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RIAA Says No Mystery In Rash of College Complaints

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the we-were-just-bored dept.

Education 255

Doug Lederman writes "As colleges receive exploding numbers of complaints from recording companies about alleged illegal downloading of music files, theories abound about whether the industry is changing its criteria, aggressively targeting users who merely make downloaded music available to others rather than actual infringers. But after weeks of silence, the president of the RIAA says No: Better technology, he asserts, is merely resulting in better enforcement."

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In other words... (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311042)

RIAA: *Jedi hand wave* Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

What a colassal house of cards the RIAA has built for itself. They are doing everything BUT look at the core reasons why people are buying fewer and fewer CD's. It's got far less to do with having to pay for it than it does with the overall quality of their pap...I mean products.

Re:In other words... (3, Interesting)

Clujo (943854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311088)

Maybe it's been said before, but it seems clear that RIAA is not so much enforcement as a revenue source for a desperate group.

Re:In other words... (4, Interesting)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311376)

Revenue for What desperate group? The record companies? The mid-level managers within those companies?

(shrug)

I steal music. I'm a thief taking other people's labor (they produce; I don't pay their wages). I freely admit that, and the reason I do it is because I don't want to pay $10-15 to buy a CD that contains just one good song. (Nor do I want to pay $1 to get compressed/lossy-sounding AAC files.) So I steal to get what I want.

If the artist is exceptionally good, or releases a greatest hits album that collects 5-6 albums in one space, THEN I will buy the thing because it's worthwhile. I've got a whole bookshelf filled with greatest hits albums.

Maybe RIAA should focus more on providing WHAT I WANT,
rather than beating me over the head with lawsuits.
i.e. RIAA should try better customer service.

Re:In other words... (5, Insightful)

Vendetta (85883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311530)

I don't like 99 per cent of the food at McDonalds. Does that mean that I get to waltz in and steal an Egg McMuffin because that's what I like and not everything on their menu is an Egg McMuffin, so to punish them I steal and they get NO money, not even for the stuff I do like?

I don't like the Recording Industries' lawsuits or DRM or behavior in general but it's people like you, who openly admit that they are "stealing", that make everyone on this side of the fence look bad.

Re:In other words... (4, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311730)

I don't agree with the GP, stealing is bad however you justify it, but your anaology is weak... if you walked into a McDonalds, bought an Egg McMuffan, and had to pay $20 for it plus get 6 additional cheeseburgers for it THEN your anaology might hold.

Now that they're coming out with DRM-free music at a pretty good bit rate, I'm all for it. I don't want to buy music that will die because some company decided to cancel their DRM system (see Microsoft)

Re:In other words... (5, Insightful)

SlickNic (1097097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311808)

I'm so tired of hearing this crap argument, first a physical product takes physical goods AND labor to reproduce. Music takes a negligible amount of labor to reproduce in digital formats. A CD, Cassette, 8track, ect... are all physical goods and you must pay to create them in addition to paying the artist/label. Digitally reproduced media should be priced accordingly, the music industry is just pricing it the same even though they have less costs to distribute the digital product. Some may not agree with me on this last part but I do think that if a song was $0.10 or $0.25 they would sell many many more songs and it would no longer be worth wile to download illegally when you could just buy the song correctly tagged in the formate/quality you want and be DRM free. The labels could save at least hundreds of thousands of dollars downsizing their legal department and getting rid of any CD stamping plants/contracts they may have. Music "collections" could also be sold, say $50.00 for every Beatles song ever written, bam one download and you have em all in your format/quality of choice. I really do think allofmp3.com has/had the right idea, they just need some more solid licensing.

Re:In other words... (0, Troll)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311816)

Egg McMuffins have a marginal cost (price of inputs + labor). Digital music (and movies, software, etc) has no marginal cost. Creating an additional unit of output costs $0. Therefore the only thing that a producer of such a product could conceivably charge money for is the right to use their "intellectual property," which we all know doesn't exist.

Re:In other words... (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312226)

It does cost some amount to make a CD/DVD/create the digital mp3 and to store the digital file. Electricity is not free to most companies. The IP should belong to the artist who made it NOT the record companies. The record companies are just middle men. I wish more artists would open up a website allowing free downloads of their music and allowing people to pay what they think is fair. I forget who did that but they did get boatload of cash instead of it going to the RIAA.

Re:In other words... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312094)

But you can choose to order what you want from their menu. I also don't like the majority of their food, but when I buy something I can choose what I want in my order. I can tell them to give me a "#5, no meal, and a coke" because I may not like the hash brown. But on a CD I don't have that option... I get the songs that the makers want me to get, and I may not like them all, so the way I perceive it as "I'm paying $20 for 2 songs" as opposed to say "20 songs for $20".

Re:In other words... (5, Insightful)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312150)

This is a bad analogy. Stealing a tangible good and stealing an arrangement of electrons are two different things. How about:

You like McMuffins, but McDonalds only sells them in 12 packs and they won't let you split the cost among friends. Anyone who is caught splitting the cost of a McTwelvePack will be prosecuted. "This is ridiculous" you squeal, "MickeyDees can't tell me how to enjoy my McMackins!" You and your friends decide that buying one McTwelvePack each is ridiculous and is not going to happen - so you either resolve to not buy McMuffins at all or you set up an illegal breakfast sharing ring which will fleece McDonalds out of many potential dollars.

