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RIAA Drops Case In Chicago

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the keystone-lawyers dept.

229

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes, "The RIAA has dropped the Elektra v. Wilke case in Chicago. This is the case in which Mr. Wilke had moved for summary judgment, stating that: '1. He is not "Paule Wilke" which is the name he was sued under. 2. He has never possessed on his computer any of the songs listed in exhibit A [the list of songs the RIAA's investigator downloaded]. He only had a few of the songs from exhibit B [the screenshot] on his computer, and those were from legally purchased CDs owned by Mr. Wilke. 3. He has never used any "online media distribution system" to download, distribute, or make available for distribution, any of plaintiffs' copyrighted recordings.' The RIAA's initial response to the summary judgment motion, prior to dropping the case, had been to cross-move for discovery, indicating that it did not have enough evidence with which to defeat Mr. Wilke's summary judgment motion. P2pnet had termed the Wilke case yet another RIAA blunder."

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Leave it to the RIAA (0)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16433995)

I am dumbfounded at their stupidity... wow.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (5, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434131)

Cruelty maybe, but not stupidity. They start every single case knowing that they're relying on nothing but scare tactics (which is basically racketeering, illegal under the RICO act... google it, it's 2:30am), and hope that the thought of a several hundred thousand dollar settlement if they win an in-court case will convince them to settle for a few grand out of court. This is one of a few cases where the defendant knew they had no case (or assumed as much), said "OK, to court we go", and then they had to admit they had no case and drop the thing. If they didn't own half the government, I'm almost positive they'd be fined for wasting the court's time.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434951)

[...]will convince them to settle for a few grand out of court.

It makes me wonder how much money they're losing if they're paying their attorneys and only getting a few grand here and there.

RIAA is funded by the same record companies that claim to be losing millions due to piracy, while throwing money to support the whole RIAA infrastructure and to be spent on stupid (or cruel) lawsuits like this one.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (2, Informative)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435057)

They probably have the lawyers on retainer, so they pay the lawyers regardless of if they're sitting around twiddling their thumbs or scaring private citizens into coughing up money. They most likely cut back on the lawsuits whenever they need the lawyers for more legitimate purposes.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435077)

Nope, they are paying them by the hour.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (1)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435199)

Do you or the GP have any evidence to back up which way it is? "They do." then "No they don't." isn't conclusive either way. :)

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435719)

I told you they are getting paid by the hour. If you don't believe me, tough.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435763)

In my defence I did say probably. I of course have no idea one way or another. But logic does suggest they do.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (3, Insightful)

Crimson Wing (980223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434145)

There is no end to the stupidity of the Human race--expecially in large groups.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (1)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434157)

There is no end to the stupidity of the Human race--expecially in large groups.
Case and point - Tandem Sky Diving.

Re:Leave it to the RIAA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434527)

There is no end to the stupidity of the Human race--expecially in large groups.

I rest your case.

Anyone noticed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16433999)

The RIAA has slowed down on the old lady and jobless wonder hunts? I don't hear much in the news about them lately =o

Re:Anyone noticed (3, Funny)

creepynut (933825) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435089)

Perhaps because it's such a recurring thing, that it isn't news anymore.

FROST PISS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434001)

FIRST POST BUAHAHAHAHHAHA

Counter? (4, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434005)

So is he going to counter-sue for the time and money spent defending himself against the allegations of the RIAA?

Re:Counter? (3, Insightful)

Swampwulf (875465) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434009)

Nah. The RIAA'll just refile with his first name spelled right and nail him in the second round.

Re:Counter? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435327)

How can you nail a guy who's legally proved he's innocent on every count even when he could of just gone "I'm not this guy, see ya!" ?

Re:Counter? (1)

Merovign (557032) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434705)

Loser-pays, man. Loser-pays.

Re:Counter? (5, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434849)

Loser-pays, man. Loser-pays.

But he didn't lose, the case was dropped, "amicably". Nobody won, nobody lost. But the guy is still out his time and legal expenses. What if they'd searched his house, confiscated his equipment, sent him to the point of bankruptcy with legal fees and then went, "Ah, hah-hah, we ,er, don't have a case. Yeah, er, sorry about that. Let's call it even, eh?"

