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Nesson & Camara Increase Attack Against RIAA

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the bad-business-models dept.

The Courts 193

eldavojohn writes "We talked about Charlie Nesson of Harvard Law School before, and it may not have been known to you, but he is backing former student and Jammie Thomas' new lawyer, K.A.D. Camara. Ars is reporting that Nesson is upping the charges against the RIAA. Not only is file-sharing fair use, but the $100,000,000 the RIAA has collected through fear is due back to those wrongly accused. He's also increasing the number of fronts he's fighting. On Camara's website, he indicates that in another case, Brittany English (pro bono), they 'are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these — 150,000:1 — are unconstitutional and that the RIAA's campaign to extract settlements from individuals by the threat of such unconstitutional damages is itself unlawful, enjoin the RIAA's unlawful campaign, and order the RIAA to return the $100M+ that it obtained as a result of its unlawful campaign.'"

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Frosty (-1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059875)

Piss

hey, a modern saint! (4, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059877)

skip the three steps, Vatican, and buy this man a gold chair and cape!

Re:hey, a modern saint! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060167)

Yeah, I'm sure the idea of collecting the usual 30% of that $100M on behalf of all the class plaintiffs the lawyer is "representing" never crossed his mind.

Re:hey, a modern saint! (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060475)

IANAL, but consider this.

Doing this kind of work requires you invest tons of hours and probably a bit of money in expenses for which there is a high likelihood you can never recoup. Like any other investment the greater the risk the greater the rewards must be to attract anyone. Lawyers who do this sort of work are investing with time and materials that they could have been using to do work that was more likely or even certain to pay off.

Its often not something you can do on the side either. You are up against of team of lawyers with corporate backing, If you half ass it you probably don't stand a chance. How big a cut of something like this would it take for you to risk quiting your day job for? with odd that are probably quite long?

****

Now consider you are a member of the represented class you have been abused by the RIAA directly. You fought them and lost, or settled and paid up. You though you were out your 100K settlement or damages. Now someone comes along and puts the smack down on the thugs you could not defeat or did not think it was even to your interest to try and fight. They also manage to return 70% of your losses to you. I suspect most people would be great full to get 70K refunded to them of 100K they thought they'd lost forever.

I don't find the lawyer's take on these types of things all that outrageous when you look at it objectively.

Re:hey, a modern saint! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060555)

Great full? WTF? Ahh, you meant grateful. I was wondering how those poor starving people were full :)

Re:hey, a modern saint! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060199)

Chair and a cape? Toilet and a grandad more like, this is terrible news. The last time something this bad happened I was in the airforce and they'd broken the valves, and I had to send for the captain to get them fixed. How is this going to help?

Re:hey, a modern saint! (1)

drgould (24404) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060393)

Unless I'm mistaken (and I probably am), a person must perform a miracle before they can be declared a saint.

If he wins, that would probably qualify.

Re:hey, a modern saint! (3, Funny)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060813)

You also have to be dead -- I'm sure the RIAA would be happy to oblige.

Re:hey, a modern saint! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060755)

skip the three steps, Vatican, and buy this man a gold chair and cape!

Not just any saint, a saint-Lawyer - one of the rarest kind.

Would not want to be outside window (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28061421)

If he is anything like Balmer and they lose.

My Take (0, Redundant)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059893)

It is my hope that they just flat out kick the RIAA's collective butts from Main to Cali.

Re:My Take (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28059903)

It's spelled Maine you fucking retard.

Re:My Take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060095)

It's called a typo, dingleberry.

Re:My Take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060665)

actually, in this case, it's a schnozzberry

Re:My Take (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060449)

Who's fucking retards? Maine Coons? Those cats are pretty big, but Corky has the upside of Downs Syndrome: huge dick, superhuman strength and the desire to hump everything in site. Maybe the touch of the Downs has confused Corky.

Main Coon == pussy
pussy != vagina

Oh, now I see. != confuses Corky. He's undoubtably confused "bang equal" with "banging equal". He's not much of a coder, he's really more of the idea guy. I'm pretty sure he wrote Matrix 2, Boxing Helena, Crash AND came up with the suck off scene in Swordfish. Best job interview EVAH! Don't you see what I mean? He's an idea guy! Oh, that Corky!!! Not too smart but a heart of Au.

Please, my double personality AC, go and find Corky and let him know he's banging the wrong kind of pussy. He's really more of a Charo type. Cuchi-cuchi!

Re:My Take (3, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059975)

It's actually funny how all they are fighting for seems just like common sense. The RIAA is blackmailing all the people they can, under ridiculously claims... Man, 150000:1, who in their right mind could come up with something that stupid !!!???!!!

Re:My Take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060295)

Politicians.

On the take of course.

