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Piracy Your Rights Online

RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History To "Six-Strikes" Partners 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the home-team-experts dept.
concealment writes "A month before the controversial 'six strikes' anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the 'impartial and independent' technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology."
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RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History To "Six-Strikes" Partners

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  • Scumbags (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jasper160 (2642717) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:41PM (#41808529)
    The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.
    • Shocking! (Score:5, Funny)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:07PM (#41808901) Journal
      I am shocked, indeed I am doubly shocked. Firstly by the revelation that the blessed RIAA would inadvertently indulge in such underhand behavior, and secondly that the always-pure politicians and incorruptible bureaucrats would accidentally succumb to those shenanigans (and the associated funds, junkets, hookers, and other tempting perquisites, with blackmail as the alternative).
      • They're doing the work of God - civics be damned, this is far more important!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Oh, come one, just say it like this: "The RIAA bribed the politicians with hookers and blow. They had pictures before the hookers and blow, and then took more during the politicians time with the hookers and blow. Either they accept the bribe (money + hookers + blow) or they get blackmailed. If they change their minds after accepting the money+hookers+blow, then the pictures taken during the hooker+blow+money fest will be used for the blackmail. The RIAA/MPAA is corrupt. Politicians are corruptable. T

    • Re:Scumbags (Score:5, Insightful)

      by elloGov (1217998) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:58PM (#41809617)

      The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.

      Right on! You forgot to add the Internet Service Providers.

      ISPs get the benefit of less bandwidth usage and grounds on which they can throttle your connection to a grade above dial-up and/or suspend services all the while you pay them your monthly contract/non-contract fee. It's a win-win for all scumbags, everyone gets thrown a bone.

      • by SJ (13711)

        And this is one reason why caped internet plans are actually in the customers interest. If you use more, you pay more, so it's in the interest of the ISP to keep you downloading stuff as fast as humanly possible.

        The only time they do throttle you is when you hit your monthly quote. Then they "shape" (throttle) your connection to entice you to upgrade your plan to something more suited to your usage requirements. At which point, you click the "upgrade plan" button and you're back up to speed.

        Sure, Unlimited

      • by jythie (914043)
        But.. but.. shouldn't the free market take care of that? People can always go to other ISPs.. oh.. wait... well, they can get their media and cultural access through other sources, right? Oh.. wait.....
    • Re:Scumbags (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday October 29, 2012 @06:05PM (#41811161)

      The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.

      Well, that's not entirely true. Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated. And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible. In fact, Linux as you know it wouldn't exist without copyright. The problem isn't copyright as an idea -- it's copyright as it is implimented today. These politicians were sold on the idea that the current implimentation is the best, quite literally. The argument is that protections are needed for the way business is done today, otherwise that business would evaporate, leading to a loss of jobs, income, etc. Most politicians are lawyers, not economists, and certainly not "technologists". They don't understand the finer nuances of the market, nor how technology interoperates with it. They are therefore incapable of conceptualizing any alternative to the status quo, and absent that, their default vote is to support it.

      But people like us, the technologically-literate, are painfully aware of how limiting current copyright is, and how disadvantaging it is to newcomers to the market and consumers as a whole. We can see new ways of doing business that (and this has been proven multiple times!) satisfy multiple goals of personal use, fair use, time shifting, etc., while also providing a source of revenue to the creators of these works that, thanks to decreased distribution costs would earn them more money. The entertainment industry as an aggregate entity would make more money with a less restrictive public policy. You know this. I know this. The authors know this. But the politicians and the general public don't, because they're only hearing from one side: The side that has a lot of money to burn to make sure it's the only side they hear.

      In the few cases where the public became aware of how the industry works, the response was swift and overwhelmingly against it. SOPA, ACTA, CISPA... many attempts have been made, and even when it's been behind closed doors, shrouded in "national security", eventually it gets leaked and everyone involved gets roasted for it. This is a system that depends on misdirection, deception at the highest levels, and heavy spending on marketing and public relations to maintain itself. It has co-opted our legal and judicial systems and is now trying to insinuate itself into the private sector as well via policies and procedures designed to further defray the costs of maintaining this expensive superstructure that makes everyone a criminal.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well, that's not entirely true. Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated.

        RIAA doesn't compensate creators.

        And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible.

