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Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the detecive-work-cuts-both-ways dept.

Music 172

eatonwood writes "Who is behind the RIAA's collections efforts? This comment at CallFerret says it is a company called PSC and lists a bunch of websites and contact information for them, but the connection to RIAA is still not completely clear (aside from the presence of a couple of clearly RIAA sites on the same server as PSC's). Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?"

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172 comments

We? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221264)

Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?

Aren't we doing it? We're parrotting their *evil ways* around, keeping them in the media.

Re:We? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221876)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, a big beautiful all-American football hero type, about twenty five, came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and married -- and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with him.

As soon as he left, I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist. I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass and not an end in itself.

Of course I'd had jerkoff fantasies of devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't?), but I had never done it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking.

I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract? I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does. I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down with his piss. I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my hankercheif, and stashed them in my briefcase.

In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole -- not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone.

The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process. I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did,bring to a grateful shiteater.

Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221918)

Master-Blaster runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center.
"Can't hear. Louder!"
Master-Blaster runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center.
"Still can't hear. Say louder!"
MASTER-BLASTER RUNS RIAA'S SETTLEMENT INFORMATION CENTER!!
"Embargo off."

Somehow the mental image of toiling amongst pig manure to make money for the RIAA just seems incredibly apropos.

Re:We? (3, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222610)

Anyone know anything more about who is doing RIAA's dirty work?
Aren't we doing it? We're parrotting their *evil ways* around, keeping them in the media.


Whoever said "money doesn't grow on trees" never owned an orchard. Whoever said "there's no such thing as a free lunch" never had a grandma. Whoever said "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" was obviously a virgin woman.

Whoever said "there's no such thing as bad publicity" never owned a restaraunt that was in the newspaper because their samonella-poisoned food killed children.

The RIAA is just plain evil and people need to know the evil they do. They will not gain from negative publicity. Would you have kept Sony's rootkit secret so they didn't get the free publicity?

Organized Prank Calling (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221288)

Someone should really setup a time to do a mass prank call attack. Could be quite hilarious.

Re:Organized Prank Calling (2, Funny)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221522)

Would slashdotting a telephone number work? Would it be a world first for slashdot to melt a telephone system.

Re:Organized Prank Calling (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221600)

Hi,

I'm calling from Nigeria, and I downloaded around 1500 of your songs. Now I'm willing to pay your fee, but in order to do so I must first secure my payments. So I need about $50000, to be deposited on bank account BIC415.201.25521.33. And then I will be happy to pay you the millions of dollars you claim I owe you.

Re:Organized Prank Calling (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221762)

Someone should really setup a time to do a mass prank call attack. Could be quite hilarious.

That would be appropriate, since the first album by the band that has brought independent digital releases to world attention, Radiohead's Pablo Honey [amazon.com] , took its title from a hilarious Jerky Boys bit.

Is there any statement from the Jerky Boys themselves about how they view the RIAA? I'd imagine such a free-spirited team to be sympathetic to the new world of independent digital distribution, and I'm sure we'd all love if they pranked the RIAA.

Re:Organized Prank Calling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23222030)

http://www.4chan.org/
Probably your best shot at making that a reality. I hear that /b/ has been whoring itself out to social causes lately.

Mods == fags (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221296)

Mods == fags

Re:Mods == fags (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221322)

Everytime I read the word "fag" I have to think to this song [revver.com].
It's funny how the meaning of the song might differ depending on the demography.

Re:Mods == fags (4, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221586)

Indeed. I had to give up the fags. I was getting through ten a day. Sometimes up to twenty on a big night out. When I had that many I used to feel really bad when I woke up in the morning. Also lots of people complained about the smelly butts. I think I was desensitized to the smell and never noticed. I never could tell my parents about it either, I always had to have a shower before I saw them in case they could tell. I felt ashamed and I'm glad I quit.

hmmm. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221330)

I have no idea.

But based on their litigious behavior to date publishing any details about them might bring down some legal wrath on your head.

So... what exactly is covered by freedom of speech or right to know?
- links to their website?
- phone numbers?
- photos of their HQ from public places?
- whistle blower documentation?

Re:hmmm. (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221434)

Purely out of curiosity, does the US have any equivalent to UK Companies House?

If they were a UK company, you could get a list of directors of both the SIC and various RIAA member companies and their home addresses through Companies House. All you need to do then is see if any names match up.

Obviously this doesn't help if the company has been set up as a totally separate entity with a totally separate list of directors, but it would tell you pretty quickly if Mr. Bloggs (who lives at 9 Acacia Avenue) runs company A and Mrs. Bloggs (who also lives at 9 Acacia Avenue) runs company B.

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221952)

Purely out of curiosity, does the US have any equivalent to UK Companies House?
I think there is.

For Florida, there is: www.sunbiz.org which is the same as UK's Companies House (actually a bit better). I presume there are equivalents for other states, but I only know of Florida's one for definite.

Re:hmmm. (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222646)

If they were a UK company

They are an organization that represents the music recording companies, all od which are multinational corporations like Sony with offices all over the world. I'm sure all the record companies have offices in the UK.

Re:hmmm. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223108)

The UK offices will almost certainly be subsidiaries, which may or may not share some of the directorships with their US parent companies.

UK Companies House will know that they're a subsidiary of a US company, but probably not much more than that.

neat if RIAA werent tryin to cover their tracks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23223636)

riaa is startin to lose. Time goes by it will lose more. Governments do not really HAVE to pander to this cabal of rich hooligans. When the people finally find out the truth about how much riaa is robbing them blind whilst hiding behind its swindled artists, there will be hell to pay and riaa knows it. That is people all over the world. They wont even be able to hide in their financial haven, the Cayman Islands, those Reggia (copyright sold to chinese robber barons) lovers would love to throw those real live fat slobs to feed the great white sharks. Maybe the band, Great White, will be there to help them. ..Eh Mon!

