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Coalition Calls for Boycott in Response to Second Round of RIAA Lawsuits
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
2003-10-31
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In response to the second round of lawsuits begun by the major labels and the RIAA, a coalition of over 177 websites is calling for a weeklong boycott of major label music. The Stop RIAA Lawsuits Coalition (www.stopRIAAlawsuits.com) is urging music fans to avoid buying major label CDs, and to support independent label music.

"The vast majority of those being sued are working families with children," said coalition member Holmes Wilson, whose site downhillbattle.org started a defense fund for those who were sued, "Regular people can't afford a legal defense against these companies. When you buy a major label CD, your money is going to fund lawsuits against families with children."

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"The major labels' reaction to file sharing has been to launch a fierce legal attack against some of their most loyal customers," says Peter Allen, owner of guitartabs.com, "We intend to show them that this is not an acceptable reaction, and as consumers, we will not tolerate this sort of treatment."

"These suits have nothing to do with protecting musicians," said Jacob Berendes, a musician and independent label owner whose label, Fujichia Records has joined the coalition, "The major labels treat musicians terribly: you spend $16 on a CD and the band gets only 80 cents, if they're lucky."

The site stopRIAAlawsuits.com will feature information about the lawsuits, a list of coalition members, places to buy used CDs online, and, most importantly, resources for finding the best independent music. "Independent labels give their musicians a much bigger cut of CD sales," said Andrew Ross, who's band's site joined the coalition, "and they're not hiring expensive lawyers to bully families with reckless and unwarranted lawsuits."

"Rock, hip-hop, electronic, jazz, whatever genre of music you're into, there are independent label bands you'd love," said Ross, "and boycott-week is the perfect time to find them."

The popular website and coalition member RIAAradar.com lets music fans check to see if an album they want to buy is on an RIAA label. RIAA Radar can even make recommendations for non-RIAA independent music with similar appeal.

Consumer backlash against the lawsuits will be felt worldwide: "This is an amazing effort, and it's only just begun," said Jon Newton, who runs the filesharing news site P2Pnet, "I've heard from reporters in Japan, France, Germany and Denmark who are now doing stories on the RIAA's 'sue 'em all' subpoena campaign because of this coalition. It's all about achieving critical mass: what started out as a small group of people can become a powerful body exerting enough pressure to make the Big Five record labels pay attention."


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