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RIAA Now Targeting Retailers

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the washrooms-breeding-bolsheviks dept.

United States 490

merodach writes "According to this story on the RIAA is now targeting retailers in it's 'war on piracy.' I think everyone will agree this is something that should be done if the retailer is deliberately pirating. The thing I wonder about in hearing this news is how many of the retailers include used copy stores. With the way the RIAA and some artists *cough*Garth Brooks*cough* have labeled these stores as pirates and theives in the past it seems likely they would be the biggest targets. Have any in the /. crowd actually seen one of the letters sent or know how many of the targeted businesses are used stores? Further - how would the RIAA know how much to demand in 'settlement fees' and is it possible these are being used to shut down the mom-and-pop outfits that trade in used CDs?"

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FIRST POST! (0, Offtopic)

EaTiN cOfFeE bEaNs (513655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912617)

How long is it going to take for the public to finally realize that the RIAA is everything that represents soulless and wrong in music today?

Re:FIRST POST! (5, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912641)

Well, first the public has to know that there *is* an RIAA.

The Slashdot crowd may be familiar with them, but I guarantee that 99% of the music-buying public has never even heard of them. And I'm sure the RIAA likes it that way.

Re:FIRST POST! (2, Insightful)

hhknighter (629353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912700)

Remember Napster? I am sure people know about RIAA


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912723)



SpoonMeiser (316685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912657)

We all know, but I'm not sure that enough of the public (here in England at least) know that when they talk about the evils of the recording industry, that they do actually all get together and decide to be jointly evil, and that there's actually an official organisation that persecutes people to perpetuate it's monopoly.

UHHH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912734)

You're allowed to sell your copies.. if you sell them to a store who re-sells them, whoop-dee-do! It's just like software, if you aren't using it anymore.. no other copies, then you can sell it to someone else to use... this is really stupid!

Re:UHHH (2)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912862)

Except some software you cannot just resell if you are not using it anymore. Most software bought through an educational discount, for example, cannot be resold or resold within a certain number of years. The license of windows that you got with your new computer? Can only be sold with the computer. So if you get a new computer and then put linux on it, you are most likely still stuck with the license.

not even fucking close to (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912618)

first post

CNN tradition of misinformation continues (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912630)

Yep, they couldn't let this article go by without this:
Last week, Secret Service agents in New York arrested three men and seized 35,000 illegally copied music discs, 10,000 movies on DVD and 421 compact disc burners that are used to make the counterfeit products.
Good to see CNN maintaining it's high standards in reporting.

Re:CNN tradition of misinformation continues (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912691)

Now ofcourse the RIAA wouldn't dare be mentioned in this event, since most media is owned by the very companies who formed the RIAA.

Don't forget duplicity! (4, Interesting)

ebyrob (165903) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912746)

Isn't this the same RIAA press release that spawned a recent Reg article [] ?

Re:CNN tradition of misinformation continues (0)

CubicDDD (556754) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912849)

and 421 compact disc burners
Wasn't that the equivalent of 421 cd burners? (read: something like 200 cd-burners)

Watch FOX instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912854)

More balanced, more accurate. A centrist alternative to the left-wing news outlets that dominate American television. Maybe, we hope, they know how to count burners.

up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (4, Funny)

ruebarb (114845) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912631)

I can see it now....

you have bought the new Britney Spears CD...congratulations on your excellent choice and fine musical selection...

LEGALESE: - This CD may not be resold or reproduced in any matter...opening this CD certifies that you agree to this stipulation.


and the legal warning will be on the inside of the CD...bastards..

on the bright side, that should galvanize mainstream support against them...maybe only a small percentage download mp3's, but I'm willing to be a higher proportion of people use used mom and pop shops....if for no other reason then to acquire out of print material...shut those down and America will maybe open their eyes...

of course...they do buy Britney smart can they be...


Re:up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (1)

Craigj0 (10745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912693)

I think it will be more like this: By reading this you of sound mind and body fully agree to relinquish ownership of your soul to the RIAA.

Only fair... (3, Funny)

gilroy (155262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912763)

Blockquoth the poster:

By reading this you of sound mind and body fully agree to relinquish ownership of your soul to the RIAA.

Well, that's only fair. I mean, it's pretty obvious they've lost their own...

My solution (5, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912740)

1)Open a CD Shop.
2)Sell the original with a copy CD with the tracks in mp3/ogg/whatever as a backup/digital medium copy.
3)Shovel millions to lawyers.
4)Counter sue for violating fair use.
5)After losing every court battle give up and bitch about it on slashdot.

