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<nettime> Woah, that's some culture-jam
Bruce Sterling on Sun, 12 Jan 2003 20:18:45 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Woah, that's some culture-jam



I'm surprised to find hacktivists who can write this well -- bruces


------ Forwarded Message
From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson {AT} RealMeasures.dyndns.org>
Organization: Real Measures
To: C-FIT_Community {AT} RealMeasures.dyndns.org,
C-FIT_Release_Community {AT} RealMeasures.dyndns.org,
fairuse-discuss {AT} nyfairuse.org
Cc: dave {AT} farber.net, DMCA_Discuss {AT} lists.microshaft.org,
DMCA-Activists {AT} gnu.org
Subject: Astounding RIAA Statement -- Hack #3?


The RIAA site was recently hacked (again, for #2 that I've
heard of), but now apparently the real site is up, and the
following astounding message is posted there.

Have they been slammed well enough that they are finally
starting to concede?

Let's keep alert.  Very, very alert.

Seth

(Message forwarded from Pho list)

http://www.riaa.org/PR_story.cfm?id=599

A New Vision for the Recording Industry

The past year has been one of the worst in the previous
decade for the music industry. While factors beyond our
control, such as the down-turn in the American economy, have
no doubt contributed to this, the industry itself can
certain not completely escape blame. In an attempt correct
this, representatives from our member labels recently met to
discuss ways of reforming the industry. The result of the
meeting was a set of changes to current policies, outlined
below, which, when implemented, we hope will pull the
industry out of its current slump.

Our member labels will halt all plans to sell
copy-restricted CDs. Restricting the use of CDs devalues the
product, reducing the incentive for consumers to buy them.
Also we believe that as time goes on, the public will
realize, as we have, that due to the viral natural of
distribution through file-sharing networks copy-restriction
will never be effective at preventing online piracy but
rather is indented to force our customers to buy the same
music on multiple media.

We also vow to stop pursuing the companies behind
file-sharing networks in court. In light of studies by
reputable pollsters that have shown that most users of
file-sharing networks reported that their music purchases
increased in frequency, there seems to be little reason to
continue spending millions in an attempt to shut down these
services. Instead, we plan to propose to settle out of court
in exchange for a royalty system based on a fraction of
profit (only fair, given that these profits are derived in
part from our products).

We will also stop lobbying politicians to impose draconian
copyright laws on the American people. Last June, Rep. Rick
Berman, who received more campaign donations from the
entertainment industry than any other Congressperson,
proposed legislation that would exempt rights-holders from
anti-hacking law in order that they might exact
vigilante-style justice on file-sharers. Initially we were
thrilled at the display of the political might of our money,
but later were sickened as we realized the implications for
democracy in America. Morally, we cannot continue this
manipulation of the political system.

In addition to the reasons just given, we also are doing
both of the above, halting the lawsuits against the
companies file-sharing services and stopping our coercive
political contributions, in an attempt to restore consumer
confidence in the music industry. Our customers will know
longer will feel guilty after buying a CD, now knowing that
the proceeds from their purchases will not be used to
support causes that harm them and their peers.

To further convince consumers that the proceeds from their
music purchases are well spent, we will be attempting to
treat our talent more fairly. At the core of this effort
will be the halting of collusion between labels on recording
contracts. While overlooked by anti-trust law, the
elimination of competition caused by collusion is just as
harmful to the producers of content as it is to the
consumers. No longer will artists be forced into signing
contracts which reduce artist''s royalties for a multitude
of arbitrary or antiquated reasons for if any label attempts
such abuse, they''ll be certain to lose their talent to a
competitor. We believe that this can be undertaken without
damaging industry profitability. Firstly, the previously
mentioned reduced legal and political expenditures will help
to offset the cost. Secondly, we plan fix the sobering
statistic that nine out of ten industry ventures end up
failing recovering their costs. This figure would be
unacceptable outside the entertainment industry and, while
it was viable inside it due to the abuse of artists, there
is no reason it should not be possible to vastly improve
upon it.

Finally, we promise to stop trying to brainwash the world
into thinking of music as property, something that an artist
has an innate right to control, even after the media that
embodies that music has changed hands. Rather, we will
recognized only the original goal of copyright law in
America, to benefit the average citizen by creating a
incentive to produce creative works. We will also launch a
publicity campaign to remind the public of this principle,
unknown to many. We hope that upon learning that the true
purpose of copyright law is to benefit them, average
citizens will be more likely to respect it.

It is our hope that these policy changes will revitalize the
industry and make it deserving of the unique place it holds
within American culture.

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