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RIAA PR Efforts Examined

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the foot-shooting dept.

Music 552

The Importance of writes "Yale's LawMeme has an interesting article pointing out that the RIAA is having some PR success with their anti-file sharing lawsuits. People being sued are not just angry with the RIAA, they are angry with Kazaa. The LawMeme article thinks this is bad news for innovation since Congress might be likely to pass a law making innovative software providers more liable for the copyright infringements of their customers in order to stop the public outcry over the RIAA lawsuits." And in other news, a P2P group is planning to pay off the RIAA for that 12-year-old's settlement, and the BBC has an article about another victim.

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Hmmmm... (5, Interesting)

panxerox (575545) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931425)

...using this logic means that congress should outlaw linux / pre drm microsoft os's as they are os's that allow people to play copyrighted mp3s ?! ...and is this the end of general purpose computers if the RIAA / microsoft can spin it right?

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931718)

Why is this Modded down? This person makes a good point, and may be what the big corps have in mind.

Re:Hmmmm... (5, Insightful)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931809)

By the same logic, wouldn't Ford, GM, Honda, et al, be responsible for people's speeding tickets?

Oh so frosty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931432)

My pist Uhng uhng yeah baby have some pimp juice.

Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931448)

Peer-to-Peer [amazon.com] is a book about an emerging idea. That idea is that the traditional model of participating in the Internet, in which a small computer operated by an everyday user (a "client") asks for and receives information from a big computer administered by a corporation or other large entity (a "server"), is beginning to give some ground to a new (new to the fringes of the Internet, anyway) model called peer-to-peer networking. In peer-to-peer networking, all participants in a network are approximately equal. Furthermore, the participants are usually ordinary computers run by everyday people. The ICQ chat service and the Napster music-sharing community are examples of what this book is about.

The chief advantage of peer-to-peer networks is that large numbers of people share the burden of providing computing resources (processor time and disk space), administration effort, creativity, and--in more than a few cases--legal liability. Furthermore, it's relatively easy to be anonymous in such an environment, and it's harder for opponents of your peer-to-peer service to bring it down. The primary disadvantage of peer-to-peer systems, as anyone will attest who's had an MP3 download prematurely terminated when a dialup user went offline will attest, is the tendency of computers at the edge of the network to fade in and out of availability. Accountability for the actions of network participants is a potential problem, too.

This is a book about the idea of equipping ordinary Internet users' computers with mechanisms that enable them to connect, more or less automatically and without human attention, to other everyday Internet users' machines. By forming networks of computers at the so-called "edge" of the Internet, it's possible to offer valuable services without the burden of building and administering large, centralized computer systems of the sort that host traditional Web sites. Napster is the most successful example to date, though nerds will note that it's not a completely peer-to-peer system because users register their file libraries with a central server when they log on to the service.

Don't approach this book expecting to learn how to build the next Napster system. It's not a how-to book. It's not even much of a why-to book. Rather, it's a book that aims to get its readers thinking about what happens when information systems shift away from the client-server model and toward the peer-to-peer model (that's one of the book's points, by the way, that this is not a one-or-the-other architectural decision).

Mostly, Peer-to-Peer [amazon.com] makes its point by letting experts in peer-to-peer take turns in the spotlight. Any other approach would be kind of ironic, wouldn't it? In any case, David Anderson explains how SETI@home puts space buffs' idle computing cycles to use in analyzing radio noise from outer space. Gene Kan explains how Gnutella (a truly serverless environment) works. The architects of Publius explain how distributed computing is especially resistant to censorship and denial-of-service attacks. Other contributors discuss peer-to-peer chat software, anonymous remailing services, and other applications of peer-to-peer design.

There's no one from Napster represented as an author in this collection of essays, but Clay Shirky presents an essay called "Listening to Napster." In that essay, Shirky gives an opinion on why Napster has succeeded: It focused on providing something consumers wanted, and bypassed Internet conventions (like the Domain Naming System) because they weren't the best way to provide the service. This is not an earth-shattering revelation, but it's true, and it's something developers of any new service (Internet-based or otherwise) need to keep in mind.

Some of the technical proposals presented here will get readers thinking. An example: Require that senders of e-mail solve a moderately complex math problem before recipients' mailboxes will accept their mail. The problem would be no big deal for a mailer to solve if he or she were sending messages one at a time, but the processor load would really add up for spammers who blast tens of thousands of unwanted emails onto the Internet in a single session. Another idea: mechanizing the concept of reputation so people know whose thoughts and whose creative works (like software) are worth using or believing.

More business-oriented readers might want to read more about the more subtle ways of incorporating peer-to-peer components into business models. Lots of traditional Web services--Amazon.com is an example--are supplementing their client-server activities with others that have peer-to-peer characteristics. Amazon.com, for example, lets operators of small Web sites promote goods and rely on the centralized resources for billing and fulfillment. There's no distributed software (other than a few links), but the company takes advantage of creativity and marketing efforts outside of its official core. Coverage of that sort of "soft" distributed computing might be a good supplement for the second edition of this book.

PR What?!?! (5, Funny)

Serapth (643581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931449)

RIAA and PR in the same scentance?

WIthout the word negative in there?

Someone tell me hell froze over!

Re:PR What?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931603)

It Froze.

