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NewYorkCountryLawyer Debates RIAA VP 291

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the defying-logic dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "At Fordham Law School's annual IP Law Conference this year, Slashdot member NewYorkCountryLawyer had a chance to square off with Kenneth Doroshow, a Senior Vice President of the RIAA, over the subject of copyright statutory damages. Doroshow thought the Jammie Thomas verdict of $222,000 was okay, he said, since Ms. Thomas might have distributed 10 million unauthorized copies. NYCL, on the other hand, who has previously derided the $9,250-per-song file verdict as 'one of the most irrational things [he has] ever seen in [his] life in the law', stated at the Fordham conference that the verdict had made the United States 'a laughingstock throughout the world.' An Australian professor on the panel said, 'The comment has been made a few times that America is out of whack and you are a laughingstock in the rest of the world. As the only non-American on the panel, that's true. We do see the cases like Thomas in our newspapers, and we think: "Wow, those crazy Americans, what are they up to now?" This whole notion of statutory damages is not something that we have within our Copyright Act. You actually have to be able to prove damage for you to be able to be compensated for that.' NYCL also got to debate the 'making available' issue, saying that there was no 'making available' right in US copyright law, despite the insistence of the program's moderator, the 'keynote' speaker, and a 'majority vote' of the audience that there was such a right. The next day, two decisions came down, and a month later yet another decision came down, all rejecting the 'making available' theory."
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NewYorkCountryLawyer Debates RIAA VP

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  • First post! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Saturday May 03, 2008 @02:22AM (#23282620) Homepage Journal
    Notice is hereby given that Harmonious Botch claims copyright to the phrase "First post", both with and without an exclaimation mark, in uppercase or lowercase or any combination thereof, whether actually posted as a first post, a later post, or not posted at all, in alphabetic characters or other representation, including, but not limited to, brail, 1337, and morse code, in English, or any other language, whether posted on Slashdot or any other forum; and all derivative phrases, including, but not limited to: "Frist post", "Fist pots", "Frost p0st", "Frist pozt", "Frost pots", "Forced p0st", "Forced pots", "Firts post", "Fist post", "Frost post", "Fist pozt", "Frost pozt", "Forced post", "Furst post", "Frist psot", "Firts psot", "Firts p0st", "Fist p0st", "Frost psot", "Forced psot", "Forced pozt", "Furst psot", "Frosty piss", "Frist pist", "Firts pist", "Furst p0st", "Forced piss", "Fist pist", "Frost pist", "Forced pist", "Fist psot", "Furst pist", "Frist p0st", "Frost p0st", "Frist pozt", "Firts pozt", "Furst pozt", "Frist pots", "Firts pots", "Furst pots", and any similar phrase, both with and without an exclaimation mark, in uppercase or lowercase or any combination thereof, whether actually posted as a first post, a later post, or not posted at all, in alphabetic characters or other representation, including, but not limited to, brail, 1337, and morse code, in English, or any other language, except for French - I'm not that desperate, whether posted on Slashdot or any other forum.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @02:25AM (#23282632) Journal
    than to have judges get your back when you are arguing with someone about how fucking wrong they are.

    One word sums this up: SWEEEEEET!

    It took time but the RIAA and their lawyers are starting to look like the ass cabbage that they really are. It's quite nice to see that /. was represented (in a way) in that slap to the face.
    • There was a news item about the RIAA sending out huge numbers of letters to universities within the last month or so (I forget the exact details). Seems to me that they realize their time is running out and are tryinbg to get while the getting is good. Where exactly does the settlement money go? Are the RIAA guys themselves just trying to get paid as much as possible while they can?

