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RIAA Sues More Music Lovers 626

Posted by michael
from the killing-me-softly-with-his-song dept.
DominoTree writes "The RIAA, a trade group representing the U.S. music industry has filed a new round of lawsuits against 744 people it alleges used online file-sharing networks to illegally trade in copyrighted songs, it said on Wednesday."
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RIAA Sues More Music Lovers

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  • by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:39AM (#10076853)
    Yesterday I was taken to task about my comments related to a similar article where I stated that the RIAA was suing more of it's customers. I say this because there are plenty of people who download a song or even an album (I hate to buy an album and find that only one song is any good) in a "try before you buy" spirit. I did this recently and then took advantage of Real's $4.99 price for an album. I know that a great deal of people simply download and do not buy but it cannot be a blanket statement. Anyway, this particular round of suits are, once again, filed against John Does:

    The Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) said the various suits, filed in courts across the country, cover "John Doe" defendants whose true identities are unknown to the group.

    From the previous group of John Doe suits more folks have been identified:

    Separately, suits covering 152 people who were previously sued anonymously but later identified and offered the chance to settle, were refiled with their true identities after they ignored or declined those offers, an RIAA (news - web sites) spokesman said.

    I still maintain that suing your customers, whether your are the RIAA or SCO, can have a chilling effect on sales.

    Cheers,

    Erick

    • by Pofy (471469) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:48AM (#10076929)
      >I say this because there are plenty of people
      >who download a song or even an album

      I think that the cases here are for people sharing music, not the ones downloading, that is relatively easier to find than people downloading.

      As regarding customers allready comiting copyright infringement, I do download music and it is not uncommon that I own such music allready, I just find it more convenient at time than to convert the music myself.
      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:08AM (#10078287) Journal
        "I think that the cases here are for people sharing music, not the ones downloading, that is relatively easier to find than people downloading."

        Just one prblem - while you download a song, you are also sharing it.Even if you download it and immediately remove it from your shared folder/directory, you're still sharng the thing while downloading, even if only from the temp directory where the file is being stored for assembly.

        Some P2P systems, such as BitTorrent, in fact rely on this very thing to exist at all.

        /P

      • I think that the cases here are for people sharing music, not the ones downloading, that is relatively easier to find than people downloading.

        I may be mistaken, but I am under the impression that simply downloading is not illegal per se. Copyright covers distribution, and downloaders are not distributing the songs, people who share are the distributors here. Of course, with most modern P2P programs practically mandating uploading along with downloading, this distinction gets pretty blurry.

        Also, I think t
    • by poofmeisterp (650750) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:51AM (#10076956) Journal
      I still maintain that suing your customers, whether your are the RIAA or SCO, can have a chilling effect on sales.

      ...which will lower their revenue further... which will make them find a scapegoat... which will target more technologies... which will prompt the creation of new technologies... which will prmopt more lawsuits.....

      You see where this is going.

      Also, wouldn't suing your customers piss them off, making them switch to alternate providers, further lowering sales, prompting you to sue more people in a desperate attempt to preserve your business model, causing them to stop purchasing from you (resume loop)?

      I'd love to be in the room when the "brains" behind the RIAA finally say "screw it - we lost."
      • I'd love to be in the room when the "brains" behind the RIAA finally say "screw it - we lost."

        Somehow, I don't think that will be any time soon...
      • I'd love to be in the room when the "brains" behind the RIAA finally say "screw it - we lost. It is more likely they will be sitting in the room, and somebody will come in and say "screw you - you lost." They should have let iTunes happen much sooner. Still time, just have to quit fighting reality, they need to make sure several legal music sites have every song that they control and allow independant music as well.
      • Also, wouldn't suing your customers piss them off, making them switch to alternate providers

        That's one of the issues here that you won't find in other situations - there's no legal way to acquire this music without the RIAA getting a cut. The RIAA knows this and the organization plays that card with a bit of hostility.
      • by halowolf (692775) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:04AM (#10077530)
        Well luckily in Australia music sales revenue has been going up not down... oh, but we don't talk about that... never mind!

        It looks like however that the RIAA will need to be taken, kicking and screaming into the new age of music. An age where hopefully more quality music will be produced and less populist blond breast augmented voice modified bimbo' won't be ruling the charts. Oh and a place where they might not be particularly relevant anymore.

        I've been finding it harder to do the try before you buy thing as many stores I go to don't let you try before you buy for some bizarre reason. I find it bizarre because I would of thought that music stores would want to encourage people to buy music not make it harder for customers to pick something they would like. And the stores that do usually charge some quite unreasonable prices on their CD's for the priviledge, or simply don't have a good range of music to listen to.

