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Iceland and USA Feel the Copyright Industry's Wrath 523

Posted by michael
from the long-arm dept.
spellraiser writes "Iceland's Internet traffic saw a substantial decrease this week as police raided the homes of 12 individuals suspected of sharing massive amounts of copyrighted material over a private, local DC++ hub that was infiltrated by SMAIS, the Association of film right holders in Iceland. The people who were raided were questioned by the police, and had computer equipment confiscated. It is unclear at this point what their fate is, but there is a distinct possibility might face charges." And in the U.S., an anonymous reader writes "The Recording Industry Association of America strikes again with yet another round of lawsuits. Jon Newston over at P2Pnet.net doesn't hold back anything in his great commentary on it today. Best quote 'It's almost as if having lost its bitterly fought case against the p2p application owners and failed in its many obvious (and expensive) attempts to disrupt the p2p networks, the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.'"
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Iceland and USA Feel the Copyright Industry's Wrath

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:43AM (#10404938)
    Osama is lucky he doesn't share videos over the Internet or he would awaken the RIAA Rebellious Viva La Resistance Militia capturing him in 24 hours.
    • I have a Sheneman editorial cartoon on my office door along the same lines.
    • Actually I think it would be the MPAA going after video sharers ;)
    • videos over the Internet ... the RIAA


      The RIAA doesn't usually go after movie swappers. RIAA=music, MPAA=movies.

      I say someone frames Osama (IP/DNS spoof) and uses P2P to share a boatload of music and movies on a Linux server, so that the RIAA, MPAA, and SCO all go after him. He won't last 12 hours before getting royally pwned by 3 predatory legal teams!
    • by Simonetta (207550) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:19PM (#10405336)
      Iceland might consider becoming the world's library since the other aspects of their financials are changing. The fishing is not as good as it used to be and trans-Atlantic airplanes don't need refueling stops anymore.

      So why not just become the center of world trading in 'copyrighted' materials and take a microcharge of each trade? They'll get kicked out of the EU? Hardly likely. Brussells can be really boring on a small Eurocrat's salary and full-price media product can be mighty expensive (and will definitely be going up in price).

      Better Iceland become the world's library than Vanuatuu, because that little island could just disappear in a typhoon and take all the servers and storage with it.

      Maybe, you say, no one should be the world's center of 'illegal' trade in 'copyrighted' materials. Nonsense, that is a spin fantasy of the media giants who need inexpensive unofficial downloads as much as they need full-service 'all-fees-paid' fully-legit product sales.

      When five companies control most of the world's media, it doesn't really matter if people buy the product at full copyright-paid Western prices or discounted 'pirate' prices. Either way they get all the money eventually because they are the only game in town. It's more important that people consume ever-increasing amounts of corporate media product. The money will get back to them. That isn't the case when there are thousands of small and medium-sized media companies globally. However that situation no longer exists and the media executives should revise their overall concept of how this new global framework works.

      In a sense the reference in the parent to secret underground terrorist religious organizations is apt because these groups are the primary competition to the global media companies, especially in the developing world where 2/3rds of the population is under the age of 25. Hollywood and religious fanaticism don't mix all that well in the long term. Both compete for the leisure time attention span (and the loyalities) of the billions of new young people. In America, corporate Hollywood won because in the current political alliance between the major corporations and the religious right the religious community has always been the weaker partner.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:27PM (#10405440)
        Iceland isn't a member of the EU.
      • by stebbivignir (644788) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:07PM (#10406700)
        "The fishing is not as good as it used to be"
        Iceland is not a member of the EU and doesn't have to folow it's utterly stupid fishing policy (wich is the biggest reason why Iceland is not a member) so the fishing is as good as it has been for years and it will be in the future.

        "trans-Atlantic airplanes don't need refueling stops anymore."
        The Icelandic Civil Avation Control Area has grait traffic. Also, Icelandair uses the Keflavik Int Airport (KEF) as a hub for their trans-atlantic flights (http://www.icelandair.is/routemap/index.html).
        T he ammount of passangers traveling trough KEF rose up to 17% of what is was las year.

        "They'll get kicked out of the EU?"
        How can Iceland be kicked out if they are not even going to be members in the near future?

        "Better Iceland become the world's library than Vanuatuu, because that little island could just disappear in a typhoon and take all the servers and storage with it."
        Server storage? And where is the bandwith?
        FARICE, the newest one of the two fiber-optic cables connecting Iceland to the rest of the world has the maximum bandwith of 720Gb/s and CANTAT-3 has the maximum bandwidth of 2,5Gb/s.
        Is that enough for the whole world?

