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NewYorkCountryLawyer Debates RIAA VP

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the defying-logic dept.

The Courts 291

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "At Fordham Law School's annual IP Law Conference this year, Slashdot member NewYorkCountryLawyer had a chance to square off with Kenneth Doroshow, a Senior Vice President of the RIAA, over the subject of copyright statutory damages. Doroshow thought the Jammie Thomas verdict of $222,000 was okay, he said, since Ms. Thomas might have distributed 10 million unauthorized copies. NYCL, on the other hand, who has previously derided the $9,250-per-song file verdict as 'one of the most irrational things [he has] ever seen in [his] life in the law', stated at the Fordham conference that the verdict had made the United States 'a laughingstock throughout the world.' An Australian professor on the panel said, 'The comment has been made a few times that America is out of whack and you are a laughingstock in the rest of the world. As the only non-American on the panel, that's true. We do see the cases like Thomas in our newspapers, and we think: "Wow, those crazy Americans, what are they up to now?" This whole notion of statutory damages is not something that we have within our Copyright Act. You actually have to be able to prove damage for you to be able to be compensated for that.' NYCL also got to debate the 'making available' issue, saying that there was no 'making available' right in US copyright law, despite the insistence of the program's moderator, the 'keynote' speaker, and a 'majority vote' of the audience that there was such a right. The next day, two decisions came down, and a month later yet another decision came down, all rejecting the 'making available' theory."

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First post! (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282620)

Notice is hereby given that Harmonious Botch claims copyright to the phrase "First post", both with and without an exclaimation mark, in uppercase or lowercase or any combination thereof, whether actually posted as a first post, a later post, or not posted at all, in alphabetic characters or other representation, including, but not limited to, brail, 1337, and morse code, in English, or any other language, whether posted on Slashdot or any other forum; and all derivative phrases, including, but not limited to: "Frist post", "Fist pots", "Frost p0st", "Frist pozt", "Frost pots", "Forced p0st", "Forced pots", "Firts post", "Fist post", "Frost post", "Fist pozt", "Frost pozt", "Forced post", "Furst post", "Frist psot", "Firts psot", "Firts p0st", "Fist p0st", "Frost psot", "Forced psot", "Forced pozt", "Furst psot", "Frosty piss", "Frist pist", "Firts pist", "Furst p0st", "Forced piss", "Fist pist", "Frost pist", "Forced pist", "Fist psot", "Furst pist", "Frist p0st", "Frost p0st", "Frist pozt", "Firts pozt", "Furst pozt", "Frist pots", "Firts pots", "Furst pots", and any similar phrase, both with and without an exclaimation mark, in uppercase or lowercase or any combination thereof, whether actually posted as a first post, a later post, or not posted at all, in alphabetic characters or other representation, including, but not limited to, brail, 1337, and morse code, in English, or any other language, except for French - I'm not that desperate, whether posted on Slashdot or any other forum.

Re:First post! (2, Funny)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282710)

First Post! oh crap...who do I make the check out to?

Re:First post! (0)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282714)

I'm in the responses, I'm infringing on your copyrights...

FROSTY PISS! Oh wait you didnt put that on there. I guess I'm not.

Re:First post! (3, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282760)

"Forced pozt", "Furst psot", "Frosty piss", "Frist pist", "Firts pist",

The lawyers always win...

Re:First post! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283152)

"Forced pozt", "Furst psot", "Frosty piss", "Frist pist", "Firts pist",

The lawyers always win...
It sounds like some sort of Ubuntu release name to me...

jIH 'oH wa'Dich (3, Funny)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283478)

HA! You weren't counting on me posting in Klingon! Take that you lawyers!

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282748)

Première réponse!

Re:First post! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283252)

What is even more impressive, that you actually did get a first post after writing all that.

Re:First post! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283612)

Copyright does not cover names, titles, or short phrases. (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ34.pdf)

Sorry!

(Your post is . . . mildly funny . . . for 2:22 AM on Friday night . . . but at least half-way get the law right.)

Re:First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283728)

..-. .. .-. ... -   .--. --- ... -

(Slashdot has an ascii art filter, that gives this warning: Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.)

There is no 'I told you so' more poignent (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282632)

than to have judges get your back when you are arguing with someone about how fucking wrong they are.

One word sums this up: SWEEEEEET!

It took time but the RIAA and their lawyers are starting to look like the ass cabbage that they really are. It's quite nice to see that /. was represented (in a way) in that slap to the face.

Re:There is no 'I told you so' more poignent (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283410)

There was a news item about the RIAA sending out huge numbers of letters to universities within the last month or so (I forget the exact details). Seems to me that they realize their time is running out and are tryinbg to get while the getting is good. Where exactly does the settlement money go? Are the RIAA guys themselves just trying to get paid as much as possible while they can?

