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RIAA Hires Artists, Then Sends In the SWAT team

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the dirty-pool-riaa-dirty-pool dept.

The Almighty Buck 420

cancan writes "The NY times is carrying an article about how the RIAA is hiring hip hop artists to make mix tapes, and then helping the police raid their studios. In the case of DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon, they were raided by SWAT teams with their guns drawn. The local police chief said later that they were 'prepared for the worst.' Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away 'evidence'. Just the same, 'Record labels regularly hire mixtape D.J.'s to produce CDs featuring a specific artist. In many cases, these arrangements are conducted with a wink and a nod rather than with a contract; the label doesn't officially grant the D.J. the right to distribute the artist's songs or formally allow the artist to record work outside of his contract.' " This is more of the shenanigans that we've previously discussed on the site.

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Zappa (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066126)

This is an old policy. Frank Zappa was commissioned by some pig or other to do some sex tapes - get a girl and record heavy breathing, simulated sex etc - then busted him for breaching obscenity laws. I think it's because the police are so on top of all the other laws, and have little else to do. Also, they're less likely to get their asses kicked by a bunch of musicians.

Re:Zappa (5, Interesting)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066286)

My initial impression: Entrapment And since when does the RIAA get to act like feds and be part of a raid? The boundaries of law enforcement between the record industry seem to be heavily blurred if this is happening. Sounds like the RIAA wants to do a little too much CSI role playing in these setups. I'm imagining little numbered paper tents on tape reels, ziplock bags with drink straws and beer caps, carbon dust on mixing console faders, etc. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Who pays for this? Is this tax payer money being thrown at the desire to feel badass in a dark blue jacket with yellow letters on the back? All for the sake of abolishing the spread of entertainment. so. over. it. GET A NEW HOBBY.

Re:Zappa (4, Insightful)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066380)

"And since when does the RIAA get to act like feds and be part of a raid?"

My first thought, too, on reading the summary.

I do not know what it is going to take, but somehow, these **AA assclowns have to be stopped.

I wish there was a way to incite a universal boycott of ALL **AA related products. Perhaps that would get someone's attention.

Re:Zappa (-1, Flamebait)

Markspark (969445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066408)

A Few weeks ago in Great Britain, some people were pissed of about automatic cameras that trapped speeders, hence they sent mailbombs to the ministry of traffic.. I generally dont condone violence, but these guys have it coming.. So why dont you make as a Brit and bomb 'em?

Re:Zappa (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066462)

In all probability that was just one nutter, who has now been arrested. [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Zappa (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066512)

That will only hurt some lowly clerk in the mail-room.

Of course, if these hip-hop artists are really "gangstas" and are as hard as they claim, they will be gunning down RIAA executives in the street. But then they would get real jail sentences instead of some cooked-up publicity that makes them look tough without really hurting them, and they would lose the huge income that they get from playing along with the system they claim to despise. So they're not going to do that, are they?

Re:Zappa (5, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066744)

Are you unable to think beyond your own tiny sense of self? Speed cameras aren't just put up as a revenue earner, or to piss you off. The pen pushers that make these choices do so do because, and you may find this surprising, they are thinking about preservation of not only your life, but the safety of millions of other people just like you. No fun to have someone you love killed because some retard wants to get home 2 seconds quicker.

Condoning violence is stupid. Being violent is equally as moronic. (Ex military, so I'd like to think I have a clue)

Re:Zappa (-1, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066882)

So.. you're stupid and moronic?

Re:Zappa (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066894)

No fun to have someone you love killed because some retard wants to get home 2 seconds quicker.

"If you want to get somewhere one light faster, leave the house earlier." --Gallagher

Re:Zappa (5, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066486)

My initial impression: Entrapment
That was my initial impression too. Then I read the linked article.

Re:Zappa (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066500)

The more and more RIAA acts like $cientology, [cmu.edu] the more and more people dislike them.

Re:Zappa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066572)

My impression: publicity.

These "rap artists" thrive on a "bad boy" image. RIAA trades on this in order to sell white suburban kids who dream of being "gangstas" and escaping from their bland vanilla "existence".

The problem is, authentic bad boys tend to run into trouble. This common thread runs through the lives of artists as varied as Tupac [wikipedia.org] , Lil' Kim [wikipedia.org] , and Michael Jackson [wikipedia.org] .

Make no mistake. This kind of raid exists only so that the RIAA to manufacture a fake street cred for their mix artists, without having to run into the uncomfortable problems that have been so frequent in the past.

Re:Zappa (3, Informative)

bhima (46039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066588)

This happens when your government supports the profits of the corporations over the rights of the citizens. Mussolini called it "corporatism" but that moniker didn't really take off so we're left with just plain old fashioned "Fascism".

Re:Zappa (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066610)

And since when does the RIAA get to act like feds and be part of a raid?

Special interest groups participating in law enforcement activities is not limited to the RIAA.

