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Music Industry Drafts Code of Conduct for ISPs 818

An anonymous reader writes "The Register is running a story about how the music industry is trying to get ISPs to sign 'code of conduct' agreements to cut people off for excessive bandwidth usage, to turn over details of users on demand, and to block certain 'illegal' websites." From the article: "According to the draft, the duo want ISPs and network operators to 'enforce terms of service that prohibit a subscriber from operating a server, or from consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth where such consumption is a good indicator of infringing activities.'"
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Music Industry Drafts Code of Conduct for ISPs

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  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaguar777 ( 189036 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:51AM (#12212485) Journal
    From TFA:
    The idea of blocking access where someone is using a lot of bandwidth just doesn't work. What if they're using a webcam? Or voice over internet? They all use similar ports as some of the file-sharing systems. There's no real way of determining whether just because someone's using a lot of bandwidth that they're contravening copyright.

    They can have my bandwidth when they pry it out of my COLD DEAD HANDS. I only have 768k upstream right now, and there will be hell to pay if they want to remove accounts for actually using the allotted amount.
  • by The Real Andrew ( 321273 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212501)
    And there I was thinking it was the porn industry that was the driving force on the internet
  • What about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212506)
    Who is drafting a 'code of conduct' for
    the record companies that sign 15 year olds
    to lifetime exclusive contracts?
  • No way, unless.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xavier CMU ( 829477 ) * <xavier.rileyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212508)
    It's suicide for broadband suppliers to try weeding out filesharers, unless the contracts become federally mandated I doubt anyone would sign them. I know I sure as hell would find another subscriber who hadn't signed the damn thing immediately, if my provider were to abide by it.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212512)
    I only have 768k upstream right now, and there will be hell to pay if they want to remove accounts for actually using the allotted amount.

    It's up to the ISP to enforce this. The thing I didn't understand is what benefit do ISPs get for actually signing this agreement?

    They are going to look bad for handing over customer's information w/o question and they might even lose customers (if there are other options available).

    Is the RIAA/MPAA going to pay them money to do this?
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212514)
    Why in the world would ISPs sign something like this? It seems to me that from their point of view the only thing it could result in is lower subscription numbers. Is the pressure from their 'peers' is enough?
  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richie1984 ( 841487 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212526)
    I can understand the record companies from their perspective thinking that this is a good idea, but to what I hope to be the majority of outsiders, it seems a lot like asking ISPs to censor what their customers are trying to view.

    Regardless of how you view file sharing, I think it's quite obvious that the record companies seriously need to update their business model before they are totally overtaken. Trying to censor the web, or suing people left, right and centre will just lead to negative publicity
  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212531)
    It gives me one more criterion to use when filtering out ISPs I don't want to use. Signed this agreement? Then I won't be your customer.

    It really shortens the list.

  • stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by crakrjak ( 218567 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:54AM (#12212535) Homepage
    there go our linux iso mirrors...
  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212551) Journal
    Deep down, ISPs know that widespread consumer adoption of high speed internet is ONLY fueled by three things: video, music, and games. Yes there's lots of legitimate uses for high speed, but tech-savy folks do not make up the lion's share of the consuming public.
  • It does no good .. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macaulay805 ( 823467 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212560) Homepage Journal
    It does no good complaining and protesting this stuff on Slashdot. Please find an official government channel to communicate with to have this kind of thing not enforced.

    This is starting to get crazy.
  • And how... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212564)
    would they separate those using Video conferencing tools, or sharing their personal pictures, or playing online games, or downloading a BitTorrent of a Linux distribution or seeding it, for that matter, podcasting, or any other number of legal activities that "could appear to be infringing" by bandwidth only metrics?

    Seriously, these folks need to be laughed out of court.

  • Er, no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot@keirstead. o r g> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:59AM (#12212631) Homepage
    More like they can have *their* bandwidth whenever they want. Read your TOS more closely, the liklihood of there *not* being a clause that allows them to change or ammend the TOS at will is extremely low.

    ISPs resell bandwidth according to the 80/20 model - that only 20% of their users use 80% ore more of their capacity. As soon as users start skewing those numbers, they begin to lose money, and if they are skewed enough, they can start to be actually selling the bandwidth at a loss.

    An ISP is a business. BUsinesses do not like to lose money. As soon as it is not profitable for you to be consuming the bandwidth anymore (say if, for example, projected costs of lawsuits against them outweigh the revenue from you as a customer), they will drop you. And don't pretend they will lose any sleep over it either - if losing a customer amounts to a net gain in profit margin, then they won.

  • Hopefully... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ksheff ( 2406 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:59AM (#12212633) Homepage
    The ISPs will see how much extra work this will be, not to mention how it will piss off their customers, and tell them to shove it.

    WTF does the entertainment industry think it has the right to tell any other business how to run their operations? Who died and left them in charge?

  • by simcop2387 ( 703011 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:00PM (#12212637) Homepage Journal
    this almost makes me tempted to make a P2P app that just sends packets containing random data along the network. Get a couple thousand people passing random data around, nothing infringing, everyone using their maximum bandwidth for 96 hours or so, take them to court if they shut our accounts down.
  • by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:01PM (#12212657)
    They won't be a public carrier which is what has shielded them from litigation. They arn't morons, and nobody will sign it. A website is NOT illegal, the content may be, but if they filter by content, they loose their protections. The RIAA just wants to be able to go after the big fish instead of the little fish with this move.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:01PM (#12212659) Journal
    It's just another idiotic idea. No ISP is going to go for this. Unless there's some laws actually forcing them to do so, any ISP that signed such an agreement would find themselves damaged compared to the ISP who didn't sign.

