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RIAA Backs Down In Austin, Texas

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the walking-away-slowly dept.

The Courts 230

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In November, 2004, several judges in the federal court in Austin, Texas, got together and ordered the RIAA to cease and desist from its practice of joining multiple 'John Does' in a single case. The RIAA blithely ignored the order, and continued the illegal practice for the next four years, but steering clear of Austin. In 2008, however, circumstances conspired to force the record companies back to that venue. In Arista v. Does 1-22, in Providence, Rhode Island, they were hoping to get the student identities from Rhode Island College. After the first round, however, they learned that the College was not the ISP; rather, the ISP was an Austin-based company, Apogee Telecom Inc., meaning the RIAA would have to serve its subpoena in Austin. The RIAA did just that, but Apogee — unlike so many other ISP's — did not turn over its subscribers' identities in response to the subpoena, instead filing objections. This meant the RIAA would have to go to court, to try to get the Court to overrule Apogee's objections. Instead, it opted to withdraw the subpoena and drop its case."

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Analogy (5, Funny)

xmarkd400x (1120317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447591)

Kid: "Mommy, can I go to the store by myself?"
Mom: "No, son."

5 minutes later

Kid: "Daddy, can I go to the store by myself?"
Dad: "Sure, son. Here's a dollar. Get a candy bar".

1 minute later

Mom: "SO I HEARD YOU WENT BEHIND MY BACK AND ASKED YOUR FATHER TO GO TO THE STORE"
Kid: "I just mentioned it to him. I don't want to go anymore. Thanks, bye!"

Mom: *Result Pending*

Re:Analogy (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447869)

Pity nothing's going to happen to them over this.

It doesn't seem to matter if they drop every case that's going badly for them, it has no real effect on the other half.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26447941)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Offtopic)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448167)

Ha, I have Macs that are older than most of the kids in that pic.

I still run 7.5.3 as my main OS ;)

To hell with you fancy OS 8 users!!!

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26448367)

My old 7.5.3 box crashed more often than contemporary win98 did.

The bastard would crash, and then have the gall to tell me how to shut it down properly next time.

Re:Analogy (1, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447963)

It doesn't seem to matter if they drop every case that's going badly for them, it has no real effect on the other half.

salad bar justice. pick some from here- don't like that thing? - go pick some others over there.

when you do wrong things, you get fined or punished. RIAA is doing (repeatedly) wrong things. so where is THEIR punishment?

kids, STEAL music all you frickin want. the laws are still not working (yet) and so I give you free permission and free reign to do whatever the hell you want with cd's, dvd's, etc.

until and unless those 'responsible' for the barrage of lawsuits and legal 'heat' on regular citizens stops, there is no reason to follow their laws that they, themselves, don't even respect.

as soon as there is a HUGE judgement against the mafias, there won't be equality. to get equality, steal all the music and movies you can.

the mafiaa wants to treat us as renegades, fine, we'll assume the role fully. just realize that its OUR way of fighting injustice the only way we can. courts are STILL TOO SLOW to find real justice in this area. until then, do what you need to. you have my permission as your symbolic elder ;)

Re:Analogy (4, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448231)

While the Ignore-any-law-you-don't-like thing doesn't appeal to me I'd instead sugest creating some decently effecient darknets to make this "Lets sue everyone and drop the case against anyone who looks like they have the means to actually defend themselves" utterly impotent.

Re:Analogy (1)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448333)

So say we all...

Thou shall not steal! (-1, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448297)

Pity nothing's going to happen to them over this.

The real pity is the society's general sympathy towards the small-time crooks, who download the wares they didn't pay for.

There may or may not be a fault here and there in how *AA fights for the rights of their members, but the underlying problem is that people continue to steal (yes, their action is closer to stealing of tangible goods, than "information superhighway" is to an autobahn).

Re:Thou shall not steal! (5, Insightful)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448435)

It actually is closer to infringing on copyrighted goods, because that's exactly what it is.

Stealing means what was taken was against the owner's consent, and that the owner is now deprived of that good. Copyright infringement, on the other hand, means that you have made an unauthorized copy of a work and are selling it/giving it away/making more copys, which is the case here.

Re:Thou shall not steal! (-1, Flamebait)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449431)

I enjoy people's arguments that pirating is not stealing because it does not deprive anyone of the material (meaning they still have their own copy of the music). Stealing of information by copying has been punishable by law for many years - way before the Internet. It is a flawed argument to think stealing information is not a bad thing. Information theft is big business and very punishible. Many companies have their entire business model setup on proprietary information - the people here a /. may not like this - but guess what - the people here at /. were not the ones investing tons of money/time into those soft-products. Also, that nice new fancy drug that you or your family/loved ones are taking to save their lives...that formula is most likely (for new drugs) a closely held secret by a company that spent many millions in R&D. Without these copyright protections said companies would have no reason to create life-saving medicines. Just like drug makers have to protect their recipies from international infringements so do people who want to profit from their music.

Nothing wrong with a copyright music owner protecting their property.

Re:Thou shall not steal! (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448983)

Ok, even though the comparison with stealing is a poor one it's good enough to draw some paralells.

Shoplifting happens. bad thing, yada yada.

Now to combat that walmart pushes through some ridiculous legislation and then hires companies to spy on shoplifters,people who might be shoplifters and people who live near possible shoplifters.
Normal customers who pay for their goods start getting patted down regularly, denied entry or exit from the store and called criminals and threatened with legal action if they tried to sell things second hand.

When they catch some 13year old stuffing a 5 dollar item into his coat they take him to court and sue him and his family for $100,000 .

In their crusade to catch the shoplifters they extort records out of local organisaitons with threats of legal action and generally abuse the legal system to find the home addresses of people who might be shoplifters.

They threaten tens of thousands of families with similar suits and offer a shoplifter settlement where you can pay a few thousand in exchange for a promise of not being sued.

Some of the people who get accused of being shoplifters are of course innocent and were simply falsely identified as shoplifters but since there's still a chance of losing absolutely everything and the weight of evidence is not the same as a criminal case those families can't take the chance of losing all their worldly goods and have to pay out of fear.

Imagine a world where walmart acted like that.
Now imagine where the public sympathy would lie, with the kids who are shoplifting or with walmart?
Sure violating copyright is wrong but violating privacy laws and generally abusing the legal system is much much worse.

Re:Thou shall not steal! (1, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449527)

I am superman (Yes I am) (Yes, I tell you, I am) (I am superman) (Yes, I am) ...

No, doesn't seem to become true even after saying it many times. Does it work for you?

RAIA IS BAD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26447597)

The bread was dull and lifeless with a so-so crust. The waiters were nasty and dumb and the water tasted like spleens? But where was my love the bird of porridge cromulence|>?? We found dogs fucking.......

If you can read this you are ot gay, you are a straight heterosexual who likes penis in vagina and you are probably not Italian.

Rinse and Repeat (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447599)

Once again, they back down, meaning that they performed the legal equivalent of "Ha Ha Ha, just kidding, can't you take a joke?" At some point, they're going to get slapped down hard for these tactics and on that day, there will be much cheering from Slashdot.

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447659)

They're paying back less than 25 cents on the dollar - a nice legal scam^Wsettlement. Why aren't they being forced into bankruptcy and everything sold off?

How much you want to be they now ask for bailout money [youtube.com] ?

Re:Rinse and Repeat (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447675)

RIAA: Haha, just kidding, can't you take a joke?

Judge Roy Bean: BANG!... ermmm NO

I posit that if the RIAA had to hire bullet proof lawyers there would be very little litigation on their behalf.

Re:Rinse and Repeat (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447779)

At some point, they're going to get slapped down hard for these tactics and on that day, there will be much cheering from Slashdot.

I think it will come in the form of a rush to get ISP's headquartered in Austin. Many shools looking to avoid the legal problems would change ISP's as a risk avoidance move. Does anyone know if any Portland area ISP's are based in Austin?

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

Smooth and Shiny (1097089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448057)

Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine?

Re:Rinse and Repeat (2, Funny)

boot1973 (809692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448369)

or Portland, Dorset. [wikipedia.org] You insensitive clod!

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

Soruk (225361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449585)

Not a good one, they'll definitely know where to send the bill [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448501)

It doesn't matter. Any area of the country will be looking at ways to avoid online pitfalls and legal action will be interested in this.

Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine?

I have been to both, but now reside in neither. They both have schools.

Re:Rinse and Repeat (2, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448751)

My experience has been that Portland (at least in the US) means Portland, Oregon. And no, I do not live on the west coast. It just seems to be a more widely-known city than Portland, Maine is, at least in my circles.

Re:Rinse and Repeat (5, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449067)

Portland (at least in the US) means Portland, Oregon.

That is probably true - unless you live in Portland, Arkansas or Portland, Connecticut or Portland, Indiana or Portland, Maine or Portland, Michigan or Portland, Missouri or Portland, North Dakota or Portland, New York or Portland, Ohio or Portland, Pennsylvania or Portland, Tennessee or Portland, Texas. Other than that, Portland means Portland, Oregon

Apologies to any Portlands I missed

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

KarmaRundi (880281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449411)

That should be of at least some benefit for the tech job market here in Austin.

A Question for Ray (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447993)

How can they keep doing this? I'm amazed that nobody from the RIAA has been slapped with contempt of court or some other law.

Re:A Question for Ray (4, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448129)

As far as I'm concerned, you're asking half of the Great Imponderable Question. I'll add the other half:

1) They can't be making any money off this. The kinds of people they sue aren't among the wealthier members of society. There's a big difference between getting a judgment and actually collecting the money.

2) It's not acting as a deterrent. People are still out there doing what they do as recording sales continue to fall.

So the other half of the question is: Why do they keep doing this?

Re:A Question for Ray (1)

harl (84412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448539)

They can testify before congress that they are spending money trying to pursue it in civil court but that doesn't work so they need stricter laws use of the national guard.

Re:A Question for Ray (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448689)

Why do they keep doing this?

FUD, if they don't do it, no one will, so they press on to create fear on the part of potential file sharers and uncertainty in the general population as to what is and isn't legal.

I doubt it's working out to the ultimate benefit of the record companies, but there's probably an exec or two that feels vindicated about not being able to buy that G5 outright and having to continue to lease it because of diminishing revenue, at least he made some people miserable in return.

Re:A Question for Ray (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449325)

Simply because there are still people pirating does not mean these efforts are completely, 100% ineffective.

Re:A Question for Ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26449567)

They have nothing else to do. They're too dumb and slow to adapt to the changing technological ecosphere, and too stubborn to admit that their business model is failing. Yet, due to decades of manipulating the copyright system, they have lawyers and maybe even laws to exploit in order to buttress their position for as long as possible.

Re:A Question for Ray (0, Flamebait)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449571)

1) Because it is a deterrent (there are people who won't d/l due to risk, people who won't u/l due to risk, and organizations such as Napster that had their original model shut down for a legit model
2) Because they may not collect $1,000,000 from the defendent but collecting $1,000 will still hurt some peoples wallets - and enough to get some parent to ground their kid for a year or five
3) Because you need to keep protecting your IP or risk setting precedent that you are OK with people stealing your IP

Re:A Question for Ray (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449577)

As far as I'm concerned, you're asking half of the Great Imponderable Question. I'll add the other half: 1) They can't be making any money off this.

Losing money hand over fist.

The kinds of people they sue aren't among the wealthier members of society.

Usually.

There's a big difference between getting a judgment and actually collecting the money.

That's right. And each default judgment cost them plenty.

2) It's not acting as a deterrent. People are still out there doing what they do as recording sales continue to fall.

So I'm told. So the other half of the question is: Why do they keep doing this?

My theory is that (1) a corporation is managed by its management, (2) the management in the case of the big 4 record companies are total failures, and (3) this campaign was based on a premise that they fabricated to deflect attention from their own failure: that the existence of p2p file sharing software is the sole reason for their failure. They had to push the campaign to try to pretend they believed in the premise.

Re:Rinse and Repeat (1)

vuo (156163) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449029)

What I don't get is that they break the law, and then they can just walk away if the judge doesn't do what they want. Like, Mallory steals from Alice, then the prosecutor sues him, then Mallory just drops the case and walks away, because the judge gives orders to him he doesn't like. How can this be legal?

The bugle call is...... (1)

errittus (13200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447609)

RETREAT!!!! lol

Re:The bugle call is...... (3, Funny)

TDyl (862130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447663)

We are sorry you do not have a license to signal the retreat. Please withdraw your last post immediately. Thank you.

Ooohhh...karma's a bitch ain't it? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447655)

I wish we could just take all the lawyers that flagrantly violate court orders like that and put them in jail for contempt. Alas, our judicial system is such that these violations either go unnoticed or at least barely noticed by the district attorneys. They've got bigger fish to fry. But, man, once just once, one of them should teach these guys a lesson.

Re:Ooohhh...karma's a bitch ain't it? (1)

TheDawgLives (546565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447883)

I don't think it's up to the DA... In every legal drama I've ever seen, it's entirely up to the judge's digression to find someone in contempt of court. My guess is that if they HAD gone before a judge in Austin, that is exactly what would have happened. Unfortunately, and IANAL, I believe that even federal judges' ruling are only regional unless the judges happen to be on the Supreme Court. So yes, the RIAA violated the ruling by filing the subpoena to the Austin ISP, but they are still free to file them in any other region until told not to do so.

Re:Ooohhh...karma's a bitch ain't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26449135)

So if they did file in obvious disregard for the previous ruling from the Texas judge, why doesn't one of these anonymous does go after these RIAA slimeballs? Get their attorney or hire an attorney or write to this judge about the RIAA's apparent lack of regard for the rule of law and make sure that you include a copy of all of the supporting documentation. This judge probably has a lot on his plate and this may just slip under his radar.

If anyone knows one of these does, then talk to them and see if they can get the judge that said no more doe joinders to be aware of this apparently flagrant disregard.

It's cool to sit here and bitch about it, but unless someone actually brings this matter to the judges attention, then the RIAA will just smile, nod and go on about their business of screwing ordinary people over.

Is any of this even worthwhile to do? I don't know, but letting this judge know how these people are ignoring what he said can't hurt, can it?

Does anyone know the judges name and mailing address and know links where I can get the supporting documentation? 'Cause I'd be willing to spend 15 minutes and a stamp to bring this matter to his attention.

Re:Ooohhh...karma's a bitch ain't it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26448115)

Do you speak just to hear yourself talk, too?

RIAA can't do anything about Ninnle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26447681)

The good folk at Ninnle Labs have implemented something in the latest NinnleBSD that prevents the RIAA from finding out anything about peer to peer downloads on systems running it. Currently, they're working on the same implementation for Ninnle Linux.

No wonder they failed... (4, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447693)

they were hoping to get the student identities from the College of Rhode Island

As a RI resident, I can pretty confidently say that there no "College of Rhode Island".

Re:No wonder they failed... (3, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447753)

The colleges with the closest names to "College of Rhode Island" are:

Re:No wonder they failed... (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447929)

How can they fit that many colleges in Rhode Island? ;)

Re:No wonder they failed... (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448125)

You think that is amazing. You should see how many Corporations are based in Rhode Island.

Granted RI is a small state, roughly 40 miles square. But if you look at your own (or closest) city there are probably 3 or 4 colleges within 10 miles square of it.

Lets use the Little City of Troy, NY
RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Hudson Vally Community College, and Russel Sage All within 5 miles of each other.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449133)

Lets use the Little City of Troy, NY
RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Hudson Vally Community College, and Russel Sage All within 5 miles of each other.

They also manage to pack in an inordinate amount of crime. Going to school at RPI is not safe.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449201)

Almost any City College isn't safe.
I visited Drexel in Philly, It was like being in a prison.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448351)

Well you see, RIC is down the street, on the left.

CCRI is down the street and on he right.

URI is right here.

Seriously.

My friends and I and I were on a road trip in RI, to see Ms Teen RI, who they'd met on a cruise (before being awarded the title, before college). My friend and I went to pick up the other friend from Worcester P.I., and decided to stop by her place and hang out. We got lost, and asked come cop for directions. It turned out we were in the exact opposite corner of the state. Three turns and 20 minutes later, we rolled up at her house.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448969)

My friends and I and I were on a road trip in RI, to see Ms Teen RI, who they'd met on a cruise (before being awarded the title, before college). My friend and I went to pick up the other friend from Worcester P.I., and decided to stop by her place and hang out. We got lost, and asked come cop for directions. It turned out we were in the exact opposite corner of the state. Three turns and 20 minutes later, we rolled up at her house.

Wait. A slashdotter and a bunch of his friends asked a cop for directions to the house of the local under-age beauty queen, and he GAVE it to them? I'm calling...

No, wait, on second thought, he probably realized they were slashdotters and figured it was perfectly save.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449617)

No, wait, on second thought, he probably realized they were slashdotters and figured it was perfectly save.

Or that they were lying, and no way a pre-beauty queen would invite them. Cop probably thought "these kids, it's not april fools".

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448729)

4500+ institutions of "higher learning" in the U.S. - it only makes sense that RI would get a few.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448169)

I wonder if the University of Rhode Island (URI.EDU) has a good class on Internet Protocols. Those are one of those good domain names to have a proxy server in.
gotomy.uri.edu

Re:No wonder they failed... (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447755)

As a RI resident, I can pretty confidently say that there no "College of Rhode Island".

Sorry about that. You are of course correct. It's "Rhode Island College". My apologies.

A person my age should no longer work from memory.

Re:No wonder they failed... (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447863)

No problem.

Hey, Ray, by the way, I think I speak for lots of people when I say thank you for what you're doing in this area.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448739)

Hey, Ray, by the way, I think I speak for lots of people when I say thank you for what you're doing in this area.

You defiantly speak for me. Thanks a million for everything you do!

Re:No wonder they failed... (4, Funny)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449017)

I'd rather have NYCL speak defiantly for me. He at least has some experience doing that sort of thing against the RIAA.

Re:No wonder they failed... (1)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448017)

A person my age should no longer work from memory.

Brother, welcome to the fold.

Re:No wonder they failed... (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448113)

A person my age should no longer work from memory.

Don't say that! I think I'm older than you and I assure you that...

Um, what was I talking about again?

There is no "College of Rhode Island" (-1, Redundant)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447717)

Unless you mean Miskatonic University.

Way to go, editors.

Re:There is no "College of Rhode Island" (-1, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447811)

Judging from the way some of my accepted submissions have been edited, it's possible the original submitter said something like "Miskatonic University in Rhode Island". A few were completely rewrittenn and bore no resemblance to what I actually submitted (although I'll admit that once or twice what was posted was better than what I submitted).

At least they didn't say "Rode Island" or "Road Island".

Re:There is no "College of Rhode Island" (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447829)

No, it was entirely my fault. I was working from memory. The correct name is "Rhode Island College".

Re:There is no "College of Rhode Island" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26448257)

No, it was entirely my fault.

Stop apologising Ray, if you can't blame the editors, who can you blame?

Well, we could blame the RIAA, but I don't think they edited the article.

Could have been comical... (2, Interesting)

MeisterVT (1309831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447757)

While it is a good thing to see more of these ludicrous John Doe cases dismissed, it could have been rather comical to see RIAA go up before a judge that had told them to stop the bundling. I mean come on, it always works out for you when you ignore the order of several judges.

Re:Could have been comical... (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447853)

it could have been rather comical to see RIAA go up before a judge that had told them to stop the bundling

.Yes. It would have been priceless.

Will it make a bit of difference? (2, Insightful)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447813)

Probably not. I expect they'll continue with their bullshit in other states while lawyers who haven't done their homework will not be able to help their clients.

That's just what I expect, though, because I know that it's better to expect the worst and hope for the best.

Voice of Reason (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26447867)

This is a real shame - the RIAA's valient efforts at killing this terrible piracy are going to waste. :(

I feel very sad today.

Re:Voice of Reason (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448069)

Piracy is not as impactful to the overall performance of record labels as much as just not listening to the fans and adjusting to the changes in the market.

Honestly, I wish a large "sit-out" could be organized among all file-sharers. I would love to see a majority of those who do download music without consent from the copyright owner put a hault to it for say a month or two. Then I would like to see the rationalization for why album sales are still down.

Again, pipe dream. No way to organize something like this.

Re:Voice of Reason (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449653)

Honestly, I wish a large "sit-out" could be organized among all file-sharers. I would love to see a majority of those who do download music without consent from the copyright owner put a hault to it for say a month or two. Then I would like to see the rationalization for why album sales are still down.

Taking into account they create the data from thin air, after such a sitout they could perfectly say: "Sales have improved 154% that month. Which finally proves that we were right".

Re:Voice of Reason (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448365)

I feel very sad today.

For trolling that badly you should feel terrible. Go back under your bridge.

Re:Voice of Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26448543)

Go back under your bridge.

Yeah! Maybe he can find a couple of your prostitute friends / family members to fuck in exchange for a couple of quarters while he is down there. Cheaper than a song off of iTunes.

ISP Safe Haven (2, Insightful)

Ristoril (60165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447879)

So can we expect ISPs to start incorporating in Texas the way that credit card companies like to incorporate in Delaware [wikipedia.org] ? Granted, the former would be for protection from industry harassment and the latter is for protection from usury laws, but if I were an ISP I'd certainly look on Texas as a nice place to call "home" for legal purposes.

Re:ISP Safe Haven (1)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449383)

Well, that is if you consider Austin to be part of Texas, which, if you have lived there, should know that it is not. :D

You can laugh at this, but... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447895)

They do this because they're all cases that would work so poorly in a court for them.

And still get away with it, despite consistent abuse of the legal system like this.

No longer a laughing matter... :-(

It all blows (3, Insightful)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447917)

The RIAA cannot be forgiven for the things they try and pull, or the extortion they have forced onto many people. But it drives me nuts the people that still continue to grab their music illegally which just helps prolong and reinforce the idea that the RIAA is needed (to record companies). Buy a CD, buy from iTunes, buy from Amazon, I don't care. I know people who can absolutely afford to purchase their music legally, but don't. Not because of any stance against record companies or compensation for artists. They just do it, 'because'. It's free after all. BLARG.
/RANT
Sorry. Just had to say it.

Re:It all blows (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448101)

Better : Stop buying music from RIAA member but continue to buy music from the truly independents, or from the artists themselves

Re:It all blows (3, Insightful)

Lorienthin (1439867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448411)

I have to agree with this perspective. I think that with all of the ways for a band to "get heard" nowadays, it is easier for them to make it on an indy label or by themselves. Not only to the get a larger share if we buy music directly from them, we also circumvent throwing our money at the RIAA, and further supporting their predatory practices.

Re:It all blows (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448449)

But it drives me nuts the people that still continue to grab their music illegally which just helps prolong and reinforce the idea that the RIAA is needed (to record companies).

You buy into the myths that 1) piracy hurts copyright holders 2) the RIAA is afraid of pirates 3) The RIAA is the only (or best) place to get music.

For the first, see lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons and the introduction to Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. Both are posted in full on the internet, and both are selling well; I read Doctorow's book on the internet, and then bought a hardcover copy that sits on by bookshelf like CDs ought to.

If you want to hear the latest RIAA top 40 dreck, turn on the radio. It's free and it's legal, and if you want a digital copy of that single you can sample the radio. Legal? I don't know, but back in the cassette days they specifically made recording off the air legal.

I would urge everyone to NOT download, buy, or listen to RIAA music, even though any lost sales due to the boycott that has been going on for years is attributed to piracy. You have internet radio with thousands of stations with tons of indie music. You have local bands, all of whom record these days. Buy from them and you will get higher quality and a far lower price.

I know people who can absolutely afford to purchase their music legally, but don't. Not because of any stance against record companies or compensation for artists. They just do it, 'because'. It's free after all.

Odd, I don't know a single one. I hear it from the RIAA all the time, but have never met this mythical pirate. Why would one steal bottled water when you have a filtered tap on your sink and money in your pocket? Almost every non-RIAA band WANTS you to download their music, and to do it for free. They know that nobody ever lost money from "piracy" but most suffer from obscurity, including RIAA bands; they can't get everyone on the radio.

BTW, iTunes doesn't sell music, they rent it. If you want to "buy music" you need to buy a CD, as you have resale and lending rights with it. It is a physical object. When you rent from the internet, you own nothing. P2P and digital downloads should be what the indies use it for -- promotion. The RIAA is trying to kill P2P not because "piracy" hurts sales, but because your hearing indie music hurts RIAA sales.

Stop doing business with sociopaths.

Re:It all blows (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448967)

Simpler still, I think it is just more convenient to pirate today than it is to purchase. On the pirate networks, you can download and sample thousands of tracks, decide what you like, delete the rest. Who is going to pay thousands of dollars up front for that kind of selection just to throw most of it away? The sampling features available on Amazon, etc. are a joke compared to the convenience of getting a batch and listening when you feel like it. Some of the subscription services may come close to competing with this convenience, but frankly, it's probably easier to figure out LimeWire or whatever is in vogue on the pirate networks today than it is to select a decent subscription service, and I'm guessing that the subscription services smell a lot like the Columbia record club - attempting to get a regular stream of income out of you, whether you want their current product or not.

The current model, based on distributing self-destructing vinyl discs for a per-copy fee, is irretrievably broken by advances in technology. Innovate or die was on the horizon for RIAA in 2000, I think they have chosen the latter.

Re:It all blows (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449719)

The sampling features available on Amazon, etc. are a joke compared to the convenience of getting a batch and listening when you feel like it.

A real life illustration of that is how Samtanna's label almost lost a sale due to the 30 second samples. This was back when Supernatural first came out, before I was boycotting. I'd always liked that band, but hadn't listened to anything after about their third album.

I fired up CD-NOW, with the 30 second samples, and thought "holy sheep shorts, they're REALLY gone downhill!" I was glad I had the samples because from listening to them, the new album sucked goat hooves.

My daughter knew I had some Santanna albums and bought it for me for Christmas. It was a great album! If they'd had the full thing I'd have bought it right then.

The major labels are run by idiots. I don't see them surviving no matter what they do.

Re:It all blows (1)

moose_hp (179683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448959)

I usually go buy CDs of the stuff I like, however some times:

1) CD is never brought to the music stores (I don't live in the USA btw)
2) Importation prices are way much higher than the actual product.
3) I actually like to hear the music before buying it, downloading whole albums have prevented from buying albums that would been a waste of money. If an artist wants my money (whoa... artist do get money from their CDs? tought most of them went to the recording label) he/she better make a good album.

I think last year I downloaded around 2 or 3 CDs, while I bought around 10 or 12.

Re:It all blows (1)

goontz (1441623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448973)

This is a matter of convincing people to pay for something that they *can* get for free - whether or not they can afford to pay for it doesn't play much of a role. Unless they've been directly affected by an RIAA lawsuit or the like, the great majority aren't going to bother changing their ways.

Re:It all blows (1)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449143)

The fact that it's illegal doesn't make it wrong. Copyright law's function doesn't even vaguely resemble it's original intent and is now basically a government granted monopoly on culture. Ignoring unjust copyright law's is just civil disobedience and I say hiza!

For the record: I pay for almost all my content through Russian content providers (though the **AA would disagree, technically this is legal).

Re:It all blows (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449355)

But it drives me nuts the people that still continue to grab their music illegally which just helps prolong and reinforce the idea that the RIAA is needed (to record companies). Buy a CD, buy from iTunes, buy from Amazon, I don't care. I know people who can absolutely afford to purchase their music legally, but don't. Not because of any stance against record companies or compensation for artists. They just do it, 'because'.

How about there being some music worth paying money for to start with?

So much derivative crap out there, why buy a band that sounds like The Cure or Zeppelin when you already own The Cure or Zeppelin?

