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RIAA Takes the Fight to the Streets

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the whatcha-gonna-do dept.

Music 1011

Lapzilla writes "In an article from LA Weekly, it would appear the RIAA has taken their fight to the streets. Wearing jackets with "RIAA" emblazoned upon them, they have taken to busting street vendors in an FBI fashion for selling bootleg CDs and DVDs."

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1011 comments

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500 Internal Server Error (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931705)

This website sucks!

hands up! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931900)

Riaa: Freeze! Vendor: Um...er...uh...Riaa (handcuffing vendor): You have the right to remain silent. ANything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. I mean, come the fuck on. Selling bootlegs is wrong, but the riaa just took this one too far. I bet they won't get into trouble for this one, since their asshole managers will put up arguments that can't be shot down. Wonder when the EFF will get into this? I think its about fucking time!

Someone had to say it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931710)

Knoppix is teh roXX0r!!.. :)

Time to get to work... (4, Funny)

DaZedAdAm (131819) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931712)

1. Make RIAA jacket and take street vendors' products.
2. ?
3. Profit!!!

Re:Time to get to work... (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931905)

just say "sign this and i will not arrest you or hassle your grandmother".... then get them to sign something that says:
"i understand that this guy taking my stuff is nobody important and i will not try to get it back, or beat him or sue"

if they refuse, move on

Re:Time to get to work... (0, Troll)

Boing (111813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931909)

Time to get to work... (Score:3, Funny)
by DaZedAdAm (131819) on Friday January 09, @03:02PM (#7931712)
1. Make RIAA jacket and take street vendors' products.
2. ?
3. Profit!!!

At this point, I just don't know whether there are still people who find that tired joke funny, or whether you're getting the "funny" moderations by people who laugh at the meta-joke. Or both.

Re:Time to get to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931922)

this is a test

Re:Time to get to work... (1)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931959)

Oooooh Oooh, pick me! I know #2!!

2. Threaten politicians to no longer support their campaign if they do not actively seek to create the laws that *YOU* want!!

Cool... (5, Funny)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931713)

It's like saving taxdollars. They do the police's work and the police can worry about real crime, then.

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931770)

I also think private entities should do the states' work. Like collect taxes.

Re:Cool... (3, Interesting)

PRES_00 (657776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931810)

If they admitted that their "sue y'all" tactics are just a lame excuse for a dying marketing strategy; the police wouldn't have had to worry about arresting some 14 year old kid for doing something that they probably did too in their youth (tape recording).

Re:Cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931811)

You do have a point, but...well...the word vigilante does come to mind....

Re:Cool... (5, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931835)

They do the police's work and the police can worry about real crime, then.

oh there's a smashing idea! private citizens' initiatives at law enforcement always turn out to be fair and equatible treatments of not only the letter but the spirit of the law.

Police Only Please (5, Insightful)

Marnhinn (310256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931893)

It may save tax dollars - but it is a step toward private business enforcing it's own laws. Has anyone read Snowcrash (by Neal Steavenson) where the different parts of the city all have their own rent-a-cops that enforce different laws? I realize that the RIAA is attempting to combat piracy - but they should not be making claims like "They said they were police from the recording industry or something, and next time they'd take me away in handcuffs..." (from article).

Taking law into your own hands is not something I want to see happen in America - for example some guy starts pulling over speeders that drive by his house, or a store owner shoots two kids that are shoplifting... Simply put I don't trust the RIAA and most private law enforcement agencies. That is why I pay taxes - so I can have a FAIR and UNBIASED bunch of law enforcement.

That said - I think the guy was an idiot for selling pirated stuff and don't support him one bit - it is the tactics that are being used that scare me.

Re:Police Only Please (-1, Flamebait)

bluprint (557000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931963)

or a store owner shoots two kids that are shoplifting

Yeah, god forbid people actually be able to protect their own property...

Legal or not, I can assure you that anyone caught stealing anything from me would be shot on site. And while I may end up in jail (or not...IANAL) I would be in the right.

Re:Cool... (1)

praksys (246544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931921)

I agree with the general idea. Private enforcement of private property rights (and I mean lawful enforcement, not vigilante stuff) does save the government a lot of money, and it does allow the police to focus on more important matters.

