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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    The RIAA is losing

    This is in response to the “”Come on UA: help us help you!”” (3/14) letter from Cara Duckworth, the Director of Communications for the Recording Industry Association of America. I agree that the music industry is in the “”…midst of an unprecedented and exciting transition,”” but the reality is that this transition is one that is moving away from the traditional business model of the record industry. It is a transition from the necessity of the organization that employs Ms. Duckworth and the companies it represents.

    This realization is an unsettling one, since I am nearly finishing my studies in music with an emphasis in business and management. But it is an encouraging one, too. With the advent of digital age, musicians now have recording, marketing and promotional tools at their fingertips that are at little or no cost. Some of those promotional tools include the free digital distribution of their music. While it is true that it is illegal to download music whose copyright is owned by the label, the answer is not to sue, but rather to change copyright law and the industry’s business model. No amount of letter writing to university newspapers is going to change the general dislike of the RIAA and its practices especially in the eyes of young college students despite the accused illegal activity. The reality is when given the choice of being in debt to a record company, losing rights to their own music and making fractions of a penny or of being independent, more and more musicians are making the choice of being independent. The market share for independent musicians and independent record labels has been consistently growing and it is a threat to the traditional model.

    Thus, the bottom line is that the RIAA is going to lose no matter what, unless it changes its tactics to reflect this change in the business. This is what is meant when people criticize the RIAA for not “”…fully (embracing) the digital age.”” The truth is the music industry is embracing it, just not the RIAA and the major labels. This is because they are not making as big a profit as they used to. I suggest that Ms. Duckworth go to her next business meeting with a copy of David Byrne’s December 2007 article “”David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists – and Megastars”” in Wired magazine. He goes over other viable models for musicians that can be successful and those models don’t include signing on to a major label.

    Sarah Allen
    music business and management senior


    Christian teachings misrepresented

    Last week’s “”preaching”” on the UA Mall by Brother Jed and Sister Pat was occasionally well attended by students. I hope the campus community understands that these self-titled “”saints”” are selecting particular Bible verses out of context and ignoring broad scriptural concepts – including repentance, forgiveness and grace. In short, they are grossly misrepresenting the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Phil Grizzard
    postdoctoral fellow, mathematics


    Jed and hecklers both ‘hateful’

    I just came from the spectacle of Brother Jed. By now we’re all familiar enough with his shortcomings that I need not expand upon his failings as a preacher. But as heartwarming as it was to see students of all religious and ethnic backgrounds band together in their outrage and contempt of the misguided preacher, I could not bring myself to join. A Catholic student raised his hands in a mocking prayer for Jed’s salvation. Another student accused Jed’s partner of judgmentalism, hatred and hypocrisy, then turned around and told her friend, “”God, I hate that bitch.”” Half of the students only spoke up if it was to cheer for drugs and alcohol. Both students and preachers claimed to value love and the teachings of Jesus and yet neither seemed capable of either showing love or applying his teachings. Both were equally guilty of insulting, arguing, hating and judging, and both did so in the name of love.

    Our community here is in desperate need of an understanding of love and morality, the character of God, and yet with all factions of Christian and non-Christian religion represented, all we were capable of was a drawn-out, pointless argument. Can nobody be a Christian by actually being like Christ?

    As I walked away in disgust I asked myself that question, and was inspired enough to shake off my apathy and donate $10 to stop violence against women. In the end I was the one who was convicted, and for that much I thank both Brother Jed and the hateful students.

    Anthony Chapman
    music composition senior


    The redoubtable Jed Smock

    While I don’t entirely agree with Jed Smock, I’m sure he’s got much better things to be doing with his time than to be heckled and jeckled by a bunch of preemie adolescents. He’s a well educated man, I believe, who’s trying to do some good even though one might take issue with his methods – that is, allowing himself and his mission to be the butt of ridicule and facile jokes.

    Withall, no one should doubt his sincerity. At least give Smock an ‘A’ for courage.

    Michael J. Beisch
    Tucson resident

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