Re:PR What?!?! (3, Funny)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931756)

We used to have a guy here in DERBY who swore he was a Viking and carried a ceremonial sword. He was always having run-ins with the law, but claimed he had a right to carry it as it was an obligation from his religion. He said he'd give up his sword when Hell thawed .....

Imagine if copyright were abolished. (1, Troll)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931450)

If copyright were abolished, there'd be no reason to be mad at either Kazaa or the RIAA. Kazaa couldn't charge for the software, and the RIAA couldn't sue for sharing information (which by nature is easily copied). Nobody confused and nobody sued. It will happen.

Re:Imagine if copyright were abolished. (4, Insightful)

Nugget (7382) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931474)

And microsoft would be free to use Linux souce code in their closed-source products (which would be protected by user contracts and hardware-based copy protection).

Microsoft without copyright? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931550)

They can use all the technology they want to keep the source closed--nothing to stop them from that, but someone else who keeps things open and more useful will beat them. Why even bother trying to crack the technology?

Re:Microsoft without copyright? (1)

Nugget (7382) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931751)

If this were truly the case then there would be no need for you to lobby for the abolishment of copyright. Freely distributable software and music would be plentiful and superior to the alternatives.

As it stands, this is not the case, demonstrating that your premise and conclusions are flawed.

Re:Microsoft without copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931886)

Freely distributable software and music would be plentiful and superior to the alternatives.

It is, and it is.

Re:Microsoft without copyright? (1)

I'm Spartacus! (238085) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931832)

And how, exactly, is this different from the current situation? I don't see the masses flocking from Microsoft to Linux, do you?

Re:Imagine if copyright were abolished. (3, Funny)

trompete (651953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931534)

...and we can all dance around in one giant circle and sing Kum-ba-ya while BillG and Linus play leap-frog.

Survey says: Not this century!

What if you're wrong? (2, Insightful)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931596)

You could be. Just some huge catastrophe or war automatically invalidates copyright. You're not too worried about patents and copyright when you're just trying to survive every day.

Re:What if you're wrong? (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931771)

Yeah. We'll have to see if this Korean conflict takes off or not. Although, it is doubtful the war will ever come home to us....*posting on September 11th*

Yeah, that would be great. (5, Insightful)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931543)

It would also be the end of professional artists, writers and musicians. Don't give me the whole "it works for software" line because first of all it only works for software popular enough to have strong open source support, and secondly software is typically a means to an end, while art, writing and music is typically an end in itself.

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (5, Insightful)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931608)

You know, I look at the number of people who write stories in their spare time, who have garage bands, and who spend their weekends painting, and somehow, I have trouble sympathizing with people who do it professionally.

To be honest, I think the music industry would be better off if people who only record albums for the money were to stop. A lot less Backstreet Boys and a lot more art.

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931656)

I think you mean "a lot more mindless punk rock by kids who can't play the guitar."

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931884)

That will eventually yeild us the likes of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix or U2.

The same cannot be said of corporate rock/pop.

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (1, Insightful)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931684)

I look at the number of people who write stories in their spare time

Have you read the stuff amateur writers put out? 99.99% of it isn't worth the time it takes to read it, and probably of the stuff worth reading most wouldn't be worth paying for. There are professionals because to do something well you have to dedicate more time than a few hours on the weekend to it, and people have to eat.

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931748)

You think it's just people who after the money that we'd lose? If there was no money in albums, they wouldn't be produced, so unless you can find a track on p2p or live near enough to a concert venue, you're never going to hear a lot of bands. Given the current bandwidth limitations of the net, you're not going to be able to download CD quality music easily. Quite frankly, I like being able to go out and by a physical CD with high quality music on it. Oh and without being able to wrk full time on music, you're going to see a lot less of it and the quality is likely to suffer.It'll be harder for bands to get quality equipment. And as for going on big tours, well how are you going to get the time off work for that?

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931721)

It would be the end to art, wrting and music as manufacturing. As long as people still want art, copy, and music produced, they will get paid to produce it. It will be a matter of getting paid for the hours, not the goods.

Re:Yeah, that would be great. (1)

Merk (25521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931868)

If by "professional artist" you mean someone like Britney Spears, I say good riddance. There was good music before copyright, and there will be good music after.

Re:Imagine if copyright were abolished. (3, Funny)

I'm Spartacus! (238085) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931666)

Yeah, that'd be great. No one would write books anymore. No one would make music anymore. No one would make movies anymore. No one would write software anymore. Oh, except for the part-time hobbyists who do these things for fun and don't really have any motivation for doing the best job they possibly can because no one is getting paid for anything.

Honestly, the lack of real-world vision on this site is mind boggling sometimes.

Nah...that's won't work (1)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931807)

Some people with talent really do need a financial incentive to create music or art. That's what copyright was created for in the first place. What should be done instead is bring copyright back to a point of reasonable restrictions and limited time monopolies, just like it was meant to be in the first place.

Sad news...Recent Events (TM) dead at 2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931460)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - The Recent Events (TM) was found dead in its American jingoistic culture this morning.. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the /. community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy Skull & Bones' American Reichstag, there's no denying its contributions to our creeping corporate fascism. Truly an American icon.

