Digital Culture

Come on, Ryan….

Well, the copyright/RIAA police have another law to throw at fans: two fans of one of my very favorite artist, Ryan Adams, are currently being prosecuted for leaking a few of the songs off of his album Jacksonville City Lights. This is the first prosecution from the new law that makes it a seperate, distinct crime to leak copyrighted material before the copyright holder does.

So here it is…my plea to Ryan: This is insanity. I can’t imagine that you, the actual author of these works, want these fans to go to jail for potentially 11 years for sharing your music. Pressure your label to drop the suit, apologize for the inconvenience, and let these guys off the hook.

via boingboing

EDIT: Wired also has a followup, with some links to fan site discussions.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

2 replies on “Come on, Ryan….”

The thing is, it’s usually the recording company, not the artist, who is the decision-maker in these things. A lot of these sorts of property rights are “use-it-or-lose-it” – if you don’t prosecute everybody who infringes, you lose the ability to prosecute any of them. In the US, later infringers can use the argument that you didn’t prosecute earlier infringers as a valid defense for infringing. So a lot of these strange seeming cases (prosecutions that seem to be against the artsts’ own interests, SNL fighting against the sort of publicicty that made thei rclips popular to begin with) is because they can’t let specific infringing uses slide without tacitly giving their ok for any later infringements in the eyes of the courts.

I completely understand this.

Which is why I think that the artist themselves should be using alternative licensing schemes like the Creative Commons in order to allow sharing, but non-commercial use, of their works.

I’m suggesting that Ryan step up against his label, and let them know this is a stupid way to maintain a fanbase. I stopped buying Metallica years ago for this very reason…I don’t want to stop buying Ryan as well.

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