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393 comments

NO WAI!!!! (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836288)

They're not competing? NO WAI!!!

Can't wait till studios figure out this isn't the 19th century...

There is a way to make money in music/movies. Selling mass copies of media is not it.

Tom

This puts a grin on my face. (4, Insightful)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836340)

I'm a lookin for this kids web site (if he has one) and I think i'll paypal him a couple of bucks. Not standing up and saying "NO" to the RIAA is as good as saying OK. I'm glad someone is returning fire.

Silulu. Hot Polynesian Geek Chick. HPGC [scitechpulse.com]

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836368)

While I support pissing off the RIAA, I wouldn't give him money. Ultimately, he did break the law by copying music he didn't have a right to [as stupid as that is illegal...].

Why not send your money to FLOSS projects, or sponsor a stipend for a budding developer to give a talk at a conference or something instead.

Or just keep your money...

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836438)

Ultimately, he did break the law by copying music he didn't have a right to

And your source for this claim is ... ?

Oh, the RIAA. Right.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836470)

Whatever. Fine give the kid money. Like I give a rats ass. I was just saying, if you feel charitable there are MUCH BETTER CAUSES to donate to.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836552)

Actually, I agree with you. I'm thinking the ACLU, since among other things, they try to educate people about fundamental aspects of the law such as "accusation is not conviction."

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836596)

I never said he's guilty. I merely implicated that he's likely guilty. Or more importantly, even if he's not, what the fuck has the kid done for me?

I hate how everyone rallies behind shit like this. But a starving FLOSS developer goes unnoticed [but properly exploited] and nobody cares.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (5, Insightful)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836728)

you implicated that he's guilty when you said "Ultimately, he did break the law by copying music he didn't have a right to". nothing in there says that you think he's "likely guilty". there's actually a great chance that he is not guilty, and if he is, they have little to no proof of it. the burden of proof is on the accuser and if the RIAA can't prove that he's guilty, he wins and they pay his legal fees.

if he can actually get the courts to agree that the RIAA is wasting their time, it's a win for everyone, which is why he deserves more than a starving FLOSS developer. i equate a FLOSS developer who doesn't have a real job with an artist who refuses to join our capitalist society. our country has been capitalist for over 200 years... that's not going to change, you don't deserve my money if you can't figure that out for yourself. it's called getting a real job and making sure that anything you code on your own time belongs to you. not too difficult.

if i had the money to donate, i'd donate it to this kid. he's taking on a worthy cause (through his lawyers). chances are a "starving" FLOSS developer has the means to get a real job and afford to live, while a 16 year old kid taking on the RIAA probably doesn't.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836918)

From the article, "His defenses to the industry's lawsuit include that he never sent copyrighted music to others, that the recording companies promoted file sharing before turning against it, that average computer users were never warned that it was illegal, that the statute of limitations has passed, and that all the music claimed to have been downloaded was actually owned by his sister on store-bought CDs."

Or in other words, "I didn't do, but even if I did they made me do it, and never told me not to, and it was a long time ago, and, like, even if I had it the music was legal because it was someone else's."

Sorry, but it sounds like he's squirming like a little kid caught with his hand the cookie jar, throwing out every excuse and rationalization he can come up with.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837464)

Or in other words, "I didn't do, but even if I did they made me do it, and never told me not to, and it was a long time ago, and, like, even if I had it the music was legal because it was someone else's."
Sorry, but it sounds like he's squirming like a little kid caught with his hand the cookie jar, throwing out every excuse and rationalization he can come up with.
Sorry, but that is the way the US legal system works. Everyone wants to win and they are going to use every argument possible that will help them win. In addition, you can't raise defenses later, if you did not raise them at the proper time.
Anyway, it seems to me that the argument that he did not download the music is not just rationalization. If the RIAA has accused him of downloading and he (or his sister) actually bought the music, what has he done wrong?

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (5, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836776)

Maybe I'll donate to a dictionary since they educate people on the definition of "imply".

Oh Yeah? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836808)

I never said he's guilty. I merely implicated that he's likely guilty.
Did you not?

Ultimately, he did break the law by copying music he didn't have a right to..
Listen @$$hole, I can understand that you may want to suck RIAA's dick, but I still don't understand how you can un-write what you just wrote 2 posts back.

Oh wait.. Now I _do_ understand it..

Re:Oh Yeah? (1, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836964)

This is /. dude. Logical discussions need not apply.

Anyways, the kid isn't a hero. At best he's a victim, at worst he's a squirming copyright infringer. Big deal.

Combine that with the fact that many /. readers live outside the USA and you can see how not-upset we are over the RIAA [an american institution] acting like shites.