        But of course, its all the customers fault that they are demanding more than they are getting, and when they don't get it they then take it. Thats a rather naive however, there are people that will always steal music, software etc because they see it as better than paying. I don't but hey thats just me. Those people, I have no problem with them having to defend their actions in court. However this situation we are in is infact many shades of grey and not just black and white with such simple examples as those I have described. The RIAA members steal from artists too, that is documented in places that I can't be bothered finding.

        Bah I can't be bothered wondering if what I've just written makes any sense. I'm going to bed! :)

    • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:59AM (#10077032) Homepage
      I say this because there are plenty of people who download a song or even an album (I hate to buy an album and find that only one song is any good) in a "try before you buy" spirit. I did this recently and then took advantage of Real's $4.99 price for an album.

      Of course. Numerous studies have shown that file sharing probably overall does more good for the RIAA than harm, and so they should embrace it, at least somewhat.

      However, one point that is often overlooked here is that this is their decision to make, not ours.

      • That point rests on the moral equivalency of a corporation and a person. We don't even give all people the full personation in this country (children have many restrictions put on them by society, for their own good), so why should a corporation be considered the equal to you or me?
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:46AM (#10078846) Homepage Journal
        It is their decision to make because we have made it their decision, and as a nation we [should] have the power to revoke that right. The fact that we haven't yet done so suggests that we are not in control of our nation - the corporations are. (This is not a surprise.) The Sonny Bono copyright act should have been seen as the clear conflict of interest that it is, but sonny met up with an evergreen and now we're going to be stuck with the damn thing probably forever.
      • Wrong. It is out decision. We are stakeholders and more importantly, we are citizens of the United States. Stakeholders should influence a company's decisions. (Stakeholder include shareholder, suppliers, employees, and customers.) Citizens grant the right for the company to exist in the first place.

        The members of the RIAA were granted corporate charters to promote the public welfare. Suing everyone can be argued to violate thier corporate charter. It could be grounds for thier dissolution.
    • by jest3r (458429) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:59AM (#10077033)
      I wonder when the RIAA will figure out that they are suing the wrong people ...

      For starters the Internet is a global medium. I really don't see how picking on a handful of John Does in the United States will limit the availability of audio on P2P networks as a whole. Even if the RIAA managed to shutdown every computer sharing audio files in the United States people would still be downloading (from the rest of the world) and not buying.

      The fact is it doesn't matter where the people sharing are ... because in order to stem to decline in CD sales you have to stop the downloads themselves.

      I think the more successful campaign revolved around flooding the networks with low quality audio files. This way they could market CD's as a big step up. In fact even today low quality audio files are a major drawback of using P2P for regular folk.

      Furthermore I wonder why the RIAA hasn't gone after .binaries newsgroups, torrents or some of the other networks where people have been "sharing" high quality MP3's and lossless audio for years. Torrents have made sharing audio via websites even more accessible than ever before: to the point that Google searches for band name / torrent usually get results.

      The RIAA seems to be 2 steps behind what is going on in the real world.

      • by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:54AM (#10077449) Journal
        Three reasons:
        • P2P clients are much easier to use than torrent or newsgroup clients.
        • The breadth of coverage available at any given time on P2P networks far exceeds that via torrents or newsgroups.
        • Many P2P clients automatically setup the user as both a user and a supplier, which allows the RIAA to determine if someone has crossed that line into sharing, not just downloading. Without that ability to monitor for sharing, the RIAA is powerless unless they co-opt the ISP's to allow RIAA drones to monitor their network traffic.

        Remember, the RIAA is targeting distributors. The fact that some just happen to be users is coincidental.
      • by shostiru (708862) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:54AM (#10078087)
        Furthermore I wonder why the RIAA hasn't gone after .binaries newsgroups

        Usenet wasn't intended for file sharing and the RIAA can't make a case to that effect. A lot of Usenet admins also claim common carrier status. I don't know whether this has ever been upheld in court, and it's by no means the case that every Usenet personality agrees this is a good idea (c.f. Karl Denninger, who as I recall was the one who came up with "megabytes and megabytes of copyright violations" as the description for alt.binaries.pictures.erotica).

        I expect if the RIAA does anything it will be to go after individual Usenet posters, not Usenet itself. On the other hand, people still post clearly illegal material on Usenet and seem to get away with it. Complicating matters for the RIAA and company, US citizens can use a Usenet server outside of the country, and that server's admins can tell the RIAA to go fuck itself.

        torrents

        They're certainly aware of it. We just got a DMCA notice for one of our users who was sharing movies using BitTorrent (I don't know the tracker). This has been going on for several months at least.

        or some of the other networks where people have been "sharing" high quality MP3's

        You mean like Direct Connect? Edonkey? Gnutella2? AFAIK every popular P2P protocol has users who've been hit with DMCAs, and many have been subject to more aggressive action.

        To my knowledge outside of Freenet (and others which offer similar protections) there are no P2P networks immune to DMCA and lawsuits.

