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RIAA Bits 319

Posted by michael
from the no-drm-required dept.
HardYakka writes "The New York Times writes that record industry executives who are adamant that file sharing is stealing are not above stealing themselves." The NYT also has two other stories on file-sharing today: one with emphasis on musicians, and an opinion piece about the internet. Also floating around: this humor piece and an EFF petition.
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RIAA Bits

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  • Stealing by the RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AtariAmarok (451306) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:07AM (#6956212)
    The news these days is filled with stories of stealing by the RIAA.

    What else can you call people being forced to give money to the RIAA through the use of threats?
  • Irony... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgcsinc (681597) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:14AM (#6956224)
    While I like the irony implied, of the music industry's hypocrisy in accusing file-sharers of stealing when they, in fact, are stealing themselves, I think the two ideas of intellectual property stealing do not mesh quite so easily. The file-sharing theft usually committed is one of profit-deprivation; users download and share for personal enjoyment, depriving the industry of sales money. The theft committed by artists, publishers, recording studios, authors, and the like in unauthorized use of other's works in their own, as much as it may be argued to be a form of innovation, aims to boost one's own profits. This difference, while alleviating some of the irony of the situation, does not paint the industry in any better of a light...
    • by turnstyle (588788) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:41AM (#6956293) Homepage
      I just wrote a piece for Salon critiquing the file-sharing rhetoric [salon.com] and it was published simultaneously with a response by the EFF [salon.com].

      If you're not a Salon subscriber, you can click the free 'day pass' link for the full articles.

      Personally, I'd like to hear more specifics about alternative systems, and less about how the RIAA is the Great Satan.

      • We're just emulating the example of our President. If you don't like something, blow it to pieces and declare "Mission accomplished". Building a replacement can be left to, well, your replacement.
      • Salon, you just lost my patronage permanently.

        Go bankrupt or something.

      • Personally, I'd like to hear more specifics about alternative systems, and less about how the RIAA is the Great Satan

        I don't understand why _we_ are the ones that are supposed to come up with a business model for the RIAA...? Do we have to come up with a business model for every failing business that sues us when they lose money? That's _their_ job, not ours.
      • Sept. 12, 2003 | As the record industry prepares hundreds of lawsuits targeting people suspected of illegally copying music over the Internet, a broad coalition of leading academics and civil libertarians is standing up for "file sharing" with the intention of ushering in a new copyright system.

        Case in point: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, longtime defender of free speech and privacy online, is sponsoring an advertising campaign with the slogan "File Sharing: It's Music to Our Ears." Seeking to rec

    • I take it you didn't get to the second page, then. An executive at a music company was caught with a copy of a $895 research report that he had gotten from another studio. He had been talking to a guy at the company that wrote the report and had been less than eager to explain how he got a copy of their report.
    • Re:Irony... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Echnin (607099)
      I think this was the interesting bit:
      But the process still had some hurdles to get over, Mr. Bernoff admitted. Recently he was discussing his research with an executive at a media organization that has been very aggressive about trying to discourage file-sharing. When Mr. Bernoff asked the executive how he had gotten the report, which Forrester [the organization at which Bernoff works,] sells for $895, the man hesitated.
      • Re:Irony... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by K8Fan (37875) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @12:52PM (#6957483) Journal

        The copying of the Forrester report is much more harmful to Forrester than thousands of downloads of the latest Top Ten single could ever be to the record company in question. Forrester sells a small number of copies of the reports from their various analysts like Josh (who get a bonus for every time they get quoted in a mainstream magazine). The average reader of a Forrester report is a vice-president of a Fortune 500 company - an obviously limited market. The executive at the record company could and should have bought his own copy of the report.

        This is triple-layer, double-fudge death-by-chocolate irony!

        Disclaimer: I used to work for Forrester. Unofficial Company Motto: We only have to be right more than half the time!

    • Re:Irony... (Score:5, Funny)

      by dmayle (200765) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:44AM (#6956302) Homepage Journal
      Yes, but you've got to realize that the theft alluded to by the Slashdot story, as explained in the article, was that of a record executive getting a copy of an analyst's report without paying the $895 to Forrester to have that copy. If a song valued at ~$1 (observed price for an electronic copy of a song from iTMS) is worth $150,000, then Forrester should sue the record executive for $134.25 million dollars! Let's see how the RIAA like a taste of their own medicine!
    • Re:Irony... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Snaller (147050)
      The file-sharing theft usually committed is one of profit-deprivation; users download and share for personal enjoyment, depriving the industry of sales money.

