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UK Record Industry Starts Suing Filesharers

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the good-times-never-last dept.

Music 459

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC has the story that the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has started a first set of lawsuits against UK file sharers. 23 people paid £50,000 to settle out of court. This is the first time people in the UK have been fined, and probably won't be the last. From the article: "We are determined to find people who illegally distribute music, whichever peer-to-peer network they use, and to make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."

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MPAA is on its way (4, Insightful)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847268)

This is just the start of the trends which have become somewhat commonn place in the states making the hop over the Atlantic. I think read on Drudge yesterday that the MPAA is considering a similar manuever in the UK. Insiders say that they plan on going after people who are sharing 10 movies or more. For now they are only planning on targeting those who offer up movies which have yet to be released but I would imagine they will be widening that net before too long.

Surefire way to eliminate all piracy! (2, Funny)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847360)

Its so simple! [popealien.com]

of course wave upon wave of lawsuits will probably help to slow down sharing as well.

Re:MPAA is on its way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847417)

If you think this is bad, Trip dies on the last episode of Enterprise and it's all a big hologram being watched my #1 and Marina.

Whoohoo! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847269)

'bout time those limey bastards caught up with the trend-setting seps!

Ouch (4, Insightful)

Frogmum (778954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847270)

Seriously, 50,000 pounds for some music? They're so extreme with the amounts.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847311)

The average compensation payment was £2,200 each, with one person paying £4,500.

Re:Ouch (0)

Frogmum (778954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847386)

The 23 people who settled for 50,000 totalled $21,453,716. I find that a bit extreme.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847467)

Totalled? Totalled what? Their worth if they were sold into slavery? Their salaries? Their net worth? Their debt? The sum of the worth of their motor vehicles?

English. It's a three-edged sword.

Re:Ouch (0)

Frogmum (778954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847489)

Their fines combined totalled $21,453,716.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847497)

You read that article really really well didn't you? 50,000 in total, not 50,000 each...

Re:Ouch (3, Informative)

goldstone97 (820252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847508)

It wasn't 50,000GBP each. It was 50,000GBP between all of them. From the article: "The average compensation payment was £2,200 each, with one person paying £4,500."

Easy mistake to make - the first paragraph of the article isn't exactly clear that it is not 50,000GBP each.

"The UK music industry has claimed victory in its first battle with illegal file-sharers after 23 people paid £50,000 to settle out of court."

Though I'm also not sure how "50,000 totalled $21,453,716" works out either way.

Re:Ouch (1)

Frogmum (778954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847542)

hah, it doesn't at all. My English fails after tweaking.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847332)

25 tons wow! That is alot of music! ;-)

Re:Ouch (1)

Frogmum (778954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847424)

Seriousry. I'd like to see that much music. CD cases and all.

Re:Ouch (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847499)

Perhaps you are unacquainted with copyright law.

The penalties are stiff.

Very stiff.

That you and so many others perceive copyright infringement as a "victimless crime" doesn't change that.

Or do you think that doing 140 in a 60 zone at 4AM when there's nobody else on the road anyways should somehow be less of a cause for the police to impound your vehicle when they pull you over?

Re:Ouch (5, Informative)

a16 (783096) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847522)

This isn't £50,000 each - it's £50,000 total. To quote TFA:

The average compensation payment was £2,200 each, with one person paying £4,500.

wi fi (5, Interesting)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847271)

I had a doubt. If my neighbour uses my wireless network (which I have kept open as a social service) to download copyrighted stuff, can I be sued????

Re:wi fi (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847357)

Yes you can be sued as you are RESPONSIBLE and LIABLE to the service agreement and no you should NOT be resharing it. Its like hiring out an already hired appartment, usually you cannot do this. Its like hiring out a car you bought on hire purchase, you DONT own it. Its you name on the dotted line, not the general publics.

I'm a Windows user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847432)

honest your Honor, I was haxxored!

Re:wi fi (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847483)

Yes you can be sued as you are RESPONSIBLE and LIABLE to the service agreement and no you should NOT be resharing it. Its like hiring out an already hired appartment, usually you cannot do this. Its like hiring out a car you bought on hire purchase, you DONT own it. Its you name on the dotted line, not the general publics.

I'd say it'd be more like letting people stay in a spare bedroom in the apartment you're renting.

No charge to the person making use of your facilities and you're still using it primarily, but you're also helping out those around you if they happen to need it. The question would be, therefore, can you be held responsible if the person staying in that bedroom stores stolen (I know, I know - sharing!= theft, but it's the closest comparison I've got) goods in it should you be held responsible? I would certainly think not, but there is often an unfortunate amount of truth in the saying "No good deed goes unpunished."

