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RIAA Subpoenas Neighbor's Son, Calls His Employer

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the kicks-his-puppy-puts-suger-in-his-gas-tank dept.

Music 593

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1." From Ray's comments: "You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids, all kinds of people who have no resources whatsoever to withstand these litigations. And due to the adversary system of justice the RIAA will be successful in rewriting copyright law, if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."

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How low can they go? (4, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018328)

How low can they go? What does calling someones employer have to benefit the RIAA? The only thing it can do is give this persons boss a bad impression which may see him put last on any promotion shortlist and first on any planned redundancies as no doubt the RIAA would create the impression that this person is a full scale pirate (yarr).

What's worse is that it's not even the accused, it's the accused's son.

Or rather, how much can they get away with... (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018388)

...before it becomes actionable defamation? Surely they've already crossed the boundary and this guy has grounds to sue for slander, right?

Re:Or rather, how much can they get away with... (4, Insightful)

chrish (4714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018810)

How's he going to beat the RIAA in court for that when they've already got billions of dollars worth of lawyers aimed at his family?

Re:How low can they go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018430)

RTFA.

The kid was downloading music on the work computer.

Re:How low can they go? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018472)

The only thing it can do is give this persons boss a bad impression which may see him put last on any promotion shortlist and first on any planned redundancies as no doubt the RIAA would create the impression that this person is a full scale pirate (yarr).

The RIAA should fire their lawyers post haste. Seriously. While IANAL, it sounds like this guy easily has a defamation of character suit against the RIAA. What's more is that he doesn't need any serious resources to fight it. All he has to do is go find himself an ambulance chaser who will take the case on contingency since it's a deep pockets lawsuit that he's likely to win. Pain and suffering, loss of income or potential income...kaching!

Re:How low can they go? (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019208)

The RIAA should fire their lawyers post haste.

Why?

The message the RIAA wants to send you is that you WILL be hurt if you're involved in P2P piracy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The RIAA isn't going to lay-off the stereotypical (but improbable) 80 year old grandma suffering cancer and a missing limb who's never touched a computer in their lives. They want you to know they're going to go after her. They want "you" to know, as a 20-something poor-little-rich-kid zit-faced P2P user who has been caught bang-to-rights redistributing their member's content and has barely any moral credibility whatsoever, that there's pretty much nothing you can do about it, they will go after you, after all, they're prepared to go after Mother Theresa, why the hell wouldn't they go after you?

Of course it's terrible. It's supposed to be. The truth, which NYCL and others kind of gloss over (and there's a reason for that), is that the practical powers of the RIAA are strictly limited, so the entire deal is to make themselves look like the biggest bastards possible. They look for people redistributing, they get the only identifying information available (the ISP logs), they sue, and they hope there's enough publicity that other users of P2P networks will be sufficiently scared enough to avoid fighting back. And sometimes the best way to generate that publicity is to sue grandma and a few unrelated parties and let "Good cop" (a few radio DJs and artists) cry out about it.

And if Good Cop's not available, there's always an ambulance-chasing lawyer around with a silky populistic patter who also has plenty of incentives to play up the "Monster, out-of-control, can do anything and will" image of the RIAA who'll faithfully repeat the message and scare the pirates just a little bit more.

Re:How low can they go? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018938)

Its to scare people. "We will ruin your life, your kid's life, all of your friends. Anyone we can. You better not copy our crappy music, or else!"

Re:How low can they go? (4, Informative)

Talondel (693866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019164)

I doubt it's possible to dislike the RIAA or these lawsuits more than I do. I think overall the RIAA and MPAA represent an assault against cultural progress and preservation, by seeking to destroy the public domain and make distribution and archiving of even unprofitable works illegal.

That said, if you don't want an potential litigant to contact you at work, don't actively avoid service at your home. It does not help your case. Few things annoy a judge more than playing games with the requirements for service. Personal service requirements are a constitutional protection to guarantee that people aren't being brought to court without getting notice to defend your self. It is serious business, and courts take it seriously. They don't like it when a person who obviously already has actual notice of a pending subpoena plays games with the system.

Given the apparent circumstances, the RIAA and their lawyers were well within their bounds to attempt service at his place of employment. If he didn't want to be served there, then he should have accepted any of the previous seven valid attempts to effect service at his house.

