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First Three-Strikes Copyright Court Case In NZ Falls Over

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the unbalanced-as-it-was dept.

Piracy 80

Bismillah writes "The 'Skynet' anti-filesharing law introduced last year in New Zealand is starting to bite, with people being hauled in front of the Copyright Tribunal by the music industry after receiving three notices. Of the three Copyright Tribunal cases to be heard currently, the first one's just been dropped. Why? Nobody knows. RIANZ isn't saying. Interesting things: the accused was the ISP account holder, a student sharing a place with others who also used the Internet connection. The cost of the five songs downloaded is NZ$11.95 but RIANZ wanted NZ$1,075.50 because it estimated the music was shared/downloaded 90 times in total. A high deterrent penalty of NZ$1,250 was also asked for."

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"Making available" is faulty logic (5, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#41713193)

The cost of the five songs downloaded is NZ$11.95 but RIANZ wanted NZ$1,075.50 because it estimated the music was shared/downloaded 90 times in total.

That line of reasoning only works if this one guy is the only person they're going to punish for the filesharing. i.e. Once he's fined, the other 90 people who downloaded songs are free and clear, since the punishment for sharing 90 songs has already been meted out.

If instead they're also planning to go after the 90 others who downloaded the song, and slap them with fines for it being downloaded 90 times, then they're effectively fining for 90*90 = 8100 songs being illegally downloaded. Clearly erroneous since it was only downloaded 90 times.

That's what this boils down to. Either fine each filesharer for a single download (the copy the downloaded for themselves). Or fine one filesharer for all the downloads, but in the process give up your rights to prosecute the other filesharers. The "making available" argument is so mathematically nonsensical it can fabricate fines for billions of downloads when there were in fact fewer than 100,000 downloads.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41713203)

YOu have exposed t heir desire to have their cake and eat it too.

They know damn well they'd be double dipping.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713309)

Damn. I almost thought you were the submitter/editor on this one, based on your typos and the typos in the summary...

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#41713695)

Double dipping is nothing.

This is exponential dipping.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about 2 years ago | (#41714257)

I prefer the term 'fractal dipping' because I like to think of it like a tree. 1 person with 90 branches. Those 90 branches each split into their own 90, which each split into their own 90, You get the idea.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 2 years ago | (#41714521)

Pyramid Dipping.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about 2 years ago | (#41715233)

My idea is that it grows in several directions simultaneously in 3D space from a single point, similar to how one can jump and fall, move forward/backward and side-to-side in either direction. You might think of it as a web. Obviously there could be some connections between two seemingly unrelated parties such as mutual friends may who don't know they're mutual friends. Oops. I guess I've been thinking about the Xanadu project a bit too much lately, and how it could relate to social networking.

Shockingly low fine (1)

random_ID (1822712) | about 2 years ago | (#41718407)

Even with the faulty logic and extra dipping, the fine is low compared to similar cases in the US. It's actually low enough that a normal person could pay it without going bankrupt....

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713797)

You are assuming our legal representatives are capable of logical reasoning while every evidence shows clearly they are not.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713911)

You are assuming our legal representatives are capable of logical reasoning while every evidence shows clearly they are not.

And YOU are assuming they designed this law...by accident.

Considering who is to profit the most off of all of this legal activity (court revenue, legal revenue, fine revenue), clearly they are not stupid in their "logical reasoning".

Go figure. What happens when you watch a 5-year old abuse the cookie jar without permission or punishment? Of course they're going to take as much as they want.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

ae1294 (1547521) | about 2 years ago | (#41713207)

or fine everyone, even people who didn't download it and we're never run out of hookers and blow!

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41713635)

They already do this. It's why there's a levy (Pirate Tax) on blank media. As a content creator who doesn't infringe copyrights, I think that I'd be justified if I did -- I mean. That we ALL are paying taxes on blank media to compensate for copyright infringement is a free license to pirate if you ask me.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713707)

That we ALL are paying taxes on blank media to compensate for copyright infringement is a free license to pirate if you ask me.

I haven't purchased blank media in years. Does that still mean I have a free license to pirate?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713827)

Yar!