DAMN MY FLOPPY DRIVE TO HELL!!!! (2, Funny)

Denver_80203 (570689) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931468)

I wasn't aware I could infringe on copy-right laws with this technology! IT'S A COPY TOOL! Down with Floppy drives!!!

Re:DAMN MY FLOPPY DRIVE TO HELL!!!! (4, Funny)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931598)

Relax, just fill out this [userfriendly.org] form, and RIAA will leave you alone.

Re:DAMN MY FLOPPY DRIVE TO HELL!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931636)

Don't ever link to that site again.

Re:DAMN MY FLOPPY DRIVE TO HELL!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931813)

Only if you never link to penny-arcade. That site is worse then goatse!

Umm... I think they are confused. (4, Insightful)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931470)

Shouldn't PR campaigns and efforts typically make your RELATIONSHIP with the PUBLIC better?

Re:Umm... I think they are confused. (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931554)

And you said what in the above post that hadn't been said in 3 more before half of /. had had a chance to read the story? The point of the title was examining their PR efforts. It said nothing of success or positivity. It merely confirmed that the RIAA are involved in PR in some way. Oh, I'll save you the bother. Consider this post -1, Troll.

"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931475)


Not a real quote from any person but the whole "I paid $29.95.." line is a crock. "I spent $29.95 on Kazaa and thought I could download thousands of dollars of CDs, movies, software and pr0n." Riiiight.. (Feigning) ignorance is not a defense. From http://www.kazaa.com/us/terms.htm [kazaa.com]

2 What You Can't Do Under This Licence

2.6 Transmit, access or communicate any data that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party;

When a person buys Kazaa they are entering into a legally binding agreement, if they choose not to read the fine print that's their problem, not Kazaa's or Sharman Networks.

Re:"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (2, Insightful)

Goo.cc (687626) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931635)

No dude, here is America you can break the law and still be a victim.

John Titor predicted the Segway on 2001-01-29! (0, Offtopic)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931679)

check here [anomalies.net] . Search for Ginger. Then search for Scooter. Then ponder the fact that it was publically announced November 2001!

So, was John Titor truly a time traveler, or just a Dean Kamen employee?

Re:"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (1)

turbotalon (592486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931724)

I completely agree. We live in a world today where accountability is going down the drain. Everybody wants to blame everyone else for their problems. Parents blame their kids' violent streaks on video games, not on the fact that they never pay attention to their kids and they fight all the time. Parents blame the schools for kids' bad manners etc. etc. when that is really the parent's responsibility. It has been for the past, oh, 5000 years, why should it change now?

Anyway, back to Kazaa. While I don't like the RIAA for their bull-headedness and their refusal to be enlighted by what the statistics show them about file-sharing (namely that people want to be able to by songs individually) they are LEGALLY correct here. The kids are the PARENTS responsibily until they are 18. Period. If the kids are doing something illegal and the parents don't care enough about the kids to notice or to investigate such things, then they deserve what is coming.

Go ahead, mod me down, sometimes the truth hurts.

Re:"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (3, Insightful)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931733)

When a person buys Kazaa they are entering into a legally binding agreement

I don't think you can say with certainty that a EULA is a "legally binding agreement."

Re:"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931758)

Well, it's not talking about whether or not the people should have known it wasn't legal; it's just saying that those people who didn't read (or understand) the licence are becoming angry at kazaa. (After all, it's still bad PR even if Kazaa's in the right.)

Just making an observation, of course; I fully believe that if somebody agrees to anything without reading it, they deserve the consequences.

Re:"d-uh, me not know it be stealing.." (2, Funny)

Wakkow (52585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931776)

2 What You Can't Do Under This Licence
# 2.6 Transmit, access or communicate any data that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party;


Isn't that just about everything on Kazaa?

P2P = Pirate To Pirate (1)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931854)

The problem is all these companies know their software is being used to pirate others works. Yes you can use it to DL legal software, but the wide vast majority of stuff transfered is all copyrighted, and everyone knows this. They are basically selling piracy software, since they know ppl are going to use it to pirate.

FTP is different, it is used a lot for completely legit reasons, it just happens to be usable to pirate too. While the concepts are similar the end effectual uses are much different. If Kazaa etc want to sell licenses for software that isn't going to be used to pirate, then they should put locks in on the directory searching service to block out obviously copyrighted material.

Fuck Kazza and the RIAA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931484)

Anyone who cares what goes on their machines is already angry with Kazaa. If these suits end up hurting that spyware delivery vector as much as I believe it will hurt the RIAA, I won't be shedding any tears.

Re:Fuck Kazza and the RIAA (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931637)

It would be nice if spyware went away somehow, whether it was through "trusted computing", the RIAA's file sharing suits, or some other evil.
The people who know about spyware are using Kazaa Lite anyway (I won't post a link as to not violate the DMCA).
Perhaps there will be a day when we don't have to fear unsigned applets and ActiveX....ha ha ha....

I don't see what's so hard to understand (3, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931486)

You steal, you get fined or put in jail.

Just because it's intangible doesn't make that any less true.

Note for trolls and other knuckle draggers: I hate, with a passion I normally reserve for SCO, the RIAA. I think p2p is a great technology, and I feel that song sharing is the future of the music industry. However, at this time, they do not want their product taken without compensation. Given that it is THEIR product, that is their choice, not ours. A choice I feel will put them and their bussiness partners in the grave faster, but it's their choice none the less.