Quoting from the footnotes:

Well, actually I can't quote from the letter, because it's /.'d but it basically says "we tried to serve him at home 7 times, and we kept getting lame stories, including being told the person we were talking to was actually the person's father, who's been dead for 4 years." Bottom line. Don't play games with process servers. They've got a job to do, and they're going to do it. The harder you make it on them, the harder they'll make it on you.

Re:How low can they go? (3, Informative)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019196)

FTFA

In UMG v. Lindor, a case against a home health aide who has never used a computer, the RIAA has now subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's adult son, who lives four (4) miles away from her. Ms. Lindor's son, a paralegal in a law firm, has hired counsel to make a motion to quash the subpoena

Looks to me like the RIAA is goin fishin.

Re:How low can they go? (1)

cprael (215426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019312)

Read the letter. They called the guy's place of work (a law firm) to confirm delivery of a subpeona, and to confirm that it would get to it's intended subject. That's a legitimate reason to call, right there.

And the fact that the guy's the firm's IT guy, and worked on his mom's computer (apparently rebuilding the OS, and the RIAA asserts also swapping the HD) in the timeframe when they're interested in renders him a subject of interest. Having been on the receiving end of this kind of thing, it's not harassment, only following the breadcrumbs.

There's a simple solution for this... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018344)

The RIAA needs to sue the Mafia and the Mafia will send in the hit men.

Re:There's a simple solution for this... (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018776)

I'm sure that going after judges would be more damaging. The RIAA would be willing to throw some expendable people out as targets. Now, how do we get a list of every judge and politician on the RIAA lawsuit list without them noticing?

Re:There's a simple solution for this... (1)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019066)

Just wait.

Their names are in the phone book right?

What to do about it? (5, Interesting)

Heem (448667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018378)

"if the world at large, and the technological community in particular, don't fight back and help these people fighting these fights."

OK..

In all seriousness. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Please.. what can I do to help make this go away?

Re:What to do about it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018446)

Stop committing copyright infringement maybe?

Re:What to do about it? (3, Insightful)

dupont54 (857462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018562)

And stop funding these people by boycotting their products, of course...

Re:What to do about it? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018678)

Stop committing copyright infringement maybe?

Infringe all you want, just don't get caught. If you pirate something, send a check for the cost of the music directly to the performer. If enough people do that, maybe performers will get the message that the recording (rather, hard media selling, good sound men will always be needed!) industry as we have it today is dinosaur and isn't needed.

-b.

good idea, but just to be safe... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019286)

...I'd suggest not sending anything that can be tracked back to you. Small bills in an opaque envelope with no return address, printed with the cheapest trash inkjet printer you can find, should be pretty safe.

You missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018696)

They are suing people who are innocent (such as people who don't even own a computer) and getting away with it.

I am not commiting copyright infringement. That won't stop me from getting sued. Nor will it make the RIAA stop strong-arming the country. Your suggestion won't work.

Further, I don't think rolling over and submitting to a bad system is a good response to strong-arming. If the current set of laws and technologies criminalizes everyone for deeds that are trivial to accomplish, are seen as morally acceptable by the majority, and are in widespread practice, then the correct response is to change the laws (not to put everyone in jail, nor to take everyone's money away).

Right now, I refuse to buy anything produced by an RIAA label. I won't give money to these schmucks so long as I have any say in the matter whatsoever. I wish more people would do the same.

Re:What to do about it? (5, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018876)


Stop committing copyright infringement maybe?


Ain't gonna happen. Copyright law has become so ridiculously restrictive that it has become nearly impossible not to infringe. The majority of people just don't care about it anymore.

Re:What to do about it? (5, Informative)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018540)

Here's one suggestion for fighting back: Don't buy a Zune.

Most people reading this by now know that MS caved and some sort of "copyright tax" to the RIAA for every Zune sold. Even if you ignore all of the negative reviews and MS is the devil and all that; the money given to the RIAA from the sale of the player is enough for me to never, ever consider buying one. And to recommend the same to anyone I ever happen to know.

Re:What to do about it? (4, Funny)

theheff (894014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018550)

cmd

ping www.riaa.com

(until they stop)

Re:What to do about it? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018566)

BOYCOTT!!!! Listen to what you already have and don't purchase or download anything else for a year.
Go to concerts and enjoy live performances but DO NOT BY RECORDINGS IN STORES OR ONLINE!
If most people took this approach, it would bring the recording industry to its knees or at least drive prices into the ground where they should be.

