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RIAA Sues Nearly 500 New Swappers

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the this-is-never-going-to-end dept.

Music 637

Digitus1337 writes "Wired has the story. " U.S. music industry group says it has sued 493 more people for copyright infringement as part of its campaign to stop consumers from copying music over the Internet. The Recording Industry Association of America has now sued nearly 3,000 individuals since last September in an attempt to discourage people from copying songs through peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and LimeWire." "

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I wonder... (5, Insightful)

kemapa (733992) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246911)

The trade group, which represents the five largest recording companies, has settled more than 400 of those cases for around $3,000 each.

I know that file sharing of unlicensed copyrighted works is illegal, but the practice of threatening lawsuits left and right still bothers me. As many of you are aware, a number of the people already sued did not have the financial ability to fund a lawyer even if they wanted to. The question is, what happens if a company (like DirecTV mentioned here [slashdot.org] ) starts blanket suing for something that is not necessarily illegal? These corporations have deep pockets, and they could threaten to sue the crap out of you for looking at them cock-eyed, to which many people would have to settle out of court (I'm not being literal). If you can't afford a lawyer then what do you do? 'Admit' to wrong-doing you didn't committ? Again, I realize that a lot of file sharing IS illegal, but the whole blanket lawsuit thing does raise some interesting (or scary?) questions.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246940)

If you don't have any money to lose anyway then being sued is nothing to worry about.

Re:I wonder... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246952)

IANAL, but could they start taking away your (meager) possessions?

Re:I wonder... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246967)

I guess so, but surely you have a constitutional right to be left with you PC and your DSL line?

Re:I wonder... (2, Informative)

Chapium (550445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246980)

Courts are obligated to give you representation if you cannot afford it. Also, there's always the ACLU :D

Re:I wonder... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246999)

Only for criminal cases, these are civil.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247009)

Really, they are required to provide representation even if it's a civil case?

Even worse, what if you accept their representation and then lose, in which case you might lose a HUGE court case worth a lot more money than if you had settled. See the problem?

Re:I wonder... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246985)

Why not have a panel of like-minded legal experts sit down and prepare a self-defense template for these mass suings? If the cases are all the same, a cookie-cutter defense should work too. As cases filter through, the defense template could be refined. It would enable individuals to defend themselves against the lawsuits, yet with the experience gained through a peer-to-peer legal network.

Re:I wonder... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247132)

defend yourself with a peer to peer legal network against a peer to peer file sharing lawsuit ?

Re:I wonder... (5, Interesting)

CmdrMooCow (213594) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247007)

I guess the underlying problem is what to do about the apparent file sharing that the internet has given us.

Suing people won't stop piracy.
Any amount of software to stop piracy will be circumvented/broken (see how long a piracy-catch in a Linux kernel will last before it gets cut and rebuilt).

This is one of those things that our tech is going to force us to change socially.... how/when/to what, I'm not sure.

Re:I wonder... (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247010)

It is not really a blanket lawsuit, what they are doing is find specific people an sueing them.
However since the service is somewhat anonymose they get the IP address and a date and time, to single out a specific person, the person who pays for the service. They then file the legal paperwork which allows them to get the ISP to provide the actual name of the person.
With that info they can then directly sue the person identified.

Re:I wonder... (3, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247034)

"Again, I realize that a lot of file sharing IS illegal, but the whole blanket lawsuit thing does raise some interesting (or scary?) questions."

Can you really call these "blanket lawsuits", given that the RIAA has sued only 3,000 out of millions who are illegally downloading music?

And yes, I think the tactic has been more successful at embittering thir customers than at preventing illegal distribution of their product, and that generally these lawsuits are a Bad Thing (tm) but let's not make this something it isn't.

Re:I wonder... (4, Interesting)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247046)

I've always wondered what it would be like if we sued one of them all at once. The headlines would be awesome:

"1.2 million people file lawsuit against RIAA this month. The court system is grinding to a halt, and congress begins deliberations to resolve the problem."

The problem with lawyers is.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247069)

The problem with lawyers is that 99% of them give the rest a bad name.

Re:I wonder... (0)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247072)

These corporations [...] could threaten [...] the crap out of you for looking at them cock-eyed.

