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!

Appeals Court Stays RIAA Subpoena

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the careful-dancin' dept.

The Courts 78

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has stepped in and issued a temporary stay of the RIAA's subpoena for the identity of a student at the State University of New York in Albany. The student, 'John Doe #3,' had filed an appeal and motion for stay pending appeal, arguing that the appeal 'raises significant issues, some of first impression' (PDF), such as the standards for the use of ex parte procedures for expedited discovery, the scope of the First Amendment right of anonymity over the internet, the scope of the distribution right in copyright law, and the pleading requirements for infringement of such right."

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

This could be big (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155403)

This could be the first time we will have appellate review of the RIAA's wacky, un-American, "ex parte", "John Doe" procedures.

Re:This could be big (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155427)

And I'm especially pleased that the defendant's lawyer is Richard Altman, because he is an excellent attorney; he was actually working against the RIAA's madness even before I got into the fight. He is a brilliant, and highly principled, guy.

Re:This could be big (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155451)

before I got into the fight

When and how did you get involved in the RIAA?

Re:This could be big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27155497)

Doesn't matter. All that matters is that RIAA gets a fight for their life!

Re:This could be big (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156153)

I'd prefer they roll over and die. Along with the MPAA.

Re:This could be big (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155621)

Do you read /. much? lol..... I would have thought you were kidding if it was not for the odd emphasis...

Re:This could be big (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155997)

I do read it often, but I missed the how and why of his involvement with the RIAA.

Re:This could be big (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156879)

You could click on the link in his comment and then click on his name at his site. His involvement in this issue is fairly well documented here. There have even been one or two /. interviews of him.

Re:This could be big (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156977)

http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/13/1627205 [slashdot.org] There is the interview. It is getting a little old, but you may find it interesting. I see Ray already responded to you.

Re:This could be big (2, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157369)

http://interviews.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/13/1627205 [slashdot.org] There is the interview. It is getting a little old, but you may find it interesting. I see Ray already responded to you.

Gets a little old? I remember it like it was yesterday. The wounds still haven't healed.

Boy Slashdot is a tough town.

To nurse you back... (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161585)

Band aids, field dressings and first aid boxes arriving now!

Together with pretty nurses. :)

Re:This could be big (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27169803)

Well I really meant it as a you have done a lot more work since then, certainly wasn't meant as a slight :)

Re:This could be big (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155751)

When and how did you get involved in the RIAA?

Late 2004 or early 2005. I heard about these RIAA cases from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, knew they were BS procedurally and substantively, thought to myself 'I'm a litigator, I'm a copyright lawyer, and I hate bullies... maybe I can help some of these folks.' Next thing I knew I was up to my neck in it.

Re:This could be big (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155951)

I wish I was a better student, and could make it through law school. I think I would love to practice the kind of law that you do. As it stands, I'm just an IT guy, and IT certifications are about as much structured schooling as I can make it through at one time. Ah, to stand up for the little guy. I salute you, sir.

Re:This could be big (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158373)

I wish I was a better student, and could make it through law school.

If you can't grasp the difference between was and were then you have little chance to deal with the subtleties of law.

But, but... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156431)

There is no money to be made in taking on bullies! What kind of a lawyer are you anyway, choosing principle over remuneration? They don't teach that in any law school I know of!

Re:This could be big (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156619)

Oh come on Ray, you know you just did it for that sweet Slashdot cred! :-D

Re:This could be big (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157311)

Oh come on Ray, you know you just did it for that sweet Slashdot cred!

Yeah. That's it. The kharma.

Re:This could be big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156765)

I suggest you do a search for NewYorkCountryLawyer. He, unlike so many here has done and continues to do fight the good fight. Praise whom/whatever you believe or dont believe in...but some people do things because it is the right thing to do.

What a concept. /tips hat to NYCL, im just a commoner, but a real fan of your work. :)

Re:This could be big (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155599)

He is a brilliant, and highly principled, guy.

I'm confused. Are you contesting Douglas Adams' claim that the universe can only contain one principled attorney at a time???

Re:This could be big (1)

jsrlepage (696948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155693)

If he does, it means that the universe will implode, or that he has now lost his principles. Since the second is nigh impossible, I will go in my anti-end-of-the-universe bunker right about now.

Re:This could be big (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156047)

Either that, or NYCL is only doing this because he thinks he can get a massive settlement out of this...