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41714923)

With no media, where would you put it?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41717339)

Hard drives. Apparently that is not considered blank media yet.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

Vlado (817879) | about 2 years ago | (#41722399)

Depends where you live.

In my country hard drives fall under the same regulation as the blank CDs/DVDs/memory sticks and so on.

So there's no way that you can create something and not paying the "pirate" tax.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (5, Interesting)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | about 2 years ago | (#41714501)

free license to pirate

For the record, you may refer to this as a "Letter of Marque" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_of_marque). Also, if you are pirating with the blessing of your Government (say, because you paid a tax to do so), you may officially refer to yourself as a "Privateer" (official pirate).

This posting removes a moderation, but education of slashdot on the subject of the patriotic/profitable practice of Officially-Sanctioned Vessels/Crews for Stealing is a worthy cause.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41717345)

I love the fact this education was brought to you by SunTzuWarmaster

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

aleph (14733) | about 2 years ago | (#41713215)

I only see a problem with this if you're *not* a rent seeking industry organization or an artist with an incredible sense of entitlement.

If you're not one of those, then your opinion doesn't really matter, does it?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#41713311)

Since when did the artists see any money? The ones without their own record label I mean.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713395)

It might not be sensible, but it has legal precedent: in prostition, both the prostitute AND the johns are criminals. In drug activity, both the dealer AND the drug users are criminals.
(Now, individual laws may vary by country, but in the USA at least, we punish both the giver and the receiver.)

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713399)

What? He's specifically talking about double dipping for the same songs over and over again.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713441)

Sorry, I guess I was thinking of double jeopardy.
From a strictly monetary compensation standpoint, yes, it makes sense to only seek repayment for one lost sale, one time.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41714965)

That's criminal liability, not civil. In civil court the objective is supposed to be making the defendant whole.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713427)

You're applying logic to greed. Don't bother.

I blame all the greed in this case on RIANZ, what I don't understand, is how a court justifies using those logs as evidence. The technology simply doesn't exist to track things like that reliably. Especially when you're trying to legally cheat someone out of their life savings.

Even DNA based evidence isn't always accurate, and when it's used, it's for something like rape or murder.

I think these judges, should be rotated, once in a while to have all kinds of cases, because, it seems they've lost touch with reality.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713443)

Even if they were going to go after this one person, how many casual torrenters have a ratio of 90:1?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41717371)

That's assuming they were even going by a ratio.

What if they just went by the number of peers that connected and downloaded a part?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#41713941)

That line of reasoning only works if this one guy is the only person they're going to punish for the filesharing. i.e. Once he's fined, the other 90 people who downloaded songs are free and clear, since the punishment for sharing 90 songs has already been meted out.

It doesn't work that way. They BOTH broke the law. Just because one person paid, doesn't been the ones who downloaded shouldn't be punished. Of course they should be punished, but not pay restitution, as that has already been paid.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 2 years ago | (#41719259)

Have another read of the comment you replied to.

If they all broke the law, then they should all be penalised, true - but they should only be penalised for what they actually did. Charging one person for the crime that 90 other people did is not fair - they should all be charged equally since he and all the 90 others effectively committed the same crime.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41730475)

If they all broke the law, then they should all be penalised, true - but they should only be penalised for what they actually did. Charging one person for the crime that 90 other people did is not fair - they should all be charged equally since he and all the 90 others effectively committed the same crime.

He is being penalized for what he did, just because they can't catch the other 90 doesn't mean he should be let off. Life isn't always fair. Most shoplifters don't get caught, is that a reason to let the other free?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 2 years ago | (#41736467)

You're missing the point.

The point is that either everyone should be penalized for ONLY what they did, or the crime should be penalized only once, for all.

It is merely an argument against double-dipping, not saying that criminals shouldn't be punished at all.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (3, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#41714305)

I don't know about New Zealand, but generally speaking, it is uploading that is illegal, not downloading.

In the offline world, if someone is selling dodgy CDs at a car boot sale, it is the person selling them that gets prosecuted, not the customers.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714507)

The offline world is irrelevant. This is p2p. How many different people uploaded parts of the file to the same person? There is double dipping going on here even if you just take into account the uploading, and it's quite difficult to prove a single thing.

