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RIAA Settlement: Possible Consumer Payback

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the don't-hold-your-breath dept.

The Almighty Buck 510

KoopaTroopa writes "Over on Ars Technica they are running a story about the RIAA handing out consumer payments as a settlement to a price-fixing class action. If you bought a recording at retail between Jan. 1, 1995, and Dec. 22, 2000, claim your money." As usual, the lawyers win a lot more than you will, but the process is pretty painless if you'd like to collect part of the settlement money; you may recall this earlier story about the settlement.

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FORSET PISTE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5057958)

Do they call you the customizer?

No thanks RIAA (5, Funny)

typical geek (261980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057971)

I'd rather rationalize my mp3 theft by saying CD prices are too high.

No thanks RIAA,already gave at <insrt-store> (5, Interesting)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058046)

Considering I pay the RIAA with every cdr I use, and that less than 1% of my cdr usage is for music, I feel that I am giving the RIAA enough already. That's all the justification I need.

Re:No thanks RIAA,already gave at (5, Informative)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058119)

I don't know how much you pay, but here are the numbers for Canada [ccfda.ca] . The CCFDA (Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access) is trying to fight it.

Huh? (5, Informative)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058176)

Do you live in canada? If not, why are you using "music" CD-Rs rather then "data" ones for your music? (the only diffrence between the two is that music disks will work in special music drives, have serial copy protection (no copies of copies) and are taxed by the RIAA. Data CDs work in music players, have no SCP, and cost only a few cents, in general)

Re:No thanks RIAA (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058058)

"I'd rather rationalize my mp3 theft by saying CD prices are too high."

Pretty good answer. RIAA will probably be rationalizing their price-fixing by saying the settlement will cost them squat, so hey! Free round [4 years] of free music to all involved, courtesy of RIAA and the lack of public guilt in defrauding them.

Re:No thanks RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058059)

what is the burden of proof? I bough a bunch of CD's up to 99, but I have noi idea how much I spent over that time. Seems like a settlement that will be easy for them totake. I mena, how woudl they know if I am lying or not? They probably want receipts.

Re:No thanks RIAA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058168)

Here's a novel idea. How about clicking the link and visiting the site. All you have to do is fill out the form on the site and you will receive somewhere between $5 and $20 depending on how many people respond and how much the settlement is. If it is under $5 per person then all of the money goes to a charity. They are not asking for any proof. They do ask for you age and I think that is how the will tell if your claim is reasonable. If you were born in 1993, chances are you didn't buy anything in those years. Your parents would have to make the claim.

Exclude yourself from the Settlement Group (2)

cmoney (216557) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058172)

and then keep on pirating!

No thanks. (3, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057977)

In order to get my few dollars, I have to give out all my personal info, social security number, mother's maiden name, etc, etc? No thanks. I don't care how official that web site looks; that's enough information to steal everything I own and trash my credit rating for the next thousand years.

Re:No thanks. (5, Insightful)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058029)

i thought the same thing but then i realized you can get all that stuff pretty easily already. you may as well get 5 bucks

Amen (4, Interesting)

PotatoMan (130809) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058036)

That was exactly my feeling when I got to the sign-up page. I didn't mind some of the questions, but when I realized they had enough info to build my SSN from, and that the info was not secure, I started wondering if this site is real or not.


I guess we'll know when the 'identity theft' ring goes into action.


Preach it, Lamont!

Re:Amen (2, Informative)

onepoint (301486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058181)

well to wonder or not, this is what I did,

I called my credit card sompany and told the guy I want to have my card checked for signature with a passport or Drivers liscense, then I want the phone calls I make to them to confirm a few things, I ask for a list of things they coudl ask
1) date of birth
2) if a po box then the real address
3) telephone Number matching
4) LAST 4 digit's of your SS number
5) e-mail address if you have one for your CC

and the list went on.

Something is not right when someone ask you for the last 4 digit's of your SS#. I hope it's not a con.

Mike

Re:Amen (2)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058232)

So what's stopping you from putting a fake number? I signed up and entered '0000'.

quite whining and read the form (5, Informative)

endoboy (560088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058064)

they don't ask for your social security #, they ask for the last 4 digits. They also don't ask for mother's maiden name

If you're unwilling to give them your name and address, how precisely do you wish for them to send you the $$$?

Re:No thanks. (3, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058094)

Why the hell is the US working on a missle defence system? Wouldnt it be more logical to make a country-sized tinfoil dome?

(On a more serious note, I can trash your credit rating by sitting at a restaurant you pay credit with. Your waitress can trash your credit rating. Anybody with access to your garbage can trash your credit rating. What on earth are you people so terrified of?)

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058178)

For a paranoic (or someone who wants to come across as one), you would realize that your SSN and mother's maiden name are matters of public record. You would also realize that your mother's maiden name is not required by financial institutions, it is just used as a convenience. You can use any password you want.

been around for a while (5, Funny)

arson1 (527855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057979)

That site has been up for months. But wait, if everyone trieds to collect, and the payment is less that $5/ person, then it goes to a charity (I'm guessing the the EFF), not the people. We can't let that happen! ;)

Re:been around for a while (2)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058041)

If it ends up going to charity, it goes to fund music related things (music programs in schools, for example).

Money from RIAA to EFF (1)

Stephenmg (265369) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058128)

that has to be worst posable insult to RIAA. I think i'll go sign up.

Sorry (5, Funny)

cporter (61382) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057980)

They want a lot of information. Date of birth? Part of my SSN? Sorry. Keeping that private is worth more than $20.

I'll just download a few CDs from a P2P and call it even.

Re:Sorry (5, Funny)

arson1 (527855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058019)

you think that information is private? Everyone knows my birthday, you get more presents that way.

the best part! (1)

Scaebor (587064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057982)

and the best part is, no receipts are required, making the process of claiming your money very easy (and exploitable by some)...

Not guarenteed. (4, Informative)

gmiller123456 (240000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057987)

Note that you're not guarenteed to get anything. They've apparently already settled on how much they'll pay, and it'll be divided amongst everyone who signs up. It it gets down the less than $5/person, all of it goes to charity.

Re:Not guarenteed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058219)

Yeah but the settlement was $66,000,000 right? If every man, woman and child in the USA staked a claim, it'd work out to $4.36. Since it's not likely that every man, woman and child in the USA is going to stake a claim, there's a good chance that you'll get something.

This is old (1)

missing000 (602285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057989)

I signed up for the class action suit months ago.

Oops, now nobody will get any money... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057994)

From the FAQ:
If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers. Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products.

Posting this to slashdot will draw ALOT more claimants, and therefore, reduce the amount each claimant will recieve. That will probably drop it below the $5/each mark, and then nobody will get any money. (Well, some nonprofit or the government will..)

Re:Oops, now nobody will get any money... (2)

Enry (630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058061)

How do we get the EFF to get that money if it doesn't go to consumers? I mean, they are working on music-related purposes to benefit the consumer.

With our luck, it will go to 'consumers for palladium' or something. Ecch.

Re:Oops, now nobody will get any money... (2)

rossz (67331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058191)

Isn't the RIAA a nonprofit business oriented organization?

Think about it.

Re:Oops, now nobody will get any money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058218)

You left out a big clause:

The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant.

So even without /.'s help, you couldn't get any more than $20.

It's not the RIAA that they're suing (5, Informative)

registered_user (463604) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057996)

The RIAA is an seperate body. Individual distributors are being sued. They are listed on the page:

The Distributor Defendants are: Capitol Records, Inc. d/b/a EMI Music Distribution, Virgin Records America, Inc., and Priority Records LLC; Time Warner, Inc., Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp., WEA, Inc., Warner Music Group, Inc., Warner Bros. Records, Inc., Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc., and Rhino Entertainment Company; Universal Music & Video Distribution Corporation, Universal Music Group, Inc., and UMG Recordings, Inc.; Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc. and BMG Music; and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. The Retailer Defendants are: MTS, Inc. d/b/a Tower Records, Musicland Stores Corp., and Trans World Entertainment Corp.