Re:wi fi (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847487)

you hire people. You rent cars and apartments. I don't care how the English try and get away with it. It's just wrong. ;)

Re:wi fi (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847368)

IANAL, but if you actually owned the movie/music, you could walk it over to your neighbor and let him use/view it. IMO, but not necessarily MPAA's, that would fall under 'fair use.'

However, since you are knowningly making it available for anyone to view within a certain radius , technically that may be beyond the bounds of the use of the copyright. You are allowing unpaid copies to be made and that's a no-no.

Re:wi fi (2, Interesting)

wdd1040 (640641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847371)

If you knowingly keep your network open, you should be held accountable for all traffic on said network.

At least that's how the court would look at it.

Re:wi fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847403)

additionally, if you didn't know you woudl still be held accountable because ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.

At least in the US.

Re:wi fi (1)

JonyEpsilon (662675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847413)

Or maybe you could look at it the other way. Always keep your network wide open (and your machines locked down!) for the purposes of plausible deniability ?

Re:wi fi (1)

wdd1040 (640641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847468)

And after an **AA person presents to the court a full audit of your network and sees your PCs as locked down but not your network....

What's your defense then?

Re:wi fi (1)

JonyEpsilon (662675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847560)

Errrm ... it was like that when I got here ?!

Re:wi fi (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847380)

I would imagine yes. How could you prove that it wasn't you who downloaded the files? It would be a good idea to block p2p ports on your router.

Re:wi fi (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847416)

It would be a good idea to block p2p ports on your router.

There's no such thing as "p2p ports". P2P apps can use any port, just like anything else can.

Re:wi fi (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847463)

I don't know about that. I had to open up some ports on my firewall before I could use a few p2p apps on my machine. Torrents in particular suffer because of blocked ports.

Re:wi fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847385)

If my neighbour uses my wireless network (which I have kept open as a social service) to download copyrighted stuff, can I be sued????

Yes, you can always be sued. Better questions would be whether you would fight it in court instead of settling and, if you did fight it, what your chances would be of winning.

Re:wi fi (1)

dj_cel (744926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847397)

Could you claim someone was wardriving and hacked your line? Or maybe play stupid and "I didn't know how to use the inTaRnet."

Uh.. yup.. (1)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847399)

.. if they will sue the dead [theregister.co.uk] I'm sure they'd be willing to go after you as well.

IANAL, but... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847404)

...I wouldn't do that, especially if the FBI/whoever is the investigative arm in your country decides to drive by your antenna. Sounds like easy jailbait if they crack down on those like you, but that's just my inference.

Of course you might be able to sue them back if they download it to figure out if its illegal.

Re:wi fi (1)

MathFox (686808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847496)

You can be sued for no reason (see SCO-IBM), but sane people and organisations (and that includes the *AA's) will only start suing when they think they have a case.

In most European countries downloading music and movies for private use is allowed; offering music and movies for download is seen as publication and illegal. "Sharing" is illegal in the US too, I am not sure about downloading. You will run some risks when your neighbour is running a file sharing program over your WAP.
If you can proof that your neighbour was sharing files over your link, that might convince an *AA to try next door. If you can not proof it, I am not sure how a judge will decide; your carelessness might be punished.

Re:wi fi (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847541)

Yes, because the account thats downloading said illegal music is owned by you, and paid for by you. To all intent and purpose, they can trace the illegal activities back to you, and you will have to prove in the courts that someone used your open wifi to conduct said activities. Its a possible and unproven defence, not a block on someone suing you.

Why not try the surefire method of avoiding being sued? Pay for legal music or go without. Remember, you arent entitled to it.

Re:wi fi (1)

slothman32 (629113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847571)

I am thinking that it is the same as saying, "If I kill someone on somebody else's property then they can be sued or arrested." Though I don't recommend trying it I would guess that only the killer is liable. Common carrier status, or does that only apply to rich people who can lobby laws or afford lawyers?

Re:wi fi (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847595)

In the US, probably. The TOS for RoadRunner, for instance, specifically says that any usage of your connection is your responsibility.

The industry needs to changes its marketing strat (5, Informative)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847273)

When will the record companies learn, if they price there product in an affordable price range, people will buy.