Isn't this the classic old business model, in the past it was just called "offering protection" :-(. I don't see much difference, only that today's RIAA uses lawyers instead of hitman and that it is US government approved. And I doubt if that is even a difference.

Re:I wonder... (3, Interesting)

Sheepdot (211478) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247081)

Simple. Threaten to kill yourself if they follow through with the lawsuit. If even one person actually follows through with it, the outrage would be outstanding.

Don't mod this funny, I'm actually being extremely serious. And yes, it would work. The one thing corporations do not want is a young male or females blood on their hands.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247122)

but then if they DO follow through, you have to kill yourself to make it work! i like living!!! and how can i smoke cigarettes if I am dead?

Re:I wonder... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247155)

That won't work. You'll get forcibly taken to a mental hospital and forgotten about there in an environment where they'll make sure there's nothing to hang yourself on...

Re:I wonder... (3, Insightful)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247168)

The one thing corporations do not want is a young male or females blood on their hands.
They don't want to be seen publicly with that blood on their hands. Don't forget to make a lot of noise about it, otherwise they'll happely lend you a gun and help you aim.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Zeddicus_Z (214454) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247128)

Here, have this whole bedroom set. Sure to calm you down some...

Re:I wonder... (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247131)

If you can't afford a lawyer then what do you do?

You represent yourself, you find a lawyer that will work pro bono, you settle, or you admit liability.

"John Doe" lawsuits (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246915)

I don't like "John Doe" lawsuits. Today it's your IP address, what is it tomorrow? Your street address? Your DNA? Is there going to be a story on the news about shopkeepers who are suing a set of fingerprints for theft damages?

I know that this is a civil case, not a criminal case, but I think you should still know who you are suing before you can do it. If the RIAA can't figure out who say, 66.35.250.150 is, they can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned. Figure it out and come back, or don't, and drop it. And while you're at it, don't use our criminal justice system to go fishing for you.

Re:"John Doe" lawsuits (1)

ducman (107063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247018)

They are certainly filing lots of "John Doe" lawsuits against a DNA profile now.

Re:"John Doe" lawsuits (2, Interesting)

sigemund (122744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247030)

"If the RIAA can't figure out who say, 66.35.250.150 is, they can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned."

Search results for: 66.35.250.150

OrgName: Cable & Wireless
OrgID: EXCW
Address: 3300 Regency Pkwy
City: Cary
StateProv: NC
PostalCode: 27511
Country: US

ReferralServer: rwhois://rwhois.exodus.net:4321/

NetRange: 66.35.192.0 - 66.35.255.255
CIDR: 66.35.192.0/18
NetName: SC8-2
NetHandle: NET-66-35-192-0-1
Parent: NET-66-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
NameServer: DNS01.SAVVIS.NET
NameServer: DNS02.SAVVIS.NET
NameServer: DNS03.SAVVIS.NET
NameServer: DNS04.SAVVIS.NET
Comment: * Rwhois reassignment information for this block is available at:
Comment: * rwhois.exodus.net 4321
Comment: * For abuse please contact abuse@exodus.net
RegDate:
Updated: 2004-05-05

TechHandle: ZC221-ARIN
TechName: Cable & Wireless
TechPhone: +1-919-465-4023
TechEmail: ip@gnoc.cw.net

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE11-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-877-393-7878
OrgAbuseEmail: abuse@exodus.net

OrgNOCHandle: NOC99-ARIN
OrgNOCName: Network Operations Center
OrgNOCPhone: +1-800-977-4662
OrgNOCEmail: trouble@cw.net

OrgTechHandle: EIAA-ARIN
OrgTechName: Exodus IP Address Administration
OrgTechPhone: +1-888-239-6387
OrgTechEmail: ipaddressadmin@exodus.net

OrgTechHandle: GIAA-ARIN
OrgTechName: Global IP Address Administration
OrgTechPhone: +1-919-465-4096
OrgTechEmail: ip@gnoc.cw.net

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2004-05-24 19:15
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.

66.35.250.150 is Slashdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247080)

66.35.250.150 is Slashdot.org. Grandparent was attempting humor.

cluebyfour(parent);

Re:"John Doe" lawsuits (1)

chillmost (648301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247092)

If the RIAA can't figure out who say, 66.35.250.150 is, they can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned.