I know this seems like a truly outlandish analogy, but is it really? The GP says he enjoys a product and is willing to pay money for the product, but it is mostly sold in a format that he can't tolerate. Hence, he is left with the option to not buy the product or steal it. I am no psychologist, but it seems like human nature to me.

Re:In other words... (4, Interesting)

fwarren (579763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312136)

I am sure the RIAA sees me as a thief as well.

I purchase music two ways. One is from independent artists. In which case, the artist gets 100% of the proceeds.

The other, is at the Good Will or other used store. Where I "stick it to the man". No money goes to the record companies.

Re:In other words... (0, Redundant)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312236)

I steal music

You shoplift?

If by "I steal music" you mean "I use P2P to download songs" then you are entirely incorrect. Here is the difference between stealing music and copyriught infringement:

Stealing music
You go into Best Buy and sneak a CD out of the store. Best Buy eats the cost of the CD you took. If you are caught, you will pay a small fine of a couple hundred bucks for your misdemeanor crime, or perhaps perform community service.

Copyright infringement
You go to Best Buy and legally purchase a CD. You then rip the CD's tracks to MP3 and put them in your "share folder" and let Kazaa or Morpheus run. Downloading is not involved; the people who download the tracks you supply are not in the wrong. If you are caught there is no criminal penalty but you face civil penalties of up to a hundred thousand dollars per song.

But I think you're fooling yourself. You're not a thief. If you share music then you are a copyright infringer, or "pirate" in the unwashed vernacular.

Better filters == more spam (4, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311418)

As long as they are not facing serious consequences for filing lawsuits against dead people, the homeless, children, and people who don't own computers.... this will only get worse.

Re:In other words... (1)

nelsonc5 (1253134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311142)

better technology, better enforement, better cartel. At least the justice system is catching on to how bogus this is

Re:In other words... (2, Insightful)

cahyotw (132181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311850)

Better technology, better enforcement, Papa John's

Re:In other words... (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311154)

No. People still listen to it. Whether or not they consider it good enough to warrant purchasing is the real question.

Re:In other words... (2, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311340)

No, they don't. I've not listened to any new music from major labels for about 2 years, and I don't think i'm missing out on much.

The only folks i've heard of so far are Amy Winehouse (whos voice I hate more than Macey Grays'), NIN and Radiohead. I bought NIN and Radiohead's albums (FLAC for NIN, CD for Radiohead), and I also bought 10,000 Days by Tool.

Apart from that, i'll gladly listen to my Maiden, Metallica, Guns 'n' Roses, and all my other music many more times. I can wait out this game indefinately, as i'm missing nothing.

I will admit, however, that I do download CC licenced music. I'm not overly impressed so far, though.

Re:In other words... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311430)

Just because you don't listen to it doesn't mean others don't.

I've been in lines waiting at my college's dining hall for food and heard people singing along to shitty music on the radio station playing in the background on more than one occasion.

Re:In other words... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311822)

Just because people can do sing-along to something being blasted through the radio 10 times a day doesn't mean they will actually buy the music.

Re:In other words... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311982)

Well, I assume it means that they at least like it, unless it's stuck in their head or something.

Re:In other words... (1)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311526)

HA HA HA! Thank you - you just brightened my day with that post. Hilarious.

You start your post by saying, "No they [the public at large] don't [listen to RIAA-backed music]" and then the rest of your post concerns how you don't. The sheer arrogance that you represent EVERYONE is hilarious. Bravo. Well done.

Re:In other words... (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311790)

Of course I represent everyone.

Solipsism [wikipedia.org]

Re:In other words... (2, Insightful)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311198)

I've got more downloaded music than most people I know. Most of it doesn't infringe on the RIAA by a long shot, owing to indie releases, obscure bands, etc. (Yeah, I'm one of those music fans.)

The whole "we only download it because it's crap" argument doesn't hold water for me. If it's so bad, then why are people downloading it in the first place?

Pardon the lame analogy, but if I own a pizza restaurant, and serve horrible pizzas, does that justify people stealing pizzas from me?

I don't believe for a second that if the RIAA/major labels dropped all of their craphole music all of a sudden, and picked up a wide variety of talented, interesting musicians, that the illegal downloading would stop. Is that really what you're saying?

Re:In other words... (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311244)

I didn't say people downloaded because it was crap. I said fewer people are buying entire CD's when 90% of said CD is crap and maybe has one or two good songs.

Of course that is subjective. Also, I have never downloaded music 'illegally' so I'm not one for making any apologies for that behavior. I want to see Fair Use and Copyright law changed, but in the meantime I respect the current legal framework. I've been *very* vocal with my local Congresscritter on this subject among others.

Re:In other words... (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311874)

Fair enough. In retrospect, I guess I read more into your first post than you put out.

Re:In other words... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311930)

No worries; I could have also been a bit more clear, but I am multitasking (i.e. real, paying work) while I browse /. intermittently ;-)

Re:In other words... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312100)

I didn't say people downloaded because it was crap. I said fewer people are buying entire CD's when 90% of said CD is crap and maybe has one or two good songs.

