RIAA’s Feedback On SOPA Criticism

We all remember Cary Sherman (RIAA’s CEO) and his statement vis-à-vis world-wide protests against SOPA. Well, by the looks of it, he had some reading to do as over 280 people replied to his New York Times op-ed.

As a matter of fact, last Thursday he decided to respond to all those more or less malicious comments (see: “It is difficult for me to imagine any single person in this country with less credibility than the CEO of the RIAA”, or “Cary H. Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, which represents music labels, can take her entertainment and lies and blow it out her ear”), by covering the heated debate with 5 newly developed arguments.

Here are some excerpts from his statement:

- As Larry from California commented, “These companies MUST start to work out how they can continue to be successful in the new and evolving world, rather than trying to make it go back to the way it was.” We couldn’t agree more and, in fact, we’ve already done just that.

I can’t speak for other industries, but I believe no industry has transformed itself as much as the music industry. More than 50% of our revenues now come from digital formats. We have more licensed services (Amazon, iTunes, Muve Music, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and more) than any other content industry and more ways in which content is offered lawfully to consumers. Obviously, we have an enormous stake in the success of the Internet – it is our future.

- The real problem with copyright is not that it legally lasts 70 years – it’s that it actually lasts 7 minutes. Albums are available illegally online as soon as they’re released – if not before. The protection creators are supposed to enjoy has become largely theoretical Rob Levine said.

In response, Cary said:

“Of course, there are some who insist on arguing that existing copyright law has become overbearing. But how can the laws be overbearing when they are utterly incapable of responding to offshore pirate sites that even SOPA/PROTECT IP opponents acknowledge are a problem? In truth, copyright nowadays offers little real protection, particularly when we have no tools at hand to deal with those who operate beyond the reach of our law. This was exactly what the legislation was trying to address.”

Throughout the article he pointed out the positive measures the RIAA had taken over the years, making a whole lot of sense. However, as much as important are the future steps the RIAA will decide to take in this tiresome fight against piracy.