Re:My Take (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060835)

Man, 150000:1, who in their right mind could come up with something that stupid !!!???!!!

I can't be bothered to dig up the year they last changed those figures, but it's old like before online copying was a problem. So if you got one guy making 100 copies of a book, one liability = 150,000$. In modern day file sharing everyone makes one copy - what's the point to having more than one copy - so you have 100 guys making 1 copy, 100 liabilities = 15,000,000$. Basicly the punishment is made for a completely different situation.

Slashdot users are fucking bastards. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28059905)

I amm going to write a virus for linux and then get all slashdot users to have their penises cemented into bricks.

FAIL (-1, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060055)

My penis is already cemented into a brick, what are you going to do about that?

Go, Kiwi, Go! (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059909)

After reading on Slashdot about this guy and reading more on the internet, I've become his fan. I wish him well.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060071)

Do you turn your back on NYCL so quickly just because some real-life Doogey Houser thinks he can take on an establishment that has been bought and paid for? Not only will there be high resistance from the courts, there will be heavy resistance from the DoJ and possibly even the Obama administration. These media people have a lot of favors they can call in.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (1)

zimagold (1202347) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060569)

He should change his name to John Connor and lead the resistance!

Nonsense! (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060639)

Do you turn your back on NYCL so quickly

Who says we have to have just one hero? All we've done here is to go from Superman to The Justice League.

So, more heroes please! Keep 'em coming!

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (2, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060211)

Charlie Nesson has lost his mind. I support the movement, but claiming that file sharing is protected under "fair use" is a horrible legal argument..

Then it's par for the course (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060653)

This entire fiasco is full of horrible legal arguments. John Doe bulk filesuits, extortion, racketeering, the notion that you are your IP, settlement letters before suit is filed...you name it.

Having it close on a horrible argument would be poetic at this point.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060673)

Why go for fair~ We know the RIAA isn't going for fair. So why not try and shoot for the moon. If it does become fair-use I know many people who will be rejoicing.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060709)

record companies used to claim the art work and physical cd were valuable and worth the high price in the 90s.

therefore if thats still true, the music it self is a smaller portion of value of the whole cd, and if a copy in mp3 is 1/2 the quality, then it represents an even lower value.

And no, online shops and sony dont sell 'convenience' we can create our own convenience thank you.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (3, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060731)

He is just striking back "in kind". His claim is no more ridiculous than any and all claims made by the RIAA.

Imagine chest pains in certain board rooms at the thought that this could be ruled on against them. Just the thought, kind of like how their victims have felt.

Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061475)

I support the movement, but claiming that file sharing is protected under "fair use" is a horrible legal argument.

Actually the way you, and perhaps they, have expressed the issue is overly simplistic. "File sharing" is a broad term. There are many factual scenarios under its penumbra. Some of those scenarios would constitute fair use, some would not, and some would fall into a gray area to which we do not know the answer. There has been NO litigation of the "fair use" defense in the RIAA v. Individual cases, except for a single 2003 case in which the only question was whether running off unauthorized copies of unauthorized copies on a p2p file sharing network, and placing those in permanent hard copies on the defendant's computer, was a "fair use". The Court held that it was not. But there are many other possible fact patterns, none of which have presented themselves yet in a litigation context.

Meanwhile the constitutionality defense -- that the RIAA's theory of statutory damages fails to pass constitutional muster under the Due Process Clause due to the disproportionality to actual damages -- is certain to succeed, in my professional opinion, once the issue ripens.

I doubt that'll work (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28059955)

On Camara's website, he indicates that in another case, Brittany English (pro bono), they 'are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these â" 150,000:1 â" are unconstitutional

When it comes to the courts, including the Supreme Court, it seems that corporations' power compared to people are allowed to be practically infinite so long as they're not literally listed as infinite. See: extensions of copyright, corporate personhood.

Hate to be a downer.. (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059969)

Why we here on /. may agree, we are talking about big business here. I wish I had the confidence to say this has a fighting chance, but I just don't. Too many times $ has allowed corporations to steamroll over the little people, even if the little people added up. Small and laughable settlements are like salt in the sugar. Sure, the tea is now sweeter, but I am still paying for salt instead of sugar and now the tea really doesn't taste that well.

Even worse with DoJ in **IA's pocket (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060085)

When seen in the context of an administration which is stuffing the Department of Justice with lawyers with strong ties to the entertainment industries, your post is even bleaker....

Re:Even worse with DoJ in **IA's pocket (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061231)

There good lawyers who now have a different client.

I think they were some excellent recommendations.

