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RIAA Threatens 15-Year-Old

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the kids-share-the-darnedest-things dept.

Music 1016

MunchMunch writes "It looks like the RIAA is still going after teenagers--this time, 15-year old Megan Dickinson was caught sharing 1,100 files. At the maximum statutory damages for copyright infringement, this makes Megan's liability at least $825,000, at most a mere $165,000,000. Naturally, the RIAA benevolently offered a $3,500 settlement to avoid these moderate, legally sanctioned damages. As we can hardly forget, the RIAA has already used this technique to settle with a 12 year old. Megan's unsurprising take: 'Yeah, it seems ridiculous.'"

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End of an era...? (5, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525682)

Between this type of scare tactic and the saturation of the P2P networks with garbage files, I think they days of the current generation apps and networks could be numbered. The average file-sharing home user scares fairly easily. I'm not saying these networks will dissapear, but they will cease to be the giant beasts that they are today. I think IRC and new networks like Waste will continue to reign/rise up in the place of the Napster paradigm.

Re:End of an era...? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525689)

SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS, COCKSMOKER.

SLASHDOT IS FULL OF HOMOSEXUALS AND POSERS. INSTEAD OF AN ASTERISK, SUBSCRIBERS SHOULD HAVE AN ICON OF A GUY POLISHING MY COCK, CAUSE THAT'S WHAT THOSE PONTIFICATING FUCKING BROWN NOSERS ARE GOOD FOR.

WELCOME TO MY COMMUNITY, YOU FUCKING COCKGOBBLERS.

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_TOSS*\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)___MY*__|_(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\_SALAD*/_//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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Re:End of an era...? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525751)

This behavior WILL NOT be tolerated! Slashdot is a forum for people with different views come together to discuss in a more or less moderate manner! You, on the other hand, are a scum of humanity, the lowest denominator, and the garbage of the social ladder.

Re:End of an era...? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525768)

It has come to my attention that you completely inhale the shit out of goatse's ass. Read on for more about this fascinating topic.

The world went into shock a few weeks ago when goatse.info [goatse.info] reported the results of a study which concluded that inhaling shit is a very dangerous pastime, one that no one is advised to take up. Eventually, everyone adapted to the new state of affairs and began inhaling other things. Almost everyone, that is. But not you! According to my records, you still inhale shit!

Why?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!

You moron, you idiot, you imbecile, you gay nigger [nero-online.org] ! Arg! You make me so fucking sick! FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU.

Re:End of an era...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525773)

Oops, it looks like the post I was referring to was modded down so badly its gone. Sorry about that.

Re:End of an era...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525799)

Captain's Log: My Anus is too Fucking Tight

One day Captain Kirk was maiming his cock with a horseshoe when suddenly Mr. Spock ran up to him and shoved his pointy ear up his butt. "What is this for!" the fag captain said. "FAGS FOR YOU AALL!L!!!" the ancient alien howled as suddenly he farted and Captain Kirk twirled around in a daze and his foreskin twisted and his kidney stones turned into wooden beads. He pulled out his pistol and shot lasers at his chastity belt and suddenly he hurdled his dick into Captain Kirk"s bellybutton and it tore his flesh while Spock fucked his stomach. Kirk hollered out loud and Mr. Spock threw his shoes to the floor and wrinkled his penis until Kirk bellowed out to make it stop. A maelstom of shit whizzed around the ship and suddenly a giant fag appeared out side and the U.S.S. Enterprise went up his butt. "Oh what the hell have you gotten us into NOW!" Captain Kirk said as he oozed a condom back on his dick and put his panties back on. "OOH!H!!!!!!" Mr. Spock started fucking him again and shoved his phazer up his butt. He dissolved his glands and exploded his turds and finally a queer klingon hurdled through the door and smashed Kirk with his butt hairs. A maniac sucked his dick and suddenly Mr. Spock fagged Kirk so hard that his intestines burst open and he died.

Re:End of an era...? (1)

Hi_2k (567317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525728)

I really love waste, but I doubt that large scale sharing over it will ever acutaly happen. While its "Web of Trust" architecture and encryption makes it perfect at trumping the RIAA, its problems with scalibility and lack of speed will interfere with it. If only someone would step up and start updating it it would be an instant hit. Poor justin Frankel, having his company stolen by all too greedy AOL execs.