Still, if these guys get used to playing cops, and everyone else gets used to them playing cops, then one day they might stop just playing. I would hate to wake up one day and find that the RIAA has a real police force with real police powers, rather than just this pretend outfit.

Possible arrest for Impersonating an Officer? (5, Interesting)

Dukeofshadows (607689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931944)

Does anyone else here think that these EX-cops should be brought up on charges of impersonating a police officer and potentially discrimination (80% of their incidents are against Hispanics and the "officer" interviewed had choice words)? And wouldn't that leave the RIAA open up to liability for potential violation of civil rights and false arrest if the "cops" actually put anyone in handcuffs as they are threatening to?

Whoa (5, Funny)

DumbWhiteGuy777 (654327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931715)

Let's say, theoretically, someone wanted to purchase these jackets. Where would one buy them?

I, er, my friend wants one.

Re:Whoa (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931744)

I just want a copy of the logo. For circle slash treatment, of course!

Re:Whoa (1)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931842)

Brilliant idea! Best way to show the RIAA what little powers they have, someone impersonate them and steal profits from shops!

yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931718)

I was expecting this from the start.

How to fight the RIAA... if you ever need to (2, Informative)

Eyah....TIMMY (642050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931725)

Oh they really chose the perfect city for their testing grounds. LA is probably the city that has the most lawyers per person living there.
Well, if you ever get in trouble with the RIAA in the streets of LA, try the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] . Here are a few tips [eff.org] from the EFF if you get in trouble with the RIAA.

I wonder if their jackets are copyrighted. It would be funny to find RIAA jackets for sale downtown LA. But then again, who would wear them!

Re:How to fight the RIAA... if you ever need to (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931820)

LA is probably the city that has the most lawyers per person living there.

Been in DC lately?

Re:How to fight the RIAA... if you ever need to (1)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931843)

Ok, I know you didn't have time to read the article, but Jason Schultz, an attorney for the EFF, said "The process of confiscating bootleg CDs from street vendors is exactly what the RIAA should be doing". Pretty sure the EFF isn't going to help you out if you get busted for selling CDs.

Granted, it was at the bottom of the article, but come on...

As an aside, I completely agree that the RIAA is finally getting it figured out. The whole scene sounds pretty hilarious, but now they are targeting the people actually trying to make money by copying their stuff...

Re:How to fight the RIAA... if you ever need to (1)

JoeD (12073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931869)

Did you RTFA?

"The process of confiscating bootleg CDs from street vendors is exactly what the RIAA should be doing," said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The EFF as an organization generally focuses on online matters, which street vendors pretty obviously are not.

Re:How to fight the RIAA... if you ever need to (1)

nuffle (540687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931962)

Actually, don't look to the EFF for help if you've been busted selling bootlegs. That's got little do with with the 'electronic frontier' after all. In fact, EFF appears to support this RIAA tactic. According to the article:
"The process of confiscating bootleg CDs from street vendors is exactly what the RIAA should be doing," said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Freeze! RIAA! (3, Funny)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931730)

Man, that is hilarious. Do they even cart people away in caged vans?

I'd say the folks wearing RIAA jackets might want to watch their backs...

Exclusive pictures! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931836)

http://www.funnyjunk.com/p/riaa-jpg.html

Re:Exclusive pictures! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931875)

teh funay [cosmo7.com]

the riaa is breaking the law here (5, Interesting)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931731)

It seams to me that if they make them selfs to look like the cops, that would break a law about impersonating a police, they even said they are "They said they were police from the recording industry." They have no power to do this, this is just some FUD tactics on their part, I am not saying that it is ok to sell bootlegs. Once you start to make money from bootlegs (and from the article it does not seam that the guy was selling bootlegs to his knowledge, they might have been with that upfront cost but that is another story) then you have crossed from fair use to copyright infringement, but still 2 wrongs do not make a right, and the RIAA is really opening them selfs up to major legal problems, but being that they have such a strong lobby group they might not get into trouble.