Re:What to do about it? (3, Insightful)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018646)

It really is a great theory... but it wouldn't work. There are too many people that do NOT see this sort of information that will continue to buy music and purchase normally. Of course everyone wants some boycott... but how often do they REALLY work? You just can't reach the necessary audience and have the necessary impact on them for it to be successful.

Re:What to do about it? (3, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019122)

You could always petition outside a big name music store in New York, LA, etc. Hold up signs, tip off the national news media. You might get a few hits here and there, but over time it grows and people get word of it.

Persistence.

Re:What to do about it? (2, Insightful)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018648)

They'd just blame piracy.

Re:What to do about it? (4, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018778)

They'd just blame piracy.

Litvinenko blamed the Russians as he lay dying in hospital. Doesn't make him any more alive now, does it?

-b.

Re:What to do about it? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018728)

Go to concerts and enjoy live performances but DO NOT BY RECORDINGS IN STORES OR ONLINE!

Unless the bands are selling the recordings themselves or they're being sold be small-time "tapers" as is done a lot for some jam band shows (MM&W, Lesh, etc). This is with the permission of the band, BTW.

-b.

Re:What to do about it? (2, Informative)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018748)

A year? How about FOREVER.

I am RIAA music clean for years. I don't download stuff, and more importantly, I DON'T BUY THE CRAP THEY SELL!!!! None of it. Not a dime.

Re:What to do about it? (1)

huey83 (683588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018900)

FYI, Record sales are low already. Record companies have found new ways to cash-in their artists. And one of those things is doing concerts/tours. The old days of free concert organizing groups are over. They now have to follow strict guidelines written down in binding contracts forced on them by record companies. Also, ticket prices are getting out of hand. Where do you boycott now?

Re:What to do about it? (3, Insightful)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019086)

Boycott corporate music. Support your local (or another location's for that matter) indie music scene. Go to open mic nights at clubs, if you like something you hear buy their burned-on-a-pc cd's with fuzzy photocopied covers with third rate photoshop work(lense flares are teh awesome!!). There's more great music out there than what the idiots at BMG float.

Re:What to do about it? (5, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018780)



Great question. Hope you get moderated up to +5 instantly on that one.

1. The tech community can offer their services as technical consultants to the lawyers and individuals who are fighting these cases, preferably on a reduced fee or pro bono basis. There is a great need for people who can testify and advise about numerous issues that come up in these cases, such as, just to name a few, (a) hard drive forensics issues, (b) IP addresses and the like, (c) file sharing software, (d) the significance of metadata and hash marks, and (e) the unreliability of proprietary software that has never been peer reviewed as a basis for a lawsuit... i.e. all the issues on which the RIAA are trying to mislead the judges.

2. All tech companies who make profits from the internet should be organizing, and contributing financially to, legal defense funds to assist the RIAA defendants. Right now the only fund I know of that is currently operational is the RIAA legal defense fund operated by "Defective by Design" [fsf.org] .

3. All tech companies should urge their industry trade associations to be assisting the RIAA defendants financially.

4. Everybody, tech community or not, should be writing to their federal congresspeople about this situation and urging legislation to curb the tide of litigation against ordinary working people.

HOWTO Stop RIAA Lawsuits in 3 Easy Steps (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018826)

1. Don't steal music.

There is no 2! Or 3! 1 Easy step!

Stop stealing music, and the RIAA will have no one to sue. It's that easy.

Unfortunately that's never going to happen in these grand United States, since we've started to devolve into a liberal entitlement society. US citizens believe they're entitled to everything, and nothing (like being unable to afford it) should stand in their way. We have people racking up massive debts to be able to get the latest trinkets with no thought on tomorrow.

People routinely ignore laws in the US. People routinely break the speed limit, ignore traffic signals, and otherwise put their lives and other people's lives in jeopardy solely to decrease their travel time by a few seconds.

If people would stop stealing music, the RIAA wouldn't have to work so hard to defend their music, and less innocent people would get caught in the crossfire.

If you want to stop RIAA lawsuits, you only need to take one easy step: stop stealing music. That's all there is to it.

Re:HOWTO Stop RIAA Lawsuits in 3 Easy Steps (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019000)

People routinely ignore laws in the US. People routinely break the speed limit, ignore traffic signals, and otherwise put their lives and other people's lives in jeopardy solely to decrease their travel time by a few seconds.

