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RIAA Attacks Google and Radio Stations

The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) is a political wrecking ball and their latest targets are Internet search engines, particularly Google, and broadcast radio stations.

According to Cary Sherman, the Chairman, CEO and chief litigator of the RIAA, the industry has sent Google 100 million piracy notices. Cary claims that means “at least 100 million times Google offered to direct users to illegal sources for music just within the last two years. That’s also 100 million times that an artist, songwriter, music label – or anyone else involved in the chain of creating and distributing music – was likely denied the opportunity to earn any royalties, revenues or sales.” Mr. Sherman's argument unintentionally reveals a host of narratives, all of them wrong.

Mr. Sherman is obviously attempting to lay the groundwork for another run SOPA-type legislation. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was an effort to enact legislation to allow Hollywood, the recording industry and government to censor search engine links, not much differently than they do in communist China. The RIAA claimed that rogue websites often come up in search engine results and the government and the content industry needs stronger laws to stop Internet users from seeing such websites. SOPA would have empowered law enforcement to block access to Internet domains due to infringing content posted on a single site or even blog post. Thanks to a grassroots rebellion, in part from readers at the Daily Paul, Congress refused to enact the law, marking the first time in years, the RIAA and their allies did not achieve a major legislative objective.

In addition to pushing for a new SOPA bill, Mr. Sherman appears ignorant, unintentionally or by choice, of how the Internet truly functions. As TechDirt notes, Mr. Sherman's claims are "just blatantly false. First, any Google search result comes with a bunch of other links as well, many of which could lead to revenue for those in that chain. Furthermore, even if the file was unauthorized (not, as Sherman falsely claims, "illegal"), that quite frequently still does lead to opportunities to earn royalties, as multiple studies have shown over and over and over and over again. On top of that, if someone is really looking for a free MP3 of something, that's what they're looking for and they're not going to spend any money on the file anyway, so no revenue is "denied." That revenue never existed.”

More critically, the RIAA continues its assault on technology and innovation and clearly has no problem attempting to host itself on the wealth, innovation and production of others. In addition to censoring search results, the RIAA would clearly love to be able to tap Google’s revenue with 100 million separate copyright violation claims.

The iconic heavy metal band Iron Maiden recently decided to turn the RIAA's arguments on their head. Rather than attempt to prosecute music downloaders, the band is using downloading data to determine where to plan their next concert tour. “If you know what drives engagement you can maximize the value of your fan base. Artists could say ‘we’re getting pirated here, let’s do something about it’, or ‘we’re popular here, let’s play a show’,” Gregory Mead, CEO and co-founder of Musicmetric told Cite.

It’s the same story for broadcast radio. The RIAA is looking to their allies in Congress to enact a royalty tax scheme that would force radio stations to pay performers a fee every time one of their songs are played on the radio. For nearly a century, music played on the radio was viewed as a grand bargain between performers and radio stations. Radio stations play and promote music and in exchange, performers receive free publicity -- publicity they could never afford to pay for. The greed of the recording industry has no bounds and they are now asking government to force changes in the equation.

Sadly, some "conservative" Republicans like Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are attempting to convince their fellow members of Congress that such a tax is actually pro free market. Ms. Blackburn, is a champion of the Nashville music scene and appears ready to make any argument, even fallacious ones, to promote the interests of the music industry.

Whether it is attacking Google or radio stations, the recording industry is not hesitation to run to the government to try to pad their bottom line. They have done it for years. Some in Congress recognize that the RIAA’s days of cronyism has passed them by. Others still love the industry’s generous political contributions and star power. We must remain vigilant in the days ahead and stop the RIAA’s government-empowered money grabs wherever they arise.

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And then there was Canada

Those evil bastards ripping off hardworking, starving artists are ... oh, wait, they're the RIAA, too.


Google, Iron Maiden, Radio and me.

As a performing artist, I rely on ASCAP to protect and secure my royalty and licensing earnings.
Do I trust them? It's the music biz, no!
I am not associated with RIAA, as they represent the recording industry(labels).
I am with ASCAP, whom represents the composer, author and publisher...me.

I do not receive radio play anymore so I don't receive royalties from that.
I don't sell any records anymore so no mechanical royalty either.
I do have licensing going on still and I receive fees from that.
Every quarter I get a check. I earned it. Don't steal my paltry earnings!

That's right. I said it. Don't pirate my music! Don't steal from me!
Here's a freebie. It's about my apathy towards politicians.
Then I googled Ron Paul.