Heroic but probably a bit too much (1)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059973)

I applaud the bravery but I think they're asking too much. I'd focus now on convincing the judge filesharing should be regarded as fair use, making the RIAA repay their debts afterwards will be easy as pie. Making the RIAA repay first may even be easier. Although I'm not familiar with their justice system, in my opinion this looks more unfair and I'm sure a fair judge will feel the same way. I'm guessing they're aiming high and ask a lot to have a bigger chance to get at least a small success. And... you never know.

Re:Heroic but probably a bit too much (1)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060121)

That is a fine strategy if you are worried people aren't going to take you seriously but this guy is a renowned professor at Harvard. He should have more than enough credibility to make a difference here and I don't see how dragging things on longer will do anything other than give the RIAA time to sweet talk some more politicians and judges.

Don't let their legal thugs off the hook (3, Insightful)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28059977)

Make sure their lawyers are disbarred too.

Re:Don't let their legal thugs off the hook (4, Informative)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060107)

Make sure their lawyers are disbarred too.

Especially the five that now hold senior positions at the Department of Justice.

Re:Don't let their legal thugs off the hook (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060591)

Nice

Re:Don't let their legal thugs off the hook (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060883)

goodluckwiththat

Seriously, getting lawyers knocked out of the DOJ?

You're reaching into a political hornet's nest.

It would take a watergate to get them out.

Re:Don't let their legal thugs off the hook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28061543)

goodluckwiththat

Seriously, getting lawyers knocked out of the DOJ?

You're reaching into a political hornet's nest.

It would take a watergate to get them out.

Yes, it would take another Watergate.

Unfortunately, today's press is too enamored with giving Obama blowjobs instead of investigating things like 5 RIAA lawyers winding up at the DOJ.

Because it was no coincidence that Watergate happened to Nixon, who the press HATED.

Even the criminals have rights (-1, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060093)

It is good to see people getting good and passionate legal representation — and even bona-fide criminals deserve it.

But lost behind it all is the primary problem — "Thou shalt not steal". Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document [wikipedia.org] ", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

For "file sharing" is much closer to actual theft (of tangible things), than the Freedom of Speech is to selling pornography [about.com] , for example.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060181)

Oh dear god, kindly fuck off.

Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060259)

Yes, because it's all about the publishers. No artist could possibly want to sell their work. They'd much rather pack your bags at the grocery store and then go home to make music, video games, movies and books for you in the evening because they like you so much.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060557)

Yes, because it's all about the publishers. No artist could possibly want to sell their work. They'd much rather pack your bags at the grocery store and then go home to make music, video games, movies and books for you in the evening because they like you so much.

Yes, because that's the only alternative. No artist could possibly make money from their work if they didn't have a government-granted license to restrict other people's speech. They'd rather give up and go work at grocery stores than adopt a sensible business model that isn't threatened by technology.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060857)

Sure, just please explain to us how a small, unknown artist is to get a name for him or herself without any legal recourse to a bunch of assholes nicking his/her work early on, claiming it as their own, and running off with an ill-gotten reputation. Sure, once everyone catches on, the assholes get nothing, but the work and name of the artist is tarnished as well.

Oh, wait, sorry, did someone forget to inform you that copyright law is more than just making money? It also entails plagiarism and similar concepts.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2)

retroStick (1040570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061011)

Make it free.

Sure, sell hard copies, merchandise, etc. to profit from your creativity, but you can benefit mankind much more by releasing your art to the public domain.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (3, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061057)

Oh, wait, sorry, did someone forget to inform you that copyright law is more than just making money? It also entails plagiarism and similar concepts.

You know what else also "entails" plagiarism and similar concepts? Anti-fraud laws. Lying about something in order to sell it is already illegal.

You don't need copyright in order to outlaw plagiarism. Even if you find that existing anti-fraud laws aren't enough, then you can pass a new law that specifically forbids passing someone else's work off as your own, and you still won't need copyright.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061293)

Why would you need to pass it off as your own? WalMart sells stuff every day that they didn't make. So they could just as easily sell artists work without compensating them. No copyright law means there would be nothing to prevent this from happening.

Trust me, WalMart and Sony have already figured this part out and know exactly what to do should something like the elimination of copyright law. They will make more money than ever before.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061537)

"Sure, just please explain to us how a small, unknown artist is to get a name for him or herself without any legal recourse to a bunch of assholes nicking his/her work early on, claiming it as their own, and running off with an ill-gotten reputation."

Do you really think Homer was a big known Sony-backed up artist prior to his Illiad? But somehow he did manage to become famous and respected without neither a Sony contract nor 90-year-after-death copyright laws.

"Oh, wait, sorry, did someone forget to inform you that copyright law is more than just making money?"

Do you really think so? Nowadays?

"It also entails plagiarism and similar concepts."

