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The RIAA and MPAA Target Day-Job Downloaders 293

BrianUofR points to this USA Today article, which says "the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are sending a six-page brochure this week to Fortune 1000 corporations with suggested policies -- including a sample memo to workers warning them against using company computers to download songs and movies."
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The RIAA and MPAA Target Day-Job Downloaders

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  • One word... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:22PM (#5310964)
    ...Freenet [].

    It is finally starting to work well enough to be useful. It still needs people to create mp3-specific freesites to allow people to find mp3s easily, but this could be the motivation.

    • Freenet -- (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:46PM (#5311726)
      As long as the Freenet project continues distribute its main download in the form of a Java class and not platform specific binaries, it will *never* work well enough to be useful to people in the same manner that Kazaa, or even Gnutella are.

      You can whine and kvetch all day long about how wondeful are, but the simple fact of the matter is that the fact that you have to install a virtual machine [] to run Freenet makes it useful only to people who understand how to install a virtual machine.

      There are ways to compile Java to platform-specific binaries that don't require a virtual machine to run. The freenet project should make binaries like this available for download for PC and Macintosh. Doing otherwise is shooting themselves in the foot for the sake of shooting themselves in the foot.
  • Quick! (Score:5, Funny)

    by $$$$$exyGal ( 638164 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:23PM (#5310971) Homepage Journal
    Somebody post the 6-page brochure to Kazaa so I can see it.

    --sex []

  • do you wanna bet... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheHawke ( 237817 ) <rchapin.stx@rr@com> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:24PM (#5310976)
    That some of the know-nothing managers will forward these boilerplate memos onto their charges without any changes??

    ALSO, how many managers will take their threats for real?
    • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:55PM (#5311129) Homepage Journal
      Remember, this went out to Fortune 1000 companies, presumably to their legal departments, who would then consider what to do with it in-house.

      A manager with any common sense, however, might well note this article with their direct reports - giving them a heads-up (if they already didn't know) that P2P at work is a bad idea...

    • by The Man ( 684 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:05PM (#5311177) Homepage
      I'm a network admin, not a manager, and I'm happy to have something like this to give my boss to hand out. I'm neither for nor against the "free everything" mentality - I consider each person who produces something to have the right to distribute it under whatever terms he or she sees fit. Personally I distribute my work freely, and encourage others to do the same; not everyone chooses to do so. But regardless of your beliefs about the RIAA (evil) or the MPAA (evil) or whether you should be permitted to steal their property (you shouldn't), using your employer's property for personal purposes is always wrong. Viewing free porn is not illegal, but unless that is your job, doing so with your company's systems and networks almost certainly goes against both professional ethics and your employment agreement or contract. Therefore you should not do that. The same argument goes for downloading or viewing or listening to non-work-related material - if you're using company property to do it, you are in the wrong. Whether the material is legal or illegal, copyrighted or public domain, offensive, harmless, or valuable is irrelevant. Do it at home, not at work.

      So I'm happy to have someone giving ammunition to help put these slackers out of business. The company doesn't need them, and they waste the resources for which I am responsible. Whether they are canned because the CEO worries over his company's legitimate potential liability to the evil conglomerates or because these people are being paid to work and are goofing off instead, means nothing to me. They are abusing company property for personal gain and should be fired. A warning letter like this is a valuable policy tool. That I personally do not care for the conglomerates' heavy-handed tactics does nothing to lessen the validity of their fundamental argument, and does nothing to diminish the value of a document issued by Legal telling slackers to knock off the network abuse.

      Your use of Kazaa to steal from those who purchased the musicians is for any reasonable person equal to Microsoft including linux/sched.c in the next version of Windows or to that scruffy-looking man outside stealing my car. All three hypothetical offenders are taking from others without permission. A pity they don't hang cattle rustlers any longer.

