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RIAA Says "Wanna Fight? It'll Cost You!"

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the come-the-revolution dept.

The Courts 367

jeiler writes "Ars has the details on an RIAA strategy to double the cost of settling copyright infringement suits for students who try to quash the group's subpoenas in court. In a nutshell: settle early, pay $3,000; try to quash the subpoena and the settlement cost rises to $8,000."

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Shouldn't matter... (5, Funny)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797789)

If half the RIAA's claims are as bogus as some say they are, the cost to settle shouldn't matter. Because you should win if you haven't done anything wrong. Right?

Right?

Re:Shouldn't matter... (4, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797809)

The **AA's, Law, and regular citizens opinion of wrong all differ greatly. In fact regular citizens cannot agree where exactly the line should be drawn. Right or wrong will also differ with the law depending on individual judges interpretations of the law as well.

And remember (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797993)

This is a civil case. That means it isn't so easy to defend yourself. In a criminal case the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a fairly high standard because it means, just as it says there must be no reasonable doubt that you committed the crime for the jury to convict. That means that the prosecution actually has to prove their case, the defense needn't do anything at all if they don't. Also in a criminal trial, you get a lawyer, even if you can't afford one. Public defenders generally aren't as good as high paid lawyers, but they are lawyers none the less who can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

A civil case has a much lower standard, the preponderance of the evidence. More or less that means whoever has the more convincing argument. There can still be reasonable doubt, so long as one side seems to present better evidence, then they win. Also, you aren't given a lawyer, you have to pay for one yourself.

So even if you are innocent, paying the extortion money can be the easy out to take. It'd be real hard to mount a defense for $30,000, much less $3,000. Even if you do, they could still win.

That's the problem here. It isn't one of these "Oh you are innocent so you have nothing to worry about." No, you have a lot to worry about. Either you pay a ton of money to hire a lawyer to try to defend yourself, or you do it all by yourself and almost certainly lose just because you don't understand the legal system.

Re:And remember (4, Insightful)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798173)

Mod parent up.

This thread is going to be full of people saying "When you win in court..."

Assuming no special legal knowledge, the average person with no lawyer will lose to the RIAA in court. And as for hiring a lawyer,

It'd be real hard to mount a defense for $30,000, much less $3,000. Even if you do, they could still win.

Re:And remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798177)

Paying extortion money is no different than negotiating with terrorists. Doing it regardless of whats at stake is still wrong.

Dubya, is that you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798455)

Sounds a lot like the flawed thinking that got us into Iraq. Sometimes it's better to surrender and hope for the best rather than get yourself into a fight you have no chance of winning.

Re:And remember (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798189)

Or ask the EFF.

I'm not sure how it work, wether they just defend you for free (if they think your case is relevant to their fight), or if they just get paid low rate, but either way you'll probably get the most competent people for that precise matter, for far less than a top lawyer's fee.

Plus, you might get NYCL's autograph :)

Re:And remember (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798327)

This is a civil case.
That is what I don't quite understand - making illegal copies is a crime, right? At least according to the law. So why does the court allow it to be prosecuted under civil law? A crime is a crime, and it should be treated as such - allowing criminal cases, or cases that imply crime, to run in a civil court without first running it through the criminal court means that you can be found guilty of (or at least economically responsible for, which for all intents and purposes is the same thing) a crime based on very weak proofs.

In other words, it is fully possible to bully people into admitting a crime they haven't committed. In my view, what the RIAA does is quite clearly criminal, at least in spirit, if not in letter - they know perfectly well that their demands have no merit. If criminal law doesn't already cover this, then it should be changed. It sholdn't be possible for this to happen in a civilized society that claims we all are born equal under the law.

Re:And remember (2, Informative)

Beale (676138) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798417)

No, copyright infringement is a civil offense, not a criminal one, no matter what the RIAA tells you. At least like this it means that even if the RIAA's team of lawyers manages to bribe you guilty, you'll never get a criminal record.

