Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Music Media Your Rights Online

Rosen Floats ISP Fee Idea -- Charge Everybody! 701

iconian writes "Hillary Rosen of RIAA wants to impose a type of fee to ISPs which in turn will be passed to all their customers indiscriminately to recoup supposed damages done by file-sharing. The RIAA considers downloading music illegally over the Internet to be the moral equivalence of stealing. I wonder then what is the moral equivalence of the RIAA taking realized cash from people who do not download music?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rosen Floats ISP Fee Idea -- Charge Everybody!

Comments Filter:
  • I don't understand why the RIAA thinks they can get away with this kind of thing and NOT have more consumer-backlash! All of these different things the RIAA is doing (flooding networks with bad files, installing "worms" into servers, etc) is just making me less likely to purchase anything from the RIAA.
    • by KDan ( 90353 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:40PM (#5109447) Homepage
      They already have gotten away with that (them and the MPAA). They got a price markup on audio cassettes and video cassettes, to pay for the pirating, and no one complained about it.

      Imho, this sort of thing just makes me doubly motivated to go out and download all the music I want. If I'm going to be paying a markup for it, might as well take advantage of it.

      Oh, and I haven't bought a single music CD in the last 3 years. And I'm proud of it. Once a system is in place to pay money to artists directly, I'll put some money in towards the artists I like. Until then, I ain't paying squat.

      • "just makes me doubly motivated to go out and download all the music I want"

        and ths makes me triply motivated to rip and put up my CDs for download. until now I used to allow only 1 user at a time to download from me, but now I will make it 10. look for kazaa user oggfan.
      • by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:38PM (#5109786)
        Once a system is in place to pay money to artists directly, I'll put some money in towards the artists I like. Until then, I ain't paying squat

        Time to put your money where your mouth is? [fairtunes.com]
      • by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:53PM (#5109899)
        "Imho, this sort of thing just makes me doubly motivated to go out and download all the music I want. If I'm going to be paying a markup for it, might as well take advantage of it."

        The way I see it, if they charge me like that, then I'm paying for a service. They're basically saying "It's all okay". So yes, I agree with you, I'd take advantage with it.

        What really irks me is that they've provided 0 way of legitimizing any MP3s we all have. They don't acknowledge that if you have a CD of a song that you're a legitimate user. They don't give you a way of purchasing a certificate or license for a digital copy of a song or CD. And if you delete your collection, they don't do anything to subtract that from their 'piracy' reports.

        So yeah I'd love to pay a small fee for this, they'd have little room to bitch afterwards.

        Too bad they won't try to make money by giving people an opportunity to legitimize what they have.
    • by GimmeFuel ( 589906 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:45PM (#5109475) Homepage
      They think can get away with it because they have money to buy Congress. Why do they think this? Because it's true. They know from experience that they have enough money to make damn near any law they want to.

      And consumer backlash about bad files, worms, etc? P2P is mainstream. Knowledge of what the **AAs are doing is not mainstream. I got some no-RIAA [thinkgeek.com] and no-MPAA [thinkgeek.com] stickers from ThinkGeek awhile back. Every single one of my friends (who all use P2P programs) had to ask what those 2 organizations stood for. Very few people who use P2P know about the **AAs and what they're doing, so how can they be pissed about it?

    • Release their OWN ISP, which allows a user to connect to THEIR networks to download music based on a subscription model.

      Say I am fans of certain musicians and I'm subcribed to AOL Time Warner RIAA ISP, well, I subscribe to the musicians and they get paid.

      The reason I dont want the RIAA to do this accross the board however is it doesnt help musicians it only helps the RIAA.

      Look, I wouldnt mind if musicians made me pay a $10 a year subscription fee and I get a song each month in the same way I get magazines.

      I just want to be able to do this straight to the musician and not through the RIAA.

      Also the RIAA can call it stealing all they want, they dont have a monopoly on morals. In my opinion stealing can only occur with physical objects, I dont believe someone can steal an idea, I do believe the right to profit off of that idea can be exclusive, I just dont believe anyone can strictly own an idea.

      I dont care what your idea is, why should you be able to prevent people from freely exchanging it if no money is involved?

      If your idea was worth a damn, people would be selling it, and then you should have the right to sue. With music, I think a musician should have the exclusive right to profit from their idea, but if people are sharing music this has nothing to do with capitalism or business, the demand goes down when the supply goes up, when the supply is infinite, well musicians and record companies just have to accept the fact that now we have the internet, we dont need record companies to provide supply, we have endless supply now, so our demands are different now.

      Before they could release crap and charge $15, now they have to release stuff we the fans WANT.

      I do buy music, I purchased the crydamoure CD waves, most americans dont listen to french house music, I didnt even know what it was until the internet, and its the only music that I'd pay money for each copy.

      Why? Because they are released on vinyl, extremely high quality, perfect for mixing. I dont want a cheap low quality mp3 copy of my favorite songs, I want the highest quality that exists.

      Just like people dont want a copied VHS tape of their favorite movie, they have to go to the theaters to see it.

      This is how the music industry can survive, by providing what the fans want, in a much higher quality than Mp3 can handle. Mp3, or even Wav can never fully recreate vinyl in quality! So people will PAY MONEY for this.

      People will also pay money if they have the right to mix or play with anything they buy, this means we should be able to remix any music we get and share it with others as long as its not sold.

    • Well, yeah. BTW, I recall a previous /. article that named the RIAA on the top 4 or 5 internet villian canidates. Did they get it?