      • by sawilson ( 317999 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:42PM (#5311314) Homepage
        But Seriously, I agree with most of what The Man
        has to say from a purely (owning the network
        and having to deal with all the bullshit)
        perspective. I'm all for anything that's going
        to mean that I don't have to waste a considerable
        amount of time writting/revamping scripts to look
        for the latest file sharing software. A few places
        I've been already have strong stances on this stuff
        because it costs a company a SHITLOAD of money for
        bandwidth to support the 15 girls in customer
        service, 10 guys in tech support, and ALL the guys
        in admin that are downloading 30 gigs of movies,
        mp3s, and warez a day. My opinion is, what happens
        out of work is out of work. Do that shit at home.
        Hell, I don't care if you bring a cd you burned
        at home to work with your 200 alan jackson songs
        on it. Just don't create work and trouble for me.
        Stick to playing solitaire and minesweeper and all
        the other important things you do on your wintel
        machines. Save the bandwidth for important things
        like first person shooters.
      • Your use of Kazaa to steal from those who purchased the musicians is for any reasonable person equal to Microsoft including linux/sched.c in the next version of Windows or to that scruffy-looking man outside stealing my car. All three hypothetical offenders are taking from others without permission. A pity they don't hang cattle rustlers any longer.

        While I agree with you on using company network for downloading music, I think this last paragraph is misguided.

        The "crime" we are talking about is called "Copyright Violation". It's not stealing. When I make a copy of something I don't deprive anyone of anything. Would you stop the guy outside from taking a picture of your car?

        Depriving someone from potential profit is not in the same ballpark as stealing a material object.

        • by Nugget ( 7382 ) <> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:50PM (#5311745) Homepage
          Would you stop the guy outside from taking a picture of your car?

          Would you try to stop Microsoft from using GPL'd code in a closed-source product? After all, if someone uses GPL'd code in a closed-source product it's just a copy.
          • by jellybear ( 96058 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:31PM (#5311977)
            There would be no problem in Microsoft taking GPL code and putting it in their software. The problem would be with Microsoft taking GPL code, putting it in their software, and then suing others for copyright infringement if THEY copy Microsoft's software containing the GPL code.

            The point of GPL is to say, yes, you can copy my code, and then others will copy yours as well.
            • NO, NO, NO. Microsoft would be in deep trouble if they were to include GPL code in a product, then try to sell it without sources easily availabe, or if they tried to restrict the user's right to resale (the user can copy and sell the software). The point of the GPL is to say that users get source and can modify and redistribute a program (as long as they also include sources).

              Incidentally, you may wish to check out the FSF's GPL FAQ []. It helps to clear up these misconceptions.

          • That's right, it is just a copy and it isn't theft. It's copyright infringment. You inherantly have copyright over any work you create in the U.S. Now, as the copyright holder, you get to dictate terms of distribution. With the GPL you are allowing people to modify and distribute your work, but with some conditions. If they don't agree to those conditions, they don't ahve a right to modify or distribute your work and doing so is copyright infringment.

            Copyright infringment is NOT theft by any definition. Lok up theft in a dictornay or the law books sometime.

        • The "crime" we are talking about is called "Copyright Violation". It's not stealing. When I make a copy of something I don't deprive anyone of anything.

          You're using an obsolete definition of the word "stealing".

      • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:19PM (#5311909)
        Here's what this really means:
        1> People who work in Fortune 1000 are usually bored stiffless by institutional dreariness of the large company. Or they have become completely transformed by Dilbert syndrome into robots on the outside and boiling-with-rage just-destroy-it-see-if-I-care attitudes on the inside. Having a 1000-to-1 pay ratio between the top executives and the average Fortune 1000 worker ensures that there is a lot of this kind of feeling. Thousands of employees turn to P2P in the workplace just to get through the meaninglessness of the day. As long as the work continues to get done, it's not really a big deal.
        2> Management gets a blanket threatening letter from the RIAA-MPAA. They immediately enact a policy saying that there will 'zero-tolerance' of any P2P or non-work-related computer or internet use by employees. The people who use P2P KNOW that their work is not affected by their listening and downloading and simply ignore this edict. Since everything is illegal in America now it doesn't seem to make any difference anyway, just as much work continues to get done as before.
        3> The system administrator reviews the download records of all the employees and finds the people who continue to use P2P.
        4> * The system administrator goes to each of these people (possible hundreds) and says that unless they give him $100-$200 a month, their names will be turned over to management for termination.
        5> The system administrator gets tens of thousands of dollars a month from shaking down the employees due to management's stupid 'zero-tolerance' policy of something that hundreds of people are doing in the company.
        6> The system administrator has an unfortunate accident. Someone deliberately drove their car over him in the company parking lot. Nobody saw anything. Word starts to circulate in and out of the company that there was a very profitable organized shakedown going on. Management refuses to tell the police anything to avoid scandal.
        7> The word going around reachs the local Mafia crew. They 'persuade' management to install one of their people as the new system administrator. The shakedown continues... the Mafia gets the money...the employees get to download P2P...and nobody cares about what happens to the company.
        • Hehe... I love the way you turn this into an extortion scenario (complete with the Mafia) when I hear extortion justified on /. every day (If only CDs were cheaper, I'd stop ripping them off).

