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Lessig And RIAA Answer NewsHour Questions

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the civilized-discussion-always-delightful dept.

Media 888

Zeta writes "The answers are finally in! Stanford's Lawrence Lessig and the RIAA's Matt Oppenheim have responded to all the tough questions on copyrighted music, many from Slashdot readers, for the online part of the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Take a look - some of the responses may surprise you." We ran the original call for questions a few weeks back.

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Yawn (-1, Redundant)

screwthemoderators (590476) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177845)

and nobody on the P2P networks cares.

Story: -1 Troll (-1, Troll)

screwthemoderators (590476) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177938)

In other news, it has been noticed that "Alternative" DJs in New England area, and probably the entire country, have become Trollers of the airwaves. When P2P networks get a little more interactive, maybe we can listen to people who care more about music than just pushing listeners' buttons.

Microsoft (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177854)

It's probably a Microsoft conspiracy. This has been another Microsoft Conspiracy Update.

http://conspiracyupdate.microsoft.com

So.. (-1, Redundant)

dr ttol (674155) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177863)

Is the NewsHour the same length as 60 Minutes?

Re:So.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177991)

How the fuck is this redundant?

Fucktards.

The RIAA guy is an idiot... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177878)

"just because a car is sitting idling and unlocked does not mean that you can get in it and drive it away for your own use"

The Riaa Guy

I'd let anyone make a perfect copy of my car and drive away with it if they'd like, I still have my car.

The RIAA guy is an idiot...Copy the good stuff. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177894)

"I'd let anyone make a perfect copy of my car and drive away with it if they'd like, I still have my car."

Who'd want a copy of a Yugo?

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot...Copy the good stuff. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177930)

That sort of brings up issues about if an auto manufacterer could stay in buisness if everyone did that doesn't it?

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot...Copy the good stuff. (1)

baloogan (676218) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177934)

Id like a perfect copy of a million dollars :)

Re:Copy of a million dollars (0, Offtopic)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178062)

Since the only legal specie are Gold and Silver, it's time to start mining. According to XE [xe.com] , you'd have to cough up 2,820 ounces of Gold, or 222,223 ounces of Silver.

According to the constitution, however... $1,000,000 should be equal to 28,571 ounces of gold... notice the 10:1 descrepancy? Someone's been ripped off.

--Mike--

Yeah, yeah, I know... off topic

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (2, Insightful)

LoztInSpace (593234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178052)

Maybe, but if copying cars was as easy as copying music you'd probably have paid $15 billion for it. I don't know what the development cost for a car is but I'm pretty sure if Ford thought they had a market of one, then the price would be higher than it is.

The RIAA guy is an idiot...Allegory hell. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178093)

"Maybe, but if copying cars was as easy as copying music you'd probably have paid $15 billion for it. I don't know what the development cost for a car is but I'm pretty sure if Ford thought they had a market of one, then the price would be higher than it is."

And that is different from the present situation how?

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (1, Interesting)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178105)

Maybe, but if copying cars was as easy as copying music you'd probably have paid $15 billion for it.

I'm sorry, but it doesn't cost anywhere near $15 billion to build one single car. Sure, mass production is going to lower the per-car price somewhat, but you could easily create a car for under $100K. Now add the fact that most cars are just "derivative works" of their parts, and that parts can be recycled from year to year while still upgrading other parts, and the price of a new car is going to go down to just the price of the added feature. And that's just for one, the rest can be mass produced for no cost from there.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178063)

Hell, I would make a perfect copy of my car as a backup. "Need oil or gas?"... "Time to get out the backup"

Then, if my car was wrecked, I would just pull out the backup, also.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (4, Insightful)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178114)

You are missing the point - the point is if everybody will be copying cars for free, who'll spen lots of $$ for producing them?

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (4, Insightful)

ftobin (48814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178141)

You are missing the point - the point is if everybody will be copying cars for free, who'll spen lots of $$ for producing them?

That's for a natural market to find out on its own.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (2, Insightful)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178158)

Not exacatly. Natural behaviour is that everybody wants everything yesterday and for free.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (1)

retto (668183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178160)

Seems like a great idea until one time you think you are getting a BMW but when you drive off you find that it is a mis-labeled Tempo that is prone to sudden jarring stops and then quits early before you reach your final destination.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (2, Interesting)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178166)

He obviously drank the Kool-Aid(tm).

Yeah, I can't stand listening to him. All these RIAA-defenders sound like a broken record, repeating the same tired arguments over and over again. Like "intellectual property should be treated like any other property."
-russ

Would you be able to sell your car? (4, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178167)

With people walking up and driving away with perfect copies, suddenly your car has no value.

If you are a car dealer, you're done for.

Re:The RIAA guy is an idiot... (4, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178178)

like lessig said in the session

The RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America. It is not the Recording Industry and Artists Association of America. It says its concern is artists. That's true, in just the sense that a cattle rancher is concerned about its cattle.

sums it up nicely

Get a copy of the transcript on kazaa (3, Funny)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177879)

Better yet, dl the the show off kazaa and watch it anytime!

Re:Get a copy of the transcript on kazaa (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177945)

We don't need Kazaa because the transcript and an audio clip is posted on the website at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june03/do wnloading_4-24.html [pbs.org] .

Why was the parent a troll? Have a sense of humor, asshats.

Re:Get a copy of the transcript on kazaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178119)

What about the video?

bittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178171)

Screw kazaa, anybody have a bittorrent link?

NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (5, Insightful)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177902)

"B. The record industry has been hit very hard in the last few years as a result of illegal downloading and piracy.

In 2002, unit sales were down about 11 percent.
In 2001, unit sales were down about 10 percent.
In 2000, unit sales were down seven percent. "

No, you jackass! Your sales are down for other reasons.. not illegal downloading.

1) Only so many bands can look and sound identical, before people need only buy ONE album and pretend it is five different bands.

2) Music sucks.

3) CD's are overpriced for what you get.. when Rush used to put out albums, five or six songs were GOOD and the rest were OKAY.. now your pablum barfing force fed musicians are wont to put out one hit, on a record that Im payign 16 dollars for.

4) see #2

5) ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID!

