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5 Years of RIAA Filesharing Lawsuits

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the at-least-we-have-lots-of-stories dept.

The Courts 148

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "David Kravets of Wired.com, who provided in-person gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Capitol v. Thomas trial last year, takes stock of the RIAA's 5-year-old litigation campaign, concluding it is 'at a crossroads', and noting that 'billions of copies of copyrighted songs are now changing hands each year on file sharing services. All the while, some of the most fundamental legal questions surrounding the legality of file sharing have gone unanswered. Even the future of the RIAA's only jury trial victory — against Minnesota mother Jammie Thomas — is in doubt. Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.'"

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148 comments

The RIAA sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894623)

  < )
  ( \
  X X
8====D

that is all.

Of course it's a failure (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894641)

Take a position not shared by 90% of your customers, and you're guaranteed failure. It really doesn't matter what the law says is right. It's economics, and the RIAA has failed or will fail, one way or the other.

Of course it's a failure-Stardock. (5, Interesting)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895191)

I think this guy said it best [sinsofasolarempire.com] .

Re:Of course it's a failure (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895951)

They have failed repeatedly. They just have loads of money and can just keep failing over and over until they run out. When will that be?

Of course it's piracy. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896119)

They have failed repeatedly. They just have loads of money and can just keep failing over and over until they run out. When will that be?

Hey! Let's leave Microsoft out of this.

The legality of file sharing? (5, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894655)

File sharing is perfectly legal, thankyou.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894769)

The RIAA campaign has been nothing more then successful, striking terror in the eyes of file p2p shareers. Being terrorists, they should be number 1 on the homeland security since they are a national threat to the lively hood of p2p file sharing folk.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895097)

File Sharorist

Re:The legality of file sharing? (2, Insightful)

Butisol (994224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894805)

That's the funny thing. It really is just that. File SHARING. The human family is drawing closer together, and sharing is a manifestation of that kinship via digital mediation.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895051)

File Sharing is WRONG! Think of all the unborn children of todays artists, that won't be able to ride the coattails of what their parents have done. Who will have to go out and get jobs and work for most of their lives. All because you won't pay for the songs their parents have written and recorded, and keep paying for those songs 70+ years after they have died.

There no longer is any money to be made creating music because of YOU!

I predict the entire music industry will be force to close up shop in 2-3 years tops. Then there will be no new music for anyone! And it's your fault!

Re:The legality of file sharing? (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895651)

Then there will be no new music for anyone! And it's your fault!

That's cool. My 200 Gb. music collection will see me through the dark times.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895699)

That's right! Remember, kiddies, P2P Killed Elvis [slashdot.org] !!!

Re:The legality of file sharing? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896493)

Yeah, but it raised the dead [dead.net]

Re:The legality of file sharing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896303)

This is the home of Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metalica. Look, there's Lars now sitting by his pool. This month he was hoping to have a gold-plated shark tank bar installed right next to the pool. But thanks to people downloading his music for free, he must now wait a few months before he can afford it.

Artists dont get squat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24897169)

Think of all the unborn children of todays artists, that won't be able to ride the coattails of what their parents have done

I know your entire post was a joke. It's funny.

I just wanted to add that the artists generally don't get the benefits of the lengthy copyright terms...its the labels that really cash in.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897381)

Nuh-uh. Artists (and their unborn children) don't need money. Haven't you heard? They can just sustain themselves on the music, man. They like music so much that they'll be willing to starve, or get a part-time day job (unlike me), and dedicate all their free time to creating REALLY GOOD pieces of music! Even if it means total poverty!

In fact, the RIAA's money is turning lots of good artists away. Lot's of people who really truly do prefer forced poverty, rather than the option of all those distracting riches. Yes, taking the control out of artist's hands is the whole point of this! They want it. I, uhh, we want it! It's definitely NOT just me wanting free stuff. How dare you even suggest it?

Re:The legality of file sharing? (1)

gbh1935 (987266) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895099)

Sharing files is legal, it's the content of the files that is in question. :)

Re:The legality of file sharing? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895453)

The content of most files downloaded is always questionable.

Almost missed your smilie!

Re:The legality of file sharing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895105)

taking copies of music is ok.

taking GPLV3 and using it in a manner inconsistent with the license is not ok.

Re:The legality of file sharing? (0, Troll)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897323)

File sharing isn't illegal in the same way it isn't illegal for a company to release product that explodes randomly in a big fiery explosion, obliterating everything in a 100 metre radius. Technically no, but for all intents and purposes, yes.

Besides, we could always make it illegal, which would be the best way to stop these ridiculous lawsuits while giving the RIAA and their artists the payment they deserve. Well, second best way, considering this whole thing would be over if everyone just stopped sharing copyrighted works.

I would like to see the names, addresses, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894669)

telephone numbers, etc of all of the music company CEO's published on the web. I bet some good hacker could do it. That might put the nail in the coffin.. Most info like that is in the public domain- or the phone book.

The SEC's site computer EDGAR is very useful

Actually... (2, Insightful)

koh (124962) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894735)

Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.

And many are not wondering anymore. The ultimate failure of DRM was predicted a few years ago on these very forums. Thanks for playing anyway.

Re:Actually... (2, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895245)

The ultimate failure of DRM was predicted a few years ago on these very forums.

Please. Back when it was called "copy protection," its ultimate failure was predicted 25-30 years ago on forums that are now defunct and lost to time.

Re:Actually... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896351)

Please. Back when it was called "copy protection," its ultimate failure was predicted 25-30 years ago on forums that are now defunct and lost to time.

Copy protection on software is still going strong, because then you need constantly work to avoid tripping the copy protection and it'll break on patches and upgrades, you can't just copy the output once and be done with it. Music and video DRM on the other hand is newer and a pretty hopeless concept, sooner or later it must be transformed for your eyes and ears. And the movies you torrent will never ever cause a popup saying your version of the Matrix may not be Genuine Blu-Ray Advantage(TM).

Re:Actually... (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896877)

it would have failed same year it was made if it was not hiding between abbreviation 'DRM'.

Don't drink and download. (2, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894737)

"Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.'""

Prohibition.

Re:Don't drink and download. (2, Funny)

koh (124962) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894979)

I see your prohibition, and raise you two streisand effects.

Utter failure (0, Offtopic)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894739)

Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.

I would say so, especially with so many well-publicized false positives. The RIAA and McCain's campaign must use the same people for their due-diligence vetting...

Re:Utter failure (0, Offtopic)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894909)

"The RIAA and McCain's campaign must use the same people for their due-diligence vetting..."

Has the press gotten so pathetic that the only story they can dig up is the fact that the vetting turned up some stuff and they decided to go with her anyway? They knew about the ethics probe, the baby, the husbands DUI, and the earmarks, and decided they weren't deal breakers. And guess what - the public has let out a collective yawn, so I guess that means that the vetting process worked.

Call me when the press finds out something that REALLY takes people by surprise.

Re:Utter failure (2, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895087)

Has the press gotten so pathetic...

Yes.

Re:Utter failure (0, Troll)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895501)

Everyone I know has been talking about it (those i talk politics with). Here's how I see it (in bad formatting)
--- her message -- reality ---
change in wash -- ethics probe
abstinance only -- pregnant kid
family values -- DUI
more change -- pork barrel

Re:Utter failure (3, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895889)

Perhaps I talk to others, but here's what I'm getting:

Bastard child in the family - Obama was a bastard
DUI 20 years ago - Chappaquiddick
Tried to get earmarks for town - Duh, that's what mayor's do.
Investigation into trying to get her BIL fired - By all accounts he SHOULD have been fired and was being improperly protected.

Trying to paint her as a hypocrite is similar to criticizing her experience - the more the Dems do it, the more they open themselves up. They won't lose votes over it, but they WILL do wonders for the conservative/evangelical turnout in November. The press is doing Palin's job for her, and I'm not even sure they know it.

Re:Utter failure (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896813)

DUI 20 years ago - Chappaquiddick

Not even that. Except for the die-hard Democrats, who really cares if the candidate's husband had a DUI 20 years ago? it has nothing to do with her qualifications and everything to do with how desperately her opponents are looking for mud to sling.

Re:Utter failure (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896277)

The RIAA and McCain's campaign must use the same people for their due-diligence vetting...

Not from US. But as a bystander I had an impression that in fact that was Democrats who introduce all possible kinds of dangerous laws: DMCA was introduced during democratic president.

Obama now also has the backing of the industry and one can only wonder what pro-big-business laws they would come up with. With Republicans it is much easier: they normally go for low hanging fruits like tax breaks and gov't benefits.

Re:Utter failure (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896527)

DMCA was introduced during democratic president.

So what? Congress makes the laws, and it was mostly freshmen republicans doing that.

Re:Utter failure (1)

gonzo67 (612392) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896839)

The president does not make the laws, only signs them for implementation or vetoes them. If they are vetoed then Congress can force it through with enough votes (though this rarely happens).

The Congress has been overwhelmingly Republican until about 2 years ago.

NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894755)

... thanks, not only for the objective insight which permeates much of your postings, nor the informative summaries that accompany your submissions, nor even for the occasional comedic relief provided by your dry wit, but for writing a summary that *doesn't* end in a rhetorical question.

(seriously, though, WTH do all the damn summaries end with rhetorical questions or even just plain rhetoric?

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (5, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894817)

seriously, though, WTH do all the damn summaries end with rhetorical questions or even just plain rhetoric?

Oh the irony!

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (4, Funny)

happyslayer (750738) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894969)

...laughing my a$$ off! I wish I had mod points!

Or would I just waste them on some other comment?

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895509)

Yeah, that was a good one.

But why do I ask those questions?

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895379)

They end with questions because the submitters know that without a question to discuss nobody would bother commenting on the story. Really kinda an insult to the intelligence of every slashdotter - I can think of some part of your submission to discuss without the need for a prompt.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (1)

TriggerFin (1122807) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895969)

They end with questions because the submitters know that without a question to discuss nobody would bother commenting on the story. Really kinda an insult to the intelligence of every slashdotter - I can think of some part of your submission to discuss without the need for a prompt.

This is true. Just look at the summaries that don't contain questions. They get, at most, three (thousand or so) comments.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895395)

seriously, though, WTH do all the damn summaries end with rhetorical questions or even just plain rhetoric?

Your asking this of a lawyer??

IANAL, but one could say he is giving his summary to the jury ( Slashdot ), he can reference evidence submitted ( and approved by the court ) but new statements could be considered attempting to introduce new evidence not approved or subject to cross-examination and therefore forbidden. A well worded question however is a request for the jury to give due consideration to certain points, the case in general and/or to their client. A lawyer asks questions. Greek philosophers asked questions. Good teachers ask questions. Good salespersons ask questions, but then, so do con men. Admins ask questions of computers and users, with proper setup the ones asked to the users are rhetorical by the time they get to them, if so then perhaps the user is lower maintenance afterwards.

Of course here at Slashdot we always ignore the standardized instructions ( pamphlet ) to the jury.:P

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (2, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895591)

Me, I think I usually [slashdot.org] ask [slashdot.org] questions because I want to know the answers [slashdot.org] . Which means they're not "rhetorical" at all.

The person who suggested that I do it to provoke reader interest doesn't know me very well. I'm much too unsophisticated for that level of planning.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896395)

They made an assumption of a fact not in evidence. Something I tried to point out in my prior post without going directly to it but by talking around it is that while something might be assumed a rhetorical question by some that does not mean it was intended that way and as a lawyer its your job to ask ( non-leading )questions to get the facts out. And sure, it would be nice if you could lead the jury to a proper decision, my examples, especially: "Admins ask questions of computers and users, with proper setup the ones asked to the users are rhetorical by the time they get to them, if so then perhaps the user is lower maintenance afterwards." was intended to remind them that it isn't that easy.

As you have no doubt noted in regards to the links you gave that it took a bit sometimes for Slashdotters to accept that the questions were serious and to give a serious reply. Some even sounded like they would enjoy having the RIAA "expert" in for a job interview so they could roast him slowly over his inept handling of the "facts".

Question asking is one of the primary tools/skills of your trade and part of that is finding the right questions to ask, when to ask them and understanding both the question and the answer. That being the case it can be understandable you being perplexed by some questions on your choice of questions.

By the way though, try reading that other AC's post without the last line, then consider the last line to be more generic as in commenting in general on topic summaries posted at Slashdot by the multitudes and not yours specifically, that is probably how the moderators read it when they modded him/her up.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer .... (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895435)

... thanks, not only for the objective insight which permeates much of your postings, nor the informative summaries that accompany your submissions, nor even for the occasional comedic relief provided by your dry wit, but for writing a summary that *doesn't* end in a rhetorical question. (seriously, though, WTH do all the damn summaries end with rhetorical questions or even just plain rhetoric?

That's a damnable lie. Sometimes they end with questions that aren't rhetorical at all.

"Wondering?" (4, Interesting)

solraith (1203394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894757)

I'd be curious to see an expense report comparing the amount they've spent on legal fees during this whole campaign to the return on investment.

Re:"Wondering?" (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894881)

Wasnt there a story a while back saying that they'd made like $140million in total from filesharing lawsuits?
This amount included the settlements against Napster etc.
The recording artists involved in the Napster case were suing the RIAA because they'd not seen a single cent of it.

Either way, I'm sure they (the RIAA) see it as a success as most of the people sued so far have settled without a fight.

Re:"Wondering?" (3, Informative)

solraith (1203394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895135)

Wasnt there a story a while back saying that they'd made like $140million in total from filesharing lawsuits? This amount included the settlements against Napster etc. The recording artists involved in the Napster case were suing the RIAA because they'd not seen a single cent of it.

Not sure how I missed it the first time around but yeah, there was [torrentfreak.com] .

It would be pretty hilarious if the RIAA got sued into oblivion by the very artists they claim to "protect".

Re:"Wondering?" (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895111)

And what makes you think that this report would have anything at all to do with reality? I hire an accountant primarily to cook the books in my favour. Any expense report produced will reflect what is in my best interests. The whole point behind hiring sharp accountants is to pay as little tax as possible - any expense report is going to show the maximum possible expense, in order that the tax is reduced. If it is in my favour to pay more tax/less tax to ensure my future monopolistic profits continue, my accountant will be sure to show this (or otherwise, if I so require).

Don't kid yourself - any report produced by a paid-for-by-company accountant will be whatever the company requires*.



*Unless, of course, the company in question has won the "auditing" lotto :-)

Re:"Wondering?" (1)

solraith (1203394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895237)

I was wondering more for the sake of ROI numbers for my own personal amusement, rather than tax numbers. Accurate numbers in either case are definitely wishful thinking, though.

Re:"Wondering?" (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895155)

Would you? Why..? You've seen how they calculate their losses "every download is a lost sale," what makes you think their calculations for returns are likely to be any more sane? Though they might have comedic value...

Re:"Wondering?" (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895381)

I know, replying to my own comment...I didn't realise how redundant I was being 'til I saw it on the page...curses..! ;)

Re:"Wondering?" (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895483)

I'd be curious to see an expense report comparing the amount they've spent on legal fees during this whole campaign to the return on investment.

Considering they haven't actually been able to show a loss to begin with, I doubt what you're asking for is possible. So far, they seem more worried about people maybe/possibly going out of their way to avoid paying for stuff than about actual measurable drops in their revenue stream. I wouldn't mind, but it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What doubt? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894807)

"Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure."

Some?! Wondering?! To date they've convinced the internet audience they so desperately wanted that the entire music industry, most telecoms companies, and quite a few governments are a parade of cash-guzzling corporation-fellating litigation-whores, and done absolutely nothing to peer-to-peer file sharing itself. Where is there any room for doubt as to its failure? It's like trying to give a guy CPR, but realising after hours of effort that you've brutally beaten the guy and his entire living bloodline to death with their own shoes instead.

Re:What doubt? (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894977)

I know it's probably quite shocking to many people here, but internet audience != majority of the american public. On a site like /. it's even much less so.

It is worth wondering if the at large public does consider these tactics a failure, or is even aware of them, or if they are if they even care. That's where this battle is to be fought, not amongst a (more) informed internet audience that is savvy to technological issues.

Re:What doubt? (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895147)

Sure, it's had a net zero or small positive benefit outside of the internet, but the internet users are the social group that's pirating music. They RIAA has spent 5 years convincing net users that music isn't worth paying for because it feeds a corrupt monster that takes away your legal rights and sues people at random. I'm not sure that whatever they got back from the offline populace has been worth it.

Re:What doubt? (3, Insightful)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895163)

Lawyers would definitely say the campaign has been a success.

Re:What doubt? (2, Funny)

jcarkeys (925469) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895569)

but realising after hours of effort that you've brutally beaten the guy and his entire living bloodline to death with their own shoes instead.

The Conquistador, I'm sure. They run tight.

Re:What doubt? (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896443)

"a parade of cash-guzzling corporation-fellating litigation-whores"

And me without mod points. Fucking criminal.

Pretty much fail (5, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894819)

Not sure how you could measure it by anything but a failure. All of the various ways of measuring it given by RIAA itself pretty much indicate failure.

If they meant to reduce file sharing, total failure there as there's been no slowdown. If they meant to give back to the artists, failure on their part as any winnings/settlements has only gone to fund more litigation. Not only that, they only have one substantive win which may be declared a mistrial as the judge reconsiders his orders to the jury.

The campaign is a failure. This would have been money better spent on actual innovation on distributing music.

Re:Pretty much fail (5, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894949)

The campaign is a failure. This would have been money better spent on actual innovation on distributing music.

Actually, faliure or success depends on your viewpoint.

From the viewpoint of stopping piracy the failure is total. However, from the viewpoint of the companies hired to monitor and pollute p2p networks, its been a financial success, they've made many millions. Lawyers too, they've raked it in.

So failure is a matter of viewpoint. Hell, if I could have come up with some crackpot way to 'end piracy' I'd have sold it to them too and walked away richer, fully aware that all I sold them was snake oil.

Re:Pretty much fail (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895209)

I'm not so sure that it was a failure. The RIAA affiliates have raked in an obscene amount of cash and won the only case to go through a full trial.

They weren't realistically going to stop sharing, but they did manage to turn it into a business model. Which as disgusting as it is to me, is some degree of success. I highly doubt that they would be continuing with this if they weren't making money at it.

What viewpoint? (4, Funny)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895539)

If you go on a backpacking trip and you are eaten by a bear, the fact that the bear is no longer hungry does not mean that your trip is not a failure.

Benefits of companies hired to attack P2P are irrelevant to RIAA's campaign outcome, which is ultimately to increase profits. Since they paid a lot of money to third parties and got nothing, it is a failure.

Re:What viewpoint? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895571)

nice example :)

Still, I didn't mean the RIAA's campaign was a success, I just meant the ambulance chaser types who profited from their stupidity would think of it as a successful event, much like your bear.

Re:Pretty much fail (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895739)

Hell, if I could have come up with some crackpot way to 'end piracy' I'd have sold it to them too and walked away richer, fully aware that all I sold them was snake oil.

I sold them my magic rocks. After all, they were good enough to keep the polar bears away. But they only gave me a couple million dollars for them...

Re:Pretty much fail (1)

budword (680846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897327)

The lawyers got PAID buddy. Hence, it was certainly a success.

A failure? (5, Insightful)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894821)

Depends on your perspective... definitely not a failure for the trial attorneys billing by the hour.

Nostalgia (2, Insightful)

Steve1952 (651150) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894825)

Ah how time flies. Soon we'll all be reminiscing about the good old days, students flunking final exams, single parents reduced to financial ruin, the Federal court system tied up in knots and used in a way that creates disrespect for the law. Good times...

It Never Was... (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894827)

It never was about getting more money to the artists, and the article now confirms it.

Re:It Never Was... (2, Informative)

polle404 (727386) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895089)

The record industry was NEVER about getting more money for their artists.

They'd happily replace the lot of them with monkeys with typewriters, if they could.

it's all about protecting their monopoly of distribution.

(and lets face it, their monopoly does make MS look like rank amateurs).

i, for one, am glad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894923)

i'm glad that they fucked you music stealing fags in the ass. i hope you all get sued and have to pay through the nose for being a bunch of deadbeat bitches. keep on sucking that free music dick you faggots. someday it will catch up with you.

Re:i, for one, am glad (1)

TheLostSamurai (1051736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895021)

Thank you, AC, you have shown me the light. Henceforth, I shall be on the side of good. RIAA, count me among thy converted.

Some are wondering... (3, Insightful)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24894941)

Some are wondering if the campaign has shaped up as an utter failure.
Hmmm...nothing's changed in 5 years, RIAA has no slam-dunk victories to show for it, thousands upon thousands of customers pissed off to the point of not buying music at all anymore, only a few million bucks extorted from victims, despite claims of billions lost....
Well, I'm NOT wondering if it's an "utter failure".

I'm tagging it miserablefailure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24894959)

5 years that they went only backwards, not forward...

You people have no imagination. (1, Troll)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895003)

First of all, you're playing their game - lawyers and lawsuits and courts. It's too slow and costs way too much for any of us to fight because let's face it, the law favors the rich. If you're poor you don't stand a chance.

But I'm not posting to offer a problem: I offer a solution.

1. Get an anonymous server.

2. Put a shit load of music on it.

3. Add on kiddie porn.

4. RIAA and cronies download music and child porn.

5. Call cops, RIAA has just downloaded and consumed child porn!

RIAA, "Your honor, we're investigating a CRIME!"

Judge: "Uh huh. And I suppose you're going to write a book about it too. Sorry, the excuse didn't work for Pete Townsend or Gary Glitter - OFF TO JAIL!"

See? That's all you got to do.

Re:You people have no imagination. (1, Offtopic)

hellwig (1325869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895473)

This brings up an interesting idea. I'm not saying anyone should setup kiddie porn servers, but we know there must be some out there (why else would the US ISPs shutdown Usenet?). The MPAA is known to seed anonymous torrent servers, and I assume the RIAA does the same. Since they do this in-descriminately, they surely have seeded (even if falsely) a kidde porn server or two over the years. Even though they are disseminating incorrect information, couldn't their participation in these illegal servers still constitute breaking the law? I would love to see the government bring down a kiddie-porn server, and show logs of numerous MPAA or RIAA seed-bots participating in the distribution of kiddie porn. They wouldn't look too righteous then. A single "Record Industry Distributes Kiddie Porn" headline would effectively destroy the major labels.

Re:You people have no imagination. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24896039)

I know this is how I justify the existence of my kiddie porn servers.

Posting anonymously for various reasons.

Re:You people have no imagination. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897429)

If the **AA was caught distributing small amounts of kiddie porn, it would be scandalous, but not fatal to the company. I'm pretty sure the courts (if not many of the public in general) would be lenient on them since a) it was not their intention, b) they never viewed/stored any of it, and c) they didn't share much of it at all.

Re:You people have no imagination. (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895497)

5. Call cops, RIAA has just downloaded and consumed child porn!

If it has been consumed, then there is no evidence since it has been...er...consumed.

Re:You people have no imagination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895499)

You know, I think there should be a rule somewhere stating that nay plan involving a server full of kiddie porn is automatically a bad plan. Or a thinly veiled excuse to stash kiddie porn. You should probably leave the imagining to others.

Re:You people have no imagination. (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896679)

Your plan is interesting. However, it fails to account for the fact that laws don't apply to large corporations any more than they do to rich people.

A blatant failure in more ways than one (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895173)

I know of no other business that expects the customer to keep them financially afloat that thinks they can treat their customers with disdain and they will not suffer in the end for it. I am sure that the idea that suing college kids, who are the music industries future customers, will come in full circle to reflect that the majors have nothing they are interested in.

It was once repeated that in the trial Clara Duckworth (I hope I got the spelling correct) said that it was a money pit, this sue'em all. Apparently they have more money than they need and far less sense. So they must be doing far better than all the piracy hoop-a-la leads you to believe if you buy into their spiel.

I am personally repulsed by this idea and the method that has been used to bring it to fruition. I see all sorts of poor folk all bogged down in this. What I don't see is politicians and their families in the middle of it. While they claim it is not discriminatory, it sure looks like the victims are most carefully chosen. After all, kids of the CEO's of big music don't have to worry about sue'em all, despite of public admissions to the nature of doing so. For them a good talking to appears to be the solution that is not available to the rest of the public.

While I am at the subject, isn't it strange that nothing has been heard about lawsuits at Harvard University? All the other colleges in the country are getting them, except Harvard. Could it be there was a private meeting at some point where Harvard read to them from the good book? (their version being the law books)

I have no idea on all that. I do know about the publicity that has been generated by all this. I for one have ceased to buy from the majors. I don't trust them. At the way things have been going, somewhere in the future there may come the day when they decide there is some other point they wish to do away with and you may become the test point in court at great expense to prove/disprove their next legal theory. If you don't deal with their products, it is doubtful you will ever be the guinea pig.

They have done themselves a huge amount of damage in the public's eyes. The PR they have generated is full of ill will. They will have to go a long way to win me back to the store to buy any of their products. Everything about them screams slime and I am a potential customer, I am not a potential consumer.

Re:A blatant failure in more ways than one (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895521)

I know of no other business that expects the customer to keep them financially afloat that thinks they can treat their customers with disdain and they will not suffer in the end for it.

Petroleum Companies, Governments, and Churches come immediately to mind.

the RIAA whinging parts (4, Insightful)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895253)

RIAA is merely whinging about market losses where this is a situation of an industry that has systematically refused to give the customers what is most practical, what intelligent customers want. Experimental computerized music synthesis of the 1970s (e.g. trying to *imitate* Bach or Beethoven as patterns) should have been a wake up call that computers and music could be cohabitating in the near future. The arrival of the music CD (80s) even as an anolog should have been a wakeup call to even the brain dead. The arrival of, say Sound Blaster 16 (1992), was the technology at the gates.

RIAA members have deliberately and directly avoided properly serving their customers for well over a dozen years. They have actively engaged in a campaign of tampering with both the laws and the laws' execution. They actively attack and extort those members of society least able to defend themselves, including total innocents, with ridiculous claims similar to common street thugs. One wonders what RIAA is going to do if avoidance or legal confrontation are replaced by outright vigilantism. I've seen this in other countries and the history books in other situations.

BIZNATfCH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895255)

area. It Is the

Not really a failure (3, Insightful)

BeerSlurpy (185482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895321)

...if you view their goals and their audience accurately.

I argue that they didn't want to stop file sharing. Or they did want it, but didn't expect to succeeded at such an endeavor.

The purpose of this was to make filesharing seem like a small scale threat that could easily be dealt with by a campaign of lawsuits. Most of the investors in the RIAA have no idea how the recording industry works let alone why the internet is such a giant threat to it.

These lawsuits were a smokescreen to stop shareholders from realizing the record label's business model had failed. Any survival at all would involve massively reduced profit margins. If they had realized that, shareholders would have bailed from the recording industry en masse.

The goal of this legal campaign was to buy a few extra years for the the Hillary Rosens and the Jack Valentis of the world to quietly divest themselves of recording industry stock.

So good job guys! May you successfully avoid shareholder lawsuits!

Lets see.... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895533)

5 years ago (2003) I would buy maybe 1-2 CDs per month. Definitely less than what I bought in 2000.

Now, I can't remember the last time I bought a CD. Definitely none this year so far. I don't think I bought any in '07 or '06 either.

Partially it's because of the whole stigmata and the ease of getting things off of P2P and (to a lesser extent) usenet.

A lot more is because I just don't see much good stuff out there, and my collection of the classics is pretty much complete.

I'm also a bit wary about newer releases of older albums having less dynamic range due to remastering (see: loudness wars), but truthfully it doesn't matter to me since my collection is somewhat complete.

Re:Lets see.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24895633)

Partially it's because of the whole stigmata

So you're saying that the record companies are shooting themselves in the foot?

meanwhile (4, Insightful)

bechthros (714240) | more than 5 years ago | (#24895845)

both van halen and heart have written the mccain campaign, more than once in the case of heart, that they do not wish their songs used to further the political campaign of a person they disagree with.

it's too bad that all these artists don't have some kind of professional organization to represent them. you know, it could collect dues from its members, and then stand up for them in cases like this, where their hard work and creativity is shamelessly co-opted as a marketing gimmick by those in direct and diametrical opposition to the artists themselves on any issue of importance.

like, an association of american industry recordists, or a recording association of american industry... something...