          And I love the way you complain about drone workers looking to find any way to get through the meaninglessness of the day, when the /. campaign against patents, copyright, and proprietary software endangers any job that involves the least bit of creativity.

      • I agree with you on the points where you say employees shouldn't be allowed to do illegal things on company time, waste time at work, or use up company resorces for non-work purposes. But are you seriously saying listening to music wastes company time?

        I'm listening to music now. Do you think I took longer to write this post just because I'm listening to music???

        /me wishing I could remember where those studies are which said music boosted productivity.

    • by Peterus7 ( 607982 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:31PM (#5311287) Homepage Journal
      And the RIAA is still up to it's same old empty threats and unjust lawsuits.

      What I don't get is how the RIAA plans to enforce this... Unless they for a RIAA gestapo, or something like it. Or put spyware on corporations, which would get them in even more trouble. So there's really nothing they can do about it. Except spew the same old BS they've been spewing, and of course that type of stuff sells on slashdot, lol...

  • at work? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by astrashe ( 7452 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:27PM (#5310990) Journal
    I wouldn't want people I was managing screwing around with p2p software at work.

    For managers, this is going to be a no-brainer.
    • Not that you need any convincing but take a look at []. Yeah, some of these are just memos that somebody decided to post but I've seen a few that look like somebody shared the wrong directory (like a lay-off memo that was posted the day before the lay-offs hit).
    • Re:at work? (Score:5, Funny)

      by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:46PM (#5311729)
      " I wouldn't want people I was managing screwing around with p2p software at work."

      I totally agree. I get SO pissed when my EFnet chats get lagged because the office warez monkeys are maxing out the T1 just to get mp3s and isos! People need to get cable!
  • In the UK (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jaavaaguru ( 261551 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:28PM (#5310993) Homepage
    In the UK, it's not unusual for people to have Internet connections at home that are just as fast as those at work. I have 512mbps broadband at home and am considering upgrading to 1mbps, which will be 4 times faster than I have at work.

    If I wanted to download a lot of music, I'd SSH to a machine at home and do it there where it's faster. I guess it's different in the US though where lots of companies have T3 connections.

    I'd also have though that a lot of large organisations (e.g. Fortune 1000 companies) would already have "downloading music/video" policies in place, and the smaller companies would be the ones with people doing things like this.

    Anyway, if you need to spend time doing stuff like that, you're job must not be interesting enough - you employer should tackle that problem first!
    • In the UK, it's not unusual for people to have Internet connections at home that are just as fast as those at work.

      Yeah and they don't take a tea break at 11 o'clock or 3:30.

      As the signs in London said "Make Tea, Not War".

      I'd also have though that a lot of large organisations (e.g. Fortune 1000 companies) would already have "downloading music/video" policies in place,

      Not to mention firewalls that are pretty P2P unfriendly.

      But the RIAA are basically playing into the corporate policy game. Basically Big 5 consultancy, sorry Big 4, oops make that 3 firms have a racket in which they charge $50K a pop for an 'Employee Navigator' or some such. These are written by fresh out of college grads billing at $2K a day or more. So any proposal is likely to get thrown in.

