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RIAA Recommends Students Drop out of College

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the always-has-your-best-interests-at-heart dept.

869

boarder8925 writes "An MIT student accused of copyright infringement has been documenting her struggles with the RIAA. Upon trying to negotiate her settlement, a representative told her that "the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements.""

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No comments, already /. 'ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066777)

You'd think MIT would hold up better, honestly.

-Shawn

Just in case, article text (4, Informative)

Geldon (444090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066866)

Here's TFA (in case of an unlikely slashdotting):

Run Over by the RIAA Don...t Tap the Glass
By Cassi Hunt

Either since the day I visited my first aquarium or the day Goldie came into my family's life, our parents have told us not to tap the glass of the fish tank. It's cruel to Goldie -- I understand and respect that. I mean, heck, I am a vegetarian. But would we have many qualms over a little water perturbation if Goldie were, say, a bloodthirsty shark? I'd knock on that glass to the near-cracking point. And in that spirit, I decided to call up my new friend at the RIAA negotiation hotline again. (Hereafter I'll refer to her as Bowie, which means "yellow haired," as I'm pretty sure that's the case.)

Last time I spoke with Bowie, the conversation was pretty much over after she named $3750 as the settlement amount. (I haven't actually agreed to settle yet.) So when I called her again, I asked -- again -- about how to negotiate that amount. I counted on the fact that self-important types wouldn't be inclined to remember a lowly pirate like me. Bowie didn't disappoint. She launched into her spiel about how the RIAA doesn't negotiate settlements. I told her that it was too much to ask for thousands of dollars from a college student who only makes just enough from term and summer employment to still come out a couple thousand in debt.

Bowie replied that the RIAA was oh-so-kind enough to offer a six month repayment plan. At this point, I was beginning to speculate on Bowie's hair color, and decided to switch tactics. I concisely and calmly explained how the situation was ridiculous: they weren't offering a settlement, they were issuing an ultimatum! Let us screw you over gently now, or with chains and whips in court. Surely there must be some flexibility for individual cases.

Well, she replied, they do make allowances if something like a medical emergency comes up. Now we're getting somewhere. "And who would I talk to about a situation like that, because I'd like to talk to them now."

"Me," she replied. Ever feel like your nose has just been flattened by something large and solid? I mean, besides the doors at 77 Mass. Ave. "But you're not in a situation like that."

Oh, but I am. The Institvte has left me with severe bouts of p-set-induced insomnia and a case of stuck-to-desk-itis that recurs two to three times in a semester, then again just before break. And my wallet certainly takes a hit for it.

But as much as I tried to argue that I was in as unique a situation as someone with medical expenses, there was no getting through. Bowie even had the audacity to say, "In fact, the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements."

Are. You. Shitting. Me.

There you have it, fellow Techsters: proof of the fantastic levels of absurdity to which the RIAA attack has sunk. The Recording Industry of America would rather see America's youth deprived of higher education, forever marring their ability to contribute personally and financially to society -- including the arts -- so that they may crucify us as examples to our peers. To say nothing of wrecking our lives in the process. I finally understand what the RIAA meant when they told me "stealing music is not a victimless crime" -- the victims hang for all to see.

Please, RIAA -- if any competent representative happens to enjoy flipping through The Tech -- please tell me Bowie is a moronic tool who can't help what the Superior Gray Coverage Golden Blonde hair dye does to her mental facilities. Please tell me you actually care about the futures of the age demographic that buys most of your music (http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/pdf/2004co nsumerprofile.pdf [riaa.com] ). Your evil pirates are people too, people who enjoy music and almost always still purchase it legitimately. Each has an individual life and circumstances that deserve consideration, if not for the sake of empathy for your fellow man, then for the sake of business sense.

Sure, if you commit a crime against someone, you should be held accountable. But I find it horrifying that anyone would single-mindedly and without compassion process people like a meat grinder set to purée. So while the RIAA continues to play the part of shark, I'll continue to stand behind the glass, tapping away, wondering which of us is on display.

Get a lawyer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066963)

for fucks sake! They are happily railroading her.

MIT to community college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066779)

They can't be serious.

Re:MIT to community college? (2, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066880)

Why not? An MIT kid would DOMINATE over there.

Reminds me of a friend who was born in Spain and took Spanish in high school. His halfwit teacher could't figure out how a guy with a last name of Perez could score near 100% on every test.

Re:MIT to community college? (0, Troll)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066993)

Actually, if she had the grades and the money to get into M.I.T. , she should have had enough 'smarts' to not do what she did.

Think of this as intellectual Darwinism at it's finest. If she had no clue about pirating , she is NOT
M.I.T. material.

Re:MIT to community college? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067043)

Actually I don't think making copies of songs should bankrupt anyone. There are some many problems with equating copyright infringment with theft I can't see how any reasonable person would try to do so.

Does anyone else see a problem where a country punishes people more for copyright infringment than murder?

