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RIAA Settles With 12-Year-Old Downloader 1688

Murdock037 writes "It looks like the RIAA has rushed to settle with 12-year-old Brianna LaHara, after serving her with a lawsuit on Monday. It looks like her single mother will be paying a $2,000 fine to the RIAA for her daughter's song-swapping, which they had thought was legal. Said Brianna: 'I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love.' What a relief this must be for the Rolling Stones."
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RIAA Settles With 12-Year-Old Downloader

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  • by Tyrseil ( 632023 ) <dolphinboy [at] bebopanime [dot] com> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:07PM (#6917023) Journal
    Ah, yes. The multi-billion dollar company vs. the 12 year old girl who lives in a city housing project. Truly a battle of titans.
  • $29.99 (Score:4, Informative)

    by seanadams.com ( 463190 ) * on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:07PM (#6917027) Homepage
    The article is laden with sickly quotes about how "we're so sorry we never knew it was bad" but I want to respond to this in particular:

    they mistakenly believed they were entitled to download music over the Internet because they had paid $29.99 for software that gives them access to online file-sharing services

    I'm sure there will be plenty of threads here along the lines of: "$29.99 for all you can download... come on.... an "honor roll" student thought that a legit deal?" Please just consider this:

    For $10/mo I just signed up for an RIAA-free emusic account [emusic.com] , and in the first 30 minutes downloaded this $230 CD boxed set [amazon.com] in MP3 format - free of DRM and ready to play wherever I want. I also snagged all the George Carlin CDs just because they were top downloads, but I'm also having fun perusing their classical music selections.

    While I am hopelessly out of touch with the popular music scene, having not purchased a CD in over three years, I will admit that the stuff on emusic is not the kind of thing I would otherwise have picked up in a CD store. But I am VERY satisfied with what they have.. whatever latent urge I once had to go out and buy a CD has been completely erased.

    So give the girl a break. She may come off as an idiot, but let's not pretend that $29.99 is a lot to pay for a few gigs of zeroes and ones.

    <plug>PS If you have an emusic account please check out my product [slimdevices.com] for a great way to listen to your songs!</plug>
    • Re:$29.99 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by demon ( 1039 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:24PM (#6917197)
      I'm sure there will be plenty of threads here along the lines of: "$29.99 for all you can download... come on.... an "honor roll" student thought that a legit deal?"

      Honestly, I don't think they really gave it too much thought. I mean, I doubt most non-geek types who do use peer-to-peer file sharing systems give the whole subject more than a passing thought. Though as others have mentioned, I'd be interested to know exactly what kind of volume of music the RIAA claims this 12-year-old girl shared to garner herself one of 200-some-odd lawsuits, supposedly aimed at "top" file-sharers.
    • by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:03PM (#6917565) Homepage Journal
      I think there is a serious misconception of treating downloading vs sharing. I thought that RIAA is supposed to go after people who copy their bought CDs and share them publicly. In general RIAA must leave downloaders alone unless there is a solid evidence of the fact of downloading the illegally shared music knowing that it is illegal.

      There is nothing wrong if I found the file on the web, downloaded it and kept on my disk if there is no any legal disclaimer attached to the file, so how should I know that this file is not for downloading? Maybe it was a free sample. Or even a piece of a free music, I don't know. Again, unless the only way to download it was to press "Agree" button on a "Terms" page. But if I found a direct link to MP3 than there is no way I am informed that it is illigal to download this particular file - there are tons of legally free music on internet, how should I know which one is legal for downloading and which one is not?

      The internet is designed in a way that if I don't break someones password (or hack in another way) then I don't break any law when i download a content from the web. Of course if the content has some legal warning and I am forced to agree as the only way to get the content and I break the agreement - than I did something illegal. Otherwise - EVERYTHING I download is ABSOLUTELY LEGAL.

      IMHO, I am not supposed to do any legal research for EVERY file I download. Instead, the content provider should make sure that their content is legal for downloading and have (if required) any legal warnings that I have to agree in order to get the content. If the content provider failed to do so - RIAA should go after him/her. Not after me. Of course, the content provider is the person published the content, not the author of web-site software and not a hosting company.

