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Charter Cable Sues To Quash RIAA Subpoenas

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the quashing-baby-quashing dept.

Privacy 324

mattOzan writes "Charter Communications, the third largest cable provider in the United States, has filed a motion in St. Louis, Missouri, to block the RIAA's requests for the identities of about 150 Charter customers in the St. Louis area. In the over 1100 subpoenas that have been issued so far, Charter claims they are the only major ISP that has not provided the RIAA with 'a single datum of information.'"

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324 comments

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RIAA Acronym (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139531)

FYI,
RIAA stands for Recording Industry Association of America.

If copyright were abolished... (-1, Offtopic)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139532)

...there would be no need to squash these subpeonas. If you try to get a subpeona for violation of a nonexistent law, you'll get laughed out.

Re:If copyright were abolished... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139539)

And if murder were legal, there'd be no need for a lot more subpoenas. What's your point?

RAWK (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139542)

TEH CAWK, and TEH SPOKE!

Subpoenas? (5, Troll)

jbardell (677791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139543)

Wait, what am I missing? I A Obviously N A L, but I didn't think a private company could issue a subpoena. Is there something that I'm missing? And hoorah to Charter Communications for fighting this rediculousness.

Re:Subpoenas? (5, Informative)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139568)

Anyone can subpoena anyone else to get information to use in a lawsuit. The DMCA makes it easier to do so in the case of alleged copyright infringement, but the right to issue subpoenas is avaialble to any person or corporation.

Re:Subpoenas? (2)

jbardell (677791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139607)

Thanks for clearing that up. Parent was in no way meant to be a troll post :(

Re:Subpoenas? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139686)

Welcome to Slashdot, where the moderation system rewards idiocy.

Re:Subpoenas? (4, Informative)

DeepRedux (601768) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139627)

The subpoenas are issued by a Federal district court at the request of the RIAA. The RIAA, just like any other copyright holder, can submit a sworn statement alleging a copyright violation to the court clerk and have a subpoena issued.

The party being subpoenaed (here Charter Communications) has the right to challenge the subpoena in court.

Capitalism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139545)

One of the nice things about capitalism is that despite the fact that some companies in our country can "buy" legislature, when it starts hurting other's bottom lines, as in this case (bad for the cable company), things start to change.

Perhaps those lawyers are good for something after all.

Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (4, Insightful)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139554)

Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena, they'll keep suing -- they'll just switch to John Doe lawsuits...

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (4, Insightful)

Chester K (145560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139659)

Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena, they'll keep suing -- they'll just switch to John Doe lawsuits...

But that will cost them money.. and the more it costs them to keep up this campaign of lawsuits, the less likely they'll collect enough in settlements to draw a profit from it; and if it's not profitable, they won't do it.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

FrozenDownload (687199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139688)

and if it's not profitable, they won't do it.

That never stopped the xbox. :) I guess I am comparing lawsuits to consoles, but in any case, the lawsuits is not where they are gaining most of their money, much like microsoft and the xbox. They can sustain these lawsuits/consoles because they have other ways to gain money.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139797)

Hardly. They are losing money hand over fist on these subpoenas and pseudo-lawsuits. Sure, they made a couple grand off of that 12 year old but that hardly pays for a few hours of attorney time. This is about intimidation, no more and no less. Yes, it is about money, but there is no intent to profit from these "lawsuits". They want people to stop sharing music via peer-to-peer in the mistaken belief that it will return their member companies to profitability. They're misguided to the point of being dangerously irrational, but there's not a lot we can do about that.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139950)

I don't think that there isn't any intent to profit, because that wouldn't work to well for a business. I think that there just isn't any direct profit. Like you said, it's a misguided attempt at regaining profitability, so this is probably a short-term (and highly expensive gamble) that they hope will end up beefing up long-term cash flow.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139997)

ah, but you see, they sue everyone, loose a ton of money on it, then tehy claim that p2p is costing them a lot of money...tehy tehy point to their first loss as proof.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

Boogadad (62663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139799)

Yeah...then they'll just complain more that their profits are down due to piracy.

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

fafalone (633739) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139804)

No, they'll just blame the decrease in their revenue stream on piracy and step up their lawsuits and lobbying some more.

lose you dumb fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139908)

hehe

Re:Even if the RIAA looses the fast-track subpoena (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139980)

Or even if they "lose" the subpoena.