Re:Oh Yeah? (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837230)

yeah, but your coutry has a version of the RIAA. If tyou country has a treaty with the US the RIAA can come after you to.

Welcome to the global economy, dick.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836820)

I also think it needs to be pointed out that a FLOSS developer chooses to donate their time to the cause, whereas this kid was attacked by the RIAA; equating them really isn't fair. Besides, what worthwhile FLOSS dev is unnoticed on /.? Unless you're building something totally unnecessary, you'll get loved.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836942)

I may be biased, but the LibTom Projects do have a small [but dedicated] FLOSS following. Yet not a single article, review, or anything exists anywhere on the web to talk about them. That they're used by projects like OLPC, Dropbear, Tcl and the like makes no nevermind appearently. /. only reviews the projects that will get ad impressions. If they feature one or two smaller FLOSS projects a week we'd probably be better off and know about dozens if not hundreds of useful projects we wouldn't otherwise hear about.

Fortunately, I don't care anymore as I'm a complete and utter burn out. I went back to studying piano and I leave development to my 9-5 job. My free time is "my time" now and I don't work on my projects anymore.

Tom

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837268)

Just because you do something, doesn't mean people have to talk about it.

I hope you relize that soon, or we will get to hear about how everyone sucks because they don't rave about you piano music.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837506)

So Tcl, Dropbear and the like are all small unused projects? And I'm hardly alone in this respect. There are many small projects that are both useful and totally obscured by the few larger OSS projects.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (-1, Troll)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837242)

I'll consider donating to the ACLU when they stop paying to defend terrorists [foxnews.com]. I'm not having my money spent on that shit.
 
Back on topic, that kid is in a pretty good situation already. He gets the notoriety for "sticking it to the man" and even if he loses, so what? What can they collect from a 16 year old kid? No judge is going to support garnishing his wages by the time he's 25 and finally making real money.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837522)

I'll consider donating to the ACLU when they stop paying to defend terrorists [foxnews.com]. I'm not having my money spent on that shit.

And when were the prisoners in question validly tried and convicted? Looks like you should go back to the OP's point "accusation is not conviction". I'm all for punishing terrorism, but it's statistically likely that there are a few genuinely innocent people in Guantanamo, and some good ol' all-American trials would separate them from the people that should go away for a long time.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836588)

FLOSS donations. Every christmas. OOo Mozilla GIMP and others that I use year round. Good suggestion, though. I really am mostly after the joy of kicking the RIAA in the nuts. They do have a legitimate purpose in keeping filesharing to a minimum, but the way they do business in general (lawsuits aside) really makes me dislike them.

Silulu. Hot Polynesian Geek Chick. HPGC tech news netcast. [scitechpulse.com]

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (0, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836626)

There is more FLOSS than the major parties.

Consider hunting down smaller [but ultimately still productive] projects and paypal'ing the author some money [more than $5 or whatever, cuz frankly if it's less than $50 or so what's the point, not likely that they'll get hundreds of donations to make it matter].

When I was a young scrapper I was always poor, going from cheque to cheque. I had users for my software ranging from all walks of life, including several billion dollar industries. You think they could donate some rent money or something? HELLS NO. I had to get a regular 9-5 [sw development] job and I'm bitter and pissed off as a result.

But you'd do future generations of FLOSS developers a favour by not just donating to the popular projects...

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837148)

I was just saying, if you feel charitable there are MUCH BETTER CAUSES to donate to.

Oh, are you one of those people that hates OLPC because there might be some child out there that's hungry? Either a cause is worthy, or a cause is not worthy. Is raising money to break up an illegal cartel engaging in extortion and price fixing a good thing or a bad thing? That is the only question that needs to be asked.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (5, Insightful)

doktorjayd (469473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836742)

i thought this {legality | prosecution | persecution} hadnt been thoroughly tested in the courts, because when the 800 kg gorilla that is the *iaa team of lawyers descends on unsuspecting accused, they take the _much_ cheaper option and pay the protection money demanded as 'settlement'. the few cases where the accused has said 'thems fighting words, lets step outside', the *iaa backs off.

just 'cause the *iaa keeps bleating 'youre stealing, its illegal, etc' doesnt make it so.

i'd throw a few gold coins his way too, as this looks like a pretty good vector to prise open the *iaa shenanigans

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837004)

i'd throw a few gold coins his way too, as this looks like a pretty good vector to prise open the *iaa shenanigans

Another vector would be to stop giving gold coins to the RIAA in the first place. Of course that requires convincing the mass population of sheep that they should be wiser with their money and stop following payola tunes all around the place.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (3, Interesting)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837232)

I'm not an idealistic type...at least not often. I do think sometimes the right thing to do has to be done in the wrong way. Sort of the Robin Hood thing. Sure he was stealing, which was illegal, but he was stealing from manipulative people who perpetuated wrong at every turn. And the end result of his theft was to help far more people.

