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MPAA Goes After Gnutella

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the round-seven-is-it? dept.

Movies 526

President of The US writes "C|Net is reporting that the MPAA is going after individual users of Gnutella through their ISPs. 'What we're trying to do is educate the population about what is appropriate, both from an ethical standpoint and from a legal standpoint,' is what they are saying, but it looks like more of the usual intimidation tactics. It looks like they want to scare individual users from even trying to share movies, for fear they will be cut off from their precious broadband. Will the ISPs cave in?" Yes, they will. But its gonna be interesting to see where this goes.

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Re:what's the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#282377)

Welp, considering @home has a heck of a time making a profit, this will hurt them. They'll have to hire people to police us. Service fees will increase for everyone, pirates or not.

Interesting note.. DSL was not mentioned that I noticed. Perhaps MPAA is more scared of telcos? Clip my @home, I'll get DSL. Since I haven't been a subscriber to @home for at least 24 months, no profit was earned once they disconnect me. It costs @home about $500 in materials and labor to do an install, they do NOT charge the customer a dime for that, its free. The main thing being hurt here will be @home. Perhaps that will please the MPAA? Without cheap fat pipes we can't trade big stuff. There is a larger issue here, far beyond copyright. These tactics will raise your bandwidth costs, its that simple. This won't last long, ISPs won't continue to hire staff, eventually they'll get fed up and something will change.

Also check out The Register's coverage (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#282382)

Article here:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/18347.html [theregister.co.uk]

Careful what you wish for (2)

Have Blue (616) | more than 13 years ago | (#282389)

Isn't this what we've always asked for? Target the specific lawbreakers, not the network as a whole?

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

pergamon (4359) | more than 13 years ago | (#282407)

Part of "what it all comes down to" is that because they've never been challenged before for distribution channels, they haven't bothered to create services to take advantage of current technology even when those could help them. On the few occasions I used Napster or similar services it was either to listen to a few songs from groups or albums I hadn't heard before to find out whether I wanted to buy the music OR to get copies of songs on albums I already own when I was away from my physical CDs. These are both legitimate services that the recording/distribution/publishing industries (whomever you want to blame) don't offer. I'm no enemy of music publishers; I have over 500 CDs most of which I've purchased new.

As far as "socking it to 'The Man'", I think that's more true than you give it credit. The publishing industries have been gouging consumers since the beginning. How much of that $15 you pay for a new CD do you think actually gets to the artist? I don't mind paying for the music, but very little of the cost of a CD goes to compensate those who actually make the music. I don't care about the physical media, and the production of that and the packaging and distribution of the physical storage is most of the cost. The technology is there; I should be able to pay something more like $5.00 to get the right to download an album and then do with what I please (within normal copyright restrictions) of which only a small fraction would have to go to distribution. But that isn't going to happen, because the artists have contracts with record companies, and record companies have no desire to make less money.

Hopefully what has been going on in this realm recently will show that consumers want a different type of service, but I'm afraid that all that the record companies are seeing is piracy and all they will do is make the problem worse by making music even harder to listen to.

Re:Why is /. defending this? (1)

galore (6403) | more than 13 years ago | (#282410)

john gilmore summarizes why many of us feel that eliminating scarcity is a good thing:
http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html

When did /. become a tool of the PR flack industry (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 13 years ago | (#282411)

Just asking - I mean this article's comment posting is littered with uninformed biased op-ed pieces you could have lifted from the MPAA website or Foxnews. You do realize that your're whoring yourself out in the name of 'being cool on /.' Right?

And why is that? because if it just was about the poor starving artists than someone other than Don Henley or Alanis Morisette would be testifying in Congress. Because if it was about compensating the actual artists then you would hear someone demonstrate how they were actually harmed. They would trot out their facts and figures and point to an amount. But they don't they merely accuse in the blandest of board statements and if you press them they will carp "Well it's unethical and un Judeo-Christian !!!!!" Because the facts don't exist. Prices are up and unit sales are up and this entire issue is about the record industry's ability to dictate the retail price. For if it were not they would come to some compromise about micropayments. Let's say each track was worth a dime - would the MPAA bite? Of course not. What the industry is telling you is they get to set the price and no one else. Micropayments could support.

Same with movie industry. Find me an artist who was impoverished by a movie theater not raising their ticket prices from 7 to 10 dollars. But if you had a way to sell one viewing for a buck would they do it even if that meant distributing that viewing to a hundred million PC's? Of course not - they want your ass in the seat for 10 bucks for the first two weeks of distribution. After 2 weeks the movie theater starts to make some money so the distributor needs to pull it out and replace it with another movie that can make THEM money for 2 weeks.

On a related front did you get a load of the suits on the news yesterday, from Disney who actually said that paying TV and movie writers any more than they get now could destroy the entire industry and imperil the US's place at the top of the entertainment food chain.

But I guess none of that matters when most of the folks here who post are either in the paid employ of PR industry or deluded apologists.

The answer is obvious (4)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 13 years ago | (#282424)

The answer to this and other tantalizing questions is of course - privacy.

- Use freenet.
- Subscribe to a Zero-Knowledge type of service.
- Use trusted, logless proxies with SSL.

By default there's no privacy on today's internet, but the technology is there. So far the convenience factor has prevented most privacy technologies from achieving critical mass, but draconian content-control powergrabs by the MPAA and RIAA might just tip the balance.

Heh. (2)

Bad Mojo (12210) | more than 13 years ago | (#282425)

Why didn't they use this tactic against Napster? At least they aren't attacking the tool and are focusing on the people violating the law. What possible excuse could the MPAA have for treating Gnutella different other than, "We could attack the tool with Napster." Bah.

Bad Mojo [rps.net]

Re:A Tribute To The Greats (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#282434)

Bravo! Annoying as they sometimes are, there's something about having an active and humorous troll culture that just makes /. fun. Maybe because they don't take anything seriously - and wouldn't we all be better off if we were a little less serious? Sometimes I wish I had the time to be a proper troll, but oh well.

Man, I miss MEEPT...

At least its an improvement (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 13 years ago | (#282439)

Going after users who they have witnessed infringing, is a hell of a lot better than going after toolmakers whose tools may or may not be used to infringe.


---

Re:Tilting at Windmills (2)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 13 years ago | (#282440)

Oh yeah, it's pretty easy to share a couple GB of movies over a 56k modem connection. If the MPAA is so damn evil how come everyone wants their product?

what's the problem (5)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 13 years ago | (#282442)

Slashdot has continually said that the MPAA should got after individual copyright infrigers rather than services like Napster. Yet as soon as the MPAA does that it becomes labelled "intimidation tactics". I read the article and from what I gathered Excite@Home told people if they didn't stop sharing copyright material they would lose their service.

What, exactly, is the problem with that?

Intel scanning agents? (2)

dr_strangelove (16081) | more than 13 years ago | (#282444)

From the Ranger Inc. website:

Searching.
We never sleep. Our IOS software is constantly searching the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our intelligent scanning probes are customized to each client's needs and patrol the Internet searching for suspicious sites.

Hmmm...
Ok, lets do this: Form a company (Tonto Inc.?) that lives to bushwhack these nasty little critters.
Offer a bounty for the "skins", like they used to do for wolves and such.

Or maybe "turn" them like double agents, feeding bogus info into the intel databases...

(big grin)

Re:what's the problem (3)

BilldaCat (19181) | more than 13 years ago | (#282447)

seriously, I'm in full agreement. not everything can, or should be, free. I really would love to know how the Slashdot editors can say 'go after the users, not the service' and then turn around and pull this while keeping a straight face. what the fuck?

And what about privacy? (2)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 13 years ago | (#282448)

Yes,I'm concerned about the MPAA using heavy-handed tactics and intimidation. Their approach seems to be "someone may infringe, so we best scare you pre-emptively." Usually scaring people pre-emptively is often considered terrorism or harassment, but I digress.

What is ignored all too often in stories like this is that there are companies out there spying on us. They monitor transactions, scan files, etc. just to see if we might be doing anything illegal.

Now if our government did this, people would be up in arms. But apparently monitoring me and my ISP without given cause beyond "you might be doing something" is just fine and dandy if you're a company. The threat to the internet is not the governments directly - it's governments that allow this to go on.

I suppose Big Brother is OK as long as he evolved via Free Enterprise. And sadly, intellectual property issues or not, this is plain disturbing.

You know, I have to wonder if some class-action suits are in order against the MPAA and the cyberspyers. Invasion of Privacy? Slander? RICO? arassment? I'm sure some lawyers out there could make quite a witch's brew of legal trouble.

Re:File Lending? (1)

cruelworld (21187) | more than 13 years ago | (#282455)

This sounds like my previous occupation, where myself and a few choice friends operated a "Vehicle Lending Library" where we would temporary borrow a strangers car for 24 hours and then leave it in a ditch somewhere.

According to the street legends at the time this was perfectly legit as long as you dumped the car with a full tank of gas.

Re:Heh. (1)

C.Su (26247) | more than 13 years ago | (#282466)

This is the MPAA (Motion Picture Assoc. of America?) going after Gnutella users who are swapping digital video.

I believe that it was the RIAA (Recording Industry Assoc. of America?) that went after Napster for music swapping.

Re:Interesting court case... (2)

topham (32406) | more than 13 years ago | (#282478)

If you can spoof an IP and successfully transfer a movie file *FROM* the spoofed address, please let me know how.. we could re-implement the idea and do it intentionally...

It won't happen.

Do you think this will really stand up? (1)

yomahz (35486) | more than 13 years ago | (#282483)

Just imagine the countless hours tracking and prosecuting this type of stuff just to make the smallest dent. Then think about all of the lawsuits for defamation of character, etc. that they will recieve for not really having any real proof (I.E. IP spoofing, etc.).

Next they are going to have to hit all of the fserve users in IRC (goodluck) and then they are going to have to contend w/ FreeNet [sourceforge.net] (going to need even more luck).

Re:They never have to go to court (1)

yomahz (35486) | more than 13 years ago | (#282484)

MPAA: This user is trading illegal copywrited material, is a bandwith/resource hog, continues after repeated warnings and you are facilitating him.

Broadband ISP: Errr ... ... ok.


User: defamation of character

What are they gonna do about this: (3)

yomahz (35486) | more than 13 years ago | (#282491)

Re:Why is /. defending this? (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#282498)

supposedly reputable website

Which website is that?

You're confused (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#282499)

I thought the whole idea of copyright, and the right to make your own copies revolved around getting something for free (or a reduced price) that you would have bought otherwise?

No. What you described above would be a clearly illegal act of theft. Just the same as if you went to a bookstore, bought a book, copied it, and gave the copies to friends. You have copyright violation confused with plagiarism.

let them read it, copy it, whatever

That's copyright violation, and was illegal before the DMCA.

I just cannot claim it as my own work

Because that would be plagiarism.

They never have to go to court (2)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#282502)

MPAA: This user is trading illegal copywrited material, is a bandwith/resource hog, continues after repeated warnings and you are facilitating him.

Broadband ISP: Errr ... ... ok.

End of story.

Re:Interesting court case... (2)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#282503)

MPAA: This user is trading illegal copywrited material, is a bandwith/resource hog, continues after repeated warnings and you are facilitating him.

Broadband ISP: Errr ... < looks up EULA >... ok.

<Broadband ISP pulls plug on user>

End of story.

This will be effective. (3)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#282506)

>Here, they're just pathetic.

It is actually an excellent tactic.

Most of these areas have a limited number of cheap broadband options. Since MPAA is using the ISPs, a legally responsible corporation, against them, this will scare the sh*t out of the individual users. Either stop doing it or lose their sweet broadband. Which one would you chose?

This will be doublely effective because movie files can only be effectivly traded through broadband connections and university/college students are about to go home for the summer so the content available will be dramaticly reduced.

MPAA doesn't even have to go to court with any individual user to make this tactic very effective, all they have to do is convince (not legally court-style prove) the ISPs that these high-usage users are doing something illegal and breaking their EULA.

Re:Heh. (1)

DaBunny (56964) | more than 13 years ago | (#282518)

Given the choice, it's much easier and more productive to go after a single target like Napster. But that's not possible with Gnutella, so they're going after enough users to (they hope) "educate" (read as "intimidate") all users.

Hard to stop (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 13 years ago | (#282521)

Like trying to brush away a few bees, when a swarm is attacking you.
No luck.

The only thing that would make me think twice before using gnutella would be if the MPAA banned me from broadband. Maybe they'll blacklist people, so no ISP will give you broadband. Now THAT would suck.

Re:File Lending? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282537)

ISTR that the "loophole" is about as valid as the ubiquitious, "This is not spam" disclaimer, or the abandonware myth -- namely, no factual basis whatsoever.

Re:What will they look for? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282538)

Same issue as with Napster renaming -- if you rename it so that nobody can find it, well, MPAA wins because who's going to be downloading your file? And if the name mangling scheme is obvious or otherwise decently publicized, they'll find it soon enough.

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282539)

The distributor of music sets the terms of sale/distribution; it's up to the consumers to abide by them. ToS usually include following copyright laws...

The vendor sets the terms. Not you; your choice, under the law, is to accept or reject the transaction in toto. You can send feedback, but you cannot demand changes in ToS. If you buy a CD, you have accepted these terms, and are legally obligated to NOT reproduce it or redistribute it except as the law allows.

Vandalism that damages a Coca-Cola is still vandalism, and a criminal offense. Writing a negative review is completely different; that's a matter of speech, and is protected so long as it's factually correct (Well, in the US, truth is a defense against accusations of libel/slander. Not necessarily so in other nations.) and isn't violating other contractural violations, like having signed an agreement to NOT produce a review. Likewise regarding food impurities -- if you're right, that's fine. If you're committing libel, that's not.

Re:File Lending? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282540)

It's about contracts -- whether or not you abide by the terms of sale, chosen by the vendor within the constraints established by law.

And yes, the owner loses something -- they lose control, which is an incredibly valuable asset; it's the sole reason, in fact, that publishers pay artists in the first place.

Re:Hard to stop (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282541)

Somehow, I doubt that the DMCA's Safe Harbor provision covers obstruction of justice; requiring that they provide testimony against a customer is far different from holding the ISP itself liable for a customer's actions, no? Think about it. There's a BIG difference here.

Re:How can they do this? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282542)

That doesn't mean that they're allowed to obstruct justice. Subpoeaning testimony isn't exactly the same thing as holding them responsible for their users.

Re:Interesting court case... (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#282547)

Combined with the traffic statistics and other logs that your ISP probably keeps, they've got a very strong circumstantial-evidence case. IP spoofing is irrelevant because your ISP *knows* what IP they've assigned to your connection, how much data you're transferring, when, and to whom.

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#282548)

Exposure doesn't buy food. It doesn't pay rent.

Why I love the Ack-Acks (5)

The Code Hog (79645) | more than 13 years ago | (#282551)

I love the Ack-Acks (RIAA/MPAA). They are doing a fine job panicking as people realize the current value of their service, and are attempting to hang on to their business model with a death grip.

Look, 60 million napster fans and who knows how many video downloaders have been hit in the face with the fact the margin cost (cost to reproduce) a CD is virtually nothing. A little more than virtually nothing to reproduce a DVD, just longer because of current bandwith issues. So they can legislate all they want, but people are now aware that the only value-add the Ack-Acks add is deliver a physical product from burn-in to your local Best Buy.

And Gee!, that's gonna be irrelevant to a large portion to the population in a few years -- legitimate or not, digital dupes of oves and songs WILL be available somewhere.

It *isn't* irrelevent yet because of technology limitations. Napster is rife with lousy recordings, bad bitrates, misnamed songs, etc. Movies take up to large a percentage of a users hard drive.

So why aren't the Ack-Acks pushing to explore new value-adds while they still have the upper hand. Wouldn't it be nice to go to amazon and select 10 songs, and order a custom CD (not MP3 version either, true blue uncompressed versions)? Or select music label appproved MP3's, where you now there are no artifacts , at a specified bitrate, for $1 a song? Choosing from 40 different version, some live, some different studio riffs?

People get it -- the copy of the Madonna (insert an artist you like here) album isn't worth $16 -- it's worth maybe $1. You know where the money in art has been, historically? Live performances! That means concerts for Music and movie theaters for movies.

The Ack-Acks don't get it.

Oopsie... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#282567)

I mean /dev/random, heh. /dev/null's got a lot of stuff in it but it's not very random.

They may not have to (3)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#282568)

It sounds like they're trying to figure out a way to get the major ISPs and Universities to start policing themselves. I wonder if they actually identified IPs in their letters to the various Universities and ISPs or if they just said "We detected infringing users on your network. Remove them or we'll sue you!" Damn near everyone will roll over rather than possibly have to try to defend against a lawsuit. Make a case that Gnutilla's primary purpose is to infringe on copyrights, demand that ISPs add sections preventing its use to their AUPs and have them start policing themselves or risk lawsuits under the DMCA and you'd pretty well eliminate Gnutilla usage in the US (IANAL but I play one on TV.)

Gotta wonder how thorough that investigation was by Ranger Online. What would happen if we all put 6 gigabytes of /dev/null on our FTP servers under the filename "Matrix.vob"? Do they just look for filenames or do they actually download the content and make sure its actually infringing material? And once you have 6 gigabytes of random, it's pretty easy to make a 6 gigabyte "Matrixkey.vob" which when xored with my 6 gigabytes of random, produces the first 6 gigabytes of the movie. Or another 6 gigabytes of random.

Distribute pieces? (1)

Brazilian (98980) | more than 13 years ago | (#282578)

I'm just curious - why not make Gnutella a P2P network with distributed song bits? E.g., it's part of 'fair use' to reproduce some small time segment of a song; why not just spread those bits around to a variety of peers and then go and grab each of those bits from a variety of peers to reassemble the song?

Couple that with the technology that Digital Fountain uses (a method of streaming media via UDP that can reconstruct the original media despite some significant packet loss %) and it should be possible to build a legal distributed P2P network that one could illegally download MP3s from ;)

Re:what's the problem (2)

T.Hobbes (101603) | more than 13 years ago | (#282586)

I work at a college radio station. The munificant record companies have given us the right to play anything in their many catalogues (essentially any shrink-wrapped cd is ok to play on-air). The have, thus, given myself and the other progammers there the right to share many songs with many people, one at a time. Why, I ask you, is this form of music sharing any diffferent on a basic level than swapping mp3s or .mov's?

Re:A Tribute To The Greats (1)

bbchops (105466) | more than 13 years ago | (#282600)

streetlawyer was my hero.


The poor cook he caught the fits

hm (2)

psin psycle (118560) | more than 13 years ago | (#282615)

The only thing that makes this hard to fight is most of us have EULA that do not permit us to run servers of any kind. However, if that wasn't the case, I would load up my Gnutella node with legal content, public domain movies etc, and append illegal filenames to the end of the legal file names. Then when you get wrongly accused of distrbuting copyrighted content you can fight it and claim you were the victim of a witch hunt ;)

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (5)

psin psycle (118560) | more than 13 years ago | (#282616)

From Information Liberation [danny.oz.au]

Edwin C. Hettinger has provided an insightful critique of the main arguments used to justify intellectual property, so it is worthwhile summarising his analysis. [12] He begins by noting the obvious argument against intellectual property, namely that sharing intellectual objects still allows the original possessor to use them. Therefore, the burden of proof should lie on those who argue for intellectual property.

The first argument for intellectual property is that people are entitled to the results of their labour. Hettinger's response is that not all the value of intellectual products is due to labour. Nor is the value of intellectual products due to the work of a single labourer, or any small group. Intellectual products are social products.

Suppose you have written an essay or made an invention. Your intellectual work does not exist in a social vacuum. It would not have been possible without lots of earlier work - both intellectual and nonintellectual - by many other people. This includes your teachers and parents. It includes the earlier authors and inventors who provided the foundation for your contribution. It also includes the many people who discussed and used ideas and techniques, at both theoretical and practical levels, and provided a cultural foundation for your contribution. It includes the people who built printing presses, laid telephone cables, built roads and buildings and in many other ways contributed to the "construction" of society. Many other people could be mentioned. The point is that any piece of intellectual work is always built on and is inconceivable without the prior work of numerous people.

Hettinger points out that the earlier contributors to the development of ideas are not present. Today's contributor therefore cannot validly claim full credit.

Is the market value of a piece of an intellectual product a reasonable indicator of a person's contribution? Certainly not. As noted by Hettinger and as will be discussed in the next section, markets only work once property rights have been established, so it is circular to argue that the market can be used to measure intellectual contributions. Hettinger summarises this point in this fashion: "The notion that a laborer is naturally entitled as a matter of right to receive the market value of her product is a myth. To what extent individual laborers should be allowed to receive the market value of their products is a question of social policy."

A related argument is that people have a right to possess and personally use what they develop. Hettinger's response is that this doesn't show that they deserve market values, nor that they should have a right to prevent others from using the invention.

A second major argument for intellectual property is that people deserve property rights because of their labour. This brings up the general issue of what people deserve, a topic that has been analysed by philosophers. Their usual conclusions go against what many people think is "common sense." Hettinger says that a fitting reward for labour should be proportionate to the person's effort, the risk taken and moral considerations. This sounds all right - but it is not proportionate to the value of the results of the labour, whether assessed through markets or by other criteria. This is because the value of intellectual work is affected by things not controlled by the worker, including luck and natural talent. Hettinger says "A person who is born with extraordinary natural talents, or who is extremely lucky, deserves nothing on the basis of these characteristics."

A musical genius like Mozart may make enormous contributions to society. But being born with enormous musical talents does not provide a justification for owning rights to musical compositions or performances. Likewise, the labour of developing a toy like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that becomes incredibly popular does not provide a justification for owning rights to all possible uses of turtle symbols.

What about a situation where one person works hard at a task and a second person with equal talent works less hard? Doesn't the first worker deserve more reward? Perhaps so, but property rights do not provide a suitable mechanism for allocating rewards. The market can give great rewards to the person who successfully claims property rights for a discovery, with little or nothing for the person who just missed out.

A third argument for intellectual property is that private property is a means for promoting privacy and a means for personal autonomy. Hettinger responds that privacy is protected by not revealing information, not by owning it. Trade secrets cannot be defended on the grounds of privacy, because corporations are not individuals. As for personal autonomy, copyrights and patents aren't required for this.

A fourth argument is that rights in intellectual property are needed to promote the creation of more ideas. The idea is that intellectual property gives financial incentives to produce ideas. Hettinger thinks that this is the only decent argument for intellectual property. He is still somewhat sceptical, though. He notes that the whole argument is built on a contradiction, namely that in order to promote the development of ideas, it is necessary to reduce people's freedom to use them. Copyrights and patents may encourage new ideas and innovations, but they also restrict others from using them freely.

This argument for intellectual property cannot be resolved without further investigation. Hettinger says that there needs to be an investigation of how long patents and copyrights should be granted, to determine an optimum period for promoting intellectual work.

Would you stand behind your actions? (2)

Spanky Lovesalot (121135) | more than 13 years ago | (#282624)


If you don't believe that stealing mp3's is actually stealing or unethical, or any of the other things it has been called, consider this:

If you were to actually meet the people who have written this music, and tour the country playing just to make money to put food on their family's plates, would you fess up to doing this? Would you tell them: "No, I didn't buy I your CD. I downloaded it off Napster. I didn't even have to pay for it."

You've essentially just told them that you stole the money right out of their pockets. Most of these people are honest, hardworking musicians who want to make enough to play without having to get another job. Would you stand behind your own actions?

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

lordmage (124376) | more than 13 years ago | (#282629)

All is well and good, except this.

Your friends are losing money from going through even a small distributors. Think of the fact that I doubt seriously that there is much advertising for your friends band. I have never even seen much advertising when I am up in Halifax for many bands at all.

Where do I find more information? Places like mp3.com where I can find and hear a few songs and if the musician does not even sell things, PAGE views get them money. Its a nice service and we get some decent music. If they had thier music for sell, with some sample mp3's on the WEB, I bet they would have more exposure.

Gnutella has a lot of non-comercial products on it, will the MPAA go after people who happen to have a name like "Metallicock" or something that is CLOSE, and they think it is REAL? see: www.joecartoon.com for Metallicock group.

Re:Why is /. defending this? (2)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 13 years ago | (#282631)

Your arguments started out very reasonably, but the last few bits seemed awfully trollish.

I can't see how people can object to actions that stop piracy - people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things. They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too. And these are the ones that get hurt by the revenue lost.


It's never the big boss that gets hurt. Not Julia Roberts or Leonardo Di Caprio. It's the man who's packing the videos for $8/hour. It's the guy making them. He's the one losing the money.

I decided to do a little to verify this claim of yours. Impact on the employees, obviously, comes from impact on the bottom line where managers react by cutting expenses. This usually occurs in companies seeing only small profits or are in the red.

So, let's start with the 2000 annual budget report [newscorp.com] of News Corp, parent company of 20th Century Fox. This company reported an overall profit of $11.6 billion in 2000, $9.7 billion in 1999. In 1998 they reported an overall profit of $8.3 billion. Unfortunately these reports don't seem to separate revenue from expenses, but you can see the point pretty clearly anyways. Also I am making the assumption that this company is more or less representative of the industry as a whole, which might not be the case.

From this, you can clearly see that the amount of profit taken by these companies is rising. Now, has piracy notably affected the bottom line? Any effect it may have had is lost compared to the massive sales increases of the past few years. So is it hurting workers? Again, any effect it may have is insignificant.
------------------
A picture is worth 500 DWORDS.

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 13 years ago | (#282633)

I have a solution for your friends: They might try printing somewhere on the CD/Album cover some plead for the end user not to make their works available online. My guess is that most of the Gaelic folk song audience is comapssionate, and would be quite understanding of the artist's plight; hence they would not make it available to download for others. I'm not saying that the music should not be ripped, and encoded to mp3; clearly it is up to the user how they wish to listen to it.

I'm sure that this would have a positive affect on the both the artists, and the audiance, as it will likely thwart much violation of their property, and it will strengthen the bond (by mutual understanding) between the audiance and artist.

Good luck on getting this to work with a large label, however.


Slashdot... (1)

GauFo (137084) | more than 13 years ago | (#282640)

A lone beacon of hope in a copyrighted world.

Re:Interesting court case... (1)

HuskyDog (143220) | more than 13 years ago | (#282653)

Bob: But IP's can be spoofed. Meet my expert witness...

Do I understand that in this example Bob is a millionair Gnutella user? How else can he afford to defend a case against the MPAA to the point of being able to present expert witnesses?

Re:Careful what you wish for (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 13 years ago | (#282655)

Isn't this what we've always asked for? Target the specific lawbreakers, not the network as a whole?

but they're targetting the ISP which IS the network, for practical purposes.

they're not targeting individual users from what I can see; they're flexing their muscles and threatening the ISP with litigation if they don't shutdown gnutella system wide.

--

Re:Why is /. defending this? (3)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 13 years ago | (#282658)

You don't get front-page articles on slashdot about people putting locks in shops to stop people to stealing the merchandise, so why should it be any different when try and stop other kinds of crime that costs money?

uhm, because it is different!

stealing software is quite different from stealing hardware. when you steal hardware, the inventory level of a store just went down. not so with software (ignoring the cardboard and plastic container for the software, which is nil for this argument's sake).

when you engage in profit-oriented software business, you must realize that the very nature of your goods is quite different from all the other kinds of hard merchandise.

the profit models of hard merchandise simply are not applicable to software. this is the revolt that we're seeing in the youth today. they fully know that 'stealing' a song doesn't cost the shopkeeper, the music industry or the artist nearly as much as if someone stole a cd player, itself. the rules should be different since the end effect on the 'harmed party' are quite different.

consumers today recognize that new catagories need to be defined for software sharing. if the legal system can't keep up with the times, historically people have always started grass roots movements to overturn the laws. unfortunately the laws are bought and sold by payoffs and it will be quite a long time before the revolution finally causes real change.

until then, follow your concionce! its a far better guide than current american laws.

--

Re:what's the problem (1)

Hizz (143345) | more than 13 years ago | (#282660)

From what i can see of the Post, Taco stayed objective to the post, it's the person writing in who mentioned the intimidation. Yes, Slashdot users as a collective will agree this is the right thing for the MPAA to do, going after the people who are sharing the material, and not the producer of the utility like the RIAA did/is doing with Napster.

It's almost as if the MPAA learned a lesson out of the DeCSS mess in that they shoulnd't go after the utility and that they should go after the people using the utility.

It bothers me that some of the users assume that whatever is in Itlics on a post is the thoughts of the person posting the atricle.

Re:File Lending? (5)

flamingcow (153884) | more than 13 years ago | (#282671)

Please note that this (horribly overused) style of analogy is blatantly wrong; the reason that copyright infringement is not theft is that, unlike the car, the original owner does not lose their ability to use their property. A new user simply gains that ability. Things that have this property, such as anything that can be represented in a bitstream, should not be able to be owned. To try to enforce the laws of physical theft on such items is silly and is destined to fail.

Re:Heh. (2)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 13 years ago | (#282676)

Why didn't they use this tactic against Napster?

Because Napster has a little entity called "Napster, Inc." running it. It's (unfortunately) much easier to sue Napster, Inc. than it is to go after hundreds of ISP's.

--

How can they do this? (1)

OO7david (159677) | more than 13 years ago | (#282678)

IANAL, but I remember a little think in the DMCA saying that ISPs can't be held liable for their users activities.

Re:Heh. (1)

Zara2 (160595) | more than 13 years ago | (#282682)

Ummm besides the MPAA -> RIAA mix up in this they are still attacking the tool. They are going after the ISP's not the individual user. There is a big difference there. Luckily ISP's have been declared common carriars so I doubt that this will really go anywhere at all.

Why is /. defending this? (4)

7days (192077) | more than 13 years ago | (#282704)

> it looks like they want to scare individual users from even trying to share movies,

And the problem here is?

Sharing movies is illegal. If someone shares a movie, they aren't going to buy it. That's money lost for the makers. What's wrong with crime prevention.

You don't get front-page articles on slashdot about people putting locks in shops to stop people to stealing the merchandise, so why should it be any different when try and stop other kinds of crime that costs money?

I don't understand why people are so defensive of pirates. I hear people talking about it all the time, and they don't feel in the least bit guilty about the fact that they're committing a criminal act.

Moreover, it's not simply a 'white-collar', victimless crime. Piracy does hurt people.

Games, which people constantly defend the pirating of, cost millions of dollars to create. Talented people put their very being into creating them. The same goes for movies.

How would you feel if something you'd spent 6-months of your life creating was being given away free?

And that a supposedly reputable website was defending this theft?

I can't see how people can object to actions that stop piracy - people seem to think no-one gets hurt by these things. They are wrong. The people working for record and computer companies have jobs and families too. And these are the ones that get hurt by the revenue lost.

It's never the big boss that gets hurt. Not Julia Roberts or Leonardo Di Caprio. It's the man who's packing the videos for $8/hour. It's the guy making them. He's the one losing the money.

These are the real victims of this crime, and I feel horrified that slashdot can condone it.

Re:File Lending? (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 13 years ago | (#282706)

I vaguely remember this. The warez sites have disclaimers stating this. But even if this loophole existed, it would probably only be for sites that allow users to upload without verification. I don't think it would apply to file sharing utils since the users know what the files they're sharing are.

MPAA + RIAA = New World Order? (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 13 years ago | (#282707)

They're apparently going after any large entity that is an enabler of copyright infringement against them, so where will they stop? They've gone after indexing services, now they're going to internet providers. Isn't the RIAA already working on something against any portable MP3 players?

Who's next, PC manufacturers. After all, if we didn't have fast machines, then it would take to long to encode an MP3, and therefore make it easier on them.

As far as Gnutella, why doesn't everyone just change their settings to the same network speed. Everybody say they're a 56k user until this is over. I wouldn't think they could get away with singling out several users without going after all of them.

Right course of action (1)

egjertse (197141) | more than 13 years ago | (#282714)

This is what they should have done in the Napster case as well - go after the users. After all, they're the ones ifringing on copyrights. Of course, in the case of Gnutella and other true P2P services, they're forced to go after the users, since there is no single entity they can sue.

Now how are they going to crack down on Freenet, Mojo Nation and all the other anonymous distributed systems? And how long until they go after Shoutcast [shoutcast.com] and other streaming services?

Re:Hard to stop (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#282722)

Why would a group of ISP's blacklist CUSTOMER's whe the MPAA's law clearly states that they are not responsable for their users actions. Talking about slowly putting yourself out of business...aw come on, those 62 MILLION Napster users are going to have to go somewhere to get their fix....

Jaysyn

Time to produce some of my own movies (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 13 years ago | (#282735)

Any idea how I could create a 10K parody of The Matrix? I just think it would be funny to share a file that is clearly too small to be the film, to see if you get told to stop sharing the MPAA's intellectual proprty.

Re:what's the problem (2)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 13 years ago | (#282737)

I think this is no problem at all.

I hope the MPAA successfully takes down a bunch of the piraters. Their task is hopelessly impossible, but in the end thieves should be punished. They may be a bunch of greedy corporate thugs, but unfortunately, they have every right to go after these people.

Just what I was thinking! (3)

ageitgey (216346) | more than 13 years ago | (#282741)

'What we're trying to do is educate the population about what is appropriate, both from an ethical standpoint and from a legal standpoint,'

Thats exactly why I'm protesting the DMCA. They read my mind. Glad to know we are in agreement here.

Re:ok, how do they plan on doing that.? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#282742)

Like the RIAA and Napster, they are putting the burden on the ISP to regulate traffic. As stated in a Register article [theregister.co.uk] , "the DMCA states that ISPs are not liable for the actions of their users."

Of course, there's another tack... suppose I sign up with an Offshore ISP which chooses to disregard the MPAA? This would hurt domestic ISPs should something of this sort happen.

Once again, it's pounding the thumb with the hammer, harder, to drive the nail into the board.

--

The law is what we want it to be (1)

MCZapf (218870) | more than 13 years ago | (#282743)

What we're trying to do is educate the population about what is appropriate, both from an ethical standpoint and from a legal standpoint

There is no absolute right and wrong from an ethical standpoint. Both sides have good arguments. Content producers deserve compensation. Content consumers deserve to be able to access said content over new medias. They deserve not to be charged indefinitely for finite goods.

In the absence of an absolute moral/ethical standpoint, we have only the "legal" one. The law in the United States (for example) should protect the rights of the public. We have a government of the people. What we say goes. We just have to get involved in the process. So far, only the MPAA has been involved. But, we outnumber them :-) .

Re:what's the problem (3)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#282746)

"Slashdot has continually said that the MPAA should got after individual copyright infrigers rather thanservices like Napster. Yet as soon as the MPAA does that it becomes labelled "intimidation tactics". I read the article and from what I gathered Excite@Home told people if they didn't stop sharing copyright material they would lose their service."

Let's say, for example, you are a "small" company that piggybacks on Sprints DSL network to provides DSL service to some city. You get a letter form the MPAA saying that 40 of your users are pirates. Now, at the current time, they make no legal threats towards you. You notifiy the users and ask them to stop being a leech and use lower profile way to pirate stuff. They don't comply. Now the MPAA wans to sue those users. It needs YOU to tell them who those users are. What do you do, go to court and make the MPAA prove for a fact they are pirates before you tell them who they are? No, you cave in.

Problem here is a matter of precedent. There seems to be no avenue to protect users identities on the internet, since ISPs run from law suits (due to lawyer costs) faster than they can be filed. What's next, your employer sueing to find out who you are when you make "offensive" comments about the company online (which is done not to sue like the company said, since they would loose, but only to imtimidate)? Or Scientology getting user identites to harrass people who "violate their IP" by using their constitutional right to fair use?

The problem is not the piracy, its the lack of legal protection for the little guy from harassment. What if the MPAA was wrong and took someone to court? That person would have to play lawyer fees. The MPAA doesn't have to make a prima-facia case, at current time, to sue. Thats my problem, and beleive me, they WILL sue.

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

HongPong (226840) | more than 13 years ago | (#282752)

The loss of potential profits isn't the same as theft. It just isn't. By extension, causing a Coca-cola vendor to be unable to refill a machine would be theft. Writing a negative review of a movie would be theft. Pointing out that food has impurities would be theft. All of these are reductions of profit, not theft.

And going against the community on /. shouldn't be considered a troll, how well I know. :)

--

Exactly what the MPAA should be doing... (1)

imadork (226897) | more than 13 years ago | (#282753)

I think that this is exactly what the MPAA should be doing.

That is, what I gather from the article is that the MPAA actually hired a firm to determine whether the Gnutella users actually were trading the MPAA's copyrighted movies, and provided evidence to the ISP's. We hope they actually downloaded "The Matrix" and checked to make sure that it was actually the Movie, and not some guy's Film Project.

If, instead, they are simply trying to get ALL Gnutella servers shut down, regardless of whether they were actually serving the MPAA's copyrighted movies, (or all servers that serve files named "The Matrix" without checking them first), then all the good things I have said go out the window, and we should all get out our Clue Sticks again.

Re:Right course of action (1)

spygot (235744) | more than 13 years ago | (#282771)

Streaming copywritten songs on a shoutcast [shoutcast.com] server is illegal without paying royalties, just like a radio station (at least from what Ive read).
BR>Alot of stations play non-copywritten material, but it wont be long (especially with broadband users growing) before they go after them too, when they 'consider them a threat'.

Good, studios have every right to stop theft (1)

MarkLR (236125) | more than 13 years ago | (#282772)

Most movies are totally commerical enterprises with the studio owning and paying for everything. You cannot claim that you're copying the movie to promote the artist - like in music. They want you to pay for the movie, so they get paid.

Tilting at Windmills (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#282783)

This was just the kind of situation Gnutella was designed to prevent, and I think it will.

Even if MPAA files injunctions against each and every one of the thousands of movie traders out there, they still won't be able to stop the flow of movies because most of these guys can simply get a new account somewhere else once their ISP has caved. Heaven forbid, if they run out of broadband options, then they just sign up for any of the myriad free 700 hours of AOHell.

Yeah, the MPAA is evil, Blah, blah blah. Here, they're just pathetic.

Re:What will they look for? (1)

evvk (247017) | more than 13 years ago | (#282786)

> But then again. I'm not in 'the land of the free' so I can 'freely' copy all the stuff I want =)

Does that mean Europe (more specifically, the EU)?
Then I hate disappoint you. If you have been following what's going on, we can't either do that soon.

Re:Why is /. defending this? (2)

evvk (247017) | more than 13 years ago | (#282787)

> It's never the big boss that gets hurt. Not Julia Roberts or Leonardo Di Caprio. It's the man who's packing the videos for $8/hour. It's the guy making them. He's the one losing the money.
> These are the real victims of this crime, and I feel horrified that slashdot can condone it.

But it's the big bosses that are putting the money in _their_ _own_ _pockets_ and not the guy's who's packing the videos.

If CD:s cost half of what they do know, and I'd know that the artists and cd packing gues get properly compensated, I'd surely buy much more CD:s than I do now. (And I don't buy anything from the five big ones.) After all, the record companies do very little except for the most popular artists -- I haven't seen any of the artists I listen to advertised anywhere but by friends and on homepages, that are as well maintained by fans of the band. The record companies just package the music and take the money. And yet the CD:s cost exactly as much as those that are advertised.

And I wouldn't call file sharing or copying what you've bought to a few of your friends piracy. (The latter of which is still legal as it should be here in europe, but most likely not soon because the media companies want to stop all fair use and thus should be boycotted.) Piracy is what the Russian mafia et all exercise: making profit out of someone else's work. That is unacceptable and those people are the real criminals.

Isn't this the way it should be? (1)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 13 years ago | (#282788)

As the RIAA goes after napster, everyone bitched because 'it was really the users doing the infringing, not the network'.. well here's a case where the users are infringing..and guess what, the mpaa is going after them.

Rather than try and shut down gnutella completely, they'll go after the individuals commiting the crime, rather than some 3rd party scapegoat.

Of course, everyone here wants everything for free. Tough. The world doesn't work that way.

File Lending? (1)

syrupMatt (248267) | more than 13 years ago | (#282789)

Okay, so this may not apply anymore, but...

Back in the days when I ran a BBS, there was the constant threat of being siezed for software piracy. However, a loophole had been found that allowed us to act as a "file lending library", allowing them to download any content legally for 24 hours, and then it must be erased.

Now, this may have been a mass net myth, but wouldn't it ease the situation with gnutella (and other p2p systems)?

Business Model? (1)

spookyfluke (254600) | more than 13 years ago | (#282797)

Um, yeah, probably time for a new one! The movie and record industries have a business model that hasn't changed since it's inception. They basically made money off of the fact that people couldn't get their hands on content in an efficient and reliable way. Anything that was obtained had to come fro them. Now that this has changed they cry about it. "How are we gonna make our millions now? Now that we can't rely on the disparity of people?" boo-hoo. I say fuck that! If content is good then the people who made it will receive everything they deserve! Take a band like Radiohead - they give their stuff away for free [ateaseweb.com] ! They are a content provider that is confidant in the fact that they will get what they deserve because they make a quality product. People will buy their album for its artistic value if not anything else. The record industry makes most of its money by tricking people into buying crap and hoping they won't return it cuz all but one of the songs on the album suck ass! Just my two bucks worth.