Re:My solution (1, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912867)

6) ?
7) Profit!!!

Re:up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (2)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912782)

Ha ha ha...I *just* came back from selling *all* my CDs to Hastings! Once more just under the wire. The myth lives on!

Re:up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912794)

"America" has no eyes to open. It takes whatever it is given. You and I are the exception in a place where majority rules.

Re:up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912803)

you have bought the new Britney Spears CD...congratulations on your excellent choice and fine musical selection...

Fine musial selection ??????

Re:up next - shrink wrap licenses for CD's... (2)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912835)

Such licences would destroy the first sale principle if they were allowed to stand, but I doubt that they would stand up in court. Even without shrinkwrap licences, don't buy CDs, [] especially not of Britney Spears.

How about the rumor... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912635)

How about a rumour about used record stores, in Chicago, being required to ID used record purchasers???

That might be... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912674)

...but at least those of us who live in Chicago are proud to say we live in a city that can at least correctly interpret the constitution with respects to the second amendment. Which, needless to say, is that only the government may keep and bear arms.

Used CD/DVD stores in Chicago (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912643)

I live in Chicago. Recently they've passed legislation that says anyone who operates a used CD or DVD shop has to take personally-identifiable information from each customer when making a purchase. I've heard that such personally-identifiable information could even go up to SSN or photograph at purchase. I heard this from the owner of a used DVD shop.

Anyone have details about this? I can't find anything on google. Who is the "they?" Is this Illinois law, or Chicago or Cook County? Is this even true that I would have to have my photo and SSN taken when I buy a used DVD? Are the RIAA and MPAA behind this? What the hell is going on?

Re:Used CD/DVD stores in Chicago (1)

Izang (569135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912748)

I'd probably flip out if someone asked me for my social in a record store. The ONE time I went to Kroger's in Carbondale, I had a fit and left my groceries in the cart when cashier asked me for my SSN. It seems that the record industry is trying to shut down used dealers if those ID requirements are accurate. I'm just not one to give out that kind of information for a CD. *puts on aluminum foil hat*

Re:Used CD/DVD stores in Chicago (1)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912793)

I would refuse to buy such a thing, and so would millions of others. Such a threat would cripple the music industry.

Re:Used CD/DVD stores in Chicago (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912863)

Umm... you do know requiring a person to give their SSN for anything but tax and social security purposes is a federal crime right?

Selling used CDs is a crime. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912644)

If the seller of such used CDs does not confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that the person who they bought the CD off of did not make any copies of the CD, then the seller is liable and the owners of such businesses need to do some hard time in federal prison.

Prices for used CDs (-1, Offtopic)

cojonesdetoro (567541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912645)

I have a used CD/DVD store near me. The place charges almost the same as new stuff. I went in once and never went back. I find better prices at Walmart. This is in the cnetral jersey area. How is it around the country (USA, that is)?

hmm (4, Insightful)

serps (517783) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912646)

Call me a cynic, but this is a handy opportunity to:

  • Get hard data about the stock levels of second-hand music stores (always useful)
  • Hassle the above music stores with compliance costs, eating into their bottom lines
  • Push for the removal/licensing/regulation of the secondary market in order to 'reduce piracy'.

It's about time! (3, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912660)

Commercial outlets (valid copyright infringers) is where they SHOULD have started with in the beginning!

Back-in-the-day it would torque me to no end buying discount tapes (cassett thank you) in retail stores, only to open them and find they were obvious, cheep bootlegs even before playing them twice before breaking.

Re:It's about time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912732)

While I'm all for busting commercial outlets passing off bootlegs/copies as the real thing, I am truly concerned that the RIAA will go after stores which resell clearly labeled used items. I almost never buy new music, because there are a couple of extremely reputable used music resellers here in California. I save a lot of money and I do not support CD prices which I consider to be way out of hand. Even big-name chains like the WareHouse have taken to buying/reselling used CD's at reduced prices. It seemed to me to be implied by the article that this reselling of used media could be targeted as well as counterfieters. Am I correct in this reading? And will this sort of thing be held up in the courts?

Wait? (5, Interesting)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912675)

Those mom and pop stores are merely selling plastic and aluminium disks...They are not selling/ the rights to play those disks in a CD player.

Now, if I remember correctly, 90% of record companies belong to the RIAA. What about the 10%? what gives the RIAA the right to pretend to represent that last 10%?