Why they allow copyright holders to 'estimate' is beyond me.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 2 years ago | (#41714545)

The RIAs and MPAs of the world don't equate this to bootlegging, they equate it to theft. In the offline world, at least in the US, both seller and purchaser of stolen goods are criminals.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718947)

This isn't stealing, it's copyright infringement. The original copy still exists and can be copied again so nobody has actually been deprived of any tangible goods, only potential sales.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

BevanFindlay (1636473) | about 2 years ago | (#41723165)

As someone in New Zealand, my understanding of the law is that it can only be used against someone who is downloading copyrighted material for the purpose of making it available to others. In other words, if we watch something on YouTube we're not going to get snapped, but instead the law is going after P2P specifically. I would hazard a guess that if you're not uploading (or you're avoiding popular songs/movies that are more likely to be tracked), you probably won't show up on their radar. But, IANAL. :-)

Anyone I know whose behaviour has been changed by this law have simply moved to using online streaming sites more (i.e. download but not upload), though most people I have talked to about this have just gone "meh" and carried on, and would only stop or change behaviour at their second warning.

Also, from the article: '"This is based on RIANZ's notion that each track had probably been downloaded 90 times," he told iTnews. "There is nothing in the Copyright Act or the regulations for it that allow for this.”

'Beagle said the deterrent penalty of $NZ1250 was also surprisingly high. "It amounts to an attempt at US-style statutory damages, which we do not have in New Zealand."'

In other words, they were trying to overstep their authority anyway - good to hear that got dismissed. It's pretty nasty to read about the effect on the student's life though (not something you hear about often) - I think she has good case to go for damages against RIANZ, though again, IANAL... I wonder if the botched warnings were the reason that it got dropped?

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (2)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#41714687)

I had an interesting thought about "making available". What if I use a bittorrent client and I disable all uploading, I just leech. Then I use mrtg or some network traffic logging software and I can show that no data is ever uploaded. Then I download everything I want, get sued and when they claim I should pay some insane fine because I "made it available" I produce all the logs and proof that no one ever downloaded it from me. If even a fraction of people did this, you could make it probably impossibly expensive for them to continue to legally pursue downloaders in general, because so many of the lawsuits would end up failing and become prohibitively expensive.

Re:"Making available" is faulty logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724191)

It also assumes that those wo wanted the music for free would otherwise have been willing to pay full price for it. Wel that thinking defies the supply demand curve teaching of Economics 101. When the price is zero, demand may be infinite. But you cannot extract infinite revenue from that illusion.

Estimated? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713213)

Gee, yeah we only caught him stealing one apple, but we estimate he took a bag of gold - that we can't proof ever existed.

Re:Estimated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713355)

Gee, yeah we only caught him getting handed a copy of an apple, that somebody else made from a copy of an apple we made for him, but we estimate he took a bag of gold - that we can't proof ever existed.

That's what actually happened.
The other computer sent him a copy. He only requested it. And that other computer still had its copy (obviously).
So did "we". After idiotically handing that one a copy, even though it's completely impossible to track who he gives a copy to behind "our" backs, without erecting a 1984-type state.
A copy of work somebody else made, for which "we"'re only the distributors... which nowadays is a zero work job of having the equivalent of a FTP with download-based billing. Somebody else, who we either just pay once (as in TV/movie business) for his service, or a ridiculously low amount like 3-4% that would be considered a crime in every other business (like in music/books business).

But "we" want guaranteed profits for doing absolutely nothing of any worth and abusing those who actually did it! Even if the whole world has to be fucked up to serve our tiny tiny industry! Waaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

In every other situation, you would call "us" organized crime, playing a protection racket.

Awwww (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713341)

Awwww....
Fuck you, Timothy.

timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713411)

the first sentence, fifth word?

Re:timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713455)

law, missing an "l".

Re:timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41716689)

I would complain too much about others grammatical when you are posting sentences like,
“Gee, yeah we only caught him stealing one apple, but we estimate he took a bag of gold - that we can't proof ever existed.”
You should be able to see the error.

aws n ew ealand! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713461)

lashdot eeds ew ditors!

nomenclature error (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#41713509)

Wouldn't it be three 'wides' and yer out, I don't think baseball is that big in NZ.