Re:Interesting court case... (3)

mikethegeek (257172) | more than 13 years ago | (#282800)

"That said, this is exactly what the MPAA should be doing. Not attacking the enablers, but attacking the actual movie fans themselves."

You are correct. This is what I want to see them and the RIAA do. Why? Because this will ultimately lead to the demise of the DMCA. This is our ONLY shot to wake the masses.

Suing the customers is never a sound business model. Just ask Rambus. That's why the RIAA attacked Napster itself, instead of users, because the centralized nature of Napster allowed it. The only way to attack Gnutella IS to attack users.

Re:Tilting at Windmills (2)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#282801)

I don't think this will be as ineffective as you think if they're succesful. Even in large cities you've only got a couple choices of broadband access. This makes the connection itself a tangible value to the people sharing files. Is sharing the file worth the potential that I will lose broadband?

The MPAA doesn't need to give a damn about people sharing material over AOL. AOL is 56k kilobits/s, movies are on the order of 1/2 a gigabyte. Sure, some people would still offer uploads and some people would still do downloads but you're talking almost a day of transfer time. Figure in disconnects and the impacts on the bandwidth due to all the people polling you to get in your download queue as soon as a slot opens up.

Prediction: Within a couple of years we'll all see an additional tax on broadband to save the starving artists. The various media companies will still have their panties in a bunch over pirated media though.

Re:A Tribute To The Greats (1)

typical geek (261980) | more than 13 years ago | (#282805)

Wow, mod this up!

Post it somewhere where I can reread it at my leasure.

Re:Why is /. defending this? Check RMS's writings! (2)

s0meguy (265470) | more than 13 years ago | (#282806)

RMS gives a pretty good argument here: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/reevaluating-copyrig ht.html

"...copying useful, enlightening or entertaining information for a friend makes the world happier and better off; it benefits the friend, and inherently hurts no one. It is a constructive activity that strengthens social bonds.

Some readers may question this statement because they know publishers claim that illegal copying causes them "loss." This claim is mostly inaccurate and partly misleading. More importantly, it is begging the question.

  • The claim is mostly inaccurate because it presupposes that the friend would otherwise have bought a copy from the publisher. That is occasionally true, but more often false; and when it is false, the claimed loss does not occur.
  • The claim is partly misleading because the word "loss" suggests events of a very different nature--events in which something they have is taken away from them. For example, if the bookstore's stock of books were burned, or if the money in the register got torn up, that would really be a "loss." We generally agree it is wrong to do these things to other people. But when your friend avoids the need to buy a copy of a book, the bookstore and the publisher do not lose anything they had. A more fitting description would be that the bookstore and publisher get less income than they might have got. The same consequence can result if your friend decides to play bridge instead of reading a book. In a free market system, no business is entitled to cry "foul" just because a potential customer chooses not to deal with them.
  • The claim is begging the question because the idea of "loss" is based on the assumption that the publisher "should have" got paid. That is based on the assumption that copyright exists and prohibits individual copying. But that is just the issue at hand: what should copyright cover? If the public decides it can share copies, then the publisher is not entitled to expect to be paid for each copy, and so cannot claim there is a "loss" when it is not. In other words, the "loss" comes from the copyright system; it is not an inherent part of copying. Copying in itself hurts no one."

Re:A Tribute To The Greats (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#282815)

I gotta troll here! This is the funniest thing I've ever seen on my brief time on slashdot! Kudo's for the rhyme dude!

MPAA and the law... (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#282817)

I thought the whole idea of copyright, and the right to make your own copies revolved around getting something for free (or a reduced price) that you would have bought otherwise? I thought deeply about this the other day:
It is perfectly legal for me to view a website that has news everyday, like Slashdot. Hell, I can even archive every one of their stories and commentary on my computer (my browser even does it for me by caching webpages autmatically!). I can share that webpage with my friends, let them read it, copy it, whatever, I just cannot claim it as my own work, and neither can my friends. So why is file sharing of mp3's any different? You hear a song on the radio, internet, CD - you make a copy - you share it with your friends of Gnutella, Napster, etc. How is that different as long as you're not passing it off as your own work? I think what we should fight is those people who download mp3's, make CD's, and sell them as if they're a distributor of such works. Then the MPAA should have full legal recourse to go after those offenders. But to say that free file sharing is breaking copyright/fair use laws is utterly ridiculous.

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#282818)

So you're calling me a theif of music because I might download a couple of your friend's songs in mp3 format, even though I would never go out and buy their album because it is not carried in any store here in Ohio, USA? C'mon! That's silly. If nothing else, your friends just got more exposure than they could have ever hoped for because now I know they exist, whereas before Napster, I didn't.

More Cost (1)

czfqnr (306059) | more than 13 years ago | (#282824)

This is only going to cause broadband providers to kick up another service charge. They'll probably name it something like "Internet Port Protection Scanning Service".

Why go after gnutella? (1)

rfolstad (310738) | more than 13 years ago | (#282830)

I don't understand why they are going after gnutella? Why not go after something alot easier to attach like usenet? Alot of movies, mp3's, warez etc is posted on usenet everyday yet i don't see the MPAA or anyone targeting the big news servers with their threats. Anyone know why?

What will they look for? (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 13 years ago | (#282834)

Is it just that sharing big files will get you a letter of threat? In that case you can't share your Linux ISO's anymore... I don't think they are allowed to do that.
If they look for specific files (*.mov?) All you need to do is rename it Linux-distri.iso and you're done.

My point: going after file sharing systems will just never work. That's just attacking symptoms. The real problems is that people *want* to share files. This 'need' can be made smaller by decreasing prices for CD's, and making less-strict copyright rules (e.g. CD very cheap after 5 years). A compromise should go both ways.

But then again. I'm not in 'the land of the free' so I can 'freely' copy all the stuff I want =)

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 13 years ago | (#282838)

"The fact that millions of ordinary Americans engage in this theft is no excuse - ethically and legally, it is wrong." Ethics, shmethics. What is "right" and "wrong" is such an overwhelmingly subjective matter that I often find it more convenient to act as if those concepts don't exist in reality. Like with the case of Napster, Gnutella, iMesh, etc--the systems are there, I like free music, therefore I will use the systems. For me, it's not a matter of who's hurting who, or whether this or that corporate entity is "evil." I'm certainly not going to stop downloading because some say it's wrong according to ancient rules of "moral" conduct.

Re:Tilting at Windmills (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 13 years ago | (#282842)

aren't crack dealers evil? Doesn't every crackhead want their product?

Re:what's the problem (2)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 13 years ago | (#282844)

because the MPAA is going after the ISP service, not the individual. All they are trying to do is force ISP's to be responsible for the content that it's subscribers receieve and send. This is no better than what the RIAA did with napster.

