Friday, August 04, 2006

Music Downloads and the RIAA

It's amazing how times have changes over the few years. During the Internet boom of 1999, I thought downloading music for free will be cherished and would hurt the music industry. The way most people downloaded music was by sharing music on to computer networks and using early 1st generation peer-to-peer (p2p) networks. They required software, such as Aimster, Madster, old-defunct Napster, Morpheus, Kazaa, and the like. Well, the music industry definitely felt greedy and started a revenge to sue against its listeners. The RIAA started filing lawsuits against those who uploaded music to such networks; the RIAA even got on these networks and got usernames of those wanting RIAA-label music. Then, they headed to media and the courts; it made news that "downloading music is illegal". Or, did they really mean, uploading music on shared network is illegal. I think the recording industry are a bunch of greedy businessmen and lawyers. Various surveys suggest that the music downloading is here to stay; and whether the music is free, 50c, 85c, 99c, people need to hear the music free before plunging the bucks for the albums. I know some music artists, who would never enlist themselves with the greed and contracts of the labels associated with the RIAA. There's stories where artists get screwd with their contracts; and some want to get out. So, I hail to the independent labels (indies) and their music. Heck, most of the music on radio stations (such as those owned by Clear Channel) are all just RIAA music; they give radio stations music for free to promote music and eventually sales. RIAA has pushed all online music stores to place restrictions on how many copies, rips, etc. on the downloaded music. It was ridiculous; you cant put music on a second computer, blah blah. However, in 2008, various outlets have now began selling music without those DRM (digital right management-which placed restrictions on the music files). This is a drastic change by the music industry, and cheer them on (finally!) Of course, there's the Apple iPods and then there's.... the rest (Zen? Zune? ??) No matter what, since I save everything, I will still listen to music for free; I refuse to buy any music or artist that is associated with a RIAA-label. There's a website that can tell you if an artist is RIAA-label; or you could just look at the list of all labels at the riaa's website. So, most of music taste has changed because of the John Doe lawsuits the RIAA has pursued in 2004 and beyond. My music is mostly independent labels, where artists provide their music for free. Why for free? Because I like some of their music, and when I hear they're touring near my area, I will be happy to pay to go see them. That's where the artists get some income; in addition to album sales. Plus, most indie labels sell their music at various music download stores, like emusic.

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