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CMU Professor's Rebuttal Against RIAA Propaganda

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the down-to-earth dept.

Music 542

jsc writes "On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article by Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA, stating that university students are hijacking Internet2 to pirate copyrighted works, and schools who don't actively combat file-sharing are teaching their students bad values like "acceptance of theft". The Post-Gazette didn't let Sherman get away with it, though... Today they published a letter to the paper from Roger Dannenberg, a professor of Computer Science and Music at Carnegie Mellon University, reminding everyone how past/present behavior of the RIAA and its members is an even worse model of values..."

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Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12426986)

Is he saying stealing from thieves (or unethical businesses) is not so bad?

Re:Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427025)

No, he's saying people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Robin Hood-Rebound. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427060)

"No, he's saying people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

People who live in rubber houses shouldn't either.

Re:Robin Hood-Rebound. (1)

Grakun (706100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427405)

"No, he's saying people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

People who live in rubber houses shouldn't either.


Why not? It's non-destructive, and they may even learn something. (ex. flying rock == pain)

Re:Robin Hood-Rebound. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427453)

And people who life in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones**.

** Conditional on the thrones being heavy, and stored on the second floor of the house

Re:Robin Hood-Rebound. (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427485)

And people who life in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones**.

** Conditional on the thrones being heavy, and stored on the second floor of the house
... ah, someone who read Isaac Asimov's Joke Book, I see. Carp-to-carp walleting, The Caesar Corn Exchange motto - "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears", the McBeth Drycleaning Co - "Out, out damn spot!", and The Dagger Tail-light Co - "Is that a dagger I see before me".

Re:Robin Hood (4, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427038)

Absolutely. The internet "sharing" of anything that can be "shared" means nobody with anything digital is going to be able to derive any money from it. This is the target that many claim is where they want things to go.

I don't think they have thought about where this ends up. I don't think the end of the road is certain, but I'll bet it means curtailed development of entertainment in digital form.

Re:Robin Hood (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427133)

I don't think the end of the road is certain, but I'll bet it means curtailed development of entertainment in digital form.

If paper, film, and vinyl are the only media proven to outlast even current copyright law, then it's good enough for me...

Robin M. Hood (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427138)

"Absolutely. The internet "sharing" of anything that can be "shared" means nobody with anything digital is going to be able to derive any money from it. This is the target that many claim is where they want things to go."

Didn't RMS teach us that sharing's good?

Re:Robin Hood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427486)

Modded you up. You're wrong, but you said it in a non-inflamatory way, and that doesn't happen often enough.

Re:Robin Hood (0, Flamebait)

twoes00 (839980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427040)

I'm assuming you are unable to read or just ignorant.

"reminding everyone how past/present behavior of the RIAA and its members is an even worse model of values..."

you didn't even have to read the article...

Re:Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

Tim5309 (880616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427048)

I agree that this does seem like the standard "to steal from a thief is no crime" fallacy"
If you'll stop your members from stealing from my friends, and then study some history, maybe I can help you.
The professor's arguments are valid in that the recording industry has commited sins of its own against creativity, but to say that stealing music over I2 is therefore ok simply does not follow.

Re:Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427163)

I agree that this does seem like the standard "to steal from a thief is no crime" fallacy"

You can call it a fallacy, and from a legal pov you are right, but I think the vast majority would consider it a lesser crime than stealing from a non-thief.

Robin Hood-Slippery when wet. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427234)

"You can call it a fallacy, and from a legal pov you are right, but I think the vast majority would consider it a lesser crime than stealing from a non-thief."

It however makes for an excellent slippery slope.

Re:Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427204)

What you say is true, however the RIAA are pretending to take the moral high ground here. Most of their arguments center on protecting artist's rights and being able to foster creativity.

While the theft is certainly illegal, and nobody I have read about says it is, the RIAA's position is exceptionally disingenuous for the reasons mentioned.
They argue that law and government should protect them with MORE (very important point) legislation and they have got much of it already. (DMCA) They argue that they should be able to breech people's privacy, destroy whole internet technologies and dictate to the electronics industry what they can and cannot produce.