Sorry to splash your bubble, but not: plagiarism and copyright are not in the same boat. They are not even on the same ocean.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061263)

If there was no law to prevent it, Sony or WalMart would simply grab all the music they could get and put it out on a CD you could buy. For the people that (a) don't have Internet broadband and (b) people that don't know any better this would be much more convenient. They would make millions and the artists would get nothing.

They could probably out-distribute the artists with their own work. Why not? WalMart is the biggest distribution channel in the world.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061279)

Without copyright, artist would loose money because publishers/music/movie corporations would just take it.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060351)

"Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers"

Nicely summarized aren requoted for Great Truth. How did mankind ever advance for thousands and thousands of years without copyright.... it must have been horrible :P

I'd also add that current implementations of copyright even screw the CREATORS in the way intangible things can be appropriated by other intangible things we've given personhood and call corporations.

"corporation" CAN be redefined and reforumulated... it certainly seems to be more cancerous than helpful to society lately...

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060537)

"Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining personal profit without individual responsibility."
      - Ambrose Bierce

Re:Even the criminals have rights (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061247)

true, and for a limited time, that's a good thing.

More then 14 years is too much.

14 years is less then a generation; which is what it takes for something to really penetrate as part of the culture, and it's a little after the point wen most people are really getting any money.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (5, Informative)

reddburn (1109121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061251)

Oh dear god, kindly fuck off. Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers.

Copyright is based on precedent, one that originally promoted original art. Once upon a time, anyone with a printing press could take someone's work and make a book. Authors were getting screwed, particularly overseas authors: American publishers were printing Dickens without paying royalties and British houses were doing likewise to Melville (one reason he died a pauper - he was vastly more popular in Britain, but never saw a cent for his books printed there). Establishing Copyright and an international treaty made it possible for artists to make a buck. Like any law, it needs retooling, but to dismiss the concept of copyright as amoral is puerile.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061545)

... kindly fuck off.

Wow! If that's not an insightful response, I don't know, what would be!

Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers.

Even the copyright on GPL-licensed content [linuxdevices.com] ? Ooopsie...

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060213)

For "file sharing" is much closer to actual theft (of tangible things), than the Freedom of Speech is to selling pornography [about.com], for example.

Nobody loses anything if you download a song. If I steal your car you lose your car.

How many times do we have to go over this?

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060337)

You don't lose anything if I steal your credit card information either. The idea is that you'll lose money over it.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060375)

that is retarded. I dont lose anything if you steal my credit card number. I do infact lose money if you steal that using my credit card number.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060415)

You don't lose anything if I steal your credit card information either.

No, that's quite true. If you copy my credit card information and do nothing at all with it, I don't lose anything. If on the other hand you copy my credit card information, then impersonate me and start buying things with it, then it costs me money. COSTS me money. As in, I have to pay the bills for your spending.

The only sense in which the victims of copyright infringement lose money is that they don't get money they might otherwise have had. That's a very different thing from taking away money which they actually did have.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060617)

The only sense in which the victims of copyright infringement lose money is that they don't get money they might otherwise have had. That's a very different thing from taking away money which they actually did have.

Right -- and it's a thing we've all come to accept already as a fact of doing business.

If I decide not to see Terminator Salvation (because I've heard it sucks), the theater and the studio are "losing" money they might otherwise have had. The reviewers who convince me not to buy a ticket are every bit as responsible for that "lost" revenue as the file sharers who give out free copies so other people don't have to buy tickets. So if the anti-P2P forces are so concerned about lost revenue, why aren't they fighting against bad reviews too?

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060651)

Ah, but that's the thing, they are fighting against bad reviews. They co-opt reviewers to make sure they get good reviews and seek to have fired, or simply sue reviewers who give them bad reviews. This is the quality of people we're dealing with here.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061297)

Becasue it's different when you actual partake in the service and not pay.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061433)

Bad reviews are one thing. Competitors pounding out bad reviews are another. Legitimate bad reviews can be good - they can point out flaws in something that can be corrected. But one thing that is easy on the Internet is to get people to put in phony "reviews" that just say not to go to a restaurant or something because the food is terrible or someone got sick there.

The true power of the Internet is that it makes all reviews meaningless because phoney ones are so easy to come by. But most people don't know that. So they pay attention. And competition lives on, by hook or by crook.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061373)

Sorry, nobody ever pays for credit card fraud. It is just a cost of doing business for merchants. I've never heard of a cardholder paying for fraud.

Now the merchants don't like it much because indeed they do have to pay. Both in fines (for submitting fraudulent charges) and in merchandise they didn't get paid for.

So in this way you can say that credit card thieves are just sticking it to those nasty corporate merchants. Unless you happen to be one.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060413)

Nobody loses anything if you download a song.

Bzzzzz, wrong. Thanks for playing...