It's complicated (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798453)

So yes, copyright infringement can be criminal. However, the RIAA's evidence is extremely weak, not nearly enough for a criminal case. What's more, not all infringement is criminal, some is civil. Same sort of thing with traffic tickets. Some can be criminal, but many are not. If you get a simple speeding ticket, that's not a criminal ticket, it's a civil one.

Now also many crimes can have a civil component as well. Take a hypothetical situation: Suppose you are the owner of Evil Corp, and my wife works for you. Because you are evil, you don't give two shits about your employees and knowingly put my wife in a very dangerous situation. This causes her death. You end up getting charged with reckless endangerment and plead to manslaughter. Ok, great, however I'm still now a single parent trying to raise kids. Something that might help is some of the vast amount of money Evil Corp has made. So I file a civil suit against you for wrongfully causing her death. I win this, and thus get a large portion of your money.

OJ Simpson had something similar happen. He was acquitted of first degree murder charges. However he lost a civil suit charging him with causing wrongful death.

There's good reason for the system to work like it does, and to have civil and criminal components to a given case. However the RIAA is abusing it. They are trying to use civil suits to be able to go after people on extremely shaky, and often outright incorrect, evidence.

It is certainly a loophole that needs closing, but you have to be careful. While the civil system does allow for things like this, it also gives you the ability to go after people like the hypothetical Evil Corp, and does so even if the DA refuses to bring criminal charges.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798203)

'Right and wrong' has to do with morality. While many laws have roots in morality, law isn't morality. When you break the speed limit, the actual breaking the speed limit part has little, if anything to do with right or wrong (morality). Its the unspoken agreement with society that you break when you exceed the speed limit (and break the law) that is the moral issue.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798289)

I thought the speed limit thing was because breaking the speed limit is dangerous to yourself and others, and killing people is generally considered immoral.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798313)

terrible example. Breaking the speed limit is immoral since you are needlessly endangering yourself and others. breaking the law jaywalking in an empty street might be illegal but its not generally immoral.... Though i do agree with your concept, legal and moral are widely unrelated.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798395)

What if the speed limit was 5mph on a deserted freeway? Would it be immoral to speed then?

Re:Shouldn't matter... (3, Insightful)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797825)

It's simply a tactic to make resistant seem more frightening. Most people don't understand the situation they're in, and the thought of another $5000 plus lawyer fees may be enough to make them shell out $3000.

Of course, if they go to court, and win, they have no reason to settle. If they go to court and lose, then they probably have to pay an excessively larger amount.

So who is this for anyways? People who go halfway through and quit? They're (obviously) just trying to discourage people from fighting it.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797841)

So who is this for anyways? People who go halfway through and quit?

Odd. Of the court cases that actually go to court, I've noticed it's usually the RIAA that try to quit half way through.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797863)

This is good news. Rather than "Fight and it'll cost you" in reality they are offering a discount to people who settle. See, the thing is, one man cannot fight the RIAA in court. But now they are faced with hundreds, even thousands of people challenging them. And they haven't been winning, usually due to lack of evidence that any infringement actually occured. So they aren't recouping the cost of their really expensive teams of corporate attorneys, long discovery sessions, return after return to the courtroom, etc. If we ALL fought at once, they would go out of business or be forced to change their model. They are starting to recognize it, and now they just want to capture as much as they can to pay their lawyers huge bills.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798069)

Ohh my god... You think... Your comments are so enlightening... I never would have thought of this on my own... Do you REALLY think this is a move by the RIAA to discourage people from fighting it?

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797855)

No, you'll probably win if you haven't done anything illegal. "Illegal" and "wrong" are very different things.

e.g. IMO, it's not wrong to share music data (or other data) freely, just don't plagiarise (claim you wrote it or performed it). However, sharing it is often illegal under copyright law. Shrug.
 

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797901)

So...according to that logic could I send someone an ISO of a game I bought?

I didn't code this game in any shape or form, it is the property of Big Important Company, but here, take it.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797945)

Yep. It's not the "property", BTW, sounds like you've bought into the "intellectual property" propaganda term hook line and sinker.