You know what? (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525811)

I don't get people around here.

The girl was illegally sharing copyrighted materials. She was one of many who have been contacted.

Slashdot, in a typical tactic of propoganda latches onto one example and drives it home. A 12 year old! A 15 year old!

Meanwhile, no matter how you shake it, they're still doing the legal thing--protecting their copyrighted works! Even Jamie of Slashdot knows what that is about--threatening the daily Slashdot summary site because they are "illegal."

FP for FTM's new pr0n site! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525683)

Now that that got your attention, free Gil Scott-Heron!

Re:FP for FTM's new pr0n site! (1)

benna (614220) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525746)

Gil Scott-Heron is in jail? Well I guess if CBS was pressured into moving their show the vast right wing conspiracy would have no problem sending him to things like "B" Movie. For those that don't know Gil Scott-Heron wrote "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" among other things. Look him up on KAZAA (now don't mod this off topic :P) and download some of his work! I bet Gil wouldn't mind.

OH MY GOD FTM!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525791)

YOU FAIL IT!!!!!

What's stopping (2, Interesting)

akaina (472254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525685)

What's stopping them from asking for $5000, or $10,000, or $50,000?

Re:What's stopping (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525699)

Or for that matter, [pinkie to lip] one MILLION dollars.

Re:What's stopping (1)

Popadopolis (724438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525738)

Their "compassion" for the little man? Their "sympathy?" Do I sound sarcastic enough or should I use italics?

Re:What's stopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525739)

The $3,500 is a calculated sum based on the yearly average income of a 15 year old girl in the subjects particluar geographic region. ....... ...Not really.

Hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525687)

Blah. 202 775 0101. Rant till you die.

sharing is caring (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525688)

FUCK THE RIAA!

I'm not afraid of you! (5, Informative)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525691)

Every time I read stories like this, I feel an extreme sense of paranoia that the RIAA is going to come busting down my door and demand money for my songs. Then I realize...I turned off file sharing, which makes the penalties MUCH, MUCH less. The penalties for DISTRIBUTING music run about 750$ per file. The penalties for downloading music run about 99c/file (You just have to reimburse them for the cost of buying) [cornell.edu] , under Title 17, Chapter 5, S504, b. If bad comes to worst, I'll sort through my selection of 400 some-odd files, count out how many are indie or not coverred by the RIAA, which will be around 300, and then pay them their $1,000 and be on my way, having beaten the music industry. Then I realize once again, they're not coming for me because I don't use FastTrack [bitchx.org] . [Note, IANAL]

Re:I'm not afraid of you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525822)

Why would you pay $1000 if you have 400-300=100 songs at $0.99 each?

Re:I'm not afraid of you! (0)

p00p5m1th (627042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525852)

ah, what a good idea. why doesn't everybody just stop sharing all their files? Then when you want to download that great new song you'll run a much lower risk because it won't be there to download.
great solution... >:|

Extortion countersuit? (5, Interesting)

PDG (100516) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525693)

Has anyone considered a class action countersuit on behalf of p2p users for harrassment and extortion by the RIAA. This sort of thing was being done by SmartCard readers recently harrassed by DirecTV.

Re:Extortion countersuit? (1)

spune (715782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525736)

I like the idea, but ponder the feasibility. I doubt such an action would be taken very seriously in court as it's a fairly widespread belief that file sharers are hellspawn anymore.

Re:Extortion countersuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525754)

Unlike the DirectTV case, in this case, people were caught in the act doing something illegal (that is, distributing money). Under law, the RIAA has every right to pursue civil remedies.

Please, look up the definition of extortion before you twist in a typical Slashbot style.

Re:Extortion countersuit? (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525808)

Has anyone considered a class action countersuit on behalf of p2p users for harrassment and extortion by the RIAA. This sort of thing was being done by SmartCard readers recently harrassed by DirecTV.

That would only be analogous if and only if the RIAA went after everyone who downloaded Kazaa or whatever, not people who actually had been found to have used them in an illegal manner.

Assassination? (1, Troll)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525698)

What ever happened to a good ol' shooting? What, does nobody has the conviction to kill a piece of shit any more? If someone tried to sue me for $800,000, they would die, jail term or not.