Or worse, at that point, they say, "Well, the evidence is shaky. But we've got the time and money to draaaag this out.We're very persistent, you know. We believe you're guilty of *something*. Care for an out-of-court , undisclosed, settlement?"

How many cases does the RIAA have to screw up like this before the law realises that they're out firing random lawsuits at people on the internet?

Why?? (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434011)

Why have us millions of USA-bound users not sued the **AA over a monopoly control? Sure, we can sue under RICO and such especially in this case, but we need to be suing the **AA for A COMPLETE AND TOTAL SHUTDOWN, and not one single /. user, including myself, has the balls to just plain out sue the **AA in a full-blown class action lawsuit, when most of us (at least 60%,) own the CDs we're downloading off the net. Here's my suggestion, if we don't have the balls to do it, don't mention it, because it's waste amongst all of us. Bring on the downmomds, and those will be the ones that are the most ballless of us all. I forsee it, and I predict it. That's right, you've been planned for in advance, so mod me down as only your ignorant minds can. You are planned and accounted for, cowards, since you can mod yet you don't have the balls to do anything.

Re:Why?? (3, Insightful)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434023)

I disagree. All of the people that I know who download music (which is a lot on my college campus) do not own ANY of the music they're downloading. however, I think we all can agree that the RIAA and MPAA are out of line in what they're doing. I don't think that a lawsuit against them would be very succesful, but I could be wrong... I was wrong once.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434051)

Sue them for? They clearly -- CLEARLY -- don't have monopoly control in any form.

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434103)

Agreed. According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riaa/ [wikipedia.org] - "The Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) is the trade group that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of a large number of private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, who create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the US." So, from that I would say that since the RIAA is not an individual company it cannot be a monopoly. Do they qualify as a cartel? Possibly.

Re:Why?? (3, Informative)

cooley (261024) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434133)

I agree that they're not a monopoly, but I suspect that they might be a "trust" (which AFAIK is the same set of laws in the US under which monopolies are dealt with), defined as "a consortium of companies formed to limit competition". They all agree not to under-cut each other on prices, and to work together to protect their cash cow.

Re:Why?? (3, Informative)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434139)

Yes, more specifically they're probably a cartel "A cartel is a group of formally independent producers whose goal it is to fix prices, to limit supply and to limit competition."

Re:Why?? (1)

cooley (261024) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434167)

Thanks, I didn't know the definition of 'cartel'. I agree that's even more appropriate than 'trust'.

here's one (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434147)

Try a price fixing cartel. Technology indicates that pre recorded music should be much cheaper than what it is, yet you look on the shelves-and it isn't? Coincidence, or large scale and entrenched (and ignored) price fixing? Or if you are an "artist", how about for fraud. Their contracts would make a mafia loan shark blush. Or how about collusion for bribery in congress? How about no matter how many of them get caught doing some form of payola, none of them are ever forced to stop being in the recording and distribution business *at all*? Why is they are allowed to continue, decade after decade, getting away with the same crimes and just passing along their joke fines they get wussy slapped with to the consumer?

There are several potential avenues to explore.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435427)

Copyright grants "temporary" monopoly rights on the work. So one or other of the record labels has a monopoly on everything in their catalogue (except presumably Naxos who package public domain performances).

If I want to buy a copy of Tom Jones' Greatest Hits, I can only get that from the record label which released it, or somebody that label licensed for resale.

Re:Why?? (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434077)

That's right, you've been planned for in advance, so mod me down as only your ignorant minds can.

Wow! WTF have you been smoking? I cannot make heads nor tails of what you're saying.

You are planned and accounted for, cowards, since you can mod yet you don't have the balls to do anything.

Are you asking moderators to mod you as flamebait or what?

Re:Why?? (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434285)

Interesting offtopic flamebait at best, but I digress...

While we're doing the ball-less class-action suit, STOP F'ING BUYING CDs AND MUSIC and take away their bottomless pit of money. Right now they're raking in the dough so they can afford to pay plenty of lawyers to argue about how much piracy (Yarrrr!) is hurting the industry. Fuck them at both ends, and maybe get some results (or at least an NC-17 rating!)