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:32AM (#10077832) Homepage Journal
      I still maintain that suing your customers, whether your are the RIAA or SCO, can have a chilling effect on sales.
      Which is presumably why the RIAA is suing people it clearly believes are not "its" (or rather its members') customers. Remember, the RIAA is suing people for "sharing" (mass distribution to anonymous strangers without authorization) the music made by its members, so that those anonymous strangers do not need to visit record stores or the iTMS and actually buy anything. I don't see a customer relationship there, I see a competitive relationship (copyright infringers vs the members of the RIAA), and one where one of those groups, the infringers, are apparently acting illegally.

      Back when Napster was having every law in the book thrown at it, many Slashdotters argued that this was morally wrong because it was only Napster's customers who were infringing on copyrights, not Napster itself. In general, the operators and creators of these networks have, quite deliberately, created a tool that makes copyright infringement easy and potentially accidental. Meanwhile the focus has changed to these people.

      I'm really wondering who's morally in the wrong here. The RIAA? Music owned by the members of the RIAA (and their suppliers) is, very obviously, being illegally distributed on P2P networks. The users? In many cases, the redistribution is obviously illegal but many still seem to believe in some kind of loophole to protect them, from a belief that they only downloaded the music (not realising that it became automatically "shared" the moment they did, and in any case knowing full well they were encouraging that illegal distribution to begin with), to a belief "fair use" implies any kind of not-for-profit redistribution (it doesn't..)

      Sharman networks and their ilk? I'm sure there are a few idealists amongst these groups who envisage millions of garage-based bands turning their music into MP3s and distributing it for free, but, come on, when Shawn Fanning wrote Napster as an alternative to IRC based distribution, what were the majority of MP3s that were being distributed?

      Sometimes it's necessary to side with the "bad guys". The entire problem with P2P could have been resolved had anyone been willing to build responsibility into the networks, so that nobody would have thought redistributing music without authorization was something they could do without getting caught to begin with. All this infrastructure has been built instead of building something that would have created a genuine, independent, alternative to the major commercial record labels - I say instead, because as things currently are, the current infrastructure is open to legal attack, and, clearly from the lawsuits, the networks seem to be predominantly used to distribute the music of the major commercial record labels, not the alternatives.

      So, what we have here isn't custom, it's competition. It's legally challenged competition. It's not really doing anything the swivel-eyed idealists said P2P would do, because it's not designed to. I don't think the RIAA is suing its (members') customers.

      • I guess my argument would be that i think i shouldn't have to pay for music. I think the ideal would be realized if the artists distributed their music for free, and made their money off of performances. I would compare this to the art world. I can go to google and search for any work of visual art and find an image. Yet there is no uproar from the fine art world. If i want a more immersive experience, i go to the museum.
    • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @12:19PM (#10079317)
      I clearly, openly, and honestly maintain that since the RIAA (and Disney) stole the public domain by indefinitely extending the copyright period, any and all downloading, copying, and sharing of anything, anywhere is morally and ethically justified. By using overwhelming financial resources to destroy the legal balance between copyright and public domain, they have abrograted their legal 'right' to own anything. Their claim to legal ownership is meaningless given their felonious actions. Any act that they do against us is a crime: extorting money from us and stealing our property.
      They are the ones who have destroyed the copyright laws, not us. We are only protecting the public domain for future generations. It is right and proper that we do so.
    • "I still maintain that suing your customers, whether your are the RIAA or SCO, can have a chilling effect on sales."

      A person who is making hundreds of your songs available for download by anyone in the world is not your customer. He is your competitor.
  • by ralf1 (718128) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:39AM (#10076858)
    or is the RIAA just using mass-mugging tactics? Seems the ACLU or EFF or someone would want to make a big public test case out of some individuals lawsuit defense.
  • by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:39AM (#10076859) Homepage Journal
    Film at 11... oh wait, make that puppet theater at 11, since the RIAA has confiscated the film
  • "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

    Is it really news that the RIAA is still filling lawsuits against grandmothers and 12 year olds?

    • a) People that are old enough to be grandmothers are old enough to know that copyright infringement is illegal
      b) If your 12-year-old is pirating music, you aren't doing a good job as a parent and the lesson will be taught one way or another
      c) I'm sure most of the people named in the lawsuits are neither grandmothers nor underage, and you are just blowing things out of proportion.
      • by maximilln (654768) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:53AM (#10076979) Homepage Journal
        People that are old enough to be grandmothers are old enough to know that copyright infringement is illegal

        That same grandmother wouldn't bat an eyelash if you gave her a CD with old big band music for Christmas. Non-smokers would have no problem if smoking became a felony. People who don't drink have no problem with prohibition.

        Your subject group is skewed.

