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Piracy Government Music The Internet Your Rights Online

Feds Seized Website For a Year Without Piracy Proof 172

bonch writes "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a hip-hop website based on RIAA claims of copyright infringement for prerelease music tracks. They held it for a year before giving it back due to lack of evidence. Unsealed court records (PDF) show that the government was repeatedly given time extensions to build a case against, but the RIAA's evidence never came. The RIAA has declined to comment."
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Feds Seized Website For a Year Without Piracy Proof

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  • Okay. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BootysnapChristAlive ( 2629837 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:26PM (#39896231)

    Why are we seizing websites for copyright-related matters? This is petty, a waste of manpower, a waste of time, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and despite all of this, there is no gain from doing so.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:27PM (#39896247)

    Well somewhat similar. They seized that website and caused millions of people to lose their files, but now the judge is saying the case cannot proceed, because the FBI never had authority to cease the site's servers.

    Of course they don't have to win the case..... WMG tried to use a takedown notice via youtube, and that failed, so they called their politicians in D.C. and used a full seizure action instead. The FBI/politicians have driven the company out of business, just as their boss WMG desired. Yay?

  • IMMINENT DANGER !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:28PM (#39896257)

    Proof ?? If you look like a terroist, act like a terrorist, and shout like a terrorist, we don't need no stinkin warrants !!

  • RIAA math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:31PM (#39896299)

    Let's do RIAA math:

    The site had the bandwidth potential if they weren't down for users to download an average of 10 songs per second at $1.00 per song..

    So $1.00 * 10 songs * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 365 days = $315,360,000

    oops.. I meant $250,000 per song..

    So $250,000 * 10 * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 365 days = $78,840,000,000,000

    seems reasonable.. This math came out of the same place as all other RIAA math.

  • Re:Okay. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:34PM (#39896337)

    there is no gain from doing so.

    Except, of course, the tactical gain for the copyright lobbyists, who can use such seizures as examples of why we need even stronger restrictions on the Internet. They can point to these seizures and say, "See, when we try to enforce our copyrights, the awful common folk just step around the ban! Therefore, we must be allowed to turn the Internet into a fancy cable TV system!"

  • Re:Okay. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zerodl ( 817292 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:47PM (#39896461)

    a waste of taxpayer dollars

    One thing good about working in the government is that for anything you want to do, you dont have to foot the bill.

  • Re:No recourse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:47PM (#39896465)

    Well, when you have no recourse then shooting the motherfuckers starts sounding better and better.

  • by IonOtter ( 629215 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:52PM (#39896533) Homepage

    1. Your Master is angry at a website, and they are telling you to break the law and take that website down.

    2. They pay your salary. They make sure the bosses who give you all your toys and paychecks get elected. They have so much money, they could not spend all of it if they spent 10 million dollars a day, for the next 20 years.

    3. If you do not obey, you will not have a job. And you might even wind up in jail on some trumped up charge, much like the trumped up charges you arranged for others you didn't like very much. Oh, and your Master knows about those trumped up charges against an innocent person, so maybe the charges against YOU won't be so trumped up after all.

    And the final kicker...

    4. You are the US government. YOU get to decide if someone can sue you for something. []

    So. You have...

    100% immunity
    100% profit.
    100% job satisfaction.
    100% power.

    See? Math is easy.

  • Fines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4x0t ( 1245872 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @05:56PM (#39896565) Homepage
    Why are they no fines for fraudulent "claims of copyright infringement?" Heavy fines for repeat offenders.
  • Why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:01PM (#39896603)

    For the same reason the federal government decided seizing legal medical marijuana pharmacies in California and Colorado makes perfect sense.

    We can't have businesses earning money and generating tax revenue.

  • The RIAA is Scum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:04PM (#39896623)

    The RIAA is scum, and the Obama administration (who has appointed too many of their minions to the Justice Department) are their toadies. So who is surprised that this kind of crap is happening? It's all about fat contributions to the incumbent's election and reelection campaigns and screw over the rest of us.

    Or should I tell you what I really think about all of this?

  • Re:No recourse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:07PM (#39896681) Homepage

    Socialised healthcare actually benefits the majority of people...
    Heavy handed copyright enforcement only benefits a very select few, often to the detriment of the majority...

    Surely the government should be there to provide useful benefits to the majority of its people, not just a select few.

  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:11PM (#39896735)
    Unless they did it to a federal agent, because lying to them is against the law.
  • Re:No recourse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:26PM (#39896909) Journal

    You assume we still have a functioning democracy, and not a sham. This is a bad assumption. There's less variation between Democrats and Republicans than there was internally in the Communist Party in the USSR. The electoral system is locked down to ensure that no third party ever arises. We have no voice whatsoever.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:44PM (#39897117) Journal

    Sadly, its become so hard to tell the who the master and the lapdog is these days. Is it a true Fascism and the Corporations are in control, in which case you just have political sock-puppets and the Government and Corporations are one and the same? Or is it still a Republic with one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel going to the highest bidder? Like I said, to close a race to tell at this point, and will probably require better minds than mine to distinguish.

    In either case, any semblance of civil rights, personal freedom, decency, dignity or real due process seem to have been tossed out the window along with anything that might once have resembled true democracy or representation.

