For several years, the various Recording Artist Associations (eg: RIAA) have been on a campaign to prosecute their customers. These associations claim they do it to protect the rights of their members. In reality it’s all about increasing profits for certain key members – that is, large record companies.
Last week came news from the UK of the latest attempt by these organisations to stick it to ordinary consumers for something which is, really, fairly innocent. What’s the problem? Some employees of a car repair company played their radios a little bit too loud.
The Performing Rights Society (the UK’s version of the RIAA) is seeking £200,000 (AUD$450,000) in damages for this obvious heinous crime.
Seriously, there needs to be a complete change in copyright law. For a long time these large organisations (and don’t kid yourself, they are giant corporations, not struggling musicians) have been steadily edging out what we would all consider fair use. It should not be a crime to listen to the radio at work, or to play a CD for friends at a private party.
The way things are structured at the moment, it’s better (financially) for me to drive a car at well above the legal speed limits, placing people in serious danger – than it is to play a radio a little loud, or to share a song with a friend. This is not the way things should be. We need to say enough is enough, and tell our elected representatives to change these obviously stupid copyright laws.