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EMI Using Rapidshare To Market Music

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the legal-team-defeated-by-marketing-team dept.

Music 81

An anonymous reader writes "While Rapidshare defends itself around the world from lawsuits by media companies for copyright infringement, new evidence was revealed that UK-based major label EMI is putting music on Rapidshare and directing people to download it in the hopes that it spreads 'virally.' This came to light in the ongoing copyright battle EMI v. MP3tunes over personal cloud media storage and the Sideload.com music search engine. EMI accuses MP3tunes of enabling piracy by linking to Rapidshare, but since EMI is using Rapidshare, this would seem to weaken their argument considerably. You can read the legal brief online."

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Make up your mind (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430430)

Morons. If they're the ones doing the original copyright infringement and putting the files up on a file sharing website for anyone to get to, doesn't that kind of negate their claim on copyright infringements when people, you know, copy the files?

Re:Make up your mind (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430438)

You seem to expect them to be logical, consistent, or reasonable. Don’t.

Re:Make up your mind (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430488)

It's impossible for them to infringe upon their own copyright. But, if they are putting the files up and not identifying themselves, they could arguably be promoting infringement of their copyright by others. It appears that EMI has been using rapidshare as a promotional tool, but has been unwilling to admit that for fear that this could be seen as legitimising the site.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430636)

but if they are officially offering files as company policy doesn't that negate any charges of infringement? it's like the free oranges i get at a local food store if i spend $25 or so. they cant have me arrested for not paying it because they gave it to me.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430728)

If they don't make it clear that the company uploaded the files? I imagine so, but IANAL. It could be considered the civil counterpart to the sting operation in law enforcement. The criminal/infringer has every reason to believe what they are doing is illegal, therefore it is.

Re:Make up your mind (2)

geegel (1587009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430890)

Depends on the jurisdiction. Here in Romania, there's no such thing as "illegal download". You can only be charged for distribution.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431394)

As far as I know that is pretty much the case in the U.S. as well. At least the MPAA/RIAA etc... have not attempted to sue anyone (yet) based on downloads, only distribution.

Re:Make up your mind (4, Informative)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431552)

That’s a mere technicality... they can’t catch you for downloading. So they can’t sue you for it.

They tried putting honey-pots on P2P networks, serving up fake files with filenames that made them look like copyrighted stuff. Then when people downloaded them, they sued. They lost. No copyright infringement occurred, because no copyrighted material was actually copied.

They tried putting the real files on the P2P honey-pots, then suing people for downloading them. That went even less well, since the people were downloading the files from the copyright holder, which makes it all perfectly okay – even if the people downloading didn’t know it.

They tried downloading their files from people, then suing them for making the copy... but that failed for the same reason. If the copyright holder asks you to make them a copy of their own stuff, you’re authorized to do it. Even if you don’t know they’re the copyright holder.

Finally they claimed that simply making the files available is proof positive that you were infringing on their copyright, based on the way P2P networks work. They can’t prove that you uploaded it to anyone, but they claimed that it was a statistical certainty that you had.

And they still can’t get you for downloading the file. For all they know, you could have downloaded it from a legal MP3 store such as iTunes.

Re:Catch You For Downloading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431656)

Nope.

This is the proof of the last piece of the puzzle.

They put their poisoned copy behind 3 links labeled "download here" and then record the IP address of whoever gets to the third link. Then they activate their backroom liason with your ISP, and your ISP breaks the veil and sends you a nasty notice.

And forget torrents, because if ordinary web links are poisoned, then the web stops being the web and becomes Russian Roulette, so that only Walled Gardens become safe. Please tell me this is not Web 3.0 Alpha.

Re:Catch You For Downloading (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432046)

They put their poisoned copy behind 3 links labeled "download here" and then record the IP address of whoever gets to the third link.

Citation needed.

Re:Catch You For Downloading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432972)

I got a notice but I am not going to post it here. Sorry to go all Fermat's Last on you.
I don't know how to torrent so it's not p2p. I have a theory of what site it was, but they conveniently don't list that on the notice.

Re:Catch You For Downloading (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433188)

I’m pretty sure the precedent has been set and that wouldn’t hold up in court, in the US, anyway.

Your ISP might be able to legally terminate your service, though...

