Remember the late 90’s, when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), backed by meatheads such as Lars Ulrich of Metallica, decided to go on a suing frenzy to stop outfits such as Napster and Kazaa from enabling people to share files with each other? (Ok, the obvious answer should be “Yes, Will, I sure do!”)
In case you haven’t heard, the RIAA soon turned to strong-arming consumers once they had extorted all they could from the file sharing software companies.
The fact of the matter is that they are resisting technology. People want music in a new way. They don’t want it bogged down by Digital Rights Management. They want it cheaply and easily, and the technology to give it to them that way — AND to pay the artists fairly — exists.
Just look at what Radiohead did last year by letting people decide what they wanted to pay for the album, making them an estimated $6 to $10 million. Or see how “Nine Inch Nails make $1.6m on free album” just this month.
Both bands turned their noses up at the record companies and did it their own way. And it seemed to resonate well with the fans.