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RIAA Prepares Legal Blitz Against Filesharers 1192

Posted by timothy
from the shock-and-awe dept.
Sayonara writes "The RIAA are now well and truly gathering their forces for a financial onslaught on file sharers in the US, with a "fear and awe" campaign targetting college and high school students in particular. The strategy can be reduced to 'We should really charge you $150,000 per song you have downloaded. Pay us $50,000 now, and we'll say no more about it.' In a related article, the BBC describes how the netizen known as 'nycfashiongirl' is now attempting to delay the RIAA's case against her by claiming their investigation of her online activities was illegal. The RIAA has dismissed these arguments as 'shallow.'"
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RIAA Prepares Legal Blitz Against Filesharers

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  • by suedehed (21718) <(suedehed) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:05AM (#6859557) Homepage
    Why dont we get SCO to join the RIAA, and anyone using Linux to swap songs, they can just nail them with a double suit.
    • by BrynM (217883) * on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:12AM (#6859649) Homepage Journal
      That would just lead to the RIAA claiming that Linux is theirs and SCO claiming that music is theirs. Then again, if there's a way to get them to fight eachother...
    • Death to RIAA. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HanzoSan (251665)


      Since they have declared war on us with this scare and awe bullshit, this only will speed up their own demise. There was once a time when the RIAA had a chance to actually take their piece of the pie and keep some market share by selling music to consumers embracing the new technology, but the RIAA has totally fucked it up and ruined their chances of actually surviving this.

      So here is what will happen, the RIAA meaning record companies will cease to exist. I dont know how they figure they can sue people
      • Re:Death to RIAA. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:29AM (#6859869)
        Of course. The RIAA is obsolete, everyone knows it. We should destroy their effective method of providing music to everyone via widely available CD vendors and replace it with a mechanism that only allows a tech elite with access to broadband Internet connections to listen, with all new music being recorded and produced in people's garages using the very highest quality Radio Shack $10 microphones, by performers who get a chance to compose music about once in a blue moon given they work nine hours a day doing "real" work - presumably on something much more useful and enriching to society than music, say, lawyering, or providing tax advice.

        That'll make the world a much better place.

        You know, if the RIAA and the anti-RIAA weren't being such destructive, pointless, vengeful, nutjobs, maybe something sane and wonderful in the world of music might happen.

      • Re:Death to RIAA. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Angostura (703910) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:07PM (#6860313)
        Your logic is, unfortunately predicated on belief that the RIAA's policy will trigger a large scale consumer backlash, an anti-record company jihad, if you like. Well, it may, but it may not. I suspect that the wider non-Slashdot-reading audience, the small-scale downloaders already feel uneasy about the morality of 'stealing music' they've done it because: (a) it has appeared to be a victimless crime (b) they have had a feeling of invunerability to capture. The RIAA's tactics are designed to eat away at both of these perceptions. I suspect that they will work well enough to make a goodly proportion of file-swappers more nervous and reduce activity on the networks. So far so good for the RIAA. I'm dubious about there being a widescale backlash, however I'm also very very dubious about any consequent increase in music sales. The RIAA believes that filesharing is the main culprit slowing industry sales, I think it is wrong. It needs to realise that the idea of packaging artists works into monolithic albums was an accident of format, and not something that its customers really want.
      • Re:Death to RIAA. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by og_sh0x (520297) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:09PM (#6860332) Homepage
        Hey! If you want to buy music but don't want to give the RIAA any money, go to one of those used CD stores. The RIAA hates them more than they hate you, because RIAA can't do anything about them... They're 100% legal! As an added bonus, you don't have to feel the slightest bit guilty or worry at all about being sent to a federal, p2p-me-in-the-ass prison.
    • by rearden (304396) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:27AM (#6859842) Homepage
      No, what would be great is if we could convince RIAA that SCO has an immense collection of copyprotected MP3's. Then we need to convice SCO that RIAA is running hundreds of Linux servers to search for violaters.

      Then stand back and let them sue eachother into oblivion.... ahhh we can dream!

  • by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:06AM (#6859580)
    I really can't see anything positive coming out of this, people are going to be screwed (pay up because they can't afford the lawyer), the pblic won't care, and the RIAA will just gain more momentum.

    The laws that make it possible won't get changed either.