Americans (especially drivers) are almost shockingly law-abiding as compared to other countries, as regards the "minor" laws (not talking about serious crimes here). If the speed limit is 65, they generally drive 75 or 80, not 90 or 100. Mostly they stop at red lights and at least do a "California stop" at stop signs. And they let you in to their lane without too many problems. You want to see "non-law-abiding" traffic? Go to Italy, and Latin American country, or Eastern Europe... I suppose places like Switzerland may be more law-abiding, but those are pretty far between.

-b.

Re:HOWTO Stop RIAA Lawsuits in 3 Easy Steps (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019262)

A question:

How am I costing the RIAA money if I never planned to buy a CD anyway? By downloading something I never planned on purchasing, they have lost no money because whether I download the fucking song or not, they are not getting my money.

Re:HOWTO Stop RIAA Lawsuits in 3 Easy Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019268)

Only on Slashdot would suggesting people be law-abiding citizens be considered flamebait.

Re:What to do about it? (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018838)

As with other things in life, think money. Their lawyers get paid in dollars, not fuzzy warm feelings. The logical conclusion is don't buy the CDs produced by companies represented by the RIAA.

It's like the mouse in the "last act of defiance" graphic. Except the mouse was smart and earlier had anti-eagle kryptonite surgically implanted in his tail. After eating the mouse, the anti-eagle kryptonite is inside the eagle and said eagle therefore dies a slow agonizing death.

The mouse wins, balance in the universe is restored and Grandma Millie can resume downloading Eminem safe with the knowledge that she won't get sued.

Re:What to do about it? (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018988)

Tie a bomb to your waist, run inside the RIAA headquarters, take down as many people as you possibly can.

Get it over with RIAA, start flying that flag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018386)

You know what flag i'm talking about, it has a swastica on it. You know you are them, man up and start flying the colors literally that you fly figuratively every day.

Go RIAA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018396)

I won't be satisfied until they sue a homeless, crippled, unemployed single mother with full blown AIDS.

Re:Go RIAA! (1)

matt328 (916281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018628)

Why not, they already went after a dead guy's kids [slashdot.org] . Seriously, why do people put up with this bullshit?

Re:Go RIAA! (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019064)

I can't wait for them to sue a deaf guy.

Re:Go RIAA! (1)

aevan (903814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019254)

They could always claim he ran it through some visualisation program (like the winamp one) and used mp3s to fuel the patterns, or played it for his plants.

Is it unusual (1)

fluffykitty1234 (1005053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018442)

For a lawyer to call someone's employer? It sounds odd, but is it really rare and or unusual?

It is (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018488)

It is, if it is done intentionally to put fear into people's minds. And it is.

Re:It is (0, Flamebait)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018548)

Or what about the fact he was using works computer to download music, Does this give them the right?

Re:It is (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018704)

Or what about the fact he was using works computer to download music, Does this give them the right?
The RIAA is accusing his mother, not him. Does the RIAA really think his mother would use his work computer to download music? That farfetched, even for the RIAA.

Re:It is (1)

JoeSchmoe999 (782579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018850)

Where did that come from?
Nowhere did I find any indication that the son was being accused of downloading any music, let alone from his work.
These kinds of accusations remind me very much of the RIAA/MPAA.
However, to answer your question, if he WAS downloading music at work and IF the music was from an ILLEGAL site (and not from one of the RIAA shills like Apple or others), then yes, they would have a "right" to contact his employer.
Did I miss something here or are you deliberatly being inflammatory?

Re:Is it unusual (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018610)

For a lawyer to call someone's employer? It sounds odd, but is it really rare and or unusual?
Not unusual at all, when someone is attempting to send legal documents (such as a notice of judgment or a subpoena) and attempted delivery at the home address has failed. I personally have had notices of judgment served to debtors at their place of employment many, many times.

Not for nothing, but it appears that the son was deliberately avoiding receiving the subpoena (good for him, every attempt at re-delivery is costing the plaintiffs cold, hard cash) -- and if he does this at home, he should expect and deal with the consequences (the subpoena being served to him at work).

The plaintiff's lawyers decided to play tit-for-tat and ask his employer about the possibility of the son's work computer having material potentially relevant to the case.

The lesson is, if you want to play hardball with the MPAA, then you'd better bring your bat, glove, and catcher's mask.

Re:Is it unusual (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018790)

If I had points I would mod you up. Someone who actually read TFA.

Re:Is it unusual (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019258)

"The lesson is, if you want to play hardball with the MPAA, then you'd better bring your bat, glove, and catcher's mask."