Re: Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (3, Funny)

gyepi (891047) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221346)

The Devil?

Re: Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221738)

Actually, its not the Devil himself, he is more of a salesman. You are looking for Infernos Perpetual Collections from the 7th plane of Hell. It is run by an Arch-Demon who (for obvious reasons) cannot be named. These guys are viewed as being soft, since the down payment is a little blood, but they are willing to stop collecting if you give them a good fight or an arm and a leg, preferably yours.

Re: Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221900)

Hmm...

According to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in Good Omens Hell has much to learn from the modern software license. I'm not sure that I would necessarily quote Messrs Pratchett and Gaiman as infallible sources but...

Re: Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222712)

Pat Robertson runs the RIAA? Well that would explain a lot of things, you may be right.

Re: Who Runs RIAA's Settlement Information Center? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23222974)

Don't know their full names, but looking at the reserved parking spaces:
"Lennie the Snake"
"Big Paulie"
"Kneecaps"
"Freddie the Weasel"...

It would be stereotyping if we were to hazard a guess.

Obvious answer... (4, Funny)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221384)

... Satin himself...

Re:Obvious answer... (5, Funny)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221410)

... Satin himself...
Satin? Oh, right, the guy who tempted Jesse for Fort 'n' Daze in the Dessert.

Spoiler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23223692)

For those with GP's level of mastery of English orthography, we should explain this translates to "Satan, the guy who tempted Jesus for Forty Days in the Desert".

Nice one, got me stuck on "Fort 'n' Daze" for a few secs (I guess because I have only read religious texts in the likes of HHGTTG, Ender's Game etc). I especially liked Jesse, since Jebus is a bit overdone...

Re:Obvious answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221512)

How about this? [photobucket.com]

I know I'll get modded down for this comment (2, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221404)

I honestly don't understand peoples absolute preoccupation with the RIAA. Let me ask you something...

You're artist, designer, or coder. You make things. Doesn't matter what it is as long as it's easily copyable on the internet (music, images, web pages, software). You do this for a living. One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do? How would you handle it? Would you just tolerate it? What if you began to notice you were no longer making $40,000 a year and ended up making only $20,000 a year? Would you give up the art that you love?

I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta. They are sloppy, thuggish, and an out right bully. What can they do? What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on? Is that the answer? Is that what everyone wants?

Maybe somehow I left behind on this whole internet thing, since I don't use Gnutella or Bittorrent. I pay for the stuff I use and listen to. I guess I'm a fool for seeing value in the arts that I love in my life, a value worth paying for.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (5, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221430)

Well, I think I'd at least start collecting evidence that would hold up in court rather than trying to send people scary letters and cross my fingers that would do. RIAA's consistent abuse of the legal system is what I think stings me the most. Organizations set up to protect a business can and do survive without succumbing to such strategies.

But then again... Maybe I would on the other hand want to be a successful lawyer enough to fall for these things, I'm not saying I'm perfect. If I were a lawyer, I'd want to be successful, and it's obviously a reasonably successful strategy for them, or else they wouldn't keep doing it. It depends on how much of a jerk I'd be willing to become.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (4, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221446)

I'm against shoplifting, but I don't think that gives storeowners the right to summarily execute anyone they suspect of the crime.

That's really the point. For music, we all believe that artists should get remunerated for their work. Want makes the RIAA evil is that (A) they don't work in the interests of the artists, and (B) their approach to their customers is insulting, intimidating, disdainful and invasive. Some would use stronger words.

The RIAA right now is waging a campaign against music fans, in the name of artists (many of whom do not support their name being so used), and gee, if the people's rights, liberties and freedoms are caught in the crossfire, so be it. Hey, we can even reduce those too!

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223026)

I'm against shoplifting, but I don't think that gives storeowners the right to summarily execute anyone they suspect of the crime.

Silly analogy....they don't execute suspected file sharers. Um....well, not yet they don't. (Let's not give them any ideas, hmmm?)

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221500)

No, you're a fool for believing that the actions taken by the RIAA are in any way appropriate to the situation they're in.

Gather efvidence, get people prosecuted in a secure, legal way. You don't start sending threatening letters, suing people on spurious grounds and generally being a complete asshat.

"I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta."

That's completely unnacceptable. Ruining other lives because you're on a mission for some sort of revenge is never a good thing, never.

You also make the false assumption that the people on the vendetta are in any way the artists. They aren't, they're managers and distributors. Which is the other reason they're losing out - you don't need physical distribution networks so much any more, their model is behind the times.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221504)

What if you began to notice you were no longer making $40,000 a year and ended up making only $20,000 a year? Would you give up the art that you love?

I'd probably give it up when I realised I was paying $39,000 a year "protection money" to the RIAA.

The RIAA do *not* have the artists' interests at heart, except in so far as that if the artists aren't making money, the RIAA can't extort it from them.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221508)

I think a lot of people are upset with the music/movie/TV industries in general. We want DRM free, fairly priced, content that we can use on any mobile device.

The only thing we seem to get are DRM-ed up pieces of content that only run on Windows, only on certain devices (e.g. iPod), and which cost MORE than buying physical content in the shops.

As a random example I can either pay $10 to buy a DVD with special features in Blockbuster. Or I can pay $14.99 on iTunes. Naturally the iTunes one only works on Windows, has DRM, and no special features at all.

It just feels like a bunch of old men who haven't court up with modern day life freaking out and lashing out at people because of it.

PS - And don't even get my started on the whole "One Licence for the US, one for France, one for Germany etc" thing on online digital download shops.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221528)

The difference between $20,000 and $40,000 is the difference between poverty and a comfortable life. The difference between $12Bn and $15Bn is a few less yachts.

My sympathy is with you.. (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221536)

but as pointed out many times before here of slashdot, charging the kind of money that is being charged for music is an untenable business practice in the light of the capabilities of the technology that we have. Either one can try to criminalize all sorts of sharing (even the stuff people *want* shared like your favorite Ubuntu iso) or give it up. Copying stuff is easier than ever and a certain level of "piracy" (I suppose a level that won't be convenient to you) will always be there.