    Beyond that, ISPs are simply carriers of data. If the music industry has evidence of a user committing a crime, then by all means drop off a court order and ISPs will be happy to comply.

  • by ArchAngel21x ( 678202 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:02PM (#12212672)
    This makes me appreciate the fact I can get broadband access from a small local ISP (Internet Nebraska) rather than just a corporate ISP. People have said how they will not sign up with any ISP that goes along with this code of conduct agreement, but imagine how limited your choice will be if companies keep getting bought out or merge. Support your local ISPs and sign up with them.
  • by CyanDisaster ( 530718 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:05PM (#12212730)
    ...cut people off for excessive bandwidth usage, to turn over details of users on demand, and to block certain 'illegal' websites...

    They expect ISPs to:
    1. Terminate services for legitimate users. I work at an ISP and one of our customers requires a fair amount of bandwidth for his weather station.
    2. Ignore the privacy of the customer. Are we simply to turn over customer information because they said so, and give us no reason as to why?
    3. Censorship on sites they don't like. Are they going to determine that any music site, whether legitimate or not, that they don't control is 'illegal'?

    What's to say that once ISPs sign up for this, that the music industry doesn't put in a clause that forces ISPs to agree to any changes made down the road, or something that's impossible to back out of?

    Hope be with ye,
  • by Proney ( 823793 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:06PM (#12212743)
    I honestly don't think that the RIAA/MPAA expect one single ISP to sign something like this. What they're trying to do, in my estimation, is to create a portfolio of 'goodwill attempts' to combat online copyright infringement. Once they have enough of these attempts thrown back in their faces, they'll be able to go to court and say "See? We tried, we really really tried, but they just aren't willing to compromise. Please step in and help us!"

    Scary part: It'll probably work.
  • Re:What about (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:07PM (#12212768) Journal
    No, but his parents/legal gaurdians can. Now I am not sure it will be enforceable once he reaches 18 - but anything he produces until age 18 will follow said contract.
  • by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon@h o t m a i l . c om> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:09PM (#12212780) Homepage
    I want them to digitally watermark screener copies and demo CD's and then keep track of who in their organizations have access to these copies so when they hit the internet sites weeks before general release they can go to their own people first for answers/retribution. I think that should be their first step in fighting piracy.
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:09PM (#12212782)
    "Music is Driving Growth in Digital Commerce"

    That's pretty hilarious just in its title. Music may be popular, but the restrictions on growth have come entirely from the music industry. Digital commerce tried to take off by itself as soon as MP3 appeared and bandwidth allowed, and it was very forcefully blocked.

    The title is disingenuous in that it implies kudos to the wrong party altogether. It should have tacked "Despite Music Industry" on the end.
  • by cplusplus ( 782679 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:10PM (#12212794) Journal
    Where does it end with the music industry?
    It probably ends in about 15 years when most of the major labels are bankrupt because they refused to change their business model and ride the wave of the future. [/booming sci-fi voice]
    The internet as it stands is not going away. They just need to accept it and stop trying to legislate/strong-arm/schmooze it out of existance.
  • What Agreement? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tesseract5d ( 871694 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:11PM (#12212810)
    In order for there to be an 'agreement', both parties must provide something to the other (cash for goods or services, work for food, etc.). What does the music industry provide, in this case?
  • by friedrice1234 ( 582267 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:11PM (#12212823)
    Sure, the food industry should allocate evreyones food consumption. If you eat too much for healthy consumption, The vendors will stop selling food. You will live longer! At least until the maximium age limit and then you will be cut off...
  • by Big Mark ( 575945 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:13PM (#12212844)
    Who'd really be stupid enough to fake a judge's signature?
  • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:15PM (#12212881) Homepage Journal
    They might be able to say that to the courts, but the courts are likely to give a raised eyebrow in return, and provide a cautious decision in their favor at best. Congress may give them more time, but even there, certain members with significant pro-technology and pro-consumer leanings are coming into seniority who are questioning the trade groups' representations of things.

    I'd like to see some outside group come in and audit the research done by the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA, among others, to see how well it stands up to scrutiny.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:16PM (#12212891)
    When other people give your stuff away, it is theft.

    Nope, it's only theft if the item in question is now lost to you. And it isn't.

    In fact, not even a potential sale is lost. The copy may actually increase your chances of a CD sale, and you'd be hard pressed to prove otherwise.
  • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:18PM (#12212926)
    It appears that the ISP's get nothing from this. The music industry might give them amnesty from lawsuits because they facilitate infringement, but so far ISP's have been in the clear. It appears the ISP gain nothing, at all.

    IANAL, but it looks like they might even pick up a ton of liability signing on to something like this. What if they accidently didn't shut down a file sharing server, or do any number of things in their lovely new contract? Does this give the music industry a new avenue for lawsuits?

    The only way I can see any ISP signing this is if there is some threat made by the music industry, be it lawsuits, publicity, something. Otherwise, it seems entirely farfetched.

    Its worth keeping an eye on though. I can't believe they'd put something this blatantly outlandish together unless they thought they could do something with it.
  • MMORPGs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IEEEMonkey ( 669772 ) <Paul.Herbstritt@NoSPAM.GMail.Com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:19PM (#12212932)
    I have never actually paid all that much attention to the exact amount of bandwidth that I use. I play EQ2 and leave my characters (until recently) logged in all of the time to sell items. This in mind, I hope that my ISP is not wasting resources in tracking my usage, they would find out that I am quite boring. If they did, however, and were to limit my access I would be very upset, there is the term unlimited used to describe my service. I have to wonder though, is the music industry (or anyone that wants monitoring done) going to pay the ISPs to keep track of what we are doing? It will not be cheap to watch all of those packets and much more importantly, there is no way that anyone, save for just stopping usage after "X" amount of bandwidth is used up, to stop the sharing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:19PM (#12212935)
    It's not hard to demand that record labels stop putting out shitty music. Stop buying it. And stop going to the concerts of bands on their label. Yes, I know it's the only way those bands make money, but there has to be an incentive for those bands to leave the label too.