If they can bust the script kiddies on the end of that IP, they'd hit the jackpot!

IP address: 66.35.250.150
Host name: slashdot.org

Alias:
150.250.35.66.in-addr.arpa

Re:"John Doe" lawsuits (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247113)

Actually, there have been cases of DNA being charged with crimes as a "keep-alive" play when a statue of limitations is about to make it impossible to prosecute a crime. Basically, it's saying "We don't yet know the name of the person who did it, but we're damn sure it's the one person who corelates to this."

That's exactly what these John Doe suits are basically doing. They don't need the name and address of the person you're suing, they just need enough info to uniquely identify the person, and then they can use a subpeona to force the ISP to disclose who that person is. Without the filing of the John Doe case, the ISP wouldn't have to co-operate.

Re:"John Doe" lawsuits (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247127)

Uh, question: If one of these people is on a DHCP system, how do we know who they are. What if I get assigned that IP address? Now that's scary.

Gosh (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246924)

The RIAA acts like a big bully and then wonders why people feel OK about stealing from them.

I am being sued by the RIAA! THE FUCKERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246926)

I am currently fighting a suit from the RIAA. I had 10 MP3's on my computer. I have about 100 PGPed files they want me to unencrypt but I refuse. My lawyer says I have a good case. Rather than bore you with the details, check them out on my clans website here [kingsofchaos.com]

MOD DOWN! (1, Offtopic)

whizkid042 (515649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246971)

This is not a link to a description of his battle against the RIAA. This is a link to some strange war/battle/game thing. Don't clik on the link.

WHIZKID == KNOWN TROLL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247043)

well... (0, Redundant)

no-arg constructor (775215) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246930)

the riaa tends to be trying to kill a swarm by swatting at individual bees. for every one they swat, a new one is bred. they'll have to sue for a long time for them to get their desired results, and by that time people will have moved on to better distribution channels.

Excellent point (3, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247019)

the riaa tends to be trying to kill a swarm by swatting at individual bees. for every one they swat, a new one is bred. they'll have to sue for a long time for them to get their desired results, and by that time people will have moved on to better distribution channels. ...one of which is right here [allofmp3.com] :

www.allofmp3.com completely thwarts the RIAA while still paying the artists a modest sum (probably comparable to what the RIAA pays them).

$0.01 / megabyte download (pennies per song, less than $0.50 per album), perfectly legal (all RIAA propoganda and misinformation aside), and none of the money goes to fund these lawsuits. Even better, a portion goes to the actual artists directly -- a requirement of Russian copyright law.

Legal, so cheap it is almost free, and it absolutely thwarts the RIAA's ability to even think about suing anyone.

Re:well... (1)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247032)

meanwhile, their record sales still plummet because they are still putting out crap, but the teeny-boppers that were buying are now older and wiser, and spend their money elsewhere.

Re:well... (3, Insightful)

eSims (723865) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247078)

RIAA has no intention of trying to kill the whole hive by swatiting a few hundred bees at a time.

Rather, the intent is to minimize new bees joining the hive, while at the same time through intimidation reduce the members of the hive contributing productively.

In the end they hope the hive will starve off from lack of contributors (sharers).

I Pre-Apologize for the extended use of a bad analogy, but I just couldn't resist :-p

YeeeHAW (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246938)

Does anyone buy cds anymore? Music is such crap these days that I can't see anyone buying music like they used to. The RIAA is toast, just a matter of time.

In other news, OHMIIGAWD who do you think is going to be the next americon idol?? I just couldn't BELIEVE when Latoya got voted off!! I mean, what are you people thinking??

IP listings (1)

whizkid042 (515649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246939)

So, where is the listing of IP address they are suing this time? I want to know if I'm on it. :)

Re:IP listings (1)

snyps (656162) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247013)

eff.org search for riaa sopoena (i think i spelled that right)

it's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247095)

subpoena - search for riaa subpoena

Re:IP listings (1)

whizkid042 (515649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247115)

Nah, their database hasn't been updated since December. It says so right on their page. For other interested parties, here is the link [eff.org] .

LimeWire is NOT a network! (5, Informative)

ram4 (636018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246946)

Sorry for being pedantic, but LimeWire is not a network. It's the name of a Gnutella client. Since Gnutella is an open protocol, there are numerous clients for it.

