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Canadian Record Label Fights RIAA Lawsuits

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-gonna-take-it dept.

Music 215

An anonymous reader writes "Nettwerk Music Group, Canada's leading privately owned record label has joined the fight against the RIAA's strategy of individual lawsuits. Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride says 'Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem. Litigation is not "artist development." Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love. The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests.'"

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Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577617)

Not sure I'm understanding this one. They're going to pay the legal fees and fines for one person and they've "joined the fight"? I doubt the RIAA will have any problem taking their money. And unless they're going to do this for every American the RIAA sues, I don't see it making a dent in the effect the RIAA's terrorist tactics have.

Paying the legal expenses and fines of one Texas teen isn't joining the fight. It's a publicity stunt. If they want to join the fight, then they should use their clout and cash to take a more substantive swipe at the RIAA than just a tiny, ineffective gesture.

- Greg

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577629)

Even one person winning against the RIAA would be a good thing. Since most people cannot afford to fight them, this action is a step in the right direction.

Even Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577699)

Disassociate from the RIAA. See how well they do when your not paying their bills

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577971)

Even one person winning against the RIAA would be a good thing.

IANAL but I believe that falls under legal precedence, so once a legal decision is made regarding one case, it is applied to all subsequent cases like it.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1)

calbanese (169547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578081)

IANAL but I believe that falls under legal precedence, so once a legal decision is made regarding one case, it is applied to all subsequent cases like it.

This is incorrect. Until a decision is rendered by an appellate court for whatever district the trial (lower) court is in, other judges within that district are free to ignore, modify, adopt etc. the others ruling. Even then a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (CA) isn't bind on the 2nd Circuit. Only a Supreme Court decision is binding across the US.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (0, Offtopic)

luther349 (645380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577631)

acully it would smash there entire there doing it for the artest excuse to bits. and the artest are the real owner of the rights it would relly hurt if all there artest did this to them.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577958)

Sense, your comment makes not.

With better spelling and grammar, retry you must.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (4, Insightful)

GiantCranes (949957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577651)

Yep, that is joining the fight. It signals whos side that they are on and helps some kid at the same time.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (5, Insightful)

kraada (300650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577666)

Whenever someone stands up to say "No!" you're going to complain because they've only done it once?

This sets a precedent. Not to mention endears me to that company in particular. I may well go get a list of artists under that label and go buy something just to support them. Or send in a donation saying "Thank you."

Perhaps Nettwerk Music Group will make the same offer to anybody accused of downloading their music. Perhaps others will join in.

Also, paying the legal expenses is HUGE. Now they can get a big time lawyer, and not have to worry about how they can afford it. Lawyers are not cheap. This is why most people settle. Are you really going to pay $6000 to a lawyer to maybe win, or $5000 to the RIAA to make them go away?

But now the money is not theirs, they will fight, and I pray they will win. But either way, this was a Really Good Thing.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577771)

$6000? You MUST be joking. Defense like this would cost in the US, with just a regular "good" lawyer, $20,000-$40,000. Makes that $5,000 settlement REALLY attractive. Decent attorney here in New York is $200-400/hr. The PARALEGALS here are $120 an hour at big firms.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577882)

Fees are not really that big of a problem. If you win your case, you may be able to recover fees from the other party under 17 USC 505. But honestly, so many of these suits are open-and-shut in RIAA's favor that it wouldn't make sense for defendants to rely on that, since the defendants probably won't win.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1)

j-cloth (862412) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577911)

Not to mention endears me to that company in particular. I may well go get a list of artists under that label and go buy something just to support them. Or send in a donation saying "Thank you."
Nettwerk is Sarah McLachlan's label (I think she started it). Barenaked ladies are there too. Too bad their website [nettwerk.com] sucks and starts playing music right away.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (3, Funny)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578323)

Not to mention they offer MP3 downloads on their Web site. How long will it be till RIAA sues them for putting copyrighted content in a shared folder??

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1)

colin_young (902826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578452)

IIRC they are the people that discovered her in Atlantic Canada. They had the best Canadian alternative music (when alternative still meant something) in the late 80s early 90s (and may still today, but since I'm in the US now, I don't get to here much if any of their stuff).

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578160)

List of artists under Nettwerk: http://www.nettwerk.com/artistlisting.jsp [nettwerk.com]

Personal favorite: State Radio [nettwerk.com]

There are some other really good ones on there, too: Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent, Guster, and Six Pence None The Richer to name a few.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (5, Insightful)

Master Ben (811962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577675)

Publicity Stunt? No question and thats the idea. It gets publicity to the fact that not everyone in the industry agrees with the RIAA. And even though paying for one person isn't a big deal to the RIAA, the reasons behind it is to the rest of the people.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (4, Insightful)

chrisv (12054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577680)

They're going to pay the legal fees and fines for one person and they've "joined the fight"?