This kid, in my own opinion, isn't trying to "fight the machine". I believe this kid is simply trying to weasel his way out of getting in serious trouble, and the best way he knows how is to challenge the companies that forged the law rather than challenging the law as it pertains to his case. It's a rare defense, mostly because it doesn't work very often. The difference here from all of the other times this has been tried is that there are some unique elements. First, 5 of the largest companies in the country are targeting a single 16yo boy, which stinks of bullying tactics. Second, the kid is using a counter-offensive that actually speaks to millions of people because it's what everybody is already thinking.

Sure, the kid broke the law. Yeah, he did get caught and he's going to get sued for it, and probably lose. But, and this is a great time for a 'but'...This needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. If it wasn't this kid, it's going to be somebody else who isn't going to capture public attention as well as a minor will. A judge and jury will be far more willing to side with the kid than an adult that could reasonably afford the music.

Did you RTA? (4, Insightful)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837244)

He was 11 when it happened, and the statute of limitations is up. Furthermore, his sister already had rights to everything he downloaded, since she owned the CD's.

I think the RIAA is going to lose this case, and it's going to set the stage for how the RIAA's patterned lawsuits start failing, time after time.

The last argument, in particular, should be able to defeat any RIAA lawsuit in court, since people buy and sell CD's all the time, and the RIAA can't prove what the person owned the rights to at the time they downloaded copyrighted music.

"His defenses to the industry's lawsuit include that he never sent copyrighted music to others, that the recording companies promoted file sharing before turning against it, that average computer users were never warned that it was illegal, that the statute of limitations has passed, and that all the music claimed to have been downloaded was actually owned by his sister on store-bought CDs."

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1)

B.D.Mills (18626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837336)

Ultimately, he did break the law by copying music
Just a bit of friendly advice. Don't misrepresent unproven allegations as facts unless you want to risk becoming the defendant in a libel lawsuit.

Re:This puts a grin on my face. (1, Troll)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836816)

I hope the kid wins. But he is trying to bring truth into the court room. Usually courts don't like truth very much.

Re:NO WAI!!!! (1)

tonyr60 (32153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836852)

And Reuters need to figure out what century they are working in. This at the bottom of the referenced article "© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. "......

Smart kid (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836298)

Good for him I say! Hopefully some decent lawyers are helping him out on this.

Not really that smart of a kid, necessarily (4, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836420)

The kid had nothing to do with the legal arguments -- the reporting is just following the convention that your lawyer speaks with your voice and your authority. Its probably the same set of lawyers who worked when his mother was sued and, inexplicably, were not called in when his sister got issued a default judgement for $20k. (Yikes! People, when the process server gives you papers, READ and ACT ON THEM. Default judgements are 64,000 flavors of nothing good!)

Re:Not really that smart of a kid, necessarily (1)

Harin_Teb (1005123) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836982)

Default judgements are only bad when the court has jurisdiction over you... or you wnat to visit that jursidiction... ever... in your life...

Looks like he's smart enough to get a good lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837414)

And that's important.

Re:Smart kid (4, Informative)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837430)

Here's an article about his lawyer [technewsworld.com]. It is the same guy that represented his mom (and that worked out ok...sort of). It is a one man operation, with a little help from the mom herself.

It sounds to me like their short on funds, and I'm not sure what this lawyer is looking to get out of this--a judgment for attorney's fees? I guess he had to countersue for this kid if he is to have any chance of getting money out of this. It's too high profile to quit, but their is no funding to work with (except for this little fund mentioned in the linked article).

God bless this little thief (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836310)

No matter what side of the RIAA-wars you come down on, there's something endearing about a kid who stands up to bullies.

Re:God bless this little thief (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836402)

God bless this little thief

God bless this alleged little thief...

That's something we've forgotten here in the USA, you are innocent until proven guilty!

We have become sooo complacent with law enforcement, that we automatically believe that they are right. They are not. They make mistakes and on rare occasions, lie to protect their jobs.

an example of when the cops screw up.... [nytimes.com]

Re:God bless this little thief (5, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836710)

God bless this alleged little copyright infringer... Get it right people.

Re:God bless this little thief (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836864)

In regard to the link you posted "an example of when the cops screw up":

It's a shame that the only direct penalty against the government in this case was $2 million, which to the USA Federal Government is less than pocket change.

