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Napster Legal Battle Reaches from Beyond the Grave

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the yes-that-napster dept.

131

neelm writes "The EFF is reporting that EMI and Universal Music Group may have been caught lying to the Department of Justice in the 2001 antitrust investigation involving MusicNet, and pressplay. The 2001 investigation found no evidence of illegal efforts to monopolize digital music distribution, but new evidence presented by Hummer Winblad and Bertelsman ("original napster" investors) in their on-going defense from the RIAA suggests otherwise. The judge ruled that the documents to be turned over were not protected by attorney-client privilege because '[the court] finds reasonable cause to believe that the attorney's services were utilized in furtherance of the ongoing unlawful scheme.'"

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Excellent (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190757)

Here's hoping they skip the white-collar gig and go directly to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Heck, obstruction of justice was enough to get Martha Stewart convicted.

Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (4, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190825)

(Federal prosecutor): "Ms. Stewart, you've been granted immunity in these proceedings so that you can inform on your associates without fear of being prosecuted for whatever you've done. Please tell us all your illegal activities."

Look, I learned real young - don't cop to anything until you know what the other guy has on you. Never.

In effect, the fed has found a really neat way around that pesky fifth amendment. Just offer you immunity - even if you don't admit all of your crimes (and who would?), you may let slip evidence which will let them come get you, all the while screaming "Your fifth amendment rights were not abridged! You incriminated yourself!"

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (-1, Offtopic)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190982)

Martha Stewart can flambeau my flaky puffs any day. Can I get a woo woo [ebaumsworld.com] ?!

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191130)

In effect, the fed has found a really neat way around that pesky fifth amendment. Just offer you immunity - even if you don't admit all of your crimes (and who would?), you may let slip evidence which will let them come get you, all the while screaming "Your fifth amendment rights were not abridged! You incriminated yourself!"
Surely while under immunity you'd want to admit to everything because double-jeopardy laws (or something to that general effect) would prevent them from going after you on any of it. Of course, being under proper immunity and none of that fake crap that I'm assuming you're talking about.

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191343)

Immunity is almost always a trap. It's just the lawyers way of getting around the fifth amendment on the one hand, and of letting the guilty walk on the other. It's hard to think of a single time it's been used that wasn't a perversion of justice.

And it's very hard to 'admit everything' when, like Stewart, the 'crime' you're accused of is so ill-defined that teams of lawyers can study it in depth and still have difficulty agreeing on which actions it actually criminalises and which it doesn't.

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (1)

jrp2 (458093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191840)

"Surely while under immunity you'd want to admit to everything because double-jeopardy laws (or something to that general effect) would prevent them from going after you on any of it. Of course, being under proper immunity and none of that fake crap that I'm assuming you're talking about."

On the face of it, that seems logical. BUT, that does not prevent folks from using that information you provide under immunity against you in a civil action.

Bottom line, you might be able to avoid jail, but you might lose your shirt in a lawsuit.

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191942)

You can be tried in local, state and federal courts for the same crime. You have no double-jeopardy protection from that. Double-jeopardy says you can not be tried for the same crime twice in the same jurisdiction. Even if found innocent (or being provided immunity in one of the jurisdictions) does not protect you from the others.

Usually, the prosecutor find a crime that is close enough to fit the bill to try you a second time to present the illusion of fairness.

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192057)

Local? Courts are either state or federal. The court that sits at your county courthouse is just at a low level in the state system, is all.

Re:Just remember . . . Martha Stewart was set up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15192277)

Uh, if you're granted immunity and the feds don't follow through, that's still a violation of the 5th amendment. If that's what happened, her lawyers must not have passed their constitutional rights class...

Re:Excellent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190847)

I know it is unpopular to have "morals" these days, but please get a grip. Even if these guys conspired to rip off music consumers, they do not deserve to be raped.

Re:Excellent (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190895)

I know it is unpopular to have "morals" these days, but please get a grip. Even if these guys conspired to rip off music consumers, they do not deserve to be raped.

