The RIAA Hates Music Buyers

March 5, 2007

How the RIAA views its customers: completely untrustworthy

A conversation I had Friday with a mainstream media journalist on the topic really surprised me because the RIAA’s argument against the bill isn’t being fully appreciated here. As I tried to explain to this journalist, the RIAA is trying to preserve protections for its interests that run counter to how a civil society embraces freedom and responsibility. Just as bad, the RIAA is making the fatal mistake of treating its honest customers like criminals who have to be supervised, while their staunch position does nothing to stem actual piracy.

This is the month to boycott the RIAA labels.

Do it!

We Get Poorer And Poorer… And Now Dumber Too!

March 5, 2007

US severe poverty highest in three decades

Extreme poverty in the US has reached its highest point in at least three decades, according to an analysis of Census Bureau figures by McClatchy Newspapers published February 22. The increase reflects the stark reality of declining living standards for the majority of the population in the so-called capitalist recovery of the past five years as well as during the period that preceded it.

In 2005, individuals earning less than $5,080 a year were considered severely poor; a family of four with two children was severely poor if they lived on less than $9,903. The data review found that nearly 16 million Americans in 2005 were living in severe poverty, or below half the federally designated poverty threshold.

This figure represents nearly half of the total poverty population, the highest proportion of the poverty population in dire straits since at least 1975. Between 2000 and 2005 alone, this group grew by 26 percent, even as the economy recovered from recession.

Largest library closure in U.S. looms
Federal funding dries up, leaving 15 branches in Oregon county on brink

Now, not long after all 15 branches were rebuilt or remodeled, every one will be shuttered in what’s being called the largest library shutdown in the United States. The crisis in southern Oregon can be traced not only to changing funding priorities on Capitol Hill, but also to crooked railroad deals in the Wild West, a spotted owl and a shrinking timber harvest.

The Secret

March 5, 2007

Oprah’s ugly secret

By continuing to hawk “The Secret,” a mishmash of offensive self-help cliches, Oprah Winfrey is squandering her goodwill and influence, and preaching to the world that mammon is queen.

Oy oy oy.

At some point I really want to write something about all this.

But for now, I direct your attention to SHAMblog, which is required reading on this specific manifestation of the topic in general.

For A Group Dealing With Audio, The RIAA Sure Is Deaf!

March 5, 2007

Did iTunes Kill the Record Store?

Record stores across America are turning up dead, including more than few established, high profile chains. Who killed the record store? Was it the iPod, iTunes Store, or is the real killer still on the loose?

I go into Virgin Megastore (always a traumatizing experience!). I go to Soundtracks. I see $18.99 for a CD. I walk out.

No, But They All Have Pretty Diplomas Anyway! So They Can Feel Good About Themselves!

March 5, 2007

TV Review: ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’

I hope it’s a case that American adults just forget little unused details from school that aren’t often used or recalled, and not the fact that they never learned the knowledge they are lacking.

Last night, a contestant named Larry (a college grad) had trouble counting the letter “e” in a phrase, he didn’t know how many teaspoons in a tablespoon (which I didn’t get right either…it’s 3, not 2), almost choked on multiplying 2 times 5, and he bragged that he wanted to buy a camouflage Lamborghini. (”Great. You want a $400,000 car, with a paint job so no one can see it.” Foxworthy joked. Perfect comedic timing.)

If the producers were in fact aiming to feature the beautiful, yet brainless, they have succeeded in spades.

I haven’t seen this. Want to, though.

Like the reviewer, I grew up watching many game shows too. In adulthood, I’m not so much a viewer, but I do love Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (bring back Super Millionaire, damn you ABC!) and I did watch most of the new ones they plopped into primetime over the past ten(?) years.

March 2007: Boycott The Fucking RIAA!

March 5, 2007

U.S. Copyright Royalty Board Rejects Webcasters, Embraces SoundExchange

On Friday, which is generally accepted in public relations circles as the best day of the week to release controversial news, the United States Copyright Royalty Board (image to the right) announced new royalty rates for webcasts, effective from 2006 to 2010.

The board ignored the arguments of the International Webcasting Association and other webcasters, and apparently simply endorsed the proposal of the RIAA-associated SoundExchange royalty organization, which represents the major and some indie labels.

Emphasis added by me.

The bastards are killing Internet streaming radio.

Isn’t it time to rip their balls off and stuff them down their fat fucking pinstriped throats?

I say Yes!