Burn Your CDs

  |  July 28, 2000   |  Comments

As expected, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel gave the recording industry a preliminary injunction Wednesday shutting off the Napster service. This happened despite the fact that only 16 percent of Internet users surveyed by PC Data agree with the recording industry's position. The question now is how can the Internet consensus tell the money-dominated political system we're not going to knuckle under?

As expected, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel gave the recording industry a preliminary injunction Wednesday shutting off the Napster service.

This happened despite the fact that only 16 percent of Internet users surveyed by PC Data agree with the recording industry's position.

The question now is: How can the Internet consensus tell the money-dominated political system we're not going to knuckle under?

Having a big bonfire of CDs would make the best TV pictures, but if that's all that happens the industry is going to win. No, the best way to get the message across is by simply refusing to buy any more CDs.

Soundscan reports that for the first quarter of 2000 (with Napster) CD sales were up 8 percent. What might the industry do if third quarter sales were down 8 percent from a year ago?

I know this will be a sacrifice. Eric Clapton and B.B. King have finally released their great new collaboration. The title track is especially powerful (although I also like the last cut, which is a re-make of the classic "Come Rain or Come Shine").

The industry, of course, is betting on our kids to break the back of the coming boycott. While CD sales slow as we age, the industry has been able to manipulate big numbers out of our kids, with acts like Britney Spears, 'N Sync, and the crowd on the Pokimon soundtrack.

Both my kids listen to Radio Disney and love when their favorite acts appear on Nickelodeon. But they can still watch and listen without lining the recording industry's pockets. I just need the courage to keep my credit card in my pocket this Christmas when they whine for the recordings. If I can do it, you can, too.

In fact there's really no great sacrifice involved here. There's no one for the RIAA to sue at Gnutella. Tell your kids to ask friends who have the latest recordings to lend them around. Have them read the new, 734-page Harry Potter book real slowly. Get them some new heroes like (my favorite) Lance Armstrong. Or go to sites like MP3.com and find legal downloads that sound just like their favorites.

The plain fact is the recording industry can't force you to buy their stuff, or buy their political and legal positions. This is an important lesson for those of us who do business online. The credibility and goodwill we earn with our customers are vital they're the only real assets we have.

You gain that asset by listening to people and following the market, not by wagging your finger at it and suing it. Throwing your best asset, your goodwill, in the gutter in order to force an old economic model on people is just wrong. So let the industry know in a language they can understand.

It's perfectly legal to not buy something.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dana Blankenhorn

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business reporter for more than 20 years. He has written parts of five books and currently contributes to Advertising Age, Business Marketing, NetMarketing, the Chicago Tribune, Boardwatch, CLEC Magazine, and other publications. His own newsletter, A-Clue.Com, is published weekly.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...