I would rather not go into an argument of whether or not you deserve being paid, the way you want, for the content that you create, but times change. Sometimes to the detriment of some people. The ever-popular example of horse-carriage makers comes to mind.

I really think "resistance is futile" ;-)

Re:My sympathy is with you.. (2, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222188)

Bang on, technology provided the means for this whole business to thrive in the first place and now technology has changed and can take it all away again.

There has always been music, humans like music and it's never going to go away so if 'artists' can't make money using current technology then they need to stop trying, the world doesn't owe them a living, and do something else. Other music will come in to fill the gap and match up with the new technology. In short music is important, 'artists' or particular performers aren't and their marketing and manufacturing businesses definitely aren't important on any fundamental level.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

ziggie (103462) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221542)

I guess I'm a fool for seeing value in the arts that I love in my life, a value worth paying for.
If you give money to people who use protection rackets to artificially allow them to control the use of light and sound, then yes, you are a fool.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221554)

I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta. They are sloppy, thuggish, and an out right bully. What can they do? What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on? Is that the answer? Is that what everyone wants?
I don't pirate music either - that's not the issue.

You've pretty much summed it up yourself. It's not just the fact they're going after music piracy - the problem is they're going after people with sketchy 'evidence', trying to manipulate the legal system to their advantage.

They use their legal might to bully people into settling out of court [who may not have even pirated anything!] This is extortion, plain and simple.

Even in cases where piracy is legitimately happening, the fine is often far higher than it should realistically be, given the transgression. To be sued nearly a quarter-million dollars for two dozen pirated songs is simply ludicrous.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223302)

Even in cases where piracy is legitimately happening, the fine is often far higher than it should realistically be, given the transgression.
The fine amounts are unconstitutionally excessive, and therefore illegal. And these conspirators have also bribed politicians to pass an unconstitutional length of term for copyrights. This creates more artificial scarcity for a longer time. This makes the public domain poorer, and artists themselves are also members of the public domain. They broke the original 14 year bargain. And given the pace at which information spreads today, even 14 years is now too excessive. This stuff is less important and less valuable than patents, and the laws need to reflect that reality. And lets not pretend either that artists don't wholsesale copy the ideas of others in their pretend "original" work.

Copyright is exactly as silly as me claiming I own the oxygen in the air on planet Earth and attempting to enforce payment for everyone's "infringing" breathing of my air. And every artist who uses ideas which were created by others in his copyright claims (including the inclusion of public domain language words) is attempting to claim ownership of "air". The economic fact is copyright makes society net poorer and net less artistically advanced. Copyright is completely unnecessary to promoting the advancement of the arts and sciences, and only ends up hindering that advancement. And artists can continue to make a very viable living by seeking voluntary compensation in the free market without any need for copyright.

The only thing which has changed is there is absolutely no profit to be made in the distribution business in the age of the internet, and prices need to reflect the reality that the cost of distribution for music is basically ZERO. It's economically inefficient and environmentally wasteful to try to deliver content on physical media. The record companies are trying to force everyone to pay the price of a first class stamp for every email message and internet post made. That's absurd, and that's why their stock prices are tanking.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221558)

I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta. They are sloppy, thuggish, and an out right bully. What can they do? What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on? Is that the answer? Is that what everyone wants?

Maybe what they should do in the few cases where it becomes obvious that they made a mistake and sued the wrong person is to stop the lawsuit and offer to pay all the costs incurred by the victim. That wouldn't be enough, but it would be damn good start. Or at least, just stop the lawsuit? No, these guys just press on. That is the same tactic used by some debt collectors even when faced with proof that they are collecting invalid debts or collecting from the wrong person.

Wanting to collect from people that steal from you is one thing. Trying to be a bully just to scare everyone else is another. And being that bully against people that didn't steal from you at all is altogether worse.

Maybe somehow I left behind on this whole internet thing, since I don't use Gnutella or Bittorrent. I pay for the stuff I use and listen to. I guess I'm a fool for seeing value in the arts that I love in my life, a value worth paying for.

Believe it or not, there are people that download music from various sources just to get a sample to determine what it is they like and don't like, and then go buy what they like. Maybe the RIAA is upset they no longer buy what they don't like?

Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221578)

What would you do, just start giving away that which you make your living on?

Yes, that is exactly what I would do - it is exactly what I do now.

I get paid for writing bespoke software. The programs are customised to my employer's requirements. Anyone can have a copy of the software, because that isn't where the value is. The value is that I configured it just for them; I changed bits or wrote entirely new bits that fit them exactly. I wrote a new module to work with their esoteric payments system. I changed the software so the interface was accessible to their staff in another country.

Equally, with a music album, the value isn't in something that was written last week or fifty years ago. The value is in the tour ticket, the t-shirt and pre-ordering the next release. If the fans want a new album, they should have to group together and put enough money in the pot to make it worthwhile for the artist. When the artist releases the album, he gets paid that pot of money and no more. That way, the artist is encouraged to make new work, rather than be lazy and live off something he did in the 1960s. Meanwhile the fans maybe get an exclusive packaged CD, whilst everyone else in the world can take a free copy.

This is called Street Performer Protocol [wikipedia.org].

People should be paid for doing, not paid for something they have done.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (3, Interesting)

evilandi (2800) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221610)

To put it another way:

Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago.

That would be almost impossible to police.

But it is even more difficult to keep track of people who listen to music or watch video. That's even more difficult to police.

Instead, bricklayers get paid for making new buildings, and not for buildings they've already finished. Equally, artists should get paid for making new art, not art they've already finished.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221714)

Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago.
Like entering a museum?

