Hilary Rosen resigning from RIAA

Hilary Rosen, who’s been running the RIAA in full defensive paranoid mode since 1988, is finally resigning. Unfortunately, she’s not doing so until end of the year.

During my tenure here, the recording industry has undergone dramatic challenges and it is well positioned for future success. I have been extremely proud to be a part of this industry transition.

Which is odd, since she failed miserably. Rep. Rick Boucher put it this way:

I do not think that she has been a spiritual champion of the industry embracing the internet as a distribution medium. I think the industry clearly needs to do that. It’s the only way that the industry has to compete with peer-to-peer [file-sharing systems].

Jack Valenti, who also doesn’t understand any technology beyond color television and similarly runs the MPAA in full defensive paranoid mode, remarked:

Hilary has been a valiant, brave leader for the U.S. music industry. I confess that I am an ardent admirer of her skills, her tenacity and her integrity. She’ll be a hard act to follow.

I disagree. Her marketing instincts were completely backwards — product-oriented (“ship what’s on the truck”) rather than consumer-oriented (“what do people want?”). She damaged the RIAA’s reputation in ways that will take years to repair. As record sales flagged, she cowardly blamed her customers rather than herself or the economy, and it would not surprise me if she was finally asked to leave.