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Monday, March 17, 2008

RIAA Screws Artists, Pockets Filesharing Settlement Money

None of the estimated $400 million that the RIAA received in settlements with Napster, KaZaA, and Bolt over allegations of copyright infringement has gone to the artists whose copyrights were allegedly infringed. Now the artists are considering suing the RIAA.

I think the RIAA's demise is inevitable and I've been advocating major artists to sue these jokers for quite a while now. Set aside this revelation (no surprise really) that they haven't shared a dime with the artists and consider the scenario where a major artist sues them for not doing enough to protect their royalties. Also, reverse the "made available" argument against the RIAA. Weren't these the same people who helped develop the digital format in the first place? 20+ years ago, the RIAA members were promising us audio nirvana in the form of CD's that were cheaper to produce and never wore out. They told the public and the artists that the cheaper production costs would translate into less expensive products for the consumer and higher returns for the artists.

In reality, the price of music went up, and the artists share of profits decreased. This is the business model the labels are trying to preserve in the "download age".

Just think of how much more profit we can make when we get rid of all this pesky packaging and disc pressing. We'll just tell the artists we need to keep screwing them because of the high cost of digitizing music and the prohibitive cost of digital distribution.....ummmmmm yeah, that's the ticket!

I thought the rant from the member of the Cocteau Twins in the posts from the story were very interesting. Anyone who doesn't understand how badly artists get screwed and how greedy the labels are should give this a look. There are thousands of stories from artists just like this...or worse.

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