Re:It's not the RIAA that they're suing (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058143)

The RIAA is an industry lobby group that represents a fair chunk of the companies listed in there.

Its fair enough to say that the behaviour that led to the lawsuit was exactly the sort of behaviour the RIAA is famous for .. its pretty much all in the family, dont you think?

No Cash Option. (3, Interesting)

ChrisNowinski (606426) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057997)

If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers

With the publicity the settlement is getting, it's strongly possible that consumers will get little or no cash. Sorry.

Instead, the money will go to "not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products," much like the Tobacco money, which funds anti-smoking things like those "Truth" TV commercials.

Price Fixing Has Ended? (5, Insightful)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5057998)

If you bought a recording at retail between Jan. 1, 1995, and Dec. 22, 2000

Are we to believe that as of Dec 22, 2000 all price fixing on the part of the music industry ceased? Or will there be a similar suit in 2005 to cover the next 5 years?

Re:Price Fixing Has Ended? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058216)

I didn't check but I am guessing that the lawsuit started soon after that date. It is not unreasonable based on how long these things usually take.

Re:Price Fixing Has Ended? (1)

Satoshi Harada (634776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058229)

Yeah, I heard there was a memo. I guess we just missed it :p.

I was going to but... (2, Insightful)

fgb (62123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058000)

I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of giving them my date of birth and the last four digits of my Social Security Number.

That's cool.. More money for us... (2)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058085)

Since everyone on the planet already HAS that info about you to begin with.

PS. Beware of those rogue Birthday Carolers!!

Already Claimed Mine (2, Interesting)

AltImage (626465) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058002)

I saw this story on Wired a couple days ago. I already filled out the form online to join the settlement group. It was a suprisingly simple process...name, address, email address and click accept on a few things. You don't even need a recipt. Here's the link [musiccdsettlement.com] for those interested.

For some reason when I submitted this EXACT same story a few days ago it was rejected in under 10 minutes. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Ah it's about time something is done! (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058004)

CDs are way too overpriced.. 15$ for a CD that costs 2$ to make.. and artists are poor?! Gee I wonder who gets all that extra money.. well I guess I'm just stating the obvious about how the record companies rape artists and customers both.

I applaud people who stand up against this crap.

Re:Ah it's about time something is done! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058100)

It costs much more than 2 dollars to "make" a CD. Sure, to press or burn one it costs much less. But packaging, marketing, not to mention recording costs, mix down, mastering...paying artists etc etc. They all take a little bit of the money from the 15 bucks. Now..the problem lies in that some take a bigger share than others.

Do you applaud the people who bend over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058174)

$15 for a CD that should have been in the neighborhood of $8 X the number of CDs you've bought = $5 to $20?

Yeah, something was done alright, somebody caved.

Re:Ah it's about time something is done! (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058227)

It only costs you 2$ to master and produce a CD? Wow, you should start your own recording group.

Only applies to the US (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058005)

So only Americans pay too much for CDs? Damn :(

So how many of you that qualify actually have receipts to prove your purchases during the period. Like most people I save my receipts from big ticket items for warranty and insurance purposes, but CD receipts usually get tossed. The RIAA will probably laugh it's way to the bank on this.

any chance to bash America, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058138)

No, assgiblet. Not just Americans pay too much for CDs. That's not what this means at all. But I guess that you won't care to hear that, since you seem to have such a blinding hatred for America.

Sure. Whatever. All Americans fuck babies and have Hitler moustaches. Whatever you want to believe, it doesn't matter.

EFF (1)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058006)

You can get up to $20 depending on the settlement. If it's -$5 then it's donated to charity. Seems like it would be a good idea to donate the $20 to charity anyway. E.g. the EFF to continue fighting the **AAs and all the DMCA rubbish.

on slashdot = no one gets the payout (2)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058008)

Great, now that it has been posted here, I'll never get my $5. amount per person = total settlement / number of claims If too many people sign up for the refund, making the amount given per person less than $5, no one will get the money, it will all go to charity. Rat farts. I wanted a refund from those money grubbing bastards.

Oh please (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058228)

The only way no one gets anything is if more then 13 million people claim. Slashdot does not have 13 million visitors.

Dell: For the love of Christ, ditch the interns (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058015)

Please. Steve "d00d" was much, much, much better than these empty-headed whitebread douchebags. Someone pointed out earlier today in another thread that that dumb bitch is TAKING NOTES when the assembly line guy is spouting about their 27x7 service and support. Why? Oh, golly, better get that nugget down!

Re:Dell: For the love of Christ, ditch the interns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058045)

Do they call you the customizer?

Re:Dell: For the love of Christ, ditch the interns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058156)

No.

Dear Hillary, (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058018)


Please keep the few dollars you've earned from me as I've downloaded much, much more than that and my conscience is getting to me.

Thank you.

Big whoop ... (4, Insightful)

nucal (561664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058022)

Cash Distribution

The cash paid by the Defendants, after the payment of attorneys' fees, litigation and Settlement administration costs, shall be distributed to consumers who purchased Music Products. The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant. If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers. Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products.

This kind of settlement won't benefit consumers directly. Even if you could locate six year old receipts, the odds are pretty good you won't get a direct settlement out of this.

Re:Big whoop ... (2, Insightful)

iMMo (61469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058093)

Agreed - big whoop. I've bought *hundreds* of CDs over the last several years, and $20.00 doesn't seem like enough if the prices were in fact 'fixed'. This entire activity seems like an easy way for the recording companies to 'make good' on their past, present and future monopolizing.

Between the several large conglomerates, I've got to believe that it wasn't hard to come up with $67 million to pay out this settlement. Will this really change anything?

Re:Big whoop ... (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058205)

In the event there is a payout, I think the expectation is that consumers will receive a check for something a little less than $20, think to themselves 'what shoudl I do with that money? Hey, I know! This is enough to buy that new [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST] CD.'

Perhaps the payout checks will be distributed at a Tower Records store.

M

Alternative payout methods (1)

jj_johny (626460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058026)

It would really be nice if they just let you put this into paypal or other online payment systems. They spend a huge amount of money just going the hand processing and for postage ($.37/$5 = 7.4%).

Re:Alternative payout methods (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058084)

That would be nice, too.

If they do, I have a PayPal account already. :-)

Vote KDE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058030)

To all mandrake beta testers. VOTE FOR GNOME TO BE EXCLUDED FROM 9.1.

Gnome is a shitty cruddy imitation of kde, it is teh sux0r, seeing how apple pissed on the mozilla team for making crap, you should piss on that miguel twat for trying to force that shit down my throats.

VOTE KDE, the choice of the KGX generation.

Buy a CD (4, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058032)

get 5.00 back in the laswsuit

buy 100 CDs get 5.00 back in the lawsuit...

that means I got overcharged 2 cents for each of my CDs...

how about they lower the prices instead?

I just love the bias-free journalism (4, Insightful)

falloutboy (150069) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058037)

"As usual, the lawyers win a lot more than you will, but the ..."

This may come as a huge surprise, but the lawyers actually earned that money. All you had to do was fill out a form on the web.

I concur, RIAA still gets bled (2)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058088)

Even if you only see $5, it adds up to a large penalty against RIAA.

This goes right in line with those Sprint Spectrum settlements- where the settlement "deal" was worse than what you could get in Radio Shack! (yep, I got that one in the mail, got excited, checked the prices, and decided not to opt in)

It isn't so much to really re-imburse the consumers, but to hurt the corporations first and foremost.

Re:I just love the bias-free journalism (2, Insightful)

pr0t0plasm (183810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058188)

I bought over 180 CDs between the years in guestion. I'm pretty sure nefarious price fixing cost me more than $20. All I had to do was overpay for every music purchase I've made to date due to an oligopoly's illegal collusion.

Re:I just love the bias-free journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058194)

That's an interesting definition of the word "earned" you've got there.

Payments Could Be Nullfied (3, Insightful)

aSiTiC (519647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058038)

It is being spread that you will get $20 for a claim. In fact you will get $20 if less than 3.375 million people make claims because they are only paying a total of $67.5 million.

In fact, if more than 13.5 million people make claims which causes each claim to be less than $5 than everybody gets NOTHING. I wouldn't be surprised if more than 13.5 million people do make claims with all the press this story will get. The RIAA will probably try to get more press so that payments are nullified.

I'm curious to know where all the money goes if the average payment is less than $5... Do the lawyers get a week in Bermuda?

Re:Payments Could Be Nullfied (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058068)

I don't care. My entire cd collection except for about 3 or 4 cd's were bought in that period of time.

I think I would rather excude myself from this (2)

Kasmiur (464127) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058039)

I purchased multipule CD's through that time period. It was about the time I got my first CD player. The amount of CD's I bought was 40-50. If they did price fix 1-2$ per CD then I figure I am entitled to a lot more. I would actually rather they be forced to sell CD's for 1 year at a fixed price of 12$ Susgested retail price. Also I imagine you give up certain rights if you agree to the pay off. I would rather excude myself and get some friends also perhaps to let the judge see the judgement is unfair and is only good for the RIAA and the lawyers.

How can this be a Class Action suit? (4, Funny)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058048)

How can this be a Class Action Suit when the RIAA has no class? Crass action would be more accurate...

To bad I can't cash for all the MP3s I downloaded (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058050)

Over those years. At $20 per recording, that works out to, hrm, oh, only about a quarter million dollars :P

Inflation adjusted value of settlement (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058055)

Assuming you qualify for the max $20, and further assuming you bought it all in one year (simply apply the fraction to these numbers to calculate your adjusted value in those cases), here's the inflation adjusted values assuming a 4.25 percent inflation rate:

2003 20
2002 19.15
2001 18.33
2000 17.55
1999 16.81
1998 16.09
1997 15.41
1996 14.75
1995 14.12

A link to the actual article would be nice... (2)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058057)

It would be nice to have a link to the actual article instead of the frontpage of the site. Granted, the article is currently on the frontpage but won't be for long. Here [arstechnica.com] is a permalink to the actual article.

Settlement (1)

graphicartist82 (462767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058062)

Do you have to pay taxes on a settlement? That would suck if you got your $20 just to spite the RIAA, then the government, in return, hits you for its portion..

Given, that it's only $20, but it's still the principle of the thing...

RIAA payment (0, Redundant)

von Prufer (444647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058063)

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo now my uber $20 payment will go down to $5 because you'll slashdot the payment site

What happens to the $$? (2, Interesting)

webscathe (448715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058074)

As quoted from the web site

The cash paid by the Defendants, after the payment of attorneys' fees, litigation and Settlement administration costs, shall be distributed to consumers who purchased Music Products. The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant. If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers. Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products.

So now that this is on /. we all know the # of claims filed will result in a refund of less than $5. So now what happens? The money gets donated to pro-RIAA groups, yipee!

Breakdown... (5, Funny)

goingincirclez (639915) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058075)

Purchases of overpriced CD albums from 1995-2000 (that turned out to little more than one-hit-wonder crap): > $200

Settlement from class-action lawsuit (regarding the purchases of overpriced one-hit wonder crap):
The cost of filling out a marketing infomation form (to get your refund from one-hit wonder crap): Dead trees and spam

Trying out mp3's before wasting any more money on hard copy: Priceless

There are some things that are a ripoff. For everything else, there's P2P.

But Don't You All Sign Up! (2)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058076)

If enough people sign up that settlement/people is smaller than $5/person then no individuals get any money (and it all goes to charitable groups and the government). From what I can tell, the magic # is 8.8 million.

I was actually hoping Slashdot wouldn't get wind of this, so I'd have a better chance at getting $20. Oh well. (If I were one of those charities I sure would be working hard to sign people up for the settlement.)

AUGHHH! NOOOOOO! (5, Funny)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058079)

Dont get in on the suit. Next thing you know Lars Ulrich will be personally writing on you to demand 1 penny from the settlement because the price fixing made Moneygru^H^H^H^H^etallica lose
money and the money coming from the settlement will make them earn less from the distributor for their next album and soon James will be kicking in your door demanding money and spontaneously combusting all over your shiznit!

Maeryk

No money for me... (1)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058086)

...If only I'd actually have bought some CD's over the past three years, rather than dowloading every album from a P2P network.

Neudge!

"Charitable" Donations (1)

barryfandango (627554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058087)

"...Defendants will provide $75,700,000 worth of prerecorded music compact discs. The compact discs will be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs.

Finally, my community centre will get that Britney Spears Box Set we've been saving up for...

They're still doing it (5, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058090)

I would assume they settled out of course instead of paying this as part of a judgement. If they had gone the whole distance in court they would have had to pay refunds AND stop price fixing. I haven't seen any drop in CD prices, so it's obvious they haven't changed their practices one bit.

No doubt the RIAA attornies realized they would lose the case and be forced to sell music at reasonable prices. They can't have that! So settle for a few measly millions, instead.

Apply Anyway (2)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058097)

I know people have posted this: "The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant. If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers." and say "Why Bother"?

I'll tell you why: Because at the very least we can get some money out of the thieves that today are trying to screw us in other ways. Its too bad we can't use the money to fight the RIAA and their co-conspiritors. I'd waive my refund for such a cause. I'd love to see them punished, and brought to task for their misdeeds.

Personal Strap-On Aircraft for Auction on eBay [xnewswire.com]

Does taking the $20 limit further action? (3, Interesting)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058098)

I purchased over a thousand CDs in that time.

If I take the $20 does that mean, either implicitly or explicitly, that I'm claiming full restitution?

Re:Does taking the $20 limit further action? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058226)

yes. That's what settlement means. The matter is settled and eveything's all better. They aren't even required to lower the prices of future CDs.

so they've been caught... (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058105)

...and have stopped screwing us. Riiight.

ummm...when did CD prices go down by $5 each? Did I miss it? Or did they just factor in inflation, and keep prices the same?(even thought their production costs have dropped)

fushing FEEVES!!

It works! (2)

xchino (591175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058106)

At least it did in Nintendo's case. Anyone else remember the price fixing settlement against nintendo? Out of me and all of my nintendo geek friends, I was the only one who received a payment,(I also was the only one who filled out a request), for exactly $20.00 from Nintendo of America along with a letter of apology. My friends were so jelous, I didn't even cash the check, but opted to frame it and the letter.

At any rate, we all need to sign up for this, and hopefully we'll get a slight reimbursement for being ripped off, and maybe even a letter of apology from the RIAA. That's worth it to me :)

Website to file a claim (3, Insightful)

tbonium (521815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058108)

Um, you would be pretty stupid to file the claim on the website.

No encryption/SSL on the website, so your name, DOB, last 4 of SSN, etc. all belong to us.

forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058112)

By taking this $20, you are saying that it's ok that the RIAA overcharged you on all the CDs you've bought over the years, and it's just fine with you if they continue to do so.