        If your 12-year-old is pirating music, you aren't doing a good job as a parent and the lesson will be taught one way or another

        There is no theft. This is an artificial crime called "copyright infringement". While the spirit of copyright is a starry-eyed ideal which everyone supports the implementation is flawed and anyone who actually lives under its sway knows that it rarely, if ever, benefits the original author in the way that you think it does.

        • by mabinogi (74033) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:21AM (#10077173) Homepage
          All crime is artificial, and most of the implementations of the laws are flawed.
          That doesn't mean they're _not_ laws.
          Go ahead and practice civil disobediance if you wish, that's up to you, but don't pretend that copyright infringement is any less against the law than any other type of theft.

          If obtaining something that is not rightfully yours (and no, it's NOT - a musicians music isn't yours to take any more than a sculptur's sculpture would be) is not stealing just because there isn't a tangible decrease in a inventory somewhere, then what is it?
          The only English word that comes close to fitting is Steal. Which, being a word that comes from Old English originated in a time when the only method of stealing involved physically removing. The world has moved on now, and there are ways of illegally obtaining something from someone without physically removing it.

          Also, it is quite acceptable to use steal in the sense where the owner is deprived of something, but you don't actually gain it yourself (stealing someone's life for example) so why not the other way round?

          The "it's not stealing/piracy it's copyright infringement", is a straw man argument that misses the point that no matter what you call it it _is_ illegal whether you think it should be or not.
          • by maximilln (654768) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:38AM (#10077311) Homepage Journal
            All crime is artificial

            Most crime is real. Intellectual property and copyright are intangible. Can you tell the difference between music which was purchased vs. music downloaded with only your ear? If someone tells you they have a "great idea" can you immediately swear that they didn't hear it from someone else two days earlier?

            a musicians music isn't yours to take any more than a sculptur's sculpture would be

            A musician's music isn't the musician's anymore. It belongs to some media conglomerate. You're attempting to arouse sympathy for a group of people who aren't even involved anymore.

            not stealing just because there isn't a tangible decrease in a inventory somewhere

            It's not stealing. The product was legally sold. Rights of ownership were transferred at the point of sale. Misrepresenting a rental as a sale is a poor way of defending business stupidity. If they feel they are losing profits they should reevaluate the worth of their product.

            Take the agricultural industry. They produce genetically engineered crops. They only sell seed which produces sterile crops because they are intelligent and they know that otherwise the product would be EASILY COPIED. The agri industry could have lobbied for federal oversight and DNA testing of crops. They could have run down farmers for "stealing" their intellectual property. Instead they 1) subsidized, out of their own profit margin, engineered crops in order to put them in the marketplace and 2) invested in the research to produce seed which produced sterile crops.

            The music industry should take a lesson. Making criminals out of customers is the wrong business model. Why not admit,"We're so stupid that we didn't realize our product was so easily copied."

            The product was legally sold. The government is not their personal Guido.
            • Excellent Post. (Score:3, Insightful)

              by KrisHolland (660643)
              Really a good post, but the pest part is this, I laughted out loud.

              "The government is not their personal Guido."

              I also agree that copyright infrindgement is an artifical crime. Copyright property is a state-sponsored temporary monopoly which creates a scarcity which does not correspond to any state in reality. An *artifical* scarcity which does not exist or would exist except as created by law.
      • You don't need to teach your kids not to download music. You need to teach them not to download music OR buy CDs.
  • yawn (Score:5, Funny)

    by welshwaterloo (740554) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:40AM (#10076863)
    Dupe


    Oh.. wait..

  • Fair Sentence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grunt107 (739510) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:41AM (#10076868)
    Why can't these 'illegal downloaders' just repay the RIAA with their purchased CDs, like the RIAA got to do?

    Of course, the repayment CDs would be chosen by the defendants, just like the RIAA got to do.
  • This is why... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:41AM (#10076869) Journal
    You all need to get your butts over to MEDIACHEST.COM http://www.mediachest.com/ [mediachest.com] and start trading your music, DVDs, CDs, and Books there.

    (This is not a plug, I don't work for them or get paid by them)

    Basically, you catalog your collection of stuff using their amazon-like lookup functions, and then other people can search your collections (they find you by Groups, by Zip Code, etc) and then you trade with them any way you want (in person, by mail, etc).

    This service is excellent because the RIAA and MPAA and FBI and whomever else cannot I repeat CANNOT get you on law breaking. As the 'swapping' happens offline, they have no way to find out about it.

    Please give it a shot, if this website takes off the world be a happier place.

    • Re:This is why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:50AM (#10076950)
      "This service is excellent because the RIAA and MPAA and FBI and whomever else cannot I repeat CANNOT get you on law breaking. As the 'swapping' happens offline, they have no way to find out about it."