Re:Make up your mind (2)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432006)

if i see a basket of fruit OUTSIDE the store.. with a sign that says TAKE or FREE on it.. someone had to put it there.. why should i be arrested if i do it? ESPECIALLY if the store put it there.

now you have the store.. putting it's files outside it's store with a sign that says download. again.. why should i be arrested if i do it? especially if the store put it there?

i understand your comment about the infringer has every reason to believe that what they are doing is illegal.. but downloading a file isn't illegal.. hell someone could post a file named one thing and you get something else.. how can you be responsible for that if you can't tell what it is till you get it?

now Crack is in all ways illegal.. and yes if your hunting for it you know your going for something illegal..

but if i put a song name in google.. and get 3 links.. one to amazon one to itunes one to rapid share.. which all happen to be posted by said company and all happen to have different prices.. then how the hell am i supposed to know?

Re:Make up your mind (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436796)

I'm pretty sure rapidshare has some sort of use agreement in place that gives them permission to distribute you public uploads...

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431476)

Right, but you don't get to also take a bag apples, and a couple of pineapples, and a few steaks too.
They control the copyright on the particular songs they are uploading/sharing, it doesn't invalidate the copyright on any of the other material for which they hold the copyright.

But subsequent sharing is licensed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432204)

But subsequent sharing is licensed by the fact that they ask you to. They don't lose their copyright, but anyone can distribute the file because the one who decides who can distribute (the copyright owner) has said they can.

This is the same reason why boxers don't sue their opponent in the ring.

If they put the files up for download (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432152)

If they put the files up for download then taking the copies from the internet is not an illegal copy, since the distribution is legal. Since those copies are legal copies, you cannot infringe copyright by downloading.

Because they ask you to share them, the subsequent distribution of the files is legally endorsed.

Because they put the files on a P2P system where the method of distribution by the legal copyright owner is to enable each and every person on that network to distribute themselves (else it is not P2P but hosting), the subsequent distribution by anyone who gets a copy (and those who get that subsequent copy, recursively) is legally endorsed by the copyright owner and therefore cannot be copyright infringement.

Or, in short, you're right, they can't break their own copyrights. But since they're allowing distribution, nobody else can break their copyright either.

Re:Make up your mind (3, Insightful)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430842)

No... even if they do it anonymously there is no copyright infringement. They (the copyright holder) are still explicitly authorizing people to download it. (That’s why they had to invent the “making available” charge. The copyright holder can’t sue you for downloading the song from them.)

They might have shot themselves in the foot, too... now anyone who downloads music from Rapidshare could claim that they didn’t know it was an unauthorized copy, since they’ve heard of some record companies putting their music on RS as a viral promotion campaign. How can you know for sure? It’d be an interesting case to watch, just for the precedent’s sake...

Re:Make up your mind (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431026)

Maybe they don't mean for anyone else to do it, maybe they just put the files there so they could access them later. </sarcas> To be more precise, just because I put some source code up on an FTP Site, doesn't give somebody the right to violate copyright on it. Think about it this way. Linux is available for free on many web sites around the world. But if you want to go around distributing it to other folks, you have to follow the rules set out in the GPL (which extend the freedoms of copyright). So, possibly EMI putting the files up on Rapidshare (and telling you to download it) gives you the right to download it. But it doesn't give you the right to then distribute it to everyone else. Another explicit licence would be needed for that.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431064)

except when you download a distro there is a license you agree to when you install it. not when you get songs from rapidshare

Re:Make up your mind (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431368)

except when you download a distro there is a license you agree to when you install it.

Really? It's been a while since I installed a Linux distribution, but as I recall they tend to come with Free Software licenses. These licenses are distribution licenses, not use licenses, and so there is no need to agree to them to install them, only to distribute them. When I install FreeBSD, there is no license for me to agree to[1], and I wouldn't expect one.

[1] Not a BSDL Vs GPL thing - the base system includes GCC and a few other GPL'd things, but the GPL and the BSDL are both distribution licenses, so there is no need for me to agree to either simply to use the software.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431118)

Maybe so, but it sounds like Sideload.com doesn't host and distribute it, it just links people to the download. And besides, does Rapidshare have an explicit license? If the file is distributed without a license, I don't see how you could hold someone accountable for violating one.