When was this not true? I recall the 80s fondly, but man that decade spawned some seriously shitty music. Really bad soft rock, appalling synthesized junk, hair metal. Yech. But people bought it because they liked it well enough. Need to come up with a better reason than quality for why people aren't buying.

From what I can tell, there's a couple reasons: 1) people can buy tracks now. That's a fully legal reason why the record companies lose money. 2) There hasn't been a change in the dominant format now for what, 15 years? It's been a while since people bought their music twice. That made the record companies a lot of money. And 3)...piracy. It's really hard to argue that there's not a significant number of people who aren't buying music that they otherwise would have bought because it's now free. Sure, it's easy to rationalize - costs too much, crappy, whatever. But the end result is, if it's that bad then don't listen to it.

Of course that is subjective. Also, I have never downloaded music 'illegally' so I'm not one for making any apologies for that behavior. I want to see Fair Use and Copyright law changed, but in the meantime I respect the current legal framework. I've been *very* vocal with my local Congresscritter on this subject among others.

That, in my eyes, gives you a great amount of credibility. I think too many people use banners like copyright, and so on to justify illegal behavior. Calling the Congressrats is a great way to do it.

I do think there is room for civil disobediance here - go download music that *would* have passed into public domain before the Bono act was passed. But downloading new music while claiming evils of copyright - which many people are doing - doesn't work.

Re:In other words... (2, Interesting)

barzok (26681) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311248)


The whole "we only download it because it's crap" argument doesn't hold water for me. If it's so bad, then why are people downloading it in the first place?
I downloaded Metallica's St. Anger to find out if it was as bad as the reviews I'd heard.

Turns out that it wasn't. It was far, far worse.

Re:In other words... (2, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311474)

The whole "we only download it because it's crap" argument doesn't hold water for me. If it's so bad, then why are people downloading it in the first place?
I downloaded Metallica's St. Anger to find out if it was as bad as the reviews I'd heard. Turns out that it wasn't. It was far, far worse.
I was going to ask if you wrote your ISP for a refund of the bandwidth.

Re:In other words... (1)

Quetzo (753720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312238)

That, my friend, was the last CD I ever bought... :/. What a pity to see such a talented group put out such drivel just to satisfy their contract obligations.

All is not dark on the northern front though, Korn did a different deal with Virgin where, as far as I can understand, Virgin was more like a venture capitalist investing in the band. This gave Korn enormous freedom and flexibility in release schedules, tour engagements, merchandizing etc. That freedom reflects in the stellar quality of music they have produced.

If more bands are able to bootstrap themselves into a position where they are not selling their souls to the recording companies to get their names out, I bet we see better quality music that does not cost an arm and a leg.

Re:In other words... (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311328)

No, I completely agree with you. What the major labels need to do it offer a good quality, reasonably priced, non-DRM'd, easy to search downloads. -Anything- less will not curb downloading. They don't seem willing to even try and compete in the digital distribution arena without clinging to something above that's kneecapping them. Especially the DRM.

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311534)

What the major labels need to do it offer a good quality, reasonably priced, non-DRM'd, easy to search downloads.

You mean like Amazon?

Re:In other words... (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311696)

Actually, yes that looks pretty close. I think 50 cents/song is closer to market value (they don't have media/transport costs normally associated with CD distribution). Unfortunately it's not available to everyone.

From their Terms of Use for mp3 downloads:

5. Territorial Restrictions

As required by our Digital Content providers, Digital Content will, unless otherwise designated, be available only to customers located in the United States.

Re:In other words... (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311608)

No, I completely agree with you. What the major labels need to do it offer a good quality, reasonably priced, non-DRM'd, easy to search downloads.
Don't know how well it meets your criteria (since some like "easy to search" are kinda in the eye of the user), but the Amazon music store seems pretty nice. It's got a pretty good selection of stuff available in plain-ol no-DRM MP3 format. What I normally do when I have a song I want to purchase is check Amazon first. If they have it, I buy the MP3 from them, then import it into my iTunes library. Their setup isn't quite as nice or integrated as the iTunes store, but I like to give priority to non-DRM purchases when I can just so that I help lean the statistics in the right direction :). If they don't have it, I'll go ahead and settle for the iTunes version.

Re:In other words... (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311386)

Pardon the lame analogy, but if I own a pizza restaurant, and serve horrible pizzas, does that justify people stealing pizzas from me?

---------

No, but you get to keep the original music track while the other person gets a copy. If I steal the pizza, you lose a pizza. If I DOWNLOAD a COPY of a file, you don't lose the file.

This is why it is not THEFT.

Re:In other words... (5, Insightful)

McGuirk (1189283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311424)

Try to keep in mind, veganboyjosh, it's not quite like people stealing pizzas from you. Rather, it's akin to you owning a bookstore and people coming in, copying the books, and then leaving. You lose nothing, but gain nothing either.

I'm not making a point to side either way at this point, just to point out this inconsistency.

Re:In other words... (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311708)

Try to keep in mind [... ] it's not quite like people stealing pizzas from you. Rather, it's akin to you owning a bookstore and people coming in, copying the books, and then leaving.

Thank you! Could people please stop drawing analogies to physical goods? It's starting to get on my nerves...

