Feeds

Hilary Rosen quits RIAA

And we salute her

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Recording Industry Association of America's chief Hilary Rosen is to step down after five calamitous years shilling for the music distribution cartel.

In that period the pigopoly she represented squandered vast resources it could usefully have spent on creating alternative digital distribution channels on litigation against people who want to share music. Paradoxically, the reactionary Rosen is probably single-handedly the person most responsible for the now popular notion that we should get it all for free.

Rosen's vilest deed was not the crucifixion of Napster, but her determination to strangle Internet radio at birth. Rather than seeing it as a useful publicity medium, the RIAA fought long and dirty to burden stations with punitive royalties and administrative demands.

Three recent examples of the RIAA's benevolent works speak eloquently for Rosen's legacy. Exhibit one: five music labels - Universal, Sony, BMG, WEA and EMD, the parent of Virgin and EMI - agreed to pay between $15 and $40 million each to end a class action suit that alleged they'd colluded to fix the price of music CDs. (Claim here.)

Exhibit two: this week ISP Verizon was obliged to hand over personal details of a customer who the RIAA had identified as downloading MP3 files. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out today, this blows a Scud through the constitution by permitting "any copyright owner who claims infringement can force an ISP to reveal subscribers' identities merely by obtaining a subpoena from a district court clerk, without any judicial oversight."

In other words, in the best tradition of the Salem witchhunts or the McCarthyite lists, a mere accusation of wrongdoing can land you in the clink.

Exhibit three: the RIAA poisoned the file sharing networks with garbage, and since the turn of year has intensified its information warfare against IRC channels where people meet and exchange information. Full story to follow, but let this earlier article "I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA" - whistleblower serve as a primer.

Some speculation on the boards today hopefully suggested that a change of executive could lead to more enlightened policies from the RIAA. But, why? When Stalinism has proved so effective, there's no need to alter course. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.