Re:I don't see what's so hard to understand (5, Insightful)

stewwy (687854) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931587)

definition of a bad law.... one thats ignored by a sizeable percentage of the population it applies too.... only thing that can be done about it.... repeal the law and write one that a majority will obey!

Re:I don't see what's so hard to understand (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931639)

Copying is stealing? That's news to me. So if I take a picture of the Mona Lisa, I STOLE THE MONA LISA?

Theft and copyright infrigment are different terms, legally and morally. Please talk about them separately so as to avoid confusion and arguments-to-emotion.

Re:I don't see what's so hard to understand (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931746)

If copyright infrigement is stealing, then why do we have different laws governing the two?

Personally, I think I should be able to arrange the bits on my hard drive however I damn well want, even if they happen to match the pattern of the bits on your hard drive.

Re:I don't see what's so hard to understand (1)

turbotalon (592486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931861)

While I disagree with the RIAA's heavy-handed legal tactics of court orders and such, they are TECHNICALLY on the right side of the law here. I love p2p, and thankfully it has been upheld to be legal (like tapes were at one time). I think it's BETTER to have the RIAA going after those who are stealing songs because it doesn't destroy the good uses of p2p in the process. However, I think that if we removed all the illigit users of p2p, there wouldn't be much left. Anybody know some legitimate downloads I can search for on Kazaa?

Software makers should be liable (5, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931499)

Up to a point a software maker should be liable.

If someone sells you something and makes overgrand claims ("Stable" - Microsoft, "Access free music" - Kazaa) they should be elligible for at least actual damages, not only very limited liability.

If companies could make claims with impunity to sell you something and not fear the consequences we would see cars sold as "safe at 200 mph even if you have never driven before". The same thing should apply to software companies.

Obiously in cases of user stupidity this should be ajusted accordingly (so users cannot complain that their machine went wrong when they gave out root passwords and their IP address on IRC), but otherwise if you want to make a claim about your product you should be legally obliged to stand by it.

Re:Software makers should be liable (2, Interesting)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931661)

My first reaction to this was to scream & point out the obvious; that
MS should be held liable for Windows security bugs, but who will have
the $ and clout to win a lawsuit against MS if the DoJ couldn't sue
'em?

But then thinking further, I had a vision of a new virus that,
instead of trashing your hard drive, established your machine as a
Gnutella server, and made your whole HD visible.

I'd really love to see the defendents plead they didn't know their
files were visible then! Heck, I'd love to see what the judge thinks!

Re:Software makers should be liable (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931738)

It would be easy to prove innocence. You just don't share your root. However, it makes a plea of insanity a lot easier should your innocence be questioned ;)

Re:Software makers should be liable (1, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931728)

I don't see why not - you live in America after all.

If a daft woman who stuck a full cup of coffee between her legs, and drive off, spilling it all over the place, and they *successfully* sue mcDonalds because 'it was too hot', then anyone caught by the RIAAs can sue Kazaa because 'they made it too easy to steal'.

I'd be surprised if the RIAA didn't try this tactic themselves - "right Dave, we sue you, you sue Kazaa, win all their money closing them down, then we settle out of court for $5, ok?" :)

Republicans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931506)

As long as the republicans are in control, they will always favor business unconditionally as they receive bribe money from big corporations.

Sure. (1)

Ride-My-Rocket (96935) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931507)

The LawMeme article thinks this is bad news for innovation since Congress might be likely to pass a law making innovative software providers more liable for the copyright infringements of their customers [...]

And while they're at it, why don't they make software providers more liable for the security and stability of the applications their customers use? I'm sick of Windows crashing, so why don't we add in that request to the mix, too?

[/SARCASM]

Even if... (4, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931521)

Congress might be likely to pass a law making innovative software providers more liable for the copyright infringements of their customers in order to stop the public outcry over the RIAA lawsuits...

How in the hell does that affect any intelligent innovative software provider (who makes software that can infringe on copyright), who after the napster case, realized that basing their company in america is a Bad Idea TM?

Or is it just another death knell for american software developers?

Bollocks. (4, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931530)

The 12 year old in question's family is stating this? Don't you think they have an understandably vested interest in appearing very contrite and sorry about this, whilst shifting the responsibility to someone else?

Last time I looked, Kazaa's got notices all over the place that tells you not to pirate stuff with it.

p2p tools are just that: tools. Remember,

p2p programs don't infringe copyright.
people infringe copyright.

Maybe... (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931674)

Isn't obvious?
"I didn't kill him, the gun did!"
Now if people didn't have such double standards of logic then the world would be a much clearer place. What are they going to do next, blame General Motors for facilliating road accidents or sue Microsoft [No karma whoring intended] for supplying the 12 year olds with the OS that they h4Xx0r phr0m?

Re:Bollocks. (1)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931761)

Last time I looked, Kazaa's got notices all over the place that tells
you not to pirate stuff with it.

Correct. IIRC the girl's mother didn't go directly to Kazaa's
website, she got it from a 3rd-party website who 'sold' her Kazaa for
$30. So technically, Kazaa is not at fault here, its the 3rd-party
website that the family should sue. (Is it still even up?)

You are so wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931879)

p2p programs don't infringe copyright.
people infringe copyright.


