As many of you may know, 5 Grammy awards — including the Grammy for "Best Album" — were awarded to "Raising Sand", a Rounder Records album performed by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and produced by TBone Burnett. I wrote this open letter to Rounder Records, to mark the occasion: ********************************************
Dear Rounder Records:
1. I would like to congratulate you on the success of "Raising Sand", due to the outstanding musicianship of Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and producer TBone Burnett.
2. I have always thought of Rounder Records as an "independent" music label, because throughout its history, it has treated Music as being more important than Money, unlike the "major" labels, which are now the "Big 4" cartel.
3. However, I was chagrined to learn from the good folks at
that Rounder is actually a member of the RIAA.
4. While I am aware that neither Rounder, nor any other RIAA member other than the "Big 4" labels, has participated in the litigation campaign, your dues payments contribute to, and your membership lends legitimacy to, this misguided organization.
5. As I am sure you are aware, the RIAA 5 1/2 years ago began a vicious, mean-spirited war against the good people of this country.
6. This campaign continues unabated, despite false representations by RIAA spokesmen to the press and to Congress that it was ended in August, and that no suits have been commenced since August. Apparently these false representations were made to lull the public into believing that the campaign has ended, and perhaps to divert attention of law enforcement authorities from investigating the illegal tactics of the RIAA investigators.
7. In fact, hundreds of cases have been commenced since August, new cases are being threatened on a daily basis, new lawsuits are being brought, and all pending cases are being prosecuted with increasing vigor, and with rising — instead of diminished — settlement demands.
8. Those cases which resulted in money judgments are being turned over to collection lawyers, and the judgments are being assigned by the Big 4 record companies to the RIAA itself, which is acting as their collection agent.
9. Now that you have something wonderful to celebrate, it is time for you to stand up and do something for those less fortunate — those good people who are caught up in the clutches of the RIAA litigation machine.
10. I call upon you to resign in protest from the RIAA, and to call upon all other RIAA members to do so as well.
11. In doing so, you would be striking a blow for Music, and against Greed.