Re:Wait? (2)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912731)

Are you implying that it's any different at $MEGACHAINSTORE? If I walk into BestBuy and get some CD, all I own is a plastic and aluminum disc (plus CD art). If it were otherwise, I could legally replace the CDs I damage for a pittance.

WalMart (4, Interesting)

Audacious (611811) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912677)

I went to WalMart the other day and was told by the manager that it was against the DMCA to allow returns or refunds of computer software and/or CDs.

It took a while (and I had to go pretty far up the chain of command) to assure them that Congress never wrote "All businesses have to give refunds/returns except WalMart" in the DMCA.

Something to be on the look-out for. :-/

Re:WalMart (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912725)

This is old hat. Many stores (like the unnamed retail chain I work for) explicitly disallow returns of CDs/DVDs because once the plastic on the outside of the box is broken they cannot return them to the manufacturer. If retailers do accept returns of open CDs/DVDs, then they take the hit...which goes to show that the **AA are jacking more than consumers.

Re:WalMart (3, Insightful)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912814)

It's a tough call, but I kinda agree with retailers not accepting music and software returns.

If you buy a CD, you know that you are paying $17 for the 2 hits on it. The other 10~12 songs are just fluf. If you don't like it, don't buy music.

If you buy software, the requirements are listed on the box. If you decide that the game wasn't worth it (Diakatana), too bad. You should have waited for the review before you bought the game.

Basicly, it is too easy for anyone to buy a CD or a game, make a copy, and then return the original. There is no real way for a retailer to demand integrity from the customer. And a few bad customers will eat away at the profit margin till the companies you love are no longer able to produce products you value.

I think this is why DRM will prevail. When the RIAA has the music locked down, then you can return a crap CD just because it was crap. When palladium has software locked down, you can return a game just because it crashes. Until then, the retailer will continue to think you are a thief.

Re:WalMart (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912858)

Except they won't give you refunds, even with DRM.

Just remember that DRM isn't about the consumer at all. In fact, it's barely even about people. It's about large corporations demanding too much money for shitty music.

I used to buy cd's (2, Interesting)

spoot (104183) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912678)

But I'm so damn disgusted with the whole mess I don't even bother. In the napster heyday I was buying music like crazy. More than I had in years. I'm in my 40's and way out of the demographic for music comsumers, but I was downloading on napster and finding new music and buying cd's like I was a teen again. Since the riaa nonsence I've stoped buying cd's (althoug I did become a member of emusic, what a great collection of jazz and blues. actually I see emusic as the worlds largest cut out bin.) I refuse to buy my teenage daughter any cd's this christmas. screw the greed of the record companies. And to top it off, my mother bought some crappy cd at target that refuses to play in her older cd player. she's returned it twice and they refuse to give her a refund. I just can't believe how insanely stupid the record companies are. treating your customers like thieves and criminals is no way to run a business... but a perfect way to ruin one. fark the record companies right in the arse. they desirve it. morons.

Re:I used to buy cd's (3, Informative)

TomServo (79922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912771)

I've been with EMusic for a while now too, and for the most part I like 'em.

However, be aware that it's not totally unlimited now. There are a number of posts on CNET from customers who have had their accounts terminated after downloading too much in too short a time, and when I asked (quite politely) their customer service department about this, I got a response back that started:

"Although EMusic is an 'unlimited' service, there have to be some restrictions on this policy. EMusic is similar to a buffet advertised as 'all you can eat.' For the restaurant to be successful, it has to have reasonable limitations that apply to people that stay too long, eat more than their fair share -- or waste food."

So their definition of unlimited means unlimited up until a limit. They claim in their e-mail that it's "more than 2,000 tracks in a 30-day period", I haven't personally tested this myself.

At least in the time since I got their e-mail (November 23rd), they've changed the "Unlimited" on their webpage to say "Unlimited*".

Re:I used to buy cd's (3, Interesting)

Audacious (611811) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912856)

Just a quick comment:

1. Ask to talk to the manager of the store. Explain the CD won't play. Get another one to replace it. If it will not play, ask for another one. Continue until either they give you your money back or you get one which will play.

2. If the manager won't do #1, then call the district office. Nothing makes a manager more willing to bend over backwards than to have someone higher up telling him to kiss

3. If #2 doesn't work, then call the state office.

4. If #3 doesn't work, call the regional office.

5. If #4 doesn't work, call the national office.

6. By this time you should already either have your money back or five or six CDs as they try to appease you.

7. If #6 hasn't happened, then write a letter to the president of the corporation care of their national office. Presidents do NOT like to be disturbed by customers and, truth to tell, I've never had to go past this point.