Didn't EMI stop supporting them? If so, them what legal right do they have to sue for EMI copyrights?

Re:There is no 'I told you so' more poignent (3, Informative)

rawr1 (1281538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283566)

Actually the RIAA may be trying to forge "evidence" and committing fraud by artificially spamming take down notices in order to trigger legal clauses calling for penalties on academic funding and requiring the purchase and installation of their proprietary "deep packet inspection" spyware software programs. They've been pushing legislation that equates "take down notices" or subpoenas with evidence of copyright infringement requiring legislative action triggers. This is an attack on taxpayers, an attack on education, and an attack on Constitutional civil law.

Re:There is no 'I told you so' more poignent (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283512)

I'm not so sure. Given that judges have made so many mind-boggling judgments regarding copyrights and patents in the past, having one of those judges agree with you isn't exactly proof that you're a rational and intelligent person.

Don't forget ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282660)

... to pay your $699 tea-bagging fee you licensing cock-smokers [twofo.co.uk] .

Re:Don't forget ... (4, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283706)

The correct form of the classic SCO troll is this

PAY YOUR $699 LICENSE FEE, YOU COCK-SMOKING TEABAGGERS!


I'm sorry, but I'm afraid your failure to correctly post even a simple classic troll simply doesn't measure up to the high standards we have here at slashdot. You see, unlike at digg or fark, we here at slashdot have a rich tradition of truly great trolling, and because of this we attract only the best and brightest of the trolling community. Our trolls gone on to lead very rich and lucrative careers in exciting and rewarding fields such as shills for Microsoft and Comcast management. Who do you think came up with the whole "make available" scheme the RIAA uses? That's right, a former slashdot troll!


So please, in the future put more care and thought into your trolling. Remember that you are walking the path blazed by such luminaries as the GNAA and that you stand beside such greats as the shit eater troll and the ASCII goatse guy. So in the future try to remember the greats that came before you along with your trolling peers and live up to their high standards. Thank you for your time and may you have a successful career trolling here at slashdot!

Good Grief! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282668)

The sad thing here is that everyone will be cheering this as some kind of breakthrough when in fact NYCL is as incoherent here as in the past. And, once again, WON ANY SIGNIFICANT CASES, BECKERMAN? Of course the answer is NO...

Re:Good Grief! (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282686)

Just cause you cant understand him doesn't mean he's incoherent.

The rest of us have no problem.

Re:Good Grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282700)

No, honestly, often NYCL pretends that his is the only possible viewpoint and that it's so obvious that he doesn't bother to explain himself. It's both off-putting and tough to understand. He just doesn't realize that it's not so obvious that he's right.

Re:Good Grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283186)

No, honestly, his viewpoints are really obvious and simple to understand.

Re:Good Grief! (2, Funny)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282718)

Additionally, his real name is NewYorkCountryLawyer. This by itself was news enough for me to read the story.

Re:Good Grief! (3, Funny)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283954)

And, once again, WON ANY SIGNIFICANT CASES, BECKERMAN? Of course the answer is NO...

Is it just me or does this conjure memories of <every-film-you've-seen-involving-an-exorcism>, where the malignant spirit is mocking the priest as he attempts the exorcism ?

My favorite (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282702)

Old "news" written in the third person.

That's a long summary (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282708)

Sure was a long summary... wait... you bastards, you tricked me into reading the article!

Re:That's a long summary (2, Funny)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282788)

now we'll just have to barely skim the summary before making informative posts

See sig (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283316)

But how will we then kill the poor servers?

Re:That's a long summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283602)

The summary was alway overrated anyway. The headline tells most of the story.

Oh, and mod me insightful.

Re:That's a long summary (1)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283660)

You mean people actually RTFS before posting?

pointless (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282728)

you aren't going to score any kind of points against these guys. they don't give a fuck what you or NYCL thinks, they just go home and roll around in their piles of money, doing the Dr Evil laugh.

Re:pointless (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282782)

That's not true. I am very glad that NYCL comments on these things. The more that it's debated and commented on, the more people see how absurd the thing is. Even if they don't see that it's absurd the whole issue gains "popularity" and, hopefully, the reality (that it's crazy) enters the public arena.

Re:pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282872)

Uhhhh ... look at the OP's sig ... and giving up, as you have, guarantees that they win.

Re:pointless (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283298)

..you aren't going to score any kind of points against these guys...