      Ummmm...can you say "Sting Operation" boys and girls? How the hell do you think they catch kiddie porn freaks who try to meet up with kids offline? Do you know you're not setting yourself up to illegally distribute songs offline with a cop of FBI agent?
  • Circumvent the RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:41AM (#10076874)
    Why not pay your favorite artist personally?

    Circumvent the managers at the RIAA by letting your software music jukebox manage your favorite artists. This requires a central database listing creative works and the artists who actually made them so that you can donate automatically to your favorite artists.

    problem: telling some site what kind of music you have my get you sued as you declare to have illegal music.

    solution: give partial hash code (checksum). Site returns say 200 potential hits. You verify for yourself if you have have a copyrighted song 'belonging' to the site. You discard the 199 misses and you use the info about the song to compensate the listed artist directly. This can be done anonymously: "I love your (unspecified) work here is a donation of 20 cents". Artist uses statistics to figure out how to compensate those who helped him with popular creations if the donations rise above thousands of dollars.

    So you spend say 300 dollar per year to (automatically) compensate your favorite artists directly without confessing a crime as your jukebox figures out compensation anonymously and you can also donate manually, even though you do not have any works of arts of that artists in your possession, making the system a black box, meaning that donations do not directly indicate illegal possession.

    Why pay for distribution? Let's circumvent the RIAA.
    --
    Dennis SCP
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      Sheeesh, this is pretty much a re-post of the same comment a few days ago. First the stories are duped, now comments are getting duped? What's next?
      • Re:Dupe (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Danse (1026)

        Sheeesh, this is pretty much a re-post of the same comment a few days ago. First the stories are duped, now comments are getting duped?

        A few days ago? Several comments virtually identical to this one have been posted to every RIAA-related story for the last few years.

    • by xhorder (232326) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:49AM (#10076936)
      Or one could only buy from non-RIAA labels. See RIAA Radar http://www.magnetbox.com/riaa/ [magnetbox.com] for a cool service to search for independent music. Also... Support metal! \m/
  • Kudos. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:42AM (#10076875) Homepage Journal
    Kudos on the inflammatory title. They're not even infringers, they're "Music lovers"! :P
    • Kudos on the inflammatory title. They're not even infringers, they're "Music lovers"!

      Anti-RIAA choice of words is hardly inflammatory, at least on slashdot. The first pro-RIAA guy to show up should be bitch-slapped for -20 karma, though I suppose such a mentality would have accumulated any karma at all, or read /. for that matter.
      • Re:Kudos. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tim C (15259)
        It may not be inflammatory exactly, but it's certainly dishonest. The title implies that they were sued because they were music lovers, or perhaps despite being music lovers. It seeks to evoke feelings of pity and empathy - "Hey, I love music too!".

        In reality, they were sued for copyright infringement. Whether or not they truly loved the stuff they shared is irrelevant.
  • Keep it coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maximilln (654768) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:42AM (#10076880) Homepage Journal
    Dear Mr. Ashcroft,

    Please continue turning a blind eye to reality. Please continue to pulverize youngsters for sharing music, which youngsters have done since anyone could copy a tune on a banjo or flute. Please continue to support corporations with broken business models. Please continue to encourage businessmen to neglect the physical realities of their product in favor of government backed enforcement of arbitrary laws.

    Some day, all of these evil p2p sharing kiddies will come visit you in the nursing home. Enjoy your power while you've got it. It'll never substitute for intelligence.

    Steven
    • And Ashcroft has absolutely jack and shit to do with civil lawsuits, but thanks for playing.

  • by cecil36 (104730) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:43AM (#10076883) Homepage
    It was in the article that fans are stating that the decline in CD sales is not due to piracy, but the quality of the music (in terms of performer's talent) being published. It's not mentioned in the article about the cost of CDs being a contributing factor. The RIAA lost a class-action suit for setting CD prices high. When you set a price for something, there is a certain demand for the product at that price level. If there is a significant price increase, the demand will drop off to where only the people who really see value for what they are going to spend will buy.

    All the better reason for me not to buy another CD again. Last time I bought one was in '99.
  • Euphemisms (Score:4, Insightful)

    by essdodson (466448) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:43AM (#10076884) Homepage
    "RIAA Sues More Music Lovers"
    I guess that sounds a little nicer than the truth. "RIAA Sues More People Who Habitually Break the Law"
    • Re:Euphemisms (Score:3, Insightful)

      by t_allardyce (48447)
      I think many countries round the world punish people for breaking the law.. often the law includes gems like "not smoking certain plants or else you get jail", "not saying anything bad about the leader or else you get your tounge cut out" and "not having sex outside marrage or you get stoned to death".
      Breaking the law is never ok..
  • Boycott? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Glock27 (446276) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:43AM (#10076886)
    An effective response to this type of behavior would be to boycott RIAA products.

