Want to be able to tell easily and instantly if an album was released by a member of the RIAA?
All you have to do is add the RIAA Radar bookmarklets you'll find on magnetbox to your bookmarks/favourites list, then go to any album's Amazon.com detail page to check it out.
Ben, RIAA Radar's author over there in Minneapolis, Minnesota, told us: "The idea of the RIAA Radar was an off-shoot of an idea I wanted to create about a year ago. My original idea was to create a sort of "family tree" of product/brand ownership, much along the lines of Who Owns What (www.cjr.org/owners/), but for all products and companies, and done in a very public, user-submitted way (there are companies that offer this kind of information, but as a very expensive pay service.) People could enter in any item (or an entire day's or week's products and activities) to understand how many (or really how few) companies they are profiting. This isn't necessarily an idea that only I have had, I just knew I (and others) would find it useful, and it didn't exist.
"Realizing that getting all that data was too enormous to fathom at the start, I narrowed the focus down to a niche that I was interested in, namely, music. Big record companies were a great fit because they are big, slow, and people have strong opinions of them (meaning they're easier to keep track of than most public companies, and people already have reasons to dislike or like certain record labels - especially ones that are affecting things people like to do, such as file-sharing, CD-burning, and finding new music.) Realizing that Amazon.com already gives developers a window into their database, all I had to do was put two things together: Amazon's music data, and the RIAA membership list.
"The larger concept of product/brand ownership is something I am still interested in, and is something I tried to build into the RIAA Radar to be able to use in the future. I hope I did it right."
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