I'm sure he had all of those, but since the RIAA/MPAA was going for his BALLS, he should have been wearing a cup in his jockstrap.

Re:Is it unusual (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018916)

It's outrageous.

Re:Is it unusual (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019072)

He didn't ask if it was outrageous, he asked if it was unusual.

And given the circumstances, it's not even outrageous -- assuming that the plaintiff's assertions that repeated attempts to deliver the subpoena at the son's stated address failed. If you read the footnotes you linked to, there's some pretty dodgy stuff there about avoiding the subpoena. If true, the plaintiff was fully justified.

Making the summary sound like they contacted the employer out of the blue is sensationalist, misleading, dishonest, and, in fact, outrageous.

Note that I completely disagree with the RIAA's tactics in re: intimidation of targeted suspects. However, your yellow journalism just increases the amount of people who also believe that plenty of people who are against the RIAA are no better then them. FUD, etc.

The hyperbole has gone nuclear (5, Insightful)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018478)

"To those who might think that I might be exaggerating when I describe the RIAA's litigation campaign as a 'reign of terror', how's this one: in UMG v. Lindor, the RIAA not only subpoenaed the computer of Ms. Lindor's son, who lives 4 miles away, but had their lawyer telephone the son's employer. See page 2, footnote 1."
This isn't a reign of terror. The purges of Stalin would classify as a reign of terror. The French Revolution would classify as a reign of terror. This classifies as merely harassment. I understand that the poster wants to bring up how loathsome the actions of the RIAA are, but exaggeration merely turns people off. When I hear someone talk about a "reign of terror" I typically just ignore that person since he or she is trying to convince me emotionally instead of rationally.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018544)

I loathe the RIAA (a strange thing for a former recording engineer), but I agree that statements like this trivializes those who suffered under actual reigns of terror. It's simply not an acceptable metaphor.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019152)

It's not so strange for one on the production side of the business to loathe the record companies. I know a couple of sound engineers who are also performers who wish that RIAA members would suddenly die. Many engineers befriend the artists they work with, or are also artists themselves, and get sick of the f***ing scams that ruin their friends careers -- especially the record companies' creative accounting practices which result in artists accumulating huge debts to the record company, even when a record charts and becomes a huge money maker.

I for one do not wish RIAA members to die; I wish for them to become mentally disabled from all the coke they snort. That would be a much more fitting punishment for those jackasses.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018846)

People like you or me wouldn't be 'terrorized' by it. But the kind of people who are being sued are being terrorized by it. I talk to these people every day.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019150)

No, they're being annoyed, embarrassed, given a few sleepless nights and so on. The jackboot kicking your down in at 2am is terror.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (1)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019352)

They might feel terrorized, but generally speaking their heads will still be attached to the rest of them after the lawyers are through.

This does make it rather different to more traditional "reigns of terror" such as the example given (french revolution).

We should be careful about using exaggerated and inappropriate terminology - or we end up no better than people who equate copying your friend's $10 CD with rape and murder on the high seas.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019052)

When I hear someone generalize the entire French Revolution as a "reign of terror" I typically just ignore that person since he or she doesn't understand European history.

Re:The hyperbole has gone nuclear (1)

faraway (174370) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019244)

Fine. It's not a "reign of terror". Call it... "shock and awe".

Low act. (3, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018484)

Not only will they sue you, they do everything in thier power to make your life and that of your families a misery.

Home Health Care Aide (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018492)

By the way, this is the case against the home health care aide.... who has never even used a computer.

Re:Home Health Care Aide (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018682)

Has never used a computer but has an Internet account?

Or was her name drawn out of a hat?

Re:Home Health Care Aide (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018770)

I really have to wonder how the RIAA think they're going to get anywhere with all of this. They are suing people, but they're suing like .001% of filesharers, and it looks like 5-10 percent of their cases are missing horribly (dead people, people without computers, etc.). Then they make all sorts of ridiculous demands and steamroller people with their financial backings. I mean, they're totally destroying the US legal system and wrecking lives at random, but they can't be making that much money off this, and they aren't cutting down on piracy.

If the guy were working for me... (2, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018516)

I'd give him a raise (if only a token one) just to give the Bronx cheer to the **AA Mafia.

-b.