Re:Assassination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525743)

seek...help...now..you...sick...bastard

Re:Assassination? (4, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525745)

Thanks to the dude who moderated this as insightful, I am now locking all of the doors in my house, and am putting on my bullet-proof vest.

Only in America. Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Re:Assassination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525784)

A wise man once told me to never cost someone more than it would take them to have you killed.

Food for thought.

Re:Assassination? (2, Informative)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525771)

What's the saying? Never cost anyone more than it would cost to have you killed :)

Re:Assassination? (2, Insightful)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525780)

And that's going to help how?

Assassinations never deter anyone - it didn't work when they assassinated Lincoln, or Gandhi, or terrorists, or doctors performing abortions or just about anything else. And what are you going to do, destroy a whole organisation, given that it would be the organisation suing you (which is a person in law, but not in flesh) rather than an individual.

Not a very well thought out theory, besides which it just means that you're breaking more laws and you're going to go to gaol for a lot longer than you would have for file-sharing (I don't think anyone has been imprisoned for it yet), assuming you don't get the death penalty.

Re:Assassination? (1)

benna (614220) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525817)

Actually I think if sherman (The RIAA one not the Kazaa one) feared for his life he might think twice before filing more bullshit lawsuits. If he was killed I highly doubt his successor would do what got Sherman killed.

Re:Assassination? (1)

Popadopolis (724438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525819)

I agree with Mr. Tim. Murder and assassinations only help to martyr the organization and give them sympathy points in court. Plus, then the RIAA could claim that people who download illegal MP3s are dangerous and insane. I dont want that.

Re:Assassination? (0, Flamebait)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525801)

Not funny. Comments like this and people willing to accept this kind of messages is what makes people in your country go nuts and go postal.

Re:Assassination? (2, Insightful)

Selecter (677480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525837)

I call bullshit. This guy is feeling powerless over his life, and violence is the court of last resort for the powerless. That's why the War on Terrorism is so flawed an idea - tomorrow, they may point the gun at you becuase you're the threat, you, with your old fashioned ideas about individual freedom and liberty. Such ideas are imcompatable with 2003 USA as we find it. One or the other must die. Which side to you want to choose to win, the government of the likes of Dick Cheney and the neo-cons, or the common citizens? Im on the little guys side - Dick Cheney is already rich and powerful.

Nothing better to do (3, Insightful)

Popadopolis (724438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525704)

You would think that an organization of, well, music companies would have something better to do than attack individual users for a crime that doesnt really matter. Honestly, shouldn't they be working on techniques to lower the cost of CDs so people, you know, start buying them again? Damn, but the RIAA really pisses me off, which I am sure is a sediment of many here in /. .

Why don't these people fight? (4, Funny)

whackco (599646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525705)

I know I would represent myself under the 'my computer was compromised by Windowz insecurities and I didn't know this was going on' defense?!?!?!

Re:Why don't these people fight? (1)

Popadopolis (724438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525849)

Unfortunatly, claiming ignorance is no excuse for breaking a law. And the RIAA probably wouldnt believe a 3 year old claiming ignorance because of their (the RIAA, not the 3 year old) greed.

1100 FILES??? (4, Insightful)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525709)

Good God! What's the address, before they take her down?

All kidding aside, ehh. She is sharing illegal files. She got caught. I'm not really seeing the "Shock and Awe" about this news article.

Re:1100 FILES??? (1)

Silvers (196372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525740)

The 100+ million dollar figure isn't suprising to you?

Re:1100 FILES??? (3, Insightful)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525783)

Nope. C'mon, we all need to get over this stuff. She knew what she was doing was illegal because it has been plastered everywhere across the web and news. She knew she could very easily get caught and that there would be a harsh penalty involved. She gambled and lost, just as many others are doing.

Re:1100 FILES??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525787)

Why should it be. Clearly the RIAA needs it more than a 15 year old.

RIAA CAN SUCK MY BALLS (0)

Big Troller (651808) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525713)

Man there is nuthin like pirating music.... But I never understood the poster that said, "When you pirate music off the interenet you are downloading communism" Can anyone explain this to me....

Re: RIAA CAN SUCK MY BALLS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525842)

music = good
communism = good
Ergo, music = communism.

Beat the RIAA? (5, Insightful)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525714)

The key to being safe from the RIAA: Don't listen to music owned by the RIAA [riaa.com] .