As Radley Balko [slashdot.org] pointed out in a column on Mothers Against Drunk Driving [cato.org] (emphasis added):

Unfortunately, the tax-exempt organization has become so enmeshed with government it has nearly become a formal government agency. MADD gets millions of dollars in federal and state funding, and has a quasi-official relationship with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In some jurisdictions, DWI defendants are sentenced to attend and pay for alcoholic-recovery groups sponsored by MADD. In many cities, MADD officials are even allowed to man sobriety checkpoints alongside police.

Re:Zappa (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066614)

since when does the RIAA get to act like feds and be part of a raid?
Since the Pigopolists took over the government.

Re:Zappa (4, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066824)

Who pays for this? Is this tax payer money being thrown at the desire to feel badass in a dark blue jacket with yellow letters on the back?


They were arrested on RICO charges which is one of the most abused laws in the nation. RICO allows for the immediate confiscation and auction of the property of the accused. It was originally used against the mob and later applied to drug dealers. The idea is to prevent them from using "ill-gotten gains" to fund their defense. So things like houses, cars, money in the bank, and other valuable property is sold at auction with the proceeds going to the state to fund further raids like these. In short, the DJ's paid for their own raid.

IMO, if RICO should be applied to anyone it should be the RIAA.

B.

I'm SO sick of hearing.... (5, Informative)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066852)

I am so sick of hearing people misuse "entrapment" as a defense.

To be entrapment, two important things must be true:

1. You must be "convinced" to do something that you normally would _never_ do. (And it's your burden to prove this)
2. The person doing the convincing must be an agent of the State.

That is what "entrapment" means.

Criminal Liability? (5, Interesting)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066148)

If that's so, could the RIAA be hauled into criminal court for conspiracy to commit piracy?

ObMonkey Island Re:Criminal Liability? (5, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066164)

"And if there's one type of piracy I don't like, it's CONS-piracy."

Misleading (5, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066192)

Not as far as I can see from the article; the Slashdot summary seems misleading. As far as I can see from the article the RIAA had somebody busted that they had previously employed on a different project. I can't find anything in the linked article to suggest the set-up that the Slashdot article implies. Surely the RIAA does enough scummy things that we don't have to make things up about them?

Re:Misleading (1)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066368)

Misleading, but still pretty shitty. On one hand, RIAA enjoyed the fame and quality of work of those guys enough to seek them out and employ them. Then they turned around and punched them in the face, as if to say, "We don't care if you make mixes if you're a nobody, but if you ever become famous enough for us to hire you once, you aren't allowed to do any more work in the field unless we're paying you to do it."

Re:Misleading (5, Interesting)

1point618 (919730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066374)

I completely agree. However, the RIAA did do something scummy: they're leaving BestBuy and other distributors be, free to continue selling the same CD's. Also, previously the DJ's felt that there was sort of a "you help us, we won't go after you" feeling towards the whole deal, that is no longer present.

Off topic: my favorite part of the article was when one of the rappers interviewed said he didn't support mixtapes, by which he meant he bought and listened to them (of course) but didn't like it when his material was used. It seems to me that it's greed and hypocrisy like this that permeates the RIAA and major labels. I guess that's normal for capitalism, and why I'm all for creating laws that protect citizens from the corporations as much as we have them to protect us from the government.

Re:Misleading (2, Insightful)

minsk (805035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066450)

The government passes laws designed to protect corporations from people. Some corporations abuse these laws to make a larger profit (why not? it's legal!). People demand more laws to protect themselves from the corporations.

Somehow, I think I can see which groups are benefiting here. Not people or corporations, and certainly not small business.

Re:Misleading (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066862)

I'm all for creating laws that protect citizens from the corporations as much as we have them to protect us from the government.
Isn't the government supposed to protect us from the corporations?

They're doing a lousy job of it.

Re:Misleading (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066406)

I didn't pick up anything misleading in the summary.

The "scummy business" the RIAA did was to hire DJs to do mixtapes for an artist that they were trying to promote and then at some later date sicced the SWAT guys on them. Maybe the artist didn't do so well.

In other words, the DJ's operation was legal enough for them when it suited their purposes, but required an armed SWAT team after they decided he was no longer useful. In my world view, that's plenty scummy.

Not Misleading - 1st Amendment Issue (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066698)

My impression was that some of the studios who belong to the RIAA have unofficially condoned the practice of producing unauthorized infringing mix tapes. Thus, you see these unlawful mixtapes in BestBuy and being reviewed in the New York Times as some of the best albums of the year. Apparently, there are a lot of artists who are mad that they are not making any money off of there music.

That being said, I think that there is a clear conflict between the 1st Amendment and the statutory prohibition/judicial case law against making mix tapes. I like to think of this in an artistic context, where I make an almost perfect copy of a modern painting still covered by copyright, and then paint "THIS IS CRAP" in big red letters over it, and sell it as my own work. This sort of artistic creativity should be protected by the 1st Amendment, and is exactly what the rappers are doing here with music.

The RIAA can go fuck itself. Mod me up if you agree.

