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Judge Rules Kazaa Distributors Can't Sue Labels 32

Posted by timothy
from the tripping-on-the-burglar-alarm dept.
evenprime writes "Sharman Networks tried to file an antitrust lawsuit against record labels and movie studios. They alleged that the companies forced piracy to occur by conspiring to keep authorized and copy-protected versions of their songs and movies off Kazaa. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson just dismissed Sharman's claims."
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Judge Rules Kazaa Distributors Can't Sue Labels

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  • by morcheeba (260908) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:02PM (#6400776) Journal
    This article [washingtonpost.com] talks about a group of small webcasters is threating to sue the RIAA for antitrust violations. They feel the royalty agreement favors only big webcasters and is being used as a stick to drive out the smaller ones.
  • by rumpledstiltskin (528544) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:03PM (#6400784) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, they ought to consider suing their council for legal malpractice. I can't believe they would waste time with such an absurd argument. It's a silly argument, and the only thing it does is serve to postpone the final showdown. If it is indeed a delaying action, well, it's not the best way to do it, as it only weakens Sharman's credibility. &nbspMaking silly arguments doesn't strengthen your position; it only makes you a laughingstock *cough*SCO*cough*

    Sharman had best get its ass in gear if they don't want to end up being the next napster.
    • by Ieshan (409693) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nahsei)> on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:34PM (#6400985) Homepage Journal
      I think it's a good idea.

      The people downloading music are of two types: the computer literate and the mostly ignorant masses.

      Computer literate folks are likely to be following the cases and have some degree of knowledge about the latest DRM legislation. Most of you all know how the cases are going, you read them every day on slashdot.

      Most of everyone doesn't. When the RIAA says: "Don't do this, it's against the law!", and it gets reported in the national media, people will stop downloading. It has nothing to do with whether or not they're right, they have media control, so they can change the opinion of the public. KaZaA et al. can only gain media attention by being sensationalist, and they generate press coverage this way.

      Here's the crux of the "generate press coverage" arguement: most people tend to ignore the correction of information. Told a statistic, you will likely go on believing that statistic even if you are later alerted to the fact it's false. Since KaZaA can't generate "real" positive press coverage, it has to resort to this type of marketing.

      No one will hear that the judge says KaZaA can't sue. Everyone will hear that KaZaA says it's doing the right thing by making music available. That's the point. It weakens their arguments to the small group of tech-elite, and widens their appeal to the masses.
      • Most of everyone doesn't. When the RIAA says: "Don't do this, it's against the law!", and it gets reported in the national media, people will stop downloading.
        Then how come music downloading has gone up since they threatened to start suing people?
        All people, not just the computer literate, don't like being told what or what not to do.
  • by Flwyd (607088) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:11PM (#6400846) Homepage
    Thieves sued banks for forcing robbery to occur by not giving away free money.
    • "Thieves sued banks for forcing robbery to occur by not giving away free money. "

      I know you're being funny, but the metaphor bugs me a bit. It doesn't bug me because of how you wrote it or what you're saying, but because it sort of resembles arguments that Jack Valenti has made on this topic. "Nobody would complain if gas stations used a stronger lock to protect their gas."

      It'd be more like "A number of bank customers were arrested today because they took a crowbar to an ATM and duplicated cash that f
  • by Mensa Babe (675349) on Wednesday July 09, 2003 @12:22PM (#6400917) Homepage Journal

    "They alleged that the [record labels and movie studios] forced piracy to occur by conspiring to keep authorized and copy-protected versions of their songs and movies off Kazaa." (emphasis added)

    Of course. I am sure that without this so called "conspiracy" (quote and quote) Kazaa users would post "copy-protected" songs and movies, which no one would be able to copy whatsoever. Of course, that is exactly what would happen --- people would share unplayable media and everyone would be happy.

    • You misspelled superior. My personal observances on the subject of intelligence show that people who brandish their "smarts" are frequently all talk. Notice the correct usage of quotes.

      As for software piracy and copy protection, protected media can be broken, as proven this classic event some time back: http://news.com.com/2100-1023-274721.html ... and events like it. This site demonstrates why there is such a problem with piracy and why it will continue into the future: http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatsw
  • Jokes aside... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @08:13PM (#6411251) Journal
    This doesn't count as quite so laughable a claim as many have suggested.

    Consider the following three situations:

    1) You buy a new CD. You go to listen to it in your car, only to discover that it won't play, since most audio CD players actually use CD-ROM drives that have difficulty (by design of the CD, not the player) reading copy-protected (ie, "broken") audio CDs. Solution? Download the album, of which you legally own a copy, and burn it to a non-broken CD.

    2) You buy a new CD. Since you listen to 99% of your music while sitting at your computer, you just keep it all as Ogg files on your HDD. This shiny new 12cm hunk of plastic won't play on your PC, nor can you rip it to ogg. So, you download off the net, for personal use only, an already-ripped-and-encoded version of the album you have a legal right to listen to.

    3) You purchased a copy-protected CD a year ago, and while you usually make backups of all your CDs, for obvious reasons you could not do so in this case. Your dog eats that CD. Not wanting (or legally needing) to purchase the same CD again, you download a copy of the CD off the net.


    All COMPLETELY LEGAL reasons to "pirate" music off a service such as Kazaa. And, they all reflect the exact argument made in this case - That, if not for the annoying copy protection that renders a nice new CD nothing more than a round hunk of plastic and foil so far as your PC cares, such people would not have needed to download that music in the first place.

    Does this describe the most common reasons to "pirate" music? That depends. A hit-of-the-week by the latest boy-or-girl pop group, probably not. For anything else, I don't consider one of the above (or some other similar and legal scenario) as all that unlikely.
    • ITs not to far off from what I do. But the honst truth is we are the bad guy.

      We realize that yes these are legaly right reasons to download music, but what the RIAA would rather you have done was buy another CD, or listen to it in a non cd-rom player.

      They dont like the fact that we, are too smart for our own good so they are going to argue that said laws dont apply because 9 time out of 10 the judge WONT realize that they are twisting the law, he will go with who makes the better argument and even if he'

    • Technicalitys aside, p2p is here to stay. The RIAA is trying very hard to stop computer users from "pirating music". They believe (the RIAA) that people downloading music are taking from the money that is rightfully their's. My question is that, why music cost's so much in the first place. CD's are much cheaper to press then a cassete is to make, even at the conception of CD's. So why do CD's cost more. The record company's have mnay excuses, none valid though. All the legal talk going around about c

  • They have a distribution channel of 100M sites. They should beam down all sorts of stuff explaining why what the users are doing is right.

    Possible arguments:

    a) Making a copy of a song does not deprive the artist of anything. They have all of their assets and all of their goods and all of their money. You don't take anything from the music company. The music companies are just saying that they have a right to take your money whenever you talk about an artist.

    b) Since music companies want you to pay whe

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