They could very well be testing the water, you know. Not many of the families being sued (sorry, extorted) by the RIAA have the resources backing them to even make it possible to stand up to them without going bankrupt in the process, even if they win. Make the RIAA start losing, you start setting precedent. Start setting precedent, the cases start getting thrown out before there is a trial because there's not anything left to back them up. If you can make them start losing, then it doesn't take a lot to end the whole thing; but it takes someone willing and able to stand up and fight back. Publicity stunt? Certainly. Exactly what's needed? Definately.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (1)

Strixy (753449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578329)

You just made me wonder why the RIAA hasn't targeted any high profile corporate law types. You know, the kind who have the time, money and friends to be a serious opponent.

Kind of like the winners of the super bowl bullying a Jr. High School football team.

This case isn't the point! (5, Insightful)

SMS_Design (879582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577682)

Absolutely. The thing is, nobody has really stood up with a solid legal argument as of yet. The only real legal arguments used against RIAA cases has been "It wasn't me, it was my son" or other weak crap like that. These may work for the individual cases, but they don't really put a dent in the RIAA's case. If Nettwerk does this, they're going to do this with a big lawyer and they are going to battle the issues at the root of the argument. If there is a legal precedent set in court, it will do a lot more damage to the RIAA's campaign against it's own users. In law, precedent is the big battle.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (4, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577692)

If they want to join the fight, then they should use their clout and cash to take a more substantive swipe at the RIAA than just a tiny, ineffective gesture.

Although they have some GREAT artists signed (Delirium, Guster, BT, Paul van Dyk, and of course their "superstars" BNL and Sarah McLachlan), most of whom have a good understanding of technology and its role in music in the modern world... Nettwerk really doesn't have that much sway in the industry overall.

You can almost think of it more as an artist collective than a real "label".

As for helping just one out of thousands of victims of the RIAA's SLAPP tactics.. Yes, I agree this counts as little more than a PR stunt. But not a self-promoting PR stunt; rather, it attempts to show that "the music industry" doesn't exist as a uniformly-evil and luddite monolithic entity. It shouts the message "go ahead and boycott Sony, but you can still buy new music without selling your soul to Rosen (Somehow, "Mitch Bainwol" doesn't have the same love-to-hate-him feel as Hilary Rosen...).

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (5, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577704)

The true damage done to the RIAA in this isn't that someone is standing up to them, it's that a record label is standing up to them and saying "You are not representing the best interests of the Artists.".
This is a major broadside to the spin and misdirection campaign they have going (i.e. We sue sharers because they hurt the artists! We act for the artists! We're being the good guy fighting evil!). Now, one of "the fold" has stood out, and actually declared "You are stating you represent us, but in fact, you're acting way out of line and going contrary to our real wishes.".
The crux being, this record label is an agent for an artist mentioned in a case by the RIAA, and yet both the label and the artist are explicit in not wanting the RIAA to go ahead with the action. The RIAA are doing so. Thus they lose the moral high ground they've been claiming so long to the general public, and showing themselves blatantly to NOT be following the wishes of the artists AND their own members. Which really cuts out a fair portion of their reason for being.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (3, Insightful)

kocsonya (141716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577728)

> Paying the legal expenses and fines of one Texas teen isn't joining the fight. It's a publicity
> stunt. If they want to join the fight, then they should use their clout and cash to take a more
> substantive swipe at the RIAA than just a tiny, ineffective gesture.

It is a very big step. RIAA suing a kid is not newsworthy. A Canadian company standing up against
an American organisation to protect an American kid *is* news. Copyright law will not be fixed until
the masses realise how bad the situation is and they start to make noise. Then the politicians realise
that fighting **AA means popularity that means votes. There are always lobby groups who
will grease your palm but you have to be there in the first place and you need voters for that.
The only issue important to a carreer politician is the one that directly affects the votes.

Whether the Canadian company wants to get the "do no evil" image or wants to piss off the RIAA just for fun or
they happen to believe that a fairer copyright system means a less monopolised but more lucrative and dynamic
business environment (for the smaller publishers) is not important. Whatever the reason they stood up against the RIAA,
they did and it's going to be a lot harder to the RIAA to mow them down than a 12 year old kid or a grandma.
While they fight, a lot of people will get enlightened about copyright and that is a Very Good Thing.