Re:This could be big (3, Interesting)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155971)

Mr. Beckerman: I'm a law student (graduating this year, economy be damned). I still cant figure out how exactly the Doe D's are able to respond if the initial pleading doesn't identify them. Is it up to the service provider to pass through notice to the Does? Once a Doe receives notice, assuming he does before default judgment is entered, how does the Doe respond without identifying himself or entering an "appearance" and basically waiving jurisdiction? I'm sure I'm missing something procedurally here, hope you can point me in the right direction.

Re:This could be big (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156101)

Mr. Beckerman: I'm a law student (graduating this year, economy be damned). I still cant figure out how exactly the Doe D's are able to respond if the initial pleading doesn't identify them. Is it up to the service provider to pass through notice to the Does? Once a Doe receives notice, assuming he does before default judgment is entered, how does the Doe respond without identifying himself or entering an "appearance" and basically waiving jurisdiction? I'm sure I'm missing something procedurally here, hope you can point me in the right direction.

You're not missing anything. The RIAA lawyers have been missing something. And unfortunately many of the judges have been missing something.

As you have learned in law school, it is of the essence of the American judicial system that BEFORE JUDICIAL ACTION IS TAKEN AGAINST SOMEONE THEY MUST BE GIVEN NOTICE, AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.

Re:This could be big (2, Funny)

kwandar (733439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161133)

"As you have learned in law school, it is of the essence of the American judicial system that BEFORE JUDICIAL ACTION IS TAKEN AGAINST SOMEONE THEY MUST BE GIVEN NOTICE, AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD."

Ray, Ray, Ray .... its only been a few weeks and you seem to have forgotten a key reason why there is no need for these defendants to be heard before a judge.

Come on Ray ... you know the RIAA aren't filing any more lawsuits, right? They told us so!! They just want to uhm ... uhmm .... know who some of their last remaining customers might be, to make nice? ;)

(I could have modded, but all Ray's comments looked to be +5 and no one could give Ray Beckerman more Karma than he has IRL - thanks Ray!)

Re:This could be big (3, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161303)

.... its only been a few weeks and you seem to have forgotten a key reason why there is no need for these defendants to be heard before a judge. Come on Ray ... you know the RIAA aren't filing any more lawsuits, right? They told us so!!

Yes but you fail to take into account the Oppenheim theorem; I'm surprised at your lack of mathematical knowledge. The Oppenheim theorem, named after the RIAA's 'prince of darkness' Matthew Oppenheim, is as follows:

1. The opposite of anything said by an RIAA spokesman = the Truth.
2. An RIAA spokesman said to congressional committees "we discontinued initiating new lawsuits in August" [blogspot.com] .
3. Therefore the Truth must be that hundreds of new cases have been commenced since August, and cases are even being commenced this month.

(I cheated and did some independent investigation, just to see if it does work. I am proud to say the theorem continues to serve its purpose, which is to enable us to learn the Truth. The real value of this theorem is its practical application which is to save time. Instead of looking things up, researching, investigating, doing depositions, etc., we can just find out the Truth with this simple equation. And its success rate is astounding.)

Re:This could be big (1)

kwandar (733439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27165653)

Uhmmm ... yes .. forgot .... the Oppenheim effect ....

It will be interesting effect to observe when Professor Nesson's team finally get their opportunity to cross examine Matthew Oppenheim.

Re:This could be big (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168879)

Uhmmm ... yes .. forgot .... the Oppenheim effect .... It will be interesting effect to observe when Professor Nesson's team finally get their opportunity to cross examine Matthew Oppenheim.

Yes well in that case, the Oppenheim theorem will probably be of little use to you.

You will need to substitute the Great Wall theorem:

When questions are asked, no answers are given.

As you can see, the applicability of the Great Wall theorem renders the Oppenheim theorem useless in such situations.

I can see you have much to learn about the RIAA litigation process.

Re:This could be big (1)

kwandar (733439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27169671)

"I can see you have much to learn about the RIAA litigation process."

I think I'd like to keep it that way although, if it ever came to it, I'd be in court. I've fought bigger and won and lost and won and .....

Re:This could be big (1)

Aeolien (939711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156363)

It says in TFA that SUNY told the students they were intending to comply with the motion to identify. Thus, they were able to defend themselves. Normally, they don't get this luxury.