      Hmm, on the other side, if I have found occasionally the music file WITHOUT any legal warning, downloaded it and re-published on my site, then how have I violated any law if I did not know any legal nature of the file from the first place? Thus, the only person should be charged for illegal publishing and sharing and downloading must be the person who's leased the content (from RIAA) by signing EULA, viloated that EULA by ripping off the content and publishing it at first time WITHOUT providing a proper legal disclaimer in a way that I cannot get the content without reading AND agreeing that disclaimer.

      Conclusion: RIAA must go ONLY after original person who ripped off the CD and shared it's content without any legal warning. The rest of the world must defend themselves in the court and if such defence is failed - change the constitution which would be failed to protect us from RIAA abuse.

    • Re:$29.99 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon@h o t m a i l . c om> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:14PM (#6917651) Homepage
      I'm sure there will be plenty of threads here along the lines of: "$29.99 for all you can download... come on.... an "honor roll" student thought that a legit deal?

      We're talking a 12 year old girl who is book smart. That doesn't mean she has common sense. Common sense might make you go "hmmm" but when you can get 12 CD's for just a penny, Kazaa could easily confuse a 12 year old into thinking that she could have unlimited downloads for $29.95.

      I don't think she's stupid. In fact I think most people are unaware that this is an illegal activity, especially if they are paying for a service.
      • Re:$29.99 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:44AM (#6918346)
        "I don't think she's stupid. In fact I think most people are unaware that this is an illegal activity, especially if they are paying for a service."

        One of the arguments I've made all along is that the RIAA has completely failed to educate people on this topic. You're supposed to know what copyright is and how it works to know you can't do that. Is a 12 year old supposed to know that? Is the average Joe even supposed to know? Maybe. But consider this:

        - Radio is free. Buy a set, or build your own, and you get music.

        - Radio makes money from ad revenue. So radio's not exactly begging you to go buy CDs.

        - A logical conclusion can be drawn that the purpose of buying a CD is the convenience of playing a song whenever you want. Nobody ever though of buying a CD as a license to hear the song!

        - When you rent a movie, it's spelled out for you in that FBI warning what you can and cannot do with a movie. You can't show it publically, for example. (I remember noticing that in grade school on a rainy day when they decided to show us Star Wars.) CD's have no such warning.

        - Computers come with CD-Roms, which are perfect for putting CDs into.

        - Blank Audio CD's are sold as audio CDs.

        One has to ask, how's the general populace supposed to know what's happening here? How're they supposed to know it's 'wrong'? Why did the RIAA wait until it had blown out of proportion to start all this shit?

        If they want my sympathy, they can forget it. At this point, even if they come out with a great MP3 service, I really don't think I can drag myself to get my credit card out. Taking $2,000 from a 12 year old girl who couldn't possibly have known better? And the protestors think Nike is bad?
    • by dpille ( 547949 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:19AM (#6918822)
      For $10/mo I just signed up for an RIAA-free emusic account

      Um, no. Vivendi Universal, owner of emusic, also owns Universal Records, an RIAA member [riaa.com]. In fact, the first label I recognized on that RIAA membership roster, 4AD, also appears on emusic [emusic.com]. For that matter, the label for the box set you mention downloading is also an RIAA member. You may not be landing as much cash in their pockets, but it's not "RIAA-free" by any means.

      To add my own rant, I should mention that emusic is the only company that has ever flatly stolen my money. (Partial details here [ulman.net] if you're interested.) As much as I liked the service for 3 days, I'd say you should be wary of these guys. The Better Business Bureau record [bbb.org] on emusic pretty well supports this point, but (to my mind) it doesn't really emphasize the point enough.
      • by Wordplay ( 54438 ) <geo@snarksoft.com> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @06:11AM (#6919477)
        Jesus Christ, man. You took a feedbag to the all-you-can-eat buffet, and pitched a fit when they decided to only let you take one plate of food at a time. 1800 files in how many days? You had to have been running an automatic downloader.