If you don't want something copied, don't fucking release it, don't ask the whole world to refrain from copying so you can make a buck.

The big corps say "but then we won't make stuff". I say fine by me. An uncensored, uncontrolled, Free (as in Liberty) Internet is simply more important than intellectual monopolies.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798241)

The big corps say "but then we won't make stuff". I say fine by me. An uncensored, uncontrolled, Free (as in Liberty) Internet is simply more important than intellectual monopolies.
You do realize that the Internet as you know it depends on those "big corps", don't you? I mean, I guess we /can/ go back to the days of independent BBSs, but I kinda like this 'global network' thing.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798263)

It depends mostly on different big corps, actually. The media big corps are actually much smaller than the banking/defence/fucking-everyone-else big corps that the internet actually depends on. It's a classic case of tail-wagging-dog, or little yappy dog, or some other dog analogy: What the media corps are are noisy propagandists.

The USA is a little worse off because they allowed actual media companies to purchase more of their internet infrastructure than the rest of the world, granted, but even in the USA, the media corps aren't as important as they like to paint themselves.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798311)

Different "big corps" The people who own the wires seem to make money off of the sharing as or more often than they "lose" money from it.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798261)

You know, you can just make free content for the internet and ignore the copyrighted kind (if you're so uncreative that you cannot make stuff without copying other works maybe you are unfit to be a content maker), that way you get your world and we get ours.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (2, Interesting)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798477)

using that logic you'd have ran out of original ideas YEARS ago...

Society advances by copying and improvising. Maybe that's why its restricted to governments and corporations? (takes conspiracy hat off)

Disney would be fuck all if it wasn't for copying..

Look at steamboat willie as a FANTASTIC example..

The music was a concept from something else
The setting was taken from something else
The fucking mouse was taken from something else

getting the picture yet?

The very thing that made Walt Disney who he is would be illegal now due to laws that his legacy have helped to enforce.

Fuck copyrights and patents. The internet has taken a SERIOUS turn for the worst since big media corps have gotten their mits on it and if they get their way within 10 years it wont be any better than fricking television.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797951)

Makes sense, if they didn't want it easily copied they wouldn't have put in digital form. I popped the CD in my computer: oops I just made a copy of their copyrighted data in to ram - is that copy right violation? My new fangled CD player has "anti skip protection" I just copied their data again... If they don't want it copied, ship vinyl!!!

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798007)

I don't know about you; but, I could still copy vinyl. :P It would just sound worse than CD.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

musicalwoods (1115347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798109)

Funny you say vinyls...

I buy vinyls even when I already own the album digitally. My friends do as well, and we are poor college students. I started collecting vinyls when I realized they were the some of the cheapest items the bands sold after concerts.

Pity for the RIAA that I don't purchase their media. Thanks RIAAradar.com!

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798321)

I copied some of my music to my brain, then I replayed it by humming on the bus.

Re:Shouldn't matter... (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798105)

Only if you get the court costs back and maybe fronted. Huge companies are very good at making trials last forever.

Just don't go after (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798513)

athletes... go after those who are MEN [youtube.com]

No way! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797793)

This can't possibly be a frosty.

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL (0, Redundant)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797947)

He's got a point - it can't possible be a frosty, on account of the post made before it.

But... (5, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797801)

How is this different from any other type of corporate lawsuit? Raising settlement costs if the other party prolongs the case is hardly new.

Re:But... (1)

pikine (771084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797953)

This makes perfect sense considering that RIAA is turning this into a business model. They basically do a network scan to pick plausible victims and print form letters. The first $3000 settlement money hardly cost them anything. It is the follow-up that costs them lawyer fees. Maybe if they could figure out a way to automatically file counter-motions to motion-to-quash, they would be able to lower the step-up rate as well and make a better deal to the students. Oh wait... remind me again what service is the payer getting out of this?

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797989)

I keep hearing that this is turning into a business model, but has anybody really figured out the economics of it? All those lawyers, plus the risks they're taking every time they go to court, plus having to pay out a chunk of the winnings to the artists, the labels, etc....

