Alright, we've been following the RIAA's increasingly frequent affronts to privacy and free speech lately, and it's about time we stopped merely bitching and moaning and did something about it. The RIAA has the power to shift public policy and to alter the direction of technology and the Internet for one reason and one reason alone: it's totally loaded. Without their millions of dollars to throw at lawyers, the RIAA is toothless. They get their money from us, the consumers, and if we don't like the way they're behaving, we can let them know with our wallets.
With that in mind, Gizmodo is declaring the month of March Boycott the RIAA month. We want to get the word out to as many people as humanly possible that we can all send a message by refusing to buy any album put out by an RIAA label. Am I saying you should start pirating music? Not at all. You can continue to support the artists you enjoy and respect in a number of ways.
Firstly, I encourage everyone to purchase music from unsigned bands and bands on independent record labels. There are tons of great artists out there, many of which you're probably already a fan of, that have nothing to do with the RIAA. Buy their records at eMusic, an online store that sells independent tunes in beautiful, DRM-free MP3 format.
Secondly, you can still support RIAA-signed bands without buying their music. Go see them live and buy their merchandise; they get a hell of a lot more money from that then they do from album sales. And hey, you could benefit from getting out more, couldn't you?
If you are unsure whether or not an album is put out by an RIAA label, the handy RIAA Radar will clear everything up for you. They have both a search engine and a great bookmarklet, so be sure to get yourself hooked up.
Let me just reiterate that we are not saying you should stop buying music and start pirating everything. We need to send a message with our wallets to the RIAA, and that message will only be stronger if we show support for musicians without your money making its way to the lawyer fund.
So come on, make next month one to remember. Let's stand together and let the RIAA know that yes, we are paying attention and no, we aren't going to put up with their unethical practices any longer.