Re:Oh, fer cryin' out loud (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577826)

Yes, this ONE event allows them to 'enter the fight.' Assuming, based on your comment, you have zero understanding of legal decisions, I will try to give you an idea of why this specific instance was necessary for this company to enter the fight.

The RIAA is suing person X because person X downloaded songs owned by the RIAA AND by company Y. So, the RIAA is taking unauthorized legal action on behalf of company Y, without the permission of company Y. Company Y feels this is NOT the direction it wants to take with unauthorized downloading and is thus suing the RIAA and also agreeing to pay for person X's legal defenses in the fight against the RIAA.

The court system can only make decisions in existing disputes.. so until there's a proper existing dispute, company Y cannot really get involved.

So yes, company Y is definitely now involved in the 'fight' against the RIAA's heavy-handed legal tactics... Tactics which company Y (and most likely many other smaller labels) do NOT approve.

Satan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577622)

Did I just see Satan go to his work on a snowscooter?

Re: Satan? (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577786)

> Did I just see Satan go to his work on a snowscooter?

Yeah, but only because he needs to make a winter trip to Canada to straighten these people out.

Re:Satan? (0)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578206)

Well, this is a Canadian label...

Why'd...... (5, Funny)

christian.elliott (892060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577625)

they have to go and make things so Complicated?

mnb Re:Why'd...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577650)

Avril Lavigne, while Canadian, is on Arista, not Nettwork.

Re:mnb Re:Why'd...... (2, Insightful)

christian.elliott (892060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577696)

Nettwerk is Avril's management company. Therefore they are looking out for her interests individually.

OH CANADA (2, Interesting)

creepynut (933825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577628)

I have to admit, I was becoming skeptical of this country this week when the Conservative party won the federal election. But this, this is what gives me back some faith in my country.

OH CANADA!

Re:OH CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577776)

And vive le Quebec libre.

Re:OH CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577933)

I wish Quebec would leave the country and STFU.

Re:OH CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578090)

How are things out in Alberta?

Skinny Puppy (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577803)

Isnt this Skinny Puppy's label? If it doesn't work out for them, they can always throw
bloody animal organs at the RIAA (a la the Vivisect tour).

Re:Skinny Puppy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577877)

Isnt this Skinny Puppy's label?

/me looks at his Puppy CDs...

Yep, Nettwerk is Skinny Puppy's label. Nice. For once, I'm happy that a record label got some of my money.

If it doesn't work out for them, they can always throw bloody animal organs at the RIAA (a la the Vivisect tour).

Didn't they get arrested on that tour? I don't think they'd go with your plan, having learned the lesson that people can be a bit touchy when it comes to throwing around bloody organs...

Re:OH CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577804)

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

Re:OH CANADA (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577824)

"...[T]his is what gives me back some faith in my country."

Don't get too ahead of yourself. They're only doing this as a way of apologising for giving us Sara McLaughlin.

Re:OH CANADA (2, Funny)

RobinH (124750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578320)

Apologies are not in order for Sara. Apologies are in order for Celine. We really appreciate you taking the fall on that one. Las Vegas can keep her. :)

Re:OH CANADA (3, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577866)

The liberals were completely impotent with 20 more seats and support from the NDP.

The conservatives are in for hell. They can't really form an alliance with any party, and they don't have the position to protect themselves or to maintain legislation which only the conservatives want to push through.

Impotent? Useless? This to me represents the best of all possible worlds with regards to the Conservative Party of Canada in power, or indeed any party.

Re:OH CANADA (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577920)

Impotent? Useless? This to me represents the best of all possible worlds with regards to the Conservative Party of Canada in power, or indeed any party. Right on - eh!

publicity stunt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577647)

This sounds like a publicity stunt. They don't really "joint the fight". They want you to buy their artists' music while hoping the RIAA will stop the pirats for them.

Meanwhile, in the UK.... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577668)

The British Phonographic Industry win a court case [bbc.co.uk] against two file sharers, with Judges handing down interim damages of £1,500 and £5,000 with costs and further full damages to be determined at a later hearing.

Re:Meanwhile, in the UK.... (4, Funny)

rogerramrod (947312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577709)

I read that as "The British Pornographic Industry".

Re:Meanwhile, in the UK.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577748)

Oh man, you don't want to get sued by the British Porngraphic Industry. You have no idea what'll happen to you if you lose!

Re:Meanwhile, in the UK.... (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578040)

I didnt realize my mistake till I read your post **grabs more coffee**

Re:Meanwhile, in the UK.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577867)

a few filesharers get a fine like that out of hundreds of thousands who file shre? Oh yeah, that's going to stop people filesharing!!