I find it much more likely that the whole thing is an expense for the record companies, but that it is worth it to save their dying business model.

But I also have no real numbers on how many cases actually settle, lose, win, etc., much less the cost of filing the suits in the first place.

Re:But... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798295)

Bah, the more procedure I hear along with how they do things, the more I think that their whole racket can be done in a perl script.

Re:But... (5, Funny)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798343)

Wait wait wait, they pay the artists?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798469)

The economics of it is to scare people into settling out of court as much as possible. Ideally ALL the time. That way the lawyer bills are almost zero and money comes in at about 3000 dollars per person pointed at.

Actually having to go to the courtroom is what they don't want to do. It's bad business compared to quick and easy extortion.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

mmeister (862972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798471)

The secret to their business plan is that they never pay out any chunks of winnings to the artists.

Re:But... (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798535)

How are they going to send any settlement letters when the criminal John Doe fishing expeditions are permanently denied? Since when has any alleged IP address ever met the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of identifying a specific *person*?

File a criminal court case of summary judgment for the purposes of discovery and then drop the case to while celebrating the option to refile in civil court ... and then send a settlement letter before filing their cases with any civil courts. Notice nobody sends settlement letters without prior court judgment. Why do you think that is? Because it would be a shame if any accidents happened to your property and person. Since you the reader, are a "bad person" who likely by a preponderance of the evidence have done "bad things", it's best you wire $10,000 to my Nigerian account to avoid further legal action.

I would include a countersuit of criminal charges against every RIAA registered civil filing. Examine their computers for discovery purposes in even every civil trial (to attack the credibility of their methodology), and report the trillions of dollars of statutory damages copyright infringement committed by the RIAA and their employee "Media Sentry" for all their "mistakes". You can't deep packet inspect, you can't determine "hashes", without by definition copying bits of data. Some of us who have had our personal copyrighted commentary files regarding popular music illegally uploaded onto the internet would appreciate being notified of definitive proof of illegal copying and "making available" in torrent files of our commentary work (which is vitally important in a 24/7 news commentary age). I'm sick and tired of having my work stolen, labeled "decoys", and trampled with unequal treatment under the law copyright infringing abuse.

How are copyright trolls supposed to make a living if they aren't paid?

Really... Really? (4, Insightful)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797803)

How is this not racketeering and extortion? I mean, c'mon...

Re:Really... Really? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797833)

It seems a pretty clear cut case of extortion;

Give us 3 grand, or we'll sue you for 8, and cost you 80 more in legal fees.

Re:Really... Really? (5, Informative)

ericbg05 (808406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797975)

How is this not racketeering and extortion? I mean, c'mon...
It's not either of those things, I'm afraid.

My girlfriend IAL; she says this particular practice of the RIAA is perfectly legal. A party to a civil litigation can alter the settlement terms basically however they want, whenever they want (subject to public policy, of course: RIAA can't alter the terms to include the forfeit of your firstborn child or whatever). A settlement is just a contract, after all.

This makes sense, so the argument goes, because a party's costs for litigating a particular case become higher and higher as the case progresses. So, the settlement costs must increase concordantly.

Re:Really... Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798141)

My girlfriend IAL;...
IAL? I am lying?

Re:Really... Really? (0, Redundant)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798339)

new to /.?

Re:Really... Really? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798445)

So you say, it is legal to ask money from you or your house is burnt. You get 10 days to decide, and each day, the cost raises. You know, we have to store the flammables, and storage costs us money.

Re:Really... Really? (5, Insightful)

Ramahan (1210528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798511)

How is this not racketeering and extortion? I mean, c'mon...
It's not either of those things, I'm afraid.

My girlfriend IAL; she says this particular practice of the RIAA is perfectly legal. A party to a civil litigation can alter the settlement terms basically however they want, whenever they want (subject to public policy, of course: RIAA can't alter the terms to include the forfeit of your firstborn child or whatever). A settlement is just a contract, after all.

This makes sense, so the argument goes, because a party's costs for litigating a particular case become higher and higher as the case progresses. So, the settlement costs must increase concordantly.

