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MP3.com Sued for 'viral' Copyright Infringement?

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the what-exactly-is-this-now dept.

Music 386

Are We Afraid writes "Apparently the RIAA isn't the only one looking to make money off of MP3.com. They have just been sued by a group of independent artists for, get this, "viral copyright infringement". What does that even mean???" They claim that people who downloaded MP3s from mp3.com contributed them to napster, so MP3.com owes them. It's really bizarre.

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Slashcode is rubbish (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2204569)

No properly written piece of code would allow me to get first post like this. Taco: hang your head in shame.

Re:Slashcode is rubbish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205261)

Obviously this bug [sourceforge.net] will never be fixed.

The collective apathy level of the slashcode programmers is simply incredible. Last time I ever bother to help you guys out.

Re:Slashcode is rubbish (-1)

ubertroll (153053) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205265)

Well, we all know where Taco hangs his head.

Good luck to them. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2204586)

These hard-working artists deserve to win their case. Piracy organisations and MP3 creators should be sued to bankruptcy. Well done to their legal team for taking this important issue on.

Re:Good luck to them. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205343)

I know this is flame bait, but you do realize that the "artist" had to allow mp3.com to post their music. So the MP3 creators in this instance are usually the artist themselves.

Re:Good luck to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205368)

Get a clue what you're talking about, dumbass. This is all about the my.mp3.com crap.

pirating a sinking ship (1, Flamebait)

Proud Geek (260376) | more than 13 years ago | (#2204793)

mp3.com is going down fast. I'd try to get money out of them too, if I could. I wish the artists the best of luck. The only thing I hope for is an out of court settlement so we don't get a legal precedent on this sort of stupidity.

Re:pirating a sinking ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205302)


Everybody had better finish up their music collections pretty quickly. Piracy isn't going to go away, buy the Days of Easy Free Music are coming to an end.

The times are changing yet again...

Re:pirating a sinking ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205337)

Sorry fool - MP3.com was bought out by Universal in May. They's not going anywhere, they're being absorbed into a multinational conglomerate. Next time try to stay atop current affairs before posting, and good freakin luck to the dumbasses who are now suing Vivendi Universal and not MP3.com. MP3.com = small market cap, small bank. Universal = huge market cap, huge bank, lots of really badass lawyers, and lots of political clout. I wouldn't be surprised if Universal gets this thrown out before it even comes to any sort of trial.

anonymous coward

Re:pirating a sinking ship (3, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205402)

Bzzzt. Wrong! If your wish comes true, these hapless artists will set a precedent for the legal validity of "viral criminal activity" claims.

How will you feel when the lawyers come after you, simply because you committed a lawful act that allowed someone else to commit a lawful act that in turn allowed someone else to commit an unlawful act?

You better hope that cowering under the covers in your bedroom doesn't enable one of your employer's subsidiary's employees to embezzle from the company!

"But the artists were robbed!" you say. "They deserve to get some money back!" Sure thing, pal. It doesn't justify them beating it out of me with a stick, though. Let them sue Napster, or some other actual "criminal". Getting robbed is no excuse for breaking the system. Unless they're anarchists, of course - in which case, they probably shouldn't have been sucking up to MP3.com in the first place. Posers.

Re:pirating a sinking ship (2, Insightful)

jareth780 (176411) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205438)

What they should do is sue the record companies. The record companies sold the cds to the people, who then ripped the cds, and put the resulting mp3s on napster. After they sue the record companies, they should sue that Fraunhofer guy. Ooh! And they should sue God for allowing all this insanity to occur.

Re:pirating a sinking ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205469)

Haha, you're so funny.

DUMBASS!

slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205255)

It's really bizarre.

What I find really bizarre is that slashdot was down most of the day yesterday without any explanation. Anyone care to give one???

Re:slashdot? (-1)

ubertroll (153053) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205275)

What more explanation than this [slashdot.org] do you need, dumbass?

What explanation do you need at all for a crappy piece of shit like this going down?

Re:slashdot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205279)

Mentioned in an article earlier. Database failure. As to the nature, no idea. Plus, it appears there is a problem with the database as the posts no longer start at #1. No first post anymore!

Re:slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205326)

If you would have been paying attention to the stories you would hvae known that Taco's new Athlon laptop that is running banjo became artificially intelligent after running a demo of the Israeli HAL, and it was so depressed with his crappy MAME Cabinet that it exploited SSH and shut down the database.

Re:slashdot? (-1)

ubertroll (153053) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205354)

If you would have been going to school regularly, you'd know at least a hue of grammar.

I love the idea (-1)

ubertroll (153053) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205258)

oo oo oooo oooooo oooooo
oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
oo oo oo oo oo
ooooo oo oooooo oooooo
oo oo oo oo oo
oo oo oo oo oo oo oo
oo oo oooo oooooo oooooo

oo oo oo oo
ooo ooo oo oo
oooo oooo oo oo
oo ooo oo oooo
oo oo oo
oo oo oo
oo oo oo

oooo oooooo oooooo
oo oo oo oo oo oo
oo oo oo oo
oooooooo oooooo oooooo
oo oo oo oo
oo oo oo oo oo oo
oo oo oooooo oooooo

independent artists? (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205259)

Nobody listens to them any way.

Re:independent artists? (1)

kolevam (452046) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205460)

``We have clients -- 750 of them. We have a need to be responsible, to give them a fair shot of being compensated for infringement. That's the reason we decided to go forward,'' he said. Sounds like their "shot at stardom" missed, and so they're shooting for something else. There is a lot of crap on mp3DOTcom, IMHO. But some good stuff too! (Here's a new-fangled newDOTnet address for ya! "kmb.mp3")

MP3.COM (2, Funny)

methangel (191461) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205267)

This is what I like to call "kicking your fellow man" ... why are they not going after Napster which is where the MP3s are being shown? It is not MP3.COM's fault that the end-user shared (sometimes inadvertantly) the MP3 with Napster. I am sick of the RIAA, sick of MP3.com and most of all, I am sick of Napster. Why can't we all just get along?

Re:MP3.COM (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205349)

Better yet, why not go after the individual users? It's not Napster's fault that users are using their service for evil, instead of for good.

And even better yet (and what I expect to actually happen), go after MP3.com, AND Napster, AND the individual users. Afterall "We have a need to be ir^H^Hresponsible".

what did they expect. (4, Funny)

room101 (236520) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205270)

Anyone with half a brain should comprehend that if you release you music on one site, you can expect it to be posted to some other site.

I guess they should have used SDMI or something, oh wait, that wouldn't work either.

Re:what did they expect. (3, Informative)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205339)

Anyone with half a brain should comprehend that if you release you music on one site, you can expect it to be posted to some other site.

I think this relates to the feature that got Mp3.com in trouble, where they ripped songs themselves and provided access to the files to users who possessed a CD. As far as I'm concerned, that's fair use, but if you were wondering why the labels cared when supposedly CD's still had to bought, this is why.

Out of curiosity, is there any way to distinguish the Mp3.com-made files from user-ripped ones? Or is the suit just proceeding on the assumption illegal trading must have happened?

DCMA strikes again? (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205386)

so, does this make any mp3 generating software liable for "viral" infringment? abcde [lly.org] is about as viras as Madona's pap smear. how about more comercial offerings? how about my trusty tape recorder?

taco... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205271)

dont be gay

Won't Hold up! (5, Interesting)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205272)

If people cannot sue gun companies for what people do with guns, then I sincerely believe this lawsuit will be fighting an uphill battle trying to sue mp3.com for what other people did with their downloaded files.

Re:Won't Hold up! (1)

psychalgia (457201) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205341)

well, what gun companies are selling is not illegal. MP3.com was illegally distributing songs that spiraled into OTHERS illegaly distributing songs. At the least they are an accesory to a crime.

Re:Won't Hold up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205393)

Uh, have you /been/ do mp3.com? Artists sign up & put their own stuff online.

Re:Won't Hold up! (2)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205421)

I think he (and this suit) are referring to the My.MP3 fiasco of a couple of years ago, where MP3.com put a large number of songs up that hadn't been submitted by the artists -- songs by signed artists such as Metallica, Madonna, etc.

In general, I've found that the independent musicians who put their songs on MP3.com don't have their songs Napstered (at least, back when Napster did that sort of thing); those who do are usually making so much money (thousands per month) from MP3.com that they don't really care.

Re:Won't Hold up! (2)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205446)

Actually if you read the article the suit concerns songs in the locker program they did last year. But interestingly enough, that lawsuit was ended up being settled out of court, so there really isn't an official president saying that what mp3.com did was illigal.

Why stop there, more money to be had (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205358)

Why not sue the music stores, the CD printers and creators, the record companies themselves, the artists, the makers of ANY MP3 writing or reading software (hardware too), the makers of ANY devices that use these tools, the distributers of any of the formentioned tools, the ISP's, the data wire manufacturers (phone wires), the makers of any of the MPEG standards or anyone who uses or distributes them or tools, etc...

Hey, while the Tobacco litigations involved sheep that had no will power and wanted others to pay for their mistakes (often even when they were told or could have read that it was bad for them), I think that end users that had any accounts banned or otherwise suffered any physical or emotional trauma from using MP3's should jump on this bandwagon too! Yeeeeeehaaaaa! Make money the new way... steal it legally!

Re:Won't Hold up! (2)

srvivn21 (410280) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205431)

OTOH, car makers are taken to court [cnn.com] quite often if their vehicles have defects that contribute to the loose of life or property. Perhaps that is the angle being taken here. In other words, since mp3.com allowed the download of unrestricted MP3s (not that there is any other kind), mp3.com is liable for that music ending up on Napster, et. al.

I don't agree with it, but I think that it is certainly possible.

Re:Look at this viral ass ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205273)

Won't they ever stop ?

This is really disgusting.

Add the RIAA to that lawsuit as well (1)

eclecticIO (195600) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205291)

Following that logic, shouldn't they be able to also sue the recording industry for releasing their songs on media that allowed, in effect, the same thing (i.e. redistribution via Napster)?

Re:Add the RIAA to that lawsuit as well (2)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205443)

Following that logic, shouldn't they be able to also sue the recording industry for releasing their songs on media that allowed, in effect, the same thing (i.e. redistribution via Napster)?

Or maybe the artists should sue themselves for choosing to have their music released on such a format. Or, for even creating the music in the first place!

This "viral" concept is limitless, and I'm sure will be laughed out of court. Then again, with the way tech-related legal cases have gone lately...

Stupid Analogy Warning (3, Insightful)

The Spie (206914) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205293)

This is like laws that permit gun shops to be sued for selling weapons later used in crimes. Silly. Damn silly. Thank you, DMCA. You've opened up the Bottle of Stupidity and let the genie loose. It's now becoming quite apparent that the only way around this is to scrap every copyright law and develop a new set for today's methods of content distribution.

evolution will take care of it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205296)

I listen exclusively to mp3.com/Free(dom) music because I can download a copy of the mp3s for my personal use. Screw napster, RIAA & now screw any artist that is bitching about this "infringement" - no artist is good enough to dictate use of bits residing on my drive. If they don't want me to listen to their stuff, I won't. They'll eventually go under & be replaced by the infinite number of musicians which are just as good, ready to take their place, and in it because they love music and are jazzed when someone listens to their stuff, not cuz they want to make a buck.

fuck em.

In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205350)

...allow me to blatantly plug my own free music [siobhan.ca]

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205374)

celtic punk... cool.

It's a stupid concept... (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205297)

but it applies equally to the RIAA and non-electronic music distributions. I purchase Britney Spears latest and greatest from Sam Goody's. I rip it onto MP3 and distribute it via LimeWire. Sam Goody's is equally guilty of viral copyright infringement. If you accept this argument (which I don't), you can also trace it back to the RIAA or even through some convuluted logic, the artists themselves.

So, I suppose the next step is for the independent artists to sue themselves for creating music which can be pirated.

I WANT People to Do This (2, Interesting)

Leif_Bloomquist (311286) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205298)

I'm an independent musician [mp3.com] on mp3.com, and I want people to download my music and spread it on Napster (well I did, until Napster started to suck. OK, WinMx [winmx.com] then.) It's all about exposure. Nobody will hear my music on the radio, mp3.com and Napster et al are my best venues to advertise.

MP3.com made compressed copies of about 900,000 songs, which it placed on its computer servers -- without obtaining the rights to do so.

I wish they gave more details, this makes no sense. mp3.com makes you click-sign an agreement saying that this is all OK.

What a shame (5, Insightful)

rkent (73434) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205304)

It's really unfortunate that MP3.com was chosen to be the whipping boy for all of the RIAA (and other artist)'s frustrations. They had the one online music service I actually LIKED and would have been willing to - gasp! - pay for, if only they'd let it go.


Back in the glory days, I made a purchase at cheap-cds.com, and the CDs I bought were AUTOMATICALLY made available on my mp3.com account! Unfortunately, I only listened to them about 3 times each at work before mp3.com locked everything up in response to the Universal complaint.


Think about it: mp3.com was everything Napster claimed to be. "I have the right to space shift! I have the right to backup!" Well, mp3.com actually allowed for just those things, with (and admittedly cursory) verification that you actually owned the CD you were listening to. All arranged in neat lists, with high-quality mp3s and decent bandwidth. If, for example, cdnow had the option to charge an extra 50 cents or buck per CD to enable functionality like that, I'd do it in a heartbeat.


A much bigger concern with mp3.com, it seems, and one that's widely ignored, is the way they screw over their own independent artists. They take a big share and charge huge fees for services like "payback for playback," and you have to sign away all kinds of rights to put your stuff up there. But all this about "contributory infringement" (I can only assume that's what they meant by "viral"?) is hogwash. Bring back my online music locker!

MP3.com isn't so bad for artists... (3, Interesting)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205459)

...especially when you compare the percentage of money and rights they give to their artists to what the RIAA typically gives its artists.

And for a lot of us, it's a great way to supplement our income from gigs and real album sales.

The $19.95 "Premium Artist" service done right is actually ludicrously easy to break even with. I have yet to have a month where I even came close to going negative, and my only form of advertising is a link at the bottom of my slashdot sig!

Also, just because you put songs up on MP3.com doesn't mean you have to put ALL of them up there. In fact, not doing so is a great way to draw listeners into buying your CD's and attending your gigs.

So I don't think MP3.com is ripping me or anyone else off. I think the people who complain about such things are the people who tend to complain about everything -- the ultra-paranoid who think EVERYONE is out to rip them off.

Or agents of the RIAA. (hehehe...just kidding) ;)

They'll probably win (2)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205307)

Given how insane the courts have been about decisions like this (100% Napster compliance or else), I'm sure they'll win.

Of course, there'll be no money to win from MP3.com's corpse.

100% compliance is the norm, y'know (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205433)

Think about it.

You must guarantee that, of all the people you encounter in a day, you do not kill, assault, steal from, or kill 100% of them. You must also guarantee that of everything you say, 100% of it is neither slander nor libel, nor someone else's work.

If you are a previous offender of any of these instances, the government assumes that you *can't* assume this by yourself, and you need to convince them that you can to get them off yoru back

this isn't viral. (1)

mickeyreznor (320351) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205308)

How about major label record contracts that pay artists next to nothing for their hard work and then lock them into indentured service for years, with no way of getting out, and in some cases, can cost you a hell of a lot more than just the rights to your music. [sonicnet.com] Now that's viral.

god help us (5, Interesting)

furiousgeorge (30912) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205312)

This should be interesting.....it'll all boil down to who the judge is and who cluefull/less he is.

Lets recap: the service that mp3.com offered required you to prove that you had the CD. They used their special little app that would then be queried by their servers for a number of random pieces from the CD. If all the pieces lined up, then you 'owned' the CD, and they put it in your locker for you. Even Bruce Scheiner (sic? i can't be bothered to look it up) evaluated their protocol and found it cryptographically secure.

So - You can only get access to the mp3's from mp3.com if you already own (or are at least IN POSESSION of) the CD. Therefore you could rip the mp3's for napster yourself. Getting a streamed version from them gave you nothing - except slowing you down.

But with the typical justice system they'll get reamed........ again..........

Re:god help us (2)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205466)

No, i think this is just for the music that the regular MP3.com provides, not the My.mp3.com service. So these are the independant artists suing mp3.com for people downloading their music that they made availble for downod, and then the same music getting shared on napster.

Re:god help us (2)

room101 (236520) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205468)

True, once you have the streaming version in winamp, it is a bit difficult to get an actual mp3 on your hd, unless they allow you to download it, which some of them they don't. (there are ways to get around that, but read on)

So, given that, seems like most of the people that were putting their songs on napster would have been people that either bought the CD and ripped it themselves (mp3.com doesn't even enter into this discussion then), or they borrowed a cd, and ripped it (see #1), or they went to the trouble of trying to download the streaming mp3 (which is a pain in the ass).

Which do you think constitutes the majority here?

but you are correct, they will probably go to jail for the rest of their life.

Who next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205313)

"And on a similar note, Arpanet is being sued for inventing the Internet, and creating an atmosphere where piracy can take place."

Lawyers need to be shot.
Same for these dick head so called 'artists'

Hey MA! Git the Lawyers! (1)

Aerog (324274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205314)

Sweet! So this means the next time that kid, Timmy, that mows my lawn takes the grass clippings to use in his vegetable garden, I can sue him for millions! Never mind the fact that he has no money, I'm going to be a millionaire! I can hardly wait for the next boy-scout bottle drive!

Now just hope that they win their case and set a precident before someone wakes up and realizes that this is another of the stupidest cases in legal history!!

god i hate musicians (1)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205316)

and i'm one of them! bunch of greedy bastards. if there's any industry that would benefit from the total collapse of its infrastructure, it's the music industry. fuck 'em, i swear, all you people out there -- don't feel bad about ripping them off, they're pricks anyway. my band plays 8 times a month, and 90% of the bands are dickwads.

Copyright... bleh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205319)

I'm so sick of hearing that word. Information WILL be free, obviously.

Is it for real ? (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205320)

What is most amazing is that a judge accepted this case.

Oh, come on ... So I own a gun shop, and I get sued couse someone who bought a gun from me kills someone else ? This is really ridicule.

Okey, if they are suing mp3.com on basis that they made copies and put them on its other servers (a stupid complain, in any case), then I can imagine a judge accepting it. But, lemme see if I got this right: they are being sued couse their users posted the musics on Napster ?

But wait, I can see the scenary. Netscape allow users to download its navigator (but not to redistribute it). So, if a use redistribute it, Netscape can sue Netscape for viral copyright infrigement ? ...

I'm getting dizzy... Or is it simply that our judges are getting more stupid by the second ?

Re:Is it for real ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205382)

But wait! think of the gun shop analogy. I buy a gun, possibly of a really new design (Imagine Glock 30, if you will...), and I shoot somebody with it, not killing them. I'd go to jail and get sued, they'd sue the store who sold me the gun, the Wal-Mart I bought the bullets at, the company Wal-Mart bought the bullets from, the company the gun store bought the gun from, and so on until they sue the companies that manufacture the bullets and the guns, and possibly even the guy who invented the design of the new gun, possibly the decendents of the guy who invented the gun and the guy who invented bullets, who turn out to be the people who I shot. Heh.

Wake up, independent artists! (2)

mcarbone (78119) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205321)

It's sad to read that this lawsuit is being filed by a representation of over 50 independent artists and labels. Why aren't they fighting the real battle? mp3.com, while not perfect, has paved the path for independent artists to find success on the internet without signing with a large, corrupt record label.

If these artists found their work being passed around Napster, they should be happy, not angry. I bet more people have now heard their names and maybe even some bought an album or went to a live show. If not, well they're probably not very good.

Re:Wake up, independent artists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205407)

Your distaste for megacorporations does not equate to "corrupt"ion in the real world. The way for an artist to make a lot of money is to sign with a record label. It's an unfortunate side-effect that most artists are simply overlooked or too untalented to get recording contracts.

All your other points were right on, though.

It's a little ridiculous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205324)

The independent musicians released their works to MP3.com in order to increase their own visibility. This is completely different from the RIAA's position of not wanting the music distributed outside their control. The indy artists wanted this external distribution!

Seems like lawyers are looking for a quick settlement. It's cases like this where lawyers drag a net through the mud to drum up business that gives all lawyers a bad name.

HEH (1)

Calle Ballz (238584) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205325)

After suing mp3.com, it is their patriotic obligation to sue the CD manufacturers for producing the music in a format that was translatable into mp3 format. After that, they must sue themselves as artists, for producing the audio itself that was to be recorded, put in cd format to then be put in mp3 format.

Using their logic, of course.

i don't get this (1)

banka (464527) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205331)

i don't understand, wasn't mp3 a huge venue made FOR independent artists, that is, independent artists put their own music up so they could gain exposure?? how can they be sueing mp3.com when they're the ones who've put their own music up??

No, no, no. (1)

MasterOfDisaster (248401) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205332)

You shouldnt beable to sue for what someone MAY have done with a product that they got. You can't do it with guns, and you shouldnt beable to do it with MP3's. My guess would be that the vast majority of the people who got the MP3's just downloaded them to their MP3 folder, along with their napster downloads...not knowing that they were being shared. A good deal of these people were probly also on 56k's or less. Meaning that the MP3 didn't go much further then them. In any case, sueing someone for something they [make/sell/give away/etc] because it can be used in a way that is in someone's mind vaguely criminal.
What the hell ever happened to fair-use?

Proof? (2)

krmt (91422) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205333)

How can they truly demonstrate the MP3.com is responsible for putting these songs up on Napster? Granted, if they did create this "bootleg library" then they're liable for the infringement there, but how can the songs there be linked to the ones that are proliferating "virally"?

I get the feeling that this one will have MP3.com paying a hefty fine over the library they created, but hopefully they can fight off this viral thing, which is pretty absurd. Even if they distributed the songs to people illegally, they didn't force anyone to throw them on Napster, if those versions on Napster even came from them in the first place.

And you know where the songs came from how??? (1)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205340)

Ok, maybe I'm missing something here, but how in the world are you supposed to know that a song was taken from MP3.com, vs. say Joe Blow sitting at home ripping cd's.


Are they trying to say that if MP3.com ever had a song, all copies of that song on napster are their fault? That's so stupid it's laughable.


I know they're a big company, and you could probably get more money out of them individuals, but I have no idea how they think they're going to prove that the songs were taken from MP3.com vs. any one of the hundreds of thousands of other possibilties.

A fond adieu to personal responsibility. (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205344)

I'm really not surprised that this is happening, and noone else should be, either. It's just the logical extension of the same sort of attitude that results in lawsuits against tobacco companies for the illnesses suffered by chronic smokers, or attempts to sue gun manufacturers for crimes committed with their products.

From now on, if you do something that leads to someone else doing something wrong, you can probably expect to be sued.

Shoot the lawyers. More skin on HBO. LH Puttgrass signing off and heading for the tub.

Quickly ... (1)

trexl (16434) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205345)

join my class action law suit to sue chevy. They guy that robbed that bank a few days ago drove one and I'm sure that entitles me to more money than the thief can give back.

Seriously. I hope this gets laughed out of court, if not by the judge, the jury come verdict/damage assessment time.

Out of Control (5, Interesting)

M_Talon (135587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205346)

While we're at it, why doesn't somebody sue MCI Worldcom, Sprint, and any other backbone provider for upkeeping the Internet which allows file sharing to occur in the first place?

This kind of litigation is ridiculous. It's merely an attempt to bleed more money out a dying company, and any judge with half a brain would realize the absolute dangerous precedence this would set. Anyone who merely touches a certain technology could be sued if the tech was used for copyright infraction. "Oh, those CDR manufacturers should be sued, since they're making discs that carry pirated material. They're accessories to infringement."

Once again, I say puuhleeeze. This whole attack on "piracy" is doing nothing but making the recording industry look bad. It pushes people to find better ways to circumvent the process and causes others to completely boycott legitimate music purchases all together.

Industry, find someway to make the customer happy without ramming lawsuits and unethical CD mods down our throats. Customers, support reasonable attempts at legitimate digital music, but let your voice be heard when abuse of the law and standards occurs. Until then, a lot of good people will lose out.

Re:Out of Control (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205430)

While we're at it, why doesn't somebody sue MCI Worldcom, Sprint, and any other backbone provider for upkeeping the Internet which allows file sharing to occur in the first place?

I know you're saying this flippantly, but back in the day when the Web was still in its infancy, all these backbone providers saw this kind of thing coming and took measures to shield themselves from lawsuits. It's the "cowboys" out there like MP3.com and Napster (to name the most prominent 2) who didn't take legal precautions and now find themselves on the receiving end of the judicial system.

make something, get sued. (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205347)

If cities can sue handgun makers for the costs associated with innercity crime, I suppose this is a valid suit. I'm still waiting for them to sue kitchen knife makers, then charity hospitals for makeing bad people. It's obvious that those people have no other use than murder and mayhem and the cost to us is astounding. Give me all your money. Barf.

If I ever meet these people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205352)

...I'm gonna kick the crap out of them. Sheer stupidity.

Let's sue other people too... (1)

DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205353)

C'mon everybody, let's get sue happy. Let's sue the people who created the MP3 rippers so you can rip MP3's from CD's or WAV files that you bought. Hell let's just go ahead and sue Tower Records for selling these CD's that we were able to rip. Naw fsck it, let's just sue the Record labels that created these CD's to sell to Tower to sell to us that we ripped and put on Napster.

(then the circle will be complete)

seriously (1)

biltmore (211368) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205357)

This is all getting out of hand. Don't all these 'noname' independant musicians realize that this is free publicity for them. People find one or two songs from a 'noname' and like them.. then they go and buy the CD. Next thing these music producers and publishers are going to sue their own mothers for singing them to sleep when they were young kids, because their mom didn't get permission from the artist. I think it's time to start a new name for mp3s and make people just go back to using IRC. I liked the Internet about 3 years ago.. No ads, and no one paid attention to the fact that we were all stealing music.

Obviously (2)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205361)

It's because they released some mp3's under the GPL.

How long before the media is sued now?!?! (2)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205363)


I know! Lets all sue the media for viral dissemination of sites know to distrubute MP3's of artists music. Since it is quite obivous that if the media had not spent so much time publicizing mp3.com and napster, then less people would hear about it less "damages" of course would have been done :) .... 3-4 years before we are this level? what do you think???

Who else ? (1)

snowtigger (204757) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205365)

Napster never would have gotten so many users and so much publicity if it had not been created to allow the free distribution of copyrighted material.

I know some people argue that "free" music was also exchanged, but this has no or little sense as it could just as well be distributed on a website.

Many websites probably have contributed to mp3's distibuted on the internet. In case this goes through, it would be interesting to see who else goes down the drain.

However, given the difficulty of catching Napster as they pushed the trial further and further away, I would be very surprised if this one got a happier ending ...

They should sue themselves. (1)

microbob (29155) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205370)

They should sue themselves for making the freaking music. Jeez, don't they know if it can be played it can be recorded.

Viral copyright infringement (2, Funny)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205377)

I'm a copyright infringment virus. Run me and I'll send copies of all your MP3's to everyone in your address book.

Another lawsuit the RIAA is filing (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205378)

Because mp3's are often "ripped" (crazy hacker lingo for copyright infringement) from CD's made by the corporations represented by the RIAA. The RIAA has decided to sue the RIAA for not protecting their albums, and letting Joe Schmoe distribute them on "internet" "hacker" "sites" like "Napster". Really, these guys have got to be joking.

Artists own worst enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205379)

As many people tend to assume the RIAA is an evil conspiracy (to be fair, that isn't far off the mark) they overlook the fact that artists are responsible for many of the problems facing the industry. When copyright laws were being extended, there was a large contingent of artists who testified before Congress. Meanwhile, there has never been a similar contingent of artists protesting the DMCA.



I've found this odd, since the most popular artists generally do care about their customers. I've read accounts of artists raising hell when a concert was late (Britney Spears can be a foul-mouthed little demon, apparently) and there are plenty of examples of artists who are dedicated to the quality of their work.



Courtney Love (from Hole, also Kurt Kobain's wife) wrote a rather juvenile (in tone, the reasoning was relatively sound) piece on Napster. It had the distinction of being the only one I had found by an artist, and I had read dozens of articles on the subject. I understand that many people would prefer to just do their job and stay out of politics, but for people in the top of their field the economics are different. I suspect the reason for the silence is that many artists don't have a firm grasp of the consequences of inaction.

My theory (2)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205384)

This is my theory. It is mine, and it goes like this: the brontosaurus is small at the front...

It sucks that entites like the RIAA and now this class-action lunacy always go after the so-called "enablers". The fact is that the law-suits themselves would not be lucrative if they went after actual bone-fide music pirates (god I hate that word). The fscked up part is that when they stop one "enabler" a dozen others pop up in place.

The only way to stop this madness is for the record companies to make a harsh example of anyone they catch pirating music. This would (at least partially) dissuade music pirates from continuing to trade files. I think the reason we don't see this kind of action is that it is not lucrative for the lawyers involved. In order to make a law suit viable, they must: a) target a single entity instead of an unidentifiable group, and b) that target must have lots of money to fork over in a settlement.

Viral what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205387)

www.copyright.net (who filed the actual suit) is running IIS 4. Heh heh heh.

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.co py right.net

Instead of Whining on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205388)

Why not actually do something. There are enough people on here to organize a decent movement of some sort. Boycott, write letters, start websites hell send an mp3 to everyone you know, whatever. Just do something. The longer we sit back and just bitch the closer we come to being complete corporate tools.
I myself plan on writing senators and congressman/woman whatever, in my state. It's a small step but its something. I also don't plan on purchasing music in general until this shit is solved. I'll make do with what I have. If everyone else did this and wrote to the RIAA saying why they refuse to purchase the shit they keep trying to feed us, they might finally realize that it's not Napster and its not mp3's its 2 things 1) Most music on major labels today is horrible and 2) that bad business practices will screw you in the long run. We are the consumer , we pay them, we vote for the people passing these idiotic laws and it's about time we reminded them that we call the shots not them

AC because I can't remember my log on etc.. at the moment.

Um... (1)

sc0rp!0n (459404) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205392)

Shouldn't they just be suing Roxio et al. for "allowing" you to (rip CDs and then) distribute copyrighted material on napster? Maybe they should sue ISPs for giving you access to napster in the first place; ISPs are a convenient scapegoat too.

As an indy artist, the p4p thing was going pretty well until they lost the first suit, then it was all down the hopper. Ampcast rocks.

Sue the recording industry! (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205395)

Some people took compact discs and converted them to MP3's, then posted them to the internet. Therefore, the recording companies owe the artists for every MP3 posted on the internet!

Bad trend. (5, Interesting)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205397)

I really don't like this trend of everyone and their dog suing MP3.com. I, and many of my friends, depend on MP3.com as a means of distribution for our music. I've also found it a wonderful place to find new music. I don't even go into record stores any more, simply because I appreciate being able to listen to the music I want to buy before I buy it. Even if people just click and download songs to try them out, we get paid.

I'm not going to be rich because of it, but for at least one friend of mine's band (The Brobdingnagian Bards: http://mp3.com/thebards), it's a really good step on the way to being able to make music for a living.

For all its flaws, it's a great service both to music fans and to musicians. I hope that a few bad apples won't ruin it for the rest of us.

hmm.. interesting concept. (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205398)

So if you can sue someone for selling mp3s... which i believe that they got licenses to do so... because they contributed to file sharing (Duh)... makes it very roundabout.

Converting from cd to mp3 is legal. Aparently sharing is not legal.. but selling them is.. but then again selling them and then distributing makes the people that converted it and sold it legally be at fault. And therefore sueing them will solve the problem?...


I still like how the RIAA can't just come out and start to sue the american public for distributing music. Better yet, criminally charge 1/2 the population of america and make them serve 5 years in jail each.. that way we can get out of this recession by slave labor in the jails to compete with oversea markets.


Another funny thing?.. who the hell is the riaa to sue anyone anyways?.. what jurisdiction does an organization have to say that they represent a majority of the music industry?.. why not have sony and metallica single handedly sue all mp3 dealing junkies on the net.

Without obtaining rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205399)

The argument goes like this: MP3.com made compressed copies of about 900,000 songs, which it placed on its computer servers -- without obtaining the rights to do so.
Whaaaat?
Don't artists upload files to the service themselves?

Or are they trying to kick MP3.com in the groin for the same thing the RIAA already did? IANALOAA(or an American) but don't you have laws against being tried for the same "crime" twice?

...but britney makes millions a year! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2205408)

this is just a bunch of no-name artists bitter about how much a successful artist with a real contract makes. luckily in the u.s there's always a way to come into some large amount of money without really working for it or deserving it! napster, mp3.com and the like have probably exposed their music to more people than they could have ever dreamed off, yet more is somehow owed to them?! i'm for mp3.com on this one... 'spend your money quick before everyone rapes you for it!'.

What kind of judicial system is this... (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205412)

that allow such a stupid law suit to be filed ?

In more civilized countries any judge would laugh at an atempt to suit a 4th party for copyright infringiment.

Some ppl pointed in other comments about ppl suing weapons manufacturers or kitchen knife maker, etc. because their products were used in crimes... for god's sake, anyone can commit a crime with BARE HANDS... who the victim will sue in this case ? G_d ? Or a random religious institution as "G_d's representans on Earth".

Please, ppl. before posting comments on how these kind of suits are outrageous, press your congressmen to reform US's judicial system. The amount of stupid suits like this in US is ridiculous.

We should be grateful (5, Insightful)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205414)

They claim that people who downloaded MP3s from mp3.com contributed them to napster, so MP3.com owes them.

At least they aren't suing:

* Intel/AMD for providing chips that enable computers to function. Thus making Internet piracy possible.
* U Illinois for creating a means of accessing web sites where said info can be traded (watch out Berners-Lee!)
* The US government for funding the creation of the internet, which has enabled piracy to run rampant.
* My parents. For obviously not teaching me right from wrong.

I'm so sick of law suits I can't even tell if I was kidding....

Add Honda to the "viral infringment" list (4, Funny)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205419)

Why? Because I was playing some MP3's that I downloaded from Napster in my car with the windows rolled down as I was driving down the street = unauthorized public performance. Honda should be ashamed. of themselves for robbing hard working artists this way.

RIAA will soon insist that car manufactures locked windows in the upright positions when music is being played unless it comes from a royalty-paying souce.

On a side note...this is why you NEVER EVER settle a case out of court. MP3.Com settled and has been taking up the ass ever since (insert obligatory goatse reference). The newest game in the music industry is to flaggelate the expired equinine. Napster is still fighting. And really, if they do lose, could they possibly any worse off than MP3.Com?

- JoeShmoe

Follow the (lack of) money (3, Insightful)

bsdbigot (186157) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205423)

Everyone knows that MP3.com is tanking. Ask yourself this: what's the value of a company that has little or no market capitalization?

You want the answer? Neil Stephenson knows. The only thing to be gained from such a lawsuit is a majority share (read: control) of the company. MP3.com screwed up, and now a consortium of independent artists are going to step up and try to do it better. This makes perfect sense. The RIAA is going to end up owning Napster, so the Indies need a way into the market, too.

This is still absurd (3, Informative)

Tim Macinta (1052) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205426)

The argument goes like this: MP3.com made compressed copies of about 900,000 songs, which it placed on its computer servers -- without obtaining the rights to do so.

MP3.com purchased all of the CDs containing those 900,000 songs. Why shouldn't they have right to compress them and put then in a database (that is what they were sued for in the inital lawsuit, not distributing the music afterwards)? That seems like fair use to me (but not judge Rakoff, I guess). Once you pay for the music, why shouldn't you be able to shift it to another format so that you can use it more easily? Forget for a second about what they wanted to use it for - they got in trouble for the shifting, not for the intended use. The previous ruling would indicate that the shifting would have gotten them in trouble regardless of the intended use.

That created a vast bootleg library, from which MP3.com subscribers could download songs.

What they fail to mention is that users were only allowed to download songs on CDs that they owned. You had to run MP3.com's "beam-it" software on your PC and insert each CD that you wanted to be able to use with their service before you could download any music from that CD. Nothing here was "bootlegged".

The judge in the previous case ruled that the service was not legal, but I still think it should be. Everybody involved had paid for a copy of the music that they came in contact with and my.mp3.com only served to increase the value of owning a CD (I used it all the time because I could listen to my 150+ CDs from anywhere and it encouraged me to buy more CDs).

I Want a List... (1)

joel8x (324102) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205435)

...of all of the artists that are involved. I can't accept that people are that stupid. I want to meet with these so called artists and dissect their brains to find the moron lobe! How can an independant artist try to kill the closest thing they will ever have to major worldwide distribution without the stranglehold of a major label? These people should be singled out and made an example of. I am so enraged by this and I can't fathom anyone viewing this case as legitimate. Can we sue Apple for putting CD/RWs in their iBooks that can be used to make cd's of the music that came in the iTunes audio sampler?

Sue the CD publishers? (1)

fod (266895) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205442)

Rightie, and when will they start to sue the major labels?

After all, it was them who gave me my CD, so that I could MP3 encode it and send it to my friends.

NEWS FLASH (1)

NathanL (248026) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205444)

HOLLYWEIRD, CA - A group of 52 independent songwriters and music publishers have filed suit against the ebola infected population of Africa. Raymond "Air Biscuit" Montle, a New York attorney representing the independent artists, said in an interview, "We've all seen the National Geographic coverage of native African tribes on TV. We know that ritual dancing and music is part of their heritage. At least some of those ritual songs contain words that could be translated into words for some of our copyrighted songs. The fact is that a person singing the song that also has ebloa could infect another person with ebola while uttering our copyrighted phrases. This person could then sing the same song and....oh, its all to hard to understand. Copyright infringement is wrong, not matter if the people doing it are sick and living in a third world country!"


No one in Africa could be reached for comment.

rubbish (1)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205450)


The argument goes like this: MP3.com made compressed copies of about 900,000 songs, which it placed on its computer servers -- without obtaining the rights to do so.

Man... this is this total rubbish. It's probably been mentioned, but I don't know they can tell where individual files came from without fingerprinting. If you can't tell who created the individual files without a doubt, there should be no case. In this case, it seems all theya are saying that MP3 encoded so many files that SOME of them must be made by MP3. That's like suing Kinkos and saying "there are so many pirated novels out there, SOME of them must be your fault."

Another thing, doesn't this show ignorance of the situation. MP3.com never put downloadable copies of work in their service, just streamable copies. For this claim to be true, someone would have to record the stream with some outside software. If that's the case, who is the *Real* culprit?

This case seems like a shot in the dark, but it just might work. When it comes to tech these days, I think judges have become irrational. The courts have proven that huge companies can put stars in the judges eyes and make them follow blindly. Judges aren't listening to outside experts, professors (legal and otherwise), or consumer advocates, they are only listening to big corps.

In a rational world, this wouldn't even go to trial, but if they go and succeed, we'll know this: the corporations have the ability to interpret the law in any way they care to. That's sad...

So whats new.... (1)

forsaken33 (468293) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205455)

Haven't we learned to expect this? Aside from the fact thay theyre beating a dead horse..... A new lawsuit filed against MP3.com seeks to hold the San Diego music-locker service liable not only for songs it improperly copied and distributed, but also for every bootleg track exchanged through Napster and other underground file-swapping services. Okay, heres what this is saying. The recording industry doesnt care about finding the root of the problem or who really put these mp3s out there, as long as we can get some money and make someone look like the bad guy.



Here's another good one. Dunno if this writer is as stupid as the stuff he writes... . It contends that MP3.com's technology set the stage for widespread music piracy, enabling bootlegged songs to pass from computer to computer faster than you can say ``Oops, I Did It Again.'' Okay, if im not mistaken, file sharing was around before the my mp3 thing? I was already using napster by then......so is this the record companies speaking or the writer? Like i said just placing blame...


So from this story we can gather that all the record companies want is either to A)to place blame B)to take any competition down, and to force independant artists to sign with them or C)make money ........... oh wait.....is it D)all of the above?

mp3.com did little to contribute to napster (2)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 13 years ago | (#2205467)

They actually tried very hard to prevent such copieds. It actually seemed like a resonable system at the time.

1. The make you put the cd in your computer before you could listen to the songs
2. You could only 'stream' the music files once they were on your list.

granted, someone did come out with software to capture the streams, but then those files would have to be renamed and tagged. In reality, it's the cd rippers that that contibuted to napster files.

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