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RIAA Wants to Depose Dead Defendant's Children 560

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-you-can't-believe dept.
Exchange writes "In Michigan, in Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury, after learning that the defendant had passed away, the RIAA made a motion to stay the case for 60 days in order to allow the family time to "grieve", after which time they want to start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury's children. Recording Industry vs The People have more details"
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RIAA Wants to Depose Dead Defendant's Children

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vinividivici (919782) on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:47AM (#15901046) Homepage
    The RIAA needs to lay off of the dead guy's kids. Seriously. He's DEAD, RIAA. What else could you want? A cookie?
    • what do they want? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by idlake (850372) on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:57AM (#15901076)
      Part of the inheritance, of course. The fact that they guy was rude enough to die before they could get to him doesn't change that he did grave damage to the coffers of the RIAA. Well, at least that's likely their thinking.
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:10AM (#15901988) Homepage Journal

        Oh crap. C'mon, did you all think for more than enough time to jerk your knees before posting the usual "The RIAA is just greedy and wants your money" BS?

        The music industry is scared shitless of piracy. If people can get the music they've invested in without paying them a penny, then they're not going to make their money back. The biggest movement threat right now comprises of massive networks where people put music up for download so that millions of anonymous strangers can download it. It differs from traditional systems in that the network effects are greater. Someone can make a copy of a CD they bought for their friends, but there's a limit to how far that'll travel - the number of people who gain a copy in relation to the number of CDs sold is small. Someone can mass manufacture copies of a popular CD and try selling it on the black market, but they risk being caught and a lot of people are unhappy about paying a pirate for music anyway. Not so unauthorized peer-to-peer copying.

        If Sony, Universal, et al, directly sue the people who are making the works they invested in to the public for free on this massive scale, they have to be enormously careful not to sully their image in doing so. Yet the entire point of suing is to create a deterence. Looking like nice guys does not gel with getting people afraid of you. If the RIAA does it on their behalf, the RIAA takes the "bad rap" and can "descend" to pretty much any (legal) level without it hurting Sony, Universal, et al.

        The purpose of the RIAA lawsuits is not to make money from settlements. It's to scare people away from engaging in copyright infringment. As such, it's not in the interests of the RIAA to appear to have a heart.

        Moreover, every single one of you who's going to go home tonight and tell your friends about the big, bad, RIAA, is doing exactly what they hope you'll do. The Slashdot editor who posted this submission is doing exactly what the RIAA hoped he'd do. The Slashbot who submitted the article is doing exactly what the RIAA hoped he'd do. You... quite honestly, the RIAA doesn't give a crap whether you think they're greedy or not, but they are glad you're commenting on the case, and they are very glad you're suggesting they're ruthless.

        That's what they want you to think. That's what they want you to say. And at the end of the day, they want you to believe they'll stoop to any level. To the point, I suspect, that if resources were tight, and they had a choice between suing one legged orphans who shared the orphanarium's computer to download a single Brittney Spears song, or suing Paris Hilton for buying her entire local music store's stock, ripping it, and putting it online on a 1Tb/sec connection, they'd sue the orphanarium, even though Hilton did more damage.

        It's a matter of getting the right publicity. When you're trying to stop ordinary people from doing something that hurts you, and you've reached a point that you have no options left but to create penalties for doing it, the wrong publicity is the right publicity.

        • by schon (31600) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:31AM (#15902108)
          Your post is full of bullshit.

          Artists who allow free downloading of their music find that is *INCREASES* sales. Independant studies [washingtonpost.com] show that show P2P increases sales.

          The only reason the music industry is afraid of P2P is because it threatens their business model. Once people get used to trying music for free, RIAA members lose their marketing chokehold. This chokehold is the the last remaining reason that artists agree to contract terms that can only charitably be described as "indentured servitude."

          RIAA members aren't terrified of piracy, they're terrified of competition.
          • by Dausha (546002)
            "Artists who allow free downloading of their music find that is *INCREASES* sales. Independant studies [washingtonpost.com] show that show P2P increases sales."

            Irrelevant. If a copyright holder does not want his work being stolen by others, he has a right to press the matter. The RIAA (by proxy) is a copyright holder. Therefore, RIAA has the right to hunt down theives. The fact that some copyright holders accept free downloading of music does not mean that all do or should. Your assertion that some do so al
            • by fwarren (579763) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:56AM (#15903245) Homepage
              And the problem here, is the copyright holder is the record company who is a member of the the RIAA. Not the artist. Most artists sell away all of their rights. The model is simple. Artists must sign up with a major label to get exposure, to be bigtime, to sell lots of albums, and be famous. Why would anyone give up all the rights a record contract asks for? Because the Reocord Company traditionally controls all of the doors, holds all of the keys. If you do not get "handled" by them, there is no way to distribute your music. If you notice, the record companies are not losing money right now. P2P has not hurt their current business model. However, if artists see that they can distribute music via p2p, build a fanbase, sell music as CD's or downloads, setup concerts, etc. All without the a record company, they are screwed in the long run. Do you know why record contracts work like they do? Giving everthing foreever over to the Record Company? Because they are always waiting for the next Pink Floyd or Beatles. Where the backcatalog is the money maker. There are no promotional costs, the albums just sell, day in day out, for decades. They are scared to death, of the thought that the next Beatles may not have a record deal, and that day in, day out sales of their albums will happen for decades and no one in the industry will get a dime of it, let alone the lions share they are used to.
          • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:54AM (#15902703)
            YOUR post is full of bullshit. In fact, it's full of very tired arguments. You're a stooge, dude.

            You offer an uncited anecdote that artists who release their music for free find increased sales. Not to mention that it doesn't matter, because if an artist DOESN'T want to release their music for free, that doesn't still give you the right to pirate it (bands like Type O Negative, Tool, etc.).

            You also cite just one study, when there have been others that found the opposite conclusion.

            The only reason the music industry is afraid of P2P is because it threatens their business model.


            And then you trot out the extremely tired Slashdot cliche of the "obsolete business model." People aren't "trying music for free," they're pirating the whole album so that they never have to pay for it. You see, piracy is nothing more than freeloading so that you don't have to pay the human beings who wrote the music, slaved away in a studio, mixed it, and distributed it. I know it sounds like I'm trolling, but come on, that's why people pirate music. They just don't want to have to pay for something they know they can get for free. It's simple human nature.

            This chokehold is the the last remaining reason that artists agree to contract terms that can only charitably be described as "indentured servitude."


            Then you trot out the "artist contracts are bad" routine, ignoring that artists willingly sign their contracts and continue to do so to this day. Must not be so bad.

            RIAA members aren't terrified of piracy, they're terrified of competition.


            ROFL. Competition? What about the artists? Do you give a shit about them not ever getting compensated for their work? Should John Carmack never get paid for his years of work on Doom 3?

            Articles like this (and posts like yours) serve an agenda in order to do one thing--paint the RIAA as an evil bad guy in order to justify piracy. That way, people don't feel guilty when they pirate an artist's music. "The RIAA is so evil, I'm sticking it to them!" Notice the artist isn't in that equation anywhere.

            It's much easier to scapegoat some faceless group and proclaim "The RIAA made me do it!" rather than simply admit the truth that you are pirating another human being's music and ensuring System of a Down doesn't get paid today. Freeloaders always get bitter when the free ride is taken away, and many ideologies have been invented to stroke that guilty ego (your post is full of those cliches), but it will never change the simple truth. There's a big difference between free as in beer and free as in loading.
            • by Suzumushi (907838)
              I have to call bullshit on your argument. The RIAA determines the method of distribution and price that the music is available at. If it were a matter of paying the artist directly for an album, then your argument would hold water. However, as the outdated business model shows us, the current distribution methods and price fixing are not acceptable to most music listeners, hence the prevalence of piracy.

              "Where piracy tends to thrive is where the consumer perceives that goods and services are not conve

            • by Skreems (598317) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:56AM (#15903248) Homepage
              You see, piracy is nothing more than freeloading so that you don't have to pay the human beings who wrote the music, slaved away in a studio, mixed it, and distributed it. I know it sounds like I'm trolling, but come on, that's why people pirate music. They just don't want to have to pay for something they know they can get for free. It's simple human nature.
              I don't know about your "human nature", but I get almost all my music from friends or from allofmp3.com first, and then buy hard copies of the albums I want to support. No, I don't buy copies of everything I download, because I don't think all of it is good enough. But in the past year I've bought at least 20 albums in hard copy, and every single one I've downloaded first.
        • by twitter (104583) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:53AM (#15902251) Homepage Journal

          Leave me out.

          The purpose of the RIAA lawsuits is not to make money from settlements. It's to scare people away from engaging in copyright infringment. As such, it's not in the interests of the RIAA to appear to have a heart. Moreover, every single one of you who's going to go home tonight and tell your friends about the big, bad, RIAA, is doing exactly what they hope you'll do.

          No, it's not working they way they want. People see the entire RIAA represented music industry as a greedy dinosaur that's enacted a bunch of really bad laws which they are abusing beyond the intent of any legislative intent. It's backfired on them big time and they are going to lose the basis of their suits and might even face long overdue copyright reform that will eliminate their obsolete business model.

          The IRS tried the intimidation approach once and what they got was Ronald Reagan and a twenty five year bitch slap. It's been a long long time since the IRS has confiscated property from anyone but blatant scoff laws and real criminals. The purpose of the IRS is revenue, not ruin. Anyone who thinks the RIAA is more powerful than the IRS is deluding themselves.

          When you act like they are acting, retribution is swift. Me telling my friends all about the RIAA's behavior is going to do two things the RIAA really does not want. People are going to be that much less likely to buy music and people are going to rethink copyright law. These cases make the copyright lawyers look really stupid and none of this talk is fun. People don't want anything to do with party poopers like the RIAA. Music is supposed to be fun, unifying and shared.

        • by ben there... (946946) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:17AM (#15902390) Journal
          Moreover, every single one of you who's going to go home tonight and tell your friends about the big, bad, RIAA, is doing exactly what they hope you'll do. The Slashdot editor who posted this submission is doing exactly what the RIAA hoped he'd do. The Slashbot who submitted the article is doing exactly what the RIAA hoped he'd do. You... quite honestly, the RIAA doesn't give a crap whether you think they're greedy or not, but they are glad you're commenting on the case, and they are very glad you're suggesting they're ruthless.

          It's a matter of getting the right publicity. When you're trying to stop ordinary people from doing something that hurts you, and you've reached a point that you have no options left but to create penalties for doing it, the wrong publicity is the right publicity.

          Did you forget that their primary business is selling music? It's not to prevent me and you from committing a crime. If the publicity that they acheive from this lawsuit is bad enough to make Joe Downloader never want to give them money again, they hurt their primary business by focusing too much on their...erm...secondary business.

          Of course, that's assuming people are smart enough not to buy from businesses they don't support. But maybe that's giving them too much credit.
        • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:51AM (#15902673) Homepage Journal
          1. The RIAA is a convicted monopoly guilty of price fixing.
          2. The Recording industry as a whole has ripped of artists as well as customers.
          3. The RIAA wants to make it illegal for me to rip CDs that I have purchased legally for me to play on my portable music player or to make backups of the music I have purchased legally.
          4. A member of the RIAA has put an illegal Root kit on CDs that it manufactured in the name of copy protection.
          5. The members of the RIAA are still making billions of dollars of profits. I have not heard of any lay offs or losses so their need for special protection seems to be in question.

          One and four are indisputable facts. Two and three are may be argued but most will agree with them. Five is a fact with an opinion.

          Now let's talk about how STUPID it is to sue a 15 year old girl, a grand mother, and or a dead man. These actions look to me as heartless. I would also say if the members of the RIAA want to claim the moral high ground then I am all for it. How about starting off with an investigation into the their accounting practices and their employees and or contractors supplying drugs, alcohol, and sex partners to their artists?
          Okay the record companies are such a juicy target for the extreme right. Come on guys this is for the children and the grandmothers.

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      He's DEAD, RIAA. What else could you want?

      Access to the dude's grave to pry his last pirated CD from his cold, dead fingers?
      • Inheritance (Score:4, Funny)

        by Sillygates (967271) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:04AM (#15901478) Homepage Journal
        Maybe he put his illegally downloaded mp3s are in his will. the RIAA is just doing what it can to cover all the bases
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

        by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:44AM (#15901859) Journal
        "Access to the dude's grave to pry his last pirated CD from his cold, dead fingers?"

        I realize that you're joking, but I'd like to set the record straight. Larry was a friend of mine. I worked with him for the past couple of years. He never illegally downloaded any music. Unfortunately, his step-son did (IIRC, almost 2000 songs using Limewire). Larry wasn't the most technically proficient guy, so he had no idea this was being done on his own computer. He would bring the case up at work. We would talk about it on occasion, he'd tell me a little about the case and how he was trying to work out a deal. I actually told him about Slashdot, and all the articles about the RIAA's slimy tactics. Larry used to be a lawyer, so he had some idea of how to deal with these guys. Larry's death caught us all by surprise. He died of a brain aneurysm, well before his time.
        • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sh4na (107124)
          First of all, my condolences. Nobody is accusing your friend of piracy, hope you realize that. We all know who the victims are in this, and all the comments flying around like the one you quoted are meant to show how the RIAA thinks (or at least what they project onto the world stage, not sure about the actual *thinking* part, don't know if the slimeballs have evolved that far yet). If they want to go after your friend's *children*, then they surely must be trying to get your friend's (inexistant) stock of
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The RIAA needs to lay off of the dead guy's kids. Seriously. He's DEAD, RIAA. What else could you want? A cookie?

      No, it's not a cookie. The RIAA wanted to hold his beating heart in their hands after taking it out of his chest, which sadly, they can not do now.

      So they will send the kids to a nice old lady attorney's house [state.tx.us] made out of gingerbread and candy and to be disposed^H^H^H deposed there.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xiroth (917768)
      Because they just can't resist any opportunity to drag their reputation through the mud. It does seem, however, that in this case they've decided to take it one step further and have moved on to dragging it through low-grade manure.
    • by XStylus (841577) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:22AM (#15901259)
      One must truly understand what the RIAA is trying to do here. Their goal isn't recoup lost revenues. Their goal is "shock and awe" through scare tactics. Basically, their lawyers are instructed to take no prisoners, go for the jugular, and show no mercy. It's to send a message meant to scare people into thinking that if you file share, the RIAA mafia will be after you like a rabid bulldog with lockjaw. Any respectful prosecutor would lay off and drop the case out of respect. After all, the accused party is dead, so there's really no point. But no, the RIAA is going to find some way to press onward and make it the whole family's problem now, and they know it'll bring negative publicity. They want it. They want to be feared, and for young little "sharing is caring" tykes to be looking under the bed for the RIAA boogyman at night if they so much as dare think about doing such an evil thing as sharing. This ruthless and heartless behavior is soooooo going to bite the RIAA on the ass someday, hopefully violently.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        ... the less they can sue the living.

        I'm all for it!
      • Their goal is "shock and awe" through scare tactics.

        Unfortunately, consumers' response is most likely "duck and cover" rather than public outcry (except maybe for the couple of nerds on /.).

      • by Splab (574204) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:24AM (#15901634)
        RIAA's new motto: Carpe Jugulum
      • If you make me fear you, I will soon hate you. You have become a problem & my first reactions are to avoid you or to destroy you. That's my experience. If more people start to avoid their products (since destroying them is not, unfortunately, a realistict option) then the RIAA & MPAA need only to go to the nearest mirror to find out who is responsible.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:48AM (#15901047)
    In Michigan, in Warner Bros. v. Scantlebury, after learning that the defendant had passed away, the RIAA made a motion to stay the case for 60 days in order to allow the family time to "grieve", after which time they want to start taking depositions of the late Mr. Scantlebury's children.
    These lawyers get softer every day! Pretty soon they're going to stop suing people for every penny they have and settle for only every nickel!
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:48AM (#15901048) Homepage Journal
    Are their lawyers salaried so that they can afford to go after the estate of a dead victim?

    There ought to be a law against that. (Salaried lawyers, that is. There's already laws against extortion.)
    • by kfg (145172) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:55AM (#15901073)
      The RIAA is lawyers. Representing the recording industry is their full time job.

      KFG
      • Representing the their pockets is their full time job.
        I fixed your typo for you.
      • by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:15AM (#15902014)
        The RIAA is lawyers. Representing the recording industry is their full time job.

        And, as any conspiracy theorist would ask one to do in a situation like this. Follow the money.

        The RIAA is paid by the recording companies, and the recording companies are paid for by people like you and me who buy their products.

        Seriously, at this point in the game, there is no need for them. People are more than willing and have the capabilities to distribute recorded music via bittorent, IRC, FTP, HTTP, USENET, and purchasing used music. There are excellent artists who have consciously made the decision to not go with the RIAA sanctioned labels for this reason.

        At this point in time, it seems clear that the proper decision is to boycott these people. I really didn't think I was doing anything that wrong but I bought my first RIAA album in years because I wanted it, but I'm done now. The only legal means of buying music today that I will do is from the used CD store, but otherwise, I'm going to "pirate" and do whatever it takes to not directly support these people anymore.

        WIth the new highdef DVDs not playing legal content and it is getting to the point that its practically a crime to pay for music and movies, I believe it is simply time to stop doing so.

  • by mstromb (869949) on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:51AM (#15901058)
    How else would the artists get their $5000 from the greedy clutches of the "grieving"?!

    I bet the guy faked his own death, just so he could have the last laugh at the hands of the musicians of the world!

  • by shadwwulf (145057) on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:51AM (#15901059) Homepage
    He'd be perfect as the young RIAA lawyer saying the line: "I sue dead people."

    Thanks, I'll be here all night, please try the fish, it's great tonight.
  • by drakyri (727902) on Monday August 14, 2006 @02:59AM (#15901080)
    Army Attorney General Joseph Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy, 6/9/54:

    "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
  • by freedom_india (780002) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:03AM (#15901093) Homepage Journal
    The dead person's family should get Ken Lay's lawyers to argue on their behalf that the case ought to be dismissed because there was no punishment awarded or conviction.

    Surely, if Ken Lay could get himself acquitted on technical grounds, then this poor guy should also be.

  • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:06AM (#15901100) Journal
    Seriously. Why aren't the major news outlets making a big deal out of shit like this?
  • Yuck... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:09AM (#15901109) Journal
    Do they want a part of your ashes after cremation too? :-p

    RIAA's actions consistently shows the world some corporations show absolutely no emotions. RIAA is ready to walk over corpses, quite literally, to cash in what's to them a ridiculous sum of money. I wonder what's more scary -- this action alone, or the fact that actual people make these decisions.
    • Re:Yuck... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Don_dumb (927108) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:32AM (#15901167)
      the fact that actual people make these decisions
      That's what amazes me all the time I hear of terrible acts, particularly corporate ones and you think to yourself "someone must have actually decided to do this", even worse a group of 'respected' people must have agreed on this. Perhaps it is just my middle-class upbringing but I always struggle to believe that actually at some point a director just says "I know, lets extract millions from the pension fund" or like today "The guy died but his death shouldn't stop us, he should have life insurance".
      And yet somehow the outrage only seems to be restricted to certain areas like /. I know there is a war going on but I have just looked at the BBC website and cant see the story yet. Just like the Sony Rookit scandal, I cant help thinking that the opposition to the RIAA/MPAA has to start using more effective propaganda campaigns to get public awareness.
      • Re:Yuck... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by atrocious cowpat (850512) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:11AM (#15901354)
        Yep, a constant source of wonder for me, too.

        Who are these people? At one point or another they must have started as "regular" citizens (fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, neighbours -- consumers). When did they change? And why?

        A comparative study on criminal and corporate behaviour would probably be rather interesting... especially regarding the point when either subject decided that the interest of their immediate environment was not theirs anymore.

        I do not want to insinuate that all corporate lawyers/executives are criminals, far from it. However I'd really like to know at what point (and why) people start making descisions which they would -- perceiveing themselves at the recieving end of -- in all likelyhood reject.

        Has this been done? Does anyone have mor information on this subject? I'd be grateful.
        • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:17AM (#15901498) Journal
          That's just the thing: they never started as "regular" people.

          About 1% of the population are psychopaths. They have no empathy to start with (or rather, they _do_ read your body language very well... but then at most use it to shaft you).

          They're essentially living in a single-player game, surrounded by NPCs which are expendable and don't matter. Think of the last time you've played a game. Did you care about the NPCs? Did you care if the hooker you've brained in GTA maybe has children, or maybe is only doing that to pay for her father's surgery, or whatever? Did you care about her feelings, goals in life, etc? Or were you in a frame of mind that NPCs by definition don't matter, and any lies, deceit, even murder, are ok as long as they keep you entertained? It's just a game, and the smart player does whatever works to get ahead, right?

          Well, think of people whose approach to RL is just that. Everyone else doesn't matter. Causing any harm is just fair game, if it keeps them entertained. (And indeed a lot of them aren't even motivated by monetary gains, and do outright counter-productive stuff just because they find it entertaining to shaft someone hard.) Most of them are also nigh impossible to threaten, presumably as an effect. At any rate, for them you don't matter. They can tell you to jump off a building with a straight face, if they think you might buy that, and be perfectly able to look themselves in the mirror the next day.

          The dumb ones become robbers, gangsters and serial killers, and society eventually puts them behind bars. The smart ones become CEOs and politicians, and get worshipped by Wall Street.

          Most of them had no life-shattering trauma to blame it on. Most of the white collar psychopaths come from rich or middle class families, led good lives, had the best education, etc. The only trauma in their life was the one they've inflicted on others.

          Some of them will _invent_ some rags-to-riches story, to gain sympathy. It makes people easier to manipulate. But almost invariably those stories aren't actually true.
        • Re:Yuck... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mjm1231 (751545) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:37AM (#15901665)
          There is a story in the book "Freakonomics" that may be informative to this point.

          A man ran a bagel delivery service, wherein he would deliver bagels, cream cheese, butter, etc. to customers each morning. Payments were on the honor system, and a box was placed next to the bagels for this purpose. On average, people shorted him by a small percentage, but not enough that the system didn't work.

          One business that used this service was a bit unusual. It was a three story building, with the top management on the top floor, middle management and such on the second, and regular working stiffs on the first. Seperate bagel drop offs were made to each floor. Without fail, the third floor's payments were always short by the largest percentage.

          There is something inherently wrong with the system when those who rise to the top are more likely to be dishonest than the general population.

        • Re:Yuck... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:38AM (#15901669) Homepage
          A comparative study on criminal and corporate behaviour would probably be rather interesting... especially regarding the point when either subject decided that the interest of their immediate environment was not theirs anymore.
          It's been done. [wikipedia.org] Definitely worth a read.
        • Re:Yuck... (Score:3, Informative)

          by GauteL (29207)
          I don't know whether there have been serious scientific comparisons made, but there are certainly academics that have been using criminal profiling on corporate managers.

          This [management-issues.com] is a quick link found from Google. I'm sure you'll find more if you do some more searching.
  • by edward.virtually@pob (6854) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:17AM (#15901127)
    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." -- Henry VI (Part 2), Act IV, Scene II.

    Expecting morality from an amoral organization or its lawyers leads to disappointment. The RIAA exists to maximize profit without concern for anything else be it fair play, Fair Rights or human decency. One has to wonder just what kind of person would work as a lawyer for the RIAA, since they must know as does anyone who's been following along on Slashdot that their lawsuits are unfair and an abuse of the legal system by a very powerful organization funded by multinational corporations against comparatively powerless individuals. They must be either atheists or fools to not fear the cost of abusing the bereaved for profit upon their souls. The person is dead. Find an unrelated living person to extort money from and leave the poor grieving family in peace.

    • You realize of course, the context of the "kill the lawyers" quote is that the act of killing all the lawyers would aid in the establishment of a tyrannical reign. In other words, Shakespeare was saying that in some way, there are lawyers who protect freedom.

      True, some lawyers work for the RIAA. By the same token, some programmers make spam software. Most lawyers don't work for the RIAA and many work for people's freedoms. Most programmers don't help spammers, and many actively work against spam. I think you should get the point -- it isn't the profession, it's the individual that goes bad. Fact is, by and large it is "people" who are cruel and vindictive.
    • by Captain_Chaos (103843) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:03AM (#15901590)

      They must be either atheists or fools to not fear the cost of abusing the bereaved for profit upon their souls.

      In other words, smart theists only act morally because they're afraid that if they don't they will be punished? Thanks for pointing that out. I, being an atheist, try to do right because that's the right thing to do, I don't need the threat of eternal damnation hanging over me. I was about to feel offendend by your remark, but now I see it's actually religious people who should feel offended...

      Now go ahead and mod me off-topic.

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:20AM (#15901133) Homepage Journal

    It's an industry association. It seems their strategy is to go after their targets as aggressively as possible, in order to send out the clear message that they can and will sue regular folks like you and me. They are effectively the "bad cop" while the individual record companies play the "good cop" giving the people the Brittany Spears and Korn they so desperately need.

    You can argue that filesharing is on the rise, or that the RIAA's enforcement actions have cut filesharing, depending on whose facts you use and how you slice them. But in the end the strategy of using the industry association to attack customers, while individual labels try to pretend they play no part in it, probably won't work. In a world where alternatives to label-centric distribution are nonexistent, the labels would be able to make this good cop, bad cop strategy work. But the irony here is that the tighter they squeeze, the more systems will slip through their fingers (apologies to G. Lucas). Sure, there are no "good" big labels to defect to, but there is much more incentive to escape the entire label system altogether.

    I keep waiting for one of the major labels to break ranks and start acting intelligent, giving customers fewer restrictions and defecting from the RIAA. It seems though, that none of them has the guts to do it, so they'll all keep pushing on consumers as hard as they can. The end result of the crackdown will eventually lead to a new business model in which the labels play a small or nonexistent role. Ironic, isn't it?

    • by RydiaAngel (995165) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:17AM (#15901496)
      I keep waiting for one of the major labels to break ranks and start acting intelligent, giving customers fewer restrictions and defecting from the RIAA. It seems though, that none of them has the guts to do it, so they'll all keep pushing on consumers as hard as they can.
      Actually, there is one. See Nettwerk [wikipedia.org], who manages quite a few artists (Barenaked Ladies, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, etc.). Their online store sells their music without DRM, and they are currently paying legal fees to fight the RIAA in court over downloading music.
    • I keep waiting for one of the major labels to break ranks and start acting intelligent, giving customers fewer restrictions and defecting from the RIAA. It seems though, that none of them has the guts to do it, so they'll all keep pushing on consumers as hard as they can. The end result of the crackdown will eventually lead to a new business model in which the labels play a small or nonexistent role. Ironic, isn't it?

      It's the Prisoner's Dilemma. Actually, it's a case of the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma to b

  • by Battleloser (995141) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:21AM (#15901135)
    The truly sad part about this? It's not surprising at all.
  • by BrynM (217883) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:35AM (#15901173) Homepage Journal
    This kind of behaviour is much akin to that of creditors and collection bureaus. They seem to view their targets more as debtors than as someone they accuse in a civil lawsuit. At least sometimes the debt can be nullified due to death with a real credit agency. Not an all time moral low for the RIAA, but a different low among the same levels it's been reaching for.
    • At least the creditors and collection bureaus probably have a real claim, although the interest and add-ons may be considered to be excessive, the decedent probably did actually owe them the money. Creditors usually have a valid claim for a debt, the RIAA is trying to sue somebody's family for an action that the the decedent may have taken.
  • by jopet (538074) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:44AM (#15901186) Journal
    Everyone is bitching about the industry, but enough keep buying. Are these people addicted to the crap they sell? And if their practices are really so despisable, why aren't there other companies with better practices getting more and more successful?

    My impression is that people just love to bitch but 99% will end up in a record store and buy the latest copy protected crap anyways. And that is exactly why DRM solutions are more and more becoming an everyday reality too.
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:49AM (#15901203)
      Actually, no. Fewer and fewer people buy. The RIAA, though, THINKS that we're addicts and that we can't live without our fix, so fewer sales must mean that we copy.

      But we don't. We just don't touch that junk. It's like your parents told you, kids, it's bad for you. And not even the first one's free.
  • First reaction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:46AM (#15901196) Homepage
    My first reaction was, I guess if you've lost the trust of your customers you have nothing to lose.

    But thinking about it, we aren't RIAA:s customers. Nothing any of us do or say will affect RIAA directly. Their customers as it were are the copyright holders, and their business is to maximize return to these people. The copyright holders (usually the recording companies) don't have us as customers either; their customers are radio and television stations and other broadcasters, and retail outlets from Amazon and Wal-Mart to record stores to gasoline stations.

    They provide content produced by artists - and it's the artists we are customers for. We don't go to Amazon to buy the latest Sony Music album, we go to buy AC/DC (or Jessica Simpson, or Luis Armstrong, whatever your taste is).

    It's this disconnect that keeps RIAA in business. We don't connect their actions with our favourite artists. The artists, in turn, have little incentive, and a huge downside, to raising their voice (most are, after all, not big enough to actually influence their company). The recording companies have no incentive to change RIAA's actions from their customers (Amazon et al) since those customers don't feel any backlash from us either.

    The solution? I don't see one. In my case it has gradually soured me on music altogether. I haven't bought a CD in years - but neither have I downloaded anything either. Most people will never make any emotional connection between music and this legal harassment, however, and so RIAA will never have a reason to change.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 14, 2006 @03:52AM (#15901210)
    Where's now the faction that usually screams "Oh, would someone PLEASE think of the children?" when it comes to ripping away some liberty? How about thinking 'bout them NOW?

    It's been said before, the RIAA doesn't give a rat's rear 'bout public image. Their business partners aren't normal people, their business partners are companies. And companies have no morals. The people in a company may have morals, but morals are easily brushed aside when you have someone else to blame. "I have to do it, or else I get sacked and someone else does it" is the usual comfortable excuse.

    To invoke Godwin, that excuse has worked before. All too perfectly.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:19AM (#15901252) Homepage
    These guys have been out of control and beyond "immoral" for quite some time and yet they are allowed to exist and operate. Could there be a strategy to disband these thugs? They do nothing to help artists and everything to harm the public interest.
  • by EddyPearson (901263) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:32AM (#15901277) Homepage
    The RIAA worked for that soul! It was theirs, they have documents and laywers to prove it! Then the good lord got to it and deliberatly reaped their soul, hell, thats stealing! They're missing a trick here, they just need to sue god.
  • by Anyd (625939) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:42AM (#15901290)
    I live about 30 seconds away from the RIAA Lawyer's office. Ann Arbor is a very progressive city, maybe I should go protest (but getting sued would suck.) Any suggestions for signs? "Dead people can't steal music" has a good ring to it.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:30AM (#15901519) Journal
      Any suggestions for signs? "Dead people can't steal music" has a good ring to it.


      I can just see it. Next thing you know, the RIAA hires hitmen instead of lawyers.
    • by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:00AM (#15901583) Journal
      In all seriousness, if you're going to go and do something...do it right. Go big.

      Ann Arbor's a college town with 30,000+ students. Between the sheer size of the campus and the fact that the College of Engineering is a target perfectly suited for this, I bet you could whip up a very nice protest. You could definitely organize something big enough to get the Detroit media's attention, and if done right, it could go farther than that.

      And if you do, I'll be there. After all, when you go to the college in question, it's easy to get there. :)
    • I live about 30 seconds away from the RIAA Lawyer's office. Ann Arbor is a very progressive city, maybe I should go protest (but getting sued would suck.) Any suggestions for signs? "Dead people can't steal music" has a good ring to it.

      [risking karma for this redundent statement]

      Puting out the nuttyness of sueing dead people seems to be an excelent angle. Not that such things are unreasonable in cases where there is an estate and there are acutal damages.

      An image of a man with ipod plugs in his ears, in a
  • by curtvdh (738461) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:54AM (#15901454)

    There is a lot of outrage expressed over RIAA tactics (as there should be), but I still think a lot of people are missing the essential point. There are many comments along the lines of 'How can the RIAA screw their customers like this?', and 'Don't they care about their PR?' etc.

    The point is - no, they don't care about their PR, and they certainly don't care about their customers or their clients (the 'artists' who will in all likelihood never see a penny of the loot from the RIAA). The RIAA, like us, have seen the future, and like us, they know that it doesn't include them. They're not stupid - they know that electronic distributions systems will only get better, faster and easier. They know that an artist will soon be able to bypass the RIAA completely and reach the public directly. They know that the teenagers of today (who will become the consumers of tomorrow) find the notion of paying for music odd and outdated.

    What we are seeing here, from DRM to pointless lawsuits to egregious congressional lobbying are just stopgap solutions, all of which will eventually fail, sooner or later. So what's an organization to do when they see their cash cow headed for the slaughterhouse, and know that there is nothing at all that they can do about it? Simple - they make as much money as they can before the inevitable happens. They know there will be no RIAA in the future - so in the meantime, they are abusing the system way past the breaking point in order to garner as much cash for the Executives to retire on when the time comes.

    When seen from this prespective, the actions of the RIAA make sense. They don't care about their image - they care only about squeezing the last drop of blood from the stone before technology renders them obsolete. That doesn't mean we should give up the fight - we should continue to do all that we can to hasten the 'Day of Reckoning' - (shameless plug for Lizzie West's album 'Holy Road').

    Goodbye RIAA - we hardly knew you. Not that we cared.

  • by DCFC (933633) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:51AM (#15901565)
    The lawyers are only "obeying orders", and am disappointed by the fact that so many people here blame them for simply carrying out a difficult job in difficult circumstances, for what I am sure is only modest financial reward from those fine defenders of probity, the RIAA.

    In particular I gain the impression that some here are thinking of taking direct action of some kind against these kindly, well intentioned folks.
    I would urge you not to do this.

    I note that the links lead to the application by the lawyers, who helpfully include their email address.

    We should treat this information with the respect it deserves and should not cause them to receive any spam, and we should not put matthew@srkllp.com in the email field of every popup window that offers up free porn, Viagra, or free Ipods. Signing them up for services is malicious and may be for all I know, illegal.

    Also, the huge numbers of Slashdot readers should not send him or his firm emails, because that would be a bad thing, and might upset their email service.

    The fact that their Managing Partner (dick@srkllp.com) likes to be referred to as a "Dick" should be treated as a personal choice, and in the spirit of
    a diverse and respectful society, I urge all you all to refrain from sending him jokes about his name.
    He's probably heard them all before.
    Except of course if he's deaf.
    Deaf Dick lawyers have feelings too, be kind.

    I call upon everyone here to respect the good intentions of the undoubtedly excellent and obviously totally ethical firm of Soble Rowe Krichbaum LLP

    I note that their firm specialises in "Complex cases" and "mediation". Perhaps if there is a legitimate criticism of these fine men (and possibly a female secretary), is that
    their obvious talents are being wasted. Whatever view you have of current affairs in the Middle East, might it not be resolved with less pain if these fine men (and the lady who makes them coffee) were instead to use their obvious talents on a global scale ?
  • by louzerr (97449) <Mr.Pete.Nelson@gmai l . com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:27AM (#15901647) Homepage
    So if you run a company and steal from people (Ken Lay), if you die your heirs (with their stolen money) are exempt.

    If, on the other hand, you're just a person, and you do something wrong in the eyes of the music industry, the punishment is due your children.

    Does anyone else see a HUGE problem with the justice system in this county?

    We the people have no control. God Money has spoken.
  • by Mille Mots (865955) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:43AM (#15901857)

    It's how you know who you know.

    Ken Lay rapes the Enron shareholders and creditors, goes to trial, manages to get himself convicted and when he dies before sentencing, the court drops the whole shebang; as if it never happened.

    In this case, the RIAA wants to go after the heirs for the alleged crimes of the deceased.

    Yeah, everything's right with the world.

    --
    No .sig allowed

  • by NevarMore (248971) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:52AM (#15901888) Homepage Journal
    The RIAA had a [completely bullshit] claim in progress against the decesased.

    Just as if the deceased had outstanding debt, there is now a claim against his estate. Ignoring the absurd basis of the original lawsuit, this is a perfectly normal and legitimate legal claim. An outstanding lawsuit is no different from having a hospital bill, burial fees, outstanding credit card debt, a mortgage and so on.

    Again, I agree that the original RIAA claim is bupkis, however, they are not 'suing the children', they are filing a claim against the estate just like any other debtor.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:37AM (#15902149) Homepage

    With one simple change to our legal system. Don't let trade groups sue on behalf of members. Make the companies themselves stand up and be the bad guy. Like Monsanto, many of them will do it anyway. But you won't see Sony suing dead people or threatening their relatives. You will find a greater push to open source if MSFT and IBM have to step up and sue companies for license violations.

    Sometimes litigation is warranted, but if it tarnishes the image of the company they're going to be a little more circumspect about releasing the legal hounds. As long as member companies can distance themselves from getting their hands dirty by the action of enforcement entities it's going to keep happening.

    Hey, you right wingers. If you're so hopped up about abusive litigation, why are our fearless Republican defenders of the people stepping up to put a stop to things like this? Maybe because you're hypocrites? Just a thought.

  • Criminal vs Civil (Score:3, Informative)

    by thorkyl (739500) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:54AM (#15903214)
    The key difference between the Ken Lay case and the RIAA case is one is criminal.
    Criminal and Cival cases have the right to appeal, Lay is dead thus he can not appeal.
    However in the RIAA case the estate has the right to apeal.

    RIAA case is civil, and therefore follows the estate.

    Our Laws
    You can not put a crooks kid in jail for the actions of the crook.
    You can make a persons estate pay you for the actions of that person.

    My thought on the RIAA case is that since there was no judgment entered in court the case should be dismissed.

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