Re:LimeWire is NOT a network! (3, Informative)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246993)

The same applies to KaZaA. KaZaA uses the fasttrack network. KaZaA is merely the name of the clients. Of course, the average reader would have no idea what Gnutella and FastTrack are.

Whew! Still safe! (2, Funny)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246949)

I think 95% of us are wondering, day and night, when the RIAA is going to come after me next. But I'll breathe a small sigh of relief for now, and single a little diddy to the tune of "Another One Bites the Dust." It's called, "Another One Makes the Cut".

Incidentally, if I worked for the RIAA, the original song would suffice.

Re:Whew! Still safe! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247021)

I think 95% of us are wondering, day and night, when the RIAA is going to come after me next

I think you mean 95% of us who are breaking the law are wondering when RIAA will come after you. Don't want to be sued ? Simple, stop sharing copyright works. RIAA sucks, MPAA sucks, SCO sucks, but that dosent give you the right to abuse their copyrights because you dont agree with it.

Re:Whew! Still safe! (1)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247022)

I doubt there's too many people reading these boards who are STILL dumb enough to share songs on Kazaa or Limewire...

... oh wait...

so what are my options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246956)

how do these people get caught? and what options for filesharing eliminate this threat?

Re:so what are my options? (1)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247001)

As far as I know, the people who get caught are not the people who merely download the songs, but the ones that "share" the songs and make them available for download. If the RIAA can hop on the network and download the file from you, guess what? You're guilty.

I don't think they've tried to catch people in the act of downloading yet ... that might require actual effort.

3000 down.... (5, Funny)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246957)

5,997,000 to go. Or thereabouts....

Quick math tells us that the last user will be sued in January 3335.

Re:3000 down.... (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247037)

This isn't intended to sue everyone. The intent is to deter people from doing it. They're trying to change society's belief that music is free by using a big stick.

This may just work. Then again it may not.

Re:3000 down.... (1)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247071)


You are wrong !

You probably forgot, that most of the worlds population are not connected to the internet yet. By the year 3335 they will be connected, the RIAA will have to sue forever ...

Oh, I just forgot ... by 3335 all of the current file-sharers are dead ...

how long (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246963)

Is the RIAA going to be allowed to practically steal from these people? They're doing the exact same as the accused (innocent until proven guilty) by suing people who can't afford to fight it, then they have to settle which usually costs thousands. This simply results in hundreds of miscarriages of justice.

Can't these people apply for legal aid or something, or doesn't the US have anything like this?

Re:how long (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9246986)

um. the file swappers are the ones illegaly stealing music by not paying for it

the miscarriage of justice is when organizations like EFF try to dismiss these subponeas on technicalities instead of actually realizing that this is illegal and wrong

Re:how long (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247052)

How long until they start accusing innocent people just because they know they can?

Re:how long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247106)

If you had read my post you would have picked up on something. The people they're suing are only people they suspect of it, and you're INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. The fact is, the RIAA has the legal might to force you to surrender, it doesn't matter if you're innocent, you'll lose either way, so you HAVE to settle.
Hence, miscarriage of justice.

Copying Music in new formats (5, Funny)

(Maly) (742260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246964)

So neurologists often compare the brain to a hard disk, storing data, etc. So how long until you think we get sued for listening to music and remembering it (illegal copying to another media). God forbid we try and hum a bit of it to a friend, or playing a song for a friend, because then we're guilty of transferring an unlicensed copy to another party. "Dude, you gotta listen to this song." "Sorry, my brain uses Media Player 9... damn DRM!"

Don't hum that tune in public! (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247174)

So neurologists often compare the brain to a hard disk, storing data, etc. So how long until you think we get sued for listening to music and remembering it (illegal copying to another media). God forbid we try and hum a bit of it to a friend, or playing a song for a friend, because then we're guilty of transferring an unlicensed copy to another party.

Copyright law is completely out of touch with physical reality, technology, and our culture (and indeed it actively stifles the latter two).

