An Article in the London Register
details how the RIAA has shut down Edonkey servers in Germany, crippling the network. I have to tell you this really irritates me in a big way. If one looks at statistics, sales track peer-to-peer distribution in a positive, not negative way. Recent record selling albums have been ones that were "leaked" to the Internet months in advance of their official release.
The real reason the RIAA has a problem with peer-to-peer networks, is that it allows independent musicians, real artists that won't sign their lives away to those bastards, to distribute their work without the benefits of the record industries advertising and distribution network. The record companies for the most part prefer to promote crap artists who will sign contracts that rip them off anyway. In short; the RIAA wants to prevent real artists that actually produce MUSIC from competing with the garbage they produce and promote.
It's been my experience that the best artists are those that mostly make their money touring or self-publish, and they don't get any exposure through mainstream distribution channels because they won't sign their lives away to record company scums. So they gain exposure through live performances and through the peer-to-peer networks and that is exactly what the RIAA doesn't want to happen. It is my belief that music is a fundamental part of being human that was never meant to be bought and sold anyway; it was meant to communicate beyond words, to reach to our souls, not our pocket books.
I use peer-to-peer networks for distributing some video and imagery I have made, and I plan to use it more heavily to distribute video instructional materials, and I think I ought to be entitled to collect damages for their restricting my ability to distribute material I have produced for which they have absolutely no ownership of the rights. Problem is they have millions of dollars for lawyers, I don't.
In the early days of peer-to-peer networking, the recording industry argued that if music trading wasn't stopped, it would mean an end to creativity and new music because the rewards to musicians would be gone. Well, for starters, the real rewards for real artists is in the doing of the art itself; people in it just for the money produce crap. In the second place, in spite of the predicted doom, we have seen an explosion of new music and musical styles; and it has been the exposure the Internet has given to these new musicians that has made that possible. Now thinking forward, if bandwidth continues to increase; think of the new up and coming independent films we might get to see in the future?