Apple has sold approximately 85 million songs in the first two months of 2005, surpassing Piper Jaffray's initial estimates for the entire March quarter. Based on Apple's earlier announcement of 300 million total tracks sold, Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster says that iTunes sales could account for $83.2 million in revenue in the March quarter--or about $35 million more than the firm has been estimating. The firm also believes average daily sales rate has been 1.35 million per day since late January, which very similar to the 1.43 million daily run rate (i.e., sales of songs) in the weeks following the holidays. "We had been anticipating a more significant drop off in iTunes sales from the levels seen in the weeks following the holidays."

In addition to driving iPod sales, the firm says that Apple's iTunes Music Store will also contribute significantly to the company earnings: while it estimtates that the current operating margin on iTunes is in the low single digits, Piper Jaffray says it believes iTunes profitability will begin to increase throughout 2005, with operating margins reaching 5% to 10% in 2006.

http://www.macnn.com/articles/05/03/02/itunes.gr ow ing.fast/

Re:The industry needs to changes its marketing str (1, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847329)

When will the record companies learn, if they price there product in an affordable price range, people will buy.

While I agree music is overpriced and the musicians undercompensated, it's still not a reason to download the songs illegally. It's like walking into a Wal-Mart, stuffing something in your coat, walking out, and justifying it by saying that they charge too much anyway. Stealing is stealing.

Re:The industry needs to changes its marketing str (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847568)

It's like walking into a Wal-Mart, stuffing something in your coat, walking out, and justifying it by saying that they charge too much anyway.

No, it is not. It's more like not wanting to pay $5 to rent a movie that you've heard is bad, so you walk over to your friends house and borrow it. You've just screwed the movie company out of money and should be tossed in jail for "stealing" by not paying them every time you watch it.

Re:The industry needs to changes its marketing str (1)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847352)

I hate these arguments so much. Who cares what they price the music at? It is not your music, you did not make it, you did not go into contract with them and give them rights to it, you did not spend millions of dollars advertising it.

You do not have the right to just distribute or download it without paying, end of story. There is no "well if they only made it cheaper" because that is not your right to say. If you don't want to pay the price they are asking then you make the decision to not get that muisc.

Re:The industry needs to changes its marketing str (2, Insightful)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847540)

Assume that we all know filesharing is illegal, immoral and makes you fat.

Now take a look around you and see that not many people care and are doing it anyway.

You want to stop them doing it, considering the moral argument doesn't work?
Ask why they do it.
Then take that reason away from them.

If they continue to share, that wasn't really their reason.

The popularity of iTunes says that people are willing for pay for downloaded music.

I would suggest that the reason for this is that you can get the song you want at the price you want to pay, rather than getting a lot of stuff you don't want at a price that is too high for the whole.

Not wanting to listen to arguments doesn't make them any less valid, it only means you refuse to help out on either side of the battle.

Re:The industry needs to changes its marketing str (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847490)

if they price there product in an affordable price range, people will buy.

Putting hard-to-find, exclusive content (like an in-depth interview, a free poster, or an offer for one of the above) into the whole CD package might help too. Of course those too (or the images thereof) can easily be copied and released into p2p nets for all to download. Or apt-get or however you call it.

See everyone? (1)

Primotech (731340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847278)

The RIAA really is a good role-model.

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Living WTF (838448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847279)

How many of these 23 people were under 10 or over 80 years old? And did at least half of them own a computer?

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847333)

if you RTFA you would see exactly 0.

Fucktard.

they were between 22 and 58

Many were prominent in their profession.

Some were public officals.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847582)

perfect.
they have swing with elected officials.

things can start to change.

ie telling the record labels to FUCK OFF you milked the country/world dry already.

they dont comprehend that people have a fixed budget, they will not purchase more entertainment, whether they enjoy more is not the issue, the payment was never going to be made above that fixed budget.

so RIAA/MPAA, fuck off

Re:Hmm... (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847547)

More important than that were any of them dead?

Just curious. And no, I haven't RTFA. I'm just not interested in the story enough to bother and besides, I already know everything I need to know about the music/labels/P2P wars already. I read the comments on Slashdot!

Before the whining starts (2, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847282)

The music companies are totally right in doing this. It IS their property, and people don't have the right to use it for free. Go use Napster or iTunes if you don't want to buy cds.

Re:Before the whining starts (0, Troll)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847375)

I wish I had mod points. That is exactly correct and spot on.

However, you and I both realize that there will be those who will say it isn't stealing, it's copyright infringement which isn't the same as theft and so your comments will be marked down as Troll or Flamebait.

*sigh* Since when did taking someone elses work without their permission and not paying them for it become acceptable?