An example of how rediculous copyright law is, and how artists as well as the industry have grown used to double dipping. It isn't enough to cell the CD, they want to get paid every time it is played in a restaraunt or bar. It is even illegal to play the radio in a restaurant or bar ... never mind that the radio station has not only paid for the CD, they've also paid for the right to "broadcast" it -- that's twice the RIAA has now been paid for the legacy work, now the restaurant gets to pay then a third time for the same medium, and the restaurant down the road a fourth time, etc. ad nauseum!

But, what is often unremarked about these absurd laws, is that a person humming a copyrighted tune as they walk down the street is technically breaking the same law, giving a "public performance" without a license. As is the busker on the corner, the teenage garage band when they perform at their local high school, etc.

It really is past the time when we as a society should have repudiated the very notion that one can "own" ideas (patents) or their expressions (copyright). A far less draconian mechanism for reimbursing artists for their work needs to be devised, something that insures them a portion of the profits made without imposing restrictions on how the work may be incorporated into other aspects of our culture, but most of all, unlike copyright a mechanism that favors artists and culture rather than publishers and middlemen.

A quick example of one of the many such alternatives that have been proposed: a tax on works sold, with a set percentage (say 50%) going directly to the original artist. Anyone can publish your book (and you can't stop them) but you get half the proceeds. As an artist or author you have no control, but you are generously compensated financially.

It really is time we as a society started thinking outside the box on this issue, if we wish to have any kind of viable, free society left in the information age, and wish to do so in a manner that benefits artists and fans, rather than consortia of parasitical middlemen such as the RIAA (and more to the point, their attorneys).

They should make a commercial with Phil Collins (0)

KirkH (148427) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246969)

You know: Su-su-sudio!

What about CD owners? (4, Interesting)

zenetik (750376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246984)

I'm interested to see what happens when the RIAA sues a downloader who happens to have already purchased the CDs of the songs he is downloading -- which, in my opinion, would give him a right to those songs since he's already purchased them.

For me personally, I've sometimes downloaded songs from CDs I because 1) it's sometimes faster than ripping it myself, 2) the CD is scratched or broken, or 3) I still have the case but the CD itself was stolen. Would downloading an MP3 of a song from a CD I rightfully purchased make me a pirate?

Re:What about CD owners? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247042)

They are only suing uploaders. It would be a quagmire if they tried to sue those who download

Re:What about CD owners? (1)

justkarl (775856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247044)

I believe that this would provide an excellent defence in court. I'd imagine that when the judge heard that, he would probably dismiss the case, as we all know you're allowed one backup copy of almost anything.

Re:What about CD owners? (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247169)

as we all know you're allowed one backup copy of almost anything.

No you're not.

Re:What about CD owners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247064)

Maybe not a pirate, but just as destructive because it encourages P2P.

Re:What about CD owners? (5, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247065)

They are not sueing downloaders they are suing thoses who make the files available.
Even if you had purchased the CD/record that would be illegal.

Re:What about CD owners? (1)

zenetik (750376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247164)

True, but I think it's only a matter of time before they go after downloaders. Right now, many people think those being sued are downloaders. Once the average downloader realizes that he's not being targetted, the RIAA will have to make some examples of them.

Re:What about CD owners? (1)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247067)

I think you would prolly be ok (disclaimer: IANAL, check with one) but do NOT share it if you are worried about legality.

Re:What about CD owners? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247094)

They don't sue downloaders. They only sue people who are 'offering to upload'.

That way they avoid this entire murky area.

Representation (5, Informative)

InShadows (103008) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246989)

Who is the RIAA trying to represent? They say that they are representing the five major music labels. And in turn the music labels say that they are representing the artists themselves. But even the artists [washington.edu] don't agree with the RIAA's methodologies.

"According to the study, 60 percent of those surveyed do not believe the RIAA's efforts to halt file sharing through lawsuits will benefit musicians and songwriters.

Additionally, 35 percent believe free downloading has helped their careers, 37 percent believe it has not had any effect and only 5 percent believe it has exclusively hurt their careers. Of those interviewed, 83 percent have provided free samples of their music online."

The artists are merely pawns (3, Insightful)

zenetik (750376) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247133)

I believe it was Maxim that printed a breakdown of where the money from a $20 CD goes. According to the blurb, about 50% goes to the retailer with another big chunk going to the executives/producers/management and something like 5% actually goes to the artist. Courtney Love, in one of her rare coherent moments, said something along the same lines. DMX is leaving the music business because he hates the fact that the recording companies own his music and he can't so much as use his music without their permission (even DMX would be guilty of piracy for downloading his own MP3s).

