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RIAA Wants $1.5 Million Per CD Copied 408

Posted by Zonk
from the even-the-beatles-aren't-that-great dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not content with current statutory damages, the RIAA is pushing for higher damages for infringement, damages that would total $1.5 million for copying a CD with ten songs. It's all part of debate over the proposed PRO-IP Act. William Patry, a lawyer who wrote the seminal seven-volume reference on US copyright law, called it the most 'outrageously gluttonous IP bill ever introduced in the US.'"
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RIAA Wants $1.5 Million Per CD Copied

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  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:05PM (#22239446) Homepage Journal
    I knew that 'going gold' meant a lot to an artist, and I knew the price of gold was high, but $1.5 million sounds just a little high...

    Or is this just for the ones that go platinum?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)
      This is a classic case of asking for more than you can get to give yourself bargaining power. They'll ask for 1.5 million then say "oh well, we'll just compromise at 750k and call it good"
    • Re:$1.5 million? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by teasea (11940) <t_stool@hotma i l . c om> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:11PM (#22240322)
      Gold is 500,000 copies and platinum is 1,000,000. So if you go Gold, that's a net of $7,500,000.00. Now the company spent $100,000 to $250,000 recording, $3,000,000 in marketing (mostly payola) and another half million or so on incidentals (hookers, bail). Oh, and stamps. Add a half million.

      The artist on the first album will 1 to 3% of the net, so with the remaining 3 and half million or so, that means the artist only owes the company an additional $150,000.00. Luckily there are 4 or 5 members in the band, so it's relativly painless. You should be able to make most of that back on your next album assuming you can come up with quality material in 9 months when the first album took 12 years of writing. (It's easier to just use the same songs with different lyrics.)

      Have a cigar!
      • Re:$1.5 million? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:39PM (#22240684)

        You should be able to make most of that back on your next album assuming you can come up with quality material in 9 months when the first album took 12 years of writing.
        Bon Jovi said it best,"You have your whole life to write your first album and only six months to write the second."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aztektum (170569)
        Meanwhile each CD only sells for 10-15 bucks. Somehow they feel copying that CD and losing them that sale is worth fines that are many orders of magnitude what they actually "lost" (using their definition of lost).
      • Re:$1.5 million? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:09PM (#22241508)
        Might want to check the numbers. Last I heard most major artists were costing 1 to 5 million in the studio, that's ignoring the Michael Jackson 25 mill per album in studio expenses. That's an average and some are more. Low end artist may be in the 100K to 500K in studio time. I'm talking major labels not Jim Bob buying a few hours of studio time or doing it in his garage. The actual studio cost is a tiny part of the expense the majority going to expenses and demands of the artists. Some expenses are legit like studio musicians and engineer time in post processing and mixing but the bulk tends to be conditions artists demand and their small army of people that are around them. Also for a major album 3 mill would be on the low end for advertising. They don't spend film money but they spend north of what they spend on producing the albums, once again ignoring Michael Jackson, in his case he just shows up in public sporting a new nose or weird outfit. The real expense though are the five or ten albums that tanked to get the hit one. Now that sales for even established artists are dropping like rocks they are going to be far less likely to go with new talent. Kind of the irony of the situation. Companies like to play it safe when things get tight. Better to spend 5 or 10 mill cranking out another Brittany album than give ten unknown artists a shot at it. With a lot of the singers these days it's in the post production anyway. Ole Paris Hilton helped let the cat out of the bag on that one. She can't sing a note but her album was passable once they got finished filtering it. It's why so many young artists don't sing live, you'd never recognize their real voice. The excuse is the dance numbers and difficulty getting clean sound. The real reason is a good share are there for looks and can't really sing.
    • Re:$1.5 million? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KeyboardMonkey (744594) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:43PM (#22240720)
      To put this in perspective, the entire US GDP in 2006 was $13.13 trillion. That's 8.7 million copied CDs.

      I wonder what that is in Libraries of Congress.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by djupedal (584558)
        The Library of Congress contains about 20 terabytes of text.