So what? (1)

Logger (9214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525715)

Why is this news? Sure its Goliath picking on David again, but what's new about that?

Here's a better question. Why complain about the RIAA doing what the RIAA does? Go change the law or do something productive.

Complaining about this is like complaining that lions kill antelope. Either kill the lion, kill the antelope, or put a fence between them!

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525750)

"Goliath picking on David"? Are you telling me that if somebody's bigger/richer/more powerful than you, they should just let you act as you please?

Who cares if those kids are 12, 15, or even 5? The fact is, they were violating copyright law, plain and simple. Had they been caught stealing in a candy store, would you feel so outraged?

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

Logger (9214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525832)

Not my point, I agree with you.

The only reason this gets press is because it's some BIG SCARY BUSINESS INTEREST sueing a _poor little kid_. These articles get posted because someone wants to enflame the rage of all the illegal file swappers against the RIAA. The RIAA is just following through with there legal right.

There are an awful lot of people who seem to think that if they don't like the law, they'll just ignore it. Then when the law comes back to bite them they get angry that its unfair. Well, maybe they should've lobbied to get the law changed before breaking it!

I'm no fan of the RIAA, they are so stuck in the stone age they don't see a good opportunity staring them in the face. But they are going to do, what they are going to do. And if you don't like it, follow the law or change it.

Re:So what? (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525825)

why complain about people complaining?

either don't listen (read), kill yourself, or kill everyone else.

parents liable (0)

XMichael (563651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525716)

Considering parents are liable for there under age childrens actions... It's something to think about if your a parent. In alot of cases your kids could be leading the authorities to your mass amounts of pirated software; Windows 2000, Office, Quicken etc! Thankfully, I'm one of the few slashdorks that actually uses Linux for everything --- I ain't worried hehe

A sympatheizer... former... (4, Insightful)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525717)

For the past few months (okay, a few years) I was somewhat sympathetic about RIAA's action. Even though I don't like it, it's the only way they know to go about it. Even when they sued a twelve years old, I was hoping it would be one of their "shock" cases... but this just went too far. If they were doing some drastic remodeling of their business model when they sue people, I would still be sympathetic. But now, they just sue, sue and sue and no actice action on how to repair it at the base, their own out-dated business model.

Is it really legal? (5, Insightful)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525721)

Can you actually sue a minor in the USA? Hell, I'm 20 and I can't drink beer there, but a 15 year old kid can get sued? What the fuck is that?

Re:Is it really legal? (3, Informative)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525788)

No, you can't sue a minor, but then again the minor doesn't own the computer, does she? They're suing her parents, the actual owners of the computer, and as far as the law is concerned, the infringers.

Re:Is it really legal? (3, Insightful)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525823)

So what would happen if she actually owned the computer and paid for it with her own, hard-earned money?

Good idea? (4, Funny)

Hexydes (705837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525723)

First they sue a 12 year old girl, and now a 15 year old girl. Is their new plan of attack to sue the only portion of their demographic that are still buying CDs?

Re:Good idea? (1)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525828)

They're digging their own grave in this case. Alienating consumers isn't good.

Why the uproar? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525727)

I can understand why people object to them suing anyone, but as long as they're going to sue someone, why not a teenager? It's not like teenagers aren't aware that freely downloading copyrighted music is illegal.

Re:Why the uproar? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525833)

There is a lot of free music on Internet, and it is not always obvious which one is which - especially if you are a teen girl, and not a lawyer.

Re:Why the uproar? (1)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525859)

And the fact that the RIAA isn't doing anything else to help solve the problem. On one hand they are suing people, on the other hand they're forcing online music store that tries to solve problems for them (the new Napster) into ridiculously restrictive licensing scheme.

Thank God for idiots. (0, Troll)

adun (127187) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525729)

Without "innocent" users leaving their shared directories open to the world--and consequently the RIAA--their rabid pack of lawyers might have to change tactics and come after the downloaders, who sit in relative comfort for the moment. I salute you, Megan Dickinson. Keep up the good work.

I FOR ONE WELCOME OUR NEW RIAA OVERLORDS!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525731)

sigur ros l blows

That's a lot of money (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525734)

Let's see now, $165,000,000 dollars..Hmm. I guess his Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandchildren will be paying it off until 2400 AD..

For the love of... (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525749)

For freak sakes I meant to say "HER" grandchildren. ;)

What? (2, Insightful)

A.T. Hun (192737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525742)

While I am certainly no fan of the RIAA nor its tactics, I'm getting a little sick of the "I didn't know it was wrong" defense. Come on. 1,100 songs downloaded, parents oblivious, child claiming ignorance. Anybody see a problem here? You can argue until you are blue in the face whether or not the copyright laws should be changed. You can argue (persuasively, I might add) that the RIAA is heavy-handed. But don't come off pretending to be ignorant. The law is clear. This is theft.

Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

dricci (470949) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525776)

And copyright infringement is not theft.

Re:What? (1)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525806)

This isn't theft (The felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it). This is infringement.

Apparently not clear enough... (1)

00420 (706558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525807)

It's copyright infringement.

Re:What? (1)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525820)

The law is clear. This is theft.
Copyright infringement, and therefor a civil matter. Not, strictly, theft.

The RIAA is more akin to Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

Re:What? (1)

MarcR80 (633120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525841)

> This is theft.

Well, then let's give the stolen music back to the owner.
http://www.sendthemback.org [sendthemback.org]
You'll feel better afterwards. :)

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525845)

people who call copyright infringement "theft" go straight to my foe list.

RIAA's Day-after Thanksgiving sale already? (3, Funny)

TypeMRT (678353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525744)

99.6% off sounds like a deal to me.

This is so weak... (1)

Daneboy (315359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525753)

Of course, it's probably futile to expect metacorps like the RIAA to actually behave rationally about things like this, but this is just ridiculous.

For one thing, they won't be able to stop (or even slow down) the p2p sharers out there, no matter how much they try. The only way to really do that would be to permanently cripple the Net by doing things like, say, cutting off all international access points. Don't they realize that people in Outer Mongolia and Gabon and places like that also use these programs?

And their entire logic seems based on the tried-but-false idea that their industry loses money every time some kid downloads a song. False!!! They only lose money if that kid, had he not downloaded the song, would otherwise have purchased the CD. Does anyone really think that a 12-year old with a library of, say, 10K mp3 tracks would actually have purchased a thousand CDs if he couldn't have donwloaded them? Absurd!

Why do people still think like that?

Re:This is so weak... (1)

Daneboy (315359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525855)

And just for the record, I'm not saying that it's ethically or legally OK for people, whether they're 15 or 75, to knowingly distribute copyrighted material, regardless of whether all their friends are doing it or not.

I'm just suggesting that maybe, just MAYBE, there are better things for the RIAA to be doing than suing people like this and pretending that it's going to help turn around the moribund economy of their floundering industry.

I think their logic is something like this: "Let's see... we're losing $1B a month. If a million people each download a hundred songs a month, and if each song costs us $10 in lost sales, then all we have to do is stop all those people to instantly become profitable again. Someone call some lawyers!"

EXCELLENT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525755)

1100 less shit songs on the net!

Shopping Mall Threatens 15-Year-Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525756)


It looks like The Mall of America [mallofamerica.com] is still going after teenagers--this time, 15-year old Megan Dickinson was caught giving away 1,100 articles of clothing that she had shoplifted over the past year. At the maximum statutory damages for felony larceny, this makes Megan's liability at least $825,000, at most a mere $165,000,000. Naturally, The Mall of America [mallofamerica.com] benevolently offered a $3,500 settlement to avoid these moderate, legally sanctioned damages. As we can hardly forget, The Mall of America [mallofamerica.com] has already used this technique to settle with a 12 year old. Megan's unsurprising take: 'Yeah, it seems ridiculous.'

uh (0, Flamebait)

krisp (59093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525758)

You make it sound like she wasn't doing anything wrong. If she is sharing 1100 songs that SHE DID NOT PAY FOR, then she is stealing from them. Yes, this is an unpopular view here, but I mean come on, if instead of $165M worth of copyright infringement, she had just one picture of a 15 year old boy in a sexual position, would you all defend her?

Jesus christ. She is BREAKING THE LAW. Why shouldn't she be punished?

Re:uh (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525816)

Actually, if a 15-year-old girl had, and was interested in, pictures of a 15-year-old boy in a sexual position, I'd say that she was pretty normal. If she was 35, I would be concerned.

Did you have some other point?

Copyright infringement vs. Larceny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525851)

There is a huge difference. I'd suggest learning it, you asshat. Especially since the two crimes carry very different punishments.

The law isn't right then (1)

zxd (724760) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525857)

The law isn't always right. If it was against the law to live, would you have to be punished?

These criminals remind me of... (3, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525759)

Factory owners terrorizing workers who were unionizing in the early 20th century, or Al Capone. And I seem to remember that the Unions won, and that Capone went to jail.

However, you also have to remember that back then the common people actually had spines. They knew they were probably going to get raped; They didn't bend over and they sure as hell didn't relax and enjoy it.

It's like Marty says in BTTF 1: "If you don't stand up now, he'll walk all over you for the rest of your life!"

crackers (1)

penguinoid (724646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525762)

Most people will go away, but the rest will learn not to be seen on the 'net, and might even start doing nasty stuff

How do they know?! (1)

zxd (724760) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525764)

How does the RIAA ACTUALLY know that someone has a song? Do they download mp3s from you and listen to make sure? What if someone had a file named as a famous music song in mp3 format?

A Tale of Two Sharers (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525765)

"Megan Dickenson is in the middle of a controversy she doesn't understand."
[...]
"Another person we met -- we'll call him John -- has been violating federal law too. He just hasn't been caught.
"'I feel like kind of a sucker to pay money for something that I can get for free,' he said. "


As long as there are Johns, there will be Megans. Megan's at least young and (at least acting) ignorant.

What's John's excuse?

Stolen Music? (1)

dirgotronix (576521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525770)

You would think that a very large group of lawyers who spend their time suing everyone would know the difference between stolen music and infringed copyrights.

Copyright infringement isn't theft. This constant mislabeling is really, really annoying.

Slam-dunk (1)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525778)

This is absolutely the best outcome possible for the RIAA. Bust an underage filesharer and hit the parents for an amount that anyone can relate to.

Nature of punishment? (3, Interesting)

Hexydes (705837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525785)

Isn't the nature of punishment in these cases to deter the perpetrator from commiting the crime again, not threatening to destroy their life with monetary charges that they could never possibly hope to repay?

I think that $3,500 is fair. If they went to court and won that amount, I would consider it fair. But extorting money from a 15 year old girl is just as bad as downloading 1,100 songs, if not much worse.

Re:Nature of punishment? (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525858)

Isn't the nature of punishment in these cases to deter the perpetrator from commiting the crime again, not threatening to destroy their life with monetary charges that they could never possibly hope to repay?

No, it's to punish them and to deter others.

Jackasses.... (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525789)

You know, it's not okay for the RIAA to sue college students and adults. But it's at least slightly morally acceptable. After all, these are adults you're suing, they know stuff has consquences.

(begin rant)

But once those jackasses begin suing minors, that's where I draw the f***ing line. Doesn't the RIAA know that they're pushing away the people they need to make money? This girl's going to have her plight featured on the local news TV/newspaper, probably going to be the lead story. What effect is that going to have on her friends/classmates? Right, they're probably not going to log on to Kazaa. But I really doubt they're going to go out and buy the next Britney Spears CD or whatever they listen to. They'll probably ask a friend to buy it, then the CD will get passed, and everybody will rip a copy of the CD themselves. After all, it's not illegal to allow a friend to borrow/share a CD, is it? The RIAA might make $3500 in the short term, but I'm willing to bet they're going to lose a lot more than that in the future because the girl is not going to buy CDs, and her friends won't either. Say the average CD is $10. (Which is a bit on the low end). I would be willing to bet that the girl + friends + classmates would buy more than 350 cds over her lifetime ($350 * $10 = 3500, for you math illiterate). But those sales are now lost. Nice job RIAA. You might be filthy stinking rich in the short term, but long term, forget it.

(end rant)

What about terrorism by corporations? (0)

Selecter (677480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525790)

Is Bush going to save us all from terrorism such as is practiced by the RIAA? The legit interests of the songwriters and bands are ill served by this group of thieves. I'm pretty damn sure none of the "settlements" they get will ever be passed down the line to the bands themselves.

Jefferson said the well of democracy has to be refreshed with the blood of tyrants every so often. How about we start with these tyrants and then move on to all the other things ( Social Security, Work-Until-You-Drop-Dead lousy USA labor policy, total political corruption from top to bottom, health care that's more expensive than Canada's system while offering NONE of the benefits of that system, etc. ) until we start to make things right.