1) IANAL but how I understand copyright law and how the RIAA seems to be enforcing this p2p fiasco is that people who share (the uploaders) are guilty and not the downloaders. The $150,000 per violation fine is for uploading (distribution) only.

2)Kazaa, LimeWire, ... by default share every file that is downloaded. The user has to manually disable this "feature" and sometimes the controls are cryptic or well hidden.

So if what I say in 1) is correct then downloading is not infringing but uploading is. Then the act of simply using the p2p programs in a non infringing manner transforms a user into an infringer. The courts have found the Kazaa isn't guilty so how is it possible that their programs when used in their default and intended manner transform everyday people into criminals? It doesn't seem right.

Didn't we learn anything from Napster? (5, Insightful)

soren42 (700305) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931546)

A lot of people used Napster, before it was shut down. There was sentiment against file swapping for a short while, but then Kazaa, Morpheus, and others stepped in, and file swapping increased.

After the RIAA sues a few thousand people, and the tide turns against swapping, it will slow again.

But the fact of the matter is that the RIAA members need to come up with a new business model. File sharing will always be around in some fashion, and the technology will just get more and more complex - making it easier to do truely anonymous swapping.

It's been said a million times on here already - the RIAA is just like SCO - they need to adopt a new business model if they're going to survive. Litigation alone won't support them forever.

Re:Didn't we learn anything from Napster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931858)

it'll take time. Kazaa et al are pretty much gonna go belly up if the RIAA can keep true to their thousands of lawsuits prediction.

FreeNet, OTOH, is somehting to start taking a serious look at. IMO, we open source developers should be working on that, and start getting word out about it. (Getting a good GUI running on MS Windows would be an excellent start. Dont believe me? What OS are those in the RIAA's sights using?)

When RIAA figures out that they've been beaten, they'll demand action from government, and the like. So it's important to have freenet available on an offshore server.

If this is coming down to a PR war... (5, Insightful)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931568)

...then RIAA has already lost, and lost horribly. Prior to a few days ago most people I know didn't realize there was a small war going on between RIAA and P2P apps (hell, they probably never even heard of RIAA). Before you know it the fact they are suing a 12-year old girl living in the projects is all over the papers. Since then I've heard commented "why would the music industry do such an awful thing" from people who before couldn't have cared less about the issue.

Good luck to RIAA in overcoming that massive PR blunder.

Re:If this is coming down to a PR war... (0)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931632)

You've made the mistake of thinking they care. They don't. And won't. They'll take you care and stick up their collective butts. And THAT is why they are hated. Not because of anything else. People matter not to large coporations anymore. And that is why they must be destroyed.

Re:If this is coming down to a PR war... (1)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931800)

" You've made the mistake of thinking they care."

No, I do believe they care, and I'm sure that, had they known she was a 12-year old girl, they would have only issued 260 lawsuits. This is a PR nightmare for them, since most people see no difference between RIAA and the companies that RIAA represents; to most they are simply "the music industry".

Now we have people talking about file sharing that never cared before, and a lot of them are reaching the same conclusion: that something smells fishy with the music industry's argument. It's hard to argue that they lost thousands and thousands of dollars because a little 12-year old in the projects downloaded some songs (I know, I know...she got nabbed because she was sharing the songs, but to the general public there is no difference between downloading and sharing).

Angry with Kazaa? (2, Interesting)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931577)

I suspect this is the same mindset at the person who was angry at McDonalds when she burnt her legs driving off with hot coffee between her knees. Bottom line, file sharing *is* illegal. I'd imagine even the most ardent defender of filesharing knows this, and given that Kazaa itself is just a mechanism for sharing files, anyone actually being angry at them is a joke. Unless of course they mean angry for all the spyware and crap Kazaa (non-lite variety) installs, but that's got nothing to do with the RIAA anyway.

Re:Angry with Kazaa? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931668)

Actually, re the McDonalds case, McDonalds had settled dozens of lawsuits over the exact same thing already, and McDonalds knew that the coffee served was too hot for consumption, and refused to do anything about it.

And she didn't spill it. The cup melted.

More info on 12yr old girl (5, Informative)

linuxkrn (635044) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931578)

There is some more information here [theage.com.au] and here [out-law.com] .

At least the P2P United group stepped in, offering to pay the fine.
Saying "We don't condone copyright infringement, but it's time for the RIAA's winged monkeys to fly back to the castle and leave the Munchkins alone."

Seems to me they are using shock and awe. The girls mother, when confronted with the charge, instantly agreed to settle the action.

Re:More info on 12yr old girl (1)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931793)

That's swell. Are they willing to pay the fines of the other 260 fileswappers being sued?

How about a GC to buy her legal copies? (1)

filenabber (628550) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931593)

Now the poor girl has no MP3s? Someone should raise money to buy her a gift certificate to her local music store to buy legal CDs of all the music she had to delete.

Re:How about a GC to buy her legal copies? (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931742)

Then she can go fuel the RIAA at Suncoast Video for $20 a CD. She should put the money toward something useful, like her savings account for college.

Re:How about a GC to buy her legal copies? (1)

pope1 (40057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931788)

Hey, and while you're in a giving mood..

Cut me a GC for the Alley behind the Qwiki Market,
those mean cops took my Grow Farm away and i've been
fiending for bong hits all week..

The only thing saving me from serious withdraw is reading posts on slashdot! Its like i'm, there, man.

Rather than rewarding people for knowingly or unknowingly breaking the law, lets put our money towards promoting services that keep things cheap&legal, like Apples Itunes. At $.99/song that little girl could score a lot more music
with Itunes than she could at $15/cd at her local Sam Rippy.

Re:How about a GC to buy her legal copies? (3, Interesting)

dboyles (65512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931799)

Someone should raise money to buy her a gift certificate to her local music store to buy legal CDs of all the music she had to delete.

Yes, fill the RIAA's war chest some more!

How about showing the girl that there are plenty of great artists that allow some or all of their music to be traded freely? Educate her on how Britney Spears and her cohorts are manufactured by the same music industry that came after her, only to make money. Show her how artists like the ones she was probably downloading and sharing have come and gone, only to be replaced by some newer fad, and all to continue to fill the industry's already deep pockets.

Obviously I don't expect a 12 year old to understand all of that. Arguing over musical tastes with somebody is pointless. But the remedy to problems like this is not to buy more pop garbage, but rather to introduce people to alternatives to RIAA-backed crap.

traction with p2p=porn, also (5, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931604)

I've noticed that they've gotten a lot of traction over the past few days by linking file sharing with porn.

A lot of talk radio hosts have been railing against the porn threat, and p2p for making it worse. I heard Diane Feinstein on the radio yesterday talking about the threat to our kids.

Meanwhile, these are some lyrics from a current hit song by lil kim and 50 cent. It's a nice song about a rapper's penis, called "magic stick":

[...]

I'm a freak to the core
Get a dose once, you gon' want some more
My tongue touch ya girl, ya toes bound to curl
This exclusive shit I don't share with the world
I have you up early in the mornin, moanin

[...]

Lil' Kim not a whore
But I sex a nigga so good, he gotta tell his boys
When it, come to sex don't test my skills
Cause my head game have you HEAD over heels
Give a nigga the chills, have him pay my bills
Buy matchin Lambo's with the same color wheels .. and I ain't out shoppin spendin dudes C-notes
I'm in the crib givin niggaz deep throat

Re:traction with p2p=porn, also (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931664)

Black people are so fucking stupid. Look at them call each other niggers. HA HA HA! Dumb coons, do you think an Oriental calls himself a gook? Or a Hispanic calls himself a spic? Man, black people are the lowest of the low - no wonder none of the male niggers can take responsibility when they create a child. LYNCH 'EM ALL

uhg (3, Interesting)

Meeble (633260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931625)

I think it's great the p2p community can stand with each other and donate to help those who are targeted but that's not what it's going to take in the end.

Given that most of our political leaders will not stand up to any of the privacy issues or heavy handed tactice given that most are bankrolled by entertainment and media companies it comes down to the end user being the empowered one to stop this nonsense. Is copyright infringement illegal? Yes. Does the resolutions need to be carried out this way in a 'I have more money than you so I will squash you over time in a legal system so you may as well just give me your life savings now' method ?? NO.

Unfortunately until consumers cease buying CD's completely to send a message - the RIAA will use file sharing as the cop out everytime for CD sales declining. The reality is if they updated their 10yr old business model they know full and well their usefullness would be at an end in the digital age. they are nothing more than a middle man and a bankroll sometimes and direct distribution would make them cease to exist

the daze the music died? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931633)

we'll not purchase ANY recorded media, until the corepirate nazi softwar gangsters cease their whoreabully desperate last gasper threatening tomes. when all the hooplah fades, CDs will be 3-4$ apiece. that's a fair price. that's what we'll pay. the artists would be well advised to change their 'representation' asap, as they (riaa gangsters) are alienating their current/future customers.

we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of cowardly greed/fear based aggression everywhere.

that old tune title (hope we don't get 'busted' for using it) "make the world go away", takes on new/varied meaning in these times.

the prevalent notion that 'everything will be taken care of' without yOUR knowledge/participation is insidiously misleading.

in our estimation, the biggest 'threat' against US (aside from continuing to fire bullinedly into the 'crowd', whilst demanding applause), would be a failure to recognize our 'role' in the problems. we're victims for sure, but whoare ALL the perpetrators (see also: corepirate nazi puppets), gets lost in the ?pr? ?firm? generated propaganda spew.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. seek others of non-aggressive behaviours/intentions. that's the spirit.

the lights ARE coming up now. pay attention (to yOUR heart, for example). that could lead to new ways (see also: newclear power plan) of thinking about/dealing with, the needs/rights of others EVERYWHERE on the planet.

having the attention span of a gnat, & similar ambitions, might be ok if you are just planning to be a consumer/type one liners.

take care of each other, you're all we've got. we're here for you. get ready to see the light.

If only I were cuter... (3, Funny)

sremack (701659) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931643)

I could steal and get into the newspaper, too. Now I'm old and people probably want me to get fined out the poop-chute.

$2000 Raised, done and done (2, Informative)

aliens (90441) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931646)

Raffle nets $2000 [hypothermia.us]

The sister site of HardOCP [hardocp.com]

Very cool of them to do this. The 12yo might come out the better for being sued.