Re:Why?? (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434989)

If you wanna piss them off, don't pirate and don't buy either. Buying rewards them financially; piracy gives them an excuse to go apeshit.

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434125)

That's right, you've been planned for in advance, so mod me down as only your ignorant minds can. You are planned and accounted for, cowards, since you can mod yet you don't have the balls to do anything.

How do balls even factor into it? Yeah, I'm sure you're frustrated and all, but you're just ranting now. Balls have nothing to do with it. It's all about money. I wouldn't want to blow my kids' college fund fighting a lawsuit against an opponent with a bottomless pit of money. So no, balls aren't the issue. It's common sense. Yes, the RIAA uses that to its advantage. No, there's not much we can do about it short of lobbying our congresscritters, which I have done on numerous occaisions. Mine don't want to hear it. They get campaign money from the recording industry. So, I don't vote for them. I tell others why I don't vote for them. I can't really afford to do much else. Out of curiosity, what are you doing? Or did you just come here to berate people?

Congresscritters (2, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434647)

congresscritters

I wish the 4 or 5 people that still use that Limbaugh-favoured term would stop doing so.

To me, a 'critter' is a fuzzy little (possibly annoying) animal or pest. Are vultures, sharks, sloths and blood-sucking leeches also called 'critters' in your vernacular?

Re:Congresscritters (3, Funny)

fatman22 (574039) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435083)

I believe "vermin" is the term you are wanting, except applying it to our "representatives" would probably get you sued by the Vermin Anti-Defamation League.

Re:Congresscritters (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435197)

Whatever happened to donkeys and elephants, was that determined to be uncool somehow by "strategic marketing analysis" or something?

I think the new national critter for America should be the Lionowl if we are anthropomorphising animals [wikipedia.org] .

But what do I know; my country's animal kingdom reps are beavers, mooses, geese and polar bears, none of which can catch an eagle.

Unless we built this flying beaver...

Re:Congresscritters (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435277)

To catch an eagle, you can use a traditional Native American method. You dig a small pit. You put some carrion in the pit. You hide beneath the carrion.

Eagles are basically a more attractive version of the vulture, a carrion bird. They land on the carrion, you nab them.

It's a mystery to some of us why the U.S. picked a dirty roadkill eater as the National Symbol. Every time you hear the word 'eagle' used in a majestic fashion, prepend the letter 'b' and think of 'The Flying Beagles' - a loopy bunch of semi-harmless dogs. It will change your outlook some, in ways that make life fun.

Re:Congresscritters (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435411)

OK, so what happens if a beaver meets a beagle in a deathmatch over, say, a scented plastic chewy toy that happens to look like a small tasty log? Discovery Channel has been doing some dramatic animal vs. animal showdowns recently, so maybe this one would be interesting.

Re:Why?? (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434509)

when most of us (at least 60%,) own the CDs we're downloading off the net.

Whose ass did you pull that number out of?

I rip my CDs with EAC and compress with LAME or aoTuV vorbis because that's the only way I know I'm getting good quality. So much stuff on the net is ripped in igorance. I use EncSpot to check over anything I do download and most of the time it reports sync errors and crapass encoders like Xing.

Re:Why?? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435291)

And to further skew the statistics, there are folks like me, who don't download ANY music content off the Internet, instead choosing to rip CDs checked out of the library.

However, it's probably important for us to maintain there is a large body of CD-buying rippers out there, to keep them from 'cracking down on our fun.'

Re:Why?? (1)

Magnum7385 (852146) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435445)

Here here for the EAC + LAME one-two combo!

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435899)

Here here

Here where???

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434997)

most of us (at least 60%,) own the CDs we're downloading off the net

And I thought most of the other arguments given for downloading RIAA-label music off the Internet were the ultimate in bullshit.

Why, pray tell, would you want to download music, ripped into a lossy format by some unknown encoder, that you already own on CD? If your answer involves the words "Sony", "BMG" or "rootkit" then I know you're talking gibberish.