      File sharing is not theft, precisly because it is not a given conclusion that anyone is loosing money. Filesharing is a copyright violation.

      Most people just treat it like radio, and just like you don't buy EVERYHING you hear on radio, they don't play to buy everything here. Money lost is insignificaiton.

      The theft committed by artists, publishers,
  • Birds of a feather (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vyce (697152) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:14AM (#6956225)
    And the other: Takes one to know one. I mean, come on, these people would sell their own mothers (or at least it seems) to make themselves a dollar. They steal outright from musicians, in the form of low royalties or in the form of music copyrights. They steal outright from consumers, in the form of exorbitant prices for albums that are mediocre at best. (And this makes the thing above seem all the more curious.) They steal from the distributors, in the form of very low margin on CD sales. So...this whole thing isn't that surprising to me, or anyone I hope, it's just business as usual.
    • by dirk (87083)
      Let's look at these "thefts, shall we.

      They steal outright from musicians, in the form of low royalties or in the form of music copyrights.
      Which the artists willingly agree to. If you agree to give me your money, how is it theft? The artists know what they are getting into, and yet they still sign the contracts.

      They steal outright from consumers, in the form of exorbitant prices for albums that are mediocre at best.
      Which, once again, the consumers agree to pay. If the prices were so incredibly exorb
      • by KDan (90353) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:57AM (#6956335) Homepage
        They steal outright from musicians, in the form of low royalties or in the form of music copyrights.
        Which the artists willingly agree to. If you agree to give me your money, how is it theft? The artists know what they are getting into, and yet they still sign the contracts.

        That is only part of the story. The musicians have little choice about it, seeing as the big labels have a practical monopoly on distributing music - hell, they own most of the small labels too...

        They steal outright from consumers, in the form of exorbitant prices for albums that are mediocre at best.
        Which, once again, the consumers agree to pay. If the prices were so incredibly exorbitant, then consumers would not buy the CDs. Music is not a necessity, people can live without it.

        Yes and no, again. The consumers have no choice to go and buy xyz CD from another label who doesn't charge exhorbitant prices. If they did, maybe they wouldn't be downloading so many songs off the internet... fyi I don't buy CDs (haven't bought one for about 4-5 years). Saying that music is not a necessity is irrelevant. Who gave the record companies the right to decide who can listen to what? WE did. And we can take it back. And we are taking it back. And they can sue all they want, that's the way it is and they'd better get on with it.

        Daniel
        • Your're getting warm, but the fact is that the RIAA is stomping upon our constutional rights in order to accomplish something which is illegal anyway.

          The only people who have any sort of fundamental right here is the people who are attempting to use P2P in order to reach willing listeners.

          The RIAA is attempting to prevent P2P from becoming a conduit for artists reaching the general public without going through them. That is to say, they are attempting to restrain trade.

          The right to be heard by willing l
          • I think you're incorrect. The only people doing anything wrong are the RIAA. The limited copyright protection - in fact the whole concept of such a right to prevent unlicensed copy - is as a result of OUR willingness to give up part of our innate rights to make it easier for artists to make a living. We've given up the innate right to freely share ideas and other abstract thoughts.

            We have given up this right to encourage more quality being released into the intellectual commons (which is the only type of
            • Dancing through what you are saying here is going to be a bit difficult....

              I am certainly willing, and even interested, in extending some sort of protection to the actual creators of new information -- but not at the expense of basic political rights. Once the war is over and the copyright monopolies are dead and long gone I would like to discuss the issue of finding some way of compensating these creators for their efforts. I am not willing to have this conversation while the large media coppyright mono
      • I don't find about $12/cd (cost at Circuit City or Best Buy) to be that horrible...and even the $15/cd from Spec's Music or FYE, isn't *horrible.*

        The only CD I haven't purchased because of cost, is A Perfect Circle...set at $19.95, and been at that price since it came out like 4 years ago, it's unreasonable.
      • by MikeFM (12491)
        Do artists have much choice? The RIAA has the market so locked up that there is little room for competition. It is pretty close to being extortion. Do it our way or you'll be flipping burgers forever. On the other hand the Internet is giving artists a choice and I hope more of them are realizing that they don't need to sign with a major label to make a living doing what they love. They may not get rich as independents but if they're good they can make a decent living.