Damnit, I'm not settling this grudge against the RIAA for $20 (less if too many people apply for the payment, WTF?) They've stolen more than that from me and I'm not signing off on a settlement as worthless as the Microsoft one.

Outrageous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058118)

Am I the only one who thinks that lawsuits and lawyers and the legal system are getting out of hand in modern America? All you hear about these days are people with lung cancer getting billions from the tobacco companies and obese people getting billions from fast food companies and now we have CD listeners getting billions from the music industry. Look, I think the RIAA does a lot of crappy things, but if you don't like it, don't buy CDs from them! Suing them just contributes to a litigious atmosphere that is wrecking a lot of things in this country.

We used to have small family doctors who would make house calls and come over in the middle of the night if necessary. Now because of all the frivolous lawsuits you have to pay outrageous insurance premiums and and fill out about 10 pages of paperwork to even get admitted to see some random doctor in the emergency room! Lawsuits and settlements have not, as a general rule, made this country a better place to live.

I don't like the RIAA, but I at least respect the American system and respect the right of the RIAA to do business. How quickly we forget the lesson of the man who died on the cross nearly 2000 years ago to protect the American way of life. Vote with your pocketbook instead of promoting an anti-American solution where the trial lawyers get rich and everybody else gets screwed.

Sign me up.... (2)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058127)

I don't mind filling out paper work, giving them info about me and spending my time on this.

It'll get my money back from "Da Man" all .0005 cents worth after lawyers, litigation fees etc.

Personally, I'd be much happier with a court order mandating they drop their current prices. I think it would send a stronger message to the RIAA members.

What about large cd collections? (2)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058135)

I don't understand why it's a set amount for everyone other than possibly because most people will not have receipts to show how many they bought. However, I think there should be a provision for those who have receipts to be able to get more money. For example, a professional dj (which I was for a short while) usually has receipts for every cd he buys because they are tax deductible. Granted it's not legal to play the ones you buy at retail, and you have to buy cd's that are licensed for performance, but that's not the issue. The issue is that Some people DO have receipts for hundreds of cd's that they were overcharged for.

But then again, is this ruling fair? Even though I think cd's are overpriced, I still believe that the music industry should be able to charge however much they want. It is then up to us as consumers to not buy their cd's until the price is affordable. That is how the system is supposed to work. They sell their wares for what the market will bear, or they go out of business.

Hrm, pretty crappy deal. (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058148)

There's going to be: What Benefits are Available?

The Defendants have agreed to pay a combination of cash and non-cash consideration. Defendants' combined cash payments total $67,375,000. In addition, Distributor Defendants will provide $75,700,000 worth of prerecorded music compact discs.

Cash Distribution

The cash paid by the Defendants, after the payment of attorneys' fees, litigation and Settlement administration costs, shall be distributed to consumers who purchased Music Products. The number of claims filed will determine the actual amount of the individual refund but will not exceed $20.00 per claimant. If the number of claims filed would result in refunds of less than $5.00 per claimant, there will be no cash distribution to individual consumers. Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes or programs for the benefit of consumers who purchased Music Products.


So, no matter how much the RIAA took you for, you can't get more then $20, and probably close to $5, if anything. But, hey won't it be nice to know the government will get all this money if we don't!?

But hey, there's also $75 million of free music that the stores are going to give out, of course they'll 'figure' it by the full album price, rather then what the disks cost.

I wonder if they're going to run ads on channels like MTV, VH1, and other teen channels. Something like "Hey kids, while you were all stealing theoretical money from the record companies, they were all stealing real money from you! Now you can get a small fraction of it back by going to our website" etc. Might to a bit more harm to the RIAAs already shitty public opinion (I'd love to see some polls on that)

I would have have rather ... (3, Insightful)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058152)

seen them lower current prices. It's a double win for them. a) We're sorry, have CDs from now on at the right price b) After lowering prices to the proper amounts, maybe people will start buying CDs again and maybe they can shutup about mp3s 'killing' their business.