Under color of law (5, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931791)

It appears the RIAA is busting people under color of law. If this is true then it is a big deal. This means that the people they are busting believe they are police. Even if you're not a cop, if you present yourself as one, you are considered a state actor by the courts just like a real cop and can be held civilly liable for violations of civil rights. Private citizens acting in their private interests cannot be held liable under the civil rights statutes (primarily 42 USC 1984) but state actors can.

Re:the riaa is breaking the law here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931854)

themselves
twice

Re:the riaa is breaking the law here (1)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931915)

They are clearly trying to give the impression that they are law enforcement. The jackets themselves are almost synonymous with law enforcement. You see someone wearing one, you assume it's legit.

Utter havoc. (5, Insightful)

ActionPlant (721843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931732)

Is this for real? Who gave them the authority to do this? If I were to plagiarize someone's work of fiction, it doesn't give that person the right to bust into my bookstore and throw things around. There are legal proceedings to be followed. Whatever happened to decency?

Damon,

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931778)

Read the article. They persuade people to give up bootlegs, they don't arrest or anything.

Re:Utter havoc. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931807)

Don't you have guns in the States? I think I see a solution to this problem!

Re:Utter havoc. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931829)

who gave them the authority to confiscate back their own material? Themselves... They *claim* it was voluntarily handed over (under false pretenses obviously). There is no law that says you can't get someone to give back what they stole from you...

Now as far as them cavorting as a tactical unit... That's something else entirely.

Re:Utter havoc. (2, Interesting)

GnrlFajita (732246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931868)

Who gave them the authority to do this?

Congress, that's who (and by extension, you). Making/downloading copies is one thing, but actually making and selling illegal copies is something else entirely. The RIAA would have to get a court order to actually sieze anything that was not voluntarily given up, but if it was pirated they would have a right to do so. You'll also note that the EFF actually supports this activity by the RIAA, as opposed to the harassment of file-sharers.

Re:Utter havoc. (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931964)

I can already see the trend growing. Next, the Health Insurances Association of america will raid the homes of people declaring themselves ill to see if they're trying to avoid going to work fraudulently...

And wait for the day the Real Estate Association of North America will raid homes to evict bad payers.
[/sarcasm]

Its about time (0, Troll)

CharlieHedlin (102121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931734)

I have no idea where they can get actual enforcement authority, but there is no excuse for street vendors blatantly sellling unauthorized copiers. If Kazaa and mp3s are in a gray area, this is clear cut.

Lets hope the RIAA keeps their new focus, and doesn't sue any more 12 year olds.

hmmm (-1)

proctorg76 (657774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931735)

This RIAA thing, is it good, or whack?

A name for them? (1)

Igloodude (710950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931738)

In the tradition of the crime-fighting Guardian Angels, how about the Seraphims? They could have pearlwhite-and-gold gang colors...

Libraries Next! (5, Funny)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931741)

RIAA Cop: OK, Mr. Carnegie - just what do you think you're doing?

Citizen: Um, listening to a record I checked out from the library?

RIAA Cop: "Checked out"? Don't you mean "Used to commit a crime!?"

Citizen: Um, no. I don't think-

RIAA Cop: That's the problem - you don't think! Come with me - we're going to Walmart so you can BUY that record. "Checked out" - I've never heard such a pathetic excuse.

HAHAHA THAT WAS FUNNY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931772)

Oh, wait, no it wasn't.

Re:HAHAHA THAT WAS FUNNY (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931852)

I guess we're even then.

Sad News Oldest WWI Vet dead at 108 (-1, Offtopic)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931743)

