Friday, October 19, 2007

That's An Expensive Suit

The RIAA won it's first case against a song downloader. A single mother of two downloaded 24 songs, and possibly uploaded them using Kazaa. The RIAA was seeking over 3 million in damages. But they were awarded $222 000. For 24 songs? Come on! That's over $9 000 per song. How can that be?

Again, I think it's wrong to not steal from the RIAA. The RIAA is a group of large music companies like Warner, Universal, BMG Sony, etc.

I use the term "steal" loosely. It isn't really stealing. It's copyright infringement. There's a huge difference. Either way I say stick it to the man!

I don't understand the RIAA. Instead of adjusting to new technology trends and times they whine and cry that their cheese has been moved. Good companies understand they have to keep up with the times. Not just keep up, but adjust and change.

Instead, the RIAA sues. Suing is never a good business plan. Especially when big companies sue private individuals. It's usually better to accept the change and ask "How can we make money from this?"

How could they have made money from this? Seems impossible doesn't it? People are sharing music with each other. Record companies can't regulate it. No one can. So they throw their collective hands up in the air, call their lawyers, and sue their customers.

Apple, on the other hand, asked "How can we make money from this?" They realized people were tired of paying $15 for a CD when they only want one song. They knew that if they made single songs available for download, and if the download price was cheap, and the if the download and payment process was easy then they'd have a hit.

The iTunes Music Store (iTMS) does all of those things. You create an account using your credit card number. When you visit the store in iTunes you search for a song and click "Buy". The song downloads to your computer, and a 99 cent charge shows up on your credit card. It's so easy. And it's a hit. The iTMS isn't hurting for business.

A problem with the law suits is that they alienate fans and potential customers. Perhaps 15 years ago it was very hard for people to find new music. It was probably hard to find indie bands. I don't know how I would have done it. But times have changed. It's so easy now! So you can still boycott the RIAA and still find and buy new music.

To find new music:
  1. download iTunes (for free)

  2. Install iTunes

  3. Run iTunes

  4. In the left-menu bar click "iTunes Store"

  5. On the left, in the store, there's list of things in the iTunes store including "Music", "Music Videos", "Audiobooks", etc. Click "Podcasts".

  6. Search for podcasts to your heart's content. When you find one, click "Subscribe".

  7. iTunes will automatically downloaded the podcasts to your computer. Then you listen when it's convenient.
You can also subscribe to podcasts without using iTunes. I'm not sure how though. I'm sure you could Google it.

Podcasts aren't just for music, by the way. You can also get university lectures, sermons, cartoons, news, or learn a new language! All for free! You will only need to give your credit card number if you want to buy songs. You don't need to use your credit card if all you want to do is download podcasts.

But if you're looking for indie music, I highly recommend the CBC Radio 3 podcast. It plays Canadian Indie music of many genres.

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