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (2, Insightful)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221880)

To put it another way: Imagine if bricklayers had to be paid by every person who visited a house they built several years ago. That would be almost impossible to police. But it is even more difficult to keep track of people who listen to music or watch video. That's even more difficult to police. Instead, bricklayers get paid for making new buildings, and not for buildings they've already finished. Equally, artists should get paid for making new art, not art they've already finished.

Those analogies are usually unhelpful. Bricklayers don't need to be paid by everyone who visits the house because a) they have never been granted ownership of any part of the house b) they agreed to be paid a finite sum of money upon completion of the job.

However, if I *own* the house, I am entitled to charge everyone who wants to visit it.

What I profoundly dislike about anti-copyright activists is their desire to force their views upon everyone else. At present, nothing prevents artists from doing what you have suggested above. It's up to the artists to decide whether they want to charge everyone who listens to what they have created, or simply want to give their work away for free.

You should never forget that copyright has tremendous benefits and, in many cases, protects the "little man" too. Do you think that a struggling artist would be happy to learn that a big-name band has "stolen" one of his songs, but he has no recourse against them?

I personally think that there is value in what was written 20 years ago! I enjoy listening to the artist's performance, and I believe that he should be compensated for his work. Do you think that all artists are immediately catapulted to stardom and have a fan-base that is large enough to make your proposal practicable? It might work, but only for well-known artists or bands.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (2, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221914)

Let's try something that's actually parallel.

Imagine you're a bricklayer building houses and the concept of credit doesn't exist, and everybody simply has to pay up front in cash for the whole price of the house. Suddenly you go from working on 100 buildings a year to one because 99% of people can't afford to buy a whole house with cash.

Or imagine you've got a $100 million building full of historical artifacts. Now, you could sell it to a private owner for a rich guy's playground. You could sell it to a rich, old philanthropist who would open it to the public for free, if you're lucky enough to find one. You could also set it up like a gallery and charge admission, since each person would be willing to pay a token amount to enjoy the experience without having to buy the whole building that they have no hope of ever affording.

In other words, artists only get paid for art they've "already finished" because it hasn't been paid for yet. Some is more profitable than others. Why do you want to restrict artists to recouping costs, but let businesses turn unlimited profits? How does that even begin to make sense?

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (2, Funny)

dkone (457398) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223674)

OK Mr. Analogy man, lets see if you can clear up this one. Let's say you are a bricklayer who also writes music AND built a brick house for a famous musician that you also co-recorded a top ten hit with. Let's also say for the sake of clarity that the house is filled with old barber shop memorabilia. Now who gets paid and how much?

DK

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221692)

"People should be paid for doing, not paid for something they have done."

as a matter of interest, what is your view of inheritance tax?
Surly it should be 100% right?
23% of the richest 1,000 people in the UK did NOTHING to get the money but be born with rich parents. They are paid for doing nothing, and never have contributed anything whatsoever.
Surely if your principle holds, it should be illegal for your parents to leave you anything in their will right?
If not, explain to me the difference.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (0, Offtopic)

EatHam (597465) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221724)

People should be paid for doing, not paid for something they have done.

as a matter of interest, what is your view of inheritance tax? Surly it should be 100% right?
This non-sequitur brought to you by the letter fruitbat.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222102)

Surely if your principle holds, it should be illegal for your parents to leave you anything in their will right?
If not, explain to me the difference.
The difference is that inheritance is not payment for anything, and never was intended as such.
This is quite obvious, after all your children do not have an inherent right to the money: you are free to spend it all before you die. (althought your laws may retrict you totally disowning them of what is left AFTER you died)

Inheritance is a donation. Therefore children are of course not "paid", and it does not matter whether they did anything to earn it.

Just as you are free to donate any amount you want to an artist, you can donate any amount you want to your children, in case of your demise. Neither has an inherent right to this donation.

Now we could argue why donating to your children after you death is taxed differently than other forms of donation.
My guess would be because
1) the state is specifically supporting families with all sort of privileges. That is a goal in most countries.
2) Tax-free or low-tax donations are open to abuse: you could classify any payment as donation to avoid taxes. Since you have to die to do the same with inheritance, abuse is strongly limitet.

but that is ouf course a matter entirely unrelated to the "People should be paid for doing, not paid for something they have done" discussion.

Re:Bespoke Software and Street Performer Protocol (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223718)

If not, explain to me the difference.

That you and I don't have to pay for the guy who inherited a ton of money to do nothing. We (those that buy music, anyway) do have to pay for the musician who sits on his bum doing nothing but collecting royalties from something he created decades ago.

I agree that there is something not quite right about bands being able to produce music for a few years and then do nothing the rest of their life. It's not that I oppose that from a capitalistic standpoint--everyone, myself included, would love to be able to quickly make enough money so that we could then be able to do whatever we enjoy... including absolutely nothing.

But I'm not persuaded by arguments that because this has been possible for many in the recording industry that it can or should stay that way. Making music is, from a business perspective, not like winning the lottery. It's a job. And if they want to keep getting paid, they should keep working. That either means making new music or going on lots of tours and playing the same stuff you recorded 20 years ago.

Personally, I feel quite strongly that music should be 100% free and shared. Musicians should make their money on tours or other life performances. That's pretty much the way it was for all of human history before the recording industry came around within the last century.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

mithras invictus (1084169) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221616)

That analogy does not work because in this situation there's an extra party positioned between consumers and producers that acts as a gateway between the 2 and this third party made most of the money and decided what artists would get access to the market, what the public would be allowed to buy and at what price. The record companies saw digital music as a threat to their business model. They saw they could no longer control the supply and demand on the market and artists might even sell directly to customers. So they decided to try to put a stop to it. If they had started selling digital music in a decent format and at a reasonable price from the start there would never have been the problem of illegal downloads.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221666)

You are not a fool at all, you are an honest person who values the work others do. Thankfully, you are still just about in the majority, because if you were not, we literally would have nobody making music, games, movies or TV shows. (cue some idiot suggesting that youtube is an equivalent to Hollywood - if free content is so good, why is it in no torrent sites top 10?).
It *is* scary how much the prevailing groupthink of slashdot is that "teh copyright owners are teh Satan" and that man is born with a god given right to food, shelter, and free music and movies. Especially because /. is mainly american, and americans are increasingly dependent on intellectual property for their economy.