Re:This could be big (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158593)

It says in TFA that SUNY told the students they were intending to comply with the motion to identify

That's AFTER the motion had already been granted. I.e., the RIAA made a motion; no copies were served on anybody; it was just the RIAA and the judge; the judge let them get away with that, and signed the order granting the motion for discovery and ordering the students' identities to be divulged.

Only AFTER losing a motion they never even knew existed, were the students advised they'd lost. Then, on probably a couple of days notice, they had to get a lawyer to step in and make a motion to vacate. But getting a judge to change his or her mind after he or she has already ruled on something is much different than getting a judge not to go in that direction in the first place.

There is no reason in the world why the RIAA could not have made the motion on notice. If it wanted to sue 16 John Does it could have given the university 16 copies of the motion papers and supporting documents to distribute to them. The judge should have insisted on that. Also he should not have allowed them to join 16 separate John Does; that was a flagrant violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Re:This could be big (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27160011)

Also he should not have allowed them to join 16 separate John Does; that was a flagrant violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Didn't some federal judge tell them not to do that?

Re:This could be big (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27160935)

Also he should not have allowed them to join 16 separate John Does; that was a flagrant violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Didn't some federal judge tell them not to do that?

Yes. (I like it when people do their homework; good work Thinboy.) The judges in Austin Texas in 2004 told them to cease and desist from that practice. They've been ignoring it ever since. In those rare instances when a "John Doe" is lucky enough to get legal representation, the judges usually sever as to the improperly joined John Does. But NO judge should be allowing it, whether the Does have lawyers or not.

When forced to go back to Austin, Texas, and face those same judges, they dropped the case against that ISP; I guess they didn't like the idea of winding up in a Texas federal jail.

Ain't AskSlashdot (1, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27159677)

Alright, it's time to shut up with the frigging questions already. Does this look like an AskSlashdot or Ask So-And-So story? No. So ixnay with the on-topic banter already, so the funny yet completely irrelevant posts can get some well deserved mod points. If Taco sees the completely skewed ratio of Funny to Interesting posts for this story he'll have to start deleting crap, and then all your typing will be for naught. I'm already starting to have dirty voyeur feelings like I've hacked into NewYorkCountryLawyer's gmail account. So enough already.

Re:Ain't AskSlashdot (3, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27159789)

Alright, it's time to shut up with the frigging questions already. Does this look like an AskSlashdot or Ask So-And-So story? No. So ixnay with the on-topic banter already, so the funny yet completely irrelevant posts can get some well deserved mod points. If Taco sees the completely skewed ratio of Funny to Interesting posts for this story he'll have to start deleting crap, and then all your typing will be for naught. I'm already starting to have dirty voyeur feelings like I've hacked into NewYorkCountryLawyer's gmail account. So enough already.

I think you're wrong about this. If there were a minimum Funny-to-Interesting ratio, I'd have been banned from Slashdot quite a while ago.

Re:This could be big (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162161)

Between you and Richard, we owe you many a beers for your fine work. Thank you!

Re:This could be big (1)

sobachatina (635055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155709)

Wikipedia provided me a definition of ex parte and I'm somewhat familiar with the RIAA's approach, thanks to you. What I haven't been able to find is a succinct explanation of what particular legal approach the RIAA takes is unconventional.

Is it simply suing a group of unknown defendants before doing discovery with the ISP to find out who they are suing? That seems to be what ex parte means. (For whatever the wikipedia article may be worth.)

Thanks for being Slashdot's resident legal counsel. (In a non obligatory and legally unaccountable way, of course.)

Re:This could be big (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155813)

I haven't been able to find is a succinct explanation of what particular legal approach the RIAA takes is unconventional

They're too numerous to enumerate but I've highlighted a small sampling of some of them here [blogspot.com] and here [blogspot.com] .

Re:This could be big (4, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156899)

Of course, Ray's links give a more in depth explanation, but I think this is the basic summary of the RIAA's unusual tactics:

1. Group a bunch of unrelated "John Does" that you want to sue into one lawsuit in a court that likely doesn't have jurisdiction over any of those John Does. (Mainly this saves the RIAA time, money, and effort for having the file multiple together. Plus, it probably means that the judge won't look at each individual case and see how flimsy the evidence is.)
2. File for discovery of the identity of the John Does without giving the John Does enough time or information to defend themselves.
3. Once the identity is discovered, drop the case. This way it can't be appealed and steps 1-3 can't be ruled illegal.
4. Have your "Settlement Center" contact each of the individuals threatening a massive lawsuit unless they settle. (This shows that they're not *really* interested in suing these individuals. They just want the information so their Settlement Center can strong arm these folks outside of a courtroom into paying the RIAA.)