        If a CD contains, say 700mb; 8.7 million copied CDs = approx. 300 LOC's
    • Re:$1.5 million? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rapturizer (733607) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:45PM (#22240744)
      I think we should let them, only with the stipulation of a $1.5 Billion penalty when they file a lawsuit against the wrong person. Of course, this would be payable in cash to the person they sue. I would think that this would be an equally justifiable fine and would encourage some top tier lawyers to defend the public for a marginal percentage.
    • by JonTurner (178845) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:43PM (#22241760) Journal
      So, when this extortion racket, uh, I mean "organization" successfully sues someone or they settle out of court... how much of that money goes back to the artists they supposedly represent? Has any artist received a dividend cheque?

      Colour me skeptical.
    • by MacWiz (665750) <gzieman54.gmail@com> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @12:41AM (#22242916) Journal
      I heard somewhere that you can't always get what you want.
    • Only $1.5 million? Are you sure?

      The Society for Patent Enforcement, Copyright, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion was expecting a considerably larger figure...

      (strokes cat)

      Goodbye, Mister Bond.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Bribing Congressmen doesn't come cheap. They have to make it back SOMEWAY.
  • by Steeltalon (734391) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:06PM (#22239448)
    I ask because I want them to be safe. It has to be painful pulling garbage like this out of their asses.
  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:06PM (#22239456) Homepage Journal
    RIAA Wants $1.5 Million Per CD Copied

    And I want a pony. Somehow, I think we're both going to be disappointed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcmonkey (96054)

      RIAA Wants $1.5 Million Per CD Copied
      And I want a pony. Somehow, I think we're both going to be disappointed.

      Somehow, I think the RIAA have better lobbyists than you have.

      And I think the point is not to actually get $1.5mil per CD, but to have that statute on the books as leverage to get more settlements.

      • Re:heh (Score:5, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:37PM (#22239918) Journal

        Somehow, I think the RIAA have better lobbyists than you have.

        And I think the point is not to actually get $1.5mil per CD, but to have that statute on the books as leverage to get more settlements.
        Whenever you see legislation like the PRO-IP Act, you have to ask yourself two questions:
        1. Who is sponsoring the legislation?
        Sponsor:
        John Conyers [D-MI]

        Co-sponsors:
        Rep Berman, Howard L. [D-CA]
        Rep Cohen, Steve [D-TN]
        Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [D-TX]
        Rep Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA]
        Rep Wexler, Robert [D-FL]

        Rep Chabot, Steve [R-OH]
        Rep Feeney, Tom [R-FL]
        Rep Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA]
        Rep Issa, Darrell E. [R-CA]
        Rep Keller, Ric [R-FL]
        Rep Smith, Lamar [R-TX]

        2. Where did the model legislation for this Act come from?
        • Re:heh (Score:5, Informative)

          by eiapoce (1049910) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:56PM (#22240148)
          Excellent piece. BTW: Republicans = Democrats = Sold out. And I mean it, here is proof: http://www.politicalmoneyline.com/ [politicalmoneyline.com] - http://opensecrets.org/ [opensecrets.org]

          I'd suggest american friends to change from a Duocracy system to a real democracy. As much is proven that a duopoly is not effective in favouring the consumer, why whould a duocracy do any better in the political field?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TubeSteak (669689)

            Excellent piece. BTW: Republicans = Democrats = Sold out.

            I disagree with the notion that Republicans = Democrats = Sold out
            There are real and serious differences between the two parties and anyone who tries to marginalize those differences is usually agitating for a 3rd party or giving in to apathy.

            The +5 Funny AC below me made an insightful commentary that I had thought about saying, but decided to avoid editorializing.

            Basically, the people sponsoring this bill are:
            Disneyland x 3
            Hollywood x 3
            Texas x 2
            and Nashville Tennesse, the home of country music

            People alway

            • Re:heh (Score:5, Interesting)

              by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @11:49PM (#22242564)

              I disagree with the notion that Republicans = Democrats = Sold out There are real and serious differences between the two parties and anyone who tries to marginalize those differences is usually agitating for a 3rd party or giving in to apathy.

              Indeed. Back when I was getting my feet wet in the field of data mining, I decided to download the voting records of the US Senate, at least for the last 20 or so years. This data is publicly available on the government web site. A few Perl scripts later and I had reduced the entire voting record to a single CSV file. Each "issue" (an item being voted on) was represented by a single row. Each column represented a specific Senator, and the values were either "For," "Against," or "No Vote."

              I also created a perpendicular data set, where each row represented a Senator and each column represented a specific issue, with the values again being "For," "Against," and "No Vote."

              I loaded these data sets into a general data mining tool and ran some trials. Among other experiments, I ran J48 to produce decision trees to predict vote values for each Senator, based on how the Senator voted on some specific "model issues," such as gun control legislation. In other words, based on how a Senator voted on certain issues I could predict how they voted on some target issue. If somebody voted against a pro-life abortion bill, how would they vote on a matter of pollution control? Etc. I also ran the perpendicular analysis: based on how other Senators voted on issue X, how would any given Senator vote on the same issue? These decision trees achieved predictive accuracies of greater than 80% in standard cross-validation testing.

              The decision trees are also very informative in that they describe the political influences between Senators. If the topmost branch of the decision tree for Senator X is Senator Y, then we can assume there is some kind of friendship, similarity, or power relationship between those two Senators, at least to some degree. These decision trees are powerful tools for political analysis.

              But more to the point, one of the best tests I conducted was the application of EM-clustering to the Senators themselves, with the goal being to divide them into "camps," where each camp had similar voting preferences. I allowed the EM-algorithm to decide, on its own, how many clusters to produce, using an MDL principle. I was only somewhat surprised when the algorithm created three clusters. All the Republicans ended up in cluster 1, along with two Democrats. The rest of the Democrats, as well as all the independents, ended up in cluster 2. The third cluster contained Senators who had run for President. (My theory on why the algorithm created a "Presidential cluster" is because Presidential candidates often spend a long time away from the Senate, during their campaigns, and therefore have long stretches of "No vote" on their records. This makes them appear somewhat similar to each other from a statistical viewpoint.)

              When "dumb," statistically based data mining software is capable of grasping the clear differences between Republican and Democrat, it becomes impossible to argue with a straight face that the two parties are the same. A fucking computer can tell the difference, why can't a human?

              (By the way, one of the Democratic Senators the computer placed into the Republican party was Hillary Clinton.)

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by eiapoce (1049910)
                Listen my friend.

                To start with when I was 20 I proudly applied statistical data analisys to the breast size of the playboy's bunnies in order to find out whereever they had implants or not. I think statistics belongs there. Otherwise following your reasoning of statistics in politics we could have robots voting istead of people.

                That said and getting a serious conversation going on, it is not the specific case of pro-abotion pro-life issues that matters here. And that's because clearly the health ser
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Xeth (614132)
                I don't think that anyone who says "there's no difference" actually means it literally. There are obvious, well publicized differences on several key issues (abortion, gun control, etc.). What they mean is that there isn't a lot of significant philosophical difference between the two. Both parties are, compared to the rest of the world, very right-wing. Both have strong anti-libertarian leanings. Instead of selecting candidates based on an overall approach to government, U.S politics are generally played by
              • Decision trees? (Score:3, Informative)

                by Xenographic (557057)
                You should publish that data somewhere. It would be interesting to see who owns whom in congress...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jafafa Hots (580169)
              "There are real and serious differences between the two parties and anyone who tries to marginalize those differences is usually agitating for a 3rd party or giving in to apathy." The differences: GOP "We want to government to torture people." Dems "We're going to write a strongly worded letter explaining our misgivings about our allowing government torture." GOP "The government needs to spy on its own people, this is a good thing." Dems "Gosh, its too bad that the government has to spy on its own people.
        • Re:heh (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:04PM (#22240238)
          Whenever you see legislation like the PRO-IP Act, you have to ask yourself two questions:
          1. Who is sponsoring the legislation?
          Sponsor:
          John Conyers [D-MI]

