If you’re interested in copyright issues and the recording industry’s response to music sharing, then you’ve got to read this fascinating analysis by John Snyder, president of Artist House Records, a board member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, and a 32-time Grammy nominee. It’s well-reasoned, well-supported, and thorough – simply put, the best summary of the issues that I’ve seen.

NARAS is debating the position it should take with respect to a new public relations campaign proposed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) condemning those who download music from the Internet. Snyder’s analysis suggests that NARAS should break ranks with the RIAA and “embrace new technologies, be the voice of reasoned analysis, and act as an arbiter to reconcile the conflicting views of the various parties involved.”. To support that conclusion, he clearly and lucidly covers all of the complex issues, with rich links to information and articles all over the Web.

By the end, he has convincingly demonstrated the truth of his conclusion:

”NARAS should take the lead in this matter. Those who are taking it now are leading us over a cliff. The RIAA has staked out an untenable position that is as unrealistic as it is anti-consumer and anti-artist. Their interests and the interests of NARAS are not the same. Their solutions are not good solutions. They cling unsuccessfully to the past rather than embrace the stunning opportunities offered by the future. They will be unsuccessful in their attempts to criminalize the society, and in their attempts to stretch the drum head of old laws onto the drum of new technology. It is one thing to be unsuccessful, it’s one thing to argue a bad position, but it’s quite another to be silly and laughed at, and that’s where the RIAA has ended up. They appear to be totally irrelevant except as bagmen. It’s more than just bad P.R., it’s bad science. The RIAA reached its conclusions, then looked for supporting arguments, all the while ignoring reality, opportunity and fact. They overstate their position, misinterpret their own data, and make dubious claims for artists’ rights when the biggest abusers of artists’ rights are their benefactors, the record companies themselves.”

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