Tuesday, January 13, 2009

RIAA Update

Alright. I've had time to stew and think about this. Thanks to everyone who has sent emails, written comments and left voicemails about this. Your support is very kind and folks have made a lot of good points about supporting independent label artists.

Here's what I'm thinking...I hate backing down to small town bully cops who tell you to cross the road for no good reason and this crap from the RIAA feels like the same thing. If I change what we do here, then I'm eating a bit of a shit sandwich from them.

Plus, I strongly believe that it's important for a fan to be able to listen to a song a few times, in the comfortable setting of their choice (car, couch, etc.), to determine if they like a song. Streaming it while you're sitting at your computer just doesn't always cut it. It gives you a quick sense of an artist but to get to the point of deciding to buy an album, I need to hear a song a few times. Therefore, I still want to make an mp3 file of the song available to readers.

Conversely, a lawsuit from the RIAA would destroy our family budget. I can't take that risk for my family's sake. And watching our posts being deleted is frustrating.

Therefore, here is what we are going to do: when we post about a band on F45, we'll post a streaming cut of the song. However, we'll also email the file of the song out to whoever is on the False 45th mailing list. If you want to be on the mailing list, send an email to false45th@gmail.com with just "Mailing List" in the subject line. I'll use those emails to create a distribution list and the mp3 files will arrive from the false45th email account.

One note about this, if you sign up for the mailing list, please use an email service that can receive large files. Gmail can handle up to 20MB per email and that is what I'll be using to send stuff. More commonly, there will be one or two songs in the email with each song being 4-5MB. So, just be sure your email account can receive such files. If it bounces back, I'm not going to make extra efforts to zip the files or split up the email. This needs to be simple to work.

Once again, thanks to everyone's kind words of support. Here is an example email we received from a band I had never heard of before called Black Bone Child:

Hello false 45th,

I am in an independent rock band from Austin TX named Black Bone Child. In an attempt to give our young band a little push in the new year, I have been contacting blogs to get some reviews and exposure. I came across your page through hype machine. I always try to read a little bit about the blog before I send them a message requesting a review. I read your recent posting about RIAA. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! "Has the whole world gone crazy?!!!!" If it wasn't for blogs like yours, a lot of artists would not even be on the map. Us musicians NEED you guys and I don't think that your hard work is not rewarded nearly enough. I wanted to personally thank you for that posting. As a musician who deals with this stupid type of shit on a daily basis its nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks it's ridiculous. We recently had interest from Capitol Records and got jerked around pretty hard. RIAA is the same type of animal. It seems to me that the biggest problem is that the people who are "attempting" to run the business are not fans of music. Music is a widget to them. Music is not a shiny plastic disc, it's an emotion, it's a feeling, it's a lifestyle. Anyone who doesn't understand that needs to go back to wherever it was that they came from. Thanks again. Please do not give up. We all need to stick together. Don't let them get to you. Your friend through music.

Donny James
Black Bone Child

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