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Music Media Your Rights Online

RIAA Now Targets Pirates' Parents 1098

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it-just-gets-wierder-and-wierder dept.
cecil36 writes "In a follow-up to the subpoena silliness by the RIAA, the Associated Press is now reporting that the RIAA is now issuing subpoenas to family members of suspected online music swappers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA Now Targets Pirates' Parents

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  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aridhol (112307) <ka_lac@hotmail.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:10PM (#6525306) Homepage Journal
    The subpoenas are going to the owners of the computers, as these are the ones who can be found. From the article:
    Since Boggs used her roommates' Internet account, the roommates' name and address were being turned over to music industry lawyers.
    Your computer belongs to you. What happens with that computer is your responsibility. It should be apparent, but for some reason it isn't to most people.
    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BoomerSooner (308737) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:12PM (#6525332) Homepage Journal
      Sure, you let a friend use your handgun for target practice and he shoots the cashier. Why wouldn't you be guilty. Oh wait, you wouldn't.
      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aridhol (112307) <ka_lac@hotmail.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:14PM (#6525374) Homepage Journal
        If nothing else, the investigation would land on your doorstep when they discovered that the weapon belongs to you. They'd subpoena your weapon, and it would be up to you to show evidence that you didn't kill the cashier, 'cause they already have evidence that you did.
        • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

          by el-spectre (668104) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:18PM (#6525442) Journal
          No, they have evidence that the gun killed the cashier, that's it. While it is more likely that you did it than the other 6 billion people on the planet, this isn't enough evidence to arrest, much less convict.

          Also, it is NEVER up to the accused to prove innocence, in a legal sense (in the U.S., excluding military trials)
          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

            by aridhol (112307) <ka_lac@hotmail.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:21PM (#6525497) Homepage Journal
            it is NEVER up to the accused to prove innocence
            If there is enough evidence that says you did it, you have to prove that the evidence is incorrect. Yes, you are innocent until proven guilty, but enough circumstantial evidence can prove guilt incorrectly.
            • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:27PM (#6525593)
              If there is enough evidence that says you did it, you have to prove that the evidence is incorrect.

              In that situation you only need to refute the evidence. You still do not have to prove that you did NOT commit the crime, just find flaws in the argument that claims you definitely did.
            • Re:Of course (Score:5, Informative)

              by DarthWiggle (537589) <sckiwi@gmaiMENCKENl.com minus author> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:45PM (#6525857) Journal
              And in a civil case, you just have to show liability ("guilt") by a preponderance of the evidence, which means, roughly, a better than 50/50 chance that your side is right.
              • Re:Of course (Score:3, Interesting)

                by psxndc (105904)
                liability is more closely defined as "at fault" or "responsible", not "guilt". If I slip on your sidewalk, you are liable for damages incurred to me. You are not guilty of them, but they are your fault/you are responsible for them.

                From dictionary.com:

                liable \Li"a*ble\ (l[imac]"[.a]*b'l), a. [From F. lier to bind, L. ligare. Cf. Ally, v. t., Ligature.] 1. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable; as, the surety is liable for the debt of his principal.

                -psxndc

            • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

              by fucksl4shd0t (630000) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#6526001) Homepage Journal

              If there is enough evidence that says you did it, you have to prove that the evidence is incorrect. Yes, you are innocent until proven guilty, but enough circumstantial evidence can prove guilt incorrectly.

              Technical differences make all the difference here.

              To be convicted, iirc, a jury has to vote unanimously that you are guilty. In order to do that, every jurist is required to vote guilty only when they have absolutely no doubts that you did it. If they have any doubt at all, they are required to vote innocent.

              Therefore, your defense only has to cause a reasonable doubt in the mind of one juror. You do not have to prove innocence, you only have to show that there are other people who may be just as guilty with the same evidence, or something like that.

              It is the burden of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt, and if they can't do that (because you loaned your weapon to someone during the time in question, even if they can't prove he did it), then you are acquitted.

              • Re:Of course (Score:3, Informative)

                In order to do that, every jurist is required to vote guilty only when they have absolutely no doubts that you did it. If they have any doubt at all, they are required to vote innocent.

                Not actually true. IANAL, but as I recall it, the burden of proof in a criminal case is "beyond a reasonable doubt", not "beyond any doubt". Cases have been won or lost on the strength of circumstantial evidence, although direct evidence is, of course, considered good.

                Incidentally, I seem to recall civil cases (like co
              • Re:Of course (Score:3, Informative)

                by Jboy_24 (88864)
                It is the burden of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt, and if they can't do that (because you loaned your weapon to someone during the time in question, even if they can't prove he did it), then you are acquitted.

                This is really a red herring, if the person who was killed was in some way related to you, if you were seen threatening the person .. etc etc etc, then even though you gave your gun to someone else, you still could found guilty if they don't belive that you gave it away.
          • Re:Of course (Score:5, Informative)

            by DJ Rubbie (621940) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:48PM (#6525889) Homepage Journal
            Of course, the evidence. This [macopinion.com] is what happens when someone innocent is framed for violating IP rights if DRM and government big brother monitoring becomes successful. Although it is old (2001), it is a good read and strangely fits into this event.