They argue this because they pretend to defend the artist rights and musical freedom as they have always done. This is obviously wrong.

The question is not nearly as simple as you have made it out to be. It is not a question of "enforcement of current law", but far more insidious.

Having said all that, a great comment on mp3 theft:
"Stealing music is like taking candy from a...large, fat rich person."

Re:Robin Hood (5, Interesting)

ashmedai (869288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427448)

Bingo. It's not that stealing is okay if it's from a thief. It's that it's really stupid for a morally bankrupt group to complain about every individual incidence of copyright infringement when they can't even prove the act deprived them of a potential sale they say they deserve on the basis of junk science and fabricated statistics. It's that the amount of lies and slander they propigate in attempt to sway public opinion in favor of their greed-motivated witch hunt is just plain horrific. And then there's the issue of the Orwellian legislation they push through with the help of the government that we're supposed to be able to trust to protect us from such things, as if Homeland Security wasn't edging towards a police state already on its own.

Re:Robin Hood (5, Insightful)

DecayCell (778710) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427227)

No, he's merely saying that until the RIAA starts sticking to its standards, they're not going to get any help from him on his campus.
Fair enough, I believe.

Re:Robin Hood (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427224)

No, he is saying that the RIAA, a group corporations convicted of multiple federal crimes, is not the best source of lectures on ethics.

Lead by example, not threats.

Re:Robin Hood (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427254)

He is saying:

1) Traditionally, RIAA has stifled innovation by using dubious means, and they have always been scared of new technology, and have tried to prevent onset of technology using monopolistic and legal measures
2) RIAA isn't the right guardian for the right of musicians. One ought to see it more as a consortium of big-label music companies, and nothing more.

speaking as a gay man's penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12426988)

i want to know why harvey fierstein's wang tastes like your dad's shit

Bah (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12426990)

63% of all rebuttals are made up on the spot. 52% of all people know that.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427180)


thats 73% nonsense and you 67% know that !

Re:Bah (2, Funny)

F13 (9091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427232)

Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. Fourfty percent of all people know that.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427426)

57% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Full text of rebuttal.... (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427001)

"I'm rubber, you're glue."

Re:Full text of rebuttal.... (1)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427066)

It's actually more like: "I know you are, but what am I?"

Re:Full text of rebuttal.... (1)

ramblin billy (856838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427469)


In this case it's more

I know you are - and so am I.

billy - wanta bet whether the prof wants to get paid if he hits it big?

Re:Full text of rebuttal.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427438)

"I'm rubber, you're glue."

And for those of us who never heard that phrase...
I'm rubber, you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

Thank you Google!

Internet2 (-1, Offtopic)

americamatrix (658742) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427016)

I have heard the internet2 is amazing...I wish my school had it ;(

if that's the best the anti-RIAA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427021)

folks can do is whine that Louis Armstrong went unrecorded in his early days, we're all screwed. What a terrible response by an arrogant twit instructor.

YAIA (5, Insightful)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427024)

(Yet Another Internet Argument)
While I am quite pleased to see authority figures (even if they are just university professors) standing up to the RIAA, I must admit that Prof. Dannenberg actually did rather little to counter Sherman's arguments; while his points are good and valid, they do, unfortunately, follow one of the cardinal rules of internet arguing: Never argue the opponents points, only point out his weaknesses.

Re:YAIA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427045)

Shut up, Hitler.

Re:YAIA (3, Informative)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427275)

Shut up, Hitler.

Not flamebait. It's a play on Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] and Internet argument "rules". I thought it was pretty good.

Re:YAIA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427356)

Shut up Karma Whore. Get a life.

