RIAA victims

I feel so bad for any Citizen being sued by big corporate interests, but I also feel very bad for even suggesting that anyone donate money to anyone who is giving in to the RIAA.

So I have been doing some soul searching about this RIAA crap and how I will be true to my stance about what the RIAA is doing.

As I have stated many times, I have not purchased any RIAA/Big 4 music since they took down Napster as a way of boycotting their actions. I further only buy Independent Artist music not encumbered with DRM, and do not do any filesharing on any p2p network. So why would I want to even suggest to anyone that they should donate to someone who is giving in to the RIAA?

It was obviously a moment of weakness, weakness due to a concern for a couple people’s college education … which I also feel strongly about.

So, I have made a decision, a hard decision, but here it is….

Because of my stance of not buying any music held captive by the RIAA contracts for the Big 4, I can not in all honesty post any further blog entries for anyone who wants money to help them ‘pay off’ the RIAA.

Paying off or settling with the RIAA goes totally against the grain with me. As I stated above, I personally would never buy any RIAA backed music, so why would I suggest anyone pay the RIAA’s extortion money, or help anyone else pay them?

The RIAA will only take that very same money to use against even more Citizens, just like they do when we buy RIAA backed music.

So, no matter how much I feel for the person, I just can not in good faith justify any further postings to try to help those who choose to give in to the RIAA demands.

On the other hand, if someone wants to fight the RIAA, I would be more than happy to post a blog entry about them and a donation link, like for Patti’s fight against the RIAA.

I think the responders at dmusic.com (1, 2) forums had it right.

As Independentmusician posted at dmusic.com forums:

These following words belong to George Ziemann (gdZiemann)

…and I stongly agree with them:

source: azoz.com

“If You Got Caught Sharing…
Jan 31, 2006 — Since I put up the link to help Patricia Santangelo, I’ve heard from a few people who have settled with the RIAA and want links to their efforts to recover the funds they had to fork over to the extortion collectors.

Ain’t gonna happen. For the benefit of fans and critics alike, I must restate my position on things. It really hasn’t changed since I started writing about this subject more than 3 years ago, but there are a lot of people tuning in late who may have missed it before. This may also help with some of those who want to know what my “agenda” is.

My core beliefs on the subject at hand:

128k mp3 files are not worth paying for. They are suitable for advertising but are not a replacement for a CD-quality track.
Sharing music is providing a service to the artists, not stealing from them.
If an artist is stupid enough to ask you not to listen to their music for free, that decision should be respected. I’ll even change the radio station if a Metallica or Eagles song comes on for that very reason. If they’re that stupid in the first place, I certainly don’t want them putting thoughts into my head. It’s bad enough that I let Ozzy and Alice in.
The problem, however, goes beyond the artist because the majority do not own their recordings. The problem is the record labels, i.e., the members of the RIAA.
The bastards will sue you.
Downloading is not a crime. Distribution (sharing) is. That is the charge in the lawsuits.
My constant advice on the overall problem has been: Remove the RIAA from p2p. Do not share their music. The ONLY way to hurt the RIAA is to ignore their product and anyone that is sharing their songs after 17,000 lawsuits is just not paying attention to reality. You are not “sticking it to the man.” You are giving them free promotion.

Patricia Santangelo didn’t say, “I did it but…” She said she is innocent.”


Another quote from AzOz.com:

Remember when you were innocent until proven guilty? After more than 16,000 lawsuits filed by the RIAA, Patricia Santangelo is the first person to tell the RIAA to piss off. She’s going to kick their ass. Without a lawyer. It’s costing her a fortune. Help her out.

Sorry Steve, Delwin … truth is truth.

I truly understand your plight and am torn about it, but this would be the same as giving in to the RIAA to suggest that anyone help you pay them their blood money, and after reflection about my own long standing opinion about this, I quite frankly can’t be party to it.

The following was stated By George Ziemann back at the beginning of 2003, and its just as true today:

Be Careful What You Wish For

By George Ziemann (Feb. 28, 2003)

The recording industry continues to claim that downloading is ruining their business. It’s cutting into their sales, they say. The major labels do not want us to download their music for free. Up until now, the only counterpoint to this rhetoric has been that people do more file sharing than ever. This will never work.

I say we give the RIAA exactly what they have asked for. If we do, they’ll shut up and never bother us about file sharing again.

Stop listening to any music released by major label artists if the artist is not going to get paid performance royalties. Stop downloading their music. Turn off the radio. Don’t watch MTV or VH1. When a major label act appears on television, change the channel. Don’t frequent bars or restaurants that play music and do not have a sign stating that they pay BMI and ASCAP performance royalties.

If we all stop listening to them for 2 or 3 months, they’ll be begging us to start downloading again.

Unfortunately, that’s an awful big “if”. I hate to say it, but the American public is much too possessed by the desire for instant gratification to carry out such a plan.

I’d love to be proven wrong.

Just a little something to think about.


I emailed Steve when I wrote the RIAA Victims post and he wrote back to say:


I completely understand where you’re coming from. Since you believe that the money would be better spent on Patti Santangelo’s campaign, (and a part of me agrees with you), I’d like you to take down the post about my situation so that the focus can be on her. I’m perfectly serious here. I have enough people focusing on my campaign that I don’t want someone who doesn’t agree to funding the RIAA through a settlement to go against her beliefs. No hard feelings, you can go ahead and take it down.

All the best,

Much appreciated Steve!

I don’t remove articles from my blog once I have posted them, even if I later feel I made a mistake in posting it. However, I really appreciate your comments and your understanding.


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