Faster than ripping (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435451)

esp. if your CDs are in the car, or elsewhere. but I don't think the number's anywhere near 60%.

The more interesting number is: how many people would buy the song they're downloading if they had to. Even from iTunes? for $2?

I think 2%

The other more interesting number is: how many sales are *generated by the other 98%, when they user plays it for her friend, or ends up buying it, or whatever. Does it balance out that 2%?

Re:Faster than ripping (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435809)

The other more interesting number is: how many sales are *generated by the other 98%, when they user plays it for her friend, or ends up buying it, or whatever. Does it balance out that 2%?

Probably none, because if the friend says "Cool, I'll go and buy that", the response is quite likely to be "Buy? Nah, what you need to use is LimeWire, you can get it for free there". More to the point, if you already have the song for free, sound quality isn't an issue for you and you don't really care about packaging (like most people) what incentive is there to spend any money at all on music?

Re:Faster than ripping (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435881)

Nice attempt, but only covers a tiny slice of people's buying habits.

How about when I'm at a record store, ready to buy, and I see a discounted CD by a band I remember from my friend's mp3 collection? Or from a mix someone gave me.

I can tell you conclusively that the answer is definitely not "none" because I've personally bought at least 5 CDs that I would never have heard of were it not for p2p. To be fair, I also definitely know one CD I would have bought but did not because someone downloaded all the tracks to my machine. Wasn't me, though.

Incidentally, if I ever see that disc for sale in the range $6-8 I'll buy it anyway for the convenience and liner art.

Re:Faster than ripping (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435947)

How about when I'm at a record store, ready to buy, and I see a discounted CD by a band I remember from my friend's mp3 collection? Or from a mix someone gave me.
Record store ? yeah right like anyone ever goes there anymore.
Last time I was at the record store I was the only person there. They offered me coffee so I would stay a bit longer.

Re:Why?? (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435637)

Scratched CD?

Re:Why?? (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435823)

One word: cdparanoia.

If your CD is so incredibly badly scratched that CDparanoia can't make sense of it, that's more your fault for taking so little care of your stuff.

Re:Why?? (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435847)

As an addendum to what I said before, your CD being scratched isn't a reason for supporting P2P. It's a reason to pressure the record companies to replace scratched and/or damaged CDs on request.

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435049)

when most of us (at least 60%,) own the CDs we're downloading off the net

Can you back that up? I'm guessing you pulled that number out of your ass. Like you, I can only speak of anecdotal evidence, but I've yet to meet someone who downloads music he already owns the cd for.

Of course it might be that I'm simply hanging around with the wrong crowd but I suspect that's not the case.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435521)

Download time per track (average 8-10 Mb) - 1 minute.

Ripping time per track (average 8-10 Mb) - 3.5 minutes.

See the reason?

John Doe should sue for harassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435119)

He keeps on getting sued for the same thing again and again, it's clearly harassment.

But seriously, these fucktards in lawyers clothing *ARE* harrassing innocent people, because regardless of the fact that they undoubtedly catch copyright infringers in their nets, the innocent are dragged right along with them. That ought to be unacceptable in any sane society. The life (or livelihood) of even one innocent person ruined even among 100 valid or semi-valid catches is not acceptable.

And the extortion tactic that they use is totally beyond the pail and should be disowned and despised by all honest lawyers. I don't see how lack of funds to defend yourself and consequent caving in to the extortion settlement despite complete innocence can possibly be supported. The fact that it is allowed and supported by the legal profession just shows how generally corrupt it is.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435193)

This post was brought to you by Gene Ray.

Re:Why?? (3, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435885)

...not one single /. user, including myself, has the *balls* to just plain out sue the **AA in a full-blown class action lawsuit...

You misspelled money.

Change in attitude? (4, Interesting)

fishmasta (827305) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434041)

When's the last time the RIAA sued a new batch of people? It seems like with all these setbacks that they might be slowing down the lawsuits.

Re:Change in attitude? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434221)

Way to karma whore.

