News unfairly blames companies for trying to protect products

To the Editor:

Though yesterday’s editorial paints a grim picture of the recording industry, with “greedy executives” randomly singling out “poor college students” in order to prove what the News believes is a backward and outmoded point, it is important to remember that there is ample justification for the industry’s behavior. The editorial posits that “selling music is fine, but controlling it after we purchase it is not.” Why? What about copyright laws? The News mistakenly assumes that because the RIAA lawsuits are random, they are somehow inherently unjust. But just because a law is difficult to enforce universally does not mean it should not be a law. Furthermore, just because the enforcement of the law relies on some form of surveillance does not make the law, or the surveillance, unjust.

The editorial also pretends, in order to bolster its point, that CDs are still the only medium through which one can legitimately obtain music. It calls for new ways to “take advantage of the mp3 revolution,” ignoring the obvious reality that consumers already have myriad means at their disposal to digitally purchase music. Ultimately, the News is taking a self-interested and defensive stance that ignores the reality of copyright laws: They were created to limit the reproduction of work that is by nature easy to reproduce and difficult to regulate. An artist’s work remains protected by such laws, no matter how easy it may be to skirt those laws. The RIAA should continue its efforts to curtail this unfortunate trend, by which consumers morph into free riders, erroneously feeling entitled to someone else’s product.

Dan Bleiberg ’09

April 4

The writer is in Trumbull College.