The Washington Post has a great write-up about the RIAA (Rip-off Innocent Americans Association), this time they are saying that if you go to the store to buy a record, and then you transfer that record to your computer, or perhaps your music server, or transfer that music in any way, you are breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages.
I think it’s pretty clear what needs done. We need to start a fund to help protect these innocent Americans instead of paying the RIAA. I think it’s pretty obvious if every single record company goes broke, the world will be a better place. Artists will not fail to survive and sure, there might be a few artisits whom are deeply hurt by this. When you tell me I can not take a CD I just purchased from you, and use it how I want, then I am no longer your customer, and you are in fact my enemy because you not only have a bad track record of not respecting other’s copyrights, but you go after innocent American’s and you use dirty scare tactics. Our nations college students need left alone so that they can graduate and get a job and support your companies. Many college kids eat "Ramon Noodles" and try to get by on as little as 20 dollars a week. Sure, some of them are pursuing illegal activities, but that’s not to say that those same people are not the ones who purchase music more than the rest.
Duncan Riley at Techcrunch agrees that the RIAA is greedy and he points out that our congress is trying pass "The PRO IP act" and don’t seem at all interested in serving the American public when it comes to copyright and personal use. This isn’t about stealing music anymore, the RIAA wants to sell you a song for each device you have instead of you owning the entire song for life. I think the RIAA needs taken out of commission, I’m going to cancel my music subscription account which is going to be tough, and then I’m going to not ever buy another CD in my life unless the money goes entirely 100 percent to the artist.
Update 2: Alan Patrick at broadstuff.com says something pretty interesting about the RIAA’s new tactic (making most of the United States a criminal) He says:
The worrying thing is if it does actually get a positive ruling, because this, along with the various attempts at extending copyright and IP law into areas it was never intended to go shows a level of intellectual protectionism that is certainly bad news for new innovators, and probably bad news for the US economy overall – any information economy relies on creation, not ossification.
I’d absolutely agree, the United States needs to get out of the way of this entire argument and let digital media innovation happen. The new music stage is the digital stage, and crowding it with rules is only red tape which will slow the progress of artists being found and subsequently paid.