Probable Cause? (3, Interesting)

CPIMatt (206195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018556)

If you read the response from the record industry, Richard Altman is not an innocent bystander. According to the RIAA he has reinstalled Windows on his mom's computer several times and he was the one who delivered his mom's computer's hard drive to the RIAA. It is not like he has not been involved

The RIAA says that the hard drive they have is not the hard drive that was attached to the computer they are looking for, so they are looking at Richard Altman's computer equipment to see if he has the information they want.

Do they have probable cause to do this? I don't think so, but that is their argument.

-Matt

Re:Probable Cause? (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018714)

Altman is the attorney for the defendant Lindor.

Raymond is the son of Ms. Lindor who had the subpoena served and the employer called.

Re:Probable Cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018806)

So, if Mr. Altman was, lets say Best Buy (IF Geek Squad fixed her PC, and removed it for the RIAA), would they have sued Best Buy?

I doubt it.

I don't download music anymore (4, Interesting)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018584)

See? This is bullshit. I'm so scared of getting sued by the RIAA, that I don't download music anymore -- and I don't buy CDs either. No, I don't have a 20+G inventory of MP3s. Instead, I use many of the online commercial-free radio stations (Like the fabulous SomaFM.com [somafm.com] ).

Now I've been a little scared of being hit by the MPAA for downloading Doctor Who and James Burke shows. Oh, wait...

Re:I don't download music anymore (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018808)

I'm so scared of getting sued by the RIAA, that I don't download music anymore -- and I don't buy CDs either.

Psst... Usenet. Whoops, I've said too much.

Usenet downloading (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019210)

Psst... Usenet. Whoops, I've said too much.

Of course there's usenet. That's where I get my porn =_) Seriously, though, there's the issue of content. I sure like to listen to specific bands I like, and some old freaky psychedelic goodies that I like. I do have some old CDs that I've *bought*. More often than not, though, it is so much easier to scan through my favorite Internet radiostations (MythTV friggin' *rocks* [mysettopbox.tv] ).

Usenet will always be there, but there are a shortage of good free usenet servers that carry the binaries. That, and the extra tools needed to decode RAR, PAR, and all that -- I wanna listen to tunes now, not screw with writing scripts and tool figureoutage. The Internet gratifies me instantly, for free, and without the terror brought on by these silly lawsuits.

Re:I don't download music anymore (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019264)

Check out the creative commons web sites, where a lot of unsigned or indie-label bands give away some of their work free for download.

In the land of sweeping statements (5, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018592)

From TFA:
However, in this case they basically decided to go for the gold and [the RIAA] made a bold argument claiming that merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement. It was a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet.
Because there is no internet outside of the US. Or, in fact, anything. It's all just sea, y'know.

Re:In the land of sweeping statements (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018786)

Because there is no internet outside of the US. Or, in fact, anything. It's all just sea, y'know
And of the countries outside the US, how many have trade agreements with the US? How many are dependent on the US as an export market?

How many are signatories to the WTO treaty?

If you think that the outside world is independent of US political and economic action, that's just as bad as thinking there IS no outside world.

Of course, it's hubris to think that the US can unilaterally enact decisions this big, isn't it? Even when the US chooses to ignore the WTO whenever it suits them, while economically forcing other nations to comply with WTO decisions?

Come on, this isn't that bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018606)

Really! So a plaintiff in a case is ONLY allowed to serve at home, when it is clear from this document that the server is being avoided? You go to their place of employment and serve them. This isn't illegal, this isn't improper, and if anything, the defendant's employer shouldn't blink an eye.... BECAUSE THE DEFENDANT IS WITH A LAW FIRM!!!!

The Objective: Fear (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018612)

The main objective is to heighten the fear of using one's own files into the hearts of "normal" users.

Much like a dog that has been beaten for no reason, consumers then get into a frame of mind where they will go to entertainment corps first and follow crazy usage rules in order to avoid getting criminalized.

In exchange, then entertainment mega-corps content consumption will appear cheaper.

I'm liking vhs/dvd's much more now than ever. (until I can build a silent mythtv box anyway)

A bold prediction... (0, Flamebait)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018634)

I'm going to predict this discussion will be full of people bitching and moaning about the employer being called, without ever reading the attached documents in TFA to discover why.

Looks like I'm right so far.

Why shouldn't the RIAA do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018638)

Is it costing them money? Are you still buying their music?

dismantling the RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018640)

I don't think there's anyone alive who would now dispute that the RIAA are terrorists in the proper usage of the word.
Terrorism does not require killing or physical intimidation by its current definition.