Re:nomenclature error (2)

Bill Currie (487) | about 2 years ago | (#41713807)

You're showing a lack of knowledge of crumpets.

A wide is where the bowler screws up and, if the fielders screw up too (or the bowler really screwed up), the runners might run anyway. There are three ways to get out in cricket: the ball is caught off the bat, the ball hits the stumps (either because the batsman failed to block the ball as thrown by the bowler, or thrown/touched by any other fielder while the batsman is outside the wicket), or the ball (when thrown by the bowler) hits the batsman's leg, but otherwise would have hit the stumps (this is a judgment call by the referee). Otherwise, you can have two batsmen in there all day making life miserable for the fielders (odds are, if their in all day, they're really racking up runs).

Re:nomenclature error (1)

Dantoo (176555) | about 2 years ago | (#41714121)

Methods of getting out in Cricket: Laws 30 to 39

Bowled
Timed out
Caught
Handling the ball
Hitting the ball twice
Hit wicket
Leg before wicket
Obstructing a fielder
Run out
Stumped

A "wide" in simplest terms is when the ball is bowled so far to the side or above the wicket that batsman is denied a reasonable opportunity to score.
In other use: "The Slashdot Editor's life looks like being called a wide".

Re:nomenclature error (2)

ixuzus (2418046) | about 2 years ago | (#41714135)

Try 11 ways [wikipedia.org] of which five are very common.

You're showing a lack of knowledge of crumpets.

Re:nomenclature error (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41714167)

Calvinball is even stranger than I remember.

Re:nomenclature error (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41717431)

That makes perfect sense. Just a few things....

What's a bowler, stumps, batsman, or a fielder?

What game are you even talking about?

Not in the US, at least. (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41713521)

In the US, this wouldn't be a risk, because all of your strikes will be taken care of by your ISP. Who also just happens to probably be one of the major copyright holders and proponents, themselves. And your accusation, guilt, and penalty will all be taken care of conveniently and easily by your ISP. No need to involve those pesky legal systems, beginning with re-educating you with copyright propaganda classes and ending with restricted or no internet access.

Re:Not in the US, at least. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41716591)

Which is nice because as a private business your ISP already reserves the right to refuse service for any or no reason.

Even if you're completely innocent, the ISP's legal department will put pressure on customer service to let your strikes stick anyway simply to save themselves paperwork dealing with copyright interests.

Key point: Your ISP is a private business and is not obligated to be fair.

They won't bother standing up for your rights. It's much more convenient for them to take the path of least resistance and cave, invoking private fiat to seal your fate after you're taken down even if you're proven innocent after the fact.

ISPs don't care about copyright unless its theirs. But they do care about a customer attracting a swarm of angry bees to sting their legal department and anyone who makes a nuisance of themselves will be a target for pulling the plug even if innocent.

"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" is the new catchphrase for "don't piss us off or we'll banish you" where pissing off has nothing to do with right or wrong.

Re:Not in the US, at least. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717453)

To be pedantic, if they label you a pirate when you didn;t pirate, that'd be slander, and theycould thoretically be taken to task for that - private company or not.

Re:Not in the US, at least. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#41717691)

In theory, yes.

In practice, they will cut off your internet access for even THREATENING to sue them (standard all your base tos clauses), and their pockets are so deep that you'd have an uphill battle and probably go bankrupt first.

The US legal system is rigged to give lawyers preferential access to piggy backing on mankind's natural tendency to be greedy. By forcing you to pay for your own lawyers, they make it lucrative for people to steal from you as long as it's less than the cost of going to court over it.

If it costs you a thousand to cure a hundred dollar injury, you'll be better off at least in the short run looking the other way and letting them get away with it.

In the long run though, making an example out of them serves as a deterrent against future offenders.

And the crux of the problem is that only the elite can afford the second option. The weak and the poor can't afford to be anything but cannon fodder.

Re:Not in the US, at least. (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41717463)

Problem with this logic is that it assumes that piracy is only practiced by a small percentage of customers.

Once you hit 10% of your customers being 86'd (by SOC#, credit card num, etc.) it will start to affect the bottom line far more than the copyright interests would.