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

hldn (1085833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060671)

i havent purchased a cd in years. i also do not download "pirated" music. if today, i went and downloaded a "pirated" cd from somewhere on the internet, what has anyone lost? (besides bandwidth)

same if i download a movie, who is losing what? regardless of whether i download it or not, i certainly wouldnt have paid any money to see it in a theatre, and i certainly wouldnt have paid even more than that to own it on dvd. either way, no one is getting my money.

as far as it concerns me, i have gained a copy of a movie/cd/song and no one has lost anything.

maybe you can explain how someone lost something in these cases?

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061329)

OK, since you got a copy you can "share" it with me. I would have paid, but I am cheap. I would rather download it from you (or anyone else on the planet) rather than pay.

I guess if I have to pay, I might. But I don't want to. I am cheap and I know it. The Internet today is assisting me in being cheap. Low price trumps everything, which means if I can get it for free I win.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060221)

So wait, when I buy a CD, I don't actually own it?

Re:Even the criminals have rights (5, Insightful)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060253)

But lost behind it all is the primary problem — "Thou shalt not steal". Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document [wikipedia.org] ", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

The Ten Commandments != The Constitution

Re:Even the criminals have rights (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060567)

Hey wait.. that explains George W. Bush's entire presidency!

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060863)

Please review the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy http://www.goodcopybadcopy.net/ [goodcopybadcopy.net] then return for the scheduled discussion 3rd period.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (4, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060263)

But lost behind it all is the primary problem — "Thou shalt not steal". Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document [wikipedia.org] ", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

It's not like they're set in stone.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060481)

That was proverbially funny! You really nailed that joke.

(If you're out there, God, please don't nuke me. It's all in good fun.)

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060269)

Who cares what the ten commandments might theoretically say?

Even the minority that claim to care about them as real guiding principles of their lives do not consider them relevant or meaningful in any modern context. They are actively countermanded by the very same text that documents them.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060297)

Excellent job of laying the problem at the feet of those namby-pamby liberals! Bravo, sir!

If you want to debate the merits of strict constructionism, do that on your own time. Don't try to shoehorn it onto the infringement v. theft debate.

For what it's worth, there is a good chance that these damages are unconstitutional under precedent from BMW v. Gore and Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker.

Sincerely,

An Originalist

Re:Even the criminals have rights (4, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060463)

But lost behind it all is the primary problem â" "Thou shalt not steal".

The primary problem is not that people are stealing, the primary problem is that people don't think they are stealing.

And the primary question is: is the problem a problem with the moral health of people, or is the problem a problem with the entertainment industry's business model?

Are people as a collective allowed to decide what is publicly transferable? I would say, yeah. That's a bummer for those who profit when copies of works are scarce in the economic sense but then again times change. And the Ten Commandments don't contain any guarantees from God about the minimum level of profitability of the music business.

Of course one should always obey the laws of the land. Except when one shouldn't. For example, civil disobedience in protest of the arbitrary and disproportionate victimization of ordinary people by powerful elites has always gotten sympathetic treatment in the history books.

On this one, I predict the history books will portray the industry as a callous group who tried to enforce their will on the populace by making people terrified of their wrath.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060895)

And the primary question is: is the problem a problem with the moral health of people, or is the problem a problem with the entertainment industry's business model?

You could probably argue the former, but like most things that take on a new and typically abstract form, there's too much pychological distance for morality to play a significant role. Financial crimes, for example, typically cause more real loss or damage to people's lives than a bank robbery, but are rarely considered as serious. That's why stealing a physical CD from a retail store can be considered taboo, but downloading digital files from the intarwebs will be viewed as something that's ordinary if not acceptable.

Then, of course, there's the issue of what a downloaded file is really worth. There's eleventy million mp3 files out there on the intarwebs, so individually, they can't possibly be worth very much, right? From the point of view of the casual downloader, the only monetary value associated with a few minutes of network activity is the electricity used to power the blinky lights. If downloading files is a crime, then its moral equivalency is telling your girlfriend that no, those jeans don't make her look fat.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061349)

It is NOT stealing, it's copyright infringement.
If you can't understand why that is, and why there is a specific law regarding it then you really have no business talking about it.

Calling it by it's correct name in no way endorses violating it.

And the Commandments are a myth built upon another myth with no proof.
SO, fuck em.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28061493)

"It is NOT stealing, it's copyright infringement.
If you can't understand why that is, and why there is a specific law regarding it then you really have no business talking about it."

Just stop with this idiocy. Copyright infringement is stealing. Get a fucking dictionary. Steal(v): to acquire without authorization. Calling it stealing in no way affects the ethical, social, economic, and legal issues involved in setting the proper bounds for enforcement of copyright.

