Shocker: RIAA Petitions Judges to LOWER Artist Royalties (But.. But Isn’t the RIAA Suing Music Fans Because of Lost Artist Royalties?)

[Stops typing, looks over shoulder in slight surprise, swivels chair to face camera] Oh, hello. My name is Mango Starr, and I'm a news writer for Tiny Mix Tapes, an online music magazine. [Camera slowly zooms in] I would like to share with you some exciting information about the RIAA that will surely help you gain perspective on -- what some scientists and other credible sources say -- the "evil" practices of the MP3 world.

You see, the RIAA is a trade group that "represents the U.S. recording industry." Despite its emphasis on shareholders stock photos of attractive white business men, smiling and shaking hands], the RIAA truly does care about its artists [vibrant concert footage of Puff Daddy, Radiohead, and Shania Twain] and finds it sad when anti-RIAA coalitions like [Candian Music Creators Coaltion are erected by its own artists, with members ranging from The New Pornographers to Sum 41 [photo of ugly dude from Sum 41 drinking beer, random black guy dressed in "gangster" clothing].

Despite these unappreciative artists, the RIAA is still figuring out ways to make artists and music fans like you happy about the infiltration of the digital music world. Before the RIAA can make everyone happy though, it has to show people like you why it is so important to understand the lies ominous music] of places like the [Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who are encouraging, perhaps even brainwashing people into signing its petition ("Take a Stand Against the Madness: Stop the RIAA!"). The EFF has over 80,000 signatures so far, and will deliver the petition to the Senate and House Commerce and Judiciary Committees once it reaches 100,000 signatures. The RIAA encourages you NOT to sign this petition because it is full of lies.

Inspirational music] Instead, the [RIAA has its own petition in mind. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the RIAA is "petitioning the panel of federal government Copyright Royalty Judges to lower the rates paid to publishers and songwriters for use of lyrics and melodies in applications like cell phone ring tones and other digital recordings."

[Clip of RIAA executive VP and General Counsel Steven Marks] "Mechanical royalties currently are out of whack with historical and international rates. We hope the judges will restore the proper balance by reducing the rate and moving to a more flexible percentage rate structure so that record companies can continue to create the sound recordings that drive revenues for music publishers."

[Back to Mango Starr, now near office water cooler with "I Love Music" coffee mug] Yes, these are indeed exciting times for the RIAA. But you may be asking yourself, "But why is the RIAA wanting to lower artist royalties when it's also suing music pirates in the name of these very same artists?" Look, I am not here to raise questions. Do something that you enjoy; watch TV, go to Disneyworld, listen to music. The RIAA wants to ensure you get the music you want, period. The RIAA also wants what’s best for the artists, period. So, have faith in the RIAA, because the RIAA has faith in you.

I'm Mango Starr. Thanks for spending time with me. And just remember: without the RIAA, music would probably not exist.

(This has been a paid advertisement by the Recording Industry Association of America)

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