        I don't mind cd prices being high but a
      • "I fail to see the RIAA stealing from anyone."

        One word...payola. The only advantage RIAA companies have over the indies is the ability to get the music onto the PUBLIC airwaves. How do they do that? They're in bed with ClearChannel who's in bed with the FCC. The RIAA are a bunch of thieves. If you can't see how they do it, then you are just naive.
  • by lxs (131946) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:14AM (#6956226)
    For example, you can't prosecute someone just for producing "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."


    We need tighter legislation NOW!
  • Hrmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by acehole (174372) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:15AM (#6956228) Homepage
    Congratulations RIAA keep up the good work, I hope you proceed to the next level which is taking the elderly out into the middle of a street for a public stoning from unsellable cds.

    Perhaps putting children to work in your cd factories might teach them that each song they steal is worth not the 1 cent it's pressed on, but thousands of dollars.

    • Re:Hrmm (Score:3, Interesting)

      by argoff (142580)
      Yeah! And I even know of a 12 yr old girl and welfare mom who would be good starter candidates :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:17AM (#6956240)
    Between the RIAA and SCO, plus ongoing Microsoft FUD, I think we're starting to see the fraying edge of a maturing "Internet Economy", and some companies are clinging to really ancient buisness models that will not work in this era.

    The RIAA member companies failed to get together to innovate a new buisness model when the InterNet came along, and transferred this problem to the RIAA, which became their personal pitbull. Everyone's blaming the RIAA for this latest round of should-be-RICO-prosecuted behaviour by this company, but let's not forget at the same time the recording industry labels support these chuckleheads - where's the boycott against the labels?

    SCO is *really* the leading edge of "my buisness model failed" along with Microsoft - the pair of them are like the old IBM of the 90's, except instead of the hardware buisness, they're in the software buisness. Remember PS/2's, proprietary hardware, and IBM almost incredulously holding on to a market that was churning out clone PC's by the millions?

    SCO & Microsoft are like this - dinosaurs in the software industry that think you can still lock a customer in with a proprietary product and control their innovation path. Take a fresh look @ Microsoft as the IBM of the new millenium and it starts to become clear - Microsoft is nothing more than a proprietary product with a lot of market share trying to protect that marketshare with intimidation and borderline legal tactics.

    There's another two boycotts we should tell the Anti-Trust folks about in California & New York enforcing the decree on Microsoft anti-trust actions. Tell them the TCPA and security certificate scheme Microsoft is developing along with LongHorn represent another way Microsoft is trying to deny people access into their code - that "trusted code" argument is reeking all across it.

    And could someone please expose how much the US Government spent this year on inferior Microsoft product? I'd like to know how much insecure RPC crap my Congress-critters managed to purchase this year...
    • by Sphere1952 (231666) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:40AM (#6956291) Journal
      "...but let's not forget at the same time the recording industry labels support these chuckleheads - where's the boycott against the labels?"

      For the most part, the people doing the boycotting know very well that the RIAA is a stand-in for the Big Five labels. There is a lot of talk in the various fora about buying from unsigned artists and independent labels.

      Some are even pointing out that Sony et. at. sell other things besides CDs, and suggest boycotting the entire company.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:54AM (#6956326) Journal
      Really? Ancient business models failing? You mean the one where I produce something for a certain cost and then I sell it for cost + profit? I could swear most of us take part in that model at least once a week. Well at least those I presume are capable of typing. It is called shopping.

      Of course this ancient and still going strong model is based on a certain principle. Namely that is a substantial part of the cost of the item being sold is the production of the item itself. So that producing X times the number of items will incur X times the cost or at least close to that. Although cost per unit tends to go down as the number of units goes up this is not a steep curve nor for that matter an infinite one no matter how the charts look. If it was then at a certain number of units the cost of production would fall to zero. Perhaps even go negative :)

      What is outdated is the idea that this model applies to all things being sold. The technologies that made the internet possible have allowed some of the basics behind the cost of producing items to be changed. If it costs me X to produce a digital product then it doesn't cost me X*number of items. The cost of material and production capacity that ensures the rather smooth curve in the normal world is gone. Really the only thing keep the cost from being zero is the cost of distribution wich are low for digitals products.

