“A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Arizona State University about the RIAA coming to campus to give a talk about copyright and the state of the music industry as part of ASU’s Security Awareness Week. I went this morning, and it was fairly interesting. [David Hughes] is the Senior Vice President of Technology for the RIAA,” Anthony Garone blogs.
Garone reports, “David’s argument was basically that we should feel sorry for the fact that his business is quickly becoming irrelevant and they don’t know how to change. It’s expensive to find new artists and they’re releasing bad music because they know it’ll sell and it’s expensive to change a business model. So, instead, they’re going to use what he calls ‘education through litigation,’ which disgusted me and other people in the room. Basically, it’s our fault that the record companies sell music from Britney Spears and it’s our fault that Wal-Mart is the #1 music retailer in the country. We’ve forced the ‘lowest common denominator’ on ourselves. And if the RIAA can’t find new talent because of us, then ‘that’s a shame.'”
Garone reports, “David brought up that was interesting is Steve Jobs’ open letter to the music industry about removing DRM from electronic sales of digital media. David brought up a meeting and some e-mail exchanges he’s had with Jobs and called Jobs a ‘hypocrite.’ When asked if Jobs would be willing to sell Pixar movies through iTunes without DRM and DVDs without CSS encryption, there was no response. When asked about interoperability of downloads from the iTMS, Jobs responded, ‘Ask me again when we have less than 50% of the market share.’ He thinks Jobs posted that letter to get the attention off of him and the bad press he’d been getting regarding Norway’s tying laws, which I think was a really good point that most of the tech blogs has missed. Jobs knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s one of the world’s most wealthy businesspeople for a reason.”
Full article here.
[Attribution: The Inquirer. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]
Hughes needs to take a break from watching his industry being taken apart, rebuilt, and realigned single-handedly by Apple’s Steve Jobs and look up the word “hypocrite.” He obviously has no idea what the word means.
Steve Jobs is, of course, providing DRM-free tracks via iTunes Store starting in May (EMI is the first domino to fall). This was announced a few days after Garone’s article quoted Hughes, which shows Hughes was totally wrong in his assessment. Jobs is doing this with, oh, about double the market share Hughes said Jobs supposedly would require for interoperability. Plus, Jobs has already explained that the music industry is selling 90% of their music sans DRM already, on CDs; the film industry is doing no such thing. And, yes, by the way, DRM on any type of content is meaningless to the real pirates and only really hinders paying customers.
The main reason there will continue to be a music industry is because of Steve Jobs. No, it won’t be the same old broken model epitomized by the thinking seen inside outfits like the RIAA and certain music labels, and that’s a very good thing.
David, did you know that every single time we hear the phrase, “education through litigation,” it makes us itch to fire up our BitTorrent client?
Lastly, if you think Steve Jobs is bringing DRM-free music to the world in order to placate Norway, please visit your nearest mental health provider immediately.
EMI’s Nicoli on DRM-free iTunes: ‘We have to trust our consumers,’ Apple’s Jobs: ‘right thing to do’ – April 02, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ posts rare open letter: ‘Thoughts on Music’ – calls for DRM-free music – February 06, 2007