April 29 2008

RIAA Sues A Music Player

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-slowly bangs his head on his desk-

Why does the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) insist on being such monumental asses? Is it a game to them? Some sort of, “Hey, let’s see if we can get away with… THIS” game of chicken they play with the music industry as a whole?

Their latest target is a company named Project Playlist that lets users, as their name implies, build playlists of music from various sources. The company does not host any files, pays royalties to performance bodies, and clearly states that they attempt to only index sites with legal music files.

Project Playlist, Inc. aspires to index and organize the music on the Internet in a responsible and efficient manner, and is therefore committed to copyright protection. Accordingly, our search engine is based upon our growing index of links to music files legally posted on the Internet for promotional or other legal purposes. Our music player allows performance of music files through streaming technology and “in-line linking” of series of hyperlinks. In that way, we make it easy for our users to create a playlist that points to a series of music files hosted on third party websites. We do not control those third party websites. We do not host music files. We do not allow uploading or downloading of music files to We are not a “file sharing” site, peer to peer or otherwise; and we do not support or endorse illegal copying of music.

So even with all of this, and being the chosen music player of MySpace, where artists willingly post their music for promotional purposes, the RIAA has chosen to sue them.

They are using the argument that Project Playlist facilitates the piracy of third-party websites by allowing people to play the music files from these sites, which PP clearly says they do not want and will comply with any take-down notice they receive from an artist. The RIAA also tries to claim that PP pays no compensation, even though they list on their site exactly how they do pay royalties.

To me, this is like suing Apple for their iPods playing pirated music, or how about going after the makes of blank CDs for passing around pirated music on their media? The RIAA seems to have two modus operandi now: find anything online since it’s easier to track and then sue the pants off of them.

Dr. EvilI would love for someone to tell me what exactly the RIAA does now outside of suing. I mean, do they actually play any sort of productive role in the world of music, or is strictly now about how many people they can sue? I know they are supposedly about protecting the rights of musicians, and safe-guarding the copyrights of their works, but what about when all they do is antagonize the fans?

The coup de grâce of this whole thing is how all of this money the RIAA takes in is not getting to the musicians they are “protecting”. This has been discussed for a couple of months now, and, to the best of my knowledge, has not changed. So, where is all of this money going? They keep suing, they keep winning, where is all of the money? I mean, the RIAA is there to help the artists, isn’t it? And when they sue in their names, doesn’t that mean those artists should reasonably expect a payment?

Snarkiness aside, and this is just my observation, I think the RIAA knows they have hit on a money making scam the likes of which the world has never seen before. I mean, if you can go around suing people for any number of reasons that you can seemingly make up as you go along, do it for the “artists”, and then find ways to not pay it out, wouldn’t you?

All-in-all, you just have to look at this organization and wonder what the next target will be, because there is obviously no end to their war to alienate every music fan ever.

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