      Producing a billion or a thousand digital items makes no difference. This is new. Also new is that distribution costs are pretty much equel no matter the distence. I now have a truly worldwide audience. Compare this to the rather limited distance a product like say milk goes.

      So for digital products a number of changes have occured.

      • Cost of production of a single item is pretty close to production of an infinite number of items. This is because we can make an excact copie of it without loss at neglible costs.
      • Cost of storage has plummted. Where in the normal world I have to store every item made a digital product needs to store only 1 item, the original. www.kernel.org holds only 1 copy of a kernel at a time. Not one for everyone who uses linux.
      • Related to the above, no cost for unsold copies. Every copy made is "sold".
      • Neglible transportation cost. Try sending a letter to the other side of the world. It will cost easily as much as the material itself. Now send an email. Further more the costs don't increase with distance (well not so you notice, again try sending an email)

      there are lots of other differences but I think these alone make for the fact that we now can have a different business model. And that is the problem. Not that the old model is obsolete. It still works fine for products that are produced in the old way, no negative meaning being applied to old btw. What the record companies and for that matter most content suppliers have failed to realize that theyre products can use a new business method.

      The silly thing is that music sharing is profitable for quite a number of companies. These are called ISP's and the telecoms. They make a bundle out of programs like napster. Or do you really need DSL/t3 to send email?

      I for one am still waiting for the following. Every "record" store gets a computer with a couple of outlet points (cd burners firewire connections and such), some terminals, a big HD array say 1 terrabyte (very cheap if you use IDE, it doesn't have to be fast) and a connection to a central network (doesn't have to be the internet for security).

      Then all that is needed is for every music owner to catalog their music and make it available on the central network.

      I then browse the catalog in the shop and make my selections. Popular songs are already locally available while others are taking from the network, perhaps stored in a cache, and my selection is then burned or put on an mp3 player etc. I then pay the shopkeeper the fee.

      Seems a simple enough solution. The shop has every piece of music ever sold on a wide va

      • by RajivSLK (398494) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:18AM (#6956646)
        I could swear most of us take part in that model at least once a week. Well at least those I presume are capable of typing. It is called shopping.

        Nonsense. You can get all your basic necessities from mother nature. Out here in the forest you can hunt and grow your own food, build your own house and even Access /. by generating your own electr..... Error detected on squirrel_running_wheel_generator1. Phase mistmatch. Shutting down power grid in 10..9..8..7... Ahhh help! Squirrels flying everywhe... @^&#% NO CARRIER

      • We went to a baby and toddler products consumer show yesterday. One booth was selling CDs of music with your child's name in a number of songs.

        It was a small booth and they might have had 20 CDs on display of the most popular children's names.

        However, if your child's name wasn't on any of the disks they already had, you simply paid $20 (Canadian) and within an hour, you could come back and they'll have burned a disk and have a laser printed clear label.

        Presumably, the owners had access to a studio, d
      • You did a good job of describing the basics for the economics of plenty vs the economics of scarcity. But your idea of a brick & mortar record shop with infinite inventory will never happen, for two reasons:

        1) The RIAA and Co exist because they hold a monopoly and are able to abuse that monopoly position to suck big dollars out of the system through what looks like inefficiencies. Your proposed system is way too efficient, there isn't enough cover for the RIAA to hide their cash extraction activities
      • I agree with most of the parent, but as for this:

        I for one am still waiting for the following. Every "record" store gets a computer with a couple of outlet points (cd burners firewire connections and such), some terminals, a big HD array say 1 terrabyte (very cheap if you use IDE, it doesn't have to be fast) and a connection to a central network (doesn't have to be the internet for security). Then all that is needed is for every music owner to catalog their music and make it available on the central netwo

  • huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGP AT ColinGregoryPalmer DOT net> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:21AM (#6956247) Homepage
    "In a sense, Internet technology is a metaphor for the new morality. As long as you can get it, it doesn't matter how."

    I don't get it.
  • by besfred (699432) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:22AM (#6956249) Homepage
    via http://www.unix-girl.com/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_ id=1130 Comment by insin http://ds.dial.pipex.com/thumbs_aloft/ffi/ffi1.htm To summarize it: - Filesharing is copyright infringement at best, which is a civil offence ("at best" meaning, if you forget about fair use and stuff like that) - Stealing is a crime The above link contains some rude words, but is to the point.
    • And filesharing isn't sharing at all. At best it is copying. Sharing means there is one object, and only party can use it at a time. This is copying, where every person gets a new copy and no one loses the use of their original copy. IF your going to bitch about precise definitions, please use ALL the correct terms, not just the ones that make your arguement look better.
      • Sharing means there is one object, and only party can use it at a time.

        So you never read the sunday comics with a friend, at the same time, effectively sharing a single copy of them?

        You never watched a rented movie with your family, SO, friends, or whatever, thereby sharing a single limited resource (ie, the movie)?

        I will agree that "filesharing" means "copying", but, "IF your going to bitch about precise definitions, please use ALL the correct terms, not just the ones that make your arguement look b
      • There is nothing in the definition of sharing that implies that there can only be one object. Sharing is about disribution and not necessarily evenly. With a filesharing utility you share your files and other persons shares theirs with you. It definately is sharing but it also is definately wrong. I agree with the original comment that it most certainly is not stealing as there is no intention to permenantly deprive the owner of the object, therefore it cannot be seen as stealing. It is only wrong in t
    • Perhaps we would be better off if filesharing was stealing. Think about it: I leave my property (the files) on my server, unprotected by any lock (similar to me leaving my bike in the garden without any lock). Let's say for the sake of argument that you come along and steal it. Here's what happens:

      - I cannot be prosecuted for "filesharing" since I am myself a victim of theft. There's no law saying I have to secure my bike, and similarly there is no law saying I have to secure my server.

      - There is no way

    • The copyright holder is the owner of exclusive rights.

      If you take on the execution of one of those rights for yourself and make a copy then you have taken away from the exclusivity that they own.
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:23AM (#6956251) Journal
    The EFF petition is a move in the right direction, but does it really make a difference? What is it that keeps the RIAA going? It's the fact that people still buy music from its members. Why do people buy this music? Because they want to listen to it. Because there is a demand.

    Breaking the law is bad. But so is working to take away our rights. The RIAA is an organization which exists to work for record labels, in order to maximize profit. It is basically an organization which works for the industry, against the customer (or "consumer" which we are today).

    Perhaps it is time to take matters into our own hands and really strike them where it hurts the most. If they don't make any money, they can't afford lawsuits and lobbying to take away our rights as individuals and as customers. They cannot spread lies about P2P and other useful technologies.

    If as many people as possible spread music for free as much as possible, fewer would buy music. That's right, we are fighting this fight by breaking the law. We are trying to force the RIAA out of business.

    A normal argument from RIAA apologists is that it is "morally wrong" to "steal music". I would say that the only morally right thing to do is to fight for one's rights! And this fight must be taken on a number of levels. From nice petitions that most likely will not make a difference, to breaking the law. Standing by and accepting that one's rights are taken away is a true sign of a "morally challenged" individual!

    With several angles of attack, maybe the RIAA will eventually disappear.

    RIAA should realize that tor many people, this is war. And wars are dirty. But it would benefit everyone except the RIAA members if it died, including the artists!

    Would it be a good thing to form an organization with a single purpose - distribute as much as possible for free to prevent money from ending up in RIAA members' hands? The RIAA is already spreading lies and deception, so we don't really have much to lose do we?

    • Come to think of it, there are actually signs that the good fight is getting dirty. The EFF petition uses the 12 year old girl as a "tool" to show everyone how evil the RIAA is. But the fact is that the girl did break the law.

      Don't get me wrong, though. I think it is perfectly fine to appeal to people's sense of decency by using dirty tricks, such as this 12 year old girl being used to trigger emotions of disgust against the RIAA - even though they are technically right according to the law.

      But maybe th

    • I think that a bigger threat to the RIAA is LEGAL internet distribution, because they cannot interfere with it at all. I recently discovered the Open Source, cross platform project iRate Radio, a service that distributes free songs that the Artists want distributed. Check it out at The iRate Homepage [sourceforge.net] and programmers, please contribute to make it better! Once people discover independent music, they are much less likely to go back.
    • It is not immoral to break an unjust law. Law is not morality. And to those who would argue that most people use the law in place of morality, I ask you this: How many people do you know that have conscience attacks when crossing the street away from an intersection, or when the light would not allow them to do so? Just like with jaywalking, people fashion their own rules and morals based on their interactions with others, and not based on law.