Your GF might be right if they were stating that they would ask for a higher settlement if the case was prolonged but in the case mentioned here its no different then my walking into every store on the block and threatening a lawsuit for $8000 if they didn't pay me $3000 now. Remember that when the RIAA sends out their little settlement letters they have already dropped a lawsuit against Doe, have not filed the new lawsuit, and it isn't the RIAA legal team who are asking for the money.

Re:Really... Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798089)

How is this not racketeering and extortion? I mean, c'mon...
Are you kidding? This is great news.

They are scared of us fighting them. They are worried that we will win. They fear even the attempt to fight back, so now they are trying to use fear of a higher cost to defend ourselves to try and stop us from trying.

We are winning. Let this day be remembered as the day we stood mighty, and they cringed and wept for a future their hearts fear ever so deeply, then clutched in desperation for a way to try to stop us from trying, from winning.

They have failed; Now we know they fear us. That makes is mightier still.

Move your assets offshore (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797815)

and prolong the fight, and if loses, declare bankruptcy.

What if... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797823)

...you ignore their notices and force *them* to bring *you* to court? You can claim you never got the notices. Not showing up at court at all is harder, because (I'm pretty sure) you can get arrested.

Re:What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797891)

Nah. My understanding is that for civil cases, if you don't show up, you just loose. Only criminal defendants or any subpoenaed witnesses have to worry about getting arrested for failure to appear.

Re:What if... (1)

timothyf (615594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798543)

Not to mention that most of these sorts of notices are served via certified mail, so they know if you got it (and signed for it) or not. I suppose you could not pick up or sign for any certified mail, but it definitely makes it harder to claim you 'never got the notice'.

I'd have thought it would be more... (4, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797845)

I understand that raising the cost of settling out of court is meant to deter people from fighting in the first place, but considering the ludicrous fines they expect people to pay, it's a little too low. Looks to me like they're just trying to highlight their low, low prices, to avoid people setting a precedent in court, against them.

Re:I'd have thought it would be more... (1)

54mc (897170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798325)

Didn't they recently drop a suit just because they were so close to losing on the "making available" claim?

fuck the jew HEIL HITLER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797851)

Nothing can done against evil Juden-controlled **AA, the legal system will not help you as they controlled all the lawyers, judges and government.

Re:fuck the jew HEIL HITLER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797875)

I take offense. What causes you to spew such nonsense?

Re:fuck the jew HEIL HITLER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798017)

I am sure you know about the Zionist occupied Government of the U.S.A. so this I don't have to explain it. Otherwise you should Google it.
About the **AA managment, here are the list:
RIAA Board of Directors:
Mitch Bainwol
Recording Industry Association of America
Victoria Bassetti
EMI Recorded Music
Jason Flom
Virgin Records America
Bill Hearn
EMI Christian Music Group
Deirdre McDonald
SonyBMG
Joe Galante
SonyBMG
Kevin Kelleher*
SonyBMG
Rob Stringer*
SonyBMG
Jeff Harleston
Geffen Records
Steve Bartels
Island Records
Lawrence Kenswil
Universal Music Group
Mel Lewinter*
Universal Music Group
Zach Horowitz*
Universal Music Group
Craig Kallman*
The Atlantic Group
Tom Whalley*
Warner Bros Records
Michael Fleisher*
Warner Music Group
Kevin Liles
Warner Music Group
Bob Cavallo
Buena Vista Music
Glen Barros
Concord Records
Mike Curb
Curb Records
Michael Koch*
Koch Entertainment
Tom Silverman*
Tommy Boy Entertainment
Jose Behar
Univision
Alan Meltzer*
Wind Up Records
MPAA
Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman*
people name with asterisk (*) are juden
lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention lame filter circumvention !!! HEIL HITLER SIEG HEIL!

Keeping up with the times (5, Insightful)

cyberchuck.nz (1307417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797871)

Excluding the illegal downloads arena (which I know is what they're suing over), I think half the problem is the *AA not keeping up with technology.