Re:Not Misleading - 1st Amendment Issue (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066850)

My impression was that some of the studios who belong to the RIAA have unofficially condoned the practice of producing unauthorized infringing mix tapes.
Yes, that's my reading of the linked article too. A few posters are suggesting that there was entrapment, which is how I read the Slashdot article before I read the linked article. Because a few folks got the wrong end of what the RIAA were doing I think it's fair to say that the Slashdot article was misleading.

The RIAA can go fuck itself.
That sounds too much as if they might enjoy it.

Re:Not Misleading - 1st Amendment Issue (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066876)

not making any money off of there music.


'THEIR' !!!!!!!! not 'THERE'!!!!!!!

You FUCKING IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Criminal Liability? (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066484)

The underlying story actually makes more sense if you understand that the RIAA is not the recording industry, but a group that represents them, and that in all likelihood the probability that the story's claim that the RIAA "hired" any hip-hop artists to do anything at all is pretty close to zero.

This is more like Microsoft hiring some programmers to produce some kind of installation CD with a variety of applications, much of which is not from Microsoft, and then the BSA busting them for piracy. Yes, Microsoft is a member of the BSA, but that doesn't mean the BSA has much to do with the day-to-day decision making processes at Microsoft or vice-versa.

On the face of it, an article about the BSA raiding a company started by Microsoft wouldn't generate the same kind of Slashdot reactions. We might be amazed Microsoft ever started such a company, but we wouldn't think this was some kind of wierd "entrapment" thing.

Unfortunately, it remains the case that Slashdot seriously believes that the RIAA is a massive, monopolistic, music publisher as opposed to an industry group that represents publishers. Slashdot has, judging from the headline, gone beyond merely repeating this nonsense and now actually believes it.

Re:Criminal Liability? (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066622)

Unfortunately, it remains the case that Slashdot seriously believes that the RIAA is a massive, monopolistic, music publisher as opposed to an industry group that represents publishers.

And the difference is... what, exactly?

Re:Criminal Liability? (5, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066864)

Unfortunately, it remains the case that Slashdot seriously believes that the RIAA is a massive, monopolistic, music publisher as opposed to an industry group that represents publishers.

And the difference is... what, exactly?
The same as between you and your lawyer.

Re:Criminal Liability? (2, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066704)

And the underlying assumption of your post that "Slashdot" is a monolithic groupthink is different how exactly?

+1 pwned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066742)

Beat me to it. Nice one. :)

There's a certain point where... (1, Interesting)

DrRevotron (994894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066152)

This kind of action just becomes unacceptable.

At one point, the RIAA could have been negotiated with. That point has passed us by very, very fast. If it weren't illegal, I'm positive that most people would have taken up arms months ago and "settled" all the MAFIAA's court cases themselves.

The RIAA homepage needs to be slashdotted, repeatedly, and with no end in sight. Just like with the P2P networks, they'll feel the wrath of nerds with lots of bandwidth.

Re:There's a certain point where... (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066184)

sigh if only the zombie networks could be used for good

Before someone tries to construct slander... (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066222)

MAFIAA of course stands for the "Music And Film Industries Association of America". Anyone who thinks otherwise or wants to draw parallels to other criminal organisations should reconsider, and ponder his own disposition towards those industries rather than interpreting things into postings that aren't there.

Just to cover your bases, pal. Don't forget, revenue from legal action will soon become the major income base for those industries when their last customer is in jail, so I wouldn't call it beneath them to read this here, too, and try to pump some money outta that, too.

Whoopsie, forgot the comma (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066252)

Of course, there should be a comma before and after "criminal" in the posting above.

Just to cover my bases. For no other reason.

Re:Whoopsie, forgot the comma (2, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066322)

ba-dum-TISH!

Re:Whoopsie, forgot the comma (5, Funny)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066682)

ba-dum-TISH!
Y'know, that could be considered illegal reproduction of a copyrighted work...

Re:Whoopsie, forgot the comma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066904)

No no, that's completely original. The original went ba-dum-TISS, my version went ba-dum-TISH. Totally different.

Re:Before someone tries to construct slander... (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066292)

Shouldn't it be "Music And Film Industry Associations of America"?

Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (5, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066250)

The RIAA homepage needs to be slashdotted, repeatedly, and with no end in sight.

Is this a joke? Somehow I don't think a bunch of nerds throwing packets at the RIAA website is going to help anyone. They're an organisation that deals with other *big* organisations who they already have other communication channels with. They don't need a fucking website. Get real.

Taking up arms against them is also a ridiculously extreme idea. If you want to help remove the RIAA's power, here's a few ideas:

- Learn a musical instrument and join the free culture movement.

- Get a law degree and help out in legal battles against RIAA and any organisation (MPAA, patent trolls, etc.) doing similar things.

- Start an alternative RIAA that protects artists of copylefted music from distributors using DRM on their copylefted music. Sue the DRM distributors for the maximum amount.

- If you feel strongly enough to dedicate a few thousand dollars of your own, launch a copylefted media competition and make the thousands of dollars the prize for the best copylefted film/song/etc. (online film festival, music website, etc.)

Re:Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066272)

...Here's a realistic method for babbling to consider.

Just a thought. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066276)

Taking up arms sure is ridiculous and certainly extreme. But boy, did it mean publicity for a bunch of guys from an organisation nobody would know or could even pronounce 'til about 5 years ago!

Nah, shoot members of thr board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066570)

Even if you get caught, they aren't going to get alive again. And their money won't have done them any good six feet under.

Show these felons that the corp they work for may be faceless but they don't exist without actual people running them and that if they want to see what the world looks like when nobody bothers to play nice with each other, they won't like it one bit.

Shouldn't take too long for them to work out it's better for EVERYONE if people at least TRY to get along.

Re: Copylefted Music = "Make Your Own Techno" (2, Insightful)

core_dump_0 (317484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066638)

The problem with "free" and "copylefted" music is that it's usually pretty terrible, and most of the time it's just "make your own techno" which gets boring after a while.

I am a big fan of alternative, heavy metal, and melodic rock, and I never see anything like that out there as "copyleft." These people are either long gone, desperate for cash, or in the case of melodic rock, releasing only one or two songs for free.

My sister's "emo" bands are more download-friendly, she tells me, always telling people at the concerts to download their music. I guess they can get away with that, being more tour-based than studio-based. Many of them, she says, are not on major labels and don't get on the radio or MTV until much later in their careers. But to me, that style of music is just terrible.

I guess I'm just dated, being into the "whole album" concept rather than the rebirth of the "singles" concept. Even with my iPod, I'll organize it into albums and listen to the whole album in most cases.

Re: Copylefted Music = "Make Your Own Techno" (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066720)

I don't disagree with you, but that's why the copyleft movement needs more musicians involved!

Re:Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066642)

If you want to help remove the RIAA's power, here's a few ideas:
You could - indeed, you should - also join your [eff.org] local [fsf.org] digital rights [openrightsgroup.org] organisation, and help out if you can.

Re:Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (2, Interesting)

dasimms (644188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066712)

And the number one way to stop the RIAA is to stop buying music. Put your money where your mouth is and enjoy the music you already have or enjoy the music you or your friends make. If enough of us stop giving the RIAA our money they'll disappear. Of course, breaking out the weapons cache sounds exciting too but I'd rather fight over something more (much more) important.

Not buying music is not enough! (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066802)

Not buying music isn't enough. If we (geeks who care about this stuff) just did that, the RIAA wouldn't even notice it. We need to compete with the established record companies.

How do we do this? We give "up and coming" artists incentives to copyleft their music:

- Competitions

- Community word of mouth

- Zero-cost web design

- Zero-cost artwork in the form of posters and CDs

- Zero-cost music videos

- Pro bono legal representation against any company that tries to distribute their copylefted music in a DRM distribution channel (there will probably be companies stupid enough to try this!)

- Ability to accept donations via an iTunes competitor that is integrated into our popular media players (eg. Amarok)

Re:Are you kidding? Here's some realistic methods. (1)

Rufty (37223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066832)

Taking up arms against them is also a ridiculously extreme idea. If you want to help remove the RIAA's power, here's a few ideas:
- Learn a musical instrument and join the free culture movement.

I did that, then my government (UK) made it illegal for me to play in public (unless the building has paid a fee and undergone very expensive and pointless building work, so very few have) The juke box can get turned up to 11, tho', and that's OK.

Re:There's a certain point where... (1)

gunny01 (1022579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066288)

Next thing you know they'll try and shut down slashdot because sometimes people browse slashdot and listen to fileshared music at the same time! The horror! Arrest CmdrTaco! Burn the servers! Make sure the children are safe!

Re:There's a certain point where... (2, Funny)

DrRevotron (994894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066296)

...And then sue the children.

Re:There's a certain point where... (3, Funny)

gunny01 (1022579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066470)

...and their pet goldfish, for not stopping the acts of piracy committed by the aid children, despite being in full view of the illegal activities 24-7. I think we need to ban goldfish.

Who would have thought? (4, Funny)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066158)

That the (maf)*IAA would resort to illegal tactics to catch people acting "illegally"...

Hmns... I for one welcome our new Alien overlords (a frontal lobotomy and rectal probe would be less painful than having to deal with the *AAs of the world). Fuck the corporations!

Re:Who would have thought? (5, Informative)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066362)

I don't see anything in the article about them being hired then being busted for doing the thing they were hired to do.

Seems to me they had been hired once, but that wasn't anything to do with the raid.
Mind you, the raid itself seemed a bit extreme.
They found none of the stuff that made them think they should go in armed. Still, I don't know what percentage of raids of this type do turn up arms/drugs, or how many they have to do, the gun toting could simply be policy.

The suppresion of semi ligitimate music outlets is all part of the RIAAs remit, so this shouldn't be surprising. They aren't defenders of law, they are defenders of a business model, and have worked to change laws to protect that business model.

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066476)

Mind you, the raid itself seemed a bit extreme.
Well, considering "one of their trademark Gangsta Grillz sound effects is a few shots fired by a gun with a silencer, followed by the thud of a body dropping", one can understand the law enforcement folks being a bit nervous. Or to look at it another way, if the Gangsta Grillz are going to act tough, why shouldn't the Sheriff's office?

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066508)

so, the sheriffs office are going to pimp their patrol cars and start wearing huge (and I presume bullet proof) gold medallions?

Instead of going on patrol they will be 'checking up on mah bitches'. Public relations will be replaced by 'keeping it real' and 'giving respect to da man...'.

I can see it now, sounds like a plan with no drawbacks :-)

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066556)

Based on what we see on UK TV, that doesn't seem to represent any significant change ;-)

Re:Who would have thought? (4, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066752)

Mind you, the raid itself seemed a bit extreme.
They found none of the stuff that made them think they should go in armed. Still, I don't know what percentage of raids of this type do turn up arms/drugs, or how many they have to do, the gun toting could simply be policy.


I hate to use a phrase from the Iraq War, but it fits. It's "shock and awe" tacticts. Despite what Slashdotters want to believe, the DJs are bootleggers. This article stated that it found 25,000 CDs. A previous article I believe put that number at 75,000. Folks, this is an organized bootleg operation that got shut down. Going in armed is typical of this type of operation to shut down bootleggers. They do it to try to send a message of fear to other people who might be involved in the same thing.

Rap Star - Arrested - PROFIT! (3, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066200)

It seems fairly obvious to me. Rap stars need to have "street cred" in order to rise into the upper echelons of rap stardom. That means a criminal record. Say you were a unscrupulous record producer who had a hot new talent on his hands. Say that the talent happens to be a squeaky clean wannabe thug from the 'burbs. Once your man has recorded a record all you have to do is plant some evidence/drugs and make an anonymous phone-call. Heck, if you're lucky those cops might be the trigger happy sort and you'll wind up with the next Tupac on your hands. (Not to mention the fact that your "client"'s contract probably cedes all royalties to the record company upon death...)

It sounds far-fetched, I know. However, one really does have to wonder if the majority of hardened criminals driving the rap industry are actually the sort that wears three-piece suits.

Tupac? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066504)

He went to the Baltimore School of the Fine Arts on a scholarship. His mother is like the poet laureate of Maryland or something like that.

RIAA huh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066248)

These cats are private- no matter how much they imply it no matter how much they hint at no matter how much they wink and hold up a sign (but never actually say it) that says "we are a government agency" the RIAA's bullshit only carries the force of law if their regulations BECOME law. It's a trade association- nothing more. That is what makes the idea that they were carting out "evidence" all the more wrenching. I don't like it when these guys are co-opting the government. BTW, if this SWAT business is really true, this means that in a post-911 world we were able to spare a little bit (in this case a lot) of resources on a non-terrorism deal? WTF?

entrapment (0, Flamebait)

tdos20 (992697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066260)

nuff said

Re:entrapment (2, Funny)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066290)

The police are responding to a complaint != entrapment

The nazis respond to a complaint about anne frank != entrapment

I can basically do whatever the fuck I want to you and then phone the cops.

I support the RIAA this time (4, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066278)

Anyone that can help cut down on hip-hop gets my vote.

Re:I support the RIAA this time (2, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066434)

I read someone somewhere explain that "rap" is actually spelt with a silent "c".

Re:I support the RIAA this time (2, Funny)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066602)

rapc?

Re:I support the RIAA this time (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066664)

<Batty> Euch, rap is just missing one letter. c.
<zeep> rapc?
<Batty> ...
<Batty> Crap you idiot. you put the c on the other end
<zeep> oic
<Batty> Though you could also say it's missing an e
<zeep> wtf is erap?
* Batty bangs his head repeatedly against a wall

http://bash.org/?329292

yeah right.. (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066330)

This is just some bull story.. The raid ofcourse could be real, (and I certainly aprove of the swat method, since there are enough stories about violent hiphop artists), but the story about RIAA having hired them is ofcourse pure bull...

Re:yeah right.. (4, Insightful)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066582)

If you'll read TA - Page 1, paragraph 5 (last sentence) - it states: ... Drama and Cannon have in recent years been paid by the same companies that paid Kilgo to help arrest them. ... So no, according to the NY Times, it is most certainly not bull, or at least, not Slashdot hype. The RIAA('s member companies) actually did do this.

Parting Shots (0, Troll)

megastructure (1014587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066336)

This has desperation written all over it. It would be a sad thing, really, if it weren't so funny.

In fact, it would be really, really cool if the RIAA actually went nuts (and not just in the metaphorical sense). I can't see them simply fading away like we envision.

Like the mighty dinosaur, their time has come, too. The only way they can save face (so to speak) is to go out with a bang. Call me when the RIAA reps pick up semi-automatic weapons themselves, and start holding people hostage for $buxx.

Similarly, it's hard to make P2P distributions of a nuclear bombing -- maybe they could try that!

In closing, I'm expecting quite a show for the RIAApocalypse.
(I'm just glad I'm a few continents away, for the time being.)

Good Work (3, Funny)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066350)

Keep up the good work! SWAT teams should be arresting more hip-hop "artists" for crimes against humanity.

Hollywood Accounting (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066370)

D.J.'s. Pimp C told me that because there is no paper trail, mixtape D.J.'s are able to invent sales figures, and they routinely claim that, after their overhead, they just break even.


It reminds me of something....

Winston Groom's price for the screenplay rights to his novel Forrest Gump included a share of the profits; however, due to Hollywood accounting, the film's commercial success was converted into a net loss, and Groom received nothing. As such, he has refused to sell the screenplay rights to the novel's sequel, stating that he cannot in good conscience allow money to be wasted on a failure.


Seems they also use Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org] .
Be carefull, next time it's gonna be a MPAA bust, afterall DJ's are using hollywood's trade secret !

Re:Hollywood Accounting (5, Insightful)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066526)

I wonder how much longer Hollywood Accounting will be allowed to continue. You would think that somebody trying to make a name for themselves by going after "the next Enron" would find Hollywood a soft target.

Re:Hollywood Accounting (4, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066660)

> I wonder how much longer Hollywood Accounting will be allowed to continue.

That would be 'forever'. The entertainment industry is very generous in helping to provide money and celebrity support to politicians.

Re:Hollywood Accounting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066710)

Bush had an opportunity to go after the entertainment industry after the collapse of the crooked accounting which helped drive the economic boom of the 1990s (Enron, WorldCom, etc). Especially since it is an industry that hates Republicans anyway -- so he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. But he blew it. No surprise there.

The Democrats who are now in charge of Congress won't dare offend their corporate donors/propaganda ministers.

http://www.instapundit.com/oldarchives/2001_08_12_ instapundit_archive.html [instapundit.com]

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: The Administration's recent moves to prosecute record labels for antitrust violation and to prosecute some media tycoons for illegal trips to Cuba are likely to be just the beginning. Look at it from the Bush Administration's point of view: (1) record companies and movies studios are almost certainly guilty of price fixing and other antitrust violations; (2) it's well established that the both industries are marketing allegedly "mature" items to underage teens; (3) both industries engage in byzantine accounting that makes them highly likely to be violating some tax law or other; (4) they're also screwing their artists (an entertainment lawyer I know says that when he exercises the audit clause he insists on in contracts, he always finds a lot of money they "forgot" to pay the artist, and never any mistakes in the artist's favor); and, most importantly (5) these are industries that hate Republicans, bad-mouth Bush, and give a lot of money to Democrats. Plus, if Bush is subtle enough he can do this in a way that drives a wedge between studios and labels on the one hand, and artists on the other, thus dividing a crucial Democratic constituency. Finally, young people don't like the labels and studios anymore because of their thuggish behavior with regard to Napster, DVDs, etc., and older voters don't like them because of their products -- and both groups are important for Bush. True, these companies own a lot of major news media organizations -- but the major media already don't like Bush, so he has little to lose there.

Posted 8/17/2001 01:38:25 PM by Glenn Reynolds


http://www.instapundit.com/oldarchives/2001_09_02_ instapundit_archive.html [instapundit.com]

MORE BAD NEWS FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY: The record companies have been installing copy-protection schemes on CDs that keep them from playing at all on computer CD drives, don't let them be ripped into MP3 format, etc. Now a consumer has filed a lawsuit (click here to see the complaint) against them. This isn't some fancy-pants claim based on the DMCA, where the entertainment industry has managed to rig the ground rules in its favor, but a straightforward suit for fraud & deceptive advertising, as well as invasion of privacy (the proprietary format that you can copy these to returns identifiable consumer information to the company). Apparently the record companies -- correctly assuming that no one in his/her right mind would buy this stuff if it were clear what was going on -- didn't include any warning on the packaging.

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING of what is likely to be a long and ugly period of litigation for the entertainment industries. Expect more lawsuits over price-fixing, payola-based racketeering suits, consumer fraud suits, etc. There are also likely to be federal investigations of the sort music industry insiders have been demanding for a while, now that the Clinton administration isn't protecting the industry anymore. (Expect the Bush Justice Department to show far less consideration to these big Democratic donors than Clinton's did).

THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IS MASSIVELY UNPOPULAR with nearly everyone now. Older people and conservatives think it produces immoral crap. Younger people -- because of its thuggish litigation behavior in the DeCSS cases, the Napster case, etc. -- think it is immoral crap. And everyone thinks that its product is, increasingly, just plain crap. The amount of public capital that the entertainment industry has managed to squander over the past few years is astonishing. Entertainment will be the new tobacco industry, in my opinion.

