Archive for December 18th, 2009

EMI sues Vimeo; Eugenia Stops Buying RIAA Music

We’re audiophiles in this home. This year we spent about $1800 is music purchases. More than anyone we know.

About 40% of all the iTunes/CD purchases were for acts signed to major labels. The rest 60% was all indie.

I hereby make it my resolution for the new year to never buy RIAA/majors’ music ever again. Even if I like some of their songs so much that it makes me cry.

The last straw for all this was learning that EMI sued Vimeo the other day. They claim that Vimeo endorses users to lip dub and that this is copyright infringement. This whole thing is obviously a sham, and just pathetic. Even the Rolling Stone commented that this lawsuit comes out strangely after Vevo going live.

For some of the lip dub videos on Vimeo might be on the fence if they’re eligible under fair use or not, but some are so creative that no matter if a closed minded judge deem them in the future as non-fair use, in my mind they are. These videos do serve as a great advertisement for the labels, but they don’t see it this way.

Most of the music I bought this year it was because it was originally free out there. I downloaded the legally free mp3s, and if I liked what I heard, I’d go to iTunes to sample the rest of the band’s music. And if I liked what I heard, I bought the album. Many times I’ve heard a song on Youtube or Vimeo, asked what it was, and then bought it too (e.g. Feist’s “One Evening”). Instead, the majors (and RIAA), have become over-protective about the whole thing somehow, and they prefer to go to court. I really don’t see the point of all that.

Sometimes I wonder if what they’re trying to do is simply to have restrictions apply to ALL (including indie artists), just so THEY can promote their artists via TV/radio as they always have. You see, the internet PR companies have no power over TV/radio/mags, but they have the internet. The majors on the other hand, they are mighty-powerful on TV/radio/mags, but are only equal in the Internet PR game. If the majors can kill part of the internet hype machine by making video sites add more and more restrictions, then their songs will get more recognized/hyped via the traditional media rather than the Internet. So all these lawsuits against people, youtube, vimeo, might be just a strategic way to kill the indies! Destroy the competition by simply destroying THEIR TOOLS (aka the Internet way of doing things).

Rest assured, I’m not against the notion of copyright. What I’m against is the lawmaker’s abusing of that notion to make copyright laws worse and worse as the time goes by. Originally, copyright was meant to last 25 years. Now, with amendments on the law, we’re looking in to a century (in EU too). And the fair use allotments are simply too limited. They were written before the age of Youtube. Instead of the lawmakers taking these changes into mind to change the law, they make the law even more draconian, paying lip service to RIAA. The new international treaty that the media companies are cooking up for all countries is definitely not going to be pretty either.

As a media creator, I have already moved to Creative Commons for my music needs for 2 years now. I don’t touch non-CC music for my video projects.

As a media consumer, December 2009 is the time where I stop buying the major’s music. And if an indie label gets on the same tune as RIAA, I’d ban it too.

I ask all of you to think about this. If you read comments online, many say that “RIAA and the majors will fall soon”, but this is NOT TRUE. The only way to have them fall is if we don’t buy their products. These guys are not going anywhere if they still have money in their pockets.

The Gandhi way, is the ONLY way.

Update: An update to this article can be found here.