"looses"? Even in the right tense, it would be wrong. Why does the word "lose" baffle so many?

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139555)

GO LINUX!

Episode 12: Reciprocity (-1)

Walmart Security (570281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139556)

And there I lay quietly on the rain-soaked concrete, stunned by the events that had just transpired before my eyes. I listened to the soft rain falling and the SUV speeding away, the sound of its engine fading away like an ascending space shuttle. I wanted to fall asleep, to believe that the bullets had indeed struck my chest, and that everything was lost - that my purpose in life had become forfeit.

"Peter," Robert's frantic voice echoed nearby, "I've called emergency. They'll be here soon. And, uh, this was supposed to be a surprise, but I bought a car for us. You know, a patrol car. I think that we can catch the filthy bastard. Get up!"

I stumbled to my feet with a renewed sense of purpose, brushing a stray hair aside.
"Where's Vickie?"

Robert moved closer. "She's in the back. Come on, follow me!"

We hurried through the empty parking lot, no longer illuminated by the massive stadium lighting erected above it, dodging fallen tree limbs and debris. Robert drew a key from his pocket and hastily opened a small passenger vehicle. A decal affixed to the trunk that read "Dodge Neon" presumably indicated the original paint color.

Robert slid into the driver seat and engaged the ignition. The engine roared to life with an exhaust note that utterly astonished me.

"This is an eight, isn't it, Robert?"

"No way," he replied, shifting our vehicle into reverse, "it's a four banger. I changed the muffler. Cool, huh?"

My protege was an impressively resourceful automobile tuner. "Either way, it sounds like a beast," I said. "Let's catch the bad man!"

I scarcely blinked before we were traveling west on US 190 in pursuit of a hostile suspect.

* * *

A confident Robert smiled as our elite racing engine propelled us to 90 MPH. After a few minutes of driving, I spotted the SUV not far ahead, obscured slightly by night fog. Its taillight pattern, however, was entirely unmistakable. Robert glanced over. "We're gonna dispense us some good old-fashioned vigilante justice now, aren't we?" He accelerated and pulled alongside of the three-pointed menace.

"I'm going to roll down my window," I said, "and instruct him to pull over and surrender immediately via a hand signal. Watch this."

"No," said Robert, retracting my automatic window, "you stay back. I'll give him a signal." The man looked over as Robert extended his middle finger, rendering a hand signal that I was completely unfamiliar with. Perhaps this method of communication had been developed recently.

Over the strong wind came the roar of the man's engine as he began to steadily accelerate. "Keep on him," I implored Robert. "You keep on him!" We followed the man stealthily for around twenty minutes. We had just begun to cross the bridge when our final journey began. Suddenly, and without a discernable sound, the SUV came to a halt above a forebodingly foggy Steinhagen Lake. The man stepped out into a cool, reflective mist, and stood on the railing, making no apparent effort to secure himself.

Without even a word, the man fell silently to his watery grave. And, although Robert and I searched for him afterward, we could see nothing through the silver fog except an occasional light blue reflection. Perhaps the man's blinding headlights created it. Perhaps it was created by something else.

* * *

I watched solemnly as a lone fishing boat crossed the lake, its green and red navigation lights a little blurred and scarcely visible. I began returning to our patrol vehicle, but a faint glow emanating from the SUV seemed to catch my eye. It was some sort of television screen. "Robert," I said, "come take a look at this."

"Yeah, that's one of those navigation things," he said, joining me. "It probably knows where he was going before he stopped."

"Maybe he was heading to their headquarters," I suggested. "We should find out."

Robert stood outside of the vehicle as I acclimated myself with the driver position. "Peter, we can't just leave our patrol vehicle here, though!"

"We need to." And with that, Robert stepped inside. I shifted the SUV into "D" and sped away, our patrol car's hazard lights blinking rapidly behind us.

Go Charter (4, Funny)

flyingember (555991) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139561)

their prices may suck, they may be needing network upgrades, but go Charter!

Re:Go Charter (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139757)

Yeah, I never thought I'd be happy to be a customer of a company that offers overpriced broadband and "We might get to it next week" service.

Re:Go Charter (2, Interesting)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139810)

I feel bad for both of you. I have Charter and I have impecible service. I've had 1 network outage in a year and a half (that I was awake for). Possibly overpriced, but the day I moved to my new appartment, they were able to be there that morning and set everything up for me without a hitch.

Of course, my geographical location isn't exactly a metropolitan area. I might just be lucky because there aren't nearly as many customers here than there is for the rest of you

Re:Go Charter (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139990)

I have charter also, and on friday my service jumped from 512K/128/ to 2Mb/128K...for no apparent reason. Charter is generally crappy as far as price and service goes (just try and get them to admit a line speed issue was their fault), but it is nice that they are standing up to the RIAA.

Is Charter Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139562)

Is Charter a Microsoft division of some kind? I thought I heard that a big Microsoft exec ran it, and the Charter "wave in a window" logo looks like it is part of the group of logos for other Microsoft products such as Office/Access/Excel/etc: it is the same style.

Re:Is Charter Microsoft? (3, Informative)

piku (161975) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139694)

http://www.chartercom.com/aboutus/ourstory/ourstor y.asp [chartercom.com]

"Years ago, Charter Communications Chairman Paul Allen envisioned a Wired World - a global broadband network that would interconnect every home, facilitating the convergence of television, computers, the Internet and communications.

Today, Paul Allen is Charter's largest shareholder. And with interests in more than 100 other world-class enterprises and investments dedicated to improving the way people live, learn, do business, and experience the world, he and his portfolio companies are creating a Wired World."

Re:Is Charter Microsoft? (0, Troll)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139853)

And with interests in more than 100 other world-class enterprises and investments dedicated to improving the way people live, learn, do business, and experience the world, he and his portfolio companies are creating a Wired World.

Gagh!

it's already getting slow (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139563)

Charter cable sues to block music inquiry

10/03/2003

Charter Communications Inc. filed a suit on Friday seeking to block the recording industry from obtaining the identities of Charter customers who allegedly shared copyrighted music over the Internet.

Charter filed papers in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in a bid to quash subpoenas that the Recording Industry Association of America issued seeking the identities of about 150 Charter customers.

"We are the only major cable company that has not as yet provided the RIAA a single datum of information," said Tom Hearity, vice president and associate general counsel for Charter, which is based in Town and Country.

The recording association has subpoenaed information as part of its effort to crack down on illegal distribution of copyrighted music. So far, the group has filed suits against 261 people, none of them in the St. Louis area.

Charter's move Friday suggested that Charter had undergone a change of heart on the issue. On Sept. 23, after the association issued its first subpoenas to Charter in St. Louis, a Charter spokesman said the company would "fully cooperate."

However, Hearity said that statement meant only that the company would "cooperate in the sense that we're going to operate within the legal process."

Representatives at the association's headquarters in Washington could not be reached.

New Buisness Plan (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139565)

1. Become ISP
2. When asked by the RIAA to give out names, purposely give out names of people who do not use the internet much, and definetly don't use Kazza
3. Sue RIAA, claiming damages.
4. Profit!!!

Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139583)

Well, at least they are suing the bad guys here. It is not like the SCO vs Linux nonsense, or the idea of spilling hot coffee on your own lap (or bloating yourself on Big Macs) and suing McDonald's for $$$$.

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuits (1, Insightful)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139631)

please don't compare the coffee suit to the 'it made me fat' suit. If you have ever read more than a headline in your entire life, you'd know there's a difference between the two suits.

They are the same: 100% frivolous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139661)

"If you have ever read more than a headline in your entire life, you'd know there's a difference between the two suits."

The are the same in that they are frivolous. I've read the details in the hot coffee suit. Nothing changes the facts:

- she poured coffee into her crotch. McDonalds did not do this.

- Millions of cups of coffee this hot was sold, and very few (clumsy oafs) had any problems with it.

- Most people prefer this coffee that hot. Since McDonald's had to cool it, complaints went up.

Now go ahead and put up some irrelevant link to a crooked ambulance chaser web site. And go ahead and point out the irrelevant fact that the lady asked for small amount of money and then a big amount of money (never mind that she spilled the coffee and should pay for it herself).

Re:They are the same: 100% frivolous (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139675)

But she'll never have sex agaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiin!!

I think she married the big mac guy. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139695)

I think she married the whale who sued Micky D because he super-sized himself to blimpdom.

They happily live in a new subdivision in the country, where they are suing the 115-year-old family farm nearby out of business over the smell of cow manure.

They have two happy children: Skip, who fell off a ladder and got $16 million from a ladder company, and Judy, who was driving 80 mph drunk and wrecked her car but got Ford to pay her $40 million because the firestones were bad.

They voted in the Florida election, where they each punched a chad for Buchanan. In December, they changed their mind about their vote and sued the Republicans for disenfranchisement.

Re:They are the same: 100% frivolous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139705)

Most people prefer this coffee that hot. Since McDonald's had to cool it, complaints went up.

Really? Most people prefer coffee that's so hot that you can't even drink it without burning yourself?
Wow. I fear for the future of the human race then.

Re:They are the same: 100% frivolous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139754)

I guess the hundreds of thousands of people (millions?) who drink McDonald's Coffee are just stupid then? They don't know what temperature of Coffee that they want to drink?

Re:They are the same: 100% frivolous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139772)

"Most people prefer coffee that's so hot that you can't even drink it without burning yourself?

Yet, statistically, almost no-one of the millions who drank it got burned. Shows it is pretty safe.

What the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139678)

The two situations are very similar. Both involve greedy people trying to get McDonald's to pay for something that is their own damn fault.

The difference is between "coffee" and "big mac": a superflous difference in material.

Whether or not you bathe your genitals in hot coffee or eat 8 big macs a day, you (and no-one else) are causing yourself trouble.

Re:What the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139964)

Both involve greedy people trying to get McDonald's to pay for something that is their own damn fault.
Sorry, you lose, thanks for playing, choke on a cock.

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuits (2, Informative)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139731)

Indeed. It was found that the McD's coffee was served at an incredibly high temperature and that many hundreds of people had complained of being burned previous to this case. I've spilled coffee on myself before (call me an oaf if you must...) and suffered extensive staining of my t-shirt at worst.
Hundreds of people complaining over the course of several years is a little different to a bunch of obese idiots who believed McDonalds ashburgers are "the healthiest thing in the world." I wouldn't even eat one of them...

Few complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139759)

"Indeed. It was found that the McD's coffee was served at an incredibly high temperature and that many hundreds of people had complained of being burned previous to this case"

Millions of cups sold, but only a few hundred complaints. If it really was too hot, most would have complained. Instead, the complaints (because the coffee is now too cold) have greatly increased.

"Hundreds of people complaining over the course of several years is a little different "

It is very little different. They should have been more careful. Even little toddlers are taught care around hot liquids.

Re:Few complaints (1)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139825)

I can only speak from my own experience - I have never required surgery after spilling coffee on myself.
Sure, she should have been more careful (holding a drinking vessel between your legs is a bad move in any circumstances) but a beverage shouldn't do that sort of damage when spilled - accidents will happen...

All coffee burns like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139924)

"but a beverage shouldn't do that sort of damage when spilled - accidents will happen..."

Did you know that almost all coffee, including that served by McD's as a result of the suit and those served elsewhere, will do this? They just take a few more seconds to cause the burn (than the McDonald's lawsuit coffee) to do the damage.

Given what you said, should all coffee be lowered in temperature so it could never ever cause such burns?

Re:Frivolous McDonald's Lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139947)

It was found that the McD's coffee was served at an incredibly high temperature and that many hundreds of people had complained of being burned previous to this case.
That particular restaurant had also been previously cited by local authorities for serving beverages warmer than the legal limit (yes, there really is such a thing). Pretty damning.

Re:New Buisness Plan (3, Funny)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139768)

Wow, and AC comment, about Profit, that is actually funny.

Oh hold on a sec, the RIAA just called, something about stopping the lawsuits and pairing up with MS to support Linux.

I sued McDonald's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139798)

I sued McDonald's. I once gouged out my eye with one of their plastic knives. I was driving with the knife held, blade right near my eyeball (if you don't question why a woman would pour hot coffee on her genitals, don't question my driving habits), when I hit a bump. Youch!

Needless to say, I sued the only people responsible for this. I asked them for a measly $600. They refused. I then asked for millions. They should not be allowed to get away with this, it is an outrageous abuse of corporate power.

I do have to admit, I have it in for McDonald's. Ever since my cousin LoAnne bought about 60 milkshakes and filled a wading pool with them. Her little son drowned in those shakes. McDonald's has yet to pay for her grief.

Holy SHITZU! mod parent up (0)

spineboy (22918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139983)

Every once and a while, that guy, Anonymous coward, comes up with something funny

datum? (-1, Offtopic)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139587)

I think telling them to go to hell would take more than 1/10^9 bits. Then again, I could be wrong.