        I mean, I sympathize to an extent, but if the contract doesn't mention the method of download, you're not covered one way or the other. Your ad absurdum argument re: spyware, etc., on the download service doesn't really apply. If you'd made an argument about the service being Windows-dependent (if the DM's ActiveX or a Windows executable), that may have had some wings. However, as it is, I think that the customer service team at emusic was being rather patient with you.
    • Sympathy aside... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Viceice ( 462967 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @04:19AM (#6919186)
      How many people get the feeling that the whole thing was orchestrated by the RIAA and this little girl is going to get a very big check a few months down the road when this all dies off?

      Think about it. Public outrage aside, the way this thing ended was very calculated. If they had in fact "Accidentally" sued her, they would have simply dropped the charges, as would be the PR thing to do to quickly clean up a mess

      But instead, this girl whose family is living in the projects is instead going to pony up $2000 and still say good things about the RIAA?

      Plus, with the way this ended, it gives the RIAA and additional "Fear Factor" where it will get folks who don't have a clue in them to say to themselves "If they will even stoop to squeezing out 2 grand of a lil' ol' girl, what chance do I stand?"

      I smell a Rat.

  • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:07PM (#6917032) Homepage Journal
    "See any serious problems with this story? Email our on-duty editor."
    You guys might want to change this tag line for subscribers. I nearly e-mailed you to bitch about the RIAA.
  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tambo ( 310170 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:07PM (#6917035)
    Disgusting. Totally and completely disgusting.

    It would be one thing if the RIAA were to settle, such that $2,000 were donated to a charity. Even that would be a pretty low blow. But actually adding the cash from this girl and her mother to their corporate coffers?

    Repeat after me, everyone: I will never buy another CD from the RIAA again. (Since I normally buy about 50 a year, this should even the score on this despicable incident by 2008.)

    David Stein, Esq.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:23PM (#6917185)

      Actually what you need to do is buy used CDs -- the RIAA doesn't see a dime from those sales. That way you can have your music and stick your tongue out at the RIAA at the same time.

      I only buy about 1 new CD a year this route -- and that's usually with a cuopon of some sort. I used to be a much bigger spender on new CDs.

      Heh. I'm part of the reason they have seen a decline in new music sales. And I don't pirate music either.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by paroneayea ( 642895 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:23PM (#6917188) Homepage

      Repeat after me, everyone: I will never buy another CD from the RIAA again.

      This actually isn't such a bad idea. I've been thinking, why not a website that lists independent artists' music only, to let people know of an alternative? See, I don't want to just stop listening to music. But I want to listen to music by artists that aren't under the RIAA. Anyone know of such a site, or have any plans to put one together?
  • by Nick of NSTime ( 597712 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:07PM (#6917036)
    It was very kind of our beloved RIAA to reach such an amicable settlement with this 12-year-old girl's mother. Now 50 Cent will surely be able to afford that ivory backscratcher he has had his eye on.
  • PayPal. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:08PM (#6917043) Homepage Journal

    If Brianna set up a PayPal account to take donations I'd gladly throw her and her mom a few bucks to help cover the cost of RIAA's shakedown.

    She might even make a few bucks over the top to buy blank CDRs with. :))
    • by pgrote ( 68235 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:31PM (#6917275) Homepage
      $2,000? Come on. She didn't pay one cent.

      Read the quotes in the article and determine if that is what the mom or kid said based on the news reports. What? They all of the sudden started speaking in polished engligh? They suddenly saw the light after vowing to fight?

      What I think happened here is that the RIAA swooped in and offered them a deal. More than likely they pushed the money to her somehow and it came back. Nice and neat. That's only my opinion without any facts.

      This is too nice and neat. Think about it for a minute and consider the chance of this actually happening. Notice there hasn't been any press releases about other settlements.

      The RIAA is going too far in trying to protect and aging and useless distribution method.
      • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:41PM (#6917386)

        > $2,000? Come on. She didn't pay one cent.

        > Read the quotes in the article and determine if that is what the mom or kid said based on the news reports. What? They all of the sudden started speaking in polished engligh? They suddenly saw the light after vowing to fight?

        > What I think happened here is that the RIAA swooped in and offered them a deal. More than likely they pushed the money to her somehow and it came back. Nice and neat. That's only my opinion without any facts.

        All the more reason to send her money. Think of the karma obtainable by embarrassing them over a non-existent situation!