      I hope so.

      What they don't get is fighting fire with fire will only make more fire. They need to put on a more people friendly focus... And make it easier to buy music from them than to download it. (I don't know how they'd do that...) The thing is they need to realize americans are lazy. If they can get music by typing it in and clicking the mouse a few times, they will. Moral shmorals. Don't ask for capitalist morality in a world where everything is just pixels on a monitor... Hell, don't ask for morality on the internet at all! (especially when dealing with the RIAA!)

    • We all know that most people don't know or care about this sort of stuff. The MPAA and RIAA aren't known acronyms in mainstream America. The only way people will start to get pissed (and things will have to change) is if ISPs do this, people say 'Why is my bill up $10/month' and the ISPs say 'The record companies made us do it, they're getting your money'. If that happened, people would notice, the news would start to 'investigate' and 'find out' all the stuff we already know.
      So I say good luck RIAA, I hope you win this one, 'cause it may well be your last if you do.
    • by kien ( 571074 ) <kien@NOSpAm.member.fsf.org> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @10:52PM (#5110933) Journal
      Check out the latest issue of Wired magazine. (I doubt the articles are online yet...issue 11.02.)

      When I pulled my copy out of the mailbox, the image of the Hindenburg accompied by the headlines (THE FALL OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY and HILARY ROSEN: THE MOST HATED NAME IN MUSIC) certainly piqued my interest.

      After reading the article on Hilary, I'm almost sympathetic with her plight. She is the punching bag, with asshole anal-retentive CEOs of the big 5 labels on one side, and all of us /.er's on the other. Based on the article, I don't think she likes the assholes that run the labels anymore than she likes the people that upload songs to Kazaa.

      None of this is any defense for Hilary, though. While her ability to withstand being beaten up from two sides (including death threats...shame on any asshole that sent her a death threat!) is admirable, it doesn't change the fact that she's on the wrong side of the issue. Her contract expires this year. It will be interesting to see if she's willing press on as a $1 million per year punching bag.

      Slightly offtopic, but in this same issue of Wired there's an article that encourages companies to embrace hackers rather than persecute them. Just thought I'd mention that. (And no, I don't work for Wired.) :)

  • on which planet would this be seen as acceptable? this world is in a bad way.
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by greasypeso ( 316856 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:29PM (#5109349) Homepage
    In the 1980s, the RIAA successfully lobbied to have a blank cassette tape tax levied in the US (also in Canada). There's already precedent, and no one put up a fuss then, so what's the problem? ;)
    • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mister Transistor ( 259842 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:36PM (#5109410) Journal
      More recently, they also successfully lobbied to have a similar surcharge included in CD-Music-R discs, which could only be recorded on home CD-R music recorders (CD-R data drives wouldn't read em).

      These had an extra $1.00 per disc or so added to the retail price compared to similar CD-R's sold at the time. Since they only held music not data the RIAA assumed (that word again!) that they would ONLY be used to record pirated musical content, so the surcharge whent through unchallenged.

      • Re:Nothing new (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @09:02PM (#5110481) Homepage Journal
        Last I checked, so-called "Music" CD-R discs were no different from data CD-Rs whatsoever. Period. They just say Music on them, and they tend not to be as high-speed, since devices intended solely for music duplication are usually not very fast. Is there something new that I don't know about? Could you explain how they will work with older CD-R music-only devices? Could you provide a link?

        Normal "Music" CD-Rs do cost you some extra money which goes to the RIAA, some of which supposedly goes to artists but I suspect that means it goes to the label and a tiny fraction of it goes to artists. Either way it's wrong to take my money when I buy CD-R media so I NEVER EVER buy so-called music CD-Rs. Interestingly, non-geek people I explain the situation to say that they will also never buy them, with very little prompting. This is how much the common man hates the music industry. It doesn't stop people from buying music but it does lead them away from it.

        • Link? I don't know of any but I'll give you one better. Firsthand personal experience.

          There's a stack of 5 of them sitting on my damn shelf right now in front of me; my older Yamaha CDR100 will NOT burn to them - it rejects them as invalid media, even trying to do a red-book audio CD type of burn. It simply refuses to recognize the discs as valid blank CD-R media. Since I don't own a consumer CD-writer, I never could use them, and my roommate that bought them by accident had since lost the receipt, so I couldn't return them either. And there they sit; a monument to CD-Audio-R format or whatever the hell they called it.

          I very recently purchased a brand-new whizz-bang 48x16x48 CDRW drive, so perhaps it might be able to do something with them, but I can assure you 100% that they are NOT ordinary CD-R media with a "Music" label and hefty surcharge attached.

    • Re:Nothing new (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cscx ( 541332 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:38PM (#5109428) Homepage
      Anyone else remember DATs, before they were taxed out of existence?
    • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timmyf2371 ( 586051 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:41PM (#5109451)
      With the RIAA lobbying for this "ISP Fee", shouldn't this theoretically legitimise MP3 downloads?

      Call me cynical, but IMHO the RIAA will collect their ISP Fee from those users who download, and those who do not, and they will still press to have the likes of Kazaa and Napster illegalised (sp?). My problem with big corporations and organisations is that they generally want their cake and eat it.

      Maybe I'm wrong: maybe we'll have our Internet tax and the RIAA will be happy. For some reason, I think not.


    • Re:Nothing new (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elsilver ( 85140 )
      Actually, the blank cassette tape levy, which has now been extended to blank CDs, DVDs and mp3 players, puts the recording industry in a much weaker position, here in Canada.

      You could consider that because the levy goes to pay for loss due to piracy, they can't claim that piracy is costing them as much as they say. Also, since I've paid the levy, I have, in a way, paid a licensing fee, and have tacit approval for any copying I may do.

      OTOH, not for one second do I believe this will prevent the RIAA from trying the same antics in Canada as they are in the US, once they have built up a series of wins. Nor do I believe that the levy will protect Canadian's interests once RIAA approved (copy inhibited) CD players begin shipping into the US. Canada is a little market compared to the US, so we'll just get the same restricted hardware that they get, and everyone will ignore the fact that this hardware is supposed to prevent copying, which we are already paying a levy to compensate for copying.

      • Re:Nothing new (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sentry21 ( 8183 )
        Also, since I've paid the levy, I have, in a way, paid a licensing fee, and have tacit approval for any copying I may do.

        Actually, you understate your position. From The Copyright Act, Part VII [justice.gc.ca] (Copyright Board and Collective Administration of Copyright):

        Copying for Private Use

        80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of

        (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,

        (b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or

        (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied

        onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.

        Basically, what this means is that it is legal to copy music for your own personal use. Too many Canadians say 'well, if I'm paying for copying, shouldn't I be able to copy?' The government says yes.

  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:29PM (#5109351) Homepage Journal
    Is Microsoft going to be allowed to levee taxes because everyone pirates windows?

  • by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:29PM (#5109354) Homepage Journal
    Ah yes, the "Tax everybody for the crimes of the minority" scheme. you just have to love the busted logic. Where's the love, indeed? Joe over there was speeding so you get a ticket too! I see...

    • In the article, it states: "Rosen suggested one possible scenario for recouping lost sales from online piracy would be to impose a type of fee on ISPs that could be passed on to their customers who frequent these file-swapping services." RIAA hasn't asked anyone to do this yet--the beginning of the article is about music companies (it doesn't say RIAA) in France that are going to ask ISPs for the fee.
  • by DutchSter ( 150891 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:30PM (#5109355)
    Hey - I'm all for it! If I'm charged a fee for downloading music, by golly, I'm going to download music!

    Once I pay $0.01 in loss 'fees' to the RIAA, I consider myself licensed to download whatever is available. If I'm prevented, they should be prepared to be sued for failure to deliver a service for which fees were imposed.
    • Then the MPAA will charge you $10 whenever you connect, in line with the increased cost of their industry.

      THEN they'll buy up all the [cable|dialup] modem manufactures and put bugs into the firmware so that you get disconnected every three minutes.

      Hey, you never know what could happen...

    • by BrianH ( 13460 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:11PM (#5109637)
      I agree. I've had a DSL line for nearly four years and have never downloaded or shared pirated music. If I'm going to be charged an "RIAA Tax", you can damned well bet I'm going to change that! I own more than 600 records, tapes(DAT), and CD's (mostly classical, folk, and various forms of electronica), and I'll rip and host them all just to spite the bastards. What are they going to do, sue me? I've got the means to take them to court and fight it, and it shouldn't be too hard to make the argument that the activity should be allowable since "I'm paying for it anyway".

      The RIAA could be shooting themselves in the foot with this one :-)
    • This is exactly the way it works in Canada. We pay a levee on all blank media which is handed over to the music industry, but it's completely legal for us to make copies of music for personal use. Personal use includes a hell of a lot of things, including making copies of CDs for friends. I"m not sure, but it may even include making copies available online for all our friends.
      • Technically, you're not allowed to make a copy of music for your friend. Your friend is allowed to borrow your CD and copy it, but you are not allowed to copy the CD and give the copy to your friend. It's a subtle difference, but it is a difference -- the basic premise is that the person copying a copyrighted CD must intend to use the copy for his personal use.

        See here [neil.eton.ca] for more info.
    • If you've ever bought a blank "music" cd or a blank cassette, you've paid. This bothers me a bit, though -- anyone who downloads music is considered a thief (by RIAA), but they charge everyone who uses cdrs and tapes, regardless of what we use them for. It seems a bit to me like they're stealing from me.
  • by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:31PM (#5109359) Homepage Journal
    Did you know that in many countries taxes are levied on CD writers and CDR discs because of piracy?

    But, put that aside, one can argue this Piracy Tax with logic.

    If the RIAA wants to impose a levy on ISPs because of possible file sharing, then shouldn't software companies be allowed to impose a similar levy? And if the RIAA can impose it, what about indie labels? Their music gets stolen too. What about artists who put their graphics online? What about font designers whose fonts get ripped off on alt.binaries.fonts? Surely they should all get a cut?

    Logic shows this whole idea is stupid. But will logic be enough to stop the courts? I doubt it. Aristotle said 'The law is reason from my passion'. Not in 2002 it ain't.
  • by Wolfier ( 94144 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:31PM (#5109364)
    Then it certainly means swapping music will become legal, right?
  • Taking. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:31PM (#5109365) Homepage
    Tell you what. I'll give the RIAA and MPAA each five dollars a year if they'll simply stop trying to sue and get file sharing banned or whatever they're doing. Anyone else find it funny that a corporation is trying desperately to tax us? Corporations can't tax! Interest groups can't tak! Only the government can tax.
  • by Faggot ( 614416 ) <choads@nOsPAm.gay.com> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:32PM (#5109372) Homepage
    This is as absurd as taxing every blank digital medium that gets sold in America, in case they're used to pirate music!!