End of story. If you can't understand why your ignorant meme is neither legally nor semantically defensible, you have no business talking about it. "Stealing" isn't a legal term of art, so you're not making a legal terminology argument. You're not making a semantic argument, either, because "stealing" does not refer exclusively to any quantitative measure of loss.

The sooner you stop wasting your time on stupid displays of ignorance, the better.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0, Offtopic)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060849)

I got the karma to burn so I just gotta ask. Where the heck does somebody come off blaming losing their job because of Obama? Do you work for Blackwater? Last I checked this recession pre-dated the new administration. I suppose if somebody has to lose their job, it might as well be somebody who is a supporter of the policies that put us there. Not the rest of us that went with the other guy both times.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28061117)

Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document [wikipedia.org] ", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

Are you kidding me? Name the one person allegedly copying fish and bread in the bible!

Re:Even the criminals have rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28061165)

But lost behind it all is the primary problem — "Thou shalt not steal". Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document [wikipedia.org] ", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT.. You're quoting from a book that for the most part plagiarized most of it's stories from other religions? Hypocrite. Not you sir, just the book in which you refer.

Re:Even the criminals have rights (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061457)

The ten commandments are also a little outdated. Thou shalt not covert another man's wife? Really? So I can't fap to some other guy's chick if she's married? Okay, fair call. But women can covert all the men they want? That's not exactly fair. What about gay couples? Coverting is completely okay? Lesbians, too? Interesting...

If the ten commandments and by extension the bible were, indeed, a living document a LOT more changes would come before the copywrite infringment stuff. Sorry.

My humble take on all this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060239)

This guy is pushing extremes in court, but, isn't that what the *IA has been doing all this time? Because of this extremes, I have people telling me when, how and for how long I can listen/view to tracks/movies I have legally purchased. I don't know about you, but if I buy a movie I want to see it however I damn please, whenever I damn please with whoever I damn please. Same applies to music. I've had enough of this bullcrap, so I for once, welcome our new amoral lawyer overlord.

Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060327)

Just another article to let the pirates on Slashdot feel like good guys for bashing the RIAA. If you haven't noticed, Slashdot is up to posting two to three of these kinds of stories every day now because they generate easy page hits and help people forget that they're ripping artists off.

File-sharing of copyrighted materials is not fair use. Why do you think big names like John Carmack no longer post on Slashdot? This website has adopted a position that he doesn't deserve to be paid for his work simply because the RIAA and MPAA exist. It's ridiculous and juvenile. Pirates are just human leeches who don't want to lose the free ride, so they try to make somebody else look like the bad guys to absolve themselves of guilty feelings. Human nature is a selfish thing, and the denial around here is constant.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060397)

A lot of Slashdotters are college kids soaking up dorm room bandwidth in uTorrent. The rest have been pirating things for years using everything from Napster to Bittorrent, so people are just used to getting the free ride and will brush off any guilty thoughts because it's easy and convenient. Remember that Slashdot is very pro-Linux and pro-GPL, so there's an attitude of providing things for free. The thing is, the GPL relies on copyright to exist. It's actually a copyright and usage license, even though Slashdot often posts stories about how evil copyright laws and EULAs are. And, of course, there are the stories of "stolen" GPL code, even though we constantly hear that "piracy isn't theft." It's pointless to point out these kinds of hypocrisies, because the mod system is so easily gamed to drown those kinds of criticisms out. A lot of people come here to pat each other on the back for thinking a certain way, rewarding themselves with +5 Insightful ratings. It's just how it is around here, but sometimes you get the dissenting opinions that are actually responded to rather than censored by overreacting mods, and you get an interesting discussion out of it.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060687)

Remember that Slashdot is very pro-Linux and pro-GPL, so there's an attitude of providing things for free. The thing is, the GPL relies on copyright to exist. It's actually a copyright and usage license, even though Slashdot often posts stories about how evil copyright laws and EULAs are.

The primary benefit of the GPL, according to many of us, is that it turns copyright against itself, restoring the freedoms that copyright took away in the first place.

In a world with no copyright, there wouldn't be nearly as much need for the GPL: we'd all be free to distribute software, patches, and reverse engineered source code. If you release a proprietary fork of Linux and refuse to give out the source code, that's OK, we'll just disassemble it and incorporate your changes into our open-source branch.

And, of course, there are the stories of "stolen" GPL code, even though we constantly hear that "piracy isn't theft."

I agree that it's a poor choice of words, but "stealing" GPL code is actually closer to theft than copying commercial works is. It deprives end users of the source code and the distribution rights that they rightfully should have.

It's pointless to point out these kinds of hypocrisies, because the mod system is so easily gamed to drown those kinds of criticisms out.

