Okay, so those reading my headline here may snicker and exclaim, gee, that’s a really rough target. Next thing you’ll be asserting, Adam, is that San Francisco housing is expensive (whoa!) and McDonald’s stuff is unhealthy (but it’s 100% beef!) and Britney Spears lacks sophisticated vocal talent (she sings?).
But wait, hear me out… there’s yet something new down the “RIAA is Evil” pipe.
In an earlier entry, I was mentioning how grateful I am for the wonderfully diverse and entertaining channels on the online radio site Live365.
That is to say, Live365 still exists, but due to onerous fees handed down from the RIAA and its lackey congressjerks, all broadcasters on Live365 as of August 1st must pay a $5/month licensing charge, or their broadcasts will cease to be available to non-paying members of Live365 (meaning, probably, about 99.95% of them).
So, when the charges were instituted on Aug 1, I found that all but 2 of the 37 stations I have bookmarked were no longer available to me. No more a cappella jazz. No more swingin’ lounge music. I had been willing to put up with the annoying audio and banner ads (hey, Live365 has to earn something somehow), but now ‘my’ stations were dark. Kaput. No more.
So here we have modern and historical music — much of it, in my opinion, Beautiful or Art or whatever you want to call something which moves me and touches me and makes me happy — unavailable due to the evil greediness (and cluelessness) of the RIAA and its minions.
In a nutshell, musicians create, only to have the RIAA hide, manipulate, suppress, and lock down their creations. Given my firm belief that music is an integral part of life itself, I therefore don’t think it’s a stretch to call the RIAA evil.
Oh, sure, they’ll say that the “artists must be compensated!” I agree. But pretty much everyone knows that the RIAA has screwed over artists since its inception, giving them a paltry few cents for every $15.99 CD bought.
And what frustrates me even more is that most of us normal folk have been dying to PAY for a legal “celestial jukebox”… unlimited access to music we know and love and music we don’t even yet know about yet but might love and so on. But the RIAA has instead persisted in offering limited and inflexible tidbits of music here and there, treating all of us music lovers as thieves and potential thieves who might “steal” music.
So now I’m not quite what to do when, for instance, I want to discover new (well, new to me) a cappella groups. Groups from University of Virginia and Stockholm and Chicago and all over the place with brilliant arrangements, gorgeous and pulsing sounds, and passion. I surely can’t turn on the local “normal” radio, where I’m treated to the same fricking top 40 songs day in and day out, sandwiched in between obnoxious and/or hapless DJ’s owned by Clearwater Communications.
And now I apparently can’t tune into Internet radio either.
It’s a loss not only for me, but the groups and individuals deserving of recognition, deserving of a chance to be heard and appreciated and learned from.
Did I mention that the RIAA is evil?