      Didn't EMI stop supporting them? If so, them what legal right do they have to sue for EMI copyrights?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rawr1 (1281538)
        Actually the RIAA may be trying to forge "evidence" and committing fraud by artificially spamming take down notices in order to trigger legal clauses calling for penalties on academic funding and requiring the purchase and installation of their proprietary "deep packet inspection" spyware software programs. They've been pushing legislation that equates "take down notices" or subpoenas with evidence of copyright infringement requiring legislative action triggers. This is an attack on taxpayers, an attack on
        • by wtansill (576643) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @01:31PM (#23285152)

          This is an attack on taxpayers, an attack on education, and an attack on Constitutional civil law.
          Speaking of Constitutional law (and IANAL), it would seem to me that someone might want to have a look at the Constitution's "takings" clause. It would seem to me that the diminution of the purchaser's rights of fair use, first sale doctrine and so forth caused by ever-more draconian laws (DMCA, flagrantly abusive copyright term extension) would constitute a Governmental "taking" that is just as real as the taking (or diluted value) of real property. At the least, I would think that such a "taking" is as real as the "intellectual property" argument being advanced by the various **AA organizations.

          On another note (and this idea is not original to me, but I cannot remember now where I read it), the idea has been advanced that since in many ways we are now treating "intellectual property" in the same manner as real property, we should treat it as real property in another aspect as well -- taxation. I am taxed on the value of my house and the land on which it is built. Well and good. If this so-called "intellectual property" is indeed so very, very valuable, then it should be taxed at a rate commensurate with the value assigned. Anything else would be, to my mind, grossly unfair to the the rest of the citizenry. How much would you care to bet that, subject to taxation, the copyrights to, say, "Gone with the Wind", "Bambi", "Mickey Mouse", etc. would suddenly be allowed to expire?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)
      I'm not so sure. Given that judges have made so many mind-boggling judgments regarding copyrights and patents in the past, having one of those judges agree with you isn't exactly proof that you're a rational and intelligent person.
      • What I'd really like to know is what a rational, intelligent person who is interested primarily in courts giving fair verdicts that reflect the spirit of the law would want here.

        I can understand the reservations about allowing a "making available" argument: if you can't prove that a specific illegal act has been committed, the idea of bringing a case based only on hypotheticals seems a bit dubious.

        On the other hand, copyright is widely infringed on the Internet, contrary to the law, and the law in many

        • by penix1 (722987)

          Using common sense, it's hard to see how a person with a hard drive full of ripped material subject to copyright, who is offering to share it over a P2P network where large amounts of copyright infringement take place, is innocent of all wrong-doing. If you don't accept the argument about making available, what is a fair and reasonable way for copyright holders whose material is being illegally shared to enforce their legal rights in this situation?

          It's called actually downloading said copyrighted material

      • by gnutoo (1154137) * on Saturday May 03, 2008 @11:13AM (#23284328) Journal

        That's two judges and both of them took more time and trouble to understand the issue. That says a lot about Beckman's position.

        The absurdity of the copyright warrior opinion was well represented at the debate itself. When talking about "common sense" they failed to use much of it. Instead of looking at the intent of copyright law as established in the US Constitution, they picked apart meanings of various sections of copyright code and cases that have no real bearing. It is as if they took a highlighter to millions of pages of random text and selected the words that make their case best then triumphantly declared themselves masters of the Universe. Ouija-boards are more honest.

        Scholars such as Lessig and philosophers like Stallman have looked at intent come to the very reasonable conclusion that verbatim, personal copy should always be allowed because it maximizes the advancement of the state of the arts. The language of the Constitution is as plain and Copyright is a created right we no longer need.

        The Constitution can only be ignored by confusing people with frauds like "intellectual property." The most obvious madness is the DMCA's attack on free speech by turning trade secret into to a kind of perpetual patent in the name of copyright defense. By confusing the purpose of each of these separate things, the copyright warriors have combined their powers into something no reasonable person would agree with. When created rights trump natural rights, you know the laws are out of balance.

        • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @11:40AM (#23284472) Homepage

          Copyright is a created right we no longer need
          Specifically for the music field, I've been coming to this conclusion for a short while now, simply because I haven't paid for music in a long time, and I've not broken the law in doing so despite the fact that I listen to new music all the time.

