No, RIAA, It's Not the End of the World for Musicians

16 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015

Date Written: December 1, 2014


Technological advances threaten established business models. That is Innovation 101. In particular, that is Disruptive Innovation 101, by which revolutionary business models disrupt the status quo, introducing new frameworks that displace demand for the original.

Such an observation plays a large role in explaining why the record labels have called for more expansive copyright protection. Caught flat-footed by the technological revolution unleased by digital distribution and peer-to-peer (P2P) services like Napster, the labels have blamed much of their woe on copyright infringement.

This Article, written for a symposium on music and copyright, rebuts these dire proclamations. It shows that the sky is not falling for musicians. And it shows how innovations in technology have made it easier for musicians to participate in every step of the process: creation (GarageBand), distribution (Twitter, YouTube), marketing (Topspin, Bandcamp), royalty collection (CD Baby Pro, TuneCore), crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo), and touring (Songkick, Bandsintown). The article concludes by highlighting examples of musicians forging stronger connections with their fans.

Keywords: music, musicians, copyright, GarageBand, Twitter, YouTube, Topspin, Bandcamp, CD Baby Pro, TuneCore, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Songkick, Bandsintown

JEL Classification: L82, O31, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Carrier, Michael A., No, RIAA, It's Not the End of the World for Musicians (December 1, 2014). University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Michael A. Carrier (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6380 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

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