    Besides, Ticketmaster doesn't need any more money.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:20PM (#12212949)
    Having grown up behind the Iron Curtain, I've seen that actually happen, and it's not funny... :)
  • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:20PM (#12212957) Homepage Journal
    It really shortens the list.

    It'll really shorten the list when ISPs decide its better to get with the program than fend off the avalanche of legal papers about every little alleged copyright infringement case rather than the streamlined system for avoiding and handling offenses that the "code of conduct" provides.

    Before third party telecom providers/resellers are cited as a solution, consider that they have to purchase the bandwidth from the same large players that would be a party to this agreement. I'm sure they would hold them to the same standard as not cause competition in this area.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:25PM (#12213029)
    Amen, brother. You just said it. Fuck Metallica. I do still listen to their old CDs that I have once in a while, but I'll be damned if they get one penny from me.
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:26PM (#12213038) Homepage Journal
    Deep down, ISPs know that widespread consumer adoption of high speed internet is ONLY fueled by three things: video, music, and games.

    I'd says porn and games are interchangeably #1 and #2. And the rest is clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

    Remember - just because YOU and YOUR FRIENDS buy what you download, most people do not.

    Regardless, they're not going to win this way.

    Before refridgeration was a household technology, people who needed ice had it delivered. There were lots of companies that provided this service. There were also lots of dairy-delivery companies too. My grandfather used to deliver milk.

    Anyway, enough people had refridgeration in their homes at a certain point that the death of dairy and ice delivery was inevitable. Some companies tried to fight this. Some tried to point out the flaws in home-made ice. Some tried to point out the expense. Some even appealed to consumers on the grounds that good hard-working men were losing jobs because the evil consumer was making his own ice rather than buying it from a good ol' fashioned American company.

    It all fell on deaf ears. Only one ice company survived the collapse of their market. It was the company that opened a new type of store - a combination service station/grocery. You could buy ice there, sure. In blocks or bags. You still can. They became 7-11, and not only did they survive the death of the ice market, they went on to insane profits that were never possible in the ice industry.

    Now, making ice in your home isn't illegal. Downloading copyrighted music that you haven't purchased is. So the analogy falls apart there. However, the RIAA's approach to solving his is akin to the ice delivery services trying to get in-home freezers banned because it's screwing up their business model.

    Well, tough shit. Agile companies that spot trends and capitalize on them survive. Bloated bureaucracies of self-serving directors eventually die. That's capitalism, and that's how it ought to work. It's a shame that their business model is failing because of massive copyright infringement, and not because of a legitimate new business. It's even more of a shame that stuff like iTunes came along as a solution to the piracy problem, when it should have predated it.

    They missed the boat on the Internet. Napster was there before iTunes, and the idea of free music is now forever ingrained into the social consciousness of on-line culture. Sometimes companies can divorce a culture of this link, but usually not. All photocopiers are the "Xerox" machine, all tissue is "Kleenex", all flying discs are "Frisbies" all adhesive bandages are "Band-Aids". Even RollerBlade was only partially successful in protecting their brand from being synonymous with the product. These companies would be foolish to spend money on a campaign to break this association.

    And that's why the RIAA is foolish. It's too late to stop this. It can't be stopped through legislation, legeal threats, copy protection schemes, the DMCA, or anything else. The only thing that can stop it is for them to find a way to make it more convenient for people to get the music they want at a cost so marginal that paying for the added convenience is worthwhile.

    Until and unless you run a very significant risk of getting caught and prosecuted, it won't stop. And people will suffer the eroding of their rights only so much in an effort to protect the revenue streams of millionaires.

  • by frikazoyd ( 845667 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:27PM (#12213061)
    Okay, so I only skimmed the article, but it seems like John Kennedy is trying to guilt-trip ISPs into signing an agreement. He's saying "We spend nearly 66% of our income on research and development, so we're the reason that people have high bandwidth now. So, help us police the internet and we'll keep dumping money into R&D."

    Then he goes on to say (and has the audacity to title this argument "Music is Driving the Digital Revolution") "Selling digital music is a good market". Okay, how is the success of the iTunes Music store "Driving the Digital Revolution"? Really? I'm waiting... That's what I thought. It isn't. In fact, he doesn't even have an argument for this. All he can say is "Selling songs online is getting us money again." That's hardly revolutionizing. Revolutional would be "Musicians sell their own music online." No, this is just the old business model with new technology, the same technology they're trying to stagnate and police.
  • by thomas.me ( 864466 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:28PM (#12213080)
    Here the privacy laws say that a company must not share customer data with any other organisation without consent of the customer. So following the code of conduct would be plain illegal for every ISP. And the Music And Movies Mafia would probably be even suspectible of solicitation.

    Exception is, of course, everything the law requires. But last time I checked the Music And Movies Mafia wasn't the law, at least over here. And we won't allow any such law to pass, thanks to direct democracy. A DMCA-style law will probably be discussed in parliament this summer, but you need only 50'000 signatures to trigger a referendum.

    And then we're gonna kick their asses!
  • by Gribflex ( 177733 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:29PM (#12213092) Homepage
    The benfit as I see it is this:
    ISPs pay for bandwidth. The more their customers use, the more they have to pay.
    They charge customers a blanket fee. Most people use very little bandwidth, and cost very little. Some people use lots, and cost them more money.
    By signing this agreement, they can upcharge the people who are using a lot for legitimate usage (by forcing them into a more expensive business account), and they can get rid of the customers that use it for illegal purposes (by saying that they are 'merely complying with the RIAA agreement' that they signed).

