Mark Schultz writes, in an article called We Hate You, Buy Our Stuff:
It must be a badge of honor for entertainment industry trade association executives to become known for extreme statements. Lauren Keiser is president of the Music Publisher’s Association. Apparently, he hopes to make “Lauren Keiser” and “MPA” terms of obloquy and horror among bloggers and Free Culture types just like “Hillary Rosen,” “RIAA,” “Jack Valenti,” and “MPAA.” Well, why not? Rosen and Valenti have both retired, so the position of Public Domain Enemy Number One is vacant. As the BBC reports, Keiser makes his case as follows:
MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.
He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were “completely illegal”.
Mr. Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can “throw in some jail time I think we’ll be a little more effective.”
Jail? Does he know something we don’t? Are lyrics sites fronts for terrorist activities? Sarcasm aside, I’m sure Keiser as an industry insider knows some things we don’t about lyrics sites and certainly has stronger feelings than most. He should keep those differences in perspective in mind. Most people don’t get where he’s coming from. He sounds a little unhinged, which is a bad thing for one of the public faces of the music industry. Unhinged is a fine thing for a political talk radio show host, but should it be part of the job description of a trade industry executive? Unfortunately, it probably kind of is part of his job. The industry pays his salary, they’re worried, so he needs to show them he is fighting for them.
The music industry would do well to consider whether such actions and rhetoric really serve its interests.
I’ve always said these RIAA types seem mighty desperate.