I justheard some sad news on talk radio. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Alfred Pugh, the last known combat-wounded U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 108, just 10 days short of his 109th birthday, when he died Wednesday. Pugh, who often told visitors the key to a long life is "keep breathing," joined the Army in 1917 and fought in France during World War I with the 77th Infantry Division. In 1918, he was wounded during the Meusse-Argonne offensive, one of the war's bloodiest battles. He died at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Bay Pines. VA officials said he was the oldest wounded combat veteran in the United States, and one of fewer than 1,000 remaining American World War I veterans. Friends said he loved the attention that came with being known as the oldest wounded combat veteran in the United States. "It tickled him when the classes would come by the busload to see him," said Pugh's niece Carolyn Layton. Born Jan. 17, 1895, in Everett, Mass., Pugh raised 16 foster children, played the organ into his 100s and was an avid football and baseball fan. He is one of 10 veterans profiled in the book, "The Price of their Blood," published last month and co-authored by Jesse Brown, former U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs. He spoke French and was used overseas as an interpreter until the battle in the Argonne forest, when he inhaled mustard gas that left him unconscious and with chronic laryngitis. "It was like a fog," Pugh said in an interview in 2002. "... We didn't get any gas masks until the day after it happened." After the war he returned to Maine and worked as a railroad telegraph operator for 12 years before delivering mail for 26 years. He came to Florida in 1971. In 1999, he was named chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, a prestigious medal bestowed by the French government.

niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931747)

niggers in my brain

govt powers for corporations?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931750)

... i didn't realize the riaa could arrest people!

wow ... i want to start a monopoly so i can arrest people too.... what's that knocking.... no ... Microsoft policeman... i don't use linux!!!

Ex-cops? What's next ... (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931751)

... a private army of Special Ops ready to bust into your house?

It seems like RIAA is populated by the worst managers each one of us have ever worked with, and they let them lose with their crazy ideas, and there's nobody that is sane to reign them in. What a crazy organization.

Re:Ex-cops? What's next ... (1)

Nexzus (673421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931864)

More like alien nazi's who slit throats.

500 Internal Server Error. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931752)

Anyone else getting these? Think I've had five or six today.

Saucy as it permits... (1)

sloptaco (709054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931756)

I have to say they really messed up with Kermit's Swamp. I'm still trying to regain my nostalgia for the Muppets.

This world is pretty funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931758)

It really is.

Quotes (5, Funny)

GnrlFajita (732246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931765)

if an anti-piracy team crossed the line between looking like cops and implying or telling vendors that they are cops, the Los Angeles Police Department would take a pretty dim view

I don't know -- the RIAA is pretty low, but I don't think even they would want people to confuse them with the LAPD.

Second best quote: "They tried to scare me," Borrayo said. "They told me, 'You're a pirate!' I said, 'C'mon, guys, pirates are all at sea. I just work in a parking lot.'"

Next step (5, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931766)

Next step: Street Vendors selling RIAA-emblazoned jackets. Oh the hilarity!

Sweet! (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931773)

Now we know who to beat up! Anyone wanna bet that some of these guys will be found wandering, naked and confused, with their ass cheeks duct-taped together?

remember where your money is going! (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931774)

For its part, the RIAA maintains that the up-close-and-personal techniques are nothing new. RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy says its investigators do not represent themselves as police, and that the incident reports vendors are asked to sign, in which they agree to hand over their discs, explicitly state that the forfeiture is voluntary.
All right boys... Make sure the boots go up above the knees... We're heading into bullshit territory!

If the RIAA isn't trying to look like the police why do they bother hiring ex-police officers, wear clothing similar to raiding police units, and cavort about as some sort of tactical unit? It is obvious to me that they want the "villains" to think they are the cops (and those street vendors, at least for the time being, are going to believe that they are).

Pink slips that say they handed the stuff over voluntarily or not... They are acting as an official force on duty to confiscate material and they want to look as official as possible to have these individuals fork over the material quickly and without issue. If they are so concerned about their property being "stolen" and resold why don't they contact the real police and have them do it? Probably because the real police have better things to do than worry about what is being sold in Chinatown...

Please remember that this is where your money is going when you decide to purchase music that is "owned" by the RIAA... Busting 12 year olds and funding a "tactical unit" to bust street vendors.

My suggestion, as always, is to support FREE MUSIC. FurthurNET [furthurnet.com] and Sharing the Groove [sharingthegroove.com]

Good luck RIAA and thanks for yet another humorous charade!

Re:remember where your money is going! (1)

sloptaco (709054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931958)

or better yet: http://www.iuma.com/

-sloppy

Man they're Dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931783)

That's like going to Iraq wearing an American flag tshirt.
Or Mississipi with your black girl friend.
They're definatly making themselves a target.