    Sadly, this would probably be trumpeted as "yet more evidence that piracy hurts CD sales".

    I don't download music, and I haven't bought a CD in years.

    BTW, an interesting alternative is to digitize analog from FM or digital cable, then rip to MP3. It's even legal (VCR law). ;-) You won't notice a quality difference in most situations.

    Just don't share.

    • Those USB connected XM Radios are dirt cheap (~$39 if I remember right)... somebody needs to make a TiVo like recording engine for it.

      Just let it record and catalog in the background 24/7.
    • Re:Boycott? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kombat (93720)
      BTW, an interesting alternative is to digitize analog from FM or digital cable, then rip to MP3. It's even legal (VCR law). ;-) You won't notice a quality difference in most situations.

      Except for the annoying, inane chatter of the DJ at the beginning of the song, and breaking back in at the end, as the song is trailing off. "That was 50 Cent's latest, 'Kill all the white ho's and sell drugs to kids,' off his latest album, 'It's fun to pretend you're a pimp.'"

      Why do they do that, anyway? On the radio st
      • Re:Boycott? (Score:3, Informative)

        by pjt33 (739471)
        I believe that in the UK at least they are required to render part of the song useless - start a few seconds in, finish a few seconds early, or talk over part of it. Of course, with patience it's theoretically possible to record a song a few times and either get one with the start trashed and the end okay and one the other way round for splicing or use correlation to filter out the voice.
    • BTW, an interesting alternative is to digitize analog from FM or digital cable, then rip to MP3. It's even legal (VCR law). ;-) You won't notice a quality difference in most situations.

      This is why digital radio could potentially be more of headache for the RIAA than p2p. It's not too hard to concieve of a digital radio tuner in you computer that could identify and rip tracks straight off the air.
  • by Evil Adrian (253301) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:44AM (#10076891) Homepage
    The headline is misleading, and puts an obviously pro-filesharing (pro-piracy?) spin on the whole thing.

    It's like if someone was getting mauled by a dog, and another person ran over and killed the dog to save the person, and the headline ran: Man Beats Puppy To Death

    A bit misleading, no?
  • Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tobechar (678914) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:45AM (#10076898)

    As a Canadian, I will do these people justice by using my protected rights to share gigabyte after gigabyte of pirated music.

    We need more Canadians to have music 'available' for download. We could really cause a ripple effect in which so many of us can legally provide music to p2p apps, that there would be no way to stop the rest of the world.

    I'm going home tonight, making a bunch of torrents for my 100 disc collection of mp3, and making all few thousand singles available on gnutella network.

    I propose a rally of all Canadians or any other nation that can legally share music. If you can share music, spend the bandwidth and do it. Lets create so much of a problem that the RIAA is defenseless.

    Let's show the RIAA that we are in control.

    • Re:Canada (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:53AM (#10076975) Journal
      I'd like to point out that it has not been proven whether we have the right to legally share copyrighted music. The point proven in a court of law was that the standard of evidence presented for copyright infringement by the CRIA was insufficient to proceed with copyright infringement charges against individuals (basically the John Doe approach was rejected by Canadian courts).

      The argument that 'sharing music online was like a photocopier' was in favour of treating the technology as a neutral medium, and that it was the activities of the users that needed to be questioned. ~Another~ A+ for common sense...

      However...

      I'm glad that our courts are more prudent and careful with judgements, but I'm less confident that our government will pass laws that are more open than the US. Just take a look at the joke called CRTC...
    • Re:Canada (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kombat (93720)

      Note that Parliament will be stengthening Canada's copyright laws as soon as the MP's return from summer break. So enjoy it while you can, because it will be made explicitly illegal in Canada shortly.
  • Not so innocent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:45AM (#10076902)
    The RIAA is suing *distributors*, not mere downloading "music lovers". Distributing copyrighted content has never been legal. It's not fair use to serve up a song for download by others.

    If some guy is selling ripped CDs on the side of the road that's illegal, just because you're doing it online for free doesn't make you any better.

    If they were suing people for downloading a song we'd have something to be outraged about, but people serving the downloads have brought it on themselves.
    • Re:Not so innocent (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cpghost (719344)

      If they were suing people for downloading a song we'd have something to be outraged about, but people serving the downloads have brought it on themselves.

      Where do you think do all the wonderful files come from, that you'd be downloading? Isn't it a bit unfair to offload the responsibility onto those who helped you get the files in the first place?

      Attacking distributors (and a distributor is everyone participating in a p2p network, including bit torrents) is just easier for RIAA et. al, because: 1. of

  • Rate of suing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EpsCylonB (307640) <eps@NOspaM.epscylonb.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:46AM (#10076908) Homepage
    Including the 744 from Wednesday, the RIAA has sued nearly 4,700 people since last September in its efforts to combat piracy, which the music industry has blamed for a multiyear decline in CD sales. Some music fans have countered that bad music, and not piracy, was to blame for the decline.

