What Goes Around Comes Around…

Looks like the RIAA is finally getting a taste of it’s own litigious medicine.

Former RIAA target Tanya Andersen has sued several major record labels, the parent company of RIAA investigative arm MediaSentry, and the RIAA’s Settlement Support Center for malicious prosecution –  [ARS Technica]

Apparently they continued to press her with settlement calls, letters, attacked her character (on the basis of the shared music in question being misogynistic rap? This one caught me by surprise!) etc. even after she provided them with proof that she had no involvement in the act. They even harassed her granddaughter about it. If she wins this case, it will open the door for numerous other counter suits, and as I see it, they will deserve every single one.

The truth is, the reason that they are in the position they are in now is because they refused to innovate. They refused to recognize that the Internet has changed the way that people buy, listen to and share music. They viewed the Internet and more importantly, file sharing, as a direct competitor to their aging brick and mortar sales model, rather than as a possible source of complementary income.

And as if that were not enough, they shot themselves in the foot by adopting an adversarial stance against the members of the very market they were supposed to be making their money from. They then proceeded to hammer the final nails in their coffins from the inside by going after the file sharing technologies in addition to the file sharers themselves. They might just as well have filed suit against the “intarweb”. Even the large entertainment execs have begun to realize the error of their way of thinking:

 So who killed the record industry as we knew it? “The record companies have created this situation themselves,” says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels’ control — from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs — many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels’ failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. – [Rolling Stone]

The Rolling Stone article is an excellent read, that demonstrates exactly why the RIAA is in such dire straights. And it ain’t all about the piracy. The lesson is simple. Those who do not adapt, perish.

Exonerated defendant sues RIAA for malicious prosecution – [ARS Technica]

The Record Industry’s Decline – [Rolling Stone]


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