        I don't care if I send her ten bucks she doesn't deserve, if the media picks up on it and runs a heart-warming story about how a bunch of geeks came to the aid of a poor kid being abused by a big bully trade organization. If anyone pipes up and blows the true story, all the better.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:43PM (#6917416)

          They all of the sudden started speaking in polished engligh?

          Polished what?

      • What I think happened here is that the RIAA swooped in and offered them a deal. More than likely they pushed the money to her somehow and it came back. Nice and neat. That's only my opinion without any facts.

        But why? To prevent looking like a bully? They still do. If they really wanted to avoid a PR problem why not simply not sue her?

        Just because they get the subpoena doesn't mean they have to follow up on it.

        Mark my words, one of these days one of those subpoenas will find a lawmaker's kid on the other end, and the RIAA will run away from that court room as fast as they can.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:09PM (#6917050)
    While I'm against downloading and sharing of music I think that this will really screw the music companies in the long run. One of the first rules of business is not to make your cusotmers your enemy. There is a percentage that only steals and never buys, but a lot of people who download end buying the CD. This may piss them off enough that they may look to other forms of entertainment or look at used CD's.
  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:10PM (#6917053) Journal
    Something doesnt add up reading that article. Hey single mom your daughter steals music. Oh, ok. Gee, thought it was ok cause we paid a service fee that let us. Hell, here's two thousand bucks I had kicking around. Hey, my daughter even feels bad about it even.

    I dunno, I just felt like they arent real people after reading this article.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:10PM (#6917054)
    I donated to www.boycottriaa.com
    I renewed my membership to eff.org
    I committed to not buying music
    And I wrote my representatives

    What did you do today?
    • by lonesome phreak ( 142354 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:59PM (#6917535) Journal
      You should buy music, just not RIAA. Metropolis Records, who carries Electronic Body Music, Industrial Dance Music, and other amazing types of music, aren't members of the RIAA.

      They have the kind of music you hear in "good" clubs, and on movies. It's a billion times better than top 40 crap.

      A Different Drum Records (http://www.adifferentdrum.com/) for synthpop, Niliaihah Records (http://www.nilaihah.com/) for some other EBM/darkwave...

      There's a ton of other non-RIAA music out there. Go listen to Covenant's song "We Stand Alone" off of "Northern Lights". The Azonic's "Progression" (oh my god can she sing). DeVision "Dinner Without Grace". Some of those are a bit old, but will give you a good taste of what is out there. I haven't listened to the "radio" for music for nearly three years now.
    • by donnacha ( 161610 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:20PM (#6917686) Homepage

      I committed to not buying music

      I used to buy a lot of CDs but, gradually, came to resent both the inflated prices here in Europe and the attitude of the music industry to their customers. So, I stopped buying CDs for myself.

      I continued, however, buying CDs as gifts for others; it's so easy to order them online and have them sent to a friend/relative/the girl of the moment with a nice message. Everyone likes music whereas if you send a book it probably won't, with the best intentions in the world, actually get read.

      But no more. I am now on an official boycott, the RIAA is getting no more money from me.

      I am sickened by the way they singled out a family living in a project was singled out(and I'm aware of how much tougher it is to be poor in America).

      I am appalled the obvious way in which, as soon as they saw it turning into a PR nightmare, they quickly arranged some sort of deal and concocted these statements from the mother. The whole thing stinks.

      Pity the kid who's about to become the only teenager in her neighborhood who's ability to explore new music is stunted by specific legal agreement.

      And pity my friends too: they'll be getting books from now on.
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:34PM (#6917803)
      "What did you do today?"

      I bumped up the size of my Freenet node space.
    • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:59PM (#6918029) Journal
      I downloaded every Metallica track I could find.
  • by pridkett ( 2666 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:10PM (#6917055) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't they have been able to challenge this lawsuit with a great deal of ease by pointing out that the RIAA illegally collected information about the online habits of someone under 13? If I'm correct the Child Online Protection Act prohibits collection of information about online behavior for those under 13 without parental consent.
  • Bad press (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:10PM (#6917056) Homepage Journal
    I can't imagine that many artists the RIAA represents are happy with some of the RIAA's behavior. I am sure they are having some of the same reactions that many folks have with Clippy......"Stop trying to help me!!!"