The thing that amazes me is that people in 'the file sharing community' get really annoyed by two things:
1) people not 'thanking them for their work' when they upload someone elses work for free and
2) Leeching.

Seeing as the file sharers can only take all this free content because people like you and me pay the full price for it, it seems ironic that leeching is seen as so bad by a huge community built entirely upon the idea of leeching from everyone else.
tbh slashdot stopped being a serious tech news site ages ago, its practically a blog for content piracy now :(

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (2, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221720)

Thankfully, you are still just about in the majority, because if you were not, we literally would have nobody making music, games, movies or TV shows.

In Hong Kong, no one buys legitimate copies. Yet, there is a steady stream of new art because the market adapted to changing conditions there and found a new way to be profitable.

Auteur filmmakers from Ingmar Bergman to Emir Kusturica and beyond have been unsure of the profitability of their ventures. Nonetheless, they still realized their visions thanks to private patronage.

Many record labels releasing contemporary art music wouldn't make a profit even if they sold every disc they printed. Nonetheless, they continue to put out great music thanks to state arts subsidies.

Getting paid for every copy of your work is a very recent thing, going back only a couple of hundred years. Before that, for the millennia of human existence, we still had artists. Just look at the wealth of great literature coming from Greece and Rome.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221752)

Is this a joke?

patronage...

Ok cool, so we will have the music and the movies that the government and the wealthy would like yes?

Kiss goodbye the grand theft auto
Kiss goodbye to punk music
Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.

Its amazing what crap people will cling to if it lets them feel good about ripping off musicians...

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221810)

European arts ministries provide a good example that state-funded arts do not, in fact, produce only what the state wants. I doubt more than a handful of people in the French government have anything good to say about, say, the music produced by IRCAM, but it is already in its third decade of generous state funding. Similarly, few in the Finnish government listen to obscure comtemporary composers e.g. Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, or Kimmo Hakola, but the commissions keep rolling in and the orchestras' musicians keep drawing their paychecks.

Kiss goodbye the grand theft auto

I, for one, would be happy to see big video games go.

Kiss goodbye to punk music

Great, I can only see that as a good thing. I'd rather listen to music whose performers seek greater musical abilities, not shirk them off.

Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.

A great deal of art these days is created with the goal of being subversive and questioning existing hierarchies. These artists don't seem to have had great difficulties securing funding for their rebellious visions.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221962)

Kiss goodbye to punk music

Great, I can only see that as a good thing. I'd rather listen to music whose performers seek greater musical abilities, not shirk them off.



There was plenty of punk made outside of the recording industry's purvue. Some of the best stuff never made it to Vinyl, and only made it to CD when home studios became popular. Indeed, much of it would have probably vanished had it not been shared outside of the boundries the music industry would impose on us. Some of it with the Artists' blessing, some of it without.

Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.



Yeah, cuz no one will criticise the government, its foreigh policy, or the politicians that populate it unless they're paid cold, hard cash.

Not.

As an author I support author's rights, and that includes artists and musicians who make the films, musc, paintings, etc. we all enjoy. However, government monopoly entitlements are, in the best of circumstances, a highly ineffecient and imperfect way to implement artistic rights. They empower the middlemen, publishers and industry cartels, while simultaneously disempowering artists and their audiences. To characterise anyone who criticises the current monoply regime as theives, or imply they believe artists shouldn't get paid, is rediculous and intellectually dishonest. To attack those who decry the heavy handed and flagrantly unjust methods employed by those cartels against the innocent and minorly guilty ($250,000 for pirating a dozen $1 songs? Please) goes well beyond intellectual dishonesty.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221870)

Its amazing what crap people will cling to if it lets them feel good about ripping off musicians...

I should add that the new music I seek out is that produced by the alternative funding methods I mentioned. I'm not making apologies for "ripping off musicians" at all. I'm simply saying that the arts will continue to exist even after the demise of copyright-based revenue streams. It might not be the crap music and videos games you like, but nonetheless there will continue to be human artistic endeavours just like there were before copyright.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221966)

"It might not be the crap music and videos games you like"

be careful buddy, you let your holier-than-thou snobbishness leak out a little there.
if mere peasants like me and 95% of the population are happy to buy our 'crappy music and video games' why the fuck do we need arrogant elitist pricks like you to dictate what we are allowed to enjoy?

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222042)

I'm not dictating what you should enjoy. However, it seems a possibility that what you enjoy might find it increasingly more difficult to stay profitable (although, sadly, Hong Kong shows that might not be the case) and there would be less of it out there. I for one wouldn't find a problem one bit. You seem to be panicking about a coming crash of the media you hold dear, but not everyone cares and many would actually rejoice.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23222828)

Kiss goodbye to pretty much anything that criticises the war on terror or inequality.
Yeah, HipHop Obama would have none of that crap.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23222914)

you might want entertainment in the form of state-subsidies, but you try telling the average tax payer why he should pay for heroes or 24.
that's a fucking stupid idea.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221734)

The same thing happened to the weavers in Coventry, UK in the 18th Century. As it was obvious that their technology was obsolete, and everyone had to loose from supporting them, no one did.