    *sigh*
  • GOOD! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot&castlesteelstone,us> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:07AM (#6859590) Homepage Journal
    In a related article, the BBC describes how the netizen known as 'nycfashiongirl' is now attempting to delay the RIAA's case against her by claiming their investigation of her online activities was illegal. The RIAA has dismissed these arguments as 'shallow.'"

    God, I hope that gets tossed out. Well, actually, I hope it all gets tossed out, or 'nycfashiongirl' gets a small ($1/song shared) damage against her.

    Repeat after me: You have no privacy on the internet. Any privacy you think you might have is simply you being too small and insignificant for anyone to bother to look. Consider your activities to be taking place on a sidewalk using postcards and loud voices--and act accordingly.

    *sigh*
    • by MickLinux (579158) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:33AM (#6859937) Journal
      Has anyone considered the possibility that NYCfashiongirl may really not want to be found out? I mean, suppose NYCfashiongirl was really Madonna or Brittany Spears, or someone else with more to lose from file sharing than they could possibly gain... ...this could be really embarassing. Especially if it was Justin Timberlake.
  • by Malic (15038) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:07AM (#6859595)
    Would anyone be interested the creation of a web site/community/forum that specifically focused on non-RIAA member label artists?

    Or is there such a thing and I should be contributing reviews to it already?
  • Sooo... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tyrdium (670229) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:08AM (#6859605) Homepage
    They're targeting high school and college students... Who tend to not have much money... Will they really be allowed to ruin the lives of hundreds (if not thousands, or tens of thousands) of people, just so some execs can make a little more cash? And also, don't college students have a tendency to rebel against things like this? There's going to be a gigantic uprising...
    • Re:Sooo... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vDave420 (649776) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:39AM (#6860005)
      Will they really be allowed to ruin the lives of hundreds (if not thousands, or tens of thousands) of people, just so some execs can make a little more cash? And also, don't college students have a tendency to rebel against things like this? There's going to be a gigantic uprising...

      God I hope an uprising is in the works!

      Our entire "Intellectual Property" based system that we (US and much of the world) is putting in place will merely continue to entrench the "privileged" in thier positions of privilege.

      Large corporations who "own" the polititions will only continue to try and (successfully) force the masses into submission.

      Governing by consent of the governed is no longer the case. Instead, it is governing by consent of those who would be most suited to profit by your governing.
      We need a revolution of sorts.

      Alternatively, we need tech-savvy reps and lawmakers!
      I, personally, will vote for anyone who guarantees a priority of drastically reducing or eliminating the entire concept of "Intellectual Property" and the sham of goverment endorsement that accompanies it.

      This endorsement is used and abused in situations such as these. Ask any 20 people on the street if a corporation should have the legal rights to behave in the fashion RIAA is. Should anyone have the legal rights that led up to this situation? I say no! There is no good reason that I should repress myself from consuming or otherwise using a piece of information.

      Period.

      If it can be reduced to bits, then you do NOT own it! Simple as that. Or, say that you "own" it if you want, but you do not own "exclusive rights" to it to the exclusion of others. At least, not any rights that *I* will recognise or support.

      I know I am not alone in this either.

      Lets get someone in office who agrees with this viewpoint and begin to push back the tide of "Intellectual Enslavement and Combat" that is occuring, waiting for newcomers into the barratry [wikipedia.org] game.


      -dave-

      Shameless plug:
      Use BearShare [bearshare.com] for all your peer-to-peer [bearshare.com] needs!

    • Re:Sooo... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:42AM (#6860053)

      Yeah, let the uprising begin.. I mean, nobody goes to Metallica concerts anymore, right?

      Last I heard, they were still selling-out stadiums across the country.

  • by Jonas the Bold (701271) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:08AM (#6859609)
    Except these guys are actually dangerous. Can we stop feeding the SCO trolls, and have more articles about this? Maybe some ask slashdots with actual lawyers about what to do if they sue you, what they can actually legally do, etc.?

    Someone's really gotta put a stop to this. Where are they getting this $150,000 number from? If you go into a record store, steal the CD, go outside the store with your laptop, and start burning free copies for people walking in, would you fine be nearly as high?

    Why the bias against people who "steal" (or infringe copywrites) with computers?
    • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:12PM (#6860363) Homepage
      what to do if they sue you, what they can actually legally do, etc.?

      Well, if you actually did it, and they sue you, you're pretty hosed. Your best bet is to settle. There's little chance that you'd win if you went to court, and the expenses of a court battle are significant anyway.

      As for what they can do, they can sue you, civilly, for copyright infringement. And there might be some other possible causes of action related to what you're doing, but the copyright one is the biggie.