Re:Change in attitude? (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434247)

You still don't get it, do you? They'll find you. That's what they does. That's all they do! You can't stop them. They'll wade through your lawyers, reach down your throat, and pull your fucking heart out.

Listen. And understand. The RIAA is out there. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Re:Change in attitude? (1)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434405)

I know I've seen that movie. It's title is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite get it out. Could you please tell me what it is so I can have my forhead slapping moment?

Re:Change in attitude? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434501)

Aliens.

Quote was Ripley to Carter Burke, I believe.

Re:Change in attitude? (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435087)

Aliens? Turn in your geek badge. If you said Aliens 2 then I'd let you keep it (same actor) but no, you are totally wrong.

Re:Change in attitude? (2, Informative)

paul248 (536459) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434517)

Terminator

Re:Change in attitude? (3, Funny)

jimmichie (993747) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434877)

And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
Nope, being dead doesn't stop them either [theregister.co.uk] .

^----- Mod Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16435843)

Please Mod Up!

"...until *music* is dead." (2, Insightful)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435011)

Funny! But that last line should read "And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until music is dead."

Re:Change in attitude? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435039)

Well- I'm in China. US law doesn't apply in China (otherwise the Great Firewall wouldn't exist) so they can try all they like.

RIAA dropping a case for once? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434069)

Is this the guy who was so rich we were all saying "So, the minute anyone with money puts up a fight, the RIAA runs away?"

Just so I actually understand this correctly (-1, Flamebait)

aliscool (597862) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434093)

Someone who probably did steal music via downloading from a peer to peer application has beaten the RIAA in court.
Now what, we're supposed to celebrate.
Think about what we are saying here folks. Piracy is wrong. It is at the VERY LEAST immoral.
The RIAA is flailing about and sueing people who have by and large actually commited piracy.
Maybe this was an isolated incident of an innocent person being sued and getting their day in court and winning. More than likely though its someone that was stealing and has now gotten away with it.

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (1)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434113)

Good for him. I'm glad corporations and movie stars aren't the only entities that can use the law for their own gain. Remember, it's better that 10 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man go to jail.

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (4, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434129)

He didn't beat them in court, there was no judgement. They just backed out of the lawsuit.

And do you support a legal system where someone can sue YOU, using information that is so inaccurate that they actually don't even have your proper name?

RIAA vs. Osama Bin Laden Aliscool, tonight, on THE PEOPLE'S COURT.

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (4, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434295)

He didn't beat them in court, there was no judgement. They just backed out of the lawsuit.
And do you support a legal system where someone can sue YOU, using information that is so inaccurate that they actually don't even have your proper name?

How do you get dragged into the lawsuit to begin with when it isn't your name? When they brought the papers by why didn't he just say "Sorry. That's not my name, you have the wrong address," and close the door on them?

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (1)

Electronik (821589) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435015)

How do you get dragged into the lawsuit to begin with when it isn't your name? When they brought the papers by why didn't he just say "Sorry. That's not my name, you have the wrong address," and close the door on them?

That is fundamentally exactly what happened in this case:

1. He is not "Paule Wilke" which is the name he was sued under.

*SLAM*!

Is there a lawyer in the house? (1)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435895)

Rhetorical and snarky question perhaps, but I'd actually love to hear some analysis of it from a lawyer's perspective.

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (5, Insightful)

tchristney (133268) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434189)

Piracy is wrong. However, using the term pirate to refer to a copyright infringer really makes the act sound much worse than it actually is. It's propaganda, plain and simple. Try and keep a little perspective on the rhetoric, OK?

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434491)

Not a new tactic, not a new rhetorical element. Those with power have often tried to give new meanings to facts, events, words, ideas, etc. to make them sound and be thought of as being worse (sometimes less worse) as they originally were. After a while people will just pick up the new terms and use them as if they were natural, and they'll have more easy ways of achieving their goals. We can see this happening even in our lives, in many areas, no need to search for historical examples. You can raise attention to the intent, but most people just don't care at first and dismiss the issue saying it's ok, we know it's just rhetoric, but after a while it'll just subside and be forgotten. Well, these days it's no hard job to try painting a somehow doomed future, we have fairly many places to start from. Freedoms, laws, protection, rights, there were times when measures we happily accept today would have caused civil wars at least, still, we - as a crowd - have nothing against them.
 