Put it this way... once 50% of your society is in prison, do you really have a society left?

How About (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713611)

What about a P2P system that allows (not requires) the user to keep a log of successful downloads of a song or movie, and his/her share of it? For example, if I run a Bitorrent client and someone downloads ten chunks out of 100 of a Michael Jackson song, my client would log 10% distribution of that song. At the end of the month I could make a donation to the artist in the amount equal to the price of their song on iTunes/whatever multiplied by the number of downloads and the fraction thereof. If a user could demonstrate that they had done this, and had indeed paid, what then? It would be pretty hard to demonstrate monetary damages if the artist was paid for every download.

Re:How About (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | about 2 years ago | (#41714161)

You forgot the part where you pay the record label 90% of that 10% that you distributed. And also the donation to the artist must be made by way of that same record label, because they know what they're doing.

Re:How About (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41717383)

You are crazy if you think artists get even 10% of the revenue of the labels...

Re:How About (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | about 2 years ago | (#41725967)

I know, I know. I was being generous.

isn't the upload ratio 1 (1)

baileydau (1037622) | about 2 years ago | (#41713625)

Sorry at the end of the day isn't the upload ratio 1

Missing the point(s) (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41713661)

why does this conversation look like a bunch of chickens discussing the finer points on the morality of being fricasseed?

Let's get this straight. The recording industry is interested in the executives of the recording industry. All others can snack on feces and die.

They will make money in the process if they can, but that's not important and its not the point.

The point is to make huge public example of a few people who will be so horribly mauled by the corporation that nobody will ever think of making that mistake.

The intention is to create a system that allows a vanishing few to own and control most or all IP to the point that you will have no freedom to hum to yourself without an executive somewhere getting paid.

This is about control, and ultimately the control of thought. This is about an entitled few who believe its their birthright to milk the entire human race dry.

Are we now clear about what is actually happening?

Re:Missing the point(s) (1)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#41714125)

I don't see what's so funny about this.. It's so blatantly true.

Re:Missing the point(s) (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41714387)

Yes, and the public is far too accepting of their high handedness, and too credulous of their propaganda. It's amazing what the public takes lying down: speed traps, parking meters, red light cameras, outrageous bank fees, obnoxious high pressure debt collection practices, reversed or ignored cancellations of monthly services and subscriptions (AOL did a lot of that), slamming, cramming, pages and pages of fine print, purposely confusing terms and fees, surveillance, and more.

Many local businesses are members of a local Lion's Club. How entirely too appropriate that they think of themselves as strong, ruthless predators, apart and above the rest of society. It's a basic misunderstanding of how and why we humans became the dominant animal on Earth. We got there through cooperation. Superior weaponry is only a manifestation of that, it's cooperative effort that fostered the discovery and scientific and technical advancements that enabled us to create the weaponry, the ability to move much faster, and ever more subtle methods handling the environment.

If the public woke up, this court would be shut down, and the robber barons responsible for its creation would be facing numerous lawsuits themselves.

Re:Missing the point(s) (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 2 years ago | (#41716109)

Oh they're lions all right. Per the National Geographic discovery a couple of decades ago. Statistically, lions eat carrion more frequently than jackals do, and consequently hunt much less. It took a lot of night camera work to find out, but it's true.

The analogy is more than apropos.

Re:Missing the point(s) (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#41714671)

Good thing then that's it's not what is 'actually happening'. Most certainly it is what they are trying to do but they are saturninely getting their ass kicked by the internet. Not that we can sit back and relax but those arse holes will never ever stop trying until they are all finally locked up for being the corrupt douches they are. There is a legislation and political war going on and on one side is the end of freedom of speech and civil liberties and the other side is the fight to retain these most important elements of social humanity.

Re:Missing the point(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717465)

They have money, power, and influence, all beyond your wildest dreams. They have the ear of the lawmakers. With all of this behind them, you can bet that they will never give up, and they will never lose - because you are getting the bill for it.

Recording Industry - Stop stealing from everyone! (5, Interesting)

xmundt (415364) | about 2 years ago | (#41713663)

Greetings and Salutations;
          I have to say that I am glad that the case failed, and, with luck many more will too. The only people that will get nailed by these enforcement measures are, I fear, the naive and (mostly) innocent youth who are not the soulless thieves engaging in the wholesale business of selling copies of the music without passing royalties along to the artists (and, yes, I do include the recording industry in general in that latter category). IN America, the RIAA did, at one time, provide a useful service at a reasonable price to an artist. However, like many organizations, it has evolved to being in the business of getting as much money as possible from the consumer, and, giving as little of it as possible to the artists that provide its life-blood. Speaking of which...thanks to the creative accounting practices of the RIAA, a given artist might expect a royalty rate of 10% to 20% on an album, but, the actual rate never climbs over 2.75%. A quick search turns up a number of detailed articles about how this works....
          But, I digress - so back to copyright infringement... If the recording industry had not spent the past several decades inhaling stupid gas by keeping its head firmly planted in its ass, it would realize that there are some simple steps that it could take to make everyone in the process richer and happier. I would propose these changes:
          1) drop all chasing after individuals, and, go after the companies that do wholesale duplication and flood the market. Frankly, the recording industry's record of suing college students, grandmothers, and, 6 year old girls for mountains of money is not doing anything positive for them. It is not making the purchasing public think "wow...they are really standing up for the artists! I WILL buy that new album for full retail!", nor, is it actually causing a drop in copyright violations or filesharing.
          2) Seriously reconsider the cost of a CD. One of the major reasons that filesharing happens is that few people are interested in paying $25+ for a recording that might have one or two good tracks on it.
          3) Continuing that thought...stop producing mindless, shallow and mind-numbingly boring albums. I, over the years, have bought quite a few albums. One of the criteria I use to decide if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on the recording is the question - can I tell what track is being played? If I have an album where there are a dozen tracks, all of which sound identical to each other...I probably will pass on that recording. Now, here, part of the problem does lay at the feet of the artists. I think that they have realized that it is all about money, and that the music means nothing. This has depressed their creativity so much that they are phoning in the performances. However, I also believe that if given positive feedback, in the form of fan appreciation, and cash, they might well get that spark back.
          4) realize and accept the fact that file sharing, rather than depriving the company of profit, is the best and cheapest advertising that they could get. The best salesman in the world is the person who has personal experience with the music, and, is pushing it to their friends. When Napster was new, and still legal, the recording industry pushed to kill it by claiming it was the reason that CD sales were down by 15-20%. Well, independent polls showed that people were using it to sample a new artist's music, and, more often than not would go out and purchase that artist's CDs if they liked it. At the time, I was in a fair number of chat rooms, and, I always made it a point to ask how folks were using Napster. About 1 person out of 100 said they were using it to get as much music for free and they had no intention of buying any more CDs. The remaining 99% were using it as a sample source, as I recounted above.
          5) as I touched on in item #3...stop with the accounting tricks, and pay the artists that create the music a fair royalty. I would argue that an appropriate rate these days would be closer to 40% of the gross, because some of the fairly huge costs of creating an album have vanished. The cover art is much simpler, and, there are orders of magnitude difference between the effort it takes to press a vinyl disk, and a CD. Beyond that, labor costs have to have dropped, again, because of technology being able to simplify the manufacturing process and cut down on the number of workers that are needed. No matter though...the biggest part of it is the accounting tricks that can end up with a band selling a million CDs and still end up owing the producer $500,000.00.
          Pleasant dreams
          dave mundt

Re:Recording Industry - Stop stealing from everyon (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714035)

...Continuing that thought...stop producing mindless, shallow and mind-numbingly boring albums. I, over the years, have bought quite a few albums. One of the criteria I use to decide if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on the recording is the question - can I tell what track is being played? If I have an album where there are a dozen tracks, all of which sound identical to each other...I probably will pass on that recording. Now, here, part of the problem does lay at the feet of the artists. I think that they have realized that it is all about money, and that the music means nothing. This has depressed their creativity so much that they are phoning in the performances. However, I also believe that if given positive feedback, in the form of fan appreciation, and cash, they might well get that spark back.