      I'm not advocating anarchy, I'm just trying to point out t

    • I'm setting up a freenet node on my machine and making my extensive collection available. Freenet's not perfect, but this is a political fight more than a technological one; and it's good enough to make a statement.

      Sigh. So when you search freenet and get 999 hits for porn, and 1 for music, that one'll be me...
    • I have a better idea...

      how bout you "take into your own hands" by not buying CD's from RIAA member companies. and be public about it.

      i've been buying cd's for a long time, and have spent quite a bit on recorded music. now, i've decided to stop, only buy CD's a used record stores or from labels i know are not affiliated with RIAA.

      does it mean i'm not gonna get the new radiohead record? yep, it does. will i miss having it? yeah, i will. so, oh well.

      honestly, fighting this with more illegality is goi
  • by TrollBurger (575126) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:26AM (#6956257) Homepage Journal
    Hey, the humour piece on the RIAA detention centers was pretty funny, but its really not that far from the truth. For over a decade and a half now the US government has been setting up and maintaining fully operational detention centers all throughout america.

    There were estimates a few years ago that the capacity was over two million. Part of me doesn't want to know what their capacity is currently.

    The camps were set up as a part of operation Rex84 (search [google.com]) in the 80s, established on the reasoning that if a mass exodus of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.

    Now that the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II move to establish anyone that breaks any law as a potential terrorist, it makes you wonder what they've got planned...

    There's a lot of info on the net about these and other operations. A lot of the websites play the 'paranoid' card a little too strongly (*cough* alex jones*cough*), but I highly recommended you check out available info!

    Some links:

    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/camps.htm [apfn.org]
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/camps.html [abovetopsecret.com]
    http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/concentration.htm [mindcontrolforums.com]
    http://www.c0balt.com/egg/insane.shtml [c0balt.com]

    I'm not trolling, this is some serious shit, America!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:36AM (#6956280)
    ...courtesy of google: not above stealing themselves [nytimes.com] musicians [nytimes.com] internet [nytimes.com]

    Please, submitters - take a few seconds to look up these links - it'll save those of us who block cookies and/or are always on public computers and so loathe having to reregister for every single story (for whoever remembers their password for throw-away accounts?) quite a bit of time.
  • New pirate born (Score:3, Interesting)

    by computerlady (707043) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:37AM (#6956281) Journal

    I'd never, ever downloaded music nor accepted a copy of a CD from a friend until the RIAA started issuing the subpoenas.Two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes the second wrong (the RIAA actions) piss off the honest folks so much that they side with the original lawbreakers.

    I wonder if anyone else, like me, has been driven to a life of crime - or at least a life of acts of civil disobedience - by the RIAA goons?

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:43AM (#6956300) Homepage

    • opening its massive detention facility in the high desert of Movaje, CA

    That is on US soil & human rights would eventually be enforced. They should have learned from the US government and located the facility in Cuba, I gather that there is some spare space in Camp X-Ray.

    Well, that would have been one way of improving the story!

  • Author's rights. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sphere1952 (231666) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:50AM (#6956313) Journal
    In general, the conversation about P2P misses the constitutional point entirely. Forget about the filesharer's rights and think only in terms of the author's rights. This is purely a conflict between author's rights.

    There is music out there which the author wants shared. There is music out there which the author doesn't care if it's shared. There is some music out there which the author wants protected by copyright. The problem is that it is impossible to tell which music is which.

    The filesharer is simply a hapless bystander who is caught-up in a legal quagmire. If the filesharers assume the work is protected by copyright then they are infringing the author's right to speak and be heard by willing listeners. If they assume the work is an act of free speech then they might be infringing the author's limited commercial copyright.

    The question, then, is this: Ought the filesharer assume the work is a constitutionally protected act of free speech, or ought the filesharer assume the work is protected by an obscure federal statute giving limited commercial protection from copying?

    • And fullfill the authors desires. I found an interesting one at Sourceforge [sourceforge.net] called iRate.
      It downloads independent songs and you rate them.
      There's more to it, and I recomend anyone who's tired of the RIAA to at least take a look.
      Some of the downloads are a little slow, and it's an early version but I've already found some indie stuff I like.

