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Secretary Locke Meets with Music Industry Representatives in Nashville to Discuss Piracy and Global Intellectual Property Protection

Locke emphasizes protection of creativity and innovation as vital to jobs and the economy

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with artists and representatives from the music industry today to discuss the administration’s commitment to global enforcement of laws against intellectual property piracy. Locke was joined by Congressman Jim Cooper and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean for a tour of “Music Row.” After the tour, Governor Phil Bredesen joined the group for a discussion with musicians, including Big Kenny from Big & Rich, songwriters, students and other industry representatives at Belmont University.

“This administration is committed to tackling the challenges facing the music industry, because it is a fundamental issue of economic security and jobs,” Locke said. “We are continually looking for new ways to protect the creativity that is the lifeblood of Nashville and America’s economy.”

As “America’s Music City,” Nashville is an important hub in the U.S. music industry and has been impacted by the recent rise in online intellectual property piracy. With the advent of the Internet and file-sharing technologies, consumers are spending less on recorded music in all formats, and total revenues for recorded music in the U.S. have dropped from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $7.7 billion in 2008. This has affected the local economy, which supports thousands of jobs and a $4 billion industry annually.  |  More  |  Remarks  |  More photos 

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There are three reasons I no longer purchase music from the RIAA companies:

1. The music they produce is no good. I'm sorry, but they've lost the creativity. Independant bands are more innovative and have higher quality.

2. I purchase music direct from the artists via either their site or via a variety of websites that provide at least half the money to the artists. Why should I support RIAA middlemen, should I not support the artists who actually are creative?

3. The lawsuits and attempted extortion of RIAA companies has caused me to turn away from them. If they wish to sue their own customers, why should I become one?

Reduced sales

Formerly you could sell a CD with two good songs and a bunch of trash for $10 or more. Nowadays people buy the two good songs at Itunes for $2 and skip the trash. Net result: 80% reduction in music industry income. Okay, so this isn't the case always, but if they can generalize why can't I?

The link to the document regarding administration policy is bad

I attempted to follow the link that purported to explain the administration policy with regard to IP protection, but was instead directed to a login page for a webmail client.

With regard to the article itself, I have just one comment. The biggest problem facing the music industry today isn't file sharing, it is the refusal of the industry to adapt to the Internet age. Consumers are no longer willing to pay for a CD filled with filler songs to get the one song they really want. They are also unwilling to be forced to buy multiple copies of the same song for each of their electronic devices because of DRM. The recording industry must either adapt or die. iTunes and other online music sites are proof that people are willing to purchase the music they want, but only if it is unencumbered by DRM. If I purchase a CD, I have the right to make a copy of it to my hard drive and put it on my MP3 player to take with me under fair use standards. I should have the same right for songs I download from a music service online. By attempting to shove DRM down the throats of the American public, the recording industry is shooting itself in the foot and it's ill-advised campaign of attacking file sharers and trying to impose grossly overblown penalties on them is why the record industry is in decline. People won't stand for this abuse and if the recording industry would invest as much time and effort into finding new business models that balanced the interests with the interests of the listening public, they wouldn't be suffering from the very negative image they currently have. The people know that this administration is in the pocket of the recording industry and the movie industry as well. Just like the news industry, these industries are going to have to adapt or die and shoring them up with taxpayer money is the wrong answer.

I'm going to end now, as I'm sure that this comment will be censored anyways. And even if not, noone will pay attention because I'm not a billion dollar a year industry. I'm just a tax paying citizen, who apparently doesn't have a say in our government anymore.


what a bunch of trash.

Really, we're committed to a dying portion of a thriving industry? Since when does that make any sense?

Should we have protected the buggy whip makers, or should we protect the gasoline companies just because we're moving to electric cars? Should we protect the companies that made calculators before computers simply because they lost jobs due to being able to compute a solution?

No. Never. All that does is promotes inefficiency and claims that jobs are lost without looking at the new jobs created.