Re:Make up your mind (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431550)

The default license on anything is copyright. Therefore, you are free to download it, but you aren't allowed to redistribute it, because that would be a breach of copyright. Similar to when you buy a book/cd/dvd. There is no license (usually??) but the fact that you bought the book only gives you the right to read, sell, or do anything else copyright allows. It doesn't give you the right to make 1000 copies and sell them on the street corner. There doesn't need to be a license, because copyright restricts what you can do already.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431886)

And that's an area that copyright falls apart when it comes to digital media. What precisely is the difference between me copying the file onto your flash drive and linking you to the download? Especially if I check to make sure the download is still available before I give it to you? I mean, I'm not saying you're legally wrong, as I recall, you are correct. I'm just pointing out why it's nonsense.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34443910)

The difference is that you are distributing the file. If you copy it to another media for your own use, it's fine. But, if you transfer it to another person, it's a distribution and you must check the copyright terms of the work.

This makes perfect sense of course, if only we knew how to check the copyright terms when they're not given at the point of download. :)

Honestly, though, this is fair. What is not fair is trying to force everyone to check copyright licenses when being distributed to... now that is just preposterous!

Sue the illegal distributers, not the distributees.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432150)

But it doesn't give you the right to then distribute it to everyone else. Another explicit licence would be needed for that.

But you aren't being shown the copyright agreement in that case, right?

I mean when you buy the CD you have the copyright agreement on the CD, on the case it comes in, and when you try ripping from the CD in something like Windows Media Player usually gives you a warning your first time.

If you simply download the music off Rapidshare - if no Copyright agreement is shown, can you assume the file you hold isn't under copyright? Or at least in that case - they can't take money from you, only cease and desist orders for distributing?

Seems odd if I could put a copyright on something, not tell you, and then sue you for thousands of dollars.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433254)

But you aren't being shown the copyright agreement in that case, right?

So what? Copyrights are automatic and implicit. You don't need to be shown a copyright agreement in order to still be bound by the copyrights to the work.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433470)

Did you read the last line of my comment? Is it possible for me to copyright my work, distribute it freely, not inform you of the copyright, then sue you when you distribute it?

Re:Make up your mind (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433692)

Is it possible for me to copyright my work, distribute it freely, not inform you of the copyright, then sue you when you distribute it?

Everything is copyrighted by default.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34577106)

You should assume everything is copyrighted unless you have reason to believe otherwise.

IANAL, but to answer your question, yes I believe you can, but you might have a hard time suing the download site you upload it to (I'd assume the act of uploading gives them implicit permission to distribute), anyone else distributing hasn't been given explicit permission or implicit to do so, so they should be able to be sued.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433098)

So, possibly EMI putting the files up on Rapidshare (and telling you to download it) gives you the right to download it. But it doesn't give you the right to then distribute it to everyone else.

If the copyright holder is putting it up for filesharing and inviting people to download it, then not only are they giving other people the right to download it, they may also be implicitly giving permission to redistribute it given that with many filesharing systems, sharing occurs incidentally to downloading such that downloading involves sharing.

Further, even ignoring that, if the copyright holder is distributing it using filesharing (or any other means) in a format that does not include a copyright notice that is apparent on normal use, they may lose or greatly limit their right to recovery in jurisdiction in which (as is the case in the US) the presence or absence of a copyright notice, while not relevant to whether or not the work is protected by copyright in general, is relevant to whether or not infringement can be considered "innocent infringement" and consequently is very much relevant to the remedies that can be sought.

And if the company is found to have placed the files and encouraged their download for the purpose of getting the music to spread virally (which means being re-shared) because they believe that spread would benefit the company, that would seem to weigh heavily against any claim that any harm they did not choose by their own actions resulted from any filesharing of that music.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34571600)

And if the company is found to have placed the files and encouraged their download for the purpose of getting the music to spread virally (which means being re-shared)

Not necessarily, it could mean just the link to the download gets shared.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431140)

They (the copyright holder) are still explicitly authorizing people to download it

No they are not, please stop abusing the language. You could at most argue that they are implicitly authorizing the downloads by uploading to a filesharing site.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431216)

revealed that UK-based major label EMI is putting music on Rapidshare and directing people to download it in the hopes that it spreads 'virally.'

That sounds pretty explicit to me. If they just uploaded it, yeah, that's implicit, but the moment they start directing people to download it, that's explicit.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431066)

It's impossible for them to infringe upon their own copyright.