What should have happened is that the specific officers/agents/officials involved should have been publically identified, fired, and then prosecuted and incarcerated just as though they were private citizens who had taken the exact same actions. My bet is that if this happened, they would be in prison for a long, long time. I bet further that if this did happen, the incidence of abuses of power like this would suddenly see a dramatic reduction. You tend to be far more careful when it's your ass on the line and not a meager fine paid by your organization. And why should some thug (legitimate law enforcement + Orwellian surveillance powers = band of thugs) be allowed to cause you direct and personal harm by depriving you of the most basic rights in the name of trading freedom for security, while the worst thing that could happen to said thug is that (maybe) he could lose his job? At what point did we decide that this is a great way to run things? -- I missed that meeting.

Not fair, you say? When the government abuses authority it should be held to a much stricter standard than when a private citizen behaves in the same fashion (at least triple the penalty, and criminal *not merely financial* sanctions). Those who say they are fit to govern us and be our authorities do so voluntarily, and they should also be understood as saying that they are prepared to be held to such a standard. For any other line of work, this idea would be too extreme, but the people who are capable of depriving us of life, liberty, and property on a large scale hold a lot of power, and a lot of responsibility should go along with that.

Re:God bless this little thief (4, Insightful)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836874)

The definition of 'thief' is so flimsy in this kid's case, it probably doesn't matter whether he's innocent or not. It's easy enough to teach an 11-yo kid not to take things out of retail stores without paying, but to convince an 11-yo (whose mother can barely turn on a computer) that certain bits and bytes are covered under intellectual property laws is far more difficult, especially when a lot of clear-headed adults can't even be convinced. I say he's got a pretty good case. Leave the 11-year-olds alone. How are they going to come up with $16 for a CD anyway?

Re:God bless this little thief (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836928)

That's something we've forgotten here in the USA, you are innocent until proven guilty!

That is incorrect. We are talking about what he *is*, not what can be proved in court. The courts presume innocence. However, whether he is guilty or not is a factual matter dependent on whether he did it or not. Whether he is found guilty is a procedural question answered in a court of law. The vernacular and the legal definitions of guilty do not match. He is a little thief that the courts must presume is innocent of the charges until after the finding (at which time he will neither be innocent or guilty. He will either be found not-guilty - not the same as innocent, or he will be found guilty - again, not the same as actually being guilty). Don't worry, even most lawyers don't get it.

Re:God bless this little thief (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837508)

That's something we've forgotten here in the USA, you are innocent until proven guilty!
In a criminal case, yes, but this is a civil case, in which there is no presumption of innocence and the decision is based on the balance evidence.

Maybe sort of... (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836510)

No matter what side of the RIAA-wars you come down on, there's something endearing about a kid who stands up to bullies.

Well, sort of. There is of course a lawyer behind it. A 16 year old might have a gut feeling that these things are taking place, but I'm guessing his lawyer suggested this particular approach...

Yay! (1)

ShedPlant (1041034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836312)

Go kid! Let's hope the judge sides with him on this one.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836372)

Let's hope the judge sides with him on this one.


      I for one would love to see an actual list of the "thousands of employees that have been laid off" in the music industry due to piracy, according to the RIAA. Sheesh yeah those pop stars are out begging in the street, and they're the ones that keep the SMALLER percentage of the royalties...

Re:Yay! (5, Funny)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836996)

All but two [wikipedia.org] stores in the popular Tower Records chain just went out of business. They still have online sales, but I'm sure there's a lot of retail employees that lost their jobs.

Obviously, their mistake is in not raising prices to cover their losses. Maybe if they raised their prices high enough all the illegal downloaders would realize what a mistake they've made and start buying their music.

Re:Yay! (4, Interesting)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837138)

I think Tower Records suffered from the big boxes like Walmart and Best Buy flexing their corporate muscle more than online piracy. When selling physical media + accessories is your only game you aren't left with the resources to fight a company like Best Buy in a pricewar when they decide to sell CDs $3 or $4 cheaper than you can and make up the difference by selling you a shiny plasma TV. I would maybe buy piracy as an excuse if suddenly Best Buy or Target or whomever suddenly decided CDs were no longer worth selling, but that hasn't seemed to happen.

Re:Yay! (2, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837146)

maybe, just maybe, this could be related to the fact that most music on the market today is not worth the plastic it's pressed on? I don't remember how long it's been since I bought a CD of a 'contemporary' artist that gets radio play, pretty much all of the CDs I bought during the last 10+ years have been

= classical music (super hard to find in stores, amazon.com here I come)
= jazz (again, very hard to find a store with a decent selection, amazon.com)
= import world music (as if I could find this in stores, again, amazon.com)
= classic rock albums (you'd think that most stores would have, say, the complete Queen or Led Zeppelin discography, yeah, right, they might have the 'best of' or 'greatest hits' but never the actual albums: amazon.com again)

see a trend here? Why would I go in a physical store and order a CD there (that may or may not arrive in 3-4 weeks) when I can order them from the comfort of my own home and I know I'll receive them within a week tops? And even if I was into the 'latest and greatest' (cough cough) why would I go in a record store and not just get the record on iTunes? After all given how current music is mastered (levels, normalization, etc.) it's not like iTunes AAC files sound that much worse than the actual CDs.