When every sentient being on the planet comes to an awareness of how these pieces of shit have (further) subverted the USAnian legal (have even made reached their tentacles toward other countries) in the name of spreading their appallingly shitty 'music', they will be given the wide berth they deserve. Having no customers will not go unnoticed.

[Maximum irony points to them for finding a way to make people pay $9000+ for a single crappy tune, rather than the actual value of $0.005]

Re:pointless (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283310)

Uhh, I mean "..have (further) subverted the USAnian legal system (have even reached their..".

How about a five-minute window, during which edits may be made?

Ad hominem ? (4, Insightful)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282740)

PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks. You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country?

MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.

PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits. Jane?

I am not an expert on rhetoric, but this seems wrong to me - Beckerman apparently wasn't discrediting the argument, "the law runs the country" is the statement he uses to counter the question by Hansen. As I see it, the suffix statement rather serves to state the alternative, not to attack the Prof. personally.

Re:Ad hominem ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283024)

Not to mention that a condescending question like "you know what ad hominem means?" is itself an ad hominem (I mean, does he *really* think NYCL doesn't know that term? of course not)... and also not to mention that his characterisation is not even correct. Ad hominems are something that people whose arguments can't stand on their own merits MAY resort to, but that is neither a sufficient nor a necessary precondition: you can use ad hominems even if you're 'winning', and you also can be 'losing' without resorting to any fallacies, and even if you DO resort to them, you don't necessarily have to resort to personal attacks.

There's probably a term for what Hansen was doing here, too; in any case, as you rightly point out, it was him who was arguing fallaciously here, not NYCL.

Re:Ad hominem ? (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283170)

PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks. You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country? MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners. PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits. Jane? I am not an expert on rhetoric, but this seems wrong to me - Beckerman apparently wasn't discrediting the argument, "the law runs the country" is the statement he uses to counter the question by Hansen. As I see it, the suffix statement rather serves to state the alternative, not to attack the Prof. personally.
You are quite right. There was nothing whatsoever "ad hominem" about what I was saying. Prof. Hansen had taken a vote among the audience participants (?!), most of whom were lawyers who represent large companies who are large content owners as to how they thought the "making available" issue would play out, and then suggested to me that the vote was authoritative. I was just reminding him that we are a nation of laws. Fortunately, 3 federal judges also reminded him of that during the ensuing month.

Re:Ad hominem ? (1)

akzeac (862521) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283434)

And that clown was the moderator?

Re:Ad hominem ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283802)

I read the transcript, and I was deeply offended by Prof. Hansen's elitist, arrogant attitude.

Prof. Hansen, the moderator, starts the meeting with a reading of a "paper with an overview of the law" by Michael Schlesinger, which unfortunately is not yet included in the transcript, but apparently presented arguments in favor of the theory that a grant of exclusive right to "making available" exists in US copyright law. After presenting one side of the debate, he askes the panel to reach a conclusion:

Just a show of hands. How many think under U.S. law, to the extent you understand it, that the acts of peer-to-peer network, of making something in a folder for further pickup, would be a violation of U.S. law?
[Show of hands]
How many would say no?
[Show of hands]
Significantly fewer.
I think that's all we need to do. I think the ayes have it. We can move on to statutory damages.

He then invites NYCL to represent the minority opinion after setting the stage that a reasonable conclusion had already been reached. I think maybe he was a bit embarrassed when the fallicy of his meaningless "show of hands" and arrogance of his interpretation of the significance of it's result was pointed out:

Unlike the raising of hands by Professor Hansen, this is not a super-Congress here. We are not the United States House of Representatives or the Senate or the president or all three combined, which are required in order to enact a law in the United States. The law in the United States says that a distribution requires "a dissemination of copies of phonorecords to the public by a sale or other transfer of ownership or by license, lease, or lending." That's it.

To which he responds:

PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks.
You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country?

Now I'm not sure what Prof. Hansen means here, as it's not well-stated. "You reject the idea that the intellectual elite ... should not run this country?" No, NYCL had just *advocated*, not rejected, the idea that self-appointed "intellectual elite" or otherwise, do not and should not enact law in this country. Given Prof. Hansen's arrogant attitude, I can only assume he means the opposite of the way he stated it, and he's asking NYCL to affirm that he rejects the idea that the intellectual elite *should* run this country.

In that context, NYCL's response was absolutely appropriate:

MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.

To which Prof. Hansen retorted:

PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits.