You're correct of course. Tarring, feathering setting on fire and hanging is the appropriate punishment.

By the way, which label do you work for?

Re:Excellent (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191378)

Tarring, feathering setting on fire and hanging...

That seems unecessarily wasteful.
How about using the offenders as filler in highway repaving projects?

I'm driving on sunshine, woahoh, and don't it feel good!

Re:Excellent (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191421)

Nah, send them to the rendering plant - although Purina may have to recall the dog-food made from them, if the animals get sick off of it....

Re:Excellent (1)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192191)

How about using the offenders as filler in highway repaving projects?

I'm highway filler you insensitive clod

(or something equally stupid)

Re:Excellent (0, Offtopic)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191416)

About three years ago, I remember anti-drunk driving ads in Ontario that we supposed to serve as a deterrent: Driving drunk in Ontario gets one a year in jail, and the ads insinuated that one would quickly become Bubba's "girlfriend".

Of course, given that Canada does not have constitutional prohibitions against "cruel and unusual punishment", this isn't surprising. (Then again, given the Notwithstanding Clause in the Canadian constition it doesn't effectlively restrain the government from anything, and don't give me that "but they never abuse it" crap.)

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15192322)

So are you saying they don't just ship the problem to other countries for cruel and unusual punishment? That's what the US does.

Re:Excellent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191003)

But isn't the golden rule "Do Unto OTHERS as you would have them do unto you?"

Re:Excellent (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191380)

Even if these guys conspired to rip off music consumers, they do not deserve to be raped.

Neither do the guys in the federal prisons getting raped as we speak. What's your point?

Re:Excellent (2, Insightful)

yoder (178161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191551)

Ordinarily I'd agree with you and say it is overreacting to the situation. This case is different. These corporations have been extorting money from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people over the past 20+ years, effectively making the Mafia look like amateurs. They have then used that same money to purchase legislation making it easier for them to continue unchallenged. Now their illegal acts are beginning to bite them on the ass and we are supposed to forgive and forget? Well, to put it bluntly:

Not a chance in fucking hell. Send the sick fucks to a Federal Pen.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190850)

Here's hoping they skip the white-collar gig and go directly to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Here's hoping they smoked a joint, stole a loaf of bread or downloaded just one Metallica track while doing this. Then it'll be Club Fed for sure.

Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190861)

"Here's hoping they skip the white-collar gig and go directly to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. "

What's with geeks and "pound me in the ass"? Is there something you want to tell the rest of us? Something tramatic while browsing slashdot?

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (-1, Offtopic)

DaEMoN128 (694605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190881)

its called goatse.cx (no link for a reason)

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190912)

It's, presumably, a quote from the movie "Office Space" where the characters talk about how they'll be going to "pound-me-in-the-ass prison" after stealing something like $400,000 from the bank their company wrote software for.

You see, in America, anal rape in prison is considered funny and part of the punishment for whatever crime commited. I'm not entirely sure why anal rape is considered an acceptable part of prison and consensual anal sex is considered illegal (which is rather ironic - get convicted of having consensual anal sex, get sent to a prison where it's expected that you'll get anally raped).

But, it's just another part of America's messed up culture on sex - sex is OK as a punishment, but must be bad if it's consensual. See, 'cause enjoying things is bad, according to some interpretations of the Bible.

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190955)

Pretty much, yeah.

And Office Space is a friggin' great movie.

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191676)

duh, didn't you get the memo?

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (2, Informative)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191569)

and consensual anal sex is considered illegal

last i checked... where is it considered illegal in the US? Just recently in Texas anti-sodomy laws were struck down.

Besides, if that were true, half of my porn collection - completely devoid of man-on-man action - would be illegal. Heck, even some of the girl-on-girl action would be illegal ;)

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190926)


What's with geeks and "pound me in the ass"?

It's from the movie "Office Space". Sorry, but your fantasies about anal sex with geeks will have to go unfulfilled.