            I actually attached this link to the parent article, but I think it fits here better.
          • by scovetta (632629) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:50PM (#6525918) Homepage
            Except in the case of the DMCA/RIAA. Then we're all guilty as sin. Period.
          • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mazesoft (223178)
            In a legal sense, for Criminal cases, you are innocent until proven guilty.

            In a civil case, such as DRM and copyright cases, the case is brought because they already have circumstantial evidence, and both sides are equally required to prove/disprove said evidence.
      • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

        Except if your friend is a minor. Then your arse is most certainly on the line.
      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pbox (146337) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:21PM (#6525495) Journal
        But of course you should. If you demand the right to own a firearm, please note that it should come with very heavy penalties for letting it out of your control. You should be automatically found a compliance and be forced to stand trial along with your murderous buddy.

        We don't need gun control, but we need to extend the circle of repsonsibility and impose severe punishements for gun mishanding. This would be a better way, me thinks.
        • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gantzm (212617)
          Be very carefull where you go with this line of reasoning. If someone stole your car and ran over 14 young innocent children in the playground, should you be held responsible for not "securing" your car?

          If someone steals your cell phone and calls in a bomb threat to the whitehouse, are you responsible?

          If you answer 'no' the above questions, then why are firearms any different?

          • Re:Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pbox (146337)
            If I let my friend use my car, and he runs over 14 children I will be sued. I will lose. I will have my life ruined. Select your friends, and let them borrow your car only if needed.

            If your car is stolen, it is your responsibility to report it stolen. Your cellpone as well (you can even get it cancelled, when you report it). This argument stands even more so for guns. If you don't know where your gun is, why do you have it the first place. Install trigger locks, and keep the key separately. Store them in l
      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DarthWiggle (537589) <sckiwi@gmaiMENCKENl.com minus author> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:40PM (#6525805) Journal
        Actually, you might not be guilty of the criminal act of murder, but you might very well be civilly liable for negligent supervision or some other negligence with respect to control and operation of the firearm.

        Torts primer:

        All torts have five elements, a duty owed, a breach of the duty, causation between duty and harm, any harm caused, and any defenses.

        A parent who owns a computer might have a duty to supervise her children to ensure that the child doesn't cause a harm (copyright infringement, harassment, etc.), in the same way that a parent who owns a gun might have a duty to superviser her children to ensure that they don't shoot someone in the face.

        Now, where things get screwy is in the damages caused. If the negligently supervised kid shoots someone in the face, the survivors ("heirs", though that's not the right term) of the deceased might be able to sue for that negligence. Maybe they'd win $1,000,000 out of the negligent parent's homeowners insurance policy, or something of the sort. The problem is that even if you can show that the parent has a duty to the RIAA to ensure that the child doesn't use the instrumentality (computer) to cause harm, that the parent failed to do so, and that the failure to supervise then CAUSED (very important word) some quantifiable harm to the company/organization, it's hard for me to understand the dollar amounts attached to these lawsuits.

        But that argument's been rehashed a thousand times. I just wanted to give a little primer on how the parents could be implicated in the wrongful acts of their children.

        (IANAL...Y) (figure it out)
    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quixadhal (45024) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:16PM (#6525398) Homepage Journal
      Yup, just like if someone breaks into your house and uses your (legally registered) gun to kill your family, you should go to jail since you are responsible for the firearm.

      IANAL, but I think there's a lesser crime involving negligence, with which you should be charged... not the multiple murder raps the person doing the killing should get. Likewise, the RIAA shouldn't be able to sue you if someone else uses your computer to break the law... but since you are an unknowing accomplise, perhaps you should get a (smaller!) fine of some time?
      • Re:Of course (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        IAAL - so for the 500th time I will mention here - this is civil law versus criminal. Here RIAA is filing lawsuits for violation of copyright. And it is called deep pockets - if I am a typical filthy trial lawyer, I sue everyone, knowing that even if say the infringer is 90% guilty, but the computer owner is 10% guilty, I can enforce the entire judgement against the owner. That is the state of law today.

        That's why you see these huge lawsuits in cases like drunk driving for example. They'll sue the driver,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:11PM (#6525319)
    IN JAIL.
  • by Burlynerd (535250) * on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:11PM (#6525320)
    What an excellent way for a rotten, rebellious brat to get his parents in trouble for spanking him!
  • by sharky611aol.com (682311) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:15PM (#6525383)
    ...if it don't bling-bling.

    This just goes to show you that this has nothing to do with "intellectual property" and everything to do with money. Of course they can't go after kids, so they're going to go after their parents, who, in most cases, have no idea what their kids are doing on the Internet.

    I'll offer up my family as an example. My parents are fairly clueless when it comes to anything remotely technological. My youngest sister, on the other hand, can find damned near any song she wants online. (Note: I'm not implying that this equals any level of computer competency, but not bad for a nine-year-old).

    Last time I went home, my lil' sis had about 500 songs shared on Kazaa til I un-sharified them. I can guaran-damn-tee you that my parents have absolutely no idea about this, and now the R*AA is going to be suing folks like my parents?

    Let the backlash begin. We'll be the whip.

    • I suppose the legal argument is that as a 9-year-old, she is under the supervision of her parents, cannot be sued individually, and so ultimately her legal guardians are responsible for "losses" she caused.