    Thus, they retain the customers that use little bandwidth, and don't cost them money.
    They get more money from the customers that need the bandwidth.
    And they lose the customers that are costing them more money.

    Standard business practice. Get rid of the costly customers, or charge them more.

  • Re:Better Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milkman_matt ( 593465 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:34PM (#12213157)
    I've had 9-10 half hour outages in the last two days.

    Because of excessive usage or something? This is totally unacceptable. If my connection starts going down that often for any reason I'm going ISP shopping.

    On that note, I think we should also draft up a "Music Quality Standards" sheet and push them to sign and elminate all of the bad music they're pushing through. If they want to try and police a medium that doesn't belong to them, let's police their medium back!
  • by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:37PM (#12213200) Journal
    Flagging people for high bandwidth use is rediculous. I don't want my ISP to snoop at what I'm doing everytime I do an

    #apt-get update;apt-get dist-upgrade

    It's rediculous. I wouldn't be surprised if they use their snooping to sell my information so they can target ads to me. If only advertisers knew that I have no money and thus am not interested.
  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:43PM (#12213288)
    Isn't this bordering (illegal) restraint of trade? Nobody has a right to impose on a legal contract between two other parties. If they think a crime has been committed, they should go to court and get an order dealing with that specific case.

    I know, at this point they're only asking for a "voluntary" agreement. That's why I said "bordering" -- larger ISPs will blow them off since they know the real cost of accepting it. (Hint: it's not a few pissed off customers. It's dealing with the 1,002 other groups with their own "code of conduct" on everything from porn to evolution and "liberalism.")

    But smaller ISPs run by chickenshits may worry about the legal costs defending themselves if RIAA plays hardball. Even when, not if, they win they'll still lose because of the expense.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:44PM (#12213307)
    Will they bite the hand that feeds them? We already know that the RIAA will. But will Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast, etc.? I'm not willing to pay $45 a month just so CNN will load faster. I'm also only a couple of phone calls away from switching to Dish, so that would be $105 a month that Time Warner stands to lose from me. I'll be spending less than $100 a year on music CDs with or without the Internet.
  • Re:Better Option (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uberdave ( 526529 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:44PM (#12213308) Homepage
    I wish I could shop around. Cable is the only broadband option where I live.
  • by patomuerto ( 90966 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:47PM (#12213342)
    1.) Open up accounting record and pricing models to explain current CD costs (Prove to your customers you are not price fixing).

    2.) Remove monopolistics barriers in the markets (Allow independent labels to get their music to the market).

    3.) Stop producing crap (Please, Stop prducing crap).
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:53PM (#12213424) Homepage Journal
    Most musicians and most bands are NOT members of them, therefore they are only a powerful small segment that leeches off the rest of the music industry.

    It's like saying MSFT is the Software Industry. They may want you to think they are - but they are not.

  • by zaphod123 ( 219697 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:53PM (#12213425) Homepage
    And if they are not going to let us make a backup copy of the media, they should provide a lifetime warranty on the media. This includes cd's, dvd's that are out of print.
  • I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uncadonna ( 85026 ) <mtobisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:54PM (#12213454) Homepage Journal
    Never mind how stupid, arrogant or evil this. How come it's even possible? If nobody gets to run a server, where will the content come from?

    Surely there is some sort of exception to this rule? What defines an "ISP"? What defines an "ISP customer"?

    I must be missing something. The proposal reads to me to say "companies providing internet service agree to stop providing internet service to anyone providing internet content". I'm sure that isn't the intent, but can someone explain to me how this doesn't amount to shutting the net down completely?

    This isn't intended as humor; I really am missing something here. How do they propose to draw the line between bad running-a-server and okay running-a-server?
  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:57PM (#12213503) Journal
    Here's a better one: Wis. Considers Legalizing Cat Hunting [yahoo.com]
    Residents in 72 counties were asked whether free-roaming cats -- including any domestic cat that isn't under the owner's direct control or any cat without a collar -- should be listed as an unprotected species. If listed as so, the cats could be hunted.
    I'm sure the average RIAA troll isn't as cute as a cat, so it should be relatively easy to get a state law declaring any uncollared RIAA shills as unprotected.
  • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:10PM (#12213651) Journal
    I'm with you on this. I wanted to try to learn more about Linux, so I decided to migrate my mail, web and FTP functions to a Debian based server. The first thing I did (which was actually stupid, but hey, I'm learning) was to download the entirety of the Debian Sarge disribution, all 4 CD's of it. Turns out I only needed the first one for what I was doing, but I had no clue up front. So, according to this agreement, I should have had my access cut off, twice actually.
    1. I downloaded several GB of data over as short of period as my bandwidth would allow.
    2. I'm running a server, which we all know must be used for some illicit purpose. And not for:
    • SPAM control, I have 50 or so aliases, any one starts getting too much SPAM, just axe the line out in the aliases file.
    • Hosting my own wedding web site
    • Transfering files between work and home as needed
    • Remote Desktop (on a windows XP box), so that I can test router configuration from outside my work network (Yes, I work in the ITS department).
    So, basically, I'm a horrible person, who doesn't deserve internet access because I want to learn a new OS, and have a web presence. The authors of this "code of conduct" need to have their computers taken away, and never be let near any insturment by which the insanity inside their skulls will be allowed to leak out into the rest of the world and bother us.