Excellent-Coming out of the closet Co-pilot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191841)

"It's from the movie "Office Space". Sorry, but your fantasies about anal sex with geeks will have to go unfulfilled."

Ah well. Back to another lonely night with your right hand.

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (1)

TitsNbeer (958673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191881)

I'll still pound you in the ass. dont worry.

Re:Excellent-Coming out of the closet. (3, Funny)

finity (535067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191631)

I bet the original poster uses the acronym IANAL a lot...

Even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191281)

The defendants, however, argue that the RIAA companies forfeited their copyright claims thanks to their coordinated and illegal effort to monopolize digital music distribution through MusicNet and pressplay, the ill-fated joint ventures set up by the major labels back in the days of the Napster revolution.

Meaning that Metallica's Free Speech for the Dumb has lost its copyright?

Sweet, sweet irony! ...too bad that quoted sentence may be the EFF's wishful thinking. Mine too.

As to the "pound the ass," I think anal rape is a bit harsh even for RIAA stooges. The US' penal system is in terrible need of reform, but that's a bit OT.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191622)

I really wish I could moderate the parent post as -10 Vulgar. How exactly is this Insightful? Mods?

Re:Excellent (0, Troll)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191712)

Because Slashdot is a website for the big boys, son. We're free to discuss humorous, adult themes in a relaxing manner.

Napster Zombies? (1)

Verdict (625032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190776)

Does this mean the dead old napster is coming back? Is it still going to be flooded with Brittany spears? Cause I can do without that.

The RIAA might be lying? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190804)

Whoa. The RIAA might be lying. Let me sit down a minute and get my bearings.... This is pretty shocking. Give me a paper bag so I don't hyperventilate.

Re:The RIAA might be lying? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190832)

Whoa. The RIAA might be lying.

Yeah, but now we got PROOF.

Re:The RIAA might be lying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191081)

"Yeah, but now we got PROOF."

Their lips were not moving before?

Re:The RIAA might be lying? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192254)

Yeah, but now we got PROOF.

Yeah, and that and $.99 will buy you an iTune.

Just what do you expect to happen with this "proof?"

Forfeit copyright? (5, Interesting)

Verdict (625032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190821)

Hopefully this will turn up some damning evidence on RIAA, but I no longer get my hopes up about anything related to them. Even if this works as a defense the chances that the DOJ is going to reopen the monopoly investigation is probably nil.

The part that interested me is -

"that the RIAA companies forfeited their copyright claims thanks to their coordinated and illegal effort to monopolize digital music distribution"

What exactly do they mean by forfeiting copyright claims? Surely they don't mean that the members of RIAA would lose their copyright over their music? They've got senators that kill those sorts of laws don't they?

Re:Forfeit copyright? (5, Interesting)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191007)

IMNAL but I think that the defendents(Hummer Winblad and Bertelsman) are attempting to argue that criminal conspiracy took place.

In which case the RIAA member companies who participated in this action should find their properties (copyrighted music) to be forfeited in the similar manner that a drug smuggling operation would loose properties.

So then the arguement could go that any music that was covered by these RIAA companies copryrights at the time of these attempted criminal efforts becomes null or is handed over to the DoJ for auction. Furthermore I beleive that none of the RIAA companies involved in this action would be allowed to participate nor fund partners/outside interests in this possible auction.

Copyright on new{newer} music should still be covered/enforcable.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (2, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191314)

So then the arguement could go that any music that was covered by these RIAA companies copryrights at the time of these attempted criminal efforts becomes null or is handed over to the DoJ for auction.

Absolutely not. The material should into public domain, from which it was stolen. This is the only suitable type of punishment for corporate crimes (besides revocation of their charter). Fines and jail time are stupid, and do little more than raise the price of the product.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191373)

... In which case the RIAA member companies who participated in this action should find their properties (copyrighted music) to be forfeited in the similar manner that a drug smuggling operation would loose properties.

So then the arguement could go that any music that was covered by these RIAA companies copryrights at the time of these attempted criminal efforts becomes null or is handed over to the DoJ for auction.


As I understand it (IANAL) this predates RICO and is part of antitrust. Basic take is that if you use copyright as a tool to violate antitrust, the copyright on the material in question vanishes and it becomes public domain.

If that happens in this case it will be a double blow to the RIAA. The artists / industry created/used-the-services-of the RIAA to enforce their copyrights and collect their royalties. If doing so makes the copyright go away because the RIAA screwed up, they'll be seriously burned. Their "properties" gone.

They'll certainly think twice befor letting the current RIAA and/or its current administration handle any more of their works, or when setting up a replacement for it or a strategy for doing their own enforcement.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191445)

Seig Heil! Grammar Nazi is in the room!

smuggling operation would loose properties

You meant "lose". To "loose" a property is to unleash or loosen it.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (1)

Azreal (147961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191902)

Just wondering but, if this were indeed the case and the copyrights were forfeited, how would this affect previous lawsuits filed by the RIAA against alleged copyright offenders? Would this be grandparented in and the previous rulings overturned?

Re:Forfeit copyright? (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192082)

IANAL -- but if they are convicted, the RIAA and the respective companies, would then have been seen to receiving significant proceedings(judgements and/or settlements) based upon a criminal fraud conspiracy. The RIAA companies could then be subjeted to massive class action suits filed on behalf the people {groups} they originally took to court.

The results of such class action suits could overturn the previous judgements/settlements and force them to pay back the people{groups} involved. But before any of that happens the RIAA companies involved in this action would have to be convicted of fraud.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (2, Informative)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191182)

The EFF post is engaging in a bit of worst-case-scenario hyperbole. If Judge Patel is having a "Maximum Marilyn" kind of day, the RIAA cartel could forfeit the copyrights themselves. More likely, they'll just forfeit the claims made against Hummer Winblad and Bertelsman, since those claims were part of the plan to extend the cartel's control to online services, at the expense of the free market.

Re:Forfeit copyright? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191346)

If they don't, it's about time they buy some!

If there are any left, that is. Gotta be fast if you wanna have a senator, everyone wants one these days.

Most interesting nugget for me... (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190830)

Perhaps I've been out of touch and just assumed this was over, but this quote I found suprising!

The record labels, you see, are still pressing their case against Hummer Winblad and Bertelsman for investing in Napster years ago.

Re:Most interesting nugget for me... (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192013)

Does this mean that people who invest in Microsoft can be personally liable?

--jeffk++

Napster: Beyond the Grave (5, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190843)

Ah, it's the old "tunnelling over a PPP connection on a Ouija board" trick.

Re:Napster: Beyond the Grave (0)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191010)

I tried that once. I decided to disconnect after I noticed alot of inbound traffic on port 666.

Re:Napster: Beyond the Grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191025)

Sounds like an April 1 RFC to me.

Re:Napster: Beyond the Grave (1)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191087)

Actually, I think it was one of the proprietary protcols that Microsoft mentioned in the Halloween memos.

Re:Napster: Beyond the Grave (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191207)

Ah, it's the old "tunnelling over a PPP connection on a Ouija board" trick.

It doesn't work very reliably. All those people who advocated death penalty for script kiddies are coming to realise it was a bad idea. Whenever I try to chat with hot babes with my Ouija board, I just get a flood of SYN SYN SYN. No matter where you go, IRC (Internet Rigor-mortis Chat) is always subject to a DDOS. (Dead Denial Of Service Attack)

Poor Jesus... He died for their SYN floods.

Re:Napster: Beyond the Grave (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191308)

I just get a flood of SYN SYN SYN.
Try using REP-ENT filtering.

Slap these companies up side the head, HARD!!! (5, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190849)

The fact that companies even think this is ok to try is why I have no faith in our legal system.
These companies should have something severe as a punishment, like serious jailtime for the offenders and big fines for the corporation.