Thank you.

Maeryk

Re:NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (5, Insightful)

CanSpice (300894) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177943)

Also in that answer was a complete non-answer. You'll note how he didn't say that the artists would get any of their money back, only that it depends on their contract. So much for the RIAA fighting for the artist, eh?

Re:NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (5, Insightful)

Bame Flait (672982) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177983)

You're right on the money with #2 and #4.

I personally could care less if "big music" goes belly up. Would that mean people would stop making music? Clearly, the answer is no.

God forbid the music industry's demise lead to Americans thinking for themselves, and actually having to discriminate in determining which music they like, instead of being force-fed by these soulless plutocrats.

Re:NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (1)

retto (668183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177996)

Don't forget that there are other things for a person to spend money on. DVDs, video games, etc. The money goes where the entertainment is. If tickets to see a movie or concert go up, that means there is less for CDs.

Re:NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (4, Insightful)

plierhead (570797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178192)

No, you jackass! Your sales are down for other reasons.. not illegal downloading

This (and the other responses to your post) is typical slashdottery double standards. Normally intelligent people bristle (rightly) with rage when their rights are taken away. And then (wrongly) go on to make very unintelligent statements that appear to be sheer propaganda to defend their position.

Even if all you say is true for you (quite possibly it is, what do I know), do you really believe that no-one else in the world is spending less on CDs? Do you really think that some cash-strapped 12 year old, who now has access to $1 ripped copies of the music he wants, is going to keep on begging his parents for $15 to buy a legit copy ? Of course not. Of course he will be contributing to reduced sales.

It is an absolute no-brainer that illegal piracy and downloading is cutting into the industry's sales. No matter how unpalatable that truth is to us.

Before I am modded into oblivion, I am not arguing with any of the following:

  1. CDs are way over-priced
  2. It sucks that the artist gets so little on every sale
  3. The RIAA are pricks and deserve everything coming to them (heh, that should make me safe !)
  4. Downloading free music rocks !
My only point is that is irrational to claim that illegal downloading does not impact on sales. It is blindingly obvious that some people will buy less music if they can get the same thing free or very cheap. And for sure there is not a counter-balancing volume of people out there who are buying more because of illegal copying.

So lets not use untruths to make the industry change their position - it won't work. It plays into their hands.

Use hard facts instead. Unless music becomes cheaper, illegal copying will go on, and will get worse. Citizens will start to see it as their duty to put up illegal P2P nodes. Even now, we are revolting ! So wake the fuck up, RIAA !

Re:NEWSFLASH Riaa wigs STill CLUELESS (1)

ImpTech (549794) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178204)

As a somewhat OT aside, I'd like to mention that #3 may be changing somewhat. As an example, my friend just bought the new Metallica CD (caution, I didn't verify that its not a copy-protected cd, but I don't think it is). It cost $10 at the store, and it came with a companion DVD and access to a website with more content. Needless to say, he was pretty surprised and happy. Hopefully more artists will do stuff like this. After all, if Lars can do it, anyone can.

What's the Difference? (5, Insightful)

cethiesus (164785) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177910)

Haven't read it all so far, but this is just blaring...

Nobody is really "sharing" as we traditionally think of the term. Sharing involves lending something to somebody, and while it is on loan, the owner no longer has it. "Sharing" in the P2P context has become a euphemism for "copying." That copying is neither legal nor ethical.

So...why do they say copying music files is "stealing"? Nobody loses any physical property, nothing of monetary value, but yet "copying" is equal to "stealing" in their minds...

From an ethical perspective, when individuals engage in illegal copying, they are taking money out of the pockets of all of the people who have put their hard work into making the music

Yeah, and from an ethical perspective suing a student for creating a search engine and letting him go for merely all he's worth is just dandy.

Re:What's the Difference? (4, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177993)

Of course we all know they mean that we are stealing from a vapor of revenue they "could have" made if the person:

A. hadn't copied the file
B. still wanted it enough to pay $16

I don't have a problem paying for music, but the RIAA is making a big mistake if they think they can legislate out of existence economic law.

Supply vs. Demand. They should view P2P as COMPETITION, not as theft. Then, they would realize what it is: An inferior method of getting inferior versions of a product for a low low low price.

Back to the sharing!=copying!=stealing, I think that the original intent of copyright was to safeguard initial profits of a trademark or intellectual property, but then eventually safeguard the data so everyone can be enriched by it. I mean, that's what humanity is about--sharing and loving stuff, right? When did money become more important than happiness?! The RIAA wants to control everything, and they are seeing their empire collapse from under them as new, open sources of information take over where they couldn't go. Information wants to be free.

Anyway, maybe if the RIAA LOWERED THE PRICES ON THEIR MUSIC, more people would buy it. $16 isn't reasonable. That is 3 meals. Why do we as a society accept rockstars that make a lot of money anyway? They don't deserve it. They just waste it on clothes and drugs and cars. Personally, I am happy to support good and hardworking stars that come to my city on tours. But I will never buy a CD from the big5 again. Sigh, I digress.

Someone giving away YOUR Product for free (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178004)

is not competition, it's fucking theft. Quite making excuses, you're stealing their fucking music because you don't want to pay for it.

Re:Someone giving away YOUR Product for free (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178054)

Paying $0 for something that doesn't exist is theft?

It's merely a pattern of bits that causes my speakers to emit a sound wave.

It's worth $0, I'll pay $0 to get it. Now, it would be worth a few bucks to me to have a really nice, always available, searchable collection of very high quality patterns that I could download at a decent speed.

Artists make money touring. The only people who profit from CD sales are the Record Companies. It's a scam, and I'm done with it. I've turned my back.

Re:Someone giving away YOUR Product for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178086)

It's merely a pattern of bits that causes my speakers to emit a sound wave.

Better known as "music".

You're a fucking retard.

Re:Someone giving away YOUR Product for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178101)

No no no...it's "Intellectual Property."

You're a fucking retard.

What's the Difference?-Share and share some more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178065)

"I mean, that's what humanity is about--sharing and loving stuff, right? "

Of course. You share your wife. I share my cookies. You share your house for a big all-night orgies. I share my potato salad. You share that wallet full of money. here have some more cookies.

eight cents (1)

GnarlyNome (660878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178096)

thats about what the artist gets from your sixteen dollars according to a musician friend of mine

Re:What's the Difference? (1)

citog (206365) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178047)

So...why do they say copying music files is "stealing"? Nobody loses any physical property, nothing of monetary value, but yet "copying" is equal to "stealing" in their minds...

Loss of revenue? If a CD is copied then the record company has lost the revenue they would have gained if the CD was purchased by those receiving the copies.

Re:What's the Difference? (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178076)

Loss of revenue? If a CD is copied then the record company has lost the revenue they would have gained if the CD was purchased by those receiving the copies.

You forgot the maybe. If no copy is made, and it isn't worth it to actually buy it, they don't make any money either.

They are trying to make it out like CD's are like food or toilet paper, but really it's their own fault they have a flawed business model. Sorry, folks, the end has come. They have enough cash to keep kicking and screaming for a while, but I think the film industry is a little bigger on the money side, and they are all into that pretty heavily also.

I'll never shed a tear. I've turned my back. Sorry to all the artists, but you're just going to have to work harder and sell tour tickets and tshirts like everyone else. The scam is over.

Re:What's the Difference? (1)

cethiesus (164785) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178081)

I'll use their car analogy here:
If a person steals the unlocked car with the keys in the engine, do you really think that same person is going to buy a car of their own, regardless of whether they stole the car or not?

Re:What's the Difference? (1)

ftobin (48814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178113)

Sharing involves lending something to somebody, and while it is on loan, the owner no longer has it.

Yeah, and it's just so unfortunate that we've developed technology so that the giver doesn't have to 'lose' in order to give.

</sarcasm>

Save PBS's bandwidth bill (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177921)

The Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued four students on April 3 for allegedly
operating music-sharing Web sites, accusing them of enabling large-scale copyright
theft. Although the RIAA initially asked for $98 billion in damages, it settled
the case on May 1, with the four students paying fines ranging from $12,000 to
$17,500.

Marking another victory for the recording industry, a federal judge
on April 24 ordered Verizon Communications to reveal the names of two Internet
subscribers accused of illegally trading music online. Since that decision, Verizon
received subpoenas for information on two more Internet subscribers.

Verizon
turned over the names of its four Internet subscriberson June 5 after
the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. rejected the telecom company's
request for a stay while it appeals the lower court decision. Verizon plans to
appeal that ruling.

Meanwhile, on April 25, a federal judge in Los Angeles
delivered a setback to the entertainment industry by dismissing lawsuits against
two file-swapping services, Streamcast Networks and Grokster. Judge Stephen Wilson
ruled that the two services were not liable for copyright violations that may
have occurred while people were using their software.

Although the ruling
does not legalize the downloading of copyrighted media online, it shields companies
that provide peer-to-peer software from liability for the actions of their users.

Does the entertainment industry has the right to prevent the "sharing"
and downloading of digital copyrighted media? What methods should it employ to
deter, or stop, the downloading?

Is music sharing tantamount to online theft?
Or is it the consumer's right to have unfettered access to online materials, including
copyrighted media? Should online music, film and other media be available for
public use?

Two leading experts representing the two sides of the debate
answer your questions about consumer rights and media copyrights in the digital
age.



John Wilcox from Arlington, VA asks:

(1) If physical communities can form libraries for the purpose of sharing copyrighted materials with community members, why can't virtual communities?

(2) If I can go to my local library and check out a CD for free, why can't I copy a digital CD from an online friend? And if I like a song enough to re-record it onto a cassette, why can't I copy the song from a digital server? What are the fundamental differences between the library setting and Internet file-swapping services that make the former both ethical and legal, and the latter unethical and/or illegal? Don't both the public library and online file-sharing services serve the same public interest?

Lawrence Lessig from Stanford Law School responds:

Let's distinguish "can" from "should." Simplifying just a bit: Why "can't" you? Because when virtual communities "share" materials, they make copies, and copyright law regulates copies; when real space libraries "share" content, they don't make copies, so copyright law doesn't regulate that. But should there be such a difference? No. Our tradition has always recognized the importance of balance in copyright restrictions; it has always recognized the importance of access.

There is no reason that the technical accident that everything online is a copy should mean the end of libraries. Obviously, libraries shouldn't become the pirates lair. But neither should the Internet obliterate libraries.

Matt Oppenheim from the Recording Industry Association of America responds:

(1) The idea of a virtual community that "shares" music is a great idea. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening on P2P [peer-to-peer] networks these days. Networks like Kazaa, Gnutella, iMesh, Grokster and Morpheus, among others, are encouraging and helping individuals to distribute perfect digital copies of music to millions of strangers simultaneously. Nobody is really "sharing" as we traditionally think of the term. Sharing involves lending something to somebody, and while it is on loan, the owner no longer has it. "Sharing" in the P2P context has become a euphemism for "copying." That copying is neither legal nor ethical.

(2) Just because you physically can check a CD out of the library and copy it does not mean that it is legal to do so. Similarly, just because a car is sitting idling and unlocked does not mean that you can get in it and drive it away for your own use. Intellectual property should not be treated any differently than other property. Unless you buy it, you should not copy it for your own use. Indeed, there is no question under the law that copying a CD you borrow from the library is copyright infringement (we just never have enforced against that extremely limited amount of infringement).

From an ethical perspective, when individuals engage in illegal copying, they are taking money out of the pockets of all of the people who have put their hard work into making the music. That includes everyone from the famous rock star to the woman working the sound boards to the back up singers to the truck driver who delivers the CDs. There is nothing ethical in this. If art of any form is going to survive and flourish in our culture, we need to support it and protect it. When you buy a CD, you should feel free to copy it for your own use. So, if you buy a CD that you keep at home, you should feel free to make a copy that you have in your car. It is not legal, ethical or cool to copy somebody else's CD for your own use.

Chris
from Santa Monica asks:

To Mr. Lessig: please explain
how anyone can claim that distributing copies of copyrighted music to a total
stranger without authorization of the artist or song owner is not copyright infringement?
No one thinks that making a large number of Xerox copies of a book and handing
them out on the street is legal, so why is P2P [peer-to-peer] different?