  • by Muhammed al-Sahhaf ( 666380 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:12PM (#6917074)

    Do not believe the lies. The RIAA did not settle. The RIAA has achieved complete victory against the file swaping aggressors. Brianna LaHara martyred herself upon our ranks of lawyers. Our dogs will eat her stomach while our women beat her face with their shoes.

    Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf
    Minister of Information, RIAA

  • by b17bmbr ( 608864 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:13PM (#6917083)
    remember the flap about microsoft auditing that oregon school district(sorry, no link). talk about shortsighted. now they got open source bills on the docket in the legislature and microsoft had to do a huge about face. this will hurt the riaa because it will show what a bunch of thugs they really are. this will turn the public against them. if they were hitting real pirates, i.e., those burning and selling bootleg cd's, i'd say more power to them, but hammering a twelve year old girl. any sympathy they would have gotten is shot out the window now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:15PM (#6917100)
    I'd love to get the list of songs and publish
    which artist 'profited' by suing a 12 year

    I bet that would play big with the public.
  • Who's next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by vitaflo ( 20507 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:15PM (#6917101) Homepage
    I'm just waiting for the RIAA to sue some deaf dude. You know it's only a matter of time.
  • Funny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whereiswaldo ( 459052 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:15PM (#6917102) Journal
    'I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love.'

    Did they throw in a free brainwashing session? Or was that quote a pre-fab'd one they told her to say?
  • Consumers unite! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Michael.Forman ( 169981 ) * on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:18PM (#6917132) Homepage Journal

    I find it unacceptable that a minor has been bullied into paying $2000 by the RIAA.

    Leaving the analyses to others, I would like to say concisely that in retribution for this behavior, I from this day forward will never again purchase another compact disc. Ever.

    If you would like to demonstrate your disapproval of their harassment and extortion, reply to this message and show your solidarity.

    Michael. [michael-forman.com]
    • Re:Consumers unite! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dema ( 103780 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:43PM (#6917419) Homepage
      I wouldn't say "another compact disc" because not ALL CDs created have something to do with the RIAA. I am always glad to purchase CDs at shows from bands themselves. There is no better way to really give back to the music community then helping a band pay for gas to get home (:
    • Re:Consumers unite! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mike Hawk ( 687615 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:23AM (#6918842) Journal
      I'd just like to point out that your response shows a general lack of understanding of the issue AND actually serves to back up the RIAA's mission.

      From what you just said, it doesn't matter how many people they sue, you have already made up your irrational, vindictive little mind on the issue. I (and they) guess you haven't bought a CD in 3 years nor were likely to for the forseeable future anyway.

      If you actually understood the issue, you would know that:
      1. The RIAA does not represent all artists. This is a problem because they pretend to. Find out which of the bands/artists you like is represented indirectly by the RIAA and stop buying those CD's. Continue to buy CD's from independent bands. I do not download music, but I have bought CD's from my favorite bands online. These are often in the $6-$10 range. If the CD has 15 tracks, thats even better than iTunes.
      2. Your tone and phrasing does not indicate you will stop listening to new music, only that you will stop buying CD's. This casts you in the light of someone who is not about what's right, but is instead about what you can get for free. By doing this you have marginalized yourself, potentially hurting the cause. The RIAA can point to your mentality and explain to people (as I saw them do on TechTV this morning) that because of people like YOU they have to sue. Is that true? Probably not, but by spouting off like this you move yourself to the fringe and drag the rest of us with you ever so slightly.

      Please people, if we want to do something right here, we have to come across as educated adults and not spoiled children. Though I know Mr. Foreman is not in such a position currently, please keep that in mind if you are ever in a position to represent the group. (And bear that in mind when you mod someone like this up.)

      My proposal? A no-CD && no-p2p week. A show of boycott AND good faith. If you stop buying CD's but keep trading songs online, you help the RIAA PR campaign. If you stop both, they can't point to p2p as your only reason for not buying CD's anymore.
  • RIAA Marketing 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:18PM (#6917137)
    Don't studies suggest that using abusive tactics with children only works for a short time, and then they just hate the abuser, permanently?