Self-promotion (5, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577669)

The link in the Slashdot summary goes to someone's blog (yeah, I wonder who "anonymously" submitted it). Here is the actual news item... err, press release... [marketwire.com] (as linked to from that blog).

But it's nice to see that yet another company is telling off the RIAA.

Re:Self-promotion (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577694)

It's not just anybody's blog, there, buddy. Geist is probably Canada's leading intellectual property expert and is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He's our Larry Lessig.

So (as we say in Canada), take off, eh!

Re:Self-promotion (4, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577701)

The link in the Slashdot summary goes to someone's blog

I don't know if Michael Geist submitted the link, but he's actually a pretty well known columnist and copyright activist. You should check out michaelgeist.com [michaelgeist.com] for some interesting reading.

Lately there has been a lot about the Canadian election and the brouhaha over the CRIA (the Canadian RIAA) and friends supporting a candidate who was the author of a pro-business copyright bill, but generally it's a pretty interesting blog. And who knows, he may even have contributed to the electoral loss of that candidate, the minister who sponsored the bill, and the government who brought it in.

Re:Self-promotion (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577761)

There is no point in linking to the blog instead of the article unless the blog offers additional insights, regardless of Geist's expertise.

Re:Self-promotion (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578036)

It does, now. Perhaps the anonymous submitter trusted Geist's reputation enough to predict that? (No, I'm not serious.) But realistically, there's a lot on that page besides the link to the press release.

Re:Self-promotion (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578177)

An expansion on the brouhaha...

Sarmite Bulte, a Liberal Party Canidate was defeated in her riding in this mondays' election, possibly in part due to the media (i belive) started by Jack Kapica's column in the Globe and Mail (link [theglobeandmail.com] ... actual article about this issue here [globetechnology.com] ).

In short, she was previously the Canadian Heritage minister, and she was being wined and dined and donated to by the media industry, and advocating copyright reform that would allow DMCA style C&Ds. She was replaced with an NDP canidate, which made me pretty happy.

does nto matter, site slashdotted already. (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577815)

within a few comments the site went blank. Now I got this mabo warning that I should have to warn the site's admin. Serves him right for not switching to Joomla!

Re:Self-promotion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577854)

My bad. I'm the anonymous coward (who will stay anonymous). I subscribe to the blog's feed and wanted to post quickly.

SueTunes downloads (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577670)

Greubel is accused of having 600 suspected music files on the family computer. The RIAA is targeting nine specific songs, including "Sk8er Boi" by Arista artist Avril Lavigne, a Nettwerk management client. The RIAA has demanded Greubel pay a $9,000 stipulated judgment as a penalty, though it will accept $4,500 should Greubel pay the amount within a specific period of time.

Hmmm....$9000 / 600 = $15 per song! and $4500 / 60 = $7.50 per song if you act now!
I see how this new price model works.

Re:SueTunes downloads (0, Redundant)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577687)

This is very funny indeed. You are an awesome wit !

Re:SueTunes downloads (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577746)

thanks but I wrote 60 instead of 600 for the second equation...lol

Re:SueTunes downloads (2, Interesting)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577688)

I agree that illegally copied music is, well, illegal. Shouldn't there be a warning, though, so that the individual being sued has the opportunity to legally purchase the songs in question? 600 songs = $600US on iTunes, more or less.

Re:SueTunes downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577791)

Gee, why am I thinking back to something on slashdot from earlier this week...

Oh, yeah, there is no evidence that she illegally copied any of the songs in question, just a list of shared files -- which has already been ruled to not be in violation. Oops, I forgot, I'm American and I am not supposed to remember what happened yesterday unless the President wishes to distort it...

Re:SueTunes downloads (1)

soab (55718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577929)

Claiming ignorance can only go so far until there is undeniable mens rea. By no means can a person steal a car, and when caught claim they "didn't know it was illegal" and consequently offer to pay $2500 for the stolen '97 Tempo.

Re:SueTunes downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578387)

Copyright infringement isn't stealing, and is not a felony (at least not the type performed by the person in question). The person stealing the car can go to jail, that dude is in no danger of doing so.

Re:SueTunes downloads (1)

eltonito (910528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577977)

Greubel is accused of having 600 suspected music files on the family computer.

Clearly those files are up to no good. I hate to brag, but I've suspected them all along!

Amazing... (1)

inajamaica (906275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577683)

"The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests." Well imagine that, attempting to take the actual musicians & artists into consideration! Now there's a concept!!! I do believe that's one of the 1st times I've read any statement like that. Shame on the record industry.