GOOGLE: The way I see it, Google has nothing to do with piracy.
They simply aggregate links to content hosted elsewhere.
Google does not host anything, simply provides a reference; a hypertext reference.
That's like blaming a phone book for prank calls.

Iron Maiden: Ticket sales barely pay for the venue, liability and logistics.
The only money made on tour is selling CDs and Tees. Tours are for promoting new albums.
It's a grueling life on the road for us old fellas! Heck, it's grueling at home!
Hawking CDs and Tees from town to town...cause the royalty and licensing is down. Hooray.

RADIO: What "Grand Bargain"??? This is crazy talk! It's also totally false. Rubbish!
We (artist) get PAID for radio play. ASCAP, SECAM, BMI and other PROs (professional rights organizations)
receive playlists from stations and we get paid a royalty. One of several revenue streams.
But there is no back slapping Grand Bargain, only mutual achievement.

Make no mistake. If the record companies will screw an artist, so will their representative organization (RIAA).
Which is why we have our own PROs to protect our interest.
The labels are not concerned with my revenue, only their own.
But they are out of line going after Google.

"I'm just sayin'..."
I'm just sayin' when one part of an article is blatantly wrong, it makes me question all of it.
Don't get me wrong...I'm just sayin'.

Exercise Liberty...Not Piracy.

America Rising.
The Constitution Stands.

"That the pen is mightier than the sword would be proven false; if I should take my sword and cut off the hand that holds the pen" - American Nomad

I would love to see them try

I would love to see them try and take on Google, they would run out of money before Google did.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Bruce Dickenson and Iron Maiden libertarians!


The guitar solos starting about 5 minutes are pretty bad ass for a bunch a guys probably 60 years old! There is not a band except maybe Uriah Heep that still rock as hard as they did in there 20's.


10 Years, Then Public Domain

Let's push the RIAA back into its box by removing the idiotic notion of perpetual copyrights at the expense of taxpayers. Personally, I have no problem financially supporting a legal system (copyright, patent) which allows the original inventor or heir to benefit from royalties for a MAXIMUM of 10 years. At 10 years, any patents or copyrights MUST expire and become the property of the people who funded the legal system of protection.

Copyright is broken.

One reason people don't respect copyright is that the system is unfair.

Think about this...
* A patent is 20 years, a medical patent is even less, Trademark is 17 years but a copyright is the artists lifetime plus 70 YEARS.
* When copyright started in the US it was limited to 14 years and this was back when books had to be printed a page at a time in a press and books had to ship by cart and boat. Now you can publish and sell world wide instantly and it is lifetime plus 70.
* Automatic copyright has virtually killed the concept of public domain.

For more please review my 1 hour special on the topic at http://videoskillet.blogspot.com/2009/01/copyright-or-copywr...
it should also be available as an Itunes podcast episode so you can view it on your iphone, ipad, or appleTV. Look for videoskillet.

Another thing to think about

RIAA creates illegal numbers!



What about the people who didn't fund the legal system of protection? How would you determine how did or who didn't?

This is the tragedy of the commons.

Intellectual property is only your property while it remains in your head. This temporary monopoly only makes the free market inefficient and the reality is that the more that music is spread whether legal or not, the more people know about the artist, and there will be plenty more who WILL purchase their songs.

Because of the internet and the ease of copying it is too difficult to enforce copyright anymore. Not advocating breaking the law and incurring the wrath of the RIAA, but we should think really hard if copyrighting has become an antiquated inefficient notion -- much like govt. itself.


Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

going off on a side tangent here

but one of the reasons Linkin Park was one of my favorite groups for a long time was because they released all their music online, as well as unreleased songs/remixes for free. Know how I repaid them? I went and purchased their music if I liked it.

I had many friends who did the same, and you can't say they didn't make money, even when all their products were free online.


I think represents mostly the estates of long dead artists whose rights were bought up and hoarded by certain people in Hollywood and slimy record producers.

I strongly feel copyright law should have finite limitations.

I don't feel sorry for these schmucks in the least. Let them stew.

They used to. One of the

They used to. One of the things people came here to get away from in Europe was patent problems. Slowly but surely, the amount of time someone can hold rights to something has moved up and now its many decades.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Gotta keep pushing back

As long as the State exists, it will be used for the benefit of a few at the expense of the rest.

Michael Nystrom's picture


for good work.

Thank you.

He's the man.