Yeah after reading my post I thought it was poorly worded, but what I mean is - if they put it on a public file sharing website, they then basically give implicit right for people to copy the files..

Re:Make up your mind (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431330)

No, for the files they share they are legally and legitimately offering copies for free. There's no infringement happening there. That is the normal defense used for the existence of these sites, to serve as a clearinghouse for labels and artists who CHOOSE to share their work openly in order to promote it, right? Why can't EMI participate in that same clearinghouse for the songs they choose to share, like everyone else? EMI has a gigantic catalog, why shouldn't they be allowed to share parts of it if they choose to? EMI is actually adding legal and legitimate content to the site.

The obvious part, of course, is that EMI cannot offer a song to you on RapidShare and then sue you for downloading it and seeding the exact same version of the same song, but they have to sue you in order to pursue damages, so they'd have no basis for a suit if you stuck to specific versions of songs they shared. So if you can identify it as a "legal" one, you're good.

For the other pieces of music that EMI is not sharing but that others are, well, did I mention that EMI is not sharing those? Those are still things that EMI could legally come after you for. The same is true of versions of the song EMI chose not to share that someone else is (higher bitrate, etc). EMI is the rights-holder, they can release any portion of any song in any version they damned well please. That doesn't open the rest of their catalogue for free use by everyone, or even that different versions of the same song are free for use.

Let's say I'm EMI. I have two artists signed with me, with one album each. SoundsLikeValiumLooksLikeAGirl is my boy band, and ScreechyButSkankyAndGotBigBoobs is my girl band.

I don't want people to listen to Screechy's actual signing, dear God no, I sell her albums to horny teen boys based on the airbrushed cleavage on her album covers and the large pull-out centerfolds in the album art insert, and her reputation for skankiness so young horny boys can fantasize about the diseases they could catch from her. I don't want her album shared on RapidShare because I want to sell more album art, and I don't want my young horny hormone-driven money-sources to actually hear her voice, it might turn them off.

But young girls love Valium's smooth, overly synthesized, vapid sound, so I share out a few of their songs at 128k MP3 so the girls will buy the rest of the album because they can't get enough of his smooth synthesized voice and want a higher-quality version.

I cannot sue anyone for the specific versions of the songs I've released on RapidShare myself. However, I haven't released any of Screechy's music at all. So if I see people sharing her songs, I can pursue them. And I've only released specific copies of Valium's work, so if I see a 256k version or a live version I can go after that, too, since it's nothing I've released.

How does the user know the difference? Well, good question. Honestly. But these sites purportedly exist for artists to share their music, and they are being victimized by the majority who upload music they have no rights to.

How does an average user know the difference today? How do I go on RapidShare and find freely licensed music right now and differentiate it from pirated music? Is there a "pirated" section and a "non-pirated" section and does everyone honestly use the sections? EMI could easily identify them if the site had a system for doing so, but how many pirates would mark their files as "authorized", too? It'd be like making a small non-peeing section in a large pool.

The fact is, if you want to know whether the music you download is authorized, you really need to go to the web sites for your chosen musician or their label. If their site points you to a torrent, then they've shared some music for your enjoyment. If you choose to use something like RapidShare, go ahead, but understand that there's no reliable mechanism for anyone to tell you what might or might not be legal for you to get.

Re:Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431498)

And I've only released specific copies of Valium's work, so if I see a 256k version or a live version I can go after that, too, since it's nothing I've released.

So what happens if I re-encode the 128k version I downloaded to 256k and then re-upload it? It's the same "file" in the sense that a chair that I add another leg onto is still the same "chair." Or for something more useful, I re-encoded it to 64k and cut out a 30 second clip to use as a ringtone and uploaded that. Or what if I own the CD and rip the released song to 128k and upload that? This is where intellectual property law when it comes to digital data falls apart. It just gets convoluted with nonsense.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433622)

It does, and it doesn't.

The copyright holder holds all rights to the song. I would argue that they hold it for waaaaay too goddamned long, and waaaaay too goddamned strictly, and waaaaay waaaaay waaaay too broadly, but that's not relevant to the discussion. The copyright holder holds rights to the base material, and any derivations of that base material can become distinct copyrightable items.

The copyright holder can release a particular version of a particular performance of a song and still withhold copyright to other versions or performances of the same song.