What I don't understand is (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577685)

If piracy is still rampant on P2P networks, and music sales are still down... doesn't that mean that more people are not buying the music that they claim on slashdot and elsewhere that they'd buy to support the band? What is going on with this? If most of the new music is so shitty you cannot buy a CD online for $12-$15 (sorry, most of the time claiming you're forced to pay $20 is bullshit with the internet) then why is piracy still rampant?

Unless... few P2P defenders want to admit that they really have no interest in paying for music that they could otherwise get for free. Look, I despise the RIAA as much as the next guy, but if you're downloading the music of a small band, you're not supporting them. No one will notice that and think "hey this is the next great band" except for maybe the hated RIAA's lawyers if they see a spike in P2P traffic. One of my all time favorite bands, Lacuna Coil, has only combined sold a few hundred thousand copies of their albums, most of which came from Ozzfest 2004, and I fail to see how downloading all of Comalies and their new Karmacode album would help them if I cannot see their shows.

Now that I am out of college, I find myself no longer able to support P2P networks used for this purpose. It's a great file sharing approach that's often spoiled by teens and young adults who do have the money to pay for their music, but won't. The turning point came for me when I saw a few poor metalheads non-chalantly paying $17-$20 at Ozzfest for Comalies, then noticed some of my almost upper class friends in CS had no desire to actually buy Comalies, even though they loved every song on the album.

For every 1 honest P2P user, there are probably 10 who aren't. Don't ever forget that the boom in CD sales with Napster in 1998-2000 corresponded to the dotcom bubble!

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577719)

A fucking men.

I can't stand this freeloader approach. They try all sorts of rhetoric to justify copyright infringement as morally acceptable...like "Well, record labels only pay their artists 10% so I want to hurt the labels" (of course, sweet FA is much better than 10%, isn't it, you stingy cunt) or "helping artists" (what, by not paying for music they've put up for sale?)

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577731)

Oh yeah, and let's not forget "All the music today is shitty, so I download it and listen to it instead of buying it." (In what fucked up universe would that make any sense?)

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577945)

Oh yeah, and let's not forget "All the music today is shitty, so I download it and listen to it instead of buying it."

Most of today's music is shitty, so I don't listen to it. That translates directly into not buying it either. I have yet to hear shitty music as an excuse for downloading it, though. I have heard it used extensively as reason for not listening to it.

Modern "music" is so loaded with complete crap that I haven't listened to the radio regularly for about 5 years now. I may have spent as much as 2 hours total listening to the radio in that time. I just can't stand the complete tone deafness that passes for singing, and the lyrics that require a person to have not progressed past the 5th grade to enjoy. This has always been an issue with popular music, but it has dramatically degraded over time.

It's not that there aren't some people who say stupid things to justify copyright infringement, but I think you are taking stories like mine and painting a large part of the populace with a somewhat mangled shade of them.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578447)

I'm not saying everyone should be forced to listen to music they dislike. Just that people who use supposed "shitness" of modern music as an excuse for whoring it from P2P are dicks.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577984)

I have thousands of CD that I've purchased over the past 15 or more years. As far as I'm concerned, I've done more than my "fair share" of supporting the artists that I like.

If I download music, it's to check it out first. If I like, I buy. If not, I don't waste my money. And usually I go by artist than individual songs. If I really like an artist, I will buy most of that artist's productions "sight unseen".

But these days, I simply hang out at Internet Radio Stations and do streaming. Better that way, and I get endless variety. And I did make a few purchases of the artists I really like from that as well.

The answer is to not beat up on music fans, but for artists to produce better and more original music. Artists should also consider ways of cutting out the middle man and go to the fans directly. Today the Internet makes this all possible, which probably has the RIAA running scared. Soon, they will not be able to justify their existence! They will be iPodded to death!

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577720)

Thank you for your opinion. Well put...

I'm extremely glad to see Netwerk stand up for their opinions against the RIAA. I believe that the RIAA is mis-focused, but I also believe that the RIAA's inability to get a grip on the current evolution of the music industry is not an excuse for taking music for which one hasn't paid.

If one wishes to get free music, there's a great way to do it: Lend a hand to a local band, do some tech work, spread the word about the good ones - point to a place where the band can sell their stuff to make some cash, be a fan and an advocate. Often, bands love to get technical or promotional help and would gladly throw someone a free disk or some free downloads.

Re: What I don't understand is (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577799)

> If piracy is still rampant on P2P networks, and music sales are still down... doesn't that mean that more people are not buying the music that they claim on slashdot and elsewhere that they'd buy to support the band?

Possibly there are other people who don't make that claim on Slashdot.

