Tag Archives: RIAA

Broadband Tax?

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The RIAA has recently settled a number of actions related to DRM issues.  However, don’t expect them to stop.  This blog has pointed out (and rightly so) that we should expect the RIAA to start to lobby the US government to impose a blanket broadband tax to penalize everyone for pirates.

A similar thing was tried by the Canadian version of the RIAA.  Here’s a Slashdot story (there are some great discussions there and are worth reading). Given that it was as late as Dec 2008, it’s obvious that SOCAN and ACTRA are still trying to make this work.  By the way, the core info source for all of this is Michael Geist .

I’m opposed to this kind of measure.  Once you agree to a tax on broadband use for the music industry, you immediate suffocate the use of the web.  More importantly, you provide precedent for every other whiner to say, ‘hey, I’m losing money to because of that damn interweb thingy.  Where do I line up for my hand out?’  Video game producers.  TV shows.  Music companies.  Journalists.  Newspaper publishers.  Thousands of other organizations will be knocking on the doors of government expecting a handout.

Let’s talk about the real issue for a moment.  All of the major publishers of content are suffering because people aren’t paying attention to them any more.  Whether you’re a big label selling new pop ‘idols’ or a newspaper or TV network that’s censoring important news, you’re suffering because you can’t shape opinion as easily as you used to.  This sucks for these folks because they’re no longer able to manipulate the public the way they want to.

So they lobby to have the Internet ‘shaped’.

The emergence of digital media as competition to analog thinking is a massive issue and will have an impact on how all of us use the Internet.  Copyright rules and content control are superficial arguments for keeping the cash-flow strong with Canada’s mainstream media.  We already see it with restrictions on access to sites like Hulu in order to appease the CTVs and Global’s of the world and we’ll see much, much more in the future.

One day, the RIAA, SOCAN and other publishers will realize that the gig is up and that they should try to find a different way to play with the public.

Until they do, I maintain that it’s really important that we all find ways to boycott traditional media outlets (and spread the word).

Last dig:  if we’re going to have a tax on anything, let’s start with a decent carbon tax, OK?

Woman Sues RIAA for Spying, Racketeering

You Go Girl!!

Full Story Here.

The new suit claims that the RIAA and MediaSentry – the RIAA’s private investigative arm that discovers file sharing by looking into peer-to-peer users’ public files – “conspired to develop a massive threat and sham litigation enterprise targeting private citizens across the United States.” The lawsuit also accuses the industry and MediaSentry of spying “by unlicensed, unregistered and uncertified private investigators” who “have illegally entered the hard drives of tens of thousands of private American citizens” in violation of laws “in virtually every state in the country,” according to Wired.

The RIAA has hopefully met its match. Of course, they’ll bring every lawyer into this suit that they can afford, but let’s hope it’s something that slows down their ambitions to gum up the Internet with the monitoring of ISPs and other such nonsense.

Category: DRM issues, media | Tags:

RIAA: Tracking of PCs through ISPs

Story Here.

Why is it that the RIAA will not treat consumers like people rather than animals or test subjects or criminals? Their ideas consistently so out there and yet, they have the ears of lawmakers and public officials, and may actually be successful with some of the their efforts.

Here’s a quote from the story:

… RIAA boss Cary Sherman suggested that Internet filtering was a super idea but that he saw no reason to mandate it. Turns out that was only part of the story, though; Sherman’s a sharp guy, and he’s fully aware that filtering will prompt an encryption arms race that is going to be impossible to win… unless users somehow install the filtering software on their home PCs or equipment.

Last night, Public Knowledge posted a video clip from the conference that drew attention to Sherman’s other remarks on the topic of filtering, and what he has to say is downright amazing: due to the encryption problem, filters may need to be put on end users’ PCs.

Just when people are starting to understand how to ‘unplug’ themselves from various controls on their media habits, online activities and preferences, these kind of proposals get tossed around. Let’s hope they don’t stick to anything.

Category: DRM issues | Tags: ,

RIAA to cut Artist Royalties

This comes from the ‘let them eat cake’ department:


Though the actual artists who make the music are presently entitled to just 13% of wholesale, the RIAA thinks they should receive only 9%.

Let’s not forget that ‘wholesale’ still means about $0.08 per song or CD.

As one user put it with the comments, “9% of a medium that costs bugger all to distribute?”

I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks started off with the argument that this is good because they will have more money to lobby governments to implement ISP-fee schemes, which will have two deliterious effects:

  1. Users will be paying for all content, regardless of whether they use it or not;
  2. This kind of monitoring will be a serious breach of privacy for online users.
Category: DRM issues, media, Music Industry | Tags: ,