So, what EMI is open-licensing is a specific data file that may be downloaded freely from the site they have licensed it to. Technically, they could say that only copies acquired directly from them (or downloaded from RapidShare) are legitimate if they wanted to, though tracking that would be tough for them and the burden of proof that you got it elsewhere is on them.

Yes, it gets convoluted, because it's easy to create a derivative work. But the principle behind it is pretty simple - if you created it and you didn't base it on someone else's work, it's yours and you get to tell everyone what they can and cannot do with it (within limits set by law, such as "fair use" and DMCA exceptions).

It would be easier if we had a "registrar of copyright" so you could submit a work to a central registry somewhere and say "this is mine, and these are the terms under which it may be used". Copyright protection would only be offered to works that are in the registry.

And what would be nicer is if this protection didn't last ridiculous periods of time. I'd support very strict copyright indeed if the copyright holder had 5 years with a paid initial copyright filing and an additional 5 years with a paid renewal. Or I'd support really long terms if the terms were looser (using 5 notes as a tribute riff shouldn't get you sued by the original artist's great grandchildren). The current terms of copyright are simply too long and too draconian, and that's just an ugly combination that stifles innovation rather than encouraging it like copyright was supposed to do.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431578)

The obvious part, of course, is that EMI cannot offer a song to you on RapidShare and then sue you for downloading it and seeding the exact same version of the same song

Actually they can sue you for seeding it. They authorized Rapidshare to distribute it. They did not authorize you to re-distribute it.

How does an average user know the difference today? How do I go on RapidShare and find freely licensed music right now and differentiate it from pirated music?

An excellent question.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432604)

They can sue you for downloading it, too. Doesn't mean they'll win the lawsuit, but anyone can sue you for anything. What you have are good grounds for having the lawsuit dismissed. If they sue you for re-distributing it, the method of initial distribution would matter with respect to the strength of your defense. If they offer it via a torrent, then re-seeding is implicit in the torrent process, unlike if they offered it directly via FTP. Since they gave it to you via a mechanism with redistribution part of the protocol, I think you'd have a pretty decent legal defense against a redistribution lawsuit.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432844)

Since they gave it to you via a mechanism with redistribution part of the protocol

Rapidshare is direct HTTP download.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433146)

Sorry, I thought RapidShare used P2P. My bad.

So, yeah, they could ding you for redistributing it, though there'd be little reason for them to, and they most likely would not (since the fact that they gave it away on RapidShare in the first place means they want that version of the song spread far and wide).

Re:Make up your mind (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431950)

Rapidshare and all these other pay storage sites suck. So much easier to simply store crap you want to distribute to others on your own web server. I'm really annoyed when some one says "Here, grab this file" and then hands me a rapidshare link. I'm usually inclined to ignore it. I'm not waiting 60 seconds to get a file some one has invited me to or pay the toll to be a "premium user." If I do that then I need to buy subscriptions every such site my idiot friends use (and there are a lot) and I'm just not going to do that. Do me a favor: have a file you want me to have? Just stick it on your web server.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432106)

I'm really annoyed when some one says "Here, grab this file" and then hands me a rapidshare link. I'm usually inclined to ignore it. I'm not waiting 60 seconds to get a file some one has invited me to or pay the toll to be a "premium user."

Quit bitching and get jDownloader or install SkipScreen or something.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34437364)

Right, because running a webserver is cheaper than waiting 60 seconds to download a file. *eye roll*

Most people don't *have* a webserver, and wouldn't know how to get one, and wouldn't know how to run it if they had one, and wouldn't want one even if they did know all that. To most people, it's not worth $X/month plus maintenance and administration overhead just to save three of their friends a 60 second wait. (Hint: maintenance time could easily surpass the total wait time across all your friends from sharing sites like this.)

(For the record I put things either on my webserver or on Amazon S3, but I would not expect any of my friends to do the same unless they already have their own webserver.)

Re:Make up your mind (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439480)

"Right, because running a webserver is cheaper than waiting 60 seconds to download a file. *eye roll*

Roll your eyes all you want, in the online world, waiting 60 seconds is a pain in the ass. And its not just the 60 seconds. For most of these worthless services you get the one shot. After that download, you need to wait an additional hour to d/l a second file. I'm not doing that. I'm glad you're so patient.

Most people don't *have* a webserver, and wouldn't know how to get one, and wouldn't know how to run it if they had one, and wouldn't want one even if they did know all that."