I don't know... (2, Interesting)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896071)

Disclaimer: I didn't read the article - only read caption above and had this thought...

Pretty much everyone using /. has no fear of the RIAA because, well, its really not that hard to file share and not get caught. Slashdot is a community of people who praise themselves on being technology adept at such things.

That being said, I'm forced to wonder if the RIAA has been more successful than they're being credited for. Many/most of my friends don't share the same enthusiasm for all things tech that I do, and I don't think its a leap to say they're less educated about these things. Not a single one of them has been prosecuted by the RIAA, nor have they been threatened by the RIAA. To the best of my knowledge, none of them even knows anybody who has been threatened by the RIAA, much less prosecuted by it.

Nonetheless, I hear things like "I don't download anymore, its not worth the risk" or "I just use iTunes now, its much safer" on a regular basis (we'll say bi-weekly for the purpose of this conversation). That's not hearing the same thing from the same person, but rather hearing these things from lots of different people. I hear it from people at work. I hear it from my distant family. And I'm starting to conclude that with the perceived threat of prosecution by the RIAA, coupled with the ease of using services such as iTunes or Amazon, there is a movement underway (possibly a massive one, depending on how you define this) towards "safe", legitimate file downloading.

I heard a lot about this in college, which is where a lot of RIAA hype was focused. I can't speak to the high school and younger crowd (who may be more advanced with file sharing, I don't know), but most of the people I know who are unfamiliar with Bit Torrents but continue to download music, games, movies, etc., are transitioning to doing so in a legal way. I can't say with any certainty how much of this is due to the fear of prosecution, but I can say I hear a lot about it, and how its just not worth it anymore.

Here's one other thought, slightly off topic: I've been using Pandora for about a year now. While I still use Bit Torrent occasionally to download music, I've found using Amazon a pleasant, fair experience when I find new music from bands I'm interested in hearing more of. Bit Torrents generally only offer entire albums, and its nice to not have to wait for an entire album when all you want sometimes is a single song.

Re:I don't know... (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896701)

Thing is, success for the RIAA isn't zero piracy. Success is increased sales. Anybody got figures for CD sales lately?

Re:I don't know... (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897247)

I don't agree with that. I don't believe a group created with the sole purpose of suing people is also charged with "increasing" sales - that's a completely unrealistic expectation. They probably look at it a little more realistically - as a way to curtail the rapid decline of the CD.

The RIAA represents industry, not CDs, right? If so, increased sales from online distributors (iTunes, Amazon, Napster, etc) could represent profit where CDs once did. Online sales from these distributors have growing year over year, and I doubt the presence of the RIAA is preventing people from embracing these new services. Rather, if they are motivating factors, the argument could be made the lofty investment being made now could pay off in the end.

My opinion in better words (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896191)

Found recently an article about piracy [eurogamer.net] , mostly in context of games but also touching **AA claims. This is pretty much my opinion on piracy in well written form.

It is hard to swallow to many, but I still stand on the position that many people will not engage in what now called "piracy" if only business was better and quicker in responding to changing customer needs. Nobody wants to be criminal, nor states want to criminalize its populace. But **AA actions... This is pretty much worst what have happened in creative business in ages.

Actually, it's a success, and I'm not trolling (2, Insightful)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896227)

Maybe this is real obvious to people. it took me awhile to glom onto it.
It's been a success, it just hasn't finished its course yet. First, ask yerself, What is the **AA's ideal win situation?
Consider that they're substantially in bed with the TV industry also, and while not always in concert with cable and satellite distributors, often in parallel.
The ideal situation is what WAS, with a few new techno gadgets. That is, all information and entertainment channels neatly tied up; no individual (read: Human) talents leaking around the filters, only going thru the **AA contract filtering process, etc.
This requires that home computing be made illegal, completely. It must be a crime to write software, or load non-**AA approved software, onto any computing device you own. Consider this situation:
A. Enormous technological capacity at
B.. nearly zero cost in
C... everyone's home that is
D.... available to the corporations, and
E..... completely inaccessible to non-corporate (read: Human) interests.
What corporate interests would benefit? Political parties? Law Enforcement, Dept of Homeland Insanity? M$$$? **AA??? Marketing corps of all stripes?
Every corp and govt body that is interested in getting you to buy their stuff or control your stuff will benefit if the **AA eventually wins. I can't think of one national or international corporation/govt that won't benefit by using the people's computing powers against them.
This is going to be a long fight, and the only ones that can really lose are we the people. If we win utterly, and computing freedom is assured and privacy rights restored, corporations will win in the long run, they just can't see it.

What billions and billions of file transfers? (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896229)

You know I don't believe the supposed billions of file transfers of illegal music.

The numbers are now so huge that everybody in the world is in on it or they're just trying to blow smoke up our asses.

Since I doubt that Conway Twitty's albums are getting that much action ANYWHERE, I think I want to see some audited numbers, Okay?