Re:Before the whining starts (-1, Troll)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847431)

there will be those who will say it isn't stealing, it's copyright infringement which isn't the same as theft

Yeah. I reason it like this. What is a copyright? Well, break the words apart. Copy Right. The right to copy. If you make a copy without having that right, then you are STEALING that right from someone else. So it's STEALING!

Re:Before the whining starts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847475)

Since when did taking someone elses work without their permission and not paying them for it become acceptable?

I think it was when the first person hired someone else to do some work for him. Then tried to rook him for cost of distributing it, saying "oh, it cost too much for us to pay for packaging it, so you have to take the cost too"

Did I get it right? Rhetorical? whats that?

Re:Before the whining starts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847553)

> Since when did taking someone elses work without
> their permission and not paying them for it become
> acceptable?

What makes you think artists have the right to tell me how to transfer data across my network, on my computer, to listen to with my ears on my time?

Re:Before the whining starts (5, Insightful)

dj_tsd (548135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847412)

The problem is that it IS NOT their property. The RIAA is NOT a rightsholder. Therefore, by US law, their lawsuits are frivolous. They are suing on the behalf of others, who are mistaken if they expect money from the RIAA. The RIAA should go back to worrying about who gets gold records.

Re:Before the whining starts (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847494)

That doesn't change the fact that people who are downloading and distibuting are still stealing/violating copyright or whatever you want to say. I think they should be sued, and if the RIAA or whoever wants to take on the cause for the artists, then so be it. And seeing as how their lawsuits are producing results, they must not be as "frivolous" as you say.

Re:Before the whining starts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847415)

Or you could always just get CDs from your local library and rip them. That's what I do, and if the cd is good, I'll buy it, if it's crap I just delete it.

This only works well if you have a decent library with current (or good) music, but at least you won't get sued and don't have to worry about downloading ten different versions of the same song just to find one that's "real."

Re:Before the whining starts (2, Insightful)

wdd1040 (640641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847435)

So, if you write a book and I "steal" a copy of it and redistribute it.... Let's say you would have made $50,000 off of it. I distribute it to 4 people, who distribute it for 4 more people. All 17 of us get sued and told to pay $10,000 in damages. They are totally right in doing it, but they should at least have more acceptible fines than these insane ones.

Re:Before the whining starts (1)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847537)

What happened to, I bought it, I own it, i can do whatever I want with it?

Re:Before the whining starts (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847587)

You can do whatever you want with teh cd, you just can't make copies and give them away, or sell them.

Kids these days (5, Funny)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847302)

Some parents have been genuinely shocked to discover what their children have been up to

If that's all your kids have been up to on the internet when you're not watching, you're in OK shape...

Re:Kids these days (5, Funny)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847377)

If that's all your kids have been up to on the internet when you're not watching, you're in OK shape...

I know! I just found out my boy was posting on some nerd forum where they have some fetish for penguins, grits, apples, and "OSS". (I assume this "OSS" is a spelling of "ass" where the "a" is stretched disproportionately. I've seen some disturbing pictures on that site he visits!)

You try and try and try to raise them right, but....

Re:Kids these days (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847564)

...where the "a" is stretched disproportionately. I've seen some disturbing pictures on that site he visits!

I think we all know what picture you're talking about there...

whoa... (3, Funny)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847307)

I need more sleep. I just read that as 'British Pornographic Industry'.

Re:whoa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847390)

Yes you get a severe gang banging if you fileshare porn illegally.

Re:whoa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847478)

ditto

Re:whoa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847581)

>I just read that as 'British Pornographic Industry'.

I did also. And I am fully awake.

music prices sure have gone up... (3, Funny)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847309)

50,000 pounds for music? Things have sure gone up when I was a kid. Bubble gum used to cost a quarter too!

HELP (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847310)

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/roo/62310657.ht ml

follow the money (5, Insightful)

MrLint (519792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847318)

"...make them compensate the artists and labels they are stealing from."

Don't most artists make only a pittance on their album sales anyway, even after they have paid back the label for their 'generous' promotional contract?

Call me cynical, but claiming that the settlement money is going to go to artists seems disingenuous. Of course claiming 'lost' profits by the labels on file sharing is moreso.

Re:follow the money (1)

_Potter_PLNU_ (627430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847469)

That is probably true, but it also follows that the artists make _even less_ money by stealing the music.

Think about it. If a record company owns the rights to music are they going to say A)"Oh, here is your fair share of the money, and we'll just wait to compensate our losses when people stop stealing the music online." or B)"Here is part of the money we were going to give you because we had to pay off all our own expenses first."