      This is how we are going to get companies to take noptice of spam problems. Make them scared of fired employees claiming that being bombarded by hard core spam created a hostile workplace.

  • Good For Them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pave Low ( 566880 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:28PM (#5310994) Journal
    What the fuck does this have to do with my rights online?? My "rights" in the workplace are limited all the time at work.

    My company has blocked access to p2p applications, all sorts of website, and limit my access to my PC. Should I be crying about my rights being violated?

    Where is it part of my rights that I can illegaly download music at my desk, thereby wasting bandwidth and company time?
    • Re:Good For Them (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      no shiznit

      you can't do a lot of things at work. you can't wear what you like, you can't practice your religion in public (unless it involves praying to a certain deity, then you're patriotic), you can't tell a pretty co-worker that you think she's pretty, you can't set your own hours, and you can't use the computer for personal use (though somehow they don't mind the phone used for personal stuff).

      I'm self-employed. That means I can wake up at 10, I can work in my undies with my cock hanging out, jerking off to porn, and I can download Britney till my MP3 player deletes itself in protest.

      Don't people read their employer agreements?? You're a PIECE OF A MACHINE, and if you don't function correctly you will be adjusted!
  • by I'm a racist. ( 631537 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:29PM (#5311001) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, compared to the usual shit these two organizations pull, sending out recommended procedures is really not so bad. Of course, (not having read the memo) I'll assume they made some "threats" against those companies that don't implement said procedures (as per their 'usual shit').

    If they kept themselves confined to asking companies to police themselves, and "enlightening" the public to the plight of their failing business model, I wouldn't really hate them. The problem is that they insist on buying laws and bullying other companies into proping up their fading legacy.
    • by Forgotten ( 225254 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:59PM (#5311150)
      But the question remains, what the hell business does the RIAA or MPAA have telling me how I should administer *my* business. This isn't for your own good in the sense that it'll improve productivity (in fact, being able to listen to music at work and freely use the net often raises productivity). That's only a question of having good employees with interesting work to do anyway.

      This is simply a veiled legal threat. It's "do this or we'll eventually get around to suing your ass off". Never mind that it's largely an empty threat - the intent is to invade another business and, through legal chill, affect the way they *do* business. And that's simply unacceptable.
  • by ( 142825 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:29PM (#5311002) Homepage
    Companies will take action and institute policies against downloading copywritten materials. This will be their defense against the company being liable for the downloading.

    The RIAA/MPAA is doing this to aim at deep pockets that can order lots of people to do, or in this case not do, specific acts.
    • What I don't understand is the whole innocent until proven guilty thing. Just because they have a log saying an IP from a company was downloading illegalsong.mp3 doesn't mean that the person doesn't actually own that on cd. Why are they guilty until proven innocent. I see how an individual couldn't fight them, or a small business because of the legal costs involved, but a fortune 1000 company should be able to. At least, I'd hope they could fight them, and I'm sure they'd be able to recover legal fees in court.
      • What I don't understand is the whole innocent until proven guilty thing. Just because they have a log saying an IP from a company was downloading illegalsong.mp3 doesn't mean that the person doesn't actually own that on cd. Why are they guilty until proven innocent. I see how an individual couldn't fight them, or a small business because of the legal costs involved, but a fortune 1000 company should be able to. At least, I'd hope they could fight them, and I'm sure they'd be able to recover legal fees in court.

        Well, it has been decided that even if you own the CD, you still can't download the songs. You can rip your CD and use those MP3s, but you can't dl the songs, that is still illegal. Whether you agree with this or not, it is stil the law. So if that person did download the song, then they are guilty.

        But more importantly, why should a company fight the RIAA for you to have the right to download songs you may or may not own? They could care less if you really like the newest Britney CD, you're at work and should be doing work, not downloading MP3s. Even if it is legal for you to be downloading the song, the company still probably believes you shouldn't be doing it at work (because you should be working), so why should they spend their money to defend your silly, work-avoiding ass?
    • The problem is that the mere act of viewing a webpage involves "downloading copyrighted materials". The browser cache even retains copies of some of it for awhile.