When the RIAA gets what they want, ... (2, Interesting)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931651)

when all P2P software is outlawed, when CDs are unrippable, when people aren't allowed to play the music they "bought" without agreeing to spot audits of their homes/computers/person for any copyright infringing materials, and sales figure decreases actually accelerate, who will they blame next? Will they sue musicians for not making sufficiently compelling material? Will they sue DVD/video game/ISP companies for diverting disposable incomes? Will they sue their potential customer base for harming their business by not purchasing at requisite levels?

I recognize that it is unthinkable to them that they might have anything to do with the sales declines. Unthinkable!

Priorities? (2, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931678)

So they might push for a law making software developers liable for copyright infringements but they won't lift a finger about making them liable for losses due to bugs and security holes? So much for having your priorities straight.

Idiots. (5, Insightful)

fetus (322414) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931682)

"Congress might be likely to pass a law making innovative software providers more liable for the copyright infringements"

And gun makers liable for murders? And car makers liable for car accidents? And Slashdot liable for trolls?

software makers responsable (1)

jamienk (62492) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931690)

Would that make AOL liable for all Gnutella downloads?

techtv Music Wars (4, Informative)

Wakkow (52585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931700)

Watch the Music Wars [techtv.com] special on TechTV Friday. It's supposed to be an open talk between major players in this whole ordeal. Unfortunately, as of yesterday, no one from the RIAA has yet to give them a yes or no.

Yes, but until P2P becomes profitable... (2, Insightful)

ZeoRanger (682688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931703)

Until they (the RIAA) come up with a business model for distributing content over P2P networks that actually makes them money, they're going to keep fighting file sharing.

What I don't understand is why they simply don't offer a file-sharing license as an option with an ISP signup. You pay a nominal fee (say $10-$20), billed with your recurring monthly charge for internet access, and in return you get to legally access and use these files. I would assume that this would squash any arguements concerning "stolen" goods. As long as you're a registered user of the "pay-to-play" access, you can download and share media. Period.

It would seem that this type of licensing makes the most sense. The proverbial cat is out of the bag concerning file sharing - KaZaA isn't going anywhere, nor is Grokster or any of the other clients. And no one at all has brought up any mention of the tremendous file sharing and trading that happens on USENET or IRC. A flat licensing fee, IMHO, would be their best option to solve the problem, save face in the public eye, AND recieve compensation for their work.

Just my $0.02.

-z-

Some thoughts... (2, Insightful)

BanjoBob (686644) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931707)

I'm 100% in favor of the Artists, Songwriters, and such getting paid just I expect to get paid for what I do. I am NOT in favor of the lawyers and trade groups being paid for what the Artists and Songwriters produce unless they pay them themselves. Something interesting thing to consider... The RIAA is NOT the copyright holder -- the labels are. The RIAA is a trade organization. So, under what authority does the RIAA have to subpoena the information in the first place. DMCA explicitly gives this right ONLY to the actual copyright holder. As for all the studies, surveys and such about the decline in CD sales... The arguments about the economy, bad stuff being produced, CDs being over priced and such have been rejected multiple times by the RIAA. The decline in sales is ONLY DUE TO PIRACY. Ask them. The RIAA never lies. "Definition - Terrorist: adj : characteristic of an entity that employs terror (especially as a political weapon); "terrorist activity" n : a radical who employs terror as a political weapon. The use of random attacks to instill fear and uncertainty on a society or group. This pretty much describes the RIAA and its tactics. 12-year old girl in a housing project, NY single mother, 71 year old grandfather on fixed income, and others that aren't the core of the problem. What about this war on terrorism I keep hearing about? All that money that is supposed to go to the artists is actually going to lawyers. The RIAA has found a sure way to spend ALL of that money. Now that others are getting into the game and suing the RIAA, its a sure bet that royalty payments (what's left after administration, legal, operating and other expenses are paid) will decline faster than CD sales. The RIAA is a house of lawyers and you can bet they'll make sure they find a way to pocket most, if not all, of the money they get. The RIAA says it doesn't know the age of anybody it subpoenas but they do know the percentage of adults that are the problem. How do they know the percentage of adults if they don't know any of the ages of the "pirates"? Remember that the constitutionality of these subpoenas hasn't even gone to court for a determination yet. What happens if the courts rule the subpoenas are NOT constitutional? How much will the RIAA be sued for and who's royalty payments are going to pay for that? According to the RIAA, since their terror campaign started, downloads have fallen over 15% yet CD sales have dropped almost double that. They still claim that the additional drop in sales is due to an "Increase in illegal downloads." Maybe they should take some courses -- logic 101, business 101 and math 101. Why did the RIAA refuse to negotiate with the P2P software vendors so that they could profit from downloads rather than just whining about how bad they are and spending millions of dollars in subpoenas, litigation and press coverage?

Bloody hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931708)

This whole issue is being distorted. It's all very simple, so listen closely.

People know downloading music for free is illegal, yet people continue downloading. These people try to justify this blatant theft by calling the RIAA bad names, and while they may not be the nicest people in the world, at least they're not stealing your money. They charge what they think they can get, and you don't have to buy their product. Just go listen to a radio.

Now, the RIAA, in an attempt to protect it's interests sues the aforementioned thieves, and the anti-capitalism freaks run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Ok... I have a very simple way to put your mind at ease. Grow up, and learn to deal with the consequences of your actions. Just because a business is perceived as nasty doesn't mean you can break the law with impunity.