If I download a pirate copy of 3ds Max will Autodesk have lost $3,500? No, because I don't have $3,500 to spend on 3ds Max anyway.

Re:In other words... (3, Insightful)

krunk7 (748055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311876)

In my experience, it's often akin to one of the two following situations:

  • Like walking into a book store, reading the first two chapters, finding out the book sucks and never picking it up again.
  • Buying a book, loving it, having it fall apart due to crappy craftsmanship. So you copy a friends book and put it back on the shelf.

Re:In other words... (1)

Damon Tog (245418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312280)

Honestly, both of these analogies are flawed.

In the bookstore analogy, the author loses income because instead of being paid for his work, people just make copies of it without paying him. Of course, it would be unrealistic to argue that every, single unauthorized copy is a "lost sale," but arguing the opposite is equally silly.

Re:In other words... (1)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311518)

If you could download a pizza and the pizza restaurant would still have the original pizza it baked, would you download it? What about a car?

This doesn't address some of the core issues at play, or maybe it does, since it's a changing marketplace to which the record industry does not wish to adapt as compared to its previous cash cow. If you make something people don't want, people won't buy it, including CDs you're told you can't transfer to devices, or DVDs that make you wait through mandatory introductions prior to allowing you to view the content you purchased. And nevermind that when you buy a CD or DVD, you are buying nothing. You're told you don't own what you've bought and the full rights to what you bought still belong to the author, therefore you can't do with it what you please such as transfer it to your digital music device. You're also not being sold a license because they won't give you new physical media if yours gets damaged. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Do you enjoy buying nothing?

Re:In other words... (1)

jb68321 (1123905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312066)

Pardon the lame analogy, but if I own a pizza restaurant, and serve horrible pizzas, does that justify people stealing pizzas from me?
Better analogy: a bookstore allows people to come in, read through books at their leisure, perhaps buy one once in a while. No sales people standing around to bother you & get you moving. Ever heard of such a store? Hmm?

I knew many kids that spent hours and hours in Barnes and Noble (and many adults only a few minutes) before buying anything. I personally have read parts of several books without buying those particular books, while sampling/buying others, etc... It's just a different (read: more friendly) way of approaching sales. I remember once going into a Borders and trying to do the same thing--sit down and flip through a couple books I was thinking of buying--and was practically thrown out of the store. I never went back!

As Radiohead, NIN, etc who have turned to alternative business models have shown, fans WILL send money if they think your product is worth paying for. Recording companies need to re-evaluate what their products are -actually- worth according to the consumer. Every single computer I've ever "fixed" for friends/family/coworkers has had some kind of bittorent/Limewire-esque app on it. Obviously the population of consumers is trying to tell the recording industry something!

Re:In other words... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311528)

It's retards like you that have killed the music industry. People STEAL because they don't like the music?

Dumbass

Re:In other words... (5, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311568)

What a colassal house of cards the RIAA has built for itself. They are doing everything BUT look at the core reasons why people are buying fewer and fewer CD's.
Of course they think everyone is stealing music. When you try to understand the mindset of someone else the first thing you do is look at yourself. RIAA execs think that people are stealing music because they're cheap bastards and it's free, because they know that would be their own motivation if they were in the consumer's shoes.

Did you ever notice that the people who are paranoid that they'll get screwed over are often the same people who screw over others every chance they get?

Re:In other words... (3, Insightful)

z80kid (711852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311906)

Wish I had mod points.

When I was a young'un I worked for a local farmer. I forget the exact circumstances, but the old man walked away from a guy he was dealing with who implied that the old man was trying to cheat him. He basically said, "Well, if you think I'm going to cheat you, then you should probably deal with someone else." and asked the guy to leave.

He explained it to me later this way: "People who cheat expect you to cheat them. People who steal expect you to steal from them. He just expects us to do what he would do, given the chance.".

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311938)

Did you ever notice that the people who are paranoid that they'll get screwed over are often the same people who screw over others every chance they get?
Oh! I take it you've met my boss, then.

Re:In other words... (3, Funny)

imnojezus (783734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311812)

RIAA: *Jedi hand wave* Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
GAH! Mixed movie metaphores! Brain... hurting! Mashups... forming!

Re:In other words... (2, Interesting)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311910)

So you're saying that during the 80's and 90's the music was just so good that people wouldn't steal it if they had the chance? Wrong, they steal it today because technology has made it extremely easy to do so without leaving home, and if they had the same opportunity people would have stolen it in the 90's, the 80's, the 70's, the 60's too.

If the music is as bad as you say, why do people want to steal it? All I see here over and over are people railing against popular music, you don't have to like it or buy it but it's called pop music because it's just that, popular. (Que rants proclaiming just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good. "Good" is completely subjective, but there certainly is a correlation between popular and good. You may hate Britney Spears, but if every person gets a vote then a hell of a lot of people vote that her music is "good". You don't get any more say than teenage girls, despite your obviously sophisticated musical palette. Anyone who likes music you don't is stupid, right? )

Itunes has proven that many people in fact will pay for todays music, they just don't want to go to the mall to pay $18 for a full cd when they only like one song. The RIAA's problem isn't putting out crap music, it's that they refuse to give the consumers what they want to pay for (DRM free single song downloads).