How many of you are gonna keep voting for the Democrats and Republicans that made all this wonderful goodness possible?

The answer is pretty obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525793)

Stop buying music. Tell your friends
not to purchase from certain companies.
Try to buy directly from the artist.

I cannot remember the last time i bought a cd. I cannot remember the last time i downloaded a song. I often listen to the radio and howard stern ;)

Oh, and I also run win98se still sometimes because i never paid for a copy of 2000 or XP. Is this really a big problem? Or am i getting to old? (29)

later

$750 per song? (0, Troll)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525794)

"The lawsuit is demanding the family either pay a $3,500 settlement, or fight the suit and go to court. If they lose, they could have to pay $750 per song."

I have absolutely no idea how laws determine how much the guilty have to pay, but doesn't $750 seem like a little too much?

Considering these are 'soft', I would set their value at $1 each, like online music stores. Has the RIAA lost $750 on each song? Has each song actually been downloaded an average of 750 times?

The $3500 settlement is a little more reasonable, if such a term can be applied to the RIAA. That would mean about $3.18 per song.

WTF? anyone care to enlighten me?

Re:$750 per song? (1)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525830)

$750 for DISTRIBUTING the music. It's aimed at keeping people from setting up massive file sharing services and allowing other people to break the law. Not too steep if you ask me.

I've said it before.... (3, Insightful)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525796)

and I'll say it again...I sometimes wonder if they are scratching their heads thinking, "What's the matter? We keep suing out customers, and the fuckers still won't buy our products! What's wrong with them?"

Joe

If at first you don't succeed, lower your standard until you have.

I wish I was 15... (1)

∆nertia (96622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525798)

I really hope the RIAA ends up sueing someone who is able to mount a good defence. If I was 15 and they sued me (If I could retain my current understanding of the matter that is) I would so go to court( if I had money that is ;-), I think that there are a number of arguable defences, especially for minors. -- Comments?

Shall we ask Osama Bin Laden to help us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7525803)

If he could redirect his anger against the evil RIAA then we would all be better off!

Please come out of hiding Osama! We need your help!

ha-ha... (0, Troll)

painehope (580569) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525809)

Christ, I would have loved it if those assholes had said something like that to me when I was fifteen.
I would have showed them the texas state bird :

#
#
#### ##
#######
####
###
and then asked them how the fuck they expected to get that out of a high schooler who worked part-time at burger king.
If anyone pulls this kind of shit on my kids, I'm going to put the lawyer who serves the papers in traction.
If people didn't cave into these kind of scare tactics, especially directed at children, then they wouldn't keep doing it.

Wait a second (4, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525815)

Look, I don't like the RIAA, and I'm doing my best not to support them.

And I think that in terms of customer relations, the RIAA is making a big mistake, which will turn around and bite them in the ass.

And I agree that the RIAA has long overcharged for CDs.

But I also don't download files (or share them) in violation of copyright.

And I'd sue if my copyright were violated. As for instance, if code I'd licensed under the GPL were used in a closed source product in contravention of the GPL.

This is ludicrous, but save your moral indignation for Direct TV's suits against people who purchase legal hardware, or for Belkin and its spam-vertising, or for John Ashcroft's willingness to trample the 4th Amendment.

What the RIAA is doing is stupid and heavy-handed. What the 15 year old did was stupid and illegal. But moral indignation against the RIAA is misplaced.

Not a good time for Megan (1)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525818)

"...Megan's liability at least $825,000, at most a mere $165,000,000."

Megan - "Magic 8 Ball, is this a good time to ask for a raise of my allowance?"

*8 Ball dissolves in laughter*

Riaa website? (1)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525826)

Speaking of which... anyone else getting nice bizzar results when trying to go to the RIAA website [riaa.org] ?

The RIAA website (1)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525838)

You mean it's actually up for more then one day or even a week? I guess miracles do happen or the hackers are taking a vacation from "owning" the RIAA site permanetly. :D

In other news... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7525840)

SBC challenges RIAA over subpoenas [com.com]

'Lawyers from the record industry and telecommunications giant SBC Communications are set to face off in a San Francisco courtroom Friday in a dispute over the record label's legal charges against file swappers'
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