        "When five companies control most of the world's media[...]"
        There is actually a world outside the USA. Have you noticed it?
  • DC++? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Emugamer (143719) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:43AM (#10404939) Homepage Journal
    • Re:DC++? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Before anyone asks, yes there is a DC client for Linux, dcgui-qt [berlios.de]. Expect to be banned or refused by about 60% of DC hubs because you are not using the Windows-only DC++ client.
    • Whats up with the related links gone comercial?
      I wrote a journal about it that mysteriously dissappeared... anyone know whats up?

    • by mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:18PM (#10405334)

      Since it's not the politically correct point to make at /., this wasn't mentioned in michael's writeup [although it was hinted at]:
      Iceland's net traffic plummets, following P2P raids

      Police in Iceland raided the homes of 12 people and confiscated computer equipment and CDs this week as the global war on file sharing reached the volcanic homeland of elves and trolls. Police targeted individuals using the popular DC++ [sourceforge.net] file sharing application to share movie files. One suspect was found with approximately 2.5TB of allegedly illicit material.

      Within hours of the raids, net traffic in Iceland fell 40 per cent, according to SMAIS (Iceland's association of film right holders), which filed the complaints which prompted police action. Its take on the raids (in Icelandic, unfortunately) can be found here [smais.is].

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/30/p2p_raids_ iceland/ [theregister.co.uk]
      So 12 file-sharers were accounting for 40% of all internet traffic for an entire nation.

      That's a heckuva lotta file sharing.

      And within that 2.5TB of data, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some pirated software [MSDN Universal, Autocad, Acrobat/Photoshop] that might interest the BSA [or whatever they call it in Iceland].

      • ehh..

        what do you suppose the of the people on p2p did after they heard 12 people had been raided? stay online? hang around online with files on share?

        (however.. this will in the long run once again achieve nothing.. they will just move into using some system where it's harder to make any proof who shared what, some waste/freenet like system probaly maybe with saturation enabled)

      • "So 12 file-sharers were accounting for 40% of all internet traffic for an entire nation." That's not true. In wake of the news of the arrest, almost everyone on DC stopped downloading / uploading out of fear for being arrested next. The Icelandic police sais this is just the beginning and this will be the largest legal case of it's type in the world.
      • "net traffic in Iceland fell 40 per cent, according to SMAIS (Iceland's association of film right holders)"

        I put about as much stock in that statistic as I do in Microsoft-sponsored comparisons between Windows and Linux. In other words, the number might conceivably be accurate, but we can't count on it, because the source has a (huge) conflict of interest.
  • Industry? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:44AM (#10404948)
    What exactly is the Copyright "Industry"? Do you mean the music industry or the movie industry? Copyright is not an industry.
    • Re:Industry? (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Copyright is not an industry."

      It is nowadays. The strengthening of copyright laws, and the defense of such laws against court cases designed to bring them back to rational levels, has become a major industry in itself.

  • you mean... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scaaven (783465) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:44AM (#10404954)
    ...helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.

    they're helpless to pay $8 to see a movie in the theater?

    • Re:you mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:49AM (#10405009)
      No, he means that they're helpless to pay lawyers thousands of dollars to defend them whether they are guilty or not. Even if they have done nothing wrong, it is cheaper to just settle than pay to fight it.
      • Re:you mean... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tmasssey (546878) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:06PM (#10405202) Homepage Journal
        But what if they *have* done something wrong? Copyright infringement is a crime. Downloading copyrighted material that you have not purchased is a crime. If you are commiting a crime, they *should* go after you.

        I *hate* the RIAA as much as the next guy. But this *IS* the way that the RIAA *should* combat illegal file sharing. You don't go after the phone company to stop bomb threats. You *do* go after those calling in the bomb threat. How is this any different?

        Don't want to get sued? DON'T BREAK THE LAW!!!

        • Re:you mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Txiasaeia (581598) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:14PM (#10405285)
          "Copyright infringement is a crime. Downloading copyrighted material that you have not purchased is a crime. If you are commiting a crime, they *should* go after you."

          Name one uploader who was threatened with jail time. Copyright infringement is not a crime, it's a civil matter, hence uploaders being sued for *money* and not being thrown in jail.

          • Re:you mean... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by tmasssey (546878)
            Nice strawman. Where did I say anything about jailtime?

            You *really* want to debate the difference between a "crime" and a "civil infraction"? Would the average layman really care?

            I know I don't. They are breaking the law. Civil law. So what? IT'S ILLEGAL AND THEY SHOULD BE PUNISHED!