      The political reality is that this is legal harassment by the RIAA, but it's "legal" legal harassment, if you get my meaning, and while it may cost them a fair bit of money to get going, that (a) goes to show how much money they must believe they are losing, and (b) is probably going to be quite effecti

  • by DJ Rubbie (621940) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:15PM (#6525390) Homepage Journal
    Although this is fictional, the events of this story [macopinion.com] is already happening now.
  • RIAA: You're my father's Brother's Uncle's Sister's Roommate's Cousin.

    Dude: What's that make me?

    RIAA: Nothing, but we're suing you anyway.

  • 3 Things (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) * <teamhasnoi@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:17PM (#6525425) Homepage Journal
    The recording industry said Pate's daughter was offering songs by Billy Idol, Missy Elliot, Duran Duran, Def Leppard and other artists. Pate said that he never personally downloaded music and that he so zealously respects copyrights that he does not videotape movies off cable television channels.

    First of all, Pate is fully within his rights to videotape movies off cable! It's called Fair Use!

    The fact that he 'zealously respects copyrights' only means that he is misinformed, and most likely has been taken in by **IA propaganda that would lead you to believe that there is no Fair Use.

    Secondly, I am looking forward to several things: The death of CD sales and painful realization of the RIAA that they are going down. The explosion of indi artists and methods of distribution, and no more focus-group artists!

    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, let the 80's die a noble quick death, not a lingering bedridden death like the 70's. Ironic that I would say that, as I played in a 80's cover band, friends don't let friends share Def Leppard.

  • by sulli (195030) * on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:17PM (#6525434) Journal
    you insensitive clod!
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:20PM (#6525478) Homepage Journal
    The RIAA is demonstrating it's power, right? I think the consumers should demonstrate back. Here's what you do:

    - Pick a day.

    - On that day, everybody buys a CD. Doesn't matter which, though a newly released highly publiscized CD would be preferable. (Like the newest Spears album or something.)

    - DO NOT OPEN THE CD.

    - On the following day, return the CDs for a refund. Assuming the store will take back unopened CDs.

    If a significant number of money is passed and then refunded, it'd be hard for the retailers not to take notice. I'd be surprised if that info didn't bubble up to the RIAA. If enough money moves, the RIAA will have a pretty good idea that this type of action will cause them to endure losses.

    I personally have $100 I'd be willing to pump into this right now this second if I knew other people would be participating too.
    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:46PM (#6525871)
      everybody buys a CD...DO NOT OPEN THE CD...On the following day, return the CDs for a refund.

      Try your best to do this with a copy protected CD and maybe kill two birds with one stone in the process.

  • by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:21PM (#6525486)
    Over the coming months this may be the Internet's equivalent of shock and awe, the stunning discovery by music fans across America that copyright lawyers can pierce the presumed anonymity of file-sharing, even for computer users hiding behind nicknames such as "hottdude0587" or "bluemonkey13."
    Does this mean there will be heavy civilian casualties, lots of property damage an eventually guerilla warfare with nothing much gained?
  • sounding familiar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stagl (569675) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:21PM (#6525488) Homepage
    why does sound so much like the infamous (not for positive reasons) "war on drugs".

    i feel like this will never end, and there will never be any resolution with the current approach at stopping file sharing.

    what's the classic line? "the tighter you grip the more that slips through your fingers"

  • Ack! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fluxrad (125130) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:24PM (#6525544) Homepage
    The recording industry said Pate's daughter was offering songs by Billy Idol, Missy Elliot, Duran Duran, Def Leppard and other artists

    She shouldn't be fined for pirating music. She should be fined for her taste in music.
  • by eclectic4 (665330) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:24PM (#6525549)
    I would suggest listening to other music. Indie lables and the like.

    I'll be honest, it's gotten to the point where the alternative labels are putting out better music anyway.

    I remember when music was fun. When music was an entertainment "entity". We made cassette tapes for each other profusely, and we loved it. We went to concerts, bought tapes by the trunk load, watched MTV, etc... it was pure entertainment... fun. It was as if the record companies knew that this was just "how it is". I bought more music during my Napster days that I had in the previous 7 years. It was like a re-introduction to the music "thang", the music "culture" if you will that seemed to become far less fun over the years

    And then... *sigh*. The DMCA, the RIAA, attacking customers, bringing them to court, etc... I don't know about you, but to think this helps business you would have to be one of two things:

    1. Completely disconnected with your customer base and what makes your business flourish, and will never entertain that the problems are due to their own shortcomings (bad music, horrible radio payoffs for even worse music, realizing that attacking your own customers is bad (sheesh, do I even have to say that?) etc...) or

    2. A minion that is just giving us another example of greed run amok, plain to see by it's customers.

    In either case, I think they are literally only going to make it worse for themselves.

    Insensitive clods.
    • Well, HERE (Google Cache) [216.239.39.104]'s the list from the RIAA's website. I'm sorry to see that 4AD which is an indie label (or at least used to be: Breeders, Belly, Pixies, Cocteau Twins) is at the top of the list.