You know what I say to them? Fuck 'em. Your in the digital age now, figure some shit out. Get a LAMP stack with an auto-installer these are available for both windows and Linux, and hey! its a one-click install. That still too much work? Get a Dropbox account or one of the myriad other services. Free, no waiting, you can publish a file on the web for nothing and I'm still not waiting 60 seconds to download one file. No excuses for these pay services. You might like them, but your a fool. There are alternatives. So fuck off.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439910)

Get a Dropbox account or one of the myriad other services. Free, no waiting, you can publish a file on the web for nothing and I'm still not waiting 60 seconds to download one file.

Perhaps you should suggest this to your friends, rather than complaining about how much it annoys you when they don't.

Your in the digital age now, figure some shit out.

You know, that attitude is why Linux hasn't taken off for consumers. (And before people start flaming me, I use Linux frequently myself and like it.) You're just making it worse. People see that attitude and decide that if you're going to be a jerk about your opinions, they're not going to listen to you. If you want people to change their habits, you are doing exactly the wrong thing.

You might like them, but your a fool.

Where did I indicate that I like these services? I specifically pointed out that I don't use them. Obviously, because I use alternatives, I am well aware that alternatives are available. I only said that I wouldn't get mad if my friends used these services once in a while. If it became so frequent that I felt the need to complain about it on Slashdot, I would instead suggest a better solution directly to them.

Maybe you should try that. It is infinitely more likely to improve the situation than a complaint to strangers on Slashdot.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434522)

To be clear, if they own the works, their use is non-infringing. They are absolutely free to do so. Directly receiving a song in this method would be completely legal.

All this really means is that if you directly received a song via this method of distribution and you are sued for infringement of that specific song, you're legally off because it was legally given to you. After all, I'm pretty sure it would otherwise be considered entrapment.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34438900)

"I don't know what reality that is, but it's not ours. If you want to connect to someone else's network, you either pay or agree to a ratio of traffic. "

Morons? They are modifying their business model to include such websites. Hypocrisy aside, isn't that what everyone has been screaming for, a modernization of their business model?

This appears to me a step in the right direction, although it would be better if they backed down on some of the copyright issues as well (like stop suing their potential customers).

Re:Make up your mind (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439098)

And by "business model" you mean making their music available online and then suing people for illegally downloading said music?

Re:Make up your mind (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439126)

"This appears to me a step in the right direction..."

I did not say it was the correct choice, but simply the right direction. At least they are acknowledging the significance of these websites. Would you rather they went back to trying to close them down instead?

Re:Make up your mind (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446330)

They presumably already have valid online outlets for their music via sites like iTunes and Amazon. This is just them being douches.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34440950)

My first reaction was that anyone who downloaded from the files that they provided would not be guilty of copyright infringement, but now that I think about it, I'm not so sure. I mean, they placed the files there in secret, and on all their products have forbidden this type of behaviour. I don't see that this would automatically be construed as permission to download their works. Even if you knew for a fact that the source you were downloading from was EMI, they never actually told you that you were allowed to download from them.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34446308)

To me it seems kind of like selling your wedding ring to a pawn broker and then calling the cops when someone buys it, claiming they stole it.

Obviously copyright law is different, but the act of putting the files up on a site whose sole purpose is for publicly sharing files.. that to me seems like explicit permission to share the files.

Re:Make up your mind (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#34449690)

As long as we're doing analogies with physical objects, it seems to me more like placing your wedding ring on a park bench when nobody is looking, leaving it there for a few weeks, and complaining when it's stolen.

Unlike with the pawnbroker, it's still illegal the activity, but it's hardly surprising that it occurred in the first place.

Do as I say... (1)

do0b (1617057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430440)

... not as I do.

Re:Do as I say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34430686)

Are you a priest of some sort ?! :)

Re:Do as I say... (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431516)

No, he is a parent or a legislator.

Re:Do as I say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34437170)

"Do as I say, not as I do" applies to anyone in an authority position who pushes moral codes.

If someone tells you what they believe is right yet does not follow their own code when in the proposed situation, it makes them a hypocrite.

Nothing and Everything is legitimate (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430450)

With EMI spreading files far and wide, their experts grudgingly admit that it’s impossible to tell which links are authorized and which are not.

Looks like EMI ruined their own business model.

Re:Nothing and Everything is legitimate (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431360)

With EMI spreading files far and wide, their experts grudgingly admit that it's impossible to tell which links are authorized and which are not. Looks like EMI ruined their own business model.

There's an unlimited supply
That's why there is no reason why
In a browser or IFRAME,
They cound the hits to measure fame.
(Who?)
EMI!

And the Rapidshare links breaking
Loss-leaders lead to money making
To download is not to steal,
It's just to increase the appeal!
(Of?)
EMI!

They spread their files far and wide,
Just to find the reason why,
There's an unlimited supply,
(of what?)
EMI!

- With apologies to the Sex Pistols.

BAIT!!!! (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430526)

This is a corporate version of entrapment. If the judge has any sanity he would hold them in contempt for this action based on the fact that an active suit the plaintiff brought on is still occurring!

Implied consent/contract... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430550)

To the best of my (layman's) knowledge, the area of what implies an "implied consent" or "implied contract" is often rather murky, and based on a mixture of precedent and judicial gut feeling, along with some patchy laws.

I would be pretty certain that EMI posting Song X to which they own the copyright to Rapidshare does not entitle me to (legally) redistribute it; but it seems like there might be a very good argument that it does entitle me to, legally, download it. If there is a location(a Freecycle depot or something) that operates under a large banner saying "Free stuff, take what you want, save it from the dump!" and I place a computer that I own in that location, I have to imagine that a reasonable man, in the legal sense, would conclude that I am thereby forfeiting ownership of that object(unless I can specifically prove that I was just carrying it, set it down for a moment to catch my breath, and somebody snatched it from beside my feet, or something similar).

Rapidshare, as its name would suggest, is basically an electronic analog of such a physical place. You put stuff there to distribute it(though, if memory serves, they might have some private distribution option for members). If a rightsholder knowingly and intentionally places material to which they own the rights in a place that explicitly operates as a medium for free dissemination, one would imagine that this amounts to an implied consent to, at least, free dissemination from that location. It doesn't clearly mean surrender of copyright, so it might not save those who re-disseminate it by other means; but it would seem to imply a licence to disseminate has been granted to rapidshare...

Obviously, IANAL; but I know that there are limits to what you can do without creating implicit, and binding, rights to for others. You can't mail somebody something without their consent and then invoice them for it, if you try, the thing that you mailed is a gift. If you put something on the curb, with a "free-take me" sign, you can't reasonably expect to charge the person who does with larceny...

Re:Implied consent/contract... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34430894)

Also, forgot to mention: this would seem to be especially strong if Rapidshare has some sort of clickwrap "I swear, aver, and affirm that I am authorized to upload this file and make it available for download" screen in their upload process. Obviously, everybody knows that such a message is simply ignored 99% of the time, by whatever scurrilous pirates are using the site; but if the actual copyright holder actually clicked through a screen like that, things might be even more provably uncomfortable for them. At least when it comes to unsympathetic end users, some courts have been willing to treat that clickwrap shit as binding...

Re:Implied consent/contract... (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430896)

If a rightsholder knowingly and intentionally places material to which they own the rights in a place that explicitly operates as a medium for free dissemination, one would imagine that this amounts to an implied consent to, at least, free dissemination from that location. It doesn't clearly mean surrender of copyright, so it might not save those who re-disseminate it by other means; but it would seem to imply a licence to disseminate has been granted to rapidshare.

That is precisely correct. It is still copyrighted but they’ve authorized Rapidshare to distribute it, in accordance with the usual terms of uploading a file to Rapidshare. That still doesn’t mean that somebody can download it from RS and put it on their personal web page and claim that it’s authorized, although they could link to the RS file.

Re:Implied consent/contract... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431018)

The tough question in my mind is...

Can a user that downloaded it from RapidShare then later upload it *to* RapidShare without infringement?

Re:Implied consent/contract... (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431162)

No.

Re:Implied consent/contract... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431406)

Maybe. To be allowed to upload it, they would need a license that permitted redistribution. In the case of RapidShare, this is probably not granted, even implicitly. If they had distributed the files via some p2p protocol, then it would be much harder to argue, because these protocols require peers to redistribute the work to function, so a limited redistribution license would be implicit (meaning a good lawyer would have a 50-50 chance of persuading a court that it was present).