Re:YAIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427135)

I've never understood that rule - pointing out weaknesses gets YOU no points, it might remove his, but you won't win unless you can actually out-argue one of his points rather than just discrediting them

Re:YAIA (5, Funny)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427222)

I've never understood that rule - pointing out weaknesses gets YOU no points, it might remove his, but you won't win unless you can actually out-argue one of his points rather than just discrediting them

On the topic of discrediting, I think we should remember that Anonymous Cowards have been, historically, the perpetrators of countless GNAA recruitment campaigns, goatse stealth links, and ad hominem attacks. Anonymous Cowards have posted misogynist and anti-semitic attacks of horrifying proportions, and as a general rule are unsavoury characters.

So clearly your point has no foundation.

Re:YAIA (2, Insightful)

jevvim (826181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427340)

I must admit that Prof. Dannenberg actually did rather little to counter Sherman's arguments

I think the Prof. did a good job here, primarily in showing that there's a historical record of established companies either (a) using their technology to control who gets published, or (b) using their position in an attempt to prevent other companies from competing with them.

Internet2 is all about research - should that research be restricted because an organization known for strong-arm tactics is attempting to strong-arm the research institutions? What about all those independent acts out there who can't get their creative works published, and who want to use P2P to build the fan base that could get them a record deal? What about alternatively-licensed content that needs to be effectively distributed? Should we listen to an organization that has historically shown itself as an impediment to new technology?

I think the Professor did a fine job in discrediting the article's author. But, alas, it's in today's paper, which is read less (ok... of which fewer copies are sold) than the Sunday edition, where the article was published. Think the RIAA cares about the letter?

Re:YAIA (5, Insightful)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427408)

Never argue the opponents points, only point out his weaknesses.
You mean, kind of like what you just did with Prof. Dannenberg's argument?

It's pluckin time. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427028)

Eye for an Eye. Tooth for a Tooth.

Works well so far.

Re:It's pluckin time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427093)

That's intended as a limit of vengence, not a minimum. As a limit, it avoids escalation of violation; as a minimum, it leads to civil unrest.

Re:It's pluckin time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427176)

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" -Gandhi

Lacking Content (5, Interesting)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427056)

I hate the MPAA/RIAA as much as anyone, but I wish this letter had had more meat in it. In particular, the final point ("I know people who haven't gotten their checks from you guys, so nyah") is a pretty weak...

The first part is ok, I just wish there were more of it. It's not like the recording industry's history doesn't have enough hypocricy to fill several articles. That would have made a better impression. "Extending musical copyrights for centuries is absurd, and clearly just a money grab" is a much better argument (imho) than "You steal from us, so it's ok if we steal back".

Lacking Content-A Shill Response. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427097)

"I hate the MPAA/RIAA as much as anyone, but I wish this letter had had more meat in it. In particular, the final point ("I know people who haven't gotten their checks from you guys, so nyah") is a pretty weak..."

If it's good enough to use on Slashdot? Then it's good enough for him to use.

What's next... assassians? (-1, Troll)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427079)

I wouldn't be surprised if the RIAA starts hiring assassians to take out these liberal professors for being against capitalism. The Bush Administration (or lack thereof) would be more than happy to look the other way. Heck, they might even claim that it was the United Nations (or lack thereof) fault.

Re:What's next... assassians? (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427124)

What does the administration have to do with murder investigation? I'm pretty sure that the local jurisdiction will be more than happy to investigate the wrongful death of an upstanding member of the community. While it is an interesting question as to the lengths the cartel is willing to go, the unecessary authority bashing weakens your point. A better jab would be 'and the RIAA even has the money to make the case disappear'.

Re:What's next... assassians? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427331)

Did I forget the smiley face to indicate that this is a tongue-in-cheek reference? Sheesh...

But let's look at this seriously instead...

1. Conservatives have been complaining for years about left-leaning professors, judges, and the media for going against conservative "values" (which includes capitalism).

2. The Bush Administration has looked the other way when it hands "terrorists" over to third-world nations with reputations for using torture during intergorations.

3. The Bush Administration would blame the United Nations only to deflect any blame from itself.

The RIAA and the Bush Administration represents the same thing: Power corrupts absolutely.