  • Great idea! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:12PM (#12213675)
    ISP's should sign this agreement, just as soon as the recording industry signs a code of conduct drafted by musicians. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:22PM (#12213812)
    Looks like ISO downloads would be out the window. Someone once told [sco.com] me that using Linux was piracy.
  • Re:Better Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:27PM (#12213881)
    I think they should ask ISPs to stop people that use the Internet altogether. That way: No Internet piracy!

    You meant it as a joke, but I think we all know that they would if they could. Like some other industries that have already been decimated*, and some others that are yet to come (e.g. broadcast TV)...

    These are the same folk that tried to ban the VCR; the problem with the internet was that it was too rooted by the time it started to cause them problems.

    * travel agents, postal services and so on

  • by Henry Stern ( 30869 ) <henry@stern.ca> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:31PM (#12213926) Homepage
    You are forgetting an important detail. AOL/Time Warner. RIAA, MPAA and ISP all in one. Being one of the largest ISPs in the world and a major producer of television/music/movies, why wouldn't they implement their own policies?
  • by Daytona955i ( 448665 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (42yugnnylf)> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:37PM (#12214011)
    And the rest is clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

    I guess your right, the MPAA must own the rights to the videos I put up on my website for friends and family. You know, the family video clips I put up, they must own those because they are on the internet.

    Even apart from that, many news sites offer video clips of news that they offer, is any of this illegal downloading of copyrighted material?

    Also while I don't produce music, what about the copyright owners wanting to distribute their songs?

    As much as they wish it were true, all media is not owned by RIAA/MPAA.

    And aside from that, I stream my music from home to my computer at work. If I own these songs, isn't that legal? Or did RIAA get their way and I have to buy a copy of each song I listen to for the office, home, car, etc...?

    Streaming music, offering home videos, home pictures from my 6MP camera (not small pictures) all take up a lot of bandwidth. It's shortsightedness like yours that lead to stupid laws and restrictions because whatever you don't need must be "clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material."
  • Fair Use!=mixtapes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <.theaetetus.slashdot. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:41PM (#12214067) Homepage Journal
    I am currently trying to get the music industry to sign a code of conduct too! In a nutshell, it says that the music industry will supply us with quality music (down with Britney!) at a resonable price ($5 a cd anyone?) and fair use rights (cd mixes for my *cough* girlfriend!). I'm having trouble getting them to sign. Please advise...

    Though I know this was a joke post, your premises behind it are exactly the problem, and you're not helping at all. Do you want Fair Use Rights, as determined under the copyright act of 1976? Then learn what they actually are, and don't just say "I can redistribute copyrighted material to anyone I wish to, 'cause I paid for my use, and after that it's all Fair Use".

    Bullshit. You idiots keep using "Fair Use" as your justification, and you know what Congress will do? They'll take away Fair Use. Thing is, that wouldn't stop your copyright violations, and it will stop those of us who actually use our Fair Use rights: format shift to move CDs to our computers or MP3 players; time shift to watch movies or television shows later in our TiVos; and archive copy our CDs so that when we scratch them or leave them on the dashboards of our cars, we can go back to the original and make a new copy to destroy. That's Fair Use. What's not Fair Use is "I wanna make mixtapes for my *cough* girlfriend". Even if you actually were making mixes for your girlfriend, that wouldn't be Fair Use! Is it a) archive, format or time shifting, b) excerpt use in a satire, parody or review, or c) use by a non-profit for non-public distribution? And no, you don't count under C, since you're giving someone a copy. C means that a church can use a copywritten song in their church play, but they can't videotape it and give out or sell tapes.

    So anyways, talk all you want about quality of music or price, but don't ruin Fair Use for those of us who actually use it appropriately.


  • by MaxVT ( 875481 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:42PM (#12214076) Homepage
    Even more important is the convenience of using that music once purchased. A person might have several PCs in several different places, portable (flash/CD) music players, a stereo in a car, a stereo in the house, etc... Silly restrictions imposed by DRM, such as no more than three devieces, only on supported devices, etc. are the show-stopper. The fact is, I will never buy music that has any limitation on its usage. The only form that is possible now of doing that is CDs, and the best kind of it is the one where you can pick which songs to burn on the CD -- then, they're mine -- I can rip them to MP3 and use them legally on any device I possess, now or in the future.
  • Sure , Ok (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:45PM (#12214107)
    but does that not sound strangely like Censorship hard at work. While your at it, go on ahead and block all of the hacker websites -- every vulnerability site, every virus code site, every serial and key site. Also, grab every porn site there is too. Cant have underage children looking at porn excessively, thats illegal too, isnt it.

    Actually for that matter , go on ahead and kill all the filesharing networks all together. I mean there is NO WAY THEY HAVE ANY VALIDITY WHATSOEVER. Sharing photos, freely open developed code, freeware, and so forth, that has to be illegal too, right?

    Heck, just block every site there is accept for what AOL allows.....we want the internet to be a safe family envoirnment for everyone to enjoy.
  • quick question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chronusdark ( 871335 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:47PM (#12214144)
    after reading the article this "code of conduct" only appears to be in europe.. no offence to the european users but does this mean that it will only be in europe or is the RIAA also proposing a bill in the US....?
  • BOYCOTT!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Roadkills-R-Us ( 122219 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:47PM (#12214156) Homepage
    A great summation of the issues.

    This sort of heavy-handed stupidity is why I am currently refusing to buy music except from indies. If they're at all in bed with these morons, I just won't buy.

    Yeah, it stinks. There are at least 20 CDs I would *love* to have bought since this crap started. And a dozen or so DVDs. Ah, well.

    Boycott. Tell them what you're doing and why. Hit them in their pocketbook again.

    For the record, I don't download music or vidoes illegally. I occasionally download free indie songs or other free music, but that's it.