Perfect... (5, Funny)

InVinoVeritas (781151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066780)

Drop out of school so you can afford the settlement offer, which will severely hinder your earning potential, causing you to pirate more material because you can't afford it... lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:Perfect... (5, Insightful)

CPT Carl (222361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066985)

I'm surprised the RIAA hasn't tried to re-introduce the concept debtor's prisions. That seems to be the timeframe they think they're operating in...

Re:Perfect... (5, Funny)

jozi (908206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067029)

"lather, rinse, repeat."

I finally figured out the mystery why programmers always use the entire bottle of conditioner when taking a shower... Thank you!

Re:Perfect... (1)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067042)

It's funny because it's true.

Re:Perfect... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067047)

causing you to pirate more material because you can't afford it

Why is pirating allowed if you cannot afford it? i learned that if you cannot afford it, you don't get it. Fricking commies

RIAA has some learning to do (4, Interesting)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066781)

I haven't ever really understood what the RIAA hopes to achieve from all their lawsuits and extortion rackets, I mean all they are doing is alienating their core market the way they have been going recently I can't wait for someone to make a stand against them in court.

I download music from the internet quite frequently, if I like the song I have downloaded I will usually buy the album if I don't like it I delete it, does this mean I am commiting a crime? In my case p2p has caused my to buy more cds than I usually would have if I hadn't of been exposed to certain artists and songs. Is this common I really don't know perhaps other people don't purchase cds by artists they like personally I like to support musicians I like.

One great example my favorite group collective soul release an album entirely self financed, the day it was released I was able to find tracks on p2p which I downloaded and listened to constantly, until my next paycheck came through at which point I went out and purchased 5 copies of the album 2 for me 3 for various family members, I did the same with two of their previous albums, I own every single album they have release in some cases more than one copy of the album, it gets interesting when you consider I discovered this group through p2p in the first place.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066849)

First, I'd like to say I completely agree with your point of view, I have the same view.

Now, let me tell you what the RIAA's perspective is on your opinion. They believe that it doesn't matter what reason you have, that there should be zero tolerance for unauthorized music distribution.

That's their viewpoint, take it or leave it.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066881)

yes you are committing a crime. by supporting buying legit cds you are funding the RIAA which is then abusing the legal process to commmit crimes. this makes you an accomplice to a crime. please stop committing crimes and buying cds.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (5, Insightful)

immakiku (777365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066892)

Yes if you download copyrighted music, you're commiting a crime. Maybe it shouldn't be a crime, but it's a crime all the same. Yours is a weak justification of why the RIAA might want to not keep this illegal, but for the moment it still is illegal and so making a stand in court will probably not do any good.

I think the point here is that RIAA's methods are objectionable. From what I've read about them, I get the impression the RIAA is like the secret police in the way it works. People should be making a stand outside courts - like boycotting or setting up organizations to oppose RIAA.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066932)

Yes if you download copyrighted music, you're commiting a crime. Maybe it shouldn't be a crime, but it's a crime all the same.

AFAIK, in the US (which is where MIT is) it's not a crime, it's a civil offence. Things vary in other countries; I think it actually is a crime in the UK.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067008)

Actually, in the US, it is often both. 17 USC 501 covers civil infringement, while 506 covers criminal infringement. Some infringement has been criminal since the late 19th century, so this isn't all that new.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066941)

The RIAA is not affiliated with the government in any way, they cannot make anything illegal.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066894)

Are they really? I'm not so sure about that.

I'd love to see some follow-up on the defendants and their friends, family and associates. Has the experience and workd of mouth actually had any effect on their buying of musical entertainment? I think it would be really interesting to see what the actual result of their crusade is at present.

My guess is that the general public has still not heard of the RIAA and as frequent as the lawsuit-lotteries are, the general public doesn't know anyone who has been sued or offered settlement. Even so, it would be interesting to see if the results are what we generally hope them to be.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (3, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066895)

I can't wait for someone to make a stand against them in court.

Anti-**AA lawyer "Your honor, I am making a stand in court"
Judge - "What is your stance"
Anti-**AA lawyer "To put restrictions on the **AA, a group who malignantly, vilely, evily, uncaringly, and in a mean spirited fashion sue people who pirate music/movies"
Judge - "Isn't pirating illegal, and punishable by law"
Anti-**AA lawyer "Well yes but..."
Judge - "Whats your point son"
Anti-**AA lawyer "The **AA do it malignantly, vilely, evily, uncaringly, and in a mean spirited fashion"
-Dead silence fills the court room.
Judge - "Get out"

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066920)

"does this mean I am commiting a crime?"

the obvious answer to that is yes..