          Between free nerdcore and free mashup albums (specifically the Best of Bootie series that pretty neatly fall into the fair use category) and free podcasts and on and on, there's more legal and free audio online than one could ever listen to in a lifetime. Copyright might not be necessary in the field of music to promote the progress of the arts.

          The only problem is that I can't see specific genres of music (namely, "classical") carrying on without copyright, as it takes a high level of skill to produce these works of art (debate all you want with me, but for me, free music online pales in comparison to something like Rhapsody in Blue or Tristan und Isolde. And I'm not willing to sacrifice opera and other great "proficient" works, I don't think.

          I'm also not so sure about literature and movies, and I'm definitely not sure about news. I mean, can you imagine if anyone could just make a website called RippingOffTheNYT.com and just mirrored the site but with their own branding and ads (assuming the NYT was subscription-based and not free-for-all)?

          In any case, this line of thought is very unexplored for me, but I've been toying around with the implications of excluding musical works from 17 USC for a bit.

          Thoughts?
          • The only problem is that I can't see specific genres of music (namely, "classical") carrying on without copyright, as it takes a high level of skill to produce these works of art...

            Thankfully, classical .MP3s can be found for download in the public domain [musopen.com] if you know how to phrase your search...

            • Thanks for the link, but I suppose I should have mentioned that I'm concerned not only with music actually from the Classical, Romantic, or Baroque periods, but also with contemporary classical music. To make an accessible example, would we have a Hans Zimmer without copyright on music? I don't feel comfortable with the idea that "well, he'd still get paid via movie scores."

              Probably a clearer way of stating things would be that I'm worried that without copyright, we'd lose performers and composers of the hi
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by CorSci81 (1007499)

                I'm pulling this completely out of my ass here, but I suspect copyright is mostly irrelevant to most "classical" music modern and otherwise. Modern classical performers/composers still operate very much on a system not unlike patronage. I imagine record sales for any "new" classical music are quite low, the money is in the performance.

                My personal example: the LA Philharmonic. When there is a guest performer (especially a big name like Midori) the concert will sell out months in advance, yet you rarely s

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by steelfood (895457)
          I smell mindless regurgitation, zealotry or both.

          The language of the Constitution is as plain and Copyright is a created right we no longer need.

          With this one statement, you have demonstrated that you completely and unconditionally fail to understand the intent and purpose of copyright.

          The purpose of copyright as originally defined, in line with the purpose of the constitution itself, is to protect the weak from the strong. It is easy for a person or entity of means to steal a creative work. And when I say steal, I don't mean copyright infringement, I mean actual deprivation, actual stealing.

          Remember

    • It took time but the RIAA and their lawyers are starting to look like the ass cabbage that they really are. It's quite nice to see that /. was represented (in a way) in that slap to the face.

      Slapping them in the face isn't enough.

      First, we need to kick them in the groin (because they really deserve it).

      Then we need to cut off the head, remove all limbs, and incinerate each piece, scattering the ashes in multiple locations, so the body can never reform.

      With the increase in RIAA litigation against college students, I am shocked we're not seeing college radio stations dropping major label releases from their playlists. I'm surprised we don't see a reduction in support for major record labels by c

  • by noidentity (188756) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @02:47AM (#23282708)
    Sure was a long summary... wait... you bastards, you tricked me into reading the article!
  • Ad hominem ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erlehmann (1045500) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @02:57AM (#23282740)

    PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks. You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country?

    MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.

    PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits. Jane?

    I am not an expert on rhetoric, but this seems wrong to me - Beckerman apparently wasn't discrediting the argument, "the law runs the country" is the statement he uses to counter the question by Hansen. As I see it, the suffix statement rather serves to state the alternative, not to attack the Prof. personally.
    • PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks. You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country? MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners. PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits. Jane? I am not an expert on rhetoric, but this seems wrong to me - Beckerman apparently wasn't discrediting the argument, "the law runs the country" is the statement he uses to counter the question by Hansen. As I see it, the suffix statement rather serves to state the alternative, not to attack the Prof. personally.
      You are quite right. There was nothing whatsoever "ad hominem" about what I was saying. Prof. Hansen had taken a vote among the audience participants (?!), most of whom were lawyers who represent large companies who are large content owners as to how they thought the "making available" issue would play out, and then suggested to me that the vote was authoritative. I was just reminding him that we are a nation of laws. Fortunately, 3 federal judges also reminded him of that during the ensuing month.
      • Re:Ad hominem ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2008 @09:38AM (#23283802)
        I read the transcript, and I was deeply offended by Prof. Hansen's elitist, arrogant attitude.