    It looks like the RIAA has completely forgotten the value of a young, enthusiastic fan base can have on an artist's popularity. I'd think as cynical businessmen, they'd recognize that metric right off.

    Even if Brianna and her single mother couldn't afford a single one of Britney's (or Artist X's) CD's, Britney and the RIAA are better off having Brianna talk to her friends about how great she is and the like, and sustaining the culture of interest around her. Which for music artists, is the primary thing generating their revenue, and it's something that works best for younger people. The Japanese comics industry knows this well.

    For me as a 30-something, well, I can afford one of Britney's CD's, but I'd be adding no further value to her market mystique. I wouldn't be effectively an unpaid volunteer for Britney, as Brianna would probably be happy to be, were the RIAA not stomping on her.
  • by asv108 ( 141455 ) * <[moc.ssovi] [ta] [vsa]> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:20PM (#6917153) Homepage Journal
    Probably the most shocking quote to come out of Cary Sherman's mouth was this:

    Sherman responded that most people don't shoplift because they fear they'll be arrested.

    Maybe I'm a sucker for humanity, but I believe most people don't shoplift because they think it is wrong, not because they will get caught. It's interesting to see that the RIAA has such a low opinion of human nature.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:31PM (#6917266)

      It's interesting to see that the RIAA has such a low opinion of human nature.

      I think there's a strong correlation between the way somebody acts, and the way they think others will act. For instance, I know somebody who is more or less a compulsive liar, and I know people who are honest to a fault. The liar is constantly accusing others of fibbing, whereas the more honest people only do so when there's good reason to. The same applies to a broad spectrum of human behaviour.

      Anyway, I guess the point I am trying to make is that a comment like that isn't so surprising when it comes from an organisation that sneaks in "works for hire" alterations to the law, goes after children, sues college kids for billions of dollars, and generally acts in appalling ways. People who are of a low human nature expect others to be as well. There's no honour among thieves and all that.

    • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:40PM (#6917379)
      I guess I can respond to this being a human, though it's not directly related to shoplifting.

      I've found a number of lost wallets and misc items. My knee jerk responce is to find the owner as it sucks loosing money, credit cards, and misc bits of paper that are required to operate in today's world. Costco is the most common place I find abandoned purses and things, fortunatly these days they have mobile phones in them.

      Later on I think, d'oh could have gotten free cash, perhaps a tank of gas, but the moral responce wins. This isn't a fear of getting caught, it's just doing the cool thing.

    • by antiMStroll ( 664213 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:53PM (#6917493)
      It's interesting to see that the RIAA has such a low opinion of human nature.

      Hey, cut them some slack. They spend every work day consorting with record industry types. What do you expect?

    • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:58PM (#6917528)
      Why is this +5 Insightful? It's common sense. Why is Sherman's quote so "shocking?"

      Why do you think so many people download music? They know it's not "technically right." They do it because it's easy, convenient, and they won't be caught.
  • by Jerk City Troll ( 661616 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:30PM (#6917250) Homepage

    Rest assured, you weren't hurting artists. You were hurting some rich RIAA execuative who likely has billions of dollars to his or her name.

    Imagine if the richest man in the world ordered a poor man to pay him a month's salary because the rich man felt his wealth was in jeopardy. Now, imagine this rich man had an army of slaves doing his bidding, who all work to make him money. Doesn't that sound silly? Well, that's what the RIAA.

    The RIAA effectively takes music from artists and gives them slave wages for their music. When the RIAA takes music from artists, the artists no longer own it.

    Since the RIAA owns the music, there's no way you can hurt the artist by downloading music. Only the RIAA hurts artists. Hopefully, people will keep downloading songs so the RIAA will go away!

    • by Spectra72 ( 13146 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:11PM (#6917626)

      Then why do the artists continue to sign up with the RIAA labels? Are you telling me there is a person on this planet that doesn't know that record companies screw artists? So are they stupid, or what? Even if we grant that new/unknown artists may need (and I'll get into that in a sec.) the RIAA backed labels for exposure, what's the excuse for acts with a successful record or two under their belt? It seems to me, many artists could simply sign a one or two record deal, take the pittance in exchange for some exposure and then set up shop for themselves, independently. Do you think a band like U2 needs their RIAA label to promote themselves now? Why is Phish signed up with Electra? None of these guys have figured out that by dealing directly with their fans, they might do better? Artists are in it for the love of the music right? At least the one's *you* listen to I'm sure.

