RIAA Promotes Illegal P2P Services, Expert Claims

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A leading music industry expert has accused the RIAA of having its own agenda, one that goes directly against the interests of some of the major labels. Among other things, it is claimed that the RIAA promotes illegal P2P services to parents and educators. These services, including iMesh and Bearshare, will apparently become prime targets for a US-led anti-piracy campaign.

avalonBefore explaining why the RIAA is promoting illegal P2P services, we have an apology to make.

At TorrentFreak we have a policy of doing proper fact checking on everything we write, but occasionally we make a mistake. When this happens, we’re more than happy to make a correction, and today is one of those days.

Regular TorrentFreak readers may remember the article on Moses Avalon, the well-respected music industry expert who predicted that TorrentFreak would have to shut down because of new legislation being mulled by the US Government.

Although the proposed legislation is related to the streaming of copyrighted material, Avalon somehow believes that news sites like Wired, Slashdot and TorrentFreak would also be rendered illegal.

At the time we wrote a rebuttal, claiming that Avalon’s musings were absurd, but the man himself disagreed. Moses, who claims to have worked with Bob Dylan, Madonna and Britney Spears, whose blog has 100,000 readers, and who makes regular TV appearances, stood behind his prediction.

Aside from news sites, one of the ‘illegal’ services listed by Avalon was Grooveshark, the music streaming service that has a licensing deal with EMI among others. We assumed that this, and the fact that it has operated as a US company for years without being sued into oblivion, would not make it a prime target.

This week, however, Google booted the Grooveshark app from the Android market over licensing concerns, following in the steps of Apple who made the same decision a few months ago. Avalon went bananas upon hearing the news and told his readership how wrong we were with his rant titled “TorrentFreak Face the Music: Grooveshark is Doomed.”

Although the Grooveshark issue has nothing to do with the legislation Avalon referred to in the first instance, we are of course more than happy to admit that Grooveshark is indeed not “fully licensed” as we initially wrote. In fact, from now on we will become true followers of Moses’ gospel, even though that necessarily means the end of our existence.

Like Mr. Avalon we now believe that everything that remotely relates to P2P, licensed or not, is doomed. This means that apart from TorrentFreak, Wired and Slashdot, the music subscription services iMesh and Bearshare will also, as predicted by Avalon, be shutdown in the near future.

To some the inclusion of iMesh and Bearshare on Avalon’s list might seem odd because the two services are promoted by the RIAA, but considering their P2P stigma that appears to be irrelevant.

We did of course ask Avalon why the RIAA would be promoting such illegal services, and thankfully he was willing to comment. “The RIAA can list whomever they want, as ‘approved’ but believe it or not they do not actually speak collectively for all the labels,” he told us.

“If you believe the RIAA to be underhanded and unreasonable, then there is no which thing as ‘RIAA Approved’. If you believe they’re honorable and good for their word, then you are exposing a rather large gap in your site’s position and philosophy,” Avalon’s musings continued.

So there we have it. A leading music industry expert is claiming that the RIAA is for some odd reason promoting illegal music services, against the wishes of the major labels. Now that’s something we have to believe in, don’t we?

We would like to thank Avalon for opening our eyes; TorrentFreak will never be the same again and hopefully that will permit us to stay online. In addition, we would also like to retract our earlier statement where we said that Mr. Avalon was a classic narcissist. That is, if he can please stop asking us to interview him for a feature article on TorrentFreak – the answer is ‘no’.


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