      As for the $150,000 number, that's from 17 USC 504. Basically, copyright infringement causes some damage to the RIAA members in terms of their ability to commercially exploit the works they hold copyrights on. They can sue for either their actual damages, or since that can be difficult to compute, statutory damages. The maximum possible statutory damage amount is $150,000 per work infringed upon. Of course whether the maximum will be applied is largely up to the judge. In these sorts of cases, it could be as low as $750 per infringement. But you'd be taking a big risk if you were betting that you could get it to be that low.

      If you go into a record store, steal the CD, go outside the store with your laptop, and start burning free copies for people walking in, would you fine be nearly as high?

      Hm. Maybe.

      Stealing the CD is a fairly minor act of conversion. I'd be more worried about criminal penalties for shoplifting than for a civil action.

      Burning it though for others is certainly a copyright infringement again, however. Depending on the precise circumstances involved, there might be a defense based on 17 USC 1008 (but you HAVE to read 1001 for the definitions of the terms used in 1008) but I doubt that a court would accept that defense if it saw any way around it.

      Anyway, the big difference between SCO and RIAA is that RIAA appears to have a legitimate complaint, and is not doing this to make money, but to discourage infringement. I suspect they're losing money doing this. SCO is less likely to have a legitimate complaint, and is really after money.
  • by pdbogen (596723) <pdbogen-slashdot.cernu@us> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:09AM (#6859613) Homepage
    The tactic is broadly to remind those it catches of the truly draconian penalties the law in the United States allows ($150,000 per song - and you don't have to be a Berkeley mathematician to multiply that a few times to get more dollars that any student loan could cover).

    Then when the poor student has picked himself up from the floor and the blood returns to his face, the lawyers will say broadly: "OK, we'll let you off the fine if you agree to pay, let's say, a mere $15,000". ...
    Furthermore, in one recent case, a college student was told that just by filing an answer in court, the cost of any final settlement would rise by $50,000.


    If this isn't extortion, By God, I don't know what is.
  • High Schools... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJZQ8 (644168) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:09AM (#6859614) Homepage Journal
    Most High Schools use proxies...if the kids are running Kazaa at school and using a proxy, then it would be unethical and highly illegal to divulge their names to a non-law-enforcement-entity such as the RIAA. Anyway, an intelligent administrator would flush their logs every day.
  • Open season? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmf033069 (149738) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:09AM (#6859618)
    "Mr Oppenheim also said the RIAA was immume from rules on unreasonable searches on the internet, because it did not have links with law enforcement agencies."

    By that logic, everyone is open to whatever searches of other people's systems they want. Why is the US gov't going after people for "hacking", if the intent is just to look around then all is fine according to them.
  • Shallow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RickHunter (103108) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:11AM (#6859638)

    Because due process is shallow and boring and not really necessary, right? If the RIAA says you're doing something bad, well, that should be all the proof the government needs!

    Sheesh. If they're breaking the law to catch people breaking the law, they're still breaking the law.

  • well done RIAA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nocent (71113) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:13AM (#6859663)
    Well done RIAA! You've successfully embedded the "evil recording industry" image into the hearts and minds of the youth of today, your primary consumers. You may prevent some people sharing your music but you've turned millions more from ever buying a RIAA artist's CD ever again. Previously, people might have felt bad about depriving the artist of income but now, they'll just think "screw them". Well done.
  • Extortion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:14AM (#6859676) Journal
    Someday, someone with several thousand songs will call their bluff, and challenge them. Perhaps in court, they'll point out how stupid the RIAA looks demanding more money than the entire record industry is worth in damages. Perhaps.

    The thing is, even if a court does rule that you owe the RIAA $100 000 000, what would happen? It's not like they could ever collect. I never expect to own that much money.
  • Immunity??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:17AM (#6859703)
    [RIAA vice-president] Mr Oppenheim also said the RIAA was immume from rules on unreasonable searches on the internet, because it did not have links with law enforcement agencies.

    So if I hack Mr. Oppenheims computer and "unreasonably" search it (i.e. rifle through his private data) I am immune to rules on unreasonable searches because I am a hacker and not a cop? Nice to know.... Now where did I put that SubSeven kit.....