8. However! IANAL says: "Because CDs are sold shrinkwrapped they can not be listened to (in most major stores) before they are purchased and thus fall under the auspices of state and federal laws which guarantee that, if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you may return it." This is where the big controversy comes from. People are buying CDs and games, copying them, and then returning them for a refund. That isn't right. Either buy it and live with the outrageous costs or boycott it and live without the CD/game. Anything else is illegal. (And yeah - I know - second hand games, CDs, etc....blah blah blah. I'm talking about first time purchases at a store. Not over the internet, from your neighbor's dog, or whatever.)

There is no such thing as "You can't have your money back" in retail. My mom used to work for Montgomery Wards - ladies underwear. People would bring back underwear they'd worn for the past ten years and ask for brand new replacements! One lady only had the elastic left. The cloth had rotted away. Doesn't that strike you as going a bit overboard on the "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back?" I do and I've never worked for Montgomery Wards.

There is no mention of 'used' anywhere (5, Insightful)

rtstyk (545241) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912679)

The article just talks about *counterfeit* copies.

RTFA first.

I think it's good they turn to something they can actually enforce. It's much easier to walk into Bob's Illegal CDs and bust the poor Bob than some dynamically assigned IP of a poor script kiddy.

[sarcastick grin]Go RIAA[/sarcastic grin]

Re:There is no mention of 'used' anywhere (3, Interesting)

Amizell (565760) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912816)

It's much easier to walk into Bob's Illegal CDs and bust the poor Bob than some dynamically assigned IP of a poor script kiddy.

Honestly have you ever been to a retail store which deals in pirated CDs? Is this really a problem in Amerika today? If I was a retailer who had to make rent and keep customers happy I'd probably find it easier to play by the rules and sell legit stock. The ONLY place I have ever seen pirated software for open sale was on the streets on NYC. I find it hard to believe that the problem is as widespread as it is being portrayed by the RIAA.

And while I'm on the topic the notion that used CDs are a "pirate market" because the license only applies to the first sale is insane and hypocritical. If all they are is alumiminum disks (completely unconnected to the license agreement) then I should be able to copy/transmit/backup the physical media at will and there should be a mechanism for me to sell my legally purchased license. Possesion is 9/10 of the law.


Please... (4, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912680)

Could the speculation please be saved for the comments page? The blurb for the article is about 1/3 informative, and 2/3 wild speculation about how it's an evil attempt to shut down used music stores (even though the article said nothing about it.)

This is going to bite them in the @$$... (1, Interesting)

arakon (97351) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912681)

Further proof to feed the engine that says the RIAA/MPAA are paranoid and greedy.

Biting the hand that feeds isn't particularly the smartest move they could make, I mean it is retailers that sell their product, and they are the reason that retailers went over to selling used CDs on the side. It allows them to get by the high margins that the RIAA/MPAA set. If the RIAA had reasonable pricing that still allowed for the media retailers to put a comfortable margin on top for their operating costs and keep the prices under $15 (which we all know they could) then there wouldn't be as many shops going the used CD route.

There is plenty of room for everyone to make money, but the RIAA isn't interested in sharing, by keeping prices artificially high the RIAA makes it so that only the very big chains can afford to sell their products and actually make money (through bulk orders). They choke out the smaller stores, and then only have a few large, very sue-able, entities in which to do buisness. THis way they can control the distribution almost as much (if not as much) as they do the production.

but thats just my take on the situation.

RIAA! Get the Salvation Pirate Army!!! (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912686)

There has never been a Salvation Army that has *not* had a box of PIRATED cassettes, CDs, software, and videos.

I say Hillary should go on down to the Salvation Army and get into a fight with a drunk about whether or not he can buy those "New Kids on The Block" and "Menudo" cassettes.

Maybe they'll take her in the back room and beat her head with a 40 Oz. 'till the white meat shows.

Sigh...dare to dream...

RIAA is a dinosaur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912687)

It's just trying to take down as many oranisms with it when it's taking it's last breath. The last truly old-establishment trying to stop technology. It's fucking amusing to watch Hillary Rosen kill herself over some miserable few millions in "lost" profits while the suits are still living in luxury. Give up the private jet, bitch! And stop robbing the artists.

"Pirate" all you want. Don't buy from major outlets and support indie bands from independent labels who care less if you "steal" their music or not.

Problem solved.

