- Departing RIAA chief Hilary Rosen yesterday invoked the name of slain black civil rights leader Martin Luther King as she defended the music oligopolies’ right to prevent people sharing music. She also vigorously defended poisoning peer to peer sharing networks with junk music – presumably not a situation that the civil rights leader could have envisaged, in a clutch of policy statements that are a must-read for even the most casual music-lover.
Rosen was receiving – we kid you not – the ‘Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award’ from the US T-shirt-sellers and record shops’ guild, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, or NARM, in Florida.
….Rosen was “humbled” to receive the gong, she said, and cited Martin Luther King’s inspirational words:
“Social change cannot come overnight, but we must always act as though it were a possibility the very next morning.”
The speech was Rosen’s valedictory as a music industry lobbyist, and it gave her opportunity to reflect on whether she had done good by the industry – this reviled cartel of distributors who have squeezed small artists, punished music sharers and who have now set their sights on snooping on ISPs, extending – quite as an aside – their interpretation of the US constitution into such distant corners of the world as Hong Kong and Australia.
Lord, she was trying.
….The subject of online music sharing allowed Rosen this astonishing statement:
“The argument is that somehow the record companies seek to encroach upon a consumer’s ability to make a personal copy of music. Nonsense. We have always been supportive of the ability of consumers to copy a CD for the gym or for their car. More power to the music fan. The problem is with the student who burns 100 copies for his friends in the dorm or makes available hundreds of files for uploading onto Kazaa.”
She also defended the practice – confirmed here at The Register for the first time by insiders – of ‘poisoning’ the P2P networks with junk files. She had an interesting description of this.
“Record companies have been engaging in ‘self-help'”, she said.
“For instance, spoofing has demonstrated some promise for early releases. Spoofing is the practice of flooding the peer-to-peer network with bogus files titled the same as the hits. [See “I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA” – whistleblower ] . The goal is to encourage the user to give up in frustration and go to a legitimate site to get the real thing.
“While individual companies and not the RIAA do this, we know that it is having a positive benefit on new releases,” she said.
But perhaps she’s too modest. The poisoning was ordered by the RIAA, say insiders. Nevertheless, she characterized it as “an important tool.”
Then there’s the borked, CPRM’d CD. Rosen justified this as follows:
“CD Protection technologies are another important element of ‘self help’ strategies. [The Register]
Pretty hard to be “consumer friendly” with all of that shit going down.