"Out of 10^9 non-unique values for bit 0, one selected at random was 1. This means that there is a possiblity of less than 1/10^891 that our message is 'Go to hell.' Off the record, that's what it is."

Re:datum? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139706)

I don't know what all those numbers in your post mean, but I assume it has something to do with what you think the word datum means. You should know that datum is simply the singular form of the word data, which is plural.

The good fight. (2, Insightful)

Justen (517232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139588)

As Martha [marthastewart.com] would say, this is a damned Good Thing(C).

It is interesting to note that Paul Allen [corporate-ir.net] is the chairman of Charter, and has been since he bought the company in 1998. Perhaps this will give fuel to the entertainment industry to say that technology, technology companies, and anybody tainted by either, are evil? (See here [macworld.com] .)

Nonetheless, it is important that formidable companies stand up to the entertainment industry and its henchmen. Charter and Verizon (see story [com.com] ) are two folks who you'd want on your side.

justen

Re:The good fight. (1)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139669)

I don't know. It's interesting to watch what has to be an internal struggle for many companies that are both technology and media companies, like AOL-Time-Warner or Sony. I don't think the RIAA would actually contend that technology companies are bad; they rely on those companies' cooperation to include stronger DRM in consumer electronics and computers, as well as often being technology companies themselves.

In your referenced article, Disney accuses Mac of promoting piracy. Well, in some degree, they do. I'm not defending it, but its important to note that an accusation towards 3% of the PC market is hardly the same as going after, say, Dell. Technology is the media industry's friend, so long as they manage to control its use.

Re:The good fight. (2, Interesting)

Justen (517232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139704)

The struggle within technology and entertainment conglomerates (the newly rechristened Time Warner, Sony, Viacom, even Apple) is an interesting one. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of those board rooms.

But I'd like to disagree with part of and seek clarification on part of your second comment.

How does Apple promote piracy on their Mac platform? Do they do so anymore than, as you mention, Dell, or other technology companies? And Michael Eisner did, actually, attack other companies, including hp, which is a considerably larger company than Dell.

(Admittedly, I think Mr. Eisner was a little off his rocker on that day in particular. But I bet that Mike, off his rocker, is probably more sane than some of the folks at Time Warner and Sony.)

justen

Re:The good fight. (1)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139789)

I didn't know he picked on Dell. That's just weird.

But in terms of Apple promoting piracy, I don't think its so much deliberate as it is that Apple caters to a certain market. Dell caters to home PC users who don't know a whole lot; Apple caters to, if not more knowledgable users in general, at least more media-savvy. iMovie is a good example of this; at least part of Apple's marketshare are digital media pros; many of the others are hobbyists.

Apple's customers often have iPods, DVD burners, broadband connections. Apple is, as you say, no more responsible for how these are used than Dell is for their digital media offerings. But Apple's customers probably do get more use out of theirs.

It crosses my mind that this was part of how Apple got the RIAA onboard with iTunes. "Look, our customers have all they need for digital music on a grand scale. If we don't provide it legally, they'll just get it illegally." It's not that Apple endorses piracy, I don't think. But you think they ever wonder how someone can possibly fill a 30GB iPod?

Claim (1)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139629)

Charter claims they are the only major ISP that has not provided the RIAA with 'a single datum of information.

I could've sworn Soutwestern Bell hadn't furnished any of its customers' information at the RIAA's request either...

Not providing Info (-1, Redundant)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139658)

Charter claims they are the only major ISP that has not provided the RIAA with 'a single datum of information.'"

Well, I would challenge that. I would also say that they have just been lucky, as Verizon, and SBC got targeted sooner, and didn't have much choice about it.

The fight continues. (5, Interesting)

code_echelon (709189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139670)

Its good to see another company steeping up and trying to protect people from the RIAA. The more companies that do this the better, this issue is getting a lot of attention and with more companies fighting back the attention will continue to grow. No matter what, when this is in the news the RIAA continues to look terrible and creates more and more enemies. Many of the people that they are suiing are parents of children who have done the downloading and this really upsets and hits home for many American households. When this started off it was just mainly people interested in legal matters and people that are interested in computers that were following the story. As it continues it has really started to affect the average person as the lawsuits are so prevelant and directed at anyone. There are also many political groups now who are trying to step in and fight the RIAA. In my opinion all the companies fighting the RIAA and all the negative press against them is another step forward. I think that the current buisness model that they are using is going to have to change or those that can change it will step up and do so. Many people around the world have been brought up in an era of downloading music and will never purchase there cds at there current prices again. What happens to the RIAA if they stop the downloaders(which they never will) and no one goes back to purchasing there cds.
Making this many enemies is never a good thing for an association that relies on purchases from the people that they have upset.

Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139674)

AOL is this huge turd of an ISP and they get only 2 subpoenas, when the other ISPs get 100s?

Either all AOL users are very nice honest people (not bloody likely), or they are all (minus 2) so inane they only know the "you've got mail!" part of the internet, or somebody at the RIAA is on AOL's payroll ...

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

TSMABob (685023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139712)

Or...

AOL/Time Warner also has control over record making and has close ties with the RIAA...

Why else would the RIAA stay away, they don't want to hurt their friends.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139751)

Why else would the RIAA stay away, they don't want to hurt their friends.

Yes, but why subpoena them at all then? either AOL cooperates and releases users' identities voluntarily because they're in bed with the RIAA, or they don't. Why 2 supoenas? It should be either 0 or hundreds ...

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (2, Informative)

TheTimoo (658067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139787)

The link to the list shows that Time Warner Cable is first runner up with 148 subpoenaes. So that can't be it then. But isn't it that most AOL accounts are dialup? Thougt I read something like that somewhere...

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

ReNeGaDe75 (585630) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139929)

Yea, sueing our friends would just be morally wrong. Let's sue our customers instead.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139941)

People who steal from a company are not their customers.

You probably hate retailers that don't make their stores attractive to shoplifters, too.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (2, Informative)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139728)

aol is mainly dialup users methinks

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139771)

When I was on dialup I used P2P nets to swap files (not saying which files...)
Funnily enough now I got broadband I haven't found myself using this killer app so much.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

rzbx (236929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139989)

Time Warner Cable???? Did you forget about them? Heard of Road Runner? One must question why they are not going after AOL/Time Warner customers.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

Mechamse (515842) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139734)

I think you can assume from the AOL side of the world, the DO only know the "You've got Mail" part. AOL users tend to be the lowest end of the Users specturm... This is from data of over 500 people that I have collected over the last few years.

Dial-up != good file sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139762)

Go ahead and try to file share using dial-up you twit. Of COURSE they got fewer!

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

nullp0inter (687739) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139767)

AOL - Time - WARNER

that Warner = Warner Brothers as in the large record company.

Now you see why their customers dont get subpoenas. RIAA is giving prefrence to AOL/warner customers, suing AOL competiors.

Using DMCA and this free reign to issue subpoenas to whoever they choose, unchallenged by due process of law and the legal system, as an anti-competitive measure.

Go charter go!! The more lawyers on the RIAA's ass the better.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139834)

I personally know several AOL users (really!!!) and not one of them would capable if installing, configuring and using a P2P application. So, if the balance if AOL users are equally challenged from a computer literacy perspective, it is entirely possible the AOL just doesn't have a large number of copyright infringers.

Conversely, it could just be possible that the average AOL subscriber is so computer-savvy that he actually knows how to disable uploading in his P2P software, or at least knows to point his upload folder to an empty directory.

Well ... maybe not.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139852)

Nah, it's just that AOL's IP interface sucks so bad, that anyone running P2P using AOL has such a low bandwidth rating that they don't show up on the RIAA's monitoring services.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139873)

And you're being very kind calling AOL an "Internet Service Provider." They are actually a PSP (Proprietary Service Provider) that has been known to offer a gateway to the Internet.

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

yournic (308333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139911)

according to this http://journalism.berkeley.edu/projects/biplog/arc hive/001022.html Webpage 148 Time Warner Cable customers information has been subpoenaed AFAIK Time Warner Cable and AOL/Time Warner are the same companies... AOL is getting subpoenaed just not so much in the Dialup department... Something probably more interesting is how no one from MSN has been subpoenaed, they do both Dialup, and DSL (though qwest but again, AFAIK MSN is the ISP there

Re:Only 2 subpoenaes to AOL ?? (1)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7140001)

If they were smart enough to set up a P2P client, they'd be smart enough not to pay $25/month for a slow dial-up connection. When you're bandwidth limited, constantly being kicked off, and paying by the hour, it probably doesn't make much sense to run Kazaa, does it?

users of netzero and MSN not sued (2, Interesting)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139687)

None of Netzero or MSN users have been sued by RIAA according to the link provided in the article. (1100 subpoenas) [berkeley.edu] I wonder why?

Re:users of netzero and MSN not sued (1)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139792)

In the case of NetZero, the connection is so slow that running Kazaa isn't worth the effort. Seriously, in the few months we used NetZero, I never downloaded music because it just took too darn long.

Bog them down with litigation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139711)

They stole source code from KaZaa to make the lite version, they violated the license agreement to abuse network resources. They should be subject to the DMCA sword they weild as they have abused and stole intellectual property.

I hope Charter keeps them tied up in litigation while other Software distributors who have had THEIR networks hacked and violated by them levy lawsuits down upon RIAA. The only thing RIAA needs to know is how much love is NOT there for them and chances are the majority will fall in line with any who oppose them.

Think the "Music" industry is hurting how? Boycott all CD/DVD/Tape purchases for a full year and listen to the good ol radio...see how much money they have to harass people when they break the laws they weild themselves. (Just go to the concerts, thats where muscians make their money anyway.)

Re:Bog them down with litigation (4, Insightful)

TheShadow (76709) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139726)

Boycott all CD/DVD/Tape purchases for a full year and listen to the good ol radio

Ummm... if you really want to boycott the music industry... you'll have to stop listening to the radio too. They do get paid each time a song is played.

Re:Bog them down with litigation (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139780)

is there something similar to Nielsen ratings for radio?

Re:Bog them down with litigation (1)

domc (11897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139839)

Yes

Re:Bog them down with litigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139786)

They are paid significantly less and be realistic, are YOU willing to give up ALL music?

Destroying %85 of an army's ability to fight does not destroy the army but does severly limit it's effective capability to pursue a campaign.

*insert sound of the dumb vulture from luney tunes here...Duuuuuuuuhhhhhhh Ahhh Duhhhhhhhh*

Re:Bog them down with litigation (1, Insightful)

HexRei (515117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139800)

AFAIK this is UNTRUE. Legally radio stations can play any track they want without paying the RIAA a dime because the exposure that the artist and their music receives is considered to be fair compensation for the cost of the song.

In fact, in many cases it's just the opposite, record companies spend a great deal of money trying to convince radio DJ's to play their music.

Re:Bog them down with litigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139954)

The radio plays the song whether I listen to it or not.

Yes, radio stations have something similar to Nielsen ratings. It's a fucking joke. Every radio station can claim to be Number 1 in some obscure category.

statistics of riaa (5, Informative)

potpie (706881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139725)

the riaa claims to have lost millions of dollars. The yearend reports can be found here in pdf format:
http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/yearend.asp

note that the sale of cd's has dropped less than 10%, and that the sale of DVD video and DVD audio has risen far more. The riaa doesn't seem to talk about that much, does it?

Props to charter (3, Interesting)

Mr.Zong (704396) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139730)

All i can say is that while their tech support/service (general customer care) is more then lacking, the fact that they lifted the cap of all cable subscribers for a year and half (up here in MI, btw, were getting 2mbit dl's for basic price), and are now taking this stance against totalitarism , has made me a loyal customer for (hopefully) years to come. Keep it up guys!

Very Pragmatic of Charter (3, Interesting)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139745)

The RIAA suing parents and accounthoulders could kill isp business. Nobodys going to want always on broadband in their home if it makes them a target of financialy devastating lawsuit. So for Charter, Verizon, Etc, they can either fight now or watch the RIAA's scare campaign cause their customers to pull internet access.

Imagine parents hear that one of their neighbors got sued by the RIAA because their kid was misusing the internet. They most likely have a vague idea of what the net really is and even less idea what their kid does with it. The likely response pull the plug. The net is just not that big a deal in their lives.

Cooperate ... within the legal process ... (3, Interesting)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139770)

On Sept. 23, after the association issued its first subpoenas to Charter in St. Louis, a Charter spokesman said the company would "fully cooperate." However, Hearity said that statement meant only that the company would "cooperate in the sense that we're going to operate within the legal process."

This is a very insightful comment because it reflects that Charter top-brass probably understands that the legal system is an essentially incomplete system.

If they are smart enough, and can raise the higher-level-than-legal-level issue of social good using the statutes provided by the legal system, they might be able to create an assertion in the legal system that talks about its own unprovability in court, in which case the court might - not fully comprehending the incompleteness of formal systems - look for the validity of the assertion in the social system, wherein they will discover that it is ridiculous for the RIAA to claim no legitimate uses of the P2P.