I'm downloading the new Queens of The Stone Age [] album as I type this. Gonna kick back and enjoy it. Damn, it feels good to be a "pirate"!

P.S. Do not mod me up please.

Legit? (3, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912688)

Last week, Secret Service agents in New York arrested three men and seized 35,000 illegally copied music discs, 10,000 movies on DVD and 421 compact disc burners that are used to make the counterfeit products.

Seems like some of these are actions would be legitimate. The problem, of course, is where to draw the line. Personally, I think as soon as you start burning CD's for profit then you are pirating. Burning for your own use? That's when the overzealousness kicks in.

My own personal theoary as to why CD sales are down has to do with local bands. Your local garage band can now make tonnes of CD's of their music fairly cheaply, by-passing the usual media outlets. People buy the music they want from the concerts they go to, and the particular bands that interest them.

Until the record labels realize that, however, they are going to continue to bleed green.

In case you missed it.. (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912768)

the 421 number was made up by the RIAA.

421 burners -8&q=421+burners
Slashdot's link making feature seems messed up in the preview pane, so if the previous link works, this is the explanation for what might seem strange to some.

*sigh* (5, Interesting)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912689)

Last week, Secret Service agents in New York arrested three men and seized 35,000 illegally copied music discs, 10,000 movies on DVD and 421 compact disc burners that are used to make the counterfeit products.

I guess the "equivalent of 421 compact disc burners" has now officially become 421 compact disc burners.

+1 for the RIAA spinmeister team.
-1 for truth.

Re:*sigh* (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912758)

Wired is carrying the same article. I sent them a correction and a link.

Re:*sigh* (2)

agenthh (521566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912780)

Even my mom got mad at this "error" by the AP guys. It's time to nail them with correctional mail.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912865)

I've spent quite some time comparing news from AP and Reuters. The latter always score higher from all my perspectives.

e.g. How possibly can you put a sports story, ANY sports story (well, maybe except the olympics) as a "Top Story"?

In my opinion, these people are just plain stupid.

Re:*sigh* (1)

muertos (570792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912792)

It's funny how the "well above standard speed" of the drives was used as the excuse for coming up with the number. Maybe Chevrolet could make the claim that a Corvette is the equivalent of three standard cars because it has a much faster top speed.

Re:*sigh* (2)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912798)

Dude, a 'vette is, like, at least worth much much more than just three other cars. :-)

Counterfeit vs Used (2)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912690)

Selling counterfeit CD's is wrong.

I think it is probaly quite likely that used CD stores would be more likely to sell illegally copied CD's than the local Walmart.

Small companies and individuals do small simple obvious crimes.

Large companies and rich individuals do larger, more complex crimes.

Why is selling counterfeit CD's wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912826)

What I mean, why is it wrong in all cases?

Consider the CD which is out of print and no longer on sale from the company. The company does not even WANT to make money on it at this point. Yet, there is a demand for the music. Why not let someone sell copies of the CD's?

Wait a minute (2)

Thomas A. Anderson (114614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912692)

Nothing in US (or state) law states that selling a used cd is illegal, and there's not a damn thing the RIAA can do about it (regardless of what they say on the back of the jewel case). Nor can they extort money from you for this practice.

Now, if anybody has proof that this is what the RIAA is trying, I'd love to hear about it and will contribute to their legal defense fund, but let's not jump to conclusions.

Garth Brooks *ahem* (5, Funny)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912694)

I'm sorry, but using the word 'artist' and 'Garth Brooks' in the same sentence is just not right.

Shame on you!

Re:Garth Brooks *ahem* (2)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912864)

True. He is, however, an excellent performer. I don't like country music. I don't like his take on country music. I don't like him. I enjoy watching his performances. He really knows how to entertain.

misplaced cough (1, Funny)

Neil Sausage (633803) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912695)

It should had read
With the way the RIAA and some *cough*artists*cough* Garth Brooks have labeled ...

Desparate Measures (4, Insightful)

macrom (537566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912698)

and is it possible these are being used to shut down the mom-and-pop outfits that trade in used CDs

First they went after colleges and universities, saying that they helped spread piracy by giving students access to fat Internet pipes with which to download songs from Napster. A few colleges panicked and took steps to cut off access to P2P networks, but for the most part that strategy fizzled into the ether.

Then they went after the P2P networks with moderate success, Napster mainly taking the fall for all of them. Gnutella is untouched, KaZaa still runs free and Usenet is a varitable goldmine if you're patient enough.

Then they actually tried getting the students. A couple students got hit with suits (some kid from Yale if I remember), but on the whole everyone laughed at them. Success here was minimal.

So the suits now all sit in some big office around a huge oval table, licking their wounds and wiping the egg off their collective faces. They get the idea that maybe retailers are "helping piracy" by way of their employees. So now they're sending intimidating letters to companies hoping that they get some attention on CNN and BBC World News in their latest efforts to stop piracy.

One of these days, after all of their avenues have been cut off and all of the barrels are dry, they'll hopefully realize that consumers want something different.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912699)

RIAA targets y...oh what, oh fuck it, it's not funny anymore is it? OH well, goodby fair SOVIET RUSSIA... we shall miss you.

Can't wait til they come after me (2, Insightful)

ThatKidYouDid (617033) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912703)

I'm kind of surprised they haven't hit store's that sell products like those at When I heard the story about them recovering the equiv of 400+ burners, I think, Damn, my store has in stock about 3000 ATA burners, and about 200 stand-alone 3-1 dupe machines. How long before they come after us tech stores for selling these products?

Re:Can't wait til they come after me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912866)

Nice Plug.

Corner sandwich shop ripping off poor music execs (5, Interesting)

Rob Cebollero (242701) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912706)

What amazes me is just how granular the RIAA shakedown sweep has been.

Just last week I went down to Geraldi's, my favorite local mom and pop sub shop (seating capacity of about 8, counting the outside table) here in downtown Portand, and noticed a handwritten sign taped to one of the coolers. It reads
"Greedy music industry says I can't play my own CD's in my own restaurant. The annual fee to play music is $265. Sorry."
Now, I guess I'm still ambivalent/undecided about the greater argument here, but this particular injunction - visited upon a struggling and honest small business owner - just struck me as being thorough to the point of malice.

Obviously the owner isn't making any additional sandwich sales from having RIAA-approved background music playing as opposed to the TV news or whatever. Certainly not $265/year's worth.

details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912753)

A music exec is going to come into my store and complain I can't play cds? Whats he going to do, call the police? Sue me? How will he prove it? I think it was just someone trying to get attention, you're up in hippy country.

Re:Corner sandwich shop ripping off poor music exe (1)

SirCrashALot (614498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912829)

Offer the storeowner (if you know him/her personally) to casually "leave a boombox nearby with some music playing." Although the RIAA probably won't go after you, it would be interesting if they tried to limit people playing a CD out loud. I'm sure headphone sales would skyrocket.

turn it around... (2)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912846)

..not sure what the bogus law is, but as far as I know any "human" can play his own boombox with his "legal" cd's or over the air radio. Now probably the store can't as an official policy play music without paying the vig to the goons, but suppose they didn't tell you to turn off your music when you came in, and for some reason the other customers could hear it and they didn't mind? How it would work is first come, first served, just like the meal. If you as a customer come in, and no one is playing their radio or cd player, swell, it's your choice to fire up tunes or talk of choice and listen until you leave the restaurant, then it's the next customers turn if they choose so.

Maybe some famous anonymous slashdot internet & music lawyer might want to comment?

What about the lack of new material being released (2, Interesting)

djve (191622) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912712)

There has been a dramatic drop in the release of new artists and CDs in the last (approximately) two years. Something around 30% less. These sort of figures would show a court that the RIAA would seem to be interested in nothing more than control and to gain control distortion of the facts is a legimate tactic.

Distortion of the truth is nothing new. Politicians, newspapers and even myself are guilty of it by omitting facts or over emphasis of point. But all three of us have some accountability, in my case either my manager or my wife.

Can a group like the EFF get a test case going (like in the original BetaMax case) to see what the courts would decide. Then the FUD would die right off.

I forget where I read it. It would have been either /. or TheRegister (possibly the BBC or New York Times).

Just as we feared... (1)

mtnharo (523610) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912713)

CNN picked up on the "421 burners" [] crap the RIAA spewed out after the copy shop bust the other day. I guess even trusted news organizations can't be trusted to cut through the crap for us anymore.

Re:Just as we feared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912752)

I think the following sums it up:

"The RIAA represents AOL Time Warner (parent company of CNN), EMI Group, Sony Corp., Vivendi Universal and Bertelsmann AG."

Next, personal used CDs are illegal, you must get a new retail CD everytime and recycle the old one

Re:Just as we feared... (2)

CurlyG (8268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912819)

You are kidding right? You can trust CNN ??.

What fantasy world are you living in, buddy?

