Alternatives to the RIAA labels?

Discussion in 'Random Topic Center' started by SD PokeMom, Oct 23, 2003.

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  1. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    It's boycott the RIAA week: a week-long protest against the RIAA lawsuits against filesharers. For me, it's not too hard to do; I can count on both, if not one, hand the number of new CDs I've purchased in the past year. Can't say I listen to commercial radio either anymore; there's just nothing played that interests me. If I'm not listening to things I have loaded on my mp3 player when driving, I'm listening to NPR.

    So where DOES one find good new music now? Any suggestions?

    My personal suggestion would be . It’s an online-based music label out of the SF Bay area. EVERY album in EVERY genre is available streamed, as well as genre-specific “stations” which play a mix of the artists/albums within that genre. As they say on the front page of their site:
    There’s something for almost anyone, unless you’re a ‘top-40 only’ listener: Classical, Ambient, New Age, Electronica, Punk, Metal, World, Rock…with more being added all the time.

    Please don’t fall into the ‘if it was good, it would be on the radio’ trap. When a mere handful of media corporations decide what will be played on it’s stations all over the country, it’s all but impossible for anything ‘out of the box’ to get played...not to mention anything longer than a radio-friendly 3 or 4 minutes.

    Contrary to the RIAA-model, Magnatune is working from the philosophy that a label CAN ‘share the wealth’ with it’s artists and succeed. The RIAA insists that it’s going after filesharers to ‘protect’ it’s artists; actually, it’s only protecting its own interests. There is something very very wrong with the RIAA “standard” contracts for artists when a group as commercially successful as the Backstreet Boys were during their heyday made not a penny in CD sales royalties despite the millions upon millions of CDs they sold.:nonono:

    I’ve ordered several albums, in different genres; my personal favorite artists are in the ‘ambient’ and “new age” categories. Purchasers decide how much they want to spend when they buy an album from Magnatune…anywhere between $5 and $18. The ‘recommended’ price is $8; 50% of what one pays for an album goes to the artist.

    Once PayPal goes through, you’re taken to a page where you can choose what format(s) you’d like to download said album in: .wav, 128k mp3, OGG, FLAC, or vbr-mp3. Download to your HD, burn your own CD, and you’re good to go. :) The only downside to this is if you don’t have broadband, a .wav download can take a LONG time. But the streaming works for everyone, as you can choose a hi-fi or lo-fi stream, depending upon your connection. I like to let the 'mix' streams run for a certain genre, then when something catches my ear, check WinAmp to see who/what's playing; if I like the artist enough, I'll stream their album(s)...then buy.

    The “why” of the label, here: is very interesting, and eye-opening, considering all the news lately about the RIAA and filesharing,

    Any other suggestions as to where to find good, legal downloads of music?

    Thanks, and enjoy! :)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2003
  2. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    Well, I could make Wizpog Paridise availible again. And then there's What Was that You Said? which I'll be recording soon (hopefully). Then there's, which has lots of great video game remixes (some of which are on PIRN). And then of course there's always that band out of Chicago called Team Rockit (no, I'm not kidding).

    And hey, it's my job to rail on the RIAA. ;)

    By the way, here's a list of labels affiliated with the RIAA:

    The list is a little awkward, and I'm sure there are a few omissions.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2003
  3. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Ummm, I'm looking for GOOD, downloadable/purchasable the realm of DAC Crowell, Rapoon, and Ehren Starks, on Magnatune...not videogame remixes...:nonono:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2003
  4. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    But someone else might be. You never know.
  5. onederlnd

    onederlnd Administrator Emeritus

    Can't really say this is completely related, but when FNR (Freenode Radio) was around, they had a very large selection of music. Fortunately, there are free sites such as that allow you to get a taste of great music.
  6. GymLeaderPhil

    GymLeaderPhil New Member

    I'm a TMBG junkie (Particle Man, Istanbul, Birdhouse in Your Soul, etc.) They have several ways to recieve some free music... to screw "tha man"

    TMBG Clock Radio -
    You have to download this Flash program to your computer, but it three different channels: Rare Tracks, Current Releases, and Live Recordings.

    Dial A Song Online -
    A bunch of demos and rarities.

    Original Dial A Song - 718-387-6962
    25 hours a day, 6 days a week. Free when you call from work. Always busy, often broken.

    On another note, if your willing to pick up the phone, you might want to download this MP3 to go bug the RIAA:
  7. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    While I have nothing against independant lables and such, I must say the entire "Boycott the RIAA" stuff is nothing but a load of horsepooie.

    The RIAA is simply protecting their rights. If someone was screwing you over, wouldn't you try to protect yourself? If someone started stealing from you, wouldn't you want to put a stop to it?

    I've heard thousands of excuses ("I'm too poor", "The RIAA is evil", etc...) but what it simply comes down to is, if someone is downloading illegal MP3 files, they deserve to be punished. That's what I love about today's world. It's all take, take, take, gimme, gimme, gimme, except, of course, when someone is *taking* from you, then you're the first to cry foul.
  8. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    The RIAA has been accused of (and basically admitted to) price fixing. I don't support file sharing in the least, but there are enough other reasons to dislike the RIAA. They're ignorant, slow to change, and greedy. They don't understand technology at all and need to be taught a lesson.
  9. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Excellent! Wanting to dislike the RIAA is just dandy - if you do it for the right reasons.

    Disliking them because they want to protect their rights is *not* a valid excuse.

    Many of these other reasons may or may ot be good reasons to dislike them, no doubt, though when it all comes down to it I'm left wondering how many people actually care about how much money the artists make or what types of music the RIAA-related companies press out (most of the independant stuff sounds like the same crap you can buy in stores) and how much they actually care about the fact that the RIAA is saying "Hey, stop being dirty, cheap THIEVES and stop STEALING from us and everyone in the industry. Get some RESPECT for yourself and others."...
  10. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    I don't Kazaa; never have, never will.

    But I have NO RESPECT for the RIAA with their stance that they are 'protecting' the artists from thieves. They're not; they're protecting their own fief...and could very easily be considered the thieves, themselves.

    The vast majority of recording artists make NOTHING in royalties for CD sales...because EVERY PENNY of 'expenses' has to be made back before any royalties are paid. As I said above, commercially successful performers like the Backstreet Boys have made NOTHING on their CD sales because of the creative accounting practices prevalent in this industry. Performers make their money by doing concerts and selling merchandise.

    Read the reasons John Buckman had for starting Magnatune, and read the articles singer/songwriter Janis Ian wrote, here: and the follow-up article, here: .

    The industry itself is corrupt. Add to that the corporate control of the airwaves, and you have a snake eating it's own tail: nothing 'new' can be played, because it doesn't sell...and nothing 'new' can sell, because it doesn't get airplay. If it doesn't fit firmly into that 'adult-contemporary' or 'smooth jazz' or whatever box...ClearChannel or whoever won't program it for their thousands of stations. And you wonder why radio all sounds 'the same' even when you travel from city to city or state to state, down to the station ID jingles?

    Artists themselves dispute what the RIAA is doing in their names; read some of the artist bios on Magnatune or these articles from and .

  11. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Again, it goes back to exactly what I said before. If you want to hate the RIAA, there are plenty of possible "just" reasons.

    What? Are you saying they shouldn't be allowed to protect themselves?

    Here's the interesting thing. Some artists/entertainers complain about how their record label treats them... Now I wasn't there when it happened, but I serously doubt any record label ever held a pistol to a kitten's head and said "Sign this or the kitten gets it!". No, what typically happens is the label gives the artist/entertainer a fair deal at the time, then the artist/entertainer hits it big and they want *more* - which, in theory, they should be entitled to. But the thing is, if the label put up the majority of the money (risk) to produce the album, shouldn't they get the money made (reward) from the album? Think of it this way, you have a friend going to Las Vegas. You give your friend $1 to throw in a slot machine for you. If it hits, you should get the majority of the money from it. If it misses, you're SOL. Same thing. The label gives the artist $X to produce an album. If it hits, the label should get the majority of the money. If it misses, the label is SOL...

    And one thing I get sick of hearing is the "All music on the radio sounds the same" arguement. A radio station is (typically, NPR-type stations aside) a business. They're here to make money. Unless this business is in a large market, they're not going to make money by catering to a nitch market. No advertiser in their right mind will pay to have their commericals played on a radio station with about two or three dozen listners. And what it comes down to is, unfortunatly, the general population doesn't want to hear much more than Top-40 format radio and the like. (What's amusing is THIEVES who download music try to use this arguement that they want different music than what's on the radio , etc... - and yet the same copyrighted canned product that is on the radio is what they're downloading...)

    Granted, I'm sure that some of the angery people are mad at the RIAA because of their practices, but how much uproar did you hear about them before all this MP3 hoopla started?
  12. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    The problem is, there ARE NO 'niche markets' when it comes to broadcast radio anymore, not with huge chains like ClearChannel buying up stations left and right with the blessing of the FCC.

    Right here in San Diego, ClearChannel owns TWELVE radio stations. So where is the 'choice'? Where is the non-corporate controlled programming? How does a 'niche' artist break into a tightly controlled playlist? They don't.

