Friday, July 16, 2004

RIAA REALLY LOVE P2P. THEY JUST CAN'T BE WITH IT, RIGHT NOW: As Orrin Hatch's bonkers bid to criminalise manufacturers of devices which could be used for piracy makes its way through Senate, the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol has sent a letter to the legislators praising peer to peer networking. In an "I come to praise Ceaser, not bury him" style.

"There is nothing inherently evil about P2P," writes Bainwol. "On the contrary, it's a magnificent technology. But it has been hijacked by some unscrupulous operators who have constructed a business model predicated on the taking of property financed by my member companies."

He means "music", by the way. You might turn on the radio to hear songs and tunes, Mitch Bainwol takes a lady back to his penthouse flat, turns the lights down low, and whispers into her ear "Shall I put on a little property financed by my member companies?"

We've been waiting for a while to see how the RIAA was going to continue to make its case for the damage being done by downloads in a market that's actually doing rather well. Bainwol delivers the new line: it's killing singles:

"In 2000, the top ten hits sold 60 million units in the U.S. Seven of the ten sold more than 5 million units each; every one of them sold at least 3 million units. Then the slide kicked in. Last year, in 2003, the top ten hits were cut almost in half, to 33 million units. Just two of the ten sold more than 5 million units; five of those top ten hits sold less than 3 million units."

et's not even begin to ask if he thinks that Now Thats What I Call Music entering America at roughly the start of his study period might have had an influence on that, nor should we tap our biros on our teeth and wonder if the reason the RIAA has carefully insisted singles downloads be certified for Gold and Platinum separately from the sale of physical product is to ensure they have an always falling CD singles market to moan about. See, the whole iTunes selling 100,000,000 in a little over a year might undermine using singles as evidence for the sky falling in, should they be counted in with the plastic disc sales figures.

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