Monday, December 31, 2007

The RIAA is seriously insane

The RIAA has had an anti-consumer stance for quite some time, but they've had it towards folks they don't consider to be very good (or at least monetizable) consumer: folks who illegally download and share music.

But now they've decided to go after us, the good guys: the folks who actually still buy music.

How so?

They are suing someone and contending as part of their arguments that it is illegal to rip your own legally purchased CDs onto your computer. (Source: WaPo)

Now, to be clear, they're not going just the act of ripping a copy to give to someone, ripping songs, even, for a mix "tape" to give someone. (All time-honored methods of "stealing" music pre-MP3 days...methods I blithely engaged in.) No, they're going after the act of ripping your CD so you can listen to it on your iPod or even on your computer itself.

So, seriously: are they insane?

Not insane for thinking there could be a legal argument to be made on that, but rather insane to actually think it could ever be good business to make it.

Let me tell you how many CDs I own: somewhere between 1000 and 1500.

Let me tell you how many hours out of the day I listen to my music (my every-single-song-was-legally-acquired music) via my iPod or computer: at least 10 hours a day in my car, at work and at home.

Let me tell you how many of my CDs I would listen to if not for my iPod: probably very VERY few. Even a multi-CD player would be too inconvenient to rely on during the work day. I like being able to turn on Shuffle on my computer or iPod and have music all day without thinking about it or messing with it. Pre-iPod I did not listen to CDs at work ever. I did listen to CDs in my car, but tended to have the same 6 CDs in there for weeks without changing them.

Let me tell you how that would affect my music-buying habits: It would greatly diminish them. I would forget about artists I liked, I would fall into a musical rut, instead of maintaining the really quite broad musical taste I have. And broad taste leads to broad music-buying habits. iTunes has already massively increased my music-buying habits by being so simple and so immediate. By exposing me to more music. And by making it easy for a constant variety of music to accompany my life most of my waking hours.

So, here's what the RIAA is just begging me to do: Never buy another physical CD, ever. Continue to download (legally) away and convert and back that sh*t up religiously, so if my computer ever crashes or Apple goes out of business (heh) I still have all of my thousands of songs available to me.

This latest RIAA antic just reminds me that I need to protect my purchases from their grubby little hands more steadfastly.

Oh, and hello all you artists out there that I love?

I bought Radiohead's latest album direct from them online.

I paid the MORE for it than I would have had to pay for the typical CD or iTunes albu, (partly because I didn't get the whole currency conversion thing, I admit) and if you ALL did what Radiohead did, I would keep buying, directly form you, in a HEARTBEAT.

I love you, artists, not your record companies, and certainly not the RIAA.

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Okay, so I bought my dh a turntable for Christmas, so he could put his vinyl in MP3 format. Do they seriously believe that his copying 30 year-old records is at all stealing? This is ridiculous.
< sarcasm > Well, you see, you can never own music. You're just borrowing it from the RIAA. You're lucky they still let you use those CDs when you haven't paid them a penny in years. Who do you think you are? < end sarcasm >

It'll never stand up in court. If it does, I'm moving to...I dunno...somewhere very far away.
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