            Sigh. Too much coffee.

            • Strawman, eh? How about your original post: "You don't go after the phone company to stop bomb threats. You *do* go after those calling in the bomb threat. How is this any different?"

              You're comparing the uploading of files to terrorism, more or less. There's a huge difference between the two. And yes, laymen are interested in the distinction between jail time and fines.

              • If you wish to believe that, fine. The example was used to hilight that you do not go after the infrastructure provider, you go after the individual.

                Again, lots of handwaving about the degree of their crime (excuse me, civil infraction) does not change the fact that they are BREAKING THE LAW. Terrorists? No. Lawbreakers? Yes.

                Does the average person equate criminal with lawbreaker? I would venture to say yes. You say no. So what? THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW.

                • Re:you mean... (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Txiasaeia (581598)
                  My whole point is that the law is wrong. You're comparing bombers to uploaders (albeit indirectly) and creating the same connexion in people's minds as the media does between Arabs and terrorists. A more appropriate comparison would be "you don't sue the city who paves roads when somebody jaywalks, you go after the jaywalker."
          • by Delirium 21 (336429) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:47PM (#10405661)
            Copyright infringement is a crime and, on a large scale, a felony. See 17 U.S.C. 506:
            Willful copyright infringement is criminalized by 17 U.S.C. 506(a) in concert with 18 U.S.C. 2319 for economically motivated infringement or large-scale infringement (even if not committed for commercial gain). Felony penalties attach to violations involving reproduction or distribution of at least ten copies valued at more than $2,500.
            As Larry Lessig points out in his most recent book [free-culture.org], this turns an enormous number of otherwise law-abiding Americans--some 40 percent--into felons. Moreover, it exposes them to literally millions of dollars of civil damages.

            The tragedy of this is not only that these penalties are overly harsh, not commensurate with the crime, and burden millions of users for the benefit of a relatively small industry.

            The tragedy is that it is a grotesque distortion of the once highly limited copyright law, a law that was only meant to regulate publishers. The incessant lobbying of spineless representatives has caused the scope and penalties of 'infringement' to balloon, without deliberation and without consulting the public.

            Just as importantly, it is the industry's public relation's 'propaganda' (as Chomsky would call it) that has effectively morphed public opinion about what copyright was, what it is, and what it should be. It has changed from merely affecting publishers to affecting everyone, and it seems to many 'natural' and 'obvious' that individual users are committing willful and egregious crimes. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the parent post accepting the sad truth--"Downloading copyrighted material that you have not purchased is a crime."--wholeheartedly.
        • Better Idea.... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KrisHolland (660643)
          "Don't want to get sued? DON'T BREAK THE LAW!!!"

          No, don't want to get sued then *change* the law. Let us make copyright 0 years. The people can make it any length they wish since copyright is an artifical creation of law.

          I may settle for 14 years though, if they beg us enough ;).

        • Re:you mean... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 26199 (577806)

          I wouldn't argue with that (apart from, as pointed out above, criminal vs civil charges).

          But, I would argue with the scale of the fines imposed. Copyright infringement is simply not a very damaging thing to do. The amount the industry loses is guaranteed to be less than the cover price of the media, because a) it may not have been bought anyway, and b) they get free advertising.

        • Re:you mean... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maestro4k (707634)
          • You don't go after the phone company to stop bomb threats. You *do* go after those calling in the bomb threat. How is this any different?

          Because there aren't over 6 billion people calling in bomb threats at any given moment. The sheer number shows the public believes the existing laws are horribly flawed and won't follow them.

          • Don't want to get sued? DON'T BREAK THE LAW!!!

          Unfortunately if no one broke the law or risked being sued when unfair, unconstitional or otherwise improper laws were passe

          • Re:you mean... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nuggetboy (661501)
            The sheer number shows the public believes the existing laws are horribly flawed and won't follow them.
            It shows no such thing. It simply shows that the public are willing to take the chance that they will not be caught and prosecuted for breaking those laws, however flawed they may be.
            • Re:you mean... (Score:3, Insightful)

              by maxpublic (450413)
              People don't tend to break laws in large numbers unless they believe that there's something wrong with those laws to begin with. In any representative system the people have the final say on what laws should and should not exist; when representation breaks down you get a noticeable disparity between law and compliance, as we're seeing with copyright.

              This doesn't mean that these people think the concept of copyright is flawed, just that its implementation leaves something to be desired. Hence record numbe
        • Ahh yes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:26PM (#10405423)
          The "If you aren't guilty you have nothing to worry about!" attitude. Please, that is just stupid. The problem with civil suits is that the bar for bringing them is much lower, as is the standard of proof.