I dont see why you'd get more than one album for yourself, and I agree that some people could buy more CDs through listening to more music online, though that doesn't mean it's legal. I don't like the way the RIAA operate, though they are within their rights to do so - I used to download music, though yes I'd only download singles, and random stuff I remembered from my childhood etc, that I probably could not get in the shops normally (and I didnt have a credit/debit card to be able to order stuff online myself). People should really not just be swapping their music in this way, at least according to the law. I'm quite happy for people to listen to mp3s of my band, but that's because I've got a job :p

I am actually quite surprised at the success of iTunes, but I guess a lot of the users of iTunes are people who never used P2P networks, or maybe people that got fed up with the waiting. Personally I still like to buy albums for some reason, just so that I have the source there, but I guess I could download stuff online and make my own CDs (thought they'd be poorer quality of course, so there's a good reason not to..).

Not being a troll, but you should maybe use a bit more punctuation so that people can read your writing more clearly. One day I may just give up on trying to understand people who write like you ;) I have a habit of just sprawling out my thoughts in one go also, but I try to punctuate :D

I wouldnt say I ever found out about new music via P2P networks - some people do just randomly download things, but I wouldnt want to spend my time doing that, or listening through it all to find one good song in amongst 50 crappy ones. Maybe the ratio wouldn't be that bad, but for the most part you still get good bands filtering into the mainstream, or being played on evening BBC Radio - though I hardly listen to the radio anyway, so guess I'm stuck stagnating until I start listening to internet radio or something :p

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (1)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067036)

I dont see why you'd get more than one album for yourself


2 reasons firstly, I keep one copy in my car and one in my house, secondly, the album was self financed I wanted to do what I could to support the band.

Not being a troll, but you should maybe use a bit more punctuation


I know, I know, I am dyslexic sometimes I have trouble with punctuation, however, I will make more of an effort in the future :p

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066954)

I haven't ever really understood what the RIAA hopes to achieve from all their lawsuits and extortion rackets,

Earning little Money, getting big PR (negative, but it's not important if PR is negative or positive).

There are even some new small companies who specialize in automation of the process of finding downloaders and sending letters to them... and they're hiring. (Surely a better job than just doing consulting or so...)

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (2, Insightful)

cascadefx (174894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067025)

I download music from the internet quite frequently, if I like the song I have downloaded I will usually buy the album if I don't like it I delete it, does this mean I am commiting a crime?

Yes. You are breaking the law. Whether you get caught or not or whether or not it is a good law is a different question.

Re:RIAA has some learning to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067027)

I agree.

i usually sneak into a concert or movie, then if I like it I send the musicians or theatere the price of admission. I mean why should I pay for somethign I might not like.

This is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

dobedobedew (663137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066784)

Are any of you still buying RIAA label cd's? If you are, you are supporting this crap.
This has to stop.

Re:This is ridiculous (0, Troll)

55555 Manbabies! (861806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066808)

Yeah I just bought four of them and I don't really care. You wouldn't have a problem with this if you didn't have anything to hide.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

sinucus (85222) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066902)

So you wouldn't mind posting your home address right here on slashdot then would you? I mean, if you don't have anything to hide, right? Just because you aren't breaking the law is by no means saying that you have no right to privacy. I don't do drugs nor have an illegal brothel running out of my bedroom but that doesn't mean I want the DEA or FBI walking into my house every week, "just to be sure."

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066924)

Your taste in music is the only thing that should be hidden my friend (:

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066928)

Hehe... When they infect your computer with buggy DRM-systems, it affects YOU.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066997)

Yeah I just bought four of them and I don't really care. You wouldn't have a problem with this if you didn't have anything to hide.

You sir, are an idiot.

What if the RIAA decides to charge you? Can you really afford to fight it or is it easier to settle?

You think their practices are acceptable?

Bingo. (5, Insightful)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066912)

I don't understand the problem. If you think they're evil, don't consume their products. Why the hell do people treat CDs like friggen crack? You DON'T NEED IT. Paid, free, physical media or downloaded, just stop. The artists are part of the beast as well, why respect them if they're willing participants as well? Don't even listen to it on the radio.

You can't simultaneously support something you find evil and retain a shred of credibility, so just stop. If you can't stop and are willing to break the law for your fix, I humbly suggest that you quite literally have a substance abuse problem and should seek professional help or a twelve-step program or something.

Hell, spend your CD money on booze and then join AA so you can sit around and blame the RIAA for your alcoholism.

Re:This is ridiculous (2, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066950)

Or... if you still like the artists but hate the RIAA, buy the CD used. No more money goes back to the RIAA and you still have the CD.

Re:This is ridiculous (2, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066964)

Are any of you still buying RIAA label cd's? If you are, you are supporting this crap.

And when their profits fall, they play the victim card again and start cranking out ever increasing numbers of lawsuits. As long as they have legislators in their pockets and shyster lawyers that'll pressure settlements out of people, this will continue.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067007)

No kidding. It's been years since I bought a CD. Last time I bought any significant amount was during emusic.com's all-you-can-eat-for-a-monthly-fee years, and since they've killed that and made everything online all DRM-pain-in-my-ass and the shady online alternatives legally dangerous, I'm just not interested in screwing around with it anymore.