      1500 Records
      333 Music
      4AD Records
      4th & Broadway
      5 Minute Walk
      510 Records
      550 Music
      550/Fox
      57 Records
      A Vision/Teldec
      A&E Latin Music
      (...rest cut to avoid lameness filter...)

      so exactly, what is an indie label? Maybe they should start putting stickers on CDs that say: "NO RIAAA INSIDE"?
  • by Faeton (522316) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:27PM (#6525601) Homepage Journal
    ... nothing is more powerful than "I'm gonna tell your dad!" - Chris Rock
  • Missing quotes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by verloren (523497) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:29PM (#6525643)
    A couple of choice quotes:

    A father of a file-sharer said "I don't think anybody knew this was illegal, just a way to get some music."

    They missed the rest of the quote "...without paying anyone for it, just, you know, for free, like when I go shopping at Target without paying. That's not illegal, right?"

    "In Charleston, W.Va., college student Amy Boggs said she quickly deleted more than 1,400 music files on her computer after the AP told her she was the target of a subpoena. Boggs said she sometimes downloaded dozens of songs on any given day, including ones by Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, Incubus and Busta Rhymes."

    missing the bit where she said "...But you won't tell anyone about that, right? Or that I was born on July 24th, 1981, OK?"

    Cheers, Paul
  • by slagdogg (549983) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:32PM (#6525689)
    Wow, the effects have been brutal ... I snapped a pic of one of those affected at lunch today:

    Click Here [derekslager.com]
  • by StevenMaurer (115071) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#6525713) Homepage
    I have been following this story with some interest, and I am still wondering how much of this story is real, and how much is so much legal FUD.

    Consider: Even assuming that the RIAA proves some kid (or even his parents) has made one of their copyrighted songs available for download, how do they prove that anyone other than the copyright holder actually downloaded it?

    Even assuming that they did, how do they then go show that the person who downloaded it actually turned the song into a sailable format? (MP3s are not the same quality as WAVs - how would this substandard quality be factored in?)

    Even if someone did, presumably at most they'd be liable for the proportional cost of the song off the CD. Would the Judge give them credit for anyone who downloaded the song and then decided to buy the CD?

    Understand that I am perfectly aware that the present U.S. political system has a strongly plutocratic component (e.g. the rich get to buy the laws they want), but I still think there are a lot more hurdles the RIAA most cross before they can start collecting that absurd "$15,000 per song" that's being bandied about in the articles about this.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:17PM (#6526270) Journal
      Since some people have mentioned the war on drugs I am going to do the same.

      When the police do a sting operation with an undercover agent doing a buy, they do not have to prove that any sale was made to a non-police agent. The single sale is enough.

      Neither do they care about the purity of drugs. It could be 99% ground glass. The copyinng of copyrighted music is forbidden, nothing said about the quality. Imagine of this held for other crimes. Yes youre honor I stole that car, but it was a piece of shit.

      I am afraid that from there on youre arguments go into fantasy land. Courts are not nice places in wich you can ask the judge to play nice. Do they care that a drug dealer uses his earnings to support his family? No. Same with this. Amy arguments about the harms of filesharing must ultimatly made in two places, the supreme courts who would check it against the constitution or with the lawmakers who can change the laws.

      BTW I am not at all behind the RIAA, I would like to see them killed by some crazy guntoting yanks but I feel it is important for people to face reality as it is now.

  • If they do sue you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evets (629327) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:38PM (#6525774) Homepage Journal
    then you have the right to subpoena any of the artists that you are accused of sharing. Put them on the stand and ask them if they support the RIAA's suing of their customers. Ask them how much money they have lost because of file sharing. Ask them every question under the sun. Take up as much time as possible for each artist. If each Metallica member has to spend 2 days in court for every person they sue, then maybe they'll just shut their pie holes and be grateful for what their fans have given them.
    • by geekee (591277) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:07PM (#6527319)
      " then you have the right to subpoena any of the artists that you are accused of sharing. Put them on the stand and ask them if they support the RIAA's suing of their customers. Ask them how much money they have lost because of file sharing. Ask them every question under the sun. Take up as much time as possible for each artist. If each Metallica member has to spend 2 days in court for every person they sue, then maybe they'll just shut their pie holes and be grateful for what their fans have given them."

      First, the artists aren't the copyright holders. The labels are. If you put a record exec on the stand, he'll say he supports the RIAA's action, that's what he pays them for. Second, it's doubtful you can convince a judge that it's necessary to force these witnesses to appear in court in the 1st place, since they have no relevant testimony to the case.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:40PM (#6525795) Homepage
    Could you show up for the subpoena, say, "Anyone who wants to can use my IP address. I don't keep track of who and when. I do not pirate music, and I do not know who was using my IP address at the time the music was pirated. I will be happy to remove any offending files and software I can find on my computer (if indeed the IP address was being used by my computer at the time), and I will continue to let anyone use my IP address. This time I'm going to be nice and not sue you for this blatantly false allegation. Next time I won't be so friendly, so please be sure to identify the human, not the IP address that is breaking the law, and have credible witnesses."

    Are you allowed to withhold evidence that would implicate another person in a civil trial? If the RIAA asked you, while you were on the stand, for a list of all the people who have been in your house in the past month, could you say, "blow me."? It would seem that these facts do not directly relate to the charge that you did or did not pirate the songs. Can you be forced to testify in a civil trial or only in criminal trials?
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:42PM (#6525827)
    Father: What's that on your computer, son?

