Sure, the RIAA
hasn't exactly been on the good side
of the general public
since, oh, this century began, but it sure isn't doing itself any favors with this latest hint of persuasion. While the agency has fought grandmothers, children, and cash-strapped citizens quite vigorously to "ensure artists are getting due payment," it has seemingly opened up a chink in its own armor by pleading with judges to "lower artist royalties." While we fully understand the need to keep pirates at bay, leading us on to believe that the RIAA was actually acting in the (gasp) artist's best interest was dodgy to say the least, as its currently petitioning the panel of federal government Copyright Royalty Judges to "lower the rates paid to publishers and songwriters for the use of lyrics and melodies in applications like cellphone ringtones
and other digital recordings
." The RIAA's executive VP and General Counsel Steven Marks even went so far as to proclaim his hopes that rates would be reevaluated so "record companies
can continue to create the sound recordings that drive revenues for music publishers." We're surely not ones to judge a man's character (nor an album by its jacket), but it doesn't seem that the dear ole musicians are really the ones atop the RIAA's list of concerns
, now does it?