Click Here for the Altrok Home pageClick Here for the Rant ArchiveAltrok Radio: On the web and at WRSU-FM 88.7, New Brunswick, NJNY/NJ Area Shows That MatterAltrok Swag: T-Shirts, Mugs, Bags and (of course) Thongs.Viral Guerilla Marketing: Help Us Make Altrok Ubiquitous.A parade of items and links that enrich your Altrok Lifestyle.Send feedback to Altrok

Music Savaged By The Average Beast






Listen Now to Altrok Web Radio
(Or just look at what's playing.)


Subscribe to
Altrok's Discussion List
Powered by
launch.groups.yahoo.com


 
for January 23, 2004


Click here or scroll down
for today's rant...

LISTEN TO ALTROK:
 
Right now on our web station.
 
Or check out our weekly FM Radio Showcase at:
 
WBJB-FM 90.5 The Night, Lincroft, NJ
Fridays, 10PM Eastern
Online at http://www.90.5thenight.org

[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]


If The Suit Fits...
by Sean Carolan

The headlines read "RIAA revives download suits" and "Industry sues 532 download suspects".
 
"Download". "Suit". Sounds like they're suing people who download music, doesn't it?
 
Aa it turns out, there's an intellectual bait-and-switch going on here. Most of the headlines I've read connote that the suits are against "downloaders", but when you read the meat of it, it's explained that they're being sued because they're distributing ("sharing") music, not because they're downloading it. (To their credit, some of the more savvy news organizations rewrote the headline to read "file-swappers" or "file-sharers".) But, of course, misleading people fits into the RIAA's agenda.
 
Sort of the way that the "421 CD Burners" they once siezed in New York turned out to be far fewer. The number was inflated by the RIAA in their press release because they were "really fast"...
 
In short, what they say and what they actually do are two different things, and everything is spun heavily.
 
In fact, it probably would be reasonable to point out that these are all "John Doe" cases. The RIAA must make the suit stand up in court before they try to determine the actual people behind the activity. Upshot: This very big number will wind up being a much smaller number.
 
In a more physical manifestation of this activity, I notice that the RIAA have been taking to busting actual pirates - people who sell illegally copied discs on street corners.
 
So far, so good. I'm all for this when done properly.
 
However, they're doing it outside of law enforcement, and are in fact jumping out of vans wearing vests with "RIAA" emblazoned on them (the better to look like law enforcement) and belligerently getting street-corner disc sellers to sign an "agreement to sieze" before siezing their stuff. The street-corner guy signs it and they take his discs - with no legal oversight at all, even though it could potentially be legitimate. Here's the link. Little things like due process and an actual law enforcement presence when relieving someone of their posessions obviously aren't an issue here. I've heard protection rackets operate in roughly the same fashion.
 
Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't the RIAA's statements hold up a lot better if they'd just tell the truth when they are in the right? Even when they're clearly defending their property against a blatant violation of their copyright, they inflate the importance of the action (or indeed, of their involvement) up to and past the point of credulity. You can't trust them to make a statement without inflating it in some manipulative way.
 
So, what is the truth?
 
The truth: In the US, the record industry had its best years when Napster was in full force, because (despite the fact that it was all a copyright infringement) people were hearing new music and buying it. The RIAA had an audience of 60 million they could have siezed if they'd tried to come to terms with Napster (and had realized that it was more like a radio station with an unlimited number of formats.) Instead, they went for the shutdown, and embittered a massive population who, despite their PR to the contrary, were in large part actually their customers. When Napster declined, so did sales, because of a combination of a faltering economy, fewer promotional distribution outlets, and pure consumer revolt.
 
In fact, downloads are even recognized by the record industry as an indicator of popularity. That's why they pay money to the research outfit "Big Champagne", whose stock in trade is determining what's actually popularly downloaded on the Internet.
 
The music industry is playing both sides, but they really don't want you to know that.
 
As for people doing what they'd like with the media they've bought, the RIAA may want to take a clue from the movie industry, which has quietly withdrawn its suits over whether De-CSS, which decrypts DVDs so that they can be played (and copied), is legal to distribute or not. It's not illegal (and in fact, never was.) So find a copy and exercise your rights...
 

©2004 Sean Carolan

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Monday, October 14, 2019
 
The Black Keys and Modest Mouse at Wells Fargo Center, Philly
 
Noah Gundersen and Jonny G at Asbury Lanes
 
Stringbean & Boardwalk Social Club at Langosta Lounge
 
 
More NY/NJ Shows That Matter
 

ALTROK Ordinals

ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
 
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
 
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
 
Datarock - True Stories
 
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
 
HEALTH - Die Slow
 
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
 
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
 
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
 
Miike Snow - Black & Blue
 



ALTROK's
Viral Guerilla Marketing Tools



 

ALTROK talks about music, but that job isn't done 'til you make it your own...

ALTROK is a member of the Amazon.com Associates Program.
Click here to buy there, and help support ALTROK in the process.


 

You've read the rants, you've listened to the streams...
ALTROK swag!
...now click on the t-shirt to pick up the swag!



[Error Creating Counter File -- Click for more info]