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577834)

I have rarely seen the music of independent bands on P2P networks, except in instances where the band put it there. I have seen independent bands make their music available for free, numerous times (www.garageband.com).



For every 1 honest P2P user, there are probably 10 who aren't. Don't ever forget that the boom in CD sales with Napster in 1998-2000 corresponded to the dotcom bubble!



Don't ever forget that the decline of CD sales corresponded with the end of the dot-com bubble; God forbid the RIAA should face the same business realities as everybody else.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577885)

There is a very well hidden non sequitur on your argument. The fact that piracy is increasing doesn't mean that more people are listenning to music. Piracy was almost nonexistent a few years ago, it can (proportionaly) increase a lot and not reach the same amount of people that used to buy CDs.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578449)

You're kidding, right? About claiming that piracy didn't exist a few years ago?

You think people were't sharing music a few years ago? Recording songs from radio broadcasts? Ripping music from CDs? I would guess you are probably about 13 years old. This kind of thing has been going on at leastsince I was a small child, and that was over 20 years ago in the age of magnetic tape and "push-play-and-record". The fact is in this day and age, the RIAA has successfully demonized the sharing of music without their say-so. If by doing that, more people are taking steps to avoid them, I'd probably buy that. And I'd buy that the act of music sharing being labeled "piracy" is a recent phenomenon. But to say that music sharing was nonexistant "a few years ago" is incorrect.

And .. Lacuna Coil rocks.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577898)

If piracy is still rampant on P2P networks, and music sales are still down... doesn't that mean that more people are not buying the music that they claim on slashdot and elsewhere that they'd buy to support the band? What is going on with this? If most of the new music is so shitty you cannot buy a CD online for $12-$15 (sorry, most of the time claiming you're forced to pay $20 is bullshit with the internet) then why is piracy still rampant?

I'm not downloading music off of p2p networks, but I'm not buying music either. Every time I see an album I like, I just think of the actions of the RIAA, and decide not to.

My MP3 player at the moment is filled with music by family and freinds, and other people who actually want me to listen to their music. It makes me ethically correct, it makes the producers of the content I do listen to feel good, and to be honest, a lot of the stuff I'm listening to is really great stuff.

I'm not a slave to the RIAA. They needn't exist, they shouldn't exist, and I shall treat them like they don't exist with my pocketbook and my ears.

Re:What I don't understand is (2, Insightful)

DMNT (754837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577936)

What you don't understand is the fact, that the price is not everything. People don't use p2p only because it's cheaper. They use it because they get much better service. Remember the times when people warned other people from using p2p because of the possible virus infections? Now you have to be careful when buying records!

What record companies and RIAA don't get, is the quality of the service together with the available selection. Want yesterdays good music? Don't waste your time going to a music store, someone in the internet has it, and is willing to share.

For some reason, expensive restaurants still exist even though you can grow your own food and/or hunt, no (big) money spent there. So the competition with the free supply of food hasn't killed off restaurants.

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578007)

"Don't ever forget that the boom in CD sales with Napster in 1998-2000 corresponded to the dotcom bubble!"

Don't ever forget that the slump in CD sales corresponded to the downturn of the market and the spike in unemployment!

lower sales have nothing to do with p2p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578062)

And everything to do with competition by other media, like videogames and dvds, and people being BROKE AS HELL.

"Sales are down because of p2p" is totally spurious and has no factual data to back it up. Meanwhile, people's budgets are stretched thin due to rising costs and lower pay. Unemployment/Joblessness is also very high.

Meanwhile, you can get a dvd of a movie for less then the cost of the soundtrack on CD. With the current pricing structure its no wonder CD sales are decreasing.

Re:What I don't understand is (1)

1800myopinion (934962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578127)

ever herd of economy of scale when production and/or distribution prices go down so should the end user price would you not agree that the average price of a cd must be at least (fro the physical media ) be a dozen times cheaper to get from the artist to the listener .I am not saying that it is everything but there would be no cd no case no nice printed material no store hell why not a hundred times cheaper (p2p is practically free)and the average downloader consumes ten times the amount of music as someone who strictly buys cds .I am not saying that this type of demand would insure (artists getting paid) even if songs were many times less expensive .althoe i do think it is possible. the point ? the point, its not absolutly shure that the prices not reflecting the change in economy of scale is affecting whether people buy ,but the fact that p2p users have become their own distributors and manufacturers suggests a possibility that it may be economics that are at stake not the morality of your friends.

Re:What I don't understand is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578131)

I shall attempt to explain it, Mr. RIAA shill.