Oh, yeah. I'm a Republican who voted for Junior the first time but didn't make that mistake the second time. Yes, I held my nose when I voted for Kerry. The choice came down to picking the lesser of two evils since "None Of The Above" wasn't running last year.

Re:What's next... assassians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427398)

I have to pull you up on point 2. They don't look they other way, it is the cia that have been in there teaching these nations how to torture, just like they did in egypt which helped sow the ground for todays terrorist troubles. That and the Bush administration are comitting acts of torture themselves in guantanamo. oh sorry, that isn't torture as they have redefined the word so that only killing someone can count as torture.

Re:What's next... assassians? (2, Funny)

courseB (837633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427212)

assassians.... probably soon.

this will become more common in time as the corporations get bigger... its like shadowrun but they would rarely be used because marketing can create armies to do their biding.

Wow! (4, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427096)

Mr. Sherman, you say that stealing "is not OK," and yet I have musician friends who cannot get RIAA members to pay them the royalties they are due. While you are asking universities to address your problems, please don't forget that you too can be a "powerful leader in curbing theft of copyright materials on campus." If you'll stop your members from stealing from my friends, and then study some history, maybe I can help you.

I'd love to find out who RIAA members are stealing from. That would really stop them from spouting off that the RIAA "protects" artists by allowing them to make a living!

Re:Wow! (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427407)

I'd love to find out who RIAA members are stealing from. That would really stop them from spouting off that the RIAA "protects" artists by allowing them to make a living!

Simple, the RIAA aquires the artist copyrights over the work through a contract that might not always make perfect sense, then they make claims that the lawsuits are all done for the artists, but recieve minimal return from this (I read that ALL the money goes back to the RIAA's legal fund). That, and the fact that artists generally see about a dollar or less from a CD, the rest goes to the store, and much more so to the RIAA companies.

This is quite an amusing ironical double-standard (2, Insightful)

danalien (545655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427115)


...hearing 'Big thieves' (RIAA's members, the 'music maffia' - 'we' all know how the operate...) cry over (from their POV) a bunch of smaller-thevies 'stealing' from them....

*HMpf*


danalien - former filesharer, stopped 'stealing' garbage ...

Re:This is quite an amusing ironical double-standa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427300)

What do you steal now? Coldplay?

Teaching their students bad values (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427117)

I'm curious, is the RIAA aware that the universities are engaged in adult education?

KFG

Teaching their students naughty values (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427185)

"I'm curious, is the RIAA aware that the universities are engaged in adult education?"

They teach porn?

News? (2, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427119)

Wow, a 10 sentence letter to the editor...thats breaking news and a clear-cut victory for the anti-**AA crowd.

Yo0 FAIL it.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427120)

Baby Take my [goat.cx]

Cop Killer: Brought to you by the RIAA (5, Funny)

MacDork (560499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427122)

I got my brain on hype.
Tonight'll be your night.
I got this long-assed knife,
and your neck looks just right.
My adrenaline's pumpin'.
I got my stereo bumpin'.
I'm 'bout to kill me somethin'
A pig stopped me for nuthin'!


Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your mama's grievin'
(f**k her)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

Yeah, it's those damned colleges that are corrupting the moral values of America's youth while the RIAA [magnetbox.com] stands for all that is just and good.

Re:Cop Killer: Brought to you by the RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427403)

I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny, but Cop Killer addressed a real problem that is ongoing today. At least Ice-T never killed anybody for being the wrong color. Racist police brutality has kept up with the Cincinatti police, the Diallo shooting, and several other incidents.

I agree with the professor (4, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427144)

It makes sense, at least to me, that the RIAA's all-stakes vendetta against file sharers is taking things too far. While I do think that artists should have the ability to make a living off of their music, it does not at all justify the sheer amount of all out attack that the RIAA has been taking agaisnt File-sharers.

The RIAA's tactis have not done nearly as much I think to stop illegal file-sharing as LEGAL music downloads like Apple's iTunes and others have been doing. The scare tactics employeed by the RIAA only scares off some of the less-diehard file swappers, and does not deter the majority of the sharers out there. While it may seem like the number of file sharers has decreased, the majority of those that have stopped have probably moved to legal forms of getting music downloads. If the RIAA, instead of spending millions on lawyers fees to sue, spend that money on promoting legal music downloading, I have a feeling the impact would be greater

Re:I agree with the professor (1)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427206)

If they saved all the money they're spending on going after file swappers and instead lowered cd prices I guaruntee you would see an increase in buying cds

Re:I agree with the professor (4, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427388)

I've always believed that the RIAA is more interested in control than sales.

The Internet is a distribution channel that they will never (hopefully) fully control. If they can't control their means of distribution, they can't provide stable financial data - which tends to conflict with what share holders want in a company.

Internet distribution can make the RIAA totally irrelevant. With the right hardware [macroundup.com] and new applications [apple.com] , almost anyone can make, record and distribute quality music. The RIAA is fighting for it's very existance, IMHO.

Soko

Not impressed. (4, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427148)

While I'm sure that the points he raises are valid, overall I'd say that was a really weak letter, and not something that deserves front page on Slashdot. Who are these "friends" exactly? How about some more modern examples of RIAA bullsh*t? The examples he gives are so far in the past that they are hardly relevent now. He needs a more developed argument and much more supporting evidence.

-d

Re:Not impressed. (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427215)

My question is, is the letter printed the original letter in its entirety, or has it been edited for length?

Valid points (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427149)

His points are totally valid. In the past it has been a case of the RIAA missing the boat and then swimming to catch up to it. The only way that would be possible is if the boat were stopped. The point is that I don't see much difference between the past and what is happening now. They totally missed the boat on this avenue of music distribution and are trying to stop it, pressumably to tap into it themselves. File sharing is never going to stop. And digital music is stored as files (duh, but as to draw a logic conclusion) therefore, digital music sharing is never going to stop.

One big problem though:
The Internet is a massive source of information and so any manuvers they try to do are instantly brought to light as the shady, propaganistic FUD that it is. Before they had the ability to hide in paper work. Now they don't. So they react with a stronger message.

sick of the RIAA stories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427165)

Jesus Christ, slashdot used to be about software and hardware.

Now it's overrun with douchebags whose main concern is not being served with a subpoena to talk about their various copyright violations.

Listen the fuck up tards, until the laws on intellectual property are changed, you won't be able to take shit for free that other people want you to pay for. . .pretty goddamn simple.

Re:sick of the RIAA stories (1)

em0te (807074) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427259)

Oh, thats right I forgot that digital music has ABSOLUTLY NOTHING to do with anything software. But, to point out the obvious. The Internet is a community. Slashdot is a sub-community. We talk in a community forum to address concerns about said community. And we share the concerns. Create an account and set your prefs to see stuff about hardware and software things, then you can remain ignorant the rest of your life. (whoops, oh well I already typed it)

Re:sick of the RIAA stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427342)

"you won't be able to take shit for free that other people want you to pay for"

We seem to be doing a pretty good job of it at the moment, bitch.

Re:sick of the RIAA stories (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427431)

you won't be able to take shit for free that other people want you to pay for"

So.. software companies want me to pay for really expensive photo editing software, or word processors, but I can get legal, free alternatives that are quite good.. wait, you didn't mean it like that did you?

Re:sick of the RIAA stories (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427468)

So is downloading music from "Sherman" Networks illegal!

Hang on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427193)

Well, by the same token you could claim that not clamping innocent people in irons is just inviting them to commit a crime. Even if the letter isn't the greatest comeback ever it's still a step in the right direction, namely stopping such idiots from coughing up this tripe quite so readily.

hmmm, some new slashcode: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427195)

if ( $submission{id} % 50 == 0 ) {
#&spell_check( \%submission );
&post_to_main_page( \%submission );
}

Unreadable (2, Funny)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427201)

Did anyone else find this rebuttal just rambling and boring? He didn't do a lot of rebutting, just yammering all over the map about things only tangentially related to the topic.