        Prof. Hansen, the moderator, starts the meeting with a reading of a "paper with an overview of the law" by Michael Schlesinger, which unfortunately is not yet included in the transcript, but apparently presented arguments in favor of the theory that a grant of exclusive right to "making available" exists in US copyright law. After presenting one side of the debate, he askes the panel to reach a conclusion:

        Just a show of hands. How many think under U.S. law, to the extent you understand it, that the acts of peer-to-peer network, of making something in a folder for further pickup, would be a violation of U.S. law?
        [Show of hands]
        How many would say no?
        [Show of hands]
        Significantly fewer.
        I think that's all we need to do. I think the ayes have it. We can move on to statutory damages.

        He then invites NYCL to represent the minority opinion after setting the stage that a reasonable conclusion had already been reached. I think maybe he was a bit embarrassed when the fallicy of his meaningless "show of hands" and arrogance of his interpretation of the significance of it's result was pointed out:

        Unlike the raising of hands by Professor Hansen, this is not a super-Congress here. We are not the United States House of Representatives or the Senate or the president or all three combined, which are required in order to enact a law in the United States. The law in the United States says that a distribution requires "a dissemination of copies of phonorecords to the public by a sale or other transfer of ownership or by license, lease, or lending." That's it.

        To which he responds:

        PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks.
        You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country?

        Now I'm not sure what Prof. Hansen means here, as it's not well-stated. "You reject the idea that the intellectual elite ... should not run this country?" No, NYCL had just *advocated*, not rejected, the idea that self-appointed "intellectual elite" or otherwise, do not and should not enact law in this country. Given Prof. Hansen's arrogant attitude, I can only assume he means the opposite of the way he stated it, and he's asking NYCL to affirm that he rejects the idea that the intellectual elite *should* run this country.

        In that context, NYCL's response was absolutely appropriate:

        MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.

        To which Prof. Hansen retorted:

        PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits.

        I see nothing ad hominem at all in NYCL's remarks. Prof. Hansen had just suggested that the "intellectual elite", who were "fairly represented here", held the "correct" opinion on the interpretation of US law, as evidenced by his "show of hands" from among those very "intellectual elite" -- case closed, move on to the penalty phase. NYCL pointed out that these matters are decided according to written law enacted through Constitutional means, rather than by a "show of hands" from among a group of "lawyers who are best paid by large content owners". Prof. Hansen, rather than counter the logic of NYCL's argument on the merits, instead accuses him of an ad hominem attack, and tries to justify his accusation by saying NYCL is "desparate" because he's "got a losing argument" (apparently according to the oh-so authoritative "show of hands").

        One wonders on what "merit" rests Prof. Hansen's opinion that NYCL's citing of Constitutional priciples represents a "desparate", "losing argument" lacking "merit"? Which "merits" would he have NYCL "just stick to" instead, the "merits" of the result of a "show of hands" among "the elite"?
        • Mod parent up. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheLink (130905) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @10:32AM (#23284088) Journal
          Mod parent up.

          From the transcript, if Hansen considers himself a member of the intellectual elite and still resorts to that sort of reasoning and argument, then I must be a super genius ;).

        • We are a nation of laws created with the consent of the governed. There are limits to what people will put up with no matter how clever Hansen and friends think they are.

          Hansen thinks he would like to live in an aristocracy but he is sadly mistaken. He and his friends in the room feel good about their position in the world today but the more power they gain, the smaller the room will become. Aristocracy quickly becomes autocracy and autocrats have little need for lawyers [wikipedia.org] once they are established. It star

      • It is also pretty funny that Hansen proceeded to commit an ad hominem immediately after mischaracterizing your reply as an ad hominem... Unless of course he thinks that saying, "you're desperate" is somehow a counterargument to your support of the law.

        What I cannot believe is that this guy was the moderator! I have never heard such comments from an individual charged with the responsibility of being a neutral party. It's just unbelievable and intellectually dishonest!

        Maybe he is playing a game, trying
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2008 @03:05AM (#23282778)
    So the average song size was around 3Mbytes, 10 million copies would make for a total upload of around 30 Terabytes.

    On my ADSL service (1.5Mbps download/256kbps upload), it would take me over 37 YEARS to upload that much data assuming I used it for nothing else, and the service had 100% uptime! Heck even if I got ADSL2+, uploads would still only be 4 times faster - bringing it down to just under 10 years to do that kind of an upload.

    I guess I really do live in an Internet backwater...
    • Might actually be a viable defense in Court. Just have your ISP tell you how much you uploaded over the period the **AA is looking at.

      And, even bring in your uTorrent config files. Mine is set to upload 2X and then stop. At most, I'd be liable for distributing 2 files.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Evets (629327) *
      I do find it interesting that the "intellectual elite" seem to forego the actual facts of a case in favor of theoretical postulation as to the reasoing behind past and future court decisions.

      It goes to show how easily an education can be politically tainted.
      • It goes to show how easily an education can be politically tainted.

        Contrarily, it may just be another indicator that a professional can obtain a high degree of training in his chosen field while preserving the ignorance of his educational virginity.

        You can require that med students and law students take certain liberal arts courses, etc, to round out their education. But there is no way you can require the ones who are pathologically focused on their career goals to study the material for its content, rather than studying it to get by the damn tests.

        Short version: it

    • by alanwj (242317) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @03:58AM (#23282888)
      I would (without any legal training) guess that you don't necessarily have to transfer the entirety of song to infringe on its copyright.

      Were I running bittorrent, and transferred a 1K chunk to 10 million people, one might could argue that I've infringed 10 million times.

      Of course, I'm too lazy to check whether that theory is at all applicable to Jammie Thomas's case.
      • Assuming a bitrate of 256Kb/s, that's 1/32nd of a second. You may as well sue me over that comma; I apparently just plagiarized your post.
      • Actually there is a definition of how long a sample has to be to infringe copyright because the RIAA took various hip-hop stars to court claiming infringement on beats they'd lifted. I'm too lazy to google but I think it was about 5 seconds - which would make it about 150K @ 256Kb/s encoding. If the chunk size on the protocol was set to be lower than this then I'd love to see someone argue in court that it was fair use :)
    • Since the Japanese has 1Gb/s links to the home and the RIAA/MPAA knows Americans are the more advanced culture, they obviously need to work on the assumption that everyone would have 10Gb/s links at least. It stands to reason, after all. Especially if they can get a larger fine out of the deal, and it's not like a judge would know what network speeds are meaningful. (If they did, the RIAA/MPAA would be being dangled over a crocodile pit by now.)
    • by dwater (72834)
      Aren't they including the fact that the people you distribute it to are also *automatically* doing to then distribute it to others (at least in part)? If so, then it's not just your bandwidth, but the bandwidth of everyone on the bt network, at any time from then on.

      (playing Devil's advocate here, of course)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by smallfries (601545)
        Yes. They're trying to claim damages from you because other people are distributing the file. I can't see anything wrong with that argument at all...
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by nairb107 (596097)
          In that case then, didn't the record company distribute the CD knowing that a percentage of purchasers would upload the content and start that chain reaction?

          So, by that logic, isn't it the record company who's ultimately responsible for all the "damages" caused by this chain of illegal distribution?
    • by GroeFaZ (850443)
      To play the devil's advocate, if everyone started uploading your initial copy as he/she received it and at the same speed as you, after uploading it only 24 times there would be 2^24 copies around, which is more than 16 million.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheoMurpse (729043)
        Except that you're assuming vicarious liability for copyright infringement or contributory infringement would come into play here, as that's the only way a 3d party can be responsible for another's copyright infringement.

        However, vicarious liability requires that the 3d party (the original uploader) have a financial interest in the infringement. This is clearly not true in the case of P2P, as no one has a financial interest. You'd have to make an extremely tenuous argument that by others infringing the song
  • Was that the transcript of the entire discussion? It seems a bit odd to me that the organizers would go to the trouble of assembling the panel and an audience including some foreign lawyers only to have what appeared to be a brief twenty (20) minute discussion and then take no questions at the end. Perhaps Professor Hansen didn't like how the discussion was unfolding and cut it short so that he wouldn't lose the debate. Isn't it a bit unusual and irregular for the moderator to take a position up front anywa
    • by jellie (949898)
      They had a speaker, Michael Schlesinger, first give the "keynote remark" (Mr. Beckerman does not have the transcript of this). The panel discussion followed. It seems like the first part must have been of substantial length for him to make the many false or misleading statements Mr. Beckerman mentioned. I also found the biased moderator to be almost pathetic. He asks for a quick yes-or-no vote, concludes that file-sharing has been proved to be illegal, and moves to "statutory damages." Someone should have i
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Was that the transcript of the entire discussion? It seems a bit odd to me that the organizers would go to the trouble of assembling the panel and an audience including some foreign lawyers only to have what appeared to be a brief twenty (20) minute discussion and then take no questions at the end. Perhaps Professor Hansen didn't like how the discussion was unfolding and cut it short so that he wouldn't lose the debate. Isn't it a bit unusual and irregular for the moderator to take a position up front anyway? What ever happened to the impartial and unbiased moderator concept?

      The panel was scheduled for 30 minutes. It probably ran a bit shorter than that. Yes it is unusual, when in the moderator role, to "take a position up front" like that. I'd never seen that before. My constructive advice to Hugh -- who doesn't need my advice -- would be to chill on the partisanship next time. He's a very funny guy, so maybe he thinks it's more entertaining this way.

      • by tkrotchko (124118) *
        I'm curious why "Professor Hansen" would take a position. As an academic, I would have expected him to be neutral, or at least biased in favor of some interpretation of law. Any opinion?

        Is it possible that he considered himself smarter than you because you're just a attorney and he's just a lawyer? ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I'm curious why "Professor Hansen" would take a position. As an academic, I would have expected him to be neutral, or at least biased in favor of some interpretation of law. Any opinion? Is it possible that he considered himself smarter than you because you're just a attorney and he's just a lawyer? ;)

          1. Personally, I think a moderator should put his own biases aside when acting as a moderator, but Prof. Hansen has been very successful in putting this together, so who am I to say?

          2. Most likely the reason he's biased is that he has been representing some large content owning companies.

          3. No I don't think he considered himself smarter than me. He's just afraid that I'm right. In fact, I think he knows that I'm right, but wants to persuade the legal community to think otherwise.

          4. Two things that neve

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Was that the transcript of the entire discussion?
      Yes, except that the 'keynote address' from the "making available" panel was omitted, which is odd, but perhaps not when one considers how off base they were.
  • Making Available (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @03:43AM (#23282856)
    "Making Available" was tried (in the 1950's?) to justify shoplifting from supermarkets who "piled it high and sold it cheap". It was laughed out of court, as it was pointed out that if acceptable, it would have excused boys stealing from market barrows.

    Or, to put it another way, If I have something, and anyone who sees it can steal it, claiming I have "made it available" how many cars would not be stolen in New York?

    Perhaps someone should ask the RIAA this question.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Perhaps someone should ask the RIAA this question.