          The RIAA doesn't really need to do anything but file to have a lawsuit against you, they don't have to meet any real burden. In a criminal trial, the prosecution has to have a minimum level of evidence, or the case will just be thrown out. Likewise the burden in a criminal trial is beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning they have to have pretty convincing proof you are guilty. In a civil trial it's a perponderance of the evidence, meaning they have to argue a little better than you.

          Now all this was intentional. Criminal trials are intended to be for, well, crimes, things that society wants to punish you for. They also can carry very stiff penalities. Civil trials are for resolving financial disputes. If a tennant skips out without paying you, you take them to civil court to try and get your money.

          The thing is, with copyright infringement, the amount they are allowed to ask for is so outrageous, it might as well eb jail time. They can sue for $150,000 PER INCIDENT which means for EACH file. Now you cannot honestly believe that someone having a signle MP3 on their harddrive costs the RIAA $150,000 (if you do then realise you are saying they should be worth several times the current gross world product). The fine is clearly excessive, which is prohibited by the constution.

          So you get sued. Even if you are innocent, you basically have to settle. Hiring a defense isn't cheap (and you don't get one by default like in a criminal case). You also need a GOOD defense since they don't have to prove you shared the files beyond a reasonable doubt, just argue that you did a little better than you argue you didn't. Then, if you lose, well they basically own everythign you make for the rest of your life since we are talking of millions of dollars per CD.

          THAT is the problem. If the RIAA was suing people for the price of the CDs they are sharing, I'd have no problem. I've got no problem with them saying "Oh you have 20 CDs worth of music you didn't purchase? Fine, we want $350." I wouldn't even have a problem if they sued for say, twice the amount. YOu are allowed to have some punitive damamges in there. However the statutory damages on the books are so excessive that it's literally a matter of your entire finincal future, just for a few songs. You are forced to settle, innocent or not.

          What's more, UNC did a study, the link I'll post from home later if you like that showed that filesharing has a stasticaly insignificant impact on music sales. So you are talking extreme punishments for something that appears to be of very little harm.

          It's like speeding enforcement. It's a minor offence, so it's a minor punishment. A reasonable fine, and some points on your license. We could reduce speeding to almost nothing by giving police M2s and having them destory any vehicle and kill any driver going over the speed limit, but that seems rather excessive and unfair. The same is true of having a hundred thousand dollar fine on copying music when it seems to have no impact on sales anyhow.
    • by OverlordQ (264228) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:49AM (#10405019) Journal
      Of course! Paying $8 to see a movie once but paying $20 for something you can listen to for a long time is just wrong and overpriced. I mean come on! Isn't that obvious.

      </sarcasm>
      • Yeah, and paying $15 for the dvd (audio and full motion video) of the movie, complete with english, french, and spanish subtitles, widescreen and normal formats, and usually 2 hours of director commentary as opposed to paying $15 for one hour of audio makes any kind of sense.

        You can't compare live media with recorded media. Compare apples with apples and you have yourself a valid comparasion.
      • Re:you mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tmasssey (546878) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:10PM (#10405250) Homepage Journal
        Besides, the argument that it's overpriced is irrelevant. It's their product. Just because it's overpriced does *not* give you the right to infringe (steal) their product. Period.

        Boy, that Jaguar is overpriced: it's a few hundred dollars of steel, glass and leather. Therefore, I can steal it.

        Don't give me that "copyright-infringement-is-not-stealing-because-I- don't-deprive-you-from-using-it." Do you scream when companies use GPL code without releasing the source? How is this different?

        Let's make a deal: Microsoft can close the Linux source and you can copy all the music you want.

        Any takers?

        • Better Deal. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by KrisHolland (660643) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:37PM (#10405551) Homepage Journal
          "Boy, that Jaguar is overpriced: it's a few hundred dollars of steel, glass and leather. Therefore, I can steal it."

          It's called 'copyright infrindgement' and not theft for an important reason, they are different. Physical property is different than ideas and information. You do realize that you are not deprived of your ideas when someone else thinks them, right?

          "Don't give me that "copyright-infringement-is-not-stealing-because-I- don't-deprive-you-from-using-it." Do you scream when companies use GPL code without releasing the source? How is this different?"

          Do I scream? Who are you talking to, I think you'll find a wide audience here at Slashdot. As for companies bullying individuals, you'll find people fighting against them by what ever means at their disposal including flinging called copyright laws in their face.