While I appreciate and agree with your feedback here, let me expound a bit on this particular problem. The music industry does not go after "artists" anymore. They go after brand names. Pretty boy toys and pedo-riffic little girls that they can dress up and whore out and slap their face on every piece of product they can, which most products have absolutely nothing to do with music. Oh and speaking of music, let's touch briefly back on that. You want to save music? Start by making autotune illegal, and ban lip syncing. You would probably eliminate 50% of the "artists" out there, but in monetary terms, you would probably be affecting 90% of the industry revenue, hence the reason this bullshit perpetuates.

This is the shift that the music industry has taken. It's not about music anymore. It's about maximizing revenue during that precious 15 minutes of fame, no matter what the cost is to the product or the industry. Of course, we now see the power of the almighty marketing dollar and it's hold on the "music" industry when you have hypocrites like Britney and Demi sitting on a judges panel trying to tell other people that they suck at singing, as if those autotune addicts have room to talk.

Re:Recording Industry - Stop stealing from everyon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41715281)

Hi. I agree with everything that you have said, but you left out a point.
6-Stop the race to produce the loudest (ie most over-compressed and distorted sounding) CD on the market! In the competition to produce the loudest sounding CDs, the sound quality of the CDs has gone quite literally to hell!

I also agree with another reply that far too many of the pop singers couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Also, I hate the use of "pop sluts" as I call them. Both males and females, chosen for their looks to appeal to teenagers, and photographed in skimpy (sometimes practically nude!) outfits for cover art to sell CDs on the cover art alone, since they can't sing, and shouldn't try!

Don't even get me started on the (C)rap/hiphop garbage that most teens only buy because of the foul language or content meant to incite criminal acts (Cop Killer comes to mind here).

And pay the artists! (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about 2 years ago | (#41718559)

One of the main reasons I refuse to buy new albums is that in most cases, I know only a few pennies of my money goes to the artist; I attend live shows & buy t-shirts at them instead. This article [negativland.com] is the best I've seen for detailing the matter.

In fact, tonight I'm seeing an older artist called Les Chambers in concert that, despite being the lead singer for a couple of hits that have been used all over the friggin' place since the 60s, was never paid any royalties [facebook.com] , even ended up homeless for a while (I don't know the story behind that, just that he never used drugs or abused alcohol). It sounds like it was one of those cases where, as a young man in the 60s, he was -- like almost all artists back then -- eager to sign the contract and trusted the RIAA to treat him fairly.

easy solution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41713767)

Don't buy and don't copy/share/p2p/whatever major label music. There are a lot of musicians that distribute their music outside those channels - on jamendo for example. Look for what you like, get a legal, drm-free download and please: donate where you know the money actually ends up with the musicians. Just let the major labels die. Don't give them money or even attention (e.g. by sharing songs by artists in their thrall).

Re:easy solution (0)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41714425)

should get an account so you can harvest some karma.

Re:easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714563)

Karma is irrevelant and pointless.
It's not worth the potential problems of having yet another account on yet another site.

If the statement or opinion is good. It will stand on it's own. Logged in or not.

Re:easy solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41714593)

My asshoe bootymix!!

Re:easy solution (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41720527)

(1) It will help you survive troll mods. (2) Many readers ignore ACs by default. (3) Context of authorship is information.

However suit yourself, a person's identity is their own resource.

This is the result of the paper for oil economy (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41714421)

Those with resources sell them, and invest the profits back into the developed world, in return for paper. The paper is backed by debt servitude of people in the developed world –Mortgage Back Securities, student loans, etc. This is the price you pay for staying in a carbon economy. It can come to an end whenever people are willing to take the medium term hit of going to an electrical economy. But old people won't and they can rent enough not so old people for a while. Also, it would take a party of government, because only government has the taxing, organizing, buying, and in some cases fiat power, to do it.

When techies stop being pro-property, the system won't last, because virtually every piece requires technologists. It will come to an end soonish, because the cash outs for building part of the system are going away.

Getting Off Easy (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#41714655)

If they're only asking for a total of ~2400$NZ it would probably be less to just settle the case than to go through the whole trial and legal nonsense of it. Compared to the ~7,000,000$US that some cases over here have demanded of people for the same offense, it's a pretty good deal for getting busted when you pirate music.

Re:Getting Off Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718539)

Or you could fight. New Zealanders don't have much money and love a good fight.

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