Posted 9/7/2001 04:10:55 PM by Glenn Reynolds


http://www.instapundit.com/oldarchives/2002_03_17_ instapundit_archive.html [instapundit.com]

SEN. FRITZ "CASH AND CARRY" HOLLINGS (D - DISNEY) ($287,534 from entertainment industry in 2000) has introduced the SSSCA, now renamed the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA), in the hopes that people won't notice.

Initial reports are that it's actually worse than the stalking-horse version they had hearings on earlier. Hollings -- and everyone else who supports this travesty, including cosponsors Ted Stevens (R-Alaska; $85,659 from entertainment industry in 2000), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii; $49,852 from entertainment industry in 2000), John Breaux (D-Louisana; $121,920 from entertainment industry in 2000) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California $216,138 from entertainment industry in 2000) -- should be ashamed of themselves, though one doubts they're capable of such an emotion.

Funny: we just had a "campaign finance reform" bill and now we have an absolutely outrageous example of corporate paybacks to big donors.

I think it's time to bring back the term limits movement.

Posted 3/21/2002 08:55:09 PM by Glenn Reynolds

Will Someone Please Shut Down the RIAA! NOW! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066384)

The RIAA has way too much power, just like our own government. You, RIAA, are PURE SCUM and the earth needs to be cleansed from things like you!

Guilt by association? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066416)

shot of a grave-looking police officer saying, "In this case we didn't find drugs or weapons, but it's not uncommon for us to find other contraband."

Or to put it another way, these people are completely innocent of all crimes related to drugs or weapons. Of course, by putting it this way, there's a clear implication that these people are somehow connected to the illegal drugs trade.

bullshit (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066430)

where's the contract? Nobody releases work for distribution without a contract. I seriously doubt they had a "wink and a nod" agreement to remix songs and release it, especially for profit.

Without a signed contract it's bs.

Though I do agree the RIAA is a bunch of douchebags for going all S.S. on them.

To

Hip Hop is dead (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066442)

Nas has confirm it, Hip Hop is dead.

ma83 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066464)

it'S going, Future. The 4and

"Overkill" by Radley Balko (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066480)

Over the past several years, Radley Balko [reason.com] (formerly with the Cato Institute, now an editor at Reason), has documented the increasing frivolous mis-use of SWAT teams.

Last year, he published his findings in a book called "Overkill" (page here [cato.org] , direct link to free copy in 2 MB PDF here [cato.org] ).

Also, check out his blog at TheAgitator.com [theagitator.com] , and his posts at Reason's blog [reason.com] .

Americans have long maintained that a man's home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they're sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.

Uhh (4, Insightful)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066494)

>Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away 'evidence'.

Uh, the defendant's lawyer is going to have fun attacking the chain of evidence there.

KILL Mitch Bainwol - Chair and CEO of RIAA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066496)

Go to the RIAA website and read his bio:

http://www.riaa.com/about/leadership/default.asp [riaa.com]

Kill him, kill anyone who replaces him. Keep killing until this copyright insanity stops.

Re:KILL Mitch Bainwol - Chair and CEO of RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066646)

I would not be upset to see him die. Preferably at high resolution, but I'll take whatever I can get.

Re:KILL Mitch Bainwol - Chair and CEO of RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066782)

I hope you have a HDMI cable and your TV supports HDCP!

RIAA flips out (5, Informative)

subsonic (173806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066516)

Yes, this is a seperate mixtape apart from the agreed upon earlier releases. Depending on who those DJs deal with, they may have just figured they would do another mixtape, then discovered (with guns pointed in their faces) that that was not part of the agreement.

As something of a fan of hip hop, it's kind of scary to see that the RIAA is going to clamp down on mixtapes. mixtapes are where trends start. It's a vital part of the cycle of hip hop production.

If producers, rappers and DJs don't have the freedom of the mixtape to test-market beats or styles or even simply as a means to promote themselves or their labels, this is going to hurt hip hop on the national level. And it will drive money away from the RIAA, which is the opposite goal of the RIAA (at least, I think it is- it's hard to tell these days).

Re:RIAA flips out (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066566)

So, you're saying this is a good thing then ...

Re:RIAA flips out (3, Funny)

koreaman (835838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066608)

Although generally I don't agree with the RIAA's actions, your response has convinced me that they are in the right. I applaud them for contributing to the downfall of hip-hop "on a national level".

Re:RIAA flips out (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066842)

That's the problem. In terms of the law, it doesn't really matter if the mix tapes are advertisement. Using large pieces of any single copyrighted item without the copyright owner's permission is infringement. Maybe if a mix tape contains no more than seconds of any given artist's work, they might be considered some odd twist of a "review" under fair use, but that's up to judician interpretation. Maybe if the labels weren't so rigid about their licencing, it wouldn't be a problem. Back when I used to promote a niche form of video entertainment, the rights owners were usually fairly liberal on granting permission to show their works in public for free, but the point is, I got permission because it's not my work. I didn't try to distribute works for profit either, and that's kind of troublesome in terms of copyright.

