Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The RIAA Sucks

Warning: Long, ranting post ahead.

I quite enjoy listening to Internet Radio at work, and Pandora is my favorite. However, today I pop on to Pandora, and what do I find? This:
A Day of Silence

Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,

I'm sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.

Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora's fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.

A bill called the "Internet Radio Equality Act" has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio--and Pandora--from obliteration.

I'd like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.

Your opinion matters to your representatives - so please take just a minute to call.

Visit www.savenetradio.org to continue following the fight to Save Internet Radio.

As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support.

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

Is anyone else really sick of the RIAA and its pitiful attempts to triumph over piracy? Here's what I'd like to say to the RIAA: I don't understand how you haven't yet realized that your methods to counter piracy aren't working. Treating people as guilty until proven innocent just makes them angry and more inclined to circumvent all your attempts. Try treating them with respect and you might actually meet with some success. Tripling internet radio fees and making them retroactive for 18 months? Are you guys out of your minds?! Surely that is not the answer. You are losing money to piracy, I realize this, but gouging internet radio providers to make up for it is a big mistake. They are actually trying to go about providing this service in a legitimate, legal manner, and you punish them for it? In what way does that make any sense? Satellite radio pays a flat percentage of their revenue, why should it be any different for Internet radio? Why should they pay per song, which would be far more expensive.

The RIAA really needs to get its act together. Anyone have better suggestions for them? Maybe since they are already loosing oodles of money to piracy, why not try selling CDs and songs for less? Maybe then people will be more inclined to buy them. Or maybe a Netflix for CDs? Then you could borrow a CD, listen to it on replay until you were sick of it, return it, and get a new one. All for a monthly fee. Or maybe just enjoy the flat percentage of the Internet Radio revenue, just as they get a percentage of satellite radio revenue?

Clearly, I don't have the answers, but it's also blatantly obvious that the RIAA doesn't either.

For more information on the new fees and the proposed Internet Equality Act, click here, here, and here (amen! to the last one, which states: "these services [internet radio] are just beginning to offer the music industry a real alternative to the declining broadcast radio business in terms of exposing listeners to the record companies' products. It looks like the music industry remains unable to overcome its inability to understand and deal effectively with technology.")

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

As an erstwhile Hill rat, can I share with you how much agony those mass mailings and callings cause the poor legislative correspondents and mail room staffers?

(The best, though, was when border fence proponents protested by sending in boxes upon boxes of bricks. When a immigration staffer left, a brick was his parting souvenir. On it, we'd scrawled, "If you build it, they won't come." *snort*)

And yes, I love Pandora. And yes, RIAA sucks.

The music industry should start making money like everyone else does -- product placement! As potential titles for Kelly Clarkson's next single, I humbly propose:

1. Love Me, Love My Honda
2. Your Kisses Are Better than Low-Fat Yoplait -- Just Kidding
3. Frito Lay Fields Forever
4. Cry Me A Taser
5. This Song Would Rock So Much Harder On Your iPhone, B*tch
6. It's Gettin' Hot In Here, So Get Some Arrid X-tra Dry
7. Stairway to the 7/11
8. Would The Real 'Slim Jim' Please Stand Up?
9. Viagra Viagra Viagra

And finally...

10. Since I've Been On Prozac