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RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History To "Six-Strikes" Partners

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the home-team-experts dept.

Piracy 90

concealment writes "A month before the controversial 'six strikes' anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the 'impartial and independent' technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology."

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90 comments

Scumbags (5, Insightful)

jasper160 (2642717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808529)

The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.

Shocking! (4, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808901)

I am shocked, indeed I am doubly shocked. Firstly by the revelation that the blessed RIAA would inadvertently indulge in such underhand behavior, and secondly that the always-pure politicians and incorruptible bureaucrats would accidentally succumb to those shenanigans (and the associated funds, junkets, hookers, and other tempting perquisites, with blackmail as the alternative).

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41809449)

Belief is such a strong word.

Re:Shocking! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41814911)

Oh, come one, just say it like this: "The RIAA bribed the politicians with hookers and blow. They had pictures before the hookers and blow, and then took more during the politicians time with the hookers and blow. Either they accept the bribe (money + hookers + blow) or they get blackmailed. If they change their minds after accepting the money+hookers+blow, then the pictures taken during the hooker+blow+money fest will be used for the blackmail. The RIAA/MPAA is corrupt. Politicians are corruptable. They are made for each other.

Re:Scumbags (5, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809617)

The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.

Right on! You forgot to add the Internet Service Providers.

ISPs get the benefit of less bandwidth usage and grounds on which they can throttle your connection to a grade above dial-up and/or suspend services all the while you pay them your monthly contract/non-contract fee. It's a win-win for all scumbags, everyone gets thrown a bone.

Re:Scumbags (1)

SJ (13711) | about a year and a half ago | (#41816089)

And this is one reason why caped internet plans are actually in the customers interest. If you use more, you pay more, so it's in the interest of the ISP to keep you downloading stuff as fast as humanly possible.

The only time they do throttle you is when you hit your monthly quote. Then they "shape" (throttle) your connection to entice you to upgrade your plan to something more suited to your usage requirements. At which point, you click the "upgrade plan" button and you're back up to speed.

Sure, Unlimited internet is all good in fantasy land, but I really can't see how it's a sustainable business model unless you're paying for a business-grade connection on a megabit per second basis.

Re:Scumbags (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820983)

But.. but.. shouldn't the free market take care of that? People can always go to other ISPs.. oh.. wait... well, they can get their media and cultural access through other sources, right? Oh.. wait.....

Re:Scumbags (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41811161)

The only ones to believe the RIAA are the politicians they bought off.

Well, that's not entirely true. Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated. And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible. In fact, Linux as you know it wouldn't exist without copyright. The problem isn't copyright as an idea -- it's copyright as it is implimented today. These politicians were sold on the idea that the current implimentation is the best, quite literally. The argument is that protections are needed for the way business is done today, otherwise that business would evaporate, leading to a loss of jobs, income, etc. Most politicians are lawyers, not economists, and certainly not "technologists". They don't understand the finer nuances of the market, nor how technology interoperates with it. They are therefore incapable of conceptualizing any alternative to the status quo, and absent that, their default vote is to support it.

But people like us, the technologically-literate, are painfully aware of how limiting current copyright is, and how disadvantaging it is to newcomers to the market and consumers as a whole. We can see new ways of doing business that (and this has been proven multiple times!) satisfy multiple goals of personal use, fair use, time shifting, etc., while also providing a source of revenue to the creators of these works that, thanks to decreased distribution costs would earn them more money. The entertainment industry as an aggregate entity would make more money with a less restrictive public policy. You know this. I know this. The authors know this. But the politicians and the general public don't, because they're only hearing from one side: The side that has a lot of money to burn to make sure it's the only side they hear.

In the few cases where the public became aware of how the industry works, the response was swift and overwhelmingly against it. SOPA, ACTA, CISPA... many attempts have been made, and even when it's been behind closed doors, shrouded in "national security", eventually it gets leaked and everyone involved gets roasted for it. This is a system that depends on misdirection, deception at the highest levels, and heavy spending on marketing and public relations to maintain itself. It has co-opted our legal and judicial systems and is now trying to insinuate itself into the private sector as well via policies and procedures designed to further defray the costs of maintaining this expensive superstructure that makes everyone a criminal.

Re:Scumbags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41812633)

Artistic Creators should be compensated if the people like their products not before, and also if they want money what about working for a change instead of sitting on copyright revenue? Loosers.

