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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7653/the-riaa-and-educating-college-students/

The RIAA and “educating” college students

January 14, 2008 by

Notes Don Reisinger in The RIAA speaks–and it gets worse:

When asked why the RIAA is going after an easy target–college students–the response made me cringe: “College students have reached a stage in life when their music habits are crystallized,” Duckworth said. “And their appreciation for intellectual property has not yet reached its full development.”

Sadly, this statement tells you everything you need to know about the RIAA. Does this organization actually believe that people who have the right to vote and go to war don’t have the ability to make sound decisions about intellectual property? Maybe it has nothing to do with lack of development and everything to do with an extreme distaste for the recording industry.

“their appreciation for intellectual property has not yet reached its full development”. Wow. WE ARE THE BORG. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.


TC Bell January 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I would just like to say that most of the music I download is unavailable in stores. I think the artist who made the record would prefer that people hear his music at all! Especially when the RIAA backed record companies tell him he isn’t marketable enough and refuse to rerelease his album. I understand they are in this to make their money as the middle men who are specialized in bringing the music from the artist to the masses. Now the artist and (most importantly) the consumer has access to the internet. This is just an amazing example of the free market at work, no invisible hands here, just planned human action! Yet the RIAA is the PERFECT example of what a monopoly really is. They can’t compete with the internet so they go D.C. and have them coercively level the playing field for them. This in turn does not stop said “downloaders” it just makes some subject to government searches and seizures of their personal property (i.e. personal computers, laptops). Just my two cents!

Blouge January 15, 2008 at 12:41 am

The problem is not the RIAA. They are just shrewd entrepeneurial managers using the legal system to the best of their advantage.

ktibuk January 15, 2008 at 1:46 am

I don’t think this is about age.

Respecting private property is more of cultural thing. If private property is not respected in the society, if it is “OK to steal” the theft will be spread and colleges are mostly cultural enviroments that these “cool” trends flourish.

George Gaskell January 15, 2008 at 8:43 am

I am reminded of the Vogons in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, who would strap unlucky victims into “Poetry Appreciation Chairs.”

Their victims tied down from head to toe, they’d start the poetry reading:

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits
On a lurgid bee.
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me
With crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
See if I don’t!

Actually, Vogon poetry makes about as much sense as calling an incorporeal pattern “property.”

Matthew Graybosch January 15, 2008 at 9:28 am

I thought that college students are paying RIAA member labels the exact value of their product: absolutely nothing. Why should anybody pay for the dubious privilege of hearing the latest by this year’s American Idol winner? Or some boy band?

I’ll pay to listen to real bands, like Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Nightwish, the Blue Öyster Cult, etc. I won’t pay for Kanye West, or Linkin Park. I won’t even accept payment for listening to such garbage.

Inquisitor January 15, 2008 at 11:57 am

Well said Matthew, and good taste in music. :P

Ktibuk, I think you’re right. I am against IP laws, but I am not impressed in the least by students who shun property more generally who then extend this thinking to music. Their argumentation rarely stems from reasoned thinking, just puerile anti-propertarianism (the contradictions in their behaviour are laughable; just try taking their iPod.)

Jake January 15, 2008 at 2:16 pm

I just want to compliment Stephan on great, dare I say groundbreaking work on IP. I sincerely believe you are one of the best libertarian theoreticians out there.

maaku January 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Thank you, ghfgh, for being so diligent as to post nutritional and traditional curatives for cancer, although I think most of the current audience has not even a glimmer that you are doing it. However, what does it have to do with IP and Stephan Kinsella’s post?

Thank you for the thought provoking work, Mr. Kinsella.

Tells May 4, 2008 at 3:51 am

Hi Stephan,
thanks a lot for your very interesting posting, i live in germany and i had never heard before about the RIAA. Here we have the GEMA i think ist is the same.
Best regard from Stuttgart-

Lauflernschuhe September 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Yep, in Germany it is the GEMA – we have to pay for hearing radio-music in our workshop.

Peter Surda September 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

And don’t forget the GEZ.

Jim December 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Decent article, but yet another confused one. One thing that should be remembered here, since I virtually never see this made explicit in the press, is that the RIAA is an anti-competitive music industry cartel that is NOT primarily seeking to squash downloaders of it’s own properties (ludicrously called “pirates”), but downloading of ANY music – regardless of “ownership” or affiliation.

The reason for this is that independent music, that is, the hundreds of small labels that are not part of the RIAA cartel, are proving to be major competition for the old way of doing business in this industry. The mass of new small labels actually benefit from “pirates,” ie. their CUSTOMERS, distributing their music by enthusiastic word of mouth – for free. Otherwise, who would have heard this obscure, but amazingly innovative music? How would people know to attend a concert, or buy an album, or download a track or two from iTunes? Does anybody really think that complex work can be summarized in a 30-second snipet? Nonsense. They can’t until they hear the product. Try it in their own homes and cars. Let their friends hear and discuss it. The “old way” relied on purchases, nearly “sight unseen” (or sound unheard?) – radio singles that are not representative of the full album, and more recently, useless snipets. Would you buy Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother” based on a 30 second sample? Probably not. And nobody likes DRM for the same reason you wouldn’t go back to a restaurant that served it’s beer in a sippy cup – just because it was afraid you might spill something.

Anyway, the market is speaking here, and the RIAA doesn’t like what it has to say.

Small labels do not get (and can’t afford) radio or television play. They can’t advertise on a wide scale. And because they embrace the market’s preferred choice of voluntary distribution (instead of resisting it with lawsuits and public slander), they are taking on the big media dinosaurs with a better product, at lower cost, and with wider distribution. They can afford to take more risks, creating art products that people actually demand, and not the artistically barren safety-pop that is now passing as little more than children’s music for moody teens. It’s not the RIAA’s game anymore, and they don’t like it. The dying giants are merely lashing out with their last breaths, desperate for a government grated advantage to stop all downloading – period. And worst of all – they seem to be getting it, no thanks to wishy-washy public critics.

The article states:
“In an environment where technology is changing by the minute, there are still some organizations that flounder in the past. Is piracy wrong? Yes. Should people pirate? No. But what the RIAA doesn’t understand is that its policy of lawsuits only enrages people and fails to bring about change.”

Here, I believe, is the major confusion. I do not understand the unquestioning adoption of the term “pirate” even by strong critics of the RIAA, and other similar anti-competitive cartels. They made all these same ridiculous industry death knell statements back when people realized that they could TAPE record vinyl in the 70s. Even used the term “pirates.” Amazingly, over 10 years after Metallica popularized anti-fan lawsuits, critics still struggle with the terms. This is not piracy. It is not theft. It is not “something for nothing.” It is discourse. It is sharing of ideas. It is acknowledgment that when an idea enters society, such as music, it no longer purely belongs to the artist or the physical producer.

Unfortunately, the workings of the independent music scene is largely alien to the press, and I suspect also to most users of this site. What few actual bands or artists, (musical tastes obviously put aside here) are even mentioned in this thread are actually all signed to RIAA held labels. It is a minority of young people that care about it the most – and they do not seem to discuss Intellectual Property in any meaningful way, so this issue is not well represented by the people who know it best. So I am not sure that my argument that illegal downloading is actually the demand of the market and is not theft in any sense of the word, will be well received.

Steven Kinsella, I hope that in the future you consider doing an online class on IP. I’d sign up for that one.

Jim December 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

2008!? How did I even find this… I think I just discovered time travel.

This is a pretty old post, so feel free to ignore!

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