I got sent this press release today, which I thought deserved a wider audience.
RIANZ Discloses Future PlansWELLINGTON. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), the organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand works to protect the rights and interests of a broad spectrum of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry. Their spokesperson, Mark McCall made some startling announcements today which may have a significant impact on life as we know it.
McCall, who is Inspector-in-Chief of the RIANZ Anti-Piracy squad, said the recent US based case against Napster has encouraged his squad to enter into more litigation with a variety of parties. “Sure, there’s tons of money to be made in selling over-priced CDs,” said McCall. “But litigation… ah, that’s where the real money is.” McCall claimed that if the proposed lawsuits in New Zealand are as successful as the Napster case, the recording industry will no longer need to “waste their time making records.” He refused to elaborate.
First on the list is Microsoft Corporation. According to McCall, “Our research shows that most of the criminals who use Napster and other peer to peer software do so on a computer that uses a Microsoft operating system. If it weren’t for Microsoft, these thugs wouldn’t be using computers. If these lawbreaking pirates didn’t use computers, music theft using peer-to-peer would not be an issue.” Microsoft, which is no stranger to litigation, is said to be organizing a legal team to address the issue. Microsoft refused to comment, and did not return our calls.
Another target is the telecommunications industry. “This is a no-brainer,” said McCall. People use phone lines, broadband and God knows what else to access the Internet.” McCall described how these services contribute to copyright violations, and drew a comparison with the firearms industry. “If there were no guns, people wouldn’t get shot and the world would be a better place. If we can effectively shut down the telecommunications industry, copyright violations would be reduced, and everyone would lead a more productive life.”
When asked about the future of selling music online, McCall told us, “The internet is just a haven for criminals. At some point, it will be outlawed. We vastly prefer to sell music in stores. That’s the way we’ve always done it and we see no reason to change.”
McCall also described an alarming trend among New Zealanders. “It has come to our attention that many people like to sing in the shower, and in virtually every case the song is copyrighted.” McCall estimates that, last year alone, singing in the shower amounted to more than $545,000,000 in lost revenue. “This is out and out theft, and must stop,” he said.
RIANZ lobbyists are currently working closely with the Ministry of Intellectual Property on amendments to the Copyright Act that, if approved, would require a cochlear implant in all citizens. This wireless transmitter, which is currently being developed, would monitor all sounds heard by each individual, and their credit card account would be debited on a per-song basis.
“This is really what we’ve been striving for all along,” boasted McCall. Upon further questioning, recording industry officials did concede that the cochlear implant requirement would be waived for deaf citizens, but only if they are certified by at least two doctors and one specialist as being “profoundly deaf”.