          Co-sponsors:
          Rep Berman, Howard L. [D-Hollywood]
          Rep Cohen, Steve [D-Nashville]
          Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [D-TX]
          Rep Schiff, Adam B. [D-Hollywood]
          Rep Wexler, Robert [D-Disney]

          Rep Chabot, Steve [R-OH]
          Rep Feeney, Tom [R-Disney]
          Rep Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA]
          Rep Issa, Darrell E. [R-Hollywood]
          Rep Keller, Ric [R-Disney]
          Rep Smith, Lamar [R-TX]

          Fixed some typos for you.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by belmolis (702863)

            Rep Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA]

            Are you sure that shouldn't be:

            Rep Goodlatte, Bob [R-Starbucks]
    • Re:heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:27PM (#22239756) Journal
      Give as much money to politicians as the RIAA has and you'll both get your wish.
  • by IronMagnus (777535) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:09PM (#22239476)
    Maybe they ment $15
    • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:19PM (#22239636) Homepage
      Actually, that's about what each infringement is worth. If you use filesharing, and if for each song you download, you upload a song, your infringement for downloading/uploading and album on that fileshare would be about the cost of that same album; about $15. I still don't understand how any competent mind can come up with any more than that per infraction.

      Since filesharing is on average 1:1, It's not that each person uploading ten songs is causing thousands of dollars worth of damages, its that thousands of different people are causing ten's of dollars of damage each. But if that were how it was stated in court, legal fees would outweigh damages, and lawsuits would no longer become lucrative sources of income.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:41PM (#22240708)
        I'm sure the RIAA would love to double-dip, as it were, but if you upload a file to me (which I'm downloading), that's 1 infringement, not two. So, when doing your accounting, don't count both uploads *and* downloads. Or if you do, count them as 1/2 an infringement each. Which, may be what you are doing since you're coming up with a total value of infrigment which is equal to the album's retail price, but it wasn't exactly clear from your writeup.

        Statutory damages for infringment of a registered copyright is 3x actual damages, so you could come up with a figure of $45-60 per total album upload/download. I'm with you guys though - I'm not sure where they get 1.5 Million from.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by EdelFactor19 (732765)
        except they have to fine for you breaking the law. you stole it you didnt buy it. If i go steal a 100$ item from store X do you think store X will drop the charges if I simply pay 100$ after the fact? NO they wont; if they did that then theyd be encouraging me to steal anything i would actually purchase. Worst case scenario I get caught and I pay them the money I would have paid them.. they tag on things like arrests, and jailtime and tarnishing your record and additional fines and legal fees to deter t
  • Walmart (Score:5, Funny)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:09PM (#22239482)
    Fuck it. If they say I'm stealing it I'm just going to start "ripping" music from Walmart. The fines are cheaper and less signficant on a criminal record.
    • Re:Walmart (Score:4, Insightful)

      by StringBlade (557322) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:33PM (#22239860) Journal
      If you're going to steal CDs, why not start with a store that doesn't put RFIDs on all of it's merchandise?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I hope it passes for that and for the tact I expect most to take... you don't need their shit, you don't need it. Why does anyone need a CD or to listen to the music produced by the people funding this? We don't.

      It's not like software that we might need for work to get paid. It's not like clothing where you tend to get in trouble if you go around without it(damn conservative society). It's not like food where you starve to death without it. This is entertainment. It's just not neccessary. If they get this
  • by frankie (91710) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:10PM (#22239490) Journal
    Sweet! At that damage level, the RIAA could afford to ditch all pretense of supporting music, and make a killing by sending lawyers down the street in major metro areas to slap subpoenas on every passerby with an MP3 player.
  • Why is it that they want more money in damages from a copy to a format that doesn't inheretly lend itself to being copied an unknown number of times- whereas there's actually a question of how many times copyright infringement happens to a file in a share folder- but they get much less for a shared folder collection...?
  • by psbrogna (611644)
    1.5 Million?! This seems like a really pathetic cry for help. They must really be scared about the revenue they're losing because they're not evolving with the times. That's too bad.
  • Right then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:11PM (#22239510)

    All you trolls that insist copyright infringement is the same as stealing, please point out a single instance of somebody being fined $1.5 million dollars for stealing a CD.