      Such a policy taken literally means that the organization in question will have to pull their net connection entirely.

      A better policy would forbidding downloading of copyrighted material without permission. Normal websites give implicit permission to do the downloading necessary to view them. This also has the advantage of forbidding illegal mp3 downloads while still permitted downloads of legal mp3s and software.
    • Companies will take action and institute policies against downloading copywritten materials.

      Of course, the only real way to do that is to shut off the Internet connection completely. There are very few things people access online that are actually in the public domain.

  • by Visaris ( 553352 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:32PM (#5311013) Journal
    How much will it cost the RIAA and MPAA to send out all these letters? How much money will they save/make by stopping the "theft"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:34PM (#5311024)
    Dear fellow workers (and soon to be ex-workers).

    We the managment of [INCLUDE COMPANY NAME], have felt it necessary to assert our position in regard to file sharing as dicated by the RIAA and MPAA of America.

    You, the much loved workers of [INCLUDE COMPANY NAME], are from this day forth given the notice, that any contraband (aka shared files) ending with the following (but not limited to) extensions are hereby seen as illegal.

    Extensions : .avi and .mp3

    If for any reason any file ending with these extensions were found on your desktop or backup media, we would be forced to report you to the good companies listed above and further report you to our good government. You will be reported as terrorist file sharers who are affecting our great nations economy by sharing the files ending in the said extensions.

    The lawyers representing [INCLUDE COMPANY NAME], RIAA and MPAA could at no point be sued or counter sued for any loss. You withhold the right to class action lawsuite, trial by jury and any sort of criminal charges against the companies that own the said file extensions.

    Any tools that you use to create, display or duplicate the said file extensions are from this day forth labeled as tools of terrorists.

    Thank you.
  • More bureaucracy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by $$$$$exyGal ( 638164 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:36PM (#5311034) Homepage Journal

    The "sample memo to employees" includes language informing workers that using computers to share illegal files can result in disciplinary action, including termination.

    Ok, I don't really have a problem with that, because you shouldn't be using your employer's network like that.

    The brochure recommends performing regular audits of employees' computers to search for audio and video files as well as the presence of peer-to-peer software.

    But that is a really stupid recommendation. For one, who's going to pay for that? For two, the last thing big companies need is more big-brother'ness. There are already cameras everywhere, and it's already tough to get anything installed on your network without a huge audit. Now they are going to add: "We need to check your computer every night for MP3's, so make sure you leave your computer on". Just more bureaucracy.

    --sex []

    • I'm scared(!) (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Duds ( 100634 )
      The brochure recommends performing regular audits of employees' computers to search for audio and video files as well as the presence of peer-to-peer software.

      Gotta love working for the govt.

      They gave me the laptop with win95. My very first task was to stick XP on it but give it the exact same hostname.

      No-one has yet noticed but my life is a lot more pleasent.

      In adddition, the 2Mbit connection we have is only ever stressed by me and the occasional vnc session (again mostly me). Certainly no-one has access to any logs since we all go out direct. If they catch it at head office (our line goes through them) then they won't be able to tell which PC did it our end.

      And the laptop comes home with me at night,

      This'll be fun.
      • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:01PM (#5311162) Homepage Journal
        Dear Mr. Stephen Sharp,

        Thank you for the information provided in your post. In addition to monitoring your active Internet connections, your supervisors and I have also discussed pursuing an audit of your laptop, and I have recommended that active logging software be installed on all computers in your workspace.

        The Government thanks you for your compliance.

        Yours Truly,
        Your Boss ;P
  • by scubacuda ( 411898 ) <.scubacuda. .at.> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:36PM (#5311038)
    A lot of companies are already blocking this type of thing with layer 4+ appliances, such as Packeteer []'s PacketShaper [] (white paper here [])

    How would you evade something like that?
  • by craigeyb ( 518670 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:40PM (#5311058) Homepage

    I am a programmer, and I remember the good ol' days when I had a job with Internet access. Then I was laid off, and the New Economy gave me a job with a company that doesn't allow its programmers access to the Internet! Do you believe this? Now I have to get my Slashdot fix on Saturday nights, alone and drunk in my apartment.