The only question is how to dismantle the organisation. What mechanisms are available to revoke the mandate of the RIAA?
I hear much outrage at the organisation, but hear very little about what lies behind the legal basis of the it
and from where they derive their power. What exactly is an an "Association"? Why don't the racketeering laws protect common
citizens from abuse by these criminals?

I think the time has come to attack them at their very root. Not their members, not their policies, but the existence of
the organisation itself. What does American law offer that can dismantle the RIAA and deem it an illegal organisation?

boycott music for a while (1, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018676)

just don't buy any more cd's or download crap for a while, legal or not. If we all did it at once, they'd get the picture.

Re:boycott music for a while (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018952)

They will just use the decline in sales to boost their claims that they need to stop piracy and get some more RIAA friendly laws passed by their pet congressmen. Because there can be no rational explanation for a decrease in CD sales (or even a slowdown in the growth of sales) other than piracy.

Believe me, this is exactly what would happen.

Finkployd

Re:boycott music for a while (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019008)

When people stop buying so many CDs, they just blame piracy for it directly. People have been calling for the boycott of the RIAA or claimed to be doing so for years. In any of the mentions of lower CD sales in the media, have you ever once heard a mention of the fact that some percentage of people may be boycotting the RIAA because the music sucks or because they object to their tactics?

Is it legal to... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018724)

Is it legal to have, as your stated and acted-upon goal, the destruction of a company?

For instance, one might consider the MPAA to be an utterly evil business. A morally inclined person might see destruction of the MPAA as a moral good. But I've also heard of lawsuits related to "interference with business" or some such.

Does anyone know if it would be legal for us to form the "RIAA/MPAA Bankruptcy League", whose goal is to bring those companies to bankruptcy?

Re:Is it legal to... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019112)

For instance, one might consider the MPAA to be an utterly evil business. A morally inclined person might see destruction of the MPAA as a moral good. But I've also heard of lawsuits related to "interference with business" or some such.

I'd think that it depends on the methods used. Encouraging people to boycott because of specific grievances is OK, especially if you say that the boycott will end if those grievances are addressed. If addressing the grievances will incidentally involve the company being unable to stay solvent, well so be it. Planting dynamite and ricin at the headquarters of the MPAA is unlikely to be legal :/

-b.

Re:Is it legal to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019320)

Probably not. It would, however, be legal to start a vast company of online users who each chipped in a pittence to form the recording studio/movie studio they could run as they saw fit...

Boycot purchasing music! (1)

BeachMouser (1032900) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018744)

It is in our power to put a major dent in their profits and stop these attacks. How many of you can go 1 year without buying music. I haven't bought any in the last 3 years so I listen to a lot of internet radio. Here is a new year's resolution for us all. Stop supporting the RIAA. Stop buying music! Cheers!

Get over yourselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018746)

Most of you break the law when it comes to stealing music.

What do expect, a hero's parade?

Try open source music (1)

I_HATE_THIS (1019084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018782)

Simply stop buying any form of music and listen only to radio. Buy CD for classical music only.

Am I missing something? (5, Interesting)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17018890)

The guy was illegally downloading music, dodging legitimate subpoenas, having people lie about his whereabouts to avoid legitimate subpoenas, having people *impersonate his dead father* to help him dodge legitimate subpoenas, and then after finally being served he tampers with evidence?

Say what you will about our thieving jackbooted fascist powertripping RIAA overlords, I'm having a hard time mustering up much sympathy for this guy. I disagree with much (if not all) of the **AA's tactics, but I'm just as rapidly running out of compassion for people who don't have the nerve to man up and just *do without* all their downloaded music and movies. At least the stoners have the nerve to stand right in front of the cops in a crowd of thousands and say "go ahead, arrest us all." I've yet to see a single person say "yes, I'm illegally filesharing and I'm willing to take the legal consequences as a symbol protest." Instead all I hear is "b-b-but it's not stealing, it's sharing! Everybody does it! Your business model is outdated and you're *mean*! Lower your prices! Britney sucks!"

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

theKiyote (542132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019202)

I've yet to see a single person say "yes, I'm illegally filesharing and I'm willing to take the legal consequences as a symbol protest."
Yes, I'm illegally filesharing, but I'm not willing to take the legal consequences. I'm really hopping to avoid those ^_^

Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17018942)

Shouldn't there be any law that prevents a litigator (read RIAA) to go after relatives and associates of the defendant (the sued) ?