If you ask me, the biggest pirates are the executives. Litigating consumers is just a way of deflecting attention from the fact that consumers are tired of getting ripped off for buying $20 CDs worth only $2 and that the studio executives are worried about losing their profits. The real victims in the litigation are the artists.

losing the music-war (5, Insightful)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246995)

The IFPI/RIAA is fighting a lost cause. And I think they know it.

First off all, I have difficulties with their acclaimed 'stealing' of music. As far as I know, stealing implies that the one that has been stolen has been derived of something. When you take a copy, you do not take the original away, thus they have not 'lost' anything. They might claim that they loose money when ppl d/l music, but even that is far from certain. Not only is it not shown statistically to have had that effect (they didn't even show a correlation thusfar - see aussie music-news - let alone a causality). Furthermore, in an individual case, they would have to show they actually lost revenue. Which is far from said, because I sure know some guys who d/l music, but would NEVER have bought that music if they were unable to d/l it. So, how did the RIAA/IFPI loose revenue, exactly? And if they didn't lose anything, how can the term 'stealing' apply?

It would still be copyright-infringement, ofcourse, but that's another matter. I think maybe it's time we went beyond our current system of copyrights and walk into the era of cyberspace. With the industrial revolution, patents and copyrights knew a high flight, maybe it's time to let it leave and try something new? Maybe something in the lines of this: fairshare.

And don't worry, contrary to what the RIAA claims, musicians will not starve to death, and music-making will not stop. We had music long before we had copyrights, and we will have music long after copyrights have vanished from the scene.

And lastly, it's something that *can not* be stopped. P2P progs and their development act as organisms that follow the darwinian rules of survival. When Napster was 'killed' by the RIAA, immediately others (like kazaa) took over, being more resistent to attacks from the RIAA&co. Whenever kazaa will be shut down, others again will take over. When endusers are targeted, systems that protect the user will become dominant (like FreeNet).

It really is a lost cause. But then again, they are not truelly battling for the survival of musicians (as I said; they will survive, just as they used to do), it's for their OWN survival they are fighting. There is no way in hell they are going to keep the giant profits that they have been gathering for the last decades.

But ultimately, they will have to do what P2P systems are already doing: adapt to the new circumstances (and forget about the former levels of profit), or whither and die.

Re:losing the music-war (1)

wmarcy (716319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247053)

If you take a copy of the Mona Lisa out of the framestore, is there grounds for arresting you for shoplifting?

Re:losing the music-war (1)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247160)

Well, yes ... according to the parent,

"As far as I know, stealing implies that the one that has been stolen has been derived of something."

And the hits just keep on coming! (1, Funny)

sciop101 (583286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9246996)

Lose money thru file-swapping and spend money on law suits. LOSE-LOSE!

That's it. (2, Interesting)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247005)

SO hear is my harebrained scheme. I want to catalog every CD I legally own. With reciepts in hand, I will download every song on them from every user I can. I will not share any files. Waiting for the RIAA to attempt to sue me, even though I never downloaded an MP3 illegally (the quality pains my ears, cd's are bad enough).

I make them look like an ass when they ATTEMPT to sue me, and they lose.

Now IANAL, but any of you lawyers out there wanna tell me if this is worth attempting. I would consult a lawyer first, but do you think I have a case for any kind of damages? I have money to front for a lawsuit if it means a good chance of decent return.

Re:That's it. (1)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247029)

oh, that 'hear' thing was a pun... yeah...

/needs to proofread

Re:That's it. (1)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247055)

They're not going to sue you unless you share the songs and make them available for download. And if you do that, you ARE doing something illegal.

Re:That's it. (1)

gunnk (463227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247073)

As far as I can tell, they are NOT suing people for downloading songs. They're suing them for UPLOADS.

Re:That's it. (1)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247090)

I believe in the UK that would still technically be illegal, but presumably in the US it might well be legal.

Re:That's it. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247112)

I will not share any files.

In which case you are very unlikely to be detected.