Re:Scumbags (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41815179)

Well, that's not entirely true. Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated.

RIAA doesn't compensate creators.

And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible.

Without copyright it wouldn't be needed.

In fact, Linux as you know it wouldn't exist without copyright.

Not a fact.

Re:Scumbags (2)

pantaril (1624521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41815367)

Anyone not on the "free lunch" bandwagon understands that the creators of these works should be compensated. And copyright is what makes the GPL and its many related licenses possible

You are making mistake when you thing that compensation for authors and copyright must be the same think. There are certainly people (like me) who think that copyright is big obstacle (for sharing of information, culture and science, building upon it and extending it, archiving it for future generations, it's also dangerous to freedom on internet) but are not in any "free lunch" bandwagon. We just think that there are better ways to compensate authors without creating any artifical barriers (tax-payers funded foundations, where authors would sell their works to public using kickstarter-like systems for example). Without copyright, the big media associations would lose control over distribution channels, they woul lose their way to set new trends in entertainment. Public interest in their production would decrease and as a consequence, their profit. That is IMO the reason big media is fighting so hard for copyright. They want control over distribution.

You mentionet GPL. Sure, GPL would not exist without copyright (it was created in response to unreasonable copyright), but would it be needed? BSD-licenced open source programs are doing quite fine even when copyright still exists. Motivation for comercial companies to keep their sources closed would certainly decrease without copyright. Some my still do it in an attempt for vendor lock-in but IMO it's questionable if it would be major problem.

Re:Scumbags (1)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41816497)

There are certainly people (like me) who think that copyright is big obstacle (for sharing of information, culture and science, building upon it and extending it, archiving it for future generations, it's also dangerous to freedom on internet

Copyright the concept isn't the problem. Copyright as it is today is the problem, as the above poster says. Copyright has grown far beyond what it used to be, and in the US has grown far beyond the initial reason for allowing it. A big source of the problem is foreign thinking: In the US your works don't belong to you, but instead belong to all, with a limited monopoly granted for the purpose of incentive to make more new works. In other countries, you own what you write in a classic ownership scenario. That thinking has crept into our copyright over the years, as you'll notice our worst copyright laws were meant to comply with treaties.

We just think that there are better ways to compensate authors without creating any artifical barriers (tax-payers funded foundations, where authors would sell their works to public using kickstarter-like systems for example).

Without copyright the author wouldn't be able to sell even to a taxpayer funded foundation. Why is it that people always think taxing more is the answer? I want to do something, first thought -- take money from others to make it happen. Huh?

Without copyright, the big media associations would lose control over distribution channels,

Without copyright they wouldn't exist.

it was created in response to unreasonable copyright

GPL was created in response to the most basic copyright: you can't modify and redistribute my stuff without my permission.

Re:Scumbags (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#41815645)

The only reason the GPL exists in the first place was for the draconian copyright and patent protection of software in the first place. It would be a very different story if copyright was in the sane 14 years + 14 years optional extension (+mandatory registration).

In fact I firmly believe that the only way to a) ensure that artists are compensated in the digital age and b) that people are go back to respect copyrights is to make the copyright protection back to the original law (see above). It would even be better if the copyright terms are decreased according to new technology.

First, the optional extension must be back in place, to give artists a leverage against the publishers. After the first copyright term is over they can so negotiate new conditions depending on how good the work was sold.

Secondly, the copyright terms are amoral long. It's now 120 years or something like that. This is drying out the public domain and the small artists. Art is always created from previous art. If you are forbidden to remix and copy previous art, new art will be dried out. The only reason we have such long copyright terms are because of Mickey Mouse and the Beatles Album, i.e. one time hits that are going to be milked forever by the studios.

Third, copyright must be a privilege. How come that any idiot can write a article, or make a picture and this "work" is now protected for 120 years? Even a patent, that takes more brain and have way more impact on society is granted only for 20 years. Plus, a patent you need to register and can be challenged. But here we are, for any "art" even if it has no creativity and no impact is given a monopoly right for 120 years. We need to go back to make copyright only applicable to registered works. Thus also eliminating the orphan-works problem.

Vote With Your Wallet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41808543)

Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others.

When media that can't be shared can't be sold (because nobody will buy it), that will be the end of piracy and a great day for all of humanity.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (-1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808637)

I don't agree with this at all. When you talk about sharing, I know for a fact you're talking about copying and giving someone that copy so they don't have to pay for it - I don't see why you think this is OK.

Now, lending and reselling - these are definitely things that everyone should demand to be able to do. Lending someone a CD/book/game/whatever is practically free advertisement for the producer.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808795)

Why is it not ok to share something that the original creator wants you to share? Because it cuts into the market for crap that people don't want you to share?

Is it wrong for me to give away open source software like open office, mysql or linux? Just because it devalues ms office, oracle db, or mac os x?

Fuck you, you fucking fuck.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808979)

Fuck you, you fucking fuck.

Calm down. It's pretty obvious that the GP misconstrued what was being said, failing to make the GGP's distinction between "sharing" and "legally sharing."

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41809069)

Ummm... open source stuff basically says to do just that, but you are just confounding the issue. The originators of these things in question do *NOT* want this done. If someone creates something, they have the right to determine what is done with it. If a they go with the *IAAs, which they are within their rights to do, they are choosing that model. If you can't live with those terms, don't use what they created. It is a simple idea.

BTW, calling your parent names screams, "I'm a child!" And your logic/argument underscores that. So, you'll just have to get your Beiber some other way.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809789)

The fucking fuck explicitly said its not ok to legally share (open source) content because it takes money from the people who sell the same type of product. That is the fucking issue. And that is why I am morally required to say fuck you to the fucking fuck, and now to you as well.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1, Redundant)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810749)

No, I didn't, thanks very much. I am responding specifically to the statement "When media that can't be shared can't be sold" - apparently I need to be a shit-ton clearer when posting on this site, because people here love to interpret things as negatively as possible so they can have a mental breakdown. C'est la vie I guess.

So, for absolute clarity - I agree fully with sharing things where the author has made clear their intent that this is the case, be it Creative Commons, GPL, BSD, MPL, or whatever. I disagree with the statement that only media that can be freely shared should be sold. I agree with the statement that only media which respects your rights of resale, usage, and even the right to give it to a friend for a week or two to try it out, should be sold.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (2)

mrclevesque (1413593) | about a year and a half ago | (#41812039)

"apparently I need to be a shit-ton clearer when posting on this site, because people here love to interpret things as negatively as possible so they can have a mental breakdown"

It's a big problem: things like people being unclear, people expecting everyone to have the same reference points, and people interpreting to fit their perspective. For example:

"Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others. When media that can't be shared can't be sold ... that will be the end of piracy and a great day for all of humanity."

"When you talk about sharing, I know for a fact you're talking about copying and giving someone that copy so they don't have to pay for it"

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41815519)

He said

When you talk about sharing, I know for a fact you're talking about copying and giving someone that copy so they don't have to pay for it -

How is this explicitly saying its not ok to legally share open source content? You don't have to pay for most open source content.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (4, Informative)

robot256 (1635039) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809897)

Sorry, half of you are mssing what the original Anonymous Coward said: "Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others." (emphasis mine). So the works he advocates sharing are, like open-source software, explicitly allowed by their creators for such purposes. Among other things, this includes the growing body of music released under the Creative Commons licenses.

Nadaka went apeshit because he was responding to a comment that seemed to suggest that even sharing music whose creator wants it to be shared is somehow wrong, which is a primary FUD tactic used by the MAFIAA to shut down ALL file sharing, not just illegal file sharing. That's basically the whole discussion encapsulated into three posts.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (0)

shiftless (410350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41812363)

The originators of these things in question do *NOT* want this done. If someone creates something, they have the right to determine what is done with it.

No, they don't have shit. I will copy and share and distribute all dat long and there isn't a fucking thing anyone can do about it. Fuck you for arguing otherwise. How clear can I make this for you? File sharing will not end, ever.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810467)

" When you talk about sharing, I know for a fact"

No, you don't, because you're not me nor do you know me.

Quit being a poseur and start talking sense, child.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41813171)

I both agree and disagree with both of these statements. First if everyone freely shared everything then yes it would be great, but at some point there would be a problem with some taking more than their share. So in the end there, needs to be some check.

Copyright law is a good thing, however I believe both sides of the equation should be balanced. This means that you need to evaluate things proportional. You can't have something that is one-sided (or is handled one sided like the DCMA) or even the ability to fine someone $250,000 with jail time for a single offense. It needs to be balanced meaning equal protection for the rights holder and for the accused. Otherwise one side will abuse the other. (Like the copyright and patent trolls are now, and file sharers did before.)

Another thing to consider, is the new economic structure. Before there was limited supply and virtually unlimited want. Now the equations has changed now we have both unlimited supply and unlimited want. (At least in the digital market.) This breaks the usual supply and demand curves that business men are taught. So a complete revamp of the pricing system needs to be implemented. We are seeing some of this, however law is still being passed based on the old model. (probably in an attempt to preserve it even though it is already broken.)

Despite what some people want you to believe the internet is not free, so how much are you willing to pay to keep up your belief that it is?

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808683)

I do this already. Like many I buy content that uses open and sharable policies. The stuff that isn't open I don't buy.

Unfortunately, most of the best content is locked behind DRM so rather than live a life devoid of entertainment and culture I pirate that content. The pirating still supports the companies because it is a form of advertising.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41808779)

If you pirate only stuff you have no intention of buying, I don't see that as advertisement at all. Certainly not on the order of borrowing something to show folks who might be interested in buying it, especially if they share your "never buy anything with DRM" views.

If you want "entertainment and culture" go see live shows or otherwise patronize performers and artists who are using your preferred business model. Or, for that matter, develop appropriate talents and lend them to making such performances better, since they're not "most of the best".

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (3, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809221)

It isn't just the pirating itself. It is the word of mouth that follows when the games and movies are discussed with friends and co-workers.

With music and games borrowing makes more sense because it is like sampling. But for consume once or consume rarely material like books and movies borrowing doesn't add anything so much as world of mouth. You could have 1000 people read your book and have every single one of them buy it, or you could have 100,000 people read your book and have 10,000 of them buy it. Which method do you think does a better job of boosting your next book's sales? Same with movies except all those people might be crediting a genre or a studio, or a couple actors, rather than the writer getting the credit.

Do people still pirate music? Pandora is more than sufficient for that.

I don't even think people listen to music anymore. They just shake their asses to bass thump patterns at clubs.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810485)

"If you pirate only stuff you have no intention of buying, I don't see that as advertisement at all"

Someone obviously failed English class and Zero-level logic.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (2, Funny)

shiftless (410350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41812389)

If you want "entertainment and culture" go see live shows or otherwise patronize performers and artists who are using your preferred business model.

No.

Now what?

Or, for that matter, develop appropriate talents

I did. I'm a fucking fantastic singer....BECAUSE OF FILE SHARING.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (5, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808951)

Meanwhile the gangsters in the songs sing all about stealin' and lootin' and we are supposed to buy this music when it advocates the opposite?

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41817605)

HAHA! Right on, good point. Although I do think that the artists are forced to give rights to their music over, and then get paid a certain percentage. So even the artist don't have sole ownership over their music. ...unless the band is it's own label, like Tool for instance.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818111)

To be fair it sometimes advocates raping and hitting women and such too, but I'd hope you wouldn't do that.

I do agree with your sentiment though, and it's similar to the hypocrisy from Lily Allen who was one minute going on about how she copied music to create a mix tape once on Twitter, and the next condemning pirates on Twitter, all whilst completely oblivious to the fact she'd never actually had to work hard in her life because Daddy got her where she was due to his contacts. I suppose it's easy to say you should simply be able to buy everything you want when Daddy has done exactly that for you all your life and got you a job to boot.

There is a certain hypocrisy in the industry even from the artists, it's okay for them to break the law for example by doing hard drugs which genuinely does fund organised crime and drugs cartels who actually kill people in the most horrific ways and so forth, but if someone downloads an MP3 from the internet of theirs they believe that person is the devil and should be shot?

Few people haven't broken at least some law in their life (even if they haven't been caught) from smoking weed to breaking the speed limit - I'm sure almost everyone has done at least something. As breaking the law goes, I'd argue that downloading MP3s is the least harmful I can think of though yet it's demonised to be far worse. Killing someone whilst speeding in the UK has many times resulted in less harsh sentences than some people who have been done for criminal copyright infringement such as running a pirate website or selling dodgy DVDs have received and even in the cases where it's criminal copyright infringement like that, whilst I don't support copyright infringement for profit I think that's a gross disparity in punishments.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828487)

I completely agree with the punishment being wrong, but then again arguing with the lobbyists is gonna be expensive.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810161)

sorry, wrong.

It's not even a question of legal or not. Just because RIAA and MPAA made it a glaring issue doesn't mean that I will stop intentionally downloading everything, illegally or legally, anything and everything. Whether I pay for something is *my* choice. That is not a question of access. I already have access, so there's no question of "am I going to pay or not?". That's a decision I make solely on the basis of whether or not the content creator respects that it's 2012 or not. Humblebundles? Bought every one. Series on TV? Never buying any. TV? Don't even watch it. Movies? Don't even go to theatres anymore.

Just because the laws are behind the times doesn't mean the people using the technology are - and we're not going to wait for the laws to get updated, either.

"piracy" is something involving pirates of the sea. Try using an actual word - software piracy not being an accurate one for associating things involving RIAA/MPAA either.

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41815535)

So you don't mind paying for games. But you do enjoy watching TV and Movies (you imply you download them) BUT you don't want to compensate the makers? Does that mean you hope that TV and Movies will stop being made? Or you think the creators should make it out of their goodness of their heart?

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41812707)

Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others.

Won't work, publishers are already trying to have the tenet of first sale revoked. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/10/27/1327239/supreme-court-to-hear-first-sale-doctrine-case

Re:Vote With Your Wallet (1)

pantaril (1624521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41815415)

Trade only in games / movies / music / books / etc that you can legally share with others.

When media that can't be shared can't be sold (because nobody will buy it), that will be the end of piracy and a great day for all of humanity.

It's very idealistic to think that everyone will just stop buying media. For me, it's similar to saying "there would be no wars if all people just behave nicely to each other". If we wait for this, change will never come. we need to change the system instead. If we abolish copyright, piracy will be gone also.

Btw. what about pirating the stuff you cannot legaly share with others? This would theoreticaly also deprive the media companies of all sources of profit and you can enjoy the work as a bonus. In practice, pirating something spreads awarenes about the product and actualy increases the sales. Idea, that piracy is bad for media companies, is IMO myth.

Why? (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808577)

The parties agreed on a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements are unacceptable. After several warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures to punish the alleged infringers.

So... what gives them the right to punish the alleged infringers?

Maybe this will bring on monopoly break up, once people realize there is no alternative ISP one can turn to (in most areas). Wouldn't that be wonderful...

Re:Why? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808635)

It depends on what "punishing" means. If it's in the form of bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights as long as its disclosed to the TOS or something similar. Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line. Dispatching agents to administer lashings would be a bit over the line but more in line with the RIAA's standard operating procedure.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41808727)

Er? Bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights

VS.

Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line.

They really are the same thing. The difference that the ISP is taking the fine out of your payment by providing bandwidth restricted and filtered traffic.

Re:Why? (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810361)

Er? Bandwidth restrictions, traffic filtering, etc then I'd say it's well within the ISP's rights

VS.

Fines and fees would be toeing an uncomfortable line.

They really are the same thing. The difference that the ISP is taking the fine out of your payment by providing bandwidth restricted and filtered traffic.

Simple* solution: quantity-restrict your payments to the ISP.

If you can show proof positive that they deliberately did not provide the service you contracted for, why on earth would you pay them full price? You wouldn't pay a contractor full price if they only installed 3/4 of your hardwood floor...and if you only received, say, every second newspaper, I'm sure you'd be pissed off if they still charged you full price for your subscription...

*'Simple' solution, but apt to get messy, especially if you deal with larger ISP's. They simply do not like to encourage that sort of thinking on the part of their sheeple...er, I mean 'customers', and are likely to retaliate quite strongly indeed. IANAL, but if you do go this route, prepare for storms of lawyers and rains of debt collectors. Y'all might want a raincoat.

Re:Why? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#41813393)

If you can show proof positive that they deliberately did not provide the service you contracted for, why on earth would you pay them full price?

The issue is that if you are a residential subscriber, you didn't contract for any specific level of service. There were no SLAs in your agreement with your ISP. They wrap it with weasel words, like "up to 10Mb" but in the end it means that they can give you dial up data rates if they want to and it still qualifies.

You wouldn't pay a contractor full price if they only installed 3/4 of your hardwood floor..

You would be expected to pay a contractor the full amount if your contract with him specified that he would work on the floor for one month for an agreed upon sum and in return you would receive "up to" a complete hardwood floor. Whatever you actually got would still be within the language of the contract. Now within the contracting market, anyone who attempted this business model would quickly fail, but ISPs thrive on it. The key difference of course is competition, or lack thereof.

BTW if you want your complete hardwood floor guaranteed at the end of the month with penalties specified for each day over, you might be able to get that in a contract. Of course you will pay for those assurances though over the other estimate to make up for risk of the possible fines. Similarly if you want a guaranteed 10Mb to your home, you can probably get it. It's going to cost a bit more that $29.99 per month though. Quite a bit more.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808743)

If the ISP was granted a local monopoly, received government money to build the infrastructure, was granted access to right-of-ways, or was licensed spectruem, it had better not be within its rights to punish citizens for alleged infringements.

Re:Why? (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808657)

The more I read, the more fascinating it gets:

While there are worse punishments one can think of, AT&T worryingly notes that the alerts may eventually result in a lawsuit.

I was thinking AT&T foresees the lawsuits that they are certain to face for mistakenly identifying customers as infringers or for not having enough evidence to conclude that infringing took place. How wrong I was....

âoeAfter the fifth alert, the content owner may pursue legal action against the customer, and may seek a court order requiring AT&T to turn over personal information to assist the litigation,â AT&T explains.

I am sure many people at AT&T will lose a lot of sleep worrying about their customers being sued.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808687)

So... what gives them the right to punish the alleged infringers?

The Terms of Service of course. The problem you'll face here is that they're completely within their rights to run a regime like this provided it's in the contract. Just like they can terminate your account for all sorts of shit.

And consider yourself fortunate. In my country, it's three strikes, and it's enshrined in law thanks to your fucking government.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808817)

The US may be a bully, but realistically your Government is a piece shit wimp if it felt "forced" to create such a law. Kind of like its citizens, apparently.

Re:Why? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809591)

I don't think your really understand the way the world works.
The US is in charge and if you don't do what they want, then the US can make life very difficult for you and your citizens.
This includes things such as trade sanctions, boycotts and cutting your country off from oil, banking, etc. all the way up to coup, aiding "rebels" or invasion if you are really threatening the corporate establishment of the US (see: South America, SE Asia, Middle East, China, Africa... anybody I've missed?).
The people who actually live in a target country don't have a say in this matter.

There are numerous examples which you can Google yourself or just read some history that isn't filtered through the grade school textbooks.

Re:Why? (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810555)

"I don't think your really understand the way the world works."

Nope, you don't understand.

You, the citizenry, VASTLY outnumber your government.

If you can't control your government, you're weak as fuck and DESERVE to be run-over by those you trust to run your country.

Go back to middle school, learn some basic logic skills. That's already very apparently lacking in *YOUR* country, as you have adequately demonstrated.

Re:Why? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810789)

Our government passed that shitty law while in a State of Emergency so they could circumvent all those inconvenient things like "due process" and "public consultation". That's after we successfully bashed it back once. On the plus side, the three strikes law has a mandated fee of $25 payable from the copyright holder to the ISP every time they send a notice, so the movie industry refuses to use the system and the record industry uses it less and bitches about it.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41811809)

If you can't control your government, you're weak as fuck and DESERVE to be run-over by those you trust to run your country.

Governments are pretty powerful, actually, and the citizenry is not a well organized group whose members all agree on what action needs to be taken. If they do get that organized then pretty soon their leaders are the government, and develop exactly the same problems all over again. I expect that in many cases the new government would be worse than the one it replaced, because the leaders of an uprising are likely people who like power a bit too much.

Re:Why? (2)

shiftless (410350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41812415)

I don't think your really understand the way the world works.
The US is in charge and if you don't do what they want, then the US can make life very difficult for you and your citizens.

BECAUSE YOU ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD WHEN THEY BULLY YOU. Grow a pair of fucking balls and it won't happen. Yes our government is shit, but you have only yourself to blame if you're allowing it to affect you in Bumfuckistan or wherever you're from.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808987)

And consider yourself fortunate. In my country, it's three strikes, and it's enshrined in law thanks to your fucking government.

No, it's enshrined in law thanks to your government. Presuming you live in anything like a democracy, it's your (and your compatriots) fault you elected a government that bows down to another government, if in fact that is what happened. Much more likely is that they bowed down to the corporations directly, of course, likely a local branch, possibly even, completely unconnected to "his" government, such as BREIN.

On a side note, why do you presume to know what government he lives under? Non-US citizens bitch about Slashdot assuming their readers live in the US, and yet it seems even the non-US readers do so. Interesting, that (or maybe you know the OP lives in the US from another source, in which case ignore this paragraph).

Re:Why? (2)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810811)

It's assumed that they're in the US based on their mention of monopoly break up and no competition - it's unlikely anyone who doesn't live there would have that level of caring.

And for what it's worth, no, we do have 3 strikes because of the US government, who literally paid for and wrote the drafts of the law.

If you are a US citizen, you should be concerned about your government using taxpayer money to write laws for other countries to benefit large corporations.

Re:Why? (2)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808993)

While the RIAA and US government are far from innocent, it is in fact YOUR government that is to blame if you have a problem with the laws in your country. Get busy fixing it instead of blaming others for your problems.

For an "independent review" or "appearances" (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808597)

I would actually sort of hope that the Center of Copyright Information (CCI) would have some sort of internal expertise in anti-piracy monitoring technology. Because if they don't then they are nothing but a front for someone else anyways.

If an organization does not have iternal experts then it can be nothing other than a front for someone else.

No that's not a fox... its a chicken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41808599)

They don't even try to be impartial.
The syndicate used to be smart.

Re:No that's not a fox... its a chicken. (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809027)

Well, let the free market take care of it.

Re:No that's not a fox... its a chicken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41818165)

Well, let the free market take care of it.

That's a good idea, 'cept for the fact that any entity that offers "reality TV" and/or "impartial news" does not have truest free market drivers. Demand is too high. Mental lean is too heavy.

The other problem is that the mass market won't read about this like /. readers or other geeks do. The ones that do will in-one-ear-out-the-other it because it doesn't directly influence the immediate happiness in their life.

Just sayin'.

I do not own any birds or horses (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808621)

Therefore I cannot make music except when inspired by my true love and only muse, LAURA.

Dear Laura, I am sorry about the refrigerator thing and I hope you will forgive me because I want to make pancakes for you and then cuddle and have sexytime.

Dear Slashdort, you are boring and reactionary capitalist scum dogfart sniffers.

RIAA = world class liars and scumbags (4, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808665)

for decades, the people that have been screwing musicians out of their ownership, royalties, and publicity have been... the owner/member labels comprising the RIAA. lawsuit after lawsuit from music giants have proved that "Hollywood accounting" has always been the hallmark of RIAA members. nobody should expect a straight answer from RIAA, except maybe for the phono equalization curve.

An Opportunity (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808745)

This is an opening to attack the credibility of the software.

Let's say major flaws are found. What would that do to the credibility of the RIAA? If they hired an expert who would give flawed software a passing grade, does that expose them to any sort of liability?

Re:An Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41809609)

You assume they would ever admit they were wrong. Any time they're wrong, they sue you into the dark ages.

Re:An Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41811023)

True - and standard legal practice. Admitting you are wrong (legally or otherwise) means you can be asked damages and can be held responsible for whatever the consequences are. Add to that the fact that the US is famous for putting spectacular numbers on those damages.

This makes sure that anyone with half a brain never admits to any wrongdoing, except as an employee, and even then only to unintentional wrongdoing.

Go to any lawyer and they'll tell you to do the same.

Boycott RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41808837)

Purchase music from other countries to show DMCA: RIAA/MPIAA that customers comes first and Corporations needs to learn to respect the citizens. RIAA/MPIAA is trying to control the movies that we purchased and the music that we purchased. RIAA/MPIAA is trying to put their own customers in court because RIAA/MPIAA wants to double tax the consumers that purchase movies and music.

Big surprise (2)

Morpf (2683099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41808937)

I would never have thought the RIAA could ever do this. It was the last bastion of integrity.

MAFIAA (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809119)

As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the 'impartial and independent' technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group.

What kind of jackass expects the mafiaa to disclose their "expert's" previous engagements?

Lucrative Business (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41809741)

So does anyone want to startup an ISP that protects its users privacy? Just think of all the people that would flock to it.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Re:Lucrative Business (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41809969)

The problem is the startup costs required for the necessary resources (assuming US based):

1. Five in-house lawyers (one general counsel, one copyright law, one criminal attorney, two contract law [ to avoid getting cut off by upstream providers ])
2. Three firms for outside counsel (one copyright, one contract, one criminal)
3. Five lobbyists - 2 local/state, 2 US House, 1 US Senate
4. One public relations team to unspin the argument that you are harboring pedophiles and terrorists
5. One government relations team
6. One fully funded 527/PAC
7. One marketing team to explain to "normal" users why they should pay more for privacy (to dilute the percentage of your customers who are pedophiles and terrorists)
8. Six hookers on standby
9. 10 kilos of cocaine

Oh, and you might need some of those computery things too.