  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:56PM (#39897237) Journal

    Here, here!!! Pot is not illegal because its a drug... Our nation is drowning in drugs. Its because the Pharmaceutical business can't monopolize it and make a hundred billion dollars. No chance cheap effective solutions like l-tryptophan for insomnia, or pot for nausea are going to be made available when they can sell you expensive drugs with terrible side effects that require more terrible drugs to cure the side effects with even more terrible side effects, etc., etc., etc.

    Adam Smith warned of the key things to beware of with any Capitalistic Economy. 1. Avoid concentration of wealth and 2. Maintain a large and healthy middle class. Simple things. Vital to the operation of the game. We just let it go to hell, that's all.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:15PM (#39897397)

    One was on time. The next was two days late. The third was 6 days late.
    They gave back the site almost a month after the third extension expired.

    The FBI is a wholy owned subsidiary of The **AAs.
    Fuck them.

  • Re:No recourse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:23PM (#39897463) Journal

    Oh yeah, that worked so well for the Native Americans and AIM when the FBI came shooting to the reservation []. Don't get me wrong, despots deserve an ass-kicking, you just have to remember that your government has been busy preparing for your upset now for about the last 15 years and they just about have you dialed in now "Ya big-ol-nasty terrorist you"!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:30PM (#39897519)

    Let me understand the RIAA **PUBLICLY** accused the owner/company of this web-site of criminal wrong doing. But after a year, no charges were brought. And the company suffered damages and loss of its website.
    Sounds like a pretty good lawsuit (against the RIAA) to me. I hope the EFF tears them a new one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:32PM (#39897531)

    Adam Smith warned of the key things to beware of with any Capitalistic Economy. 1. Avoid concentration of wealth and 2. Maintain a large and healthy middle class. Simple things. Vital to the operation of the game. We just let it go to hell, that's all.

    We gave up Smith for Friedman, I guess because we were tired of being healthy, wealthy and wise.

    Income tax and Milton Friedman ruined our system.

    Asset taxes and Adam Smith could bring it back, but it's probably already too late.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:33PM (#39897539)

    Yeah, iirc they have to wait 10 days for a counter-notice.
    As far as I can tell the RIAA argues "But the data was kept beyond that", and MU is saying "that's because someone else uploaded a exact duplicate and we didn't get a notice for that one".
    So the question becomes... should file/video sharing sites be required to do that?
    I'd say... no.
    Consider the following scenario (which actually does happen):
    1. User A uploads a video he created (and owns all copyrights to) to a video sharing site, sets up ad-revenue sharing.
    2. User B grabs it and uploads the exact same video without permission from A (obvious violation of copyright, also deprives A of ad revenue).
    3. A finds that video and sends the site a DMCA takedown notice.
    4. B's video has to get blocked, notice sent, 10 days for counter notice before final removal, etc, etc...
    Works as intended.

    Now it seems the RIAA wants to reinterpret the DMCA to add
    5. After said 10 days or whatever without a counter-notice, A's video also gets removed (hey, it's the same content, right?). Any further attempt to upload a video with identical content has also to be blocked.
    Err, what?

  • by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:38PM (#39897577)

    This is a great illustration of why copyright should be dealt with only in civil courts. That way they'd have to prove their case first and tale action later.

  • Re:Okay. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ambassador Kosh ( 18352 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:15PM (#39897831)

    Having worked with large private companies and governments I have not seen any real difference. I know it is popular to say that capitalism encourages efficiency and the government always wastes money but I just don't see it. Capitalism and government are about equally efficient, which is to say not at all.

    Companies burn your money just as happily as the government does, especially large ones.

  • Re:RIAA math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrstrano ( 1381875 ) on Friday May 04, 2012 @08:59PM (#39898063) Homepage

    Yep. The math checks out, I am a RIAA mathematician.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alanshot ( 541117 ) <(ten.dnamednohcet) (ta) (kcirur)> on Friday May 04, 2012 @11:16PM (#39898849)

    Aren't people who make false claims supposed to go to jail?

    Aren't people in government who seize things without cause, or who deny timely prosecution supposed to go to jail?

    The double standards in our justice system make me sick. You or I pull this shit and we get a fine and/or contempt of court. Big business/big media pulls this crap and its no biggie.

    On a related note... See rich/famous people who "...Is expected to start [his/her] sentence in 3 weeks for [insert nonviolent federal crime here] after being convicted 6 months ago."

    Money is power, power is money. You or I get nailed for something and we get thrown in the slammer on the spot, maybe get bond that we can afford, maybe not. Later after the trial, at sentencing we are handcuffed and remanded to custody on the spot. Famous and/or rich person gets nicked for the same/similarly bad (sometimes worse) offense, and because of who they are, they are granted a delayed sentence.

    They wont delay my sentence because I am the only qualified staff member to finish a project for my private employer, but if LiLo has some contract to sign autographs at a car dealership in 3 weeks, do a playboy shoot, etc she can have all the time she needs to fulfill *HER* obligations.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind monkey 3 ( 773904 ) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @02:50AM (#39899689)

    The best government RIAA money can buy.

    We're talking U.S. government, they were rummaging through the "everything must go" bins. The RIAA does not like to let go of any money they have - ask any artist.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons