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Listen to the RIAA's Appeal In Jammie Thomas Case

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the call-your-bookie-with-your-winner dept.

Music 225

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA doesn't really like free mp3 files floating around but here's one you can access legally — the audio file of the June 12, 2012 oral argument of the RIAA's appeal in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. At issue in this case are (a) the RIAA's 'making available' theory and (b) the constitutionality of large statutory damages awards for download of an mp3 song file. The lower court rejected the making available theory, and reduced the jury's verdict to what the judge considered the maximum possible award of $2250 per file. I'm predicting the Court will affirm. After listening to the oral argument, what do you think?"

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Site is slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322251)

This is not TFA, but it's the closest I could find: http://liliputing.com/2012/06/how-to-run-ubuntu-linux-on-the-mk802-74-pc-on-a-stick.html [liliputing.com]

Re:Site is slashdotted (1)

lexa1979 (2020026) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322259)

and you're not on the right post :) go back one page...

Re:Site is slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322349)

Sorry, please mod me OT.

GP

What do we think? We don't know! (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322269)

A lot of the numbers, arguments, evidence etc. don't make a jot of sense to us. It's all pie-in-the-sky hyperbole and backwards Hollywood accounting, where a song which makes $0.99 per sale from a retailer is worth $150,000 if downloaded and shared.

You're the lawyer; You tell us!

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322465)

Its one more nail in the coffin of an outdated model that serves as an example of a few industries that have failed miserably to embrace new technology and god forbid adapt to changing circumstances, and instead are abusing the courts to keep an outdated methodology in place, massively stifling innovation in the process.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322963)

What massive innovation has the RIAA stifled?

I can buy almost any song ever made using my telephone and within a minute or so it will be available for listening, having been downloaded as a I sat in a cafe drinking coffee. It will come with album artwork and maybe even lyrics. My phone can hold many thousands of these songs, play them back in any order either by playlists I've arranged or based on metadata embedded in the song.

Also available are services that, in return for blitting ads to my screen, will create playlists based on some data about me: other songs I like; types of music I like; the mood I'm in; what I'm doing; etc etc, and transmit the songs on that playlist for my listening.

Available on these services is more music than has ever been available in any record store that ever existed on the planet. The cost to get music on them is lower than it has ever been. If an artist chooses he can make music with his home computer and peddle the resulting files himself over the internet. He can make them available through any number of storefronts that will take far less of his profits than any music label ever. Or he can sign up with a traditional label and let them do all that work.

My ability to select music a la carte is greater than it has ever been. If I buy a 'single' and decide later that I want the whole album, the money I've already paid for the single can be credited toward my album purchase. If an album is coming out in a week I can get the first single now and, a week from now, the album will show up on my phone without my having to do anything, and the above credit scenario applies.

What more is it you want?

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323035)

you think the RIAA made music-at-our-finger-tips possible?

you are a schmuck.

you know what made it possible? consumers.

consumers that said "fuck your model"

the music industry only begrudgingly made changes.

it's taken decades.

we don't need the RIAA or the industry, they need us.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323181)

you think the RIAA made music-at-our-finger-tips possible?

No. You seem to have as much difficulty with general reading comprehension as with capitalization.

They didn't make it possible, but they didn't stifle it either.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323311)

So why didn't we had that already in 1994 for instance? When amazon.com opened and all the other online shops started? Why did it take until 2003? The technology to compress a music stream was there, MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 was standardized in 1992. How to download a file was wellknown in 1994, and how to handle payments too (see amazon.com).
So where does the 9 years of postponing come from? People not being able to code online shops?

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (3, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323657)

In 1994 it wasn't feasible because of space restrictions on computers and players, and to a degree, download speeds.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (3, Insightful)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323885)

And CPU. Remember when we graduated from MP2 to MP3? I needed a new computer just to play them!

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324097)

But it was there in 1995 and 1996. Plus by 1997, the general public was into the web enough that website URLs were regularly in TV commercials. That's still six years away from 2003. There was a concerted effort on the part of the RIAA to stifle electronic media because it would cut into their tape/CD sales. Even when iTunes started up, there were draconian price and DRM rules from the RIAA that stifled innovation and generated ill-will. Apple had to drag them kicking and screaming to their senses.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324109)

You are sort'a right. But not really.

I still have around somewhere the first CD-Rs from around 1996-1998 filled with the MP3s of the music which was literally impossible to buy at the times. CD-R were rather expensive - but it was worth it. Cheap harddrives were already 2-4GB in size. For some of my friends, fans of death metal, the warez channels (P2P wasn't yet widespread enough) were pretty much only way to acquire some of the music (at good quality). Some of the world music and classical performances picked at the times I still can't find on CDs/better to this date.

And download speeds were not that bad either: you just queue stuff up in the evening and voila - next day morning it's finished! If something larger - leave it for the weekend. In a way, the Internet was faster in the times: I never had to wait for download to finish. :)

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324477)

No, we were already using MP3 to burn them to CD in 1994, because thus you could easily get the contents of 10-12 Audio CDs onto a single CD-RW. So space was not an issue. A 2-GByte-HD was able to take the contents of 30 CDs, which was completely ok at the time.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Insightful)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323709)

Hate to jump on this war, but wow... you are so wrong! The historical stifling is hopefully something that no reasonable person can deny-- the attacks that the RIAA made on Mix-Rip-Burn, the adherence to the album model long after it was dead, and killing sites that made it possible for people to discover music and become music consumers again.

Even today, the RIAA doesn't like the model that is out there-- they really want to push a limited catalog of super-hits, and generate ongoing revenue from their back catalog that has been purchased over and over again based solely on the need to media shift. They also are responsible in a large part for the complexity in international music sales, the challenges of internet radio, Pandora, and the like. They serve to promote formulaic music that is most likely to be successful.

