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musicNEWS: Disturbed Blasts RIAA Lawsuits
09-14-03 Keavin
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David Draiman is “Disturbed” about the flood of lawsuits filed by the RIAA last week against online file traders.  

Draiman, the Disturbed frontman, spoke out against the RIAA latest action during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. 

The RIAA initiated the latest battle in the online piracy war last Monday (Sept. 8) when they filed lawsuits against 261 individuals that they accuse of sharing more than 1,000 digital music files from their PC’s.  The thought behind this move is not to develop a new revenue model for the ailing record companies but in hopes that it will act as a deterrent to keep people from trading in copyrighted music. (can’t beat em’, sue em’)

Draiman doesn’t buy the claim that the RIAA is looking out for the artists by taking these actions. He says that it’s all about protecting corporate profits. 

"For the artists, my ass," he said. "I didn't ask them to protect me, and I don't want their protection." 

Draiman feels the industry is taking the wrong actions and needs to find a better way to utilize the Internet to their benefit. 

"This is not rocket science," he said. "Instead of spending all this money litigating against kids who are the people they're trying to sell things to in the first place, they have to learn how to effectively use the Internet." 

He points to the success of Apple Computer’s iTunes Store, which has made a splash on the net by succeeding at selling individual music files to fans for $0.99 apiece. Although the service is only available to a small number of users who also own Apple computers or iPod devices, the service has sold over 10 million digital song downloads since they opened at the end of April. 

"Apple has the right idea with the iStore," said Draiman. "You'd think these conglomerates like AOL Time Warner would have easy ways of doing the same thing, with these mergers between record labels and Internet service providers." 

Draiman feels, like many others, that the industry as a whole is not forward thinking when it comes to the potential of the Internet. He sees the net as a tremendous tool to artists and labels. "The focus of the industry needs to shift from Soundscan numbers to downloads," he said. "It's the way of the future. You can smell it coming. Stop fighting it, because you can't."

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