updated 03:25 pm EST, Fri December 21, 2007
RIAA Fake Video News
The Recording Industry Association of America may be turning to artificial news segments to drive Internet users away from file sharing and other bootleg copies, says a tip provided to Ars Technica. The group, which primarily represents major music labels, is said to have produced a fake news clip -- known in the industry as a video news release -- that it hopes TV stations will use to fill gaps in the networks' news shows and effectively promote its own agenda.
The full video includes disclaimers about the actual source of the clip but is not required to be part of the segment and may lead viewers to believe that the piece was made by a given broadcaster as an informative effort rather than marketing, according to the source.
The clip propagates common stereotypes of the risks of pirated material, including warnings about potentially unscrupulous dealers as well as concerns over audio quality and the risk of legal action. However, the video also points directly to digital music stores and ringtone services, specifically highlighting Apple's iTunes Store and its gift cards as one solution to illegal copies.
The video is reportedly being distributed to numerous large US cities beginning with Dallas, Texas and is timed to coincide with a RIAA anti-piracy campaign that is running at the same time during the holidays.