What do they hope to achieve? The Recording Industry Association of America is suing an individual for recording his own CDs onto his own PC. No suggestion that this is part of some pernicious file-sharing scam – he was merely copying his own, legally purchased CDs onto his own computer hard-drive doubtless enabling him to enjoy his music in some digital fashion. I am a huge believer in copyright and the rights of the creator to be rewarded for his/her efforts. I do not support free file-sharing or copying CD’s for friends – just as I never supported home-taping for the same reasons. However, my entire CD collection is on my PC and I access those songs throughout the house courtesy on my Sonos system. Similarly, some of those tracks have found their way onto my Zune. As a consequence I am listening to, and buying, far more music than I have done for years. I am pretty confident – although I do not agree with it – that this form of copying is actually against the strict reading of the rules. However, I also feel morally guilt-free. Music technology is changing and dragging the industry with it. At the end of the day, the music will out and creators will find listeners – the big question is whether the enormous industry of middle-men will adapt to the changes or die.
The RIAA’s action in suing their customers smacks of the desperate, hysterical actions of dying regime. Perhaps they should ask themselves what their purpose actually is and then seek to embrace the change.