Re:Unreadable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427273)

Example?

Re:Unreadable (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427282)

Service quality in Wal-Mart and other retailers. What? Internet 2? Not making a clear connection here.

Re:Unreadable (1)

krem81 (578167) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427362)

I bet he has a low Slashdot user ID, though.

Re:Unreadable (4, Funny)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427379)

Did anyone else find this rebuttal just rambling and boring? He didn't do a lot of rebutting, just yammering all over the map about things only tangentially related to the topic.

Hello...he is a college professor. Did you go to college? College professors never actually say anything useful.

I am not reading the rebuttal. I just picked up a syllabus and I will show up for the exams.

Uphill Battle (5, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427208)

Here is my take on why the MPAA and RIAA will fail in trying to realize all of their draconian measures. We are headed into a sea of entertainment choices, and while the MPAA and the RIAA would like to make sailing these seas a cash cow with DMCA, it seems unlikely that will succeed. The RIAA is screaming about shrinking revenues and blames piracy. Piracy is a partial answer to why RIAA revenues are not increasing at projected rates. Actually shrinking (yet) is debatable depending on whose numbers you use. But here is a better list of reasons the RIAA is no longer getting what it thinks are its just dues:

  1. People have been use to getting free music for decades -- ever since the birth of radio.
  2. People used to feel the money paid on records was mostly in the physical process of making records and distributing them, but now they see with 10 cent CDROMS and 1/10 of a cent per Meg of disk space that playback mediums are now virtually free.
  3. A lot of people feel recorded music is all advertising. Why would you listen to an artist if you hadn't already heard the artist and why would you pay for something you've already heard?
  4. In the past people bought records they heard on the radio only because they didn't have a convenient way to record just the songs they wanted and to index, label, store, and retrieve them.
  5. In the past people didn't feel like chumps for plunking down $10 for and album and $15 for a CD, because there weren't millions of others are getting this stuff for free. Let me make the point clearer - even if the RIAA scares someone into not downloading music from the net, the willingness to pay full price will also be diminished because the tantalizing free stuff lies just a wire away.
  6. Some portion of the potential audience feels that musicians are over compensated, immoral, prima donnas that can't actually perform outside a recording studio without 100 retakes and then special post processing to improve their marginally capable voices.
  7. Some people prefer live music and think money paid for a live show is the only real compensation music artists should expect.
  8. Music artists and the RIAA are seen as hypocrites hawking anti-establishment messages and then looking for special rights, powers, and protection from the establishment to maintain their empire.
  9. Ever since the death of the 45-rpm single, people have felt coerced into buying all of the songs on a CD or album when all they wanted was a song or two.
  10. When people buy something they like to feel they actually own it and can do what ever they want with it. You can buy or subscribe to music singles again these days, but not without some flavor of DMCA. Some more draconian than others.
So ironically it is not that some huge percentage of the population is listening to bootleg music, though they probably would if the RIAA weren't fighting this loosing rear guard action, but that the cheapness of distributing music has been uncovered and become known because bootleggers exist. That Genie is not going back in the bottle -- maybe they should change their business models instead.

Re:Uphill Battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427421)

Or the perhaps the reason that the RIAA's figures are not what is expected because the quality of "artist" it's members are pushing...

Re:Uphill Battle (4, Insightful)

largenumber (870199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427440)

11. In a digital medium, music is just one big number, extremely easy to reproduce, exactly as it is, because it is a number. Before digital mediums this was not possible.

12. You cannot own a fact, not in the intellectual property sense or the physical sense of the word. You cannot own a number because it is a fact.

The intellectual property proponents are in what I like to call a fortified losing position. At one point they had a business model that was based on distribution and storage and now that model no longer works because distribution and storage have become far too easy and cheap. The whole IP discussion is ancillary to their current and future financial crisis. If they don't change their business model or manage to invade every aspect of your personal life in the name of IP (which has less to do with IP and more to do with monitoring and controlling you in ways most find offensive at best), then they will not maintain their entertainment cartel.