Most people, at Step 4 will settle simply because they don't have the time and money to spend to defend themselves. They can pay $2,000 to make it all go away or they can spend weeks in a courtroom (likely one far from where they live), spend thousands on a lawyer (which they *may* recoup via a counter-suit but then again might not), and might face fines in the millions. Sure, more people have been defending themselves recently, so the RIAA's tactics post-step-4 have changed slightly, but that's the basic rundown.

Re:This could be big (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27160943)

3. Once the identity is discovered, drop the case. This way it can't be appealed and steps 1-3 can't be ruled illegal.

Can a defendant insist that the lawsuit go forward?

Re:This could be big (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161569)

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that a defendant can insist on a trial going forward. Unless the defendant is countersuing, they get no say in whether the plaintiff can drop the case. Oftentimes, at the point that the RIAA drops the case, the defendant doesn't even know what the lawsuit against them is all about or even that there is a lawsuit against them.

Re:This could be big (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155761)

Do you think there's any chance at all the 2nd Circuit Appeals court will actually rule on some of the other issues at hand, such as the scope of the distribution right in copyright law?

For example, I personally think the RIAA's interpretation of the law being that every copy is a distribution is really very harmful to fair use. IMHO, if I purchase content, then it is my right to convert that content to any convenient medium of my choosing -- IOW, if I buy a CD at a music store, then I also believe that I have the right to rip that CD so that I can listen to it on my portable MP3 player. Seems like the recording industry would beg to differ.

And that only scratches the surface of the scope problems. Can I loan my CD to a friend? What if the friend wants to rip it to listen on his MP3 player?

To my knowledge, mone of these issues have ever been substantially resolved in court.

Re:This could be big (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155891)

Do you think there's any chance at all the 2nd Circuit Appeals court will actually rule on some of the other issues at hand

And why wouldn't they?
-The issues are squarely presented.
-After 40,000 cases, there is ZERO appellate authority.
-The 2nd Circuit is considered by many to be the leading copyright court in the country.

Re:This could be big (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156663)

It seems to me that courts have a history of not ruling on issues that they feel might not be substantive to the case at hand. For instance, his privacy rights as relating to the First Amendment or the procedural problems with ex parte requests themselves might cause the 2nd Court to ignore the scope of copyright as insubstantial to the case at hand.

Re:This could be big (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27160147)

Okay, so deliberately behave in a way that will force their hand, that is, make a huge website containing all sorts of aids for exercising fair use (read:DeCSS etc), along with a warning to visitors to only use it under fair use (perhaps with a link to Wikipedia). IANAL, but I would love to see a case like that go to trial, if only because we might get a clearer (more favorable) ruling on Universal v. Reimerdes [wikipedia.org] (the DeCSS case in which the defendant asserted the unconstitutionality of the DMCA; the judge sidestepped the arguement)

Of course, IANAL, this is not legal advice, you might get yourself sued into the ground by doing this, etc.

Re:This could be big (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27155767)

This could be the first time we will have appellate review of the RIAA's wacky, un-American, "ex parte", "John Doe" procedures.

Yes, suing somebody for breaking the law is un-America. Just where the fuck do you get this shit from? I suppose if you had to sue somebody for libeling your law firm or for breach of contract, tortious interference, etc., then you would be un-American amigo? Stick to the legal points, melodrama isn't your strong point.

Re:This could be big (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155835)

> suing somebody for breaking the law is un-America. Just where the fuck do you get this shit from?

Why yes, it is unamerican.

Can you sue because some fool parallel parked too far from the curb?

Enforcement of law is not a job of civil courts.

Re:This could be big (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156005)

nice job only quoting part of the post

so who's job would it be then, Einstein, to enforce things like breach of contract, libel, tortious interference, and the like? Those things are civil law, like Copyright law in this case, and are enforced at the long arm -- not of police -- of civil lawsuits. And that principle is completely American.

Next time, don't intentionally twist my words by partially quoting me, jackass

Re:This could be big (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156097)

Next time try to post a coherent argument.