You mean, the people who point out flaws in your arguments get modded up, while your flawed arguments get modded down? Gee, what a terribly broken system.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

Taevin (850923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060743)

Remember that Slashdot is very pro-Linux and pro-GPL, so there's an attitude of providing things for free.

Sort of. It's more an attitude of free flow of ideas is good because it drives progress. In the whirlwind of progress that is software development, I think you'll find there is less sympathy for those who want to slow everything down while they figure out a way to make money off it.

The thing is, the GPL relies on copyright to exist. It's actually a copyright and usage license, even though Slashdot often posts stories about how evil copyright laws and EULAs are.

No, it's a distribution license. It says you're free to do whatever you want with this code but if you distribute it to other people you must also distribute the source code and any modifications you have made.

And, of course, there are the stories of "stolen" GPL code, even though we constantly hear that "piracy isn't theft."

These are situations of companies taking the work of others, given in good faith to the community, and then closing it up to make a profit. Even in those cases, while the act of profiting off the work of others is unsavory, the bigger outcry is that they haven't distributed the modifications they made to the code.

I should be careful about speaking for others but I think it's fair to say most of us that write GPL software don't really give a shit if you make money off it. I know that some of the stuff I write could be sold, but I just don't care enough. My interest is in writing code, not running a business. So I release the source and the only thing I ask in return is that if you improve it, you let me and everyone else know what you did so that we can benefit from that and improve our skills.

Sorry to interrupt the "copyright and money is more important than anything else" train. Continue on.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

spanky the monk (1499161) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060827)

The thing is, the GPL relies on copyright to exist

Actually, GPL exists only as a counter to copyright. If there was no copyright, then GPL would not be necessary. This is circular reasoning.

Furthermore, copyright infringement is only "theft" if you believe in ownership/monopoly of ideas. So what we have here is really an ideological debate. It seems you have the establishments dick in you're mouth or you're just on a moral high horse because you pay for music like a good corporate slave or perhaps you're a poor struggling artist who just can't make a break peddling his imaginary wares. So perhaps slashdot is not the place for you.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060429)

Wow, a 5-digit UID posting at -1 by default! You must really love that negative karma, huh?

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060493)

File-sharing of copyrighted materials is not fair use.

Fair use is a doctrine of copyright law that defines a small set of activities that are regulated but permitted. So yeah, what you said was true, but clearly irrelevant to the discussion. Well done.

Why do you think big names like John Carmack no longer post on Slashdot?

Heh, John doesn't post on Slashdot because there's no point. See, there was a time when posting on Slashdot was considered a productive activity (shocking I know), now it is simply "fun" or, less generously, procrastination. Some people embrace procrastination, some people feel shameful from it, some people actively fight against it. John has a lot of interests that take up his time, and posting on Slashdot just isn't one of them. I'm on some rocket mailing lists and he posts to them, often daily.

This website has adopted a position that he doesn't deserve to be paid for his work simply because the RIAA and MPAA exist. It's ridiculous and juvenile.

Ya know, it's an open submission process.. if you want to hunt down articles which are pro-copyright and post them, you can make this site what *you* want it to be. My position is that copyright is amoral and ineffective. I don't believe authors have a natural right to control their work.. any more than chainsaw makers have a natural right to control how their chainsaws are used.. that is, any more than the right to decide who they sell to. As for deserving to be paid for their work, what kind of communist are you? To get paid for work you have to find someone who is willing to pay. If I dig holes all day, do I deserve to be paid? I've put my sweat and back-breaking labor into making those holes. People clearly enjoy them, otherwise why would they come watch me dig them (sure, they call me crazy, but all great artists are called crazy in their lifetime). Does it make sense for me to demand payment? Or did I get it backwards and should have found a buyer for my holes, first, and got them to pay in advance or sign some legal contract that they would pay later? After I've sold them the holes can I say what they can do with them? Or does that, too, defeat the point of a buy-and-sell property system?

Pirates are just human leeches who don't want to lose the free ride, so they try to make somebody else look like the bad guys to absolve themselves of guilty feelings. Human nature is a selfish thing, and the denial around here is constant.

Well, there's certainly an element of that.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060855)

Human nature is a selfish thing

Care to demonstrate how demanding >$150K per downloaded song, when songs were $1.00 at Amazon etc. and which (IIRC) not even the RIAA claims to have been subsequently shared) is unselfish, or equitable, or even only a little greedy? Downloading is not right and the artists have a right to be compensated, but I fail to see how ruining someone's life is appropriate. As for the artists who support (either actively or by their silence) the RIAA campaign against their customers, may they share the fate of the music industry, which I personally hope is very bleak. Two wrongs != one right.

For a while, when the music industry seemed to have halted its wanton campaign of lawsuits, I started buying CDs again. Now I've stopped, despite the fact that I'd love to have the latest Melody Gardot release, or some of Lara Fabian's albums. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It will take years to convince me to buy again. And NO, I don't download.