Re:Just as we feared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912845)

You may address CNN's lack of fact checking here [] .

yes this will help fight piracy (2)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912718)

If I can't buy a used cd, what do you think I'm going to do?

copy it from someone else.

And we expected anything less? (2, Interesting)

rgoer (521471) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912724)

I mean, come on... we didn't think we were actually buying anything, did we? We haven't allowed ourselves to believe that the physical media into which copyrighted information is embedded actually becomes property once paid for, have we? How silly... we're lucky, some may even say blessed, to have so wonderous an oportunity as to pay a one-time (and fully taxable) fee for indefinite rental rights to said vessel of copyrighted creation. Resale? Don't you feel that this is asking a bit much? The RIAA can only do so much, and I feel that it is childish (perhaps even morally wrong) for us to continue whining in this fashion. All we do is take, take, take from this honorable, upstanding congregation of the most hardworking individuals in the recording world. Perhaps, instead of crying over some antiquity that is the idea of "used" record stores, we should take this moment to give something back to the RIAA. I say: rush out and show the true colors of your consumerism this instant! Don't be shy, you know you want the "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" soundtrack...

Declining sales ? (4, Informative)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912728)

of course their declining record sales have nothing to do with the public is now fed up of mass marketed pop music where record contracts are won not by original musical talent and song writing , but by nieve and desperate [] individuals in f***ing competitions [] while real talent falls into the gutter, leaving a trail of destruction [] in its path while the instigators [] get rich.

The only thing killing music [] is not kids downloading mp3's or pirating dvds at market stalls ,but by the industry itself, kids are simply getting ripped off [] by these marketing/record companies and have just started to realise globally [] they are being taken for idiots

why is it that so many companies have so much contempt for their customers and choose to be greedy instead of actually concentrating on superior products ?

How To Protect Your Rights: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912733)

RIAA FUD Machine in full effect ... (1, Redundant)

poincaraux (114797) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912744)

Those of you who were paying attention earlier [] will recognize this quote:

Last week, Secret Service agents in New York arrested three men and seized 35,000 illegally copied music discs, 10,000 movies on DVD and 421 compact disc burners that are used to make the counterfeit products.

as RIAA FUD. It was effectively 421 burners (i.e. 156 burners, but some of them were really fast).

Re:RIAA FUD Machine in full effect ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912791)

RIAA should realize:

saying 421 burners (in reality, 156) with that amount of illegal CDs, it sounds like they are saying: they only made that many?

they can be more effective by saying 37900 music discs and 13000 movies. Some music CDs had extra tracks and some movies were longer than the others (like that lame AI movie), so EFFECTIVELY they get the idea

Stolen cars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912842)

What a great story. Consider this:

"The FBI busted a stolen car ring yesterday. They found 23 stolen cars in a Midlothian warehouse. Well, it was really only 15 cars, but two of them were really fast cool cars, so they counted as 5 each for the total."


Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912747)

I am targeting unclean vaginas all over the world. Beware, vile cunts!


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912754)

The RIAA targets YOU!!!

It's really not much different....

421 compact disc burners (0, Redundant)

Kenny Austin (319525) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912759)

> ..and 421 compact disc burners
There was another bust? I heard about one that involved "equivalent of 421 burners".

>is demanding a halt to illegal music sales
This reminds of the "Do not make illegal copies of this CD" message on MS cds. In any event, are there really many "gas stations, convenience stores, groceries and some small music stores" that sell illegal music? I've never seen or heard of this happening in the US.. of course it's not exactly something that comes up at dinner.


What a world, what a world... (5, Insightful)

Orne (144925) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912766)

They need to blow Electronics Boutique out of the water for trafficking in used DVDs (including music video DVDs)... not to mention played (and presumably copied) games.

Then they can go after Walmart because they re-release some of their products after editing the content.

After that, might as well go after Borders & FYE, because of those machines that let you listen to the music before you buy. After all, not buying a CD because it sucks is bad for business.

RIAA Business Plan (3, Funny)

Mansing (42708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912778)

As a business plan, suing everyone is not very clever. What happens when the RIAA has sued all of their customers, retailers, and distributors?