    17-year-old-son: Some movies of barely legal teens doing everything with barnyard animals that I downloaded off the Internet.

    Father: Thank God it's not MP3s. For a moment I'd thought you'd really gotten us in trouble there.

  • Check this site out (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:43PM (#6525844) Journal
    Alot of people have idea's that they should 'boycott' the RIAA buy not buying CD's or buying them and returning them, or even buying from indie artists, but they all ask the same question: Who are RIAA members? Well I'd like to point you you this page [boycott-riaa.com] which gives you a nice list of all the labels.
  • Read the article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nochops (522181) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:49PM (#6525900)
    First of all the RIAA did not target people's parents. The RIAA is targetting the ISP's account holders, which is perfectly logical.

    Second of all, the parent who was notified that their child was subpoened was NOT notified by the RIAA. They were notified by the Associated Press.

    It says right there in the article that the RIAA didn't even know that people like the AP could get hold of that type of information.

    So yeah, the RIAA is bad and evil, and so is Microsoft, and SCO and the other flavors of the month, but at least read the article before you comment, so you can get your facts right.
  • by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:50PM (#6525920) Homepage
    If I was holding shares in one or more RIAA companies, I'd be livid right now!

    How does it make business sense to sue music downloaders (let alone their parents or roomates). One would assume that they are downloading music because they would like to hear the songs. Do you suppose they still would be so eager to hear the music once it has cost them $15,000 in fines?

    The internet is a possible gold mine for the RIAA and the MPAA. iTunes has proven that, unlike the lies currently spread by RIAA, there are thousands of people eagerly awaiting a chance to legally download digital songs over the internet, and to pay for them to boot! Of course these people are going to turn to illegal methods to get what they want if there's no other way TO GET WHAT THEY WANT.

    Here's a little business tip for the RIAA member companies:

    -- millions of people are downloading songs you hold the copyright to

    -- most of them realize this is illegal

    -- they want these songs bad enough that they are willing to overlook the illegality of what they are doing

    -- they have shown that, when offered with reasonable alternatives (i.e. terms of use offered through iTunes), they are willing to shell out money to get what they are currently getting for free

    GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT!!

    Instead, what do they do? Sue the users. Bravo.
  • Boycotting CDs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scovetta (632629) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6525976) Homepage
    I figure that the majority of /. users aren't buying many CDs, but shouldn't someone organize some sort of a protest against the RIAAs actions? Speak to the artists themselves-- Just about every news story has an almost obligatory reference to a possible "backlash" from consumers. Well consumers are cattle, they're not going to think on their own. I haven't bought a CD in probably 2 years or so, but I think a little effort would hit the RIAA pretty hard. Otherwise, we're all just targets, some just a little larger than others. Mike
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:54PM (#6525988) Homepage Journal
    Sixty million Americans share files via peer to peer networks. That's more Americans than voted for George Bush. Why don't you just change the law?

    Copyright is not a Constitutional right - the Constitution gives Congress the power to create copyright but does not require it to do so. Copyright could be ended tomorrow if Congress just passed a bill that repealed it.

    The following are links to sections of my new article that explains the steps you can take to make file sharing legal:

    If you agree with what I have to say and feel as I do that it's important for others to hear it, please consider linking my article from your weblog or emailing the link to other people who might benefit from it.

    • You are horribly deluded if you think it takes merely a few disgruntled geeks to change something. Please remember that politicians in the US get paid by all kinds of lobbying groups, including the RIAA and everyone else. Even your donations won't change one damn thing. Neither will speaking out, voting, or practicing civil disobedience (though the latter one will rightly get you thrown in jail).

      Average people (the ones who decide the election) usually don't give a shit about anything other than taxes a
  • by henele (574362) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:01PM (#6526076) Homepage
    1) Collect data on kid's music tastes.
    2) Send letters to parents with check box mail order system, or maybe a list of local shops which sell the content.
    3) Profit?
  • Smugness Factor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pongo000 (97357) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:01PM (#6526078)
    So there you sit, all smug, shaking your head at these really stupid people who would have the gall to share copyrighted stuff on the net. You don't do P2P, so it's Someone Else's Problem. They deserve what they get.

    So think about this the next time you're perusing your favorite porn site, or maybe if you don't do porn, a fan club site. Hell, it doesn't really matter: Any site will do, as long as you are downloading content.

    Are you sure that content isn't copyright-protected? Are you sure that the content provider isn't sharing something (lesbo pictures, glamour shots, whatever) that they themselves don't have a right to share? What a surprise it will be when the local constable shows up at your door with a subpoena in hand, listing all the times you accessed www.analdestruction.com, how long you spent on the site, and what your browser downloaded, all courtesy of Comcast or some other ISP provider who really doesn't give a shit about your privacy. How will you explain that one to your wife? Or your buddies at work? Or the judge?

    This "rape and plunder" tactic that the RIAA is taking is just the tip of the iceberg. As ISPs get jaded to serving up your IP/MAC information on a routine basis, your surfing habits will become easy prey for anyone with a grudge. Thanks to the RIAA, they are spending all the money necessary to establish legal precedence in this area, and to basically pave the way for anyone to start their own little money-making venture.