Better technology? Why are CD's still around? (1)

fatnicky (991652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311094)

Better technology? You mean the better technology that's making you deliver digital content to the masses in DRM Free formats the consumer demands?

I call BS. (5, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311100)

It's not better technology, it's better targeting. College students are 'soft targets'. They have limited funds, hence they are more liable to share music and less likely to be able to fight back. The RIAA doesn't want to try and extort from someone capable of fighting back, you know.

Re:I call BS. (5, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311152)

That's a good theory, but it has some flaws. For example, they're still going after universities with good law schools as well as ivy league schools.

The law schools have a chance to fight back and have the resources to put up a decent struggle. And many students attending law schools have parents with money and/or connections.

I'm not saying those 2 scenarios invalidate your theory, but something to think about.

Re:I call BS. (3, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311224)

Given what has been the standard university response so far (with a few notable exceptions) the type of school the student goes to is much less important than just about anything else, they'll still likely give the student up and do nothing to help.

Re:I call BS. (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311428)

Definitely. If they know that every infringement notice to the campus costs some poor student $50, thats even better than actually having to sue them.

Re:I call BS. (1)

GogglesPisano (199483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311488)

Is it really better targeting? I'd say that college students compose a very large percentage of their market. I know that I listened to (and purchased) a lot more music in my college years than I do now. In addition, in just a few years these well-educated "soft targets" are going to be the high-earning consumers (and potential policy makers) that this industry needs to survive. Do they really want to intimidate and terrorize these people? Obviously the RIAA (and the cartels pulling the strings) are failing to take the long view on this matter.

Re:I call BS. (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311862)

GP never mentioned that the system as a whole was better, just that they can round up more victims with this targeting.

And since when have you known the RIAA to take the long view into consideration?

Re:I call BS. (5, Insightful)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311634)

It's not better technology, it's better targeting. College students are 'soft targets'. They have limited funds, hence they are more liable to share music and less likely to be able to fight back. The RIAA doesn't want to try and extort from someone capable of fighting back, you know.

Naaah, it's because that's the age group that's downloading most of what's out there. Most of us old foggies with such an inclination have already either bought and/or downloaded all the music they want. The stuff they have coming out today is crap. If they wanted to sell music, they should have been marketing to baby-boomers with disposable income (and technically, probably less aware of how to find and download the illegal stuff) instead of poor college students!

Now, get off my lawn!

Re:I call BS. (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312124)

It's not better technology, it's better targeting.
You mean they've really figured out a way to target downloaders without having a Media Sentry involved in unlicensed investigating?

Re:I call BS. (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312148)

Good point. Also, I think the real goal of the RIAA is to shape public perception. There are two ways of looking at this whole "file sharing" thing. Either:

  • This is all about the steady march of progress, and the interplay between changes in technology and changes in society. The record industry originated out of new technology that allowed sound to be recorded, and will undergo some change as physical distribution becomes obsolete. So it goes.

-or-

  • This is all about people who lack a sense of fairness, trying to get something for nothing. People are tearing down societal rules and mores in order to satisfy their immediate urges without any consideration for the damage they're doing to our current system. Our current system works and is good, and to dismantle it is needless destruction.

Now obviously the record industry would like us all to accept the second explanation. But really, right now they only need older people to accept the second explanation, because older people tend to have more power. It's lucky for them, since older people are tend to dislike change, and tend to see things exactly in this way.

And who do older people usually think are "trying to get something for nothing" and "tearing down societal rules and mores... without any consideration for the damage they're doing to our current system"? Young people. Therefore, if they are targeting college kids specifically, it's probably a pretty crafty move.

I mean, they may as well group "file sharing" in with drug use, promiscuous and unprotected sex, binge drinking, drag racing, school shootings, and rap music. Forget the fact that the whole internet is really a large P2P system, and "P2P protocols" are just a more advanced method of distributing load. Oh, and pay no attention to the fact that the music industry itself used to be that scary/subversive thing that old people feared.

Technology that is helping catch more criminals (5, Funny)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311102)

Previous technology: Flip a coin. Heads -> you are innocent.

New_and_Improved technology: Throw a die. 1 -> you are innocent.

The elimination of network freedom. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311598)

University campuses look more like China than the US these days. "Free Speech areas" to limit protest, the destruction of tenure so political dissent can be eliminated and networks under tight central control. It's gross and will only get better with regime change.

The future? (5, Funny)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311112)

So how long before they target kindergartens? Those little bastards aren't buying any CD's, clearly they're stealing them!

Tagged: yeahriht (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311118)

This isn't about technology. The RIAA's aggresive war against users isn't based on good or bad technology. It's just a bunch of lies.

* An IP address can't be used to pinpoint a user, and that's a FACT. What does that have to do with better technology?
* The companies they hired to do their investigations weren't authorized by the government. That's ILLEGAL. What does that have to do with better technology?

Re:Tagged: yeahriht (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311554)

This sounds like trolling to me, but I'll bite. IP addresses can't be pinpointed to a user? Maybe not 100%, but certainly in most circumstances well enough to hold up in court, assuming you have a timestamp and the provider has proper logs. It's good enough for the FBI, why wouldn't it be good enough for the RIAA?