If you break your contract, you are sued for THAT, not violation of some law.

Theft is a criminal law. It should be pursued in criminal court. If you can't prove theft without breaking and entering, why should the courts treat you any better than the thief?

Re:This could be big (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156145)

icebike, my advice is not to waste your breath on that AC troll.

small step (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157633)

Enthusiasm is as yet little premature. Basically, this only says that the judge will let them make their argument.

Poor college kid (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27155419)

raises significant issues, some of first impression

Translation: I need to buy a suit but don't get paid for 2 weeks.

Slashdot, then and now (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156061)

Slashdot in 2000:

"Suing Napster is stupid! The RIAA should be going after individual copyright infringers. If they just did that, there wouldn't be a problem."

Slashdot in 2009:

"Suing individual copyright infringers is evil! The RIAA should do nothing while everybody pirates everything under the sun. That way, I can keep getting shit for free without feeling guilty."

Re:Slashdot, then and now (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156133)

No one is contesting that the RIAA should not be going after the copyright infringers. It is how they are going about it. They are gaming the legal system, going after innocent people knowing that almost NO ONE has the means to fight back. It is pretty much an extortion free-for-all.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158111)

You know what? I do contest that the RIAA should be going after the copyright "infringers". Furthermore, I think the systems of US copyright and patent law are profoundly broken.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27188937)

No one is contesting that the RIAA should not be going after the copyright infringers.

Are you and I reading the same Slashdot?

They are gaming the legal system, going after innocent people knowing that almost NO ONE has the means to fight back.

They're not gaming the system. They're suing those they discover to be distributing files. You're presuming that they're innocent so you can portray the RIAA as bad guys.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

usman_ismail (1394927) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156243)

Slashdot in 2012:

RIAA what is that?

ok that's wishful thinking that would be great

Innaccurate (4, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156373)

Slashdot now: "The RIAA should be going after anybody who profits from the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. In addition, the RIAA should be issuing take down notices or cease and desist orders to those it believes to be distributing copyrighted materials for free (which is the same thing your local library does!) In no case should the RIAA ignore established conventions of due process or rules of evidence (I.e. an easily falsified screen shot in and of itself is not evidence of infringement.)"

We also object to the Record Companies' use of hired guns; it would be much more appropriate for them to say "Sony Music is suing you!" rather than "The RIAA, a front for the Record Companies designed to evade accountability, is suing you!"

I probably missed some, but I think that is the gist of it.

Innaccurate concept of libraries (2, Insightful)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158361)

The difference is that libraries lend a limited number of copies.

Copyright is an industrial era concept that doesn't work terribly well in the information age where information scarcity no longer applies. Copyright was a wonderful innovation in its day, but today we need another way to encourage people to publish their works.

Anybody got any ideas?

Re:Innaccurate concept of libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27159063)

Copyright was a wonderful innovation in its day, but today we need another way to encourage people to publish their works.

Anybody got any ideas?

Yes. Tell them that in return for everyone downloading copies for free, they'll be able to make money by touring and selling t-shirts.

Re:Innaccurate concept of libraries (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27175855)

That's a good idea, Coward. It will probably work for audio once RIAA is pushed out of the way.

What about other media, like books? With books finally starting to go digital, how do we encourage authors to write good stuff if they can't simply take a cut of distributing the dead, processed trees? Must we enforce artificial scarcity via DRM? A solution now before DRM gets entrenched would be nice, please.

Re:Innaccurate concept of libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27159399)

Every library I've been to allows you to photocopy a few pages from reference books you need for a small fee.

Re:Innaccurate concept of libraries (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27160235)

That would be fair use, which the RIAA seems to believe is nonexistent in the age of information.

IANAL.

Re:Innaccurate concept of libraries (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27168697)

Our local library carries CDs and DVDs as well as books. They also have free Wi-Fi and make desks available for people to bring in their own laptops. I had a conversation with the librarian where I pointed out that anybody could come in, rip all the CDs to their laptop, and place them back on the shelf. If I recall correctly, his response was that he wasn't going to comment on whether or not that was fair use, he wasn't going to stop me, but if I did do that, then he didn't want to know about it. In other words, its not their job to be copyright police, but they want to maintain plausible deniability in case someone makes a stink about their material being copied.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (2, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156743)

Slashdot in 2009:

"Suing individual copyright infringers is evil!..."