Lawrence
Lessig from Stanford Law School responds:

That would
be hard for me to explain because I don't know anyone serious who doubts that
under current law, individuals engage in copyright infringement when they make
large quantities of copyrighted material available for others to copy without
the permission of the copyright owner. But I also don't think that's the issue
with P2P technologies.

P2P technologies can be used for totally legal purposes,
even if they are also used for illegal purposes. Indeed, as they develop, the
vast majority of uses of P2P technology will be legal. As the Supreme Court has
rightly held, a technology is not illegal if it is capable of "substantial noninfringing
uses." Every P2P technology that I have seen satisfies this test.

Matt
Oppenheim from the Recording Industry Association of America responds:

AMEN!!



Two
viewer questions regarding anti-piracy devices, technological innovation, and
the
right of "fair use"
:

A)
Michael Wyman from Eden Prairie, Minn. asks:

(1) Technologies
that can be used for copyright infringement also serve many legitimate purposes.
Is it possible to prevent the illegal use of these circumvention technologies,
without simultaneously obstructing their use for legitimate purposes and stifling
technological innovation and advances?

(2) Please explain how the DMCA [Digital
Millennium Copyright Act] will or will not impede further technological innovation
and scientific resessarch, and the development of new software programs and other
new media devices.

B)
Lenny G. Arbage from Billerica, Mass. asks:

Under the
DMCA, is it illegal to purchase, create, or distribute technologies that circumvent
copy-protection devices?

Considering that the recording industry has recently
begun embedding copy control devices in CDs, how can I make legal copies and transfer
the content to another medium -- under my fair use rights -- without trafficking
in (illegal) anti-circumvention devices? If all CDs sold in the U.S. had such
built-in anti-piracy devices, then wouldn't the ban on anti-circumvention technologies
perpetuate copyrights for eternity even after a copyright expired?

Please
explain how this does not violate my "fair use rights" as a consumer,
and how the DMCA does not impede technological development and scientific research.

Lawrence
Lessig from Stanford Law School responds to the two viewer questions:

The
DMCA is an embarrassment to copyright law. Copyright law has always been about
balance -- about the balance between restrictions and access.

The Constitution
expresses that balance: it requires that copyrights be for "limited Times;" the
First Amendment requires that copyright yields to "fair use."

But the DMCA
rejects that principle of balance.

The DMCA regulates technologies that
circumvent copyright protection technologies. In that regulation, it abolishes
this tradition of balance. If you develop a circumvention technology that circumvents
a copyright protection technology, it doesn't matter whether or not the circumvention
would be permitted under copyright law. Even if the use you would make of the
copyrighted work was a "fair use," it is still regulated under the DMCA.

That
is an extremism that the law should not allow. And in my view, when the Supreme
Court finally gets a chance to review the DMCA, it will apply the principle it
just announced in Eldred v. Ashcroft: That the protections of copyright must yield
to the First Amendment, whether under copyright law directly, or under the DMCA.

Matt
Oppenheim from the Recording Industry Association of America responds:

A
(1.)
Absolutely! There are quite a few ways that these technologies
can incorporate safeguards to prevent copyright infringement.

Indeed, in
all of the cases that the record industry has filed in court against P2P [peer-to-peer]
networks like Napster, Aimster, Kazaa, Morpheus, etc., we have not asked that
the Court shut these services down. We have asked that the infringements be filtered
out of the system. By implementing these types of technological safeguards, those
artists and copyright holders who want to distribute their works for free can
do so, and those that would prefer not to do so have a choice as well.

More
and more companies are now legally distributing music online.

Those companies
(including Pressplay, Rhapsody, Listen, etc.) are delivering to consumers high
quality music online in a format and form that consumers have demanded. Those
companies are harnessing many of the productive technologies that have been developed
in the last decade.

A
(2.)
The DMCA Anti-Circumvention provision is not intended to
stifle technological innovation. Indeed, it is intended to spur it on by creating
and protecting business markets for new technologies.

Many new technology
companies are focused on developing technologies to protect content, whether that
be music or genetic code, and those companies will not be able to sustain their
businesses if they cannot protect their products. In the absence of a business
market, technological innovation will be limited because only the government and
non-profits will ever be able to support it.

All that aside, the DMCA Anti-Circumvention
provision has specific provisions built into it that exempts true scientific research.
Moreover, every three years, the United States Copyright Office reviews whether
specific exemptions need to be added to the DMCA to address this issue.

B.
The goal of copy protection in CDs is not to prevent individuals
from making copies that they want to make for personal use, but rather to prevent
individuals from distributing the recordings or making copies they don't have
a right to make. Record companies don't want to lock music up -- after all, why
would people buy it if they could not listen to it in the way that they wanted?

Many copy-protection technologies include on a CD a second copy of the
album in compressed form ready for transfer to an owner's computer, but not capable
of being distributed on programs such as Kazaa. These technologies are still,
in many respects, in their infancy, and they will become more and more flexible
over the next few years.

Having said all this about copy-protected CDs,
as far as I know, only nine such CDs have been released in the U.S. The rumors
of widespread use of copy-protected CDs seem to more prolific than the CDs.



REST IS at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/june03/copyright 5.html

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177946)

Karma whore. It's not like PBS is going to get slashdotted.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178134)

An AC Karma Whore?

Re:Save PBS's bandwidth bill (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177969)

You *do* realize that you are COPYING the article and not SHARING it?

Re:Save PBS's bandwidth bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177997)

But he's not STEALING it, becasue PBS still has it!

~~~

A favor to ask of /. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177925)

Could you guys set me up with a girl? I've been looking around and haven't gotten a date yet, I thought slashdot could help!

I'm a 29 year old software engineer. My interests include Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and comic books, especially Spider-Man. Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a ninja and act out scenes from the 80's television show "The Master" with my two cats.

So if you guys could set me up, please respond to this message and I will provide the phone number to my Mom's basement.

Thanks!

Re:A favor to ask of /. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177940)

555-1212

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177994)

Could be the next topic for "Ask Slashdot"

P2P (2, Funny)

Zarxos (648322) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177929)

The big thing I don't understand about the music piracy subject is why Napster was shut down and all these clones have sprung up, but none of them have been shut down. The Napster guy should have copyrighted P2P.

Re:P2P (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177981)

Napster was centralized... they had one point where every client connected and told the hub what was up for share. Napster then propagated that information through the clients.

This means 1) they were aware of every thing that is shared though their network and 2) they had complete control over what they allowed to be shared, and could filter it if they wished. This was judged to make them liable for the infringements.

All the "clones" that have popped up are decentralized, which means that the creators have no more awareness of what is shared than the users do, and have no power to stop it. If they can't stop it, they're not liable for not stopping it.

Message to the RIAA from Scott McNealy (1)

Anonnymous Coward (557983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177931)

"You have no copyright, get over it."

From the article: (1)

CyberSlugGump (609485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177937)

The goal of copy protection in CDs is not to prevent individuals from making copies that they want to make for personal use, but rather to prevent individuals from distributing the recordings or making copies they don't have a right to make.
Many copy-protection technologies include on a CD a second copy of the album in compressed form ready for transfer to an owner's computer, but not capable of being distributed on programs such as Kazaa.


Has anyone encountered said technology? Seems like antother push for Microsoft DRM....

Re:From the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178050)

but rather to prevent individuals from distributing the^H^H^H recordings

So they change to cd format to a proprietry one. Then once all the old cd players have been phased out they have complete control over distribution/publishing.

Fair Use (5, Insightful)

Orinthe (680210) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177939)

"Many copy-protection technologies include on a CD a second copy of the album in compressed form ready for transfer to an owner's computer, but not capable of being distributed on programs such as Kazaa. These technologies are still, in many respects, in their infancy, and they will become more and more flexible over the next few years."

So, this guy's saying that we should let everything stand for a few years, and then all of a sudden companies are going to make things _less_ restrictive? No offense, but I'm not holding my breath. I wouldn't trust the major labels to do that for a second, much less years. If we let it go until then, the DMCA/UCITA-type laws will be firmly entrenched and fair use will have disappeared entirely in digital media. Anyone else want to wait for that to happen?

Hmm... (1)

Handover Slashdot (255651) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177948)

"We are doing exactly the same thing that every other infringer is doing."

Different animal of sorts? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177951)

One industry you don't hear complaining about P2P sharing is the porn industry. Needless to say, you can get more videos and pics on file sharing networks, etc, than you can shake a stick at (not to mention posting on newsgroups). What's their stand on file sharing? It seems like they really could care less.

Re:Different animal of sorts? (1)

yozzle (628834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178034)

They lose enough buisness to people who realize that you can get free porn with http://www.thehun.org/ and other TGPs, so that they really don't care about the P2P pr0n. Besides, they really target new internet users who don't realize they can find untold terabytes of pr0n on the internet, and people with unusual (as in anything from scat to tentacle rape) fetishes who need a specialzed site to offer them what they want.

Why, oh why does this continue (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177957)

The RIAA is desperate because bands that used to make good records can't make any more. Why? Well, because:
1) they may not have been that talented in the first place, and/or
2) it's hard to be that inspired when you got 5 million bucks in your pocket.
Ever seen 5 million bucks? Most people, one they get that kinda money, go one of 2 ways:
1) they get super-greedy, and try to just make super-popular records, which flops hard at some point.
2) they just say "ok, i'm done" and that's it. The RIAA needs to realize that people are gonna listen to the music one way or another if 1) you can't hear it on the radio, and 2) the band's new stuff blows, or 3) if they want to hear something to see if the band's new record blows, which it most likely does. STILL, did Eminem go platinum? Yes. RECORDS ARE STILL SELLING IF THE MATERIAL IS ALL THAT GOOD/POPULAR! People really don't want the hassle of the internet, unless the material is hard to find elsewhere, i.e. at stores, or if they are unsure of the quality of the material, etc. DUH.

copy protection = few cd purchases (2, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177959)

It seems to me that one of the big reasons for people buying fewer cds is that they have become a major pain in the ass. Why should I go spend $20 on a cd when i'm I can't even play it in my computer, nor am I sure it will play in my car cd player. But that argument aside, my friends and I simply paid for a lot more cd's when it was easier to copy them. We would basically each go out and buy a cd or two a month, and burn copies for everyone who did this, and we ended up getting 6 or 8 cds. If the cd was really good then we probably all ended up buying it. Now it's a pain in the ass and you can't always do that anymore, so we think "eh whats the point" and just download off kazaa. In the end we as a group purchaced fewer cds.
This is really a moot point anyway, because as many people have said before, music sucks.

Re:copy protection = few cd purchases (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178120)

"Why should I go spend $20 on a cd when i'm I can't even play it in my computer, nor am I sure it will play in my car cd player."
Hmmm. So your source material is not to spec standards.. but if you have to "fix" it so it works.. then the source != destination... that means its NOT an "exact copy" as claimed...

Follow what I say, and do as I do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178145)

"This is really a moot point anyway, because as many people have said before, music sucks."

And all across the land. People show just how disgusting the present day music is by downloading it and playing it over and over. In fact it's so bad that since misery loves company they burn copies on their $200 CD-burners for their friends to join them in agony.

the online part of the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehre (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6177968)

the online part of the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Wow, the ONLINE part? It must be good!

many of which have been submitted by Slashdot readers