    I don't traffic with thugs any more than with spammers.
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:00PM (#12214325) Homepage Journal
    I guess your right, the MPAA must own the rights to the videos I put up on my website for friends and family. You know, the family video clips I put up, they must own those because they are on the internet.

    That's not what I'm saying, the most cursory examination of my argument would demonstrate that. If the overwhelming majority of internet media sharing was personal home videos and legally-traded music, this wouldn't be an issue.

    That's not the case, and you know it's not the case. Repeat: my behavior on-line is not representative of everybody else's. At all.

    Even apart from that, many news sites offer video clips of news that they offer, is any of this illegal downloading of copyrighted material?

    No, that's legal downloading of copyrighted material. You've been given permission.

    Also while I don't produce music, what about the copyright owners wanting to distribute their songs?

    The copyright owners are distributing the songs. The musicians typically don't own the copyrights; that's why you sign with a label. Normally, when any author creates an original work, they hold a statutory copyright as an incident of authorship. You can then register your copyright to give it more legal teeth. However, when you go to work for somebody and get paid to produce a creative work, contracts are drafted that transfer the copyright you'd normally hold as an incident of authorship to whomever is paying for the work.

    I'm sure you know this, and I can't figure out if you're just being argumentative or what.

    As much as they wish it were true, all media is not owned by RIAA/MPAA.

    I agree with you there, and thank God for it.

    And aside from that, I stream my music from home to my computer at work. If I own these songs, isn't that legal?

    You don't own those songs. And it's legal if the rights you've purchased to them permit it. The problem here is that under Fair Use, that should be completely legal, and this is where I firmly come down on your side of this. You've been a good boy, a good consumer, a good citizen, and paid for your music. The RIAA and their ilk are trying to enacting legislation and enforce rights restrictions to prevent you from exercising rights you should have as a good boy who paid for his music.

    Or did RIAA get their way and I have to buy a copy of each song I listen to for the office, home, car, etc...?

    There's no question that they'd love for it to be that way, but you needn't be obtuse here. If media can be played back, it can be duplicated. That's the nature of physics. The problem, again, is the DMCA has criminalized this process by making it illegal to bypass copyright.

    The real issue here is that we currently have a number of laws that directly conflict with each other. To enjoy the liberty that has been granted you by court decisions 20 years ago you have to violate other laws.

    I'm not defending the RIAA here, far from it. But for you and people like you to even try to pretend that there's no piracy issue and that it isn't costing the industry any money is utterly stupid and naive. They're going about fixing it the wrong way, there's no question, and they're clearly wrong to punish and limit the liberty of legitimate, honest people in an effort to catch the bad guys. I'm on your side in principle, but you have to pull your head out of this fantasy world you envision that peopled only with law-abiding citizens who only download legitimately and never download media illegally.

    Streaming music, offering home videos, home pictures from my 6MP camera (not small pictures) all take up a lot of bandwidth. It's shortsightedness like yours that lead to stupid laws and restrictions because whatever you don't need must be "clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material."

    What short-sightedness? You misunderstood ONE sentence and have gotten entirely the wr

  • by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:03PM (#12214366)
    If I pay for 1.5Mb/1.5Mb, I want to get the bandwidth that I pay for; it'd be completely unfair otherwise. If the ISP is overselling their capacity, that's *their* problem, not mine.

    Awww, that so cute. Terribly naive, but cute. Oversubscription is the name of the game. I would guess that somewhere around 100% of ISP's are oversubscribed in one sense or another. If all of your ISP's customers started trying to use a full 1.5Mbps 24/7 your ISP's network would melt down. But that's OK because that (almost) never happens. Far from being "unfair", this oversubscription is what allows your ISP to offer you a reasonable price for service. Your ISP is probably paying at least $75-$100/month to buy 1.5Mbps from a backbone carrier at bulk prices I would guess. I'm also guessing that you are paying less than that, and that your ISP actually has some overhead of their own. It isn't like 100% of your bill is paying for their bandwidth alone.

    I can usually download on my DSL at pretty much 100% of what I'm paying for. But usually for an hour or so in the evening, it slows down. Right when everybody gets home from work it seems like. Is this unfair? Maybe. Am I willing to pay significantly more for service so that my ISP can sustain that one hour burst and have tons of excess service the other 23 hours? Not really.
  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:08PM (#12214447)
    "Standard business practice. Get rid of the costly customers, or charge them more."

    The ISP can already do as you suggest without signing an agreement with **AA. The question is what benefit do they get from signing with the **AA? I think the ISPs presently benefit by charging more to high bandwidth downloaders. Cutting them off would be a net loss unless **AA have something to offer to the ISP.

  • by maxs65 ( 323944 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:21PM (#12214604)
    Just look at the name of the name of the consortium...

    "The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI)"

    Phonographic? The definition of "Phonograph" is...
    A machine that reproduces sound by means of a stylus in contact with a grooved rotating disk.

    The music industry needs to drag itself into the 21st century. It's their fault for not keeping up with technology.
  • by captwheeler ( 573886 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:22PM (#12214619)
    This is just the RIAA floating their idea and keeping the issue alive. The value is in going to Congress and saying: the ISP's sell based on illegal MP3 downloads and they don't deny it.
    During one of [Hunter S.] Thompson's infamous digressions, he relates a story from the '68 presidential campaign in which Lyndon Johnson "told his manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent's lifelong habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows." The campaign manager protests that nobody will believe that the guy's a "pigfucker."

    "I know," Johnson replied. "But let's make the sonofabitch deny it."

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:26PM (#12214674) Homepage Journal
    ISPs are like highway departments; they each maintain a stretch of highway (internet), which is used in common by a lot of drivers (users).