How typical. (1)

ethics major (325440) | more than 13 years ago | (#282855)

I am sure you would have risen high in the Germany of the 1930's or the corporate america of the 1980's.

I find your selfish sttitude - 'I like it, fuck everybody else' - absolutely shocking, and it epitomises what is wrong with the modern world.

It all comes down to Ethics. (5)

ethics major (325440) | more than 13 years ago | (#282856)

In this the MPAA is quite correct; the issue of pirating music on gnutella, napster and so on is primarily an ethical one. People on this site like to pretend they are socking it to 'The Man', and that the issue is financial, and that the only people being harmed are the mulyinational recording companies (never mind the millions of small shareholders who have investments in them, ordinary people like you and I).

However, there is one small point missed here. That is hogwash.

The people most harmed are the musicians. When you pirate music, you are stealing from the artist who slaved to create it for you. Gnutella and Napster are theft on a huge and organised scale.

The fact that millions of ordinary Americans engage in this theft is no excuse - ethically and legally, it is wrong.

I have some friends in the recording industry here in Nova Scotia, who strive to make good folk music in the Scottish tradition. They sing in Gaelic. They are affected by napster, because it is a small market for such things. They can barely support themselves as it is, and are only kept afloat by sales of albums.

The final irony here is that the spread of napster and gnutella, and unauthorised piracy generally, would mean the collapse of such small outfits and an increase in musical homogenousness.

For the sake of variety and the small artist, I am on the side of the MPAA in this matter, for once.

If you think I am a troll, remember this:

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

-George Bernard Shaw, Annajanska.(1919)

Here's an idea.. (2)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 13 years ago | (#282857)

Quick, everybody write their own distributed P2P file sharing client and everybody use everybody elses' to share copyrighted content. Eventually, the RIAA & MPAA will run out of money for their legal fund attacking everyone!

Re:It all comes down to Ethics. (1)

Professor J Frink (412307) | more than 13 years ago | (#282866)

I have some friends in the recording industry here in Nova Scotia, who strive to make good folk music in the Scottish tradition. They sing in Gaelic. They are affected by napster, because it is a small market for such things. They can barely support themselves as it is, and are only kept afloat by sales of albums.

As usual, the small, quality setups are the ones who get it in the neck but can do little about it whilst the big conglomerates who pump out crap can make a huge legal stink over it, yet they can afford the losses much more (and would probably do music good if they were bankrupted anyway). Same goes for application piracy.

Ain't right either way but I find it ironic. Of course what we need are laws and ways to enforce them (legally and technologically) that benefit the owner's rights, not to enable already huge companies to sink their fingers even deeper into the pie.

Interesting court case... (4)

sllort (442574) | more than 13 years ago | (#282881)

MPAA: using dynamic IP xxx.yyy.zzz.aaa, user Bob was sharing the movie "Leonard Part VI" on 3/17/2000, at 6pm.

Bob: No I wasn't.

MPAA: We have ISP logs to prove that you were. They show your IP.

Bob: But IP's can be spoofed. Meet my expert witness...

They really can only enforce this if they raid your facility. I run gnotella at random times and IPs, and the HD that contains the stuff I share has a big electromagnet under it with a panic button, and is stored behind a door with a magnetic field generator.

That said, this is exactly what the MPAA should be doing. Not attacking the enablers, but attacking the actual movie fans themselves.

A Tribute To The Greats (5)

USian Pie (442971) | more than 13 years ago | (#282882)

USian Pie

A long, long time ago
I can still remember
How the trollers used to make me smile

And I knew if I had to boast
That I could try to get first post
And maybe I'd be happy for a while

But moderators made me shiver
With every minus they'd deliver

DoS scripts couldn't stop it
They scored them all "Offtopic"

I know that it's cheap crack they smoke
And meta-moderation's broke
At first I thought it was a joke
The day that trolltalk died

-- Chorus --
Bye, bye, MEEPTy, OOG, and Grits guy
Drove the Cruiser like some loser who starts posts with a *sigh*
Those Steve Woston posts that we all knew were a lie
Wonder what became of girls petrified?
What became of girls petrified?
--

Did you write a bunch of Perl?
And did it make you want to hurl
Feces at the Wall?

Can you believe these lame-ass polls?
Do you post big stretched-out assholes?
Can you make the goatse.cx [goatse.cx] link not show?

Well I know you think that Siggy sucked
Will the real Bruce Perens please stand up?

The bots don't have a clue.
Man, I dig those trolls from Shoe!

I was a rabid Free Speech advocate
With a Red Hat T-shirt and a Free Beer gut
Bought my Sony laptop working Pizza Hut
The day that trolltalk died

-- Chorus --

It's been two years since the IPO
And LNUX sinks to all-time lows
But that's not how it used to be

When Spiral showed how it was done
Trolling as Jon Erikson
Who worked for NPO Technologies

Oh and while they tried to filter posts
Somebody rooted Slashdot's host

"Crack Slashdot? That's absurd!"
Better go change your password

While JonKatz wrote a Hellmouth book
By using posts he simply took
And we flamed him till he was cooked
The day that trolltalk died

And we were singin....

-- Chorus --

10 grams. Inchfan. Didn't log out. Goddamn
The mods will find the sid real soon, man
You can't hide if you aren't AC

Your bud (George here) tried BSD
A dead Streetlawyer's tips were free
And WIPO helped letsriot turn Nazi

70 made his percents up
While 80md warned "liberals suck"

The moon does not exist
It's just a liberal myth

Oh and as Taco tried to take a nap
We forced him to invoke bitchslaps
Do you recall the flood of crap
The day that trolltalk died?

We started singin....

-- Chorus --

Oh and then we were wearing out "All your base"
And started posting monospace
The better for our penis birds

So come on, be a zealot, be a dick
You don't think Anne Marie's a chick?
Because lying's all we do about HURD

So go and push for BSD
And say GPL isn't free

Slow down, cowboy! The limit
Is one post every minute

Now tell the right wing facist slime
Infringing on Your Rights Online
That they can't censor all the time
The day that trolltalk died

-- Chorus --

I met a troll they called The Rev
And asked him if CD BREAK HEAD
He said, "That's old. Get over it."

And with all the courage I could muster
"Imagine what a Beowulf cluster...."
But it wasn't worth the trouble to submit

The karma caps are just plain jive
And everyone's moved to K5

The steelcage has grown rusted
And Geekizoid is busted

The three sites I don't see for weeks
Segfault, kernel, Comp-u-geek
Code is not art. This ain't Freshmeat
The day that trolltalk died

-- Chorus --

Does this mean.... (1)

poteet (443481) | more than 13 years ago | (#282883)

that the MPAA will now also start sending lists of people who go to the XINE website of linuxvideo.org? I know xine doesn't actually post the plugins neede to play DVDs but they could still say "What other reason would you go there?"

Re:Does this mean.... (1)

poteet (443481) | more than 13 years ago | (#282884)

oops...meant to say AND linuxvideo.org. Sorry.

Re:Tilting at Windmills (1)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 13 years ago | (#282886)

Actually, I don't. I spend my money on Anime.
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