My bet is on "B."

BPI (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847324)

Did anyone else read British Pornographic Industry? .. for a second there I was scared!

Re:BPI (1)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847366)

Did anyone else read British Pornographic Industry? .. for a second there I was scared!

We all did. You're just the first to admit it.....

Re:BPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847379)

No he's not. This is redundant across almost every story on /. I've ever seen talking about the BPI.

Re:BPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847561)

British Phonographic Industry, what?
I haven't listened to a phonograph in about 20 years now. Who in the world would want to listen to a phonograph or even consider trading them online? As I recall they were huge, hulking things that collected copious amounts of dust.

Overheard in a squalid housing estate... (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847326)

Quick Vyvyan! Eat the hard drive!

you know... (5, Insightful)

opposume (600667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847358)

why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?

Re:you know... (2, Interesting)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847401)

why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?

Because they are going after people for distributing. If you share a song to 100 people then you are liable for that song getting out there and all the damage to the company it causes.

Re:you know... (1)

CPUgrind (630274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847407)

Because they were redistributing it. Besides which, if you steal from WalMart you will be paying back much more than the price of the item stolen if your caught!

Re:you know... (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847446)

"why don't they just sue for the ammount of $ they have stolen (i.e. the average cost of a CD) instead of charging these OUTRAGEOUS fees? Any body?"

Two reasons -- one is to punish (and therefore deter such behavior in the future), the second is to recoup legal fees and other expenses.

If you get caught shoplifting, do you just have to pay for the item you took? No, you have to pay a fine as well (that's the punishment part). I don't know about the UK, but in many U.S. states, a retailer who catches a shoplifter is also allowed to recoup part of their security costs from the shoplifter as well.

If all you were charged is the price of the CD, then maybe you would try and "get away with it," because at worst, all you'll have to do is buy the CD's at the end anyway. If you make the fines hurt, than people might think it's not worth it to download illegally.

And spare me the "copyright infringement is not theft" -- I was using shoplifting as an example, not that I am saying that copyright infringement is theft...

Re:you know... (2, Funny)

Larmal (691516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847458)

because their OUTRAGEOUS fines are totally in line with their OUTRAGEOUS pricing structure, and they're trying to maintain consistency.

Re:you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847504)

because then it woudln't be a punishment. if i only have to pay for the things i get caught stealing in a store or anywhere else, it's to my benefit to try to steal all the time.

Is this supposed to be bad? (4, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847362)

So, way back in the day, everyone was outraged that the music industry was trying to fight piracy by litigating away P2P technology, instead of going after the people who were actually breaking the law.

Now they're going after the people who actually break the law, instead of trying to end P2P.

I think that the idea of fair use ought to be extended, but am I supposed to be outraged that this is happening? They're actually going after people who are breaking the law, instead of trying to end technologies with legitimate uses.

Isn't this exactly what we asked for?

Legally, the correct approach, but a foolish one (2, Insightful)

reptilicus (605251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847556)

---Isn't this exactly what we asked for?---

Pretty much, and under the law, it's a reasonable approach. But in the long run, it's a futile one, and a foolish one.

First, the massive quantity of US lawsuits has caused no slowdown in p2p filesharing. So it's not an effective means of stopping copyright infringement.

Next, it's bad PR, and is turning off more and more consumers and artists from doing business with the major label cartels. It's also interesting that they continue to settle out of court, rather than letting any case go through. I think there's some fear on the RIAA and their equivalents' parts that a court case would 1) reinforce fair use rights and 2) set a precedent for the value of a song.

Most importantly, rather than seeing this as something that must be stomped out and trying to turn back the clock, a smarter approach is to find a way to profit from this obvious consumer demand. The same thing happened with the VCR, and now the MPAA makes more money from video sales and rentals than from box office receipts.

My opinion is they need to set up a system similar to this one [weedshare.com] . It takes advantage of the massive power of p2p, yet protects copyright and actively encourages users to only deal in legit files by giving them a financial incentive.

Re:Is this supposed to be bad? (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847567)

It is exactly what people here wanetd way back when, but people often ask for something they really don't want. Like you, I think that the idea of fair use ought to be extended. Thats what people should have been demanding since the begining.

I really don't care though. I don't use p2p servies. I use iTunes.

Just wait (3, Funny)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847369)

Just wait until this trend spreads across all countries and continents...be afraid of the Antartic Recording Industry (ARI)....I mean, imagine being sued in a currency that doesnt exist!
Or just paying your debt with penguins.

So... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847584)

...would Linux CDs be a good substitute for the penguins? and would the ARI lawyers substitute their suits for giant North Face jackets?

Somehow I think people would be sued in Mars or the ISS before that though. I wouldn't move to a world so cold. [antarctica.ac.uk] (I'd compare the preceding to a Mudvayne song but I'd get sued. I think.)

BPI (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847396)

the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)
kinda mis-reads as:
the British Pornographic Industry (BPI)

OMG OMG (-1, Flamebait)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847439)

OMG! Brittany couldn't afford her gold laced 1690 Chivas Regal this week because of my P2P activities.

And OMFG!!!1!! I deprived poor poor Richard Branson's dog of his diamond studded collar.

I feel so guilty.

Re:OMG OMG (0, Flamebait)

mythosaz (572040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847509)

You know, the problem is that too many of us have an attitude like the parent poster. Already the people who've posted "Good, they got what they deserved" have been modded trolls and flamebait.

We're going to have another day where people lecture about that it's not "stealing" because it's merely "copyright infrigement" instead of actually being strong enough to regognize that it's still WRONG.

These people broke the law, and they should be punished for it.

Re:OMG OMG (0, Flamebait)

_Potter_PLNU_ (627430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847529)

Well, if it helps you sleep at night by rationalizing your unethical stealing of copyrighted property (assuming you do from your sarcastic statement), then by all means keep thinking like that.

British Phonographic Industry (BPI) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847447)

Phonographic --> Pornographic

I wonder how this will go down... (4, Interesting)

eboot (697478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847454)

Hmm... How many people do you think they will sue? 10? 20? 1000? You know I don't know anybody who bothers to use p2p to pirate music anymore. There are easier ways to get old or indie albums by borrowing off of friends and everything new or mainstream is crap. My friends and I share music perfectly easy without P2P, in fact one of the first things I do with new friends is share our music collections with each other. The genie of digital copying is out of the bottle and it's going to take a lot of restriction to get it back in again. Enough restriction to destroy the music industry itself. Record sales aren't going to improve until the BPI or the RIAA stop stuffing crap down our throats, stop suing us and stop treating us like criminals, even if from their perspective we are. Society has changed, forever.

£50K in total, not per person (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11847464)

From TFA:

"The average compensation payment was £2,200 each, with one person paying £4,500."

In soviet russia (1, Funny)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847482)

Filesharers sue the government!

Uh... (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847485)

make them compensate the artists

Bahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahaha hahaha haha whew.

Sorry about that.

I just don't buy any music anymore (5, Insightful)

yodaj007 (775974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847531)

I mean, really, I don't want to pay what I consider outrageous prices for crap. I'm not downloading anything either. If you want some good music, go down to your local coffee house and listen to a good live band and buy their CD if you like their music. For the price of a coffee, I can listen to a small live concert for several hours while I do homework. You mean you can try before you buy? Amazing! The CD's I get from the local artists (and other independent artists that come through my area on tour) are much cheaper than the record-label CD's and the quality of music is sooo worth it. While the ethics of downloading the label's music is disputed, one thing I think we can all agree on is that the labels would have no ammo if people would just boycott them instead of refusing to purchase their crap and downloading music. Boycotts do work. And boycotts 'steal' nothing from the artists.

how much of this goes to artists? (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847535)

my prediction: $0.00

all of it goes to the labels.

artists get nothing except % of sales and residuals, they dont get anything from legal judgements.

A dangerous wounded animal (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847591)

They're determined to find anyone who distributes music who isn't them, PERIOD. They're a starving, wounded beast, cornered by its own fear and ignorance. All they know how to do is threaten people who exchange music, whether they've got a right to or not. Why can't I let a friend listen to a stream of a song that's otherwise idle on my HD, when I can loan them the CD? Why can't a few of my friends tune into my stream, when I can bring the CD to a party? Because they never had enough lawyers to force you to pay them for those fair uses. But on the Internet, these music biz weasels can finally insert themselves into every music transaction as tolltakers. Or so they think - any smart people running the biz have run *from* the biz already. So the dumb beast makes its last stand, taking down as many victims as it can.

Only fining uploaders (2, Interesting)

dappleyard (794532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11847593)

I think It's important to note that it is generally only the uploaders who are being fined for their activities. A joe bloggs day to day downloader has nothing to worry about: "The UK internet users, ranging from a student to a local councillor, have admitted putting up to 9,000 songs each on the web for other fans to download."
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