incredible article on why the Recording Industry Association of America has their head in the sand regarding the Internet, how their stance is actually hurting the industry and will inevitably lead to a backlash.

And then,, she had the guts to make a modest proposal to release ALL the big record labels' back catalogs on MP3 for a quarter each, to demonstrate once and for all that downloading MP3s can be profitable.

One of the things that Janis Ian pointed out was how Hillary Rosen, president of the RIAA, estimates that "just half" of the CD-Rs bought recently are for pirated music, and how Janis' own CD-R usage makes that figure seem absurd. I'd like to throw in on this matter, myself. I have gone through roughly 300 CD-Rs in the past three years. Out of those, only twelve have MP3s on them. A third of those were purchased legitimately on eMusic; another third were downloaded free and legally from or from the artists' websites. Out of the four CD-Rs that DO have "pirated music" on them, the vast majority of the artists have never been released on one of the RIAA's big-five labels or any of their subsidiaries. Furthermore, in the same time period, I have purchased roughly 200 music CDs, mostly because I heard music I liked and wanted to own the CD, thanks to the MP3 format and file-sharing networks.

So, you record industry wanks, put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

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