RIAA’s got burning desire

Bainwol touts new products, services as alternatives

The digital equivalent of homemade tapes are the next target of the RIAA.

After asserting that the RIAA’s educational and lawsuit strategies were working to stall the illegal downloading of music, org prexy-CEO Mitch Bainwol told music retailers Friday that burning and ripping is a greater threat to the industry.

Speaking at the National Assn of Record Merchandisers convention in San Diego, Bainwol said 12% of all households are burning CDs and 17% are burning more than 10 CDs per month.

Ripping is the process by which a computer user imports music files from a CD to a computer. Burning is the process of moving those files to a new blank CD.

He cited data from the Gotham market research group NPD that stated more than 7 million 50 Cent songs have been burned this year. Mariah Carey, the Beatles, Green Day, Metallica, the Game and Eminem have each had more than 2 million of their songs burned.

The RIAA does not object to burning for personal uses, but Bainwol emphasized products and services as a potential defense. He touted kiosks that allow users to make custom mix CDs in stores: copy-protected CDs and DualDiscs, which offer consumers a DVD/CD package that cannot be reproduced.

He pushed for better standardization among diskeries and for all participants in the selling of music to continue “the message war.”

“We need to demonstrate adaptability to move the debate beyond issues of ‘models’ to the core questions of property and right vs. wrong,” Bainwol noted in his presentation.

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