Obviously, you haven't been paying attention to what "Slashdot in 2009" has been saying.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157423)

Personally, I'd have no problem with the RIAA if the damages sought were in any way related to any plausible cost. $2.97 per song shared. Assume that each file represents a lost sale and get triple damages because it's wilful infringement.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157521)

Personally, I'd have no problem with the RIAA if the damages sought were in any way related to any plausible cost. $2.97 per song shared. Assume that each file represents a lost sale and get triple damages because it's wilful infringement.

If you read up on all the procedural unfairness about the way they go about it, or all of the sloppiness in their methods, and their lack of concern for whether the defendant is innocent or not, I think you would have a "problem" -- even if the measure of damages they sought was rational instead of absurd.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (2, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157525)

how about: Suing Napster was stupid, they should have bought it.

The problem is that it is technically infeasible to stop filesharing without at the very least being massively invasive of privacy. Compounding the problem is that our current laws don't really take into account the fact that we have this massive high-speed data network built for the express purpose of moving files around.

So we're kind of screwed. On the one hand, our laws are draconian and out of date, and the organization supposedly protecting the rights of artists seems to act more like an organized crime syndicate. On the other hand, artists deserve to be compensated fairly, and we want to encourage respect for the law, lest we end up like China, where (I hear) everything is illegal, but only enforced arbitrarily.

This is a massive cultural shift. The RIAA has failed to catch the rising edge with Napster, and then with iTunes. Their position is absolutely untenable, and they're only making it worse with every passing day. I'd almost feel sorry for them if they had not had so many opportunities to understand what is going on.

It's a very complex issue, and many people are divided about it, but one thing is clear. If slashdot were as simple and morally bankrupt as you describe, I wouldn't be here. Actually, that sounds a lot like Digg...

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

burgundysizzle (1192593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158369)

This is a massive cultural shift.

Exactly, this whole issue probably should have stopped being a legal issue a fair while ago. It should now be a social issue.

I have no idea what should be done but rightly or wrongly when a sizable percentage of the population of a country is engaged in something that is (most likely) illegal it becomes a social issue. Prohibition doesn't work unless most of society accepts it.

In all likelyhood there will have to be reform of the way copyrights are licensed so it's possible to have blanket licensing without the myriad of bodies responsible for collecting fees for different things in different countries. This isn't a situation where the market can solve things as there is no competition allowed when it comes to copyright (excluding things like CC licensing).

I don't think copyright owners, collection societies etc want this seen as a social issue however as that means government intervention and actions being taken they won't have too much say in.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158025)

What does breaking a law have to do with this at all?

Seeing as the RIAA presses charges against printers, the elderly with no computers, dead people, and people downloading creative commons music (OMG\OHNOZ!! FREE MUSIC! THIEF!11OnE), how can you honestly and blindly believe anything they claim anymore?

Seeing as they have no problems suing all of those types of people when nothing the RIAA had copyrighted was involved, who is to say you aren't next? I for one sorta hope you are, so we can laugh.. Ok, no, wrong is wrong, I'd help.

But you still sound like a troll for claiming you have no problems with them suing and then blackmailing you for doing nothing wrong...

Re:Slashdot, then and now (4, Interesting)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158375)

Yeah, that one slashdot guy is a total hypocrit!

What they *should* have done is bought napster, kept it running as was, promoted the hell out of it, and made buckets of money with advertising and promotion. Imagine radio, but with the ad dollars going straight into the record labels pockets (with a small percentage going to the actual artists, as usual)

But since we're on the suing individual uploaders path, lets examine that:

1) laughable standards of evidence gathering. Infringement notices sent to network printers, or even people sharing their own work with a vaguely similar name to something else.

2) Arguably illegal methods of evidence gathering, certainly unlicenced investigators

3) abuse of due process to get default judgements before the defendent even knows they're being sued

4) going after innocent people when it's clear they're innocent; grannies sued for the use of windows software on her mac

5) going after people, no matter the method. Suing dead people, or after losing the case against the parent, refile against the under-age kids

6) extortion; pay a fine now to our settlement centre, or face huge court costs regardless of your innocence

7) blatant lies in court, with technical 'experts' not even considering alternative explanations (unsecured wireless etc), the misrepresentation of 'making available', etc etc

8) going after alleged infringers for huge fines; civil cases are supposedly about making good the plaintiff's losses, instead they want judgements running to hundreds of thousands times their actual losses

9) other abuses of the political and legal system, like root-kits, lobbying for the right to destroy alledged infringers computers remotely, or the three-strikes laws with no evidence required to cut people off the internet at will,
ever increasing retroactive copyright terms, destroying the public domain.

