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06.04.2006

For the Record, for What It's Worth

I love this site because it is a little bit of everything. Just like my life. I like a little politics with my morning coffee, a little entertainemnt business with my lunch and a lot of technology with my insomnia.

This site gives me the freedom to write about anything. And I appreciate the comments.

If I didn't, I'd click the "no comments" box on my posts. But one comment keeps coming back so much from my posts (no matter the subject!) that I thought I'd correct the record.

Commenters on this site regularly accuse me of suing college students and other "innocents" in my past role as Chairman and CEO of the Recording Indsutry Assciation of America The lawsuits against individuals initiated by the RIAA was started after I left. When I was there, our litigation focus was on those who were bulding commercial businesses on the backs of the creative community without their agreement or participation.

I don't honestly know what I would have done about the individual lawsuits had I stayed. I certainly participated in multiple planning and debate sessions about them. There were good arguments on both sides and the staff at the RIAA are thoughtful, good people who work hard to protect their constituency. Thankfully my plan to leave was firmly in place and I didn't have to make that tough call or take the heat for the one that was made.

I am sure there are lots of other things that I've done that people have opinions about. But most successful executives I know have made controversial decisions and have been second-guessed and scrutinized both favorable and unfavorably. It comes with the priviledge of the work and that's ok. I can also assure you that I don't intend to start using this site as a review of the RIAA or my work there but I certainly can't stop others from doing so.

But for the record, I do share a concern that the lawsuits have outlived most of their usefulness and that the record companies need to work harder to implemnt a strategy that legitimizes more p2p sites and expands the download and subscription pool by working harder with the tech community to get devices and music services to work better together. That is how their business will expand most quickly. The iPod is still too small a part of the overall potential of the market and its propietary DRM just bugs me. Speaking of DRM, it is time to rethink that strategy as well......... At some point, I will write more comprehensively about those years and these issues....then again, maybe not.

In any event, it is easy to sit back and just comment. And it is usually pretty easy to listen to those comments. Unless the record is just wrong.

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