Fuck the **AAs.

my direct experience with a large TV network (5, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896623)

I am a software engineer who shoots photography in a 'serious amateur' mode.

like many, I have a public sharing site (I use flickr but others are basically the same kind of 'publish and show' concept).

the cool thing about the public networking sites is the amount of eyeballs that view them.

a few weeks ago, I got email from a representative from a cable tv network (a large well-known one that has a 3 letter 'call sign', sort of like how HBO uses 3 letters to ID their network. it isn't HBO but its along those lines and just about as big). the rep said that they found my photo (or set of photos) and thought they might be useful in a tv 'spot' that they were producing and airing in the next few months. they wanted to get my permission to use it in some way on their show.

of course, I was flattered. I asked what their terms would be and what kind of payment they would have in mind. remember, this is a for-profit TV network (ie, not PBS) and they *should* have proper budget for things, even ancillary things like my still photo.

well, we went back and forth on email for a few rounds and I even consulted some folks in the biz that are in touch with common practices in this industry. it turns out that, more and more, media companies are trolling the free photo sites and trying to take advantage of 'amateurs' by offering NO PAYMENT but only trinkets (tee shirts, comp dvd of the show, and stuff like that) but no payment, no royalties and basically asking for unlimited rights to do whatever they want with the work of art, even on 'future media types' not yet developed. perpetual license - and I, the artist, get spud-nutz (so to speak).

is that fair?

I hear all this talk, over and over again, about artists should be paid. so I returned the sentiment back to papa media and papa slammed the door in my face.

I asked for a simple low-value (relatively) one-time payment and immediately the reply was 'sorry, but all the others we contacted offered their photos for free and we have no budget to pay guys like you'.

I just LOVE this double-standard. when someone downloads a song for free, there are THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS being asked for in damages. but its ok for a major studio network to ask for FREE WORK even though its original, creative and of value.

so, it seems, my photos won't be seen on that nationally airing show, but I also have what I wanted from this exchange. I sent a message, however small, that what's good for the goose is also good for the gander. I don't expect my protest to count for a lot, but I did what I could do and denied them free use of my creative work. I'm sure they'll move on to the next guy on the list but I have at last made my statement and stood my ground. and I still have the fun compliment of knowing they WANTED to use my work on national TV (and on the eventual dvd that always gets made from TV specials).

do I have any more respect for the big media companies? in fact I have lost even more respect for them - and I didn't think that such a thing was mathematically possible.

big media says artists should be paid. but they clearly don't believe this - my direct recent experience is proof of that.

Any numbers? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24896791)

Are there any numbers published - perhaps in annual statements - as far as how much they've recovered from 'settlements' ie extortion, vs how much they've spent?

RIAA v McCain Palin (1)

tengu1sd (797240) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897139)

Will the RIAA go after the McCain/Palin campaign for making available Barracuda [heart-music.com] ? Think of the publicity against intellectual property theft the filing will generate.

Or do you think they might not be willing to sue someone with the chops to hit back?

Piracy is Competition, not Theft (3, Insightful)

stmfreak (230369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24897271)

Here's an analogy:

A carpenter becomes well known for his excellent chairs. He is approached by a salesman who offers to duplicate these chairs in a factory and sell them all over the world. The carpenter agrees to this plan when told that he will receive $1 for each chair sold. And of course, he can continue making chairs by hand for people who want a more personal performance.

Years go by, the carpenter makes some money, but realizes that the salesman is making millions for doing virtually nothing.

Then one day, someone figures out how to make identical copies of his chair and posts plans for it on the Internet. Now anyone with a saw and some wood can make a perfect copy of the chair. Those who don't have the time can still buy it from the salesman or pay a bit more to get one from the carpenter.

The chair made by the carpenter is like a rock concert.

The chair from the salesman is a CD.

The chair you make yourself is a digital copy from the Internet.

There is no way this would be considered wrong, illegal or immoral if we were actually talking about some chair design like an Adirondack or even some fancier newer design like an aeron. Nor would providing plans for others to make copies be considered illegal since there is no loss to the carpenter. His inventory is not short, his supply stock is not depleted.

But the salesman would be pissed, because his revenue is dependent on need and achieved with virtually no effort on his part. Now, there is less need through no effort on the part of the consumer. This is direct competition so the natural response is to petition the government to make this illegal and protect his business.

We have a long history of protecting businesses through regulation. It's anti-competitive, anti-consumer, tends to create monopolies and is basically a bunch of corrupt politicians taking money from thieves who would like the barn doors left open.

The only way to hasten the demise of an organization like the RIAA and its member companies is to stop buying content that you can either copy yourself or acquire directly from the artist. Support your artists, go to their concerts and if they sell direct, buy their albums. But we need to stop buying anything distributed through the channel and starve these guys until the music distribution model becomes more like chair design and construction.

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