  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:11PM (#22239512)
    Mr Evil "I demand the sum... OF 1 MILLION DOLLARS."
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:11PM (#22239518)
    The penalty would be much less than this.

    • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:31PM (#22239834)
      One pirated CD copy is worth more than a human life!

      An above-average wrongful death compensation award for a healthy working parent would be in the $1-3 million dollar range. You could go murder somebody. It'd be cheaper than pirating a few CDs. And if the CDs had DRM, the jail sentence would be shorter for the murder too! The US military pays out $600 for wrongful deaths in Iraq. A pirated CD copy is worth more than 2500 Iraqis!

      In reality though, they're probably asking for so much in hopes that the compromise amount will be high. Hopefully congress tells them to fuck off instead of coming up with a "compromise" that is right in line with what they were really hoping for anyway.
      • by JensenDied (1009293) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:38PM (#22239930)
        Does this mean I can now go kill several people and leave a few burned CD's for their families as compensation and continue with my day?
      • Not $600 (Score:5, Informative)

        by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @08:05PM (#22240934)
        Totally off-topic, but since you decided to fudge some stats, I may as well respond: the maximum payout is not set at $600 but at $2,500. Larger amounts COULD be paid out...but my general experience has been that any time you start compensating locals for large amounts, they go out of their way to try and suck money out of you. When we were doing "peacekeeping" in Bosnia, there was a fairly large payout for pretty much everything from property damage caused by raids to vehicle damage caused in accidents. As a result, locals would often damage their own property in order to try and claim "compensation". They'd even go so far as to intentionally cause a head-on collision between a honda-civic sized shitbox and an armoured personnel carrier, which, unsurprisingly, most often lead to the death of the driver.

        These things often seem like really great ideas to people sitting on their asses in North America, banging away at a computer keyboard, but in real life they don't work nearly as well. For instance, I can't count how many times some clown on an internet forum has suggested we offer a cash incentive for people to turn in explosives. Of course, the real world result of that would be a lot of civilians being killed while trying to bring in unstable ordinance. Or the suggestions that we pay people to turn in weapons - usually the only result is villagers selling us their WW1 era muskets, and then using the money to buy AK47's.

        So, long story short, paying out large amounts for "wrongful deaths" is a bad idea. The cash currently paid out isn't meant to replace the person who was killed, and it's certainly not an admission of culpability or responsibility. It's just a gesture to say "we're sorry this had to happen to you, here's something to help you get back on your feet".
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:11PM (#22239520) Homepage
    I hadn't realized the US dollar had lost that much value recently...
  • When they pass this law (and since when has congress not passed an "enhanced" copyright law) and it does not work, then the RIAA can then move on to more realistic "physical" punishments.

    Like lethal injection.
  • About the author (Score:2, Informative)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)

    William Patry is currently Senior Copyright Counsel at Google Inc. His previous positions include: copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary; Policy Planning Advisor to the Register of Copyrights; Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is the author of numerous treatises and articles on copyright.

    So, no axes to grind there, right? ;-)

    In other words his current job is work for weak copyright protections.

  • 8th Amendment makes that completely impossible. Cruel and unusual punishment.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by themushroom (197365)
      You're thinking of Paris Hilton's album, which has probably made $1.5 million in sales - total.
  • This means that if every person in the US copied just one CD that would account for 4.5 * 10^14 dollars

    No wonder the RIAA is ramping-up their tactics, look at how much they've already lost!
  • And I want death sentence for speeding.
  • If this somehow managed to become law, I wonder how much of enormous fines actually end up in the hands of artists? My guess is less than $15 per album. The rest are expenses, after all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JustNiz (692889)
      umm none actually. Its the labels that are suing for their damages, not those of the artist.
  • So, what they are saying is that copying a CD deserves more of a punishment than does taking a CD from somebody by force?
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:22PM (#22239686)
    These people are just "engineering expectations".

    They introduce this outrageous dreck, then suggest something which is still outrageous but comparatively mild, like, for instance, forcing ISP's to disconnect users a-la france, or forcing them to pull great firewall of china style 'filtering', or prison sentences for college students.