If you really wanted to go after the real causes of retail record stores closing I suggest going after amazon.com and itunes, which in my opinion have a LOT more to do with that than music piracy.

Re:Yay! (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837404)

his could be related to the fact that most music on the market today is not worth the plastic it's pressed on?...see a trend here?

Yes, the trend is you have shitty taste in music. Try reading Pitchforkmedia [pitchforkmedia.com], Cokemachineglow [cokemachineglow.com] or MetaCritic [metacritic.com] and purchasing some of their recommendations. You may strike out a couple times but once you find out what kind of stuff you like, you'll be able to cross-reference it on Amazon and Allmusic and discover more stuff. You'll be amazed at how much incredible stuff is out there.

Re:Yay! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837298)

yes, poor money management certianly wasn't that cause for that.
Nor was it the fact that people can download there music legally from the comfort of their ow nhome.

They are getting hit for that same reason many middle men get hit, the internet provide beeter means of delivering the product.

Oh come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837074)

I for one would love to see an actual list of the "thousands of employees that have been laid off" in the music industry due to piracy, according to the RIAA. Sheesh yeah those pop stars are out begging in the street ....

They said "employees", not "artists." They don't ONLY represent the artists, and there's more to what the record companies do than stick and artist in a booth and hit "record." (Cue jokes.) I'm not siding with them, but that's a straw man if I've ever seen one.

Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836314)

Challenging recording groups under antitrust is a losing proposition -- and for good reason. The collaboration provides something worthwhile. Without this collaboration, musical works would be lost in a sea of other copyrighted works without some reasonable way of locating and licensing what you want.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836516)

...Without this collaboration, musical works would be lost in a sea of other copyrighted works without some reasonable way of locating and licensing what you want....

I don't think so Tim. Shoutcast [shoutcast.com] works perfectly fine to find new music with. Tags on the streams narrow you down to genres and from there the artist's name and song title are displayed while it is playing. So new music (and sales) is actually easier to find/generate on the Internet if you know where to look.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836702)

Last.fm is amazingly good at helping find new music - and it's a lot easier than digging through miscellaneous streams from various sources.

I've bought so many CDs as a result of that website. And the great majority of them are non-RIAA labels, and things that are so much more enjoyable to me than the mass-marketed artists that are often good but not great. My music taste has almost entirely changed as a result of that site, and finding out about genres that I wasn't even aware existed before signing up there.

In comparison to Last.fm, the radio is horrible at pointing me to new music.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837104)

I know a lot of people who find music with Last.fm. A lot of people I know listen to KEXP [kexp.org] (from our good friend Paul Allen's Experience Music Project in Seattle, but nonetheless strongly independant) streams, which is a good deal more eclectic than most radio. By comparison I know few people who listen to the radio (for music) when it's not playing in a collective setting, like at their workplace. Personally, music reviews, cross-referenced on Amazon and allmusic.com, have helped me immensely and accounts for about %99 of my purchases.

Re:record companies necessary? (1)

adminstring (608310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836662)

I go to see the bands that play at the better venues in my city, and buy CD's directly from those bands that impress me. I have no need for major labels to tell me what to buy, and no need for payola-programmed radio stations that are puppets of those same labels. Support your local music scene and independent touring artists, and you can kiss the RIAA goodbye!

Re:Good luck with that (5, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836782)

I've just been playing a fiddle tune. Although it is more than 200 years old I had no problem finding either sheet music or recordings of it, because anyone is free to publish and/or record without a license.

Cream rises to the top without a demon to drive it there.

Oh, the name of the tune? "The Rights of Man." I commemorates a little book of the same name. You might want to read it.

KFG

Ok... (4, Funny)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836336)

The record industry has suffered enormously due to piracy. That includes thousands of layoffs. We must protect our rights. Nothing in a filing full of recycled charges that have gone nowhere in the past changes that fact.

Uh... yeah, no kidding. I thought the RIAA's past legal failures should have already taught them that. Oh, wait... were they talking about the kid's charges?

Re:Ok... (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836550)

Oh, wait... were they talking about the kid's charges?

Right - The kid's charges.

After all, the US recording industry has lost three major price-fixing cases in the past 20 years, with absolutely no effect whatsoever on how they do business. CDs cost the same, radio stations still live and die by pay-for-play under various names, and the industry still rapes both the artists and the fans that let it exist in the first place.

So why would just one more teaspoon make the ocean overflow?