    Wait a sec.
  • Government, Inc. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:32PM (#5109376) Homepage
    This is about as bright as the already in-effect tax on writeable media [everything2.com]. It goes to the RIAA et al to reimburse them for piracy. So we pay for piracy and still can't do it.

    Just when you thought that the corporate-owned government couldn't screw us in a more blatant, shameless and imaginative way, along comes Hillary...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:32PM (#5109377)
    You call us criminals, and you impose a tax on me for buying CD-Rs (that I use to backup my home directory on), and you flood our p2p networks with garbage and dDoS attacks to make it difficult to use them for even legitimate purposes, and then you throw all kinds of legislation to congress and all kinds of pressure to tech companies to make fair, legal things I do with my computer illegal, because "I might" do something "bad" (i.e., not in the interest of keeping your pocketbooks full) at some point in the future. And now, you want to charge me even more?

    Hilary Rosen, congratulations. You will no doubt be the first against the wall. I sincerely and wholeheartedly extend this "Fuck you" into your general direction.
    • by nightherper ( 635698 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:47PM (#5109487) Homepage
      I second that!

      I own a car - but I don't go randomly running over people or property.

      I own serveral fireamrs, but I have never killed anyone or anyting with them. (Except for some out of date Coca Cola)

      I own a camera, but I don't go kidnap little girls and make kiddie porn

      I own several knives but I have never cut anyone but myself with them...

      Yet if I own a computer, a cd burner, cd-r discs and have an internet connection I am automatically a music pirate? (Or worse?!)

  • Then I'll start downloading pirated music, which I don't do currently. I don't have a single file-sharing app on my PC (unless you count MSN, FTP, et alius) and don't use those for much other than moving around source code..

    But if they make me pay an ISP fee to download pirated music, and they reap profits from that, isn't that the same as selling me the right to download said music? As far as I'm concerned, it is.
  • by jabex ( 320163 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:34PM (#5109392) Homepage
    So in the analogy world, is that kinda like...

    The RIAA charges NJ Transit because apparently, some people from NJ are going to Tower Records in NY to steal CDs... but the thing is... They're using NJ Transit to do it!!! Bastards!

    Heh... so... is that the appropriate analogy here? Any other fun analogies out there?

    Guess they REALLY need that 6% back huh? heh.
  • Let me see if I get this right: 1. Complain about piracy 2. Lets charge per tape because we have our music pirated. 3. ?? 4. Profit!! 5. Complain about piracy 6. Lets collect tax from ISP because we have our music pirated. 7. ?? 8. Profit!! 9. Complain about piracy 10. ?? 11. ?? 12. Profit!!
  • by forgoil ( 104808 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:34PM (#5109397) Homepage
    If this goes through it sounds like dictators are running the show. Yes, it is that bad. What will be next? A special fee for everyone because Ashcroft doesn't think the Americans give enough at church? Or a computer fee for Microsoft because everybody pirates their software? How about a fee for every computer to pay off the software companies?

    The RIAA needs to be killed off, it is bad for the people. It is no longer about music, not even in the least. Those of you who are allowed to vote in the states, make sure you vote for people who don't support the RIAA...
    • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:21PM (#5109693) Journal
      Or a computer fee for Microsoft because everybody pirates their software?

      Yes, this is exactly where we are going. Corporations will be our new governments; passing laws, collecting taxes, and running our lives (for their benefit). You can't vote, and you won't even be able to vote with your dollar. The marketplace will be ruled by cartels (-or industry associations, the name is your preference). It will be a sort of multi-feudalism, with many kings, each having control over a different aspect of your life. It's funny how at the extreme end capitalism and communism look quite similiar, at least in how they're implemented.
  • by tsa ( 15680 )
    So I buy a CD and I get punished because other people 'steal' music. Way to go!
  • Just a minute... (Score:2, Insightful)

    They're planning on charging the ISPs and telecom companies for giving us access to file sharing networks. So instead of money changing hands (since internet access prices are already pretty bloated and they won't want to pass on additional costs to the customer at risk of losing business), the ISPs will probably just start port blocking and not pay the RIAA. The RIAA can't charge them retroactively. What never makes sense to me is that whenever these charges come up, shouldn't it give us a guilt-free pass to pirate music since we're now officially paying for it?

    They're going to milk this whole "sales going to be down 6%" junk for all it's worth. I bet we'll see it in every related article until 2004.
  • Hey... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iNub ( 551859 )
    Charge me $10 a month for pirating, and I'm licensed to download what I want. Let's see if *anybody* buys music once it's legal to download it. I can't see how this is going to make them extra money. In fact, I think they'll lose money. Why would -- hey...

    Let's let them do it! Would you pay $10 a month for a year if it made the RIAA drown in their own stupidity?
  • by jpt.d ( 444929 ) <abfall@roger[ ]om ['s.c' in gap]> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:37PM (#5109419)
    Let me see if I get this right:

    1. Complain about piracy
    2. Lets charge per tape because we have our music pirated.
    3. ??
    4. Profit!!
    5. Complain about piracy
    6. Lets collect tax from ISP because we have our music pirated.
    7. ??
    8. Profit!!
    9. Complain about piracy
    10. ??
    11. ??
    12. Profit!!
  • A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Amsterdam Vallon ( 639622 ) <amsterdamvallon2003@yahoo.com> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:38PM (#5109420) Homepage
    I'm not sure if this post will end up funny, insightful, informative, or interesting, but here goes anyway.

    1) The name Hillary has serious connotations to it. I immediately think of annoying, overzealous, stuck-up bitches like Ms. Clinton and Ms. Rosen.

    2) Every CD-R disc that you buy is taxed and portions of the money you pay are given to the RIAA and similar organizations. So don't tax my Internet bill as well, and don't take my portable MP3 player either. Some of us actually use our own bought music to listen to.

    3) With every new inane law or result of a lawsuit that I hear, I get one step closer to leaving the United States. It's becoming a bloody corporate rape scene here in the States and I for one am just about at the end of my rope.

    4) Corporations should not control the government. We need to run the country, it's supposed to be our government. Let's let the citizens reign free and make America the best country it's ever been but without excessive taxation for wanting to listen to music or chat on the Intranet.
    • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xerithane ( 13482 )
      Corporations should not control the government. We need to run the country, it's supposed to be our government. Let's let the citizens reign free and make America the best country it's ever been but without excessive taxation for wanting to listen to music or chat on the Intranet.

      Three words, Boston Tea Party. Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, "A government that is large enough to supply everything you need is large enough to take everything you have."

      We are at that point. The people have lost their rights to our government. The United States are now a network of corporate states, that control a select few group of individuals.

      With every new inane law or result of a lawsuit that I hear, I get one step closer to leaving the United States. It's becoming a bloody corporate rape scene here in the States and I for one am just about at the end of my rope.

      It used to be that when someone was fed up, they rallied support and changed the system. Now, those who value an independant culture must choose exile. You said it, "Let the citizens reign free" but how can that happen when most citizens let go of the very reigns that made them free in the first place?

      Education, this is the key. Inform those people of their lost rights. Unfortunately, I don't think many care because they're happy in their complacent white picket fence lives.

      "The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government." - Barry Goldwater, almost U.S. President

      "It is not from top to bottom that societies die; it is from bottom to top." - Henry George

      "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal." - Richard M. Nixon, U.S. President and attorney

      Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington, U.S. President
    • Re:A few thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogie ( 31020 )
      "I immediately think of annoying, overzealous, stuck-up bitches like Ms. Clinton "

      Wow...let the anger go. Repeat after me. Strong women are NOT a threat to my manhood. Hillary's only fault in life was no being born a man. That way instead of being seen as an agresssive "bitch", she would have been seen as a man who "speaks his mind". Of course after all those years of conservitives bashing her relentlessly on the radio and T.V., I guess I'm not surprised the brainwashing still influences people.
  • by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:39PM (#5109431)
    Here's a better article.


    In it, HR's more sane suggestion is to urge

    "major music labels, which include Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI, Universal Music and Bertelsmann's BMG, to ease licensing restrictions, develop digital copyright protections for music and invest more in promoting subscription download services."

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

    The only thing she forgot was the "oh and offer music at a fair price"

    Sometimes it seems paraphrasing is the main source of news on Slashdot. :P

    Yo Grark
    Canadian Bred with American Buttering
  • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:40PM (#5109438)
    The recording industry already has a tax on most computer media in Canada.

    It's already 21 cents per CD, and is going up to 59 cents soon. There's also a fee of 21 cents/megabyte for digital camera memory and tiny HDs because they can also be used in mp3 players.

    Taxing ISPs is probably just the next logical step up here

    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
  • best for last (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:44PM (#5109466) Journal
    wrt Kazaa and the like:

    "It's clear to me these companies are profiting to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. They must be held accountable," Rosen said.

    When did I give Kazaa money again...?
    • Re:best for last (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:13PM (#5109649)
      Kazaa turned a profit... and this isn't something to be happy about.

      Kazaa is infested with all sorts of tag-along programs which are spyware and adware. Remember the famous one that stole Amazon.com affiliate program links so that Kazaa always got the credit?... yeah, that's stealing from Joe Webmaster... but Kazaa doesn't care.
  • by puto ( 533470 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:55PM (#5109541) Homepage
    The IT slump of the past few years has led me more into more time of a consultant than a full time admin. I have several clients who pay me a small monthly retainer in case anything goes wrong. I make a little less cash, but then again I can work on other projects.

    When I go in to a company and check a network out, top to bottom, server to workstation. I 99.9 percent of the time gigs of mp3's, pirated applications, and everyone has Kazaa. And for the next week everyone hates me cause I disable downloads, remove kazaa, block ports, and lock down the network. Not to mention find that some savvy employee is running an ftp server, or using company bandwidth to sell his wifes beanie babies.

    I also am an on call tech for Dell. Usually this is installing new systems, doing data transfers. In short making the new system mirror the old one in software and data.

    I have yet to hear someone say" Yeah all those mp3 are from CD's I own" "Here is my original copy of office xp" I get handed burned CD's and hear things like "dude you can get all the music and software you want off the internet." And this is not teenies nor young adults. But people into their 50's. I will not install anyting from a burned copy and a scribbled down serial number. They get burned, they are gonna point the finger at me.

    I love my work. But if I had a dollar for everyime some client calls me to fix something, install something and then teach them how to download(steal) music and software. I would be a rich man.

    I download music. I can remember the last time I bought a CD.2 years ago. I can always claim that all the Cure, Bill Idol, 80's hits, on my hard drives that I did once on the LP(probably in moms attic) so I am entitled. I gess if I wear out my copy of Nueromance, I can just go take a new one, free.