They should be careful in NY... (4, Funny)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931789)

...as the vendors might fight back! Those guys can be *mean** if you piss them off...

Re:They should be careful in NY... (1)

gustgr (695173) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931879)

You don't know the brazilian (actually most are koreans) street tech sellers ... the most famous street here (St. Ifigenia) can be a very dangerous place if you are not used to go there ...

I've heard even about a 'fair' in Brasilia (Brazil's Capital) that when you buy something you better to get out of there very fast before you get robbed by the SAME person who sold you the product ...

RIAA could try to fight this guys to show if they got balls ...

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931881)

They got good gear... http://www.funnyjunk.com/p/riaa-jpg.html

Impersonating a cop is a serious offence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931794)

...in most jurisdictions. A smart guy could not only sue these guys for quite a bit of money, but put them in jail for a long time.

hah.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931799)

I'd like to see what is going to happen when they try this is some lower income neigborhoods. I for one recommend the RIAA go to Newark, NJ. I've seen bootleggers on the street, I just hope the RIAA guys are carrying guns also becuase I bet most of the bootleggers there are.

hurry, michael, quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931806)

before they notice the absurd story you posted before this one...

Bad boy, bad boys, what ya gonna do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931812)

Bring some cameras and you got a new reality show. Can't wait for the first RIAA high-speed chases.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931814)

Next step is for some "professionals" in black EFF jackets to find these guys and kick them in the nuts.

Important and Urgent (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931815)

best method of dl'ding porn?

tnx,

-AC

Can they really do this? (4, Interesting)

LamerX (164968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931827)

Okay, so lets say they walk into a place that is making counterfit CDs. Do they really have the right to go in and cease all of the counterfit property? I thought that they had to go through proper legal channels to do this. If this is okay for them to do, then why can't the creator of a GPL product bust into a company they know is violating the GPL in thier hardware and just start taking stuff? I'm surprised SCO hasn't started busting into every business and started taking computers with Linux on them... Wearing jackets that say SCO on them. SCO is scarier sounding than RIAA.

is that legal? it sounds shady (3, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931834)

can they really go on the street and actually touch you? can they do anything more than maybe take pictures of you and call the police? NO! in the article the RIAA says they make it clear they are not police and have no power, but they dress up like SWAT... it seems they at least give the impression of having legal authority.

"They said they were police from the recording industry or something, and next time they'd take me away in handcuffs,"

obviously trying to scare and confuse people into signing over their goods. who knows what else they got them to sign. ugh! It's clear they don't give a crap how the public views them, most companies would not treat their customers like this.

'bout time (5, Interesting)

Enry (630) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931837)

I remember during the DVDCSS trial in NY, the 2600 legal team took reporters about a block away from the courthouse and showed street vendors selling illegal DVDs. The point (at the time) was it was easier and chaper to get an illegal DVD off a street vendor than it was to copy the DVD to your drive and burn it.

That's okay (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931839)

I wear a 'Pirate' Jacket when I bust into Borders and grab CDs. Fair's fair.

Pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931844)

"They tried to scare me," Borrayo said. "They told me, 'You're a pirate!' I said, 'C'mon, guys, pirates are all at sea. I just work in a parking lot.' "

LOL

Scary stuff... (4, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931847)

Hello future, the present is calling

From the article this sounds pretty dispicable:
"The RIAA saw it differently. Figuring the discs were bootlegs, a four-man RIAA squad descended on his stand a few days before Christmas and persuaded the 4-foot-11 Borrayo to hand over voluntarily a total of 78 discs.

"They said they were police from the recording industry or something, and next time they'd take me away in handcuffs," he said through an interpreter. ...they may all be ex-P.D. Yes, they wear cop-style clothes and carry official-looking IDs. But if they leave people like Borrayo with the impression that they're actual law enforcement, that's a mistake.

With all the trappings of a police team, including pink incident reports that, among other things, record a vendor's height, weight, hair and eye color
"

A disgusting case of intimidation. Way to go RIAA, pick on a 4' 11" guy who hardly knows English.

But is this really any suprise? Plenty of companies have their own private police forces (and small private militaries too) and you still can hire your own army if you've go the cash [sandline.com] , which many companies do.