    As for a 'fair deal' contract, a standard one, which is a take-it-or-leave-it situation. Did you read Janis Ian's articles? How can it be 'fair' for the company to lock up an artist's work to the point where even if the label lets the album(s) go out of print, the artist is still not allowed to even make a LIVE, different recording of a song from said album available on their own website? It sounds like classic dog in the manger: we don't want to re-issue the work, but YOU can't, either.

    Perhaps the thing about the label making back studio costs, etc. made more sense in the days when studio time ran into the hundreds of dollars per hour. With the advent of digital recording and multitracking, those costs are minimal; an album like David Gray's "White Ladder" was done in a HOME, or personal studio. Where are the costs to the label for studio time when they are presented with a completed master?

    The industry itself if corrupt, and has been long before the mp3 controversy...look at the cases of artists from the 50s, for example who had huge hits yet never made a penny from them because of fraud. Look at payola...which still continues today: pay to get the song inserted into radio playlists.

    That's why the future is on the internet, with internet 'radio' and labels such as Magnatune. Why do you think the RIAA, etc. were lobbying so hard for the outrageously high royalty rates internet radio is charged as opposed to broadcast radio? Because the industry as it stands does not control internet broadcasts...and it is a THREAT. What they can't control, they'll try to destroy.

  13. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    "Why do you think the RIAA, etc. were lobbying so hard for the outrageously high royalty rates internet radio is charged as opposed to broadcast radio? Because the industry as it stands does not control internet broadcasts...and it is a THREAT. What they can't control, they'll try to destroy."


    By the way, if you're wondering where that money I'm paying (okay, Live365 is paying for me) goes? RIAA lawers. Seriously, until those millions or so in legal expenses they've incurred fighting this is paid, the artists won't see a penny.

    Of course, my friend Russ has some ideas about Clearchannel.
  14. tyais

    tyais New Member

    In the words of Bill Maher, "The record industry execs are pimps without people skills." Overcharging for something that isn't there's and they shouldn't be tapping into at all.

    The RIAA could legitimately win all these cases they're bringing out, but, I'm seriously waiting for some band from some label who gets into the RIAA to find some decent lawyers and sue the pants of the RIAA, because that too is a legitimate case.
  15. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    The lack of 'nitch market' stations is not due to who owns the stations. It's due to the fact that a station can rarely run profitable when it caters to a nitch market. Look at some of the numbers provided by some of the "nitch" Internet Radio stations - and pretty much *anyone* can listen to these stations (not just those who live in the area). They have few listners. Why? Because not enough people want to listen to them...

    I never said there was much of a choice. I simply said that a radio station is a business. They are there to make a profit, not to please every single person out there.

    What's wrong with that? If the contracts were soooo horribly bad, then no artists/entertainers would sign them and the lables would be out of business - n'est pas?

    Hey, if I shelled out tons of *my* cash producing and promoting a product, I'd probably not be thrilled with someone else profiting from it. Think about it, LabelX spends thousands to produce a song, get it played on the air, get it put on the soundtrack to the hot summer movie, etc., etc... the song gets big and catches on. Then, the artist/entertainer decides they want to leave LabelX and re-release the song (that, most likely, never would have never really made it popular if it wern't for the money LabelX spent) and make a bunch of cash off of it. Is that fair?

    There's more than studio costs to making a CD. Who pays to mass produces the CDs? The packaging, the shipping, the promotion... etc... It sure as heck isn't the artist/entertainer. Not to mention if the studio has to do any further editing to the CD...

  16. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    "What's wrong with that? If the contracts were soooo horribly bad, then no artists/entertainers would sign them and the lables would be out of business - n'est pas?"

    Actually, most groups make their money on tour, but in order to tour they need to make music. See how it works?
  17. onederlnd

    onederlnd Administrator Emeritus

    Most bands dont make much money on tour, since the tour typically costs as much as the money they'd make.
  18. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    More money than they make selling CDs.
  19. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Most bands don't make money.

  20. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 Active Member

    Why do you think I broadcast music instead of trying to sell it?

    Mewtwo: I thought that it was because you couldn't sing.

    I can sing.

    Mewtwo: Walk the Bulbasaur proves otherwise.

    I'd like to hear you sing.

    Mewtwo: Really?


    Anyway, the point is most musicians aren't making the money they deserve, when they're doing the real work (trust me, producing, packagin, and marketing is nowhere near as difficult).

    I should point out, hoewever, that I'm not boycotting the RIAA. Call me a hypocrite, but as much as I hate them, most of the music on PIRN is created by their labels (specifically, Koch, Atlantic, and Rhino). I may not like them, but I don't feel not buying their stuff.

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