Although the current justice dept will probably just put them in the proverbial "time-out" then give them a cookie.
Make an example out of a couple of them.
The government should have the will to reject a corporation's charter for shit like this.

Re:Slap these companies up side the head, HARD!!! (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191159)

Seriously. Why haven't we outright sued/filed criminal charges against the RIAA and MPAA for the million things they're guilty of, least of which being having a monopoly and violation of the RICO act?

Re:Slap these companies up side the head, HARD!!! (2, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191173)

Screw slapping them; companies that try to subvert our judicial system should be dismantled. The CEOs and other management that condoned this should never agin be allowed to run a company and faced very stiff penalties.

Companies today believe they can act with impunity and they need to be shown otherwise.

Re:Slap these companies up side the head, HARD!!! (1)

j0e_average (611151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191256)

PLEASE!!

The politicians are in the pockets of the corporations.

You can bet... (4, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190879)

During the DoJ investigation, EMI and UMG apparently misled the investigators about these activities. In the words of Judge Patel: "[T]he documents provided by Hummer provide reasonable cause to believe that the statements in the [labels' report to DoJ] were deliberately misleading, if not completely false."

The judge has ordered UMG and EMI to hand over previously withheld documents relating to the DoJ investigation, overriding the attorney-client privilege because "the court ... finds reasonable cause to believe that the attorney's services were utilized in furtherance of the ongoing unlawful scheme." The labels have 30 days to comply. Stay tuned.

I suspect that right now some law firms are watching their reputations take a serious hit. The RIAA is on a rampage and at every turn they do even more damage to their reputation; this is going be another big black mark. If we wait long enough, they will destroy their own cause with all their dirty tactics and outright lies. I'm gonna get some popcorn -- this will be fun to watch.

Re:You can bet... (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191053)

You'll need alot of pop corn because they won't destroy themselves anytime soon. They're getting more and more backing from the government and very few people are standing up to them, and even if they do, they just settle out any way. So they'll get hit with a fine probaly, which will be a drop in the bucket for them.

Let's be carefuel calling this a victory of any type.

Re:You can bet... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191614)

They're getting more and more backing from the government and very few people are standing up to them, and even if they do, they just settle out any way.

And yet cases are going against them, and further lawsuits are being brought against them, in their overzealous pursuit of profit:

It's not in the millions by any stretch, but as these things gain momentum, the RIAA is going to be defending itself on a thousand fronts and undoubtedly as more and more cases make their way into the headlines, they will find themselves on the losing end, as more and more people abandon CDs and pick up music for free on-line.

It's not a victory yet, but this could be the biggest blow, if it's found that RIAA members were busy fudging the evidence to get their own way. If they're in the right, why the deception? Because they know they have alosing battle on their hands unless they stack the deck. This one thing may come back to bite them hard.

Re:You can bet... (2, Interesting)

statusbar (314703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192097)

I'll believe that there have been ANY successful blows against the RIAA when those articles you link to are shown as news on cnn. Articles in p2pnet and blogs do not matter. The RIAA is pretty good at their own public relations and political contributions.

--jeffk++

Re:You can bet... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191736)

I suspect that right now some law firms are watching their reputations take a serious hit.
Reputations?

They aren't worried about their reputations, they're worried about their licenses.

Honestly, those lawyers are probably toast, even if the RIAA gets off lightly. It seems like they've violated so many of their ethical obligations that they're going to get disbarred.

Then they'll have to worry about civil/criminal proceedings, depending on how successful the Napster guys' lawsuit is.

Re:You can bet... (1)

MSZ (26307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191981)

It seems like they've violated so many of their ethical obligations that they're going to get disbarred.

Good joke!

Serving the rich and powerful by crushing the weaklings, that's their ethics and they do keep faithful to it. Do not expect any serious punishment. There won't be.

Re:You can bet... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192286)

It seems like [the lawyers have] violated so many of their ethical obligations...

Quirk Objection!

Re:You can bet... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191751)

I suspect that right now some law firms are watching their reputations take a serious hit. The RIAA is on a rampage and at every turn they do even more damage to their reputation; this is going be another big black mark. If we wait long enough, they will destroy their own cause with all their dirty tactics and outright lies. I'm gonna get some popcorn -- this will be fun to watch.

If only that were how it would turn out.

At every turn, they make themselves more hostile to consumers, and do more underhanded things. But at the same time, they manage to get legislation passed which further secures their stranglehold and entrenches their rights to do all of these things.

They're getting more powerful faster than they are tarnishing their reputations -- once they get their laws passed that say they're entitled to 10% of all incomes to protect them from piracy, they'll be all set. They'll just have a guaranteed share of the GDP or whatever, which will have to increase over time so they can show a profit to shareholders.

The world has some very creepy cyberpunk/max headroom overtones nowadays.

No Big Deal (4, Insightful)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190905)

The investigation will result in a few token gesture penalities and business will continue as usual. Do you really think politicians are going to allow major donors to face serious punishment?

Re:No Big Deal (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191201)

The investigation will result in a few token gesture penalities and business will continue as usual.

It's called a settlement. Something the cartels do all the time. "Without admitting any wrongdoing". And then we, the customers, tell them, "Very well then. Carry on." And continue to buy their crap.

Do you really think politicians are going to allow major donors to face serious punishment?

Only if they themselves thought that they might get caught in the scheme. Then they would throw them (the "donors") to the wolves. Which will make the politician look like a hero to their constituents. They'll destroy one cartel to help another.

Re:No Big Deal (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191425)

The investigation will result in a few token gesture penalities and business will continue as usual.

It's called a settlement. Something the cartels do all the time. "Without admitting any wrongdoing". And then we, the customers, tell them, "Very well then. Carry on." And continue to buy their crap.


The penalty for this type of wrongdoing is to elminate the copyright on the works used in the scheme.

IMHO (IANAL), should the original parties settle, this might give anyone claiming to be attempting to start a download service standing to bring suit themselves, to attempt to obtain a judgement that they can distribute the works freely and without paying any royalty or facing any other penalty.

(Would anybody from the EFF, or with more knowlege of the law in question, care to comment on that?)

Re:No Big Deal (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192093)

The penalty for this type of wrongdoing is to elminate the copyright on the works used in the scheme.

an' dat [slashdot.org] too - CB :-)

The problem is Lying and Perjury are not prosecute (1)

mjh2901 (570983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190908)

We may have martha as an example but for the most part lying to the court is not prosecuted, and its killing our legal system. In the last few years only 1 case for perjury in the entire nation has been filed. We all know that a lot more poeple are lying under oath. You should also not lie to the authorities, we have a special sentance that you say in lue of lying "I want my lawyer" But these white collar criminals executives companies and even regular people that lie under oath need to get prosecuted. Justice is not served if the court is lyed to. And the courts will not become fair untill prosecuters start investigating, charging and convicting people for purjery. It is undermining our legal system

Re:The problem is Lying and Perjury are not prosec (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191113)

But the argument that their{RIAA companies) behaviour entails a signifigant part of a criminal conspiracy may get the courts to sit up and take notice/action. Alternately this arguement could just be a PR spin by the defendents.

Re:The problem is Lying and Perjury are not prosec (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191156)

Ever been to Small Claims Court? The Judge just assumes both parties are lying equally and splits the difference. That means if you tell the truth, you get screwed! (And by the way, when I was taken to Small Claims, the person suing me said "Your honor, he hasn't given me a dime!" to which I replied "I have the canceled checks right here." Was she penalized for deliberate perjury? Not at all! The judge made up an arbitrary amount that was about half of what she was asking for and demanded I pay her. To this day, I have no idea what orifice the judge pulled that number out of...)

The defendents are arguing fraud was committed (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191484)

I've read part of the court order and it seems that the defendents are arguing criminal fraud was committed, not only perjury.

Re:The problem is Lying and Perjury are not prosec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191531)

LIED! LIED - c'mon now.

Been Caught Lyin' (4, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190935)

The EFF is reporting that EMI and Universal Music Group may have been caught lying to the Department of Justice in the 2001 antitrust investigation involving MusicNet

Why does this not surprise me? Why do I automatically think nothing will happen under this administration? Why is the industry always complaining when sales are actually improving and boosting their stock value? [yahoo.com]

Re:Been Caught Lyin' (2, Insightful)

Whyzzi (319263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191222)

In a word: Propaganda [wikipedia.org]

Re:Been Caught Lyin' (3, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191231)

Under this administration? This kind of shit has been going on for decades. The entertainment industry has a death grip on the penises of so many politicians, both demos and repubs, that they can do pretty much what they want. They recording industry is caught in payola schemes and price fixing every couple of years and gets a light slap on the hand, then they go back to business as usual. It happens when the demos are in power, too.

"This administration" (1)

abiessu (74684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192157)

In a broader sense, 'this administration' really refers to the current state of (US) government, the one that's had its politicians bought by industry many times over in (US) history (Rockefeller is a name that comes to mind, along with steel industry...). In what sense has any of this changed appreciably within the last 100 years? New business arenas, same old tactics.

Now, if there were a way to effect permanent positive change on that model, I'd readily support it...

Microsoft Convited.. Loss of Copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190937)

Microsoft Convited.. Loss of Copyrights?

Wouldn't this punishment also apply to the Convicted Illegal Monopoly Power Yeilding company Microsoft? Shouldn't THEY have lost their rights to advantages provided by copyright?
My understanding of the Copyright protections has it that the protection is provided until expired OR the holder violates it's terms. Mybe this is why the source for WindowsCE was released?
 

Hummer Winblad (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15190967)

sounds like a Douglas Adams character

No Problem (4, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15190969)

No worries - the RIAA just needs to buy a law stating that, "Any activities by any RIAA affilliate shall not be considered in violation of any law."

Re:No Problem (2, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191577)

I wish I could find this comment funny. I really, really do.

(sigh)

The real issue is copyrights (3, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191016)

I think the problem is that we clearly have a system that is unworkable in the information age and instead of dealing with it, people sue, people complain, they cry "wahhh, how will I make money with my book", or "wahhh, how will I make money with my movie", or "think of the starving artists", or they want to "fix" it in some way - without accepting that by now copyrights are an all or nothing game.

In fact copyeight compromizes are the worst thing we could to. It's like the US conolists compromising with the Brits, it's like the slave states compromising with the free states. People who thought it was workable simply were in denial of the real world and real world forces that were in play.

Re:The real issue is copyrights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191099)

wahhh, how will I make money with my movie

It's more like: "Waaah, how will I make money with that other guy's movie".

Re:The real issue is copyrights (1)

Chubblez (970433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191408)

Uhhh.. I believe the US did try to compromise w/ the Brits, and I know the free states did try to compromise with the slave states. It failed miserably...

Regardless, as much as I loathe and dispise the RIAA, I have to ask this question: Lying on documents, and data presented in general. Is it remotely possible that it was a data entry error? Some lowly grunt making $12/hr, and not paying attn to what their doing?

Just a thought...

Re:The real issue is copyrights (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191946)

Who cares? They sue grannies who don't even own computers on a regular basis. If the court finds sufficient evidence, I don't care if the magic evidence fairy planted it there, I'd like to see them get the full penalty.

They've been awfully free wielding the legal sledgehammer...Time for them to reap the whirlwind.

Re:The real issue is copyrights (1)

Chubblez (970433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192025)

And I agree completely. I would just hate to have it tossed because of a clerical error...

Re:The real issue is copyrights (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191920)

It's like the US conolists compromising with the Brits, it's like the slave states compromising with the free states. People who thought it was workable simply were in denial of the real world and real world forces that were in play.

Absolutely, compromise sucks. We should just nuke everybody!!! Koreans, Chinese, Mexico, Iran, liberals, conservatives, Environmentalists, Christians, etc... Compromise is vital. I'm not one to shy away from a fight and I do believe there are times when force is needed to settle some issues, but only after a compromise has been attempted and rejected by one or both parties.

There is no reason copyrights have to be an all or nothing game. There are many circumstances that copyrights have a legitimate place. I don't think a major men's magazine should be able to run a copyrighted image on their cover. I believe a major product manufacturer should have to pay to use a pop tune in their commercial. Copyrights should protect, for a limited time, the original author against other using material to directly generate revenue. That only seems reasonable to me. OTOH, there should be a reasonable limit on these rights and items should become public domain once the authors have had a chance to monetize their creativity.

Napster Killed Filesharing (1)

MFINN23 (967656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191949)

The real problem is that Napster made all of this popular and therefore public. Everything was fine back in the day when all us nerds could get free stuff via IRC, but Napster had to make it easy for everyone. I realize that it is wrong to steal music and movies, i'm no hippie, but if your gunna steal something be quiet about it, don't go shouting to everyone how you did it or this is what happens. Napster opened the front door and let the RIAA in, it's thier own fault.

btw, just because i think Napster was wrong dosn't mean that the music industry should have free range to price fix and set up monopolies. The bastards should be dismantled.

Stepping stones to the rebellion? (1)

jotate (944643) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191019)

Left to its own, I doubt the media or the government will take any action against these companies. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the whole issue be swept underneath the rug. But perhaps this is the first stone that will topple the giant.

Perhaps with the appropriate public backing this will go somewhere. Write your politicians. Write your local news. But whatever you do, do NOT start an online petition.

Monoploy Over... iTunes = Very Yes! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191062)

...EMI and Universal Music Group may have been caught lying to the Department of Justice in the 2001 antitrust investigation, involving MusicNet and pressplay... illegal efforts to monopolize digital music distribution

We all know how MusicNet and Pressplay went on to dominate digital music market...

Re:Monoploy Over... iTunes = Very Yes! (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191472)

We all know how MusicNet and Pressplay went on to dominate digital music market...

Making the attempt is enough to violate the law - and damage other parties. Success is not required.

It's like murder that way. "But, your Honor! When I swung the axe at him I missed! I should go scott-free!"

See the difference (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191118)

Had this been in europe, EMI and 'fellas' would be within one stone's throw from being hanged now, metaphorically.

what's in a name? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191352)

I guess I just don't understand... Why is it I can't tell the difference between the two acronyms: "RIAA" and "RICO"?

Can someone see this happen? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191400)

Universal lawyer: This is not the evidence you're looking for.
Judge: This is not the evidence I'm looking for.
Universal lawyer: Universal did not lie to the DOJ.
Judge: Universal did not lie to the DOJ.
Universal lawyer: My client may pass.
Judge: Your client may pass.
Universal lawyer: Case closed.
Judge: (slam) Case closed.

Universal sub-exec: Wow. Is that the Force?
Universal lawyer: Kinda. Down here, we call it "money".

Wait... (2, Funny)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15191644)

I thought this was a *BSD thread...


;)

As Publius Syrus or Spock would say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15191800)

"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

Gotta love Civilization IV, except it runs like shit on my poor outdated computer.

The point stands though. If stupid parents are willing to shell that much money out for the system to placate their whiny kids, then Microsoft should charge that much for it. If no one's going to bite at $400+, then they can always lower the price gradually (as they have been doing). If you don't like it, then you don't have to buy from Microsoft, and well, many aren't and are more than happy with that decision.

Where there's smoke.... (1)

TigerTime (626140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15192126)

Where there's smoke,
There's fire.
Where there's fire,
There's documents being burned.
Where those documents are being burned,
There's music executives and lawyers,
Joined hand in hand,
Disposing of any and all evidence.

My guess is any information that would take down the music industry AND their lawyers, is going to be burned/buried or both and we will never see anything.

There's no way they will essentially turn themselves in.
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