I see nothing ad hominem at all in NYCL's remarks. Prof. Hansen had just suggested that the "intellectual elite", who were "fairly represented here", held the "correct" opinion on the interpretation of US law, as evidenced by his "show of hands" from among those very "intellectual elite" -- case closed, move on to the penalty phase. NYCL pointed out that these matters are decided according to written law enacted through Constitutional means, rather than by a "show of hands" from among a group of "lawyers who are best paid by large content owners". Prof. Hansen, rather than counter the logic of NYCL's argument on the merits, instead accuses him of an ad hominem attack, and tries to justify his accusation by saying NYCL is "desparate" because he's "got a losing argument" (apparently according to the oh-so authoritative "show of hands").

One wonders on what "merit" rests Prof. Hansen's opinion that NYCL's citing of Constitutional priciples represents a "desparate", "losing argument" lacking "merit"? Which "merits" would he have NYCL "just stick to" instead, the "merits" of the result of a "show of hands" among "the elite"?

Re:Ad hominem ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283654)

You know what ad hominem means?

Yep. Prof Hansen is a condescending ass.

Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282778)

So the average song size was around 3Mbytes, 10 million copies would make for a total upload of around 30 Terabytes.

On my ADSL service (1.5Mbps download/256kbps upload), it would take me over 37 YEARS to upload that much data assuming I used it for nothing else, and the service had 100% uptime! Heck even if I got ADSL2+, uploads would still only be 4 times faster - bringing it down to just under 10 years to do that kind of an upload.

I guess I really do live in an Internet backwater...

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (3, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282826)

Might actually be a viable defense in Court. Just have your ISP tell you how much you uploaded over the period the **AA is looking at.

And, even bring in your uTorrent config files. Mine is set to upload 2X and then stop. At most, I'd be liable for distributing 2 files.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282836)

Is the fact that you can't possibly have caused that much damage actually a valid defence against statutory damages?

I think, on average, the typical filesharer will share a single copy. This average does include the people who download only.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (5, Interesting)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282862)

I've seen "extent of possible damage" used as a defense effectively. Someone was suing my Grandparents for letting an animal loose which proceeded to eat some corn in a neighbor's field. Well the neighbor was suing for some ungodly amount of money claiming that that quantity of corn (or whatever it was) was consumed by the animal.

My Grandparent's attorney simply asked how many rows of corn were affected, how many plants per row. He did the math and came up that the neighbor was claiming up to 200 pounds of corn per stalk. Needless to say, the judge threw the case out.

Courts don't appreciate someone lying or exaggerating to make their case. Guess he could have argued that the animals couldn't have consumed that much corn in x amount of time too (if the time line were known)

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (2, Insightful)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282864)

I do find it interesting that the "intellectual elite" seem to forego the actual facts of a case in favor of theoretical postulation as to the reasoing behind past and future court decisions.

It goes to show how easily an education can be politically tainted.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (0, Troll)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283146)

It's why Hitler was so successful. It's amazing how easily one's conscience conforms to the more profitable/useful/practical side.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (3, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283820)

One of the most terrible attempts to deliberately Goodwin a thread ever. You have to at least try and make it sound relevant

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (3, Insightful)

alanwj (242317) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282888)

I would (without any legal training) guess that you don't necessarily have to transfer the entirety of song to infringe on its copyright.

Were I running bittorrent, and transferred a 1K chunk to 10 million people, one might could argue that I've infringed 10 million times.

Of course, I'm too lazy to check whether that theory is at all applicable to Jammie Thomas's case.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (3, Funny)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283036)

Assuming a bitrate of 256Kb/s, that's 1/32nd of a second. You may as well sue me over that comma; I apparently just plagiarized your post.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283848)

Actually there is a definition of how long a sample has to be to infringe copyright because the RIAA took various hip-hop stars to court claiming infringement on beats they'd lifted. I'm too lazy to google but I think it was about 5 seconds - which would make it about 150K @ 256Kb/s encoding. If the chunk size on the protocol was set to be lower than this then I'd love to see someone argue in court that it was fair use :)

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

rawr1 (1281538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23284038)

It would make for an interesting academic study to discern the average length of fair use clips, from movie review television shows, to .mp3 clips from iTunes and Amazon, to excerpts of text from books, to photographs in magazines of pieces of artwork like a painting or statue. It ranges from like 1% to 100% depending upon the medium.

Say the average song length is 200 seconds, a 5 second clip is 2.5% of the work, a 30 second clip is 15% of the work. Most book publishers limit the resale of academic for sale course packets to 10% of the book (if more than 10% they generally insist the book be purchased if it's still in print). Paparazzi can take as many pictures of celebrities in public as they wish.

But I would argue the music industry itself has set a 30 second clip fair use standard as evidenced by retailer "best practices", let's call it "prior art". :P If the music industry were to insist on 5 second maximum clip lengths, no doubt that would cut into the business profitability of internet retailers like iTunes and Amazon as lower sales resulted from consumers gambling on unknown Monty Hall boxes of quality and value.

