More satire at the RIAA’s expense.
13 Sep 2003
The organisation representing the US music industry, the Recording Industry Association of America, is lobbying for a complete ban on the Internet, DeadBrain has exclusively learned. A highly-placed source within the RIAA has told our reporter that officials see no other way to stop file-swappers.
“File-swapping tools are so widespread and hard to pin down that it’s next to impossible for us to prevent people from sharing their music,” the source said. “The recent high-profile cases are only the tip of the iceberg. There are literally millions of 12-year-olds breaking the law in this way every day â€“ as much as we’d like to, we can’t sue all of them. There aren’t enough lawyers.”
A complete shutdown of the Internet would apparently go a long way to stop the illegal trade of pirated music. “It would certainly help us a lot, yes,” our source confirmed. “But there are still bulletin board systems and CD-Rs. We may have to go much further.”
Secret documents seen by DeadBrain show that the RIAA intends to call for a complete ban on personal computers. “However, we can’t appear to be too unreasonable on this,” the strategy paper warns. “I propose to allow use of computer systems in industry â€“ including our own, of course â€“ and for limited government and academic purposes. This would be carried out under strict supervision.”
Even this is not enough for the RIAA, though. “[This] would not completely stamp out the illegal sharing of music. There would still be tape and CD recorders out there, and new technology not involving computers could emerge,” the document continued. “The only workable solution is a complete ban on electricity for personal usage.”
Most shockingly, the documents implicate senior RIAA officials in last month’s blackout in North America. Cities in the United States and Canada suffered from extensive power cuts and millions of people were affected in what a confidential RIAA memo described as a “test run”: “Re: electricity ban test run last week. Cut-off mechanism flawless, detected file swapping in chosen area 2% of usual rate. Recommend permanent implementation.”
Music industry observer Douglas Ramsbottom told DeadBrain that a total ban on electricity for personal use might do more harm than good. “It would be like living in the Stone Age or in Iraq,” he said. “I imagine that it would have a negative effect on CD sales, too.”
The RIAA document refutes this, arguing that, with “a concerted marketing effort aimed particularly at children and teens”, CD sales would “at worst stay level and at best increase”.
DeadBrain contacted the RIAA press office prior to the publication of this story, but after briefly cursing under his breath a spokesman declined to comment.