        Without copyright it wouldn't be needed.

        In fact, Linux as you know it wouldn't exist without copyright.

        Not a fact.

      • by pantaril (1624521)

        Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated. And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible

        You are making mistake when you thing that compensation for authors and copyright must be the same think. There are certainly people (like me) who think that copyright is big obstacle (for sharing of information, culture and science, building upon it and extending it, archiving it for future generations, it's also dangerous to freedom on internet) but are not in any "free lunch" bandwagon. We just think that there are better ways to compensate authors without creating any artifical barriers (tax-payers fund

        • by Quila (201335)

          There are certainly people (like me) who think that copyright is big obstacle (for sharing of information, culture and science, building upon it and extending it, archiving it for future generations, it's also dangerous to freedom on internet

          Copyright the concept isn't the problem. Copyright as it is today is the problem, as the above poster says. Copyright has grown far beyond what it used to be, and in the US has grown far beyond the initial reason for allowing it. A big source of the problem is foreign t

      • by devent (1627873)

        The only reason the GPL exists in the first place was for the draconian copyright and patent protection of software in the first place. It would be a very different story if copyright was in the sane 14 years + 14 years optional extension (+mandatory registration).

        In fact I firmly believe that the only way to a) ensure that artists are compensated in the digital age and b) that people are go back to respect copyrights is to make the copyright protection back to the original law (see above). It would even be

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:43PM (#41808543)

    Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others.

    When media that can't be shared can't be sold (because nobody will buy it), that will be the end of piracy and a great day for all of humanity.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by shaitand (626655)

      I do this already. Like many I buy content that uses open and sharable policies. The stuff that isn't open I don't buy.

      Unfortunately, most of the best content is locked behind DRM so rather than live a life devoid of entertainment and culture I pirate that content. The pirating still supports the companies because it is a form of advertising.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If you pirate only stuff you have no intention of buying, I don't see that as advertisement at all. Certainly not on the order of borrowing something to show folks who might be interested in buying it, especially if they share your "never buy anything with DRM" views.

        If you want "entertainment and culture" go see live shows or otherwise patronize performers and artists who are using your preferred business model. Or, for that matter, develop appropriate talents and lend them to making such performances be

        • by shaitand (626655) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:32PM (#41809221) Journal

          It isn't just the pirating itself. It is the word of mouth that follows when the games and movies are discussed with friends and co-workers.

          With music and games borrowing makes more sense because it is like sampling. But for consume once or consume rarely material like books and movies borrowing doesn't add anything so much as world of mouth. You could have 1000 people read your book and have every single one of them buy it, or you could have 100,000 people read your book and have 10,000 of them buy it. Which method do you think does a better job of boosting your next book's sales? Same with movies except all those people might be crediting a genre or a studio, or a couple actors, rather than the writer getting the credit.

          Do people still pirate music? Pandora is more than sufficient for that.

          I don't even think people listen to music anymore. They just shake their asses to bass thump patterns at clubs.

        • by Khyber (864651)

          "If you pirate only stuff you have no intention of buying, I don't see that as advertisement at all"

          Someone obviously failed English class and Zero-level logic.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by shiftless (410350)

          If you want "entertainment and culture" go see live shows or otherwise patronize performers and artists who are using your preferred business model.

          No.

          Now what?

          Or, for that matter, develop appropriate talents

          I did. I'm a fucking fantastic singer....BECAUSE OF FILE SHARING.

    • by Quakeulf (2650167) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:11PM (#41808951)
      Meanwhile the gangsters in the songs sing all about stealin' and lootin' and we are supposed to buy this music when it advocates the opposite?
      • by Xest (935314)

        To be fair it sometimes advocates raping and hitting women and such too, but I'd hope you wouldn't do that.

        I do agree with your sentiment though, and it's similar to the hypocrisy from Lily Allen who was one minute going on about how she copied music to create a mix tape once on Twitter, and the next condemning pirates on Twitter, all whilst completely oblivious to the fact she'd never actually had to work hard in her life because Daddy got her where she was due to his contacts. I suppose it's easy to say y

        • by Quakeulf (2650167)
          I completely agree with the punishment being wrong, but then again arguing with the lobbyists is gonna be expensive.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      sorry, wrong.