    And the fact that you happen to be driving home from robbing a bank (downloading naughtyware) IS NOT THE BUSINESS OF THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT (ISP), nor of the Society For the Prevention of Road Noise (the **AA and their kin), nor of the bank that got robbed (the infringed artist).

    Crime is the business of the *police* (gee, it's STILL the business of the *police* in cyberspace, imagine that), not of any common carrier, business association, or individual.

  • by Jherek Carnelian ( 831679 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:39PM (#12214872)
    Chuck, why do you post the same thing in every article?

    Most of us are lucky to have even one good idea. He probably thinks this idea is his one good one and wants to make sure it gets heard. With almost a million registered users, he can probably post it 100 times and each time 99% of the readers will read it for the first time.

    It really ain't that bad of a point.
  • by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:42PM (#12214905)
    What, like a merger between TimeWarner and AOL? ...oh wait.
  • Re:Better Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:59PM (#12215139) Homepage Journal
    I personally would drop any ISP that signed this agreement (or that even followed these ideas). I'm already pretty pissed off at most ISPs and have dropped several for misbehavior. I think what we need is a user union that can teach companies who screw with us who is the paying their bills. Something akin to a large religious group or parent group but with a non-religious freedom-oriented set of goals.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:03PM (#12215198) Homepage
    If they sign into this sort of thing, even the big players, they lose their common carrier status and leave themselves open for all kinds of litigation that they really, really don't want to face.

    Common carrier status allows them to afford being in business in the first place.

    RIAA is so flippin' stupid... I doubt anyone will sign into this "conduct code" because of this.
  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:15PM (#12215311)
    This is really capitalism at its dirtiest. A need was identified (cheaper access to music), filled (via piracy), and capitalized upon (via ad-supported P2P apps). The music industry is now having to compete. Yes, the competition is illegal, but only because of government interference in the market.

    This is an interesting point. I wonder why all the Randians here aren't complaining about this government interference, and claiming we should all be able to pirate to our hearts' content, just like they all complain every time someone promotes laws restricting the rights and abilities of monopolies.
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:21PM (#12215398) Homepage Journal
    You then go on a rambling trying to compare the music industry to ice manufacturers which really has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    I did not compare the music industry to ice manufacturers. I compared the RIAA, essentially a distribution business, to the Southland Ice Co, another distribution business, whose distribution model was about to become outdate, and who managed to survive, not by using RIAA-like tactics to bully people into supporting their business model, but by innovating.

    It's not my problem if lexical devices like examples escape you.

    We're not talking about how RIAA is going to adapt (which is the moral if the ice story) but rather this whole topic is the power that the RIAA has to take away the rights we currently have on the internet.

    So? You responded to me to complain that I'm not talking about what you want to talk about? Stupid.

    What data do you have to show this? I would venture to say the opposite is true.

    What data do you have to show this?

    However my point is that it Doesn't really matter. The RIAA doesn't have the right to take away my rights to do the things I mentioned above.

    I agree. If you read my response to you, you should know that and not need to quibble over this point.

    Maybe the majority of your friends share illegal files but that's certainly not the majority of the internet.

    Most of my friends don't use filesharing at all.

    The internet is a big place and I would be willing to bet most of them are law abiding.

    Do you have any data to show this?

    You're picking nits just to be argumentative, buddy. The fact that you ignore the point of everything I say and pick on ancillary information and subtext kinda supports that. We're on the same side of the RIAA thing, and you're being belligerant for its own sake. Grow up.

  • Won't happen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HardSide ( 746961 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:41PM (#12215632)
    As somebody mentioned before, they tried to do this with VCR's in the late 80's and tried to get rid of it because you could record what was on tv or make copies from tape.

    Then they tried to stop the sale of blank tapes...(some music history: when pink floyd released "the wall" the -original- tape casing was actually 4 tapes, not 2, the extra 2 were blank tapes and had a little scribble at the bottom saying, that they support tape re-recordings, or something to that extent) anyway the (whoever back in those days) stepped in, stopped the distributation and now you can only buy the 2 tape set of the album, and not the 4 tape set as it was originally released.

    This move however didnt stop the sale of blank tapes (obviously) and nothing could be done because it was too little to late.

    So the point here, as I said, its too little too late. At this very moment the RIAA are spewing so many ideas to companies/the masses such as what this article suggests, limiting bandwidth usage (which i beleive is just against the constitution, on so many levels) but they also tried to make a law to tax the net. They tried to go against all the kids/grown up's that even had there ip on that Napster list that napster released a few months ago...that led nowhere.

    Basically, whatever they are doing, its for one reason only. Money, if the rest of the gov. see's the RIAA are doing something, or trying then the income that RIAA employee's gets increased, this is the only reason they do this. No other reason, do you actually think they just sat home one day and said "wow we should get all these guys that are download music, i mean im not a musician, but hell we should just get them anyway"

    no...they just in it for the money, and they are as bad as the people that download copyrighted materials.

  • by Akatosh ( 80189 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:12PM (#12216001) Homepage
    The DMCA offers a safe harbor clause for ISPs. In order to qualify for safe harbor:

    Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 512a:
    (2) the transmission, routing, provision of connections, or storage is carried out through an automatic technical process without selection of the material by the service provider;

    and Section 512a(d)(1):
    (A) does not have actual knowledge that the material or activity is infringing;

    Now, if an ISP monitored what user's were doing, and attempted to block access to certain sites, they would violate both of these; voiding their safe harbor offered by the DMCA. Feel free to read the whole text:


    This proposal effectivly voids an ISP's safe harbor on _every_ _single_ _point_ of the safe harbor clause. Data retention, caching and storage, monitoring and censorship, the whole nine yards. Sort of back handed for the IFPI and MPA to propose that ISP's give up their safe harbor. Perhaps so they can sue the ISPs?
  • by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:15PM (#12216046) Journal
    I often wonder why Rhapsody seems to be effectively invisible in the great online music debate; it seems to solve so many problems so well.