  • "Futile" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barryfandango (627554) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:18AM (#6859712)
    While I applaud nycfashiongirl's stand, it appears to me that it may indeed be "shallow." The RIAA is not a law-enforcement agency, so is not bound to regulations regarding surveillance. And more importantly, she chose to share her many pirated files on a file-sharing service. How could they have violated her privacy when she decided to publicly display the files to the world? They didn't have to violate anything.
  • by Supero100 (664946) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:19AM (#6859734)
    RIAA Strategist #1: Wait! I got it! Let's put our future customers in financial ruin!
    RIAA Strategist #2: Brilliant! Then they'll have more money to buy from us!
    RIAA Strategist #1: What should we do about the rampant piracy in eastern europe and asia?
    RIAA Strategist #2: Sorry, repeat that? I was listening to the satisfying sound of ruining everyone's lives.
  • by Dr. Bent (533421) <ben AT int DOT com> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:20AM (#6859752) Homepage
    Why are they just going after P2P filesharing? Why not vigorously prosecute those who download music off of Usenet? Or those who copy CD's from friends? How about people who make bootlegs?

    I'll tell you why. It's because P2P is an alternative distribution model that threatens their business (in the long term) much much more than a little music piracy by college students who wouldn't be able to afford to buy the thousands of songs they steal anyway.

    This is, and has always been, about controlling music distribution and not about stopping piracy. Piracy is a side effect of the real problem: Loss of Control.
    • Not quite correct. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MickLinux (579158) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:09PM (#6860335) Journal
      They are not doing this because P2P is an alternative distribution model that threatens their business. If that were all there were to it, they'd probably quickly change business models, and be done with it.

      Rather, our system of law has set up a structure for their sales, and they were following it. Yes, the structure, known as copyright, is flawed, but it is the structure that they, as a legal business entity, have to deal with.

      Now, P2P is not following the law. They are breaking the law. (rewind) Bzzewwwpt (Vol up) THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW (Vol down). So the RIAA is going after them in the only way that they can.

      Now, if you want to bring in a better business model, which is legal, then please go ahead and do so.

      BTW, I've posted in my journal under "Public Domain", one idea on how to do just that. Since I did PD it, you can use it, without paying me anything.
  • by Genjurosan (601032) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:21AM (#6859759)
    I would venture that the number of posts on /. concerning the RIAA is directly driven by the level of stupidity that the RIAA touts to the world. As the stupidity goes up, the amount of posts should go down, as there really isn't much else to do these days other than shake your head with the silent understanding that the RIAA is killing those that they represent.

    Don't they understand that college students and high school students download songs because they are broke? Now with the continued slash and burn method; once the college student graduates and finds a job, this new generation of 'pissed off at the RIAA' simply are not going to purchase music legally simply out of hate, spite, etc...
  • Pushing a rope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 (446439) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:24AM (#6859802) Homepage Journal
    I've neither downloaded nor bought music for years. I don't want to drain my savings on the off chance I'd win the lawsuit lottery, and I don't want to pay the RIAA members any money to fund their racket.

    They live in a dream world, thinking that all business problems can be solved by legal force. Bright idea! If they won't buy our stuff, let's sue them to get the money anyway! Whatever happened to studying the consumers and trying to develop a product they will buy?

    The problem is this: they don't want to study the consumers. They want to control them. They are terrified that they are losing the ability to make and break artists, and define what is popular and what is not. Their whole business model revolves not around creating a quality product, but creating a slightly different product and brainwashing the consumers to buy it.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:24AM (#6859807)
    Just who do these people at the RIAA think they are? Trying to extort money from 60 million people? They want to use laws they've bought to push us around, tag us as criminals, and take our freedom away?

    Well, folks, I think it's time to put the fear of god, or rather us 60 million people, into the record execs and heads of the RIAA. If they think it's cute to illegally root through our files and information, then let's see what they think about some payback. Let's put our considerable skills to work and dig up all the dirt (tax evasion, fraud, marital infidelities, etc.) we can on them. Let's expose them for the criminals they really are. Shoot, we could nail them on violating payola laws alone.

    On the political front, let's get our acts together and start making the politicians who do their bidding feel the heat. We've seen how the Howard Dean campaign has been able to raise money over the net and sign up armies of volunteers, so let's do likewise. Imagine how quickly the tables would turn if a thousand protesters showed up in a flash mob in front of our representatives' family homes every time the RIAA turned the screws like this.

    Enough whining and doublethink on Slashdot. Let's DO something about this.
    • Just who do these people at the RIAA think they are?