    At least it doesn't conflict with my social schedule.

    This sig is false.

  • by ZeroIdea ( 129188 )
    Since the movie and music industry continue to lose money, how long before they realize the old busines model does not work anymore. Honestly if they fired all the lawyers and special groups and started worrying about finding good artists and producing quality entertainment I would think their sales would increase, but they keep making more boy bands and wh0rish chick groups. I mean just how much money are they losing in the courts since a good lawyer costs a lot and you know they have a small army of them. Give them enough time and you won't be able to listen to any of your cds or watch your dvds unless you call in and activate them and after you are done you can watch them self destruct.
  • by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:44PM (#5311076) Homepage
    ...for the law you punched through is crunchy, and good with ketchup.

    The crux of the RIAA/MPAA's case is that the law makes corporations liable for providing the net connection that people are using to abuse the present definition of copyright. The recommended solutions end up being:

    A) Firewall the network to the extreme, reducing network reliability while incurring direct costs for firewall maintenance;
    B) Fire employees who violate RIAA/MPAA policy, reducing human reliability while incurring (again) direct costs for retraining;
    C) Randomly pay multimillion dollar settlements for copyright liability, reducing per-quarter revenue reliability while incurring direct costs to pay off the lawyers and their suits.

    Let me summarize: "Dear Corporate America: Please spend lots of money. Get nothing in return. Your Friends In Hollywood, Jack Valenti and Hilary Rosen."

    Hmmm. Seems to me that the harder the RIAA and MPAA push the megacorps, the quicker they realize their exposure to unreliability and reduced profitability. Unlike individuals, or even ISPs, these are power aggregates that have stuck around precisely because they've been able to crush any threat to their bottom line.

    Yes, RIAA. Thank you, MPAA. Please, do everything in your power to bother the big guys. That way, while you're wondering where all that congressional support for compulsory licensing came from (heh, we never got that when we were just harassing DVD Jon!), I'll be quite happy to be part of the Internet community taking the credit, and the power, that you just lost.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    • Look, we can both agree that most of their wares are trash, but trash can still be copyrighted. They are being nice about this by suggesting that the companies stop it. They're not asking for names, nor permission to monitor. In really bad cases they could get the FBI to raid an employer because of criminal copyright violations.
  • by girth ( 40643 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:46PM (#5311082)
    Someone should make sure all the copies of M$ Word the RIAA and MPAA use to create these memos are licensed and accounted for.
  • by stephenisu ( 580105 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:48PM (#5311090)
    The admin at my work was way ahead on this one.. not only did he try to scare us by saying it was illegal.. but he used a script to email EACH employee a list of mp3 and ogg files on our comps.. no way did i think he would catch my ogg files.. damn he's good. Thats one way to stop this stuff at work.
    • So what? He sent you a list of the MP3s/OGGs you had? And what if you had the legit CDs to prove that you've purchase a license for that content? You own the right to play it, big deal. I'm not risking lost/stolen CDs to appease the RIAA.
  • ...they have clearly been stealing ideas from the management genius [] at Wernham-Hogg.

    Shame on them.

  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:51PM (#5311104)
    I was just about to take a temp job with a Fortune 1000 company just so I could sit around all day using the company computers to download movies.

    NOW they'll probably impliment some sort of official policy of displeasure with such pursuits.

    Damn you RIAA.

  • yow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:55PM (#5311126)

    The RIAA and MPAA Target Day-Job Downloaders

    That's it, I'm switching to the night shift!

  • oooh...evil!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l33t-gu3lph1t3 ( 567059 ) <> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @08:59PM (#5311149) Homepage
    Here's my message to those who would decry this as another RIAA/MPAA evil act:

    Just remember, kiddies, that most large workplaces don't even CARE WTF you're doing on their computers, as long as it isn't work related. Using company equipment for non-work-related activities is grounds for dismissal in many firms, so the RIAA really shouldn't have any resistance here. They're lobbying for a different idea, but will have the same result.
  • Cartoon (Score:5, Funny)

    by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:01PM (#5311163) Homepage
    I swear to god, every time I read something like this I have a flashback of being a kid and watching a cartoon character trying to plug up a leaking dam with his finger, then the other, then a toe, then the other toe...

