- As head of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), I’ve been the public face for an industry that’s endured significant — some would say tumultuous — changes during the last few years. It seems widely assumed that we at the RIAA revel in our role in stamping out music pirates. True, it’s a necessary part of the job, and also the right thing to do — if you believe, as I do, that misusing someone’s copyrighted property is wrong. But here’s something that may surprise you: I’m every bit as passionate about music as you are.
The reason we do what we do is not a love of litigation but rather a love of music. What other form of entertainment can move you the way music does? And what other form can move with you during every part of your day? Don’t overlook these simple facts — they’re the reason that, contrary to the predictions of some doom-and-gloom naysayers, the record industry is poised to rebound.
And what will the vehicle for this rebound be? Technology. Yes, technology.
….One of the key planks of these joint principles calls for “private and governmental enforcement against infringers.” This is critical to fostering innovation — after all, recording artists and software developers alike do what they do at least in part for financial gain. And it bears repeating that this is the view not just of the RIAA but of the technology companies as well. They support appropriate enforcement against copyright pirates every bit as much as we do…
Actually, the tech industry and the RIAA are at diametric odds in terms of visions of the future and the path to getting there, but it’s a nice thought.