After attacking teenagers and college students for illegal downloading, having tantrums at the large MP3 sellers about their reasonable (I would say, almost too high) prices, sneakily sabotaging the free internet radio stations, and then releasing "remastered" and "remixed" albums three to six months after their original release dates adding on a few shitty songs and then charging double for your listening privilege, I would say that the record industry has done quite enough screaming and crying to earn themselves a bad name for the next fifty years. Instead of realizing their first ten mistakes, going quietly into their little skyscrapers and investing their remaining money in creative strategies to drastically change and possibly save their industry, they are instead, yet again, investing in a legal battle for more money. In fact, not only is the record industry grasping wildly for some hold on the music industry, but they're doing it by attacking another group that for many years has been struggling to survive: radio.
Who even listens to radio anymore? Mixed tapes and cds have long been the cooler alternative, and with the invention of the MP3 player outfitted with beautiful tuner accessory you will never have to listen to crappy music, stupid commercials, and antagonistic talk shows again. When I listen to the radio, I opt for commercial free stations like WERS and NPR. Sometimes I'll switch to WFNX, and once in a very long while I'll spend a night with WXKS just to see what music is actually semi-popular at the moment. In any case, great radio is basically a lost art. Rarely am I introduced to great, new music through the airwaves (excluding WERS and NPR) and rarely am I even entertained for any length of time. It's stale and stagnant, and just as likely to implode as the record industry itself.
What's the issue? Well, the record industry thinks that AM/FM radio broadcasters should be required to pay royalties for playing their songs. Who really gives a damn? It's bad management all around to think that attacking the next sickest kid on the playground is going to make you stronger. If the record industry wins, no one will even care. In fact, I bet this latest ploy for money and attention will only have a negative affect on the record industry's already bad name. I don't download illegally, and I never have, but at this point it's looking fairly tempting.
If you're interested in reading more than my rant, you can check out this article on WIRED:
Recording Industry Decries AM-FM Broadcasting as 'A Form of Piracy'