The war on digital music continues

For those of you that thought that the war on digital music was at its height during the Napster days, a note, to quote Karen Carpenter: we've only just begun. From the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) slapping $5,000 fines on college students to Warner Music now going after lyrics websites, it doesn't look like it's about to stop anytime soon.

While rooting around for info about the RIAA, I stumbled upon this gem from its Wikipedia entry:

The RIAA and its member groups argue that Internet distribution of music, without the consent of the owner of the copyright in that music, not only detrimentally affected the profits of their members, but the careers of current and future artists as well, due to possible stagnation of the music industry from lack of innovation and production of a quality product.

This is astoundingly typical of the behavior that numerous corporate giants are displaying when faced with the groundbreaking innovations like broadband distribution and the open-source model. Collectively yelling "We fear change!" and playing the victim over and over again is more than tiresome, it's crying wolf in the worst way. Remember when VCRs came out? That was going to be the end of the movie industry! Audio cassette tapes? The devil's spawn!

The stagnation the RIAA so fears will only come if they ever get their way. All this tantrum-throwing can end if they just look at successful business models like iTunes. Make it cheap + easy, plus fun + hip, for people to get their media, and they will come. Plain and simple.

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