At home I have a sizeable DVD collection (around 230 at last count), but with the release of Blu-Ray I'm starting to realize that my collection will eventually be obsolete (such as when DVD first came out, and people with a reasonable VCR collection realized that their collection would eventually be worth squat).

I think this is one of the reasons people download (the other reasons being ridiculous prices, etc). People realize that technology changes - CD collections have been superseeded by portable MP3 players (ipod and the likes), VCR's replaced with DVD's which will eventually lose out to blu-ray (once the prices down).

And people realize this - why should you pay for a CD/DVD, which will eventually become obsolete, when you can get what you want in a digital format (for a cheaper price)?

Re:Keeping up with the times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797899)

why should you pay for a CD/DVD, which will eventually become obsolete, when you can get what you want in a digital format (for a cheaper price)?

Just to be anal, I feel I must inform you that CDs and DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are all in digital formats.

Re:Keeping up with the times (1)

cyberchuck.nz (1307417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797977)

I feel I must inform you that CDs and DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are all in digital formats.

Fair call.
My point remains though - why pay for something that'll eventually be obsolete, when you can get it on your PC for a cheaper price and have it (hopefully) last longer?

Re:Keeping up with the times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797955)

You do know that digital formats become obsolete too, right? Let me know if you come across any A/V format - digital or analog, physical or not - that doesn't. Thanks.

Re:Keeping up with the times (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798085)

my collection will eventually be obsolete
what exactly do you mean by that? If you mean that they aren't the shiniest,latest NewThingToGet(TM): you can always go back to comparing d%ck sizes. If you mean not being able to play 'em anymore: that can mean 2 things : 1/dvd broken: has nothing to do with there being Blurays. 2/new players can't play the 'old' dvd-format, which also doesn't compute, because blurays CAN play DVD's.

Strategies.. (2, Funny)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797881)

Preventive measure...

1.) Offshore proxy
2.) Encrypt your network traffic
3.) Change your MAC address from factory default if you can

Now let say you got your notice, now you should...

1.) Move your assets offshore, i.e. Carribean, Switzerland, cayman island etc.
2.) Practice your legal rights, especially the fifth amendment and the second amendment of the U.S. constitution.
3.) If all else fails, move to Canada or elsewhere to seek political asylum, claiming POW status, as **AA is basically a war machine against humanity.

Re:Strategies.. (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797949)

yes, you realize changing the MAC address on most cable or DSL modems is quite difficult given that the modem loses it's authorization from the ISP. How do you think they provision your access to begin with? The MAC of your computer is irrelevant as MAC addresses don't go past the first hop router which is your cable or DSL modem.

Encrypting traffic only works if only trusted people copy, most P2P applications are only effective if they have millions of users, there is no way to logistically make sure you can trust that many users.

Re:Strategies.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798039)

The MAC of your computer is irrelevant as MAC addresses don't go past the first hop router which is your cable or DSL modem.
That's where sbhacker and fercsa come in.

Re:Strategies.. (1)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798041)

In most cases **AA targets university networks. And AFAIK many university does not require you to register your MAC address to begin with.

Re:Strategies.. (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798377)

Then they don't know who you are to begin with so the point remains the same.

Re:Strategies.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797999)

If you set up an unsecured wireless router on your network, you could use the "it must have been a leech" strategy.

FailzoRS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23797889)

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In the make-it-while-you-can dept. (5, Interesting)

T3Tech (1306739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797941)

The RIAA is a sinking ship and they're trying to make as much as they can as long as there are judges and courts that are still sympathetic to their rhetoric.

The four major record corporations fund the RIAA. These companies are rich and obviously well-represented. Recording artists and musicians don't really have the money to compete. The 273,000 working musicians in America make about $30,000 a year. Only 15 percent of American Federation of Musicians members work steadily in music. But the music industry is a $40 billion-a-year business. One-third of that revenue comes from the United States. The annual sales of cassettes, CDs and video are larger than the gross national product of 80 countries. Americans have more CD players, radios and VCRs than we have bathtubs. Story after story gets told about artists -- some of them in their 60s and 70s, some of them authors of huge successful songs that we all enjoy, use and sing -- living in total poverty, never having been paid anything. Not even having access to a union or to basic health care. Artists who have generated billions of dollars for an industry die broke and un-cared for. And they're not actors or participators. They're the rightful owners, originators and performers of original compositions. This is piracy." - Courtney Love [salon.com]

Enough, already. (0, Troll)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23797971)

How about tag this story with "fuckoffalready".

Sorry for the language, but I'm just tired of the RIAA shit. It has gone on too long, and is *ridiculous*...

DirecTV (1)

crazyaxemaniac (219708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798009)

Isn't this the same strategy DirecTV used against people who had purchased satellite card hacking hardware?

RIAA on a suicide path with colletaral damage (2, Interesting)

Christian Linhart (976188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798019)

With the RIAA acting like a bull in a china shop, they will not only destroy the loyality of their own customer base ( which will cause the RIAA members to go out of business in the end ),
but they will also cause a lot of collateral damage:

They will, in the long run, cause a lot of political pressure for abolishing copyright law from a large portion of the population, so politicans will eventually abolish copyright in order to be able to win elections.

Now, a complete abolishment of copyright will cause damage because many people who currently use copyright in a reasonable way will not be able to create their products anymore.

Which means that the creation of information-products will be mostly in the hands of the government and to a lesser extent in the hands of hobbyists.

Creation of information-products like books, software etc mostly in the hands of the government is IMHO a dangerous thing because it gives a lot of influential (propagandistic) power to the government. (most politicians will like this, BTW)

Re:RIAA on a suicide path with colletaral damage (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798379)

What loyal customers? There aren't any CD shops anywhere anymore. The only remaining ones are online and they will eventually die out too.

That's a RICO predicate. (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798037)

Threatening someone to keep them from defending themselves against litigation is illegal. Someone at the RIAA should end up doing time for this.

-jcr

Re:That's a RICO predicate. (2, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798131)

But they won't. It's an organisation with a legion of Chewbacca-Defense lawyers. The one thing they're good at is smoke-screens, and if they want to hide something, or make it exceptionally difficult to find out who actually wrote that policy, they can.

Re:That's a RICO predicate. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798303)

RICO? Are you fucking kidding me? They aren't threatening anyone to keep them from defending themselves. Think about the kind of stuff that the RICO statutes were trying to criminalize and tell me if you can still say that with a straight face. If nothing else raising the settlement costs might encourage people to go the defense route instead of settling.

C'mon, people. Stop making arguments based on emotion instead of logic and facts. The RIAA and their army of lawyers are fucking scumbags, no doubt. And we have kind of a screwed up system here (yes, that was an understatement) which isn't making matters any easier. But spewing nonsense like this will get us nowhere.

Re:That's a RICO predicate. (3, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798363)

If you settle right away, it costs them less. If you fight it, they spend more in legal fees. It's not only legal to do this, it's appropriate.

People like you make the RIAA look like the smart, honest ones.

That is not a good thing.

Re:That's a RICO predicate. (1)

mmeister (862972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798481)

Actually, there is no one that makes the RIAA look like the smart, honest ones. Hell, mobsters have more honesty and integrity than the RIAA.

ooh scary (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798043)

You know that really doesn't matter if you beat them in court now does it? And given their recent history in court, they're getting stomped. They could put the settlement fee up to a million dollars and it wouldn't matter because nobody should ever settle.

Re:ooh scary (1)

mmeister (862972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798493)

yeah, the point of trying to scare people to settle early is because they know that RIAA's chances at actually winning in court are dropping every day.

So, like the sleazy car salesman, have they got a deal for you. If you settle right now, they'll just steal away $3K from you.

Wow.. where is my wallet at.

ARAG (5, Interesting)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798115)

Two words: Legal Insurance.

It costs about $17 a month, and I get hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal cost coverage for most situations. Basically, as long as the case does not involve a vehicle moving violation or is a conflict of interest with my employer (a major grocery chain), I am smilin' all the way to the court house.

I've had the insurance for almost a year now, and I've actually been kind of hoping for an opportunity to sue/counter sue someone... God bless America.

Re:ARAG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798319)

Could you please make sure it says nothing against robbing banks? 17$ a month - cool!

Re:ARAG (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798475)

Could you please make sure it says nothing against robbing banks? 17$ a month - cool!

Pre-paid legal only covers litigation costs (lawyers) an does nothing to cover any jail time or other fines and fees associated to losing you case. Your lawyer gets paid, but they will want the money back and jail time for the crime. You may still be on the hook for their lawyer.

Re:ARAG (1)

twms2h (473383) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798457)

Have you checked what kind of legal cases are excluded? (I am sure there is an exclusion clause in your contract.)

In Germany these insurances often explicitly exclude any internet related cases, which means they are nowadays pretty much useless.

(In case somebody can tell me an insurance that does cover these cases (e.g. filesharing, "AGB" and other cases of "Abmahnung wegen unlauteren Wettbewerbs" etc.), and is still reasonably priced, please tell me.)

Re:ARAG (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798505)

ARAG?

I am not quite sure, but most "$17 a month" class legal insurance contracts explicitly state that they do not cover intellectual property and copyright disputes.

Check for yourself!

Strong Arm Tactics = Profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798117)

Has anyone compared timelines for these strong arm tactics and profits of the movie, music industries?

How now brown cow? (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798119)

If they are able to quash a subpoena in the case, wouldn't it render the case pretty much over right there? With no evidence (which is what the subpoena(s) usually provide), how could the case not be dismissed (read between the lines: no settlement cost at all)?

How is this not extortion? (0, Redundant)

arthurh3535 (447288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798165)

If it's a traffic ticket, it doesn't get raised if you take it to court and fight it normally. Why have these racketeers not been thrown into prison for this illegality?

Re:How is this not extortion? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798229)

Bad analogy. A traffic ticket is a criminal offense. Getting sued by the RIAA is a civil matter. Furthermore, they are by no means obligated to even offer a settlement in the first place, so they can set and change the bar wherever and whenever they like.

It's shitty, but not illegal.

Re:How is this not extortion? (1)

Christian Linhart (976188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798269)

Where I live, traffic tickets do get more expensive if you take them to court.

They formulate it differently: They say: When you pay the ticket until such and such date, then you get a discount and you will stay somehow anonymous as they don't ask who was driving the car at that time...

This way, most people pay the tickes on time and the government can handle it with minimal amounts of work, probably even automatically because each money transfer includes a number ( i.e. database key ). Now with the radar boxes also working automatically, the government makes some nice, easy money from people who are driving too fast...

Re:How is this not extortion? (1)

mmeister (862972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798515)

Where do you live? 'Cause I'd like to avoid that money-grubbing gov't entity if possible.

It's a total scam of your gov't when they just send you a photo in the mail and tell you to pay up. I once got such a ticket, except it wasn't for me (delivered to the wrong address). In determining what it was, I did read the fine print. If you don't pay the ticket by such and such date, you automatically assume guilt and start paying additional penalties.

Never mind that the actual recipient never got the ticket -- his failure to respond made him automatically guilty. That's what happens when you don't verify who is doing what and are more interested in making money than actual safety.

Ticket writing has become a major source of local law enforcement revenues. Many police office budgets depend on the revenues from writing tickets. So much for protect and serve (unless the serve is "serve you a ticket"). /rant

Go ahead, punks, make my day... (4, Funny)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798215)

Eight grand is about what I make in a year. For a year's salary, I'd shoot a lawyer in the back of the head, cut them up, pour concrete over them, and toss them off a bridge. (Don't worry, I would never do that to an actual human being.)

+1 funny, or... (1)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798517)

-1 scary as hell?

Cost to go to court? (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23798501)

What would it cost to hire a lawyer, go to court and win (if winning or the complaint being withdrawn is the likely outcome)?
Would it be more than $3000?

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23798541)

Looks more and more like mafia style actions.
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