Wow, Slashdot readers? It must be REALLY good!!

And it continues... (4, Interesting)

cethiesus (164785) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177970)

Record companies don't want to lock music up -- after all, why would people buy it if they could not listen to it in the way that they wanted?

DOES THIS GUY LISTEN TO HIMSELF? If the RIAA wants us to listen to music the way we want, why don't they let us GIVE THEM MONEY for things like music downloads or at least some sort of "approved" form of media other than $25 CDs that we can listen to however and wherever we wish?

Re:And it continues...As the Apple turns. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178013)

"If the RIAA wants us to listen to music the way we want, why don't they let us GIVE THEM MONEY for things like music downloads or at least some sort of "approved" form of media other than $25 CDs that we can listen to however and wherever we wish?"

You mean like Apple iTunes, and what Microsoft's coming up with?

Re:And it continues...As the Apple turns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178136)

itunes's format can't be burned to cd, and i doubt microsoft is going to offer much better........

Re:And it continues... (-1, Flamebait)

inKubus (199753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178022)

His job is to be the dick who pisses us off; he's a prick policeman, a tool of the industry. Of course he doesn't listen to himself. It'd be to hard on his conscious.....

I wonder if this is how the Jews felt about Himmler in Nazi Germany?

Re:And it continues... (1)

cethiesus (164785) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178023)

WOW....he keeps going, this is the best part (in response to headless cease-and-desist letters, notably the Penn State incident):
We are not accessing anybody's "property," and we are certainly not violating anybody's personal rights. We are doing exactly the same thing that every other infringer is doing.

So...we can trade our MP3's now?

Re:And it continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178026)

Dude...where are you buying $25 CDs at? Even Columbia House doesn't screw you THAT bad

'Amen'? (4, Interesting)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177971)

Matt Oppenheim from the Recording Industry Association of America responds:

AMEN!!

Was he saying 'Amen' to the answer from the other person,

That would be hard for me to explain because I don't know anyone serious who doubts that under current law, individuals engage in copyright infringement when they make large quantities of copyrighted material available for others to copy without the permission of the copyright owner. But I also don't think that's the issue with P2P technologies.
P2P technologies can be used for totally legal purposes, even if they are also used for illegal purposes. Indeed, as they develop, the vast majority of uses of P2P technology will be legal. As the Supreme Court has rightly held, a technology is not illegal if it is capable of "substantial noninfringing uses." Every P2P technology that I have seen satisfies this test.

Or the question,

To Mr. Lessig: please explain how anyone can claim that distributing copies of copyrighted music to a total stranger without authorization of the artist or song owner is not copyright infringement? No one thinks that making a large number of Xerox copies of a book and handing them out on the street is legal, so why is P2P [peer-to-peer] different?

? ;)

"Amen" directed at question, not Lessig's answer (2, Interesting)

Shinzaburo (416221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178085)

Matt's "amen" was directed at the person asking the question. It seems that Oppenheim and Lessig's responses were made independently of one another, without responding to each other.

DMCA stance (0)

Hilleh (561336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6177980)

I love the RIAA guy's response to every question about the DMCA...

"It doesn't stifle innovation, it just protects people from infringing on our markets! It was real innovative the way we avoided a press scandal when we paid off the senators!"

Searching for violations... (1)

Orinthe (680210) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178005)

"We are not accessing anybody's 'property,' and we are certainly not violating anybody's personal rights. We are doing exactly the same thing that every other infringer is doing."

I'm sorry, but did this person just say that my data isn't my property, and that rifling through it isn't a violation of my rights? Or did he maybe imply that if it's on the internet, it's open to the public? Gee, so I've found this MP3 on an open network (say, the world wide web, or a p2p network). Obviously, since it's just lying there, I should be able to access it (which, due to an 'accident of technology' happens to involve copying the data to my own computer) without violating anyone's rights. Don't you think?

Re:Searching for violations... (2, Insightful)

citog (206365) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178100)

There's a difference, you are providing content on a public web server. This is obviously intended to be viewed if you haven't taken steps to prevent people from viewing it (password protection or a notice outlining the rights they have to access the material). The MP3 has been taken from a CD which has stated its' copyright claims, however the copyright notice has been 'removed' by the time you 'find' the MP3.

The wicked witch was not invited? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178007)

Where was Rosen at?

Did they not allow her to enter this Q & A session for the drubbing she got by The Great Oxford Student Union Debate, or is she simply being eased out to pasture?
IMHO, she needs to be taken to the glue factory....

who gives a fuck about the riaa the music scene (5, Insightful)

bloosqr (33593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178021)

Yes radio sucks, yes many riaa bands suck but there are definitely work arounds. I've bought more music in the last few months than I have in a really long time (mostly stuff from metropolis/different drum/emperor norton/spv and some european equivalents). Shoutcast has been a godsend for those of me , I buy records but the kids who run the radio stations on shoutcast provide a great way of discovering new music. Need decent non-riaa music for your car, leave a few shoutcast streams on overnight and rip to cd/rw while you shower and play it on your mp3 cd car player. Use opennap/gnutella/shoutcast whatever to find your new music but if you LIKE the ARTISTS and BUY THE MUSIC! Most of the smaller labels need you to do this to survive. I honestly don't think the smaller bands care if you've discovered them by browsing some kids opennap file share becase some friend of yours told you about some new ebm band called "brudershaft" and you want to know what the hype is all about. But listen to it, if you think damn this rocks, this shit should be on the radio, buy it, it wakes the radio stations up, it gets the peoples making all the cool new music the recognition they actually deserve and it'll make the radio stations not suck so hard.

-blo

A debate would have been more interesting. (3, Funny)

DevNull Ogre (256715) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178027)

It was kind of boring reading responses from Lessig and then from Oppenheim. I was hoping for more than just hearing them rehash the same old lines.

I would have much preferred hearing them debate. Now that would have been interesting. I'd like to see how each would respond to the other's various arguments. (Okay, so mostly I'd like to see Lessig rhetorically clobber the RIAA guy. But I don't think that invalidates my point about a debate being more interesting.)

The RIAA, the DMCA, and property (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178035)

I was loathe to read the RIAA response since its a given that the RIAA representative will lie like a spammer. But I was drawn to it anyway.

Every time the DMCA was brought up the RIAA guy said it was just fine because it promotes innovation, rental models, blah blah blah. And that there's that copyright office exemption thing that comes up every few years.

Of course, what he didn't mention is