          "Let's make a deal: Microsoft can close the Linux source and you can copy all the music you want."

          Lets make a better deal, abolish copyright and then the GPL and all other licenses won't be necessary. I like that better, lets go for it all it takes is a simple majority vote to repeal the copyright bill and we are there.

    • Re:you mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <john@oyler.comcast@net> on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:51AM (#10405045) Journal
      Helpless to afford the $5000+ in legal defense fees they will pay even if found not liable.
    • Does that mean if I pay the 8$ to see a movie, I can have a copy at home?

      KILLER!

      Im going to go download "Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow" twice! Because I watched it twice in theaters!
  • Article Title (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dante Shamest (813622)
    Iceland and USA Feel the Copyright Industry's Wrath

    Does that mean the copyright industry is an enemy of the USA and Americans? Why else would it be waging wrath upon them?

    • Re:Article Title (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe. If you read the article, one of the points made is this:

      And as a supreme irony, although RIAA - the enforcement organ that's responsible for bringing so much misery to so many American people - is short for Recording Industry Association of America, only one of its owners - Warner Music - can be said to have an American base.

      The majority owners are EMI Group (UK), Bertelsmann AG (Germany), Sony Corp (Japan). and Universal Music Group (Vivendi Universal, France).

  • dropped an amazing 40% after the raid. Wow. Fun.
  • by buro9 (633210) <david AT buro9 DOT com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:47AM (#10404980) Homepage
    As this register article (from today) shows:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/01/uk_to_sue_ music_pirates/ [theregister.co.uk]
  • by Monty845 (739787)
    Anyone know how they go about infiltrating a DC network?
    • The police promised about 50 to 70GB of new material to get on the hub, got the ip address of the biggest sharer there and started monitering his traffic, this has been going on since february when SMAIS opend the case on the operators of the hub. With in housr all traffic with all public and most private hubs in iceland stopped and people were wiping or moving their harddisks, total traffic was reduced 40% and has been for the last few days here are some graphs for internet traffic in iceland, (in icelandi
  • 'Best' Quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ (264228) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:47AM (#10404992) Journal
    What's so shameful about this is: file sharing is not going away

    And people buying CD from artists under RIAA isn't either.
  • by FatRatBastard (7583) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:48AM (#10404995) Homepage
    When the RIAA went after P2P software we all screamed "don't attack software that has legitimate uses, go after the people actually breaking the law." Now that they're doing just that everyone's still pitching a fit.
    • Its not that they are going after the people breaking the law, it is that the RIAA is suing people who have not dont anything wrong, and those people cant even defend themselves! There have been numerous cases where people who down even own computers have been sued. Not to mention all the suits against people who have free software. Suing people who have committed the crimes are fine, but their tactics are dead wrong.
      • This is a flaw in the justice system then, and not an indication that the RIAA should stop trying to sue. If you think that it costs too much money to defend yourself in the judicial system (which I wouldn't disagree with...), that's great -- but don't confuse the two issues. By the way, where are the "numerous" cases of people who don't even own computers being sued found at? I was under the impression that they were tracking all of this with IP information, and ISP cooperation...
      • Show me these cases, no please do. Supply a list. Of the cases highlighted by the media and slashdot, one was a grandmother who was using a mac, claiming she couldnt have done it because theres no mac clients for the network she was using (a blatant false statement, as soon as I read that a quick google search found a number of clients for that network), and a 12 year old girl, who had been duped into paying to access 'premium material' (IE shared material that had been checked and verified by certain per
    • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:20PM (#10405357) Homepage
      This should probably be a Slashdot FAQ:

      Q: "Why does the rest of Slashdot hold inconsistent opinions?"

      A: "Because it has more than 2 users."
    • Of course, this is Slashdot. All the Slashbots must have one opinion. And they scream too. Disconcerting for someone with such a low ID number.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:35PM (#10405534)
      When people litter, I want them punsihed. I do not like them breaking the law. However I want them fined a reasonable amount, I don't want them killed, locked in jail for the rest of their life, or fined millions of dollars. Why? Littering is a minor offence, it causes harm, but not much. Thus the punsihmentshould likewise be minor. It's not only a basic concept of fairness but it is condified as law in the constution (ammendment 8).

      Well the thing is, the RIAA is abusing the probably unconsutionaly high stautory damages allowd for copyright infringement. Here we again have something that causes little harm, a UNC study showed no stasticaly significant effect of file sharing on music sales, we should have a reasonable fine. I'm fine with 2x the price of a CD in fine. You have 50 CDs you didn't pay for, you get nailed to the tune of $700-$1,000. Seems fair and reasonable, and also a workable deterrant.

      However because of the high statutury damages allowed (up to $150,000 per song) people are faced with getting sued for millions or even billions of dollars. This amount is totally unreasonable, and so scary that even if you are innocent, you are going to settle simply because you can't afford to loose (and civil trials aren't to beyond a reasonable doubt, just a perponderance of the evidence).

      So look, if the RIAA starts suing people for a reasonable amount, I'll back off any objections. So long as they sue for multiple millions of dollars, I will maintain that they are abusing the legal system.
    • by Maul (83993) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:56PM (#10405762) Journal
      The problem is that the RIAA is going around like this, seemingly at random.

      RIAA (To Random User): We have proof you were sharing 50,000 songs on Kazaa. We're going to sue you for $150,000 per song. Keep in mind that we have millions of dollars to spend on lawyers should you choose to defend yourself.

      Granny: What? I don't even know what Kazaa is! Let me call a lawyer.

      Lawyer: You want to fight the RIAA? Well, you'd probably win, but my legal fees may range into the tens of thousands of dollars. That is, if the RIAA doesn't appeal or stall in court. Then it could cost more.

      RIAA: It seems you are denying your crimes. Very well, we're feeling charitable today. If you fess up, we'll settle for $2,000. We're letting you off easy.

      Granny: Defending myself with cost me at least ten grand. I should take the RIAA's deal, even though I haven't done anything.
  • It's a shame... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) <john@oyler.comcast@net> on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:49AM (#10405013) Journal
    These icelanders hadn't been using a network like my own. Anonymity, each link to another person crossing an international border... it wouldn't have been infiltrated nearly as easily. Oh well...
    • Re:It's a shame... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Juggler (5256) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:17PM (#10405320) Homepage Journal
      Icelanders deliberately don't use such networks, because most local ISPs charge seperately for international downloads (we have somewhat limited bandwidth to the rest of the world due to a lack of competition and resources).

      Downloads which are local to Iceland are "free" (included in the lease of the ADSL line), but international downloads are rather expensive.

      This is exactly why DC++, with it's centralized hub-based architecture was so popular in Iceland. Anybody who understood both technology and copyright law knew better than to connect to them though, for exactly the same reasons.

  • Going in Circles (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ravenspear (756059) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:49AM (#10405014)
    The RIAA just doesn't get it. Continuing with these lawsuits is not going to do anything but build another revenue stream for them. At this point, one has to wonder if they realize that and if that is all they are hoping for.

    You see, the market has already spoken and it has spoken loudly. An entirely new paradigm of music distribution has evolved and it isn't going to regress to the way it was in the previous generation. The RIAA had their chance to give people a product they want online and to use the new mechanism of distribution for profit. It failed to do so, thus other non-sanctioned methods entered the space to fill the void.

    What will happen now is one of two things. Either the RIAA realizes that they can't have it their way and comes up with an acceptable online offer that will attract customers, or they will continue to spin their wheels in vain and alienate their customers who will in turn seek other outlets from which to obtain music.
  • 1. Sue tons of people.
    2. People bitch to politicians.
    3. Politicians pass another copyright adjustment law that 'protects' consumers while improving the recording industry's profit margin.
    4. Profit!

    It's that simple. They have no fear of boycott or consumer retribution. Consumers of music are sheep. Even if some of the sheep wise up and stop buying, there are more people growing up to take their place, which is probably as good an explanation as any for why the music industry targets youth.
      • Even if some of the sheep wise up and stop buying, there are more people growing up to take their place, which is probably as good an explanation as any for why the music industry targets youth.

      Except those youth are growing up in an environment where they've probably downloaded the music they listen to more than bought it. They're not likely to suddenly change and go to buying only. In fact they're more likely to stop buying music at all. Lawsuits aren't likely to faze the younger generation, espec

  • Wait a minute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by diamondsw (685967) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:50AM (#10405023)
    Back when the RIAA was focused on Napster and P2P, didn't we say they shouldn't be focusing on the technology, but on those who misuse it?

    Now they're doing just that - focusing on the people, not the technology. Their methods could be a lot better (they should focus on people who share a lot, not anyone with an MP3 with a suspicious name), but they *are* on the right track.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:51AM (#10405039) Homepage
    ...the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.

    This is precisely the right thing for the labels to do. Go after the people who are breaking the law, not the people who make products that can be used to break the law. It is good because it is the way law should be (punishing the infringer, not the toolmaker), and it is good because it shows people how much the current copyright model sucks. Actions like this are exactly what we want, so that people will be motivated to move to new economic models of content distribution.

    We need to find an economic model that both compensates the creator and moves the product into the public domain (or a similar Open license). Actions like this are exactly what will show the general public the value of the public domain.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:51AM (#10405043)
    Who happen to be sharing copyrighted material, i.e. breaking the law.
    Lets call a troll a troll, here.
  • by roca (43122) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:51AM (#10405044) Homepage
    From a moral point of view: people who distribute copyrighted material are violating both the letter and spirit of the law, and deserve to be punished.

    From a strategic point of view: The only alternative to punishing copyright violators, short of abandoning copyright altogether, is to make violation impossible through Orwellian DRM backed up by even more Orwellian legislation, or by hamstringing the Internet in some other way. I don't want to lose my freedom and my technology because some punks thought they should be allowed to download music without paying for it.
    • Assuming its the latest MP3s. I have been known to trade things that are difficult to find, or so out of date that it's no longer sellable. For example, apple II software. Morally, I'm certainly not violating the spirit of the law, and it's arguable even about the letter of the law. The oldest a2 software will be 28 years old very soon, at which point it would have expired had corporations not bribed congress for extensions. I collect vintage computers, and some are inoperable because it's impossible to fin
  • by GeneralEmergency (240687) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:52AM (#10405050) Journal

    ...but unfortunately, you will *NOT* be permitted to record it.


  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@@@yahoo...com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:54AM (#10405066) Journal
    A quote from a German Colonel made during operation Barbarossa:

    "The German Army in fighting Russia is like an elephant attacking a host of ants. The elephant will kill thousands, perhaps even millions, of ants, but in the end their numbers will overcome him and he will be eaten to the bone."

    So it is with the *AA. Eventually they will fail out of the sheer weight of numbers they are fighting.
    • The elephant will kill thousands, perhaps even millions, of ants.

      The problem is finding enough ants willing to be killed. The Russians didn't have that problem because they had no choice in the matter. Personally, I'd rather not d/l music if it means being sued for thousands.

    • he German Army in fighting Russia is like an elephant attacking a host of ants. The elephant will kill thousands, perhaps even millions, of ants, but in the end their numbers will overcome him and he will be eaten to the bone.

      Did anyone else have flashbacks to Peter Jackson's Battle of Pelenor Fields when they read that?
  • by mackman (19286) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:54AM (#10405069)
    'It's almost as if having lost its bitterly fought case against the p2p application owners and failed in its many obvious (and expensive) attempts to disrupt the p2p networks, the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.'

    I hate to side with the RIAA here, but don't you remember all the p2p networks screaming in court, "You can't blame us, we don't put pirate music on the internet, our users do!" Apparently the RIAA got the message.

    If this were about the SCO lawsuits we'd all be crying for the distros and hardware vendors to indemnify us. I guess it's a little too late to ask Kazaa to take the blame for us.
  • by Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:55AM (#10405076) Homepage Journal
    Why are we sticking up for people who make copyrighted Hollywood movies available for download? The one and only defense of P2P networks is that they are not "pirate to pirate" networks but rather a new tool for distributing independent, privately financed media and breaking the Hollywood deathgrip on media distribution. For years we've screamed that attacking the toolmakers (DMCA) is insane, that the tool abusers are to blame. And now, when the RIAA finally listens to Slashdot and sues the pirates themselves we're still against them?

    It's articles like this that convince lawmakers, businessmen, and the Silent Majority that all this crowd is actually interested in is stealing movies. Right now I'd be hard pressed to argue with them.
    • The one and only defense of P2P networks is that they are not "pirate to pirate" networks but rather a new tool for distributing independent, privately financed media and breaking the Hollywood deathgrip on media distribution.

      The one and only defense?

      I thought it was that we are free people who are innocent until proven guilty, and should be free to connect our computers together without having to prove that we have a "legitimate" reason first. But that's just me ...

    • (1) Because when the RIAA goes after lawbreakers, it doesn't actually go after lawbreakers but rather goes after all sorts of people, some of whom are breaking the law and some of whom aren't. The problem is that almost *everyone* it goes after, regardless of the activity they were engaging in, has to settle because they cannot afford the costs of defense. If the RIAA actually went against file sharers who were sharing music of the artists they represent, where those artists said they want people who distri
  • This is pretty funny, as stated in the news report domestic bandwidth for the entire country dropped about 40%. This can be seen as clear as day from the usage stats for RIX (Reykjavik Internet Exchange) a centralized point for traffic between Icelandic ISPs. Check out the second and third from top here [isnic.is]
  • We want them to go after the people ILLEGALLY sharing files.
    These people are knowingly and willingly breaking the law.