Isn't there any law that prevents the litigator (read RIAA) to harass people?
Calling the employer of the son of the defendant is harassing to me. The employer has nothing to do with it.

It's safe to continue download copyrighted music from the Internet anyways, I have bigger chance of winning the lottery and becoming a millionaire than getting busted for downloading.

Now for the paradox;
for every MP3 that you don't download, I'll download three!

Re:Legal? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019140)

Sure it might be illegal, but if you cant afford to fight, you dont get your rights.

diCpk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019016)

Stupid. To the Discuusion I'm project. Today, as BSD culminated in

Nobody likes a bully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019034)

That's why Microsoft, the RIAA, the MPAA, and the United States are so unpopular worldwide.

And? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019120)

You have a multi-billion dollar cartel suing unemployed people, disabled people, housewives, single mothers, home healthcare aids

This may sound harsh, but how does being any of these things affect whether you should be allowed to infringe copyright? Argue against the copyright system all you want, but don't play the 'little old granny' card: being disabled, single or unemployed doesn't give you a right to piracy.

Alternative RIAA scheme (2, Interesting)

brenbart (219108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17019144)

You know, people probably wouldn't hate the RIAA so much if they changed their tactics from the "Trying to make a point/set legal precedent" to one of "trying to get the recording industries fair share"

Wander with me a moment if you will...

DRM - Change the DRM so that instead of trying to block copying of media it's more of a tattletale. Periodically it informs the RIAA what songs you have, when you copy them, whatever. I don't have this completely fleshed out but it would probably entail some sort of RIAA song registry.

Then the RIAA takes the same vague sources of data that they have now and instead of suing someone they send them a bill for a set reasonable fee for each song plus a 50% "You were being bad" fine. The consumer has several options upon receipt:

1. Pay the bill - Somehow a system of what music you have would have to be registered somewhere.

2. Refute the bill - Set up an arbitration process that doesn't actually involve a court. Some third party looks at the evidence and makes a binding decision. This process would have to have some mandatory fee to prevent everyone from clogging the system. Fee to be paid by the loser! So if you do have "stolen" music and you lose, you'd pay the cost+fine+arbitration fee. Ouch! But in the case of all these other people now being sued it'd be a lot cheaper. Ooo, and if they got their greasy hands on evidence that you tried to screw with the tattletale DRM then there would be an additional fine.

3. Ignore the bill - After a certain length of time the RIAA would have the option of pursuing it like any other debt. Black marks on your credit rating, "selling" the debt to third-party debt collection agencies etc. Or if it's some massive amount of songs/money then they could sue you in the appropriate civil court.

The end result of this? A new source of income for the recording industry. Potentially it could change the primary distribution model to one of mainly media downloads. (Why leave out the MPAA?)

For music the DRM could allow you to play the song a set number of times before you have to pay or delete it. I doubt the movie industry would go for that. Maybe a set number of minutes into the movie like hotel room pay-per-view used to be? "Warning! If you continue to view this movie you will be required to pay $XX.XX or you can stop now."

We are the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019168)

Eventually there will be a law against not buying so much music/movies per year. Or it will be just taken from your wages, like a tax. Hell folks, this is America! You live here, and are intertained by this land. You owe! It's like Tommy Lasorta said in the commercial, "Get out of the tree! You live for this! We ALL live for this!!!"

Just my 2 cents, but I think that the music industry is falling down, and this is the noise of it, no worries. I went to a music store the other day in the mall, and MAN is it slim pickings in there. Even the music store itself was considerably smaller. Eventually, music will be played for the sake of music, and the artists that just want to get rich, will have to cut their hair, and get a real job.

Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17019198)

Corporations have asked for and received special rules that force individuals to use class action lawsuits against them. So you can only sue a corporation with other people agree to do so...or when a lawyer starts the case and takes all the money for him/herself. BUT corporations can sue you as an individual all they want.

The arguement for class action rules was that the poor defenseless corporation was unable to defend itself against the litigous masses. This is plain rediculous. Corporations and business in general are the main sources of litigation in America. They are the main users of the system. They just didn't like it when mere citizens of were allowed to sue THEM. So they do everything to make it harder.

The best part of their campaign is the one that makes citizens think that people sue too much. Since corporations own the media they have a constant stream of news stories on the extreme cases, McDonalds being sued for hot coffee, etc. What they don't balance that with is that McDonalds and other corporations often pay nothing because they can afford to appeal and appeal and appeal. But average citizens can not and give up.

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