“Free Delwin”

Quite some time ago I urged radio stations whose listeners were being extorted by the RIAA to invite listeners to contribute to a fund to cover the filesharing fines. End result: You look like a hero to your audience.

Is this encouraging listeners to break the law? I don’t think so. Nobody wants to be sued, no matter who’s picking up the tab. Rather, it’s compensating the record industry’s consumers for the labels’ lack of strategic acumen (a fate their brethren in TV and Movies are rushing to avoid, by the way).

I have yet to hear from a station which has done this. Fear of crossing the labels is a big concern (although the last time a label filled out an Arbitron diary was…let’s see…never).

Cut to…

December, 2005, Princeton University.

Undergrad Delwin Olivan is a criminal, at least according to the RIAA. But his fellow students have rushed to his aid, creating a website called “Free Delwin” aimed at taking donations and selling merchandise to reimburse Delwin for the fines he settled with the RIAA.

The site keeps visitors up to date with Delwin news, provides a “shout” opportunity for supporters, features downloadable flyers, tees for sale, and more.

I’ll repeat what I wrote on this months ago: If you carry the banner for the concerns of your audience you will win their hearts. If your concerns are, instead, with the music industry and its assorted techno-laggards and fear-mongers, you will earn their benign neglect at best and their enmity at worst.

Your choice.

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