Re:RIAA flips out (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066912)

There's a strong school of thought that says that piracy in general is a huge driving force behind music and movie purchases. In other words, people a) purchase content so they can share them with their friends, which they otherwise wouldn't purchase, and b) people download or otherwise pirate content to "try it out" and are afterwards happy enough to purchase the real thing.

This line of reasoning would suggest that all of the RIAA/MPAA's attacks on file sharing, use of DRM, etc, is harmful to their own industry. (And don't get me started on how DRM is harmful, in fact particularly dangerous, to their own industry).

WTF (3, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066634)

So, one of the things I glean from this article is that the RIAA pays artists to make mixtapes, encouraging them to violate copyright laws? Nobody else is shocked by this? Especially amazing is the Mafia-like behavior surrounding it, secret agreements, payment under the table, etc. I thought things like that were only done in the movies, and even then not by self-styled "respectable" organizations like the RIAA.

Misleading.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066658)

There isn't even mention that the RIAA hired *these* same DJs.

Even if so, they do not say the projects for which this happened were RIAA sanctioned, explicitly or implicitly.

I think the leap of logic made is that RIAA sanctions this sort of activity, therefore it is hypocritical to punish it. The problem for them is that a DJ is, without their permission, and by extension without RIAA getting money for it, is duplicating and manipulating works that they have ownership rights of. Reproducing them and manipulating them for profit without RIAA getting a cut is fundamentally different from working with them and paying up. RIAA is within their legal rights and not overly deserving of the title hypocrite over this incident. Doesn't mean it is a smart move or that their other moves are not overstepping boundaries, but just that I can understand the difference between what they sanction vs. punish.

If the intended implication that 'maybe these DJs were authorized, but didn't get a contract to protect themselves', then it would be a boneheaded decision from the RIAA to do this to them. It would alienate a talent base that they obviously want to exploit (though the action probably alienated the talent base some, but not to the extent of turning down money for sanctioned work). Also, if they did commission the work, why wouldn't the RIAA have been distributing it for profit themselves? Ok, maybe it could be part of a move to do marketing for the original versions, but in any event if RIAA planned it all along, they ultimately screw themselves.

All that said, the particular case being discussed was handled poorly IMHO. First off the heavy-handedness of going in with SWAT over this made this a high-profile story (probably the whole point, a big 'don't fuck with the RIAA), but it turns into more RIAA looking like really bad guys, when they really could use some good publicity. This situation was at worst some people getting a little money from manipulating RIAA 'property' in ways they wouldn't have exactly done themselves and not really competing with RIAA, at best it was free marketing or, if the works were any good, an opportunity to discover talent to be exploited for money. You can bet most of these DJs are in it, in part, in hopes of a big RIAA company giving them a contract based on the works they put out. In order to prove yourself as a remixer, you have to remix something. In order to get sanctioned for rights to remix something, you have to remix in order to prove you are worth it. As long as the RIAA turned a blind eye to this, no catch22 existed, but if RIAA gets what they want and undiscovered talent stops doing it, the RIAA talent exploitation pool dries up.

jackbooted thugs (2, Insightful)

Wansu (846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066688)



' Men in RIAA jackets helped cart away 'evidence'.

So these guys are now behaving like law enforcement agencies, going in with RIAA jackets and so forth? Their importance is way overblown. They're acting like ATF agents. What's next? Will they burn down a compound?

RIAA conflict of interest? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066696)

"R.I.A.A. investigators helped the police collect evidence and conduct surveillance at the studio. ... after the raid, a team of men wearing R.I.A.A. jackets was responsible for boxing the CDs and carting them to a warehouse for examination."

RIAA, the main benefactor, get's to collect, control and examine the evidence against the accused? Shouldn't that be the job of FBI? Sounds to me like they have a million dollar motive for tampering with the evidence to ensure conviction and collect the $$$$$$$$$$$.

People, where are the priorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18066724)

Let's see... ...Iraq, Iran, AIDS, starvation, poverty, drug abuse, slavery, racism, religious oppression, sexual abuse, pedophilia, ...illegal mix tapes.

Somewhere something went terribly wrong....

Wink and Nod (4, Funny)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066748)

RIAA: Hey mixer, we want you to create mix tapes

Mixer: whats in it for me?

RIAA: We are going to raid your studio on Friday morning with SWAT, you will be famous

Mixer: How much will this fame cost me?

RIAA: You do this or we will just raid your studio and sue you for everything your worth
            since you own recording equipment and are not giving us money

Where did these people come from? (1)

dbmasters (796248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066794)

And how did these RIAA folks get so much power? I really don't understand how these self-appointed rulers of the recording industry got to this point, it's really gotten to a point of lunacy...

Hey wait a minute... (1)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18066846)

Aren't rappers the ones that are meant to have guns? They need to do the world a favour and...ahem... "bust a cap" in some RIAA people.
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