Why would you have to be authorized by the government to monitor file sharing traffic and send take-down notices? I'm sure there are regulations covering private investigators, but it's not at all clear to me that monitoring online activity and looking up IP addresses in WHOIS constitutes PI activities.

Re:Tagged: yeahriht (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312044)

You're wrong, at least partially, on both counts.

IP addresses can be, with proper logs, tied to one computer or connection. There is almost no way to prove that a specific individual was the one using that computer or connection at the time without evidence such as a video of the person using the computer.

The local government in many states requires a license for the types of activity that MediaSentry was involved in. MediaSentry acted without any license in many of those states. Massachusetts officials have specifically banned MediaSentry from operating in their state, and the Michigan state prosecutor is working to file charges against the company.

Are you new here?

RIAA causes Mystery Rash in College (3, Funny)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311140)

I've always thought you should use plenty of soap and water after contact with the RIAA. You never know what you'll catch.

No Mystery (5, Funny)

slagheap (734182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311156)

Principal Skinner: There's no mystery about what happened to Groundskeeper Willy. Why, he simply disappeared. Now let's have no more questions about this bizarre coverup.

Art will cost money for business purposes only (3, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311162)

I, myself, am creating art. Photos and a bit of music. Also some mediocre short stories. While my products are definitely not good enough yet to ask money for them, I can understand the desire to earn a living by doing what you like the most.

I think that all digital art will become free for those who do not want to earn money from it. If a magazine wants to use one of your photos or if a corporation wants to use your music for an add, you should get paid. The rest will come from donations from fans or derived products.

But yes, you wont be able to earn as much money that way and the RIAA will milk the old system dry before adapting. This is logical. Even the oil industry will pull something like that. I'm sure of it.

Re:Art will cost money for business purposes only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311436)

Even the oil industry will pull something like that. I'm sure of it.
Let me know when you can make a perfect copy of a barrel of oil at incremental (less than a penny) cost. Then we might have something.

Re:Art will cost money for business purposes only (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311572)

I was merely saying that the oil corporations will do whatever they can to make sure other alternatives are not used. They will protect their market.

Re:Art will cost money for business purposes only (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311476)

I think that all digital art will become free for those who do not want to earn money from it. If a magazine wants to use one of your photos or if a corporation wants to use your music for an add, you should get paid. The rest will come from donations from fans or derived products.
If you think this kind of business model will work for commodity software, such as computer games, you're out of your mind. (And no, selling support won't work for games, go away Stallmanites, and no, selling content won't work because they'll pirate that too. There are some goods, even electronic ones, that require strong copyright, and you can shove it if you want to tell me that you'll just steal it with no thought to the creator.)

Re:Art will cost money for business purposes only (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311600)

Good point. I didn't think about games and movies. I only had music and pictures in my mind.

On the other hand, there are independant movies being shown in a lot of cities (see Kino clubs) and there are independant games being made. These are not hollywood style blockbuster products but they are fun and interesting nonetheless.

Better technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311180)

They got a faster laser printer.

actual infringers? (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311184)

aggressively targeting users who merely make downloaded music available to others rather than actual infringers

Aren't the folks making music available the actual infringers? (Assuming the conversation is limited to music copyrighted by an RIAA member and not openly traded such as in the case of bands who allow taping and trading of tapes of live shows.)

Who are the actual infringers, if not the folks making the music available to others?

Re:actual infringers? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311262)

Aren't the folks making music available the actual infringers? (Assuming the conversation is limited to music copyrighted by an RIAA member and not openly traded such as in the case of bands who allow taping and trading of tapes of live shows.)

Who are the actual infringers, if not the folks making the music available to others?

If I leave my apartment door open and you walk in and help yourself to my friend's beer, who's the thief: you or me? Even if I advertise on Craigslist "my friend's beer is unguarded in my unlocked apartment", it's still you stealing it...at best, I'm contributing to your stealing it.

Re:actual infringers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311934)

Who modded up this nonsense? Your analogy does NOT apply.

If you take someone's beer, they no longer have a beer.

If you download a song from someone, THEY STILL HAVE THE SONG.

Re:actual infringers? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312104)

Would you care to point to where in US copyright law (and we ARE talking about the Recording Industry Association of AMERICA here) where it says that downloading infringes copyright?

Would you show me in the US Constitution where is says that one can own a song? (hint- it doesn't).

What if you had a twelve pack of beer in the refrigerator in your back yard with a sign that said "take one", a hundred people came and each took a beer but when you came home you still had twelve beers? That's downloading.

That said, the summary is a steaming pile of corporate RIAA brainwashed shit. downloading is legal, uploading copyright works without permission is illegal. US Copyright law protects artists and publishers from other publishers, not from the unpublishing customer.

The MAFIAA is seeking a sea change in the paradigm, and are largely succeeding. And timothy and Doug Lederman are helping them, damn it!!! First this [slashdot.org] and now this [slashdot.org] , it seems that slashdot has been invaded.

Re:actual infringers? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311306)

That sentence alludes to the "making available" debate. Is merely offering a song in a P2P program ("making available") already copyright infringement or is only the actual act of making a copy an infringement?

