, piracy, RIAA, etc. - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-06-2003, 05:22 PM   #1
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Normal, piracy, RIAA, etc.

[warning -- ramble ahead. I'm pissed, writing this on very little sleep, and this may seem a little bit all over the place, but I tried to keep it as concise as possible. Please try not to rip it to shreds -- I'm nervous about posting this enough already.]

Visit in particular. As a person who revels in subversion, I can't help but be excited about this. Will it do much? Probably not. Walmart-goers are whitebread All-American suburbanites -- they're not going to be fazed by the stickers. They either don't know anything about it, don't care, or do know and don't want to be sued. I don't blame them.. being sued by the industry I give tons of money to is pretty nasty.

Let me clarify: I am a music fan. I really love music. All across the world there is millions of songs being played, for anyone to hear, for free. Walk into a store, there's a good chance music is being played -- for free. Many, many, many stores sell used CDs -- even if they're not primarily into used anything. Does the RIAA get anything out of these? No. Do they have a problem with it? Apparently not. However, downloading a song for free, that you might listen to once, is deadly -- lawsuit-worthy. Yes, if you download a song and then share it, you can spread it far. But, will it affect you any more if you heard it on the radio? If you don't like it, you don't like it -- you aren't going to buy the album or whatever. Radio stations can let a lot more people hear a song, maybe more than sharing a file could sometimes. In some cases, it's free advertising. I wouldn't have bought quite a few CDs if it wasn't for this, and I wouldn't have gone to some concerts, too. I know, there's a lot of people who just download and burn and don't ever pay for anything.

In a related subject, I'm also opposed to the overpricing of CDs. Yes, I'm poor. I'm not thrilled with the idea of spending over $10 on a CD that I am not confident in. I may hate it, I may love it, I may like it. It's impossible to know. I honestly can't tell just from perusing the covers of a CD if I'd like it. Can you? I'm not the type to go on a recommendation, whether it be from a magazine or a friend. I don't trust others' taste. My taste is my taste -- it isn't Spin's, Rolling Stone's, or that Paula Abdul freak online. It's an incredible gamble. Anyway, after reading some stuff, I'd become annoyed with what I'd heard about artists being so cheated on royalties. After reading this article, I'm even more opposed. Excerpts:

"It's piracy when the RIAA lobbies to change the bankruptcy law to make it more difficult for musicians to declare bankruptcy. Some musicians have declared bankruptcy to free themselves from truly evil contracts. TLC declared bankruptcy after they received less than 2 percent of the $175 million earned by their CD sales. That was about 40 times less than the profit that was divided among their management, production and record companies.

Toni Braxton also declared bankruptcy in 1998. She sold $188 million worth of CDs, but she was broke because of a terrible recording contract that paid her less than 35 cents per album. Bankruptcy can be an artist's only defense against a truly horrible deal and the RIAA wants to take it away.

Artists want to believe that we can make lots of money if we're successful. But there are hundreds of stories about artists in their 60s and 70s who are broke because they never made a dime from their hit records. And real success is still a long shot for a new artist today."

What do you guys think? I'm not exactly the most expertise, but I liked the article.. it seemed well-written and such. I'd be very curious to know how accurate it is.

On a related subject: I'd be pretty damn pissed if I was sued by the RIAA. Why? I give them my money. I spend, I spend, I spend. I don't think it is right to overcharge little plastic discs, cheat artists (the ones that they market and make the recording company's money) of their royalties, and then sue the consumers who gave them their billions in the first place. Kind of hypocritical, huh? May I add this is also the lovely industry that has sued several very old people, accusing them of online music piracy, who do not even own computers? Genius, genius. I love an industry that feeds off of no-talent pretty people, that they then market like crazy, and pay radio stations to play their stale, unimaginative music which then brings in the mindless masses, then force-feeds the people until they get sick of it, and then they bring in the "new" fresh face, the Next Big Thing, the one that will truly be original and creative, yet turns into the same old pop crap that plods on about love and loss. The only music that does something remotely new or unusual or imaginative is the stuff that doesn't get marketed, the stuff that barely makes it on tiny labels that go bankrupt in a year. Some of the most popular artists of the last couple decades are truly influental, successful artists are ones that did something different, and got a reward. They are the ones who still are relevant today, and still sell. That never seems to be the case anymore. Empty-headed sugar-coated pop can sell 10 million, yet a mindblowing record will be circulating in the hundreds and will barely, if ever, reach a substantial audience. Is Britney Spears going to be relevant in 10, even 5 years? As much as Aaron Carter. Record companies seem to care less about building up respectable artists that will continue to sell over the years and be successful. All they want is a quick buck.

If this is the way it's going to continue on forever, there truly is no rebel or punk attitude left in anyone. No one with a brain can think this is the way it should be (sha sha, sha do). The music industry had something really great going.. then they beat it to death with a bloody axe. They killed it themselves.

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Old 12-07-2003, 01:52 PM   #2
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i agree.

the shitty thing is, (and i can say this since this is a U2 forum) what can we do? U2 is signed to (and was before with island records) an riaa-affiliated label. i don't know about you, but i will be buying their new album, whenever they release it. boycotting is the best thing to do, but there are people i like signed to major labels and i'm not going to not buy their stuff. in fact, there's only one artist i like who isn't on an riaa-affiliated label, and that's only because a different label is reissuing their stuff. they technically were on a major label before.

i think the riaa does some really shady stuff, not paying their artists while the execs make more money than the artists who actually worked to get that cd released. not to mention the fact that then those execs get money off of every artist signed to their label. not to mention them suing people. i don't care if they downloaded or not, you can't tell me these people didn't turn around and buy what they liked. thanks to them (the riaa), i don't download anymore because it's too much of a hassle to worry if they're going to find me and sue me. i was always the kid who if 20 other kids were doing something wrong, i'd be the one to get in trouble. and saying "all those people were doing it too" won't help get me out of it.

so now i'm just hoping one day the riaa will collapse, be it that they end up getting sued and go bankrupt, or every artist leaves them out of protest, or whatever.
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