      And about that exposure thing I mentioned earlier...why do bands need the exposure that the siren-song of the Big Record Label offers? What's wrong with staying small, playing the local clubs, printing a few CDs and Tshirts and basically staying in control? Touching thousands with your music isn't enough, you just have to be on MTv's TRL with Carson Daley? What? It's a Bling Bling world I guess.

      But, if that's what they want...go for it. I don't begrudge them one bit. It's a free country and they can do what they want with their music, even if that includes selling out all control to the Labels. But I won't feel sorry for them when the machine eats them up and spits them out not owning the shirt on their back. Not one bit. There's a lot of people getting screwed in this whole mess, the artists are the last ones I'll shed a tear for. THEY perpetuate this whole thing. Fuck them.

  • Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chromodromic ( 668389 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:44PM (#6917423)
    I'm never buying another RIAA-backed CD again. Period. That simple.

    I'm a musician. I gig, I play music every day, I record music and I already own a large collection of CDs. Quite honestly, I haven't heard anything in pop music come out in the last five years, besides a very precious few artists, that I've thought was worth the $18 anyway. So it's no big loss to me.

    If a new musician comes along whose music I feel I must have, I'll either purchase a CD with a friend and share ownership or I'll employ any of a number of methods available to me to get the music on my hard drive. But since most new music has been utter crap, and it's so rare that I ever hear anything that makes me feel I absolutely must have it at my fingertips, I don't expect this is going to be a big problem for me.

    But I do have a big problem with giving another single dime to an industry that fines 12-year-olds in housing projects $2,000 for gay-for-display Britney Spears and nursery rhymes. It's comical, but it's also bullshit, and having been involved with the music industry before I can honestly say it's right in line with their standard operating procedure.

    The normal recording contract is roughly 40-60 pages long. By contrast, a typical book publishing contract is 4-12 pages. Typical recording contracts tie up artists for advances, deny artists royalties on new technology media, and itemize costs well into the future of the artists career. The record industry operates like the mafia. So as far as I'm concerned, they can go straight to hell.

    Yeah, I'll bet they settled in a day. Because the Brianna story was like the world walking in on the Devil raping a kid, so the RIAA tried to turn it into a finger wagging story.

    They suck. I wish them all, to the last of them, the absolutely very worst things in life. Fuck 'em.
  • by _aa_ ( 63092 ) <j.uaau@ws> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:48PM (#6917453) Homepage Journal
    Behold! Justice in action!

    Now Puff Daddy can put a third playstation in his Escalade and this little girl's dreams of attending college are shattered.

    Oh "recording artists".. or as I prefer to call you, product designers, this is what your representatives are doing in your name.

    Next time you get a check in the mail, I hope you think about this little girl. The next time you sign a contract, I hope you see that girl, along with all the college students and other individuals, whose futures are ruined, because they loved your music.

    And the next time you call yourself an "artist", I want you to remember that art is for everyone and is priceless. You're worth $15.
  • by nolife ( 233813 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:49PM (#6917462) Homepage Journal
    I just downloaded the Fox in Socks mp3...

    If they come after me they are in for one hell of a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @10:49PM (#6917467)
    And a 12 year old girl is one of those?

    Granted, 12 year olds, especially girls, may listen to a lot of music. But I find it quite improbable that she could be among the top 0.0006%, once you look at all the college kids and 20 somethings, with far more free time on their hands, and far more varied music interests.

    I'll bet even among the small community of /., she would not even in the top 2/3.

    More likely some backroom fool just shotgunned at random.
    • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:06AM (#6918091) Homepage Journal
      Of course it's due to that extra 100GB hard disk she installed. The motherboard she had was only the dual IDE variety, so she grabbed one of those with the Promise IDE RAID chips on it and set herself up for maximum throughput with the duplicate drive. Saturate that DSL line little girl!