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (2, Insightful)

Dorm41Baggins (858984) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434611)

Actually, calling a copyright infringer a pirate just makes the act sound cooler than it actually is. Plenty of cracker groups in the 80s and 90s latched onto it for that very reason.

Of course, these days it has lost most of it's potency- positive or negative. Calling a copyright infringer a pirate is given no more thought than calling a custodian a janitor.

The use of the term as a negative propaganda tactic has failed miserably.

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435067)

Think about what we are saying here folks. Piracy is wrong. It is at the VERY LEAST immoral.

Is it more immoral than the vast theft that was perpetuated on the public with each extension of the term of copyright? All those works were created, published and sold under the terms of copyright at that time. Yet, the MAFIAA [mafiaa.org] was able to unilaterally change those terms by bribing enough people in congress.

If stealing millions, maybe even billions, of dollars worth of content from the public is not only OK, it is sanctioned by the people who should be looking out for the public's interest in the first place, then on what grounds is it immoral when members of the public do the very same thing back to the MAFIAA, except on a much, much smaller scale?

Re:Just so I actually understand this correctly (1)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435889)

And here is the world's smallest violin, playing for you...

I'm sorry, but I can't stand this argument, I really can't. It's so hypocritical it isn't funny. You're surrounded by content, drowning in it, even. There is more creative content available today than there has been in the whole of human history. But God help us creative artists if we actually want to charge money for that year's worth of writing/painting/composing/sculpting work, or leave a legacy for our families. You're allowed to do that, but we aren't. You can complain about the Mickey Mouse Act all you like, but it's still hypocrisy.

How about this? How about actually trying to understand the law, and how copyright works? How about understanding how reprint rights work, and how once they are sold to a publisher, it is actually up to the publisher when and how a work is reprinted? How about understanding the history of intellectual rights (and this goes WAY beyond a clause in the original constitution), and why it is important for copyright, and any code of laws, for that matter, to change and adapt as society changes? How about trying to understand the difference between a law itself and abuse of that law?

Guess what - asking you to pay for somebody else's hard work is not theft. Somebody abusing a law to their own ends does not make the law itself invalid. And if you want to hurt the RIAA, file a class action suit against them for abusing and breaking the law, rather than using them as an excuse to break the law yourself. But disrespecting an artist's wishes while claiming that the RIAA's actions give you a moral right to do so is wrong - they do no such thing, and to claim otherwise is hypocritical.

the dogs (5, Funny)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434095)

lets bring in the cd sniffing dogs and search his house for incriminating evidence!

Loosing The Hounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434687)

Quickly, everybody, comment on parent! This is the rare chance to get to use "loose" correctly!

(Since we cannot lose the incurable misspellers, maybe we can at least loose them here...)

Standards? (1, Insightful)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434117)

I am not very impressed by this story as a whole... The article references slashdot for discussion. That doesn't make any sense to me.

There just isn't much information in this story, it doesn't even say if anyone paid out at all. Could it have been a settlement? What did this guy ACTUALLY do? I doubt he is being sued for literally nothing. Any news article that sites P2P websites is not really very fair or balanced.

Next time you read something like this, please send a link to a real article, not just some web-blogger who heard something from a torrent site. Standards people, standards!

Re:Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434195)

If you follow the links in TFA you can read the actual pleadings in the case. The lawyers are not saying whether or not any money was involved in the settlement. As for not believing that someone can be sue for literally nothing, you must not know much about the US justice system.

Re:Standards? (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434225)

I just think that he probably did do something. It is just a guess, but there are plenty of people who have actually downloaded songs, why didn't they sue them... Or me?

Arg!

Re:Standards? (1)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434413)

why didn't they sue them... Or me?

Don't worry, Mr. Walnutmon. The subpoena is in the mail.

Re:Standards? (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434297)

From what I can tell, they both came to some sort of 'amicable agreement' and each covered their own court costs.
So..... going from that, there might have been *cough* some little bit of guilt involved.

I wish some truly innocent person would counter-sue after one of these backdowns for legal costs ... and, say, a hundred million for emotional trauma from being branded a horrible, filthy, industry-ruining pirate.

Re:Standards? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435305)

I wish some truly innocent person would counter-sue after one of these backdowns for legal costs ...

Unfortunately, 'some truly innocent person' hasn't been nailed yet. Just lots of of 'gray area' offenders with varying degrees of wiggle room to get out of the charges.

Re:Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434499)

why is this modded as flamebait? He's right.

Re:Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434555)

why is this modded as flamebait? He's right.

What is he right about? His ad hominem comments about "some web-logger who heard something from a torent site"? That doesn't sound to me like an entirely accurate description of an article summarising a court decision, written by a practicing New York lawyer who specialises in intertnet copyright cases, which links to PDFs of the actual court filings that it's reporting on. What is the standard for a "real article" that beats that?

There's also the inanity of asking "What did this guy ACTUALLY do?" The report clearly says that the RIAA accused him of copyright infringement over p2p networks and that he denied it. Does he want a psychic to jump in and tell us which version is "ACTUALLY" right? I guess that part doesn't deserve a down mod though, just a rolling of eyes.

Your Honor... (3, Funny)

tom_75 (1013457) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434119)

... all these songs from exhibit B, which resided on my HDD, were duped from perfectly legal sources (namely CD's) that I rushed out and bought right after RIAA has launched its accusations. I find them pretty good... My pirating days are over ! Set me free !

Re:Your Honor... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434179)

I would have just fought it out. I mean, they can't make you have such a cruel and unusual punishment, why subject yourself to it???

Items 2 and 3 don't quite make sense together (2, Interesting)

Ibag (101144) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434327)

Call me crazy, but something doesn't make sense. For the RIAA to have a screen shot of any relevance, it has to be of a file listing on a p2p network of someone with an IP traced back to Mr. Wilke. A screen shot of his actual computer would not only be impossible to obtain, but would also not show any infringement, and there aren't many other types of screen shots that would make any sense in this context. If it is also true that "3. He has never used any "online media distribution system" to download, distribute, or make available for distribution, any of plaintiffs' copyrighted recordings," then the only scenario that makes sense is the following:

The RIAA took a screen shot of something on a P2P network with either IP addresses or user names which were then incorrectly traced back to Mr. Wilke, who had never logged onto the network but coincidently had the songs in the screen shot.

This sounds a bit unlikely to me. The statement sounds a lot like, "I never touched the girl, and in any case she kissed me first." Perhaps even more accurately, "Yeah, sure I did it, but we both know you can't prove it." I don't approve of the RIAA lawsuits, but I don't really like to see dishonesty coming from either side. I wish that the side getting sued would counter sue (to keep the RIAA from just backing away from people who try to fight them), be honest about what they did, and then win in such a way as precedent keeps the RIAA from ever successfully wining such a suit again. Getting the suit dropped because they accidentally put down the wrong first name seems like a hollow victory at best.

That's how you do it in civil court (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434403)

You present essentially every defense you can think of. You are presenting multiple levels and angles of an argument. It's like if you asked if I robbed a store and I say "No I was at work that night, and even if I was near the store I'm not nearly stupid enough to do something like that." The second part of the statement isn't saying the first is false, it's just saying that even if you don't believe me that I was at work, you still should believe I didn't do it.

In the event of a lawsuit like this, that's how you'd go about it. Off the top of my head I'd challenge if the listing was undoctored (since screenshots are easy to fake), if it was of the right client (many P2P networks will misreport what you have on accident sometimes), if they verified the contents of the files, if they verified that they were coming from the stated IP address, if the IP to account mapping was accurate and unaltered, and if there was a way to prove that nobody else was using my network. It's just pointing out all the levels of problems. So even if the judge/jury buys everything else is legit, they believe it is likely someone else was using my network.

You'll find in some civil cases there can be hundreds of responses as to why the plaintiffs are full of shit. It's just how the game is played. You throw out any and everything that is wrong with their case, and see what you can get to stick and shoot it down.

Don't be so sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16434461)

I'm not sure about the RIAA's evidence, but suffice it to say, from what I've heard them use in the past, I wouldn't count it as evidence of anything. Anyone can fake a screenshot (or just make some stupid program) to show any IP they want sharing copyrighted files.

As for the lists of songs, the key word here is "some". If he really had been the infringer they allegedly identified, shouldn't he have had ALL the songs he supposedly shared on there, not merely a few of them?

As for probability, please remember the Birthday Paradox. If you have 30 people in a room, the chance that two of them share a birthday is NOT 30/365, which would be under 10%, but rather considerably higher. Google if you want the exact answer, there are lots of good explanations of it online.

Re:Items 2 and 3 don't quite make sense together (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 8 years ago | (#16434655)

agreed. People dont really care that the RIAA had shaky evidence, they just care that its a crime that they support, and hope the guy gets away with it. If this guy had mugged some old lady in the street, and was getting away with it because they spelt his name wrong, the same people would be (rightfully) up in arms about the failure of the legal system.
Obviously Im not equating the 2 crimes, but you have to be consistant. The wrong name just sounds like an admin blunder, its not in the RIAAs interests to take the wrong guy to court, their whole tactics depend on the threat that "only if you download copyrighted files will you get sued". This isnt deliberate confusion on their part, just a typo.
I am suprised that something as stupidly fakeable as a screenshot can be used in evidence. If I was the 'victim' in this case, I'd photoshop a screenshot of the judge looking at dodgy porn to show how easily such things are faked. Case closed.

Re:Items 2 and 3 don't quite make sense together (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435165)

Or he could just, as per #2, be saying that he's coincidentally got some of those songs but not because he got them from any file-sharing service. More than one person has likely ripped any given song, so it's entirely possible that he's got songs ripped from his CDs that someone else also has and is sharing.

Re:Items 2 and 3 don't quite make sense together (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435569)

As one person mentioned, in civil cases you throw everything you've got against the wall, and see what sticks.
Regardless, what were the songs in question here? Is it some obscure indie band that maybe six people in the world listen to, or is it Madonna? If it's the latter (or something like), then it's entirely possible that he's got a CD and other people are sharing the songs.

Re:Items 2 and 3 don't quite make sense together (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435693)

They key word is "some". The RIAA showed two screenshots from what I remember. Mostly likely there were screenshots from a p2p program that listed songs from some p2p user. Paul claims he doesn't own any songs from list A and "some" songs from list B but those songs were legally purchased. He also claims that he does not have any p2p software. The RIAA has to prove that in court. Unfortunately, with the way they have approached investigative work, they may actually have to search his computer. Which they tried to do. Some judges don't like it when you sue someone without much substance.

Perhaps Mr. Wilke wouldn't be in this situation... (3, Funny)

SilentBob0727 (974090) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435045)

...had he listened to this first: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yz-grdpKVqg [youtube.com]

Re:Perhaps Mr. Wilke wouldn't be in this situation (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435593)

...had he listened to this first: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yz-grdpKVqg [youtube.com]

Weird Al Rocks!

Yawn (1)

AaronDunlap (953673) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435243)

The death of distribution systems is never pretty...The creative process that invents art (music) is the value add here. The only reason distributors have ever made money is lack of alternative means of distribution.

There is no doubt how this will evolve.

You cannot legislate how the IntraTubes get used... not really.

And the IT's are a better mousetrap for distribution.

In the future artists will charge much more for the creative process... cause that's all they will get.

Art is open source by nature... & since distributing this art is no longer difficult or expensive... well...

In space... no one can hear you scream.

riaa doesn't undertand legal system? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#16435739)

Last I checked, it's the riaa's job to find the evidence. It seems like in this case they are saying they don't have enough evidence to prove guilt, but because they "strongly suspect" the other party is guilty, that the courts should go on a legal fishing expedition to try to find evidence against him.

That's why we don't just issue search warrants because someone suspects you are guilty. You have to have credible evidence to go looking (legally) for additional corroborating evidence. You use evidence to go digging for more evidence. Not suspicion.
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