      It's not even a question of legal or not. Just because RIAA and MPAA made it a glaring issue doesn't mean that I will stop intentionally downloading everything, illegally or legally, anything and everything. Whether I pay for something is *my* choice. That is not a question of access. I already have access, so there's no question of "am I going to pay or not?". That's a decision I make solely on the basis of whether or not the content creator respects that it's 2012 or not. Humblebundles? Bough

      • by chrismcb (983081)
        So you don't mind paying for games. But you do enjoy watching TV and Movies (you imply you download them) BUT you don't want to compensate the makers? Does that mean you hope that TV and Movies will stop being made? Or you think the creators should make it out of their goodness of their heart?
    • by pantaril (1624521)

      Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others.

      When media that can't be shared can't be sold (because nobody will buy it), that will be the end of piracy and a great day for all of humanity.

      It's very idealistic to think that everyone will just stop buying media. For me, it's similar to saying "there would be no wars if all people just behave nicely to each other". If we wait for this, change will never come. we need to change the system instead. If we abolish copyright, piracy will be gone also.

      Btw. what about pirating the stuff you cannot legaly share with others? This would theoreticaly also deprive the media companies of all sources of profit and you can enjoy the work as a bonus. In practi

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmailCHICAGO.com minus city> on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:44PM (#41808577)

    The parties agreed on a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements are unacceptable. After several warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures to punish the alleged infringers.

    So... what gives them the right to punish the alleged infringers?

    Maybe this will bring on monopoly break up, once people realize there is no alternative ISP one can turn to (in most areas). Wouldn't that be wonderful...

    • It depends on what "punishing" means. If it's in the form of bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights as long as its disclosed to the TOS or something similar. Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line. Dispatching agents to administer lashings would be a bit over the line but more in line with the RIAA's standard operating procedure.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Er? Bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights

        VS.

        Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line.

        They really are the same thing. The difference that the ISP is taking the fine out of your payment by providing bandwidth restricted and filtered traffic.

        • by CCarrot (1562079)

          Er? Bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights

          VS.

          Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line.

          They really are the same thing. The difference that the ISP is taking the fine out of your payment by providing bandwidth restricted and filtered traffic.

          Simple* solution: quantity-restrict your payments to the ISP.

          If you can show proof positive that they deliberately did not provide the service you contracted for, why on earth would you pay them full price? You wouldn't pay a contractor full price if they only installed 3/4 of your hardwood floor...and if you only received, say, every second newspaper, I'm sure you'd be pissed off if they still charged you full price for your subscription...

          *'Simple' solution, but apt to get messy, especially if you deal w

          • by Fnord666 (889225)

            If you can show proof positive that they deliberately did not provide the service you contracted for, why on earth would you pay them full price?

            The issue is that if you are a residential subscriber, you didn't contract for any specific level of service. There were no SLAs in your agreement with your ISP. They wrap it with weasel words, like "up to 10Mb" but in the end it means that they can give you dial up data rates if they want to and it still qualifies.

            You wouldn't pay a contractor full price if they only installed 3/4 of your hardwood floor..

            You would be expected to pay a contractor the full amount if your contract with him specified that he would work on the floor for one month for an agreed upon sum and in return you would receiv

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:56PM (#41808743)

        If the ISP was granted a local monopoly, received government money to build the infrastructure, was granted access to right-of-ways, or was licensed spectruem, it had better not be within its rights to punish citizens for alleged infringements.

    • by Mitreya (579078)
      The more I read, the more fascinating it gets:

      While there are worse punishments one can think of, AT&T worryingly notes that the alerts may eventually result in a lawsuit.

      I was thinking AT&T foresees the lawsuits that they are certain to face for mistakenly identifying customers as infringers or for not having enough evidence to conclude that infringing took place. How wrong I was....

      âoeAfter the fifth alert, the content owner may pursue legal action against the customer, and may seek a court order requiring AT&T to turn over personal information to assist the litigation,â AT&T explains.

      I am sure many people at AT&T will lose a lot of sleep worrying about their customers being sued.

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kalriath (849904) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:52PM (#41808687)

      So... what gives them the right to punish the alleged infringers?

      The Terms of Service of course. The problem you'll face here is that they're completely within their rights to run a regime like this provided it's in the contract. Just like they can terminate your account for all sorts of shit.