    Valenti does look a lot like Droopy, you have to admit.

    Valenti []
    Droopy []

    Or if we're going for apropos [] over strict resemblance...
  • I would bet that many if not most places will have allready put a stop to this not because of the legal risks but because of the virus risks and bandwidth hogging issues that P2P access uses. Many colleges have blocked such nets because of the bandwidth use.

    I would think this is a non issue.

  • RIAA is too late (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:09PM (#5311195) Journal
    Any company that doesn't have this in place already as either a copyright-infringement policy or an unnecessary burden on resources is too dumb to read the RIAA's threats anyway.
  • I'm sure that businesses will take this very seriously, unfortunately. It's their computer equipment, technically, and if you have illegal media on it the business could face severe liabilities. Just like if you had pirated software on company computers. Not good. I would guess that most corporations would firewall away access to these networks anyway.
  • Finally... (Score:3, Funny)

    by kien ( 571074 ) <> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:30PM (#5311282) Journal
    I've been waiting for them to empty the other barrel of the shotgun into their foot.

    Now I have a reason.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board, thank you for allowing me to speak. I'd like to address this letter and brochure that you have received from the entertainment cartels. What's that, Mr. Chairman? No sir, I did indeed call them cartels. No, please keep the lawyers in the room...they might find this informative. My presentation consists of the following:
    • How to spot a failing business model
      • Lessons we can learn from the RIAA/MPAA
    • How to avoid alienating customers
      • Where the RIAA went wrong
      • Where the MPAA went wrong
      • How to avoid pissing off your customers
    • The concept of Fair Use
    • Relevant strategic legal strategies
    • Conclusion: Screw 'em.

  • by c13v3rm0nk3y ( 189767 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:33PM (#5311291) Homepage

    It's was only a matter of time for this to happen.

    Individual companies have already contacted those businesses with a lot of "personal time" being spent on corporate networks. My own company was approached and mildly threatened by Sony because of P2P sharing.

    Our IT people blocked the ports, and threatened us with various forms of violence if we shared/downloaded media. No distinction was made between legal or illegal downloads (if there really is such a thing).

    Personally, I feel that home is the place to steal music. Work is for stealing software.

    That last was a joke. Laugh. It's funny.

  • Using the employer's boxen to have fun has ALWAYS been a nono.
  • by Proneax ( 609988 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @09:51PM (#5311358)
    Since this sounds like something that well-managed corporate networks should be doing already (maybe not individal audits, but blocking p2p), this may just be a symbolic act so that later they can say, "Hey, we even sent out letters to all these companies......blah blah" and make up some case for themselves in court.
  • Reception (Score:2, Funny)

    by NeoMoose ( 626691 )
    RIAA and MPAA,
    Please see to it that your brochures are delivered to the proper suggestions box. They can be located out behind the offices, just find the B.F.I. logo and throw them in.
  • by apple-marc ( 638273 ) <.iheartmonkeylurve. .at.> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:09PM (#5311490)
    Most (if not all) have bradband connections - and students - no money and in the RIAA's usual target audience - probably download much more music.
    • Well first, they have gone after some universities but second, universities can be a much tougher target. The large ones have lots of lawyers and many are state schools, ie the government. Also there is the whole academic freedom thing and teh concept of not putting up general restrictions. The "common carrier" defense would probably work at this point and that is NOT something the RIAA wants tested in court. It would be rather bad for them to have case law backing that ISPs were common carriers just like the telcos. At this point, if they e-mail with a specific violation, that erson will get their access terminated just like someone on an ISP. If they tried this and lost people might just give them the finger on the common carrier grounds and tell them to go prosecute the person responsable.

      It's much easier to tell a bussiness they should restrict P2P since they tend to have plenty of restriction on their network anyhow.
  • by worst_name_ever ( 633374 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:12PM (#5311516)
    If you're having trouble finding the "suggested memo" on the RIAA's website, here's a mirror [].
  • Yes, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:23PM (#5311589) Homepage

    Well, you are stealing their shit. And it is shit, least-common denominator teenie-bopper crap.