This statement goes a little far in my opinion:
"A large percentage [of the vendors] are of a Hispanic nature," Langley said. "Today he's Jose Rodriguez, tomorrow he's Raul something or other, and tomorrow after that he's something else. These people change their identity all the time."

Which is a polite way of saying: "Those damn shifty Mexicans! They can't be trusted!" You're not the police! If I don't tell you my real name, there's nothing wrong with that, you idiots.

I thought this was more amusing... (1)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931961)

Borrayo says he has no way of knowing if the records, with titles like Como Te Extrano Vol. IV ? Musica de los 70?s y 80?s, are illegal, but he thought better of arguing the point.

Not only do they pick on a little guy that doesn't know English, they pick on a little guy that doesn't know English who sells cheezy Mexican whatever...

And what's this about recording height and weight and eye color and stuff? Doesn't California have a supposedly decent privacy law of some sort? (If someone can send me a link, I'd appreciate it, as I'm not familiar with it.)

What the hell can they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931848)

Does the RIAA have the ability to enforce the law? No. They can stand there and tell you you're committing a crime all they want, but I don't think they can do squat, aside from looking for a cop somewhere like some old lady who just had her purse stolen. ANd if some RIAA guy lays a hand on you, you can sue them. The irony is delicious.

Anyone remember? (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931851)

Anyone remember the guy who would dress up as a cell phone and run around grabbing the cell phones out of people's hands and then breaking them? If you have a link can you share it here? The looks on the people's faces were priceless. Not that I would promote such behavior =) ice

Don't worry, this is self-defeating (2, Insightful)

tacokill (531275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931857)

At least the article details out the main question here, which is: Why is the RIAA acting like the police, when they are not the police?

It's one thing to do a "citizen's arrest" or something similar but it is an entirely different subject to dress up in raid-style commando outfits and go around strong-arming people into doing what you want.

They keep this up, and its only a matter of time before they cross the line. When that happens (and it will), the RIAA will only have hurt themselves.

Right... (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931872)

They're wearing jackets designed to look like police/FBI, but they "aren't claiming to be cops". They just want to make that impression without doing quite enough to get busted for impersonating an officer.

HAH (1, Funny)

locutus_borg (36786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931874)

So whats next are they going to start busting into homes like a S.W.A.T. team? Maybe they can higher the A-Team to do their dirty work for them, eh?
Or maybe Lars can lead them into battle singing Unforgiven.... lol

vigilantes (4, Informative)

potpie (706881) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931878)

There is a word for one who takes the law into his/her own hands: vigilante.

Way to smash that goon squad image! (2, Funny)

netsavior (627338) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931884)

These people are ejaculating in the face of the court of public opinion.

A big fat target! (1)

Polyphemis (450226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931886)

Well, there you go, boys. Now's your chance!Couldn't ask for a much better target than that, could you? I'll pay $250 per pelt!

Seriously though, at least they're going after people that are actually profiting directly from piracy. Yes, I did RTFA and what that litlte man did was wrong.

Still, it bothers that they've essentially hired mercenaries to do these shakedowns and are impersonating police...

Moop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931887)

Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.

http://www.spscriptorium.com/Season7/E709script. ht m

I for one, hail our new RIAA overlords... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931888)

But seriously, I really have lessroblems with this then the whole lawsuit debacle.

As long as they:

A. Aren't identifying themselves as police officers.

2. Continue with the amnesty as long as the person hands over the CDs.
and

III. Only confiscate media they have a legal right to (e.g. Only labels they represent, and if I'm selling my own personal copy that I bought)

Really, would you rather have them suing people in the streets?

aye no me digas usteds con los policias (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931891)

If some dude looking like Arnold walked up to me on the street wearing a leather jacket reading RIAA on the back and said "Your boots... give them to me"... I wouldnt question it. I'd give them up right there no questions asked.

Who are these guys? (2, Insightful)

perotbot (632237) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931894)

1. They aren't a government agency
2. They aren't able to imprison anyone
3. They can't take someone else's property without permission to do so.

So what are they?