You didn't hear? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282910)

Since the Japanese has 1Gb/s links to the home and the RIAA/MPAA knows Americans are the more advanced culture, they obviously need to work on the assumption that everyone would have 10Gb/s links at least. It stands to reason, after all. Especially if they can get a larger fine out of the deal, and it's not like a judge would know what network speeds are meaningful. (If they did, the RIAA/MPAA would be being dangled over a crocodile pit by now.)

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282934)

On my ADSL service (1.5Mbps download/256kbps upload), it would take me over 37 YEARS to upload that much data assuming I used it for nothing else, and the service had 100% uptime! Heck even if I got ADSL2+, uploads would still only be 4 times faster - bringing it down to just under 10 years to do that kind of an upload.
Where'd you get 37 years?

3*1024 Kbytes/copy * 8 bits/byte * 1/256 sec/Kbits * 10,000,000 copies * 1/86,400 day/sec * 1/365 day/year => 30.4 years

70% utility generally the maximum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282988)

Although that is for ethernet, but ADSL is a shared wire protocol too, I think.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283098)

Aren't they including the fact that the people you distribute it to are also *automatically* doing to then distribute it to others (at least in part)? If so, then it's not just your bandwidth, but the bandwidth of everyone on the bt network, at any time from then on.

(playing Devil's advocate here, of course)

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (2, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283860)

Yes. They're trying to claim damages from you because other people are distributing the file. I can't see anything wrong with that argument at all...

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (2, Interesting)

nairb107 (596097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283948)

In that case then, didn't the record company distribute the CD knowing that a percentage of purchasers would upload the content and start that chain reaction?

So, by that logic, isn't it the record company who's ultimately responsible for all the "damages" caused by this chain of illegal distribution?

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283100)

To play the devil's advocate, if everyone started uploading your initial copy as he/she received it and at the same speed as you, after uploading it only 24 times there would be 2^24 copies around, which is more than 16 million.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

rawr1 (1281538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283692)

IF?

There is no proof, either way. And you are trying to assign liability to someone for the discrete separate actions of other parties, and in that case every distributor could shirk responsibility by assigning blame to a prior distributor, legal or illegal, which would be just as absurd. These files are not instantaneously copied in whole either. And copying parts of files is consistent with fair use. Every packet of a file which is copied in real time is copying fractions of a second of possibly or possibly not copyrighted content. Every single packet which is copied is fair use legal. There is no copyright infringement whatsoever from copying anywhere from 5 second to 30 second clips of copyrighted songs. Legal thirty second clips are routinely made available from many sources from "For Sale" retailers.

There are not any signs posted on these files. There's no "No Trespassing" sign, no "Beware of RIAA Dog" sign, no "Copyright" sign, no "Wet Floor" sign. And such signs wouldn't exist if they didn't effect liability. We may as well hold the RIAA criminally liable for songs containing "mature lyrics" which are heard and distributed to minors since those songs are allegedly the "property" of the RIAA. As there is no definitive discerned private party copyright demarcation on most if not all .mp3 files, distribution liability cannot begin before the parties are notified by certified legal disclosure that the files are copyrighted.

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283120)

thing is they are constructing a chain of events here: you upload the song maybe 10 times. each of the 10 downloaders upload it 10 times, etc. ad infinitum. of course it's bullshit, especially because they dan't even prove ONE upload by you that would have initiated this upload chain, but they don't care - citing the "making available" clause

Re:Ms. Thomas had 100Mbps feed to the Internet? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283258)

Logically this would mean the record industry shouldn't be able to sue any of those 10 downloaders or the 100 who downloaded from them since they have already been compensated for it.

Although if logic was involved then we'd expect them to actually demonstrate it was likely rather than just feasable that that much damage was done.

jammie was a thief (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282820)

There is no denying this. she took music without paying and thought she was above the law. I have fuck all sympathy for her, or at least, no more than I would have for someone shoplifting some CDs.
And then she compounded the error by denying it to the authorities. So she is a thief AND stupid.
Frankly I wish the fine was higher. I'm sick of leechers like her sponging off the goodwill of the honest people who buy music.
Everyone defending that woman is a music thief with a guilty conscience and I'm sick oh hearing you all whining like children.
grow up and get a job.

Re:jammie was a thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283206)

What's your address, I'll just come take the things from your house instead. And I'll deny it to the "authorities". And I'll get away with it too.

Re:jammie was a thief (2, Interesting)

moxley (895517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283412)

Notice how these kind of comments, when made, are always made by "Anonymous Cowards."