    Recently I did a an 8 station wireless network in a wealthy mans house. Plus two laptops. The house is a Kazaa nightmare. Guy can afford CD's but he doesnt buy them.

    I think the government shouldn't regulate or charge for info, but I think we on the internet have proven that we pirate and steal like crazy. I am a 33 year old admin, old fart in the business. I have many colleagues, and we pass warez around like crazy, and giggle about it. But we admit it. We do not try and take the moral high ground.

    I am tired of hearing about all this bitching about our rights are being impugned. Why dont we all petition our ISPS to block all file sharing services? Doesn't take much CPU to rip a CD. We were doing it on P //s, and we all use linux, so whats the problem? Don't give me the argument about you ain't got the time to rip it? You had the time to poke around the net and download the song ten times till you got a good rip?

    Jeez, maybe I am getting old. But Kazaa is a pirates playground, edonkey, gnutella, and others.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:57PM (#5109551)
    This isn't a new law.
    This isn't a bill that's on the president's desk.
    This isn't a bill that has passed the House.
    This isn't a bill that has passed the Senate.
    This isn't waiting in committee.
    This hasn't even been proposed in either branch.
    Hillary cannot propose it in either branch, she hasn't been elected.
    Hillary isn't even running for office.

    This is so far away from being a law, it isn't even funny. Nobody with the power to make this a law has come forward supporting it. If Fritz Hollings picks it up, then we can be a bit concerned, yet he still needs to convnice a lot of other people this is a good idea before it goes anywhere.

    Let's not get too worked up on this one. Keep it on the radar, sure... but there are a lot of other bad ideas that have gotten further in the assembly line than this one, and those are the ones that need our attention.
  • by bildstorm ( 129924 ) <peter.buchy@ s h h . fi> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @05:59PM (#5109557) Homepage Journal

    My mother, a standard consumer with nearly no knowledge of how to go about pirating music or burning CDs, pointed out something very simple to me. She said that the price of CDs was the big problem, not the economy so much, and not piracy.

    She pointed out how when Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Target have sales on CDs where the price drops quite low, say $10/CD, they sell out of the popular CDs. She also pointed out that in order for everyone to get paid reasonably, the cost to produce a CD would be about $5.

    So, when you spend that incredible $20/CD, what are you spending that money on? Padding the pockets of shareholders and paying lawyers chasing "piracy".

    My suggestion? When the CDs go on sale, buy 'em. Buy when they're low to show that you WOULD buy them if the were reasonably priced. Of course, getting the CDs you want may be tough then. Additionally, buy used CDs. Buy whenever the music hits a price you consider reasonable. Continue to support your favourite artists by buying t-shirts and going to concerts.

    They should really teaching these marketing people some real economics courses. Supply and demand aren't just a simple cross on a chart when you add in alternative methods of obtaining materials. Sometimes crime does pay. Maybe we should have politicians look at it too.

    "People are inherently selfish, but still they like to look morally upstanding in others' eyes. No one wants to be the bad guy." -me

    • CD prices (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cje ( 33931 )
      Absolutely agree.

      If I go into a place like Circuit City or Best Buy, wander over to the CD section, and buy the soundtrack for a movie such as The Fellowship of the Ring, I can expect to pay about $17.99 USD. Yet I can now wander over to the DVD section and pick up the DVD for that same movie for $19.99 USD -- and there I get the whole movie plus commentary tracks, deleted scenes, documentaries, etc. The soundtrack is only a couple of bucks less and all I get is the soundtrack.

      And yet Hillary Rosen and her goose-stepping Gestapo at the RIAA complain about falling CD sales figures and they have the nerve to act surprised. What's that you say, Hillary? CD sales are off? No shit, Sherlock.

      The fact of that matter is that 90% of what the RIAA puts out is complete garbage and 100% of it is overpriced. They're well aware of this fact, but really don't care; they're more concerned about preserving their ancient sales model and revenue stream than they are about putting out a high-quality product for a good value. Perhaps that's why DVD sales are skyrocketing and CD sales are flat. DVD movies are cheap, high quality, and offer a lot of bang for the buck.

      The fact that DVDs are outselling $20 CDs that only have one or two decent tracks on them should come as a surprise to nobody.
  • by puppetman ( 131489 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:04PM (#5109593) Homepage
    ... and you're charged every time you buy a blank CD, audio cassette or mini-disc.

    21 cents per blank cd, 29 cents per audio cassette, and 77 cents per minidisc.

    And the Recording industry wants it increased (a 181% increase for CDs), and wants it added to additional media (flash memory cards and DVDs) as well as to MP3 players.

    Ironically, none of the money has been paid out to any artists.

    1) It's legal to have an mp3 if you've paid for the music
    2) CDs are used for things other than music
    3) Flash memory cards are used in dozens of things; I have a digital camera that uses them.

    The last time the levy was raised (Jan, 2001 I believe) I wrote letters to various Members of Parliment hoping to get it shut down.

    This time, even the retailers [londondrugs.com] are getting involved.

    The music industry is a dinosaur. I believe artists should be paid for their work, but the cost of a CD is ridiculous; that money is disappearing into music executives pockets; the artist gets next to nothing [salon.com]. I would pay 30 cents per MP3 to download. No shipping, no retail costs, no packaging. That should be fair.

  • Personally, I'd like to see artists paid out of some sort of slush fund for data tranfers.