1) The exemption doesn't do a damn thing for devices. Sure, you can break the copy protection mechanism... just don't build a device to do it.

2) The RIAA will lobby $trenuously against any proposed exemption which affects them.

Anyone else notice that when you surf the net for music files, you're messing with their intellectual property -- but when THEY surf the net looking for music files (and finding stuff which doesn't belong to them) it's not about property?

Treated like other property? (4, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178038)

Matt Oppenheim (from the RIAA): Intellectual property should not be treated any differently than other property. Unless you buy it, you should not copy it for your own use.

Umm, the whole point of intellectual property is that it is treated differently than other property. If you buy something, absent copyright or patent law, you can copy it.

If intellectual property shouldn't be treated any differently from other property, why can't I take it apart and examine it without violating the DMCA? If they are to be treated the same, why can't I charge an admission fee to show it to my friends? After all, I could do that with my brand new Porshe, right?

Re:"Intellectual Property" (4, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178194)

<ANTIPROPAGANDA STRENGTH="100%" COHERENCY="50%" ALT="I'm tired so it's not completely coherent">

IANAL

The propaganda term "Intellectual Property" is a creative fiction designed to confuse two separate types of limited control granted by government.

1. Patents - A limited monopoly over the commercial implementation and distribution of a novel concept IN A PRODUCT. Patents represent a trade-off to encourage open distribution of the concept after the limited term of the patent. Note that a patent doesn't prevent someone from using a concept for their own use.

2. Copyright - A time limited monopoly over the commercial distribution of an authored work. The term is limited and this is traded by the government to encourage the creation of a large public domain. Note that this is intended to prevent PUBLISHERS from making money off of other publishers works.

Note that in both cases the primary motivation is creation of goods for the public.

The fiction is that it isn't property at all... it's a time limited grant of monopoly, and it's meant to expire. Property is a durable item, not a lease.

</ANTIPROPAGANDA>

The RIAA Agrees: *It's Not Stealing* (4, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178040)

The RIAA rep shot their entire propoganda campaign in the foot with this gem:

The idea of a virtual community that "shares" music is a great idea. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening on P2P [peer-to-peer] networks these days. Networks like Kazaa, Gnutella, iMesh, Grokster and Morpheus, among others, are encouraging and helping individuals to distribute perfect digital copies of music to millions of strangers simultaneously. Nobody is really "sharing" as we traditionally think of the term. Sharing involves lending something to somebody, and while it is on loan, the owner no longer has it. "Sharing" in the P2P context has become a euphemism for "copying." [ ... ]

So, according to this guy, "sharing" only takes place when the lender doesn't have the shared book/CD/whatever available for their use. If the lender retains a copy, or the original, then it's not, "sharing," but, "copying."

However, the RIAA -- and, to be fair, just about every other intellectual "property" advocate -- often refer to unsanctioned copying as, "stealing."

Except... Wait a minute. Isn't stealing where you take a thing from someone such that, as the RIAA guys said, "the owner no longer has it?" Indeed, isn't the primary distinction between lending and stealing the consent of the owner?

So if, because the owner retains a copy, it's therefore not sharing, then how can they possibly make the argument in the same breath that's it is stealing?

Answer: They can't. They're trying to have it both ways. It's not stealing, it's copying, a distinct activity.

That copying is neither legal nor ethical.

There's little question that it's illegal -- the lobbying dollars of the RIAA and like organizations have ensured this. Whether or not it's ethical is a question that is still being discussed, and is by no means a closed subject.

Schwab

Intangible IP not the same as physical property (5, Insightful)

Shinzaburo (416221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178049)

I am sick and tired of people comparing the sharing of music and movies as the same shoplifting or stealing a car. This is a ridiculous analogy on many levels, but my main gripe is with one level in particular: if you steal a shirt from a store, that store has suffered an actual financial loss. When someone downloads a music album from somebody else, the record company doesn't suffer direct financial loss to the same degree as if the product were physical merchandise that couldn't be digitally replicated. The record companies may suffer an "opportunity loss," if indeed that person would have purchased that album anyway (lots of people download music that they would never have spent $15/disc for), but that's not the same thing as losing the production cost and the opportunity cost.

The marginal cost of production for music, movies, software, and other intangible property is almost zero, and it's about time people took this into account before coming up with absurdly misleading analogies.

Re:Intangible IP not the same as physical property (2, Insightful)

yozzle (628834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178091)

Well, I am sick and tired of people using the analogy of copying somebody else's car for sharing music. I don't care if you copy my car, in much the same way as I don't care if you copy my music (as in CDs that I happen to own, not as in music that I myself made). However, I'm not the one losing money in both cases. In the car side of the analogy, the company that researched, designed, and now produces that car has lost a potential sale to you. In the music side, the artist/RIAA has lost a potential sale to you. Yes, it can be argued that you never would have bought the car/music anyway, but that still doesn't account for all the piracy that occurs.

Re:Intangible IP not the same as physical property (1)

Shinzaburo (416221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178112)

You have a good point, in that there are costs involved when IP is copied rampantly instead of being paid for. But the people talking about car cloning are in many ways echoing my point, which is that IP copying is not the same thing as physical property theft, so quit trying to pretend it is.

(Un)Fair Use Limitations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6178053)

Unless you buy it, you should not copy it for your own use.

And when I buy it, I should be able to copy it for my own personal use, in the device of my choosing, and not encounter crippling technologies that prevent me from doing so.

yeah right.... (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178064)

Matt Oppenheim from the Recording Industry Association of America responds:

... When you buy a CD, you should feel free to copy it for your own use. So, if you buy a CD that you keep at home, you should feel free to make a copy that you have in your car. ...

Let me guess. This is why the new "copy-protected" CDs won't even play in a computer? I would like to see this statement backed by the actions of the RIAA's member companies.

My favourite quote (1, Funny)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178079)

Matt Oppenhein (RIAA guy): Given the increased cost to produce and distribute copyrighted works, Congress has tried to keep pace with what it has believed is necessary to continue to incentivize creators and publishers.

And here I thought the problem was it was too easy to copy stuff.

Congress also was concerned that American creators should not have less copyright protection than is commonly provided abroad, and they therefore extended the term to match the copyright term in Europe and elsewhere.

Oh, right, the americans always do what the French and the Germans say...

Matt Oppenheim "Yay special interests!" (5, Insightful)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178095)