Re:That's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247149)

This is Slashdot, no one does anything except bitch. You aren't ACTUALLY going to do that, much less get sued. But it was amusing of you to talk like you would. :)

Yet more lawsuits (2, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247012)

This has obviously just become another cash cow for the recording industry.
The days of them being able to sell people 9 tracks of crap because they're bundled up with the 2 good tracks on the album are coming to an end. A different economic model is taking shapem and the pigopolists are just trying to skim as much money off the current system as they can.
It's not about performer's rights to be fairly paid for their work - it's about producer's rights to snort finest peruvian coaine off the breasts of supermodels.

I wonder.... (1)

Pizentios (772582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247026)

I wonder when they are going to realize nobody is going to stop downloading. I know i wouldn't. Is anybody else getting really sick of them and the negative news that they seem to genereate. It seems like every time i come back from the weekend there's another story about them sueing another chunk of people. Anyways, that's just my two cents.

... all is not lost (2, Informative)

JMZorko (150414) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247027)

... there is a _lot_ of high-quality music out there that is not shackled by the RIAA. They are not the only game in town, by a longshot, and this is not a pipe dream ... independent, non-RIAA music is as real as anything else, and a lot easier on the conscience, to boot.

Regards,

John

bring it on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247049)

This may seem mean, but this is a sort of good thing for us file sharers. The majority, that is.

The more people that get sued, the greater the need for truely anonymous clients that can share these files without worrying who's tracking them.

No amount of alliances with ISPs etc can stop this if it's done right.

Necessity is the mother of invention - and evolution.

Re:bring it on (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247147)

Necessity is the mother of invention - and evolution.

In this case, I'd say greed, lack of morals, and poor character are the mother of invention. Does your mother know she raised a thief?

DC++ (1)

haikvr (645969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247050)

Try DC++ [sourceforge.net]

No spyware, no adware - pure bliss of peer-peer networking. Kiss Kazaa, Limewire good bye.

IRS (4, Interesting)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247051)

This use to be a big IRS tactic. Go after the guys without the funding to take you on. If the recording industry sued someone with the money and the inclination (sp?) to take them on through a significant series of appeals, then I think that the laws would be changed.

Also, Congress needs to hold hearings on this. The General Accounting Office [GAO], the investigative brance of the Congress, helped get the IRS inline. Now, my personnal feeling about anything being done is that it would be unlikely. (I mean, come on, we call them Congress instead of Progress.) But, just maybe, someone will get a clue.

The RIAA is trying civil court because they know that they can use the 'perponderance of the evidence' to thier own advantage. If they think they are right, let see some criminal charges. Gutless wonders

Kazaa lite: I am safe (1)

Sethmyers (780305) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247059)

I know kazaa lite has some protections form being tracked.But now with more lawsuits being files, im wondered if that even matters.

This is cheap (2, Insightful)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247075)

The trade group, which represents the five largest recording companies, has settled more than 400 of those cases for around $3,000 each.

I cannot imagine that the cost to figure out your name, hire a lawyer to write you a letter and serve you with papers then settle the case is less than $3000. Seems to me that the RIAA is letting people off for the cost of being told they did something wrong. I can't really see a problem with this.

How do they find them? (1)

Capt_Troy (60831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247076)

I'm interested, how do they figure out who is downloading music from Kazza and Gnutella? I mean, do they just get IPs? How would they know who was using the computer at the time etc?

-t

24 "named" individuals declined to settle (5, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247083)

Brilliant! These folks know that the RIAA doesn't want to actually take anyone to trial, just scare the bejeezus out of Mommy and Daddy so they don't let their kids use Kazaa. The risks are much too high for the RIAA if they should lose, and IMHO it's too much for them to prove, particularly in a college dorm-type setting, that the person they sued was actually the one doing the infringement. What about the wide-open Wi-Fi defense, or the zillion other instances where you just can't prove who was using a specific IP at any given time?

Terminology (2, Interesting)

acomj (20611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247088)

First off, this is hardly news. They're going to keep doing this. If the RIAA gets lucky with lobbying the price of swapping will increase and they're hoping to make it less worth it. The RIAA will continue to defend its member companies. Whether or not its good business practice is a question, but people are giving away their members stuff for free (Yeah I know copywrite is only temporary.. look up ASCAP for the artists/composers lobby)

Its the terminology is what gets me. When I was in middle school I used to copy apple //e games from friends (I'm not to proud of this looking back). But back then it wasn't swapping/sharing/trading it was pirating because you got to keep your copy. I don't see how this is different, except for instead of doing it privately with your friends you let anyone anywhere copy off you.

