Comments on: A Conference on the Constitutional Convention Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:56:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jerry Mediva Sat, 03 Apr 2004 13:18:03 +0000 Major artists will always oppose mp3′s.

Just my $0.02.


By: tom Wed, 10 Dec 2003 13:17:50 +0000 “But clearly there�s something afoot, something good.”

Yes a musical revolution is slowly but surely taking place. I believe digital distribution services like apple iTunes offer a bright future for independent music, if the major label choke hold can be broken on online distribution. started out as a bastion of independent music but but was eventually swallowed up by Vivendi Universal. Time will reveal how apple react to pressure from the major labels.

By: GDT Mon, 07 Jul 2003 18:22:07 +0000 I think of the last 5-6 CD’s I’ve bought 4 are internet-only releases (Richard Thompson, Robyn Hitchcock, Lori Carson, Jill Sobule). I think it’s more than just grass-roots even it doesn’t have the iTunes or P2P community approach. In other words you have to really search these things out and know what you’re looking for. But clearly there’s something afoot, something good. (Sobule is thinking of putting out her next CD as a completely fan-financed venture, see

By: Shmoo of Electric Gypsy Sun, 06 Jul 2003 10:52:01 +0000 nathan, it IS those artists who are not “in the national spotlight” who ARE making the difference. Yes, I agree a celebrity artist’s voice might carry more weight in that they would be quicker to grab media attention, but there are a huge number of us independents fighting hard right now, more united than ever before in an under-the-radar grass-roots style effort. We are starting to make a dent with the help of fans, geeks, and others who see that the RIAA and the media oligopoly needs to be defeated.

By: nathan Thu, 03 Jul 2003 12:23:32 +0000 On the issue of importance of artists, I don’t think anyone’s trying to say that someone expressing themselves in this petition is trite or non-relevant. I think that what everyone here can agree on is that it’s not going to be the opinions of geeks, or artists who are “out of the national spotlight”, which will make up the minds of lawmakers. It would probably be more effective for one Christina Aguilera or Justin Timberlake (or even an alt act like Radiohead or Wilco) to make a statement in support than five hundred “second-tier” artists. I think if the artists involved in this petition are truly interested in forwarding the cause, they will abandon their pride for its sake.

By: Shuman Ghosemajumder Wed, 02 Jul 2003 18:46:36 +0000 It might be overly cynical to point out that the RIAA’s fundamental purpose at this point may be to further the RIAA, rather than doing what’s best for all stakeholders in the recording industry value chain. It might be overly cynical, so I won’t base my argument on that.

Instead, from a business perspective, the RIAA’s attacks on consumers is faulty simply because it aims to take away a service that individuals assign real value to. See this report, which gathered primary data indicating that many individuals would use file sharing services even if CDs were free.

It’s not about stealing music, it’s about P2P being the most convenient delivery mechanism for the widest range of music. iTunes Music Store isn’t bad, but it isn’t P2P — and thus, it will always offer a smaller selection of music than worldwide P2P systems. At present, it’s not just missing regional and ethnic artists, it’s still missing superstars like the Rolling Stones. So how can it compete?

The best solution for the music industry is to find a way to implement P2P and make money from it. The difficulty is that such a model is consumer-friendly and artist-friendly — while threatening the recording labels and, of course, the RIAA.

By: Shmoo of Electric Gypsy Wed, 02 Jul 2003 12:55:36 +0000 I resent being considered “unimportant” because I am not a slave of the label. Our band has only recently found a way to reach the world. (The Internet.) Do not denigrate this media because it is free of the shackles imposed by the RIAA and the evil industry oligopoly which effectively stole the originally public domain radio, TV, etc. from us long ago. The Internet is still (barely) of the people, by the people, and for the people. Your own mind has been poisoned by their media dominance if you think that my music and that of many other independent bands and artists is to be considered “unimportant.” WE are in the majority and are the true progenitors of musical culture in society. NOT the corporate lowest common denominator garbage that monopolistically makes every effort to control the gateway between art and audience.

