Can the Music Industry be This Stupid?

Now, this is incredible…and incredibly unbelievable.

According to the Washington Post, the music industry has filed a lawsuit against Jeffrey Howell for copying 2,000 songs onto his computer – from CDs he owns. The RIAA alleges these are “unauthorized copies”.

It’s a move that smacks of desperation. It’s a move that will only further alienate consumers, who are tired of buying the over-priced crap being pumped out by the music business. It’s a move that just might cause many people, who want to do the right thing by buying digital music, to stop buying music period.

It’s about time the music industry gave up the idea of selling music because it’s a commodity that consumers want to pay increasingly less to acquire. Yup, if the music industry was smart, they would give music away as a marketing freebie.

Then, they could focus on selling products and services that consumers value such as concert tickets, merchandise, limited-edition CDs, DVDs, Webcasts, etc. If people are willing to pay $200 to see the Police on tour but nothing for any of the Police’s music, what does that tell you?

More: Larry Borsato describes the RIAA’s move as a “grasping at the last straw”, and provides some interesting facts on how much artists actually make from selling CDs and digital music. Scott Karp is even more damning, calling the lawsuit a “desperate, senseless, lunatic attempt to save the collapse of their business” – while suggesting the music industry will be the first traditional media business to be destroyed by digital technology.

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