    First, it's ten bucks a month. For radio. That you need your computer to listen to. I'd get XM or Sirius first.

    Second, the deal-killer for me :

    Windows XP, Me, 2000, 98 SE or NT 4.0 Service Pack 6

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later

    Seriously, they can't do it without IE5 ?

    You know what I find amusing? The "burn to CD" feature. Why do record companies have no problem with a "burn to CD" feature, but don't want you to "burn to HD" ? What's the difference between one unencumbered AIFF file and another ? Putting it on a CD makes it less likely to be copied ? What's the thinking there? And hey, how many of those can you really 'burn to CD' ?

    I don't use any online music service, but it seems like the music industry needs to face facts- the vast majority of consumers have said they don't want to 'rent' music. The industry needs to deal with that. We don't mind our music being files, but we want to own those files, and take them with us when we leave our computers.

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:31PM (#12216257) Homepage Journal
    That's a damned good point.

    One can foresee an agreement to the effect of "you, the cable-and-ISP company, will be allowed access to this here prime content for television, if and only if you throttle all your cable-modem users down to a point where downloading TV shows takes Way Too Long To Be Practical". So the cable company that also provides cable-ISP access has to choose between video content for their cable-TV business, or happy cable-modem users.

    Given the system of protected monopolies that cable and telephone systems are under, this could happen, despite laws regarding illegal leverage of a monopoly and restraint of trade.

  • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:41PM (#12216389) Journal
    I think part of it is that, at least in US culture, we have come to believe there is some equivilence between intellectual property rights and physical property rights. Whether this is true or not is open for debate, and I won't claim to have the answer. If we ignore this sticking point, and assume that there is some equivilence, then the laws pertaining to copyright are, in effect, just securing the copyright holder's property rights; and, therefore, a proper use of government power.
    This also assumes that property rights, of any kind, are actually valid. Though this is pretty much a given in Western culture. Even places, such as the now defunct USSR, where socialism was the norm, there was still some respect for property rights. In all, Marx was probably dreaming to assume that anyone, even the most downtrodden proletariat, would willingly give up all property rights.
  • by farzadb82 ( 735100 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:45PM (#12216429)

    Create a website containing a list of all Senators and Congressmen who accept or take donations from these organizations and tell people NOT to vote for these people.

    Finally, publicize the hell out of the website. This can be done by cross referencing in blogs, etc. This way Google searches for said Senators and Congressmen will show this site at the top of the list.

    Watch how many Senators and Congressmen go anywhere near these organizations or want anything to do with them, especially around election time.

  • by deanoaz ( 843940 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @04:50PM (#12216482)
    Wouldn't withholding content only injure the owners and distributors of the content? Not much of a threat.
  • Shit Music (Score:1, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux ( 870955 ) <mewshi@mewshi.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:49PM (#12217200) Homepage
    Why do they whine so loudly? I mean, really, almost all of the music i download is not even available within 200 miles of my town. How am i supposed to get it? I can't order it, because I'm not willing to spend 20 bucks (international) to buy a 15 $ cd
  • Re:Better Option (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @05:58PM (#12217289)
    I recieved a letter simular to that form my isp. It basicaly said i was above the "average usage" and it tended to indecate i was doing somethign ilegal.
    Then after explaining that the average was what it is because people like me use more bandwidth and if i quit it would lower the average i was still met with an attitude.

    You didn't explain that right. The correct explanation is: By definition half your customers have above average usage. By their reasoning, half their customers are doing something illegal.

  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:00PM (#12217312)
    Get rid of the costly customers, or charge them more.

    Just to play devil's advocate here. There will always be a "most costly" group. Anyone in this kind of business that does not realize this is simply ignorant, and will likely be out of business soon. Without seeing a single real stat I would estimate that either 10% or 20% of the users use 90% or 80% of the bandwidth, respectively. Why? Just about everything else is that way.

    Also, the big hitters are likely to be more educated in net use, and happy ones will be able to articulate that to others. Your average joe with broadband to look at ESPN and CNN and check his incoming spam likes his broadband because its "always on", does not tie up the phone line, and it loads those web pages quickly. Odds are you could halve or quarter their bandwidth at any time and they would never notice. Also, ISPs advertise with specific upload and download bandwidth measurements. They know who is listening to those numbers.
  • by Some_Llama ( 763766 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @06:19PM (#12217526) Homepage Journal
    "But for you and people like you to even try to pretend that there's no piracy issue and that it isn't costing the industry any money is utterly stupid and naive."

    I think the point has been made many times that in fact piracy ISN'T costing the industry money when you look at the big picture.

    Like I downloaded a britney spears song but would I have ever paid for it? if the answer is no then the music company didn't lose any money. (the answer is no ;))

    I downloaded some Bare Naked Ladies songs to sample some of their other music after seeing a documentary online, I liked their music so much I went and bought a CD of their greatest hits, then I went to see them in concert... if I hadn't been able to download those songs would I have bought a CD? Probably not, so they actually made money off of my downloading.

    These are just 2 examples and I may not represent the norm, but you have to realisticly ask would the people downloading actually buy this music if they couldn't download it? I think for the majority of people the answer is no, thus there are no lost profits.

    IF you want to argue the morality or legality of downloading that is different, but from a financial standpoint I don't believe it is downloading that is hurting the music biz, it is the music biz that is hurting themselves.

    (gun meet foot)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.