    Then, they'll bloviate on and on about how these new proposals are a "compromise"

    Or.. this dreck is merely a red herring to distract activist groups away from that rider they put into the college funding bill to force schools to 'filter' their internet on pain of losing their federal grants.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      You are correct on both counts. This IS a case of "engineered expectations" so that a "reasonable compromise" can be reached AND also serves the simultaneous purpose of providing a hunk of meat for the activists to sink their teeth into while the real proposal flies in below the radar. They really ought to make the collected works of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu's Art of War required reading in high school so that people are actually prepared for the types of things that go on in the real world these days. It is
  • Explain this, RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:26PM (#22239746)
    If a single copy of a CD has a value of $1.5M, how can you justify letting hundreds of thousands of copies on it sit on the shelves of major retailers worldwide, priced at gasp $10-$20?

    This suggests that if I were to publish a copy of a CD online , even assuming it retails at $20, I would have to serve 75,000 copies of it personally to justify that infringement penalty. Consider that the only feasible way for me to do such a thing is to torrent it, and in this case I personally am not responsible for the entire distribution, the total distribution must be subdivided across every single person who downloads a copy, because they are also uploaders. Claiming penalties against every distributor for the total distribution is like double taxation, but tens of thousands of times worse - I should not be liable for the activities of others, except to the extent you can prove that I facilitated the very first unlicensed distribution and that said unlicensed distribution was directly responsible for the entire cascade of further infringement, and that all other copies of the works were suitably protected.

    Complete B.S.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:28PM (#22239780)
    From the article:

    "The issue is compilations, which now are treated as a single work. In the RIAA's perfect world, each copied track would count as a separate act of infringement, meaning that a copying a ten-song CD even one time could end up costing a defendant $1.5 million if done willfully."

    Neat trick, eh? I fail to see the common-sense logic, but I guess that's never stopped the legal-beagles before...

    For those posting about changing the business model, (earn money by prosecuting the shit out of your consumers). Yes, but it's probably more to get headlines and increase the imagined "deterrent" effect... Yeah right. Sure worked with the death penalty and murder/serious crime rates, eh?

    For those posting about stealing the CDs, well sorry, but the way these desperate dudes are going, pretty soon it'll be illegal to rip those tracks to your Ubuntu box/iPod/whatever anyway. Fair use? Byeeeeeeee... Next up, 2Bn$ fines for those who rip music from stolen CDs!!!! Think of the children!

  • PRO-IP (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobBebop (947356) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:29PM (#22239798) Homepage Journal

    This is related to the PRO-IP Act [house.gov] (press released on Dev 5, 2007) that is in Congress. Here is who to blame:

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX), Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ric Keller (R-FL), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Robert Wexler (D-FL) introduced the "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property ("PRO IP") Act of 2007"

    Here's the "SHOCK AND AWE" value that the industry is using to get people's attention:

    It costs the United States between $200 and $250 billion/year in lost sales, including 750,000 jobs.

    Obviously, any rational thinking individual knows that 750,000 individuals are not "out on the streets" because piracy has taken away the revenue streams necessary for employing them.

    Similarly, *if* $200-250 Billion isn't flowing into the pockets of Imaginary Property companies each year, doesn't that just mean that Americans are free to spend that same money elsewhere? Shouldn't Americans NOT NEED A $150 Billion handout from the government, if they have all this extra money from their copyright infringement?

    Something isn't right...

    • Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by einhverfr (238914)
      Of course the statistics are BS. The way they are calculated is "if everyone purchased these songs instead of copying them, there would be 750000 more jobs" which is *not* the same as "750000 jobs were lost because of copyright infringement" because of two issues:

      1) It is one heck of a leap to suggest that if there was no internet that so many more CD's and singles would be purchased.
      2) I seriously doubt that those numbers of job inflation are accurate anyway (that is roughly 10-20 times the number of em
  • by adminstring (608310) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:40PM (#22239952)
    Stories like this only help highlight the differences between musicians and corporate leeches that exploit musicians.