      Seriously, I think you just struck on what will now be my leading comment when telling people about this. I personally think the RIAA is just going for the first ones they could find. It's still a really wild internet out there and the actual users within their grasp is probably a lot smaller than they are letting on. Thanks for that spark of deduction.

  • by mboedick ( 543717 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:04PM (#6917574)
    Sherman responded that most people don't shoplift because they fear they'll be arrested.

    The RIAA views the average person (customer) as a morally bankrupt thief who will steal at every opportunity, unless they are constantly subjected to campaigns of fear and shame.

    Offensive. Not that the RIAA hasn't already earned my lifetime contempt and made it my mission to make sure no one in their cartel ever sees another dime of my money. Then again what is a few dollars in lost music sales when you can shake down single moms and 12-year-olds for thousands.

  • by the-build-chicken ( 644253 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:24PM (#6917713)
    How is the RIAA getting the information...I mean technically.

    I read about how they release a subpoena on 'x' who downloaded 'y' songs. Now, what I want to know, is, apart from having a packet sniffer in sharman networks, how can they know what you download. Sure, they can interrogate your ports, if they've reverse engineered the fasttrack protocol then they can maybe list your songs...but how do they know how much your downloading, and how do they know that those songs are even music...they could be someone just f$#@ing with them. And finally, I thought the fasttrack network operated on a PKI set up, with the heads of the network holding the keys. If so, how the hell are they even interrogating your system unless their also liscencing the keys...in which case, they would have to get them from the same guys that give you kazaa.

    If anyone can shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated
    • by DeepRedux ( 601768 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:15AM (#6918152)
      I think that the RIAA is targeting sharing, not downloading. A P2P program, like Kazaa, can automatically put downloaded songs into the share directory. So somebody can be sharing files and not realize it. That may have happened with the kid in this story.

      The RIAA can find sharers by just using Kazaa, etc., as a client and searching for things to download. When they find a something they download it and note the IP address of the server. With the IP address and the time, they can get the users name from their ISP.

      If the RIAA wants to prepare a possible court case, and not just fire-and forget some cease-and-desist letters, they would want to actually download some songs and compare them to the real CD versions. They only need to download and check a handful for each user, not all that a user is sharing. It would not cost a lot to use some low paid assistants to check songs using a fast forward playback.

      I do not think it is possible to hide the address of a server from a client when they are connected by TCP. Only the packet header information is needed, not the packet body. Encrypting a link does not had its IP address.

      If they wanted to go after downloaders, the obvious solution is to setup their own servers and see who downloads. There may be some legal issues doing this.

  • by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:28PM (#6917757) Journal
    Fining a poor single mother $2000 USD, sets a pretty good example for the rest of us heathens, right? Wrong. It just makes me angry.

    What a terrible thing for such a big company to do!

    I think we should all boycott any band affiliated with the RIAA until the RIAA agrees to pay the child's way through the college of her choice. A nice set of CDs from her favourite artists would be an added touch, too.

    She's poor and they're picking on her!

    The RIAA is just a nasty group of miscreants that I would love to see vanish from history as a failed example of another misuse of economic power.
  • Is her attorney incompetent or does she even have one? If what she did was criminal, she would be in juvenile detention. If it is civil, as we're told, then she hasn't reached her age of majority. She cannot enter into an implied contract, or has contract law changed to include minors? Why didn't her attorney argue this?

    Furthermore, since she hasn't reached her age of majority, why can't her agreement to pay the RIAA be declared non-binding? If her Mom entered into a contractual agreement to pay the RIAA as a result of intimidation, why can't her attorney get that set aside or whatever?

    Did RIAA enter the dwelling with or without a search warrant, and stand there and watch her download the files? If not, then what is the evidence or how is the evidence substiantiated? Why didn't her attorney argue this point? Oh, are RIAA employees duly sworn and deputized to perform law enforcement? If so, then why the lawsuit in lieu of handcuffs?

    If the downloaded files are to be used under the provision of the Fair Use Clause of the copyright law, then why doesn't her attorney let it go to trial and (after arguing age of majority) argue fair use? Given her age, would such a civil case even go to trial?

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker