Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Will the New RIAA Tactic Boost P2P File Sharing?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the fighting-a-losing-battle dept.

Music 309

newtley writes "The RIAA's claim that it'll stop suing people may have serious consequences... for the RIAA. When it dropped its attack on seven University of Michigan students, Recording Industry vs. The People wondered if the move was linked to three investigations, with MediaSentry as the target, before Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth. Now, 'LSA sophomore Erin Breisacher said she stopped downloading music illegally after hearing about the possibility of receiving a lawsuit, but now that the RIAA has stopped pursuing lawsuits she "might start downloading again,"' says the Michigan Daily, going on to quote LSA senior Chad Nihranz as saying, 'I figure, if there aren't as many lawsuits they will come out with more software to allow students to download more.'" What about some of the other potential tactics we've discussed recently, such as the UK's proposed £20 per year film and music tax or the $5 monthly fee suggested in the US? Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing without generating massive amounts of bad publicity?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I don't pirate anything (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26684861)

But if I get taxed £20, i'll be sure to download at least £200 worth of media.

Re:I don't pirate anything (2, Funny)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685287)

Then it is a win-win situation for everyone. The music and movie get their money and your get ten times the "value".

Re:I don't pirate anything (5, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685707)

Except the people who weren't illegally downloading anyway. We get shafted and both of the other groups of assholes get something for nothing.

Pass.

Re:I don't pirate anything (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685721)

£200 worth of downloads are NOT as valuable as $200 worth of CDs. At least not for me. If RIAA does start applying a 20 pound or 40 dollar monthly tax, then I will become a revolutionary (term used loosely) and compensate myself for the money stolen from my wallet:

- Buy $400 worth of CDs from a RIAA-affiliated seller.
- Receive them.
- Claim that none of them work and return an empty envelope to the company.
- File a chargeback with my VISA card
- ???
- Profit. (Recover the $400 tax RIAA stole from me )

Re:I don't pirate anything (1)

Quixotic Raindrop (443129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685683)

This.

I've thought for a while that if the RIAA &/| MPAA pursue a "download tax" on media, they must also give up their rights to puruse copyright violations: they've already collected for the violations, to do otherwise would constitute double jeopardy.

Re:I don't pirate anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685877)

But if I get taxed £20, i'll be sure to download at least £200 worth of media.

The whole thing is meaningless anyway. They "said" they won't sue individuals. So what -- they can "unsay" it any time they want to. It's no more than "policy" which is whatever they say it is. Policy is made up and can be changed at any time by a company.

If I go into a store and buy something on my credit card, then later return the item, I can understand the store saying it's their policy to make the refund to the same credit card number, as opposed to handing me cash. Otherwise, if I want a $100 loan, interest free, I could make a purchase on a CC, then come back a half hour later for a cash refund.

OTOH, if I pay cash and make a return, I believe I should get cash at the register (or returns desk), provided I have a receipt. But just about any store will refuse to issue a cash refund, saying instead that it's their "policy" to send you a check within ten days or something equally ridiculous. I believe it would be nearly impossible to demand and receive cash in such circumstances. Of course the store could make an "exception" if they chose to do so. Their policy would likely hold up in court unless it were proven to be applied in a discriminatory way, like "cash refunds for whites only". And even that might pass muster if it's not specifically forbidden in law, as is discrimination in hiring, loans, etc.

So in the end, what they say may bear no relation to what they do in the end.

Re:I don't pirate anything (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685991)

Would you have bought that media without the tax being introduced?

If not then they are still up on the deal, it only counts as a loss if you would have bought it without the tax in place.

They could be up still further if as a result of exposure to their media, you actually buy something you wouldn't have bought otherwise.

would you agree the best media you have, you bought it?

short answer? (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684869)

yes

Re:short answer? (1)

coretx (529515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684899)

NO, the campaign increased fileshareing. So it is safe to say that stopping that campaign will either decrease fileshareing or have no effect.

Re:short answer? (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685561)

NO, the campaign increased public awareness of filesharing, as will the media coverage surrounding the ending of the campaign.

Re:short answer? (5, Insightful)

SpinningCycle (1191577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684911)

I predict the following strategy:

1) Stop suing.
2) Collect data on the rise of file-sharing to justify their lawsuits.
3) Start suing
4) ???
5) Profit.

Well, I'm not sure about #5.

No, sharing is good. (1, Troll)

Erris (531066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685409)

The RIAA's draconian attempts to stop sharing harmed legitimate free media and everyone's free press. There is nothing the RIAA can do to attack sharing, even the 100 year old media they "own", that won't look bad because sharing is good. Music is supposed to be fun and unifying. RIAA greed has turned it into something toxic to own even if you don't share it.

The only thing that can make them look good is for them to have confidence in their product and let people share with their friends. Like so many artist know, fans buy things.

The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (4, Insightful)

RootWind (993172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684875)

How about producing music people actually want to buy?

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684891)

because people are illegally downloading music they don't like?

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (5, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685111)

I sure as hell do. But not intentionally. I hear something on the radio, google the lyrics, figure out who wrote it, go to Amazon and figure out what's on the CD. Torrent or other p2p and grab the album, listen to it, and say "glad I didn't pay money for THAT" and delete it.

If there were a way to return crappy music I'd feel better about paying for it, but they assume if you open the package all you did was copy it and try to get it for free. If they want to assume I'm a pirate I have to play their game, and it ends up hurting them.

Typical artist contract has fees included with the assumption that albums will get damaged or otherwise unsaleable in transit. They have to turn this around and realize that digital copies will have the same fate - losses due to a marginal amount of piracy.

They paid for airtime in order to get higher billboard rankings - I save them the money and play it for myself, no cost. They think I'm a pirate if i listen before buying so I do. And in the end, I'm really doing my ISP a disservice by downloading so much crap I have a roughly 85% chance of having no interest in.

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685761)

Your big mistake was going to the radio to find music you'd like. It is a gamble - you're essentially hoping that your taste meshes with the mainstream enough. And, on some bands, it does. But the radio rarely plays the best songs of a particular band, it usually plays the most popular songs.

All my favorite bands at the moment were obtained either through word of mouth, or spending time hunting through "if you like this artist, you may also like"-type lists at Amazon. Once you figure out what type of music you like (genre and subgenre wise), it becomes a lot easier. Find people who have similar taste in music (forums, last.fm, etc) and it will become yet easier. It took me a long time to figure out that I like most progressive rock, as it long as it remains melodic. Also, if you hear a song in some random place (movie trailer/game soundtrack/movie score) that you really like, hunt it down! Doing this can open up entirely new genres for you to explore.

Of course, if you want to really be set, find the One Band For You and you won't want to listen to much else. That band for me is Muse.

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685811)

>>>there were a way to return crappy music I'd feel better about paying for it

Precisely. Even the food industry says "return the unused portion for a refund" on their packages. They guarantee satisfaction of their products. Why can't CD and DVD manufacturers do the same?

Prior to advent of Peer-2-Peer, I wasted a LOT of money on cassettes and CDs that were junk, and I still feel cheated because I was disallowed from returning them. "This Jonas Brothers album my niece gave me is trash." "Too bad." "grrr." I can't stop my niece from giving me bad boy bands, but at least I can stop *me* from buying trash. P2P lets me try before I buy.

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685155)

because people are illegally downloading music they don't like?

No. They are downloading music they do not like enough to pay for it.

Maybe they find the cost prohibitive. Maybe they download stuff they only listen to once or twice.
My girlfriend has enough MP3s to last her a whole month of non-stop playing, if not more. I'm not all that sure she's ever listened to it all.

It is easy to hoard stuff, especially in digital format, since it does not occupy additional physical space.

Besides, as argued in Baen Library, it's just free marketing. If the cost is reasonable, people will buy the books, the music and the movies they like. As soon as you start treating them as people, not as thieves. The MAFIAA come off as greedy bastards, and fairness is an instinct in all great apes. That's why nobody likes them very much, and why people will not stop pirating stuff.

Instead of forcing people to pay, make them want to give you money. You do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Unless they are fruit flies.

8 years of MAFIAA mentioned in Slashdot (3, Interesting)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685391)

The MAFIAA come off as greedy bastards, and fairness is an instinct in all great apes.

It's amazing. I'm reading past articles in Slashdot, and we were already talking about RIAA and MPAA since 8 years ago.

From an article on Sep 11, 2001 [slashdot.org] :

I felt a mix of emotions: disappointed that I wouldn't have the chance to testify and lock horns with the MPAA and other industry lobbyists, and guilty for having such self-centered thoughts during this crisis.

The earliest article I've personally found is the article MPAA vs. 2600 [slashdot.org] dated May 2001.

Re:8 years of MAFIAA mentioned in Slashdot (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685497)

So the MAFIAA got going in May 2001. By September there were USPTO hearings planned and lots of people were getting ready to testify against them.

And then 9/11 happened?

Re:The answer to reducing illegal file-sharing (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685191)

Why Pay 10 or 20 pounds for CD with 20 tracks when you could watch the music video for far less (cable TV music channels, video-on-demand) and not being burdened with the DVD's and CD's taking up space. This is one side effect of
having a transient population such students and workers moving homes every semester or year - people don't want to be burdened with physical objects that they have to move around with them.

maybe Putin and Dell can figure it out! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26684879)

I'm sure if Putin and Dell get together they could figure out a great way to sell music in any format the customers want and at a reasonable price!

Re:maybe Putin and Dell can figure it out! (1, Funny)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685089)

In Soviet... Ahh, nevermind.

Its a trap! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684905)

They are just saying they wont sue anyone so that people will be open about it and then sue like 100,000people at once.

Re:Its a trap! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685249)

What good would that do? Three good reasons why it won't happen:

1. Manpower, they have to hire a huge staff to do a once-off stunt. Yes, sending out the form letters can be done by one guy but there's more to it than that.
2. Courts, they will be pissed because suddenly they get a big case load. Might get them bitching about how the RIAA cases are clogging serious crime.
3. Aftermath, sure they can catch some but they'll piss off millions by such backstabbing tactics, and as we've read the pirates are their customers too.

For all the bitching about the FBI warning on DVDs, one thing is actually right - whoever bought that DVD is often pirating something else too which naturally doesn't come with that warning so the message is on target. They can't win this game by sawing off the branch they're sitting on, as much as they'd like to try. Anything that tastes like "we'll surveilance everything you do because it *might* be an IP infringement" will never happen. Sure they can shave the top off the iceberg by going after The Pirate Bay and whatnot but they can't stop "the scene" or all the mililons of private sites, private hubs, people sharing with friends, family. classmates, work mates and all the other places where you don't shout at the world "I'd like to pirate this!".

Re:Its a trap! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685741)

I didn't say it was smart. 1. shortsighted 2. annoying 3. more annoying .... Sounds like RIAA to me...

Sounds like a good deal (2, Funny)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684907)

An annual fee of £20 is significantly less than I spend on music/DVDs as it stands, so it sounds like a pretty good deal.

I must assume that's not their intent, and that they just want to use this top up their revenues to what they think they 'should' be, but if they're going to charge me on the assumption that I'm illegally downloading copyrighted materials, the least I can do is illegally download some copyrighted materials, right?

Re:Sounds like a good deal (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684971)

No, it's a NIGHTMARE.

Why should the music industry get a "yearly fee" from everyone with an internet connection? What if you never download music?

Never mind that if the music industry actually managed to make this happen, they could essentially STOP making music. Why would they bother? They'd be making billions of dollars a year on the *fees*!

A tax (because that's what it is) to keep an industry that produces entertainment/luxury products in business? Fuck that. It's total insanity, and if it ever does happen, the end of the world is near. Seriously.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (5, Insightful)

BobReturns (1424847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685025)

Not to mention that only the big labels get a slice of a pie - essentially stifling competition.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685121)

I was half joking, but you seem to have missed my point: everything you say is right, from a point of morality of fairness it's a horrible dragnet law that would indiscriminately punish plenty of innocent people on the assumption that they might have done something wrong. Of course it's insane.

The (presumably unintended) consequence, however, is that they are making the tacit statement that the monetary value of copyright infringement is £20/household/year. They're admitting that they're unable to stop infringement and thus accepting the money in lieu of the cessation of 'piracy'. Since they (in this hypothetical situation) will choose to charge me £20/year for my downloaded media, I will in turn accept this offer (as I am being forced by law to do) and choose to download for free all the media that I would otherwise have spent money on, and encourage anyone I can get to listen to do the same.

Incidentally, if every household [statistics.gov.uk] in the UK did pay this fee it would come to about £433,000,000. That's less than half of the music industry's current revenue [timesonline.co.uk] , and the proposed UK tax includes films too.

Just because an idea is unfair and ridiculous doesn't mean that (in this case) we can't make it work to our advantage!

Re:Sounds like a good deal (3, Informative)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685627)

Of course it's insane.

The present UK government is insane, so that wont stop them.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685649)

Just because an idea is unfair and ridiculous doesn't mean that (in this case) we can't make it work to our advantage!

Of course, that's the introduction price. And as normal revenues dwindle the tax will be hiked to whatever the RIAA thinks they should have been earning. As there's less and less real data to go by on what people really would have bought at retail prices, what you get are bullshit free quantity * retail price figures. Eventually you end up with the government setting an arbitrary number for how much a private industry should earn. Money that's being taken straight out of your wallet whether you'd want them to or not. Do you seriously, honestly think that we should introduce a tax so that we'll be able to manipulate the tax rate to our advantage? I mean, there's a first time for everything but...

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685447)

Just like Britain has a tax to watch TV am I right?

Re:Sounds like a good deal (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685845)

Never mind that if the music industry actually managed to make this happen, they could essentially STOP making music

There are some that say this has already happened.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685889)

Except that it's already happening in Spain, for example. All blank media (including CD, DVD, flash devices, multimedia hard disks, mp3-capable phones) carries a levy that's destined to our local RIAA (SGAE), which is a private, not externally nor government audited, allegedly non-profit[*] organization.

Funnier still, court proceeding are by law to be stored in CD or DVD, so in practice the government is also ponying up.

[*] Recently, a newspaper unveiled the many child-companies that are no longer non-profit and that directly are funded by the SGAE recaudation which share directives with the organization.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (3, Interesting)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685061)

Perhaps music should be paid for with taxes. Have musicians submit proposals to a grant fund, or help fund record labels that are deemed worthy. I'm thinking something similar to the way universities and scientific research is handled. I'm just throwing this out there, what do you think?

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685167)

this is A BAD IDEA - trust me. because you need a board to review and approve grants. Which means at the end of the day, an oligarchy gets to decide what is 'worthy' or relevant music. Which is total bullshit.
    What if you make music that attracts a demographic who happen not be the kind of people who would waste thri time working for a gov't granting system? (punk, rap spring to mind)

Re:Sounds like a good deal (3, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685173)

And who decides which music is should receive funds, and which shouldn't? Music, unlike science, is highly subjective, and there are no wrong or useless projects.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685353)

You've obviously never heard a Cake album.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (1)

fnord_uk (842775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685711)

Or Coldplay.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0, Redundant)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685587)

Many people would disagree with that assumption. Perhaps you have never listened to the lyrics of songs which celebrate the joys found by a gang of boys raping a young girl? I mean, really LISTEN to the music, huh? There is a LOT of trash out there that NEVER should have been written, sung, recorded, or distributed. And, I haven't even begun to evaluate the truly "pop" drivel listened to by the mindless hordes......

Re:Sounds like a good deal (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26686003)

Who says this? Music is highly subjective matter, yes. Science might not be, but a lot of people use their personal beliefs when making decisions about science, thus putting the subjective part in the decisions. Sometimes the people that come to judge science are just objective as those who would be judging music. You know, while this sucks, and science could certainly be doing better, it kinda works.

Applying this system to music might produce better results than what we currently have. Yeah, they will be far from perfect, and you already stated one of the reasons. Yeah, you are right, it might turn to be a disaster, shitty musicians with no talent getting the largest piece of the pie, while the most talented struggling and working hard to get more fans to support them. What?.. Wait... We're already there... I don't know, currently the situations sucks so much, that I would suspect that if you put measures generated by a random number generator, things would actually get better.

My opinion is this. The tax is not to compensate musicians and give be fair. It is to make the industry a bit more happy and give a solution to the "but how would the musicians get paid?" problem. I've never read anything that actually convinced me that this problem really exists, and I don't agree with the way it is stated, but such a tax gives a "solution" to it. Some money going to the wrong person, not such a big deal, it's happening all the time. That would be fine *if* it gives us more freedom to share and remix music, which in turn might slowly lead out of this rotten situation we're in.

In regard to the point of your post, this could be stated the following way: if the taxation leads to more file sharing, it would mean that while the industry would still get the money, it will lose the control. More talented artists without support from the industry would get more publicity. And people will listen more to the music they like and less to the music they get from the industry. That's already happening with or without the tax. Very slowly, though.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (2, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685225)

This happens, actually, at universities.

I, a student, volunteer to sing in a choir. A professor gets paid in part because he conducts this choir, and part of his job is to put on good concerts -- if he doesn't, he gets fired.

These concerts are free to the public, are recorded and broadcast, and provide high-quality music at a low cost.

The system works pretty well if you like the sort of music that universities consider of academic interest: classical, jazz, ethnic, electronic, and so on. If you're after metal, well, not many universities have an Institute of Gratuitous-Umlaut Studies.

Fortunately, the styles of music that university music programs promote are exactly those that it's hard to get mainstream label support for (because 16-year-olds typically don't like them), so everyone's covered.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685151)

I don't download any music - haven't in years. Quite simply,

  1. there's nothing I want to download
  2. I don't have the time anyway

Now, from the blurb:

Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing

... I think an "all britney, all the time" format would do it.

Re:Sounds like a good deal (0, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685617)

See my post above: "And, I haven't even begun to evaluate the truly "pop" drivel listened to by the mindless hordes......" It would seem you like the mindless drivel? Britney is a skanky ho, like so many of the other "pop" figures.

Is there anything the RIAA can do... (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684925)

[quote]Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing without generating massive amounts of bad publicity?[/quote] Make a system that is as easy as thepiratebay and has as much stuff. Now it is convenience that is killing them. The Free part doesn't hurt, but it also doesn't help as much as the fact that the legal options are as painful as a root canal.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685147)

I use both iTunes and Emusic. Neither are painful.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685361)

Until recently, most music in iTunes was DRM-encumbered, which more than likely turned a good number of people off from the service, especially if you didn't own an iPod. I'm not sure whether or not iTunes works in Linux either, but the Windows version may be working through Wine. That's probably enough to turn most /. readers away.

eMusic doesn't have the problems that iTunes has/had, but I don't think it has anywhere near the selection that's available on iTunes, at least if you like more mainstream types of music.

Of course people have the option of going to the Amazon music store. MP3 downloads that will work on any player and no DRM. I've never used the service so I can't speak to how easy it is to use, but a quick check of the website suggests that the price tends to be a bit more reasonable than iTunes (there's a list of 'popular' songs that are selling for $.79) which is kind of nice.

Why people are still 'pirating' / 'stealing' music is beyond me. I suppose I don't mind it if people want to try before they buy, but both songs and albums are cheaper than they've been in over a decade. Maybe a good chunk of piracy is people who're just trying something out. The numbers only reflect downloads, not how many people downloaded it and then either deleted it or went on to purchase a legitimate copy.

I suppose the best way to prevent the piracy that the RIAA likes to complain about is to create a music store where music is sold at a reasonable price without DRM in a high quality format that works for almost everyone. They can completely remove the try before you buy folks from the equation by offering a DRM-encumbered version of the album that you can download free of charge and listen to as many times as you like for a limited number of days. If you like the album you can purchase it and the DRM disappears forever.

The only people who'll still bother with torrent sites are for the most part those people who never intended to purchase the music anyway. They can be left alone or litigated to hell for all I care.

Of course this makes entirely too much sense and the odds that we'll see it before the dinosaurs running the RIAA are completely incapable of thinking in modern terms. They're trying to hold on to a business model that doesn't make sense in today's world and are completely destroying their business while doing it.

If they wanted to remain in business and remain profitable they would open up a worldwide store similar to the one I outlined above. No more waiting for an album to be released months later in another part of the world and no more having to resort to downloading an album simply because it's not available in your country. Why this hasn't been done already is completely beyond me.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685651)

Millions have already witnessed what happens when a company and/or a format is abandoned. iTunes and/or Emusic can pocket their profits to date, cancel all obligations, and walk away - leaving you with - what, exactly? Granted, if you run Linux, the DRM in your music files means almost nothing. But, it is ILLEGAL, according to the recording industries, to circumvent that DRM, no matter that you have already paid for the music.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685731)

emusic has always been DRM free. Itunes is now DRM free.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (2, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685799)

I use both iTunes and Emusic. Neither are painful.

My car stereo plays mp3s. But not acc... I can convert, kinda, in this big bloated app that trys to install a browser if I don't watch for it. (In Windows)

Non apple music players... Nuff said.

I do run linux...

But the best one is I like older music. I can find all the obscure 90s techno on TPB, and not much on iTunes. I can get it in a big chunk, and it will work in ALL my players. It will never expire.

Notice how none of these advantages mention price...

But it is getting better. If you use a selection of legal sources, and have the tools to convert media formats, and you are allowed to by the license that no body reads or is likely to understand, you can almost get close to what the pirates have had for years.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do... (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685861)

Never used Emusic, but the DRM and file format issue on iTunes kills it for me. I want mp3s or oggs that I can actually play. Not some weird file format that none of my devices can use.

Oh, and the whole not working on Linux thing doesn't help either.

The fee is the ultimate goal (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684941)

I believe the ultimate goal for the RIAA is to get a fee from every customer of an ISP. Money for doing nothing. The distribution of these fees will be such that independent artists get a token sum, while the RIAA gets money for nothing. That's what all the litigation is for -- to get this fee system established.

Re:The fee is the ultimate goal (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684993)

Money for doing nothing

"money for nothing,
  and the checks are free"

(apologies for changing the lyrics but it applies, here).

Re:The fee is the ultimate goal (5, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684999)

The distribution of these fees will be such that independent artists get a token sum, while the RIAA gets money for nothing.

I disagree with this. Most independent artists aren't affiliated with RIAA-represented labels. That's a lot of what makes them "independent". If the RIAA is doing the collecting, why would they pay out to labels that don't want to work with them?

Re:The fee is the ultimate goal (1)

samriel (1456543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685251)

Sad thing is, whether or not the RIAA owns the IP that you download, they ARE going to be on you about it if they find out. It may take the form of an e-mail to your ISP, or a lawsuit. They may just send out the hired thugs to break your legs.

The Knights Templar did this kind of stuff, and we saw what happened to them.

Re:The fee is the ultimate goal (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685289)

If the RIAA is doing the collecting, why would they pay out to labels that don't want to work with them?

Because they'll pretend to represent all artists, and they can't do that without paying out a token sum to others. Note that it pretty much lies in the definition of "token" that it will be a minimal amount.

In Soviet Russia... (5, Insightful)

macx666 (194150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684943)

I know this sounds like the start of a bad joke, but this seems to be a fairly simple principle. When the USSR made it nearly impossible to get normal goods that the public wanted, an underground sprang up to fill the need. This is simple supply and demand economics. To generalize, making things overly expensive and tied to one internet connected device is only going to encourage a larger underground market.

People, on the whole, want to do the right thing, but you should not deprive them of their right to do whatever they want with things they have legally bought, or they will circumvent it. Humans adapt, learn, and defeat stupid things like copy protection and vendor-lock in all the time. If they really want to decrease piracy, then they should stop price gouging, stop overly restrictive DRM, allow better "try before you buy" methods, and truly embrace college communities via viral marketing techniques rather than call them criminals.

But hey, you already knew this. At this point, we're just beating a dead horse with this argument.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26684983)

Humans adapt, learn, and defeat stupid things like copy protection and vendor-lock in all the time.

And intellectual "property".

Oh oh I have a thought you can't have it!!! Also I have a sequence of sounds or bits and it's not allowed for you to have that same sequence!

Give it up, you primitive fucking monkey. Share or have it taken from you so it can be put to wider, more productive use. Going bankrupt due to "illgeal copying", you say? No, didn't think so.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685051)

In Mother Russia, dead horse beats you.

Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685227)

The entire U.S. has done business in that very way for a very long time - why should the music business be the one to capitulate? Do other businesses?

I can think of home prices, home and car insurance, automobiles, iPods, taxes, cable, and even license plate fees and registrations based upon a car's MSRP; all have prices based upon something other than real cost + a small profit margin, i.e. not a commodity. Please don't talk about the "market" as it has little effect in such twisted and non-competetive environment, whoever did it.

I believe in what you say, but why should they? Because their particular business had an unforseen trapdoor and is now under attack?
The whole model is broken.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685277)

At this point, we're just beating a dead horse with this argument.

We're long past dead horse. We're beating the tube of glue with a spare toffee hammer.

Please mod parent up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685389)

This was a good comment, and I accidentally modded it "flamebait" because my finger twitched at the wrong moment. :'(

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685535)

I agree with all you said but there is one looming issue over the whole thing:

Nobody needs the RIAA any more. With the Internet and all kinds of resources and information available for artists that want to get their stuff out there, the RIAA and other similar groups just are not needed any more. More of the general population is becoming aware of how groups like the RIAA work and it makes them mad (how they restrict your rights, the marketing, restricting what radio stations can play, etc.).

So a lot of what we are seeing is a cornered animal fighting for its life and they will bite even the people trying to help them.

Is there anything...... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26684969)

Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing without generating massive amounts of bad publicity?

Yes. Sell songs in an open and non-DRM-encumbered format for a fair price. Then accept that when someone buys a song they can listen to it on their PC AND their i(river/pod/whatever). Stop trying to sue people for tens of thousands of dollars for "stealing" a $.99 song.

Is there anything the RIAA can do? (5, Interesting)

otter42 (190544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684989)

No, I firmly believe there isn't. They chose the wrong strategy, and got caught out in the cold. They lead lives that are so different from ours, they've become convinced by their own arguments, just like the Wall Street bankers and their bonuses. The RIAA really doesn't have much of a choice but to throw in the towel and start off in a different direction. Of course, they won't, and I'll be one of those cheering their burial.

They've made it this far because a large part of their argument comes from the idea that file-sharing is globally illegal. This type of file sharing has to be made firmly, clearly, and once-and-for-all clearly legal. Somewhere, we have to ask ourselves what value do recorded music, video, and programs have? If we're not happy with the free-market answer, we have to find it in ourselves to come up with a solution that modifies the free-market such that we support these activities. Simply declaring the free-market illegal is not a valid strategy. It hasn't ever worked in the past-- witness alcohol, drugs, etc...-- and it's not working now.

Now, I for one think that the arts are far more worthy than the sciences. As an engineer, I was offered a salary 5 times what a friend was making, even though I was going to do numerical analysis of toilet paper (no shit, pun intended) and she was working 80 hour days with children's theater. If the fact that we live in a society that values toilet paper more than theater offends you, then you need to make the decisions in your life that reflect this.

Science is an awesome hobby, and it's what I do for a living, but somewhere we're seriously out of whack when business is worth more than life. The RIAA mentality shows this, and there's really nothing they can do except fight until they've carved out a sufficiently well protected niche that they can survive in some minimal fashion. To take an analogy from Go, they're trying desperately to make two eyes, even though the game is practically over.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do? (4, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685441)

If the fact that we live in a society that values toilet paper more than theater offends you, then you need to make the decisions in your life that reflect this.

Um, I consider myself a pretty artsy person, but I value toilet paper pretty highly.

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do? (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685819)

If the fact that we live in a society that values toilet paper more than theater offends you, then you need to make the decisions in your life that reflect this.

Most engineers understand the concept of "supply and demand". Basically, there are more people capable and willing to do children's theater than business analysis. How would you "correct" this?

Re:Is there anything the RIAA can do? (1, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685933)

The problem is human nature.

People love to cheat, steal, and murder. It's only because of police that it doesn't happen rampantly, but in cyberspace where you can get away with it, it is very common. When the cat is away, the mice will play.

The RIAA is fighting against a buch of asshole pirates that really don't give a damn about copyright (never will either). The problem is that the RIAA is mistargeting innocent bystanders and bringing down a flood of wrath from the people who actually WOULD have scruples, thus causing people to pirate out of spite. If the RIAA had perfect aim and only took out pirates that it could prove were pirates, they'd have a lot more sympathy.

The RIAA needs to yield to the lawlessness of cyberspace, tighten up its litigation and go after real pirates without being complete clusterfucks with the evidence, and start hitting targets that count. I.e., real pirates.

Piracy is wrong, but so is how the RIAA goes about doing things.

My two cents (5, Interesting)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26684991)

Is there anything the RIAA can do to stop copyright infringement without looking like a bunch of asses? Sure, but they've now in a deep hole dug on the unsustainable premise that they could either sue all infringers out of existence or at least enough of them to cow everyone else into staying off P2P. Turns out that wasn't working either.

Here are my proposals for ways they can get turned around:

1. Do their damnedest to promote all the usable online services. iTunes, Amazon, the whole smash. No DRM anywhere, though I think people won't mind fingerprinting. Do a mix of buy-to-own and subscription services; there are separate markets for each. Sell audio with lossless encoding (Apple Lossless and FLAC if that works in the non-Apple ecosystem). Raffle off concert tickets for buyers on the download services. Try to reach everyone -- Windows, Mac, Linux.

2. Do a "legal" P2P service that traffics purely in 128kbps MP3s of popular songs with lead-in or lead-out ads. "Weezer's Red Album -- now available from your online music store." That kind of thing.

3. Let Web radio live. I'm sure there's a reasonable profit stream there that everyone can tap into if nobody strangles the golden goose, so to speak. It also drives sales -- when I was a kid the only music I actually bought was stuff I'd already heard on the radio. Get people to actually use the "radio" function in iTunes and web browsers and whatnot. Music radio on 3G phones. The possibilities are endless here.

4. Instead of chasing homemade music videos off YouTube, get people to pay a "licensing fee" of say $5 and then let them be. There are also cross-licensing deals for advertising dollars to be had with the video services.

5. ENOUGH WITH THE MEDIA TAXES. If I pay a "tax" on recording media or my iPod's hard drive or whatever I will download everything I can for free. I'm going to assume I'm already "paid up" because guess what, I am. Besides, if we pay a media tax the music industry should be quasi-nationalized.

6. (the one they'll never accept) Deal with the fact that music is now a more distributed phenomenon and that the massive profit margins the record companies saw on audio cassettes and CDs just can't exist anymore. Make what profit you can instead of getting sucked down the toilet with the rest of the economy.

I will bet good money, though, that the RIAA won't do any one of these things over the next five years-- instead they'll just chase the phantom of infringement that they'll never be able to stop, music sales will go completely down the drain, and the world music industry will restructure around the online services being labels themselves. Cut your song in a recording studio then upload it to Amazon and iTunes. They take 35%, you take the rest. Hell, the RIAA should be very very scared of this happening, and I expect they are, but they're going to make it happen and maybe that's a good thing for all us music buyers.

Re:My two cents (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685795)

1. Do their damnedest to promote all the usable online services. iTunes, Amazon, the whole smash. No DRM anywhere, though I think people won't mind fingerprinting. Do a mix of buy-to-own and subscription services; there are separate markets for each. Sell audio with lossless encoding (Apple Lossless and FLAC if that works in the non-Apple ecosystem). Raffle off concert tickets for buyers on the download services. Try to reach everyone -- Windows, Mac, Linux.

I agree, but let's simplify this. You can right click the download button and get a format in whatever you want, be it FLAC, Apple Lossless, the default AAC, etc.

2. Do a "legal" P2P service that traffics purely in 128kbps MP3s of popular songs with lead-in or lead-out ads. "Weezer's Red Album -- now available from your online music store." That kind of thing.
 
3. Let Web radio live. I'm sure there's a reasonable profit stream there that everyone can tap into if nobody strangles the golden goose, so to speak. It also drives sales -- when I was a kid the only music I actually bought was stuff I'd already heard on the radio. Get people to actually use the "radio" function in iTunes and web browsers and whatnot. Music radio on 3G phones. The possibilities are endless here.

These can be very similar. The difference is a push vs pull system. Web Radio can be used to introduce people to new songs, to push, and the free p2p client can be used to pull, find details, and find the album. The legal p2p client AND the web radio needs to be easy to PURCHASE songs from. They are both free, but the system to get the songs with full rights are not, but the system to buy should be easy. For example, while listening to the web radio you should be able to save the info to review later, or be able to buy it now.

4. Instead of chasing homemade music videos off YouTube, get people to pay a "licensing fee" of say $5 and then let them be. There are also cross-licensing deals for advertising dollars to be had with the video services.

No. Fair use. The song only needs to be referenced properly. The users of Youtube can probably put it in automatically. See how a song can easily be bought from a link under the video? That's free revenue, simply because of ease. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXKxs8Ge_9g [youtube.com] Like this (this was just the first song that came in my head).

6. (the one they'll never accept) Deal with the fact that music is now a more distributed phenomenon and that the massive profit margins the record companies saw on audio cassettes and CDs just can't exist anymore. Make what profit you can instead of getting sucked down the toilet with the rest of the economy.

Duh.

To avoid bad publicity, stop criminalizing clients (5, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685013)

"Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing without generating massive amounts of bad publicity?"

Well, LOTS of things.
1. Stop treating their clients as criminals, (see earlier /. article on big downloaders also being the biggest purchasers.
2. Make more of their catalog available, faster, and more easily, to more paid download services.
2. Skip the DRM crap, (which will save money, too)
3. Divert the cash currently wasted on criminal clowns like MediaSentry and Sony rootkits to efforts to educate the public on how to download music safely, legally & cheaply.
4. Ink deals with content creators that take into account all revenue streams, (including concerts, the real money-spiners for many artists these days), with a fair share for all and which takes into consideration the investment made by production organisations in developing new talent.
5. Make it easy for people to buy/access, and archive/backup 'premium/HiRes/lossless' content (see 'DRM' above).
6. Promote standards for inteeoperability between various media storage and playback devices. Would I pay for to have my vast mp3 collection automagically tagged and sorted, with the ability to stream/upload to any device I own, and maybe grab the video if I want? Well, yes!

Now I'm going to stop dreaming, and go back to helping my teenage daughter convert a YouTube pop video for use on her iPod.

Again, it's simple. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685019)

STOP BUYING AND/OR DOWNLOADING COMMERCIAL MUSIC.

Just stop. Seriously. Boycott any and all bands that go through publishers that have any affiliation whatsoever with these criminals. And yes, regardless of what you think, the RIAA ARE indeed criminals. I'm not talking "criminals" as in America's law, I'm talking "criminals" as in moral and ethical laws. Think "LAWFUL EVIL" for all you D&D fans out there. The only difference between you and them are dollar signs. That goes for the MPAA too.

If we could all go one, maybe two years without buying any music or movies (and I'm sure that's possible...it's called self-restraint) that have ties to these asswipes, they WILL go away because they won't have those pretty little dollar signs any more. Now is the BEST time to do this because of the economy. They're more vulnerable than ever.

Re:Again, it's simple. (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685423)

I have been since 2001. I check RIAA radar, and only buy albums from people who are not members.

Coincidentally (not), I've never paid > $15 for a CD from these people including shipping to my front door.

Tell that to your Nickelback CDs which are just regurgitated fucking trash from their last CDs.

No evidence of £20 tax (2, Informative)

Ngwenya (147097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685033)

As I posted [slashdot.org] in the £20 tax thread, I can't find any evidence that such a proposal even exists.

The UK government did propose, in the interim Digital Britain report, to explore the willingness of rightsholder organisations (eg, the equivalents of the RIAA and MPAA) to fund a Rights Agency [which is stupid idea, but still...] but there never was a "broadband tax" proposal.

I think that the Times article was simply wrong (did you see it quote anything or anyone? Thought not). However, if anyone can find some counter evidence, then I'd like to read it.

I hold no candle for the Labour government - bash away, but when you bash at a non-existent straw man, then you undermine all your legitimate arguments against the real world shit that the bastards try to pull (ID cards, Internet use database, DNA records, etc.)

--Ng

How can the reduce it? (2, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685035)

Lower prices.

It's simple economics. Lower prices will result in higher marginal utility and more people will buy instead of download.

Look at it this way. If all of the millions of songs that people are downloading for free were to go away, not every one of those people would go out and buy the music. If the prices were reduced to, say, (allofmp3.com levels) then many people who wouldn't otherwise buy the songs would.

LK

Confessions (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685065)

Maybe instead of all the trouble of finding the owner of an IP address, they will wait for filesharers to get lazy and confess. Now that Erin's full name is known with an admission of guilt, the case should be easy.

The only thing missing is the list of songs shared, so who is the copyright owner? I wonder if suspicion of downloading one of my songs is enough even without proof.

Can we start discovery?

Its the Daily ... (0, Flamebait)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685071)

Everyone knows that the Michigan Daily has a list of the most clueless people on campus which they call up whenever they need quotes for an article. I wouldn't put much stock in two anecdotes.

Beating a dead horse, I apologize. (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685085)

When anyone can easily and cheaply transmit books, movies, music, software, papers, pictures and any other digitized piece of information, the medium that they use becomes not like a marketplace, but like a public library.

In a library, the killer app (what you are paying your tax dollars for) is storing, organizing and retrieving the information in the library. The primary cost is not the acquisition of the data in the first place, but rather the overhead.

Now, how does one make money producing information so much of it is available for free and anything you make can be instantly retransmitted for essentially zero cost? There are a couple options:

- Build the library and charge for access.
- Make works on commission.
- Produce physical things and charge for them.
- Ask for donations.

That is it, AFAIK. Until the music and movie industries comes to grips with this they will be wasting time and effort as other companies build businesses around the reality of today.

The RIAA is dead. Let them die. (1)

SamsLembas (1278956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685097)

The days when a record was worth $20 are long gone. Data reproduction is easy. Data is in virtually infinite supply, and therefore worth infinitely close to nothing. Meanwhile, music recording costs have dropped massively. Even without claiming any copyrights, the costs of recording an album should be easily paid with CD sales. The artists can easily get plenty of money off of live shows and merchandise sales.

But of course! (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685149)

How to increase sales and decrease downloads? Easy.

1. Make stuff I want to buy.
Granted, that does not reduce P2P useage, because I don't download either what I don't want, and I tend to think many think likewise. Make good music/movies that I want to see/hear and I'll buy them!

2. Get rid of DRM and other nuisances
I still do not buy a good movie if I have to fear the installation of a rootkit, or that it doesn't work in my PC at all (which happens to be my media machine, why'd I buy a dedicated DVD player?). I do not buy the movie if it forces me to sit through ads for movies I neither want nor care for. This is, if anything, the main reason for people to go to P2P instead of buying movies (besides the monetary reason). I don't mind the 20ish bucks for a good movie, but I do mind the hassle I have to worry about.

3. Give additional benefits
Downloaded content can only carry the content itself. Give people something besides the things they get on their disc. Artbooks can have a value of their own, and they can't be reproduced easily. Start hyping the "collectible value" of CDs, maybe design the covers of CDs from an artist so that they all together form nice pictures that would look cool on the collector's CD rack. But for that, you might have to return to artists that crank out more than one or two CDs before you dump them, I know. Another idea would be some sort of "limited edition" versions of CDs, create batches of about 10.000 with different artwork. Some people might buy the same CDs over and over because they gotta have them all. People are hunter and gatherers at heart, exploit that!

4. Create other media and offer discounts
Movies beg for a making of and maybe a published script. Add coupons for this and other media you want to sell that offer discounts on those additional things. People will consider it a bargain and buy them, too.

I stopped buying CDs because of the RIAA (2, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685161)

I stopped buying CDs when they started producing more and more CDs that were actually "music discs" and not CDs. I found that I could no longer rip them as easily and eventually just gave up. I like having my music in ogg, which no music store has, so I gave up on the idea of downloading legally. And I don't want to be the target of a lawsuit, so I refuse to download illegally. As a result, my music collection is getting kind of stale and the music industry is missing out on the 20-30 CDs a year I used to buy.

It seems that every step they take to reduce piracy just makes it that more unlikely that I'll buy legitimately from them. They make CDs rip-proof and I won't buy CDs. They make online music stores use DRM and I won't buy MP3s (or more technically WMAs or AACs).

I can't speak for every individual obviously, but if they were to just totally stop all of their anti-piracy initiatives, I'd be buying $300-$400 more music each year. There is definitely a cost to trying to stop piracy.

Re:I stopped buying CDs because of the RIAA (1)

LordNor (605816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685295)

I feel the same way... I've purchased maybe 5 CD's in the last 6-8 years and they were almost all gifts for others. I've even stopped listening to music in general and see most of what comes out now as noise. It's really amazing to watch kids now... They spend so much of what they do listening to music instead of enjoying what is in front of them. You see them with their earphones in and just missing out on life. I've even seen some listen to music while watching TV. The one that really gets me are the ones that have music blasting in the background while they game and then think you're cheating because you can hear their footsteps and they can't hear yours...

Not really (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685163)

Considering that most people would quite guiltlessly keep any extra change that a cashier might give them without saying anything, or will generally drive as fast as they can without regard for the actual speed limit, but rather as fast as they _feel_ they could get away with and not get arrested or kill anyone (never mind the fact that the number one cause of traffic-related deaths involves excessive speed), I don't even think that education about why copyright infringement might actually be any sort of ethically wrong thing could help matters very much. It is, unfortunately, a sad truth that people will generally do whatever they think they can get away with if they think they will benefit from it, regardless of who it hurts or inconveniences, unless they happen to personally know who might be adversely affected.

I think the 'fees' and 'taxes' won't work. (2, Insightful)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685187)

I think the 'fees' and 'taxes' on broadband connections may very well work, but they depend very much on the details.

There has been a suggestion of the same thing being applied here in Sweden, with a strange twist: by paying the fee, you would be allowed to download everything your heart could desire. BUT (and it's a big but) it would still be illegal for you to _upload_ things! The net effect would be that you would be paying for the content the creators put on internet, not for anything else! Marvelous business plan...

If the 'fee'/'tax' allowed uploads as well, it could work. Until the porn industry starts claiming it's fair share of the money. I find it hard to believe there is no porn distributed illegally on internet, so the porn industry should have it's fair share. Yet, I would like to see the politician or high executive from an ISP supporting the porn industry's claim....

the target is moving (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685195)

i suppose it's possible for people to download more, although my acquaintances seem to be to doing it already with as much abandon as there is impunity. i personally know of no one affected by any legal campaigns, and lets face it, with file sharers numbering the 100s of millions, and lawsuits in the thousands the odds will always favor the file sharers, and overwhelmingly so. the most startling trend however is the exuberent rise of sneakerware. now that harddrives have crossed the 1tb threshold and easily hold 10,000 albums at high bitrates a quick perusal of craigslist shows "dj" drives being openly offered in the 300 dollar range fully loaded with karaoke, cds, videos or any combination the buyer chooses. then there're movies: a 1.5 tb drive holds 1000 high-bit avis when the avg blockbuster has i think less than 5000 titles. obviously at present transfer speeds it would take months to grab such prodigious amounts - assuming the unlikely event one found an uploader willing to service the transfer for that duration, but a friend to friend hard drive dub is measured in hours, and perfect for a socially acceptable afternoon barbecue or big game.

the internet will always be a convenient medium for occasional impulse transfers and the copyright mavens have in all likelihood resigned themselves to it, and the realization their lawsuit strategies are beginning to encounter serious and expensive legal resistance. it's also beginning to dawn on them that the big issues moving forward will be full quality library swaps via hard drive, where the entire tcm archive, or all the films in maltin's movie guide, are available for a few bucks to be plugged directly into a tv via devices such as the western digital tv hd media player, and no amount of limewire trolling is ever going to stop it. in a few years time the riaa will be looking back to the good ol days of napster/bt with fond remembrance because the media companies brain trust will be occupied by a really difficult paradigm: enticing consumers back to the store when they already have every album they can conceivably hear and every movie they could conceivably watch, and for less than the price of the tv they're watching them on.

- js.

People will just circumvent the internet (4, Insightful)

nanuuq2 (1339665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685199)

I know of people who trade USB keys. They fill them with their favourite songs, and either hand them around, or mail them. I know of people who have exchanged external Hard Drives. Think 500 GB external hard drives full of movies and songs. People will adapt. The RIAA will fall just like the IRA.

Casual Music Downloaders Stopped Using P2P (1)

illectro (697914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685201)

A bigger effect on the number of users downloading has been the emergence of imeem [imeem.com] and Myspace Music [myspace.com] which both provide instant on demand access to almost everything ever released. imeem isn't nearly as well known as myspace, but because it allows users to upload their favorite tunes to share it has a larger selection (imeem was founded by a load of ex-napster 1.0 engineers). So between them they've essentially removed a huge number of people who would go to P2P to just find one or two songs. There are a load of other less popular music sites (last.fm, pandora etc) but myspace and imeem are vastly more popular (and legal), so they're having the biggest effect.

Tax? (2, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685283)

Sounds to me like a way to get the Govt to collect money for an industry. In spite of how things appear with what the Thundering Herd of Dumbass in Washington is doing, it is not the Govt's job to ensure profits for any business or industry.

I have one thing to say about how good a Govt run business in the U. S. can be: AMTRAK! (money sewer on rails)

Welcome to the Rise of the Independent Labels (2, Insightful)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685297)

The old RIAA tactics didn't thwart downloading one iota, so it's hard to believe them 'dropping the lawsuits' will have much, if any, impact on the scenario.

The fact is The record companies that the RIAA represents, put out pretty crappy generic music. It's formulaic, and meant to sell - not be innovative or good.

The 'Indie' record industry has taken the place of most big record labels, by providing music that is more in line with what the artist wants to produce. The music is better, more creative, different, and quite honestly - what people prefer to hear.

Why only tax for Big Music? (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685373)

This seems to completely ignore software developers. Does the music industry get it because they were more childish?

If the Music industry gets a slice of a tax pie simply because people -may- be illegally copying their crap, then so should the porn industry, the games industry, the software industry, the movie studios, the indy music and film developers, authors, scientists, university professors, webmasters, graphic designers,photographers, font calligraphers, etc....

Re:Why only tax for Big Music? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685675)

then so should the porn industry

Yeah, a ú20 UK tax for downloading porn! That should buy a few votes!

Never mind the children, think of the Lords ...

Do the Time -- Then do the crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685599)

If I am charged a fee for something I don't do... you can bet your sweet ass that I'll start doing it in huge quantities.

Allow free Low bitrate music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685615)

I think they would gain allot by allowing legal P2P sharing of low bitrate mp3's. Say less than 128k mp3's are of low sound quality where they sound OK, but are not CD quality.

I think that if they were to allow free access to radio quality and ask people to by higher bitrate versions of the music they like/want, I think many would abide by that.

Their current model really needs an overhaul. The cost of a CD is too high... and the music quality sucks. Buying a full CD for $13-$17 with 2-3 good songs is not bad form compared to buying the same 3 songs elsewhere for $3. The cost of the album should be a discount compared to the cost of the individual songs.

No, this will not boost file sharing... (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685693)

Because in order to buy that argument, you have to assume that the prior tactics were REDUCING the amount of piracy before the strategy changed. You would also have to assume that a significant percentage of the pirated songs would have been purchased -- a dubious assumption at best.

If the lawsuits were working, the RIAA would pick up the pace or at least maintain the status quo. Given the RIAA's legendary learning deficiencies, there must be a preponderance of evidence to prove the ineffectiveness of the lawsuits before they were willing to pull the plug on their legal department.

Nothing is really stopping anyone from downloading whatever they want. And the availability of files to download is, well, just about everything. The individual lawsuits are meaningless, especially the argument that the defendant is "making available" some file that would not have been available otherwise. Take away that one person and the same file can be downloaded by roughly the same number of people in the same amount of time.

It's like suing someone for causing global warming because they cooked a batch of burgers on a charcoal grill. Subtracting one grill, a bag of charcoal, and six burgers from the planet accomplishes nothing. There are not enough lawyers or laser printers to sue everyone who lights up a grill for a burger feast. No matter how many people are sued, ground beef is ending up on toasted buns and the "problem" of global warming remains unchanged.

Class action suits are for multiple plaintiffs, not multiple unrelated defendants, so it really IS all about the copyright infringement of a small number of $0.99 songs every time the RIAA goes to court.

The RIAA should have done what I suggested back in the days of the original Napster. A voluntary $5/month service that tracks the existence of downloads via the existing P2P infrastructure. Revenues allocated to artists proportionally based on their share of the monthly "traffic". Tracking is not intrusive because it is being used to calculate royalties -- nothing more. I would gladly pay $5/month for an "all you can eat" guilt-free download experience. That is $60/year more than I pay for CDs now.

Instead, they continue to find new ways of collecting $0 and my existing library of CD's plays just fine on my iPod.

The RIAA "tax" plan is dead on arrival because there is no way that business use of the internet should be subsidizing recreational downloads. In order to justify the receipt of any money, the RIAA will need to provide something of value. Until they bring something to the table, no deal.

Baah. (1)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685747)

The 20 pound proposed tax in the UK was not a media tax designed to compensate the *AA or similar. It was to find an organization designed to file P2P lawsuits. It wasn't instead of the lawsuits, it was to encourage/fund them.

Successful Psy-Op Campaign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685791)

Haven't the RIAA always targeted heavy uploaders vs downloaders? Haven't they always sued these folks that, by default, serve up every file they've downloaded via their P2P app?

Seems this psy-op has worked better than the actual lawsuits.

Just a suggestion (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685859)

Is there anything the RIAA can do to reduce illegal file-sharing without generating massive amounts of bad publicity?

Well, they could build an altar on the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial and sacrifice their lawyers on it. I bet thousands of people would be willing to give up illegal file sharing for a while as the price for attending such a ceremony.

Quite a few would give it up for good if they could participate directly.

ho8o (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26685901)

what they think is Software lawyers arrogance was POSTS. dUE TO THE of a solid dose Reciprocating bad USERS. THIS IS

Don't need the RIAA (2, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26685989)

Why do all of the suggestions here assume the world still needs the RIAA, or record labels for that matter? Record labels exist to distribute and advertise music, both of which can now be done online without them. Just get rid of them.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?