Granted, hearing it live might be entertaining and worth paying for, but there's precious little that I've heard lately that I've wanted to hear again, let alone pay for.

Earth to Recording Industry: STOP SUCKING...

I love how this is tagged with.... (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26447935)

I love how this is tagged with 'hahahahaha' 'riaasucks' and 'bastards'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Content

Down with all of these cartels.

Forum-shopping (1)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448023)

That's a pretty egregious example of forum-shopping.

Accountants? (2, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448035)

Seriously...where the hell are their accountants at? Anyone who actually has gone through the required business classes would be well aware of how insane their imaginary losses are. Now, that is not the same as using those insane numbers to further a media blitz, but internally that nonsense does not stand up to any kind of sanity test. So...with a more realistic number on "lost sales" I can't imagine that there is a terribly high real return on their lawsuit happy nonsense. I imagine the costs of these constant legal battles take a pretty huge chunk of change.

Re:Accountants? (3, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448421)

Quantifying the amount of money lost to pirating must be next to impossible. First off, you have to deduct the number of people who would have never bought it even if there weren't a free version available. Then you have to deduct the number of people who actually do buy it after pirating it as sort of a test run to see if they'd actually like to "own" it. Only after you filter out those cases can you truly get down to the list of people who pirate and even if they had the means to buy it wouldn't because they don't believe they should have to pay for it.

as far as I'm concerned the only people they should be going after are those who sell bootleg copies, as they are actually making money off of it.

Re:Accountants? (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448465)

It's worse than that.... before legal downloads P2P file sharing of music caused their sales to go .... UP!

The only thing that seems to have made the sales go down is *legal* downloads ....

Re:Accountants? (1)

Scalefast (1452629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448935)

That and...well, the suckiness of Top 40 in general.

Re:Accountants? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449413)

Well, the motion picture companies have been inventing their own accounting system for years, it's no wonder the music biz also has some questionable numbers.

It's all about the pirates (2, Funny)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449463)

It's not the lawsuits that cost the RIAA a ton of money. It's all because of pirates. Y'see, if it weren't for pirates, then they wouldn't have to spend all this money on lawyers in the first place! So there ya have it... even the legal costs are a direct result of piracy. It makes PERFECT sense!

Oh hey, and on a random note, I've got this really awesome bridge for sale out in London, if you're looking to buy.

Re:Accountants? (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449467)

Anyone who actually has gone through the required business classes would be well aware of how insane their imaginary losses are.

Unfortunately, insanity has a cushy home among lobbyists and congress.

Business is looking up (2, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448039)

I see a very bright outlook for Apogee Telecom's ISP business this year.

Re:Business is looking up (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448321)

I see a very bright outlook for Apogee Telecom's ISP business this year.

Indeed. It's just too bad Apogee only offers its ISP services to colleges and Universities. If they were a standard ISP, it would be even better for them (in some respects). On that note... I think that their being a collegiate ISP is perhaps the reason (or one of them) that they did not just fork over the details, like all the others. There are pretty strict laws, when it comes to protecting the identities and information of students.

Re:Business is looking up (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449457)

I see a very bright outlook for Apogee Telecom's ISP business this year.

Yes, I think their willingness to stand up for the rule of law is something to be proud of. And I think people will respect that.

Don't Mess With Texas (1)

capitalj (461890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448605)

or something

No need to RTFA (2, Insightful)

gollito (980620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26448803)

That has to be one of the best summaries I've ever read on slashdot. I didn't even have to RTFA and I am up to speed on the story.

Illegal? (3, Interesting)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26449301)

In November, 2004, several judges in the federal court in Austin, Texas, got together and ordered the RIAA to cease and desist from its practice of joining multiple 'John Does' in a single case. The RIAA blithely ignored the order, and continued the illegal practice for the next four years, but steering clear of Austin.

Am I missing something? So what made this illegal? If they didn't do the act in Austin then they didn't do anything illegal. I am no fan of RIAA but to call something illegal when it is not is wrong. They complied with the judges wishes and stopped doing what they were doing in the Judge's jurisdiction.

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