    My maths might be wrong but 5000 people sued in year, 2.5 million kazaa users divided by 5000 = 500. So in 500 years time they will have sued everybody. Good luck to em.
  • patterns.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:48AM (#10076928) Journal
    In the UK we have a similar but different thing, every couple of weeks the police arrest about 100 people around the country under our wonderful new terrorism laws (thank you Blunkett) then about 6 months later 99 of them get released without any charges. oddly around the same time about 4 people are released from concentration camp x-ray and are flown back to the UK where they get questioned for about 24 hours and then released.. without charges.. maybe they're actually filesharing or something?
  • I no longer listen to music released under RIAA labels. There is plenty of music out there released under different labels, much of which is better anyway.

    I don't support corporations that sue their customers on a regular basis.

  • Burden of proof (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:50AM (#10076948)
    Is it illegal to download a digital copy of something that you have already purchased (ie. misplaced it, have on vinyl or on a scratched up CD)?

    I am old enough to have 2 large boxes of vinyl. One day I would like to find them online in digital format. And, I have a CD sitting right in front of me that is so scratched that I can not recover the music from it. Am I not entitled to download digital copies of those?

    So, if the RIAA comes knocking, where's the burden of proof if you say you already own the music?
  • by thoolie (442789) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:53AM (#10076972) Homepage
    Just out of curiosity, it seems pretty easy to sue someone using Kazaa/Gnutilla due to the ability to scan their machine for tradable files and then get them for sharing. Is there any evidence that using BitTorrent is any safer for those out there who chose to "trade" files?

    I have recently found BT and really enjoy it, if it is "immune" to current RIAA tactics, that is just another bonus.

    Please advise.
    • I'm going to debunk this once and for all..

      Disclaimer: IAABCA (I _AM_ A BitTorrent Client Author)

      It is -trivially- easy for the *AA to get
      a) your IP
      b) what files you're downloading
      c) how much you've downloaded
      d) how much you've uploaded

      And they can do all this without ever connecting to your computer ... IP blockers are -USELESS- in this case, the Azerus people are wasting their time creating a false sense of security for their users.

      All the above information is gained from the tracker level. Many even
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:53AM (#10076973)
    This is what can result when mediacompanies (dreamworks in this case) goes after torrent trackers and warez-traders abroad:

    Piratebay response to dreamworks [thepiratebay.org]
  • by wackysootroom (243310) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:55AM (#10076992)
    A good way to tell if an album is released by an RIAA member is to use the RIAA Radar [magnetbox.com] website.

    It's a good way to boycott the RIAA while still being able to buy CDs.
  • Simple cure.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @08:55AM (#10076996) Journal
    put low quality mp3s for free download (add an advert at the start and the end to hence make money) and let people download them. If they like them then people will goout and buy them.

    It's a simple cure AND they get money from selling thr advertising space. Why haven't they tried this yet? They can also track who downloads it, put upa mini survery, whatever is popular they can whore even more.

    It's fucking common sense and costs alot less then repeatedly sueing people.. and makes you get a free fans.
  • by CajunArson (465943) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:03AM (#10077049) Journal
    "It's not stealing, only the big evil RIAA loses money!"
    I know somebody who is not rich, not an evil RIAA executive, and hell, he doesn't even make music, but he has personally been hurt by P2P file traders who think it's their 'right' to get everything they want for free.
    This guy does in depth analysis of political issues and publishes research online that are used by high school and college debate teams. He provides a very valuable service since there would not be enough time to stay abreast of current political issues and also be prepared to debate so his reports act as executive summaries to condense all the garbage floating around on Google.
    So what happens to his stuff? Well there are a few people out there who will pay for it, but then P2P kicks in and for every 1 debate team that buys the report there are probably 10 that don't.
    "Information wants to be free!" "It's evil to want to get money for your work!" (in which case why do you complain when your job is outsourced?)
    This guy is providiing a valuable service, and he does it all on his own, but I'm sure there will be 10 posts rationalizing why stealing his work is OK and he is worse than Bush for daring to charge to make the lives of other people easier.
  • My Analysis (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:03AM (#10077055) Homepage

    I'm going to use the 5 step approach that Schneier utilises in Beyond Fear to analyse security decisions. Hope you enjoy this analysis. I don't have the book to hand so I'm not sure i've got the steps spot on but it's close enough.

    What assets are you trying to protect? The profitability of copyrighted music.

    What are the threats to your assets? The biggest threat to profitability is the very large levels of copyright infringement. This is such a massive risk that considering any other threat to profitability is a waste of time at this stage.

    What is the proposed countermeasure? Suing random copyright infringers.

