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The RIAA's Rocky Road Ahead

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the bring-checkbook dept.

Music 542

The RIAA's new plan to enlist ISPs in its war on file sharing, once it announced it was calling a halt to new consumer lawsuits, is running into rough sledding. Wired reports on the continuing legal murkiness of the RIAA's interpretation of copyright law. And one small ISP in Louisiana asks the recording organization, "You want me to police your intellectual property? What's your billing address?"

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542 comments

Multiple interpretations (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209947)

"What's your billing address?"

That's not exactly an unequivocal rejection.

Where would all you music sharers be if the RIAA responds with a valid billing address? It is just a matter of money before those ISPs start cooperating.

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209987)

It's worse than that; it's a new justification for the RIAA to ask for money.

RIAA: "Pirates are generating losses of millions of dollars. They force us to pay large amounts to every ISP so they enforce our demands."

"Now when we catch a pirate we'll of course ask for compensation of all those millions."

Soon sending a song through the web will bring larger fines than experimenting with nuclear weapons at home.

I can see the prison conversations.
"What are you here for?"
"Eating babies. And you?"
"Whistling a song in public."
"Friking depraved garbage! I hope you rot in hell."

Re:Multiple interpretations (3, Interesting)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210135)

Soon sending a song through the web will bring larger fines than experimenting with nuclear weapons at home.

If was only one song, rather than 1/3 - 1/2 of the traffic on the internet, I would see your point. As a legal user of P2P, and as a PC gamer (linux only, though), I really hate all the copyright infringements going on. I'd bet that the reason we don't see another monkey island or similar is due to piracy.

The only up is that online games are having a ball, since cracking those are harder. My hope is that someday it will be feasible to simply host the game on some server and deliver all the content over the net, so that we can get rid of the arrrrggghh pirates.

End rant :)

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210163)

If it was only one gun, rather than 99.999/100 of the weapon production on the world, I would see your point. As a sword fight practicioner, I really hate all the gun buying going on. I'd bet that's the reason we don't see another grand master sword forge is due to gunfights.

i.e.: Your personal feelings and/or situation don't make reality right or wrong.

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210283)

Your personal feelings and/or situation don't make reality right or wrong

Oh, contrair, his/her personal feelings and/or situation is reality as he/she is experiencing it.

Mod parent down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210527)

Parent is a limp-wristed, cock-chugging faggot! Heil Ensign Mercatur!

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210609)

Oh, contrair

Here here, it's a doggy-dog world.

Re:Multiple interpretations (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210717)

Here comes the french grammar nazi:

It's "Au contraire".

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210613)

"The best facet of the Second Amendment is that it's not needed..... until the government tries to take liberty away." - Founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210829)

[citation needed]

-Loyal

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210215)

As a legal user of P2P, and as a PC gamer (linux only, though), I really hate all the copyright infringements going on.

If copyright law were a more reasonable reflection of reality, there wouldn't be anywhere near as much copyright infringement going on.

I'd bet that the reason we don't see another monkey island or similar is due to piracy.

And you'd be wrong.

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210499)

Piracy was already rampant when monkey island came out. It came on floppies which were easily copied.
But the fact is, making good playable games is less profitable than making lousy games with pretty graphics.

Re:Multiple interpretations (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210889)

But the fact is, making good playable games is less profitable than making lousy games with pretty graphics.

That's because society, as a whole, has been breeding for stupidity [rottentomatoes.com] for quite a few generations already.

You don't believe me? Consider this one [howobamagotelected.com] . Or just the number of people who think that "reality TV" and (c)rap music are entertaining.

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Insightful)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210393)

I cannot understand why his post is rated "Score:0, Troll". He is merely stating his personal opinion.

Isn't Slashdot all about reading the articles and discussing them in a civilised manner?

Re:Multiple interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210511)

It's like going into a bar in the south and proclaiming that you think gays should be allowed to marry, christianity is a superstition and only retards like country and western music. If you do that, you're not expecting a civilized discussion.

Re:Multiple interpretations (3, Funny)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210857)

Or like going into a bar in San Francisco and saying that being homosexual is an affront to God, a huge sin, and everyone is going to burn in hell. Except instead of fists of rage or guns drawn, you get "you big meanie, come on over here so we can sssspank you!"

Re:Multiple interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210721)

your kind sure do stick together, mr. troll8901.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210579)

My hope is that copyright will one day be removed from law, since its an amoral way of trying to make money.

Copyright Law (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210687)

I remember somebody saying copyright law is okay, it's the abuse of the law that isn't okay.

How do we stamp out law abuse?

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210599)

>>>As a legal user of P2P, and as a PC gamer (linux only, though), I really hate all the copyright infringements going on. I'd bet that the reason we don't see another monkey island or similar is due to piracy.
>>>

I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect it.

Similarly as a legal purchaser of CDs (I prefer uncompressed music) and also TV shows on DVD, it disturbs me that I can buy unmitigated crap like Season 6 of 24, or Star Drek Voyuer, and I have no legal recourse to recover my money (not even store credit). Any other business stands behind their product and guarantees satisfaction - you buy a TV, the picture is bad, you can return it. You buy a PSP and it dies a month later, you can return it. You buy a piece of shit DVD like Galactica 1980, and you might as well bend-over and take it up the ____ because you just lost $50.

As a result I feel it's necessary to "test drive" media before purchase. With CDs I can get legal samples online, but with TV shows on DVD there is no method except to download it and see if it's any good. It's illegal, but I do it because I don't want to get stuck wasting thousands of dollars on trash.

When media companies start treating me with respect, and letting me return junk like Voyuer or Earth Final Drek, then I will treat them with respect too.

Re:Multiple interpretations (0, Offtopic)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210675)

May the Lord be with you

Re:Multiple interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210699)

Thats why the creator of Warcraft, yes the original, was quoted as saying, "While I disagree with piracy as a whole. If we hadn't had 300,000 copies, approximately, of the Original Warcraft pirated we probably wouldn't be who we are today."

Sounds to me like, while "Wrong" and "Evil" if the gaming industry and "pirates" worked together we might have a better system.

Would you pay 20,000 to have your car drop all 4 wheels one week later? Then WHY must we tolerate it in a video game?

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210769)

I'd bet that the reason we don't see another monkey island or similar is due to piracy.

That is not true. Adventure games, like Monkey Island, have been deemed not popular/profitable enough to make. The big publishers only want to turn out shooters, war sims, and the occasional fantasy/RPG title. It isn't just adventure games either...when is the last time you saw a decent flight sim? Or, more specifically my personal favorite - space flight sims.

Piracy is being used as a digital bogeyman to explain anything and everything that publishers dislike.

Music/Game sales slipping? Must be piracy, there's no way people don't like what we're selling or how we're selling it. Find new talent? Embrace on-line distribution? Why do that when we can just prosecute?!

Producing games is expensive. Nobody wants to just break-even these days, they all want the next ginormous hit. So everyone is trying to copy the leader... That's why you get eleventy-billion Halo clones and GTA-alikes. MMORPGs, similarly, were seen as a cash cow. For a while there we had new MMORPGs being announced weekly.

My hope is that someday it will be feasible to simply host the game on some server and deliver all the content over the net

It already is [steampowered.com] , and in such a way that it's actually a boon to both the producers and the players.

Steam is good for producers because you've got centralized tracking of game registration/authorization. And people are hesitant to mess around too much with a game on Steam because it can get their entire Steam Account (and all their Steam games) banned. Sure, it can be cracked/bypassed... But it works at least as well as SecuROM does, and it's less invasive to the player. Plus you can distribute your game digitally, so you save on packaging.

Steam is good for players because all you need is your username and password to re-install anything you've ever purchased on Steam. Lose the CD? No problem! Reformat your entire computer? No problem! Just log in to Steam, kick off the download, and wait. You also get all your game updates distributed automatically, built-in profile/achievement/friends/community support, and a very simple and easy-to-use on-line store.

But distribution methods like Steam don't fix the problem. It doesn't matter how you distribute your games/music or how you protect them - if people don't feel that they're worth the price you're asking, they won't buy.

Some people are going to pirate no matter what. There's no way they'll ever pay a cent. It might be the thrill of doing something "illegal"... It might be some kind of weird political statement... But they're just never going to pay.

But then you also have folks who are just unwilling to pay $60 for yet-another-scifi-shooter that is a crappy imitation of Halo with only 5 hours of gameplay. They may be willing to pirate a copy of it just to see what everyone is talking about. They may be bored enough to play around with it for a few hours. But they aren't willing to shell out $60 for a piece of crap.

You aren't the only person who likes adventure games. If EA was willing to put the time and resources into turning out a decent adventure title it would sell. But you (and the other adventure fans out there) can't buy what they aren't making.

Similarly I would buy a decent space flight sim, if they'd make it.

Hopefully recent titles like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge mean that EA is finally willing to try something new... But I'll believe it when I see more than one or two interesting titles.

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210445)

Soon sending a song through the web will bring larger fines than experimenting with nuclear weapons at home.

The fines are already at the level where it doesn't matter. The median household income in the US is about 50k$, and at 150k$/song you're being sued for your life earnings for sharing a CD with 15 songs. If you're sharing your music collection with your friends, say 200 CDs * 15 songs then even at a 750$ statutory minimum you're also looking at the same. It's the point where it just doesn't matter - if I owed 2 milion dollars or 200 million dollars or 200 trillion dollars it wouldn't matter. It's a "life" sentence for sharing music files...

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210621)

>>>150k$/song you're being sued for your life earnings

If I was fined 150,000 dollars the only kind of "payment" the CEO of RIAA would receive is a bullet. Tyrants must fall.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210709)

Simmer down.

The CEO of the RIAA is doing what he/she is legally obligated to do: maximize profits.

The problem is with the law that allows them to do what it is they are doing. That's what needs changing.

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Insightful)

johndmartiniii (1213700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209995)

Of course this is how the statement should be interpreted. It does, however, indicate that the ISP in question might be pretty realistic about the reality of the RIAA interpretation of copyright law: that it is not tenable in the long run and that everyone cannot simply be expected to jump on board. While it is not an unequivocal "no," it does indicate a reluctance to simply comply: though, that reluctance might indeed be assuaged by a little cash (probably a lot of cash.

Maybe the ISP's will charge RIAA so exorbitantly that they it will be a deterrent to their seeking compliance in the first place.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

malinha (1273344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210161)

Very easy to find the value that the ISP will charge, The same that R**A wants people getting sued to pay for each song.

Re:Multiple interpretations (2, Interesting)

emarock (1232784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210411)

Very easy to find the value that the ISP will charge,

It is actually very hard, and mostly dependent on the level of competition among ISPs. In areas where people can buy access from one provider only -- or where a well established cartel exists -- ISPs will be happy to partner with RIAA to calm down those bandwidth hogs who demand to actually use the bandwidth they pay for. However, in normal markets RIAA will be asked to cover the losses caused by customer churn; I suspect it will be pretty expensive, especially if you consider that per-year revenues of the whole entertainment system are made in less than one month by the telecommunication industry.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210827)

i can see a system developing to compensate for people switching people on disconnect, after this happens enough they will tighten up loopholes. it is as easy of putting you on a list if you are booted from one ISP for downloading content the RIAA claims copyright to, using p2p, or even exceeding your bandwidth caps.

in the past people used to rack up lots of bounced checks, then switch to a new bank. now, the banks subscribe to chexsystems [creditinfocenter.com] and if you fuck up once you won't be able to get an account from any member bank after that.

i am sure that the RIAA would love to maintain a list such as this. we don't need a 3 strikes law in the states, all it will take is a private system to blacklist users.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210753)

>>>While it is not an unequivocal "no," it does indicate a reluctance to simply comply

Correct. I respond the same way to MY customers on amazon or ebay. "You want me to send your item immediately? Tomorrow morning? Sure I have no problem with that, however it means I will have to take about one hour off from work, and that's going to cost me $50 in wages. If you are willing to pay that extra 50 dollars, then yes, I will mail your package first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks :-)"

This shuts the customer up, because they don't want to pay me an extra 50, and I really don't want to visit the post office first thing tomorrow.

I suspect the ISP owner chose his answer carefully, because he is hoping RIAA will be similarly "shut up" rather than pay the cost for extra time/effort policing his users.

Re:Multiple interpretations (5, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210065)

"It is just a matter of money before those ISPs start cooperating."

From the article;

"First, when a media company demands he kick a customer off the network, there is very little in the way of proof offered that the person in question has committed a crime, according to Scroggin. Yet, entertainment companies want Scroggin to simply wave goodbye to a customer who might have signed up for a three-year plan. At $40 per month, that customer is potentially worth $1,440 to Scroggin over the life of the plan. That, says the ISP owner, is unreasonable.
Next, it's expensive and time consuming to ask highly paid technicians to chase down IP logs and customer IDs, Scroggin said, noting that it's especially difficult nowadays because it's extremely easy to spoof IP addresses.
And then there are the letters Scroggin receives from Hollywood that demand he act or else.
Scroggin warns that the film and music industries must try a new tack if they want cooperation from ISPs."

It seems it's not just a matter of money, it's a question of proof, technical feasability, willingness on the part of the ISP's and quite a lot of money.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210189)

How do you spoof an IP address?

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Interesting)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210237)

You can forge IP packets so that the reciever of the packet is given a fake sender IP. Im not entirely sure how the packets of most P2P programs work, but it could be possible they will accept a packet with a spoofed IP under the correct circumstances. In this way you could possibly make it look like 76.74.24.143 was distributing music (riaa.com).

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

danking (1201931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210515)

You have the greatest idea! Maybe the RIAA would end up suing itself or getting itself banned from the Internet!

Re:Multiple interpretations (2, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210815)

In this way you could possibly make it look like 76.74.24.143 was distributing music (riaa.com).

Lol. Never gonna happen. It hasn't occurred to the RIAA that they might want to try competing with the pirates in offering a product that is easily found, downloaded and consumed.

Noone tell them; the last thing we want is an RIAA that has a source of income other than the life savings of innocent dead goldfish.

Re:Multiple interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210327)

Well, as for technicalities: just install that Australian logging router.
As for the money, $1440 is a drop in the ocean compared what RIAA is going to rip from that poor customer anyways.
So in the end, the customer may end up paying all the bills.

Re:Multiple interpretations (2, Funny)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210549)

I'll take that. At 50 million file sharers and 1,500 grand (minimum) a piece for the ISPs to drop them, how long could the RIAA hold out? And i love a good courtrom brawl, it'd make for funny trials.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210565)

Urg, please pretend I didn't butcher the English language with the above.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210639)

"It seems it's not just a matter of money, it's a question of proof, technical feasability, willingness on the part of the ISP's and quite a lot of money."

Sure its a matter of money, they don't care about proof (just an excuse) but technicians cost money. If the riaa handed them 5000$ every time, they would just do it.

Re:Multiple interpretations (4, Funny)

VorlonFog (948943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210295)

From the background article of the same source: "In regards to billing, we fail to understand what you mean with that!" Apparently, that question is far too complex and foreign a question for these money-hungry scum to comprehend.

Re:Multiple interpretations (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210653)

"What's your billing address?" That's not exactly an unequivocal rejection. Where would all you music sharers be if the RIAA responds with a valid billing address? It is just a matter of money before those ISPs start cooperating.

He's not saying that all the RIAA needs to do is open their checkbooks. What he really meant was that the Righteous Inquisition Army of Autocrats shouldn't be expecting a free lunch from the ISPs for the dubious honor of being their loyal army of thuggish lapdogs. And that any legal threat letters to do so for free will be redirected to the nearest convenient trashbin.

Re:Multiple interpretations (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210807)

Why would ISPs betray their customers?

The more bandwidth we use the more money they make, plus pissed off customers take their business elsewhere.

Legal? (5, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209953)

What is the legality of this? RIAA tells them that they represent Metallica and I have a rar file called metalica. This would mean that the provider opens my rar file and looks into it. They should not be allowed to do so. Privacy and such, you know.

In Belgium what happens is that a letter is send to the provider that user X with IP Y at time Z was downloading a file that they believe to contain copyrighted material. The provider then could do several things. Basicaly 1) forward the letter or 2) ignore it.

No information could go to the local RIAA. This is called privacy. So the only thing they could do was try to sue. However the courts said that they would not follow up unless people where making money out of it.

So copying songs and selling them: burn in hell.
Downloading them and sharing with friends or strangers: nothing happens.

The fact that I have 60 petabyte of songs downloaded does not mean they lost money. I stopped buying long before the internet made it possible to download. I shared music with friends on casette. Hey, that is a good casette, can you make me a copy? How did you get it?
Well, I got copies from friends and using my dual-cassette player copied the different numbers so I had my own music, minus the crap.

When I think since when this has been going on, I am getting old.

Re:Legal? (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210001)

I have 60 petabyte of songs downloaded

Is there that much recorded music in the world?

Re:Legal? (1)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210039)

That would be enough music to listen to for 110,000 years.
(approximated at just over 1 mbyte/minute)

Re:Legal? (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210085)

Someone is going to be busy over the holidays!

so linear (4, Funny)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210825)

Only if you listen to 1 song at a time.
the trick is play 500 songs at 4x speed...then you are done in in like 55 years
or if you will 4 songs at 500X speed.

Re:Legal? (5, Funny)

Donkey_Hotey (1433053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210275)

I have 60 petabyte of songs downloaded

Is there that much recorded music in the world?

Maybe not by itself, but if you added rap and pop there might be...

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210903)

It depends on the encoding. MP3@128kbps, MP3@320, FLAC or WAV? There is a difference.

And s/he didn't say 60 petabytes of unique tracks.

Re:Legal? (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210345)

Is there any legitimate technical reason whatsoever to even assemble all of the packets for a file at any router that is not the destination? Or even to look at the packets enough to know that there is a file?

Re:Legal? (2, Interesting)

skerit (1182237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210349)

Did taping only occur in Belgium? Because I'm from Belgium and I also justify my downloading habits by explaining how I used to tape songs and tv-shows and such My opinion about every kind of media: If you CAN make money out of it, that's nice. If people are sharing your work for free, that's great (and a lot of publicity)! If someone ELSE is making money out of your work, that's illegal!

Re:Legal? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210817)

What is the legality of this? RIAA tells them that they represent Metallica and I have a rar file called metalica. This would mean that the provider opens my rar file and looks into it. They should not be allowed to do so. Privacy and such, you know.

Part of the problem is this they don't even bother to do this.

Someone associated with the RIAA will fire up a P2P app and kick off a download for 'metalica.rar' They'll log every single IP address that they're connected to, and then they'll send off a pile of court orders.

Nobody ever checks to see what's in 'metalica.rar' Nobody bothers to ask if you paid for your music or not. Nobody checks to see if the folks downloading from you have paid for their music. Nobody asks if you intended to share that file or if it just wound up in the wrong directory. They don't even check to make sure the IP address actually belongs to you and wasn't spoofed.

Rocky Road (2, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209959)

Obligatory Take Down Notice:

Dear sir or madame;
You are currently infringing upon a protected named asset; "Rocky Road" ice cream. You are hereby notified to remove any and all uses of a known name, links to it and all other references.

You may, however, re-title the article: "The RIAA's Moose Tracks Ahead" since that name is not copyrighted.

Re:Rocky Road (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209973)

Re:Rocky Road (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210019)

The RIAA may walk a rocky road if it wishes, but such journeys typically end badly. They'll be robbed blind in Dublin and then beaten up by Scousers.

But... (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209963)

why does the RIAA have to pay this ISP? Part of the value that the ISP provides to customers is the ability to pirate music. Therefore, the ISP should be paying for this.

And the ISP should send the RIAA a pony.

And a cute little puppy.

Whups, sorry about that. I channeled the RIAA there for a second.

Re:But... (5, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210159)

Hey! This screams for a car analogy ;)

1. Part of the value that the car manufacturers provide to customers is the ability to use the road. So car manufacturers should be paying for roadbuilding :)
2. Part of the value that light bulb manufacturers provide to customers is the ability to travel at night with your car, so the light bulb manufacturers should be paying for car building.
3. Part of the value that roadbuilding provides to the road users is the ability to get away from a crime scene very fast, so road builders should sponsor the local police.

Any more ideas? :)

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210567)

--1. Part of the value that the car manufacturers provide to customers is the ability to use the road. So car manufacturers should be paying for roadbuilding :)

I actually agree with this one. Nothing like a good tax incentive to get people off cars.

Re:But... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210355)

why does the RIAA have to pay this ISP? Part of the value that the ISP provides to customers is the ability to pirate music. Therefore, the ISP should be paying for this.

Hmm.. Looking at my contract with my ISP, running a server is not allowed. P2P is a form of a server, therefore, also not allowed.

It also prohibits illegal activities.

Finally, it states that termination of service due to violating the terms of the contract does not relieve the subscriber of the obligation to pay the service fees.

Ergo, my ISP already has plenty of incentive to find excuses to disconnect subscribers: Money for service not rendered. (Same goes for the other ISPs available to me.)

Out of curiosity, are these P2P apps UDP based? But even so, can't the ISPs block subscriber-to-subscriber IP traffic? At least between their own subscribers?

Re:But... (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210477)

In that case sending, for example, pictures through MSN Messenger wouldnt be allowed to...
If they'd go that far as a ISP I forsee good business for the first ISP that does allow servers. (Mine does btw)

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210887)

That's amusing. So you would call it a form of a server if the P2P app isn't allowing people to download from them? I know I do that myself, in order to keep things going smoothly, and I'm sure others do - they're called LEECHERS.
 
The point about blocking this communication is that for this service provider, it's not on their priorities. To implement this costs time, and therefore money, and so they should be compensated for the work done. Or should police not get paid to do their job (using the analogy above - after making the road builders into the police).

Viable business model? (4, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209965)

I can't believe sueing people like the RIAA does is a viable business model. The costs must outweigh the benefits by far. Even if the RIAA manages to win a case against a poor grandmother who has never heard of P2P and the like, she won't be able to pay the fine because the costs of defending herself have bankrupted her for good. I have a very hard time understanding the people who work for the RIAA and sue people for a living.

Re:Viable business model? (2, Insightful)

icsx (1107185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209991)

Well apparently RIAA is not suing anymore. Instead they try to get ISP's into their bandwagon to cut off connections if people do illegal stuff. However, why any ISP which is doing commercial business would do this for free or why would they even consider going after their paying customers in the first place? ISP is not a police and people's privacy must be respected and law followed.

Forget sueing grandma . . . (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210015)

. . . it looks to me like they are ramping up to sue ISPs. They are probably lobbying right now to get laws requiring ISP enforcement.

There is more money to squeeze out of them, compared to grandma.

Viable business model? More like a dieing business model. I would prefer to see a music industry in the future, that is comprised of artists and consumers, where the artists are payed fair prices for their work.

And no big record labels.

Re:Forget sueing grandma . . . (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210035)

You nailed it. They'll be suing every ISP they can. '09 the year of the ratbastard!

Re:Forget sueing grandma . . . (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210083)

Every year is the year of the ratbastard!

Re:Forget sueing grandma . . . (2, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210125)

Nonono, every year is the year of Linux on the desktop.

Re:Viable business model? (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210033)

I can't believe sueing people like the RIAA does is a viable business model. The costs must outweigh the benefits by far. Even if the RIAA manages to win a case against a poor grandmother who has never heard of P2P and the like, she won't be able to pay the fine because the costs of defending herself have bankrupted her for good.

It's a terror campaign. The idea is to intimidate the public so that they're afraid to pirate. It doesn't matter if they lose money suing one victim, if a thousand others are thereby frightened away from piracy.

Re:Viable business model? (4, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210875)

>>>It's a terror campaign

And what do we do with terrorists? Shoot 'em.

Re:Viable business model? (4, Insightful)

gzunk (242371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210181)

It isn't a viable business model, it doesn't need to be, because the RIAA isn't a business. It's a business association made up of record labels, such as Sony, Warner et al - see Link, and it does the bidding of the member companies.

http://www.riaa.com/aboutus.php?content_selector=aboutus_members [riaa.com]

It's funded through dues, which all the member companies pay. It doesn't need to make a profit because it's not a business.

Re:Viable business model? (5, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210277)

All those members are commercial companies. They will eventually stop funding the RIAA because the RIAA wastes their money on futile attempts to eradicate illegal copying.

Re:Viable business model? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210855)

Except that the lawsuits are launched by the individual labels anyway - the RIAA itself doesn't actually sue anyone, it's just there to take the bad PR while the labels keep screwing people.

Re:Viable business model? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210593)

This isn't about getting the money back, of course, it's abou tstriking fear into the hearts of small people. Do maffia thugs care about the lost money when they break someone's legs, or sink his feet into cement and dump him in the river? Of course not, it's all about sending a message to others that this could be YOU next time.

Re:Viable business model? (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210861)

I can't believe sueing people like the RIAA does is a viable business model. The costs must outweigh the benefits by far. Even if the RIAA manages to win a case against a poor grandmother who has never heard of P2P and the like, she won't be able to pay the fine because the costs of defending herself have bankrupted her for good. I have a very hard time understanding the people who work for the RIAA and sue people for a living.

It isn't. Suing people is not the RIAA's business model.

They're used to making money by being the gatekeepers of music. Traditionally, if you wanted to be a musician, it was expensive to get your music heard. You had to get it recorded onto a record/tape/CD... Get it packaged and distributed to retailers... Get it played on the radio... Get tours booked... This is what the RIAA did. They discovered people, provided the means for them to distribute their music, and profited from the whole thing.

These days it is easy to distribute music. Anyone with a microphone and a MySpace page can make their music available to anyone and everyone who wants to hear it. You can easily collect payments directly through something like PayPal. You can even use Cafe Press to turn out promotional materials yourself. The RIAA, in short, is no longer needed.

These lawsuits aren't intended to make money, they're intended to scare people. The RIAA wants to convince people that on-line distribution in general is bad. They want people to be terrified of downloading anything, regardless of where it comes from. Then they can go back to selling CD's and being the gatekeepers that they used to be.

Good for Bayou Internet and Communications (3, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26209975)

This small ISP is a perfect example of why the RIAA's new scheme for <strike>free money</strike> music protection simply won't work. Content filtering, detection and litigation on the ISP's part costs money and takes time. ISP's aren't NPO's, they don't do charity work.

Extortion companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26209993)

The fact that our governments endorse and even found extortion companies tells a lot about the roguishness of these governments. It is time to pass the ball back and extort and rat out these politicians.

Makes some sense (3, Informative)

Jay Tarbox (48535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210167)

The equipment and software to do filtering properly (up to layer seven) can cost a lot of money. Most ISP's don't already have this stuff unlike corp or edu environments which may already have this gear to protect their internal networks.

They wont win (5, Informative)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210209)

This whole story bores the crap out of me... It's been going on pretty much since the mp3 was invented. I remember it being an issue back when the original mp3.com was founded in the 90's. The RIAA cant ever stop people recording or distributing sound. Maybe they have some influence in the US, but there are billions of people on the web who don't live in the US and will continue to copy and share music/videos. I've heard that there are chinese p2p programs like ppstream that allow you to watch hundresds of recent movies on demand and there's nothing the Americans can do about it.

Re:They wont win (2, Insightful)

ferd_farkle (208662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210535)

"It's been going on pretty much since the mp3 was invented."

In fact, it (the grubby behaviour of Music Publishing) has been going on since the invention of the player piano.

Re:They wont win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210603)

In fact, it (the grubby behaviour of Music Publishing) has been going on since the invention of sheet music.

RIAA doesn't need every ISP to join (1, Troll)

brit74 (831798) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210289)

Seems to me that the RIAA doesn't need every ISP to join it in this fight anyway. As long as the RIAA can get some of the big ISPs involved, they might be able to get people to cut-down their downloading.

Anyway, I don't really understand what slashdoters want the RIAA to do exactly (well, other than curl up and die). It seems to me that the recording industry has hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. I think it's fairly obvious that a group watching it's life-blood sucked away by illegal downloading is going to get over-zealous in this fight. It seems like a very "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of a situation for them.

Re:RIAA doesn't need every ISP to join (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210479)

> watching it's life-blood sucked away by .....

You finished that wrong, you meant "an out-of-date business model".

> It seems like a very "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of a situation for them.

Yeah, people who have been told they have a terminal illness can be such downers, eh?

Re:RIAA doesn't need every ISP to join (1)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210553)

I think it's fairly obvious that a group watching it's life-blood sucked away by illegal downloading is going to get over-zealous in this fight.

And that's the crux of the issue there - it has not been established, nor has it come even CLOSE to being established, that downloading is the cause of their problems - and you can make the case that the illegal downloading actually INCREASES their sales.

I have a huge music collection - 90% CD/DVD/vinyl, 10% downloads. One of the things I have is the top 100 songs for every year from 1940 to 2007 - including all the lyrics. It took me years to collect all that.

It's really interesting to hear the changing styles as the years and decades go by. But would I have paid to get the rap crap that started to show up big time since about 1998 or so? No freaking way - the RIAA cannot claim lost sales there, or for any country songs that are included - because I hate both.

On the other hand, my teenage daughter has since gone out and purchased Aqualung, and a bunch of Beatles albums, because she liked what she heard in my collection. Another of her friends is now a major Glenn Miller fan, and has also bought CDs. Others of her friends, and mine, have also purchased CDs and DVDs based on some of my downloads.

I'm a major blues fan. There are an obscene number of local or regional bands out there that are every bit as good, or better, than the major stars - and the ONLY way I could have possibly heard of Larry McCray from Michigan is by downloading his stuff on spec, and giving it a listen. (NEW SALE). Playing it for my friend in Ohio (NEW SALE). Playing Papa Chubby from NYC for friends in the southern USA (NEW SALES). Running into Aussies in music chat rooms and playing the Bondi Cigars for them (NEW SALES).

Hell - I should be getting a bloody commission.

Re:RIAA doesn't need every ISP to join (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210561)

Modern technology has rendered their business model obsolete, and they are trying to hold on to it by force instead of adapting to the new way.

When they were founded distribution and advertising of media cost a lot of money, so they actually provided a semi useful service.. These days distribution and some level of advertising can be done for free, so the value they provide is now considerably less and yet they insist on charging more and placing more restrictions.

Technology moves on and makes things obsolete or relegates them to niches, look at radio, horses, dialup internet and bbs services, floppy disks...

Would you like a company that makes floppy disks and drives trying to force you not to use usb storage devices and cd/dvd media, forcing you to use floppies instead and then further crippling floppies by making them only work on the drive that formatted them?

Outsourcing.. (2, Interesting)

NfoCipher (161094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210351)

It could be the RIAA is getting ready to sue the providers who will in turn sue its customers to recover costs. Essentially outsourcing the individual lawsuits and focusing on those companies who might just have the cash to pay up when they lose.

Out of curiosity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210361)

If the RIAA (or whomever) gives a report of illegal activity to an ISP but cannot prove it -- or better yet, it's demonstrably false -- could they be opening themselves up to a defamation lawsuit?

Not perfect, but (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210399)

The RIAA's new strategy isn't perfect, but it's a helluva lot better than trying to sue their customers into lifelong financial ruin.

When it comes right down to it, you're not supposed to share their music, and the content industry is well within their rights to tell you to stop if they see you doing it. And if ISPs agree to block you for repeat offenses, then you're pretty much out of luck if you don't heed those warnings.

There are two things still shady about this plan, though, and both have to do with reducing the RIAA's liability. One has to do with MediaSentry not being licensed as a private investigator. It's possible that the new plan will prevent them from having to get a license in each state where they operate or investigate. Most likely, MediaSentry will never get taken to task for their alleged illegal actions in most states, even though their activities won't change.

And two, the RIAA lawsuits have had a lot of missed targets, each carrying the possibility of backfiring in a big way. The RIAA reduces this liability once they're sending nastygrams to ISPs instead. Under the new plan, they can pretty much send letters complaining about Intartubes users at random, and they never have to worry about countersuits or heinously large legal expenses. Of course, this also means that there's little avenue for protest - if your ISP cuts you off, how are you going to convince them of your innocence (aside from paying a jacked-up reconnection fee, of course)?

Re:Not perfect, but (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210641)

If ISP's agree to block you, they're pretty much going to get sued. Common carrier status is a big part of that.

Not to mention ISP's are not going to do the work of someone just complaining, they're just going to throw the letters out. They have no obligation to even glance at it. All those lovely little parts of common carrier yet again.

Re:Not perfect, but (4, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210655)

Not to be overly optimistic, but I would guess that if/when they put this plan into action and start disconnecting innocent people, the ISPs will be the ones to start getting taken to court. I have a sneaking suspicion that if (hopefully before) that happens, ISPs will be very reluctant to go along with their plans.

They don't care, so why should their customers? (3, Interesting)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210467)

Honestly, the only thing that got me buying music again (after about 10 years of not buying more than a single mp3 here and there) was not only finding music that I really, really liked but also artists who I respected. When the music isn't disposable, in terms of quality and my investment in the artists, I found myself wanting to pay for it. And in some rare cases, pay for it more than once: ie a physical as well as digital copy. The only reason I would download an album via torrent/download site now is if I couldn't preview the whole thing on the artist's website. The 30 second previews on iTunes/Amazon just is not sufficient to make a buying decision. Giving me the ability to preview an album, more than once, in a way that is not too difficult (no installing anything more than say flash in my browser) for me to use and I'm more prone to give the music a chance, care about the music and (if it appeals to me) buy it.

The artists/bands I'm most willing to spend my spare money on are the ones that are able to interact with fans on a somewhat personal level: twitter, blogs, youtube videos, etc. I get to see them as real people and it increases my estimation of the value of their music. I spend money to go to their concerts, buy their merchandise and physical cds.

But the industry seems to be designed to work on quantity not quality. Corporate funded 'artists' like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus are part of a huge hype machine that is about being 'cool' rather than creating music that really makes an impression or impacts people emotionally. It's about getting as much crap sold to as many people as possible, not putting out the best you can put out there. And so, naturally, people will treat it like the disposable crap that it is. This week my niece OMGLOVES! the Jonas Brothers, next week it'll be some other corporate construct. And she'll never remember any of it past the following year.

Re:They don't care, so why should their customers? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210649)

I was thinking about the tricky problem of exposure to music. If you haven't heard it just why would you want to buy it? The current solution tends to be download it and listen to it delete it if its really bad or just stick it in your collection.

