Courtesy of Radley Balko, we learn that the RIAA is taking after a girl too sick and too poor to defend herself. At this point, one wonders if there’s someone at the RIAA trying to take it down from the inside through bad publicity.
Going after sick people and children, it just leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. And, if I were a recording artist, I guess I’d want to know where the hell the big successes were. After all, how many lectures have we had to sit through year after year during the Grammy Awards about what a big problem illegal downloading is and how it’s ruining the industry?
And the biggest villians they can come up with, year after year, seem to be children.
I know everyone knows the problem, but let me just reiterate it. Whether or not it’s true, everyone assumes that record companies have artists trapped in unfair contracts in which the record companies get rich and only a very lucky few artists do. Music piracy doesn’t feel like stealing; it feels like sticking it to the record companies. After all, we are showing our solidarity to the artist, by listening to her music.
Having the record companies, or another big faceless entity like the RIAA, go after children doesn’t do much to show the general public that those attitudes are wrong.
The education is going to have to come at an artist level.
Look at the whole Amanda Palmer incident. Her label acted like gigantic piggish assholes (“my favorite quote from that meeting: ‘i’m a guy, amanda. i understand what people like.'”), and people were rightly outraged. They wanted to figure out how to support Palmer and show their disdain for her record company. But how to do that?
If you are new to Amanda’s music and you wish to listen/buy some of it, please do not punish her financially for her label’s sins by stealing it off the internet. Buying her music from her website will ensure that the largest % of profit goes to her.
Ta Da! It wasn’t the point of the whole thing, but now people who want to support Palmer know how to do so both in spirit and financially.
Why is that such a hard message for the RIAA to formulate and get out?