Did anyone else besides me stop reading what Matt Oppenheim had written in response to these questions?

He should have just said:

"While lobbying for insane copyright extensions, suing kids, and whining about not milking that extra billion from teenagers over the last three years is generally not in the best interests of the public at large, it sure is helping us flog the last few drops out of a dying cow for benefit of the interested .05% of copyright holders!"

And left me some time to read Lessig's well
thought out, poignant, and meaningful answers.

It just keeps getting better.... (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178126)

Your claim that artists are being cheated out of their revenue is more of a popular myth than anything else. The vast majority of musicians are dying to get contracts with record companies.

Of course they are dying to get contracts with RIAA comapnies. The RIAA controls the talent, the means of production, and all the distribution channels (to speak of). They have no other choice than to make a deal with the devil. At least it looks as though this is starting to change with more indie networks cropping up to provide actual quality music (as opposed to the cookie-cutter crap the RIAA releases).

Same ol arguments, but this one is very stupid (2, Interesting)

rzbx (236929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178128)

"Given the increased cost to produce and distribute copyrighted works..."
This is obviously b#lls##t! Technology (internet, P2P, computers, software, electronics) have made it easier and less costly to produce and distribute ideas/music/etc. There are other things that I have found wrong in the arguments, but I don't want to spend all night typing them all out. Read carefully and question everything they say.

Artists == Cattle (4, Funny)

The_Spide (571686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178130)

My favorite quote:
Lawrence Lessig from Stanford Law School: The RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America. It is not the Recording Industry and Artists Association of America. It says its concern is artists. That's true, in just the sense that a cattle rancher is concerned about its cattle.
/me hums the tune to Dyan Lyons - Cows with guns [danalyons.com] ...

Decide (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178131)

I'm in a band, and we give our music away for free, but that should be the choice of the copyright holder, and nobody else.

We can debate this back and forth forever. I agree that downloading CD quality music I did not buy is and should be illegal. If you're doing something shady, agree to the fact that you might get caught amd there might be consequences. And you don't get to set your own punishment.

They wish... (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178140)

From Matt Oppenheim's comments:

On the Internet however, it is extremely easy to download and the audio quality is near CD. Millions of people now mistakenly believe it is legal. The RIAA, among others, has been trying to educate people that downloading recordings from unauthorized services on the Internet is, in fact, illegal.

Millions mistakenly believe it's legal? Do they really believe this, or is it just a good line? The truth is that pretty much everybody knows that downloading copyrighted music is illegal, and pretty much everybody figures it falls into somewhat the same category as driving five miles per hour over the posted speed limit, except that maybe speeding is a little worse, since it can actually hurt someone.

The RIAA isn't trying to convince people it's illegal; they're trying to scare people that they're going to go to jail or be hit with fines that are completely out of proportion to the offense.

Appropriate. (2, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178156)

Matt Oppenheim:

Your claim that artists are being cheated out of their revenue is more of a popular myth than anything else. The vast majority of musicians are dying to get contracts with record companies.


Appropriate term. At least their own unique expression of art is slowly dying while they wait to have the chance for an audience. Not that this is the RIAA's fault totally - as any good conglomeration of companies, they merely react to perceptions about public interest, and perceptions about expectation of income. They have no place for promoting art in general, or offering a forum for untested or less-than-totally-popular art.

It's just sad that this indirectly puts them as such odds against any art that is not generating income for them.

Ryan Fenton

Difference in Lines of Thought (5, Insightful)

Poeir (637508) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178164)

The main difference between these two:
Lawrence Lessig:
"The DMCA is an embarrassment to copyright law. Copyright law has always been about balance -- about the balance between restrictions and access.

The Constitution expresses that balance: it requires that copyrights be for "limited Times;" the First Amendment requires that copyright yields to "fair use." "

Matt Oppenheim:
"If you are attempting to distribute recordings that you own the rights to and the RIAA is in any way preventing you from doing so, you should contact us immediately."

Note how Lawrence Lessig focuses on balance, while Matt Oppenheim focuses on saying what consumers are allowed to do. (Lessig does not explicitly refer to people at "citizens," but Oppenheim does at least once refer to individuals as "consumers.") This shows their respective trains of thinking quite well.

RIAA Wake-up Call: Change how you do business! (4, Interesting)

bethanie (675210) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178198)

I know this is going to be a VERY unpopular opinion, but I definitely see the point that is being made by the RIAA. They are selling material that is copyrighted. That means that copying (and all permutations thereof) of that material is restricted. End of story.

What I am reading in these reponses is a whole rash of rationalizations:
  • They screw the artists
  • They are evil corporations
  • They charge too much for CDs
  • The music sucks/everything sounds the same
  • And on and on and on...

Let's face it: We like the music and we want to use the technology that enables us to copy and share it over the Internet for free. We want the product, but we don't want to pay.

You can put forth all kinds of hypothetical situations where illegal and unethical intentions are not involved, but let's be grown-up enough to admit that getting something for nothing is 99% of what this is all about.

You know what I think ought to be done about it? I think that the RIAA ought to start putting their product out there so cheaply that people won't object so vociferously to paying for it. If we could pay 5 or 10 or 25 cents for a copy of a song (I can already see pricing them on a sliding scale -- with the most popular stuff being priced highest, according to laws of supply and demand, kinda), I think that most of us would do that -- for a multitude of reasons:
  • For most of us, it's a paltry sum
  • It gives us MUCH greater choice when we get to pay for *just* the songs we want, rather than 1 or 2 good songs along with 10 tracks of filler crap
  • It helps support the artists that we like putting out the kind of music that we want
  • It's the honest thing to do (and I'm one of those people who believes that most of the time most of the people will do their best to do what's right, as long as you make it easy for them).

So maybe I'm too naive about this stuff. But it seems pretty clear cut to me. Making copies of CDs for anything other than your own use is illegal. Does that mean that everyone who does it should go to jail? Probably not. I DO think it means that the RIAA had better wake up and realize that they have a MAJOR problem on their hands, and revolutionize the way they do business, if they want to stay in business.

....Bethanie....

such a paradox (1)

nickgrieve (87668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6178214)

The RIAA guy says, yeah, cool, copy the CD for home and office. But if you buy a protected CD to do so you need a circumvention device which is illegal⦠what? Its like the prostitution laws, sure your can have sex for money, but you cant solicit for sex for money⦠gah
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