    You'd have something like the nielsens, which would figure out what people were downloading (by sniffing random packets or whatever - I'm sure the slashdot crowd can come up with a method that would work) and then reimburse whoever owned the copyright to a particular work preportionally out of the general fund.

    The PROBLEM is that groups like the RIAA would see to it that the rules were stacked in their favor, so that they got all this money.

    Does anyone know how much of the casette surcharge goes to artists? To artists who are not actually affiliated with the RIAA? I can't find an exact figure, but it's not frigging much!

    I'd like to see a direct compensation scheme of the good sort in place, since it would allow people to make a living providing culture (which is good) and maximise the VALUE of that culture to society (since anyone could have as much culture as they wanted for a flat rate.)

    Unfortunately, the blood suckers at the RIAA have both the power and position to suck such a scheme dry of blood.

    While I was looking for a specific breakdown of how the 2%/$2 surcharge on blank CDs/CD burners is disbursed (I can't find it) I did find this interesting article which is worth a read. [whoarethepirates.com]

    The author has very much my take on the economics of the affair, although I disagree that piracy is "basically wrong."
  • by Drakula ( 222725 ) <(gro.eeei) (ta) (revillot)> on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:25PM (#5109707) Homepage Journal
    isn't this what happens with sale of any other product? I mean when you own a store and lose a certain percentage of revenue to shoplifting, etc. typically you raise your prices to compensate the additional overhead to your business. In that way, the other consumers pay for stuff they didn't steal.

    I don't want to see this happen either, but ther is precedent for it.
  • by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @06:26PM (#5109709) Homepage
    I must admit it's not insane to try to distribute a burden across a wide group of people, even if they object to the ultimate purpose. It's called taxation, and makes a lot of sense for a public good. Say, for example, a fuel tax to pay for the roads. Not perfect, but not insane.

    Maybe we're not taking socialism seriously enough. Here's a proposal: If the various labels want to impose a tax and distribute it amongst themselves (an entirely inappropriate and possibly unconstitutional thing for the gov't to be doing, redistributing for a private "good"), why not go whole hog and socialize the music industry. Then they'll get their tax, and we, through Congress, can decide how much of the take they get. No profits, of course.

    Symmetry? Everyone happy? No one happy? Well, that's the point. :)
  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @07:17PM (#5110036) Journal
    Hillary Rosen doesn't realize the depth of the can of worms she's stepped in when she decided to attack the computer and telecommunications industries. While the patents for digital reproduction of music have mostly expired, the copyright law extensions that also gave us the Berne Convention mean that Bell Telephone Laboratories still has the copyright on the songs "1" and "0", and the RIAA had better not go creating derivative works without giving us our cut, because All Their Bits Are Belong to Us.

    IBM owns the songs "2" through "9" and "A" through "F" and "SmileyFace", Bell Labs owns "-128" through "-1", "*", "#", and "13" through "127", the CCITT owns "128" through "255", Control Data owns "Negative 0". Digital Equipment owns "-32768"-"-129" and "256"-"32767", except that John Draper seems to have aquired performance rights for "2600" and somebody scribbled on the documentation on "31337", IBM owns "32768-65535", and by now that's covered all the songs you can play on CD. If they're thinking about using other standards, remember that the IEEE currently has all the floating point numbers, plus and minus infinity, and "Not A Number", so there's no place for the RIAA to hide except back in Analog Land.

    And, surely if the music industry can tax us for possible downloads, we should be able to tax them for showing computers in their movies and using "computer hackers" in their plots, because they MIGhT NOT HAVE paid the Cyberspace Society of Computer Programmers, Hackers, and Stereotyped Nerdy Teenagers for using them. The tax obviously ought to be paid in movie downloads.

    Besides, as a spokesperson for the Cable TV industry (I own about a 3-millionth of Comcast) it's important to remind the RIAA that most of the Cable Modem companies have strict policies against copyright violation, so our users would never do anything like that and she therefore can't tax us for it, and most of them also have strict policies running anything server-like, including file sharing software, which is bizarrely and suicidally clueless (Duhh, why do you think people buy broadband?) but also means that none of *our* users are doing this. However, we do know that the record labels and their "agents" often use the telephone to talk to their artists, so the telephone companies are as much a part of the music production process as the RIAA is, and we'd like our cut now, please.

  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @07:21PM (#5110062)
    ...what is the moral equivalence of the RIAA taking realized cash from people who do not download music?

    I dunno, but so what? Feelings of moral superiority, by themselves, seldom carry the day.

    Seems to me this is just an attempt to scare big ISP's into doing the RIAA's dirty work for them. At that, there'd certainly be a few challenges in court that would gum up the works for at least a while.
  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @07:30PM (#5110110) Journal
    It's well known in the industry, and heavily commented on by some musicians that *some* record labels have been known to rip off their musicians' music and other record labels have failed to adequately promote their artists' music. To make sure that that doesn't happen and that artists are properly compensated and promoted, Congress needs to pass a law requiring record labels to pay bands up front and not rip them off later and record labels to pay the internet industry to distribute anything that isn't in the Top 40. This is heavily documented statistically - the decline in Billboard ratings of almost every song that was in the Top 40 five years ago clearly demonstrates that the lack of adequate promotion by the record industry is interfering wtih artists' earnings and recognition. Furthermore, almost everything that *is* in the Top 40 is there because of record industry promotion, except for a smaller number of artists that achieve that popularity because of their artistic abilities in spite of the rampant failure to adequately promote them, and a much smaller number of songs like the Macarena which are clearly statistical outliers or badly collected data.
  • Protest Ideas (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @07:31PM (#5110116) Journal
    Well, we could take a page from that guy collecting AOL cd's to toss on AOL's doorstep, and buy blank cd-r's by the box. Get N of them, and shatter the whole lot, then deliver them to RIAA headquarters. By fedex or courier with signature required (might require some help from the shipper... come in with a little box, corner a secretary and have her sign for it, then "OK boys, bring in the carts"). Then, use their signature showing they accepted the shipment of unused CDs to form a class action lawsuit (for the donors of CDs to the cause) for the amount of their "cd tax"*N cds plus legal fees, on the grounds that this payment was for a service never rendered. Optionally, allow nonsecret settling out of court by distributing N cd's full of mp3s.