It's due to attempting to equate intellectual property with real property that our entire economy is in a downfall, first and foremost. It's also secondarily due to regulatory capture and corporate lobbying being given more attention than the constituents who make up the corporation in the first place.

Look at Brazil. Look at Antigua. Look at China. Look at any place that has focused on development over protectionism, and you'll see an incredibly successful and thriving country. Should we be one of those? Absolutely.

Granted, plenty of citizens in the us are ignorant, arrogant, or have no idea what they're talking about. Tea partiers, republicans, democrats, creationists, intelligent design, scientology, anyone who promotes racism or intolerance (such as the people protesting the community center because it has a prayer room but neglect that you don't call a hospital a church just because it has a prayer room), are all the people who have no idea what they're talking about.

Moderates, and moderates who are not willing to compromise personal rights for safety, are those who should be leading society. Instead we have lobby admitting that they carry the water for corporations and ignore the voters themselves.

It isn't that much of a mystery who is to cause for a lot of our actual job loss, and believe it or not, the MPAA and RIAA are front and center of worldwide economic downturn.

Bad news

Intellectual property laws are a scam.

They only serve to worsen the industry's revenue stream.


Also, stop assuming that the collapse of the record publishing industry equates to joblessness - if anything is will produce more jobs that are more meaningful. When an industry fails it creates a power vacuum in which venture capitalist can compete and thrive.

The 'music' industry is fine

By any reasonable standard, the music industry is doing fine. Bands are having record years, and more new music is being heard by more people. As is typical, there seems to be confusion between the music industry, people who make a living by writing and performing music, and the recording industry, people who make a living by locking down creators into restrictive contracts and suing their fans.

Why should the government be concerning itself with the success and wealth of any industry, let alone one that is thriving so completely as the music industry? Any studies not pushed by recording industry lobbyists paint a clear picture that, overall, things are better than ever. Yes, the revenues from recorded music have been declining, but the stocks in carriage and whip companies took a hit when the automobile took hold as well. Why the government feels that it needs to be involved in protecting a business model that refuses to innovate is beyond me as a person, and disgusting as a voter. The technology to make infinite copies of any digital media exists, and there is no putting the cat back in the bag. In and age of infinite goods, the old supply and demand curve is shot, and businesses will have to adjust or die, just as they always have when new technologies threaten a legacy industry.

The final question I have about this little dog and pony show is about the harsh words the Secretary has for the so-called pirates; thieves as he names them. How far have we come Constitution when an administration that is literally a trillion dollars in debt is not only willing, but happily volunteering to expend time and energy convicting citizens of violating a law based on the following passage from Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the document most sacred to this nation:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

I doubt anyone, including Secretary Locke himself, can offer a coherent explanation of how that sentence translates to locking down pieces of our collective culture for the life of their creator plus 70 years, let alone granting the Federal government the power or jurisdiction to hunt down and prosecute citizens who are, at worst, guilty of a civil offense. Copyright was never at any point in the past, a method of securing the financial well being of content creators or generating millions for gigantic corporations. It started as a means of censorship, but the founders of this nation wisely reformed it and laid out explicitly that its sole purpose was to promote progress and move the nation forward. I defy anyone to explain to me how this current doubling down of already terribly copyright policy fits with that description.

Special protection

Sounds like they are asking for special protection!

Just like the horse drawn carriage makers in England and the car. A law was passed where a human had to walk in front of a car waving a flag.

Makers who don't alter their business models to reflect new technology die.

The flag waving law eventually looked a bit silly. I'd imagine at the time any elected person who decided strict enforcement or strengthening of the law, without first considering WHY the laws exist, would be questioned regarding who is paying their campaign bills.

The last paragraph sound similar to the early 1980s when the Hollywood film industry was talking about the new video cassette recorder. They tried to get it banned.

Luckily, for them it wasn't banned which led to the DVD market which now provides them over 40% of their income.