Its was about time, but the sad fact is (3, Insightful)

knightmad (931578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836344)

No one can wrestle the Media Cartel in the legal arena and win. They will beat him into submission, extending the suit until he has no more money (or will) to battle. What I really wish (wishful thinking, actually) is to see the DOJ getting involved, just like with Microsoft. Then we maybe can see some real action. Until them, better stick to WWE, american friends.

Re:Its was about time, but the sad fact is (4, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836424)

That's what they said about Big Tobacco. Any attempt is a good attempt: It encourages and enboldens others, even when they fail.

Re:Its was about time, but the sad fact is (2, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836934)

It occurred to me that this kid is going to rack up horrendous attorney fee's and court costs in a protracted legal battle in front of the jury, now the attorney fully expects that he'll never get paid if the kids counter suit fails and probably expects the good karma and publicity he'll recieve is enough. The court on the other hand has real costs like paying the jurors; if too many of these cases go through drawn-out the jury trial, lose the case, file bankruptcy cycles the courts are likely to lose patience with the RIAA. Now if the RIAA loses it's not like they will be able to file bankruptcy, so they are really in a no-win situation.

Re:Its was about time, but the sad fact is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836540)

Although there is a good chance of this turning into a loss for him, it's possible for him to turn this into a loss-loss situation for the record companies.

If he wins, the companies lose. They pay their own legal fees and his, and possibly a punitive amount, too.

If he loses, he has insufficient money to pay the settlement. Depending on the local laws, I believe there is an expiration on the settlement (a statute of limitations, I think). If he can't pay in a given amount of time (10 years or so), the claimant is left with no legal recourse to get the money from him, and they spent a boatload of money in court already. The problem is, however, during that 10 years, he can't accumulate seizable assets. That sucks.

At least, that's how I understand it. There's some pretty smart law-educated people around here who might know more about it, or can authoratatively contradict me, but if he wanted to foolishly cast the next 10 years of his finances into this as an idealistic venture, I think he could still sting the record companies.

Re:Its was about time, but the sad fact is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836636)

Better hope his lawyer(s) can do this work for free.

He is not disputing Fed income tax here... (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837212)

You're making it sound like he demanded they show the legal basis for the federal income tax
(there is none). Chances are the RIAA will cut him a deal where _they_ will pay him a couple of
grand and then go after some other poor schmuck with much weaker legal defense who has downloaded
one mp3 too many.

Good on him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836354)

Apparently many people have filed RICO lawsuits against these corporate extortionists but they were always dropped. Its good to see he is trying a new card with these anti-trust allegations. I wish him the best of luck

Hate to say it... (4, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836388)

IANAL, But let's say for argument's sake that the kid is right and the record companies are 'colluding'. That seems immaterial to the charge that he violated copyright violation. Statue of Limitations I can see, but you can't use wrongdoings of others as a defense for your own, unless they are directly relevant to this case (extortion claims? But isn't that how all lawsuits work? Sue or settle?) If the case had no merit, then it shouldn't go forward at all, but I don't see how this 'collusion' defense addresses the charges at hand.

Re:Hate to say it... (1)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836488)

I don't think he's making this suit in direct defense of his actions, but rather just as a strikeback at the record companies.

Re:Hate to say it... (1)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836718)

That colluding remark wasn't in his defense. TFA and the snippet said he had counter claims. That would be one of them.

Re:Hate to say it... (5, Insightful)

skorch (906936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836858)

Well, IANAL either, but my guess is his defence pertains directly to the case at hand: that being whether or not the RIAA really represents a monopoly and whether or not what they are doing is in fact extorsion. This would determine whether or not they even should have the legal right to sue anyone at all, or to act on behalf of any group of organizations that should be legally required to operate in competition with each other. If his claims are found legally true (I think it's pretty obvious that they are true, but from a legal standpoint does that hold water?) then their lawsuits are technically illegal themselves.

If these five separate companies were actually acting individually, and not as a monopolistic cartel, then they should each have conducted their own investigations of wrongdoing, and each have filed their own separate lawsuits for the individual violations of their IP. But them all acting together as one big organization kind of gives the game away and removes any doubt that these are saparate companies only as a mere formality. They are acting as a single entity with no free-market competition in mind while holding these proceedings. But that's just my layman's view of the situation, and I just hope the common sense I hope I applied to this analysis parallels the actual law in some way.

I just don't know if you can come up with a more textbook definition of monopoly (and all the reasons why they are bad) than what the RIAA seems to represent.

No, No, and No. (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837524)

If his claims are found legally true then their lawsuits are technically illegal themselves.