"Better technology" (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311264)

"Better technology," any of us with a brain asserts, "is merely resulting in better clients. Next up: IP obfuscation"

morons

9 thousand lawyers versus 90 million technologically savvy, music hungry, poor teenagers

place your wagers

you lose, morons

Not better technology, just a wider net (4, Interesting)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311280)

Really, the RIAA is just casting a wider net. By putting out more notices:

A) They are more likely to deter casual, nontechnical users who get them, most of whom will either stop or reduce their P2P use.
B) They are more likely to scare others; e.x. "Yo, did you hear? Joe Smith got a warning about music downloading!".
C) Many colleges and ISPs (Dartmouth and Optimum Online, at least) will often reduce the speed of account holders who have been the target of DCMA letters.
D) For settlement offers, the wider the net, the more fish you catch. If people put up an ounce of resistance, just drop the extortion attempt and move on to the next guy.

Not really that surprising. The technology hasn't improved, the RIAA is just sending out more letters.

Re:Missed one; (5, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311440)

Really, the RIAA is just casting a wider net. By putting out more notices:

E) Students move from a visable P-P application back to secure sneaker-net trading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet [wikipedia.org]

Instead of a dribble of songs from slow university connections, a few DVD's, loaded iPods, and USB external hard drives get lent outside of trackable channels.

For my middle school kids, it's the norm. They have Comcast and no P-P software. It's all sneaker net and iPods. I'm suprised the RIAA isn't bringing up the RIO lawsuit again and try to fight iPods and other external hard drives as massive tools of infringement. After all, in their book, tools for making availiable is a crime.

Re:Missed one; (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312206)

I'm suprised the RIAA isn't bringing up the RIO lawsuit again and try to fight iPods and other external hard drives as massive tools of infringement.
The record industry has recently suggested that they should get a cut of profits on all hard drive sales.

Re:Not better technology, just a wider net (1)

zeldor (180716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311558)

I suspect they just wanted to make sure they got all
the letters out before the students went home for the
summer.

Re:Not better technology, just a wider net (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311804)

E) They figure they can convince the university administrators to implement draconian network-control policies just to prevent being buried under a flurry of infringement notices.

Not a bad strategy considering university administrators feel about students about the same way the RIAA feels about customers; that is, they see them as a source of cash and anything they do other than fork over money is an unwanted imposition. Any excuse to place restrictions on them is in general a good one anyway. And university administrators are generally impressed by the appearance of Authority, which the RIAA has.

Stop the witch hunt!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311288)

I am glad to see University official trying to stop the inquisition of the RIAA.

I thought that witch hunting was illegal in USA. I thought that harassment was more evil than sharing.

I am a happy Canadian that know I can live my live without harassment, in the security of my home without being sued for sharing with my friends.

The RIAA do evil thing and I am sure, more they act with the capital sins, more the people will arise and stand together against those evils doing. I hope that everybody blog about the freedom of expression, the liberty of sharing and the rights to uses technology for the better of ours civilization.

Anybody that want to constraint us, anybody that is hunting people for what they are doing, any organization that destroy the financial life of the people should burn in the eternal flame of the raging shout of the civilization.

In short, I had paid my computer, I had paid my electricity, I had paid my ISP bandwith, I get technology to share at the speed of light and for the sake of the expression, I let my computer express all those bits and bites for anybody that do the same. This is the new era of civilization, where Idea, where thoughts are pure electricity that are shared together at the speed of light.

Read as: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311346)

It's easier and cheaper for us to get press by targeting university students using our new-and-improved technology [waves hand impressively] than it is to do the hard work of tracking down the commercial pirates that might already have a lawyer or the money to pay for one.

new technology (1)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311372)

I know, you could use steganography to hide your stolen tunes in your stolen mpegs.

Until someone offers better sound quality than CDs for downloads (DRM free, of course, and ideally using patent free algorithms, flac for example), I will continue to buy CDs. That doesn't mean I support the RIAA, I don't, they are scum. It means that when I buy my music I want a built in backup, music downloads don't offer that, as far as I'm aware. If there were a reliable source that let me store my tunes online that might be a different story, but even then I wouldn't trust the bastards to stay in business.

Re:new technology (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311602)

When you buy music from RIAA labels, you are supporting the RIAA.

If you don't want to suppoer the RIAA, buy your albums used, or buy from indie artists.

You would think ... (2)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311392)

... the with all the press about this topic, the "college" KIDS would wise up a bit.

The real reason... (2, Interesting)

doit3d (936293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311580)

...is that the RIAA lawyers know that their cash cow is about to go poof very soon. Therefore, they are getting all the milk they can from the cow before it leaves the barn.

What's interesting ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23311612)

...is the number of false positives that are popping up.

I'm responsible for DMCA notices at my campus, and after a 1.5 year lull without a single one, I've received over 2 dozen, none of which are attributable to any IP given out by our DHCP server. One IP was a terminal server with no access to the internet.

(I'm posting anonymously because I don't like the spotlight. Talk to any college staff member and you'll get similar comments about this recent flurry of notices.)

Re:What's interesting ... (2, Interesting)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312098)

Does the DMCA notice come with an internal IP as well (192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, etc)? I would be curious to see a university or ISP bring up computer crime charges if that's true, since reconnaissance (active or passive) of internal networks can be considered a crime.