Who am I kidding. This is the RIAA. They'll probably still try to milk their customers and find ways to NOT pay people from this 'settlement'. :)

humm.. in soviet canada.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5058153)

In Canada we pay a tax already on recordable media just incase we pirate music/film etc.. So the government is endorsing pirates.. weird how that works eh?.. you americans can keep your (probable) donation to charity.

They want plain form name, addr, & last 4 ssn (1)

bADlOGIN (133391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058157)

I don't know about that.....

what a farce (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058162)

As with most class action suits, only the lawyers get anything. In this case, as long as enough people file claims, they get nothing, Rather, the cash portion of the Settlement shall be distributed to not-for-profit, charitable, governmental or public entities to be used for music-related purposes. Hell, giving my money to the gub'mint or some music charity for music-related purposes is the damn last thing I want. Such a thing can only come back to cost me more money later.

Also, note that no matter how many CDs you bought, you are treated the same. The class action weazles are not doing anything to help you, just themselves.

Adding insult to injury, Defendants' combined cash payments total $67,375,000. In addition, Distributor Defendants will provide $75,700,000 worth of prerecorded music compact discs. What crap is this? The industry is being allowed to pony up more "worth" in junk CD's that nobody wants than in the cash they stole? Clearly the class action weazles winked and said "just make sure I get mine and we'll let you screw the consumers again".

Next case, refund for copyprotection (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058170)

How about the next case -- Refunds of blank media "tax" that go to the MPAA and RIAA to cover the amount that they "lost" from copies to this blank media?


When they copyprotect movies or songs, they are preventing copies but still collect that "tax" on the blank media.

Here's an idea (5, Insightful)

quintessent (197518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058173)

The way these always go, nobody really gets $20 or whatever out of it. Everyone will get a check for about 50 cents in the mail, and the lawyers will get new beach houses in San Diego. Now, this suit is a good cause, since the industry has been using tactics to fix prices and push them ever higher. However, rather than sleeping through the process, we should do something. Notice this from the web site:

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to determine if the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate on May 22, 2003, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101. If you remain a member of the Settlement Group, you or your counsel have the right to appear before the Court and object to the Settlement. However, you must file a Notice of Intention to Appear and Object...

Do you live near Maine? There is a good chance the settlement will not go far enough. The lawyers don't care, as long as they get their beach houses, but we, the actual party being represented, ought to. If you live in the area, check out the settlement, and if you disagree, say so in court. You don't need a lawyer, but try to be extremely well prepared when you go. Do your homework, and be prepared to represent those millions of us in a way the lawyers may not. If you're a lawyer yourself, all the better. Let's make sure this is fair.

Settlement Notes (2, Funny)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058179)

The Defendants have agreed to pay a combination of cash and non-cash consideration. Defendants' combined cash payments total $67,375,000. In addition, Distributor Defendants will provide $75,700,000 worth of prerecorded music compact discs. Due to a new industry-wide pricing structure, this equates to 757 prerecorded music compact discs.

I've submitted mine, so (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058182)

please don't submit yours... ;)

remember if more then 13.4 million people ask for one, then all the money goes to a Non-profit orginization.
That pretty much sucks, unless they give me the option to choose who it goes to.

Charity = Tax deduction (1)

ThingOne (578618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058210)

It would be great if the money would go to charity but can they write it off for taxes if it goes to charity? By a bunch of people signing up are we giving the RIAA a huge tax break. That and I don't want to give out personal information, I am not signing up.

Donate the settlement to a charity! (1)

Drew4president (637991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5058230)

If enough people sign this thing, and the amount per person drops below $5, it seems like the lawyers keep the settlement. And they have the personal info of tons of people. Plus, wouldn't you rather see this money go to a charity then send it in $5 douses to a bunch of consumers or even worse have the law firm keep it.
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