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NARM KICKS OFF IN SAN DIEGO
Many Attending Still Awake
NARM's opening session featured a keynote address from RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol. He made it clear that a retailers and labels needed to work more closely together because in his words "We're all in the same boat." Where as most other segments of the industry are reaping multiple revenue streams, such as touring, merchandise, etc, labels and retailers are only making money from sales and sales alone.  He talked extensively about the "perfect storm" over the past five years of increases in broadband availability nationwide and a consumer base that was either blithely unaware of the illegality of file trading or that it was possibly hurting anyone even if they did know it was illegal.  He was strident about the fact that the lawsuits are working, that the education of consumers is on the rise and it was a myth that the music industry was tarnishing its image with consumers because of the lawsuits.  He pointed to the recent Supreme Court decision on Grokster as having "a huge impact on how we are being viewed."  Bainwol said the court could "smell a rat" and that because the court said "The unlawful objective is unmistakable" that consumers now wee more lawsuits as both a "likely and positive outcome of the decision."  And although he said we may have lost the current generation of kids that now have file trading ingrained in their behavior, he believes the next generation is "coming around."  Bainwol also stressed that burning and ripping is now a much bigger problem than P2P file sharing. Bainwol vowed to work more closely with NARM especially in reforming licensing laws to make content more readily available and urged retailers and labels alike to embrace new products such as DualDiscs and in-store kiosks.  And also said that although copy protection in and of itself was not the answer to burning, he believed that we must continue to use the technology as a deterrent.  Newly appointed NARM President Jim Donio kicked off the opening session touting that the convention featured more acts this year than in the last decade.  He also said that next year's confab would be going back to Orlando and that the 2007 convention would be moved back to spring and be held in Chicago (the first time the convention has been there since the first NARM confab in '58).  Columbia's Delta Goodrem and Sugar Hill's Nickel Creek both played sets.
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