If piracy is still rampant on P2P networks, and music sales are still down... doesn't that mean that more people are not buying the music that they claim on slashdot and elsewhere that they'd buy to support the band?

You are making a huge, unwarranted, and false assumption that P2P is the cause of the slump in record sales.

FALSE. The labels have been producing LESS music, why is it any wonder they're selling less? If GM cuts its auto production in half, you would blame car thieves for their "loss" right?

It has been shown by every study except the one that your client, the RIAA, bankrolled that people who share music files buy (I repeat, buy) more music than those who don't share music.

The RIAA's sales figures are only for RIAA labels. The file sharers (and everyone else) are buying more indie music than RIAA music. It's only your RIAA's figures that are down, not all music sales.

Finally, there has been an organized boycott of the RIAA labels since the original Napster went down. I notice the RIAA doesn't even mention the boycott, let alone admit that perhaps your own actions (accusing your customers of being dishionest and suing them) is to blame for most of the slump.

Look at the timeline. Napster starts, the established (RIAA) music industry is doing great. RIAA discovers Napster, sues, and sales drop.

The rain doesn't make the ground dry, Mr. Shill. Your clients caused their own problems.

Meanwhile, my indie musician friends use P2P to get the word out about their music, since your clients have radio and empty-v locked up tight and have effectively killed internet radio.

(frocks? wtf? no mrc!)

Re:What I don't understand is (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578143)

Unless... few P2P defenders want to admit that they really have no interest in paying for music that they could otherwise get for free.

Quite a lot of it, they don't. Say I download 100 albums and buy 3 of them. That's still a net gain for the record industry, because had I not been able to download anything, that money would have gone on a graphics card instead.

Look, I despise the RIAA as much as the next guy, but if you're downloading the music of a small band, you're not supporting them. No one will notice that and think "hey this is the next great band" except for maybe the hated RIAA's lawyers if they see a spike in P2P traffic.

Maybe not directly. But they will tell friends, raise the band's last.fm visibility (which is how I discovered Lacuna Coil, so that's almost certainly one more customer from rampant piracy), and some of them will buy the songs. Maybe only a small proportion, but a few percent of lots of pirate downloads is still more than 100% of no sales.

Don't ever forget that the boom in CD sales with Napster in 1998-2000 corresponded to the dotcom bubble!

Huh? So successes of websites lead to more CD sales?

An evil but alternative way to fight the RIAA (4, Interesting)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577749)

Create a virus that installs a P2P client/server on each machine, and then randomly downloads and shares songs on the major P2P networks. Later, when they RIAA files a suit against a user, they can claim that it wasn't them, but the evil virus that shared these songs. Not only is it not the user's fault, but it's Microsoft's, as the unintentional sharing would have never happened without the security flaws! Proverbial stone of dual avian slaying +2

Evil Twin? (5, Funny)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577773)

Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride says 'Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem.

Has Slashdot found Darl's good twin???

Ouch ! (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577781)

a McBride who doesn't like to sue people !

I think he is probably not from the same family than the other ones...

Just when you started thinking about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577783)

A real change of pace... (3, Funny)

NewToNix (668737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577789)

To see someone named McBride do something good.

Maybe Darl could learn from this... well probably not.

I LOVE Nettwerk! (4, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577793)

I think what they're doing is commendable, and we all have to start somewhere. Nettwerk is home to many great artists, and Nettwerk has been very generous with their works, people and bands like my favorites, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Dido, Chantal Kreviazuk, and many more. I've gotten lots of free Sarah McLachlan stuff over the 15 years I've been a fan, so my loyalty toward her and Nettwerk is pretty well cemented in stone. They've always been an independent label who have not exactly toed the RIAA party line.

Why RIAA? (3, Interesting)

jozi (908206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577825)

Ok I admit I am not very well read up on what the RIAA actually does and maybe this is the wrong place to ask this question, but what does an individual record company gain from being a RIAA member?
All I ever hear about RIAA involves lawsuits and similar activities. Do they actually provide anything to the individual record companies besides being a common lobby organization?

Re:Why RIAA? (4, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577842)

Yes - a free jar of vasaline with every contract signed...

Re:Why RIAA? (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578088)

Maybe to get their songs played on the radio in the USA?

Or because the RIAA also goes after "real" pirates once in a while (the guys selling copied CD's from their trunk and such).

Re:Why RIAA? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578367)

Well, one of the things they do is protect the copyrights of their members in areas where a collective approach is probably a better thing. For example, there's this "P2P piracy" epidemic at the moment, comprising of large numbers of people running programs that take rips of music from CDs and make them available to anyone on the network, without the need to pay royalties.