Re:Implied consent/contract... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34431746)

Rapidshare uses torrents right? A big part of torrents is seeding. Most people probably don't set their software to NOT automatically seed. If the material automatically starts seeding, then, even if for only a few seconds, the files are being redistributed by someone other than EMI. Hopefully any judge in his right mind would not rule against someone who obtained the music from a torrent setup by EMI on a site made for the free distribution of materials and then seeded the material, but most judges probably aren't using torrents on a regular basis and don't understand this concept.

Sir Dinky

Re:Implied consent/contract... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432028)

No, they are one of those "how the hell do you guys stay in business" free/subscription http file hosting sites. Entirely server -> client.

Re:Implied consent/contract... (2)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434462)

Murky is not the right word. It is a very important area of law, for obvious reasons, and it depends (in common law systems) on several hundred years of case law. So it is complex, but also very well-studied. The main issue in a case like this is that it is not likely to be interpreted the same everywhere. So it's a damned stupid thing for them to do, but then decisions like that probably explain why they're in the situation they are.

Won't matter to the judge (3, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430586)

Such blatant hypocrisy hasn't stopped the courts from siding with the corporations against the consumer in the past.

This is more about setting the precedent that piracy is wrong, not about the merits of this particular case.

Google vs. Rapidshare? (2)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430610)

This sounds awfully familiar to...oh wait, a story from yesterday!
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/02/2327227/Google-Loses-Street-View-Suit-Forced-To-Pay-1 [slashdot.org]

Since EMI didn't *really* care about their music being distributed online they can win the case but only be awarded $1 in damages.

Come on guys... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430666)

Are people seriously going to start blasting away about this with nothing more for evidence than that the defendant filed an exhibit under seal? So basically, he thinks its true, and that his evidence is solid, but none of us can see it-- and thats enough for everyone to believe it?

Dont get me wrong, it wouldnt be hard to imagine this being real-- but the fact that everyone here is going to take someone's word about it-- especially when winning their court case is dependent on that statement-- is rather astonishing. I would hope at least people would wait to actually SEE the evidence.

One would think people would remember Tenenbaum, and how SURE everyone was that he was in the right, only to later find that he was basically lying about everything.

Re:Come on guys... (2)

mp3michael (1952490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439290)

The attorney is referencing a specific document that was produced in discovery by EMI. The attorney Mr. Gulia signed a declaration under penalty of perjury that it's true. The attorney could face severe penalties including losing his license to practice law if it's untrue. -- MR

Come on /. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34430746)

We're always telling them to recognise they're model of music is flawed and outdated, and that they should make use of what ordinary consumers are using. Now they are. Good on them.

EMI Follows The Money (2)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430766)

The big record companies won't do anything that the don't think is going to be profitable. So if EMI is indeed using Rapidshare to promote some of their artists' music, then there must be something to it. All of these years of arguing that piracy on sites like Rapidshare hurts their bottom line would seem to be contradicted. EMI is just following the money. If giving away songs ultimately helps sell more of them, then they will do it. Ironically, the pursuit of p2p lawsuits has damaged their reputation so much that they probably have to make songs look like illegal downloads to be attractive to their target market.

Sounds like this is all a frame (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431372)

And they're just doing it for the fame.

Because with this new "digital" music there is an unlimited supply.
And as for not downloading it, there is no reason why.

Hey Pot, Kettle here; black much? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432554)

You fucking bastards!!! You sue the LIVING FUCK out of little old ladies because their granddaughter shared a few songs, and then you turn right around and fileshare your shit music for your own benefit? FUCK. YOU.

Rapidshare? (2)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433318)

Rapidshare? I tell ya, MediaFire is easier to use. ;)

EMI hypocrisy (1)

mp3michael (1952490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34438956)

EMI can distribute their copyrighted works anyway they wish. I don't think that's at issue. What is at issue is the www.Sideload.com music search engines which doesn't host any files, but simply links to various places. EMI is complaining that all the links on Sideload.com are unauthorized and complains about links to Rapidshare to illustrate their point. However if they're placing files on Rapidshare and then inviting people to download them from that location, then they can't very well claim all links to Rapidshare are unauthorized. Furthermore, they have admitted that it's impossible to know whether a link is authorized or not by looking at it. Thus Sideload.com's operator MP3tunes can't be expected to police every link. Besides the DMCA explicitly says search engines don't have that obligation. It should be noted that EMI is also complaining about the personal music storage MP3tunes offers. -- MR
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