Cringely’s $2-Million Plan to Destroy the RIAA
From the NetSurfer Digest newsletter
“Robert X. Cringely can usually be counted on for a good read, and his July 24 effort ranks among his best. As we noted last issue, the RIAA is going after individual music downloaders, and Cringely remarks that the music labels, “fat, rich, and having everything to lose,” are trying mightily to bend culture to their will. His answer: a $2-million startup that he calls Son of Napster, or Snapster. Cleverly, Snapster rests on a solid foundation of US copyright law.
Snapster investors are owners of the company, which purchases one retail copy of every music CD on the market. The company owns these CDs, therefore the investors do, too. and under fair use provisions, the investors are thus permitted to make back-up copies of all or part of that content. With a business model of charging five cents per back-up and selling shares, Snapster seems like a valid proposition. If it takes off, RIAA will go absolutely rabid. Of course, some argue that they already have. Since the original piece, Cringeley has written a followup tweaking his plan and documenting reader reaction.