And Equally ridiculous for the RIAA to claim that by supressing all economic activity not under its control it has somehow raised the total level of economic activity. Reflecting upon how patently untrue the RIAA has been so far, may cause the courts to self-reflect upon their own behavior, in which case there may be a spark of intelligence ... upon which my sig will come alive. As my current sig is Die Die Metallica, Die Die RIAA, Die Die My Darling , its coming alive will cause the death of the RIAA, and Charter may never have to prove the assertions it made fully understanding the unprovability of its assertions ....

Sorry, if have been caught up in some strange loops. I was just rereading Hofstadter's GEB and could not help but ...

hooray for charter! (2, Offtopic)

banks (205655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139783)

Not only are they resisting the jackboots, they're also one of the few modern non-scientific entities I've heard using "datum." So many people today think that "data" is singular/plural. It's infuriating- one wonders if schools even teach grammar any more.

Re:hooray for charter! (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139961)

Yeah, but they're using it wrong. A "datum of information" is nonsense. Would you say, "We provided RIAA with several data of information"?

But I really need to know... (2, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139788)

Charter's move Friday suggested that Charter had undergone a change of heart on the issue. On Sept. 23, after the association issued its first subpoenas to Charter in St. Louis, a Charter spokesman said the company would "fully cooperate."

just how much of this benevolent change in heart was motivated by the competing DSL providers standing up for their customers [slashdot.org] . They were busy licking RIAA's feet while the telcos were saying this [slashdot.org] , this [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org] .

Re:But I really need to know... (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139843)

Actually for as long as I've worked for them (2 years) customer service/protection has been a very high priority.

Re:But I really need to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139981)

customer service/protection has been a very high priority

Just like security has been a very high priority for Microsoft. Just saying it doesn't make it so.

Charter Communications? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139952)

I think RIAA subpeonas are the least of their problems. They don't have to worry about P2P if none of their customers can stay connected for more than 10 minutes. Why do cable modems, and especially Charter, suck so badly?

Re:Charter Communications? (0)

NightEyez (166886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7140007)

I've used their modem for 2 years in St.Louis and have had zero problems. This month they upped my bandwidth to 2MB/s for free until March. I can't complain, they've delivered awesome service to me. Kudos to them for fighting the RIAA filth.

Who's Better? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7139956)

The RIAA or cable monopolies? It's the battle of the state-supported corporate mind controllers!

Matt

hysterical: "operate within the legal process" (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139959)

Article says:
Charter's move Friday suggested that Charter had undergone a change of heart on the issue. On
Sept. 23, after the association issued its first subpoenas to Charter in St. Louis, a Charter
spokesman said the company would "fully cooperate." However, Hearity said that
statement meant only that the company would "cooperate in the sense that we're going to
operate within the legal process."

As opposed to not operating within the legal process? Of *course* they're going to operate within the legal process. I guess their PR person couldn't bear to admit that at first they folded faster than superman on laundry day. But bless 'em for eventually deciding to have more than a knee-jerk PC reaction, even if it's profit-driven.

Asscroft: I demand that you take immediate steps to prevent terrorists from distributing kiddie porn in the Amazonian rainforest!
MoneyCo: Obviously we'll comply in every way possible.
(examines books, does spreadsheet)
MoneyCo: Hmm, what we meant was, we'd comply by saying something you wanted to hear at the time.

why the excitement? (2, Interesting)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139963)

As much as we may question the RIAA's motives, law is law, and if you deny the RIAA the information of those who violate THE LAW then you may as well deny other, more "legitimate" businesses and corporations rights to what they own. Again, I disagree with the RIAA and the motives they use, but this isn't a chance for vigilante ISP's to deny the RIAA what it is entitled to under law.

Something else that's bothering me (4, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7139982)

One of my neighbors has been fooling enough to set up a wireless router with no encryption. If I now run P2P software through his cable connection, can he be sued by the RIAA? Is "gee, I'm stupid enough to leave my cable connection wide open so anybody can use it" and affirmative defense?

Re:Something else that's bothering me (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7140005)

That's something I've been thinking about, too. Say I take my laptop to Starbucks (or one of plenty of non-WEP access points) and start sharing 20K files on kazaa, who will be responsible? They certainly won't be able to find me.
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