      And consider yourself fortunate. In my country, it's three strikes, and it's enshrined in law thanks to your fucking government.

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dog-Cow (21281) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:02PM (#41808817)

        The US may be a bully, but realistically your Government is a piece shit wimp if it felt "forced" to create such a law. Kind of like its citizens, apparently.

        • by mspohr (589790)

          I don't think your really understand the way the world works.
          The US is in charge and if you don't do what they want, then the US can make life very difficult for you and your citizens.
          This includes things such as trade sanctions, boycotts and cutting your country off from oil, banking, etc. all the way up to coup, aiding "rebels" or invasion if you are really threatening the corporate establishment of the US (see: South America, SE Asia, Middle East, China, Africa... anybody I've missed?).
          The people who act

          • by Khyber (864651)

            "I don't think your really understand the way the world works."

            Nope, you don't understand.

            You, the citizenry, VASTLY outnumber your government.

            If you can't control your government, you're weak as fuck and DESERVE to be run-over by those you trust to run your country.

            Go back to middle school, learn some basic logic skills. That's already very apparently lacking in *YOUR* country, as you have adequately demonstrated.

            • by Kalriath (849904)

              Our government passed that shitty law while in a State of Emergency so they could circumvent all those inconvenient things like "due process" and "public consultation". That's after we successfully bashed it back once. On the plus side, the three strikes law has a mandated fee of $25 payable from the copyright holder to the ISP every time they send a notice, so the movie industry refuses to use the system and the record industry uses it less and bitches about it.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              If you can't control your government, you're weak as fuck and DESERVE to be run-over by those you trust to run your country.

              Governments are pretty powerful, actually, and the citizenry is not a well organized group whose members all agree on what action needs to be taken. If they do get that organized then pretty soon their leaders are the government, and develop exactly the same problems all over again. I expect that in many cases the new government would be worse than the one it replaced, because the leaders of an uprising are likely people who like power a bit too much.

          • by shiftless (410350)

            I don't think your really understand the way the world works.
            The US is in charge and if you don't do what they want, then the US can make life very difficult for you and your citizens.

            BECAUSE YOU ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD WHEN THEY BULLY YOU. Grow a pair of fucking balls and it won't happen. Yes our government is shit, but you have only yourself to blame if you're allowing it to affect you in Bumfuckistan or wherever you're from.

        • I wonder how Iran's doing these days...

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:15PM (#41808987)

        And consider yourself fortunate. In my country, it's three strikes, and it's enshrined in law thanks to your fucking government.

        No, it's enshrined in law thanks to your government. Presuming you live in anything like a democracy, it's your (and your compatriots) fault you elected a government that bows down to another government, if in fact that is what happened. Much more likely is that they bowed down to the corporations directly, of course, likely a local branch, possibly even, completely unconnected to "his" government, such as BREIN.

        On a side note, why do you presume to know what government he lives under? Non-US citizens bitch about Slashdot assuming their readers live in the US, and yet it seems even the non-US readers do so. Interesting, that (or maybe you know the OP lives in the US from another source, in which case ignore this paragraph).

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          It's assumed that they're in the US based on their mention of monopoly break up and no competition - it's unlikely anyone who doesn't live there would have that level of caring.

          And for what it's worth, no, we do have 3 strikes because of the US government, who literally paid for and wrote the drafts of the law.

          If you are a US citizen, you should be concerned about your government using taxpayer money to write laws for other countries to benefit large corporations.

      • While the RIAA and US government are far from innocent, it is in fact YOUR government that is to blame if you have a problem with the laws in your country. Get busy fixing it instead of blaming others for your problems.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:46PM (#41808597)

    I would actually sort of hope that the Center of Copyright Information (CCI) would have some sort of internal expertise in anti-piracy monitoring technology. Because if they don't then they are nothing but a front for someone else anyways.

    If an organization does not have iternal experts then it can be nothing other than a front for someone else.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:51PM (#41808665) Homepage Journal

    for decades, the people that have been screwing musicians out of their ownership, royalties, and publicity have been... the owner/member labels comprising the RIAA. lawsuit after lawsuit from music giants have proved that "Hollywood accounting" has always been the hallmark of RIAA members. nobody should expect a straight answer from RIAA, except maybe for the phono equalization curve.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:55PM (#41808731)
    Shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!
  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:56PM (#41808745)
    This is an opening to attack the credibility of the software.