Or maybe I'm just getting old and I like listening to the news in the car better.

Or maybe the lack of variety in radio airplay fails to expose me to anything new and interesting that might tempt me into purchasing.

I catch the symphony and local Jazz bands live when I can, and that seems to fill the music need in my life pretty well. The RIAA can suck it.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067014)

Is there a resource out there that would tell me which labels to avoid and which labels deserve my business? I'm sure someone can help a brother out with a link and score some informative karma.

Well college students pirate more often so (5, Funny)

Shnizzzle (652228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066791)

clearly, if the person is no longer a college student, he/she will be less likely to pirate music. Brillant.

Re:Well college students pirate more often so (1)

KnightTristan (882222) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067001)

Well, I guess that's actually true ... because college students tend to have less money that the working people.

Outrageous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066792)

Greedy mofos want to ruin someone's life over a few bucks?

Oh wait... this is America - we advertise cigarettes to children... never mind.

i've got suggestion for colleges (0, Flamebait)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066798)

block out the RIAA.

thats nice (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066800)

Even the IRS has been known to setup payment plans for people who dont pay all of their taxes. Its pathetic that the recording industry has basically suggested to someone to give up one of the most important opportunities of their life in order to pay them.

Re:thats nice (2, Insightful)

gonk (20202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067016)

She made a choice. Choices can have a lasting impact on life.

robert

Okay... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066801)

The RIAA is suggesting she may want to drop out of college to pay the settlement IF she agrees to it, because she was complaining that she couldn't afford it. It seems like they're doing what most bill collectors do, which is suggesting you get rid of pretty much every unnecessary expense you have in order to pay them. Of course, what they consider unnecessary may not be the same as what you consider unnecessary.

To agree to the settlement is basically to agree that you wronged them in some way, and should pay them. Once you've agreed to that, how you actually pay the settlement isn't their problem. They may make suggestions, some of which you might find distasteful or even absurd, but the bottom line is they don't care how you pay a settlement you agreed to, so long as you pay it.

Re:Okay... (0)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066956)

They may make suggestions, some of which you might find distasteful or even absurd, but the bottom line is they don't care how you pay a settlement you agreed to, so long as you pay it.

Except that she hadn't agreed to the settlement.

Re:Okay... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066998)

Except that she hadn't agreed to the settlement.

Which I addressed in the first sentence of my post. The RIAA representative was speaking hypothetically, as was I. The RIAA rep is not suggesting she drop out of school now. The poster stated that she couldn't agree to that settlement amount because she couldn't afford it, and the RIAA rep offered suggestions as to how she might be able to afford it in the event that she took the settlement.

Common sense (0)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066803)

I'm no lawyer, but anyone with common sense (and one who sits infront of a judge hopes the judge will have some, if any) would realize that dropping out of college is a non-logical choice. It will diminuish your chances of having a safe financial future, which makes you even less likely to be able to pay that fine. Having students dropping out of college or switching over to community college should NOT be considered as a valid option.

slashdotted already... (5, Funny)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066804)

She might have to drop out of school just to pay for the webhosting bill...

Re:slashdotted already... (1)

Chrax (782154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066927)

It's an article in the MIT paper, so it's being hosted on MITs servers.

They're good fellas at the RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066805)

That's the way it is with a wiseguy partner.
He gets his money no matter what.
You got no business? Fuck you, pay me.
You had a fire? Fuck you, pay me.
The place got hit by lightning and World War Three started in the lounge? Fuck you, pay me

Why pay at all? (1)

edfardos (863920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066806)

Why pay at all? If somebody defrauds me, I sue them, prove my case and get a judgement against that person. There is absolutely no compelling reason for that person to pay the judgement. The only way I could get any money is to sell the judgement to a collections company for less than 10 cents on the dollar. Just be cause you sue somebody and win does not mean the government will make that person pay -- quite the contrary.

edfardos

Re:Why pay at all? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066922)

Because outstanding judgments can be listed on your credit reports. Since so many employers are now checking credit reports, probably not a good idea even if you don't care about your ability to get credit. Never mind whether you eventually want to get a mortgage or buy a car... even if you are issued credit, you'll pay for it many times over via an increased interest rate.

Re:Why pay at all? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066944)

If you sue someone and win, and get a judgement against them, that allows you to, among other things, have the courts garnish the defendant's wages to recover the judgement. I know this because in my wild and misspent youth I was sued by someone (in small claims court, no less) and they were able to get a garnishment on my wages to pay the amount.

Of course, if the defendant is a bum with no income, you're pretty much screwed. This is why when people get run over in a Wal Mart parking lot by a drunk with no insurance (for example), they sue Wal Mart.

Ah, I KNEW the RIAA had the best interests of the (1)

drhamad (868567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066814)

Ah, I KNEW the RIAA had the best interests of the public at heart! I'm glad they're so forward thinking, realizing what's truly important in the world! It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Public Relations Nightmare (1)

jokerr (618070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066820)

I'd hate to be the PR coorespondent for the RIAA after this one gets out on the 6:00 news! "Yes we recommend that students drop out to pay us an over abuntant amount for songs illegally downloaded. What's that? You have a problem with us sueing for $750 a song when you can by it from iTunes for a $1.00? Expect a letter from our lawyers *evil grin here*."

Re:Public Relations Nightmare (1)

digitalamish (449285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067018)

Are you kidding? There's a river in Africa that comes to mind: De-Nile. Who are the public going to believe? A poor company like the RIAA just trying to save it's business, or a maniacle, evil, kitten-drowning pirate?

Since it was all done over the phone, unless it was recorded they will deny everything. And if it was recorded, they will probably sue her for that.

She Ought To Be Able to Return the "Property" (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066821)

If she did not redistribute the intellectual property, she ought to just be able to return/destroy it and that is the end of it.

Obviously my opinion, and obviously not RIAA or Record Label's opinion, but do they really gain over the next 20 years by doing this?

Think not!

Re:She Ought To Be Able to Return the "Property" (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066981)

Not sure but last time I checked the RIAA was still only tarketing people who were sharing a largem amount of files, likely because these people are much easier to pursue than someone who simply downloads a file but does not share it out.

If that's what happend in this case (didn't RTFA as it's slashdotted) then she did technically redistribute it, even if it was done without any explicit action on her point (such as sharing her D/L folder through whatever P2P app she was using)

Of course the laws that the RIAA has paid for mean she would be loable regardless of whether she redistributed the content or not.

do the crime pay the fine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066827)

am i to understand that this person downloaded music off the internet
and is now complaining of the results?

heh, that is what you get for downloading that crap.

Knee-jerk reaction? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066830)

On one hand that looks pretty bad that the RIAA would suggest such a thing. On the other, it's all just business right?

The person accused has given up their right to defend herself in court and in doing so has all but admitted to 'wrong doing.' This is pretty much what they deserve. They OWE that money once they enter into a settlement agreement. The fact that they are making any suggestion at all is irrelevant. It does, however, serve to make them seem all the more dark and evil.

She would have been better off getting a jury trial I think...

Re:Knee-jerk reaction? (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066877)

If you RTFA, you'd note she hasn't actually agreed to settle yet.

Re:Knee-jerk reaction? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066940)

Oops... I was just reading it.

Suck it up (0, Troll)

T1mb0 (918672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066832)

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time (or pay the fine!). I bet you all think she's a victim.

Idea!!!! (1)

mayhemt (915489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066838)

1. patent the "system of tracking p2p illegal downloads & suing of internet users who download/does not download, et al" 2. Sue RIAA for patent infringement & take all the royalites & penalties they collected so far 3. ??? 4. Profit!!!

Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

Geldon (444090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066844)

I can't believe that the RIAA would stoop to such a level. The scariest part is that perfectly intelligent people believe that everyone who is sued by the RIAA deserves it and is guilty. I wish that there was some simple way to explain to a lay-person how knowing the IP address of someone downloading music doesn't mean much in linking to an actual person. People assume that an IP address is like a social security number, that always links to a single person and always to the same person. This fallacy is one of our biggest problems in infroming lay-people about what the RIAA is doing. Maybe this bit of info will help people to see how evil the RIAA actually is.

Damn Slashdoters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066859)

Can't you keep your webserver overloading to yourselves?

slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066860)

coral cache [nyud.net]

Historical precedent the RIAA is looking at (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066861)

When Galileo was shown the instruments of torture and told to confess, he dropped to his knees and said, "Do with me as you will."

TFA (4, Informative)

bwthomas (796211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066862)

Run Over by the RIAA Don't Tap the Glass

By Cassi Hunt

Either since the day I visited my first aquarium or the day Goldie came into my family's life, our parents have told us not to tap the glass of the fish tank. It's cruel to Goldie -- I understand and respect that. I mean, heck, I am a vegetarian. But would we have many qualms over a little water perturbation if Goldie were, say, a bloodthirsty shark? I'd knock on that glass to the near-cracking point. And in that spirit, I decided to call up my new friend at the RIAA negotiation hotline again. (Hereafter I'll refer to her as Bowie, which means "yellow haired," as I'm pretty sure that's the case.)

Last time I spoke with Bowie, the conversation was pretty much over after she named $3750 as the settlement amount. (I haven't actually agreed to settle yet.) So when I called her again, I asked -- again -- about how to negotiate that amount. I counted on the fact that self-important types wouldn't be inclined to remember a lowly pirate like me. Bowie didn't disappoint. She launched into her spiel about how the RIAA doesn't negotiate settlements. I told her that it was too much to ask for thousands of dollars from a college student who only makes just enough from term and summer employment to still come out a couple thousand in debt.