This is all supposed to be about teaching people a lesson. Success! However, I suspect that the lesson most people are learning is not the one Big Music intended to teach.

Re:Another pro-piracy article on Slashdot (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061065)

"File-sharing of copyrighted materials is not fair use." You get modded down because you are just trolling here. You are telling exactly the opposite of what this story submission is about, and its the main argument to be tested in court.

What is piracy to begin with? The abuse of this word is stupid, and legally you can only talk about copyright infringement, because there is no stealing (removing a physical object) involved in sharing copyrighted works.

Copyright.. Copyright was made to do the opposite of what is doing today: To stop third parties from perpetuating publishing rights over generations (printers guild, etc). Copyright was meant to give everyone the right to copy by imposing a limit to the number of years an entity might monopolize the intangible product, after this short period (14 years with a single 14 years extension) it went to the public domain. It was this what they meant with copyright promoting arts progress, by opening the human library of culture and knowledge to all, and thats the spirit of the US Constitution.

The way things are today, everyone has the right to oppose copyright law, exactly as everyone had the right to oppose slavery law. Fair use is like the last resort people has left, and this too is quickly being destroyed. See, the original Copyright law was fair enough and didn't need special fair use provisions, but now even this is being challenged by the media cartels.

Is non profit sharing of copyrighted words fair use? For me yes. If it isn't, the law is wrong and must be changed. This is exactly the agenda of the Swedish Pirate Party, yes, they use the word you love to abuse if only to laugh in the end, when the concept and laws concerning "Intellectual Property" are challenged all over the world.

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but you are in the minority here. Of course, in the US its the corporations, not the people who get to dictate laws and force the government to impose the same laws worldwide. However, this worldwide thing is not willing to follow orders, so easily. And the people who grew up sharing, now being ordered not to, are not going to stay still seeing their way of living destroyed. They are all going to support full legalization of non profit sharing, the way it should be.

Will this force you to rethink the way you earn money? Well about time, else you can simply stand aside and remember the times where you could slave artists and musicians for years of never ending profits in your comfy chair, Mr. Recordman. [youtube.com]

is the RIAA even legal? (1)

bionicpill (970942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060595)

Is there anyway we can get the RIAA classified as a trust or something similar and have it disbanded? It seems like a conglomerate of large corporations is just as dangerous and bad for competition as any single company monopoly.

It's bootlegging (1, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060723)

File sharing is a misnomer. When dealing with copyrighted works it's bootlegging. Not sharing.

Fair Use (maybe) qualifies if you're actually sharing with a few friends. You can copy a few pages but not the whole book. You can loan a copy to a few of your friends but not the whole world.

You can complain about the law all you want but the lawyer is dealing with the existing law and absurd applications of "Fair Use" are just going to demonstrate the inability to come up with a legitimate reason why bootlegging on the internet is A-OK while bootlegging on a street corner is not and never has been. Which is going to result in a lot of lost cases and further development of DRM schemes.

If bootleggers would give it up, consumers would have a lot less trouble taking advantage of Fair Use to protect their digital goods. But because bootleggers aren't giving up and fighting windmills trying to justify themselves, media companies have to protect their digital goods instead.

Re:It's bootlegging (2, Insightful)

JStegmaier (1051176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28060971)

a legitimate reason why bootlegging on the internet is A-OK while bootlegging on a street corner is not and never has been.

The fact that one is for-profit and the other is not seems like a legitimate reason to me.

Basic Rules of the Internet (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28061195)

  1. Any crime in the physical world can be ignored if it is done using the Internet. This is especially true if the victim is not wise in the ways of the Internet. Bragging about your conquest tends to void this rule.
  2. A low price trumps all other considerations. Free is best.
  3. Anything that can be represented digitally is viewed as fair game for the taking on the Internet. If it isn't available from one source for free, keep looking. Someone else has already stolen it and is sharing.
  4. The lowest common denominator is the only way anything works on the Internet.
  5. One bad apple spoils the barrel. One stupid or ruthless user on the Internet can screw things up for the entire world.
  6. Security is the responsibility of the end user. If you haven't protected yourself, it is your own fault. The entire world is out there looking for vulnerabilities in your computer and it is their right to do so. See item 1 if you have any questions.
  7. Attempting to invoke the rule of law on the Internet is at best a joke. It shows your imcompetence. There are no laws and no rules.

I think it can be best summed up as "I want." Yes, I want to download movies and music for free. Anything that gets in the way of that is obviously oppressive and damages my fragile psyche. There should be laws against things like that.

Charlie Nesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28060973)

Finally! A lawyer I can like!!

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