BBC Criticizes RIAA’s Attacks On Consumers

The BBC has an article looking at the problems in the recording industry and the causes of those problems. The UK network says that there are far bigger issues than the casual online file trader that have led to a sales shortfall in the industry.

According to the article, the RIAA should instead be looking at the rampant CD duplication overseas, particularly in places such as China and Malaysia, where CDs are duplicated en masse and sold for a mere US$4 a piece. Naturally, that price point has attracted many customers. The article states such stunning statistics as the fact that the pirated CD market nets US$4.6 billion per year, and that 90% of CDs sold in China are pirated CDs. From the BBC:

The net has given rise to many novel ways of doing business but the methods of the Recording Industry Association of America has got every twisted e-commerce scheme beaten.

Last month, the association began suing hundreds of its customers. For the RIAA - which represents the major US recording companies - this makes perfect sense.

[...]

In America and the rest of the world the biggest culprit in falling music sales is large-scale CD piracy by organised crime.

In just three years, sales of pirate CDs have more than doubled, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Every third CD sold is a pirate copy, says the federation.

[...]

According to the RIAA, CD sales dropped by 10% in 2001 and a further 6.8% last year, largely because of file sharing.

But the figures tell a different story.

The article goes on to look at other reason for the decline in music sales, such as the lack of singles despite customer demand, and the budget of children being divided up between music and newer items such as DVDs, video games, and cell phones. Other points of interest include the fact that the labels have released a stunning 25% fewer new titles during the same years they claim a sales shortfall, and many have pointed to this as a big part of why sales have slumped.

You can read the full article at the BBCis Web site, and we recommend it as a very informative read for those interested in the recording industry and online distribution of music.

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