Bowie replied that the RIAA was oh-so-kind enough to offer a six month repayment plan. At this point, I was beginning to speculate on Bowie's hair color, and decided to switch tactics. I concisely and calmly explained how the situation was ridiculous: they weren't offering a settlement, they were issuing an ultimatum! Let us screw you over gently now, or with chains and whips in court. Surely there must be some flexibility for individual cases.

Well, she replied, they do make allowances if something like a medical emergency comes up. Now we're getting somewhere. "And who would I talk to about a situation like that, because I'd like to talk to them now."

"Me," she replied. Ever feel like your nose has just been flattened by something large and solid? I mean, besides the doors at 77 Mass. Ave. "But you're not in a situation like that."

Oh, but I am. The Institvte has left me with severe bouts of p-set-induced insomnia and a case of stuck-to-desk-itis that recurs two to three times in a semester, then again just before break. And my wallet certainly takes a hit for it.

But as much as I tried to argue that I was in as unique a situation as someone with medical expenses, there was no getting through. Bowie even had the audacity to say, "In fact, the RIAA has been known to suggest that students drop out of college or go to community college in order to be able to afford settlements."

Are. You. Shitting. Me.

There you have it, fellow Techsters: proof of the fantastic levels of absurdity to which the RIAA attack has sunk. The Recording Industry of America would rather see America's youth deprived of higher education, forever marring their ability to contribute personally and financially to society -- including the arts -- so that they may crucify us as examples to our peers. To say nothing of wrecking our lives in the process. I finally understand what the RIAA meant when they told me "stealing music is not a victimless crime" -- the victims hang for all to see.

Please, RIAA -- if any competent representative happens to enjoy flipping through The Tech -- please tell me Bowie is a moronic tool who can't help what the Superior Gray Coverage Golden Blonde hair dye does to her mental facilities. Please tell me you actually care about the futures of the age demographic that buys most of your music (http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/pdf/2004co nsumerprofile.pdf [riaa.com] ). Your evil pirates are people too, people who enjoy music and almost always still purchase it legitimately. Each has an individual life and circumstances that deserve consideration, if not for the sake of empathy for your fellow man, then for the sake of business sense.

Sure, if you commit a crime against someone, you should be held accountable. But I find it horrifying that anyone would single-mindedly and without compassion process people like a meat grinder set to purée. So while the RIAA continues to play the part of shark, I'll continue to stand behind the glass, tapping away, wondering which of us is on display.

Best. Advice. Ever. (-1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066867)

The RIAA gives good advice for a bad reason. How much is high end college nowadays? $150,000 for 4-5 years plus 4-5 years of your most productive part of your life lost to "education?" Go and invest that $150,000 in your own business and you'll be much happier (and successful).

I'm still confused why people continue to vote for politicians who support the copyright laws -- progressive and Jacobins both. Will the voters out there explain to me how they can vote when their conscience tells them that they're damaging (hundreds of?) thousands of lives in the process?

Re:Best. Advice. Ever. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066951)

How many politicians are running on a platform of 'get rid of copyright laws'?

Re:Best. Advice. Ever. (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066969)

Heh, are you serious? 4-5 of the most productive years of your life "lost" to education? College is the only reason I was productive at ALL in my late teens/early twenties... if not for the university I would have sat on a couch playing video games til I was 25.

Re:Best. Advice. Ever. (1)

middlemen (765373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066975)

most productive part of your life lost to "education?"

I am in total disagreement here. I will not judge you for your thoughts, but I feel that education is necessary to be more productive. Otherwise you will have a limited set of ideas which you learnt in high school which were immature in all ways anyway. I agree that education will not guarantee productivity, but to be more productive education always has a positive effect. Going to a college like MIT is not for just the education, it is to do some networking with other people who think like you, to work with others who are great/good thinkers, to work with people who have done extensive work in certain fields. Yes you pay for it, but if there were no education, then how would you even approach these people ? Where would you meet them ? At the local pub/bar/restaurant ? No way ! People in a college come from all over the world to study and exchange ideas... I guess you got my point by now. Education is necessary but not sufficient. One has to use his/her mind as well.

Re:Best. Advice. Ever. (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067011)

"Go and invest that $150,000 in your own business and you'll be much happier (and successful)."

Sure, because all businesses succeed (hint: less than 1 in 10 do). Or because it's easy to get financing for a business plan when you're 18 -- don't forget that student loans and other financial aid are pretty much guaranteed. Or because people at the age of 18 all have the skills to run a business.

That "education" you speak of so disparagingly is what gives us a workforce that innovates, that has the knowledge necessary for complex jobs... like in the fields medicine (practice or research, you pick), or engineering, etc.

I'm so glad I live in Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066878)

Where a court ruling today made it illegal for the Police to demand the identity of people behind an IP number in filesharing cases.

When is the RICO lawsuit? (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066883)

Why hasn't some greasy lawyer tried to bring up some charges against the RIAA? There's gotta be a suitcase full of cash for any lawyer that brings the RIAA to their knees.