Does that mean they'll finally go away?

how used cd piracy works (3, Interesting)

The_Rook (136658) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912795)

the problem with the riaa's strategy against used cd shops is that the shops themselves don't carry pirated cds.

customer a sells a cd to the shop. shop marks up the cd 20 to 50%. then sells to customer b. customer b copies the cd at home (or several selected songs) and returns the cd. the result is that customer b gets his or her music for a couple of bucks all of which goes to the shop.

the problem for the riaa is that the shop never has an illegal cd, never has to copy them. and i sincerely doubt that used cd shops keep records of their customers. and even if they did, the riaa has no grounds to simply requisition customer lists and search their residences.

the RIAA has a great business model (1)

deus_X_machina (413485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912797)

At this point, maybe the RIAA would do better to focus on producing quality music and innovative ways to distrobute it instead of dumping all of their funds into stopping what they believe is piracy.

I mean, I know this might sound a little crazy and all, actually producing a quality product that people want, in a format convient to them, in order to take their money...

Just me? (2)

A non moose cow (610391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912799)

I can't be the only one who is getting really sick of hearing about the RIAA shenanigans (I'm not bitching about Slashdot.. I mean in general). The more crap they try to pull, the more they guarantee that they will only be a flash in the pan.

No organization whose sole motive is greed will ever last. Microsoft started traveling down this path and is now learning about it the hard way on many fronts... which is cool, because they are learning and trying to adjust. RIAA, on the other hand, is incapable of adjusting their greediness because it is their only reason for existence.

I wish they would just hurry up and die.

Trent Lott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912802)

I think what Trent Lott needs to do is pick up a copy of Bulsworth and watch it for some ideas on how to get his ass out of this shit.

A way to adjust the prices yourself? (2)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912805)

I am not advocating this at all, and I'm certain many people already do it, just a point of discussion.

The article states that cd sales have descreased slightly over the last two years. While obviously some of this is due to piracy, I believe that the majority of the drop is due to A) The fact that cd's are just too expensive for B) The crap that artists are putting out now.

The second point being why I am in favor of individual track purchase online.

Anyway, one way to bring the average price down would be to simply purchase a CD new, rip the tracks and then sell the disk to a used cd store. The cd store is not in violation so they should be safe. So now what you've done is effectively saved a couple dollars off the CD's retail price, and given someone else the opportunity to buy a physically brand new disk for a discounted price.

While this does involve an illegal act on the original buyers part, do the ends justify the means? If the RIAA is told anonymously en mass that people who engage in this behavior would stop is cd prices were actually worth paying, maybe it could happen...

Not going after normal music stores (2, Insightful)

Lazlo Nibble (32560) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912820)

They're just going after stores where RIAA reps have found and purchased unlicensed compilations (BEST OF LATIN HITS!, etc.) or counterfeit copies of commercial releases. It's really not significantly different from the bootleg raids they do now and then. Billboard has a more detailed article [] .

The most interesting part of that article (2, Insightful)

e271828 (89234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912823)

Remember the Slashdot story [] from the other day about the RIAA press release touting the capture of the equivalent of 421 CD burners, when only 156 had actually been found?

Well, in the CNN article [] this story links to, that has become simply "421 compact disc burners." No mention of "equivalency" anywhere.


Garth Who ? (1, Redundant)

zaqattack911 (532040) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912836)

I thought we were talking about artists here :)


It's not about used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912840)

or even CD-oriented stores necessarily. It's about those CD's you see at the counter at convenience stores, truck stops and various places. Are they all legit?

One of the articles - maybe it was the one on wired [] - implied that it was about CDR's. I've never seen those for sale in any retail place, but maybe so.

The more interesting question is, say you're in business, you buy a load of CD's from some supplier, they look OK, and one day the RIAA comes knocking and declares them "pirated". Some commercial operations make authentic-looking ones. WHo takes the loss in this situation? And if it's the retailer, how are they supposed to tell in advance? Are we going to end up with holograms like on that old monopolist's SW, or dealer licences?

Posting as ac while having my password mailed :(

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912847)

In Soviet Russia, CDs burn YOU!

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4912859)

Remember when /. had the poll on the worst deadly sin? Greed was the top one. And people like Garth are just plain greedy.

Their next target might be Tower (2)

Desperado (23084) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912860)

Locally, Tower Records advertises on the radio that they will sell you a CD, you rip a copy, and then they'll buy it back for $4.00 less than they charged.

I'm not easy to shock but that seems pretty "out there" to me.

Convenience stores & Gas Stations (4, Insightful)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 11 years ago | (#4912861)

The article specifically mentions these. I've seen these first hand - they're usually poorly produced 'Greatest Hits' collections from defunct artists with typically shoddy artwork.

I thought they were something specifically produced for this market, but after reading the article I think the RIAA has the right to go after these guys. Its one thing to make copies for personal use, but entirely another to mass produce and sell them in a convenience store chain.

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