They don't seem to grasp the nuances of the issue, can't spell (even her name) properly, and generally seem like a perfect example of what social promotion and television have done to western societies.

These types will be the first ones who bow down and welcome the completion of the convergence of corporate behemoths and corrupt governments into the coming fascistic nightmare.

They speak of "the law" and seem to have disdain for those who think they are "above it," yet have no recognition of which parties in this issue are truly acting "above the law."

It does not fill me with faith in our future.

Re:jammie was a thief (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283544)

Whenever I see or hear the phrase 'the law', I hear it as-grunted by the half-humans from the 1977 film version of 'The Island of Dr. Moreau': http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0076210/ [imdb.co.uk] . Their primitive minds, barely grasping the subtleties of 'the law' or the reasons behind it, have blind faith in their superiors to correctly and fairly dispense judgement.

Rather Brief for a Panel Discussion (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282824)

Was that the transcript of the entire discussion? It seems a bit odd to me that the organizers would go to the trouble of assembling the panel and an audience including some foreign lawyers only to have what appeared to be a brief twenty (20) minute discussion and then take no questions at the end. Perhaps Professor Hansen didn't like how the discussion was unfolding and cut it short so that he wouldn't lose the debate. Isn't it a bit unusual and irregular for the moderator to take a position up front anyway? What ever happened to the impartial and unbiased moderator concept?

Re:Rather Brief for a Panel Discussion (1)

jellie (949898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283106)

They had a speaker, Michael Schlesinger, first give the "keynote remark" (Mr. Beckerman does not have the transcript of this). The panel discussion followed. It seems like the first part must have been of substantial length for him to make the many false or misleading statements Mr. Beckerman mentioned. I also found the biased moderator to be almost pathetic. He asks for a quick yes-or-no vote, concludes that file-sharing has been proved to be illegal, and moves to "statutory damages." Someone should have interjected Prof Hansen and said: "Yo, Hugh-C. You dumb. Yannowhatimean? You don't know shit about these cases, so keep yo mouth shut." Or maybe a little more eloquently than that.

Re:Rather Brief for a Panel Discussion (2, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283180)

Was that the transcript of the entire discussion? It seems a bit odd to me that the organizers would go to the trouble of assembling the panel and an audience including some foreign lawyers only to have what appeared to be a brief twenty (20) minute discussion and then take no questions at the end. Perhaps Professor Hansen didn't like how the discussion was unfolding and cut it short so that he wouldn't lose the debate. Isn't it a bit unusual and irregular for the moderator to take a position up front anyway? What ever happened to the impartial and unbiased moderator concept?
The panel was scheduled for 30 minutes. It probably ran a bit shorter than that. Yes it is unusual, when in the moderator role, to "take a position up front" like that. I'd never seen that before. My constructive advice to Hugh -- who doesn't need my advice -- would be to chill on the partisanship next time. He's a very funny guy, so maybe he thinks it's more entertaining this way.

Re:Rather Brief for a Panel Discussion (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283474)

I'm curious why "Professor Hansen" would take a position. As an academic, I would have expected him to be neutral, or at least biased in favor of some interpretation of law. Any opinion?

Is it possible that he considered himself smarter than you because you're just a attorney and he's just a lawyer? ;)

Re:Rather Brief for a Panel Discussion (2, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283192)

Was that the transcript of the entire discussion?
Yes, except that the 'keynote address' from the "making available" panel was omitted, which is odd, but perhaps not when one considers how off base they were.

Making Available (4, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282856)

"Making Available" was tried (in the 1950's?) to justify shoplifting from supermarkets who "piled it high and sold it cheap". It was laughed out of court, as it was pointed out that if acceptable, it would have excused boys stealing from market barrows.

Or, to put it another way, If I have something, and anyone who sees it can steal it, claiming I have "made it available" how many cars would not be stolen in New York?

Perhaps someone should ask the RIAA this question.

Re:Making Available (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283420)

Perhaps someone should ask the RIAA this question.

It's not an interesting question because the issue of "making available" is different when applied to IP, which can be copied endlessly without cost and copies of which do not necessarily dilute its value, than when applied to physical goods, which when taken deprive someone of something (namely, the goods.)

Who are these people? (1)

legutierr (1199887) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282920)

From the article:

PROF. HANSEN: Okay, Ray. Thanks. You reject the idea that the intellectual elite, which I think is fairly represented here, should not run this country??
MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.
PROF. HANSEN: Ray, let's not get ad hominem. You know what ad hominem means? You've got a losing argument and you're desperate. So just stick to the merits.

I wonder how many Americans would agree that the quote-unquote "intellectual elite" should run the country.