Re:When is the RICO lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066987)

because there is no legal theory allowing you to prevail against someone who is simply enforcing their legally granted rights under title 17.
-IAA(non-greasy)L

new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066889)

Sounds to me like the RIAA has found a new business model. Why sell CDs at $10 each (which actually isn't such a bad deal) when you can wait for people to pirate them and then charge them the equivalent of $1000 each?

I don't download music anymore, since it's not worth the risk. Instead, I just buy used CDs, even if they're the same price as the original would have been (although on Amazon, they tend to be much cheaper). It's guaranteed legal by the doctrine of first sale (not to mention, if I have a stack of CDs, how is anyone going to know where I bought them), and yet the RIAA doesn't get a penny.

Shocking (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066897)

What did she expect, they're going to pay to send her to law school so they can pay her to extort other pirates? I'm all for piracy, but she knew the risks of her activities and she chose to continue anyways. What's next, filesharers sueing the RIAA? "You made me drop out of college man, I want compensation!"

That's dumb (1)

scolby (838499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066899)

Wouldn't it make more sense for students to go to a good school so they can get a good job that pays more money so they can pay off their settlements quicker?

A bully steals your milk money.... (1)

MasterC (70492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066903)

There you have it, fellow Techsters: proof of the fantastic levels of absurdity to which the RIAA attack has sunk.

In other news, the local school bully is reported to have deprived students of their milk money and the students were shocked to realize, while standing in the lunch line, that they had no money for their milk. The students were heard to have said, "I can't believe how low this bully has sunk to. He even told me that I'd have to go without milk but I just didn't believe him."

Though, some day the bully gets what's coming to him...and he will claim he's the victim.

When they sue me... (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066909)

..I'm just going to declare bankruptcy. I'll show them.

Burn all your bridges (0, Flamebait)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066938)

This kind of behavior is going to turn any last supporters of these cluesless greedy bastards against them. If Orrin Hatch can still support them in congress after that, then he seriously needs to be voted out of office. Ah, he needs to be voted out of office anyways. Utah, PLEASE do us a favor and get rid of that moron.

She wrote an article on how to avoid RIAA ........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066945)

Wait a minute, she says "Last fall I wrote an opinion piece on music piracy (How to Avoid Getting RIAAed, Oct. 21, 2005)"

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V126/N13/RIAA1306.html [mit.edu]

So an MIT student writes an article detailing how to avoid being sued by RIAA, then gets sued by RIAA? Is she a slow learner or what?

Take it to the kids (1)

pele_smk (839310) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066961)

Maybe you should talk to the recording artist you borrowed from. Lets get passed the RIAA and post the blame on the artist. Unless it's Metallica, I would hope a musician understood the importance of viewing art and the value of education. In the end, if the artist doesn't value education and museums, you'll probably gain a spot on some random news channel and start the next anti-RIAA movement. If people aren't buying a particular artist because the artist enforced the RIAA's settlement policy, I have a sneaky suspicion consumers wouldn't purchase as many of the artists songs, in effect cutting into the profits of the recording industry. I should probably get my checkbook ready after making a statement against the RIAA; I still have a semester left of school.

I thought the CD was suppose to cost less than the tape?.!

How do we tell who is with RIAA (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066971)


How do we tell if a particular CD is associated with the RIAA? Suggesting that a student give up their education plans for copying music they likely find of little value is quite disturbing. The punishment must fit the crime, and people who download music place as much value in their collections as a wad of dust under their desks. The RIAA is facing a cultural problem, not a crime ring.

I am careful to not infringe on copyright, but I would like to know who I am buying from.

And they're right (1)

bhalter80 (916317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066972)

In order to pay them their money now she needs to have more money available now. To do this the biggest expensce she has assuming she's actually paying for MIT is college. Now if they were smart they would make an offer much like student loans where she pays nothing til she's out of college then some sum of money which now seems trivial but by nature is atleast twice what the pay it now (patent pending) settlement is.

This way they would get a lot more people to agree to a settlement that looks like little money and is far far off (4 yrs) you don't look like loan sharks and you make much bigger proffits off the settlements in the end.

Out of curiousity don't most corporate to person settlements take years to payout?

blah blah blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15066984)

Regardless of where everybody stands on the issue of copyright violation, IP law, etc. the fact is that currently it is US law that distributing music in this fashion is a breach of the civil code.

If you want to come across as mature, then pay the settlement or go to court and fight it. But to say "oh, poor me. poor me. i have to give up my entire higher education because these guys are being mean to me. poor me." is bullshit. It's $3,750. Yeah it's not pocket change, but take a semester off, go wait tables at the local Olive Garden and you'll be able to pay that no problem and get back to school. Painting the situation as black and white, to say that the only possible way you will ever get a higher education is to go to a particular institution at a particular moment in time... is total hyperbole and makes you look completely childish.

Seriously, how insular do you have to be to not know this can happen if you choose to engage in copyright violation? Have you been living in a cave?