Re:What's interesting ... (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312176)

I hope your response to the RIAA is something along the lines of:

We have received your DMCA notices. None are attributable to IP addresses given out by our DHCP server. One is attributed to a terminal server with no internet access. Thus, we will be taking no action other than to file these notices. Should we receive future notices which may be attributed to an IP address assigned by our DHCP server and thus one of our students, we will pass along the DMCA notice as well as a record of all filed and incorrect DMCA notices we have received so that the student in question can be made fully aware of the accuracy of your efforts should they wish to formulate a legal defense.

Let the RIAA know that their machinegun approach to this will be used against them when it comes time to prosecute. I doubt they'll slow down but the increasingly large file of haphazard DMCA notices will eventually show that they are filing frivolous lawsuits.

Re:What's interesting ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23312222)

...is that the subject of the post isn't in the subject line. (By the way, sorry about the tone of the following rant, but your message caught my eye while I was listening to a phone conference, which does bad things to my impulse control.) I hate how the slashdot editors put the link on anything other than the part of the sentence that says what the link is to. Makes it very hard to tell, visually, which link to click to get to the actual article being referred to. I think that weird mindset carries over to composing of subject lines, like yours, that don't say what the subject is, leaving that to the body of your post. If what's interesting is that the number of false positives has gone way up, then, just maybe, something about false positives could be mentioned in the subject line, what with that being the actual subject of the post. One assumes that it's interesting, or you wouldn't have posted it, so telling me, in the subject line, that the post is about what's interesting is like telling me that you really had a reason for posting. I knew that already, from your having posted, leaving the subject line completely free of actual, additional information.

My version of the real reson... (2, Interesting)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311654)

The RIAA are trying to get as many cases on the books as possible before any ruling in their current legal battles is made. They probably think they will loose and will push for the judgement NOT to be retroactive. i.e. all current cases can go forward and they are free to extort monies to settle or going to trial. It's called hedging your bets...

This isn't that hard to understand... (1)

TriZz (941893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311718)

The more notices they sent out, the more it pads their numbers. If they only send out 10 notices, then how can they convince the legislators to back up their failing business model. If they sent out 10,000 notices in a matter of months, then the downloading music thing seems way more dangerous to the music industry. It's a numbers game so they can lobby the higher-ups and get laws passed in their favor.

More because of litigation? (1)

bravo369 (853579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311742)

I wonder if maybe they are suing more because of the numerous pending litigation fights they have against them. Maybe they see their window shrinking because if they lose 1 or 2 of those cases then it will prevent them from suing more people. They might be trying to maximize settlement revenue and if any of these new people bring a suit, RIAA can stall them until the court cases that already exist are settled and then drop if necessary. Does any website have wording of the RIAA settlement offers? I wonder if they've changed it to say that if they agree to the settlement then they cannot be part of any class action lawsuit that comes up.

Evolve or Die (3, Insightful)

aarenz (1009365) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311776)

RIAA needs to take a step back and look at their business model. Ford used to create cars with bolts and pieces that were so unique that nobody made part for their products except them. That backfired at some point and they started to go with the flow. Musicians need to get a grip on where the money that is paid for their music goes. Reduce the big overhead of managers and promotions people and get back to making music. If you can do live performances and get rid of the ticket brokers overhead, you can make enough to live on with just a few concerts in medium sized venues each year. If you can not perform live, then you best not expect to make a killing in the industry since you probably do not have real talent, but just know someone that can mix down anything and make it sound good.

In most cases, when you make the black market seem more dangerous, and there is still a demand for an item, the illegal market will grow. If CD's were priced to make enough to cover costs of production and a small amount for the musician and composer, they would sell like crazy, especially if there was something that set it apart from the mainstream duplicated junk that is generally available. It is much the way the TV industry has gone, 3 networks with reasonable quality, then it became 200 channels, most of which is not worth burning the screen by playing. Quality will win out in the end, if there is a reasonable distribution method and pricing for it.

Are the colleges culpable? (1)

speroni (1258316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23311778)

Are the colleges to be held culpable? If a student commits a real crime, are the police going to go to the dean and complain, or are they going to go kick in the student in question's door?

If a kid beat another kid with the power cable from a college owned PC, does that make the college responsible? If a kid downloaded some music using the college's T1 line does that make the college responsible?

Also the RIAA isn't a government agency. It doesn't have any more rights than anyone else. Sure in our society anyone can sue anyone else, and the RIAA can complain to anyone they want, but could a college get a restraining order, or a counter suit for harassment?

Conversely, there's a lot of bands who are just as happy to have fans download their music for free. NIN is releasing their new album on their website for free http://www.nin.com/ [nin.com] Radio head posted their album with a "Tip Jar" Other bands like Moe encourage fans to record concerts and share the music. Seems like the Record Labels and the RIAA are just in between the bands and the fans pissing everyone off.

Bad marketing... (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312030)

I'd like a marketing firm to calculate how much damage the recording industry has done in terms of public relations. I think the accumulated ill-will is larger than their perceived losses.

Finals ? (2, Interesting)

junklogin (1002872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23312134)

When using intimidation tactics, isn't it better to increase your pressure as it gets closer to finals for students- hold back until mid semester and then bomb the schools and students . . . Nothing would hasten a quick settlement like the pressure of upcoming finals.
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