9.9.03

Death by a million tracks…….

It’s finally happened. We’ve all been wondering what the recording industry would do to people who downloaded music on the web through sites like Kazaa. And this morning, we all woke up to the news that 261 people have been charged with illegally sharing music on their computers, including a 71 year old grandfather and a 12 year old girl. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed lawsuits against them, and those found guilty could be made to pay $150,000 per song. Now let’s see, A friend of mine has about 20 GB of music on his system, that means he could pay………..and a certain research group in a uni I went to, with 14 GB you could be next !!!

The RIAA has been accused of being heavy handed, but they insist that more lawsuits are to follow. They are also expected to announce an amnesty for people who admit they have downloaded music illegally, as long as they promise to delete all the music on their systems and stop the ‘evil’ practice. The music industry blames sharing of music online for falling CD sales worldwide.

Boso cries “FOUL”. First of all, sharing music is a global thing. By punishing Americans, this has no effect on people like me in Nigeria, who know that no American lawsuit can touch me. So should we just move the massive music databases to Nigeria? (Or any other ‘offshore’ location). And these lawsuits are a joke. An interesting article by Peter Cochrane calculated how long it would take to sue all music-swappers. In the US alone, we have about 60 million music swappers. And if they sued 60 of them per day, they would need one million days, or 2,739 years to sue them all. The music industry needs to move into the 21st century and figure out how to start selling music online. They’ve been ripping us off for years, it takes less than 20c to make a CD and they sell it to us for $20. Things move back into the consumers hands, and they panic.

Finally, they claim that CD sales are down. Not so according to this. In the UK extreme competition has driven CD prices to the lowest levels ever, and now CD sales are at record levels. Profits are down, but who cares????????

They claim that copying music has affected the sales of music. I think that the real reason is that the music is not as good as it used to be, all we get is crap music, and the really good ones are those that are sampled from oldies……..I think good music will still sell.

STOP PRESS: Finally someone who agrees with me !! Will Strugeon of silicon.com also agrees that good music still sells well. He also believes that people use downloaded music to decide before they buy. Read it here.

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