Paul McCartney kind of gave me an idea, when he decided to host his album in full on his website. (it was also noted that he has copyright on 3000 more songs that he probably could legally do the same with).

I thought about the many times I had been hanging out with friends listening to music, often the first time I would hear a track would be at a friends house and yes sometimes it would get taped.

Maybe Paul McCartney could be your friend so to speak and introduce you to many tracks that he owns rights too, not every track would appeal to you but some you might want to download from him and pay him for them,

Theres a good number of people who could create sites like this jools holland has introduced 100's of artists to a wider audience via his TV Shows why not a web site. Alice Cooper does a breakfast show on digital radio, it would be interesting to see what he rates as good. Of course such sites need to be hosted by copyright holders or authorised by them.

Its simple enough make the music accessible by streaming and people will go to listen and sometimes buy.
Obviously this is the opposite of what currently happens RIAA members hoard songs and don't want you to hear them till you have paid and thus the alternative becomes attractive just download them.

I think there would be millions of people who would willingly go to sites to listen to music legally and then later buy what they really like. By the artists developing an online persona, how you view the music changes its not sony's its pauls or who ever.

Re:They don't care, so why should their customers? (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210781)

Exactly. And I have, in fact, found other bands/artists via recommendation from the musicians I already enjoy. I know that artists and labels can make available music on sites like Last.fm for streaming. In fact, I found a whole new artist via Last.fm's little banner advertisements. An unsigned kid out in California. Last.fm is owned by CBS now, I believe, so it has permissions and such. And on that site you can recommend music to your friends (it has a social networking component), though you're limited by what Last.fm has permission to host. And there are links to buy with Amazon and iTunes (maybe more).

Muxtape.com died a sad death, but it allowed you to create 'mixtapes' to share with your friends. Again, just streaming.
So there are sites and initiatives out there, but the labels are holding on so hard to their quick cash business model that they don't want to try to grow into the future at all.

Who pays more for ISPs? RIAA vs Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210507)

Let's say ISPs begin to cooperate with RIAA. The first few to participate would lose all their users (atleast those that care enough to pirate in the first palce) to ISPs that don't police their data.

This leaves an ISP with an increasing percentage of income from the RIAA to police their (non-existent/non-offending) customers.

There's a point where either the ISP will stop cooperating, or the RIAA is paying them more than their users...

beware of people with the back of their head gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210557)

it's an indication of the emptiness one experiences 'living' for the next game to provide content to the emptiness. better days ahead.

There is never any proof. (2, Informative)

Nabeel_co (1045054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210611)

What it always comes down to is that the RIAA never has any proof. When you buy a song, you get a right to use license, which means you have access to one copy of song/album xyz to listen to. But you could loose or have your copy stolen from you, that doesn't mean you lost the right to use license.

How can they prove that you never purchased what you downloaded? They can't!

Remember Eiffel 65? I had their CD, then I lost it, so I hit up WinMX (I think it was at the time), and downloaded it. What do you have to say about that RIAA? It is perfectly legal for me to download that CD because I'm not infringing on any copyrights.

They prey on weak poor families who can't defend them selves, often with "proof" that is questionable at best.

There will come a time when people like those who work at the RIAA will be healed accountable for what they do to the less fortunate people on this planet.

Re:There is never any proof. (1)

theilliterate (1381151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210765)

Your argument seems to be "I lost my hammer so I stole another one"

Well, I lost my picture of a hammer so I photocopied a picture someone else has.

Either way, you've done the deed. If it's illegal, your justification doesn't make it less so. Doesn't mean there's no proof.

It's all about the money and lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26210707)

How long would it take for an ISP to feel the pain of customers jumping ship because he enforces this? No the ISP revenue is from it's customers and small ISP are even less likely to sucomb to the RIAA.

And what the hell does this mean? The RIAA is asking for action but says it does not know anything?

Nothing contained or omitted from this letter is, or shall be deemed to be either a full statement of the facts or applicable law, an admission of any fact, or waiver or limitation of any of the Zappa Family Trust's rights or remedies, all of which are specifically retained and reserved.

What is the actual implosion point (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210821)

for the member companies of the RIAA? I think it's more productive for those passionate about this issue to examine the annual reports for the largest members of the RIAA, figure out what their financial point-of-no-return is, and come up with a plan to help them get there more quickly.

Kind of makes me think the world needs an anti-RIAA to coordinate those efforts.

Fundimentally, the RIAA has a flawed argument (1)

edwardd (127355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26210835)

Their position is that since the ISP is providing a communications channel, it is incumbent upon the ISP to ensure that there is no infringement of the RIAA's intelectual property over that communication channel.

If we draw this to it's logical conclusion, we see that this position means that any communication channel must be monitored for any activity that may be considered illegal, or that may infringe on someone's intellectual property. Since voice phone calls are communication channels as well, this position would require that every phone call be monitored in a similar fashion, as well as all print media, or any other communication channel that may be offered.

This is clearly against the first amendment, and if it comes to a court room, the RIAA will fare poorly.

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