    If you surf the web, you are vulnerable, because I seriously doubt you check the copyright status of each and every piece of content you download. So wipe that smug smile off your face, because it's just a matter of time before your IP shows up on a federal subpoena.

    This isn't an issue of whether or not some morons sharing stuff that isn't theirs deserve what they get. Nor is it Someone Else's Problem. It's your problem, my problem, and everyone's problem. The madness needs to stop.
  • of course lets put.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by linuxislandsucks (461335) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:02PM (#6526104) Homepage Journal
    Of course let sput the pople who give an allowance to teenagers to buy our music..from the RIAA is stupdi dept

    So what happens when all the music buyers are in jail to RIAA profits?

    give u a hint..your in the jungle baby and you're goin' to dieeee....
  • by pickity (453900) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:05PM (#6526132) Homepage Journal
    As if music sales aren't getting worse as it is, the RIAA is only hurting itself and its artists with this move.

    As the article states:

    "If they end up picking on individuals who are perceived to be grandmothers or junior high students who have only downloaded in isolated incidents, they run the risk of a backlash."

    Run the risk? I'm sorry, but they just created even more backlash by mearly mentioning the POSSIBILITY of going after these individuals.

    How can they possibly go after the parents of children who are downloading music illegally? Most parents have no clue what P2P applications are, what they do, and what kids are using them for. If your son or daughter steals a CD from a store, you don't get fined for it, your child takes the blame. And even then, in most cases, the child involved pays a small fine and are left up to the parent's discipline. Sometimes the penalty can be community service, or juvinial court. At this point it's less risky to steal physical media than it is to steal digital work from the comfort of your own home....

    Once again the RIAA is throwing their weight around, and once again the DMCA is burning people who don't deserve the law on their backs. I'm sure this type of action scares some, but it also makes many others want to buy less and share more just to stick it to "the man."
  • by leoaugust (665240) <leoaugust AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:08PM (#6526172) Journal

    written with a little poetic licence - maybe this will be a catharisis, and I will feel much better after all the emotional dump is made ....

    I think this is one of the watershed moments of our generation, and these moments seem to come in cycles. A lot of forces are converging that shall give our generation a chance to have a revolution of its own - rather than just reading about the old ones in history or seeing them on TV. We must heed the bugle and assemble of our own accord, to wage a war, and the side we choose shall decide our fate, as the wheels of excess come crashing down on the unreasonable. So, be reasonable, and look at what your side is asking in sacrifice and compare it to what they provide in return.

    And when you look at the other side and see the lawmakers and the Corporations lined up against you, don't be surprised. The lawmakers are in the pockets of the corporations that line their pockets. Campaign Donations Sway Lawmakers' Votes [yahoo.com] So, the adversary is definitely formidable. And there is no other choice but to uproot them completely and totally, for their nexus has corrupted the system down to its core.

    Some have already sold their soul, and for them the choice no longer exists. For the millions of others the day to make the choice is approaching soon. For about a 1000 the day of making the choice has approached. Will all of them be divided and individually be chopped to pieces, or will they recognize that providence has brought them together under a single banner - and now they must stick together, serve as the nucleus of this revolution, and even as the coalesce together, pull in together the millions of others who when presented with two choices will choose to join the "1000 Nodes of Light."

    If the 1000 start by contributing 10 cents for each song on their harddrive today (instead of the $750 to $150,000 that they may be liable to pay the RIAA some sunny day) I am sure enough money can be collected to buy the materials like server space, paper, printing, postage needed to run their war. Then what is needed is time from volunteers which can be solicited from some in the 1000. If this movement has sticking power, then I am sure people like slashdotters would not mind volunteering. And then if there are enough volunteers, the broader population might even choose to support with their cents and dollars.

    The money should be spread out to counterattack all the 12-24 lawyers of the RIAA, and drag them into a battle over the very nature of copyright and how their compensation should be calculated. It just needs a focus of a good case, and I am sure there are some in the 1000 that would just from the odds of it - qualify to be that Test case. And with a broad support of the other 999, and of the (23 million -1) people, some sanity can be injected into this whole issue. What the RIAA is demanding for one song is 150000 times what the song actually costs. Even if I pay 1 dollar a day to listen to the song, it will be 410 years of paying a dollar EVERYDAY, before listening to the song costs me $150,000. What sane mind could deem this arrangement reasonable ? Something is out of whack, and it needs to be whacked back into place.

    And I think, just like Bush might have bitten off a little too much in Iraq, RIAA might have bitten off a little too much of the "Illegal" File-Sharers universe. The war has been started based on a deliberate misinterpretation of archaic data, and RIAA's assualt was started based on a jaundiced interpretation of archaic laws. Laws are being twisted to the word, even as the spirit is raped and pillaged. But, the hands of the masses will grasp these lying Boosies and rip them from their priviledged and ivory tower havens, and plunge them in the depths of Dante's inferno. And all this will be done electronically. Communication will be electronic revolution.

    ... emotional dump over.

  • by mttlg (174815) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:23PM (#6526318) Homepage Journal

    The people who were quoted in this article seem more like stereotypes than actual people. I mean, just take a look at this quote:

    [Bob Barnes] said he used the Internet to download hard-to-find recordings of European artists because he was unsatisfied with modern American artists and grew tired of buying CDs without the chance to listen to them first.

    "If you don't like it, you can't take it back," said Barnes, who runs a small video production company with his wife from their three-bedroom home. "You have all your little blonde, blue-eyed clones. There's no originality."

    So there's your halo-wearing "I only wanted to preview songs or download songs I couldn't buy" downloader, which, if some people around here are to be believed, accounts for roughly 100% of the music downloaders on the internet.

    On the other end of the spectrum is Gordon Pate, who seems to be reading from a script provided by Jack Valenti and Hilary Rosen:

    Pate was wavering whether to call the RIAA to negotiate a settlement. "Should I call a lawyer?" he wondered.

    Pate said that he never personally downloaded music and that he so zealously respects copyrights that he does not videotape movies off cable television channels.

    Is this guy for real? And just what does denying yourself your fair use rights have to do with respecting copyrights?

    In addition to the "honest downloader" and "Valenti's bitch," we are also shown a model of the RIAA's ideal downloader:

    "This scares me so bad I never want to download anything again," said Boggs, who turned 22 on Thursday. "I never thought this would happen. There are millions of people out there doing this."

    The only thing missing was the disenfranchised ex-customer, which would look something like this:

    "This blows. It's bad enough that most music these days is crap, but now you can get your ass sued for listening to it. That's it, I'm not just going to stop buying music, I'm not listening to it anymore either. Screw those jerks at the record companies, it's comic books for me from here on out."

    Get four second-rate washed-up stand-up comics to act out the parts and you'll have a mediocre bit on Tough Crowd with Colin "I used to be funny, really!" Quinn. Add two more and you'll have next week's "What Do You Think?" in The Onion. I sincerely hope the people in that article aren't for real...

  • by felonious (636719) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:47PM (#6526554) Journal
    Some have already sold their soul, and for them the choice no longer exists. For the millions of others the day to make the choice is approaching soon. For about a 1000 the day of making the choice has approached. Will all of them be divided and individually be chopped to pieces, or will they recognize that providence has brought them together under a single banner - and now they must stick together, serve as the nucleus of this revolution, and even as the coalesce together, pull in together the millions of others who when presented with two choices will choose to join the "1000 Nodes of Light."

    Although you put this is a nice and beautifully romantic light I can tell you right now that these people will fold like a deck of cards. They will be the equivalent of a "rat" in the mob. When you have companies of this size it comes down to self-preservation and lving to fight another day.

    I don't see how joining together will help their cause although some kind of class action suit might be in order as long as the proper angle is chosen.

    Speaking for myself I'd fight it but if I couldn't find a great lawyer then it'd be pointless. If I could get a big name lawyer pro-bon then it'd be on and we'd put the whole system on trial.

    If you are to fight this battle then it has to be more than a P2P vs RIAA. Is has to stretch into rights guaranteed by the constitution and fair use of purchased products. I'd also mention law makers having a certain industry flooding them with massive amounts of cash. There really is plenty here to debate and go to war about but it's going to take the right set of circumstances to pull it off. I'm down.

    This is really a revolution of epic proportion no matter what one thinks. We're not talking P2P only. We're talking about our rights more than anything else here and that's the genesis of the argument IMHFO!

    Through the war on terrorism we are giving up certain rights and now with P2P we are giving up further rights. How many rights do we have to give up for people to get it?
    Search warrants with no reason?
    Subpoenas by the recording association with no judicial oversight?
    Email monitoring?

    Wake the fuck up people and fight this shit with all you've got or the "big brother" days will be here sooner than you think and then you can forget about the freedoms you used to have.
  • by leeet (543121) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:00PM (#6526665) Homepage
    What if other kids installed some software on your Pc to show your own kid how to share files? Who's to blame? The other parents?

    What if your own kid went to the neighboor and installed those software? Who's to blame? You? Them? Both?

    I think fair use/knowledge is at risk. It's like leaving a shovel in the backyard. If someone takes it and kills someone, who's to blame? You can't ignore the law but can't you defend yourself by saying that it's fair use to leave a shovel in the backyard?

    What if your 16 years old kid kills someone while driving? I've never seen any parent go to jail for that. Even cold blooded murder! (well unless there is clearly wrong down from them like leaving an unlocked and loaded weapon).

    Let's say I steal something and have it delivered. Will the RIAA go against the postal office because I used that medium to steal something? No.

    Why would they go against parents in *that* case?

    What about kidnappers, are the kidnapper's parents bothered? Not a single bit. They probably have to move out of state due to shame but that's another story.

    Same with a computer. It's fair to have a computer and use it. You can't be responsible for other people's actions to a certain degree. You can setup URL filters and stuff like that but I think the judge will agree that you can't "lock down" a computer and monitor each and every actions.
  • by El (94934) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:05PM (#6526709)
    At what point am I no longer liable for the actions of my computer? The RIAA seems to be implying here that even if your housemate sneaks into your room and uses your computer without your permission, you are still liable. Don't they need to prove intent? Why is it that a spammer can hack into somebody's machine and use it to send out millions of emails, and the owner of the machine has no liability? Does this open up a whole new business model for copyright holders -- create a virus that downloads your IP and the shares it, then sue everybody that falls victim to the virus for copyright infringment? Seems like we've gone way past an "reasonable" criteria at this juncture.
  • Consider this (Score:3, Informative)

    by dacarr (562277) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:07PM (#6526736) Homepage Journal
    If the kid is a minor, the parents are ultimately responsible for the damages. Kid does arson, parents get the bill. That sort of thing.