No they're not. An owner of a copyright can sue you for violating that copyright, and if they demostrate that you did in fact violate their copyright, they will win. An owner of a copyright acting in collusion with other copyright owners can STILL sue you for violating their copyright, and will STILL win if they demonstrate that you violated the copyright.

Nowhere in copyright law does is say "Do not copy copyrighted material, unless the copyright holder is acting as part of a cartel."

What is really going on here is not a defense in the sense of 'I didn't do it', it's a defense in the sense of 'Fine, you can sue me for $X, but if you don't cut it out, I'm going to sue you for $X+$Y, so maybe it's in your best interest to just leave me alone.'

Not a defence (1)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837198)

He's not using the claims of extortion and anti-trust violations as a defence. Instead, he's using them in a counter-claim.
A counter-claim isn't trying to deflect the shots, it's shooting back and making the other side do some work.

in other shocking news... (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836436)

recent statistics show kids are growing up 90% faster, the average age for a mid life crisis is now 25.

seriously though, more power to him.

Re:in other shocking news... (0, Offtopic)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836528)

Aww crap, 25?

Fantastic. Im overdue for a midlife crisis. This hardly seems fair, how do I wig out, buy a sports car and divorce my wife, when im young, unmarried, and so broke I cant even afford the junker im driving now?

Stupid early midlife crisis. Takes all the fun out of life. Twice!

Re:in other shocking news... (2, Funny)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837118)

try wigging, out quitting that job flipping burgers for a real one, move out of your mother's basement, and find girlfriend that can walk through a magnetometer with out getting strip searched :)

Magic money tree ? (2, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836492)

If the recording industry is hurting soo badly, where the hell are they getting the money for all theese lawsuits & lawyers ?

It's not like the people they win suits against can actually pay theese outragous fines.

Re:Magic money tree ? (4, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836582)

If the recording industry is hurting soo badly, where the hell are they getting the money for all theese lawsuits & lawyers ?

Dumping their SCOX?

jail (0, Flamebait)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836524)

i say jail the bastard and nail the little fucker to a wall.. this is wrong just like the Windows logo on my keyboard....

Is youth and time an effective weapon? (5, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836526)

Since he's under 18, can he even enter into a contract? Can he effectively use the court system by himself? If he can't, it's all in the hands of whatever attorney will help him (I'm assumig he's not an idle rich kid, and that he basicly has paper-route money).

This is intriguing though. For adults like myself, who have little time to spare and much to lose, quick settlements and/or rapid capitulation to affordable terms are usually the only way out. In other words, if the *AA extorted 10 percent of my wealth, it might be enough to make them go away, and it would be more expedient for me to let them do that then spend half my wealth fighting them.

OTOH, if I'm a 16-year old and I can legally ride my bicycle to the court house and file claims all summer as an "interesting lesson", then what could I lose? That has a certain appeal to it; but I doubt it will fly. They'll probably drag it out until he's 18, and can be subject to things that will bother an adult.

Still though, the idea of a smart kid sitting there in the library putting up his time and zero money, pitted against corporate lawywers who charge their clients 100s of dollars an hour, is intriguing. Even if he loses, he wins, unless they force him to pay court costs--then he's screwed.

Re:Is youth and time an effective weapon? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837182)

They'll probably drag it out until he's 18, and can be subject to things that will bother an adult.
He has a right to a speedy trial & that right also applies to civil cases.

Even if they do drag it out, would it matter? The Judge isn't deciding the case & the punishment based on the defendant's current age, but on his age at the time of the alleged infringement.

Thousands of layoffs (2, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836570)

The Recording Industry Association of America, which has coordinated most of the lawsuits, issued a statement saying, "The record industry has suffered enormously due to piracy. That includes thousands of layoffs.

Of course they've done layoffs. That's because once a star gets too big, they cost too much. It's not that hard for the record industry to create a new sensation and not have to pay them squat. Re: New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, The Monkees, Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees, 4ORCE, Hanson....

Trashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836620)

Completely OT, but I just noticed what the right hand sidebar on Slashdot now displays. Has Slashdot finally hit the bottom? Not only are the links nonsensical, they lead to non-products.

* Compare prices on YRO Products
* Compare prices on Legal Related Items
* Compare prices on Music

I don't want to compare prices on anything. I want News for Nerds. You'd think the people who run a site supposedly for a geek audience would have the first fucking clue wouldn't you. Obviously not.

Re:Trashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836698)

One word: Adblock

Re:Trashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836744)

whaaa mommy

The Five Labels Found Guilty Themselves Once (5, Informative)

chromozone (847904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17836818)

"The papers allege that the companies, "ostensibly competitors in the recording industry, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and public policy" by bringing the piracy cases jointly and using the same agency "to make extortionate threats ... to force defendants to pay."