By: Daniel James Wed, 02 Jul 2003 06:14:29 +0000 As for artists that are ‘represented’ by the RIAA, you’ll notice that one of the first people to sign was Kris from The Orb, who have indeed sold a great deal of CDs around the world. Hardly an ‘ band’ – not that it should matter. The RIAA claims to be defending the rights of artists in general, not just the bottom line of its members.

I believe the second A in RIAA is misleading, because the major labels are really multinational. As the MP3/WMA Land criminal case in Australia shows, this isn’t just a US issue.

By: Tom Barger Tue, 01 Jul 2003 17:10:06 +0000 I have spent over two years attending court cases and Congressional inquiries at my own expense. The celebrity artists you cite, Zach, such as the members of the Recording Artists Coalition, have a fundamental conflict; that is, a Plantation Kitchen Syndrome, or a fear of losing their position. In addition, the legal fraternity, the attorneys representing artists, are in the pocket of the industry..

Nothing we have done has convinced the RIAA Artists to SPEAK OUT on the Iraq Invasion or the Banned Songlist at Clear Channel. For a number of reasons, the media corporations and RIAA record labels are unable to break the paralized dry spell of lipsync dance acts; the best music in America is simply not to be found on major labels.

So “for the rest of us”, seemingly the obscure and unwashed musicians you denigrate, the only path is to participate in P2P newtworks. We will abstain from joining ASCAP, and certainly will say “not in my name” will you collect the phony Sound Exchange Digital Royalties… our collective bargaining unit is Royalty Logic. We will speak in large numbers, such as the 25,000 members of CD Baby and the 30,000 of Just Plain Folks.

It may occur to you that this copyleftmedia petition was indeed started in England. We support reclaiming the Public Domain; we prefer the Creative Commons licensing; and agree that the goals of the EFF “Let The Music Play” campaign, (for consumer rights) to be entirely consistent with our own neccesity as songwriters to access the artistic materials that constitute our cultural birthright.

In this case, the consumers and songwriters have common cause.

By: kurt Tue, 01 Jul 2003 12:08:01 +0000 A step in a better direction. Yes, the petition collects weight and import, when commercially successful artists sign-on; conceptually, the petition is a positive move and deserves acknowledgement.

The RIAA represents the industry so poorly, their initiatives seem designed to alienate the recording content consumers, users and music lovers, with frivolous legal actions. Meanwhile, real problems of piracy and theft, exist in Asia, unfettered and unchallenged. The RIAA content to sue people here in the US, because it’s simple, while globally the industry is hemoraging. Like a wreckless surgeon missing a triage.

Where are creative ventures, partnerships and proposals that work, like iTunes? Why does the RIAA seem to only pursue legal alternatives? How about following the concepts of supply and demand and lowering your prices, during a recession, like all other industries. Since, the emergence of the CD, the industry raises prices, and then wonders why during a recession people reduce their consumption. How about some positive PR for a change? How about pouring all those legal retainers into iTunes-like ventures and partnerships? How much money does the music industry spend on legal expenses and how has that impacted the bottom line?

Sooner or later the RIAA has to “get real”. It’s a falacy to conclude that “it’s piracy”, is responsible for all loss of profit or revenue? Perhaps the IP emergency in Asia, is already testing the RIAA’s vital signs.


By: ryan Tue, 01 Jul 2003 02:54:20 +0000 That’s kinda insulting. ;)

Unfortunately for “real” artists they don’t really hold any cards unless they are one of the very small percentage of massively commercially successful ones.

Take Ben Harper’s advice “If you aren’t signed don’t.” (summary).

Eventually RIAA will and those it represents will die if real musicians follow that advice.

By: Zach Tue, 01 Jul 2003 02:33:47 +0000 unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be signed by any artists that are represented by the riaa.. of course a bunch of type bands are going to sign a petition against the riaa, but it would carry some weight if some “real” artists signed it.