Record Realization

Is the record industry finally getting the message? CNN reports Vivendi unit Universal Records is slashing prices on its CDs in an effort to lure consumers back into record stores and away the nether worlds of file sharing.

Hopefully other music giants will get the message too and follow suit. Ethical consumers don’t want to spend their time worrying about a lawsuit and astronomical fines from the bloodthirsty RIAA, but they also don’t want to shell out a ridiculous $19.99 to get access to the one quality song on the album.

The record industry as a whole has been alienating its customers for years by producing bland and repetitive albums, and now the RIAA is acting like its above the law in order to get consumers to follow copyright law, forcing internet providers to cough up the identity of users who do share songs online. If the RIAA was an actual law enforcement agency, they certainly would have a tougher time getting access the the identity of end users.

The RIAA argues, “Why should you pay for a CD at a record store when you can get it for free simply by slipping it into your pocket and heading out the door,” while blissfully ignoring the fact that someone caught shoplifting would get a reasonable punishment and fine, not $150,000 for each song on the album.

Hopefully this is the first sign that record companies have seen the light, and file sharing and its resultant lawsuits will be a mere blip on the road to the record industry servicing its customers rather than suing them.