Rosen Reaches Out
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: MusicDish - July 8, 2002
Choice quotes from Hilary 'Reach Out' Rosen, "chairman" of the Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA), in a speech to a New York City
'Plug-In' trade show on July 8 ...
How I, the RIAA and the Fulsome Five totally blew it, by Reach Out Rosen ...
... let's face it folks, the news has been pretty grim lately. The music
industry is hurting and the technology business isn't looking so bright
... over the last few years too many of us have gone into our respective
corners and not wanted to understand the view of the other side.
Even when we understand the other view, we have often ignored it, hoping
that our own view would ultimately prevail.
We can no longer afford that kind of thinking. [Literally ; ]
There we were rockin' along ...
Yes the recording industry has made mistakes along the way. But most often
this has been because of trial and error.
Record companies are unlike most other businesses. The business model of
record companies has been to remain invisible.
On-line companies in the middle of the dot-com boom thought that they would
be rich if only they could get those "dinosaur record companies" to give
them their entire catalog to resell.
It is not as easy to create consumer demand as they thought. And now they
are competing against KaZaa and urging the RIAA to increase enforcement so
that they can survive.
Computer hardware companies benefit from the sale of products that are used
by consumers for the unauthorized downloading and burning of music.
I don't begrudge you your products. But don't pretend that you are not
making new sales largely because of consumers' interest in free music.
Every time an artist attacks a record company, it gives a music fan a
rationale for stealing their music.
As a prominent artist lawyer friend of mine has said, if an artist client of
his ever gets a royalty check, then he hasn't done his job. That would mean
that the advance wasn't large enough to take all of the risk away.
So are successful artists focused enough about piracy to allow record
companies to experiment with their catalog on-line? Too many are not - they
don't want their songs on subscriptions services, they don't want to allow
people to be able to download or burn them and they don't want their music
on a compilation with other artists. In other words, all the things music
fans want to do, record companies have had an extremely difficult time
persuading their major artists to allow.
[See? It's all the artists' fault.]
Burning is increasingly a feature on all of the on-line services and the
creativity of the offerings is really exciting.
I hear of companies looking to offer cheaper albums with fewer tracks and to
find ways to get effectively back into the singles market.
If the government wants to subsidize webcasting, let it. We [the Fulsome
Five] can't afford to.
Certainly more needs to be done by the record companies and I think everyone
Cross licensing among the multiple subscription services must move more
quickly. Indeed all licensing must now move more quickly. Business models
are being bet on. Now let's give them every chance to succeed - with all the
content and with promotion and marketing worthy of this creative industry.
Current contractual relationships feel antiquated. Trust has to be nurtured
and in some cases built anew.
Much dialog [with artists] has gone on behind the scenes that give me
comfort that the relationships are much better than they are made out to be
in the press by a disgruntled few.
I am excited by the determination that exists within the record companies
today to make sure that their transition into new markets is successful.
Yes, the industry may contract some, but it will be stronger and more
diverse when it emerges from the current downturn.
["Contract" some. heh. Who'll be the first to 'contract'?]
We tried to develop a voluntary industry standard for digital music with our
SDMI initiative several years ago. Perhaps it was before its time, but now
it seems unfair for the tech companies to complain about things like
protected CD's - a unilateral protection system - when bi-lateral
discussions keep failing.
We will not allow protection to come at the expense of our customers'
enjoyment of their music.
I am optimistic that if handled right and explained fully, consumers will
support formats that give them flexibility and also help to stop piracy.
[SUE THEM !!!]
No one likes to be the cop, but the role must be fulfilled. Let's be real.
[SUE THEM !!!]
We must continue to enforce against those who are or service the most
egregious infringers. And we must have your support in doing so. Everyone in
this room should have an incentive to help. It serves no one to suggest that
new highways of opportunity and offerings can be created without the traffic
laws being enforced.
[SUE THEM ALL !!!]
The recording industry's enforcement activities actually support all of your
growing business interests.
[SUE THEM ALL !!!]
Our chances of success are so much greater if we work together. Together we
[SUE THEM ALL !!!]