Downhill Battle (1)

xeno-cat (147219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427454)

You provided the perfect in to plug a group that thinks they way you do:

http://www.downhillbattle.org/ [downhillbattle.org]

In particular click the "Learn more" link and read the "Read before you leave" links.

Kind Regards

i2p will make this all moot (5, Interesting)

gremlins (588904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427218)

Just wait till everyone is using i2p [i2p.net] . Then the RIAA can't really do anything about it.

On that note I agree with the assertion this letter raises that the RIAA and similar groups are only intrested in the law when it suits them. When it doesn't they either disregard it or spend tons of money to buy our congressmen so they can have it changed.

How about saying copyrights are crap! (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427230)

Trying to treat things that can be coppied freely like property that can't is simply bullshit morality, and I think by now everybody knows it, but too many people are scared to just plain say it. Maybe they don't want to hurt peoples feelings, maybe they just don't want the social stigma of the brow beaters saying "you hate artists", maybe they're just holding out hope for a "compromise" so everybody can just get along, I don't know?

How about saying my experience is crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427296)

"Trying to treat things that can be coppied freely like property that can't is simply bullshit morality, and I think by now everybody knows it, but too many people are scared to just plain say it. Maybe they don't want to hurt peoples feelings, maybe they just don't want the social stigma of the brow beaters saying "you hate artists", maybe they're just holding out hope for a "compromise" so everybody can just get along, I don't know?"

Why don't you become an artist and find out, instead of trying to lead us to a premade conclusion?

Re:How about saying my experience is crap! (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427365)

Why don't you become an artist and find out, instead of trying to lead us to a premade conclusion?

I am an artist, and a programmer, and a musician, and a writer. Maybe not a great one, but neither is 99% of the crap out there. But I guess I just don't count unless I have the millions in backing from some mega-monopoly.

Premade? Cmon, anyone who cares enough to think about it from a perspective other than, "I wanna haphazerdly luck out on some creation and sit on my ass and collect a million bucks in royalities", is going to come to the same conclusion I did.

Clean hands... (1)

SubDude (49782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427243)

It is a principle of law that a plaintiff (RIAA/MPAA) should have clean hands when prosecuting file sharers.

The RIAA has a long and sordid history of stealing IP monetary rewards from the artists that write and perform the music.

It is sad nobody can afford to take the RIAA and their crooked members to task.

Dude

USENET (4, Informative)

HD Webdev (247266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427287)

I still don't know why people like P2P applications so much. They are begging to get busted due to them waving a 'looky here at my copyrighted files' flag publicly.

USENET is still superior: Anonymous uploading of files can be done. Downloads are usually extremely fast & won't be noticed by the RIAA or whoever else is interested. And, reviews ("virus!", "bad sample rate", "wrong file", "goatse.cx warning", etc..) of uploaded files are there to be looked at before choosing to download them.

P2P, bah. There are plenty of USENET front-ends that make finding files much easier and faster to get.

Re:USENET (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427402)

P2P, bah. There are plenty of USENET front-ends that make finding files much easier and faster to get.

25 million reasons why... Comcast HSD subscribers. Also millions more: People who don't want to deal w/USEnet (I'm one of them).

I have never had a positive experience getting anything from USEnet other than alt.sex.stories and from what limited reading I did of it in the past month it sucks worse than ever.

USEnet for files is awful even with programs to do it for you. P2P is fast, getting faster, and has TONS more material.

Re:USENET (3, Interesting)

yuriismaster (776296) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427417)

There are plenty of USENET front-ends that make finding files much easier and faster to get.

I wholeheartedly agree. Although I'm kindof limited by what hasn't expired yet, its a reliable source of high-quality and fully tagged mp3's.

For the interested:Are the two that I use. They work really well, although NewsLeecher is 15-day shareware.

Re:USENET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427463)

USENET just doesn't have a pretty interface.