    This is much better than them trying to shut down the p2p networks/applications themselves.
  • With the Icelandic population [nationbynation.com] betwen ages 10-40 at probably about 100K, 12 people going icefishing for a weekend makes a substantial decrease in Icelandic Internet traffic.
  • ...this is exactly what we asked for, and it's the right way to do it. For years advocates of P2P have said that copyright holders (which, regrettably, includes corporate entities) should be pursuing the individual violators rather than trying to kill P2P software or force ISPs to block their use.

    The corporations may be a bit severe in their approach, and IMO the RIAA's tactic of fining offenders through a pre-court settlement is something of a miscarriage of justice. But when press releases tell us about
  • Let's rewrite this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by finkployd (12902) on Friday October 01, 2004 @11:58AM (#10405114) Homepage
    Best quote 'It's almost as if having lost its bitterly fought case against the p2p application owners and failed in its many obvious (and expensive) attempts to disrupt the p2p networks, the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.'"

    How about this instead:

    "It's almost as if having lost its bitterly fought case against the p2p application owners and failed in its many obvious (and expensive) attempts to disrupt the p2p networks, the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on the actual men women who are breaking the law and causing the problems on the first place"

    Finkployd
  • Editorialization (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mori Chu (737710)
    Great commentary?

    "Best quote 'It's almost as if having lost its bitterly fought case against the p2p application owners and failed in its many obvious (and expensive) attempts to disrupt the p2p networks, the music industry is now determined to vent its wrath on helpless men, women and children who can't hope to stand up to it with its tremendous political and financial power.'"

    At the risk of being modded troll, what is wrong with cracking down on people who are:

    • committing tons of theft of intellectu
  • 60% traffic drop (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kafteinn (542563) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:03PM (#10405177) Homepage Journal
    DC++ hubs were started in Iceland because we usually have to pay extra for foreign downloads so people started sharing stuff between them for free.
    When they raided the 12 guys (and seized 11 terabytes of data) all the dc servers were shut down and immediatly MRTG graphs clearly showed about a 50-60% traffic between domestic connections.
    We have long heen proud to say that we have very high percentage of net users here, about 95% (number pulled out of ass) of the country has the internet and DC isn't the only way Icelanders share copyrighted stuff.
    In fact most people just get cd's from friends who download from DC or someother p2p sharing app.

    So in our case most of the population is rampantly breaking copyright laws all the time and suddenly because of complaints from SMAIS 12 random guys are arrested and two of them held for 24 hours.
    2 years in prison is the maximum punishment for a crime like this while murder is maximum 16 years and if anyone is convicted for a copyright violation in Iceland we are going to have to put the entire nation behind bars.

    I'm personally disgusted that our government is even thinking about putting profits of american companies above the well being of the people it is supposed to serve.
  • Oh come on. In this day and age if you share copyrighted goods online and have no clue that it is illegal then you are helpless because of a mental disability, not your financial state. While I have some sympathy for those who get caught, I just have to say you brought this on yourselves.

    Until the law is changed, you know what you are up against if you share files you have no right to. We can disagree with what the RIAA is doing all day, and I certainly don't think that sharing a few songs is worth $5000 i
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:15PM (#10405295)
    Nor has it ever been demonstrated that one download equals one lost sale.

    One way to test a thesis is to view the result if it were true.

    The record industry wishes us to believe that every download is a lost sale. If true, what would their sales be if all downloads had never happened? Does this figure sound reasonable? Or does it exceed the total GNP of the G-7 nations, plus Nigeria?

    I, for one, do not believe for a moment that Internet music sharing has kept the music industry from suddenly expanding several times in size. And since they can't tell the truth about this, I don't believe them about much else either. Do you?

    Then again, I don't believe memos allegedly typed in 1971 clearly using Microsoft Word are authentic either. But if they are, then I'm using them as prior art to invalidate all patents relating to Microsoft Office!

  • "suspected of sharing massive amounts of copyrighted material over a private, local DC++ hub that was infiltrated by SMAIS"

    I just finished reading TFA, and the only two hits on google-news,
    and I saw no explanation for the phrase "private local hub".

    This phrase made it sound (to me) like the arrestees were on a LAN,
    where the p2p traffic wasn't passing over the public net --
    which, IF true, would be a lot more chilling.
  • Iceland and USA Feel the Copyright Industry's Wrath

    Or, one could say that the action had a chilling effect on privacy.

    <gets ready for beating>

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