I find it strange that people were smarter then than they are today.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221758)

Ok.... The base rule, when I resort to getting stuff from bittorent: I have no access to the resource, that I want to have. And the publisher has NO intention of EVER letting me have it.(Consider me as a person with AIDS and the publisher a drug company with a cure, that just has no intention of letting me have access to the drug even at an unreasonable sum). I am not talking about source, code or anything, just the end product. Like a lot of ComedyCentral stuff.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (3, Insightful)

Casualposter (572489) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221768)

The RIAA represents a group of companies whose primary business model for the last 30 years has been to repackage the same product and sell it to the same customers, over and over. The big boom in music sales was the CD as customers moved away from the fragile vinyl albums of yore. Once the majority of folks realized that CD's were very expensive, and just as fragile as vinyl, they were disappointed. New music, such as it is, has not been selling very well, as over prices songs compete with other forms of entertainment. For the most part, music is used to enhance some other activity, not as the primary entertainment.

During the time that most people were switching to the CD, the record companies, members of the RIAA, colluded to illegally fix prices, and frankly the artists saw none of that money.

Now, the with the customer able to obtain in a fast, easy, and durable form, the music that they want, for as little as 89 cents a track, the record companies are finding that their "buy the same stuff in a different format" business model, isn't working. Rather than attempt to adapt to the new market, arguably difficult and risky, they formed a different plan: litigation.

The cost of filing a suit is trivial. The fear of being ruined in a lawsuit is tremendous, and most people will spend 4-5K dollars to make it go away rather than risk a lifetime of ruin trying to dig out from under a multi-million dollar debt. The fact that RIAA does not gather enough evidence to go to court, and that the evidence gathered is probably wrong as often as 20% of the time, is significant.

The RIAA set up a call center based upon the the techniques of debt collectors, with out the restraint of actually having to be debt collectors. These settlements, as we have seen, are little more than the promise that the RIAA won't sue you again. BUT having admitted that you did violate the copyright, the victim has been set up for a second bite, once the music writers sue for infringement, and then the performers can sue again. So it appears that the business model of suing for millions based upon listening to music will be with us for a long time.

Using the legal system to extort money from people is wrong. Making it a business, is particularly evil.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221780)

The beef with the RIAA is the heavy-handed approach you mention. There are ways to produce and sell media and make a profit, however the RIAA member companies no longer get to choose distribution model, nor dictate a hugely inflated price. They don't like this fact. Lawsuits against customers is their solution.

You're paying 98% of that money to record company executives, not artists.

There are plenty of examples of businesses whose profits were either obliterated or severely reduced due to technology. Adapt or die. The RIAA does not want to adapt.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

Edam (911039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221828)

What would you do? How would you handle it? Would you just tolerate it? What if you began to notice you were no longer making $40,000 a year and ended up making only $20,000 a year? Would you give up the art that you love?
Well, "giving up the art that I love" aside, your opinion seems to be a very common one, and also one that I don't share and don't really understand. Many people seem to be of the opinion that just because you've put a lot of time and effort in to something, you therefore deserve to get paid for it.

When you think about it, this is obviously not the case. It's like building sandcastles on the beach - they're ultimately worthless because the tide will wash them away. I think the problem here is that that the technology that allows us to share information has changed. It is now so trivial to copy massive amounts of data (films, music, etc) that value of that information is falling.

Back to your example of no longer making $40,000 a year: It's the same scenario. If there are other companies offering the same thing as you make for free, then the value of what you sell has fallen. There's nothing to "tolerate", the market has just changed, that's all. In this situation, if you want to carry on selling something that has depreciated, your only option is to come up with a way to make the market *think* your product is different/better. Microsoft are doing quite well at this. Alternatively, you'll have to sell something else or find some other way of making money.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221854)

One day someone sets up a web page that gives what you sell for a living away to others for free. What would you do?
Why don't you ask Metallica? http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/27/1458228 [slashdot.org]

Views on copyright-type issues have always been influenced by the level of technology. It doesn't seem to have been much of an issue before the printing press. As the technology has changed with computers and the internet, so has people's view of copyright. It's only to be expected. There are people who think it should or could stay the same - it won't. If you think of what is happening right now, with the law and people's behaviour being so out of sync, as a transition period to a new status quo, rather than as a mass outbreak of immorality, it'll make more sense.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222014)

Views on copyright-type issues have always been influenced by the level of technology. It doesn't seem to have been much of an issue before the printing press.

In fact, mass copying goes back to ancient Rome. When poets gave recitals, there was always someone transcribing the poetry, handing it off to a team of literate slaves, and having it copied and sold for profit. As the poets already had a secure source of funding, private patronage, they had no objections to this practice. The only time a poet seems to have raised a cry is when Martial attacked a guy who was copying Martial's epigrams and passing them off as his own verse. While copying was fine, plagiarism was not. And even then, Martial only lampooned him, he didn't call for severe legal penalties.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221882)

What can they do?

They can pursue their legal actions with honesty & dignity, while complying with rules of law. They could have kept up with technology. They can recognize that their business model is antiquated. They can stop pimping crappy formulaic music and over sexualized mouthpieces. They can stop the loudness arms race. They can produce a product worth buying, in a form worth buying. They can replace my damaged media for a nominal and fair price.

Oh fuck it.. who am I fooling. As long as the RIAA is around they will never do these things and I will continue to pirate my content. As far as I am concerned they can go out of business, all of them, and the faster the better.

This week I am watching the TV series "Jazz" (2001) it's 10, 118 minute episodes (which I got via Bittorrent) and I've downloaded music from about 30 different artists presented in the series (also via Bittorrent). Right now I am listening to Jelly Roll Morton and Bix Beiderbecke and very much enjoying it. There is no way I would have ever heard of these people or the music if paid attention to the RIAA. I would recommend that everyone who has even a passing interest in Jazz, see the films⦠you are bound to find a Jazz style you like that you have never heard.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222056)

Although "everyone" is not a person and thus does not have a meaning, I think the majority of people would be happy to see a balance here: the artists get paid, and their customers get the type of access they desire. Ask around: I wager almost everyone here is happy to pay for content that they like, even if they have already downloaded it earlier.

And in return for paying for that content, those customers want certain freedoms to deal with it in their own way. That means transferring it to another device, storing it for later replay, and the ability to resell the content later if so desired. It typically does not involve the right to put it on bittorrent though: most of us don't actually care for that. If we give a copy to a friend or neighbour it is because we were raised to be good people, and that means sharing what you own.

Organized content producers see things differently: they want to be paid for every single use, every space- and time-shift, every resale, in perpetuity. They want to be able to take anything they like without paying for it, and incorporate it into their work (or even sell it as their own work). They want huge penalties to deter would-be copyright violators from "stealing" or "pirating" their content. And they want legislative and technical support to stop copyright violation, and push that agenda at the cost of all progress.

Given this extremist viewpoint, customers are rebelling and calling for a counter-movement. That's what you are seeing here. It is not that we don't believe in copyright (we do!), or that we don't want content creators to be paid (we do!), but we detest the extremes the content producers are pushing for and refuse to accept them. We hate the fact that you get off with less punishment if you commit armed assault than if you copy a song - because we can tell the difference between good and evil, and we know that copying a song is, at a fundamental level, a far lesser wrong - or even not wrong at all. Sharing information is, after all, part of the basic human design; we were writing down stories back when we lived in caves and hunted mammoths.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222142)

That is one point of view but there are others which could be considered when talking about the RIAA and their ilk.

You're a hard working man and in the evenings you like a drink at your local. A couple of evenings a week some travelling musicians might come in and play you a few songs, some old classics and maybe one or two of their own and if you like it you might throw some money in their hat, since you can play a fiddle and your mate can play the tambourine you and your mates might have your own sing song on other nights of the week and if you liked one of the songs the band played you might sing a couple of theirs. The next week you drop by the pub you find it's been closed down and the landlord is facing massive fines for not having some sort of 'licence' for your sing song, he informs you the enforcers mentioned your name and said they'd be around to see you shortly. When they turn up, before they club to the ground and steal all your money, it turns out they're not even employed by the band at all but just printed out some of their promotional flyers but they're story is they now own all the music you and your mates like to sing in the pub.

Or how about this.

There's this new thing called the moving picture show you're read about in the scientific press and it looks to you like a good little money earner so you get yourself a camera and some actors and start to make some movies. Things go well and your movies are popular, you're making money. Next day some bloke turns up and says you need to pay him to use his movie technology, you need to pay him a lot but rather than doing that you skip town and move to a place called Hollywood at the other side of the country where you can use his equipment to make your movies and not pay this bloke a single cent.

Or later

His nephew hears about this new thing called cable which can let people watch more shows in their houses then ever before, he sets up a business installing cable to peoples houses and pumps in programs from conventional operators, the people love it, he makes lots of money. Next day some bloke turns up and points out it's illegal to just take peoples shows and put them on cable without paying for them and now he owes them all his money. The law changes and it turns out he doesn't owe them a thing.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222228)

You've missed the point.

The anger toward the RIAA is not because we (the Slashdot community) would prefer to get the product of artistic expression for free, but rather because they are attempting to collect huge sums of money on art that they had zero input in creating. We hate the fact that we are being persecuted by a bunch of people who have usurped the art work of others, and are using artificial mechanisms to monopolise others' enjoyment of that art. They are illegitimately standing between creators and admirers of art and acting as self-appointed thuglike toll collectors.

Furthermore, they are actively derailing developments that will remove their ability to monopolise the creation and distribution of that art (these lawsuits are a part of that policy of derailment) in order to artificially preserve their own bloated and thoroughly unnecessary existence to the detriment of both artists and art consumers.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23222494)

I pay for what I listen to, too. But that doesn't mean I'm not worried about the RIAA. Between having a teenager in the house, hosting a public wifi hotspot, and having dynamic IP on my DSL, something as simple as actual innocence is no bar to persecution by RIAA's thugs.

One of her friends could download something over my connection without any input from me, or the address I'm using today could be used by a file-sharing neighbor tomorrow, or some complete stranger might use my link for a file whose name looks like one the RIAA thinks it has the right to protect.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222606)

I honestly don't understand peoples absolute preoccupation with the RIAA. Let me ask you something...
{snipe}

I'll admit, what I do know of the RIAA is they are extremely heavy handed, so much so that it's entirely possible that innocents are wrapped up in their vendetta.
entirely POSSIBLE? well, there is an answer to your first question. You might understand once you realize that it isn't that innocent people MIGHT get sued, harassed, and badly treated, it because they ARE being harassed, sued, and badly treated. And when it turns out that an innocent was caught up in thier shotgun litigation and decides to defend themselves, they cut and run, doing everything they can (until now successfully, for the most part) to cover the legal costs of those they targeted.

Multiple instances of misuse of the legal system that definately has cost innocent people thousands of dollars, since defending themselves would be more expensive than just paying the extortion.

That they are waging a vendetta, against their own customer base, well, that sort of thing is never going to go over well.

And finally, with very few exceptions, the outcry isn't against the artists that create the "Arts you love in your life" it's against the RIAA and it's member record companies that are throwing the baby out with the wash.

What surprises me is that, after 5 plus years of coverage on this issue, anyone that is savvy enough to comment on slashdot is also ignorant of these issues. But I avoided the knee-jerk "Label them a troll" response, since there are possible explanations for ignorance on this subject. And the post was at least polite.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23222822)

You've bought into their lies. What if you were a popular author [wikipedia.org] who wanted to set out to prove that people wouldn't pay for books if they could get them online for free and promised that he would put his next book online, chapter by chapter, until people stopped paying.

Here's what happened: people didn't stop paying. However, the author stioo stopped writing the book. Who is wrong here? I was most amazed that people who had actually paid the asshat defended his actions. If I'd paid for some of those chapters I'd have demanded my money back.

No well known creative person ever went bankrupt or had to go into a different line of work because his or her works were copied or dissiminated. Many had to stop creating for lack of publicity, however.

If "free music" hurts artists, why do they allow it to be played on the radio?

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

reeherj (472238) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223396)

I think your missing the boat here. The reason the RIAA has caught so much flack is that they tried to supress "technology" to support thier sales of thier technologically inferior CD's. American consumers were obsessed with MP3's, spending large amounts of $$ on MP3 players and making thier own MP3 compilations. The RIAA refused to license the sales of MP3's, which left consumers to figure out solutions on thier own. Hackers stepped in and started a technological war with rippers (for creating MP3's from CD), jukebox applications (for organizing MP3's), Tag editors (for editing MP3 tags), and of course applications for sharing MP3's with others (satisfying demand for MP3's where no supply existed).

The RIAA's response was to attack these providers and started selling "protected" CD's which just plain didn't work in many CD players. Enter Sony's Root kit disaster, aggressive prosecution of MP3 utilities, legislative lobbying to protect thier monopoly on CD's and you have the profile of an industry which is hostile to it's most avid consumers.

Nowhere is there a better example of this than the spate of law suits that then followed. An industry suing the individuals who listen to thier music the most!

I'm a software developer and so I understand the importance of intellectual property. But this whole issue really isn't about intellectual property (noone here is advocating The RIAA give away all music for free). The intellectual property argument comes in because the RIAA is looking for justification to pick and choose what technologies the customers use to listen to music.

If you don't believe this is the issue, look at Itunes. This store started selling digital music which was available for free from other sources, that only worked on thier specific (and expensive) players, and which came with lock-in, and yet consumers went for it. Why? Simple. The consumers demanded digital audio which was easy and convient to use, Itunes delivered and is now the biggest album retailer. The fact is... people don't want to buy CD's anymore.

Re:I know I'll get modded down for this comment (1)

dogzilla (83896) | more than 5 years ago | (#23223666)

First - I also pay for all my music. Mainly because iTunes purchases are incredibly friction-free and I value my time more at more than the $0.99/song or @$11/album they charge me.

Having said that, there's a few flaws in your argument. You're conflating the major labels and their proxy the RIAA with artists. The majors have effectively based their entire business models on ripping off artists. Do some research if you don't believe me - there are many many many easily-found stories by artists covering just this topic.

Second - no matter what the transgression, nothing justifies the abuses of our legal system and violations of our laws that the RIAA and their hired goons are undertaking. BusinessWeek (not a terribly great source, but a widely-read one and certainly not exactly a magazine targeted at activist geeks) just did a story that was particularly damning of the RIAA's "investigative" actions. Check it out.

Third - the whole point of the RIAA's tactics have nothing to do with actually compensating artists for "stolen" music. Check around and see how many artists have received compensation checks from the money the RIAA has recovered from its successful shakedowns.

Fourth - there is no indication that any recording artist has lost any money due to online piracy. The RIAA claims of piracy costing them $N billion dollars is based on wholly theoretical assumption that every download is a lost sale. This is provably not true. On the contrary, more music in varied styles is available now than at any point in the last 20 years. The music *industry* (and by that I mean the recording labels with their attendant flacks, parties, insanely large retinue of middlemen) is in disarray, because they have based their industry on moving atoms instead of bits and that industry is changing rapidly beneath their feet as artists dialogue directly with their audience, but starting out as a musician today, you have a better chance of earning a living than at any time in the past 20 (perhaps even 50) years. What you are seeing is the music industry moving from a feudal oligarchy to a far more democratic one. The feudal oligarchy is, understandably, somewhat upset.

who is doing RIAA's dirty work? (1)

ziggie (103462) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221442)

who is doing RIAA's dirty work?
Do you mean: Who is using threats of violence, theft, and abduction to control information and make a small number of people wealthy? If so the answer is the governments, all of them, so far...

The only solution I see is a democracy*

A democracy is a long sought after system of self control that has only recently become technically possible to achieve. Who will be the first?

Re:who is doing RIAA's dirty work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221670)

A democracy is a long sought after system of self control
Nope. Self governance is autocracy, and usually doesn't scale well beyond 1.

Democracy is control by the populace, quite literally and in spirit. Whether the form of representative democracy most "western" countries employ is the best implementation is debatable, and that is probably the point you're trying to make.

"Self control" has nothing to do with government, and everything to do with morality (you know, "that which we pretend sets us apart from the other beasts on this planet") and society ("we work together because we cannot survive alone").

Re:who is doing RIAA's dirty work? (1)

ziggie (103462) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221838)

Nope. Self governance is autocracy, and usually doesn't scale well beyond 1.
Autocracy is the self rule of a person
Democracy is the self rule of a people.

Democracy is control by the populace, quite literally
agreed

and in spirit.
In spirit? A thing either is or isn't especially in a system that controls many people on this planet. Do you run Linux or do you run Linux in spirit?

Whether the form of representative democracy most "western" countries employ is the best implementation is debatable
Republics are not an implementation of democracy and no amount of political fluff is ever going to change that fact.

You don't wanna mess with the RIAA (1)

bluemetal (1269852) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221516)

"Oh, you don't wanna mess with the RI double A.
They'll sue you if burn that CD-R.

Doesn't matter if your a grandma, or a seven-year-old girl,
they'll treat you like the evil, hard-bitten criminal scum you are."

If it's really important to them ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221570)

... then they would leave a message, or send you a letter, or sue you.

Top Candidates (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221614)

I figure they're in cahoots with Satan or high ranking Democrats.

..but I repeat myself.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#23221902)

I figure they're in cahoots with Satan or high ranking Democrats. .. but I repeat myself (with apologies to Mark Twain :-).

News, Editorial, or just plain campaigning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23221958)

Is this news, or opinion, or campaigning or maybe it's Ask Slashdot? Cos, I don't see anything factual here that could be described as news, and the tone of it sounds like an editorial, and I didn't think slashdot did those.

Oh, hang on, it's a kdawson effort. That means it's opinion and campaigning pretending to be news.
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