10) doing everything in their power to destroy or limit legitimate alternatives to their current system; hulu/boxee, raising the prices on itunes, DRM, massive rate hikes for online radio, the PRS and google music videos, the list goes on and on.

11) still treating the actual artists like crap, screwing them out of even the small amounts they're contracted to pay for say, online radio

The media cartels are actively damaging the public good, the artists, the legal and political systems with their witch-hunt. and for what?

'home taping is killing music'; 'don't copy that floppy'; 'The VCR is to the movie industry what the Boston Strangler was to a woman alone'; 'you wouldn't steal a car'.

Every time the copyright cartels have complained about new technology destroying their business model, and fighting it kicking and screaming for a few years, it turns round and becomes their new biggest way to make money. Good art is still hard to make; quality and convenience still have value. There's still money to be made, when the economy isn't in the crapper, anyway.

Re:Slashdot, then and now (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158803)

But since we're on the suing individual uploaders path, lets examine that: 1) laughable standards of evidence gathering. Infringement notices sent to network printers, or even people sharing their own work with a vaguely similar name to something else. 2) Arguably illegal methods of evidence gathering, certainly unlicenced investigators 3) abuse of due process to get default judgements before the defendent even knows they're being sued 4) going after innocent people when it's clear they're innocent; grannies sued for the use of windows software on her mac 5) going after people, no matter the method. Suing dead people, or after losing the case against the parent, refile against the under-age kids 6) extortion; pay a fine now to our settlement centre, or face huge court costs regardless of your innocence 7) blatant lies in court, with technical 'experts' not even considering alternative explanations (unsecured wireless etc), the misrepresentation of 'making available', etc etc 8) going after alleged infringers for huge fines; civil cases are supposedly about making good the plaintiff's losses, instead they want judgements running to hundreds of thousands times their actual losses 9) other abuses of the political and legal system, like root-kits, lobbying for the right to destroy alledged infringers computers remotely, or the three-strikes laws with no evidence required to cut people off the internet at will, ever increasing retroactive copyright terms, destroying the public domain. 10) doing everything in their power to destroy or limit legitimate alternatives to their current system; hulu/boxee, raising the prices on itunes, DRM, massive rate hikes for online radio, the PRS and google music videos, the list goes on and on. 11) still treating the actual artists like crap, screwing them out of even the small amounts they're contracted to pay for say, online radio

arkhan, you have been doing your reading, haven't you? Nice.

Free music for all! (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158575)

I haven't posted to these things in a while. Karma be dammed.

I've been on slashdot a while, I've seen the argument change from
I can't buy music online, just sell it
(they started selling it)
I don't want music with DRM.
(Legit complaint, now most music stores don't have DRM)

Now whats the excuse for pirating?

Doesn't anyone want musicians to earn something?

Seriously in case nobody noticed they Represent the "RECORDING INDUSTRY". Not you, not me, not the artists. Remember though, they (the RIAA) pay the artists much more than those pirating (where last time I checked the artists gets 0). So in some ways the RIAA way is protecting themselves, they overstep, but seriously look what they're up against.

As someone who knows 2 professional musicians, publicity is good but at some point you need to pay the bills. A lot of smaller bands give away music if you just take the time to visit their sites.

Re:Free music for all! (2)

Gorshkov (932507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27159773)

Doesn't anyone want musicians to earn something? Seriously in case nobody noticed they Represent the "RECORDING INDUSTRY". Not you, not me, not the artists. Remember though, they (the RIAA) pay the artists much more than those pirating (where last time I checked the artists gets 0). So in some ways the RIAA way is protecting themselves, they overstep, but seriously look what they're up against. As someone who knows 2 professional musicians, publicity is good but at some point you need to pay the bills. A lot of smaller bands give away music if you just take the time to visit their sites.

My daughter downloads a metric buttload of music every week, and listens to it.

When she finds a group she likes, she buys the CD or DVD, concert DVDS, tshirts, posters, and all the other paraphernalia. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't listen to it.