These networks do not focus on music from one particular publisher, but a great many, the vast majority (if not all) the RIAA members, for instance. So it makes little sense for each publisher in turn to sue each of the network user/operators one by one. (ie Universal look for someone distributing a Universal song and suing them, then Sony looking for someone distributing a Sony song and suing them, etc.) Instead, the RIAA can cut the costs of the process, while still acting as a deterent, by suing on behalf of all of its members.

This is great news.... (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577827)

...because if the Canadians can secure their borders [kirotv.com] I'm sure that their newly elected government will step in with appropriate effective legislation that will take down the Evil Empire that is the RIAA.

I'll belive it when I see it.
At least this label is a hero (at least at face value):
Nettwerk Music Group has agreed to pay the total expense of all legal fees as well as any fines should the family lose the case against the RIAA.
Given that these guys are the label for BareNaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Gob, and a bunch of other Canadians, they at least have some money to back it up.
I guess they way I look at it is this - if they back up a few lawsuits and win, a victory against the RIAA makes them Good(tm). If they lose, say two, cases against some child's grandparents because "Suzie" or "Johnny" downloaded the latest pop rock abomination then at least there won't be a label fronting Avril L. anymore, making them Good(tm).

Finally!!! (1)

TheZorch (925979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577904)

It is about time one of the record labels stood up and realized that what the RIAA is doing isn't protecting copyrights at all but is slowly eroding the music industry out from under them.

Recently on Slashdot an article said the P2P sharing was still going strong. I'm not really all that surprised because when a group of people finds themselves underseige for some reason it doesn't usually make them stop what they are doing. Just ask the people who live in the Isreali West Bank!

Anyway, suing individual music fans isn't going to make the problem go away, but it is going to hurt the music business. There is evidence right now that suggests that its already hurting the industry, but the RIAA refuse to link their weak sales with their own legal activities. They want to blame their customers. The RIAA is right now in a state of denial, and when they finally wake up they'll discover that its too late to fix things. The music industry will never go away, but after all this crap is finally over it will not be the same as it once was. The music industry will be completely different.

I've got some answers for him. (3, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577928)

one of the most unfortunate side effects of file sharing as a meaningful debate on the future of music in Canada as well as the best path for copyright reform is lost amid the cries of sharing, stealing, and private copying. We need a real discussion of music in Canada that goes beyond file sharing to include private copying, fair use, the limits on the use of DRM, the transparency of collectives, canadian content requirements in the Internet era, and support for the artists.

The pigopolists have been loud, but the rest of us are quietly not using our wallets. Perpetual copyrights and DRM are out of bounds and no one is going to support them.

It's very simple, really, people want their freedom. If you don't want me to share the music you publish, I don't want to buy it. I won't go for technological restrictions either. I'm not giving my money to people who would make sharing a crime. Music is supposed to be shared and it's supposed to be unifying.

It makes me feel good... (2, Interesting)

malraid (592373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577985)

...that the last CD I bought was a Nettwerk CD (Chimera by Delerium). It also seems it's one of the few labels that still pumps out interesting music. And yes, I downloaded three Delerium albums, two of which I bought eventually, and last one will probably buy very soon.

Oh, look. Reporting Companies of the RIAA... (2, Interesting)

Humorless Coward. (862619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578070)

from
http://www.riaa.com/about/members/default.asp>

Both Nettwork Records and their US/international
distributor, BMG/Arista Records (well, all divisions
of BMG, I figure), are reporting members of the RIAA.

So, what are the ramifications of a portion of the RIAA
suing itself? Maybe it's somewhat like the RIAA isn't really
polling its members to obtain their views, so that it can
accurately reflect and represent them?

Pondersome.

I always liked Nettwerk. (4, Interesting)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578139)

Any label that had room for both Sarah MacLachlan and Skinny Puppy has to be at least kind of interesting.

Nettwerk (2, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578141)

Uses DRM schemes on their CD's. A Delerium CD was one of the few CD's I could not actually rip in Windows (riped beautifully in iTunes for Mac though). Perhaps Nettwerk feels a little more secure in their ability to prevent unwanted distribution, but they are right up their with the RIAA in terms of limiting individual rights when it comes to how a person wants to listen to the music they purchased. Good to know that they won't resort to suing customers for breaking DRM schemes.

Re:Nettwerk (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578263)

Careful about this. The US release of Sarah McLachlan was Sony-fied. The Netwerk Canadian release is not, and you can purchase MP3's off their web site.

Double check the DRM'd album and see if it's US distributed by another RIAA group member.
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