      This may be the direction we need to go.
      Artists could get feedback and people are exposed to new music (minus the $20 per DECENT song tax;-)
      • Sounds interesting. I'll look into it.

        I run a Freenet node. I'm too busy fighting for my fundamental free speech rights to have any time for downloading myself, but I figure that doing things like running Freenet are worth the effort.

        I'm not sure if things like iRate really do anything to protect my rights or not. It's something I'll have to think about.
  • by iconnor (131903) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @08:57AM (#6956336)
    If they are happy to download the music to see if it belongs to them, consider the mistake if it did not.
    If someone has a name similar to that of their artist (or not), records some copyright material to mp3 and then puts it on the network. The condition is it is free for anyone to download, except the major record labels, their employees, agents, contractors or affiliates. By virtue of their copyright laws, they are not allowed to download it (aka steal it) and are subject to $1500 or $150,000 fine if they do.

    All we need to do then is monitor the downloads of this mp3, and then sue the RIAA when they download it. If there is more than 216 of us doing this, then we can easily outweigh their laws and settle this similar to how the large companies settle patent lawsuits, you lower your weapons and we lower ours.
    • You better have more money than the RIAA if you plan to go to court and fight them. Just a thought. Also, in the District Court of NY, the music industry has NEVER lost a copyright case they get transferred to that court. Gee, I wonder why they try and get all cases there.
  • Very dim person (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nagora (177841) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:04AM (#6956357)
    From the article: "Somehow everybody seems to be making out," she said. "I don't see any poor rock stars. I don't see any poor designers."

    From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Everyone was rich and nobody wass poor. At least, no one very important

    How does this idiot woman think she would ever hear of the poor (ie, failed) rock stars? In this month's "No Longer Rolling Stone"?

    TWW

    • Re:Very dim person (Score:3, Informative)

      by gl4ss (559668)
      the whole definition of 'rock star' makes it so.. if you just follow the rock stars on top, of course they're stinking rich and have fancy cars and everything, it's part of the image record companies wish their upstarts to have(all the 'living a dream iiik this is so cool' journal crap on mtv).

      but in reality there have been dozens and dozens of people who have been stars for a while(who recording companies have _owned_) and then dumped out. there's shitloads of ex-stars who aren't rich by any means, some w
    • Re:Very dim person (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anomic_event (518226)
      From the musicians article in NYT:
      "Musicians tend to make more money from sales of concert tickets and merchandise than from CD sales."

      If we are concerned about whether file-sharing is robbing actual music creators of $ then Read the Musicians article! It speaks of how the musicians themselve rarely recieve any royalties from CD sales.


      Time for a change in laws......
      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/14/technology/14MUS I.html?pagewanted=2&hp
  • Because of that big annoying distracting ad that was larger than the article itself! (btw, the lameness filter is LAME. It wouldn't let me type that in all caps for emphasis) I think I got through a couple of sentences before giving up.
  • by muonman (162064) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:50AM (#6956786) Homepage
    is that with all the sanctimonious condemnation of file sharers as thieves, so far no one has dwelt opon the truly egregious thievery going on by the RIAA. That is, that they stole and continue to steal CONGRESS from the American people. (Not to mention the executive and judiciary, I mean come on people, Dubya? Scalia? Thomas? Ashcroft? Rumsfeld?)

    They effectively take you and me out of the loop and expect us to have any respect for the laws they pass? Check your local copy of the Declaration of Independence for a take on what a "Good American"'s reaction is supposed to be to that.
  • Re: RIAA Bits (Score:2, Interesting)

    by justforaday (560408)
    the fact that a media exec "pirated" a Forrester report doesn't surprise me in the least. several years ago i was temping at one of the major record labels [something i swear i'll never do again]. quite literally about 2/3 of the people there had file sharing enabled on their machines giving anyone access to all the mp3s they had. of course, most of these people will probably claim that because they're on the other side of the fence that they have every right to share files to their coworkers in the name o
  • Cut out the fat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KrazzeeKooter (593834)
    Will somone just do a nationwide media campaign.
    Cut out the fat!
    The point being the music industry has turned into such a rich, self indulgent and all to powerful middle man. Let's just cut them out! Artist meet audience, audience meet artist. Screw the overindulgent and ungracious middleman! It's quite clear their lawsuits don't represent the artists at all, they're just trying to protect their big fat lucartive middle man position.
  • I wrote an essay for a music advocacy site. Sharethemusicday.com [sharethemusicday.com]
  • Ms. Frank, the MTV executive, noted the limitations of unlimited customization, even amid unlimited access. For young Americans, she said, "because of the way they've trained themselves to use media, they never have to be exposed to an idea, an artist, or anything that they did not select for themselves."