Re:Lucrative Business (1, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41810609)

Used to be a DSL provider that would advertise on Slashdot how you could run servers and they'd respect your privacy.

Then they got busted lying about it.

You think you can do it but the laws in place firmly forbid it.

And the only way to stop it is to kill all members of government at all levels to send a message.

Yea, that's not happening. Nobody and no-group has the cajones to do it. We can't even stand up against election fraud.

Re:Lucrative Business (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#41811265)

"You think you can do it but the laws in place firmly forbid it." source please,

Privacy ISP seems viable (1)

czth (454384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41811437)

In the US, there do not appear to be any legal data retention requirements for ISPs (source [wikipedia.org] ), so it would seem an ISP could delete (or just not write out) any logs mapping dynamically-assigned addresses to individual accounts, and then have nothing to give up even if subpoenaed. It looks like, then, such a "privacy ISP" could indeed exist. If not, what am I missing?

Also, how does this "six strikes" crap apply to people that colocate servers or lease dedicated lines rather than going through a consumer ISP?

Re:Lucrative Business (2)

BorgDrone (64343) | about a year and a half ago | (#41811577)

We can't even stand up against election fraud.

What election fraud ? As if there is a need for it.

Re:Lucrative Business (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818707)

That would only work until you got noticed by the RIAA/MPAA. Then they'd accuse you of hosting piracy and you'd get raided by the feds. By the time they finally admitted that there wasn't any evidence and gave you back all of your confiscated equipment, your business would be ruined anyway. They've played that game before.

Re:Lucrative Business (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820189)

Naturally we plan for that very contingency.

I'd imagine something like quantum cryptology could help protect users, also encrypt all of the data we keep, if we do keep any. But I think the best method is just to use technology that is fundamentally impossible to track. I also imagine there could be a number of legal and technical hurdles we could throw at any unforeseen FBI raid. Like hidden security cameras that record everything they do in wonderful clarity, so that there is evidence of any mishaps.

But since IP is insufficient to actually warrant criminal action to begin with, we could countersue because they have no basis -- and indeed, since it would be a US company, sue for damages of loss profits incurred by the FBI.

Re:Lucrative Business (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year and a half ago | (#41832259)

I'd imagine something like quantum cryptology could help protect users, also encrypt all of the data we keep, if we do keep any. But I think the best method is just to use technology that is fundamentally impossible to track. I also imagine there could be a number of legal and technical hurdles we could throw at any unforeseen FBI raid. Like hidden security cameras that record everything they do in wonderful clarity, so that there is evidence of any mishaps.

How do data encryption and security cameras help your business survive when they physically confiscate your servers/routers/etc?

But since IP is insufficient to actually warrant criminal action to begin with, we could countersue because they have no basis -- and indeed, since it would be a US company, sue for damages of loss profits incurred by the FBI.

You think the RIAA/MPAA can own the legislative and executive branch, but they don't own the judicial? The most likely outcome of that is they'll say that piracy is a national security issue, and throw the case out.

Welcome to days ago... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41813333)

http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/10/22/6-strikes-copyright-trolling-without-courts/

Coverage on Torrentfreak, Boingboing, even Techdirt.
There is so much misunderstanding about what this system is, how they are doing it, and more... because they kept it all secret.

The company that is capturing the IP addresses for them was used in AFACT vs iiNET in Oz. They got the IP's they collected by having their agent SEED THE FILES. Think about that. They created the situation they claim is destroying their business, so they could try to get the Government to give them the power to ban people from the net, while making the ISP foot the bill. And this is their agent who will be collecting IP addresses for this clusterfook.

They claim loses of billions of dollars, and yet won't spend any money to stop it... if you could spend a million to get back a chunk of a billion would you?

Welcome to corporate law. You have no rights, you have no recourse unless you pay for the chance and even then your limited to 1 of 6 responses that do not reflect reality, and then your claim is heard by an arbitrator hired by the corporation. Seems legit to me...

reply (0)

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Get outta here... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#41818115)

No, no way. Come on, no large conglomerate like the RIAA would EVER do something like that. Pull the other one! /sarc

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