RIAA Radar Promotes Independent Music Labels

Commentary by K. Matthew Dames, executive editor.

This is the sort of post I absolutely love:

Gift-giving has gotten harder since the Recording Industry Association of America came to town. The cartel of the biggest record labels has made a name for itself by suing families for downloading music, lobbying for massive expansions in copyright control, and including nasty DRM that limits fair use rights on their CDs. It’s hard to support an industry which treats its customers like that!

Still, you believe in playing by the rules: file-sharing has legitimate purposes, but you’re not just going to download a bunch of copyrighted songs without the artists’ permission and then give that as a gift. What’s a music-lover to do?

Luckily, not all record labels are members of the RIAA. A proud handful hold out, refusing to join in the cartel’s backwards way of doing business. Sites like help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

The gift that is the subject of this post is courtesy of RIAA Radar, a Web site that is “a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).” The tool allows users to search for independent music by artist name, recording label name, album title, or UPC code. I think this is the perfect tool to help consumers implement the boycott against Sony that I have called for in CopyCense‘s ongoing coverage of the Sony rootkit scandal.

RIAA Radar even gives customers the option of accessing UPC information by mobile phone, which means you have no excuse for buying Sony or major label product while you’re on the holiday go.

But, in the end, RIAA Radar resonates with me because I have been buying and collecting music for more than 25 years, and it just so happens that most of my purchases are from independent labels. That has had nothing to do with a major-label boycott (well, at least not until the Sony rootkit debacle), but because I long have known that much of the best available music is (a) distributed by independent labels, and (b) more likely to be created by artists outside the United States (or artists whose musical influences go beyond domestic artists).

Like my Sony rootkit coverage, I will continuously update this post to share with CopyCense readers some of the music in my collection that I enjoy that is not from a Big Music source. This approach also will give me an excuse to resume my music reviews and commentary, which I sorely miss.

See also: RIAA-Free CDs: A Holiday Gift Guide for Conscientious Music-Lovers. No date.

CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

12/08/2005 at 08:55

Posted in Uncategorized

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