Re:Who are these people? (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283020)

I wonder how many Americans would agree that the quote-unquote "intellectual elite" should run the country.

All eight of them

Re:Who are these people? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283042)

I wonder how many Americans would agree that the quote-unquote "intellectual elite" should run the country.
You do realize that when you type something like this you don't have to actually say "quote-unquote". You just put the "'s before and after the phrase right?

Re:Who are these people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283044)

I wonder how many Americans would agree that the quote-unquote "intellectual elite" should run the country.
Let's all get a case of beer each, make a list of recent presidents and see if we can find any member of the "intellectual elite" on the list before we finish the case of beer. Of course if we add in self-appointment to the list that could change things a bit or appointment by the self-appointed. Oh, wait,,,think I am going to need more beer.

Re:Who are these people? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283046)

Well, it would be an interesting change from what we have right now....

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23282926)

Who is NewYorkCountryLawyer, and why does he talk about himself in third person?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283200)

Who is NewYorkCountryLawyer, and why does he talk about himself in third person?
You must be new here.

Re:What? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283332)

You must be new here.
Not really - I've been reading Slashdot since about 1998, back when it was really "news for nerds", not "third rate lawyers seeking publicity by defending teens' right to download music they don't want to pay for".

This should be, as you yourself have admitted, a nation of laws, not a nation of hoodlums. So, if you don't like RIAA, tell people to neither purchase nor download music associated with RIAA. P2P vs RIAA has degenerated into thug vs thug because neither side has any respect for the law.

But you won't do that, because that won't get you publicity, and the resultant $$$ that you, like a typical lawyer, see flashing before your eyes. It is the very fact that a special intermediary is required so a man may understand his own laws - i.e. the existence of lawyers - that allows this country to become ruled by an intellectual elite. Next time, think harder about what people say to you, as it might be that those more senior than you have a better awareness of your very nature than you do.

As it is, people like you are the gift RIAA could previously only dream of. You represent the best that the freeloaders have to look up to, and you'll be eaten up. And you will lose.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Medieval (41719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283366)

That's cute. If you weren't an AC it would be even cuter.

Dance for me, monkey!

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

Tsujiku (902045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283562)

Just because one opposes the RIAA does not mean that one advocates all of the things that the RIAA opposes. The issue here is not that the RIAA wants people to pay for its music; it's that the RIAA is using absurd definitions, underhanded tactics and exaggerations to take money which they don't deserve. The fact that one side breaks the law does not make it justified for the other side to ignore it.

Re:What? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23284026)

The fact that one side breaks the law does not make it justified for the other side to ignore it.
Of course it doesn't. The problem is that NewYorkCountryLawyer, like almost every other self-appointed representative of the anti-RIAA camp, is choosing a direct conflict with RIAA to maximise his exposure. He could instead take the more responsible route of advising people not to break the law, giving RIAA nothing to fight against. He could advise musicians on alternative ways of distributing music, and listeners on the benefits of consuming this music.

Let's compare with RMS. RMS doesn't like traditional copyright restrictions, but does he go after the BSA for their shady auditing practices and try to make himself a hero of software "pirates"? No. He educates people to write and use "Free" software. It doesn't get him "RMS takes on Goliath, makes great points!" choir-preaching headlines, but his vision is long-term, stable, and has been fairly successful.

Oh, but I see I've just been down-modded to troll for questioning the pointlessly adversarial lawyer's motives. Slashdot's truly jumped the shark.

Re:What? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283896)

You must be new here.

I am suing you for cleaning the sprayed coffee out of my keyboard. You have been served.

Ray, you are now officially one of us - for better or for worse.

Re:What? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283902)

You must be new here.
*Cough* ... pot ... kettle ... black? You actually said this about America with a straight face:

The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by large content owners.

Re:What? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23284048)

Even if the elitist lawyers run the country, they are supposed to make a better show of it and make it look like the law runs the country. Rather than some stupid show of hands in some debate.

When the people who run the country can't be bothered to do it "the proper way", then that's evidence of their arrogance, laziness and unbridled contempt for the people they rule over.

And they call themselves the "intellectual elite"...

Normally I skip self-submissions... (2, Funny)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23282962)

But it is the RIAA who've sunk lower and lower in my opinion over the years, so that's my justification for reading it.

Couldn't NYCL have gotten a sock puppet to post this to soothe my feelings about conflict of interest? I keep hearing about a guy named twitter....

Zimbra: Download and Fork Now Before The Merger! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283062)

Talks are on between M$ & Yahoo!

Everyone download and those who can fork Zimbra now before it's too late!

Prepare for Microhoo Silverfish to eat Flash and take over the web!

