Moby versus the RIAA  SEP 30 2003

Moby versus the RIAA.

There are 9 reader comments

phil00 30 200311:00AM

yeah, they probably would sue him.

jay52 30 2003 1:52PM

Sure. After all, it's not really his -- V2 probably owns it.

Brian56 30 2003 2:56PM

I personally can't stand Moby, but I have to admit that I like his logic on this. I mean, these people aren't cooking turkeys or anything.

lopolis02 30 2003 4:02PM

It's great that he feels sorry for the guy, but "almost tempted" isn't exactly the same as taking action. This is the case with most celebrities speaking out against the RIAA. With the fan base and popularity Moby has, or any of the other upset artists, they could start to make a difference. Or at the very least, they could start quitting their record contracts, start self-publishing, and help fans out with the legal bills.

sjc05 30 200311:05PM

Actually, from what I understand, Moby owns all his own music and just licenses it out, even to V2. So we are dealing with an "artist" (sorry, used to like the Moby, not so much anymore) who owns his own stuff saying go to town, filesharers. Then again, that doesn't really help anyone else, does it?

Oh, and for the "quit the labels, self-publish": even the minor successes are people who went through the major labels at one point. There probably won't be a native 'net artist - there are just too many damn bands with URLs.

jay52 01 2003 3:52PM

As far as I can tell, V2 isn't technically a major, but their contracts probably work similarly since they're run by a guy who used to run Virgin. Plus, he's released by Mute in Europe, which is owned by EMI. So, the point is, yes, he licenses the exclusive rights to release an album in a particular region, but this means that nobody else can sell that album in that region. Moby can't burn copies and sell them on the street -- he's sold that right. He can't even give copies away. Once he's sold his rights, he's no different than I am in the eyes of the law.

Let's use an analogy from writing. Say I write a short story and sell it to the New Yorker, but I think the New Yorker is too expensive. I post it on the internet so that people can read it for free. Obviously, I've violated the terms of my deal. I can give my story away and hope that its quality and free availability will result in many people reading it, or I can sell it to someone who will distribute it widely but strip me of the right to do so myself.

Regarding quitting the majors and self publishing, quitting isn't always so easy. Remember Courtney Love and the seven-year contract? However, it is increasingly possible to be successful without ever getting involved with the majors, depending on your measure of success. True, you'll probably never play a 13-night stand at the Meadowlands (or even get played once on KROQ), but it is possible for independent musicians to make a living and even date movie stars.

jkottke08 01 2003 4:08PM

Say I write a short story and sell it to the New Yorker, but I think the New Yorker is too expensive. I post it on the internet so that people can read it for free. Obviously, I've violated the terms of my deal.

Just a note regarding the specific example here...writers for The New Yorker, at least the staff writers, give up their copyrights to their works only briefly (two months, I think) and can do anything they want with them after that period.

jay04 02 2003 7:04PM

True, but only because it requires less cocaine to edit literature than it does to promote music.

Consolidation loan 07 01 2004 6:07AM

Morality by consensus is frequently morality by convenience.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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