    If you live in a city with a local music scene, support your local independent bands, and support the independent bands that come through directly by buying CDs from them. No musician has ever attempted to extort 1.5 million from their audience. There is plenty of great content out there without having to go to the RIAA and their ilk.
  • by rinkjustice (24156) <rinkjustice.NO_SPAMrocketmail@com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:43PM (#22239980) Homepage Journal
    Alright, let's settle this once and for all - a SCO vs RIAA cagematch for most hated entity in the history of Slashdot.

    I'm almost starting to believe RIAA is the favorite.
  • Riptopia (Score:5, Funny)

    by teslar (706653) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:59PM (#22240186)
    So, first I get an email from Amazon, telling me about their amazing new service called Riptopia [amazon.com]. You send in your CDs in multiples of 100, you wait some days, you get the CDs back along with a few DVDs containing high quality rips complete with album art, correctly filled-in tags etc. For about $1 per CD. And my thought was, "well, how curious, I wonder what the RIAA would say to that".

    Then I come to /. and it appears the RIAA is saying it wants 1.5 Million dollars per copied CD.

    It almost makes me feel like they have a new money-making scheme:
    1. Let people copy CDs on Riptopia
    2. Get detailed lists of exactly what CDs have been copied for whom from Riptopia
    3. Send out the bills
    4. Profit!!!
    Now, I'm sure I saw a guy handing out tinfoil hats running around here somewhere....
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:23PM (#22240484)
    What we need is some filthy rich old guy with nothing better to spend his money on, to take up this cause and start paying for some high price lawyers to defend people the RIAA sue.

    if i was a multimillionare i'd do it just to see the reaction.

  • by xPsi (851544) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @08:26PM (#22241132)
    $1.5M/CD? Hey, its only about $0.00027/bit. After a couple bucks, you might even recognize the data stream as music!
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@@@mavetju...org> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @08:32PM (#22241190) Homepage
    1.5 million US dollars... That will be 75 Euros.
  • by Chysn (898420) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:05PM (#22241488)
    ...we'd all be eating steak.

    This doesn't seem to be about the money. Make it $250,000 per CD, or make it $50 million. What they want the power to do is destroy someone forever. One CD means you lose your house, your family, your future. One CD indentures you to them with no hope of retiring. They're asking for $1.5 million because they know that asking for lethal injection is a tad over the top.
  • by UttBuggly (871776) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:55PM (#22242240)
    Hmmm....past 50 and still the proud owner of some 500 pieces of classic vinyl having and many more CDs.

    I have many records...the original quadraphonic recording of Dark Side Of The Moon, for instance...that have been played ONCE. And that was to RECORD THEM to a more durable, portable media so I could enjoy the music as much as I wanted without damaging the original album.

    Sure, vinyl isn't a CD. Doubt if the RIAA makes a distinction. And considering I have some excellent gear, and that I'm a professional musician with lots of studio time, and so on, many of my "copies" sound better than the CD version.

    Of course, silly me...I assumed that when I bought an album...Led Zepplin IV...it was mine. Should I be penalized, brought to penury, and vilified simply because I've outlived some technology? If I could still get a sealed, cherry vinyl record album, I'd still buy them. That's not the case, so I feel well within my rights to record an irreplaceable piece of music every decade or so to the latest storage medium.

    So, by my calculations, I can apparently offset the National Debt all by myself simply because I have old records.

    Brilliant.

  • I want... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chewbacon (797801) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @12:25AM (#22242812)
    ...$1.5 million per violation of consumer rights.
  • by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbotherNO@SPAMnowhere.com> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @11:29AM (#22246840) Journal
    In America, we prosecute the drug user rather than the dealer, because the dealers can afford good lawyers.

    We prosecute the illegal immigrant rather than recognize that what's happening is an economic migration caused by an excessively high minimum wage in the US and a corrupt Mexican government.

    We consider criminal prosecution of file traders rather than notice that the **AA are attempting to support price gouging in an effort to capitalism with mercantilism.

    It's time to bite the bullet, as the saying goes, and start fixing the real problems.

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