Bad link (2, Informative)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283090)

The first link is, I believe, wrong. The debate with Doroshow on statutory damages is here: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2008/05/transcript-of-march-28th-fordham-law_02.html [blogspot.com] How is it that no-one seems to have noticed there was no debate with Doroshow in the linked article?

Re:Bad link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283222)

Did Prof. Hansen's choice of questions and statements as moderator of that discussion make anyone else think of him as a fanboi moderator for the RIAA? Even his *attempts to calm Ray* seemed more like attempts to insult and anger him to me, but even if you ignore those the remainder would at least from my POV show him trying to push the discussion in a direction more favorable to the RIAA.

Re:Bad link (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283262)

The first link is, I believe, wrong. The debate with Doroshow on statutory damages is here: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2008/05/transcript-of-march-28th-fordham-law_02.html [blogspot.com] How is it that no-one seems to have noticed there was no debate with Doroshow in the linked article? Reply to This
You are quite right. Sorry about that. First link should have been to statutory damages transcript [blogspot.com] or to post listing all 3 transcripts [blogspot.com] .

Fair fight, anyone? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283320)

"NewYorkCountryLawyer Debates RIAA VP"

That's not even a fair fight. It's like Raphael fighting a random bank robber. (I recently saw the latest TMNT movie.) Couldn't they have found somebody more at NYCL's level?

Read TFA this time guys (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283334)

MR. BECKERMAN: The law runs the country. This is a nation of law, not a country of lawyers who are best paid by ...
Amen!

Re:Read TFA this time guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283548)

It's just NYCL trying to get a quotable quote by repeating the sophomoric "government of laws, not of men" stuff that gets LIbertarians all cheering along.

As long as men write and interpret laws, and especially while the laws are complex enough to require lawyers, it will be a government of men. That's what NYCL failed to understand when he dismissed the comment about countries being ruled by an intellectual elite - lawyers being part of this elite.

Re:Read TFA this time guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283744)

He didn't fail to understand that at all; the elite referred to was a group of lawyers.

after all is said and done... (2, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283638)

Litigation is not a business model.

the victims of these law suits will file a class action and reap what the RIAA has sowed.

Re:after all is said and done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23283944)

Litigation is not a business model.
You'd better tell SCO that.

What should "making available" be? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283644)

The whole concept has more holes than meaning. Am I "making available" when I have content on my HD (e.g. from music I bought online), but which happens to be available from outside, because I have no idea how to secure my PC? Or what if I use P2P to distribute my IP, or legally freely available content, and due to the location of the copyrighted content on my HD it is shared as well?

Why is the owner of a PC suddenly respsonsible for the actions of his machine when it comes to content, but he is out of obligations when it comes to damage done by trojans and worms?

These guys don't even know what they are debating (4, Interesting)

dwpro (520418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283718)

From the first few lines:

PROF. HANSEN: Just a show of hands. How many think under U.S. law, to the extent you understand it, that the acts of peer-to-peer network, of making something in a folder for further pickup, would be a violation of U.S. law?
[Show of hands]
PROF. GINSBURG: Absent the applicable exceptions. At least prima facie.
PROF. HANSEN: Prima facie. A good point. Thank you.
How many would say no?
[Show of hands]
Significantly fewer.
"Making something available in a folder" is basically the internet, in a nutshell. The exceptions they speak of should rather be the rule. Staggering.

Re:These guys don't even know what they are debati (1)

rawr1 (1281538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283832)

"Making something available in a folder" is basically the internet, in a nutshell. The exceptions they speak of should rather be the rule. Staggering.
Yes, these people are, in a nutshell, morons. They also fail to realize that their "policing" actions of tracking, copying, and examining the contents of exchanged files is exactly the same thing that all P2P program users do. "Deep packet inspection" software programs is the literal embrace of P2P file sharing, just without the consent of a different group other than RIAA copyright holders (except when the RIAA minions copy files that are not their copyrighted content).

So if P2P file sharing is "illegal" then the "deep packet inspection" software programs the RIAA are insisting Universities install are also "illegal", no matter whether certain aspects of both processes are more or less automatic or more or less manual. If the RIAA has a right to wholesale examine the contents of all files on the internet to look for copyright violations, then so too does every single individual P2P user. The label "pirate" is nothing less than a fraudulently inaccurate intentionally distorted ad hominem criminally impeding the process of both legal and educational discovery.

I am just wondering (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23283776)

I'm just wondering when the RIAA is going to sue someone who doesn't have anything to lose, and this person resorts to violence? Or - has this already happened and the incident(s) has/have been swept under the rug?
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