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RIAA Claim of Stopping Suits "Months" Ago Is False

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the pants-aflame dept.

The Courts 141

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report on Wired.com, the RIAA spokesman claimed that the RIAA has not filed any new lawsuits 'for months,' and according to the Wall Street Journal report discussed here yesterday, the RIAA stopped filing mass lawsuits 'early this fall.' Knowing that the RIAA has a problem with telling the truth, I did a little investigating, and found out that the RIAA had, in fact, commenced a wave of lawsuits just last week. Why would anyone believe anything their spokesperson says? This is an organization that has a tendency to misspeak a lot, if you know what I mean, even when under oath." CNet has a copy of the RIAA's new form letter that it will ask ISPs to pass on to alleged copyright-infringing users. It says, in part, "This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' rights to recover or claim relief for damages incurred by this illegal activity, nor does it waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft."

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Hold the phones! (4, Funny)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183583)

The RIAA tell a mistruth to make themselves look better in the public eye? I can't imagine...

Re:Hold the phones! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183603)

No they tell a mistruth because they do not run a free, open source operating system like Linux. Instead, they choose to use closed source, proprietary operating systems, like Windows. If only they could adopt Linux, then the community could inspect the source code, and this would never have happened!

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183781)

I'll give you ten cents if you can tell me what companies the RIAA represents.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Funny)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183803)

10 cents virtually? That's stealing from the government! /riaa logic

Re:Hold the phones! (2, Interesting)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183923)

Does anyone else wish that when a moderator mods down, they have to give a reason? I'm lost on this one. Worse yet, I still have no what companies the RIAA represents. No one writes it anymore, so I forgot over the years.

Re:Hold the phones! (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184011)

The small amount and the way you phrased the bet probably makes most people think you're being sarcastic. In other words, to a speaker of American English, it sounds like you know who the companies are and are critical of those who protest against the RIAA without even knowing whom they represent. This is why a moderator thought you were trolling.

Your not understanding the downmod, along with the link to your dictionary. now make me think that you are probably Japanese and did not intend to be sarcastic. Therefore, if I had modpoints, I would now use one to take away the troll rating.

Re:Hold the phones! (1, Troll)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184129)

Your not understanding the downmod, along with the link to your dictionary. now make me think that you are probably Japanese and did not intend to be sarcastic.

If you actually bothered to click the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the contact info, you'd see that he's NOT japanese. He was being sarcastic. Troll mod was appropriate. It doesn't matter if someone can name the member orgs of the RIAA. We all know the represent the major labels plus a crapload of smaller ones (a lot of them "boutique" labels controlled by the biggies).

Re:Hold the phones! (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184157)

I guess that mean you're not going to try to answer my question either. *sigh* I suppose I can go googling. I really wish people would try to put who the RIAA represents more often. It's not like newspapers when talking about a trial only talk about the lawyers.

Re:Hold the phones! (4, Informative)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184217)

It looks like the current members are EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group. That is not a long list. I wonder why news sources can't list them. It would seriously help put responsibility where it should be.

My references was wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Hold the phones! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184637)

a tendency to misspeak a lot

I have a tendency to refer to the above as a Lie [reference.com] . I know it's harsh, but the victims here are NOT the recording industries, but average everyday people. And the RIAA's lack of sensitivity is troubling.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185225)

I was being facetious. The RIAA itself -- after lying under oath -- said they "misspoke".

Re:Hold the phones! (2, Informative)

reddburn (1109121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184793)

It looks like the current members are EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group. That is not a long list. I wonder why news sources can't list them. It would seriously help put responsibility where it should be.

They can't list them because that's not the whole story. Sony BMG is the parent company of dozens of labels, including Columbia Records, Loud, Epic, Ruthless, RCA Music Group, Arista Records, J Records, and many more, not to mention that they act as distributor for 18 "independent" labels.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185241)

Just go to my Index of Litigation Documents [blogspot.com] , look at the names of the plaintiffs, and you'll have the names of the bad guys. It's as simple as that.

Re:Hold the phones! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26186183)

I suppose I can go googling

Yeah, I suppose you probably could [google.ca] do that. Since, ya know, you're using a web browser and all. You might even have a search box in the top right corner of the browser window. Typing riaa in to it would have been a lot less effort than posting a dumb question, then complaining about getting modded down, then complaining again that nobody was answering your question. But - hey - your first post is currently modded +3 Insightful, so I guess you showed them mods.

Oh, by the way, you want to click the first link in the results of that Google search above, just in case you are unfamiliar with the Google interface.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185091)

EMI, SONY BMG Music, Vivendi/Universal, and Warner Bros. ... and their affiliates.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183977)

I'll give you ten cents if you can tell me what companies the RIAA represents.

Why is that a troll? The majority of people I know seem to think that it's the RIAA doing all of this on their own. They're just paid to do a job, after all. We should be looking past the public face of the music industry, and start paying attention to the corporations who are truly responsible.

Re:Hold the phones! (3, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185183)

The majority of people I know seem to think that it's the RIAA doing all of this on their own.

In my opinion, the RIAA has nothing to do with it at all, except that it's allowed itself to be used as a front by 4 of its members: SONY BMG, EMI, Vivendi/Universal, and Warner Bros., and their affiliates. When I use the term "RIAA" I'm just using it as shorthand for the Big 4 record companies (I use the term "Big 4" advisedly, because they're getting smaller every day).

Re:Hold the phones! (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185565)

(I use the term "Big 4" advisedly, because they're getting smaller every day).

I'm sure that disturbs them greatly. I also note that there were some thousands of blacksmiths who once felt the same way.

Re:Hold the phones! (4, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184443)

These ones. [riaa.com]

Re:Hold the phones! (2, Informative)

woot account (886113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26186027)

Well, for individual albums, you can always check RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com] , which will tell you if an album is put out on an RIAA label or not.

Re:Hold the phones! (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184513)

Although the RIAA has clearly overreacted to this whole download thing, obviously prompted by artists who are scared that they may have to get a job, and promotors scared that the gravy train of cocaine and hookers might be over, in this case I think the issue is reporting on the intent rather that what the RIAA said.

First, I heard nothing about these 'months of not filing lawsuits' until now. Clearly we have seen lawsuits filed in the several months. I think we saw one on this site filed against some helpless person. Anyone who reports that such a statement is true is either incompetent or trying to mislead the public. Since Wired and the WSJ has both been complicit in many of the scams that has hurt the US economy over the past 10 years, I suspect the later.

Second, the letter from the RIAA says they will now focus on convincing ISPs to cut off access to people who they feel violate the copyright of members IP, and overtime will escalate to lawsuits. So it is reasonable that they will still file lawsuits, and nothing in the letter says that they will stop filing lawsuits period.

To win against the aristocrats who wish to feed off the public tit while the many go without food and medical care we cannot sink down to the level of the aristocrats. They make the rules, and they have much more experience winning the PR game. We cannot counter Britneys Spear lack of a Lear Jet with some greasy teens inability to afford her music, yet be socially required to own it. Obviously the WSJ wants to help their own.

The Reason for Lying is... (3, Insightful)

Steve Franklin (142698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184971)

As has become painfully obvious in the political sphere over the past eight years, lying is not done for the sake of lying, nor is it done for the thrill of fooling one's fellow citizens. It is done to promote an agenda that would otherwise be difficult to advance without widespread belief in the false statements of the liars. In the case of the euphemistic "recording industry assoc" the lies are aimed at mitigating the negative publicity that is cutting into the very profits they are trying to protect. In short, this is one of those lose/lose situations to which unrestrained greed invariably leads.

Re:Hold the phones! (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185209)

Wired, Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press were all told similar lies. I doubt that they were deliberately trying to help the RIAA lie, they just failed to investigate the facts. I don't think that they were necessarily bad guys for reporting that without checking into it. But it is important that, now that they know better, they take some action about meaningfully correcting the misinformation they helped to disseminate.

So what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183589)

I don't even listen to the hits spun by Rick Dees on Movin' 93.9 anymore you insensitive cloud!

So their real statement is... (4, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183595)

We will ask the ISPs to cooperate in sending C&D letters to people we identify with our proven-poor methods, THEN, after having said we won't sue* we'll use the C&D letters from the ISP to target lawsuits.

I really have to wonder how their lawyers sleep at night (on beds of $100 bills, I'm sure). The people employing the lawyers I have no doubt sleep peacefully, dreaming of other ways to game the system.

They didn't lie..necessarily (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183673)

It all depends on when the interview was done. Maybe the spokesperson just said "we haven't filed any lawsuits in months" and left unsaid the rest, which is "but it's about that time we did". Besides, it's that time of the year, do you think the RIAA would forget about your christmas presents. Santa may sometimes forget the x-mas presents for the poor and downtrodden, but RIAA-claws wont.

Re:They didn't lie..necessarily (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184707)

Maybe the spokesperson just said "we haven't filed any lawsuits in months" and left unsaid the rest, which is "but it's about that time we did"

That's commonly known as a "lie of omission".

Re:So their real statement is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183747)

Uh, why would the RIAA end up getting the C&D letters? Why wouldn't the C&D letters (or emails) go *only* to the ISP's customer?

I don't see any requirement in the RIAA's letter that they be given the customer's details or to be a part of any communicaton between the ISP and their customer.

But, having said all of that, what are the ISP's obligations? Even if the RIAA asked for your details whilst at the same time requesting their assitance in stopping the problematic behaviour, is the ISP under any obligation to reveal details? I suspect not and further I suspect that this is why there is no explicit request for such in the form letter.

What the RIAA is doing is asking for assistance in resolving potentially illegal behaviour - it is left up to the ISP to decide what that means.

Libel (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183755)

Accusing someone, falsely, of an illegal act is libel per se. There is immunity for doing it in a lawusit. But sending their C&D letter to the ISP, well there is no immunity for that.

If my ISP gets one of those, I will file a libel action against then, and I'll bet $$$ that their illegal investigators Media Sentry are involved, which will give me yet another lawsuit to file.

Is this "takedown" even relevant to the ISP? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183875)

Reminder: I am not a lawyer in the US. This is a discussion forum, not legal advice.

I question whether an ISP receiving this form letter would necessarily be compelled to act.

It is apparently a 17 USC ss. 512(c)(3) notification; however from a careful reading of the letter and from my own understanding, the relevant part of the DMCA to an ISP providing access to one of their residential users using a peer-to-peer service to host and/or transmit copyrighted music files without the relevant permission of the rights holder(s) would appear instead to be 17 USC ss. 512 (a):--

(a) Transitory Digital Network Communications. --
A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in subsection (j), for injunctive or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider's transmitting, routing, or providing connections for, material through a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, or by reason of the intermediate and transient storage of that material in the course of such transmitting, routing, or providing connections, if--
  1. the transmission of the material was initiated by or at the direction of a person other than the service provider;
  2. the transmission, routing, provision of connections, or storage is carried out through an automatic technical process without selection of the material by the service provider;
  3. the service provider does not select the recipients of the material except as an automatic response to the request of another person;
  4. no copy of the material made by the service provider in the course of such intermediate or transient storage is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to anyone other than anticipated recipients, and no such copy is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to such anticipated recipients for a longer period than is reasonably necessary for the transmission, routing, or provision of connections; and
  5. the material is transmitted through the system or network without modification of its content.

I note that subsection (a) does not contain any provision for "expeditiously disabling access" (i.e., takedowns), and would appear to intend to apply to internet routing in the normal form except where caching or content modification takes place (though ISPs do not have a so-called "common carrier" status, this is the relevant section that provides them with a disclaimer of liability for their downstream customers infringing copyright).

I would appreciate comments on the same. Nowhere in the form letter do I see the RIAA making a threat against the internet service provider, any form of subpoena or open request to identify the user in question, or retain any identifying records for later subpoena. I surmise that this might be because their counsel are aware of the contents of 17 USC ss. 512 (a) and do not wish to appear too hostile to the ISP, as, at least by my reading, the ISP could quite happily junk this, or pass on a friendly warning to the user in question that they've been flagged, and take no further action on the matter.

I would further surmise that they are insinuating that should the ISPs not cooperate willingly, they will push for legislation to compel the ISPs to submit, although this might necessitate an effective repeal of the DMCA, as in letter the DMCA acts as a conditional limitation of liability rather than a prohibition. It remains to be seen if the current legislature in the US in fact will be receptive to this idea.

Reminder: This is not legal advice, merely my own ideas and observations on a discussion forum. Always consult counsel qualified in your jurisdiction before taking action. Doubly so if you're an ISP tech looking at these as they come in and wanting to know if you can killfile them; definitely contact your legal department and seek specialist advice regarding your individual situation.

Re:Is this "takedown" even relevant to the ISP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26185543)

Since you are an Anonymous Coward, why do you need all the disclaimers? YANAL in the US? Are you a Basement Troll in the US?

Re:So their real statement is... (2, Interesting)

bbernard (930130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183891)

This really seems more like a way for them to perform discovery without all that mucking about with the courts. Get the ISP to respond with "Yes, we've identified Mr. Smith of 123 Main Street based on the information you provided..." I'm curious to see their strategy here--do they try to bury the ISP's in this letter to get them to decide to take their own action against file sharing to get the RIAA off their backs?

To be blunt, this new "strategy" has to benefit them somehow. And there's only one benefit I can think of that they'd be after $$$$. So how does sending letters to the ISP's benefit them monetarily?

Re:So their real statement is... (2, Interesting)

tonyray (215820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184145)

As an ISP, under the DMCA, we receive notices all the time and we call the "offender" and ask them to stop doing whatever. It's just extra work and expense for us that we don't appreciate. The only difference between the letters we had been receiving and this one is that this one is talking to the offender rather than us. I suspect the RIAA hopes it will be scarier than one telling us someone on our network is violating their copyright. I have no problem with forwarding it to the offender as we really hate arguing with them about whether P2P is legal and how did we know what they were doing (violating their privacy, I guess).

Who sucks more? RIAA or Courts? (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184155)

We will ask the ISPs to cooperate in sending C&D letters to people we identify...

ISPs are well know to *fold* at the slightest sign of a lawsuite, I expect the RIAA to have much better luck with this approach.

As to why the RIAA *has no shame* at all *and keeps on doing* things like this? No court has seriously slapped their hand, and it doesn't look like any will in the near future. So much for our court system protecting the innocent and keeping an eye on things.

Re:Who sucks more? RIAA or Courts? (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185431)

ISPs are well know to *fold* at the slightest sign of a lawsuite. As to why the RIAA *has no shame* at all *and keeps on doing* things like this?

[Dave Bowman voice:] My god.... its full of stars!!

Re:Who sucks more? RIAA or Courts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26185621)

Fucking moron.

Re:So their real statement is... (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184215)

It's not how you sleep at night, it's where.

it's a trick (5, Insightful)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183601)

it's probably a ploy to get more people to download pirated music, as lawsuits seem to be their main source of income these days.

Re:it's a trick (5, Interesting)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183847)

I can't help but wonder how much their actions are being guided by the big recording corporations vs. the lawyers running the organization. Their actions are all over the map - they can't seem to decide whether to keep mugging downloaders for the cash or to run a PR campaign against file sharing.

For years, existing technology dictated a particular business model that made them all a lot of money. Now, technology has changed, but they see the old business model as their birthright. What the record companies have to do is abandon the media sales paradigm - which is apparently a tough pill to swallow for them - and start offering ad-supported "free" downloading of low bitrate mp3's. Selling vinyl records or cd's or preloaded chips or whatever is going to be a sideshow from now on. The availability of free, legal downloads will basically undercut the file sharers if they actually provide consumers with better value than the torrents, e.g., wallpapers, videos and other content.

Their insistence on charging 99 cents per track for downloads reflects their continued greed and cluelessness. Downloading a given CD @ $0.99/track as MP3s is a far worse deal for the consumer than a CD purchase when you factor out the cost of production and distribution costs associated with CDs. Additionally, the CD is a relatively permanent offline master copy - I've lost track (no pun intended) of how many times I've lost music due to hard drive crashes, data corruption, etc.. If they charged 10 cents a track for high-quality downloads it becomes an impulse buy - I'd gladly buy tons of high quality tracks at that price provided at least some of the revenue went to the artists. I'm not blind to the fact that record companies give value back to the artists in terms of management expertise and promotion but their cut is inevitably going to be a lot smaller - something they refuse to accept.

Re:it's a trick (1)

reddburn (1109121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184837)

The lawyers ARE the organization. It started as a lobbying group...

Re:it's a trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26185843)

they can't seem to decide whether to keep mugging downloaders for the cash or to run a PR campaign against file sharing.

These are not mutually exclusive.

Re:it's a trick (2, Interesting)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185949)

I disagree that 99 cents a track is a bad deal.

I mean, let's face it... how many albums have you heard recently that had maybe one or two good/catchy tracks, and the rest of the album was pure crapola? I'd much rather pay a couple of bucks for the relatively few songs I tend to like off of an album rather then pay $15-$20 for the entire CD and only ever listen to the same few tracks.

Re:it's a trick (2, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183877)

lawsuits seem to be their main source of income these days

Only they know for sure, of course... but Ray's best estimate is that they are losing money overall [slashdot.org] : they may make money off settlements (or maybe just break even?), but the legal and investigative costs that go into all those dropped or default judgment cases destroys all that profit, and then some.

I don't think it's actually profitable for them. I think it was always intended as some kind of "campaign of fear" to make people too afraid to file-share... which seems not to have worked.

Re:it's a trick (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185927)

They probably weren't expecting that any of the defendants would have any significant defense. They seem to have cherry picked cases where defense was unlikely. They got surprised there. As a business model, it's a failure, but it's entirely possible that it's an unanticipated failure.

It's also possible that they cherry picked the cases they did hoping for a fast series of wind to maximize the terror factor. In the end, we don't know enough to reliably deduce if they expected to profit from the lawsuits directly or if it was just a sort of legal terrorist campaign.

Re:it's a trick (-1, Flamebait)

tonyray (215820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184205)

I think people fail to remember that the law REQUIRES them to defend their copyrights or lose them.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184357)

That's trademark.

You do NOT have to take defensive action to maintain a copyright.

Re:it's a trick (1)

b.emile (1222958) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184519)

That would be trademarks, chief. Trademarks have to be defended, copyrights do not.

Re:it's a trick (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185945)

Read a law book, PLEASE!

Trademark is use it or lose it. Copyright and patent is not.

What is your agenda? (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183607)

I honestly don't give a rats ass what the RIAA is doing to people who "share" music online. That's between them.

What I am very concerned about is that you are very clearly using the recordingindustryvspeople website to attract people to Scientology.

This same tactic of using a very easily tarred target is used by Scientology to recruit members in other areas. The most famous of these is Narconon which is a supposed anti-drug support group which is simply a front for Scientology.

I will not go into why I think Scientology should not be embraced here on Slashdot. I will simply leave the question hanging out there whether we ought to be listening to NYCL when he so clearly aligns himself with the religion.

Re:What is your agenda? (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183631)

Do you wear tinfoil on your head, or am I missing something? I skimmed the entirety of the linked pages on recordingindustryvspeople and saw lots of documentation and commentary related to exactly what I expected. I saw nothing that made me feel any urge to grab an e-meter and get my thetans excised.

Re:What is your agenda? (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183655)

Scroll to the top and take a look at the biggest advertisers on the site.

Two that came up for me (on subsequent page refreshes) were for Scientology's main website, and another for Tom Cruise's website.

I thought it might just be a random fluke ad placement, but this seems like a very deliberate ad campaign.

Now, as to whether it makes you want to go get your clambake on, that's a different story. However, it would be hard to deny that NYCL is at the very least providing support to them by giving them prime advertising space on his site.

Re:What is your agenda? (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183663)

HAH! I run Firefox with Adblock/Flashblock/NoScript. I could refresh all day and I never would have caught that.

Re:What is your agenda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183789)

In my highly scientific survey of making tick marks everytime someone mentions adds on slashdot, 98.3% of the time, the following post(s) refer to how awesome adblock/flashblock/noscript are.
I get it, you like gloating that you don't see ads. Grow up...

Re:What is your agenda? (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183653)

I would love it if you could please clarify the connection between recordingindustryvspeople [blogspot.com] and Scientology.

Mod parent up (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183693)

Well spotted, i've been to the page and have not paid attention to the ad, but in this case the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Re:What is your agenda? (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183871)

I don't know if you have any experience with the internet, but the banners on websites are not individually hand-picked by the website owner and carefully arranged on the page for emphasis. The website owner signs up for Google ads or something, which then throws banners up on the page according to some loosely-defined algorithm, often based on keywords present on the web page. In my experience Scientology banners pop up in the stupidest of places. NYCL does't endorse Scientology and more than he endorses... (click)... Ghiradelli Chocolate.

Re:What is your agenda? (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185069)

Just for the record, the ad for Tom Cruise's web site was placed by Google AdSense, not by me. Also it had to do with his movies, and had nothing to do with his religion. But the Ghirardelli chocolate ad is an "affiliate ad" -- i.e., one that pays my blog a commission if someone were to click it on and buy some stuff...so I did, in fact, pick that one. Personally, I think Ghirardelli chocolate is great, and people might want to buy some as gifts around Christmastime.

Re:What is your agenda? (3, Insightful)

Aenoxi (946506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183895)

Whoa, time out! NYCL is the local Slashdot guru on all things RIAA and IIRC, been personally involved in the good fight for quite some time. I don't recall him ever advocating Scientology in the past. Several thousand knowledgable and well-researched posts to Slashdot on RIAA matters over a period of many years just to trick people into clicking on a Scientology ad today would have to constitute the most over-engineered setup of all time.

Remember... never attribute to bad Thetans that which can be adequately explained by the vagaries of third party ad servers. (with apologies to Hanlon's razor)

Re:What is your agenda? (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185133)

Whoa, time out! NYCL is the local Slashdot guru on all things RIAA and IIRC, been personally involved in the good fight for quite some time. I don't recall him ever advocating Scientology in the past. Several thousand knowledgable and well-researched posts to Slashdot on RIAA matters over a period of many years just to trick people into clicking on a Scientology ad today would have to constitute the most over-engineered setup of all time.

Not only have I never promoted Scientology, I wouldn't promote any religion, ever. I hate the whole concept of trying to sell one's own religion to others. Just as much as I hate the whole concept of trying to disparage someone else's religion.

Durr!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183611)

And we all though "YAY" the RIAA is going to stop suing us? Remember his little brother MPAA is more than happy to take you to court.

it's over already so cut them some slack jack (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183639)

what's got your sphincter so tight anyway bud? it's not like the riaa was crawling up in your ass or is that your problem? have you been living in mortal fear of the riaa?

Re:it's over already so cut them some slack jack (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183759)

what's got your sphincter so tight anyway bud?

As a Mac user, my sphincter is loose from years of anal sex. I see it as a good thing, though, because I drink prune juice and eat corn and peanuts all day in the hopes that, when the RIAA goons come knocking on my door, I'm going to let loose and go all tubgirl on their ass!

new plan same as... (2, Insightful)

The Incomplete Lemon (698564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183681)

...the old plan, twice the spin.
Just think, with the ISPs on board they can be sure they sue the right people this time round (probably).

Fixed. (3, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183691)

>>> This is an organization that has a tendency to mispeak

"RIAA is an organization that has a tendency to [lie, intimidate citizens, and extort money] a lot, even when under oath." There. Fixed that for ya. ;-)

WSJ... (3, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183805)

And the WSJ is checking facts like SNL's Weekend Update apparently.

Perjury (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183707)

I guess misspeaking isn't the same as perjury.

If it were you or me, we'd be in the slammer, but if you're a rich member of a powerful industry, it just gets ignored by the courts. Ah yes, to be rich and powerful.

Re:Perjury (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183913)

Perjury is only when under oath. Unless done to commit a crime (libel, fraud, etc) you're allowed to lie as much as you want.

CNet letter = cease & desist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183715)

Having RTFA with the letter attached, it looks to me like the RIAA is adopting a similar approach to the MPAA and other commercial movie/TV houses: sending a missive to your ISP and ask them to do something to stop it. It doesn't specifically state what the ISP must do or must not do, aside from provide assistance in causing the matter to stop.

Nowhere does that article (or letter) specifically ask the ISP to hand over information to the RIAA.

Now if your ISP got one of such letters, they may have the choice of:
1) sending you an email and asking you to cease and desist in accordance with the request from the RIAA;
2) providing the details to the RIAA and say "your problem";
3) disconnect you and say to the RIAA "problem fixed."

Now if my ISP did (1) and had no further contact with the RIAA, except to respond with something like "We've contacted the user and requested remedial action" then the ISP would be complying with the letter presented.

Of the choices, 1-3, I'd be happy if my ISP fitted into category (1) - they've done their part, preserved my "anonymity" and made it known to myself that I need to "fix things".

Re:CNet letter = cease & desist (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184383)

Now if your ISP got one of such letters, they may have the choice of:
1) sending you an email and asking you to cease and desist in accordance with the request from the RIAA;
2) providing the details to the RIAA and say "your problem";
3) disconnect you and say to the RIAA "problem fixed."

BR>They also have additional options of
4) ignoring the letter
5) invoicing the RIAA for their time

Re:CNet letter = cease & desist (1)

Omeganon (104525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184591)

If the ISP did 2) or 3), they'd be looking at a lawsuit from the end-user that would have 100% more bite than anything the RIAA was capable of doing legally.

--
Marc

Im happy for him. (2, Funny)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183745)

Good to see Baghdad Bob found a good job following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Better title for this story... (3, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183777)

RIAA Caught Lying About Stopping Prosecution Tactic

Otherwise, when people see "RIAA Claim..." people stop reading. "RIAA Caught Lying..." gets people's attention.

Re:Better title for this story... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183939)

NYCL submitted the story. He's a practicing lawyer. Lawyers tend to choose their words carefully, so as to avoid getting sued for defamation.

I reckon that's about as strong a statement as he could make without the RIAA suing him.

Re:Better title for this story... (2, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185159)

NYCL submitted the story. He's a practicing lawyer. Lawyers tend to choose their words carefully, so as to avoid getting sued for defamation. I reckon that's about as strong a statement as he could make without the RIAA suing him.

I don't worry about the RIAA suing me. Were they to attempt that, they would be making a grave mistake, and I would probably have more fun than I've ever had in my professional life.

I do, however, take great pains to be accurate. Unlike the RIAA's lawyers, being truthful is important to me.

To Quote Captain Kirk: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183807)

"LET them die!"

Seriously. How long do we need to put up with this kind of abuse from corporate America? They used to welcome customers with open arms, happy that their families could eat that night because we were all happy to consume and be treated like human beings. I'm not sure where that train derailed but it was a bloody mess.

About a year ago I began a very small social experiement. I simply got tired of seeing what the music, movie, and videogame industries were doing to their customers. Sure, they caught a few pirates here and there, but how many innocents got entangled in that mess? In any event, I no longer own any CDs, movies, or video games. Not even books. Sorry publishing industry but I'm too afraid you're going to be next on the list of up and coming assholes.

Everything I have is free. I get my music from places like Jamendo. I watch the myriad of web based shows that people create independently for our viewing pleasure. I play only games that cost no money...did I mention I installed Linux? I even am to the point where I only read public domain literature.

Why all this? For the same reason I bought a cheap, fuel-efficient Toyota. I'm voting with my wallet. And don't get me wrong, if I like something one of the above groups writes and publishes to the web, I donate money to their cause. Again...I'm voting with my wallet.

People. Wake the hell up. Your wallet is a tool for change. You wallet means more in this country than any tick mark you make next to some politician's name on a little paper ballot. Use it. Use it well. Use it wisely. Apparently it already worked on the "Big Three." Surely, we can make it work on the MPAA and RIAA.

Re:To Quote Captain Kirk: (3, Interesting)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184709)

Your wallet is a tool for change.

Sure is. ;)

Joking aside, I have to agree. I haven't yet taken it to the extent you have. I still have my old music and movies but I don't buy anything new. It was never really a conscious decision against the RIAA or MPAA for me, but a result of a growing dislike towards money-grabbing/useless corporations generally. (For me this not only includes companies that don't provide value for money, but also those that treat me as a stupid consumer.)

I'd like to send these associations and the companies they represent the way of the Big Three, which would hopefully knock some much needed sense into them. The problem as I see it is that media is seen as a disposable asset by many people; something to just waste money on regardless of the low quality and unoriginality. Vehicle purchases are quite different: most people want to get value for money and have a vehicle that will last them years.

Part of me - the slightly sinister part - secretly hopes the economy will worsen more and the general populace will be forced to tighten their belts even more. With luck, it would be enough to seriously disable these media cartels. However, even then I doubt it would work. More people would just clue onto downloading tracks and the RIAA would go back to their old method of suing every last one of them. Other people would continue to purchase their shiny CDs even in the face of bankruptcy (the world has no shortage of idiots).

Re:To Quote Captain Kirk: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26186347)

They wont go bankrupt.... They will just cry for a bailout package while twisting numbers of how them going bankrupt will further worsen the economy.

To quote Dr Strangelove (1)

Normal_Deviate (807129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183817)

Why deny suing? I can't imagine RIAA collects enough money from downloaders to pay their legal costs. It seems more likely they are trying to deter thieves. However, for reasons that are all too obvious, it doesn't work if you keep it a secret.

And at the risk of being flamed and down-modded, let's not forget that achieving artistic excellence is grindingly difficult and will rarely be done for charitable purposes.

They can't punish what they can't catch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183883)

I think it's high time we move on to filesharing methods that actually protect our identity [i2p2.de] .

"music theft" ? (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184085)

There is no such thing as "music theft". It is settled law in the US that copyright infringement is not theft, and calling an infringer a thief can constitute libel.

Re:"music theft" ? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26186617)

Like calling Al Capone a mobster, when in fact he was really just a furniture salesman who forgot to pay one state tax bill.

It was a trap (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184091)

It was a marketting ploy, conceptualized, designed, and brought to fruition by the music industry: the same people that have the power to turn shit in to gold records.

Most likely a ploy to see who would fire up thr bittorrent clients and start going crazy. Never believe this crap until your certain the laws have been written, passed, and every one is truly in the clear.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184195)

Do you wear tinfoil on your head, or am I missing something? I skimmed the entirety of the linked pages on recordingindustryvspeople and saw lots of documentation and commentary related to exactly what I expected. I saw nothing that made me feel any urge to grab an e-meter and get my thetans excised.

BOHICA (2)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184203)

Every time you think the RIAA has gone as low as it can, it finds yet another way to open up a whole new universe of douchebaggery.

Please, God, let them say something like this under oath, and let it be in front of a judge who takes a dim view of perjury (and prefers jail time to fines as a method of educating people on the workings of the US legal system).

Theft =! infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184251)

"waive the right to bring legal action against the user at issue for engaging in music theft."

Assuming the party receiving this letter is guilty of anything, it is probably copyright infringement, not theft. Since they specify theft, and not infringement, would that mean that they are waiving the right to "bring legal action" for infringement?

Steps to take: (1)

Geak (790376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184267)

1. Class action lawsuit against RIAA for false advertizing. They make up an absolute lie to look non-evil to sell more records.... Anyone who bought those records bought them under false pretenses.
2. ?????
3. Profit!!!

These are just mis-directed DMCA notifications (4, Interesting)

Omeganon (104525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184397)

While they don't explicitly identify them as such, the content of the e-mail is essentially a DMCA notification. Since the content is not stored on the ISP's systems, and is just a transitory communication over the ISP's network, the ISP is not obligated to perform any action whatsoever. They could >/dev/null 2>&1 them and there's nothing the RIAA could do about it.

To be valid, the DMCA notification needs to be directed to the party hosting the content, in this case the end-user. The ISP for that user is not obligated to 'pass on' the notification to the end user any more than they would be to 'pass on' a notification meant for another ISP. It is the complainants responsibility to identify the correct destination for the DMCA notification, not anyone else's.

Even _if_ the ISP were hosting the content on systems they own, the only obligation they would have would be to remove the specifically identified offending content from their systems. Per the DMCA, the alleged offender would have 10 days to contest the validity of the DMCA notification at which point the ISP would be required to re-post the content if they did so. The claimant would then need to begin legal proceedings to obtain further relief.

Seems to me to be a re-hash of a previously failed tactic. Once the RIAA found this was a dead-end, they began their DOE lawsuits.

Simple solution: quit being a customer (4, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184547)

The simple solution to this is to bankrupt the RIAA members. It worked for the big three - they've been producing crap cars for decades now, while the Japanese took our advice that our own people would not receive, and have been producing fantastic, high-quality cars.

That's not to say that the the big three produce all crap - but the high-quality reliable vehicles they do produce (the 'Vette, a few caddies and other luxury cars) are vehicles that Joe Sixpack can't afford. On top of that, the reliable vehicles they DO have and are utilitarian and comfortable (such as Pontiac Vibe, the Saturn Astra) are made by Japanese or European manufacturers (OK the Astra is a rebadged Opel, but it's still not what I'd consider part of the big three).

The RIAA, truthfully, is producing mostly crap nowadays. If an artist can't produce a mega-hit or won't sell out to do so, then they won't get air play. Oh, they'll get signed, but that's only for the label to bind them so they can't go elsewhere to an indie label who will make that long-term investment.

Just say no. Don't listen top top 40 radio, don't buy their crap, and don't download their crap either, because you're only fueling their argument. Just stop being a customer. Buy used records/CDs. Sure, it'll drive the price of used media up a little, but guess what? The labels won't live through a year or two of an outright boycott. They'll try to legislate a used media tax, but there is no way that would fly (right of first sale: when you buy a CD or DVD, you OWN it. They know this and cop to it in their own adverts. Britney spears, own it today on CD! Narnia/Prince Caspian, own it today on DVD! They KNOW you own that copy, not just license it).

Don't even do Rhapsody, because the labels are using them to try to get you to embrace DRM, because then you WON'T own the music, it will be licensed under that model - under contract law, because it's a rental.

Just say no. Spend your money on DVDs - better value. You get an entire movie for less than the cost of a DVD. Check out hulu.com - free movies and TV series archives.

Break the record companies. It can be done. Don't download their crap and they won't have any basis to sue, and don't buy their crap because it will bankrupt them. Just say no. It didn't work for drugs, but it did work for the auto industry and it can work in the music industry.

Re:Simple solution: quit being a customer (1)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184659)

Amen to that.

I adamantly refuse to support the RIAA labels until they stop treating consumers like crap.

That doesn't mean changing the tactics used in treating consumers like crap - it means STOP TREATING THEM LIKE CRAP.

Sadly, though - for every one person who refuses to purchase their wares, there are ten more who need their "Soulja Boy fix", and will keep groups like UMG in business. To make matters worse, groups like UMG and Sony obviously aren't one-trick ponies. They have other industries they can draw money from, even if their music component doesn't make one dime.

One can only hope that if the music component of their business declined enough, they would kick it to the curb, but that's not a given.

Re:Simple solution: quit being a customer (2, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185191)

The simple solution to this is to bankrupt the RIAA members. It worked for the big three - they've been producing crap cars for decades now, while the Japanese took our advice that our own people would not receive, and have been producing fantastic, high-quality cars.

In other words, give them a bailout once they ask for it?

Re:Simple solution: quit being a customer (1, Troll)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185257)

The simple solution to this is to bankrupt the RIAA members.

I think they're doing that to themselves.

Simpler still (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185713)

Get behind the abolition of copyright, or the imposition of more reasonable interpretations of it - like fixed terms less than ten years, no criminal prosecution unless done for financial profit, limitation on liability to the retail price of the item ($.99 per song and $5.00 per movie, not per potential copy).

Although your idea is a good step too.

STOP USING THE WORD "MISTRUTH" (0, Redundant)

gemada (974357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184759)

IT IS FUCKING LIE!

RIAA knows the mind of Big Media? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184799)

Perhaps the RIAA was expecting that Big Media would happily propagate the lie, but drag its feet on the retraction? How dare they? We all know that Big Media lives and breathes social ethics.

What exacaxtly RIAA thinks they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184891)

What exacaxtly RIAA thinks they are?

How can RIAA even concieve the idea, that they have some sort of magic authority to "appoint" or "authorise" business entities (ISPs) - completely unralated to RIAA and most of them operating in other countries - with rights and duties that clearly belong to law enforcement, courts, etc., in order to chase the interest of RIAA?

What makes RIAA think that a trade association, registered in the USA has some sort of borderless, global authority to issue enforcement notice to ISPs?

The RIAA letter says:
"This letter serves as an OFFICIAL notice to you that this network user MAY BE liable for the illegal activity occurring on your network."

"WE respectfully REQUEST that YOU REMOVE or DISABLE ACCESS to the unauthorized music."

Please notice: "official", "may be liable", "we request", "you remove or disable access".

Furthermore from the RIAA letter:
"INFRINGEMENT DETAIL
-------------------
Infringing Work : XXXXXX
Filename : XXXXXX
First found (UTC): XXXXXX
Last found (UTC): XXXXXX
Filesize : XXXXXX
IP Address: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
IP Port: XXXXX
Network: XXXXXX
Protocol: XXXXXX"

Who or what piece of legislation authorized RIAA to collect all these information?

Who authorised RIAA to represent this information as some sort of "evidence"?

Who authorised RIAA to submit all these (illegaly?) collected information as "evidence"?

Who authorised RIAA that they can submit (illegally collected?) "evidence" to a third party in order to "request" anything from a third party, based on (illegally collected?) "evidence"?

Any lawyer in the house?

Re:What exacaxtly RIAA thinks they are? (2, Informative)

Omeganon (104525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26186169)

Who or what piece of legislation authorized RIAA to collect all these information?

They don't need any. It's 'published' via a public system (the p2p network).

Who authorised RIAA to represent this information as some sort of "evidence"?

Presuming this is presented as a DMCA notification, their clients and the US Government.

Who authorised RIAA to submit all these (illegaly?) collected information as "evidence"?

See above.

Who authorised RIAA that they can submit (illegally collected?) "evidence" to a third party in order to "request" anything from a third party, based on (illegally collected?) "evidence"?

See above. Read the DMCA.

Any lawyer in the house?

IANL but I have received DMCA notifications that should have been directed to others.

Time for us to attack the RIAA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26185433)

Bitch bitch bitch. Moan moan moan. If you are so up in arms about it, go after them already. If a bunch of /b/ tards can make a mockery of Scientology and may yet push it over the edge to it's destruction, certainly some dedicated geeks can do the same to the RIAA and MPAA.

Black faxes. Prank calls. DDOS. Protests in front of the HQ of RIAA and their lawyers and the HQ's of the big record labels involved. Boycotts of RIAA labled artists. You can do it, but you'd rather moan behind a keyboard and bawwww about it when you get sued for downloading some shitty tune. There are ways both legal and not so legal to take the fight to these fuckers. Tired of seeing this? Hit them where it hurts, in their wallets and their pride.

Business as usual: The RIAA lies habitually (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185635)

Nothing to see here, move along.

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