The labels were actually found guilty of this once before:

States settle CD price-fixing case
By David Lieberman, USA TODAY

NEW YORK -- The five largest music companies and three of the USA's largest music retailers agreed Monday to pay $67.4 million and distribute $75.7 million in CDs to public and non-profit groups to settle a lawsuit led by New York and Florida over alleged price-fixing in the late 1990s...

  Former FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky said at the time that consumers had been overcharged by $480 million since 1997 and that CD prices would soon drop by as much as $5 a CD as a result.

In settling the lawsuit, Universal BMG and Warner said they simply wanted to avoid court costs and defended the practice.

"We believe our policies were pro-competitive and geared toward keeping more retailers, large and small, in business," Universal said in a statement."

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2002-09-30 -cd-settlement_x.htm [usatoday.com]

Maybe some of those jobs being lost should never have been there to start with

Re:The Five Labels Found Guilty Themselves Once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836988)

Hasn't the recoding industry been caught price fixing many times? IANAL, nor am i American, but isn't there a rule about abusing your copyright? I would think that actively price fixing counts as abuse?

Speaking of copyright protection, when exactly does mickey mouse become public domain? Disney and co liked the 50 years protection in return for public domain at the end... They agreed to this contract.. After the 50 years, realized that the mouse was still worth major money, so they appeal to extend. That extension is of course granted. Wonder if it works for me, an everyday 'joe'?

Unfortunately, he who has the money makes the rules.

Re:The Five Labels Found Guilty Themselves Once (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837096)

I'm still waiting to see that $5 price drop, personally.

The kid has a good defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17836924)

Even if the kid is completely guilty, he can get off if he can prove that the record companies engaged in certain kinds of conduct. I can't remember the exact term but it came up in a previous case. The law frowns on being jerked around by litigeous bastards.

It's called unclean hands (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837010)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unclean_hands [wikipedia.org]

"Unclean hands, sometimes clean hands doctrine, is an equitable defense in which the defendant argues that the plaintiff is not entitled to obtain an equitable remedy on account of the fact that the plaintiff is acting unethically or has acted in bad faith with respect to the subject of the complaint--that is with 'unclean hands'. The defendant has the burden of proof to show the plaintiff is not acting in good faith. The doctrine is often stated as "those seeking equity must do equity"."

Obviously the kid didn't think this up himself.

Court docs (5, Informative)

FienX (463880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837236)

Fresh from Pacer

14 - Defendant's Answer [PDF] [fienx.net]
14 Exhibit A [PDF] [fienx.net]
14 Exhibit B [PDF] [fienx.net]

Re:Court docs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837466)

Haha... makes for a good read!

TWENTY-FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Plaintiffs have crafted at least two additional and alternative forms of damages, which forms have not been offered to this Defendant, even though similarly situated. One alternative, explicated by Warner Music's CEO, Edgar Bronfman, is for a parent to talk to his or her children: "I explained to them [his children] what I believe is right, that the principle is that stealing music is stealing music. Frankly, right is right and wrong is wrong, particularly when a parent is talking to a child. A bright line around moral responsibility is very important. I can assure you they no longer do that." As to what else he did to them, he responded, "I think I'll keep that within the family." Plaintiffs have failed and refused to offer this Defendant the same form of damages. [...]

I hope someone wakes up and really lookx @ this (2, Insightful)

gamekeeper (793336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837248)

Good for him!!!! I am glad to see someone stepping up and naught stepping aside.. I have been wondering for the longest time "Who is questioning the Riaa's practices? Who is being paid off to NOT ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS? If none of the afore mentioned applies, why are people going down in flames?" I mean isn't it interesting that a) this offence happened over 7 yrs ago, back in a time when this type of stuff was not advertised as being illegal and/or evidence was found to the contrary "sister was found owning the material in question on a legealy purchased CD or tape." How can these people go after a Minor? How can they enforce these issues 7+ years after the fact, I mean 7+ yrs ago, did they have the tech. to capture this transgression? If so why not go after the individual at the time of the offence, like most precedings go? How did they collect the info for procescution, how was it verified as valid? By their own investigators I bet..
I think he has something there, hopefully he will receive the support needed to Show those fuckers for what they really are.. Parasites.

Thanks for your time
gK

money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17837332)

why is it all about money?

simple defense? (1)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17837492)

Maybe I am being too niave about this, but wouldn't a simple defense be that yes, indeed you have bought those CDs? and since they have been lost/stolen/damaged/burned-by-ex-girlfried/whateve r? If what they now say is that you are buying a license to the music, then whose to say what you have bought? Honestly, how many people still have ALL of the CDs, cassette tapes, 8-tracks or vinyls that they have EVER bought? And why don't they get pissy about Second hand music shops? Hell, someone is making a profit from that.
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