Just the sig (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247101)

I got nothing to say that's not already being said in my sig -- the coolest sig ever if I might add!!!

Oh, and I would have love to put in it, "Al Pacino, The Devil's Advocate" but, wouldn't fit which makes me ask at this point, does paying for a subscription to /. get you more sig space? If not, it should....

Der sig
|
|
\/

Publicity of RIAA Court Cases (3, Insightful)

tim.kerby (206359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247108)

I wish people would stop publicising the fact that the RIAA are suing people. It is the media who are now responsible for stopping file sharers, not the RIAA. The RIAA can only catch a small handful of people to set an example, if the media outlets just ignored the cases then they would most likely have to stop these heavy handed scare tactics.

Prisoner reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247124)

me (playing #66.155.230.25):I am not a number. I'm a free man.
RIAA: muhahahahahahaha

So who's right and who's wrong? (4, Insightful)

TheTXLibra (781128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247129)

Okay, so the people being sued can't afford the legal fees. However, they wouldn't be sued if they weren't performing illegal file sharing. The people they are going after aren't sharing private files, they are distributing, for free, the hard work of others. This is the risk that one takes when using file-sharing, and those users accepted that when they began the swapping. The companies are probably not going after Joe User who downloads a couple of tracks to see if he likes the music on an album before buying it. They are more likely going after large-scale file distributers. People who have hundreds of songs, movies, games, and other copywrited works. They left their server on too long, and got caught. I'd feel no more sympathy than I would for a pawn shop that got busted for fencing stolen goods.

Now before the hate replies come in, I should mention that I'm all for file-sharing. I think RIAA are a bunch of corrupt bastages who overcharge for their products and services, and underpay the real talent--the entertainers.

I think game design companies charge way too much for a product, which is not neccesarily a corruption, but a misunderstanding of market forces. They feel they have to correct for piracy by charging $50/game, when in fact, there would be a lot more copies sold if they offered the same product for half. But then, that's been said for years.

I think the movie industry...is still quite fair. They churn out movies, $5-8 is a reasonable price to pay for a couple of hours of entertainment. If one does not like what they watch, then at most, an hour's minimum wage is lost. If it happens repeatedly, then they should take advantage of the local library.

Does this mean I'm anti-piracy? No. If you got something for free, and you enjoyed it, then you should then pay for it. Because in America, votes are determined by dollars, not by voices. If you vote (aka "buy") a legit copy of that game/CD/movie that you loved, then you have just voted for more of the same genre/artist/director to be produced. Same goes for everything. Feel free to sample, if you feel you need to. But if you like it, and continue to use it, you have an ethical obligation to buy.

That said, free sampling aside, piracy and distribution of copywrited material is still illegal, and those who participate in it take that risk willingly. The piper may be a total arsehead (read: RIAA), but that doesn't mean they don't have legal right in this matter.

-The Libra
"You've got no kids, no wife, no job, and you're not in The Tigger Movie!!!"
- my best friend's son, Gabe, at 5 years old. [everything2.com]

Don't like it? Don't buy RIAA-affiliated releases (2, Informative)

tfbastard (782237) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247144)

There are plenty of independent labels around that care to every thinkable (and unthinkable) type of music, except perhaps for Britney-type teenybopper acts.

The RIAA radar [magnetbox.com] can be a good place to start looking.

LOUD Crushing Defeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247163)

The powershouse of defeating illegal p2p is on its way.... http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040525/sftu061_1.html

Go Indie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9247171)

Fark the RIAA. Support Indepedent music.

Shamless Plug. [johnpbarton.com]

What about selfdenunciation ... (1)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9247175)


I always wonder, what would happen, if all filesharers start to denunciate themselfs ?

I think it could escalate to some kind of DDOS against the courts ... imagine, all filesharers denunciate themselfs, to have shared a couple of files yesterday. They most probably will not be arrested for that, and they go home and share some files again, just to selfdenunciate again tomorrow, for another incident of file sharing ... rince&repeat

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