    Maybe if people would get off their asses and explore the net for local bands they can go watch live, 99% of which will give you their mp3's online so you'll come see the shows.

    No artist has ever made a cent off record sales, they make it from CONCERTS. So stop feeding the beast, and feed the artists. Go see something local, buy the Tshirt and CD at the concert if you must.

    Stop all your damn whining about how people get mad when you steal their shit. You have two options, but you have to vote by spending your money. Stealing or bitching about it are both not voting at all.

    • You aren't stealing, it's not theft. Theft is "the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it". You are not depriving anyone of property, you are makeing a copy. That is known as copyright infringment. Please keep your laws straight.
  • The next letter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by diabolus_in_america ( 159981 ) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:39PM (#5311687) Journal
    This letter, in my opinion, is simply the calm before the storm. The RIAA and MPAA are really after the home user, specifically the home user with a broadband connection.

    But, how do they get at the home user? Instead of targeting them initially, it appears that their strategy is to set the stage with a series of meaningless letters to Fortune 1000 companies.

    Why are they meaningless? Simply, most Fortune 1000 companies already have policies in place against downloading files, viewing adult material and even surfing that is not work-related. My company is nowhere close to the Fortune 1000, but we have policies like these in place and have for some time.

    What the RIAA and the MPAA are trying to do is to create a climate where it will be viewed as appropriate to target the home user *next*. Once this letter and memo has been distributed to Fortune 1000 companies, the RIAA and MPAA will in effect have created a precedent that logically extends from the workplace into the home.

    They are sneaky, and they seem to realize that they need to be careful about targetting home users; after all, the home broadband user is also a key revenue source for both of them. They realize this. I just hope the American public wakes up to the devious nature of these two organizations before the real war against the broadband user begins.
    • While your thought is admirable, I have to go ahead and disagree with you. I understand that the home user is the one who typically downloads more then the office user, and that they pose more of an infringer. But from a cost/benefit analysis standpoint alone, they would never start filing suit against more then a handful of home users. Litigation is expensive as hell, and they would have to sue millions of people to make it worth while. Not to mention that they'd be suing a bunch of judgment proof individuals. The real money they hope to get is from the corps for contributory/vicarious copyright infringement - they have the deep pockets. If they are just doing this as a scare tactic, then it might be an effective way to get the average person to stop trading mp3's for fear of liability, but to actually follow it through on a large scale would be completely cost ineffective in the long run....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @10:47PM (#5311731)

    I just heard on Time Warner cable channel today, in a pitch for AOL/Time Warner's digital cable service/road runner, that you can "download movies on demand" and "trade songs with families and friends" as part of their pitch for selling their service.

    Time Warner is part of the MPAA/RIAA. Very interesting to hear that they are pitching "trade songs with families and friends" as part of road runner. What type of applications do you think they are talking about when they mention "trade songs..."? What applications other than p2p are the general public aware of when it comes to "trading songs..."?

    Is AOL/Time Warner pitching p2p file sharing as a reason to get their service?

    Can someone capture the audio on this commercial and email it to one of the groups that are fighting for fair use rights in Washington?

  • I enjoy the work that I do, I enjoy my nice office, working with my co-workers, relatively flexible work-schedule, etc.

    I have no pirated software, Pr0n, or P2P applications on my machine at work. I have no desire to lose the sweet deal that I have by screwing around with stuff like that.

    I imagine that people who hate their jobs, coworkers, boss, etc. may view things differently and not care if they land the company they work for in legal trouble - there's always another job to be found. And of course, if they get fired, they'll promptly rat-out their office to the BSA (no matter if they have pirated software or not, an audit is nasty, costly, and uncomfortable for teh company).

    The moral is, keep your employees happy and content, and they won't feel the need to put your business in jeaopardy. Treat your employees badly at your own peril.
  • by ebbomega ( 410207 ) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @06:40AM (#5313243) Journal
    ssh -X

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"