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Survey shows most musicians oppose RIAA’s lawsuits

Survey shows most musicians oppose RIAA’s lawsuits

Though the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been tackling copyright infringement by slapping lawsuits on online peer-to-peer file sharers, recent research shows musicians are not convinced it is in their best interest. New research from the Pew Internet Project claims that most musicians do not believe the RIAA’s lawsuits will benefit artists.

Pew Internet is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, an independent opinion research group based in Philadelphia, that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public-policy issues.

During a one-month period between March and April, 2,775 musicians and songwriters responded to a Web-based survey with questions relating to copyright and music file sharing on the Internet.

According to the study, 60 percent of those surveyed do not believe the RIAA’s efforts to halt file sharing through lawsuits will benefit musicians and songwriters. Additionally, 35 percent believe free downloading has helped their careers, 37 percent believe it has not had any effect and only 5 percent believe it has exclusively hurt their careers. Of those interviewed, 83 percent have provided free samples of their music online.

Musicians at the UW also use the Internet to their advantage, such as, freshman Ben Althouse. “Without the Internet and free downloading, my music would not have the reach it currently has,” said Althouse. “If anything, the RIAA’s efforts have hindered the promotion of independent musicians and the proliferation of their music.”

Althouse looks at online file sharing as an inevitable part of life. “It’s just going to keep getting bigger. For me, that’s a good thing,” Althouse said. Another finding of the survey is that 67 percent of musicians and songwriters believe they should have complete control of their copyrighted work.

The RIAA’s membership consists of the record labels. At the same time, the RIAA mission is to fight for the intellectual property rights and First Amendment rights of artists. It’s been nearly two weeks since the RIAA’s most recent wave of lawsuits. On April 28, the RIAA targeted 477 illegal file sharers, including 69 individuals using university networks at 14 universities across the nation.

Jorge A. Gonzalez
Founder of and various other websites. Follow me on your favorite social network. Twitter | Google Plus

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