-Capitalist AC and downloader of music

And I'd have gotten away with it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931713)

And I'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids! [bbc.co.uk]
Durwood Pickle, 71, of Texas, said his teenage grandchildren used his computer during visits to his home.

Re:And I'd have gotten away with it... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931753)

Durwood Pickle?!

wtf

Wanna make somebody think they're being sued? (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931729)

I had a little fun with a Yahoo press release the other day, and made a version on my own site that's database-driven, so you can stuff somebody's name in an innocuous link. In this one [brentozar.com] , it's Julian Morales, but here [brentozar.com] you can put in anybody's name and email them the link to scare the pants off 'em.

Uploading copyrighted music is illegal (5, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931741)

He added: "But uploading copyrighted music is illegal, and for a good reason, and legal action against uploaders cannot be ruled out in the future."

What if I own the copyright to the "uploaded copyrighted music"? Is it still illegal, Mr. Anonymous Spokesman For The Industry?

Hidden in his verbal sewage is the sinister and arrogant assumption that the general public is not capable of producing and copyrighting works themselves--that they are capable of only passive consumption.

This is the "industry" attitude, and it is basically accepted as truth to the reporters.

the power of sharing (3, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931744)

P2P users need to be made more aware that file sharing is distribution. These lawsuits are double plus good in that they drive that point home and they make the music industry look bad. Most people, even if they acknowledge the RIAA has a point - don't condone suing 12 year olds living in public housing.

I'm exhausted by the duality: the people who (allegedly) most believe in file sharing seem to deny its power. And those who least understand it also don't see the power of file sharing. So long as this mindset is prevalent, the RIAA and its ilk will continue to own the media.

I have tens of thousands of MP3s and APEs. Many I downloaded from usenet, many I made myself. But nearly all the MP3s I have of RIAA controlled music are recordings I already bought. And while I absolutely love to share music, and freqently do, you're not going to find any Hollywood (or Nashville) label stuff on anything I distribute. Not because I value the RIAA, but because I so despise the RIAA there is simply no way I am going to take part in advertising for them.

File sharers desperately need to understand this. Every time you share Pink, or Madonna, or Linkin Park, you are advertising for them. Why would you risk being sued just to give even more hype to Millionaires? Would you rob a gas station to buy CDs?

I had to rant (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931767)

When I read about the first round of suits, I was waiting for something like this to happen, and it didn't. When I read about the second round, and it did, I wasn't suprised. Either way, I felt I had to rant, and this came out:

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=11493

For the famously sarcasm impared here, this is meant as a joke, I hope you find some humor in it.

-Charlie

Class action suit? (1)

WiggyWack (88258) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931812)

I made a mention of this in my blog [jeremyborger.com] . I think that a class action lawsuit against Kazaa by those who have been sued by the RIAA could be a possibility.

Look at the story of the 12-year-old girl sued by the RIAA [foxnews.com] . She said "I thought it was OK to download music because my mom paid a service fee for it."

Couldn't this be the understanding of many Kazaa users? I'm paying a $29.95 fee (for Kazaa Plus), it's a legit company, how could this be illegal?

Does Kazaa warn its users in any way that they may be breaking the law? Is sharing on by default? The lawyers are salivating.

Re:Class action suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931842)

Does Kazaa warn its users in any way that they may be breaking the law?

Yeah, read the agreement when you install it.

Where does the settlement money go? (1)

beorach (682576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931837)

most likely not to the artists and more probably back into the legal coffers. It will be interesting to see how many more young or naive people will be extorted by their "fear and awe" campaign.

If it enables a crime then ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931838)

Ok, if congress ever passes a bill making Sharman, etc. responsible for their tool being used in an illegal way then I also want them to pass a bill making gun manufactures responsible for producing guns, car manufactures for making cars, knife manufactures for making knives. There are a lot of things I could use for a crime, will we legislate them all. Of course we will, it only depends on who has the most money and influence. In the case of the RIAA vs. P2P the RIAA has the money and power and will most likely have laws past in their favor. In the case of guns vs. society the NRA has the money and power and will most likely have laws past in their favor. Remember, there is no right or wrong, there is only power.

in other News: crowbar manufacturing shares down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6931856)

as well as aircraft industry, weaponsmiths and car manufacturers. as they are responsible for every act every customer does with their tools, nobody can do business anymore. shares of styrofoam up 300% - the only harmless consumer product left :)

I was wondering about this... (1)

FreedomOfSpea-MMNnnf (704253) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931878)

~~~"And in other news, a P2P group is planning to pay off the RIAA for that 12-year-old's settlement, and the BBC has an article about another victim. "~~~~~~~

I was thinking to myself "where are all these anti-RIAA folks. Why are they letting this 12 year old take the fall (for what is probably Mom's doing anyway: "paying" for Kazaa $39/month???)....? Why let RIAA even win against a 12 year old?"

I mean sure RIAA is making itself look bad but it also makes P2P look weak by allowing it to get this far. I want to see more Jane Doe's, more FreedomOfSpea-MMNnnnf's!!!

victim? VICTIM?! (0)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 11 years ago | (#6931890)

...and the BBC has an article about another victim.

[Emphasis mine]

Michael, you have it backwards. People who steal (that's right steal) from other people are not the victims.

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