The Evil Truth Behind the MPAA and the RIAA: Destruction of the Indy Artist


A.M. Radio

We hear about it every day. Musicians, filmmakers, and even the lowly special effects guy talking about how they have been hurt by illegal downloading. Yes, it's a shame. We download one little song and the artist has to find new work.

The advertising campaigns for anti Piracy ads cost hundreds of thousands every year. So clearly they must mean business. No, they make that money back in Lawsuits.

So there you have it. Metallica is being hurt by people who download their music. But how come Metallica complains, a major multibillion dollar band, while struggling independent groups band together for the right to illegally download music?

Because my friend, who owns a band, knows that if he puts a few tracks of his CD on Kazaa or Limewire, somebody who wants to hear a song about "Valentine's Day" just might pull up his song. Hell, he might like the song enough to buy an album.

He doesn't get advertised in stores. He self produces. Most stores will not stock them, because many times the artist cannot pay to make enough copies for them to be stocked. Most musicians don't have a label willing to produce them that will still give them creative control. Many labels will reject good music for the more commercial.

And it is the more commercial musicians who are afraid of the independents. Which is why the push the idea that downloading is stealing. Despite the fact that 60 % of people end up buying the Album they download in the first place.

The MPAA does the same for, for the same reasons. They don't like independent filmmakers, only allowing one or two to slip by while they create movies that are sold as "independent" despite being studio films. They made Tarantino. They made the movie Sideways. Even Dogma was advertised as Independent. Meanwhile, they created the MPAA ratings system.

Ratings based on content. Makes sense, right? Since the ratings became Mainstream, the masses have decided to not see movies without ratings. Some theaters refuse to play them. So, how can we stop independent movies from being made? By not rating them.

But any movie can be rated by the MPAA. They can't descriminate. Well, they found one place they can. Money.

$20,000 dollars for a movie to be rated by the MPAA. Who can't afford this? The struggling filmmakers. Of course, some manage. And then a whole different set of obstacles.

America's largest video store chain is, of course, Blockbuster. Blockbuster refuses true independents based on the disribution company. That is why the great indy horror film, Katiebird, was rejected. Katiebird is a phenominal movie that most people will not see, despite it's greatness. It was shot on a budget of less then 30,000 with a minimal crew and a decent sized cast. With oscar worthy performances.

The Oscars and the Grammys (or any awards show) do not celebrate the independent artists. Their hasn't been an indy film up for an academy award for ages, and music shows only sell what gets radio play.

And now, we have I love Youtube. Right now, major entertainment conglomerates want it destroyed. Or, perhaps, bought out to help promote their agenda. Once again destroying the independent artists.
The reason major companies and bands are so upset about illegal downloading is that if in 60% of cases, people do buy the cd after downloading, that's 40% of their profits they're losing. 40% is a HUGE amount. Not to mention, there's people like me who download almost all their music and never or rarely buy it. It's much easier for a single person to download 20,000 dollars in music than to buy that much, and so for every person who downloads instead of buying, it far overbalances a single person who does buy. BY WHICH I MEAN I BUY ALL MY MUSIC HELLO THE GOVERNMENT.

The independent artists and such, when they distribute their music across file sharing clients for the purpose of advertisement, it is not illegal because they do not have a copywrite on their files (for the purpose of legal downloading and distribution).

As for the rest of that, about the MPAA and Blockbuster... well there's not really much that can be done about that, unfortunately.

A.M. Radio

I understand what your saying about the forty percent that don't. However, let's point out the fact that not everyone downloads music.

Let's also point out the fact that artists make only dimes off CD sales. Many musicians spend their careers broke while the record company gains the profit. Of course, the record company pays the expenses of the band.

We can also look at the fact that concert Ticket sales have increased exponentially. Oh, this information is all in Lloyd Kaufman's book "Make Your Own Damn Movie." So money loss is made up in concert sales.

But the whole idea behind it has nothing to do with figures a multibillion dollar industry is making. They want to control who is famous, and who is not.

I have the Italian Prog Rock Band "Goblin" listed on my launchcast. Launchcast I'm currently protesting because they sneak in songs that musicians pay them to sneak in every now and then that have nothing to do with your playlist.... Anyway, Goblin is not played. Why? The label did not pay Launchast the money for regular play. Meanwhile, I get Hillary Duff, Aaron Carter, and other DISNEY OWNED bands playing on a station I created to play Folk music and 70's Progressive Rock.

Of course, It's Disney. Disney also owns Roger Ebert. The most famous film critic in the nation, who refuses to review indy films. "The Stendhal Syndrome" was made by world famous director Dario Argento. He refused to review it because of it's distribution company. The company? Lloyd Kaufman's Troma.

Troma is staying alive thanks to a fanbase, and they are more popular overseas. Despite the fact that their films have been banned until recently. This is my proof that Bootlegging is Good, by the way. Much of his fanbase exists thanks to bootleg copies of his films.
Hehe, you're almost going off more on a rant than anything else... I agree with you on a lot of your points too, although I don't see that there's much of anything that can be done about it.

I understand what your saying about the forty percent that don't. However, let's point out the fact that not everyone downloads music.
I'd be interested in knowing what percent does download, if you have that statistic somewhere. I'd guess that it's a pretty big proportion, or at least a very significant one. Also, consider that while not everybody does download, a single person who downloads 1000 albums (not a hugely unlikely number, I have something like 1500) outbalances 20 people who buy 50 albums each (a reasonable number of cds to have bought).

Let's also point out the fact that artists make only dimes off CD sales. Many musicians spend their careers broke while the record company gains the profit. Of course, the record company pays the expenses of the band.
So they make even fewer dimes... If they used to make a dime per cd times 1000 cds, and now they make a dime per cd times 500 cds because the other half are being downloaded, they're still losing half their profits (or whatever percentage is lost).

A.M. Radio

But the point is still not about the money, but reasons they are really doing it. Can't you see that it's obvioulsy about killing the competition?
Oh, of course... I agree with you completely on that, a large part of the reason behind it is to maintain their position at the top... I just don't see anything that can really be done about it (except to keep downloading! XD).