      Oh, I don't know, maybe just the people who actually own the intellectual property that's being routinely pirated...?

      My hope is that they succeed at this. My hope is that they manage to squash file sharing, and build up a huge amount of ill will from the public, and end up destroying the popularity of all the material that they own. In the best of all worlds they'll succeed at this until they drive themselves utterly out of business.

      Then we can start

    • by charliedog (688216) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:27PM (#6860516)

      What the community needs is to organize along the lines of the take no prisoners and scorched earth policies of the NRA [nra.org] and ABATE [abate-il.org]-IL. The NRA, with a few million committed members has managed to hold onto the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. ABATE of Illinois, with only a handful of members has maintained a no-helmet law for the state. Whether you agree with these grass-roots organizations or not, they are extremely effective. Both have legislative alerts (here [nra.org] and here [abate-il.org]) and the NRA has a "contact your lawmaker [nra.org]" page. Does anyone know of similar organization(s) that fight for sanity for file sharing ($150,000 per song is not sane)? Am not sure if the Electronic Freedom Foundation [eff.org] is focused enough. I would like to join and support an effective organization. Alternatively, I would be happy to join with others to found such an organization. Instead of whimpering and complaining, it is time that we joined (or formed) a strong counterbalance to the RIAA. It is, in fact, time to do something both with our time and money. Until we do, the RIAA or the MPAA will simply do what they want.

  • Break the law... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by no_opinion (148098) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:27AM (#6859848)
    As far as I know, *no one* with any legal sense (including the EFF, Lessig, etc.) thinks that distributing copyrighted files is legal. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it. The people the RIAA are going after are making hundreds of files available - they're not just downloaders. So I have no sympathy for these people, especially since they were warned. It's like hearing the cops say "we're going to set up a speed trap here" and then complaining when you get pulled over for going 90mph.
    • by WildBeast (189336) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:34AM (#6859957) Journal
      Neither do I but then again I have even less sympathy for the RIAA who are even worst criminals.
      In short, I side with the lesser evil.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:13PM (#6860369)
      $150,000 per file is NOT a fair punishment for the crime, espicaly given the non-injury of it. It would be perfectly reasonable to complain if the cops said "we're going to set up a speed trap here" and then had an M60 gunner killing anyone who sped in that zone. When someone infringes on copyright in this manner, it causes no one (the labels included) any serious harm. It is therefore totally unreasonable and unjust to demand fines like this.

      We not only have a concpet of fair punishments in the US... IT'S IN THE DAMN CONSTITUTION.

      Amendment VIII

      Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
    • by TopShelf (92521) * on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @12:20PM (#6860445) Homepage Journal
      While I might equate the severity of the crime with speeding, the severity of the punishment that's currently being meted out is hugely excessive. To extend your analogy, people would be (justifiably) upset if they got pulled over for doing 90 and were fined $150,000...
  • How to fix this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:28AM (#6859858)
    Lessig [lessig.org] just posted a good comment on the draconian fees.

    Anyway, there's an easy solution: quit downloading RIAA stuff and go for independent music instead. Artist-approved downloads. If you absolutely must have an RIAA tune, buy it, but otherwise ignore their stuff entirely. They'll be bankrupt in no time, with no legal recourse whatsoever.

    And the best part is, we don't need any special boycott campaign. The RIAA is taking care of that for us. All we need to do is publicize the alternatives, as vigorously as possible.

    Want to do your bit? Link to independent music on your weblog. If the RIAA isn't completely braindead (which is an open question), then this is what they're afraid of more than anything. Piracy is nothing compared to irrelevance.

  • 50,000$ (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sophrosyne (630428) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:28AM (#6859859) Homepage
    So for $50,000 I get unlimited downloading of all music past, present and future....
    I guess that seems like a fair deal given the price of CDs.
  • by asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:28AM (#6859864)
    "Furthermore, in one recent case, a college student was told that just by filing an answer in court, the cost of any final settlement would rise by $50,000. "

    I understand this is a civil case, not a criminal case, right? So-- if this isn't extortion, what is??

    Honestly, I want to see one of these go to a jury trial. If 50+ million Americans really are filesharers, then it's going to be DAMNED tough to find a jury that's not chock full of EM!

    Seriously, this is such a travesty. People should be liable for the actual damages (ie the cost of the CDs) not the "potential" losses. You can sell a gun to a minor that's used in a murder and only get a year in jail, but if you make a file available, they charge you more than the loss could ever possibly cost them. We need some balance here.
  • by Gareman (618650) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:30AM (#6859896) Homepage Journal
    Go here now: http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/howto-notgetsued.php

    Read. Sign up. Send email to your representatives.

  • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:34AM (#6859954) Homepage Journal

    I've always been amused by this sort of thing and a thought that goes with it:

    If I already have nothing to lose, what if I just continually refuse to pay? The court can TELL you to pay up, but it can't really MAKE you do it. The worst they can do, IIRC, is ruin your credit and whatnot. Could they actually repo things to try and recover the "damages" the plaintiff was seeking? I got sued for a couple hundred bucks. Ultimately, the nasty little JP upped it to 1200, but from what I was told, it sounded like if I never paid it I could just be reported to collections if the plaintiff so desired. If 15000 RIAA victims all refuse to pay, what are they going to do, send 15000 people to collections? That's a pretty big group of people. Big groups engaged in active civil disobedience can get media attention... but then, I could be wrong about that - maybe they CAN make you pay up somehow.

    I used to be one of those people who came on /. and argued that stealing songs was wrong regardless, but as the RIAA abuses got worse, so did my attitude. Frankly, I don't give a fuck anymore. Put all of them, "artists" and all out on the street. If the RIAA wants war, they can have it. And it's time people got off their high horses about 'not going down to their level' and fought it.

  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:38AM (#6859988) Homepage Journal
    Wow!
    According to RIAA accounting methods, I have almost 2.5 BILLION dollars worth of music on my hard drive!

    $2,434,950,000.00 to be exact.
    Good thing I haven't shared them, I don't think I could scrape up that kind of coin easily.
  • by prostoalex (308614) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:39AM (#6860006) Homepage Journal
    We should really charge you $150,000 per song you have downloaded.

    Ok, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think anyone has been charged with a RIAA lawsuit on dowloading alone. Downloading digital music might be a legal activity under so many circumstances (you have a legal CD, the file is not copyrigthed, etc.)

    All of the RIAA lawsuits in the US are targeted towards file sharers, not downloaders, but uploaders, if you will.

    Why? Simple as it is, the companies belonging to RIAA are the sole entities allowed to distribute and license distribution of their music. The label has indeed a shallow argument if it tries to sue anyone for downloading, but sharing music with others is violation of this exact premise, and the law is clearly on RIAA's side in any country where the property laws are upheld.
  • Another Volley (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mugnyte (203225) * on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:42AM (#6860045) Journal

    [scroll overlay against dark space to Pink Floyd's "Signs Of Life"]

    And so, with the passage of time, we find the landscape changing in the outer worlds. The heyday of digital smuggling began to change as the RIAA overloads rachetted up the penalties for those caught. Eventually, entire square parsecs were left empty, encircled by only the empty hulls of caught offenders. Husks of empty steel that once held a fortune in content formed a warning sign to those entering the fray.

    But the rebels of the age were smart. They turned to deeper methods, encrypting their content, running private servers, and WAR driving. The random element of physical contact reduced the smuggler's domain to a fraction of his former, but the overlap of these small circles kept fresh booty flowing. Content was still open to move, simply the transfer couldn't be without extra steps to know the receiver and secure the path.

    Meanwhile, the RIAA replaced the existing law enforcement for tracking and penalizing those still foolish to appear on the public channels. No judge, no jury was required as the cost for including them in your defense were too high for all but the wealthiest. Given that smuggling was done on the cheap, for the masses, suffice it to say no one could pay for such accutrements. Although the Creators approved of the tactics, they continued to fight for slimmer traditional channels.

    As the Age Of FAIB (Free As In Beer) came to a wane, the inner worlds continued to bustle with mass marketing and pop culture. The outer worlds succumbed to the MPAA/RIAA stormtroopers' patrols. Surprise searches and constant paranoia crept up on those who stayed too long in the toughest zones. Eventually, the smuggling became "wiped out" publicly, and the inner worlds no longer sent the curious making the journey to grab a piece of the action along the rim. But for those who knew the newest tricks, adventure and discovery continued to be the drug that filled their libraries with the Creators' best output...

    [fade to black]
  • BOYCOTT MAJOR LABELS (Score:3, Informative)

    by nooboob (553955) on Wednesday September 03, 2003 @11:56AM (#6860200)
    BOYCOTT MAJOR LABELS Boycott major labels, please please please please please.

    http://www.boycott-riaa.com/artists/

    PLEASE!

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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