HBO to Adapt the Scathing Tale of the RIAA’s Massive Failure, APPETITE FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION

     November 3, 2009


I’m curious at what point the RIAA figured out it may have been approaching digital downloads from the wrong perspective.  Entrenched in an old business model with a paradigmatic shift bearing down on them like a freight train, the RIAA dug in its heels and tried to sue every American who may or may not have been near a computer that illegally downloaded music.  Instead of trying to find a new business model to capitalize on digital downloads, the RIAA found its money better used by trying to convince people it was smarter to treat all customers like criminals.

Such grand failures are the stuff of great drama and HBO Films will turn that drama into one of their movies by adaptating Steve Knopper’s “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age”.  Hit the jump for details and celebrate that you can download the latest Britney Spears album from the comfort of your home (or you know, whatever music; that’s just an example).

Playwright Victoria Stewart will pen the adaptation of Knopper’s book.  According to THR, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” spans 30 years, beginning with the crash of the disco craze in the late 1970s, through the CD boom in the late 1980s and 1990s, the music industry’s battle with Napster and other free file-sharing online services in the 2000s and the sharp decline in sales of CDs, which have been replaced by digital downloads.

What’s bizarre about the whole RIAA mess is that people, for the most part, weren’t about trying to “stick it to the man”, infringe on copyrights, or were just too cheap to pay for music.  As we’ve seen from the success of iTunes and Amazon and other services, the problem was the limited selection of music in stores, over-priced CDs, and the speed at which you could have your music and have it all in one place.  The adaptation of “Appetite” could serve not only as a large “Ha-ha” directed at the RIAA but as a larger message about the inability to combat major technological innovations and finding a way to utilize them instead.


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