You may have noticed in the last episode and post, I mention Andrew Dubber, one of the people who inspired me to start podcasting and an otherwise funny and clever guy who recently released a free .pdf e-book that anyone who is or cares about a musician should read and share (which he encourages). His ideas in that book originated in his blog New Music Strategies, which is basically about how new media can help people who are passionate about music; whether they make it, listen to it, share it, or sell it.
Recently, Dubber linked to an editorial in Download Squad (and now, so have I) about someone bringing legal action against the RIAA. He blogs about stuff like that, so cool.
Ah, but maybe not. A few days ago, he got an email from a label guy who's a member of the IFPI and BPI (somewhat equivalent organizations in the UK) which went like this:
Looking at your site I do think allowing indiscriminate criticism of the RIAA is inappropriate for a Government funded institution.
This started an email conversation that Dubber reprinted with permission here. You really should check it out. A whole lot of other people did, because it got noted and linked in Boing Boing and other big-shot blogs. So suddenly, my friend became a little bit of star :-) but his host account got suspended for half a day before it got fixed. I like to think it was from too much traffic so fast; others may want to think other things.
For their part, the Download Squad kids responded to all this in a big way, and garnered even more attention. The differences in tone are interesting. DS's Grant Robertson is all-guns-blazing toward the IFPI/BPI dude, which frankly feels good to me, because I don't like when my friends get threatened, and that's how that email exchange ended. Then again, I come from the U.S.A. Of course, it's inspired a ton of go-get-em vitriol that I'm not as quick to spew. Dubber (a New Zealander living in England), meanwhile, is an academic at heart. He's been nothing but classy, and the only bias he's expressed in laying this stuff out is symbolised by how he started talking about the temporary suspension:
...I’m determined to salvage some sort of lesson for independent music business out of all this. That’s what I do.
Yup. That's exactly what he does. And he's nice about people bringing meat-laden pizza into his family's home. So keep an eye on this guy and be kind to him.