Alright, the sh*t has finally hit the fan with me and I'm going to let it all out about just how precarious this whole situation with the RIAA truly is.
In no specific order, here are my thoughts on it all. First off, someone here (can't remember who, but was a collaborator with the RIAA) once made a comparison between a filesharer/song artists and someone who built a major housing company. The person said something along the lines of, "How would you feel if say you built a home and then someone came along and reaped all the glory and money of that home that you built?"
To that I say this. Artists of songs that are highly popular earn more money during the era of that song than the average person earns in his or her lifetime. This includes not only albums sold, but concerts, singles, public appearances, media appearances, TV, and for many, movies as well. Music is totally different from homes or anything else out there. The purpose of music made by artists is for as many consumers as possible to listen to it and enjoy it. I agree that even with the most popular artists, many of their albums contain only a couple or so good songs while the rest are crap. And to the average person, $18 or so is a lot of money and that person obviously wants to get his/her money's worth.
P2P exists for most as a way to sample songs of a particular album before buying the album containing those songs. This in essence saves the person from wasting his/her money on what would've otherwise been a dissapointment. Because you know that opened CDs can't be returned for a refund. Also, for the true artist who appreciates his/her music reaching as many people as possible, such as Alanis Morisette, P2P sharing is a surefire way for that person's music to reach a worldwide audience. Close-minded individuals like Britney Spears and Madonna only care about themselves and want more (emphasis on the word "more") money than what they already have that already supplies their next several lifetimes. And before I go on, if any of you like Spear Britney or Madonna, that's fine, just please don't flame me because I don't like them. Spears because of her snobbish attitude behind the scenes as I have discovered and Madonna for her very obscene gesture of throwing a fake "American Life" song into the P2P world which is just her cussing out the downloader of the said song.
Getting back to the RIAA specifically, let's also analyze the clear and obvious truth about what they are doing. First, there are millions upon millions of Americans alone. The RIAA is trying to sue users of P2P software downloading copywrited material. Here's a short list of just how futile and self-defeating their efforts are:
1. The sheer number of people using just Kazaa means that it would take decades, if not centuries for the RIAA to track down every last one of us.
2. How's sharing music online much different from giving a CD album to a friend who never bought it him/herself to borrow or keep it? Granted the only real difference is the number of people involed on a much grander scale. And the RIAA would defend this as that number affecting sales. But this goes back to what I said about the artists having plenty of money to go around as well as our proud desire to support the artist we love and feel deserve that support.
3. Suing people for thousands or even hundreds of thousands per song is, for the most part, pointless. Let's face it, the average person would never be able to pay such a fine in their lifetime. And the toll it would take on their emotional well-being for pretty much tearing apart that person's life...you may as well have that person f#@*ing executed!!!
4. The RIAA is not directly linked to the artists and companies of the songs we share. It would at least make sense if all this was "Warner Bros sues Slap Happy for illegal filesharing" or "Virgin Records Files Subpoena Against Verizon for the Identity of a Filesharer". 80% of all the news is focused solely on the RIAA, the syndicate of the music industry.
5. What the RIAA is doing is critically alienating the consumers who purchase CDs, whether or not they also use filesharing. So as many have already put it, the RIAA is just shooting themselves in the foot by doing this.
6. Just look at the plain and simple picture: With not just American filesharers, the number of filesharers worldwide is of such magnitude that all the RIAA and like-companies will never be able to catch every one. Their actions will surely destroy the world of music. To jail all us filesharers is to take away the very consumer they are trying to keep. I don't think the jails all over the world could hold us all. And the money it would take to build new jails just for filesharers would be enormous and costly. Need I go on?
7. Lots of people are about to boycott buying CDs altogether. Call it a reverse strike, but if 80% of the population who regularly buys CDs stops buying them, the music industry will surely crash and burn! Filesharing isn't going to ruin the music industries ability to continue producing music.
8. (Small note: If what I say here offends anyone in any way, I do apologize in advance. But it's not intended to offend as I know there are people who are sensitive to what I'm about to mention. Just making sure.)
The number of people the RIAA has caught is analogous to the number of soldiers, American and non-American alike, who have been killed in Iraq both during and after the war while fighting terrorists. The number of people are too high either way for the RIAA or the terrorists to ever come even remotely close to taking us all.
9. Even IF the RIAA were able to take down Kazaa and the other P2P programs currently out there, there will always be new ones being developed. P2P will never die no matter what they attempt. And just for the sake of curiosity, if and that's a big IF the RIAA was able to get P2P filesharing outlawed, there will always be other ways of obtaining music online. And no, I won't mention some of those ways, as I'm not giving any RIAA collaborators any ideas of what to attack. They would have to outlaw the internet entirely to truly stop this. And that would be the cyber apocalypse if that were to happen.
Most people, including myself, still buy CDs even though we share music. The quality of the music combined with the inserts and images in the CD case are what buying music in stores is all about. I listened to every one of Linkin Park's songs from their Meterora album, and that only further fueled my desire to own the CD. And the web extras which came with that CD were great.
But there's still more! This issue has become increasingly public and this is something the president must discuss on national TV (if he hasn't already done so, but I don't know if he has already so pardon me if I am clueless in that regard.). I am an avid supporter of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)( http://www.eff.org ) and their mission to reach the ultimate compromise of making filesharing legal and ensuring the artists and their respective labels get compensated. I will gladly pay a reasonable flat fee (monthly or otherwise) if it meant I could continue downloading and sharing songs if I knew I wouldn't have to be concerned about being sued. The problem is that the RIAA won't listen to reason and are hell bent on resolving the "problem" their own selfish way! Refer to my list above to understand just how selfish their close-minded way is.
If the RIAA has accomplished anything, it is the inevitable need to solve the war between us and them by making P2P filesharing legal. And progress must be made if there is ever to be peace at last.
What really pisses me off is how individuals are starting to appear in the news as being wrongfully accused. The damage this does to their privacy is terrible as well as the cost of legal fees to get all this sorted out.
In conclusion, the time has come for us as loyal music lovers to make a stand and fight the RIAA. Let's fight to make file.....no.....musicsharing legal and gladly come up with a way to compensate the artists we love! Let's get the RIAA to show humility and come to realize the truth: The music industry is going through an evolution. Sure CDs and streaming media will still be around for the foreseeable future. But musicsharing is going to become the new standard whether they like it or not. So they can either be with us and listen to our proposals for a solution that will benefit both sides and solidify musicsharing as the newest accolade right up there with 8-track, records, radio, cassette tapes, CDs, TV music videos, and streaming media (MP3.com for example). Or they can be against us, and in such case will lead to the eventual destruction of the music industry as we know it.
The RIAA is fighting the wrong war! We are defending ourselves so our responding involvement in this "war" is an exception. If there is any war that should be the sole focus, it's the war on terror and bringing security and a peace of mind to the US and hopefully even the world.
To the RIAA and all other anti-musicsharers, the ball is in your court now...
(Post note: Please pardon any drama I may have shown in my post. Everything I have said comes from the heart. I know most of what I touched base on has already been mentioned at one point or another. but I really needed to stress what is happening and try to get the word flowing that change must take place.)