Our bloggy friends Jefito and Kurt have posted on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) crackdown on mp3 bloggers — which doesn’t bode well for this blog since, well, I post mp3s.Â Â Jefito and KurtÂ linked to a post by Gizmondo whoÂ is trying to start of boycott of the RIAA for the month of March.Â Here’s a snippet on “The Plan:”
…Gizmodo is declaring the month of March Boycott the RIAA month. We want to get the word out to as many people as humanly possible that we can all send a message by refusing to buy any album put out by an RIAA label. Am I saying you should start pirating music? Not at all. You can continue to support the artists you enjoy and respect in a number of ways.
Firstly, I encourage everyone to purchase music from unsigned bands and bands on independent record labels. There are tons of great artists out there, many of which you’re probably already a fan of, that have nothing to do with the RIAA. Buy their records at eMusic, an online store that sells independent tunes in beautiful, DRM-free MP3 format.
Secondly, you can still support RIAA-signed bands without buying their music. Go see them live and buy their merchandise; they get a hell of a lot more money from that then they do from album sales. And hey, you could benefit from getting out more, couldn’t you?
If you are unsure whether or not an album is put out by an RIAA label, the handy RIAA Radar will clear everything up for you. They have both a search engine and a great bookmarklet, so be sure to get yourself hooked up.
It’s no secret that posting copyright protected mp3sÂ is anÂ illegal act, and every week I run afoul of copyright lawÂ when I write about an artist (or group of artists) when IÂ include mp3s you can easily downloadÂ (i.e., “Mix Six” and “Then and Now”).Â I don’t write about these artistsÂ so I canÂ rip them off by posting a “free lunch” sign in front of their entire catalogue. Rather, I do so to promote their music, talk about what’s good and not-so-good about their creations, and demonstrate how great these songs sound next to each other in a mix.Â If people download the songs or the mix and load it on their mp3 player to enjoy it, then it might motivate them to go out and buy their music. Did you catch that?Â I said “buy their music.”Â Mp3 bloggers aren’t all saints with good intentions, but most do what they do because of theirÂ love ofÂ music.Â Â We put time, energy, andÂ our own money to promote artists for free.Â Did you catch that?Â I said “free.” So when the RIAA puts out press releases calling what we do “theft,” it rings hollow.Â
So, for this month, I’m going to alter the music I feature on this blog.Â I’m going to dive into unfamiliar waters (unfamiliar to me, that is) and start to feature non-RIAA music.Â It’s actually kind of exciting because like most folks I get stuck in a musical rut. I gravitate toward artists that I know, and they tend to be from the 80s and 90s. But there’s a bunch ‘o music out there that rarely gets discussed and promoted, so I’m going to do my best to shift the spotlight away from the mainstream and toward artists who are on the periphery and really need a boost in terms of exposure.Â
Are you with me! 🙂