I’m pretty sure that in previous posts I’ve mentioned that the RIAA has always been wrong about what technological disruptions do to their business. They wanted to kill LPs because they thought no one would go see live performances. They wanted to quash AM radio for fear no one would by LPs. They wanted to kill the cassette tape because it would allow piracy of LPs. Currently they want to prevent the existence of a Tivo-like device for digital radio.
Each time they have been wrong and the new technologies have provided new ways for them to make money. Not only that, but each new technology has enabled a plethora of new industries to spring up. Without the invention of LPs in the early 1900s, there wold never have been the turntablist musical movement and rap would have sounded very different. Without cassette tapes, many bands would never have created that first cheap demo tape to send to the record companies to get signed. Without the ability to copy CDs to the computer, the iPod and all other similar devices would not exist.
Originally there was going to be something akin to CSS on audio CDs, but it was dropped and computers were allowed to read them and rip them. I think this was one of the greatest abilities of all time. Until the invention of MP3 players (and later digital music players), the ability for me to be able to remaster a CD with a full 74 minutes allowed me to be able to have a lot of music in my car without a ton of CDs. It’s a well known fact that more CDs barely push 15-20 minutes, so being able to combine 2-4 CDs onto one was quite a boon! Back in those days I used to create my own CDs with every song an artist ever sang (instead of buying a compilation from the store which had all the songs I already had). Sure, I was keeping them from selling me that compilation CD, but that was a silly thing anyway. If I already owned the license to listen to those songs, why should I have to buy another license to listen to all of them in one CD?
What about file sharing? A study has recently been done by a series of researchers who have proven that MP3 file-sharing of copyrighted music has had a statistically 0% affect on the sales of CDs. So CD sales have simply declined because people don’t like the music being made. So next time they whine about stuff – tell them, “hey you’ve been wrong for 100 years, why should we believe you NOW?”