    Few, I thought I'd have to suffer through another dismal selection of my favorite tunes, culled from years of bombardment by media morons. But Ms. Frank is above having trained herself to use media, as th

  • by Squiggle (8721) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @11:49AM (#6957120)
    Ms. Frank, the MTV executive, noted the limitations of unlimited customization, even amid unlimited access. For young Americans, she said, "because of the way they've trained themselves to use media, they never have to be exposed to an idea, an artist, or anything that they did not select for themselves."

    I call BULLSHIT! Obvious this person is either lying straight out, misquoted, or an complete asshat if she works at MTV and doesn't understand what is going on. First, I'm willing to bet that kids (just like me) do research to find artists they like: especially the trend setters. Those that don't spend the time finding the good stuff are the sheep: they follow the trend setters. Thus, peer influences are going to be the biggest factor - and yes, MTV tries very, very hard to pass itself off as a peer, or at least showing "peers" watching and listening to the crap they play on MTV.

    Thirdly (and most importantly), what the f8sck is wrong with people listening to the artists they choose themselves? The quote is implying that the kids aren't listening to what we told them to! "Whaaa! How can we use marketing to control people that make their own decisions!?" This is a great example the NYTimes doing what it does best. Here is an example of something really positive - people chosing what they like - and the Times spins it like it is some sort of terrible limitation. Unless the Times has replaced The Onion [theonion.com]...

  • by FooAtWFU (699187)
    "While you're online, visit a blog with links to published movie gossip and use your pirated e-mail program to send tidbits to your hundred closest friends."

    Who uses a pirated email program? Web novices use a preinstalled Outlook Distress or equivalent, while experts use Mozilla or derivitaves. And corporate users use whatever the corporation installed.

    Maybe some of the other allegations are true, but this one is just silly.
  • by Wylfing (144940) <.ten.gniflyw. .ta. .nairb.> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @12:59PM (#6957521) Homepage Journal
    People have already pointed out the one interesting paragraph in the article (i.e., the music exec stealing a Forrester report). The article should have stopped there. I despise this kind of "culture analysis" article that aims to shed light on those rascally inscrutable teenagers. It reminds me of Better Off Dead [imdb.com], where the father reads a book called "How to Talk to Teenagers" and tries out slang but screws it up, e.g., "Right off!"

    Here some great lines from the NYT article:

    use your pirated e-mail program to send tidbits to your hundred closest friends. Uh, what? Who the hell pirates an email program?

    If this is the democracy of the copy, it is enough to make one long for the elitism of creative genius. This is annoying in oh so many ways. OF COURSE people copy what artists create. It's normal behavior. In fact, it's normal for artists to copy other artists too. I'm really getting fed up with this idea that "creative genius" pops out of nowhere and isn't itself somehow a copy or a derivative.

  • The real crime... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ruiner13 (527499) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @01:59PM (#6957839) Homepage
    "The New York Times writes that record industry executives who are adamant that file sharing is stealing are not above stealing themselves."

    You mean like artificially keeping CD prices high by using your power as a monopoly to steal more money from people who like music? I'd say the record industry has been stealing from all of us for many, many years. I will not shed a tear about their tiny loss of profit that is probably more due to their inability to put out good music and alienating their customers than file "sharing".

  • quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lonesome phreak (142354) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @02:50PM (#6958081) Journal
    Ms. Frank, the MTV executive, noted the limitations of unlimited customization, even amid unlimited access. For young Americans, she said, "because of the way they've trained themselves to use media, they never have to be exposed to an idea, an artist, or anything that they did not select for themselves."

    Yes, because people that d/l music and such live in a cave and never come out. Thy must make their own food and clothes too, because they are never exposed to an idea they did not select. I can't walk outside my house without being exposed to ideas I did not select. My neighbor's clothes, billboards, branding on food at the store...I am forced to look at these things just to survive. I don't really want to at times...

    I think she should have said "They haven't been exposed enough to our ideas, our select artists, or all our other marketing campaigns because they feel they have freedom of choice."

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