      It's not an interesting question because the issue of "making available" is different when applied to IP, which can be copied endlessly without cost and copies of which do not necessarily dilute its value, than when applied to physical goods, which when taken deprive someone of something (namely, the goods.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)

      Or, to put it another way, If I have something, and anyone who sees it can steal it, claiming I have "made it available" how many cars would not be stolen in New York?

      While I don't agree with the "making available = infringement" idea, I think your analogy is flawed.

      Namely, there's a big difference: the only purpose of making available an MP3 over P2P is so someone can infringe it by acquiring it from you. There are clearly other uses for placing automobiles in plain view besides to permit them from being s

  • by statemachine (840641) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @04:36AM (#23282962)
    But it is the RIAA who've sunk lower and lower in my opinion over the years, so that's my justification for reading it.

    Couldn't NYCL have gotten a sock puppet to post this to soothe my feelings about conflict of interest? I keep hearing about a guy named twitter....
  • Bad link (Score:3, Informative)

    by fastest fascist (1086001) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @05:39AM (#23283090)
    The first link is, I believe, wrong. The debate with Doroshow on statutory damages is here: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2008/05/transcript-of-march-28th-fordham-law_02.html [blogspot.com] How is it that no-one seems to have noticed there was no debate with Doroshow in the linked article?
  • "NewYorkCountryLawyer Debates RIAA VP"

    That's not even a fair fight. It's like Raphael fighting a random bank robber. (I recently saw the latest TMNT movie.) Couldn't they have found somebody more at NYCL's level?
  • MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by ...
    Amen!
  • Litigation is not a business model.

    the victims of these law suits will file a class action and reap what the RIAA has sowed.
    • by avdp (22065) *
      Sadly, it is a business model of the lawyers that are advising the RIAA, MPAA, etc.
  • The whole concept has more holes than meaning. Am I "making available" when I have content on my HD (e.g. from music I bought online), but which happens to be available from outside, because I have no idea how to secure my PC? Or what if I use P2P to distribute my IP, or legally freely available content, and due to the location of the copyrighted content on my HD it is shared as well?

    Why is the owner of a PC suddenly respsonsible for the actions of his machine when it comes to content, but he is out of obli
  • From the first few lines:

    PROF. HANSEN: Just a show of hands. How many think under U.S. law, to the extent you understand it, that the acts of peer-to-peer network, of making something in a folder for further pickup, would be a violation of U.S. law?
    [Show of hands]
    PROF. GINSBURG: Absent the applicable exceptions. At least prima facie.
    PROF. HANSEN: Prima facie. A good point. Thank you.
    How many would say no?
    [Show of hands]
    Significantly fewer.
    "Making something available in a folder" is basically the internet, in a nutshell. The exceptions they speak of should rather be the rule. Staggering.
  • 'one of the most irrational things [he has] ever seen in [his] life in the law'

    Really Ray? I mean it IS egregious, but a fine, any fine, really doesn't compare to losing your liberty for simple possession of marijuana. And that happens to people every day.
    • by 808140 (808140)

      Really Ray? I mean it IS egregious, but a fine, any fine, really doesn't compare to losing your liberty for simple possession of marijuana. And that happens to people every day.

      I agree with you entirely on the Marijuana issue, and on the futility and staggering inefficacy of the war on drugs in general, but there are two things to point out here.

      One is that he said "one of", which implies that there could be several. Remember, he's a lawyer, so you have to pay attention to the words he uses because you'd better bet he's in the habit of choosing them carefully. You seem to think that he's saying that this is "the most irrational thing", not "one of the most irrational things."

      Th

    • one of the most irrational things [he has] ever seen in [his] life in the law
      Really Ray? I mean it IS egregious, but a fine, any fine, really doesn't compare to losing your liberty for simple possession of marijuana. And that happens to people every day.
      OK, so your suggestion is another irrational thing. What you quoted didn't say the most irrational thing, but rather, one of the most irrational things.
  • Correct me If I'm wrong, but...

    Do not stores make CDs/DVDs/Books available?

    Do not shoplifters shoplift?

    Why aren't Wal-Mart/Best Buy/Circuit City/etc. being sued?

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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