    Another idea, less likely than the last: Follow Rosen around, and figure out some way to screw with the prices at grocery stores and gas pumps. See how many people are in her car and multiply the cost of gas by that much (when its charged). Ideally you'd add a little message to the end of the receipt: "Since this gas will be used by 3 people, we had to charge you 3 times as much". Options would be to use the max capacity of her car ("You MIGHT have 5 people in your car so we had to multiply by 5) or if she drives alone, multiply by two: "You are driving with BIN LADEN"

    Yet another idea: Write to your congressman and tell them that you are tired of paying the RIAA tax. Tell them that if you continue to have to pay RIAA to support their dying way of life, then you will have no choice but to copy music, so that the money you have spent on them for the right to pirate music isn't wasted. After all, in the absense of any other agreement to the contrary, you must assume that paying the "tax" whose stated purpose is to pay for piracy must give you a license to pirate music.
  • by cannes ( 151121 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @07:36PM (#5110149) Homepage Journal
    support free music. There is one site that i can think of off hand EFF"s Open Music Registry [openmusicregistry.org]. There are a couple musicians out there that still give a damn about music... I'm not sure that things like these will really revert the people in the RIAA, I'm really don't think that they know that things like this exist.

    I believe that they are just throwing around ideas on how to stop piracy even the stupid ones... I really don't see something like this that would ever pass. They really haven't had any real good plans to stop piracy, well incentive to buy would be my best bet.. today i bought Foo Fighters ($11.99) and The Crystal Method ($6.99) price wasn't too bad and they are both pretty good records. But an ISP tax is something I'm not ever going to pay for.. I already pay $44 and that is enough. Anyway someone call Fugazi and tell that record industry is all fucked up again!

  • A New Approach.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @08:16PM (#5110328) Journal
    Per chance, does anyone know of any movements out there to have the major record lables indicted under federal RICO statutes?

    Their current business model pretty much rests on bribery, extortion, fraud, theft, computer network tampering, price gouging, and price fixing.

    If there is no such movement, perhaps we need someone to organize a website where we can weigh in on this. Instead of debating the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the issues, let's start going on the offensive. Let's begin exposing the RIAA for what it is. Letter and email writing to congresscritters and media types would be a good beginning. If a single major media outlet were to give coverage to the necessary topics, it would be a great boost to the cause. For once in the 20 years of corrupt business practices within the major media companies, let's put them on the defensive and make them justify their own theft.
  • by po_boy ( 69692 ) on Saturday January 18, 2003 @10:44PM (#5110911) Homepage
    Imagine being a deaf Internet user.
  • Tax all transport! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cornice ( 9801 ) on Sunday January 19, 2003 @12:05AM (#5111316)
    Pirated CDs travel on roads too. Oh, and by boat. Trains too. Maybe we should impose a gas tax while we're at it. They should set up toll boths on the interstates!
  • Copy-making Industry: "Mine! That's MINE! [stomp] Gimme more money!"

    Public: "Shut the fuck up."

    Congressman Lapdog duJour: "Let's step into my office..."

    Slashdot: "Senate/House Extends Copyrights 5000 Years, Creates RIAA Tax, Mandatory Death Penalty for DMCA Violations"

    Public: "Dammit. Whoa -- Look at Britney's tits!"
  • Only Fair (Score:4, Funny)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Sunday January 19, 2003 @02:29AM (#5111894) Homepage
    It has been known for a long time that the best, most profitable music and movies are made by people on drugs. And while most artists bear the financial burden of drugs through direct charges, insurance increases, legal fees, and shortened careers, the largest reward is reaped by RIAA executives who enjoy the fruits of artists labors without the associated early Cocane burnout. This is not a fair arrangement.

    Therefore, it is proposed that middle-level management and above in all music-related fields be taxed at 4% of income, for the express purpose of using said money to fund such worthy prehab programs as Raves, House Parties, Bashes, Shindigs, Galas, Grateful Dead tribute concerts, and the city of Berkeley, California. In such a fashion, artists and music would be supported by those who have so far stolen their work without returning their fair share.

    This levy would, of course, be void for any executive that could prove solidarity with the plight of the musicians through nosebleeds, swollen arteries, ADHD, or the propensity to use the word "Dude" as if it were insightful.
  • Fuck them. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Sunday January 19, 2003 @02:55AM (#5111967) Journal
    You reap what you sow, and as long as those bastards resort to petty acts of cyber terrorism to keep their customers in line, they'll continue to be boycotted by me and hundreds of other like-minded individuals, and through association, any ISP adopting this "RIAA Tax" will be boycotted as well.

    It's a sorry reflection on the legal system today that such criminals can hide behind the laws whenever they're being hurt. D:

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.