---

I especially like how she ended her write up with a link to a "Copyright and distribution information" notice.

So what... (0, Flamebait)

dangermen (248354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066992)

So what... if you are stupid enough to keep downloading songs via services that are questionable then I don't feel sorry for you. Take some responsibility and don't do it in the first place. Now, RIAA's tactics are for crap but so are the dorks who download / don't pay for Music. I just can feel sorry for either one.

RIAA & downfall of America (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15066994)

So what happens to you if you say FU to the RIAA and refuse to pay? I am wondering if any poor college students just refused outright. [p2pnet.net]

Do you go to jail? Do you have your house sold at auction?
Curious minds want to know.

It will all back fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067000)

Keep on treating people in this country like revenue cows and its all going to back fire on the RIAA.

Suing children as young as 12? telling people to drop out of MIT?

Someone has to put an end to the RIAA. ITS CALLED A BOYCOTT!

American music isn't all that great anyway ladies and gents. Try listening to some European music and what the rest of the world is raving about. Teach the RIAA how they really can lose major revenue by not buying from labels that are partners with the RIAA.

Pray for their complete failure (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067003)

As per the usual...I have not purchased a major label-backed CD or DVD in six years, and as these stories continue, my resolve grows.

Die, RIAA. Die painfully, and take every label in the room with you.

Karma to burn! (4, Interesting)

Reverberant (303566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067004)

With apologies to a certain CIC [whitehouse.gov] : I earned karmic capital on Slashdot, and now I intend to spend it.

  1. Submit story to Slashdot, wait for it to get rejected [sonicstorm.com]
  2. Submit story to That Other Site [digg.com] , wait for it to take off
  3. Wait for another Slashdot user to submit story to Slashdot.
  4. Profit?

Big Fat Jerks (1)

Mad Ogre (564694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067009)

There was a time when I was a bill collector. I once suggested to a lady that she sell her wedding ring. She was a widow. That same day I quit that job and I've never had a job related to collections since. Telling someone to drop out of college so they could pay a bullcrap settlment... that's even worse than telling a widow to sell her ring. I might have suggested someone let go of their past, but I didn't tell anyone to flush their whole future. That's a special kind of low. BTW, the next day I went to that lady's house and told her that if she didnt' pay the debt, the company would drop the issue because it wasn't worth going to court over and they would write it off. The company did just that. The RIAA on the other hand... evil pricks.

I have got an idea for an ambitious attorney (1)

algerath (955721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067013)

We have all seen the stories of the RIAA filing lawsuits against people who don't even have computers or have never downloaded. Why not find a college student being sued who either didn't do it or a case where it would be extremely difficult to prove they did do it (downloaded from a internet connection in a dorm or something) and turn around and sue the RIAA for harassing the poor kid and driving them out of college with the legal bills. You could ask for potential future income. One could calculate the amount lost by using the average income of a college grad vs the average non college grad over the course of an average life. I imagine that this would be a large number. The headlines would be great "RIAA drives young student from college, costs them 50 bajillion dollars in future earnings".

Sounds good to me, maybe cause them to at least investigate prior to filing lawsuits, probably not though.

IA definitely NAL

Algerath

Simple Solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067017)

It involves lots of pyrophoric materials, and some oxidizers.

Morally bankrupted (1, Insightful)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067023)

RIAA no longer represents me nor Western Civilization.

The executives of Recording Industry of Artists in America is now antithema of our advanced society.

By advocating a lower educational pursuit in hope that they selfishly hope to attain a goal for a subpar economic society in which they can continue to rob from the budding artists (and engineers) of our great society.

I hope our court systems and governments recognize this foolishness and put an end to this organization.

Nothing is gain anymore from such a facists dream.

Personal responsibility (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067041)

She did the action in question. She is responsible for the penalties for undertaking that action.

We all have to make hard choices every day.

The last time I broke a speeding law, it was pretty bogus. I still paid for the ticket and took the classes. IMHO- that particular speeding ticket set up was unfair (basically 70mph /hill\ 55mph construction zone - cop at bottom of hill).

She chose to download songs. She probably also foolishly didn't use programs like peer guardian. She also got unlucky.

Yes- Riaa are weasels. But by now, surely we ALL know that if you download copyrighted material you are risking a 3kish fine (or being ruined in court if you tried to fight it).

What is 3,750 out of 46,350? (2)

Browzer (17971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067044)

http://web.mit.edu/finaid/tuition_fees/index.html [mit.edu] and don't forget the travel money.

Less than 10%? Just pay the fine and go on with your life, but please don't turn it into a fight out of principle. You'd expect MIT students to be either a lot less ignorant of the law, or savy enough not to get busted if they do break the law.

excuse me but.... (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067046)

what the hell kind of country allows this kind of crap? allows big money interests to walk all over its citizens?

oh yeah i forgot its the US. Land of the free and home of the brave. (_o_)
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