    Let's say major flaws are found. What would that do to the credibility of the RIAA? If they hired an expert who would give flawed software a passing grade, does that expose them to any sort of liability?
  • I would never have thought the RIAA could ever do this. It was the last bastion of integrity.

  • As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the 'impartial and independent' technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group.

    What kind of jackass expects the mafiaa to disclose their "expert's" previous engagements?

  • I am free to be an independent and impartial technology expert.

  • So does anyone want to startup an ISP that protects its users privacy? Just think of all the people that would flock to it.

    Out with the old, in with the new.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is the startup costs required for the necessary resources (assuming US based):

      1. Five in-house lawyers (one general counsel, one copyright law, one criminal attorney, two contract law [ to avoid getting cut off by upstream providers ])
      2. Three firms for outside counsel (one copyright, one contract, one criminal)
      3. Five lobbyists - 2 local/state, 2 US House, 1 US Senate
      4. One public relations team to unspin the argument that you are harboring pedophiles and terrorists
      5. One government relations t

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Khyber (864651)

      Used to be a DSL provider that would advertise on Slashdot how you could run servers and they'd respect your privacy.

      Then they got busted lying about it.

      You think you can do it but the laws in place firmly forbid it.

      And the only way to stop it is to kill all members of government at all levels to send a message.

      Yea, that's not happening. Nobody and no-group has the cajones to do it. We can't even stand up against election fraud.

      • by zlives (2009072)

        "You think you can do it but the laws in place firmly forbid it." source please,

      • In the US, there do not appear to be any legal data retention requirements for ISPs (source [wikipedia.org]), so it would seem an ISP could delete (or just not write out) any logs mapping dynamically-assigned addresses to individual accounts, and then have nothing to give up even if subpoenaed. It looks like, then, such a "privacy ISP" could indeed exist. If not, what am I missing?

        Also, how does this "six strikes" crap apply to people that colocate servers or lease dedicated lines rather than going through a consumer ISP?

      • by BorgDrone (64343)

        We can't even stand up against election fraud.

        What election fraud ? As if there is a need for it.

    • by Shagg (99693)

      That would only work until you got noticed by the RIAA/MPAA. Then they'd accuse you of hosting piracy and you'd get raided by the feds. By the time they finally admitted that there wasn't any evidence and gave you back all of your confiscated equipment, your business would be ruined anyway. They've played that game before.

      • Naturally we plan for that very contingency.

        I'd imagine something like quantum cryptology could help protect users, also encrypt all of the data we keep, if we do keep any. But I think the best method is just to use technology that is fundamentally impossible to track. I also imagine there could be a number of legal and technical hurdles we could throw at any unforeseen FBI raid. Like hidden security cameras that record everything they do in wonderful clarity, so that there is evidence of any mishaps.

        But

        • by Shagg (99693)

          I'd imagine something like quantum cryptology could help protect users, also encrypt all of the data we keep, if we do keep any. But I think the best method is just to use technology that is fundamentally impossible to track. I also imagine there could be a number of legal and technical hurdles we could throw at any unforeseen FBI raid. Like hidden security cameras that record everything they do in wonderful clarity, so that there is evidence of any mishaps.

          How do data encryption and security cameras help your business survive when they physically confiscate your servers/routers/etc?

          But since IP is insufficient to actually warrant criminal action to begin with, we could countersue because they have no basis -- and indeed, since it would be a US company, sue for damages of loss profits incurred by the FBI.

          You think the RIAA/MPAA can own the legislative and executive branch, but they don't own the judicial? The most likely outcome of that is they'll say that piracy is a national security issue, and throw the case out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/10/22/6-strikes-copyright-trolling-without-courts/

    Coverage on Torrentfreak, Boingboing, even Techdirt.
    There is so much misunderstanding about what this system is, how they are doing it, and more... because they kept it all secret.

    The company that is capturing the IP addresses for them was used in AFACT vs iiNET in Oz. They got the IP's they collected by having their agent SEED THE FILES. Think about that. They created the situation they claim is destroying their busin

  • No, no way. Come on, no large conglomerate like the RIAA would EVER do something like that. Pull the other one! /sarc

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