Impersonating a police officer or other gov't agency is a crime, as well as theft by deception so what is the RIAA?

Criminals!!!

Doesn't sound very legite (1)

Orion442 (739483) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931913)

The source looks more like a Weekly World News affiliate, so I wouldn't put too much credence into this story. And I didn't catch this story on CNN or any other news source.

RIAA the Game (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931917)

This would be an awesome game. You are an RIAA agent with the jacket, sunglasses and cool weaponry. Your goal is to destroy all things music related. Dude with an MP3 player walking down street listening to music, Blam, cha ching. etc.

RIAA: Hi, I'm from the RIAA enforcement division. (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931919)

Vendor: SAY HELLOW TO MEH LIL' FREN! *BLAM**BLAM*

RIAA: (Hand reaching into sky, as heart is cluched) AHHhhhhggghh!

Random Chick: Ohh Vendor! Let's do it!

This one act play is brought to you by the stale ideas of the MPAA. Thank you.

Good idea, I say we steal it. (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931923)

Lets go around in greasy t-shirts and ten years worth on unkeept beard growth (the official uniform of the FSF) kicking down the doors of people who violate the GPL and shout "Freeze scumbags, this is the FSF! Hand over your source code into the public domain and no one gets hurt!".

Seriously (4, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931926)

Is this a joke? I have a hard time believing this, except that I'm worried it's true.

How is this not a mob? Extortion? Impersonating a police officer? Harassment? Vandalism? I'd like to see the people involed with this arrested and held accountable for the numerous felonies they're committing!

It worked for Hitler.... (1)

RobertAG (176761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931935)

... Only the uniforms were brown and they were called "Stormtroopers."

Piracy USED to be an economic activity, NOW it's becoming a political statement.

All this so they can sell us more Britney Spears...

why is this /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7931938)

Personally, I have no gripe about the RIAA going after dealers on the streets. I have no problems with the RIAA going after file swappers. I have problems with RIAA using the aforementioned infringers to get laws passed that strengthen copyright and impede my fair use -- that's the BS part.

This story has not a freaking thing to do with "news for nerds" nor is it stuff that matters unless you are selling bootleg media on some street corner!

Way out of their jurisdiction (2, Insightful)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931940)

If this is true, it's ludicrous. If these cases go to court, I forsee many of these vendors getting off without a hitch. If the RIAA had developed agreements with regional police authorities to work in tandem, then perhaps it would be a good tactic. As it stands, it's simply more scare tactics from an organization that seems bent on making itself the public enemy.

Besides, since when were street vendors the ones that were sharing tens of thousands of tracks per day? I imagine they are hardly the largest part of the problem. Hiring trained security officers to tackle such a small issue is a waste of their money... hmm... wait. Why am I complaining?

Sir Giuliani's horsemen (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931942)

Here in NYC, it was hard to find live recordings in our global marketplace's Village record stores during Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's regime. He had his troops go into record stores to confiscate recordings that NYC shoppers can get, despite record companies' failure to release them. Everyone knows that the buyer of an unreleased live recording already owns several official releases, and the live stuff is what keeps us interested between concerts and releases. But rather than building anything that would last, Giuliaini spent our time and money on destroying a free market that threatened no one. Of course it went underground, onto the Internet. And once Sir Rudy had used NYC for our maximum TV exposure, he hitailed it off to Bushland, raising maximum dollars for his Divine Right king. In his absence, the markets reopened - stronger than before, after the culling and Internet retrenchment. Don't let these keystone rentacops scare you - freedom of expression is irrepressible.

OK, now *this* I support (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931947)

This time, maybe they're doing the Right Thing. MP3 files are kinda tangible, so you find hard evidence.

Great, Ear Worm! (2, Funny)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931949)

Now I have the Doobie Brothers' song "Taking it to the Streets" stuck in my head!

Expensive for the RIAA? (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7931956)

Even as it suffers setbacks in the courtroom, the RIAA has over the last 18 months built up a national staff of ex-cops to crack down on people making and selling illegal CDs in the hood.

I wonder how many members they've added to their staff in this fashion, and at what cost? Are they spending more than they're "recovering"... all in the name of I want to be Friday on Dragnet?
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