For groups she already knows she likes, she won't even download the stuff in the first place - she feels guilty, and will suffer without until she can afford to buy it.

Her downloading costs artists/labels/whoever exactly ZERO sales .... and generates more than they would have had otherwise.

She must be personally responsible for the sales of at least 10 DVDs of Repo: The Genetic Opera, and at least that many more for a group called Juno Reactor, after proselytizing to all her friends.

She should be getting a commission, not a subpoena.

Re:Free music for all! (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162841)

Doesn't anyone want musicians to earn something?

Seriously in case nobody noticed they Represent the "RECORDING INDUSTRY". Not you, not me, not the artists.

Musicians, their families, friends and fans (of the musicians, not their music) want them to earn something. These days it seems nobody else really cares, as they don't think they'll be earning enough to make a difference anyway.

Remember though, they (the RIAA) pay the artists much more than those pirating (where last time I checked the artists gets 0). So in some ways the RIAA way is protecting themselves, they overstep, but seriously look what they're up against.

I'm seriously looking: they appear to be up against people who want a vibrant culture without dealing with a bunch of middlemen, who have figured out that they have extremely low-cost, high-bandwidth access to cultural information via the internet. As a comparison: I could set up an info-booth where I sell information to people about where the best coffee shops are, where bus stops are, where you can stand to see a rainbow, and also sell quotes, quips, and famous sayings. As soon as people discover that they can use some more convenient way to share this information with each other, it doesn't really matter if the coffee shops are getting kickbacks every time I make a referral (or vice versa) -- culture has routed around a choke point in the sharing of cultural information (my info booth). My booth still has a legitimate place in the landscape, as my information is likely to be accurate, timely, and persistent, but that gives me no excuse to stoop to underhanded tactics to try and corner the market on the information I attempt to distribute. I am not a cultural gatekeeper; I'm one of many cultural mediators.

As someone who knows 2 professional musicians, publicity is good but at some point you need to pay the bills. A lot of smaller bands give away music if you just take the time to visit their sites.

As someone who knows many professional musicians, composers, studio managers and others, and also knows many, many, more casual musicians, composers and garage studio operators, selling the information is not a way to pay the bills; selling icons that act as cultural signposts pays the bills. These icons are generally live venue performance tickets, merchandise, and recordings. Notice that I said recordings, and not the right to perform a recording on a certain piece of equipment in specific conditions.

Music and acting are (or should be) such an intrinsic part of our society that everyone feels comfortable participating, not just consuming. The current Recording Industry tactics are turning something that was once part of who we all were into something that is produced by one strata of society and consumed by the rest -- this isn't healthy for the producers or the consumers.

Well, that's enough of a rant for now. I'll leave it to others to make the counter-points.

Re:Free music for all! (1)

loutr (626763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27164217)

they (the RIAA) pay the artists much more than those pirating (where last time I checked the artists gets 0)

Yeah, go tell that to Cult of Luna, Isis, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, ... All of whom I discovered through P2P and ended up buying their albums/DVDs/Concert tickets/Tshirts. The majors would never have signed these kind of bands, and large retail chains hardly carry their albums, and when they do it's as €20 "imports".

So I "steal" their music through P2P, if I end up listening to it often I'll buy the album on emusic, amazon, or order merchandise on the band website.

I don't want everything for free. I want to take advantage of the possibility to sample an artist's work, before I make a buying decision. And no, 30s clips or streaming from myspace aren't enough. So please let me enjoy music this way, it costs *nothing* to the music industry or the artist, and they can end up making a nice profit from it.

Re:Free music for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27165359)

As someone who knows 2 professional musicians, publicity is good but at some point you need to pay the bills. A lot of smaller bands give away music if you just take the time to visit their sites.

Sir, I am a pirate. I copied "the man song" and sent it out to all of my friends.
Then when the comic who sang it came to give a show.
We all went to see him.
Which we would not have done, if I had not pirated and introduced my friends to his material.

So, instead of making pennys for the song he made dollars through our attendance.

Furthermore, he bitched about downloaders on stage. I spoke to him briefly at the end of the night and explained that without the downloaders his crowd would have had at least 15 less people there. And, that... is cash in the bank.

Re:Free music for all! (1)

Ambient Sheep (458624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27175653)

And what was his reaction when you told him that? (No hidden agenda, I'm just genuinely curious.)
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?