Here is an article about the ever growing illegal CD market, which is currently estimated at 4.6 billion. Note that the RIAA is fucking around with subpeonas for individual consumers who are file sharing over 100 songs. What exactly are they doing about this, an actual measurable loss? As far as anyone can tell, nothing.
I can sort of feel this collective anger welling up at the heavy handed tactics of the RIAA and the MPAA. I think what needs to be done is to have a boycott week somewhere this fall. Pick a week, any week, and proclaim it “Consumers are not criminals” week. A message is disseminated as widely as possible that this particular week, music consumers are urged to avoid spending any money on RIAA label music. Lists of the RIAA labels are circulated, and even more importantly, lists of the non-RIAA labels. Consumers are urged to take the same amount of money and rather than buying Avril Lavigne and Eminem to hunt for some local music, independent artists, or other good stuff that exists outside the Big Music Machine. If the organizing on the ground is good, then there could even be pickets at major record stores urging patrons to show the RIAA that you are tired of them by spending your money elsewhere for one week. For added emphasis, if the boycott could pick up some high powered musician spokespeople, that would be great. Courtney Love, David Bowie, REM and other groups that have come out as unhappy to have their fans criminalized would be good.
Personally, if every RIAA label shut its doors tomorrow, it would have little effect on me. Every CD I have bought in the last 6 months is either on an indy label or a CDR I bought directly from the musician at a show. That’s what my whole band of the day thing is about. The big labels are overplaying their hands, because they need us more than we need them.
Some more links to RIAA fun. The flash animation to the uplifting anthem, “Sue All the World”. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation comes this article on How Not To Get Sued by the RIAA for Filesharing. They also have an initiative to make filesharing legal while stll getting artists paid.