    How does the countermeasure mitigate the risks? The idea is that by suing random copyright infringers you instill fear in people who are more risk adverse. They don't want to be slapped with a large fine so they'd rather pay for the record. There are a number of questions that need to be asked. Firstly, how many people does this approach really scare off? Secondly, How much revenue is it likely to recover? Let's say for every person sued 10 people decide not to infringe and go out and buy the record and each record brought a record for $3. Then the revenue brought in would be $2232. The cost of the legal action would be more than the revenue recieved. Even if 100 people were dissuaded for every infringer sued this would only increase to $223,320. You'd likely make a profit over the cost of the legal action but it'd be small and you've not really done much damage to the millions of remaining pirates. In light of this analysis, I don't think this counter-measure mitigates the risk.

    What side-effects does the proposed counter-measure produce? People generally don't like to buy from a company that likes to sue its user base so public relations may be damaged. A side-effect of particular note is people boycotting your products. In those circumstances you've the lost sales as a direct result of deploying the counter-measure - a very bad situation.

    Is the trade-off worth it? This step is always subjective but I think the counter measure is meritless given the damage to public image, the small amount of money recovered from most of the infringers and the small amount of people who actually stop downloading as a result of the legal action. The RIAA should consider other counter-measures.

    Simon.

  • YRO Bingo (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:13AM (#10077126)
    With all these YRO articles lately, I think it's time for some...

    Your Rights Online BINGO [existens.org]

    Download the card, print it out, and play!

    Easy and fun: Every time someone comments about something in a box, or somethin g happens that matches an illustration, check off the box. You win if you can c onnect a full row, column or diagonal!

  • by curtisk (191737) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25AM (#10077208) Homepage Journal
    True enough they may be music lovers, but I doubt thats what the lawsuit states, "you are hearby being charged with loving music"

    Talk about overly slanted editing! LMAO

    Hey, I love $$ CASH $$, so if I get take to some whenever I want by circumventing laws and protections that are in place, thats cool right, since I just *luv* cash money?!

    I think the RIAA is heavy handed, but jesus criminey that headline is piss-poor!

  • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:41AM (#10077339)

    Police are now arresting money lovers [pantagraph.com].
  • woohoo! (Score:3, Funny)

    by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte&freenethelp,org> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:29AM (#10078613) Homepage Journal
    744 people sued!

    Only 4.326.849 P2P users to go!
  • Book Analogy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Long-EZ (755920) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @02:22PM (#10080812)
    I haven't seen this analogy in the many RIAA stories I've read, but given the petabytes of online RIAA discussions, this is probably not new.

    Computers have made it an easy matter to scan books and redistribute them. There are high speed scanners, good optical character recognition software, and plenty of bandwidth to simply distribute an entire book as a collection of graphics instead of rendering them back into text.

    But book copyrights are seldom violated in the US, and almost never violated using PC technology. Why? Readers are more law abiding than music enthusiasts? Readers are too lazy to scan a book? Or is it because people resent the record companies' graft, corruption and excessive profiteering?

    The abuses of the RIAA companies are well known. They include payola (paying radio DJs and station managers cash or coccaine to play their records), addicting artists to drugs to control them, and charging $20 for a CD that costs them $1 for the plastic, paper and distribution. The only place this sort of weasel behavior is remotely close to book publishing is the textbook marketing racket, which could teach the Mafia a thing or two about profit margins and market share.

    The RIAA and John Ashcroft are legally in the right on this, even if it is difficult to agree with them on general principles, and it's difficult to respect a law that protects such weasels. I'll throw my lot in with the others who say, "Vote with your wallet. Don't buy RIAA products. Lobby your favorite bands to leave RIAA companies and make it financially viable for them to do so."

    Geeks continue to compare SCO and the RIAA. At first, they seem like completely different issues, but there are some definite similarities. Both have outdated business models, both are weasels who prefer to fight in court than embrace new technology and profit from it, and both are making a lot of noise right now but will soon be insignificant footnotes in the history of technology.

  • by slappyjack (196918) <slappyjack@gmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @03:35PM (#10081546) Homepage Journal
    Headline: The RIAA sued people again. Those dicks.

    Comment 1: FIRST POST!

    Comment 2: Man, the music industry sucks.

    Comment 3: Its illegal. period

    Comment 3a: STFU, dink.

    Comment 4: if albums didn't suck, people would buy them instead of downloading the songs thay like

    Comment 4a: can someone send me the new Modest Mouse album?

    Comment 5: I hate rich musicians, because they're rich

    Comment 6: [ something about gay niggers that ususally gets modded out of existence ]

    Comment 7: its all the fault of the government, because theyre clueless

    Comment 8: You cannot stop technology. Technology is legion.

    - - - -

    You can now go read another article.

    enough of the lawsuit count, guys.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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