When the jocks and the bimbos say "How can I get free music?" Kazaa and the like have had a simple pointy-clicky install and a little search field 'enter the name of the song'

USENET is guru-esque by comparison: most people haven't the foggiest idea what NNTP means.

Hell, how are newbies even supposed to find out where to get the good stuff?

++Article text in case of slashdotting++ (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427290)

... so forget your self-serve

I will not scan my own groceries. If stores want me to do that, then offer me a discount. I am doing work for them. How does this save them money when they still have an employee at the end of the self-scanning aisle packing the groceries? At Giant Eagle where I shop, the cashier also bags and does a lousy job at it. When they had a bagger and a cashier, the two of them talked so much I wondered if things were being handled correctly.

I really dislike grocery shopping and think the stores are run for the benefit of the employees and not the customer. I could go on and on about my grocery store complaints. I have complained to Giant Eagle, but it doesn't matter. One of my biggest gripes is how they pack the bags. And even if you use the self-scanning line, someone at the store packs your bags.

I find anymore that we have self-service and not customer service. I have stopped shopping at big department stores and instead favor specialty stores where I receive personal service. Try finding someone at Kaufmann's at lunch time to answer a question. The store has very few clerks per floor. And all they do is run the cash register.

KIMBERLEY BOYD
Zelienople

(rolls the dice and hopes the mods RTFA and have a sense of humour today...)

The point is? (2, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427293)

"reminding everyone how past/present behavior of the RIAA and its members is an even worse model of values..."

Two wrongs don't make a right.

-Erwos

Re:The point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427358)

lisa: two wrongs don't make a right, bart.
bart: dad!
homer: lisa, two wrongs make a right.

Re:The point is? (1)

e_AltF4 (247712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427432)

My English teacher once told me that two positives don't make a negative.
Two words for her: Yeah, right.

How is this guy a professor?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427310)

His rebuttal doesn't give the impression it was written by someone with high intelligence or common sense. Maybe I am confused.. Is this guy a professor at a junior college?

Re:How is this guy a professor?? (2, Funny)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427423)

You read geek news, and have never heard of CMU? Climb back under your rock.

Need More articles like This (2, Insightful)

irefay (785141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427355)

In the fight against the **AA's one or two articles will not do a whole lot when the **AA's are in the spotlight all the time "informing" the public about the evils of user controlled information. If there is a consitent outcry from regular people that are not being sued by the **AA's then mabey we would get somewere. Im not advocating the theft of software, however the **AA's are way out of line.

OXYMORON ALERT! (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427387)

"powerful leader in curbing theft of copyright materials on campus."
Does anybody else see the oxymoron-esqueness in this statement?

Profit model (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12427392)

My buddy said the music industry needs to update their profit model.

I told him they had.

I have vowed never to purchase a CD new again. Exercise my right as a capitalist and vote with my dollar.

Exactly what the RIAA companies stole from us (5, Interesting)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12427455)

The RIAA companies stole the public domain. They bribed the politicians to pass laws that indefinitely extend the copyright period on all published materials since the first third of the 20th century.
Under the legal principal that creates the authority of copyright protection, artistic materials must become part of the public domain after a set period of time. Bribing politicians to continously extend this period on materials that have reached the limit of their copyright is stealing from the public. It's like agreeing to pay a certain amount for an item only to find that the seller has doubled the price on the day that last payment is due... extending the number of payments that you have to make for another fifty years into the future.

And they haven't done this just once; they have done it repeatedly. Which establishes a pattern of confirmed criminal behavior in a court of law. And confirmed criminals don't get to decide what the laws are going to be for everyone else.

No civilized people or government should stand for this.

When we copy and freely distribute, we are reclaiming what has been stolen from us already. Reclaiming it from the people who have committed the biggest crime in artistic history; the theft of the public domain.

It must be pointed out over and over again:
The RIAA has no legal, moral, or ethical authority to call anyone criminals.

Plain and simple in any culture, at any time.
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