    Yeah, I know, arson is a poor comparison to music piracy.

    The point is that the child is the responsibility of the parents, and it is as such completely up to the parents to take that responsibility. As such, I hate to say it, but RIAA is within rights to do this to the parents of kids.

  • Needs to be compiled (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:10PM (#6526761) Homepage
    What someone needs to compile is a semi-short document that details what you should do if the RIAA goes after you. It should give your legal options, how to get legal advice, what information you need to know etc. It should also have a section for parents explaining the situation. This packet should contain yet another section that gives information about why the practices of the RIAA (all of them) are wrong (ethically, morally, legally, you name it). Lets give these people SOMETHING to use.

  • Reasonable-ness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bladernr (683269) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:12PM (#6526794)
    People seem to keep getting caught up in technicalities. People that are trying to say "What if I had a virus...." or "What if someone stole my account..." are as bad as the RIAA. They are looking for loopholes and technicalities, not trying to see the spirit of the law and its protections for ALL parties.

    The RIAA is trying to find and get relief from misappropriation of protected property (ie, the copyrighted songs) that people neither need (in the survival sense) nor have any intrinsic right to. They are going about it in a very poor way, granted, but, there is nothing wrong with trying to defend your property. After all, at night, if I forget to lock the door on my house, I still don't think anyone has the right to barge in and use it. Its my property, and I get to decide how it is used.

    I think everyone knows the spirit of this. The RIAA does not want to sue people who have not infringed their copyrights. If they issue subenpoes for the wrong people, they want it corrected. No purpose is served for any party if the wrong people are punished. Their intention is to only go after people that have actually participated in infringed copyrights.

    For that matter, they aren't really after song-swappers or P2P networks, at least in a purist sense. If I record a song (which I won't, becuse, like many very popular singers, I can't sing) and people trade it, the RIAA doesn't care. They only care about trading of songs where the copyright owner does not wish his property to be used in that manner (and, of course, said owner is a member of the RIAA... I doubt they care about non-members).

    If you put your "reasonable, common-sense, business-thinking" hat on, I think it is easy to see what the RIAA is doing and why they are doing it. Disagreeing with them is one thing, but trying to pick away on technicalaities is just not a useful excersice.
  • by YllabianBitPipe (647462) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:16PM (#6526832)
    My mp3 collection is proudly offline. Never got into the Kazaa thing. However, pretty much everyone I know who has a CD collection, I've been ripping and adding to mine. So, instead of sharing stuff online, I suggest everyone start sharing with people you know off-line. Meaning, bring your HD over to their house, copy the contents, merge your collections. I don't see any way the RIAA will be able to stop THIS kind of sharing, unless they start busting down people's doors and seizing your HD because they saw you carrying a HD into someone else's home ... if they start doing that, then we've got much bigger problems to worry about ...
  • by desikage (686171) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:28PM (#6526980)
    And I saw that 2 kids (both 17), who walked into a store, and stole $600 worth of merchandise. They were caught, and the paper was reporting their outcome in court. The fine? $600. But if I "steal" a song off Kazaa, I'm going to jail for 5 years (possibly) and paying millions to the RIAA. Tell me that's fair.
  • by rat7307 (218353) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:55PM (#6527671) Homepage
    RIAA: You son has been stealing Music from our artists

    PIRATE DAD: YARR!!! He is such a little scallywag YARRR.... I'll have to make him walk the plank!


    Well, thats what I thought when I saw the title.....
  • No Info Available? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rearden (304396) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @10:44PM (#6529076) Homepage
    I wonder how many of these subpoena's have to be sent to ISP's before they simply stop recording the IP info? Already it has been reported that DePaul University in Chicago is saying that it no longer has the user info for that IP...

    Are there any laws that require ISP's to keep track users & IP's? From the laws that I have looked over (without doing any real research) it looks like the law only requires them to turn over any relevant info availble.

    With what has to be mounting cost I can imagine that small ISP's are dumping this info so when the request comes in they say- "Got nothing". How much longer before the cost gets to high for the larger ones?

    Just a thought
  • Bring it on! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hyrdra (260687) on Friday July 25, 2003 @12:34AM (#6529598) Homepage Journal
    Hey RIAA!

    I have over 100 GB of commercial works by many of the companies you represent on my network. Two computers my roomates use run Kazaa and Winmx non-stop sharing from the network drive. LimeWire runs on the server itself. We share over a cable connection, and I recently had DSL installed. Typically during the day there are thousands of uploads, so many sometimes LimeWire crashes.

    And guess what? I have the money to fight you. The fact is folks, that if the information on illegal acts was obtained illegally and unconstitutionally, the evidence cannot be admitted into court and without evidence there is no case. It is unconstitional for private companies to issue subponeas because due process is not observed and there is no legal forward.

    Sorry, but I am just begging they come after me. I have the cash ready and I come from a family (yes, it's sad I know) of very sucessful lawyers.

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