While I can't speak for everyone here, the real problem isn't just the RIAA, but the MPAA and whatever the comparable association is for television. Copyright extension to its current level is one of the biggest problems, but their push for additional revenue streams is even worse. All three associations need to regroup (RIAA has come the farthest) and re-align themselves to the brave new world.

(And yes, I realize the RIAA does not do anything, they are simply a trade group for the labels. The transgressions of the labels and RIAA are much more easily lumped under a single umbrella.)

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Insightful)

Rasperin (1034758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323943)

Not only all of the above, but the copyright laws make it hard to create a valid small business with new ideas and concepts. You have to fight and essentially be ventured by the RIAA or MPAA to start a media serving company. They crush any new ideas that aren't restriction on media access, and if they can't crush them they fight tooth and nail to allow them. See iTunes when it was originally released, the RIAA fought it hard to stop apple. Pandora ended up in court several times with the RIAA before they allowed it to go through. And this is just the RIAA, let's not even start with the MPAA and their content restrictions. How they've destroyed many online rental companies, forcing companies like Hulu (which is owned by the MPAA) to check if you have cable (coming soon to a computer near you!).

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324565)

Mp3.com sends its warmest regards .... from the grave. You are a fucking moron if you think that IP hasnt held back technological progress. Every smartphone should have an 'airdrop' like functionality by now. The reason we dont is copyright cartels.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323139)

I can buy almost any song ever made using my telephone and within a minute or so it will be available for listening, having been downloaded as a I sat in a cafe drinking coffee.

Do you know why you can do that? I'll give you a hint, it ain't cos of the RIAA.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323423)

I love that this post is sitting at zero, while replies from people who lack reading comprehension (and, in one case, a knowledge of what a sentence is) are modded up. Or maybe people are actually silly enough to believe that the *AAs have total control over government officials, yet were somehow unable to use this power to stop iTunes and Pandora from coming into existence.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323799)

That's right, keep attacking the messenger instead of the message.

This is the internet, not a college term paper. On the internet, we overlook minor typos, misspellings, awkward sentence structure, and Anonymous Cowards.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323989)

When the replies come from posters who lack reading comprehension, you get the straw man arguments that we see above. Being able to understand what you've read is important when you feel the need to reply to it.

As far as grammar goes, all I ask is that you make more sense than I do when I'm drunk. That's a pretty low bar.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40324141)

Why on earth would you want to listen to music on a phone?

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324527)

> What massive innovation has the RIAA stifled?

The very one you gush over. RIAA fought it tooth and nail. Even when they relented a tiny bit, they still installed Apple as a new monopoly.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322487)

The math is quite simple. They always want more money. Downloading the file without paying them is one excuse. Because that's how greed works.

Everything else, is how you massage the data to get more. If they are allowed to extort $150000, or a million they are fine. I'm guessing they would be fine with $10. But the law firm behind is charging $149990 in expenses.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322493)

Well, it will make a lot of sense when an Intellectual Property Tax is introduced. I see no reason the assessment should be any less than $150,000 per song. Property tax you pay regardless if you have any renters in there or not, so with a life+95 copyright term you're looking at trillions of propery for each of the Big 4 (3 if EMI gets approved). Even with a 0.5% tax rate and a $100,000 exemption it will be quite a boost to the federal coffers.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Insightful)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323435)

I'd like to see an "Intellectual Property Tax" passed on the rights holders, I bet the songs aren't valued by the holders at 150,000 per track anymore at that point....

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322547)

And on the other hand is hyperbole and backwards Pirate accounting, where a song which was once played on the radio back in the 40's could conceivably have been recorded - legally, for free - by their grandfather onto a wire recorder and passed down through the generations having been transferred to more modern media and replaced with higher quality recordings (after all, one should be entitled to the same piece of music even if it's not the exact same recording) along the way ending with them.

At which point they made it available to 1,000 'friends' whose grandfathers could also just as easily have recorded it back in the 40's and thus, logically, have every right to that same piece of music.

It also does not only extend as far back as the 40's - any newly released song is played on radio, released on youtube, etc. so the arguments work just as well for those.

Which, coincidentally, makes the monetary worth of that music $0, thus there being no monetary damages and no basis for a court case at all.

Moreover, by exposing people to this music they share, those people may be more inclined to listen to more of that music and actually buy them at iTunes, buy the physical albums, go to concerts and purchase t-shirts and other swag.

Really, by some Pirates' logic, the RIAA should be paying them.

I don't really see either extreme being particularly realistic. Unfortunately, the two 'sides' are not likely to come to an agreement any time soon.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322629)

"Which, coincidentally, makes the monetary worth of that music $0, thus there being no monetary damages and no basis for a court case at all."

Exactly, something with infinite supply does not have any value no matter how much you try to artificially create scarcity where there is none. That does not mean that artists cannot profit off their works, but they do need to go about it in some different ways. See bottled water for one example.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322809)

Bottled water is a fairly poor example, though.

Bottled water is highly popular in the U.S., as far as I've been able to tell, because of a few reasons:
1. It tastes better. Tap water in the U.S. is often chlorinated (yuck) or mixed with lord knows what but it makes me wonder if it's even suitable to be showering in.

2. It's usually available chilled. Water from any random tap won't be chilled.

3. It comes in a bottle. Yeah, you could carry your own bottle around everywhere, but how inconvenient is that? Having to hold on to it even though it's empty, having to rinse it out, etc. etc.

4. It's ubiquitously available. Even an electronics store will sell bottled water near the registers for impulse buyers.

5. It's fairly cheap. Not as cheap as tap water, of course, but certainly a lot cheaper than a fruit juice.

Now, I don't know if analogies to the music can even be properly construed based on those, but let's give it a shot anyway...

1. How would they make the music 'taste better' than what is available from any download site? Higher bitrate? Would still get pirated. Surround sound? Still digital, still pirated. There's nothing they can do to the actual music itself to make it magically be sold more and pirated less. Even if they came out with raw instrument tracks at 192kHz/96bit and it would weigh in at 500MB per song, it wouldn't matter.. those who would want it would still pirate it, and for those who think 500MB is too much, they'll just grab back to the 3MB mp3 which, to them, doesn't really 'taste worse'.

2. Same arguments as under 1., really.

3. They could 'package' music, but then.. they already do that, don't they? You've got albums with sleeves, covers, booklets, etc. Generally, though, people have stopped caring about those. Those that mildly care about it are even catered to - the sleeves, covers and booklets are included in the album download as high quality JPEGs or better. There's precious few people who really want the physical product.

4. They could start selling music through some generic interface that anybody can embed into their site and get a teensy kickback from it.. but torrent sites, limewire, etc. are - in the world of the internet - just as ubiquitous. There isn't any issue with physical proximity to be considered.

5. Lowering the price beyond what it currently is ($0.49 - $1.99) will do little. It's not like there's a whole lot of people out there saying "Oh, I would buy this song - but $0.99 is just too much. If it were only $0.25, I'd buy it right now!". The average person could probably pick up more than that off the street every year.. and not do it because they money on the street is dirty.. who knows what all is on there, ew.

Yes, they have to find different ways for their larger profits, I agree. And they do.. always have.. concerts, swag, all that. But I disagree with the notion that there's no intrinsic 'worth' to music and should thus be free to distribute by those with no license to do so. That's why, in an older comment to a different story, I suggest that copyright be dismissed entirely because it's untenable, and instead there be more strict enforcement of distribution rights.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323257)

1 & 2.: Live performance is much better than any recording, just ask the thousands of fans worldwide that pay big money to go see concerts, which is basicly the band playing the song but extremely loud.

3. Offering the music in free formats, not limited to certain devices, operating systems, ... We're getting here, but the RIAA does its best to prevent this any way they can.

4. It can be made available ubiquitous, allow not one internet service but all to sell the same songs. The choice of the water bottle companies is to try and sell it in many stores, Apples strategy is to only sell apple stuff in their own stores. Music industry seems to be trying to get as few points of sale as possible.

5. The prices have lowered due to the internet and the availability of much free music, for example radio or MTV. Just like bottled water, they need lower price to compete with that.

Bottled water is a pretty good analogy I think.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Interesting)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323401)

Oh but they CAN bottle music better.

When I go to iTunes/Amazon/etc and download some old Black Sabbath jams, I don't run the risk of having them mislabeled as "Ozzy." They also come with the metadata tags fully filled out, names are all spelled correctly, album art is accurate, and everything else that a music loving person like myself would enjoy. I can download entire albums at the click of a button and have them cataloged, named correctly and set to play in the order originally intended without having to worry if the file of Track 3 contains the first few second of Track 4, making for a messy exchange when listening.

Are these minor things? Well, yeah. They're absolutely minor little nit-picks that probably wouldn't bother the majority of music listeners, when compared with the allure of "free." But then again, bottled water tasting a bit better is a minor thing too, and it certainly hasn't stopped that from catching on. And for me, the conveniences I've mentioned here are WORTH $0.99 per song. I'd rather spend the dollar than go through and fix all that crap myself (because I will be fixing all that crap if I torrent)

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Prune (557140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324555)

What a bunch of bull. Bottled water is several orders of magnitude more expensive than tap water, has in some studies been frequently detected to contain MORE contaminants than tap water (including bacteria), and causes an enormous increase of pollution not just because of the plastic bottles, but because most of it has to be transported significant distance.

How about this one (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322641)

Artificial scarcity is morally wrong and economically harmful.

Business models that involve data should not be dependent on artificial scarcity.

We can revisit the old artificial-scarcity model when and if the predicted-but-never-demonstrated cultural impoverishment (a hypothesized result of a lack of new content which is a hypothesized result of a lack of financial incentive to create which is a hypothesized result of the inability to wring every last penny out of everyone that receives a copy of the data) actually happens (which it won't).

Re:How about this one (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322821)

Artificial scarcity is morally wrong and economically harmful.

That's what I said to a girl who turned out not to be on the game

Re:How about this one (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324453)

Artificial scarcity is morally wrong and economically harmful.

Business models that involve data should not be dependent on artificial scarcity.

We can revisit the old artificial-scarcity model when and if the predicted-but-never-demonstrated cultural impoverishment (a hypothesized result of a lack of new content which is a hypothesized result of a lack of financial incentive to create which is a hypothesized result of the inability to wring every last penny out of everyone that receives a copy of the data) actually happens (which it won't).

You have to ask yourself if the scarcity is in fact artificial.

There is only one Lady Gaga, and she can't be everywhere at once, and she is therefore by definition scarce.

Recording and mass marketing has made her un-scarce. She chose this route. She did so in order to maximize her
profit, with the expectation that she might make some money. Not an unreasonable expectation.

When there were records (vinyl), artists and labels could press a short run, label them a collector's edition if they wanted, and
controlled the number in production. Same for books. That too was a artificial scarcity of sorts.
So was the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe, 17 made. They could have made any number.

Others could have copied the car, or the books or the records. But we, as a society, gave that right
to the car company, the author, or the artist. Never mind WHY we did that. Those arguments are not
germane, we did it, enshrined it in law, and it is what it is.

Digital music / ebooks / videos removed all capability for the artist to control the number of copies, and allows
anyone, at will, to create any number of copies.

You can't, with any intellectual honesty, simply hand wave that away and claim a business model is morally
wrong simply because it is suddenly possible to circumvent it in your parents' basement with an $800 computer.

Ford could have copied Bugatti. But the barriers to entry were high enough (an automotive assembly plant) to prevent that.
Someone could have pressed a copy of the Beach Boys albums, or any best selling book. Again you had to have the
expensive tools and you would risk getting caught with a warehouse full of counterfeit goods.

The computer removes all of that, and gives any 12 year old the ability to make perfect copies at zero cost.

Does that fact somehow trump the law, wash away the artist's rights, and make copying anything legal?
Will 3D printing do the same for physical objects?

The concept of artificial scarcity is, itself, artificial: man made.

P2P shares 1:1. On average. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322647)

Therefore if the damages are to recompense for 100,000 copies shared, then those 100,000 people who copied are in the clear.

Of course, you also need to pay the filesharer back for the costs they accrued in this sale:

1) breakages.
2) business expenses
3) marketing
4) good will
5) tax
6) rental of equipment

and so on.

In fact this probably leads to a bill of $150,000 to the industry by the P2P filesharer.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323369)

If I were a judge, this is what I would do.

Go out, find what the commonly available price of purchase is for all the infringed songs. Don't bother trying to find "the best deal" or doing some big, exhaustive research on average prices. Just go out to Wal-Mart or go on iTunes, look up all the songs, see what it would cost.

Move the decimal point over one place. If they stole one album ($14.99), their liability is $149.90. If they stole $100 worth of music, they owe $1000. If they're a repeat offender, move it over an additional place (ie. if this you've been in court for it before, that one album is now $1,499).

If the defendant actively distributed it (not just "seeded their torrent", but actually posted it on new sites or made their own torrent or whatever), they're liable for both side's legal fees. Otherwise, each pays their own.

Same applies to any other Intellectual Property. Steal a $60 video game? Pay them $600. Steal a $20 movie? Pay $200.

The multiplier keeps damages reasonably bound to the actual value of the "goods", but also makes it far cheaper to buy instead of pirate. And the legal fees will make the MAFIAA go after the actual "distributors", not people who just download a few episodes of whatever TV show is popular right now. Economically, the only ones worth it are the distributors (because as long as you win, you have no costs), and the massive steal-every-song-made-in-the-past-century pirates who still rack up millions in damages, not the "I'm gonna give this song a listen before I buy it" crowd or the "piracy is *still* easier than buying" crowd.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Insightful)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323601)

It's "cheaper" and less legally risky to go to the store and shoplift the CD or game than it is to Download it...

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324115)

The amount isn't based on what they "stole", it is based on what they supplied to others. The RIAA argues that if you upload a song on a P2P network it can potentially go to thousands of people. They want to be paid for all of those potential "thefts", hence the massive multiplier.

It seems odd they can be awarded for losses they can't prove.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323699)

What is unrealistic about a string of bytes having a value of $0?

Do you have trouble with computer? ;-)

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324119)

Personally I don't have trouble with computers - though I do have trouble understanding how that even factors into this discussion.

The unrealistic aspect of "a string of bytes having a value of $0" lies in what that string of bytes constitutes.

Presume for a moment that the string of bytes is, in fact, the original studio recording before it goes to any CD pressing outfit. (ignoring the CD mastering people, etc. for a moment here).

The value of that string of bytes is then rather high. You can say that "well anybody can copy it, so it's $0" - but not anybody can copy it, because there's only two data carriers that have it that are under fairly strict access controls.

You could argue that "it's still $0 because maybe nobody will actually buy it", but then we're getting into the realm of philosophy more than the everyday reality.

If you want an analogy: I kidnap your family and by paying me a certain amount of money, whatever you feel your family is worth when expressed in the currency of choice, I will e-mail you the GPS coordinates of where you can find them, completely unharmed albeit rather shocked I'm sure.
What is of value of you there is the location. You don't even care that they're GPS coordinates. You also probably couldn't care less if I'd send it to you carved in stone and sent by a flock of carrier pigeons. But the fact is that I'm e-mailing them to you, and that means bytes. Suddenly, those bytes become very, very precious to you indeed.

Obviously MP3s on the internet have no such scarcity. The everyday reality is that songs are sold for, say $0.99. Of course those same songs are also pirated for, typically, $0. The person selling it thus believes the value to be $0.99 (minus fees), the person pirating it believes the value to be $0. Which one is philosophically / technically / morally right vs which one is legally right can often be opposing views which gets rather clouded with the intricacies of the internet.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322617)

A lot of the numbers, arguments, evidence etc. don't make a jot of sense to us. It's all pie-in-the-sky hyperbole and backwards Hollywood accounting, where a song which makes $0.99 per sale from a retailer is worth $150,000 if downloaded and shared.

You're the lawyer; You tell us!

Imagine you wanted to start an online music store, a la iTunes. You would contact Capitol Records* and ask for a license to sell and distribute thousands of copies of their music. Do you think they'd say "sure, no problem. That'll be $1"? Or would they say "that'll be 33% of gross sales, with a minimum of $15k for any work per year since you don't have an established track record, and a minimum of $50k for any song in the top-40, plus we want an escrow payment in advance, plus, etc. etc. etc."? Do you think Apple paid $1 per song to the record companies and never again paid a dime, regardless of how many copies they distributed?

That's the distinction... If Thomas was only a leecher and never uploaded copies, then she could make a reasonable argument about $1. But once she distributed, then she's into the "reasonable royalties and license fees" range.

And finally, the $150k for willful infringement shouldn't apply, because "willfulness" in this context means something different than "intentional". But Capitol Records sure as hell isn't going to raise that, and Thomas failed to also (reasonably, because arguing that $750-$30k is a better range still leaves her on the hook for more than she can afford). But we should be talking about reasonable royalties for distribution in a range of $750-$30k per song.

*Of course you wouldn't... You'd only distribute self-published tracks from indie hipster bands. ;)

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322767)

Though most don't provide anything like as many copies as a store.

the problem is that the logic they follow isn't that you're responsible for the dozen or so copies people download from you but also for every download that every person makes from each of those dozen people and for each of the people who download from from each of those and for each of the people who download from each of those.

As it were, if you throw a rock and break a window you aren't liable for the actions of the 10000 other people who walk past, see 1 or more broken windows and throw a rock themselves.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322921)

Though most don't provide anything like as many copies as a store.

Sure, but do you think Capitol Records would charge only a few bucks to a tiny music store that's only going to sell a dozen copies? No... In fact, just the accounting is such a hassle, that that's why they'd put on the minimum annual payment amounts.

the problem is that the logic they follow isn't that you're responsible for the dozen or so copies people download from you but also for every download that every person makes from each of those dozen people and for each of the people who download from from each of those and for each of the people who download from each of those.

As it were, if you throw a rock and break a window you aren't liable for the actions of the 10000 other people who walk past, see 1 or more broken windows and throw a rock themselves.

Except that that's the logic in the statute. It doesn't require the infringer to be the sole distributor, or require the infringer to pay damages based on how many people they distributed to. Maybe there's a better way of doing the statute, but if it's a flaw in logic or practice, that's for Congress to decide, not the courts. The courts can only weigh in if it's unconstitutional.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322877)

That's the distinction... If Thomas was only a leecher and never uploaded copies, then she could make a reasonable argument about $1. But once she distributed, then she's into the "reasonable royalties and license fees" range.

Not really, in a P2P swarm there's obviously one upload for every download. So by downloading she consumed an upload from another peer and by uploading back herself to a 1.0 ratio - which will be the average - the swarm is only returned to the neutral position. The upload she provided is cancelled out by the one she consumed and in net there is only one extra copy which she could have been bought for $1. If there's 100 people in a swarm there's 100 copies and each person caused 1/100th of that which is 1 copy, only in RIAA math did 100 people each cause 100 copies leading to 10000 infringments.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322943)

That's the distinction... If Thomas was only a leecher and never uploaded copies, then she could make a reasonable argument about $1. But once she distributed, then she's into the "reasonable royalties and license fees" range.

Not really, in a P2P swarm there's obviously one upload for every download. So by downloading she consumed an upload from another peer and by uploading back herself to a 1.0 ratio - which will be the average - the swarm is only returned to the neutral position.

So no one in a swarm ever uploads more than a single copy? Kazaa would disable uploading once it uploaded a full copy of a work? I don't remember it working that way.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323271)

I guess their argument was something along these lines...

If you are the only person with a particular track, and one person downloads from you, you have uploaded 1 copy.

Now there's two people with that track.

A third person downloads, but of course ends up downloading from both of you. Making the assumption (since there's so many assumptions in this argument already) that there's an equal distribution, then you just uploaded 1.5 copy and the 2nd person uploaded 0.5 copy. The net result is that there is still only 1 (complete) copy distributed by you.

Now there's three people with that track, fourth person downloads, you upload 0.333... bringing your total to 1.8333.

This is where that argument already starts to fall apart, though.
Four people, fifth person downloads, you upload 0.25, your total is now 2.08333...

But, again, there's so many assumption in this that already ruin it either which way.
E.g. that second person might not upload, themselves, in which case that third person will download only from you. If that repeats for 100 people, you distributed 100 copies all the same.
Similarly you can argue that if you uploaded the whole thing to that second person, but then make your P2P client limit itself to only the first half of the file for the second person to request it, then you'll always be stuck at sharing it only 1.5 times. Set it up to only share the first 15 seconds or whatever and you might even try to argue that you were merely offering a preview of the song.

It seems reasonable to ask the question how many people she actually shared a particular file with, but answering it gets ridiculously complex even if you had the actual data.

But it's rather naive, and flawed, of the GP to think that anybody publicly offering files on a P2P network, and getting downloads from them, only uploaded once by definition.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323775)

But it's rather naive, and flawed, of the GP to think that anybody publicly offering files on a P2P network, and getting downloads from them, only uploaded once by definition.

Agreed, though I believe his argument was that if there are 20,000 complete downloads of a particular track, there must have been 20,000 complete uploads (split across any number, as you note), so therefore it's an average of 1:1. It has the flaw you note, and an additional one: it assumes no leechers. If 10,000 people leeched, then the ratio suddenly becomes at least2:1 for the seeders, averaged out. Even a single leecher puts the average above 1:1.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323317)

So no one in a swarm ever uploads more than a single copy? Kazaa would disable uploading once it uploaded a full copy of a work? I don't remember it working that way.

No, that is why I said on average. But there's no proof Thomas-Rasset was above average, in fact they have no proof she actually uploaded anything at all only that that the files were made available. Hence the "making available = distribution" issue, which was dropped. I was just pointing out that even so the average peer in the swarm does not net contribute any upload bandwidth because it consumed just as much downloading as it provides uploading.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323847)

So no one in a swarm ever uploads more than a single copy? Kazaa would disable uploading once it uploaded a full copy of a work? I don't remember it working that way.

No, that is why I said on average. But there's no proof Thomas-Rasset was above average, in fact they have no proof she actually uploaded anything at all only that that the files were made available.

Not so - MediaSentry downloaded from Thomas, and recorded it. There's plenty of proof that she uploaded.

Hence the "making available = distribution" issue, which was dropped.

Again, not so. Capitol is still arguing that issue (it makes the higher damages much more reasonable) and it's one of the primary issues on appeal. In her reply brief, Thomas waived that issue, saying it's moot... but it certainly hasn't been dropped.

I was just pointing out that even so the average peer in the swarm does not net contribute any upload bandwidth because it consumed just as much downloading as it provides uploading.

Only if no leechers exist. If even a single leecher exists, then the average non-leecher peer in the swarm must contribute more upload bandwidth than it consumed downloading, by definition. And we know a leecher exists - MediaSentry.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (3, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324275)

Not so - MediaSentry downloaded from Thomas, and recorded it. There's plenty of proof that she uploaded.

What about contributory infringement? If the only proof of an upload was induced by an agent working on behalf of the copyright owner, is that really infringement?

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323327)

No, but a 1:1 ratio is by definition average. Absent further, reliable data, that is what the safest assumption is.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323721)

No, but a 1:1 ratio is by definition average. Absent further, reliable data, that is what the safest assumption is.

Ah, but we have reliable data. MediaSentry downloaded files from Thomas. Thus, there's no need to rely on an "average" assumption.

Plus, your average assumption is averaged across both seeders and leechers. Therefore, by definition, it's not an average of typical distributors. Accordingly, it's not even reliable data for the proposition you're advancing - that a typical distributor only distributes once. In fact, since leechers exist, it means that the average upload/download ratio for distributors must be greater than 1:1.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323277)

So what you're saying is, you think that participating in a conspiracy is going to lower your individual liability? Sorry, does not work that way, ever.

The simple fact is, she had no right to upload even a single copy. Congress, which has the authority, has set a price on unauthorized distribution. All of your blather about 'swarms' and 'ratios' is just smoke and mirrors trying to obfuscate the issue.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323555)

Congress did not set a price. They set a minimum and maximum for statutory damages. The judge reduced the award to 3 times the minimum,

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323535)

"that'll be 33% of gross sales, with a minimum of $15k for any work per year since you don't have an established track record,

That number would be nonsense. Apple has about 20 million songs. 20 million times $15k = 300 billion dollars. And they sold a total of about 19 billion songs (estimated from Wikipedia date for 10 billion and 15 billion sold). So that would be about $16 per song sold.

But there _are_ comparable contracts. UK newspapers have been giving away CDs full of music for free for quite a while. It would be interesting what lets say The Sun paid for the rights to give away a CD with 20 number one hits for free with every copy of their newspaper. I bet they didn't pay 20 times $150,000.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323693)

"that'll be 33% of gross sales, with a minimum of $15k for any work per year since you don't have an established track record,

That number would be nonsense. Apple has about 20 million songs. 20 million times $15k = 300 billion dollars. And they sold a total of about 19 billion songs (estimated from Wikipedia date for 10 billion and 15 billion sold). So that would be about $16 per song sold.

... I'm not sure you understood the words I typed. Let me help. When I said "minimum of $15k for any work per year since you don't have an established track record," I meant that something like a minimum amount due would be required for people who don't have an established track record. Apple, as you note, has an established track record. Therefore, that clause wouldn't apply.

Does this make more sense now? Apple sells $19 billion songs, so they'd pay $8.3 billion in royalties.

But there _are_ comparable contracts. UK newspapers have been giving away CDs full of music for free for quite a while. It would be interesting what lets say The Sun paid for the rights to give away a CD with 20 number one hits for free with every copy of their newspaper. I bet they didn't pay 20 times $150,000.

In the case of the Sun, the record companies are also getting access to the Sun's wide subscriber network and (albeit questionable) reputation - again, they're an "established" player. While interesting, such a license agreement wouldn't be applicable to the brand new "Bob's Online Record Store", which lacks any market branding, subscribers, advertising power, etc.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323733)

Imagine you wanted to start an online music store, a la iTunes. You would contact Capitol Records* and ask for a license to sell and distribute thousands of copies of their music. Do you think they'd say "sure, no problem. That'll be $1"? Or would they say "that'll be 33% of gross sales, with a minimum of $15k for any work per year since you don't have an established track record, and a minimum of $50k for any song in the top-40, plus we want an escrow payment in advance, plus, etc. etc. etc."?

Yes, but if a burger store made a joke a sold one single dollar meal calling it a McDonald's meal, McDonald's couldn't argue that because the only way to legally serve a McD burger is to pay a $15k franchise fee, their actual damages from lost sales is $15001 (they could possibly argue loss of reputation though). Any sane judge would reason that this customer would then likely have gone to a real McD and paid $1, which is the only actual loss.

Jammie doesn't get distribution rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40324137)

Jammie doesn't get distribution rights, so why should she be paying for distribution rights?

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324149)

How bout they make Thomas pay 5 times that 33 % of her gross sales !!.. That'll learn her !

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324303)

How bout they make Thomas pay 5 times that 33 % of her gross sales !!.. That'll learn her !

Since she doesn't have an established track record in the industry, they'd probably set a minimum, as I suggested. So yes, make Thomas pay $15k for each of the songs she wanted to distribute as an advance on that 33% of her gross sales.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (5, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322801)

You're the lawyer; You tell us!

I've never before experienced such humility on Slashdot. You must be new here.

100s of downloads are improbable (4, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323159)

One number that no one seems to have argued about much is the number of downloads that could have come from one user's computer. This is the basis for the entire idea of multiplying the damages to levels we all know are ludicrous. The RIAA insists hundreds of people could have downloaded from Jammie Thomas. Although that's possible, it's highly improbable. The most likely number of downloads is 1 per file. That's one, not hundreds or thousands. The court ought to use that number to compute damages.

Why only 1? For the same reasons that Ponzi schemes do not work. The network quickly becomes saturated. Suppose people can give out copies at more or less the same rate, to anyone else. And once a copy is received, the recipient can quickly turn around and share it. (BitTorrent is even better than that, starting the sharing of parts of a copy before a recipient has received the entire file.) Each generation, the number of people who could have a copy doubles. By the time a person is giving out a copy for the 20th time, 1 million people could have a copy. By the 33rd time, everyone in the world could have it. Even if everyone in the world wants a copy, only one person, the originator, could have given out as many as 33 copies, and only the first recipient could have given out as many as 32. Just 8000 people could have given out 20 copies, and just 1 of every 2000 people could have given out 10 copies. Half the people will have given out zero copies, because by the time they got it, there was no one left who still didn't have a copy of their own. The average number of copies of 1 file that a person gives out is 1.

Re:What do we think? We don't know! (4, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323477)

I came across this analogy.. paraphrased.

Claiming losses on sales that never happened in the first place is like this.

Say littering gets you a $100 fine. Say if you spent all day littering in front of a police station, you could rack up $5000 in fines. This means if you don't litter, it's like saving $5000/day, which means people who don't litter at all are "saving" more than $1.8mil/year. They're all rich!

In before lawyers wannabe opinions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322291)

I am not a lawyer and I've never studied law so i'm going to give my insightful predictions on the appeals court decisions even though I didn't RTFA.

Re:In before lawyers wannabe opinions (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322409)

You forgot to give your insightful predictions on the appeals court decisions even though you didn't RTFA

Re:In before lawyers wannabe opinions (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322467)

He accidentally the predictions.

Re:In before lawyers wannabe opinions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323707)

He did not accidentally.

Reading comprehension: It's for the anonymous coward, too.

What is the right acronym... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322393)

for the equivalent of RTFA?

LTTFMP3?
LTTFAF?

when a dinosaur dies (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322417)

it's tail thrashes around a lot, and does a lot of damage

it's still going to be extinct very soon nevertheless

you can't foist a business model from a dead era on us

well you can try, and drain all of your coffers in the process, thereby speeding up your demise

but economic reality has a way of being economic reality despite your protestations

they call things like the Internet "disruptive technology" for a reason

consider yourself permanently disrupted, media conglomerates

Re:when a dinosaur dies (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322597)

Burma Shave

Re:when a dinosaur dies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322831)

Are they still around? (And if so, are they considering changing the name to Myanmar Shave?)

Re:when a dinosaur dies (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322859)

He flagellates the neighborhood
Smoothly to the ground.
Burma Shave!

Re:when a dinosaur dies (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322759)

Oh, this will probably have a half-life similar to intelligent design, monkeys too greedy to let go of the banana in the jar- creative works that they couldn't possibly produce by themselves. That hand is never going to let go of the revenue stream willingly. On the gripping hand, however, creative people now have many more tools to deliver their work directly to the customer.

Re:when a dinosaur dies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323105)

So when will the labels be dead?

You people have been saying their death was imminent since at least the Napster days. Making open ended predictions like you've all done is the height of idiocy, because in the long run we're all dead and all our business models will go with us. So when will the labels be dead?

As it is, they are in a much healthier position than they were when you first started spouting this crap. Napster was going to kill them, then is was MySpace Music, then it was Wal-Mart, then iTunes and Amazon. Yet the million sellers are all signed to the same labels they've always signed with and the artists trying to sell direct or going direct to the big stores toil in obscurity. The latest bubblegum pop song being promoted by the labels sells more than those guys give away.

So when?

Re:when a dinosaur dies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40324245)

They are dead to me... I have not given the given them a single penny since t hey shutdown napster... I have move on to buying local and independent bands music

Wait... what? (3, Funny)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323255)

When a dinosaur dies, it's tail thrashes around a lot, and does a lot of damage

That statement got me really curious.

Apropos of nothing, just how is it that you come to know what happens when a dinosaur dies?

Re:when a dinosaur dies (2)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323831)

The funny thing is that for years the RIAA was that cool organization that presented artists with those gold and platinum records. I bought quite a few records back in those days, but felt a twinge of guilt when I would record them onto cassettes to spare wear and tear on the record. The guilt increased a bit if I recorded friends' albums, although I tended to eventually spring for my own copy of the good ones, just so i could get a more pristine cassette recording.

That was before they destroyed Napster, and proceeded on to suing folks of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages for, basically, copying albums to cassettes.

Now, I buy my music from Russian websites. The RIAA gets zilch. I get mp3's which are of a high enough quality that I highly prize them, and keep them redundantly backed up.

I also share with friends, via sneakernet.

If an artist blows me away (e.g. Bonnie Bramlett, of Delaney and Bonnie), and are clearly not already fabulously wealthy (e.g. Mick Jagger), I actually will track down their agent and send them a modest check from my S corporation. It's a tax-deductable contribution to someone who has earned their pay.

Otherwise, i might visit an artist's website and score some bling.

You see, money passes from my hands to a music seller. It passes from my hands directly to the artist. Or it passes from my hands to an enterprise connected with the artist that pays nothing to the RIAA.

You can say downloaders are destroying the traditional business model for music, RIAA, but the reals criminal here is staring back at you in the mirror. You have managed to anger me (and how many millions of others) enough to work out a fair and square way to purchase guilt-free music.

Speaking of dead dinosaurs (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324171)

Reminds me of the message in a NOFX song, Dinosaurs will Die (or maybe you were referring to it)? Some of the lyrics :

Prehistoric music industry Three feet in la brea tar Extinction never felt so good

If you think anyone would feel badly You are sadly, mistaken The time has come for evolution Fuck collusion, kill the five

Whatever happened to the handshake? Whatever happened to deals no-one would break? What happened to integrity? It's still there it always was For playing music just because A million reasons why

(All) dinosaurs will die

Which case was this one? (0)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322449)

Was this the one where the defendant through their family under the bus or the one where the defendant's lawyer was a moron and pissed off the judge?

RIAA did a great job at picking people to actually take to court.

Re:Which case was this one? (0)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322479)

I guess a more important question is who is a bigger moron me (through -> threw) or a lawyer who pisses off a judge?

Re:Which case was this one? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322689)

Was this the one where the defendant through their family under the bus or the one where the defendant's lawyer was a moron and pissed off the judge?

RIAA did a great job at picking people to actually take to court.

Family one. Though, interestingly enough, Thomas' lawyer, Kiwi Camera, was a student of Tenenbaum's lawyer, Charles Neeson. The two have a long and storied history [wikipedia.org] - Camera famously posted his law school outlines online, said outlines containing tons of racial epithets. When the Harvard Law student body was outraged, then-Professor Neeson held a "mock trial" defending Camera on 1st Amendment grounds... which led to Neeson resigning from teaching the class.

Thomas' argument shoots herself in the foot (4, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322475)

For better or for worse, Thomas waived the "making available = distribution" argument, and argued only the Constitutionality of statutory damages in a case with an argument for no actual damages... But by basically stipulating to distribution, she no longer can make the argument that this is just about a single download, the "noncommercial individual file sharing at issue in this case."

Additionally, the argument seems to not be focused on the statutory range at all - which is a mistake when they're arguing about the Constitutionality of the statute. Rather, on page 5, Thomas notes that the damages could be as low as one song times the minimum, or dozens of songs times the maximum, and then compares this to a range of "$50 to $10,000,000"... But that's not the range in the statute. Instead, at best, it's an argument that dozens of instances of infringement of independent works should be treated only as infringement of a single work, and I can't see the court deciding that Congress lacked a legitimate reason for not writing the statute that way.

Also, from her brief: "If the recording companies are correct, then they are claiming that Congress considered and approved damages ranging from one song times the minimum ($250) to thousands of songs times the maximum (hundreds of millions of dollars or more)." That's just sloppy. Either he means $750 or he means $200, but which is not clear.

The courts already ruled on the making available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322681)

And the courts ruled that making available is not distribution.

Re:The courts already ruled on the making availabl (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322739)

And the courts ruled that making available is not distribution.

Correction: the lower court ruled that making available is not distribution. That issue is on appeal, and Thomas has decided not to argue it, instead saying that the Appeals court should refuse to consider it, and decide that it's moot in view of her waiver.

The problem is, it's still an issue as it relates to the Constitutionality of damages. So now, the judges have one side arguing that it should be distribution, and the other side providing no argument whatsoever. That's not a great strategy.

this is why I have a good math degree but bad law (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322535)

I called bullshit pretty much all the time through my law degree, pointing out how much of what goes on in court is just stupid interpretation games rather than paying heed to the spirit of the law or any notion of equity. Apparently, the former is a good thing.

Well, no it isn't.

If that stands... (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322691)

It'll just make a bigger mockery of our court precedents. If hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for what would no more than grand theft in most states is not "cruel and unusual" WRT fines, then how can the Supreme Court possibly justify things like saying that it is cruel and unusual to use the death penalty on someone who is a serial child molester (they struck down Louisiana's law which provided for execution of repeat offenders say it was "uncivilized").

Oh wait, this is the same federal judiciary that only recently discovered that the 2nd amendment was part of the Bill of Rights and was being excluded from incorporation under the 14th. In another 150 years, they might discover that the DMCA's statutory damages are unconscionable and hypocritical as well.

Re:If that stands... (1)

Ameryll (2390886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323615)

Also the people who decided that corporations are people too...

Re:If that stands... (0)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40324029)

Executing repeat child molesters????? Why, the liberals would EXECUTE you for coming up with such a notion!

On the "making available theory"... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322693)

The problem, I think, with this is that they are trying to directly equate the concept of making something available to doing something wrong.

Instead, I think, they need to take a different route, and look at the facts.... and the law how it *REALLY* applies, not how they think it ought to.

Making something available would, by any sense of reasoning, negate any possible notion of private use.

If nonprivate use is not applicable under the circumstances (for example, the copy being used privately was unauthorized), then it seems that by that notion, copyright infringement would apply.

So it seems that they could get the judgement they want, but it hinges on whether or not such nonprivate use in some way constitutes fair dealing. If it does, then they are out of luck. If it does not, however, they could still reasonably win.

Typo in the above says opposite of what I meant. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323037)

Didn't notice it until well after I hit submit... but in the parenthetical remark above, I meant "(for example, the copy being used non-privately was unauthorized)..." Since what I intended to say and what I actually wrote are practically opposites, I felt clarification was in order.

I'd rather read a transcript. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40322791)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can read a hell of a lot faster than most people can talk.

Re:I'd rather read a transcript. (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40322815)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can read a hell of a lot faster than most people can talk.

Agreed. I spent an hour listening to that file. If I'd had a transcript I could have read it in 10 minutes.

when riaa lobbyist manipulate the laws (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323049)

they can get what ever they want. You never hear about abuses like hollywood accounting needing to be fixed and if anything the actual music and movie makers and US Taxpayers are being hugely cheated from it.

Because you're not quite evil enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323055)

I think that the RIAA is like a bit like Dr. Evil's son Scott in the Austin Powers movies: "not quite evil enough".

In actuality, Jamie Thomas made thousands of songs available. The RIAA only picked a small subset for trial. Assume she made 2,000 songs available. Then the actual damages that the RIAA could have asked for are roughly: 2,000 * $150,000 = $300,000,000. Wonder why they only tried to go for a mere 30 or so?

But eh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40323669)

Who owns the copyright to the audio?

I'll wait for the transcript (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323749)

After listening to the oral argument, what do you think?

Same as when someone posts a link to a video. I don't think anything yet, because non-text media requires a shitload more time and patience. . 60 seconds of audio (optionally with video, don't matter) = 6 seconds of text.

This is supposed to be an argument, not art. Please don't tell me the whole point is that the guy has a funny voice or something like that.

Still way too much (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#40323853)

What I think? $2250 per file is still WAY too much, as is the whole idea of sky high statutory damages as applied to a petty case of non-commercial file sharing. Seen from outside the US, this whole case looks extremely weird and outright crazy, not to say totally out of touch with reality. Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone here.

Tax evasion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40324217)

1. RIAA and labels claim very large amounts of money for "infringers".
2. They sell at least an equal amount, if not a lot more, copies of songs.
3. Thanks to 1, we know how much each song is worth.
So, we can simply look at their tax statements and deduce the number of sold songs.

Wild guess based on zilch: it'll be in the low teens.
Tax evasion, anyone?

Adam Scott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40324225)

One of the people talking sounds really like Adam Scott (Ben from Parks & Recreation).

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